Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Monday, March 31, 2014

God Meets Busy Moms Right Where They Are

God Meets Busy Moms Right Where They Are

A Prayer for Bringing Our Weary Friends to Jesus

A Prayer for Bringing Our Weary Friends to Jesus

"Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy."

"Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy." - Here's a good quote:



“There has been a long tradition
which sees the mission of the Church primarily as obedience to a command. It
has been customary to speak of ‘the missionary mandate.’ This way of putting
the matter is certainly not without justification, and yet it seems to me that
it misses the point. It tends to make mission a burden rather than a joy, to
make it part of the law rather than part of the gospel. If one looks at the New
Testament evidence one gets another impression. Mission begins with a kind of
explosion of joy. The news that the rejected and crucified Jesus is alive is
something that cannot possibly be suppressed. It must be told. Who could be
silent about such a fact? The mission of the Church in the pages of the New
Testament is more like the fallout from a vast explosion, a radioactive fallout
which is not lethal but life-giving.”



- Lesslie Newbigin, The
Gospel in a Pluralist Society
, page 116.

7 Things a Good Dad Says

7 Things a Good Dad Says – Tim Challies has a good word for dads.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Ways Noah Sums Up the Big Story of the Bible

Three Ways Noah Sums Up the Big Story of the Bible“Many Christians would be quick to say that the flood is about sin, righteousness, and the wrath of God. And while that is at least partly true, partial truths can be the most misleading of all. What’s the story of Noah really about?”

9 Things You Should Know about the Story of Noah

9 Things You Should Know about the Story of Noah - The movie "Noah" opens this weekend. Here are some things you might like to know.

4 Reasons God May Not Have Answered Your Prayer

4 Reasons God May Not Have Answered Your Prayer“There are probably more than four reasons God might not have answered your prayers, so consider this a primer to remind us all of His wisdom, mercy and ultimate understanding.”

World Vision USA Reverses Its Decision: The Letter and Some Reactions

World Vision USA Reverses Its Decision: The Letter and Some Reactions - This article shares World Vision's statement on reversal. It also has a link to Darrell Bock's article prior to the reversal, which is very well done. It speaks to "why" the earlier World Vision decision was a significant problem.

Seven Things That Transform Suffering

Seven Things That Transform SufferingWhen we suffer, there are positive steps we can take to make the most of each day.


Division Begins with The Departure from the Truth

Division Begins with The Departure from the Truth - Jared Wilson begins, “Christians
who affirm the normative, traditional, historical, orthodox view of the Bible’s
teaching on various sins are always accused of being divisive when in sticking
to their affirmations they must disassociate with those who don’t.”



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

If All Religions Are True, Then God Is Cruel

If All Religions Are True, Then God Is Cruel

World Vision and the Gospel

World Vision and the Gospel - Here is Russell Moore's response to yesterday's disappointing World Vision announcement. Moore begins, "World Vision, an evangelical relief organization, announced March 24 that they would now hire persons who are in same-sex marriages."

For further response to the announcement, see John Piper's article.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Three Tips on Being a Friend of Sinners

Three Tips on Being a Friend of SinnersJonathan Parnell shares practical applications.

Flee Youthful Passions

Flee Youthful Passions - “The ‘youthful passions’ in this
context are not sexual.  Paul has in mind the passion for controversy,
that feeling inside that relishes a fight and loves to be proved right and even
prophetic.”  


Pray for Hobby Lobby

Pray for Hobby Lobby Our Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has provided a prayer guide in praying for Hobby Lobby. “We are asking you pray on behalf of our friends at Hobby Lobby, the craft chain giant that is well known for operating according to the Christian principles of its owners, Jackie and Steve Green. On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. ET, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two very important cases involving religious liberty and the freedom of conscience. Before the Court are Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.”

The Most Consequential Religious Liberty Case in a Generation

The Most Consequential Religious Liberty Case in a Generation – Tomorrow, March 25, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties will be making their final appeal for an exemption from Obamacare’s coercive “contraceptive” mandate. This article by Denny Burk helps to bring clarity to the issues involved.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Financial Freedom

Sunday's sermon focuses on financial freedom and achieving it through biblical financial principles. Here are some website resources to help you in this area of discipleship:

Dave Ramsey - This link takes you to Dave Ramsey's website. There are a host of resources available here. There is a Budget Calculator. You type in your income and the calculator kicks out rule-of-thumb amounts in various categories. You can manipulate the numbers to reflect your budget from there. There are multiple free tools for organizing your financial life.

