Monday, August 20, 2007
We've already added several new posts to our new blog.
This blog will remain in tact, but only as an archive. All new posts will appear at the new GC blog.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Because of the names you will see at the link to Bethlehem's sermons, this serves as another great opportunity for a commercial: The John Perkins Lectureship series began on Tuesday of this week, and will run for the next seven consecutive Tuesday evenings at Creighton College. Every week (If it is anything like this week) will be well worth attending. I must highlight that Dr. Perkins is scheduled to speak on August 28, and Carl Ellis on September 25. You will not want to miss these brothers!
No one in recent days has done more for Christian community development in urban contexts than Dr. Perkins. For those who are unaware of Dr. Perkins ministry click here. Carl Ellis has spoken at the Desiring God Pastors Conference, and also as a guest preacher at Bethlehem.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Part I - Delighting in the Day: Riding on the Heights of the Land
Part II - Delighting in the Day: Let the Word Dwell Richly
Part III - Delighting in the Day: Guard Your Steps
Monday, August 13, 2007
Here's some good counsel from Lig Duncan.
The main reason that Grace Church is my favorite group of people on earth to worship with through the preached word of GOD is because they prepare
I simply cannot express the joy of preaching to a prepared people. Rather than being intimidated because the people may know the passage better than I do (which is likely), I am thrilled because the Holy Spirit has more ammunition to work with in each person's life. So, when I stress a point a certain way, the Spirit may bring to an individual's mind and heart the thoughts he had on the previous Thursday when praying through the same text. And in combining my thought with the individual's thought, the Holy Spirit is driving the truth even more deeply into the person's life. Isn't that part of the main goal in preaching anyway (along with glorifying God)?
I can think of no better way to encourage our people to prepare for church than by reading, praying, and thinking about the day's sermon text. Sunday's are to be anticipated for many reasons. Sunday is sacred. Stephen Altrogge states it well:
"Sunday is sacred because we get to sing corporate praises to God, fellowship with other believers, and above all else, hear the precious word of God preached."One may ask: Prepare? For corporate worship? Why? I simply come to church and sit and listen. How can I prepare? Why should I?
"In the Old Testament, the people of God prepared for sacred days, they consecrated themselves. There were special rituals of washing and cleansing that each person had to perform before being allowed to participate in the sacred day. (Read entire article here; HT: TC).Since I'm made increasingly aware that other pastors are reading this blog, may I take the liberty now to share a word of challenge with those of you who are pastors? (Though I'm certain that I have much more to learn from you that I could offer).
Would you consider giving your sermon text to the people in advance? Take heart, it is much easier than you might think. And, you are not "locked" into the text. If the Spirit leads, go someplace else. After all, I don't think it will harm our people too much if they have given generous attention to the "wrong" text!
Here's the incentive. I trust that you too will feel your people pulling the word of God out of you like I feel it from our little congregation in downtown Memphis. It is truly life-giving to have this experience almost every week! And, as another incentive, I think it will make you prepare better knowing that the people are preparing too (It has this effect on me)!
Certainly my love for preaching at Grace can be attributed to many things (I love the people, I'm a member of the church, etc.), but above all, I'm persuaded that it has to do with the way the people make preparatory use of something we call our "church card" (see image below) which we hand out at the beginning of each new preaching series. Each one looks a bit different, but they all carry the same idea. Feel free to use our idea, or modify it, but for the sake of your elevated joy in pastoral ministry, consider giving the people your text in advance. My guess is that you won't be sorry you did.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Anyone wanting to comment further concerning this morning's sermon to continue to spur one another on please do so by replying to this post.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
'Brothers, Never ever ever has the Lord let the cause of world missions in a local church hurt that church. It doesn’t happen. Go for broke when it comes to the unreached peoples of the world. I don’t care how bad it is in your church. Lift up your sights towards the unreached peoples of the world.'
Piper sermon on John G. Paton
Thursday, August 09, 2007
- Justin Taylor pointed out that Grudem rewrote his chapter on baptism for the newest edition of his Systematic Theology book (If you don't own it, buy it!).
- John Piper asks Wayne Grudem "Why," then states his own position.
- Grudem responds to Piper with his reasoning for his shift in position.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Challenged the group from Matthew 25 about seeing God (rather than self) as the end, flowing out into a lifestyle of spiritual reproduction (i.e. discipleship).
We missed our GC family today, and heard that the Lord was near in the prayer and preaching services. SDG!
Friday, August 03, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
The fragility of life stares us all in the face as we view footage like that of the collapsed bridge. Most likely, none of those frightened I-35W passengers were thinking of the possibility of his or her life ending today between the banks of the Mississippi. No, they were talking on the cell phone, or chatting with a fellow passenger. Others were thinking about being on time for a special meeting.
I wasn't thinking about life ending last time I was there either. You see, between Monday and Thursday of last week I drove across that very bridge eight times. Why did it fall today, and not last Wednesday evening at approximately the same time of day when I was crossing it? Friend, our time is coming sooner than we may suppose.
May I ask you a crucial question? Are you right with God through His Christ? If not, won't you trust Him now? Eternity is calling, and very soon, you will answer...