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Showing posts from May, 2017

Tweets and more tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the last few weeks.  This is one of the blessings of social media where we can hear the gospel from people all over the world. If you like the tweet, go and follow the person on Twitter. 
Too many of us try to live our Christian faith by focusing on the don'ts. Instead of focusing on the don'ts, focus on the dos. @noeljesse The Holy Spirit begins empowering us to want to love, giving us the ability to love, & causing us to know the love of God. @JustinHolcomb When we try and use fear or pride to stop from sinning, we are forgetting that we sin because of either fear or pride. @timkellernyc via @WhiteHorseInn Moms, be free from performance-based motherhood. Jesus is your righteousness, not your kids' choices, grades, manners, careers, or faith @ScottyWardSmith Corporate worship is meant to remind us that the One who sits on the throne is the definition of power, glory, holiness, wisdom and love. @PaulTripp

Stop and Smell the Roses

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This post originally appeared at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.


I don’t know who originally coined the phrase above. But I like it.

The picture attached to this blog post is my youngest daughter, Molly, and me. When she was younger (she is almost 10 now), every time we came near flowers in our yard or at our local arboretum, we would stop to smell the flowers.

Why all the talk about flowers? 

As individuals, spouses, parents, grandparents, we all need perspective. So often we are so busy living our lives that we lose perspective. I discovered that I asked a lot of questions while on sabbatical that I don’t know that I would have asked if I would not have had the break.
It reminds me of Isaiah 55:8-9 which says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God knows what is best for us and can always see the big picture. 

We nee…

Gospel Playlist

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This is a new feature replacing "Playing on the Radio", but will be similar because it will include music.  I will be sharing songs from my "Gospel Playlist" on my phone.

The gospel is good news.  It reminds us what Christ has DONE for us.  As I share, I hope it will be an encouragement to you today. 

Song today is: Forever by Brian Johnson

You Are Loved

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved usand sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

What does it mean to be "in Christ"?

For 2017, the phrase I am focusing on is "in Christ."  Each week, I will post 1 verse that includes the phrase "in Christ". I look forward to growing in understanding of what it means to be "in Christ."
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;16 yet we know that a person is not justifiedby works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:15-16)

Kid Book Friday

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Over the last several months, I have been sharing new books that I have received.  Starting today on Fridays, I will now be sharing some of my favorite kid's books.  Enjoy!

Names of God: Savior

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.
The names of God are important 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.
Savior Savior means one who saves.  It can also be translated deliverer.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14)
What it reminds me?  Ever since sin entered the world in Genesis, people have been looking for a savior or deliverer.  For many, they saw this person as one who would deliver or save them from the oppressive or corrupt leaders of conquering nations.  However, God had a plan from Genesis 3:15 to send One who would save and deliver his pe…

Tweets and more tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the last few weeks.  This is one of the blessings of social media where we can hear the gospel from people all over the world. If you like the tweet, go and follow the person on Twitter. 
You can't overcome condemnation with sanctification. That's what justification is for. Terry Virgo via @noeljesse “The love of God does not find but creates that which is lovely to it.” ~ Martin Luther via @MichaelHorton_ Jesus is the Suffering Servant who died so that those who trust in Him would be forgiven. #thegospelprojectkids It is the Holy Spirit who moves us beyond mere imitation of Christ into union with Christ. @WhiteHorseInn "But God" Among the most important phrases in the English language and human history. Ephesians 2:1-7 @AlsoACarpenter The prodigal parable isn't about the rebellion of the younger or the rule following of the older but the father's relentless love for both. @MattPopovits

Be A Real Man, Man Up?

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This post originally appeared at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.

Man Up!?

Have you heard this phrase before? It is often used in conferences to get guys to “man up”. It is used as a catchy slogan for men’s ministry events. Pastors use it to motivate the guys in their congregations to grow up.
I hate it! Why? Because how we are told to “man up” is based on a particular understanding of what it means to be a man. This often includes eating a lot of meat, bashing cars, shooting things, etc. Also, the motivation is often focused on externals not the heart.
What is a man? Besides the physical characteristics, what qualities make up a man? For many it is strength. What if you are a skinny guy with pea-sized biceps? For others it is leadership. What if you did not have a father (either physically absent or emotionally absent) help you learn how to lead? For others it is doing guy things like eating lots of meat, drinking beer, shooting things, bashing cars, watching sports. Who decided these were…

Gospel Playlist

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This is a new feature replacing "Playing on the Radio", but will be similar because it will include music.  I will be sharing songs from my "Gospel Playlist" on my phone.

