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Showing posts from February, 2011

Open Air Preaching — Perhaps we should get back into this...

This morning I chatted with some pastor friends about this blog post copied below. We thought about what could happen if a group of gospel-driven, biblically-focused, and zealously bold preachers got together and preached in the open air. Great things could be done for the advancement of Christ's Church. But I invite you to read the good post below. Something has been burning in my belly. I can't shake it. I have a picture in my head of movement of preachers that, I believe, will shake up the culture and change the face of American Christianity in a myriad of good ways. I have much more to say about it, but let me start simply. What if evangelicals hit America with 200, or 500, or 1,000 theologically strong, gospel-centered pastors who start preaching in open-air and public places in their cities, beyond their Sunday morning worship services, at least once a week for the rest of 2011? What would happen? What if even more did it, or what if it was done more often

Some lessons I learned while in class these last two weeks.

Some Lessons Learned in Class By: Geoffrey R. Kirkland These last two weeks I’ve had the distinct privilege of studying under Godly men and studying alongside of Godly men. God taught me a few lessons in class during this time. 1) Never underestimate the power of biblically-masculine fellowship. When Godly men come together who have a like-minded desire to glorify Christ and know His Word better, the conversations are sweet, the fun is pure, and the edification is uplifting. There is a reason that God intends for the local church to have men—biblically qualified men—in leadership positions. 2) Seize the opportunity to find another man to hold you accountable. If there is another man that God brings into your life who can hold you accountable (and on the flip side, you can hold him accountable) it is of great value and spiritual worth. To have a man ask me every night if I was able to get everything accomplished that I intended to get accomplished that day is just a marvelous—and motiva

now this girl knows what she wants...

RESOLVED 2011 sign ups are under way

Hey guys, For those who want to join us as we go to RESOLVED this summer, here is the info: When: June 24-27, 2011 Where: Palm Springs, CA Cost: see below More info: visit the RESOLVED website Regarding the cost , the Church is unable to reserve all the spaces ahead of time this year. That means that you have to go online to the registration page and register yourself. ( *note* if you do this by Feb 28th it is $150 . After that, the cost goes up! ). Then, email me and let me know you're signed up and we'll put you on the hotel list . We anticipate the hotel cost to be about $50 per person (thus, $150 for the conference + $50 for the hotel = $200 total). Contact me if you have any questions. If you need any more incentive to go, check out the RESOLVED media page! Here are some of the best sermons (video format below): 1) The Lamb Who Would Be King — Al Mohler 2) A Vision of the Glorified Christ — John MacArthur 3) Who Is Jesus Christ — Steve Lawson

my Lawson bit for the day...

From my favorite preacher:

a note on how the eary church 'did' church...

From Justin Martyr (mid 2nd century AD): And on the day which is called the day of the sun there is an assembly of all those who live in the towns or in the country, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read for as long as time permits. Then the reader ceases, and the president speaks, admonishing and exhorting us to imitate these excellent examples. Then we all rise together and pray and, as we said before, when we have completed our prayer, bread is bought, and wine and water, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability and the people assent with Amen; and there is a distribution and partaking by all of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And those who are prosperous and willing give what each thinks fit, and what is collected is deposited with the president, who gives aid to orphans and widows and those who are in want on account of illness

don't draw near to God flippantly...

Jeff Weddle : " If we flippantly deal with God because 'He’s gracious,' rather than out of humility and utter dependence, it shows we have no concept of what God’s grace is and, more than likely, have never been recipients of it ." HT: Jeff Weddle

great theology & a great hymn

One of my most favorite hymns of all time is Crown Him with Many Crowns . Here is the entire text: Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne. Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own. Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity. Crown Him the virgin’s Son, the God incarnate born, Whose arm those crimson trophies won which now His brow adorn; Fruit of the mystic rose, as of that rose the stem; The root whence mercy ever flows, the Babe of Bethlehem. Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began, And ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man; Who every grief hath known that wrings the human breast, And takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest. Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave, And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save. His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high, Who died eternal life to bring, and lives t

the importance of family worship in the home.

