Monday, July 31, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Small group Bible studies often wrestle with the question about what to study next. Here's some good advice you should consider. One concern I have is that people assume that you need a commercially prepared study guide or a book. Please just open the Word of God and dive in as a group.
If you're teaching, and need to know what to teach next, then I highly recommend my free report:
Saturday, July 29, 2006
You might want to bookmark this site.
It lists hundreds of names found in the Bible. Each name is a link that opens a new page so you can hear how it is pronounced. (Make sure your computer speakers are turned on.)
There are a lot of ads near the top of the page, so you have to scroll down to get to the names.
You can use the "find" feature of your browswer (it is Ctrl-F in Internet Explorer) to quickly get to the name you want.
This article lists 8 reasons we can stand confidently before God in prayer -- it's an encouraging reminder! (This would also be a nice short lesson on prayer.)
Teachers, pray for your students! Ask God to open their ears, open their minds, and transform their hearts.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
God's Voice Satan's Voice
Stills You Rushes You
Leads You Pushes You
Reassures You Frightens You
Enlightens You Confuses You
Encourages You Discourages You
Comforts You Worries You
Calms You Obsesses You
Convicts You Condemns You
from Brio Magazine, Aug 2008 edition
Here's a helpful article with suggestions to help you encourage people to read the Bible. It's organized around these common excuses:
"I don't have time to read."
"I don't know where to begin."
"I just don't get it."
"The Bible is so dull."
"I don't see how the Bible applies to my life."
"I hear Bible readings in church every Sunday."
"The Bible makes me feel uncomfortable."
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Sometimes the fastest way to a person's heart and mind is through their funny bone! I recommend you take advantage of the free cartoons and humor from Christianity Today. Go here to sign up for a weekly email that delivers a cartoon and other humor.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Angie Frederickson sent me these two tips recently, and gave me permission to share them.
Tip 1: Use different color paper for multiple handouts
"I am teaching a class on how to teach the Bible and have used many handouts for reference sake. I learned from a professor at Multnomah Bible School to use various colors of paper so I can say, "Take a look at the blue page, or yellow or whatever." It has been beneficial as a time saver and avoiding confusion."
Tip 2: Practice with props ahead of time
"I might suggest practicing the prop ahead of time. I was using an empty glass on a sponge to show we are employ glasses without God's Holy Spirit (however, sometimes filled with hot air). I explained the glass was us, the water was God's Spirit. I poured some water in the glass demonstrating God's Spirit filling us and as there was more of Him, there was less of us. When I got to the top of the glass exemplifying being filled with The Spirit, I stopped and asked what happens if this is left like that. They got it when they said, "It become stagnant and the water begins to evaporate." I told them they had to keep on being filled. Then I showed them that as this happens, you begin to overflow into the dried up Christians lives (the sponge) and they begin soaking up God's Spirit. Thirsty non-believers desire the Spirit. But ,when we stop overflowing they can dry up and you become an ineffective vessel.
"So, the point is, as I practiced this at home I discovered I needed to cut a hole in the sponge because the glass tipped over. This would have been disastrous in class. Yes, I already had the sponge in a shallow container so everyone could see."
* * * *
If you have tips you'd like to share, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been singing the hymn below frequently this past week. The lyric "my name is graven on his hands" comes from Isaiah 49:16. Some thoughts that occurred to me as I've meditated on this image:
* My name is carved on his palms, not scrawled there in ballpoint pen. It took significant purpose to put my name there. It's not going to wear off.
* Hands are remarkably sensitive. There would be some pain involved to carve my name there!
* If the Father has a question about Glenn Brooke for Jesus -- who is at his right hand interceding for me (Rom 8:34), Jesus will just hold out his hand to the Father. Question answered. And then they'll give each other a high five!
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I really enjoyed this hymn at PK this year. I was delighted to find that it dates from 1863! I was particular blessed by the refrain "my name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His hears" -- see Isaiah 49:16. Solid theology, Christ-centered praise!
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!
Words: Charitie L. Bancroft, 1863.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Pastor Mark Batterson points out that we have a dual destiny.
"One destiny is universal and is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. "
"The other destiny is unique, to become unlike anyone who has ever lived...The goal is for each of us to be a unique expression of praise to God."
(From his 7/5/06 Evotional email)
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Gordon MacDonald points us to this excerpt from the biography of John Henry Jowett:
"We leave our places of worship, and no deep and inexpressible wonder sits upon our faces. We can sing these lilting melodies, and when we go out into the street our faces are one with the faces of those who have left the theater and the music halls. There is nothing about us to suggest that we have been looking at anything stupendous and overwhelming. Far back in my boyhood I remember an old saint telling me that after some services he liked to make his way home alone, by quiet by-ways, so that the hush of the Almighty might remain on his awed and prostrate soul. That is the element we are losing, and its loss is one of the measure of our poverty, and the primary secret of inefficient life and service."
Let us be teachers of the Word, powerfully used, so that people see the awesomeness of God in the Word, and their faces are changed!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
At first I laughed out loud at this cartoon.
Then I thought of the famous events of revival when Jonathan Edwards preached the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."
Bible Teachers need to be found faithful to teach what the Word says, and not coddle people. Jesus didn't.