Posts filed under ‘Christianity’

Two Books You Haven’t Heard Of…

Well, perhaps you have heard about them. If you haven’t, they are worth your consideration.

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When a parent leaves, undoubtedly the children struggle to make sense of it. While I have never experienced this personally, I have friends and family members who have. One thing is clear, nothing hurts like the abandonment of a parent.

In his book Left, Jonathan Edwards (not the puritan) writes with honesty and transparency as he reflects on his life as an abandoned child. Edwards also writes in a way that provides hope for anyone struggling with the absence of a parent. As a pastor and a Christian friend this book was important to read because it provided a window into the lives of others that have experienced the pain of parental abandonment. I am thankful for Jonathan’s contribution to the church, and his reminder that while “…abandonment always leaves scars, Jesus heals. And He will never leave you.”

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DISCIPLESHIP

My friends Derek Radney and Trevor Lawrence are unremittingly clear-headed thinkers and know what they believe and why they believe it. When I received their book on Discipleship, I know it was going to be thorough and articulate.

In Discipleship, Derek and Trevor attempt to outline a comprehensive introduction to the Christian faith in a way that is faithful to the task of passing on the truth once for all delivered to the saints. It is comprehensive not because it explains everything exhaustively but because it covers the basics of the whole expanse of what Christianity concerns, teaching the doctrine (the truth), the morality (the way), and the fellowship (the life) of the Christian faith. You will notice that the book is organized around the ancient discipleship structure “the way, the truth, and the life”. This book is a good tool to read with others and explore what it means to be a Christian and to help others learn how to do the same.

January 13, 2017 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

Isaiah: Free Advent Devotinals

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I recently wrote a series of devotionals through Isaiah for LifeWay.

Advent is a special and important time to reflect on the birth of Jesus and everything Jesus came to do. The goal for using the devotionals,

  • Draw your family closer around the birth of Christ
  • Help you develop fresh appreciation for why Christ came
  • Adopt a purpose- and mission-filled approach to the busy Christmas season.

I encourage you to not only use it for your family but to share it with other families in your study groups.

You can download them here. 

December 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Young Pastors Network of North Carolina

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If you are planning on being at the NC Baptist State Convention, consider participating in a gathering for Young Pastors?

John Mark Harrison and I are hosting a gathering titled “The Young Pastors Network”, a meeting for pastors, led by pastors.

The purpose being, to connect the next generation of Great Commission-minded SBC pastors in the state of North Carolina.

This gathering will be focused on building relationships, learning from each other, and discussing how we can steward our future together. The discussion will center around questions like:

  • Where do you go for resources, tips, and training?
  • How are you developing leaders in your church?
  • How do you keep yourself fresh to do ministry with a full tank?
  • How are you engaging your community with the Gospel?
  • How are you leading culture change in your church?
  • What is the best way for us to cooperate to strengthen our future?

After the gathering, you can grab dinner and return to the convention hall to hear David Platt preach the convention sermon.

B&H Publishing and Crossway are providing free books (a $55 value) for each attendee.

 There will also be light snacks! To sign up for the meeting, click on the link below.

Sign Up For The Young Pastors Network Gathering

October 27, 2016 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

The Gospel of Jesus in Jonah

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What does Jonah have to do with Jesus? Here is one thought…

“The good news of the gospel is that Jesus has provided a way of salvation. Jesus (though He did not deserve it like Jonah did) hurled himself into the storm of God’s wrath so that you and I might be saved. When Jesus sunk to the depths of death on our behalf, he made it possible for us to arrive safely on the shore of eternity. That is not only good news for us; it’s also good news for those around us.”

This is an excerpt from a reflection on the gospel of Jesus in the book of Jonah that I wrote for The Gospel Project. You can read the whole thing here.

October 20, 2016 at 9:32 am Leave a comment

A Story Of Discipleship

Today our church celebrated her 26th anniversary! During our time of worship, my sermon focused on our mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ”. This story captures the relational nature of that mission.

By the power of God, equipped with the word of God, the people of God can accomplish the mission of God.

October 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Eugene Peterson and The Pastoral Imagination

There is something special about pastoring a local church.

Being called to shepherd a local congregation and being a part of a particular church family is a blessing.

In the American church we often hold the megachurch pastors in high esteem becuase of the breadth of their influence. This is something we can be thankful for, if they steward their influence well.

However, let us not forget that the depth of ministry in a local community – through a local congregation – is a powerful witness to the kingdom of God.

While local church ministry happens in obscurity, it has profound implications on eternity.

In the past few years I have come to appreciate the ministry of Eugene Peterson. His writings have profoundly shaped my pastoral imagination.

Take a few minutes and watch this video from Nav Press and you will see why. Also, if you have not read any of Peterson’s books – I encourage you to do so. Here is a link to his Amazon Author’s Page.

September 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm 1 comment

Community (Part 2)

As stated in my last post, I recently contributed to a free 10-week Bible study for the North Carolina Baptist State Convention called Patterned. This curriculum explores what it means to be a disciple-maker.

This free curriculum includes a downloadable workbook and videos for each session. Here is a list of the topics covered in the curriculum. I wrote the sessions for week 6 on community.

Week 1: Praying for the Lost
Week 2: Defining Evangelism and Discipleship
Week 3: Studying the Bible
Week 4: Telling your Story
Week 5: Gospel Conversations
Week 6: Community
Week 7: Unreached People Groups
Week 8: Ministry Opportunities/Storying
Week 9: Living Intentionally
Week 10: Transformation, not Information; Sending

Visit the website to find out more: Patterned 

August 8, 2016 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

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