Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)

Dear friends, I was given this book as a gift at Together For The Gospel 2008 - and what a wonderful gift it is! If you have been wondering, "What is the Emergent Church?" I cannot more highly recommend this book to you. These two gentleman have given a detailed explanation of and concern for the emergent church movement. This is THE BOOK on the topic. I was planning on doing a series of blog entries on this book - however - there is NO way I could improve on a 5 part book review that Dr. Sam Storms has done. So I would say two things: 1) Read the book, 2) Read Dr. Storm's analysis of the book. Thank you Dr. Storms!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Worldliness & The Issue Of Modesty

Hey folks, below is an insightful and very helpful discussion starter by Dennis Rainey from Family Life Today. Dennis does a great job in a couple of sentences graciously pointing us to the reality that we need to be on guard concerning the issue of modesty - while at the same time the issue is really a matter of the heart. Very encouraging.


Outer Wear or Inner Spirit?

Your adornment must not be merely external . . . but let it be the hidden
person of the heart.1 Peter 3:3-4, NIV

I'll never forget that spring Sunday when our church was honoring our graduating high-school seniors during the service. A couple of the students had been asked to speak to the congregation. The first was a young man, sharply dressed, who made an articulate statement about his faith and confidence in Christ. He was followed by a young lady who presented an equally strong message--but her dress was so skintight and seductive that I imagine it was hard for any of the male gender to pay attention.

I want to be quick to say that we men are fully responsible for where we allow our gaze and our thoughts to go. One hundred percent responsible. But I must ask today's Christian woman and teenage girl, what thought process goes into your clothing choices?

And dads, if your daughter dresses immodestly for church (or school, for that matter), are you willing to ask her to please go put on something more appropriate?

It's important to help our daughters understand how God hardwired a man. Barbara and I have four daughters, so you can be sure we had many conversations around this subject as they grew up. We know what it means to raise young women in a culture that's increasingly promoting immodest dress. We know what it's like to wander the stores, losing hope of ever finding anything suitable to wear.

We need to help our daughters (and sons) be more concerned with cultivating their inner spirit rather/more than their outer wear. Their appearance says a lot about who they really are. And it says a lot about the kind of man they are trying to attract. Do they really want their neckline or hemline to be what lures a guy?

Discuss: What are the dress codes in your family? What have you determined about how to address and enforce these?

Pray: Pray that you will have the courage to confront difficult issues like this. And pray that you will model what you preach to your children.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Burna Disaster Relief Fund

As disaster-relief efforts continue in Burma, Sovereign Grace Ministries has the opportunity to provide assistance through ministry relationships we have in that country. SGM has established a Burma Disaster Relief fund and are contributing financially toward aid efforts in Burma.

Any who would like to join us in this effort can donate to the Burma Disaster Relief fund via Sovereign Grace Ministries Website.Most importantly, please join us in praying that amid the destruction caused by Cyclone Nargis, victims of the storm would receive swift and effective help, and that many in Burma would hear and respond to the gospel.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Peacemaker & Young Peacemaker Seminar Is COMING!

During the Sunday evenings of June & July we will be hosting Ken Sande's video seminar, "The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide To Resolving Conflict." Likewise, during that time we will also be hosting, "THE YOUNG PEACEMAKER" for the children to learn how we are to resolve conflict from a biblical persepective. This will be an outstanding time of both instruction and fellowship! Consider yourself invited - 6-730pm!

Below is an outstanding excerpt from Peacemaker Ministries - Read & grow!


"Eye Can See Clearly Now"
Jesus had much to say about resolving conflict. One of his most familiar commands is recorded in Matthew 7:3-5:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
This passage is sometimes interpreted as a warning against talking with others about their faults. If you read it carefully, however, you will see that it does not forbid loving correction. Rather, it forbids premature and improper correction. Before you talk to others about their faults, Jesus wants you to face up to yours. Once you have dealt with your contribution to a conflict, you may approach others about theirs.

Here is some "Food for Thought":
Every couple prays for a full-term delivery; however, premature births are not an uncommon reality. In these situations, everything will be accelerated and great care will have to be exercised on the part of the parents, nurses, and doctors. Premature babies usually spend time in the intensive care unit, where constant monitoring and attention can be given, many times with a one to one ratio of nurse to child. It's a fragile and often dangerous time. Most premature babies are fine, but some do not survive; everything took place before they were ready.
Ken's use of the word premature in connection with Jesus' words about conflict resolution is remarkable. Our efforts to "de-speck" our brothers or sisters before we "de-plank" ourselves create premature situations; something is happening before it should. It would be nice if there were roving spiritual-ICU teams who could help us in those moments to help carry the resolution to a healthy point, but that's rare. It's usually just two people, neither one seeing clearly, and both often too wounded to respond properly.
Conflict resolution always begins with the eye of the "I." So upon reflection, how many of your attempts at conflict resolution could be described as premature? Did you ever get around to examining yourself? Did you get help from others during these delicate situations? And did these conflicts end in reconciliation, or sadly, did your relationship die due to the unfortunate complications of premature confrontation?

Friday, May 2, 2008

When the church desires the world...

In our present study of worldliness, I came across these three outstanding and may we be affected...

Whatever commands our time, energy, and resources commands us. And if
we are honest, we will admit that our lives really aren’t that different from those of
our secular counterparts. I suspect that one of the reasons we are so ineffective in evangelism is that we are so much like the people around us that we have very little to which we can call them. We hang around church buildings a little more. We abstain from a few things. But we simply aren’t that different. We don’t even do hedonism as well as the folks around us … but we keep on trying. As a result of
this unfortunate accommodation, Christianity is reduced to little more than a spiritual crutch to help us through the minefields of the upwardly mobile life. God is there to help us get our promotions, our house in the suburbs, and our bills paid. Somehow God has become a coconspirator in our agendas instead of our becoming a coconspirator in His. Something is seriously amiss. -Tom Sine (Christianity
Today [3/17/89], p. 52)

John MacArthur, in his book “The Truth War,” states:

“We live in an age where church leaders are obsessed with style and methodology,
losing interest in the glory of God and becoming grossly apathetic about truth
and sound doctrine. Nothing in all the world is more important or more valuable
than the Truth. And the church is supposed to be ‘the pillar and ground of the

Prayer by C. H. Spurgeon December 30, 1877:

"Lord, there are so many today who are running away from the truth. Oh,
that You would be pleased to speak by Your Spirit that Your word may be
known. Lord, hold us fast to the truth of Your word, bind us to it. May we
not be ashamed of the truth of Your word but proclaim it boldly without
compromise. May we not wish to be thought cultured, nor aim to keep in step
with the times. May we be side by side with You, O bleeding Savior; and be
content to be rejected, be willing to take up unpopular truth, and to hold
fast despised teachings of sacred Scripture to the end. Oh make us faithful
unto death."