Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why We Love the Church

This book is on sale right now. I haven't read it, but from what I've heard it is a fantastic book about the church.

Things You'd Like to Do

My good friend Justin Nale has posted 10 Things I'd like to do one day on his blog. This caused me to start thinking through some things I'd like to do as well. That drove me to think that I'd like to hear of some things that you'd like to one day. So, if you would, post in the comments some things you'd like to do. If it's not 10 that's okay. If it's more than 10 that's fine too. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Here is my partial list (I'm still thinking about some things - I know, probably putting WAY too much thought into this).

1. Adopt a child (actually, children)
2. Be used to reach an unreached people group with the gospel
3. Enter a bicycle race (and finish!)
4. Be a good testimony for Christ in the way I live (spiritual and physical disciplines)
5. Be able to explain the end times (or maybe understand them at least)
6. Hike the Appalachian Trail
7. Read the Works of John Owen
8. Be able to read the Bible in the original languages (and understand it)

Update: Justin Childers has posted 10 things he'd like to do in the next 10 years.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Adoption is Biblical

I have just started reading Adopted for Life by Russell Moore. I have already been challenged and encouraged to think more Biblically about adoption. This quote is a good challenge to the church:

It is one thing when the culture doesn't "get" adoption. What else could one expect when all of life is seen as the quest of "selfish genes" for survival? It is one thing when the culture doesn't "get" adoption and so speaks of buy a cat as "adopting" a pet. But when those who follow Christ think the same way, we betray that we we miss something crucial about our own salvation.

Found on pages 18-19

You can also watch a video interview of Russell Moore by Justin Taylor here: Between Two Worlds: <i>Adopted for Life</i>: A Video Chat with Russell Moore

Only One Life....

Maybe you've heard the saying, "Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ shall last." It has been rolling around in my head for several years now and I try to remember it when I go through my daily life. However, I have not put it into practice in the same way as Rachel (go check out the website) has. I saw this video today on the Abba Fund Blog and thought it was worth putting on here. I hope you enjoy it and remember that death is not dying.

Here's the video.

This is Why I've Started Reading John Owen

From Justin Taylor

If you are interested in the 16 volume set of The Works of John Owen, you can get them here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Encouraged to Share the Gospel

A few weeks ago Justin Childers pointed out that a friend of his started a new blog talking about his gospel encounters. Thus far I have been very encouraged with this blog. It's one that has challenged me and even, I think, given me more awareness and boldness to share the gospel. I encourage you to check out the blog as well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Does your life Match?

As I have been working through the confrontation of Paul to Peter in Galatians 2:11-14 this question has been getting at my soul, "Does the testimony of your life look like the message of your lips?" This, of course, is in reference to the gospel. Thus far in Galatians Paul has been proving his divinely appointed apostleship so that the gospel that he preaches would be seen as from God, not man. The sake of people's souls are at stake for Paul and he wants to make sure the Galatians know that the gospel he proclaims is right and must be trusted. So I am praying that God would grant me the grace to live a life that matches the truth of the gospel that I proclaim. How different, I think, the church would look and act if it seriously examined herself next to this question.

What are some ways the people of God should be/act if our lives are to match our gospel?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Really Good Books (and CD)

It looks like there are some really good books on special right now at WTS. The new Keith and Kristyn Getty is also there. Go check it out

Here's the list of books (and CD):

Risking the Truth: Handling Error in the Church - This has a fantastic line up of contributors.

Awaken the Dawn: Keith and Kristyn Getty - They are fantastic writers/musicians

Galatians - The new commentary in the Mentor Series (I'm purchasing this today!)

You are the Treasure that I Seek...But There's a lot of Cool Stuff out There, Lord

Glory Road: The Journeys of 10 African-Americans into Reformed Christianity

The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century: Volume 3

Let Not your Heart be Troubled

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why Pray for Prosperity?

I can only think of one reason that we would ever desire to have plenty of money.

Psalm 67
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
2 that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

6 The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!

We should only pray and hope for prosperity for the purpose to taking the gospel to all nations. May we never lean so heavily upon our money that we think it's just for us!

First Baptist Outreach

On October 31, 2008 I had the privilege of becoming the pastor of First Baptist Church in Pulaski, VA. It's a small church comprised of mostly senior adults. However, it's also a loving church. I was told from the start that we really needed to work on outreach because the church had not done so too successfully over the recent years. That is something that I was really eager to do. After several months of talking about the importance of reaching people for the glory of Christ I've been very blessed to see some great things happen over the past month.

The first outreach we were able to partake in was to feed the local baseball team breakfast and share the gospel with them. The team is called the Pulaski Mariners (part of the Seattle Mariners organization). About 30 of them showed up on Saturday morning, June 20. Since this was our first outreach scheduled, and we didn't have a budget for it, all this was accomplished through donations from the church members and a desire to serve. We brought in close to 4 times the amount of money needed for the breakfast and had about 15 volunteers show up that morning. We were clear with the management that we wanted to serve, but that we would also only do this with the chance for me to share the gospel with the players, coaching staff, and management. Praise be to God things went very well. We are now praying for the team and are able to go to the games knowing some of them by name. Please pray with us that the gospel would take fruit in their lives and they would be transformed. Pray with us that when the season ends and they head back to their homes (some in other countries!) that God would use them to spread the gospel to others.

A second outreach that has greatly encouraged me was raising can goods for a local ministry aimed at feeding around 225 people lunch five days a week. As you can imagine it takes a lot of food to feed that many people. Unfortunately this area of the country has a high unemployment rate and many who are living in poverty. We were not sure how well it would go trying to raise food during the same month as asking for donations for the baseball breakfast. By God's grace our church delivered 30 gallons or more yesterday to the local Daily Bread Ministry.

This bring joy to a pastor's heart. Not because we want credit for what we've done. In fact, I almost didn't even post this on here. But it brings joy to my heart to see our people learning to serve and having a desire to meet needs (physical and spiritual). As a small church with limited resources and a congregation of mostly senior adults, we are seeking ways to spread the glory of Christ in Pulaski, VA. We have a long way to go, but it is becoming more and more clear to me that when the church learns to live out the gospel that people will genuinely be interested in hearing what you have to say.

With all that being said, I'm looking for more ways to reach the community with the gospel. Do you have any suggestions? What has your church tried in order to take the gospel to the people within your community?