Saturday, October 30, 2010

Resource Wednesday 10/27/10

This Resource Wednesday, as promised, part 3 of the "Epic Story" sermon series delivered by Pastor Doug Roman of Bible Baptist Church. As mentioned at the start of this chain of posts this sermon series will cover "the four major movements in the Bible that bring continuity to the 66 books that comprise the Old and New Testament. The four movements are: creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. These four themes help us see how large themes bring continuity to the smaller parts of the Bible." Click Here to enjoy part 3 of the "Epic Story" sermon series, covering redemption.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jesus and the Sinner

A timely word for me delivered via my Grace Gems daily e-mail feed. Hope it is the same for you.

Jesus and the Sinner

(James Smith, "Rills from the Rock of Ages", 1860)

All that Jesus does for lost sinners--He does freely, out of pure pity, kindness, and love.

Yet we are always looking for something in ourselves--to encourage us! On the other hand, we tend to look at some sin committed by us--which discourages us. Whereas we should look only to Jesus. I want now, for a few minutes, to fix the eye of your mind on what Jesus does for sinners--how He acts toward them at the present day.

Jesus calls the sinner. He says, "Come unto Me. Come, just as you are. Come, this moment. Come, for all that you need. Come, for all that you desire. Come, and be saved. Come, and I will satisfy you. Come, and commit all your concerns to Me, and I will make all things that occur, work together for your good."

Jesus receives the sinner when he comes. He receives every sinner, however base, vile, or unworthy he may be! He receives the sinner graciously--pardoning every sin, forgiving and forgetting all that he has done amiss, and treating him with the utmost kindness.

Jesus cleanses the sinner. In the fountain of His precious blood, and in the laver of His holy Word--He cleanses him from guilt and pollution--fitting him for holy service on earth, and for holier service in heaven. Nor is there any getting rid of guilt--but by His blood; nor of impurity--but by His Spirit working with His Word!

Jesus clothes the sinner. Cleansed from guilt and filth--we are clothed in His garments of salvation, and are covered with His robe of righteousness. All that is necessary for our honorable appearance in heaven among the glorified--He undertakes to provide.

Those who trust in Him, are completely nourished by Him. Jesus feeds the sinner. His flesh and blood becomes our daily food. We can no more live and be healthy, without nourishing food for the body--than we can live and be happy, without sweet and frequent nourishment from Christ. There is in the renewed soul--a craving for Christ, and it is never satisfied--but as it realizes His presence, meditates on His Word, or is solaced with His love!

Jesus employs the sinner. Having called, received, cleansed, clothed, and nourished him--He sets him to WORK. He gives him a cross to carry, and a plot in his vineyard to cultivate. He sends him to speak to others of His grace, and to manifest to others His temper and disposition. He sends him to the poor widow's cottage, to the sick man's chamber, and to the ignorant soul's home--and says, "Feed them for Me; comfort them for Me; and teach them for Me!"

Jesus comforts the sinner. Yes, when he is depressed and discouraged, when he is low and cast down. He consoles by some special providence, by some seasonable portion of His Word, by the counsel of some friend, or by the sweet whispers of His Spirit.

Jesus assures the sinner. Assures him of His love to him, of a saving interest in His finished work, and of a title to heavenly mansions! When Jesus assures us--our doubts and fears depart, our unbelief is destroyed, and our souls are filled with peace and joy.

Jesus visits the sinner. He says, "I will come unto him." And He does come, and brings with Him--pleasant light, precious fruits, and joy and peace. He says, "I will come and sup with him--and he with Me." And He draws him out into such sweet, near and dear communion with Himself--that no costly meal, no delightful company--can be compared to it.

Jesus restores the sinner. For as astonishing as it may appear, it is nevertheless true--that we are prone to wander!
We leave light--for darkness!
We leave plenty--for poverty!
We leave joy--for sorrow!
We leave a paradise--for a desert!
And having wandered, we would never find our way back--if He did not come after us! But, blessed be His holy name--He does! And then He restores our souls, and again feeds us in green pastures, causing us to lie down beside the still waters!

