On Doing Ordinary Things

It has come as kind of a shock to me, now that I am a pastor and preaching on a regular basis, that the vast majority of the sermons I preach will be rather ordinary. I will study hard and pray hard and work hard, I’ll get started early in the week and give it a couple of days to germinate and give it another look-through early on Sunday morning, and at the end of it all I will have …

The Divine in Preaching

I’ve always found the word unction to be a bit of a strange one. I see it as a part of the Christian lexicon since, in my experience, we are pretty much the only ones who use it. We typically use it in prayer, asking that God would give unction to a man who is about to preach. I’ve never known it in another context. In Power Through Prayer, E.M. Bounds talks about this word, giving its context and explaining …

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A La Carte (3/7)

Yesterday at church I was asked for a recommendation for a book on guidance. So I went to my office and pulled down Decisions, Decisions by Dave Swavely–still my favorite on the subject. I cracked it open and out fell a small gold coin dated 1791. Weird. Saving Faith – Monergism Books is offering a free download of the e-book version of A.W. Pink’s Saving Faith. Charlie Sheen is God – This blog (done in video form) raises some interesting …

A La Carte (10/25)

I was sitting in Grand Rapids airport on Saturday morning, about to catch a flight to Cleveland (and from Cleveland I’d catch a second flight to Toronto). It struck me as a little bit cruel that at the time there were two flights leaving from my gate–one going to Cleveland (for which I had a ticket) and one leaving for Toronto (for which I did not have a ticket). Ah well. I got there eventually (two or three hours after …

A La Carte (5/17)

Introducing Hymns – James Grant offers some sound advice on introducing old hymns to a congregation. Practical Shepherding – Brian Croft has done a great job of carving himself an important little niche in the blogosphere as he deals with issues related to the practical aspect of pastoring. In his most recent article he writes about doing hospital visits. What To Do With Internutters – Mark Driscoll has posted a good article on dealing with internutters. I’ve got a feeling …

A La Carte (3/29)

The Pastor’s Worst Enemy – Here’s a very good word from David Murray about the greatest enemy a pastor will face in his ministry. John Piper’s Leave – John Piper just announced that he will be taking a lengthy leave of absence. “I asked the elders to consider this leave because of a growing sense that my soul, my marriage, my family, and my ministry-pattern need a reality check from the Holy Spirit. On the one hand, I love my …

A La Carte (3/16)

Digital Etiquette “This is a friendly call for creators of MP3’s to follow some very simple guidelines that will make end users lives easier, and be a testimony to the messages we preach & teach. If you value the material you post publicly on the Internet, please demonstrate it’s value by following these 3 very simple guidelines.” Meet David Powlison C.J. Mahaney turns his interview series to David Powlison. Reading Technology A snarky cartoon that looks at the great user …

A La Carte (3/9)

Sound Doctrine, Sound Words Here is Part 1 of Phil Johnson’s Shepherds’ Conference talk on “Sound Doctrine, Sound Words.” “I’m deeply concerned about the tendency of so many pastors lately to employ profanity, crude and obscene words, vile subject matter, carnal topics, graphic sexual imagery, erotic language, and filthy jokes. Most of you, I know, are aware of the trend I’m talking about. I’m tempted to call it the pornification of the pulpit.” Technology Sabbath Here is one of a …

Blessings, Kingdoms, Smiles and Books

This is a compilation of various things that caught my eye this week. They were things that needed more explanation than I could offer in A La Carte, but not enough that they merited an article of their own. Same Sex Blessings It’s easy to write off the Anglican Church, and especially so up here in Canada where it seems that so few churches have really remained faithful to the gospel. So many churches, or at least the ones that …

Glibness

I continue to read through Dallimore’s biography of George Whitefield and recently reached the portion which discusses John Wesley’s infamous and divisive sermon called “Free Grace.” This was the sermon that began a significant rift between Whitefield and the Wesleys, for not only did it set them at theological odds, but it also betrayed Whitefield’s trust in Wesley. Though the men loved each other, this sermon was a very significant force in the separation between them that soon became necessary. …