Monday, January 31, 2011

My Week...in Minneapolis, MN for Storm of 2011 and...

...the 2011 Desiring God Pastor's Conference:
Traveled here yesterday with men from the church. With the big storm coming, we drove straight through and ended up getting in around 12:45AM today. Got into the hotel and slept pretty well. Today, we will have the conference later today, but at Noon, we are meeting with one of our church's supported missionaries.

If you think of us, pray that God would encourage us as we think about being people of prayer and leading Crestview in this regard.

Weekend Recap - Baptism/Lord's Supper

Recapping yesterday, we had a great AM Celebrating the Gospel, observing baptism and the Lord's Supper. I don't know about you, but hearing testimony of God's Work to save some was very encouraging. And then, capping that off by coming together to the Lord's table was a great blessing.

Then, in the evening, we had a great time of Corporate Prayer, specifically using Psalm 30 in our prayers for mission trips/teams, college students, and pregnancies.

I hope as we move into this week that you are encouraged because of the amazing message of the Gospel.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Responding to Criticism...

Speaking of criticism, CJ Mahaney introduced a helpful series yesterday on The Pastor and Personal Criticism. He writes of
...many reasons why we can expect criticism:

* A pastor can expect criticism because of his own sin, which will inevitably be present in his heart and service, no matter how mature or well meaning he is (James 3:2).
* A pastor can expect criticism because there are limitations to his gifting, meaning there will always be weaknesses in his leadership.
* A pastor can expect criticism because we often preach below-average sermons. (After one sermon, a guy asked me, “So where do you work during the week?” My sermon apparently gave him the impression that preaching wasn’t my vocation.)
* A pastor can expect criticism because people can be proud and ungrateful.
* A pastor can expect criticism because, well, it is a sinful and fallen world.

But we as pastors often forget one more important reason:

* A pastor can expect criticism because it is part of God’s sanctification process—a tool that he uses to reveal idols and accelerate the pastor’s growth in humility.
Read and be helped by the rest of the post.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Darrin Patrick responds to JMac...

Darrin Patrick has graciously and honorably responded to MacArthur's allegations that he is promoting rugged individualism and an entrepreneurial spirit in his book Church Planter. Good and appropriate response to criticism modeled here. (Even Patrick's Elders weigh in.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend Recap - Prayer and Prayer

Well, we had another great Lord's Day yesterday. In the AM, we looked at Matthew 6:10 in a sermon entitled Model Prayer (2). (There was a problem with the audio, but a manuscript will be available on Crestview's Sermon Page.) Specifically, we looked at praying God-centered prayers for the Father's reign and the Father's will.

In the evening, my small group finished Thabiti's book by seeing a healthy church member is a prayer warrior. In the course of discussing that, I mentioned some tools:

Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers.

Andrew Case has the Scripture based prayer books for husbands, wives and children.

Operation World will email you an unreached people group each day.

Donald Whitney spoke of using the Psalms to pray each day.

Matthew Henry also has a Scriptural way to pray the Model Prayer.

Grab these tools and be helped by them.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Preview - Model Prayer (2)

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will be looking at Matthew 6:10 in the AM service, which continues the God-centered direction begun in v.9. Think about your prayers, do they relate to the Father's kingdom or His will? We need this corrective. See you then.

Patrick / MacArthur Mess

If you haven't read the latest, John MacArthur offered critique of Darrin Patrick's book, Church Planter, which has been explained, further explained and is still looming on the internet with opinions going back and forth. I read the paragraph in question (in Patrick) much like I read Paul's words to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 1:12-13, not commending a rugged individualism but a grasp of one's theological truth internally. At any rate, life goes on...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cancelled

All Wed PM activities are cancelled tonight at Crestview Bible Church, due to the ice. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lot's of smack...little action...

that's how I think of humility and leadership in the local church. We all know that it's important for us to be humble. Many of us (pastors) give ourselves a way too flattering appraisal when it comes to this. This post from Deepak Reju over at 9Marks entitled Humility and Leadership proved helpful for me. Here's the questions he gave in discerning the nature of our humility:
* Are you willing and open to learning about the Bible from staff or members who don't have as much preaching or theological training as you do?
* Are you willing to take constructive criticism from staff members, interns, church members, or your wife? (If you are not sure, ask them if they think you are open to constructive critique.)
* In a deacon or elder or committee meeting (or whatever form of leadership you have), are you willing to be voted down by others? Do you hold a grudge against those who would dare vote against you?
* Have you ever considered asking your kids (or your wife) how you are doing at parenting?
* In a deacon or elder or committee meeting (or whatever form of leadership you have), do you always speak early so that everyone follows your direction? Or do you hold your words until the end of your discussions so that other leaders can think through the issues without being quickly swayed by your opinions?
* Have you thought about cultivating humility in your life? If not, consider reading this in 2011.
* Have you thought about cultivating humility in your staff and in your church? What would it mean for your staff to be open to given and receiving godly criticism?
Great stuff, really. So...how about you? Much talk, little action?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Recap - Prayer, Prayer & Families

Today's sermons are now online.

