Jared Pierson, our Youth Director, has also put together a family study guide for the first two weeks of the series. You can download it here.
We hope and pray that God would bless His Word as it goes out live and on-line.
WTS Description: A follow up to the profound message of Crazy Love, Pastor Francis Chan offers a compelling invitation to understand, embrace, and follow the Holy Spirit's direction in our lives. In the name of the Father, the Son, and ... the Holy Spirit. We pray in the name of all three, but how often do we live with an awareness of only the first two? As Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit--the Helper--so that we could be true and living witnesses for Christ. Unfortunately, today's church has admired the gift but neglected to open it. Breakthrough author Francis Chan rips away paper and bows to get at the true source of the church's power--the Holy Spirit. Chan contends that we've ignored the Spirit for far too long, and we are reaping the disastrous results. Thorough scriptural support and compelling narrative form Chan's invitation to stop and remember the One we've forgotten, the Spirit of the living God.
This study traces the Holy Spirit and his work through the New Testament. It was prepared as Adult Education curriculum for Bethel Church in Crown Point, Indiana. Click here to download a PDF of the study which includes a detailed outline and teacher notes.
As far as I can tell, Carl Trueman is incapable of being dull. I haven’t had the privilege of sitting down for a tête à tête, so it could be that in real life he’s as interesting as a Lawrence Welk rerun. But I somehow doubt it. We’ve exchanged emails over the past months and invariably he throws in some piece of pith that makes me want to say, alternately, “Yes, Amen!” or, “I can’t believe you just said that!” Trueman is a professional provocateur, which I mean as a compliment. He loves to provoke, but never with sophomoric shock, always with wit, intelligence, and a writing style that seems to say “I’m British, and we invented this language.” I love reading Carl’s stuff because he not only writes so well and so memorably—who else is as adroit with ferrets, prostate clinics, and some business about bogs I didn’t quite understand—but because he loves to poke his friends as much as his enemies. Carl delights to skewer. I hereby dub him the King of Kebabs.Read the rest here.
All of Trueman’s erstwhile poking and provocation are on display in his devastating, humorous, much-needed, over the top, occasionally unconvincing new book Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative (P&R Publishing, 110 pp). First off, props (as the kids used to say) to Zach Franzen for the wonderful cover illustration. It’s hard to take your eyes of such a playfully-serious, hoity-toity, blueish-red donkeyphant. Good work P&R.
Loving Christ and not loving the church is like telling a friend that you love him, but you couldn't care less about his wife.
- Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson in Comeback Churches, p. 58-59.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV)
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
If you go to iTunes and download the song “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” ($.99), 100% of the proceeds go to His Voice Global to build a fourth orphanage in Southern Sudan. Sudan is a war-torn country with over 2 million dead, and scores of orphans. Once build, the orphanage will be self-sustained by HVG’s trucking company there.
The song is by Swoope, ft. Lecrae, Tedashii, and Jai. Here’s a new video:
Here is a snippet from CNN on what is going to happen tomorrow (Sunday, January 9, 2011):
Several million people will decide in the next week or so whether to give birth to the world’s newest nation.
They will cast ballots on whether to declare independence at polling stations sprinkled across the vast, flat plains of Southern Sudan, an East African landscape long riven by chaos.
War and famine have ravaged generations in the south for as long as anyone can remember. Fighting forced more people from their homes than in any other nation on earth. Hope remained elusive.
Yet the vote has given many southerners the rare sense of exhilaration that is borne of new beginnings.
From January 9 to January 15, the black Christians and animists in the autonomous region of Southern Sudan will vote on whether to declare independence from a northern government dominated by Arab Muslims. The two sides fought a war that killed 2 million people from 1983 to 2005, when a peace treaty set the stage for the upcoming vote.
Nearly 4 million have registered to cast ballots. Few doubt the outcome. . .
And pray. HVG shares 6 ways to pray on the eve of this historic vote.
Why Christians Go Postal Over Facebook, Jay-Z, Yoga, Avatar, and Culture in GeneralRead the rest here.
It was only last week that the Washington Post asked for my opinion on the New Jersey pastor calling for Christians to stop using Facebook. Had I known what would erupt this week, I might have agreed with him.
The big idea of my Post blog was that Facebook doesn’t cause adultery, people do. Calling for a boycott of Facebook is not the answer because the issue is the heart. Even if someone doesn’t commit adultery because of Facebook, if that sin remains in their heart, they will find another way to act upon it. Sadly, after the story broke, it was revealed that the pastor protesting against Facebook was, in fact, guilty of prior adultery, along with his wife. Of course, their adultery had nothing to do with Facebook, according to the news reports. So, while I pray for the couple to get beyond whatever may be troubling their marriage by God’s grace, it simply confirmed my big idea that sinners are ultimately responsible for sin.
Facebook, like many technologies and cultural phenomena, is an opportunity for my heart and the hearts of others you and I interact with to be revealed and transformed. Funny that this week, a simple comment I made appreciating the talent of Jay-Z generated hundreds and hundreds of comments across multiple threads on my Facebook page. Compare that to nineteen comments on my post regarding a news article about the Christian who is being raped, beaten, and tortured for his faith and needs some people to push for his freedom.
One helpful taxonomy I have used for years to help teach on missiology is as follows:Again, check out the full article here.
· Receive – There are things in culture that are part of God’s common grace to all people that a Christian can simply receive. This is why, for example, I am typing on a Mac and am going to post this blog on the Internet without searching for an expressly Christian computer or communication format.
· Reject – There are things in culture that are sinful and not beneficial. One example is pornography, which has no redeeming value and must be rejected by a Christian.
· Redeem – There are things in culture that are not bad in and of themselves, but can be used in a sinful manner and therefore need to be redeemed by God’s people. An example that has resulted in a great deal of media attention is sexual pleasure. God made our bodies for, among other purposes, sexual pleasure. And, although many have sinned sexually, as Christians we should redeem this great gift and all its joys in the context of marriage.