Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Follow Up to Post Last Week Regarding the Southern Baptist Convention

Last week, I linked to a sermon preached by Dr. Danny Akin. The sermon was entitled "Axioms of a Great Commission Resurgence." Since then, a web-site has been created called The Great Commission Resurgence. Click here and it will take you directly to the site. On it, you can view the message Dr. Akin preached, read through the axioms, and even sign a declaration claiming you agree and support the axioms, hoping for a Great Commission Resurgence within the SBC. I recommend anyone who is involved in any way whatsoever to go to the site, prayerfully read through the axioms, and sign on as you feel led of the Lord.

A Christian Response to the Swine Flu Outbreak Discussion

Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, posts some very helpful insights as to how to respond to the Swine Flu outbreak in a blog he penned this morning. You can go there directly and read what he has to say by clicking here.

Also, yesterday, it was the topic of his daily (weekday) radio show. Click here to listen and/or download.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Gospel Coalition Audio

The week in Chicago, Ill. thousands of pastors and church leaders met as part of what has become known as The Gospel Coalition (TGC).

You can go directly to the TGC website here.

Tim Challies, who attended in order to get a better understanding of what TGC is, wrote a two-part article to help us understand the what and the why of it. You can read those articles by clicking here for part 1 and here for part 2.

I just found that the audio of the conference is posted. You can go there by clicking here. I had the opportunity to hear John Piper's message yesterday. Outstanding message!

I cannot say that I agree with absolutely everything TGC stands for. But what attracts me to it and what I love about it is its commitment to the Gospel and keeping it central in all things for the glory of our great God. Anything that works to that end grabs my attention.

Practical Atheism

I am subscriber to World magazine, a news magazine written from a conservative and Christian perspective. I highly recommend it. If you order it today, by the way, they throw in a free ESV Study Bible! Click here for more details.

This week's edition (actually, it is a bi-weekly magazine) contains an article by Tony Woodlief entitled "Practical Atheism." You can link straight to the article here. World allows a few of their articles to be read on-line. I encourage anyone to read it. My favorite quote was found in the last three sentences:

"I don't know if practical atheism afflicts you, but I slip into it every day. Surveys tell us more people are forgoing the Christian label. What ought to concern us is how many--perhaps most of all ourselves--are willing to keep the label without fully living the life it requires."


Oh God, may you burden me and set be ablaze to not be just called a Christian...but actually be what a biblical Christian is to be!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Check Out This Picture Made in Space!

Click here and view the picture called "The Hand of God."

Proud to Be a Southern Baptist!

Dr. Danny Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Durham, North Carolina preached an outstanding message yesterday in the chapel service there at the seminary.

Listening to it made me proud and excited about being a Southern Baptist again! I am grateful to Dr. Akin and his leadership in and for our convention. May many Southern Baptist's hear this message and give heed to what Dr. Akin calls us to.

Click here (or above on the sermon title) and it will take you to the page with chapel messages. Scroll down to listen and/or download the message from April 16th, 2009.

The 12 Axioms Dr. Akin Listed Were:

I. We must commit ourselves to the total and absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives (Col 3:16, 17, 23-24).

II. We must be gospel centered in all our endeavors for the glory of God (Rom 1:16).

III. We must take our stand on the firm foundation of the inerrant and infallible Word of God affirming it's sufficiency in all matters (Matt 5:17-18; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

IV. We must devote ourselves to a radical pursuit of the Great Commission in the context of obeying the Great Commandments (Matt 28:16-20; 22:37-40).

V. We must affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a healthy and sufficient guide for building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel, refusing to be sidetracked by theological agendas that distract us from our Lord's Commission (1 Tim 6:3-4).

VI. We must dedicate ourselves to a passionate pursuit of the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus across our nation and to all nations answering the call to go, disciple, baptize and teach all that the Lord commanded (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; Rom 1:5; 15:20).

VII. We must covenant to build gospel saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field (Deut 6:1-9; Psalm 127; 128; Eph 6:4).

VIII. We must recognize the need to rethink our Convention structure and identity so that we maximize our energy and resources for the fulfilling of the Great Commission (1 Cor 10:31).