Jesus reproves the sinner. However He may spare our persons--He never spares our sins! He visits our transgressions with the rod, and our iniquities with stripes! His reproofs are often sharp. Cutting convictions, heavy losses, severe trials, perplexing troubles, bodily sickness, and painful bereavements--are some of the RODS which He employs. But however numerous and heavy His strokes--they are lighter than our guilt, and fewer than our sins! He deals with us as with sons. He chastens us for our profit--and to make us partakers of His holiness!

Jesus glorifies the sinner. Glorifies him with Himself--and confers on him an eternal weight of glory! What it is to be glorified--we do not fully know. At the least, it is to be freed from all that is sinful, painful, and degrading--and to be invested with all that is bright, beautiful, and blessed. It is to be made as like Jesus as possible, and to be with Him where he is forever!

O wondrous grace, of a wondrous Savior!

Believer, this precious Savior is yours!
Will you not love Him then?

Will you not bear witness to the power and sweetness of His love, to the joy and happiness that are found in His ways?

Will you not observe His statutes and keep His laws?

Will you not come out of the world, which is peopled by His enemies--and be separated to Him? Can you mingle with the carnal, and frequent places of worldly amusement? Must you go to the world to be gratified and amused?

Beware how you wound your precious Savior's loving heart!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cookie Baking Night 10/25/10

Ahhh, together again. Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Ethan, and Carissa. We made pumpkin patch brownies (frosted brownies decorated with candy pumpkins and green frosting for the vines).

We returned to our lessons from the book Is the Bible Personally From God? by Josh McDowell. We are on lesson 4--"The Bible Shows Us What Jesus is Like". We had some good discussion around the lesson and we worked on a couple worksheets that reinforced what we learned.

We ended the evening with a rousing game of Zingo. As usual, a fun time was had by all.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Evangelism Focus 10/23/10





After a week that was marked by three different funerals, I had a strong desire to get out and share the gospel with people.The town we live in (Ramsey, MN) neighbors a town that makes a most unusual claim. Anoka, Minnesota claims to be the Halloween capital of the world (that's right, the world).
Because they boast this distinction, they really whoop it up for several weeks surrounding Halloween. We've always avoided these festivities because of the "holiday" they are associated with and because of the increased traffic around that area during this time of year. But this year I was able to see the gospel-sharing potential in an event such as this.

Again, because Anoka claims to be the Halloween capital of the world, they have three parades surrounding this time of year. Tonight was the Parade of lights. So, I dusted off my Superman shirt (I just knew it would come in handy some day), then Greg (my trusty photographer and all around directional wizard) and I headed out to the parade. We arrived about an hour and a half before the parade started so we could walk around and hand out gospel tracts. We handed out a lot of tracts and just as it started to get dark and the parade was about to begin, we made our leave. I found the red and blue optical illusion tracts were very fitting for an event such as this.

I pray (and hope you will too) that God will use the message on these gospel tracts to draw people unto Him. May He be honored and glorified through it!



Friday, October 22, 2010

Evangelism Video 10/22/10

Today I'd like to share with you a video from the Living Waters University series. Some of us might find it a fearful thing to witness to someone while on an airplane, but Ray Comfort takes this fear a step further. This is a video of Ray Comfort video taping his witness encounter with a woman named Steph, while on an airplane. It is a very interesting conversation, and I think it's worth watching.




Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Workaholic

About three years ago, my job changed at my place of employment. During that transition, I worked a lot of overtime. One night I was crying (literally) to Greg, worried that I was becoming a workaholic. Greg said that was a ridiculous thought and I was not a workaholic. I said, "How do you know?" He said, "Because workaholics do not worry about how much they work, they're busy working." (Hmmmm, good point. I think I'm safe in that regard then).

My job has changed again, and I am, once more, in the position of working a lot of overtime (specifically last week). God used this time at work (as He often does) to show me my own sinfulness and to remind me of my dependence upon Him.

