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Showing posts from April, 2016

You Are Forgiven

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darknessand brought us into the kingdomof the Son he loves,14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

New Book Friday

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Posting at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today

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Today, I am posting over at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.  You can read it here  My topic for this month is how the gospel impacts our marriage.  Be encouraged--I am not giving you any steps or tips to be a better wife or husband.  Check out instead where I point you.

Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria

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Christ Alone. To God Alone Be the Glory.

Here are quotes from the final chapters of The Pastor's Justification by Jared C. Wilson:
Jesus Christ alone is the hope, treasure, joy, and purpose of pastoral ministry...Let everything be a means to this end: the treasuring of Christ and the enjoying of his glory. Because only Jesus transforms, the focus and message of our ministries must be only Jesus. The exclusivity of Christ is not just a test of Christian orthodoxy; it is a test of Christian orthopraxy.
Faith is not our rock; Christ is our rock. We do not get faith by having faith in our faith or by looking to faith, but by looking to Christ. Looking to Christ is faith...If we start qualifying our faith, we destroy the gospel...Far too often we are prone to look to the quality of our faith, the quality of our conviction of sin, the quality of our evangelical repentance, the quality of our love for the brethren for confirmation of our justification, forgetting that it is Christ alone …

Names of God: Yahweh Tsuri

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.

This is a new feature on the blog on the names of God.  Why?  Because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.

Yahweh Tsuri
Yahweh is the Hebrew Name for God. It is "I AM". It is used over 6000 times in the Old Testament.  It was such a holy name that the Jews would not even say it. 

Tsuri means rock. To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, (Psalm 28:1)
What it reminds me?  Our God is solid as a rock.  Rocks are used as foundations so we rest in God as our foundation.  Rocks are strong so we can trust God is strong for us. Rocks are firm so when life is out of control, we can trust God to be a firm foundation for us.

Tweets and more tweets

This is a new feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts.  This usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
Gratitude & joy drove them to do good works before the thought that they had to do them even crossed their mind.” –Herman Bavinck via @JustinHolcomb The centerpiece of the Christian life is faith not your faithfulness--trust in Christ's faithfulness not your own. @Byronyawn I affirm the call to sanctification. I just believe it flows not from an imperative to "be loving" but the indicative that we "are beloved." @MattPopovits Transformation happens by beholding Jesus. @simplegospelpod in both the OT & NT the way in which God saves sinners is always the same: by grace alone,…

Hide and Seek

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Here are my notes from my message today at Hesston MB:


Opening: Recognition of Hide N Seek Leaders Introduction: Theme Verse: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:9-11

Game of Hide and Seek-Which do you like more: hiding or seeking? Our Hide & Seek

·Genesis 3:8-10-Because of sin, We Hide
oEver since the Fall, we have been hiding our sin from God and others.Think about it.When you sin, do you tell God or others? I can only speak for myself but I hide.
oWe hide our struggles and hurts from others and even our church family.The church, place that should be safe to share our sin and struggles is usually the last place where it is shared.Why?Because we are afraid what God or others will think about us.
·Hebrews 4:12-13
oEven though we try, we cannot hide our sins from God.This includes external and internal.
oT…

Hide N Seek Program tomorrow at 10:10

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It is hard to believe that we have come to the end of our mid-week program called Hide N Seek. We have had a great year together learning, singing, memorizing Scripture, and having fun. 

This year, we are trying something new.  Our end of the year program has usually been on Sunday evening but we have decided to have the kids share songs and verses during our morning worship service this year.  So, join us at Hesston MB tomorrow at 10:10 a.m. to hear the songs and verses our Hide N Seek kids want to
share with you.

Tomorrow afternoon, I will post notes from my Sunday meditation titled, "Hide and Seek".

New Book Friday

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What is the gospel?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have chosen the word, gospel, to think about and meditate on in 2016.  Gospel in the Greek literally means, "good news." 

My best definition of gospel is the "life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ." I hope to have a deeper understanding of the word and definition at the end of 2016.

Check out previous posts on this topic.
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power (1 Corinthians 1:17)15 For though you have countlessguides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (1 Corinthians 4:15)

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide

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Grace Alone. Faith Alone.

