Among other things, Matt Perman’s blog, What’s Best Next, gives us good tools in organizing our lives better. The stated purpose of his blog is: “integrating the big picture with everyday decisions so that we can do things better in life, work, business, and society.” There are lots of helpful things here like filing, managing favorite web pages and managing email accounts. Increase in productivity by availing yourself to his recommendations.
Had someone write in today asking for a good reference book that explains the gospel in an apologetic format.
For this week’s featured audio, I would like to commend the audio from our church’s Bible conference this past weekend. The theme was loving relationships in the church. Pastor Joe Braden, from FBC St. Peters, was our guest. Here are the sessions:
Last night, in the final session of our Bible Conference, entitled, “Directives for Loving Relationships” from Romans 12:9-21, Joe Braden alluded to 3 questions from Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book Because He Loves Me. In case you couldn’t get them, I thought I would post them here. Joe was speaking of the importance of “FaceTime” and asked these (found on pp.183-184 of Fitzpatrick’s book):
1) Am I more interested in attending programs (or watching programs) that I am in relationships with others? Why?
2) Am I satisfied with superficial answers to questions or do I wisely and humbly seek to draw others out [Prov. 20:5] for the goal of helping them grow in Christ?
3) Am I transparent about my sin and seeking accountability?
So, how is your love for others displayed in Gospel-centered relationships. Your answers to the above questions would be pretty telling.
Continuing our series of posts on the book Total Church, today we come to the subject of pastoral care. In this chapter, the authors get at some issues of counseling and the effect of the world upon the church and its upholding of the gospel and community. One quote that gets at this is on p.135:
Part of the hope the gospel gives me is in understanding that I have a God-given responsibility together with a corresponding God-given ability to respond in a way that honors him as my all-sufficient Savior. In Christ and the gospel word there is sanity.
Speaking in relation to this core truth, they highlight community:
Pastoral care in a Christian community is not merely one therapy device among many. It is the context in which any other pastoral care takes place.
This has enormous implications for our lives. When we have some sort of problem, we should find hope for that problem in a gospel-saturated context. This gospel context is going to be encouraged and nurtured in community. As the church is thriving in this way, problems can be not only addressed but overcome by the Spirit of God at work in these things.
Our Church’s Bible Conference began yesterday morning with Joe Braden preaching. The audio from the AM message is online: Foundations for Loving Relationships in the Church from Ephesians 4:32-5:2.
I thought it was a great kickoff. I was challenged to pursue relationships with those I normally wouldn’t as a demonstration of the character of God and the Gospel. What were your applications/thoughts?
Last night’s events reminded me of the high calling of the family in the life of a pastor (and all believers). The calling to be husband of one wife and lead your children well get at the priority the marriage should have in the life of a pastor. As a pastor has a healthy family life, his example before the church helps the congregation encourage see what a healthy family should look like and together, we live this out in a way that points to God.
So how about you? Are you being a good example of family life? Does your family receive a priority? What about that relationship with your spouse and kids? Is it speaking much of God and the change He’s accomplished in you? This Marriage Monday, seek to live this out before God.
Last night, I traveled to Kansas City to be a part of Dale Baker’s Ordination at Calvary Baptist Church in Lenexa, KS (where my friend Brian Albert pastors). One speaker was Mike Hubbard, pastor of the Genesis Church in Eureka, MO. An ordination is where the elders / ordained men of church come together, having recognized and examined a man’s life and character (as well as doctrine), to set someone apart for the work of ministry. It was a rich time. My soul was challenged and stirred again thinking about my calling and life. Mike brought out Titus 1 and the qualifications of an elder. We sang great corporate worship music like: “When I Survey” and “Am I A Soldier of the Cross?” I preached a charge to Dale from Colossians 4:17. After praying over Dale and laying hands on him, Brian concluded the night with a charge to the church to follow leaders. All in all it was a good night. It was good to be with old friends and be reminded of truth about ministry. God bless you, Dale, as you serve your Lord.