Worship: Our Privilege and Responsibility

This week the blog is sponsored by the G3 Conference. What do you think of when you consider the weekly and regular worship of God by the gathered church on the Lord’s Day? Do you think of the singing or the preaching or the praying? What happens when God’s people worship him rightly? In his book titled, Worship: The Ultimate Priority John MacArthur provides four specific results that occur in the lives of God’s people when they engage in true biblical worship: …

What Not To Say at the Beginning of a Worship Service

A few weeks ago Jared Wilson wrote an article titled “3 Things to Be Careful About Saying at the Start of Your Service.” In his article he offered some common service-starting cliches that are “worth weighing in terms of their helpfulness to the congregation’s worship.” They were, “How’s everybody doing this morning?”; “I can’t hear you. I said, How’s everybody doing?”; and “Where is everybody?” I’ve heard all three of these many times and expect you have as well. And …

A La Carte (September 16)

Today’s Kindle deals include a few books from Crossway which share the theme of sanctification. (Yesterday on the blog: How We Worshipped One Sunday in September) This Saying is Trustworthy and Deserving of Full Acceptance I think Anne Kennedy makes a really important point in this article: That the people Christians tend to see as the outsider or the marginalized are often actually the people who will earn us (rather than cost us) social credit. “Scripture, though it lacks charm …

How We Worshipped One Sunday in September

From time to time I like to share one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. In that vein, here is how we worshiped on one September Sunday morning. This week’s cast of characters included Steve as service leader, Paul as preacher, and Josh as lead worshiper. The band was composed of guitar, electric guitar, and bass guitar with one male and two female vocalists. Because the text on this Sunday focused on prayer, we had each of the …

Weekend A La Carte (September 14)

There are a couple of new Kindle deals today; both are classics. (Yesterday on the blog: 10+ New and Notable Books for September) 5 Incredible Revelations From This Week’s Abortion Hearing in California Jesse Johnson lays out what you’re not hearing in the news (but should be). Church Dads Have Been “Woke” for Years Stephen McAlpine makes an astute observation: “You can’t shame someone into ‘wokeness’. If you do it won’t last and it will only be surface anyway. In the …

10+ New and Notable Books for September

As I’m sure you know, I like to keep on top of new Christian book releases. Most of them show up in my mailbox at one time or another, and I always try to take the big pile and sort it down to a much smaller pile. What remains are my new and notable books. Here’s a collection for September, 2019. Friend-ish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion by Kelly Needham. “Bible teacher Kelly Needham debunks our world’s …

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A La Carte (September 13)

Today’s Kindle deals include a pretty good assortment of books. Westminster Books has some solid deals on lots of solid books. I’d Probably Still Cancel Your Short-Term Mission Trip No, not all short-term mission trips are bad. But a lot are. Darren Carlson tells about the differences. “Churches are less likely to support a long-term missionary than to send a group of teens to paint a house or put on a VBS in a country where they don’t speak the …

A La Carte (September 12)

There’s a nice little collection of Kindle deals to look at today. (Yesterday on the blog: The Glory of Children Is Their Fathers) Pastor and Mental Health Advocate Jarrid Wilson Dies by Suicide Christianity Today covers the sad news of the death of Jarrid Wilson. “Jarrid Wilson, a California church leader, author, and mental health advocate, died by suicide Monday evening at age 30.” (See also: Andrew Roycroft) Depressed Stephen McAlpine: “I was just finishing a sermon when it all …

The Glory of Children Is Their Fathers

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a father who is evil, who is notorious for his terrible deeds? You, as the child, would feel the humiliation of it. There would be a residual shame where you, as that man’s child, would be embarrassed to be related to him. You’d be tainted by his legacy. You might even consider changing your name so people would stop asking, “You’re not related to that guy, are you?” On …

A La Carte (September 11)

