Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pray Each Day With Scotty Smith Using Your Smart Phone

I’ve made it no secret that my own prayer life has been enriched by including the daily prayers of Scotty Smith.  First in his book Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith and now with his daily “prayer blog” Heavenward on blog list, I join him in prayer daily.

Things have gotten better – or at least easier – to do that.

If you have a smart phone search your app store – available free on both Apple and Android – for the PrayerMate app developed by Andy Geers.  Click Here to learn more about PrayerMate from Andy himself.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Gospel, Identity and Questions of Sexuality

With regard to sexuality and marriage questions, the “message” for my LGBT friends and neighbors is identical to the “message” I have for everyone, including myself.  Whether straight or gay, married or single, old or young, the Gospel sets you free from seeking your core identity in your sexual preferences or performance.  That message impacts different people in different ways, but it means that Jesus offers all of us a new identity – the identity of “in Christ.” This identity then becomes the life-giving source to all other aspects of my life.  “I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”  Those opening words to the Heidelberg Catechism state it well.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Encouragement For Parents - And The Rest of Us As Well!

My wife and I began the parenting adventure in a different century.  That gives us some historical perspective on what parents face today.  

Now, as an overdue grandparent and pastor of young families, I find myself very, very aware of how dramatically the world that we parent in has changed.  Technology, entertainment and social pressures have altered the ocean of life that families will grow in.  No wise parent would face those waters alone.  Here are three GREAT resources for encouraging and equipping parents in this new setting.   

By the way, they are in alphabetical and not rank order.  You’ll want to read them all, even if you are raising only boys or only girls.  Odds are still good that your kids will eventually bring home your potential “child-in-law” and you’ll want to get started understanding that gender NOW!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Resources On MTD

This Sunday, I referred to "Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism" and would like to make a number of resources easily available.  As I said at that time, I am increasingly convinced that MTD is the "Spirit of the Age."  I encourage people to prayerfully and thoughtfully cultivate the discernment to identify MTD's impact in their own life and in their circle of relationships.  No church adertises themselves as an "MTD Church," but all of us face it, many are unaware of its influence on them and some have - whether knowlingly or not - let MTD replace the Gospel of Grace in their ministry.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Meet Hank Spinner . . .

On January 11, I used a video recording of a drama sketch called “The Plate Spinner” written and performed by Willow Creek Church in Chicago.  You could tell it was from the ‘80’s, but it seems sooooo descriptive of the lives we all seem to lead today.   Teens are spinning plates of popularity, school, extra-curricular activities.  Single Moms are spinning a set of plates all their own.  Retirees have their own plates that make demands of them.  You get the picture.  It seems we are ALL busy and distracted with a the wobbling plates of our particular life.

I found a Youtube video of the same script by a different church, so wanted to make that available below.   

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Gospel Advances In A World Of Terrorism

I have a good friend who spends most of his time outside the United States working with missionaries, many of whom are working in "closed Muslim countries."  This past week, with the TV news filled with stories about ISIS threatening Japanese nationals, Islamist rebels advancing in Yemen and backlash against the French handling of the Charlie Hebdo affair I got a secure email from him.  I can't pass it along as it contained information that could compromise missionaries that he works with, but I will pass on - with names and locations deleted - this much:

The latest from FOX NEWS, CNN and the BBC is really: (you pick your phrase...) "making me nervous", "rising fear up inside of me", "really scary"!  Islamic terrorist cell groups being activated in Europe, the news channels are roaring with more news... all of it grabbing our hearts... YET!

Did you know: that more Muslims have become followers of Jesus Christ since 2001 than all the years before.. combined? XXXXXXX,  with whom I am staying in XXXXXXX, shared a few statistics that he has been tracking... and brothers and sisters... the news is really GOOD NEWS...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr - Gospel Preacher

This past Sunday – January 18, the Sunday before the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday – I read a portion of a sermon by Dr. King as part of my own sermon.  I chose not to reveal whose sermon it was until just before the end, saying to start with that it was “an important sermon from the history of the United States.”  Dr. King’s sermon “Loving Your Enemies” from Matthew 5:43-44 was a good application of the sermon I was preaching from Matthew 4:1-4, and I hoped it would give highlight to Dr. King as a preacher of the Gospel as well.  And let me be honest.  It is a GREAT sermon on its own.  I read it myself four different times that week.

A few friends mentioned to me afterwards that they could have listened more intently and with greater interest if they had known who the preacher was from the very beginning.  I always (try to) appreciate the feedback I get because my target is communicating, not drawing compliments, so let me apologize.  My choice was my mistake.  Aiming for a dramatic high point, I missed the target.

Let me back track and fill in some gaps:

First, Click Here to go to Dr. King’s sermon in full.  

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