Good Reads 12.14.17 (on: parenting, angels, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On parenting and Christmas: A Christmas Prayer for My Children by Tim Counts

As I picked up my 2-year-old son out of his crib this morning, hearing him chatter in toddler-talk about the mini Christmas tree in his room, it struck me that Your Son not only came as a little baby but also grew up as a boy. The Word who became flesh learned how to form words with his mouth. How incredible. How humble. How like us and yet unlike us you are, Jesus.

As we approach Christmas Day, my prayer is that my children would not miss Jesus for Christmas. I know this starts with me, Father. Would you strip away idols of materialism and picture-perfect white Christmases from my heart and help me to shine the spotlight on Jesus brightly this Christmas? (click here to read more)

On hope, trust, and God’s word: Seeing God’s Hand by Adam Kareus

On the approach back to our driveway, we have to go down a little hill. My son doesn’t like the hill and is convinced the hill doesn’t like him, either. He doesn’t trust the hill and is convinced the hill is up to no good. So, it never fails: when we approach this hill, he cries out for me to grab hold of his bike and control his speed. He is completely able to stop himself with the brakes, but still wants me to be there and hold his bike. If I take my hands off, he cries. It doesn’t matter that he can see me right there, ready to help. He has to see my hand grasping hold of his bike. Him seeing my hand holding on makes him feel safe.

We are the same way with God. We have to know that He is holding on. Without that knowledge, there is not a sense of security or safety. And this is not just head knowledge that God is in control; it is a deep seated trust that God is there and He is holding us in His hands. In fact, when we read our Bibles, it is amazing to see how often the writers wrote about this very thing. (click here to read more)

On angels: Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them? by Wayne Grudem

For centuries, artists have portrayed angels as beautiful humans with wings and glowing light, complete with halos, harps, and flowing white gowns (or perfectly sculpted bodies). But is that really what angels look like? Angels have inspired all sorts of imaginative stories and depictions, but what’s left when we separate fact from fiction? In order to know the truth, we have to ask, what does the Bible say about angels? (click here to read more)

On seeing God’s promises in the midst of pain: When You Cannot Yet See the Great Light by Lore Wilbert

A quiet, pulsing comfort when I’m reminded, in no uncertain terms, that we don’t always get what we want, is we haven’t been promised most of whatever it is we want. Marriage? More money? Bigger house? Health? More kids? Kids at all? None of them are promised. The years go by with no prospective spouse, the bank account always seems to be dry, every month a painful reminder that no seed has taken root in our womb. The reminders are everywhere, we don’t even have to look far. Name anything you want and haven’t yet got and there it is, your reminder.

Today, though, I woke on this fifth day of Advent and the second day of a miscarriage, remembering the child who was promised to me. God promised a child would be born to us, a son, given to us (Isaiah 9). He was not the child I wanted last night as silent tears tracked down my face, but he was given to us the same.  (click here to read more)

Sunday 12.10.17 (expectant hope)

This morning, we’ll take a look at 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 and consider how we are to live with expectant hope in light of the return of Jesus. Morning service will be followed by our Widows/Widowers Christmas Dinner, hosted by the Deacons; and then this evening at 6pm we will have our Children’s Christmas Program. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@Noon Widows/Widowers Christmas Dinner
@6pm Children’s Christmas Program, followed by cookies and treats

Sermon Notes
Expectant Hope ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

  • Long for your hope to manifest when the dawn of eternity arrives (5:1-4)
  • Live boldly in hopeful faith (5:5-8)
  • Encourage one another with your hope (5:9-11)

Recent sermons in this series are available to listen to on our Sermon Page.

1 thessalonians

Image used and modified with permission from pixabay.com

Songs for Worship
Joy Has Dawned (listen to a version of this song on YouTube)
Angels We Have Heard on High
‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It

Good Reads 09.28.17 (on Bible reading, depression, and hope)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On kids and Bible reading: How to Help Your Kids Get Excited about Reading the Bible by David Murray

It doesn’t need to be like that. Indeed, it shouldn’t be like that. While I welcome the beautiful graphics, videos, and other resources that we now have to us help teach the Bible to kids, there’s nothing more infectious than an enthusiastic teacher or parent. That’s contagious and will stick long in the memory after other images have faded.