God also used this time of the "shoe being on the other foot" to show me past sinfulness of impatience and disrespect toward my husband during times when he has had to work a lot of hours outside the home. I noticed how Greg did what he could to make it easier for me. It was a hard week, and it would have been further complicated if Greg had spent our time together lamenting "what little time I spent at home these days, how much he hated it, and if he had questioned my love for him and my devotion to our family" during this very brief season of sacrifice (something I have done to him in the past). His kindness and patience spoke volumes (and it was far more effective in revealing the condition of my own heart than any complaining would have ever been).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Resource Wednesday 10/20/10

There will be a break in my Resource Wednesday series this week, as we did not have an evening service last week at Bible Baptist Church. Tune in next week for part 3 in the "Epic Story" sermon series.

This Resource Wednesday, I'd like to share with you an excerpt from a book called Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. My friend, Jenny, gave me this book for my birthday, and I am thoroughly enjoying reading it. It is a story of a young girl named, Katy. It walks through her salvation experience and sanctification process via journal entries. The story takes place in the 1800's, so the language of the book requires your full engagement and it makes you "work for it" as you strive to comprehend the meaning.

The excerpt I would like to share with you is lengthy but worth the read. It is rich in theology and in wisdom for the Christian walk. It addresses the subject of sanctification. This particular scene picks up a few weeks after Katy's conversion to Christianity. She is sharing with her journal a letter she received from the pastor of her church (Dr. Cabot).

Stepping Heavenward (pages 41-42)

Today Dr. Cabot has sent me some directions for which I have been begging him for a long time. Lest I should wear out this letter by reading it over, I will copy it here. After alluding to my complaint that I sill "saw men as trees walking" he says:

"Yet he who first uttered this complaint had had his eyes opened by the Son of God, and so have you. Now He never leaves His work incomplete, and He will gradually lead you into clear and open vision, if you will allow Him to do it. I say gradually, because I believe this to be His usual method, while I do not deny that there are cases where light suddenly bursts in like a flood. To return to the blind man. When Jesus found that his cure was not complete, He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up; and he was restored and saw every man clearly. Now this must be done for you; and in order to have it done you must go to Christ Himself, not to one of His servants. Make your complaint, tell Him how obscure everything still looks to you, and beg Him to complete your cure. He may see fit to try your faith and patience by delaying this completion; but meanwhile you are safe in His presence, and while led by His hand; He will excuse the mistakes you make, and pity your falls. But you will imagine that it is best that He should at once enable you to see clearly. If it is, you may be sure He will do it. He never makes mistakes. But He often deals far differently with His disciples. He lets them grope their way in the dark until they fully learn how blind they are, how helpless, how absolutely in need of Him.

What His methods will be with you I cannot foretell. But you may be sure that He never works in an arbitrary way. He has a reason for everything He does. You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act.

I am afraid that you are in danger of falling into an error only too common among young Christians. You acknowledge that there has been enmity towards God in your secret soul, and that one of the first steps towards peace is to become reconciled to Him and to have your sins forgiven for Christ's sake. This done, you settle down with the feeling that the great work of life is done, and that your salvation is sure. Or, if not sure, that your whole business is to study your own case to see whether you are really in a state of grace. Many persons never get beyond this point. They spend their whole time in asking the question: Do I Love the Lord or no? Am I his or am I not?

I beg you , my dear child, if you are doing this aimless, useless work, to stop short at once. Life it too precious to spend in a tread-mill. Having been pardoned by your God and Savior, the next thing you have to do is to show your gratitude for this infinite favor by consecrating yourself entirely to Him, body, soul, and spirit. This is the least you can do. He has bought you with a price, and you are longer your own. But you may reply, this is contrary to my nature. I love my own way. I desire ease and pleasure; I desire to go to heaven, to be carried thither on a bed of flowers. Can I not give myself so far to God as to feel a sweet sense of peace with Him, and be sure of final salvation, and yet, to a certain extent, indulge and gratify myself? If I give myself entirely away in Him and lose all ownership in myself, He may deny me many things I greatly desire. He may make my life hard and wearisome, depriving me of all that now makes it agreeable. But, I reply, this is no matter of parley and discussion; it is not optional with God's children whether they will pay Him part of the price they owe Him, and keep back the rest. He asks, and He has a right to ask, for all you have and all you are. And if you shrink from what is involved in such a surrender, you should fly to Him at once and never rest till He has conquered this secret disinclination to give to Him as freely and as fully as He has given to you.

