Where Did You Go?

church at west franklin

I assume all readers of this blog know where and what I have been up to over the past month.

The Lord has led me to be the new Campus and Teaching Pastor at The Church at West Franklin – A Regional Campus of Brentwood Baptist Church.

This past week I started writing articles again. You can find the articles here.

Would love to see you over at the site.

For those of you who faithfully read this blog and consistently gave me gracious encouragement, I could never thank you enough.

He Laughs

“Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac.” Genesis 17:19

Laughter

Our great God loves to laugh. He loves to make people laugh. Not so much in telling jokes or trying to be funny (though I have a pretty good feeling He was a blast to be around the first time He walked the earth as a man), but in doing things that caused amazement.

God loves to do things that are so outside of our realm of reality that all we can do is . . . well, laugh.

That’s exactly what Abraham and Sarah both did – at separate times – when they were told by the Lord that they would give birth to a son. . . through 90 year old Sarah’s womb. They were both well beyond the age of even thinking about children. They had a shelf full of diapers at home, but it wasn’t for a baby. When God told them they would give birth to the “Promised Child,” they did what any of us would do: they laughed.

So what did God do to make them laugh over and over and over again every time they looked at the child? Name the child “he laughs.”

God is so good to His people. He gets glory by putting smiles on our faces as we enjoy and embrace His unbelievable and miraculous grace and love toward us.

For Abraham and Sarah it was a boy who would be the father of the nation of Israel.

For us it is a boy who came to another woman who wasn’t yet able to give birth to a child. I wonder if Mary chuckled when the angel told her she was pregnant with God?

You know you can laugh today, right? Yes. Even today. Regardless of what’s going on. You can laugh. The God who is in charge of everything, who rules the universe, loves you. He has already demonstrated it. Because of what His Son did – died in your place, obeyed fully where you couldn’t, and came out of the tomb alive – you can rest assured (laugh with glee?!) that God is totally and fully for you.

That “good” thing you got going right now – smile. Heck, laugh about it! Give God thanks for His gracious and loving provision.

That “not so good” thing you got going right now – smile. Heck, laugh about that too. The One who rules is working to help you enjoy more of Him.

I believe God loves to laugh. And He really loves to make His children laugh as they shake their head in wonder at His ways.

 

 

By Far, THE Best Article of 2014

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Do yourself a favor. Read this article and ask God to give you the grace and strength to apply it in 2015.

Lighten Up, Christians: God Loves a Good Time” by N.D. Wilson (from Christianity Today)

“Wherever we go, we are the mascots of the gospel, the imagers of the infinitely creative Father, and the younger brothers and sisters of the humbled and triumphant Word. We speak in this world on behalf of the One who made up lightning and snowflakes and eggs.”

Bible Reading Plans for 2015

Beginning Monday (December 29th) and going through the end of the year (today), I want to bring to your attention several ways to help you read through the Bible in 2015. If you click here, you can see a very large list of plans – provided by Justin Taylor. It is where I found these plans and where you can find more traditional Bible reading plans. You can link to several additional plans here from Tim Challies’ blog.

If you have read through the Bible before, I don’t have to tell you how invaluable it is. If you haven’t, I urge you to give it a try. It is hard. It takes discipline. But this is how anything of value usually functions.

The plans I want to highlight for you, I think will help in motivating you to read through the entire Bible in a year. Let me know which one you choose and how things are going throughout the year.

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#3. The Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers.

It takes away the pressure (and guilt) of “keeping up” with the entire Bible in one year. You get variety within the week by alternating genres by day, but also continuity by sticking with one genre each day. Here’s the basic idea:

Sundays: Poetry
Mondays: Penteteuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
Tuesdays: Old Testament history
Wednesdays: Old Testament history
Thursdays: Old Testament prophets
Fridays: New Testament history
Saturdays: New Testament epistles (letters)

 

Bible Reading Plans for 2015

Beginning yesterday and going through the end of the year, I want to bring to your attention several ways to help you read through the Bible in 2015. If you click here, you can see a very large list of plans – provided by Justin Taylor. It is where I found these plans and where you can find more traditional Bible reading plans.

If you have read through the Bible before, I don’t have to tell you how invaluable it is. If you haven’t, I urge you to give it a try. It is hard. It takes discipline. But this is how anything of value usually functions.

The plans I want to highlight for you, I think will help in motivating you to read through the entire Bible in a year. Let me know which one you choose and how things are going throughout the year.

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#2. The KINGDOM Bible Reading Plan

  • Proportionate weight is given to the Old and New Testaments in view of their relative length, the Old receiving three readings per day and the New getting one reading per day.
  • The Old Testament readings follow the arrangement of Jesus’ Bible (Luke 24:44—Law, Prophets, Writings), with one reading coming from each portion per day.
  • In a single year, one reads through Psalms twice and all other biblical books once; the second reading of Psalms (highlighted in gray) supplements the readings through the Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy).
  • Only twenty-five readings are slated per month in order to provide more flexibility in daily devotions.
  • The plan can be started at any time of the year, and if four readings per day are too much, the plan can simply be stretched to two or more years (reading from one, two, or three columns per day).

Bible Reading Plans for 2015

Starting today and going through the end of the year, I want to bring to your attention several ways to help you read through the Bible in 2015. If you click here, you can see a very large list of plans – provided by Justin Taylor. It is where I found these plans.

If you have read through the Bible before, I don’t have to tell you how invaluable it is. If you haven’t, I urge you to give it a try. It is hard. It takes discipline. But this is how anything of value usually functions.

The plans I want to highlight for you, I think will help in motivating you to read through the entire Bible in a year. Let me know which one you choose and how things are going throughout the year.

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#1. The Bible Eater: A Plan for Feasting on Christ

“Here’s how the Bible Eater works:

  • Old Testament: Read 2 to 3 chapters per day and take 4 days off per month. Read 1 to 3 designated one-sitting Old Testament books each quarter.
  • New Testament: Read 1 chapter per day and take 4 days off per month. One gospel is assigned to each quarter and Romans and Hebrews are assigned twice across the year.

Follow this rhythm and you will get through the entire Bible in one year.”

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Books of 2014

If you happened to get an Amazon gift card for Christmas this year, then you will be eager to spend your gleanings on books. You may not like E-books (yet), but – for you “penny pinchers” and “bargain chasers” out there, you can purchase more books electronically than you can the old fashioned way for less money. Fact. And, speaking from experience, E-books are much easier to pack & move if the Lord ever leads you to move from your current location.

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I love seeing what various people have read throughout the year and what they recommend to other geeks like myself. Below is a list of 10 of my favorites from this year. They are in no particular order. If you want a description (sorry I didn’t include one here), click on the link, scroll down a bit, and read the “Book Description” provided by Amazon.

And, by the way, I do NOT endorse or commend every word on every page of the books listed below. They are 10 of my favorites from the year. I think you will enjoy them and/or learn much from them. Read them with a Holy Spirit infused maturity and a biblically Christian worldview perspective. Deal?

What were/are some of your favorites from 2014?

 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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Killing Jesus: A History by Bill O’Reilly

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Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi Unknown-3

 

 

 

 

Ask It: The Question that Will Revolutionize How You Make Decisions by Andy Stanley

 

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The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long for and Echo the Truth (Cultural Renewal) by Mike Cosper

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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

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The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity by Barnabas Piper

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Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung

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Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive by Thom Rainer Unknown-3

 

 

 

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

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