Sifting

April 30, 2009

When something goes wrong, the default tendency for some people is to ask, “What did they do to make this happen?”  The default tendency for others is to wonder, “What did I do to make this happen?”  The first group is obese in confidence; the second is anorexic.  The first group tromps through life wearing big muddy boots, and the second group presents itself as a mat upon which those boots should be wiped.

Both groups err.  We must learn Read the rest of this entry »

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The Rapture

April 29, 2009

Drew recently sent me this quote from Donna Newton about end times details:

I have resigned from the planning committee and am on the welcoming committee.

Ha!  That’s a good spirit to maintain as we study important but secondary doctrines like the nature of the millennium and the timing of the rapture.  But study we should!  Here are two resources in light of tonight’s Bible study on pre- and post-tribulationalism. Read the rest of this entry »

Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  You really ought to listen to Billy Collins read the poem he wrote in honor of mothers.

Click “more” to read the words to the poem. Read the rest of this entry »

ESV Study Bible Giveaway

April 27, 2009

One of the “perks” of The Gospel Coalition conference was that each member received an ESV Study Bible.  I’d like to give away a copy as a “thank you” to our church for giving us the opportunity to spend a few days soaking in 2 Timothy in Chicago last week.  Here’s how you register: Make a comment in the comment section, and I will give away the free copy at Connection on Sunday evening, May 3.

Reflecting on Chicago

April 24, 2009

I am so appreciative to Concord for allowing the pastors to attend the 2009 Gospel Coalition conference in Chicago last week.  It was refreshing and exhausting at the same time as we were challenged and encouraged from 2 Timothy.  Here are a few of the highlights from my week.

  • Hearing nine preachers articulate and apply the Gospel in their diverse ways.
  • Tim Keller’s warning against preaching the Gospel without also addressing and tearing down our modern idols.
  • John Piper’s call to fan the flame of God’s gift by the power of God through His Word.
  • Mark Driscoll’s humble admonition to care for our congregation as a “positive” while identifying “negatives” in our own hearts.
  • Ed Copeland’s encouragement to trust God and preach faithfully in the midst of trouble and hardship.
  • A blog lunch that helped us focus on ministry and connecting with people more than technology and popularity.
  • A thoughtful conversation about the church’s ministry to the poor with a pastor from Durham.
  • The stunning example of a brother faithfully and patiently preaching the gospel in hostile areas and under increased persecution.  I will never forget the joy he had in Christ as he mentioned how his ministry may become illegal this year.
  • Lig Duncan’s message of encouragement and wonder drawn from a passage that can easily get overlooked.
  • D.A. Carson’s invitation to view evangelism not as the call from one culture to a foreign one, but to a “third position” from which we can reach the lost.
  • Power-walking up Michigan Avenue with a couple of my closest friends looking for a mythical Chicago pizza place.
  • Getting a unique view of the Kingdom of God and a bigger picture of missions from a seat on the “L Train.”
  • Conversations about ministry with recent friends from different churches, sharing our burdens and hearing each others’ hearts.
  • Coming back home to my family, including Jonathan waking up just long enough to smile then go back to sleep.
  • Looking forward to gathering around the Word with my Concord family for worship this Sunday.  I love my church.