It is true that such an act of consecration on your part may involve no little future discipline and correction. As soon as you become the Lord's by your own deliberate and conscious act, He will begin that process of sanctification which is to make you holy as He is holy, perfect as He is perfect. He becomes at once your physician as well as your dearest and best Friend, but He will use no painful remedy that can be avoided. Remember that it is His will that you should be sanctified, and that the work of making you holy is His, not yours. At the same time you are not to sit with folded hands, waiting for His blessing. You are to avoid laying hindrances in His way, and you are to exercise faith in Him who is just as able and just as willing to give you sanctification as He was to give you redemption........."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Deeper Into The Gospel

A quote from my "Of First Importance" daily e-mail feed.

Deeper into the Gospel

“Our great need is to be led further in to what we already have. The gospel is so deep that it not only meets our deepest needs but comes from God’s deepest self. The salvation proclaimed in the gospel is not some mechanical operation that God took on as a side project. It is a ‘mystery that was kept secret for long ages’ (Rom. 16:25), a mystery of salvation that goes back into the heart of God, decreed ‘before the foundation of the world’ (Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20). When God undertook our salvation, he did it in a way that put divine resources into play, resources which involve him personally in the task. . . . The deeper we dig into the gospel, the deeper we go into the mystery of the Trinity.”

- Fred Sanders, The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything (Wheaton, Ill.; Crossway Books, 2010), 13.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Candle Making 101


No Cookie Baking tonight--it's an off week. So, I thought I'd share with you a story and some pictures from a few weeks ago. Emily spent the night at our house on the weekend. After I picked her up, as we were driving back to my house, she reached into her bag and pulled out a candle making kit. She said, "I thought maybe we would like to try this tonight." A few weeks earlier she had discovered that I happen to be the owner of a double boiler. She stored that information away for such an occasion as this remembering that her candle making kit required the use of a double boiler.

I had already scheduled a pretty busy evening for us, but we managed to squeeze in the making of one candle (a surprise for Grandma Clara---which is why I have not written about it until now---I was sworn to secrecy until she gave the candle to grandma, and that happened last weekend---I believe the specific words used were, "Katrina, you're taking pictures of this? Don't put this on your blog yet--you'll ruin the surprise." Apparently, she's on to me about the blogging).

We had a fun time and learned a few things along the way. I see a few more
candle making sessions in our future.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Resource Wednesday 10/13/10

As promised, this Resource Wednesday will be dedicated to part 2 in the sermon series titled "The Epic Story" (a Sunday evening sermon series by Pastor Doug Roman at Bible Baptist Church). As mentioned last week: This sermon series will cover "the four major movements in the Bible that bring continuity to the 66 books that comprise the Old and New Testament. The four movements are: creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. These four themes help us see how large themes bring continuity to the smaller parts of the Bible." Here's part 2 of "The Epic Story" covering the fall of man.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pride and Humility

I have been reading a small book (25 pages) titled From Pride to Humility by Stuart Scott (from Focus Publishing). It is a book often used in the practice of Biblical counseling. My friend Kim gave it to me, and I've been incorporating it into my time of study and prayer with God each day. I've been slowly reading through a section titled "Manifestations of Pride" where the author gives a sample list of ways pride can be manifested in one's life. The list was helpful for me, so I'm going to quickly list them below so you might also consider where pride could be disguised in your life. I will simply give the list, the author goes into detail under each category with a description of how this could play out in one's life and Scripture references for each one. I highly recommend checking out the offerings at Focus Publishing for this book and others like it.