Here are some quotes from The Pastor's Justification by Jared C. Wilson:
People need to know what God's law says, but we need to remember that the law cannot produce obedience to itself. The pastoral imperative, then is to get the gospel indicative into every nook and cranny of church life as we can. We want to be seeding grace in every space.  We are not automatically set to gospel mode, so we all need help in constantly resetting to grace. Sola fide is not just for justification, but also for the working out of our justification in the ongoing work of sanctification. It is not as though what has begun by faith is now continued by works. We are not to find life in the Gospel and then nourish it by the Law. We are not to begin in the Spirit and then seek to be made perfect by the flesh, or by confidence in man--we must continue to walk by the simple faith which rests only upon God... Faith is convicted trust...Another simple way of illustrating faith …

You are Crucified

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Names of God: El Shaddai

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.

This is a new feature on the blog on the names of God.  Why?  Because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.

El Shaddai
El Shaddai means almighty or most powerful. When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;walk before me, and be blameless, (Genesis 17:1)
What it reminds me?  Nothing is impossible for God.  Abraham was told he was going to have a child in his old age.  Throughout Scripture, what seems impossible, God does because He is all powerful.  Today if you are facing a difficulty in your home, at work, at church, with your health, in relationships, remember that God is almighty and nothing it too difficult for Him.

Tweets and more tweets

This is a new feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts.  This usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
So when we preach steps and tips but only assume grace, we are withholding from people the actual power they need to experience God’s love and obey him. @jaredcwilson  The simple life of “Abide in me” has been buried under endless prescriptions of modern Christianity. @Byronyawn  Self-control is not control by oneself through one's own willpower but rather control of oneself through the power of the Holy Spirit. @BridgesWisdom

Playing on the Radio

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Actually, this song is not playing on the radio yet.  However, I think it will be very soon.  This song is from Steven Curtis Chapman's new CD and the song is called Who You Say We Are. Be reminded of your identity in Christ today!


Oh how great is the love
The Father has lavished on us
That we should be called The children of God
Oh how great was the cost
The Father was willing to pay
So we could be called the children of God

And all that we can say is thank you, Thank you
And all that we can say is thank you, Thank you

We are your sons
We are your daughters
Hallelujah, we are who You say we are
So we lift our hands
And cry Abba Father
Hallelujah, we are who You say we are
Hallelujah, we are who You say we are

Oh how great is your amazing grace
That took us as orphans and slaves
And made us your heirs, And gave us Your name
There’s nothing more we could ever do
You finished it all on the cross
Then rose from the grave
And brought us with You

New Book Friday

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What is the gospel?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have chosen the word, gospel, to think about and meditate on in 2016.  Gospel in the Greek literally means, "good news." 

My best definition of gospel is the "life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ." I hope to have a deeper understanding of the word and definition at the end of 2016.

Check out previous posts on this topic.
20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, (Romans 15:20)25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages (Romans 16:25)

Sola Scriptura

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I loved Jared C. Wilson's chapter "The Pastor and the Bible."  I highlighted a lot!  Often we can let good things become too important in the church and in life.  This chapter is a reminder that our absolute authority is God's Word and how important the Bible is in our preaching. 

most gospel-centered preachers have an aversion to "how-to" sermons to begin with...Do these things and thereby reap these rewards is in essence legalistic..."How-to" sermons are specifically designed to help people become better Christians.

The long and short of it appears to be that an entire ministerial enterprise dedicated to meeting felt needs, supplying biblical advice, and providing top-notch production values has quietly become a huge success at drawing crowds but a huge failure at what the Bible actually calls the church to do.

Our words ought to stand under Scripture, not vice versa. When we come to the biblical text, it is meant to shape us: we are not to sha…

You Are Chosen

“For he chose usin him before the creation of the world to be holy and blamelessin his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4)

Names of God: Elohim

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.

This is a new feature on the blog on the names of God.  Why?  Because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.

Elohim

Elohim means one true God.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
What it reminds me?  God is worthy of worship for so many reasons but His creation will cause us to praise and worship.  As I look around at humans, animals, flowers, mountains, oceans, & more, I see an amazing work of God.  He made all things.  If He has the power to create everything, then I trust His power over my life.