Crown Financial Resources - This site provides a variety of services. This this link will take you to sample forms you can download for free to begin addressing a financial plan.You can access the rest of the Crown site from here.

Mint - Mint pulls all your financial accounts into one place. Set a budget, track your goals and do more with your money, for free. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

9 Things You Should Know About Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church

9 Things You Should Know About Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church

Overcoming Your Phone Addiction

Cone

The Real Reason We Avoid Time With God

The Real Reason We Avoid Time With God – “A desire to spend time with God is tied to an accurate perspective on who He is.”

Osteenification and What It Portends

Osteenification and What It Portends - “Why Osteenification? Because Joel Osteen is the prime provocateur of a
seductive brand of American Christianity that reduces God to a means to our
ends.”


Genuine Repentance

Genuine Repentance - It's a lot more than feeling bad because you got caught.

Five Things We Teach Our Kids When We Don’t Know They’re Watching

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pastors Believe Religious Liberty on Decline in U.S.

Pastors Believe Religious Liberty on Decline in U.S. - This study comes from Lifeway Research.

Francis Has Changed American Catholics’ Attitudes, but Not Their Behavior

Francis Has Changed American Catholics’ Attitudes, but Not Their Behavior – See the findings of this New York Times poll.

Are Visits to Heaven for Real?

Are Visits to Heaven for Real?John MacArthur speaks to the many books and upcoming movie that describe heavenly visits. “We live in a narcissistic culture, and it shows in these accounts of people who claim they’ve been to heaven. They sound as if they viewed paradise in a mirror, keeping themselves in the foreground. They say comparatively little about God or His glory. But the glory of God is what the Bible says fills, illuminates, and defines heaven.”

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Most Important Question You Can Ask?

The Most Important Question You Can Ask? - This is a devotional thought that explores the questions of Jesus.

A Prayer for Finishing Well with Our Friends

A Prayer for Finishing Well with Our Friends - Prayer for a deeper view of friendship's responsibilities.

7 Warning Signs It’s Time to be Intentional With Our Marriage

7 Warning Signs It’s Time to be Intentional With Our MarriageRon Edmondson points out some good marriage checkpoints.

Is God a Pluralist?

Is God a Pluralist? - "While there are a number of problems with a strong
philosophical pluralism (for example, it's self-contradictory, it misconstrues
the unique claims of each religion, and so on), one particular problem often
goes unnoticed: it rests on the questionable assumption that God is indifferent
to how he's worshiped."

St. Patrick: Reclaiming the Great Missionary

St. Patrick: Reclaiming the Great Missionary - "Today most people know St. Patrick for green beer, banishing
snakes from Ireland, using shamrocks to teach the Trinity, or his walking stick
growing into a living tree. Indeed, none of these legends has anything to do
with the real Patrick."

8 Ways to Get More Done This Week

8 Ways to Get More Done This WeekGood suggestions for making the most of your time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

7 Things I Wish I Knew About Christianity Before Becoming A Christian

7 Things I Wish I Knew About Christianity Before Becoming A Christian  – “When following Jesus doesn't look quite like what you expected.” Like many blogs, you would be interested to read the comments section. Of the seven things, the second I would take some issue with.


15 Prayers for God’s Power

15 Prayers for God’s PowerPraying scripture is powerful.

Five Things We Miss If We Don’t Give,

Five Things We Miss If We Don’t Give, Especially to the Needy – Good word from Randy Alcorn.

Understanding Ukraine: The Problems Today and Some Historical Context

)

I Have All the Time I Need

I Have All the Time I Need – Tim Challies writes, “People keep telling me how busy I am. People assume it. It might be because they just can’t imagine anyone being anything but busy. Or maybe it’s because I am giving off those busy vibes, somehow convincing people that I have way too much to do and way too little time to do it.”

Friday, March 7, 2014

Report: The Bible in American Life

Report: The Bible in American Life - Studies on  Bible engagement by Americans are interesting but hard to interpret. Americans far over-report their Bible reading so the statistics are skewed most of the time. This study does have some interesting takeaways.

Five Truths About the Death of Jesus

Five Truths About the Death of Jesus“Grace is at the heart of the Christian faith. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than at the cross of Christ.”

The Insanity of Leaning on Our Own Understanding

The Insanity of Leaning on Our Own UnderstandingWhat is Proverbs 3:5-6 getting at?

Four Different Kinds of Addictions

Four Different Kinds of Addictions - Ed Welch share four things that can bring about addictions (which are many).