As the author states: "Pride is blinding. Here's a sample list of pride manifestations that can easily clear away the smoke of any self-righteousness."
  • Complaining against or passing judgment on God
  • A lack of gratitude in general
  • Anger
  • Seeing yourself better than others
  • Having an inflated view of your importance, gifts, and abilities
  • Being focused on the lack of your gifts and abilities
  • Perfectionism
  • Talking too much
  • Talking too much about yourself
  • Seeking independence or control
  • Being consumed with what others think
  • Being devastated and angered by criticism
  • Being unteachable
  • Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading
  • A lack of service
  • A lack of compassion
  • Being defensive or blame-shifting
  • A lack of admitting when you are wrong
  • A lack of asking forgiveness
  • A lack of biblical prayer
  • Resisting authority or being disrespectful
  • Voicing preferences or opinions when not asked
  • Minimizing you own sin and shortcomings
  • Maximizing others' sins and shortcomings
  • Being impatient or irritable with others
  • Being jealous or envious
  • Using others
  • Being deceitful by covering up sins, faults, and mistakes
  • Using attention-getting tactics
  • Not having close relationships

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Change in Schedule

I've been asked to help with a large project at work this week that has a hard deadline of Thursday afternoon. I canceled Cookie Baking this Monday and will not be following my normal blogging schedule. Be back soon to tell you of God's faithfulness and instruction throughout this week.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Rocket Launch

Some husbands use their leisure time to read, fish, hunt, bowl, play softball etc. My husband builds rockets. You'll see Greg pictured below holding a rocket that he recently built. Once a month (April through November), there is an opportunity for those involved in the hobby of high-powered rocketry to get together and launch their rockets. Today was that day. You'll also see a couple pictures below of Greg and his dad (Phil) walking out to the "launch pad" to prepare the rocket for launching.
It turned out to be a beautiful October day (80+ degrees, very unusual weather for October in Minnesota). It was a successful flight. The rocket went 2,238 feet into the air and then landed safely in the sod field. Many rockets were launched today, and it was an enjoyable time.



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Friday, October 8, 2010

Evangelism Focus 10/08/10

Today, for my evangelism focus post, I'd like to share with you an excerpt I transcribed from a recent radio show guest hosted by Jim Wallace of the Please Convince Me ministry. Jim Wallace is a cold case homicide detective and a former atheist. He is also an apologist for the Christian faith. I think he brings a unique perspective to apologetics. He took some time on this recent radio show to explain the steps he uses when he examines a case as a detective and the steps he uses when he examines the Bible and the Christian faith. I think it is valuable information that could also help us in defending the Christian faith, studying the Bible, and sharing the gospel. I hope you find this information as interesting and as useful as I have found it to be.

----------------------------

Jim Wallace said.........

We all are called to be apologists. I took some of the skills that I learned as a detective and I started to apply them to my life as a Christian, and I wanted to share with you just a few steps that I take to become what I hope to be a Christian case maker, and maybe it will help you as well. Now, I work cold cases, so I basically am examining an event in the distant past for which for some reason there was not enough evidence to go forward in the case; that is why it is cold. Now I have to assemble a case, sometimes it’s largely circumstantial, in order to demonstrate that this event happened a certain way in the past. And that is kind of what we do when we look at the Christian worldview. There is an event in the distant past for which we are assembling a circumstantial case which seems to be to be very compelling.

As a cold case homicide detective: Now, the first thing I do when I open a case is that I take the time to read through the original case book. In our agency, the cold cases (the unsolved homicides) are all kept in one place. These books are on a separate shelf, and they are a separate color. I pull one of the books off the shelf, and the first thing I do is to read that book cover to cover. I do it several times. When I am reading that book, I try not to take anything on its face value. I read it and I think to myself, “I need to go back and reinvestigate a lot of the things that are claimed in this book.” I have to re-read it and examine it carefully and assume that I have to do all of the work from the ground up, so I can actually understand the case the way the first investigator understood the case.

As a Christian: I do something very similar if I want to be a Christian case make. I have to actually open up the book, the Bible, and read it thoroughly several times. As a detective, when I read the Bible for the first time, I assumed that none of it was true. I was simply interested in hearing what Jesus had to say. That’s how I first started reading the Bible. I was interested enough to examine Jesus’ words, but the idea that this was true, especially the supernatural elements of the Scriptures, was something that I did not accept on its face, I needed to own the document the way I would own a casebook from 35 years ago. I needed to read it thoroughly and actually invest myself in the case as though I was the first investigator. And that is the view I have as I open up the Scriptures, even today.

