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Thoughts From J.D. Greear

Dear Friends, Not long ago I was given a copy of a book entitled, “Gaining by Losing” by J. D. Greear. Its message may not be what many want to hear, but I believe it is what we (if we are Christian) need to hear. In this excerpt I have chosen to share the first of four things he believes we need to understand, and do, if we love Jesus, and desire to see His Church grow. I have found myself nodding in affirmation often! I would encourage any believer to get a copy and read it. It is insightful, wise, practical and (in my opinion) spot-on. Enjoy. Why the Future Belongs to Churches That Send 1.) Increasingly, in a post-Christian society, unbelievers will simply not make their way into Our churches, no matter how ‘attractive’ we make them. For years, the Western Church has enjoyed a common Christian language with the culture through which we could communicate the gospel. Not everyone went to church, of course, but the bedrock of the culture was Christian. Our primary focus h
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Thoughts From David Chilton

Dear Friends, Today I share an article that I found in a copy of “World Magazine” (May11-18 edition, 1996). It is entitled, “What to Do in a Storm,” and was written by David Chilton. I pass it along for those who may right now be going through a “storm” in their life. I found it insightful, encouraging, God-exalting, and hopeful. I trust that any going through a hard time might as well. Enjoy. “May is a big month for big springtime storms: Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash floods can and do strike with frightening speed. And those caught in such inclement weather can just as quickly feel helpless, on their own. The gospels record several times when Jesus seemingly left his disciples “on their own,” without any immediate visible assistance from himself. On one such occasion he sent them straight into a storm, while he went away by himself to pray. Both Matthew and Mark record that Jesus was not polite about it – he made them go

Thoughts on the Assurance of Salvation

Dear Friends, As a pastor one of the recurring questions I am asked is, “How can I truly know I’m saved?” The question is usually followed by things the person sees as evidence that they may not be. They tell me of trials they are going through, slip-ups they’ve made, doubts they have, a lack of joy, a loss of spiritual passion, and so on… Therefore, knowing it is a common question or concern, I offer two “thoughts” that speak to this issue. The first comes from Thomas Watson, in his book “A Body of Divinity” written in 1660 (I have updated the language). The second is taken from Tim Challies blog entry from Oct. 28, 2018 entitled “Eight Ways Satan Tempts You to Question Your Salvation” (I share only the first three, but you can always hop on the web and check out the last 5 if you should so desire)! Enjoy. When a True Christian Lacks Assurance of Salvation The Puritan Thomas Watson addresses what the believer needs to remember when he or she lacks assura

Thoughts That Made Me Think

Dear Friends, One of my goals in sending these “thoughts” out is to give people food for thought. Not so much “answers,” since answers are not always what people need. But material that will get you to think. Jesus did that through His common tactic of asking questions which would get the listener to think about things from a different perspective. God’s perspective, of course, rather than the generally accepted religious or cultural perspective. This week’s “thoughts” fall into that category. Certain people speak of things in a way that gives us cause to pause, and think, and sometimes (after contemplating their words) nod in agreement, wondering why we’d never thought of it that way before! These are just a few that I ran across. In fact, I’d love to hear back from you if any get you to think about things in a slightly different way. Enjoy. “The most qualified to speak the gospel are those who truly know how unqualified they are to speak the gospel.”

Thoughts On Prayer

Dear Friends, I wanted to take this occasion to say I hope you all had a blessed Christmas observance (despite what was for many here in the U.S. a frigid weekend). I also wanted to take this occasion to wish you the best in the upcoming year. In fact, my "thought" for today is sent with the hope that it might guide you in the year to come. It includes four separate helpful insights on prayer that I have found extremely beneficial and have frequently shared with others. People often struggle with prayer if they pray and then forget about it until the next scheduled time of prayer. That's where these thoughts by Brother Lawrence, Jonathan Edwards, William H. Hewitson, and Andrew Bonar are helpful. Enjoy. "The most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speakin

Thoughts From Chicken Soup For the Teenage Soul

Dear Friends, I was cleaning out some books this week and came across one entitled, "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul." My tendency was to put it in the giveaway box. It's not that they don't have some good stories, but sometimes the constant need to have them always be (to use the line from a local radio station) "Positive and Uplifting" can seem a bit out of touch with life in this world . And out of touch with life as found in the Bible (Matthew 14:1-12 / Acts 7:54-8:1 / Acts 12:1-3 / II Cor. 1:8-10 ...). We obviously don't need everything to be "Negative and Depressing"! Yet, isn't the life of faith one that helps us face, endure, learn from, come to grips with, or overcome such things. Then I noticed the last part of the title: "Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned." That's when I decided to rethink my decision and give the book another chance -- and I'm gla

Thoughts From Bible Study Magazine

Dear Friends, Today’s related “thoughts” are for those who are a bit more inquisitive. For those who like to do more than just scratch the surface. For those who enjoy trying to figure out a puzzle. So, yes, I know they are not for everyone. But I do wish everyone would take the time to read them over! After all, if nothing else, it would help you understand what your pastor goes through every Sunday when trying to put together a sermon! Both entries come from, “Bible Study Magazine” (Logos, Nov. / Dec. 2022, Vol. 15, No. 1) which I received (unsolicited) in the mail today. The first selection is entitled, What was Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh?” by Murray J. Harris. The second is entitled, How To Deal with Inspired Ambiguities in the New Testament, by Nathaniel J. Erickson. They are both excellent articles which I only cite in part - meaning that if you want to look at the complete articles (and other helpful ones as well) you will need to get a copy of your own! Enjoy. J