Tweets and more tweets

This is a new feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts.  This usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
We want the Lamb to be beheld, so we must hold him up high and long. We proclaim not helpful hints but eternal visions. @jaredcwilson  The empty tomb is the "Amen" of the Father to the "It is Finished" of His Son. @pauldunk  the way to engage the will, the path to a willing spirit, is not effort but prayer. @mockingbirdnyc  As soon as juice ran down Adam's chin, the Snake said, "You're finished!" As soon as juice ran down Jesus' chin, He cried, "It is finished!" @benjimagness  the Christian story reveals a God who sacrifices for His creation out of sheer…

Playing on the Radio

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Today's song is a  new one by Steven Curtis Chapman called More Than Conquerors. Be reminded that the Enemy has been defeated by Jesus' death on the cross.



Now there is no condemnation, now there is no guilt or shame
For those who have been covered by the blood of Jesus
And now the words of our accuser have been robbed of all their pow’r
And the enemy has been defeated by the blood of Jesus
So we stand with our hearts washed clean
And we lift up our hands and sing

We are more than conquerors, we are more than conquerors
God if You are for us, who can be against us
We are more than conquerors, we are more than conquerors
God if You are for us, who can be against us

What can separate us from Your love

Once we were the slaves and pris’ners, now we’re children of the King
The favored sons and daughters, saved by the blood of Jesus
So tell me death, where is your vict’ry and tell me grave where is your sting
You’ve been swallowed up in life, forever by the blood of Jesus
And we sta…

New Book Friday

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What is the gospel?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have chosen the word, gospel, to think about and meditate on in 2016.  Gospel in the Greek literally means, "good news." 

My best definition of gospel is the "life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ." I hope to have a deeper understanding of the word and definition at the end of 2016.

Check out previous posts on this topic.
16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:16)19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; (Romans 15:19)

The Justified Pastor

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I would highly recommend The Pastor's Justification by Jared C. Wilson to all people in ministry.  It is also very relevant the Christian in general. Here are quotes from the chapter, "The Justified Pastor"
Left to my own devices and trusting in my own power, I can never be the pastor God has called me to be or the pastor my church needs. But the message of our faith is not "I am justified because I obey," but "I obey because I am justified." Embedded in the gospel is the power to fulfill its implications. To be hidden with Christ in God is to be as secure as Christ is.

but there's great contentment to be had in finally realizing that the salvation of the souls of those in the pastor's care is not ultimately up to him. It is liberating to realize that the spread of God's kingdom in not ultimately dependent on the work of the pastor.

Herein is the justification for the sin-prone pastor: because of Christ's perfect work on your behalf, …

You Are His Child

“See what great lovethe Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

Names of God: Yahweh Qadash

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.

This is a new feature on the blog on the names of God.  Why?  Because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.

Yahweh Qadash
Yahweh is the Hebrew Name for God. It is "I AM". It is used over 6000 times in the Old Testament.  It was such a holy name that the Jews would not even say it. 
Qadash means sanctification.
Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you. (Leviticus 20:8)
What it reminds me?  I need to stop striving and working so hard and instead look to Christ to work in me.  Sanctification is a hotly debated topic these days, but this name of God helps me to see that any good that I do is not me, but God working through me.  Instead of spending all of my t…

Playing on the Radio

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Today's song is by Jeremy Camp and is also the theme for our summer camps for the Southern District of Mennonite Brethren.  Let's point to Christ!




In this obsession with
The things this world says make us happy
Can't see the slaves we are
In all the searching, all the grasping
Like we deserve much more
Than all these blessings we're holding
So now I'm running free
Into an ocean of mercy, unending

So come and empty me
So that it's You I breathe
I want my life to be
Only Christ in me
So I will fix my eyes
‘Cause You're my source of life
I need the world to see
That it's Christ in me, yeah
That it's Christ in me, yeah

Done with what holds me down
The things I once was chasing after
Throw off these heavy chains
That I have let become my master
So now I'm running free
Into an ocean of mercy, unending

Tweets and more tweets

This is a new feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts.  This usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
God does not love you to the degree that you are like Jesus, but to the degree that you are in Jesus, which is totally. @ScottyWardSmith via @CovSeminary The gospel is not "What would Jesus do?" The gospel is "What has Jesus done?" That's what changes you. @timkellernyc via @scottsauls  If you trust in Jesus, you do not have a prosecutor in heaven but only a loving Father who fully absolves you because of the work of his Son @MichaelHorton_  It is impossible to overemphasize grace! @Byronyawn via @CBC_Theocast  Because the gospel is good news, not good advice, we come proclaiming &…

New Book Friday

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