As a cold case homicide detective: In my own mind, I take mental notes that will become the summary of my case.

As a Christian: I went out and bought the most expensive pew Bible I could find with the largest possible margins. I didn’t want any commentary in the Bible, just the simple text with the largest possible margins. Because I had a background in forensic statement analysis in which we use different colors to look at different issues in the initial statement, I began to use several colors in the pew Bible I had in front of me. I took copious notes so I could understand the case and understand what issues in the case I needed to look at more thoroughly or that stand out to me as hard pieces of evidence that are worthy of notice.

As a cold case homicide detective: I try to gather this evidence as neutrally as possible. As I am reading through the original casebook in a cold case homicide, I start to organize, list, and summarize the evidence.

As a Christian: As I am reading through the gospels, there are several key pieces of evidence that might either validate a certain position or a truth (like the resurrection) and I make lists in the margins or in my own notes of those things that stand out powerfully to me. I try to gather these things neutrally. For example, when I first read through the gospel and saw the sign that is posted over Jesus at the crucifixion, and I noticed that it seems to be a little different in each gospel account. I needed to know if the difference is something that I could attribute to the perspective of eye witnesses or is there something about the differences that to me is a stumbling block that would prevent me from considering the case altogether. I gather the evidence and make lists of things that either speak in one direction or the other.

As a cold case homicide detective: I try to do examine the eyewitnesses in the case very critically. Casebooks are typically filled with transcripts of old interviews that are done of eyewitnesses. I try to look between the lines and make and assessment of whether or not this witness is reliable or not.

As a Christian: I find myself doing something very similar with the gospel accounts. I look through the gospels critically and examine them as eyewitness accounts.

As a cold case homicide detective: The other thing I do as a cold case investigator is spend some time reconstructing the crime scene. You have crime scene drawings typically. There are photographs typically involved in the first book. You take those elements out and examine them and try to put yourself in the crime scene and in the context of the year in which the crime occurred. Sometimes these crimes happened 15, 20, 25 years ago, and there might be something about the generation in which it occurred that has important explanatory power over why something happened the way it did.

As a Christian: I do the same thing with the Scripture as well. I know that these things are locked in true geographic locations that we can actually examine. They existed in a culture (the first century) that we can actually examine as well. Those things are going to be important to us as we try to reconstruct the crime scene, in essence.

As a cold case homicide detective: The next thing I do is to look for new pieces of evidence. I know that the book I am holding is 30 years old and lots of detectives have looked over it, but there may just be something that nobody else has seen that I can find that will help make the case stronger or will help explain exactly what happened.

As a Christian: I can’t help but find myself doing that as well as a Christian case maker. I try to be very careful though. I am respectful of the fact that if you are seeing something new after 2,000 years of careful examination, you are either amazingly brilliant or just flat wrong, because somebody probably should have seen it before you. But there are some disciplines that we can each bring to the Scripture that might help to examine it. Looking at it forensically helps me to see things more clearly.

As a cold case homicide detective and as a Christian: I start to reason toward an answer as rationally as possible. There are certain explanatory tools that I have to use. I know that in the end the truth about what happened has to be feasible. It has to have explanatory viability.

As a cold case homicide detective: Then I write the case up to communicate the view to make the case.