Watch Joel Beeke's Sermon here: LEADING FAMILY WORSHIP The Importance of Family Worship in the Home. In this sermon, Dr. Beeke marvelously and clearly reveals the importance of fathers & husbands leading their families (=wives and children) in regular, consistent, and vibrant worship times. In this sermon he lists three ways to engage in family worship: 1) daily instruction from the word of God (Deut 6:4-9) 2) daily prayer to the throne of God (1 Tim 4:4-5; Jer 10:25) 3) daily singing of the praise of God (Ps 118:15; Col 3:16) One quote from George Whitefield shall suffice: “And this will appear, if we consider that every governor of a family ought to look upon himself as obliged to act in three capacities as a prophet, to instruct: as a priest, to pray for and with; as a king, to govern, direct, and provide for them….For if, as the apostle argues, he that does not provide for his own house in temporal things has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel, to what greater de

the LORD reigns as the central motif of the Psalter

יְהוָ֣ה מָלָךְ֮ Translation: Yahweh reigns . I agree with James Mays: The declaration YHWH malak involves a vision of reality that is the theological center of the Psalter. The cosmic and worldly action to which it refers is the etiology of the psalmic situation. The psalmic understanding of the people of God, the city of God, the king of God, and the law of God depends on its validity and implications. The psalmic functions of praise, prayer, and instruction are responses to it and articulations of its wonder, hope, and guidance. The organizing role of the declaration does not ignore or obviate the variety and plurality of thought about God in the psalms. It does announce a metaphor that transcends and lies behind the variety. It is what every reader and user of the psalms may know as the "code" for understanding all of them ( The Lord Reigns , 22). Indeed, Psalm 93:1 - "The Lord reigns."

a great text from a kid

"I want my daddy to be there when my kids get married. watch what you eat, please!" —a text message from a daughter to her daddy as he eats Burger King.

this is HILARIOUS...

every preacher needs to be humbled... :=)

A conversation with a child that humbles every preacher... Daughter : "Daddy, why does the pastor pray before he enters the pulpit?" Dad : "Honey, I do that to ask God to help me with my sermon." Daughter : "Then why doesn't He, Daddy?"

marriage counseling in 10 minutes! :=)

From James MacDonald...these are rock solid.

live by faith in God.

Habakkuk posed a question to God that maybe you have wondered: “God, how long will you permit wickedness on earth without judging it?” It seemed to Habakkuk that God was uninterested, uninvolved, and certainly not judging the wickedness that so pervaded the land of Israel at that time. God responded to Habakkuk and said that He would take care of it. To do so, he would bring in the Chaldeans (=Babylonians) to judge the pervasive wickedness in Israel. Though God answered Habakkuk’s question, that raised yet another question—and, arguably, a more perplexing dilemma. Habakkuk then complained: “God, how could you judge the evil of your people Israel with an army that is even more wicked than Israel?” This had put Habakkuk over the top. In Habakkuk 2:1, Habakkuk says he will take his stand at his guard post (lit. watchpost ) and see how God will answer (note Habakkuk’s trust and anticipation that God will answer him). And in 2:2 the Lord answers Habakkuk and says to record the vision, ins

Alter Conversations toward the Gospel and toward the glory of God.

Alter Conversations toward the Gospel and toward the glory of God. If I truly believe that God is glorified in and through all things, and if I truly believe that the gospel is the greatest news that I can present to someone, then why don’t I look for ways to bring the gospel into every conversation? God has worked in my heart recently and convicted me that I so infrequently—and ashamedly!—bring the gospel and the glory of God into everyday conversations. I spend about an hour and a half each day with many lost people in LA and yet rarely do I engage in gospel-centered conversations with them. God has called me to be a minister of the gospel. This does not merely happen in sermon preparation. This does not only happen when I proclaim the Scriptures throughout the week. This is to be an all-pervasive and ever-present element of my Christian walk. Every single Christian has no excuse for not sharing the gospel. In America, we have a myriad of opportunities to proclaim the gospel with a m

the foolishness of the cross & the sovereignty of God to save people.

