New post at the new blog is up.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Monday, December 13, 2010
I've been blogging since 2005. Notice I did not say I have been "blogging well," or even "blogging regularly," but simply that I have had a blog since May 2005. I guess my hope is that one day quantity will overwhelm quality and people will eventually think I have a legitimate blog.
I take solace in the fact that friends who are good writers also find blogging hard. It's hard to find a niche. It's hard to regularly update. It's hard to make it look nice.
Blogging has caused me some serious trouble in the past, yet I think I have learned from those miscues. I do not think it is a waste of time, for I do enjoy it (hate it at times, enjoy it at others) and I think it sharpens my thinking for other ministry opportunities.
So I'm on revision #437 and it's a biggie. Here is what is coming with the new blog:
- --Moving to wordpress. A couple of friends have been on me for a couple of years that wordpress is better, and I resisted. However, QT recently made the jump and it does look much better. I'm making the leap too!
- --Consistent posting. At this point, the plan is three posts a week (Mon/Wed/Fri). The first post will be an original article, the second will be links or other content to further establish Monday's point, and Friday will be completely unique.
- --Video Comic Strip. Introducing Hey Pastor!, a computer animated comic strip of the life of a pastor. Again, the comic will fit the theme for the week.
- --Theme. Finally, after years of struggling to know what my blog should be about, I've finally found a vision I'm excited about. The blog will be called "Growing Gray" and you can read about it's purpose here.
Posts begin Monday, January 3rd.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I had the opportunity to share a book list with our church body during Sunday School. Below is the list of books, along with the loose categories I placed the books into:
The Greatness of the Kingdom--The first book I ever read that really justified having a Scripture index in the back. I was blown away and humbled by how well McClain knew the Bible.
Disciplines of a Godly Man--not the first book I read on the spiritual disciplines, but a better option than the first one I read!
Systematic Theology--Grudem's is readable and comprehensive.
What Is Reformed Theology?--Sproul's book is a great review of the "Solas" and the Doctrines of Grace. However, the book assumes we all believe in Covenantalism (relationship of Israel and the church, especially effecting end times), which if you are not (which I am not), you find yourself confused.
The Gospel According to Jesus--Great book to define how the gospel is received.
The Jesus Storybook Bible--Great children's book, and the reason do you hard theology...it produces beautiful results!
The Jesus You Can't Ignore--MacArthur's book, though not on the book of Matthew specifically, did open my eyes as we prepared for the series in Matthew to just how strong Jesus' words were against the Pharisees and self-righteous.
The Apostolic Fathers--Pretty amazing to read from pastors of the early stage of the church. Kind of scary how their usual assumption of the gospel can make them sound like legalists!
Contending for Our All--The chapter on Athanasius won me to studying history.
Confessions--I received it years before I got around to reading it. Once I read it, I was bummed I had waited so long.
On the Incarnation--blown away by how current and readable a VERY old book could be. Removed the intimidation for me. Solidified Athanasius as a spiritual hero of mine.
He Is Not Silent--a great book on the "why" of preaching. (And a friend got me an autographed copy!)
Preaching and Preachers--Classic book from one of the great preachers of the last century. His section on why altar calls are not most beneficial is gold.
The Expository Genius of John CalvinHow does a pastor write commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible? Well, because he preached nearly every book. Yet, he didn't preach what had not effected his heart first. This book helps expose how the Word should be effecting the preacher too.
Spirit Empowered Preaching--maybe my favorite "preaching book." Lays out that Holy Spirit empowered preaching is not about theatrics or production, but about the Spirit's purpose; exalting Jesus!
Prophetic Untimeliness--Guinness' book does a great job of stating the church loses her relevance when she pursues being relevant with the world. (forerunner to Unfashionable)
The Deliberate Church--Great book on thinking about why we do what we do.
Biblical Eldership--This is the classic book calling for elder leadership as a trust in God and His Word.
CrossTalk--Every believer is capable of connecting the Scriptures to the lives of those living around them.
Trellis and the Vine--Great book for describing what the multiplication of disciples in the church should look like.
Church Planter--as elders, we going through this right now! Great chapters on the call of God.
Humility--Great book! I think I'm on my second case.
Unpacking Forgiveness--Too many Christians think they understand this, but way too many don't. If we are to forgive as God has forgiven us, this should be a must read for believers.
When Sinners Say I Do--We use this for all marital counseling. Great illustration on how the gospel sanctifies!
Shepherding a Child's Heart--Great book that encourages the parent to not just think about behavior but consider the heart. Parenting is a call to make a disciple.
The Heart of Anger--great book that reminds you that the problem is often not the child, but we the parents. Great application sections.
The Treasure Principle--Great book that causes you to examine where your treasure is, and gives practical application to how to store treasure up in heaven.
Sex is not the Problem, Lust Is--Used to be called Not Even a Hint. Great book to get to the heart of where sexual sin comes from.
See also: Book Review
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
video clip HT: Justin Taylor
Friday, October 15, 2010
In the previous post I asked readers to identify a "subtle shift" in the preacher's message.
In my opinion, the shift is seen with just one word. Compare the following sentences:
Your mental state is totally dependent on what you think about. (original statement)
Your mental state is totally dependent on who you think about. (what I wish he had said)
Ultimately, this is not just a case of nit-picking words. Certainly, a person could say what you think about and can mean thinking of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. However, when Scripture tells us to turn our eyes to Christ, it is not the same thing to focus on Christianity.
This was the tension I felt as I heard the pastor preach. Christian lives are not changed by focussing on what Christian lives should look like. Lives are changed as we look to Christ. We don't focus on things, we focus on Him.
The shift is subtle, but it's also massive.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
You will keep in perfect peaceHis next words:
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Your mental state is totally dependent on what you think about.Catch the shift? (Offer it in the comment section.)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
We watched the following video for our TriState Fellowship Ministerium meeting.
After the video, we also discussed the following questions:
- 1. How can a comfort with being called to the ordinary not lead to complacency or laziness in ministry?
- 2. Though CJ Mahaney refers to himself as an "ordinary pastor," none of us would probably refer to him as one. How do you think he maintains a genuine humility in regard to his ministry?
- 3. How can we keep from comparing ourselves (either favorably, or unfavorably) with other pastors/churches within our district?
- 4. Who do you have in your life who can assess whether you are being patient toward the sheep God has entrusted to you?
Take a look, I think it will bless you.