• Books,  Pastoring

    To Love Those To Whom We Preach

    I am absolutely loving the 40th Anniversary edition of Preaching and Preachers, by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. His writing is passionate, clear, and helpful for anyone considering or engaged in the task of preaching. That’s not to say I wouldn’t quibble here and there – his comments on lay preaching (pp.113ff), for example – but overall, I’ve definitely benefited from considering the task of preaching and pastoring through this shepherd’s eyes. As he begins to deal with the act of preaching, and what sort of character and attitudes should go into it, I was particularly struck by “urgency”. This is an area where I can certainly grow, allowing the message to both…

  • Books,  Pastoring

    On Pastoring – Guard The Bank

    Lately, I’ve been reading On Pastoring by H.B. Charles, Jr. a few minutes each day. It has short, powerful and incisive chapters that are perfect for quick reads while waiting for other things to complete. In any case, the following from yesterday caught my attention: A new pastor began his ministry with the key leaders of the church board. The church board members introduced themselves and told the new pastor about their area of ministry. Each department leader proceeded to tell him what was expected of him, stressing the importance of their department, and making it clear that the kingdom of heaven was at hand only if the pastor devoted…

  • Books,  Language

    A Little Bit of Written Dari

    This afternoon I completed lessons one and two in Beginner’s Dari (Hippocrene’s Beginner Series). I had to stop after lesson 2, as my hand was cramping up. There is a learning curve, and the group of letters jeem, che, he and khe were causing me a bit of difficulty to execute with any sort of similarity to their printed beauty. Then again, I think my green Sarasa pen does add a certain je ne sais quoi to the study of Dari. Lesson one covered only one letter, aleph. Lesson two, as you can see above, covered two groups of similar looking letters. The first set was be, pe, te and…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  News

    Back From The Mountains – Ezekiel Edition

    Coming back from Banner Elk, NC this evening, I found the textbooks for my next class on my doorstep. Starting in April I am taking Hebrew Exegesis of Ezekiel at SBTS. It will be a continuation of the study in Hebrew I have done since last fall. Unfortunately, “on my doorstep” means it encountered some of today’s rain. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia was unscathed, wrapped in a layer of thin but protective plastic. Ezekiel was not so fortunate, and has a number of splotches of water damage, mostly confined to the back cover. This post has been rather difficult, as my computer is giving me issues, stemming from a battery failure…

  • Theology

    You are a new creation: avoiding help that is no help at all

    If you treasure Jesus and long to follow him better, then can I make a blunt request? Avoid the teaching of Steven Furtick and Elevation Church. Why so direct, today? This was in my feed over lunch break: Besides the preaching of the local body of Christ, there are a lot of great resources out there for building our faith, extending our understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and disciple one another towards Jesus. There are simply too many good resources to take in even a snack-diet of Furtick’s brand of false teaching. Maybe these words are just unfortunate. But I can’t wrap my head…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  News,  Parenting

    Sabbatical Progress – Week 2

    Continuing what I began last week, I wanted to give you a little taste of what sabbatical has involved this week. Still a bunch of reading, but other stuff, too! God has been speaking through it all, answering prayers for wisdom and understanding, while at the same time challenging me in areas that I haven’t fully considered or in some ways hadn’t dared to consider. I’ve continued to keep ahead with my Hebrew work. I’m really enjoying Hebrew! The approach taken by the author (the professor) is quite engaging. The workbook is really helpful for cementing ideas after doing the memory work. I continue to make daily progress on 6…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  Language,  News,  Theology

    Sabbatical Progress – Week 1

    So, today was the first Sunday of my September sabbatical. It’s been a restful time so far, and that time has also been put to some good use! Thought I’d stop a moment each Sunday and consider the week. Primarily, this is a help to me, helping me remember what God is doing. So, for starters, there has been a bunch of prayer. Prayer for my local church, prayer for my wife and kids, prayer for direction. Especially, I’ve been in prayer asking God to raise up leaders and servants, and to provide opportunities for purposeful discipleship. I actually jump-started my sabbatical finishing one of my first reading goals. The…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  Theology

    Old Testament Wanderings: Worship, Personal Choice, and Vanity

    In my last class, I picked up 6 Ways The Old Testament Speaks Today by Alec Motyer. It was meant as a book the student could read and review for extra credit. I fully intended, though I had no need ultimately, to do the extra credit. But, my failure to plan my time then means I have a great book now that I can use devotionally for a much more leisurely paced venture. Each of the main chapters addresses a particular “voice” in the Old Testament. They begin with a summary of the idea, then 6 days of bible readings and discussion, plus more readings in the back of the…