Troublesome Psalms

August 28, 2008

One great practice in our personal worship is to read from the Psalms every day.  The “prayer book of the Hebrews” contains a full range of emotions and responses to God, so it may be the most sympathetic book of the Bible.  We can relate to the fear, thanksgiving, worry, joy, sorrow, victory and tragedy surrounding the Psalmists.  But you won’t get too far in the Psalms without hitting a troublesome cry.  Did I just read something about “dashing their infants against the rocks?”  Read the rest of this entry »

Someone recently stated that abortion has been a matter of controversy throughout the history of the church.  If the last 50 years or so constitutes the history of the church, then the person making this observation may be right.  However,  Read the rest of this entry »

CJ and Carolyn Mahaney recently sat down and discussed how they cultivated in their children a love for the local church. You can hear the 11 min audio clip here. Here are the highlights from the interview:

  1. You build a heart for the local church into children by stressing that while commitment and devotion to the nuclear family is important, devotion and commitment to our family in Christ is of greater importance because he nuclear family will not endure (contrary to Mormon theology), but eternal family will.
  2. Communicate to your children that the church isn’t just Daddy or Mommy’s church, but it is our church. You do this by talking to them and encouraging them to participate in the life of the church. Prepare them for membership meetings. Talk to them about what is happening in the service as you parent in the pew. Turn their attention towards the elements of worship. As they get older, involve them in ministry. Don’t keep your children on the sidelines. Involve them in the life of the church.
  3. The priority of the local church over and above other meaningful life activities such as sports, ballet, swim team, Boy Scouts, etc, is biblical. As a parent your primary responsibility is to prepare your child for judgment before Jesus Christ. Cultivating a heart for God is of more importance than teaching your son to cleanly field a grounder at short-stop (though this isn’t to say you can’t do both). Our commitment to God’s people should be our joy and passion, not simply our duty. Too often (culturally) the church is seen as an inconvenience or interruption to family time or commitments, as if commitment to the nuclear family should take precedence over our commitment to God’s family. If the church is not given priority in the home, this is evidence of biblical immaturity and an indicator that the home is governedby the changing tide of desires washing ashore in the home life.

9Marks

August 19, 2008

I still remember the occasion when God began giving me a desire not just to be in the ministry but to be a pastor.  I was sitting in the preaching lab at Beeson Divinity School listening to a visiting speaker talk about the church.  He spoke intelligently and biblically and passionately about God’s plan to put his glory on display through the church, about how Jesus Christ gave his blood for the church, about how the church was meant to function.  God stirred my heart.  I began to experience a love for the local church that I had never had before, and in time I knew that God meant for me to be a pastor.

The man I heard speaking that day was named Mark Dever.  Mark is the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C., and the leader of 9Marks Ministries.  I’m thankful to God for Mark’s influence in my life and am honored to call him a friend.  And I’m nearly beside myself to announce that Mark and three other leaders from 9Marks Ministries will be hosting a regional workshop at our church in October. 

Concord, make plans now to attend the workshop.  You can read the info here.  (Note: the fee for Concord members is only $20.)  You will want to attend in order to:

(1) understand me better;
(2) understand the church better;
(3) either thank Mark or blame him for his influence on my life.

  1. The Missions Committee has been working for 2 years to develop a strategic missions strategy for Concord, exploring many options including, but not limited to, Canada, North Peru and South Peru.
  2. The Missions Committee will continue to explore where Concord can invest significantly in international missions for the sake of the nations whether or not the Missions Committee pursues adoption in South Peru or not.
  3. The Yauyos Quechua people group is within 14 hours travel via air and ground from Chattanooga.
  4. The number of participants needed to invest in multiple trips to the Yauyos Quechuas may only slightly exceed the number of participants who served on foreign mission trips this year (21 people). Read the rest of this entry »