Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Good News for Weary Women - 3 Questions with Elyse Fitzpatrick

I'm very grateful for the work and ministry of Elyse Fitzpatrick.  Our Elders have been helped as she encourages readers to Counsel From The Cross.  As I'm preaching through Romans, her devotional book has brought great Gospel vision to my understanding of God's heart.  Her latest book Good News for Weary Women helps women find hope in the liberating message of the Gospel.  I had the chance to ask Elyse three questions about her latest book and here's how she answered...

1) When you are writing for weary women, who are the women you anticipate serving through this particular project?

"In writing to weary women I primarily anticipate serving women who are serious about their faith and who listen very carefully when they hear messages about what they should be doing to fulfill what they believe is their calling. Of course, women who are not terribly concerned about what God wants them to do are weary also, but they aren't my primary audience. And yes, of course, they need to know about the good news of God's love for them in Christ, but they aren't my principle audience."

2) How can even good, religious activity slowly drive women into a state of weariness (why do church-going women need the Gospel message)?

"Women who go to church are inundated with the message of "do more, try harder," and although there are commands they should heed in the Bible, what they are to do is not the foremost message of the Bible. The foremost message of the Bible is what Jesus has already done for them. Unfortunately, many women have been taught (and we all by nature believe) that what we need are the three secret steps to happiness, so we listen carefully hoping to find the secret keys that will unlock a life of contented bliss. We know and acknowledge the gospel, but we think it's for unsaved folks and beginners. We think we've matured past it...and it's that deception that wears us out."

3) What is the good news for weary women?

"The good news for weary women is that Jesus, in His incarnation, sinless life, shameful death, bodily resurrection and ascension has done everything that needed to be done for his daughters, and that we can rest in this work He's done and serve our neighbor out of the love that has already been bestowed on us. The good news is that we can finally stop looking at ourselves, seeing if we measure up, and begin to look at Him, knowing that He measured up in our place."

So, I hope this post and these questions help to deepen your longing for the message of first importance - the glorious Gospel.  And, I hope you'll take advantage of this amazing resource, Good News for Weary Women, and find encouragement through Elyse's message.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Anniversary Week

10 Years!  This week, Meg and I celebrate 10 years of marriage.  Seems like only yesterday, the main application of any teaching I had was how this related to me finding a wife.  Now, I'm happily married (still!) and have been blessed with 4 children.  It's been a crazy 10 years with plenty of ups and downs, good times and bad, but it's been a blast.

Part of what makes the long term direction of marriage so difficult is due to selfishness.  So much of life turns on what we want as individuals.  God's graciously wired marriage to be such a thing that selfishness will be exposed rather quickly.  Want to veg in front of a TV for long hours?  You'll probably hear about it from your wife.  Want to burn every weekend doing what you alone want to do?  Gradually distance can be created in your relationship with your spouse.  Be on guard against selfishness -- it's actively working to undo what God's done.

After all, what most of us remember about our wedding days is being so confident that God is the one who's the great Matchmaker.  He's the one who's brought us to that spouse.  He's the one who worked this out.  And, because this is something God has done, we shouldn't work to separate it.  Yet, it can be so easy to do that.  It can be so easy to turn inward and do what I want at the expense of what God wants for me.

So, this week, I, for one, am praising God that He's continually working in me to help me die to myself.  And, one principle way He's working to do this is through marriage.  Meg is a divine tool from a loving God to shape me into His image.  It's because this is true that marriage is a good thing.  I'm blessed to continue riding these waves.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekend Recap - God's Salvation

My 8/17/14AM sermon, God's Salvation from Romans 9:6-13, is now online.  My aim was to wow everyone with God and His amazingly gracious saving acts towards those who don't deserve them.  We all need God's salvation, He acts to save and it's not based on our merit.  I'm hoping you had a great Lord's Day exalting Christ.  Have a great week.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekend Recap - Religious Unbeliever

My 8/10/14AM sermon, Religious Unbeliever from Romans 9:1-5, is now online.  This sermon sought to explain how relating to God by faith in Christ is the greatest pursuit of your life, even over and above any religious privilege.  This is also the passage that many in Crestview will be studying as they review this sermon tonight in Small Groups (Romans 9:1-5 Talksheet).  I'm hoping this sermon not only helps promote faith in Jesus, who is God over all and blessed forever, but fires your heart of love for unbelievers.  Blessings.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Weekend Preview - Making Assumptions

I came across this cartoon that relates to the passage we will look at this coming Sunday:

Making assumptions can be a dangerous thing.  This is certainly true for religious people.  Join us this Sunday as we continue to explore the book of Romans and see some assumptions people made that clouded reality.

And, while you're at it, maybe read this week's passage, Romans 9:1-5.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Weekend Recap - Unbreakable Security

My 8/3/14AM sermon, Unbreakable Security from Romans 8:31-39, is now online.  The sermon sought to simply ground all people in the unbreakable secure, life-giving foundation that we have in Jesus Christ our Lord.  This passage was stirring and moving and personally encouraging, that no matter what face in life, we have hope.  So, grab this sermon and find encouragement through it.  And, if you were at Crestview this morning, what was the effect of this sermon on your life?

