If you are looking for some different holiday music, go to Classic 99 out of St. Louis and listen to their radio broadcast online. During the holiday season, they play the best songs of the season in classical music style. Enjoy!
This morning, I opened my email inbox and had minutes from the latest Men’s Ministry meeting. One thing they seemed to be burdened about is the need for men to be discipled, a need that, no doubt, exists and they are seeking to intentionally serve.
I was reminded of this helpful free E-book online at The Resurgence. The book is entitled Fight Clubs by Jonathan Dobson. It is a fairly easy read (I read it in about 30 minutes) full of what practical discipleship looks like in the local church. The book is a free resource and here’s a blip of what they write on their site:
If you’ve struggled to follow Jesus by veering away from the gospel into duty-bound legalism or moralistic indifference, then this book is for you! Fight Clubs is a radical call to fight the fight of faith in the strength of the gospel. Jonathan Dodson calls us to join the fight against sin, legalism, and license by looking to Christ and His gospel. Fight Clubs equips us to fight the fight of faith by exposing the fleeting promises of sin and drawing us into the grace-saturated promises of God. Displacing defective forms of discipleship, Dodson keeps the gospel central by tapping into various layers of biblical motivations that promote joyful obedience to Christ. The book also provides a strategy to fight sin as the church—small fighting communities called Fight Clubs. Read this book; form a fight club; and start fighting in the strength of the gospel.
I commend this to you for your consideration.
Shane and Shane‘s new CD is now available. Titled Everything Is Different, it has everything we love about these guys: soaring vocals, memorable tracks and God-exalting music. The CD is $8.99 for download on Amazon, $9.99 for download on ITunes, or at their site for $10. What struck me as I listened to this album was how the Gospel is up front and central. From the opening song, Everything Is Different, to a modern arrangement of The Lord’s Prayer musically, to a song entitled “Worthy of Affection” which speaks of “[Jesus] being worthy of affection, the radiance of all of His glory, let adoration fill this place, You hold everything together by the word of your immovable power, we sing this song of praise”, this album soars with praise to Jesus Christ and would be a great addition of worship music to anyone you know this Christmas (or Thanksgiving for that matter). Enjoy.
From the Resurgence…
I recently was skimming through an old book on pastoral ministry that alluded to an article by Tim Keller and David Powlison entitled “The Pastor’s Self-Evaluation Questionnaire“. One of my peeves about typical pastors (and a frustrating thing for myself) is that there aren’t too many people who open themselves up for, let’s call it, constructive criticism. Sure we have critics, but often they want to lob a complaint and not help you be a better pastor down the road. The frustrating thing for myself is that people are almost too kind. I need feedback to see my weaknesses clearly. The Bible has pretty tall standards for ministers. Far too many conduct ministry as if they are in a different social strata than the people to whom they have been called. I worked through this tool yesterday and thought it to be a very helpful exercise. We are going to discuss it at next Elder’s Meeting. Also, I plan to work through it again, this time not allowing my mind to wonder about who I know that these things apply to and focus more on myself. Enjoy.
In yesterday morning’s sermon, I alluded to some ideas about how we view the will of God and what ramifications this has for our life.
Too many people narrowly define the will of God in terms of this or that decision they are facing. I think God, in His Word, is wanting us to see His will as something larger (i.e. sanctification in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, believing in Jesus as Savior in John 6:40). When we narrowly define God’s will in terms of who we will marry, which job to choose, or other decisions like this, we run the risk of missing out what God’s will actually is for us.
For more info, I would also recommend Kevin DeYoung’s excellent work, Just Do Something.
Good post from the Resurgence entitled Luther Puts a Nail in the Heart of Bad Religion–And 3 Other Holidays. This post draws an interesting correlation between Reformation Day and Halloween.
It concludes, in true Reformation Day spirit, encouraging us to read the 95 Theses.
It’s been a while since I’ve updated everyone on what I’m currently reading, so here goes:
I still use D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God, Volume 2 for my morning devotions (I also use an ESV Study Bible).
Speaking of devotions, I am reading Global Prayer Digest this month (they sent me a free sample issue) and it is helpful in enlarging my view of the world.
I read a prayer from Water of the Word, which helps me remember my spiritual responsibilities toward Meghan.
During devotions I’m also reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller. I kept reading blog after blog comment and post snippets from this book. It really is helpful. We are all busy. Miller helps demonstrate what a life devoted to prayer looks like.
Besides devotions, I’m also reading The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo. This has really been helpful in calming me down in addressing my 3 and 1 year old boys. I noticed I was starting to demonstrate my authority through voice inflection. This is just one of the many benefits of this book and what it shows.
I’m enjoying Feelings and Faith by Brian Borgman. This book was written to encourage the “cultivation of godly emotions in the Christian life” and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. I’m in a culture in which emotions are subdued. This book has helped me see Biblical use of emotions. Very helpful stuff (and very biblically grounded).
I am still plodding through The Mission of God by Christopher Wright. Moving slowly through this has reminded me of God’s mission for His church and how we need to be involved in it.
Other books on the docket:
Gospel Powered Parenting comes highly recommended and will continue my being equipped in parenting.
The End of the Law is a theological discussion on the relationship between the law and grace. As Piper has said about this book: “For the last forty years of my ministry no biblical issue ahs proved more recurrent or more vexing than the nature of the Mosaic law as it relates to the gospel and the new covenant. The pastoral implications for how you preach the gospel, aim at sanctification, comfort strugglers, give assurance, and admit people to membership in the church are huge. Jason Meyer is a good guide. I found myself writing ‘YES!’ in the margins repeatedly. And there were enough ‘Aha’ moments of fresh discovery to make me want to keep going. I thank God for this young scholar. His book is a precious gift to the church.”
Words From The Fire is Al Mohler’s latest book on the 10 Commandments.
Crossway’s latest edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress, a classic tale with some amazing edits for readability and enjoyment.
Our Boys is my next book to check out of the public library, which highlights a season of high school football here in KS by a team that has won 5 consecutive state titles.
That’s the currently happenings, in terms of my bibliophilic tendencies. Hope it helps.