IX. We must see the necessity for pastors to be faithful Bible preachers who teach us both the content of the Scriptures and the theology embedded in the Scriptures (2 Tim 4:1-5).

X. We must encourage pastors to see themselves as the head of a gospel missions agency who will lead the way in calling out the called for international assignments but also equip and train all their people to see themselves as missionaries for Jesus regardless of where they live (Eph 4:11-16).

XI. We must pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that is gospel centered and built around a biblical and theological core and not methodological consensus or agreement (Phil 2:1-5; 4:2-9).

XII. We must accept our constant need to humble ourselves and repent of pride, arrogance, jealousy, hatred, contentions, lying, selfish ambitions, laziness, complacency, idolatries and other sins of the flesh; pleading with our Lord to do what only He can do in us and through us and all for His glory (Gal 5:22-26; James 4:1-10).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Very Insightful Article on Motherhood out of Louisville, KY

I thought this was extremely interesting. Click on this link and read this article from Monday's edition of The Courier Journal newspaper in Louisville, KY.
I would love to read your comments on this.

Mohler on Manhood

This morning on my run I listened to Monday's edition of the Albert Mohler Radio Program. It was a very interesting conversation about biblical boyhood and manhood and the need to recover the biblical understanding of it.

If you click here you can listen or downoad the broadcast for yourself. You can also link to his 13 Marks of Manhood which I am helped by and agree with totally. Read through what he says for yourself, but below are the 13 Marks.

1. Spiritual Maturity sufficient to lead a wife and children.

2. Personal Maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father.

3. Economic Maturity sufficient to hold an adult job and handle money.

4. Physical Maturity sufficient to work and protect a family.

5. Sexual Maturity sufficient to marry and fulfill God's purposes.

6. Moral Maturity sufficient to lead as an example of righteousness.

7. Ethical Maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions.

8. Worldview Maturity sufficient to understand what is really important.

9. Relational Maturity sufficient to understand and respect others.

10. Social Maturity sufficient to make a contribution to society.

11. Verbal Maturity sufficient enought to communicate and articulate as a man.

12. Character Maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire.

13. Biblical Maturity sufficient to lead at some level in the church.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Friday...But Sunday's Comin'

Another great video and manuscript posted by Justin Taylor.

Again, Dr. S.M. Lockridge does the speaking and the video images are compelling.

What a Savior!

If You Are Married OR Want to Be Married...

Rebecca Grace from AFA recently interviewed Paul Tripp. Very insightful. Below is a sample quote from the interview to whet your appetite:

AFAJ: Since marriage is war, why is it worth it?

PT: I’m more and more persuaded as I study Scripture that my life is intended by God to be a community project. We were designed to live in community – first, community with God and second, community with other people. We were formed to be social beings, and all of the places where I need to grow and change – the development of my gifts, my understanding, my wisdom – doesn’t happen individually. It happens in community. In addition, one of God’s best tools for revealing and changing hearts is marriage. So it’s [through community, marriage and family] that I actually become more of what God has designed me to be. You could argue that, in God’s design, the fundamental social building block of human culture is marriage. Isn’t it interesting that the marriage relationship is the picture that God uses of His relationship to us?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"That's My King" Video

Several of you have asked me where we got the introduction video to our Easter services today. While you can probably find it somewhere on the internet, we had to pay for it through an internet company for copyright purposes and such. However, I did find a link to another version of the video on Justin Taylor's blogsite. The words and music are the same, but the images are all from The Passion of the Christ.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The 'Passion' Week of Jesus - Post #6 and Post #7

I will go ahead and include a heavy dose of reading for both today and tomorrow. I know I will be extremely busy in the morning and will not have time to post. It might be good to go ahead and read through the resurrection accounts today, tonight, or early tomorrow morning to have your heart excited to celebrate!

Friday, April 10, 2009

John Piper Has a Conversation With Death on Good Friday

Hello, Death, my old enemy. My old slave-master. Have you come to talk to me again? To frighten me?

I am not the person you think I am. I am not the one you used to talk to. Something has happened. Let me ask you a question, Death.

Where is your sting?

DEATH, sneeringly:
My sting is your sin.

