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Showing posts from May, 2016

Sermon Recap for May 29

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To make space in the day for people to take part in the community Memorial Day service, we didn’t have evening services. A community remembrance service is a right and fitting manner of honoring the day, it was unfortunate to see it so lightly attended.Morning Sermon was from John 10 (audio)Please note that we are troubleshooting that hum you hear on the video.

Memorial Day 2016

What can be said by someone living at peace and in security, with liberty intact and provided, about those whose lives were spent to secure that liberty?Thank you sounds trite. Thank you may be a good start, but where does that really get us? Your wife is a widow now, here’s a thank you? Your children have lost their mother, here’s a thank you? Your child stood on that line between tyranny and freedom and never came back, so here’s a thank you?Absolutely, we have a tremendous responsibility that we believe and behave as a “grateful nation” on whose behalf that folded American Flag was presented to a survivor. We must make sure that’s not just a speech.We must go beyond that, though. What is it for lives to be spent for the liberty of a nation if we wantonly throw it away? If we use our liberty only for our pleasures and not for good of our neighbor?Let us honor the lives given that we may be free in the best way possible: by not squandering what they have paid for. And let us not fool…

Two months and Counting

Two months until what?Until I go to Peru. I’m going with TCWM to Trujillo, Peru, to work with…whatever it is they tell me to work with. I’m going to spend a couple of weeks meeting people, talking about Jesus, and hopefully doing a bit of preaching.Why Peru?A couple of reasons: First, Dr. Julio Montalvo (see here) is from Peru. He honored us with a visit, and I’d like to return the favor. And, we need to get started as a church being involved in spreading God’s Word to the world. So a trip to one place where we already know one person seemed like a good start.Second, there is a strange dynamic that is common in churches. Churches that are stagnant in their communities often don’t know how to get started—but then as they partner with the people of God around the world to reach other communities, we start to see how to reach our own community. It’s as if our creative nature stalls out, or worse, our compassion fails us, and we don’t really try that hard.That is one of my hopes for going…

Sing it with Moses!: Deuteronomy 32

In Summary:

Moses composes a song for the people of Israel. It’s not a love song. It’s not a rock song. It’s a reminder song. This chapter is, primarily, the “Song of Moses.” You can connect it with the “Song of Moses” in Exodus 15. (Which Miriam taught to many and it became part of the celebration of the people.) This song, though, is not just celebratory. It is also a warning song. The layout matches a “lawsuit” format, where Moses presents God’s allegations against Israel.

The Song should be seen as a proactive warning, though, and not a reaction. At least not as of yet: Moses is presenting the past of Israel and the potential future of Israel. If they heed Deuteronomy 32:2, though, they will avoid this collapse. This is, practically speaking, the consequences side of the “Terms and Conditions,” spelling out how a breach of the covenant will be handled.

As to the poetic or musical nature of the Song of Moses, it is evidenced by the Hebrew form. Beyond that, we do not have a tune or…

Book: Core Christianity

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Author’s note: Well, I’m a touch behind on book reviews, so I’ll be trying to catch up on them. Most of the books I will review are ones provided (given, free, not-paid-for-by-me) to me for review. None of the sources require anything but an honest review.If you search Amazon.com for “Core Christianity,” you’ll find several books with that title. And a few others that don’t have anything like it in their title. In fairness to author Michael Horton, the full title here is Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story. Being a big fan of Horton’s The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, I wanted to read this less-than-textbook sized offering. After all, this one’s 192 pages instead of 1056…and hurts less when you drop it on your foot!With that being said, it’s also worth noting that Horton approaches theology from a Reformed perspective. (He’s the author of For Calvinism, after all.) That being said, Core Christianity looks at theology from a broad enough…

Sermon Recap for May 22

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Well, I was gone May 22. Ann and the kids and I were off, vacationing and stuff. Bob Fielding, a good friend and part of the Missions Team for Arkansas Baptists, brought the Word of the Lord for us at East End Baptist Church. He did well…although he should have preached a little longer. No telling when we’ll get good preaching again. Oh, wait, yes there is: July 31. David Mason from the Central Baptist Association will be preaching while I’m in Peru. (No, that’s not code for anything. I’m going to Peru.)Then, August 24 through 28th, Dr. Emil Turner will be preaching. So there’s a couple of opportunities ahead!Meanwhile, Bob Fielding:Also, I’d like to encourage you to consider installing the East End Baptist Church App on your phone. It doesn’t get you discounts or anything, but in due time it will make it easy for you to see sermons and other content from us!Apple:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/east-end-baptist-church/id1105686882?ls=1&mt=8
Android:
https://play.google.com/store/ap…

A week in the woods

Well, we’re back from spending the week at Tim’s Ford State Park near Winchester, Tennessee. While we were there, we dropped down to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama and drove over to the Lodge Cast Iron Factory Store. We also made a list of other things to check out the next time we are there!Here’s a few observations as we get back to normal life around here:1. Second plans can be better than first plans. The first plans were to stay in a hotel for 2 nights to do the Space Center, then go stay with friends or other hotels to finish off. The friends part slipped through so we had to improvise. The change was to find a cabin that was more nights for the same money. We did, and were much better off. The pace of life, relaxing in the cabin, was much better than constantly having to be in the midst of everything.Of course, that meant we cooked more meals. But that was better as well. 2. There’s something about going away that makes home a touch more “homey.” That was…

