Monday, December 29, 2008

08 great commentaries/reference tools I acquired in '08

Here are some of the commentaries that have been profitable to me this year in preaching and teaching. I have also listed the series in which some of these commentaries are found.
  1. Solomon among the Postmoderns by Peter Leithart (Ecclesiastes)

  2. Luke by Darrell Bock (Baker Exegetical Commentary)

  3. David Garland on 1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary) and 2 Corinthians (New American Commentary)

  4. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament edited by D.A. Carson

  5. Hebrews by William Lane (Word Biblical Commentary)

  6. 2 Timothy by John R.W. Stott (Bible Speaks Today)

  7. Philippians by Peter T. O’Brien (New International Greek Testament Commentary)

  8. Stories with Intent by Klyne Snodgrass (Parables)

Conferences / Churches I attended in '08


Churches (of course, these were only when I was not blessed to be at OBC)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

08 great songs I heard for the first time in '08

Music is often a mixed bag, but here are some songs that were personally helpful and encouraging. Most of the links are iTunes.
  1. Remedy by David Crowder Band

  2. Jesus, Messiah by Chris Tomlin

  3. God of This City by Passion Worship Band

  4. Out of the Depths by Sovereign Grace

  5. Ransomed by Na Band

  6. Alleluia! Sing to Jesus by Lashey and Joyner

  7. Hear the Call of the Kingdom by Keith and Kristin Getty

  8. Speak, O Lord by Keith and Kristin Getty

Saturday, December 27, 2008

08 great books I read in '08

Not in any particular order...
  1. Christless Christianity by Michael Horton - Challenging book that I am still chewing on. I think he is dead on in most of his arguments.

  2. Jesus: Made in America by Stephen Nichols - This was a great read enlightening me as to how our society's perception of Jesus creeps into the church

  3. God at Work by Gene Veith - This gave me an understanding of what God desires from us in our calling and in our occupation.

  4. The Mission of God by Christopher Wright - I love Wright and this gargantuan book made me love God more, love my neighbor more, and understand God's design better.

  5. Created in God’s Image by Anthony Hoekema - This gave me a framework for an understanding of what being made in the image of God is all about.

  6. Whiter than Snow by Paul David Tripp - I read a portion of this almost every Sunday morning.

  7. The Reason for God by Tim Keller - Great apologetics book. Help cement some of my own beliefs in reasonable arguments

  8. Recalling the Hope of Glory by Allen Ross - I discovered my theology and thoughts of worship were way too small when I read this book.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thinking about '08

Over the next few days, I hope to give some things that I believe I will take away from this year. I have found it a fruitful exercise to think through what influences I have been exposed to, what I have read, where I have been, and the work that God has done in my life.

Be on the lookout for a few book lists (do you expect anything less from a book-aholic), a few song lists, a few places/churches, etc., and a few things I am looking forward to in '09.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

1 Corinthians 13 - An Adaptation

An old friend (let me clarify, a friend who is NOT old, but who I have known for a few years) sent this to me. I am not sure who the author is, but it is pretty good.

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style
A True Love Story

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family - I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family - I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family - It profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids or grandkids to get out of the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost; golf clubs will rust, running shoes will wear out. But giving the gift of love will endure—forever!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Your Christmas shopping may be over...

Your Christmas shopping may be over (FYI, mine is NOT!), but I ran across this list of children's books that will help kids in their understanding of the Bible and important biblical concepts. It may be something to put on the shopping list for 2009.

I have several of the books recommended and haven't been disappointed with any of them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, FAQ

Stan and I tried to answer some questions in this article we wrote for our monthly church newsletter.

Every Christmas season, while we give attention to the message of God coming to earth, we also challenge our church to give so that other people may hear that message. We do so through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO), and we thought it would be helpful to answer some frequently asked questions about this emphasis!

What is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering?
The LMCO is an offering used to support Southern Baptist missionaries as they share the Gospel overseas. The offering represents nearly 50 percent of the International Mission Board’s (IMB) total income. In short, 100% of the offering is used to support overseas missionaries and their ministries in other countries.

Who was Lottie Moon?
Lottie Moon was a missionary to China from 1873 to 1912. Throughout her career, Moon wrote numerous letters home urging Southern Baptists to greater missions involvement and support, and her passion has fueled Baptists to love those apart from Christ.

Why give to the International Mission Board?
The basic role of the IMB is to lead and facilitate the international missionary involvement of Southern Baptists in partnership with overseas Baptists and other Christians who are fulfilling the Great Commission. More than 5,900 of the world’s nearly 11,600 people groups continue to live and die in darkness. Among these least reached peoples there are few, if any, Evangelical Christians and no one working to plant new churches. By giving to the LMCO, we can work toward reaching these people.

Who do we know that currently is an IMB missionary?
Mike and Jenny H. are currently serving in this role; sharing the gospel for many years in Africa. A couple of weeks ago Mike shared his heart with our congregation and Jenny is already a familiar figure; having grown up here at Ogletown. They are currently on stateside assignment and we have been blessed to have them here with us. Giving to the LMCO goes to support over 4,000 missionaries like Mike and Jenny.

How much has Ogletown contributed to the LMCO in recent years, and do we have a goal we are trying to reach this year?
In 2006 and 2007, we collected over $25,000 and $17,000, respectively. Our hope is that we would give generously toward a goal of $25,000.

If you have any questions or need more information concerning LMCO, please don’t hesitate to ask us!

So, we are ambassadors

I was reading this in a book called Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp. He is delineating the role of ambassadors and some questions they must ask themselves. Great stuff!

1. The message of the King. An ambassador is always asking, “What does my Lord want to communicate to this person in this situation? What truths should shape my response? What goals should motivate me?

2. The methods of the King. Here I will ask, “How does the Lord bring change in me and in others? How did he respond to people here on earth? What responses are consistent with the goals and resources of the gospel?

3. The character of the King. Here I ask, “Why does the Lord do what he does? How can I faithfully represent the character that motivates his redemption work? What motives in my own heart could hinder what the Lord wants to do in this situation?”

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You know you are loved when...

You know you are loved when on a special day, you walk into your office, and it has been conveniently 'decorated.'

I will resist the urge to make any remark about how much collective hot air must be in the office to fill these balloons. I won't go there!

The reaction that my secretary heard was "Aww man!"

Good times.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Beyond perpetually casual relationships

I think OBC will be hearing much about resources for redemptive relationships in the days to come, but I can recommend two books that have been helpful to me in thinking through the task of removing friendships from the "perpetually casual" status.
Both do a great job at getting to the heart, and explaining Scripture.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

An Ogletown first (at least for me anyway)

What a beautiful morning! For the first time since I came to Ogletown, I had the privilege of driving to church this morning with snow on the ground.

What a beautiful sight, we're happy tonight... Someone ought to write a song about that!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just a little bit off

On the way home tonight, our happy family was listening to a song about David and Solomon.

I hear from Canaan in the back seat, "Solomon was the one who had a bunch of moms from different countries."

Close, Canaan. Really close!