The gospel is good news.  It reminds us what Christ has DONE for us.  As I share, I hope it will be an encouragement to you today. 

Song today is: Exhale by Plumb

You Are Holy

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

What does it mean to be "in Christ"?

For 2017, the phrase I am focusing on is "in Christ."  Each week, I will post 1 verse that includes the phrase "in Christ". I look forward to growing in understanding of what it means to be "in Christ."
4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. (Galatians 2:4-5)

New Book Friday

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Names of God: Messiah

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.
The names of God are important 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.

Messiah Messiah is also translated as Christ.  It means anointed one. 
41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). (John 1:41)

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
What it reminds me?  Jesus was sent to rescue His people.  He was set aside for a special purpose for us.  It was a name for Jesus to remind us why He came.

Tweets and more tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the last few weeks.  This is one of the blessings of social media where we can hear the gospel from people all over the world. If you like the tweet, go and follow the person on Twitter. 
The good news is that while I see more & more of my own sinfulness each new day,I also see more & more of God's grace. @elysefitz Beholding his glory not only makes our souls happy, but it is the best and surest way to make our souls holy. @JMellinger "For it is God who works in you..." Philippians 2:12a. God is at work in you and me now. Today. @feastonChrist The Gospel is substitution. The false gospel is contribution. #galatians @pauldunk Grace is a pool where elephants can swim and children can play. Grace isn't just a doctrine; it's a 24-7 context for living. @DrSteveWBrown No matter what grade we'd give ourselves at the end of this day, in Christ, we're 100% beloved, forgiven, righteous, loved and His @ScottyWardSmit…

Gospel Playlist

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This is a new feature replacing "Playing on the Radio", but will be similar because it will include music.  I will be sharing songs from my "Gospel Playlist" on my phone.

The gospel is good news.  It reminds us what Christ has DONE for us.  As I share, I hope it will be an encouragement to you today. 

Song today is: Drops in the Ocean by Hawk Nelson

You are Gifted

We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:6)

Happy Mother's Day!

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Today, we celebrate moms. I am thankful for the mothers in my life.  Hopefully, we say "thank you" appreciate, and celebrate moms throughout the year too.

I am thankful for my mother-in-law, Shirley.  She did a great job raising my wife and I have appreciated her through the years of knowing her.  She is generous, caring, and a wonderful "Grammie".


I am also thankful for my mother who taught me about hard work, supported me through the years, loves to give gifts to others, makes me laugh, plans fun trips for the family and is a great wife and grandmother too. 


And last but not least, I am thankful for the mother of my children, Bethany.  What a blessing she is to me!  She has been a great mother all of these years.  I remember hearing about her passion to be a stay-at-home mom in conversations during college.  She served long and exhausting days with our kids while she stayed home and then has also stepped into the role of working mom.  She is selfless, loving, co…

What does it mean to be "in Christ"?

For 2017, the phrase I am focusing on is "in Christ."  Each week, I will post 1 verse that includes the phrase "in Christ". I look forward to growing in understanding of what it means to be "in Christ."
19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. (2 Corinthians 12:19)

New Book Friday

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Names of God: I AM the life

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.
The names of God are important 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.

I am the life
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
What it reminds me?  Jesus came to bring us life.  In John 10:10, it says He came to bring eternal or abundant life.  This is not just heaven, but life on earth today.  Jesus did not come to make bad people good, but instead dead people alive.  I am thankful for the life I have in Christ and how that changes how I live today.  For more on this topic, check out Matt Heard's book, Life With A Capital L.

