Posts

Showing posts from December, 2015

Sermon Recap for December 27

Image
Morning sermon recap:Matthew 2 (Audio here)Wisdom for the next step Start with worship Follow with listening to the Word of God Do not retrace the errors of old Avoid entanglements with bloodthirsty tyrants Carry the Word into your world!Christmas Eve Service Video:

Sermon Recap for December 20

Image
Well, we just had one sermon on Sunday. The evening, some of our choir members particiapted with the East Union Choir Special. With Music Minister Ed Skains out after his heart surgery and me in Monroe with my mother before her surgery, we trusted the choir to handle it. I’m told they did quite well.Morning Sermon: Messiah from Isaiah 9:6-7 (audio)December 20 AM: Messiah Isaiah 7:14/9:6 Text: Isaiah 9:6-7 Date & Place: December 20 AM EEBCAR Title: He Shall Reign! Primary Theological Point: What should we learn?  (BEDE)! Surely the entire divinely arranged plan of our Redeemer’s [coming] in the flesh is the reconciliation of the world—it was for this purpose that he became incarnate, for this he suffered, for this he was raised from the dead—that he might lead us, who had incurred God’s anger by sinning, back to God’s peace by his act of reconciliation.  By his deeds and his teaching he moved sinners, so that he would be killed—he who, by his bodily death, was able not only to…

Hibbard Christmas Letter 2015

Image
Merry Christmas from the HibbardFive! We thought we’d give a nice, wordy update on the year that has passed, but it’s been a chaotic year, so we’ll hit the highlights. First, the family overall: in May, we relocated to East End, Arkansas, where Doug now serves as pastor of East End Baptist Church. That led to a series of goodbyes and hellos that are still working through our system. We continue to teach our children at home, even as Olivia has started 9th grade. She’s adjusting to the heavier workload well. Angela and Steven are working through the middle school and elementary years well. The girls are now in an American Heritage Girls troop in Benton, and Steven has moved up to the Webelos level of Cub Scouts as well as changing packs from Stuttgart. They are working together to learn piano and beginning to try out new instruments. So far, we have a bugle, a violin, and drums. It’s a bit noisy at times. We also toured the vault at the Arkansas State Capitol, and the kids got to hold…

Book: God’s Unwelcome Recovery

Image
Another book? Yes, another book. I’m always up for reading and reviewing books. In truth, there should be more of this in the year to come than there is now, and on a more regular schedule. Today’s book comes from Monarch Books. It was provided free for review, something that has been true of book reviews for decades but apparently only becomes important when someone reviews free books for free. You never saw the New York Times have to highlight that their book reviewers got books for free…Moving on from that rant, let’s hit another rant. It’s the “Christianity (and religion) are dying….oh, wait, maybe not” rant. Instead of reading me blog the rant, though, I would encourage you read Sean Oliver-Dee’s God’s Unwelcome Recovery and see a book-length response to that claim. Here’s the long and short of it, as found in his book.First, yes, statistically speaking, there are church attendance/measurement metrics that show decline. This is only applicable, though, if we assume that churches …

Sermon Recap for December 13

Image
Well, look who is late posting the sermon recap blog post. It's a bit underdone, like a potato that hasn't had time to finish baking. Anyway, here's Sunday morning's sermon.

Also, please keep Bro. Ed Skains, our music minister, in your prayers. He's having bypass surgery this week. 

Morning sermon was focused on Jesus as the Sacrifice for our sins. I used the text from Genesis 22 to reflect on the joy connected with knowing that God provided the sacrifice, not us. There is nothing wrong with the lighting, by the way. I did preach in the dark, with two strings of Christmas lights rolled out down the side aisles.

December 13: Myrrh, for the Sacrifice: Genesis 22 (Audio)

The NLT Illustrated Study Bible from Tyndale

Image
Why do we need another study-format Bible? Is there really a need for a new Bible on the shelf? Honestly, these are valid questions. If you already have a half-dozen, then you probably should walk away from this post and go read one of the Bibles you already own. If you find yourself in need of a new Bible, though, let me highlight one of the newer ones on the market.

The New Living Translation (NLT) IllustratedStudy Bible is a new release from Tyndale Publishers. It’s available in hardcover, leather, imitation letter, and someday probably in digital. Mine’s a hardcover, which causes it to weigh in at about five pounds. That’s enough to hurt your foot if you’re not careful!
First, let’s take a look at the translation. The NLT was published in 1996 as an update to the Living Bible, with an effort to improve the accuracy of the translation while maintaining the easy reading style of the original. There have been some updates and revisions, including one this year (2015). Overall, the tran…

The Great Priest: from Advent 2011

“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;” Hebrews 3:1
The next gift mentioned in Matthew is called frankincense. This is where a good many of us get lost, since we do not often have much sense regarding scents.  It is obtained from balsam trees, specifically ones that are indigenous to regions of Arabia and the Horn of Africa. In ancient times, it held a great value because of the localization of the economy.
Today, though, frankincense does not seem to be that big of a deal. At this moment, I can order a pound of frankincense from Amazon.com for under twenty dollars! It does not have the intrinsic worth that gold has. One reason is this: as long as you can grow a Boswellia tree, you can make more. It’s like maple syrup: there is a specific source and varied conditions can cause a shortage, but if you can grow the tree and learn how to tap it, you can have more next year.
Why, then, is frankincense valua…

Sermon Recap for December 6

Image
Well, this doesn't bode well for the week. I'm already 2 days behind.


Morning Sermon December 6: Frankincense: Hebrews 8 (audio)


Evening Sermon December 6: Revelation 12 (audio)

Not Subtle: Matthew 3

In Summary:

Matthew 3 opens with a look at John the Baptist, setting the stage for Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. The bulk of the chapter covers what John was preaching and who his audience was. A few pieces of background are helpful, though, before we take that apart. First, note that there is a gap between Matthew 2 and Matthew 3 that covers at least two decades. It’s probably closer to two-and-a-half decades, but we have to take the information from Luke that places this in the fifteenth year of Tiberius to draw a clear date. (Somewhere around 26-28 AD, depending on how the calendars synchronize.)

Second, note that Matthew does not spend any time on the birth of John the Baptist. Neither is any effort expended on John’s overall lifestyle or community efforts. We get a glimpse of his diet and fashion, and we know he dwells out in the wilderness, but we know little else. Be sure, as with all parts of Biblical narrative, to separate the known from the assumed. Knowing the culture…

A place in the story: Bethlehem

I'm going to intersperse a few highlights from this book along with normal posts these next few weeks. Don't worry, the author won't mind. But if you want the whole thing, grab the book. It's not that expensive.
First Sunday: In Bethlehem While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. (Luke 2:6 NASB) Where should we begin this year's Advent observances? That is a question I have wrestled with while preparing these short devotionals. In a prior effort, I examined the gifts of Christmas (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) to look at the meaning of Christmas. This year, I want to look at the places of Christmas. Where does the story happen? There are many that matter to the story. Consider the Garden of Eden and the plains of Canaan. Think 0f Egypt, or Midian, or Jericho. Imagine the hills of Bethlehem, walked by a shepherd boy with a slingshot. Contrast those hills with the halls of Babylon, walked by the prophet Daniel, or the halls of Jerusalem, wal…