We can communicate our delight in the Bible by the way we conduct family worship. Let our body language, our expressions, and our tone of voice all transmit vigor and vitality. Work at showing how even one part of the passage applies to our children’s lives. (click here to read more)

On battling the “dark seasons of the soul”: Truth I’m Trying to Hold Onto by Mike Leake

At times it’s just my depression talking and kind words are being filtered through a wickedly unhelpful lens. And at times it’s just that I’m enduring criticism on a daily basis for something or another. And I’m usually right there in the crowd yelling, “crucify him”. And so when my feelings are all jacked up I try my best to meditate upon things that I know to be true.

I don’t feel confident enough to write anything original today. But, I came up with this list a few years ago: (click here to read more)

On our future hope: Like a Dream Come True by Jared Wilson

To practice followship of Jesus is to believe the descriptions. It is to believe that around the corner where we cannot yet go is the most wonderful thing we could ever imagine—in fact, it is beyond imagination, beyond what we can conceive of. Even the descriptions cannot do this revelation justice. We hear the rumors of this place, read the travelogues of those precious few who trembled as though dead having spent mere seconds in that sacred space, and though we do not see it, we believe.

By God’s grace, we believe.

We believe that just around the corner is the end to all our searching, the satisfaction of all our yearnings, the desire of all our longings. We are not there. Not yet. But just around the corner, brothers and sisters, is the wildest dream come true. (click here to read more)

Good Reads 07.05.17 (on: parenting, boredom, hope, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On parenting: A Letter to My Children by Adam McClendon

I pray that you will be a light for Jesus, that you will live for him, and tell others about him. Hope is only found in Jesus. Remember that. Also, remember that we have an enemy in Satan and he wants to destroy you. He will use your friends to tempt you to do wrong. People will make fun of you and try to pressure you into doing wrong. Don’t let them. Stand your ground. I promise, in the long run, they will respect you and want to be like you. (click here to read more)

On persevering in hope during the struggles of darkness: Saying Goodbye to Narnia by Chris Thomas

Peter lifts our downcast eyes to focus not on the joys of yesterday, but instead on the glorious realities of tomorrow. Yes, we may sit in dreary days of cold stinging rain, but once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia. Tribulation is real—we should not be surprised by it—but it is not our defining reality. We have a living hope, an imperishable inheritance, and a secure salvation.

Dark days will come, but these are just ‘a little while’; days not to simply endure, but to rejoice in—days to abide in as we wait for tomorrow. Our waiting in the darkness isn’t simply a sufferance, but is essential in the preparation for brighter days, days filled with the praise and glory and honour of the revealed Saviour. (click here to read more)

On the value of boredom: Make Time to Be Bored by Tim Challies

When we were children and teenagers, boredom seemed like a bad thing, because idle hands are the devil’s workshop, right? But boredom should not be confused with idleness. Idleness is laziness and indolence. It is refusing to do what needs to be done. But boredom is simple inactivity, a break from the hustle and bustle and busyness of life. Boredom is the pause between activities or the deliberate escape from activity altogether. (click here to read more)

On facing death: Mourning Has Broken by Stephen McAlpine

Death did as it should to me. As it should do to all of us before we die.  It made me reflect on my own death; the need to be prepared; the brevity of life; the ageing process; the fact that the dementia time-bomb in Dad’s head may also have been smuggled into my own by some genetic terrorist bent on biomass destruction.

It found me simultaneously praising God for delivering us from the sting of death, which is sin, and grieving over death’s certainty for us all.  Death is not the sting, a common misunderstanding and misreading of 1Corinthians 15:56.  Sin is.  Somewhere in God’s plan a transition from this age to the age to come was planned for untainted humanity, a well-done-good-and-faithful-servant-reward. (click here to read more)

Good Reads 04.19.17 (on: hope, marriage, and manhood)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On hope and the Christian life: What Christianity Offers by David McLemore

We understand this desire, though, don’t we? Don’t most people want to live a long time? But isn’t the kind of life you live more important that just living? Paul gives us insight into the kind of life we have available to us as Christians. We don’t have immortality as we typically understand it – with this present life in continuation forever. We have something far better. We have the power of the resurrection. The life Jesus lived – obedience to God, suffering, death on the cross, then resurrection – is reversed for us. We have the power of the resurrection – the great hope that all is not lost, that this life and the next really does matter. And in that power, we can obey, suffer, and die with a peace that comes only from God. (click here to read more)

On manhood: Stop Trying to Be a Man and Start Trying to Be a Good Man by Brad Williams

Our goal ought to be becoming Christ-like men. Being a Christ-like man means rejecting the notions that our culture, and sometimes even other Christian men, herald as the masculine ideal. Instead, we should focus our attention on loving peace, seeking justice, and sacrificing ourselves for others. In this way, Jesus Christ becomes our role model for what it means to be a good man. (click here to read more)

On marriage: Did I Marry the Right Person? by John Piper

Paul quotes it and says, “This is a great mystery. I’m speaking of Christ and the church.” In other words, what happens in marriage is that God acts. Believer or unbeliever — God acts and creates a bond that is not to be broken by man, because it is a portrait, a drama, of the covenant commitment between Christ and the church.