Tweets and more tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the last few weeks.  This is one of the blessings of social media where we can hear the gospel from people all over the world. If you like the tweet, go and follow the person on Twitter. 
When I go to church, I need the message of death and resurrection over and over and over. @BlingfortheKing It is not much use if we are experts in identifying sin, only to be novices at applying grace. @JMellinger The theology of the word of God, properly understood, never just defines who God is. It redefines who you are as his children. @PaulTripp I've got to take myself back to the Gospel over & over & over & over again, & I've got to pray "God, help me remember." @ElyseFitz Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection is the center of the gospel. We deserve to die, but Jesus died in our place. #thegospelprojectkids

Gospel Playlist

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This is a new feature replacing "Playing on the Radio", but will be similar because it will include music.  I will be sharing songs from my "Gospel Playlist" on my phone.

The gospel is good news.  It reminds us what Christ has DONE for us.  As I share, I hope it will be an encouragement to you today. 

Song today is: Cornerstone by Aaron Shust

You Are Free

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.(Galatians 5:1)

Sermon Notes: Generosity 101

Introduction: Generosity, Money, Giving.This is one topic that congregations do not enjoy hearing about AND one of the topics that pastors do not like to preach or teach on. This is an area that I personally struggle with. But before you stop listening, let me share a secret about my feelings on this topic.As a pastor, I am not a fan of the way giving, generosity, money has been taught in the church.Much (not all) of the curriculum or teaching I have discovered focuses too much on guilt and shame to get results.Today’s passage shows us how generosity is good news not bad news.

Give (Vs. 14-18)
·Vs. 14-Good to share in my troubles
oThe Greek word translated “share” emphasizes that participation. Same root word used in Philippians 1:7. The basic translation, “fellowship,” means a deep partnership of two going the same direction.[1]
oPaul had experienced many hardships (persecution, currently in prison, in need, hungry-vs.12) Listen to Paul’s own words in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28-with far grea…

Women in Ministry Discussion

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Join us tonight in Fellowship Hall for a discussion on women in ministry.  Remember to read through the Scriptures prior to tonight.  You can see information about the discussion and our speaker below.


What does it mean to be "in Christ"?

For 2017, the phrase I am focusing on is "in Christ."  Each week, I will post 1 verse that includes the phrase "in Christ". I look forward to growing in understanding of what it means to be "in Christ."
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;19 that is, in Christ God was reconcilingthe world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

New Book Friday

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Names of God: I AM the resurrection

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.
The names of God are important 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.

I am the resurrection
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, (John 11:25)
What it reminds me?  Jesus reminds us that He can resurrect those who have died.  Jesus defeated death on the cross.  Therefore, we do not have to fear death because in Christ even though we die, we will be resurrected to new life. This also applies to how Jesus did not come to make bad people good, but people dead in sin, alive in Christ.

Tweets and more tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the last few weeks.  This is one of the blessings of social media where we can hear the gospel from people all over the world. If you like the tweet, go and follow the person on Twitter. 
In our every interaction with others, especially those with whom we disagree, let us say to ourselves, ''This is one for whom Christ died.'' @birdchadlouis A gospel-centered sermon is a shared feast. A "how-to" sermon is directions to a taco stand the board of health shut down 2000 years ago. @jaredcwilson It is not our sacrifice that saves us. God's plan of redemption is primarily about his sacrifice, not ours. @WillWalker  I don't object the importance of growing as believers. I object subjective interpretations of growth that turn into self salvation projects. @julianbrooks16 The blood of Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God, is our assurance that God keeps his promises. @WillWalker But on each step of the way faith must be g…

Book Review of Think Again

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I recently finished reading Think Again by Jared Mellinger.  The cover says "relief from the burden of introspection."  I highly recommend this book to everyone because all of us can become too obsessed with self. We can easily spot the narcissist is our midst, but this book helps us see that we too can become overly focused on self as we seek to grow in our relationship with Christ.

I shared some quotes from the first half of the book a few days ago.  Visit that post for several great quotes from the book.

Mellinger does a great job describing the problem of introspection which he defines as "the act of looking inward."  He shares his own struggle with introspection at the beginning of the book and then in the following chapters helps the reader to understand themselves including self-love and self-loathing.  In Chapters 4-6, Mellinger gives counsel and comfort for those stuck in the introspective trap.  Chapters 7-9 address self-examination with Chapter 10 address…