As a Christian: As Christians, I think this is an important process for us. This is why I am such a fan of personal blogs and websites. Take the time to write up what you have learned. Expose the world to the reasons why you believe this to be true.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Evangelism Video 10/7/10

Today I'd like to share another video with you from the Living Waters University series. This is an in interesting encounter between Ray Comfort and a young man named Chris. It exposes some of the thinking that is prevalent in our world today. I think it's worth watching.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Resource Wednesday 10/06/10

This Resource Wednesday I'd like to share with you the sermon from the Sunday evening service at Bible Baptist Church. Last Sunday evening our pastor started a series called the The Epic Story. This sermon series will cover "the four major movements in the Bible that bring continuity to the 66 books that comprise the Old and New Testament. The four movements are: creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. These four themes help us see how large themes bring continuity to the smaller parts of the Bible." As mentioned above the first sermon covered creation. It was most excellent and certainly worth checking out. I highly recommend it. Click here to listen to the first sermon in this series and check back over the next three Resource Wednesdays for the conclusion to this series.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rest in Him

Hebrews 4:9
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

“Come then, let us labor to enter into this rest. Let us quit the weary toil of sin and self. Let us cease from all confidence, even in those works of which it might be said, ‘they are very good’. Have we any such? Still, let us cease from our own works, as God did from his.

Now let us find solace in the finished work of our Lord Jesus. Everything is fully done: justice demands no more. Great peace is our portion in Christ Jesus.”

- Charles Spurgeon, Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our own tradition



No Cookie Baking tonight. It's an off night. I thought I'd take this time to share a little tradition that has been happening in our home AND surrounding Cookie Baking Nights. I purchased some metal clip magnets with the intent of hanging coupons, notices, and children's art on the refrigerator. Greg, a most creative fellow himself, formed the magnets into a happy face (as pictured above). The kids love this! Every Cookie Baking Night, a new face variation appears on the refrigerator. It seems to be the highlight of the evening. Several minutes are spent each night moving the magnets around. Call it an odd tradition, but it has become a tradition nonetheless and a fun one at that.
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

CE Workday


I teach the 3-6 year old children during the Christian Education hour (aka Sunday School) at church each week. This year three young ladies (Katelyn, Charity, and Emily) will be taking turns helping me during class time each each week. They will be spending their time assisting me with class (which is very helpful to me) and learning the craft of teaching a class of young students through hands-on experience.
Today, Katelyn and Charity and I met at church for a Christian Education work day.

We spent the day sorting through past curriculum materials and organizing them, preparing materials for a bulletin board idea, and painting a display board for our verses bulletin board.

In our class we work on memorizing passages of Scripture instead of partial verses each week. In the past, we've memorized Psalm 8, and we just finished reviewing Psalm 139:1-4. I always tell the children....."We are hiding God's word in our hearts......it's like we're storing these verses in a little file cabinet in our heart to help us to know God and to know His character." So, Katelyn and Charity helped me paint a large heart onto a display board (which I painted to look like a file cabinet). We will be posting the passages on this board as we memorize them throughout the year.

It was a very profitable time concerning the amount of work we accomplished in preparing for this year's class time. It was also profitable in conversation and fellowship. Forever thinking in the teaching mode, I brought in my iPod and speakers so we could listen to the "Witness Wednesday" section of Wretched Radio as we worked. Those segments include Todd Friel visiting a local college campus in his area and sharing the gospel with the students he meets there. It was a catalyst for some great conversation and thought processing as we heard the gospel proclaimed to others.

I had a most enjoyable time with these two young ladies today and look forward to spending more time with them throughout the coming year. I'm excited to see how God will work in my life, the life of Katelyn, Charity, and Emily, and the young children of the Bible Baptist Church 3-6 year old CE class this year. May He be greatly glorified!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Evangelism Focus 10/01/10

For my evangelism focus this evening I'd like to share with you a video from Paul Latour at The Word Street Journal blog. This is a video montage of Paul and Kim's witnessing efforts on the weekends. I am so appreciative that Paul documents some of what he does in the area of evangelism (I'm sure there is much that is not captured by camera) and shares it on his blog. I've learned a lot through his and his wife's ministry.

As a background song for this video he used "Asleep in the Light" by Keith Green. When I'm at large events or when I'm spending the evening out in the community sharing the gospel, I often think of the first two lines of this song--it's a bit of a one-two punch, pretty convicting. When those words echo in my head it helps me to think of the crowd as people and not just another crowd.

Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Don't you care, don't you care
Are you gonna let them drown?

How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the job's done



Cookie Baking Night 07/31/17

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo (and Larry, Clara, and Greg). Tonight ...