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Showing posts from September, 2016

Learning for Life

Today, I should be writing something about politics. Or food. Or how food affects politics. That would be a good one.Instead, though, I’m in class all day. Well, technically, it’s a “Pastor’s Conference.” But I’m back at Ouachita Baptist University for the day. Ann and I will be with the School of Christian Studies faculty (back in our day, they were the Biblical Studies Department) learning about….MALACHI! That’s right. 6 hours in Malachi. And we won’t scratch the surface.Then, over the weekend, we’ll both peruse a few articles in the latest Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (I need to renew that subscription). Why?Because we learn for life. It’s necessary. For us, we mainly do this in areas like Biblical Studies, communications, history, but we also love places like science museums and art galleries. The world is a big place.The God who created it is a big God, after all. And loving God with all that we are means we are not going to put our brains in “park” and stop gro…

Book: Everything is Possible by Jen Bricker

First, your eyes are not deceiving you. The young lady on the book cover is doing a handstand, and has no legs. Jen Bricker was born without legs. This book is her story, told with the help of Sheryl Burk. As with any biography/autobiography, it is difficult to comment on the book without commenting on the subject matter. Everything is Possible starts with the story of Bricker sailing into an event in Qatar attached to a hot air balloon. It sets the tone for a high-flying adventure. The first chapter grounds that adventure in the challenges of being born without legs and the true cost that was to Jen Bricker and her family. Her biological parents felt ill-equipped to care for her and so placed her for adoption. From there, the story picks up. Bricker is an unstoppable force, and her faith in God is the push she needs to do whatever she sets her mind to. We find a girl who is limited only by those around her, and who typically finds a way around those limitations.This results in a stor…

Forgiveness: Matthew 18

In Summary:
Jesus is headed to the Cross. We’ve seen Him clearly state this in Matthew 17, Matthew 16….you get the idea. At this point, the Twelve Disciples are beginning to get the idea as well. How can we see that? Look at the question which opens Matthew 18. The question arises about who is the greatest?

The Twelve are starting to think about rank and position, because if Jesus is about to come into His kingdom, then it’s time to assign the work. It is time for each of them to find their place in the vanguard of the kingdom, so Jesus needs to point out which one comes first. He does not pick one of the Twelve, though, to point out the greatness of His followers. Instead, He takes a child and makes a point about humility, trust, and compassion.

Which becomes the common thread for the remainder of Matthew 18. Jesus highlights the need to receive children and not cause them to stumble, then goes on to point out how His hearers should strongly remove what causes them to stumble! We the…

Sermon Recap for September 25

Here are the sermons from September 25.Morning Sermon: Ephesians 1:1-2 (audio here)Who are we?Most of us identify as Americans, as Arkansans, as something... But who are we, really? SaintsSet apart by God Set apart for God Faithful OnesChoosing to Obey Choosing to Stand Fast For those, there are Grace and PeaceFrom God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ Evening Sermon: (Audio here)A good startJoshua dies The people wisely seek God for what their next step is Judah asks Simeon for help and commits to help Simeon They then defeat Adoni-bezek Thumbs/big toes Taking of Jerusalem Family relationships: Kenites (they'll be back) Benjamites do not actually take and keep Jerusalem. They cohabit with the Jebusites. (That's bad) What about us?1. Seek the Lord for HOW! He's already given us the WHAT 2. Get the HELP you need Honor the COMMITMENTS you make for it 3. Finish the WORK ahead of you Do not leave SNARES for later

Book: NKJV Teen Study Bible

Today, let’s look at the NKJV Teen Study Bible from Zondervan. I’d like to focus on the study helps involved with this Bible, because a simple review is no place to treat with the weighty issues of Bible translation critique. I’ll say this and move forward: there are good reasons to use a translation other than the New King James version of the Bible. There are also some good reasons to use it. The best Bible translation of the world is basically useless if you don’t read it. So if you’ll read NKJV but won’t read NASB or HCSB or NIV, then there’s no reason not to read NKJV. (There are spurious pseudo-translations that you should not read. This is not one.)First observation: I’ve got the hardcover from Zondervan. It has held up well to several weeks of being tossed in a backpack and lugged around. After all, if you want to give a Bible to a teenager, you need it to hold up.Second observation: contents are in color, which helps with attention span and focus. Further, colors help separat…

Of Fish and Taxes: Matthew 17

In Summary:
Matthew 17 opens with the story of Jesus’ transfiguration. It ends with a fishing story. Sandwiched between those two is a healing of a demon-possessed young man. It’s a fairly typical “week in the life” segment for Jesus and His disciples.

Matthew opens with giving a specific time reference. The opening event, The Transfiguration, begins six days after the statements in Matthew 16:28. Without poking at too many great scholars, it is worth noting that the narrative has Jesus leading Peter, James, and John up the mountain after six days. Whether or not the whole event took place in just one day is debatable. It may have been too much of a mountain.

While up on the mountain, Jesus is “transfigured” or changed in front of the three who are with Him. The general consensus is that He appears as His glory truly is. (See, for example, Revelation 1:13-16.) Along with Him are Moses and Elijah.

They come down the mountain and encounter a man with a demon-possessed son. The disciples…

Sermon Recap September 18

Here’s the sermon from yesterday. Audio is here.Ephesians 1:1–2 NASB95
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is "Paul."
The Ephesians know him--time has been spent, relationships built.
He is "Paul."
Not "Sergious Paulus Extremely Awesomeus."
God used him for who he was. Not even for who he should have been.
God will use you as you are.
When you are  obedient .
Paul is responsible to Christ Jesus. Not to the Ephesians. Nor to anyone else.
Except Jesus Christ.
God does not ask if you would like to...
by the  will  of God
He's the one in charge!!
What does this look like?
A relationship with Jesus, for starters
Salvation by  grace
Salvation  from sin and for God
A surrender to Jesus, for the next step
All lives
Called out  servants as well
A  commitment  to the cause of Christ!
Every day
Every person!
Exported from Logo…

Sermon Recap for September 11

Here are the sermons from yesterday. But first, Baptism!

Morning Sermon: Why are we here?
We are going to walk with Jesus and take as many people with us as we can. Where does this come from? The Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20 The Great Commandments: Matthew 22:37-40 Restated: Acts 1:8 How? Acts 2:42 And how does that look? Three Major Areas for a Church: Outreach Community Relationship buildingServiceEvangelism oriented The church will only be as evangelistic as the CHURCH isThe CHURCH is the people!Missions Out of communityEvangelism orientedGrowth Increasing in fellowshipDeepening in knowledge/understanding/wisdomLeads to more doing What does it take? A healthy body! The foundations of a healthy body: PrayerInternal compassionHealthy parts!Evening Sermon: Acts 19

Sermon Recap for September 4

We had just one service Sunday, September 4. This week, though, we get back on track. Next time we won’t have an evening service will be October 30th when we host our Fall Festival. Additionally, we’re going to start a digital church newsletter. It will publish once-a-month, starting in October (hopefully). If you want in on that, sign-up here.Sunday, September 4 Sermon: Work! (Audio here)
Work!Work! Doug Hibbard / General Adult Genesis 2:15; Genesis 3:19; Colossians 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Hebrews 9:15 Labor Day Weekend 2016 Good Work​ Genesis 2:15 NASB95Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. Originally, there was work. And it was good Good? You can't be serious. Yes, indeed. After all, everything God created was good, was it not? Humanity was created to work One of the purposes of the creation of woman was to work alongside man--a helpmeet for him. Work, then, is not a bad thing. Frustrated Work​ Genesis 3:19 …