Hope you have a great week.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How We Change?

Or, specifically, how we can be sanctified or holy:

"If we would be sanctified, our course is clear and plain--we must begin with Christ.  We must go to Him as sinners, with no plea but that of utter need, and cast our souls on Him by faith...If we would grow in holiness and become more sanctified, we must continually go on as we began, and be ever making fresh applications to Christ."  -- J.C. Ryle in You Can Change by Tim Chester (p.44)

Chester helpfully summarizes this as "We become Christians by faith in Jesus, we stay Christians by faith in Jesus and we grow as Christians by faith in Jesus."

Today, if there's something in your life you'd like to change ever and only look to Jesus for help.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Recap - Suffering To Glory

My 7/27/14AM sermon, Suffering to Glory from Romans 8:17-30 is now online.  All around us we see that the most precious, most beautiful things come at a cost.  It shouldn't surprise us, therefore, that on the believer's march to glory, we see suffering.  This sermon was an attempt to give confidence and assurance to those who walk this path, that God may extend the grace needed for this journey to people through His Word.  I hope it's encouraging to you.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Will You Pray for Our Team?

A team from our church is starting a week long ministry among the Navajo peoples at Immanuel Mission in NE Arizona this week.  The part of Arizona their in is called Sweetwater.  Our missions vision is fraught with water imagery.  We know God is at work in the midst of this.  We developed this guide to pray for them and distributed it this morning.  Will you join me in taking time to pray for our time.

Our Missions Committee's Blog: CBCH2GO
Twitter: CBCH2GO
Facebook: CBCH2GO

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Recap - Real Life

My 7/20/14AM sermon, Real Life from Romans 8:1-17, is now online.  Romans 8 is a high point in the Bible and I did my best to summarize the main themes and thrusts of this section.  God is holding out real life to us in the Gospel.  This means we live free, have hope and are adopted.  I hope this sermon encourages you and I hope you had a productive Lord's Day.

Monday, July 14, 2014

VBS Has Begun

So VBS began last night.  We are using Lifeway's Agency D3 full of secret agents and investigations so I tried to dress the part of the spy.  Unfortunately, here's what most adults saw:

I suggested my name is Special Agent Elwood.  Oh, well.  We had a great night to start and are hoping for a great week.  Matter of fact, why not take a moment and pray for our week right now.

Weekend Recap - Law and Sin

My 7/13/14AM sermon, Law and Sin from Romans 7:7-25 is now online.  We don't like God's Word to do the work of exposing the sham of our lives, so we try and discount what the Bible says.  However, as this passage shows, the law was meant to make us aware of how separated we are from God so that we might flee from sin and run to our Rescuer.  This sermon sought to wrestle in these realities.  I hope it helps you and encourages your living in this world.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Weekend Recap - Married To Christ

My 7/6/14AM sermon entitled Married to Christ from Romans 7:1-6 is now online.  It was great to be back in the pulpit after some time of vacation with my family.  My sermon picked up my exposition of Romans where I left off before vacation.  Paul's point in the early parts of Romans 7 is that we're all married to something (either the law or gospel) and only one leads to life.  I hope you'll listen and be encouraged to explore the depths of what the Gospel has done for you.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The "Backstory" of Your Call To Holiness

From the Gospel Transformation Bible on Romans 6:20-23:

These brief verses give the “backstory” of the sanctification promised in the preceding verses. Before the gospel is received, sin has the upper hand (v. 20). There is no way out, and deep down we sense this (v.21). The gospel makes God our Master, produces his fruit in our lives, and sets us on course for the age to come (“eternal life”; v. 22). We do not dread sin’s bitter payoff. There is rejoicing in God’s “free gift” (v. 23). All is of grace.

This is part of a section of Scripture we'll be exploring this coming Sunday.  I hope you come thirsty for more...

PSA on Driving and Flooded Roads

From a good friend with an eye on these type of things:

There are a half dozen roads that are closed in Reno County now due to high water.  I know there are also roads closed in Rice County.  The projections I have are that the water will go down for the next several days, but we are expecting some more rain this weekend I believe.

Last time we experienced flooding, there were a half a dozen water rescues that had to be done in Reno County because people thought they could drive through it.  I believe all but one of the drivers was from Reno County.

10 Things to Know about Flood Safety

Flooding can occur as streams and rivers overflow their banks, when dams or levees break, with run-off from deep snow cover, or any time there is rainfall with significant duration and intensity.
Keep these facts in mind to stay alive and dry.
  1. Flash floods can come rapidly and unexpectedly. They can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, or when a dam or levee fails and even a sudden release of water held by an ice or debris jam. Be cautious during storm seasons, or any time that flooding is common in your area.
  2. You may not have warning that a flash flood is approaching.
  3. Do not drive unless absolutely necessary.
  4. Do not drive through flooded areas. If you see a flooded-out road ahead, turn around. Find another route to your destination.
  5. If there is no other route, get to higher ground and wait for the waters to subside.
  6. Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, don't try it. Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water. Flooding can scour away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground beneath.
  7. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
  8. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.
  9. One foot of water will float almost many vehicles.
  10. Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles — including SUVs and pick-ups.

Sources: FEMA.gov, NOAA.gov