From Martin Hengel: " All this leads to a final conclusion which it is difficult to resist. When Paul spoke in his mission preaching about the 'crucified Christ' (1 Corinthians 1.23; 2.2; Galatians 3.1), every hearer in the Greek-speaking East between Jerusalem and Illyria (Romans 15.19) knew that this 'Christ' - for Paul the title was already a proper name - had suffered a particularly cruel and shameful death, which as a rule was reserved for hardened criminals, rebellious slaves and rebels against the Roman state. That this crucified Jew, Jesus Christ, could truly be a divine being sent on earth, God's Son, the Lord of all and the coming judge of the world, must inevitably have been thought by any educated man to be utter 'madness' and presumptuousness " (83). This is why it is God's work in saving His own people through the foolishness of the message preached. Otherwise, no one would believe such a scandalous message. But, as Paul says: 1 C

crucifixion — it is folly!

The Christian message that Jesus died on a cross is a scandal to many and utter foolishness to most . Justin Martyr put it this way: They say that our madness consists in the fact that we put a crucified man in second place after the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of the world ( Apology I, 13.4). Note how Paul describes it: 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE." 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. I have three books to read on crucifixion before next week when I a


God has richly blessed me in my life with so many friends, classmates, professors, pastors, and family members who are like-minded. And for that I am very grateful. I meet every other week with a couple of other pastors in the area and this is one event in my busy schedule that I treasure greatly. How true it is that God gives us like-minded soldiers who are also fighting this spiritual battle for the glory of Christ to be revealed to our world. God encourages me through these two men and the conversations we have (at Starbucks!), the prayer times in which we engage, and the struggles that we share. God is good and I praise Him for fellowship. Some of the ways that I treasure this accountability and encouragement time with the men are as follows: 1. Pray for them regularly . I do pray for these men and I pray specifically for the requests that they voice when we meet together. 2. Long for the meeting . I find encouragement to keep pressing on through some of the hardships and struggles

quote of the day — the grace of God.

The very center and core of the whole Bible is the doctrine of the grace of God—the grace of God which depends not one whit upon anything that is in man, but is absolutely undeserved, resistless and sovereign. The theologians of the Church can be placed in an ascending scale according as they have grasped with less or greater clearness that one great central doctrine, that doctrine that gives consistency to all the rest; and Christian experience also depends for its depth and for its power upon the way in which that blessed. HT: Dave Black

winter retreat — pray for us!!

This weekend we’re taking our youth & college to Big Bear for our annual winter retreat where we dig deeply into God’s Word and have an awesome time with friends as we ski/board down the mountain! The theme this year is: let there be light (2 Corinthians 4:6 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ). It is all about God’s sovereign grace in our salvation . If you’d like to download the pdf of our weekend notebook to see what I’ll be preaching on and if you’d like to see the songs that we’ll sing, click here . Here are my 5 sermons: 1) Romans 3:10-20 – You are Radically Sinful! 2) Romans 9:1-33 – God Sovereignly Elected You for Salvation! 3) John 10:11 – Jesus Died and Actually Accomplished Salvation for His Own! 4) John 6:41-51 – God’s Call for Salvation is Effectual and Irresistible! 5) Romans 8:1-38 – God Sovereignly Preserves

great quotes on a father catechizing his children.

When do you start teaching your children the Word of God? Jewish parents teach their children about the one true God from their earliest years (Philo, Embassy to Gaius 115). The Jews begin to learn the law as soon as they are able to understand anything (Josephus Against Apion 2.18). Fathers, let us hasten to teach our children the Word of God.

boy it's cold here in winnetka, CA this morning... :=)

Now, take a look at this... Winnetka, California (my home) 42°F | °C Current: Mostly Cloudy Wind: N at 5 mph Humidity: 78% Tue 68°F | 43°F Wed 69°F | 38°F Thu 69°F | 40°F Fri 74°F | 45°F St. Louis, Missouri (my folks) 26°F | °C Current: Freezing Rain Wind: N at 9 mph Humidity: 90% Tue 27°F | 21°F Wed 21°F | -1°F Thu 18°F | 6°F Fri 30°F | 18°F Spearfish, South Dakota (friends) -13°F | °C Current: Snow Showers Wind: W at 10 mph Humidity: 65% Tue -5°F | -9°F Wed 17°F | 14°F Thu 40°F | 32°F Fri 41°F | 37°F Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania (BBS—my school) 18°F | °C Current: Snow Showers Wind: NE at 8 mph Humidity: 82% Tue 24°F | 22°F Wed 28°F | 15°F Thu 20°F | 6°F Fri 27°F | 18°F There are some days you wake up and just think...thank you Lord for the winters in Southern California!