Mark Dever and Jim Wallis discuss the role of the church in issues of social justice.
Monthly Archives: July 2010
Join me in praying for my goods friends Brent and Elizabeth as they go and pick up their daughter in Ethiopia.
1. My favorite Sundays are the ones where we observe baptism. They are the days where we have individuals who are desiring to make their commitment to Jesus Christ known publicly to the congregation and to the world before God.
I had the privilege to baptize Jared S. It was bittersweet though because Jared and his family are moving to Chicago in a few weeks. It made me think of the hymn we sung at Southern Seminary by Basil Manly, Jr., Soldiers of Christ, in Truth Arrayed. The last stanza reads:
We meet to part, but part to meet
When earthly labors are complete,
To join in yet more blest employ,
In an eternal world of joy.
2. My sermon text was Acts 14:21-23. I narrowed in on the fact that one of the first things Paul and Barnabas did to strengthen new churches was to appoint elders for them. This was the second occasion I preached on the one topic of elders since my coming to Middle Tennessee.
I know that this subject is both interesting and difficult in a baptist congregation. One older member mentioned to me today that my sermon was the first time he could ever recall hearing one solely on elders. But he agreed with the fact that elders are all over the New Testament.
One difficulty with the idea of elders is that we live in the center of Church of Christ territory. Church of Christ churches embrace elders. However, in many of their churches, the elders rule the church and make all decisions. And this does not come across positively to congregationalists. This is not the view I advocated.
As I stated at the outset of the sermon, we are only beginning a conversation on this subject. In other words, we will move slowly. And we will chart our church’s future together.
3. On a different subject. Why is it that many church members only attend one meeting a week, and yet they always seem to complain about the time they have to spend together? Is it okay to say to those who complain every week, “Just stay at home until you can enjoy being together with all of God’s people on the Lord’s Day”? You are not contributing to the joy of God’s people when the only words out of your mouth are complaints!
Check out this short interview for the background of why Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven and The Treasure Principle, makes minimum wage and gives away 100% of his book royalties.
Indiana Planned Parenthood exposed giving medical lies to those who come asking questions about their pregnancies. (HT: Challies)
Acts 14 was our sermon text in the AM gathering. Paul and Barnabas’ courage was truly awesome. They were dirven out of Antioch Pisidia (ch 13). A plot was uncovered to stone them in Iconium, so they left. In Lystra, Paul was stoned. Then they traveled to Derbe. But after making disciples in this town, they went back to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch Pisidia to stregnthen the churches in those cities.
How many Christians have this kind of resolve today? How many Christians love their brothers and sisters this much today?
How appropriate were the songs we sung in advance of this text: How Firm a Foundation and Be Strong in the Lord. The foundational Rock of Jesus Christ was what drove these men to endure what they endured. And their strength truly came from the Lord.
Our Sunday evening gathering was fun as we have just begun a series where I answer questions from members on any number of different topics. This series will continue into the fall. The most popular questions revolve around Last Things, or Eschatology.
The fellowship of the saints is truly a wonderful thing. Each week I am so blessed by the church family to which God has called me to pastor.
You can preview his new album, Counting Stars, before its release date on July 27th.
Each Sunday morning during our Intercessory time of prayer we lift up one nation and one local church to pray for. For some time, I gathered my information for the prayer from various resources. Recently I purchased Operation World, by Johnstone and Mandryk. This is such a wonderful resource for how we can pray specifically for the nations. I had heard this book mentioned a few times in the past, but never did any follow-up. I recommend this book for every Christian. Buy it and begin to pray for our world.
1. Currently, I am preaching through the book of Acts. One of the verses I preached on this Sunday was Acts 13:48. The verse records the Gentiles in Antioch Pisidia responding to the gospel. Luke summarizes their response this way: And as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
I knew this would be an occassion where the view of election I preached would run counter to some in my church. In spite of this I prayed that God would show himself faithful in the preaching of difficult doctrines. And God answered my prayer. I was greatly encouraged by the response from many in the church.
2. As encouraging as Sunday morning was, it did not compare to Sunday night. Our youth and youth team gave a report about their recent mission trip to South Carolina. The mission trip was primarily filled with service to troubled youth, underprivileged children, and the elderly. In the short time they were away, God moved in a big way in many of their lives. A few youth who were not apart of our church accompanied our youth team and one has surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. Another one has made public his sense of God calling him into the pastorate. And according to our leaders, more fruit is expected to be announced (Thank you Greg, Renee, Marty, Mary Lou, Cindy, and Ben).
3. One of the prayers that I have made consistently since arriving here at Westwood almost two years ago was that God would raise up many pastors from this congregation. Perhaps this prayer is beginning to be answered!
4. I am so thankful to God for the stirring he is giving to many of our adults, youth, and children over the last several months. I pray that it only increases and spreads.