You may enjoy “No Other Work,” a new EP of hymns from Redemption Hill Music that’s available for free through the usual channels. The Poker Table This is a wonderful piece of writing from Barry York. “The table sat in the back corner of my parents’ large family room, surrounded by the paneled walls and sitting on the shag carpet so prevalent in the seventies. Seated on a wood base, the octagonal top had a vinyl pad with felt underneath …

A La Carte (September 10)

Today’s Kindle deals include some titles that I don’t think I’ve ever seen on sale before (like Remember Death). (Yesterday on the blog: What’s the Point? (Alternative Ways to Frame Your Sermon)) The First Sexual Revolution: The Triumph of Christian Morality in the Roman Empire Kevin DeYoung reviews a book about how Christianity changed sexual morality across the Roman Empire. It’s an interesting and important review, not just because it helps set biblical context, but also because it shows that …

Major in the Bible

This week the blog is sponsored by Boyce College. It is common these days to see Christian colleges and universities require fewer Bible and theology courses. But whether a student is called to ministry in the local church or the marketplace, they will encounter more challenges than ever from increasingly secular culture. To handle these challenges, they won’t need less theology — they’ll need more. That’s why every major at Boyce College includes a theological core featuring courses in biblical …

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Book Reviews

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What’s the Point? (Alternative Ways to Frame Your Sermon)

As a Baptist, I’m plenty accustomed to hearing three-point sermons. As a Baptist preacher, I’m plenty accustomed to preparing and delivering them. But as time goes on and I (hopefully) grow in my ability as a preacher, I find myself trying to avoid the use of the word “point” and to replace it with alternatives that may be more interesting and more effective. I believe it’s important for a sermon to have structure. I believe a three-part structure is often …

A La Carte (September 9)

Today’s Kindle deals include several solid books from Crossway. Logos users may want to take a look at this month’s deals. And definitely don’t neglect the free book of the month. (Yesterday on the blog: A Pastoral Prayer) Benny Hinn Renounces His Selling of God’s Blessings. Critics Want More. Here’s Christianity Today on Benny Hinn renouncing his selling of God’s blessings. “Some of the Christians who have watched him closest, however, viewed the apparent renunciation with skepticism. While they want …

A Pastoral Prayer

From time to time, probably every month or so, I like to share an example of a pastoral prayer that was prayed at Grace Fellowship Church. The pastoral prayer is a time for one of the pastors or elders to pray on behalf of the congregation and to intercede on their behalf. It’s a precious element of a service. This particular prayer was prayed by Dwight, one of our pastors. *** O, great God, your word is true when it …

Weekend A La Carte (September 7)

Today’s Kindle deals include some newer books as well as some classics. There’s a good selection! Registration has opened for next year’s Together for the Gospel conference in case you’re thinking of going. (Yesterday on the blog: Parent Love and Grandparent Love) Faithfulness Is Not Theologically Complicated Greg Koukl makes the point that “on a host of culturally charged moral and spiritual issues, faithfulness is not theologically complicated. Why, then, are many who claim to be Christians foundering on fundamentals …

Free Stuff Fridays (Southern Seminary)

This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is brought to you by our friends at Southern Seminary, who also sponsored this week’s blog. If you’re going to be a pastor in the 21st century, you don’t need less theological training — you need more. That’s why Southern Seminary remains committed to offering rigorous courses as part of a comprehensive theological education that features the kind of breadth demanded by the ministry in a complex world. In anticipation of Southern Seminary Preview Day on …

Parent Love and Grandparent Love

It’s probably a reflection of my age and stage of life that I find myself thinking more and more about grandparents and grandparenting. In as much as I can read the future, I’m not particularly close to being one myself, but I’m the kind of person who likes to be prepared—to think about future realities so I can be ready if and when they come. I’m especially interested in knowing how to be a distinctly Christian grandparent. And so, as …

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My Books

Do More Better Cover

Do More Better

I wrote this short, fast-paced, practical guide to productivity to share what I have learned about getting things done in today’s digital world. It will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good to the glory of God. Read More