Grace to you and peace. May you know and experience the blessings of the Lord today.
The first sale of the year from Westminster Books is a good one. It offers good deals on many of the best books from 2020.
Amber Thiessen offers some lessons that come from life’s transitions. “Little by little, trials develop resilience inside us, as we walk with the Lord in them. We learn to trust more, to see his hand at work all around us, and pray specifically for the needs and people around us.”
This little video traces all that’s necessary to get that morning cup of coffee into your hand.
Hear Doug Logan, DA Horton, Tony Merida, Sharon Dickens, and many more at Urban Hope: How Gospel Churches Bring Hope to Forgotten Neighborhoods. An online conference on February 5-6, 2021. Bring together conviction and compassion in talks on “Theology as Hope for the Inner City,” “Sex Trafficking and the Inner City Church,” “The Cross and Ethnic Conciliation” and many more. Hosted by New England Urban (NEU) Church Planting. Register with the code CHALLIES for a 20% discount. (Sponsored Link)
This one is written in a Canadian context so is likely to be most helpful to my countrymen. “The Gospel Coalition Canada has addressed the basic issues involved in several prior installments (e.g., here and here), but here I would like to offer my own thinking as a local pastor in British Columbia. How did I go about answering the question, ‘Should churches submit to government orders which close public worship due to public health concerns?’ and what concerns do I still have going forward?”
Jim Elliff takes a brief look at that biblical qualification for elders that relates to children. “His children are believers [faithful] and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.”
I think preachers will be challenged and encouraged by this: “I am constantly surprised at people who have heard my sermons telling me that they really needed to hear what I had to say that particular week. I prepared the sermon, most likely, a few weeks beforehand. In many cases I had no idea who would be there to hear that sermon and I had not written it to help the specific person who came to me afterwards. Yet God used the sermon to impact people in ways I could never intend.”
“It is the promise we reluctantly receive with clenched fists and eyes tightly shut. It is the guest we wish to avoid knocking on the door of our lives and the lives of loved ones, hoping that it will move along its way as we shut off the lights and sit in silence. Whether we would admit it or not, we may skip over the Scriptures talking about this absolution while highlighting and underlining the verses mentioning blessing and victory and ultimately misunderstanding the Biblical context of such things.”
I was eager for some encouragement, so put the question out to Twitter: What’s something encouraging you’ve seen in your church over the past few months? The answers were a blessing to me! And, just so you can be encouraged as well, I thought I’d share some of them with you.
Every human is hungry for God. Everyone has eternity written on their hearts, producing a longing for something—someone—better, more significant, and eternal.—Jeff Vanderstelt