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Celebrating Lent 2014

Celebrating Lent 2014 - Barna Group notes some trends in celebrating Lent this year.

Jesus, Friend of Sinners: But How?

Jesus, Friend of Sinners: But How? - Jesus was a "friend of sinners". Too often that statement is applied far beyond the biblical meaning. What did Jesus do as a "friend of sinners."

Believers in a Culture Increasingly Hostile to Christianity

Believers in a Culture Increasingly Hostile to Christianity - Randy Alcorn answers the question, "What is your advice
on how believers should deal with a culture that is increasingly hostile to
Christianity?"

You’re Going to Die (and So Might Your Dreams)

You’re Going to Die (and So Might Your Dreams) - Jared Wilson writes a compelling
article and may rub against the grain of popular Christianity: “You know, it’s
possible that God’s plan for us is littleness. His plan for us may be personal
failure. It’s possible that when another door closes, it’s not because he plans
to open a window but because he plans to have the building fall down on you.
The question we must ask ourselves is this: Will Christ be enough?”

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Plans to Help You Prepare for Easter

Plans to Help You Prepare for Easter – Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Christian tradition of Lent. During these 40 days leading up to Easter (April 20), followers of Christ prepare their hearts by turning their minds away from the physical to the spiritual. YouVersion offers several Bible plans that can help you reflect on God’s Word every day between now and Easter.

  • Lent For Everyone is a devotional featuring a daily reading from Matthew and inspirational words for reflection from renowned New Testament scholar N.T. Wright. 53 days
  • 40 Days of Lent chronologically traces Jesus’ last week on earth, through the New Testament gospel accounts. The seven Sundays are days of rest, according to tradition. 47 days
  • ReThink Life: 40 Day Devotional presents Scripture, key thoughts, and prayer to challenge you to “rethink” seven important areas in your life. 40 days
  • Hillsong: 40 Days of Revival reveals attributes from history’s greatest revivals — presence, prayer, purity, power, personal sacrifice, and praise — to help you know God and His ways. 40 days

Whether you prefer reading the Bible or hearing it read to you, you can find many more plans at www.bible.com/reading-plans.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

9 Reasons Why Church Leaders Should Read the Daily News

9 Reasons Why Church Leaders Should Read the Daily News - This is a good word for any believer and especially those in church leadership.

Recovering Awe

Recovering AweJonathan Dodson writes, “Pride cannibalizes awe.”

Spiritual Schizophrenia

Spiritual Schizophrenia - Paul Tripp shares some tough questions worth considering.

The World if it Were Only 100 People

14 Images that Explain the World if it Were Only 100 PeopleThe images will help to better understand the wider world.

Don't Be the Team That Refuses to Shower

Don't Be the Team That Refuses to Shower – The article is written by a full-time missionary on the field with several excellent reminders for short-term mission efforts.


The Faith of Matthew McConaughey

The Faith of Matthew McConaughey – His acceptance speech at the Oscars has generated some lively discussion. Jim Denison weighs in on the topic in this article.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Planned Parenthood Leader Says Life Begins at Delivery

Planned Parenthood Leader Says Life Begins at Delivery - The leader of the nation’s most visible promoter and provider of abortion makes her position clear.


Comforting a Grieving Family

Comforting a Grieving Family - These are the simple steps to meet needs in a time of great loss.

When God Says Wait

When God Says Wait“The life of faith involves the miracle of seeing above your circumstances. It means we grasp the unseen that’s been promised, that we orient our lives in the time at hand, on the yet to come.”

The Danger in Our Daily Devotions

The Danger in Our Daily DevotionsHere are some good encouragements for your daily time in God’s word.

10 Reasons to Avoid Sexual Immorality

10 Reasons to Avoid Sexual Immorality Peter Krol shares ten lessons from Proverbs.

What's Missing in Son of God?

What's Missing in Son of God?Among the numerous comments on the Son of God film, here are Amy Hall’s observations, “And herein lies the problem for any filmmaker daring enough to take on the Bible: how to portray Jesus? How does one visually communicate the truth about who He is? How does one make Him stand out from the crowd? Unfortunately, this film took the same road as too many others: they made him tall, pretty, and “spiritual.” 

Why Satan Hates Your Family

Why Satan Hates Your Family - Tim Challies writes, “If you look, you will see that the very notion of family—family as the Bible describes it—is under sustained and heavy attack. This means that your family is under attack.”