Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole." -- Henry Laurens, President of the Continental Congress
People just don't write like that anymore!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Our friends at The Sunday School Revolutionary have posted a nice list of suggestions for building relationships with your students -- which will make your teaching more effective! Recommended.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
It's nice to see people excited about God and addressing the culture, trying to reach out to people that "traditional" churches are not reaching. My concern is that at least some of the leading pastors in this "movement" appear to me to be walking away from the clear Gospel message and orthodox theology.
I think Mark Driscoll has some useful insights. Here's a short video where he explains some of the variants of "emerging" churches. He also outlines some of the theological positions of "streams" within the movement in this PDF document.
So there are some positives, and some dangers. My counsel: Guard yourself! Stay true to the Gospel! Depend upon God's grace!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
And here is a short video of John Piper's comments about the ESV:
In this second video I give you a tour of the contents -- which are available online using a special code you get when you purchase a copy. There are some terrific features here! Plus I show you a slick trick to make it easier to read.
Crossway has created an information site with more video tours, lists of features, how it was created, and a free preview version of the online tool.
I recommend you get a copy of the ESV Study Bible. It's a great addition to your reference collection as a Bible teacher, and will be useful for years to come. More details below from CBD, which is the cheapest place to get your copy.
|ESV Study Bible, Hardcover|
By Crossway Books & Bibles
The ESV Study Bible includes more than 25,000 notes, written specifically for the ESV Study Bible. These notes focus especially on understanding the meaning of the text, giving answers to frequently raised questions, and providing theological, historical, and archaeological background—all for the purpose of helping readers to understand the Bible in a deeper way.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This book has been extraordinarily helpful for me:
Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God
by Paul David Tripp
Tripp ( the author of "Age of Opportunity," about parenting teenagers -- also very good) helped me recognize the grace of God in new ways. Frankly, my definition of Grace was simply too narrow, too selfish.
Complete details below -- HIGHLY recommended. There is a lot of material here to help you with counseling situations, and it would make an outstanding resource for a small group or adult Bible class. The book is studded with Scripture.
|Lost In The Middle: Midlife and The Grace of God|
By Paul Tripp / Shepherd Press
The Bible never discusses midlife, just like it never discusses teenagers. Yet the Bible is able to unpack any of life’s experiences because it was written by the One who made them all. Life on this side of glory is hard. This world is a broken place. You will face things in midlife that beat at the borders of your faith, but you do not have to be lost in the middle of your story.
You do not have to be paralyzed by regret, defeated by aging, and discouraged by the passing of your dreams. You do not have to make greater trouble out of the trouble you are already experiencing. This time of life, which can seem like the end of many things, can actually welcome you to a brand new way of living. As is so often the case in your walk with the Lord, this moment of pain is also a moment of grace. Because of this, all of us need to occasionally step back, slow down, and consider where we are going. Lost in the Middle will help you to do just that.
One final word: Although this book is targeted at those who are struggling with the issues of midlife, it has a much broader net than that. Lost in the Middle can help all who are struggling with life in this broken world and have lost their way. The God who seems so distant to you in this moment is actually near and active. Lost in the Middle is written to give you eyes to see him, to see yourself more clearly, and to find the real hope that you need to carry on.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I recommend you check out The Spiritual Gifts Guide to jump start a regular teaching process in this area. Your people need coaching, instruction, and encouragement about spiritual gifts.
Please note this resource is not free. There are many free articles and lessons about spiritual gifts -- check them doctrinally to make sure they match your convictions and traditions. The reason I'm recommending The Spiritual Gifts Guide is that it's set up to help teachers and pastors. You get decent lessons, handouts, and guidance on how to teach. It's a good package and will save you time.
I'm not making any money by recommending this resource, by the way.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I took Matt at his word, reading the New Testament in three days. I was amazed, this Jesus was real! He was bold and gentle. He was God incarnate. I had thought that the disciples had made up all these stories, but reading them seriously as an adult, I realized this could not be true. (For starters, they would have made themselves look a lot smarter!) I answered Matt's questions, and committed my life to Jesus as my true Savior and Lord.
Those two questions got me started 23 years ago. I still try to ask and answer these two each day:
Who is Jesus?
What will I do about that, today?
And I now recommend a third questions to you:
"Where is your faith?"
This is what Jesus asked His disciples in the boat, after He calmed the storm (see Luke 8:25). After we have started on our walk with Jesus, we still need faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God..." (Hebrews 11:6) Our faith is neither blind nor vague, but solidly rooted in the Person and promise of Jesus our Lord.
Each day, renew your mind (see Romans 12:1-2) by reminding yourself about Jesus as Savior, Creator, Master, Teacher, Friend, and Lord.
Each day, seek the Lord's guidance about how to love Him and serve Him by loving others and using the abilities He gave you.
Each day, fight against doubt, fear, and pride by putting your faith in Jesus.
Each day, ask and answer these questions:
Who is Jesus?
What will I do about that today?
Where is my faith?
May our gracious Lord glorify His Name in and through you, each day.