I know that, Death. But that’s not what I asked you. I asked, where is your sting? I know what it is.
But tell me where it is.
Why are you fidgeting, Death? Why are you looking away? Why are you turning to go? Wait, Death, you have not answered my question.

Where is your sting?

Where is, my sin?What? You have no answer? But, Death, why do you have no answer? How will you terrify me, if you have no answer?

O Death, I will tell you the answer. Where is your sting? Where is my sin? It is hanging on that tree. God made Christ to be sin—my sin. When he died, the penalty of my sin was paid. The power of it was broken. I bear it no more.Farewell, Death. You need not show up here again to frighten me. God will tell you when to come next time. And when you come, you will be his servant. For me, you will have no sting.

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)

From Piper's Blog

Helps to Meditate More on Good Friday

Justin Taylor has provided some helpful quotes and comments to center our attention on the greatest event that has ever or will ever take place in history.

Click here, here, here, and/or here.

The 'Passion' Week of Jesus - Post #5 (Good Friday!)

Read and tremble...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Christians and Cremation

Russell Moore wrote a interesting article Christianity Today on how Christians should view cremation. Click here to read. I would love to hear anyone's perspective and thoughts on what he has written.

Link to a Chart to Follow the Biblical Account of the 'Passion' of Jesus

Justin Taylor posted a helpful link to a chart giving the passages and the days things occurred during Jesus' final days.

God's Timing is Impeccable!

How marvelous that this discovery in the universe would come out this week!

Click here and check this out.

The 'Passion' Week of Jesus - Post #3 & Post #4

So sorry. Time got away from me yesterday. Consider the Scriptures below to be a combination of yesterday's and today's readings. Again, my apologies. However, enjoy reading about the greatest week in the history of the world! I know this is a lot of reading, but don't forget the richness of it and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read and meditate.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Great Easter Idea for Those with Small Kids

Abraham Piper has posted a great idea on how to tell the Easter story to children using playdough. Click here and get to playing!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One Shining Moment

Okay, I am not a Carolina fan by a long shot. In fact, as an avid Duke basketball fan (due to Auburn normally being so pitiful) I really cannot stand the North Carolina Tarheels. However, I found this picture on CBS very interesting. If you will look carefully, someone is holding up a poster in the back. I am assuming the top part of the yellow poster (which is cut out of the shot) says JOHN. This would mean the poster is referencing JOHN 3:16. What I love about it it is the celebration that is happening with that in the background. Granted, Carolina's players and coaches are celebrating their National Championship victory. But isn't it a reminder that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Oh may the world today read John 3:16 and be saved.

The 'Passion' Week of Jesus - Post #2

Monday, April 6, 2009

The 'Passion' Week of Jesus - Post #1

Everyday this week I plan to post some Scriptures to read so as to further think through the last week of Jesus' life here on the earth (prior to His crucifixion and resurrection). For anyone who takes time to read through and think through and ponder the texts, I would love to hear how the Lord speaks to you from His Word.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Follow Me and WBC on Twitter!

I have no idea what Twitter is, nor exactly how to describe it, but so far it is pretty fun stuff!

Click here and start your own (free!) account and follow me, Bro. Mark, Lisa Love, WBC, and other WBC Twitterers!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Saddleback's (Rick Warren's) Attempt to Repeat Pentecost

Please someone tell me that this is (click here) somewhat risky, if not wrong. Or, please shed some light on why this might be a good thing. I would love to hear from any of you on this.

Tips and Strategies to Help Memorize More of the Bible

I came across these 18 tips/strategies for memorizing Scripture the other day. Most all of them seemed helpful. Click here to go directly where I found them.

1. Read it repeatedly. Did you know you can memorize Scripture during your morning devotion? Instead of zipping through your reading for the day, pause and camp on one verse for a long time. You won’t regret it.

2. Pay attention. Sounds obvious, but often ignored. Simply forcing yourself to be aware of what you are reading can help you internalize the words. Repetition will make the mind wander. What you have to do is bring it back.

3. Visualize what you are reading. Take Psalm 1:1 for example. “Blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked nor stand in the way of the sinner nor sit in the seat of the mocker.” Your first tasks is to see the three actions here: walking, standing and sitting. If you can see the three main actions, then you can start to memorize the surrounding words.