Who is the right person to be married to? Answer: the one to whom you said, “For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. ‘Til death do us part,” because that is the only person with whom you can demonstrate the covenant faithfulness of Christ to his church. (click here to read more)

 

Sunday 11.06.16 (death and resurrection)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at John 11 where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and pointed to the greater resurrection to come at his return. We’ll see the hope that we have in Jesus as we seek to better understand death and resurrection. Sunday evening, we’ll continue our video study A Global Gospel while the children practice for the upcoming Christmas program. Hope to see you there!

Also, don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night!

daylight savings fall back

Sunday Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Children’s Christmas Program Practice, upstairs in the children’s wing
@6pm Global Gospel study in auditorium

Sermon Notes
Death and Resurrection ~ John 11:1-44

  • Understanding death
    • Death is judgment against sin (Gen 3, Rom 6:23)
    • Death is a frightening enemy (1 Cor 15:26, Heb 2:14)
    • Death affects us all (Rom 3:23, 6:23)
    • Death can come at any moment (Lk 12:13f, Jms 4:13f)
    • Death, for the body, is like sleep; though the soul goes either to heaven or hell (11:11-15, 1 Thes 4:13, Lk 16:19-31, Rev 6:9)
    • Death is meant to be grieved, though as Christians we can grieve with hope (1 Thes 4:13)–even Jesus grieved when Lazarus died (11:35)
  • Understanding resurrection
    • Resurrection, for God’s people, is first spiritual and second physical (Eph 2:4-7, Rev 20:4-5 cf. 1:4-7)
    • Resurrection is coming “on the last day” (11:23-24, 1 Thes 4:16-17)
    • Resurrection gives substance to our hope that death is not the end (11:23)
    • Resurrection’s hope comes from Jesus alone (11:25)
  • The great question: Do you believe? (11:25-27)
    • Do you trust Jesus alone for salvation?
    • Do you truly believe that Jesus conquered death and though you die, you will live?
    • Believing: We have true hope, boldness to live our faith, freedom from fear and anxiety, and the ability to grieve death with joyful anticipation

Good Reads 04.13.16 (on: parenting, worship, hope, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On worshiping together: Why We Worship on Repeat by David Mathis

Take Psalm 136 as a flashing red light from the divine that our newfound intolerance for repetition is out of step with what it means to be human. The psalm is 26 verses, and each verse ends with “for his steadfast love endures forever.” It rehearses God’s goodness and supremacy, his wonder-working and world-creating, his delivery of his people from slavery and provision for them in a rich land. (click here to read more)

On joy and the Christian’s life: 3 Killjoys in the Christian Life by David Qaoud

The Christian religion is not a religion of misery, but a religion of joy. God is after your highest joy — a  joy that is found in him. We Christians know this intellectually. But because of the world, the flesh, and the devil — our joy easily escapes us. Our sin sometimes gets the best of us. The enemy sometimes wins. I’m sure, like me, you desire joy. You want that for yourself and others around you. But as I examine my own heart, and see the lives of others, how come many of us are often joyless? (click here to read more)

On parenting and sex: Guiding Your Son to Respond Well to Sexual Attraction by Daniel Huerta

Images mixed with mirror neurons begin to interact with a tween boy’s visual response, sexual curiosity, hormones and physical development, which creates a powerfully stimulating moment that the brain wants to duplicate. Boys may not have control over an initial attraction to a person or an image, but they do have control over how they respond. As parents, we can help our sons understand what is happening in their brains, help them talk through those feelings, and provide them with a strategy to help them make choices that are good for them now and in the future. (click here to read more)

On hope in the face of chronic illness: I Will Boast in My Weakness by David Bronson

Since I was diagnosed over ten years ago, Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9 have always rattled around in my head: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (ESV) I expect every minister with chronic illness keeps this scripture close. Our weakness is always before us, staring into our bleary eyes from the mirror every morning. (click here to read more)

And finally some wisdom from Charles Spurgeon…

sin 01 (spurgeon)

Photo found at: facebook.com/depravedwretch/