Book: A Commentary on the Psalms (vol. 3)

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Today, I’d like to introduce you to a new friend who is third member of a good family. That friend is Volume 3 of Allen P. Ross’s Commentary on the Psalms. This one covers Psalms 90-150. I’ve previously reviewed Volumes 1and 2. (Spoiler alert: I liked both of them.)Now, some of you may be wondering why anyone would consider a volume 3 without already having volumes 1 and 2. Or why a review of the 3rd installment is necessary. For those who have either of the first 2 volumes (or both!,) you already know what you’re getting. This work stands on equal footing with them and if you liked what you saw there, you’ll want this to round out the set.The reason one might want this volume on its own? That comes back to the nature of Biblical Studies and the length of the Psalms in the first place. You may be studying the latter portion of the Psalms and need to jump at Psalm 119. If that’s the case, you need to know if you should jump in here or not.First of all, if you do jump in at Psalm 119, y…

Sermon Recap for May 15 2016

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Yesterday was a normal Sunday at East End Baptist Church. It was, actually, the only normal Sunday we’ll have this month. This coming Sunday will see Bob Fielding from Arkansas Baptists as our guest preacher. Morning Sermon: Irrelevant Heritage: John 9 (audio)Evening Sermon: Acts 2 (audio)

Wrestling with the Winds

It’s been a little quiet around here for too long. I’m sorry about that. I’m not sorry that you’ve been able to invest your reading time in other ideas that might have been more helpful. And it may even be that you have slipped away and won’t come back. That’s okay. I value all seven of my readers, but I understand. Life is busy.Where have I been? I’ve been right here, staring at the screen. Admittedly, most of that staring has been for work purposes. Even when I’m not writing here on the blog, I’m typically constructing two sermons and a Bible study per week. Plus prepping for a Sunday School class that I really need to get working better. And alongside that, I’m trying to get back into language learning so that I can reopen my pursuit of a doctorate. Throw into all of this our current cultural milieu of political nonsense, and it’s just been a great time to write.That is, unless you can’t seem to find what you want to say. Some of this is, honestly, a result of wanting to be liked a…

Sermon recap from May 8

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So, I’m a little late with this. Sorry about that.Sermon: John 8 (audio)By way of reminder/announcement: May 22 will see Bob Fielding as our guest preacher.

Malachi and Elijah: Matthew 11

In Summary:
We come now to Matthew 11. Jesus has sent the Twelve out to preach and has Himself gone to preach. Matthew records His destination as “their cities” (Matthew 11:1) but there are few comments on this. John Chrysostom (cited in the Ancient Christian Commentary series) suggests that Jesus separated Himself from where the Twelve were so that they would have the opportunity of doing the ministry themselves. After all, who talks to Peter if Jesus is available?

Jesus then receives a delegation from John the Baptist. John is in prison but has been keeping up with Jesus and His work. John wants to assure himself that Jesus is the one that he was waiting for, so he asks. Jesus points out the evidence of His ministry and sends the delegation back to John. This is another potential reason Jesus has separated Himself from the Twelve at this time: no one could claim the Twelve were helping Jesus fake anything.

The chapter wraps up with Jesus lamenting over the judgment coming to the unr…

Tools of the Trade: Digital Organization

A couple of weeks ago, I ran through a few of my in-print organizational resources. Moving on from there, I thought I’d share the three main tools I use for keeping up with items digitally. These flow together—I set aside a spot to sync up print and digital once a week, which takes the real organization tool: discipline. Without that, none of the rest of this matters!

1. Nozbe: after meandering around for the past several years, I’m back to Nozbe as my task/project outline software. First, I use a project management software because it provides a different way to organize tasks and events—I can see them by responsibility while they still all end up on the same calendar. I can enter them the same way. Second, I like Nozbe because it will automatically pick up Evernote reminders and add them to the task list. The task list then links over to Google Calendar. In essence, Nozbe lets me aggregate tasks that way. And yes, many times I enter “events” as “tasks” just to populate the calendar. …

Sermon Recap for May 1

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Ok, I’m back to Sermon Recaps on Tuesday due to unforeseen circumstances. Good thing we’re not in the middle of a prophecy seminar, true?Morning service saw a guest preacher, Dr. Julio Montalvo. Dr. Julio Montalvo serves as the president of the Seminario Teol√≥gico Bautista de Trujillo - Asociaci√≥n Tom Cox (Baptist Theological Seminary of Trujillo Peru, in Association with Tom Cox).  In addition, he is currently serving his second consecutive term as the president of the Peruvian Baptist Convention.Here is the audio on his sermon—you’ll hear him and Dr. Ken Bowie, retired IMB Missionary, who interpreted.The evening saw our first 5 Minute Sermon night, where several of our men preached for, you guessed it, no more than 5 minutes. They all did quite well.