4. Create anchor words. In the above example, your anchor words are “walking,” “standing” and “seating.” In Colossians 1:15, my anchor words are image, invisible and firstborn. Whenever I get lost while reciting a passage I look for my anchor words to orient myself.

5. Recognize patterns. In Psalm 1:1, after the first line, the next three sentences follow this pattern: a verb, a noun and a modifier. Think of each of these as a bucket you drop the appropriate word into.

6. Start with the easy. Now, some passages are easier to remember than others. Psalm 1, easy. A page from Romans, hard. On your first effort at memorizing large chunks of Scriptures, don’t tackle Romans. Build some confidence first by memorizing Psalm 1 or the Sermon on the Mount.

7. Stagger. Sorry, not like you were drunk. What I mean is memorize an easy passage then a hard passage then an easy. Give your brain a break. This way you’ll avoid burnout.

8. Build memorable associations. If you want to remember difficult section of scripture like Romans 1:18-20, it helps to imagine God hovering like a brooding mountain over the world to represent all three verses. This is a robust picture hard to forget.

9. Anchor memorable associations in chapters. These rich word pictures can also help you when you’re trying to memorize entire chapters of the Bible. They orient you on a larger scale.

10. Cheat a little. Once you’ve absorbed a hunk of Scripture, don’t be afraid to keep a sheet of paper nearby with keywords or section headings to help you out when you need a reminder.

11. Narrate. Sometimes it helps to describe in your own words what you are trying to memorize. This will also help you build memorable associations, spot keywords and develop anchor words.

12. Stick to a ritual. I find it easier to memorize Scripture in my car–I have a long commute–and before I sleep. Especially early on in the process of memorizing, I can’t remember my passage as easily anywhere else except these places. So, until I gain more confidence, I stick to this ritual.

13. Sing it. Try opera. Or a musical. The point is to be dramatic. As if you were in a play. [This is my favorite trick, by the way.]

14. Try mnemonic devices. Many of us learned ROY G BIV to remember the colors of the rainbow. Make up your own device to memorize anchor words or more. In Psalm 1:1, your device would be WSS, or walk, stand and sit.

15. Enlist your body. If mnemonic devices aren’t your cup of tea, use body parts. Classic example of this is Ephesians 6:10-18, the armor of God. Waist, chest, feet, forearm and head complete the armor and can help you navigate through this lengthy passage.

16. Repeat the alphabet. Say you just can’t remember that big word in 1 John 2:2. Run through your ABCs. When you get to P, it should trigger the word escaping you: propitiation.

17. Type it. One way to memorize something like John 1:1-3 is to type it into your computer. Not once. Not twice. But ten times. Maybe more. Your call.

18. Hear it. After you’ve typed it, next, read it aloud and record it. Then listen to the recording several times.

Don’t forget: As you work on memorizing, turn off the TV, unplug your iPod and shut down your computer. You’ll retain more.

Every Believer a Witness Training Revival

For those of you who attended the "Every Believer a Witness" Training Revival this week, I don't have to tell you what a wonderful blessing it was to our church. God used Dennis Nunn to encourage us, challenge us, convict us, bless us, and equip us to be better "Gospel Sharers" where we are. In a nutshell, we learned three basic ways to be witnesses here in Wynne (and Jonesboro and Forrest City and Earle and Parkin and Marion and Harrisburg and Little Rock and Memphis):

1. Share our story with others.

- Our lives before Christ

- How we came to faith in Christ - Don't forget to tell/share the GOSPEL!!!

- Our lives since Christ

2. Pass out tracts at every and any opportunity.

3. Pray for our servers at restaurants.

As the pastor of this church, I consider it my full responsibility to make sure this is at the frontburner of everything we do here. I want us to always be talking with others about Jesus and I want us to always be talking with each other about who we talked to and who we have led to faith in Christ. Let's be intentional about it!

Dennis Nunn and Living the New Life Ministries has a website. I encourage you to go and check it out. I encourage you to pray for he and his ministry. You can go there directly by clicking here.

I look forward to hearing the stories of your encounters in the days to come!