In the AM, we started looking at the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9. The sermon, Model Prayer (1), discussed 2 instructions for prayer based on "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name...". What most people (including myself) were amazed at was how Jesus always called God His Father in prayer, except on the cross (my God). This seems to inform our intimate approach to Him as our Father because of what Jesus has done.

In the PM, we started a series entitled the Gospel Centered Family with a sermon on Prayer and the Family. I tried to highlight how, for families, we must pray, teach prayer and model prayer. I also tried to bring Gospel-centered insights to this.

Hopefully God uses these words to continue to form us into a people of prayer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Piper on Lord's Prayer

Our Deepest Prayer: Hallowed Be Your Name is Piper's sermon from 1/9/11. As a church, we are working out way through Jesus' words on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount. Watch this and prepare your heart for this coming Lord's Day as we look at Matthew 6:9.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Lecrae: Rehab (The Overdose)

Downloaded Lecrae's new album Rehab: The Overdose. You might want to check it out for yourself. Nothing like some lyrical theology...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Paul Tripp on Parenting

On Sunday AMs, I'm teaching Paul Tripp's Getting To the Heart of Parenting (75% off at WTS Books for a season). Yesterday, Tripp posted an article on parenting entitled The Joyful Impossibility. He mentions 2 things he learned one evening that changed the experience of parenting for him:
1. I faced the fact that I had no ability whatsoever to change my children.
2. I faced the fact that in order to be a tool of grace, I desperately needed grace myself.
Read the article and be reminded of these things yourself.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Prayer and the Gospel

Great word from Tim Keller on prayer and the Gospel:
One of the most basic things that the gospel does is change prayer from mere petition to fellowship and the praise of his glory. Galatians 4:6-7 teaches us that when we believe the gospel, we not only become God's children legally, but we receive the Spirit in order to experience our sonship. The Spirit leads us to call out passionately to God as our tender and loving Father. The Spirit calls out 'Abba' (4:7). In the very next verse Paul refers to this experience as "knowing God" (4:8). We do not just know and believe that God is holy and loving, but we actually experience contact with his holiness and his love in personal communion with him.
I don't know if your prayer life reflects this reality or not, but may you look to the Gospel again and find that God loves you in spite of who you are. Run to Him as your Father.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekend Recap - Prayer, Following and Missions

Yesterday AM's sermon, Wordy Prayer, from Jesus' words on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:7-8) is now online. Basically, I understand Jesus encouraging us to not get too hung up on the content or linguistical make-up of the prayers. Many were encouraged that I formed a new word during the sermon "cakeness". At any rate, hopefully the sermon helps people to go hard after the Father Himself in prayer.

In the evening, we continued our work through Thabiti's What Is a Healthy Church Member? (IX Marks). My group had great discussion on chapter 9: a church member is a humble follower.

Finally, our weekend at Crestview included a visit from missionaries we support in Brazil. The Bacheller Family visited us and updated on their current ministry. We enjoyed good fellowship with them for the entire weekend and many in our church had the privilege of hosting them for a meal. Thanks to all in the church who made this a possibility.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Weekend Preview - Our Angle in Prayer...

This is Malt O Meal's promo for buying their cereal. Our society is always looking for an angle to help us. Unfortunately, we try and use angles in our prayer lives. We think that if we do it this way or pray that way, God will be impressed and answer. Join us tomorrow AM at 10:15, as we look at Jesus' thoughts on angles in prayer from Matthew 6:7-8.

Sherlock -- BBC

I love anything Sherlock Holmes as a hobby to read. I have all the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series and recently found out that BBC has done a contemporary series called SherlockSeason 1 has been completed. We (Meg and I) watched the first one and loved it. Just thought I'd encourage anyone who hasn't seen this to pick it up. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Read Unbroken

Just finished Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. It was an amazing read. I really couldn't put it down and, especially toward the end, found myself clinging on to find out the rest of the story. You will love this book.

Here's a video from the author's website:

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Gospel Centered...

Here's a helpful post from Tim Challies answering the question:
I was hoping for some guidance on something. I am looking for books about being ‘Gospel-Centered.’ I know that is a buzzword nowadays and it is really intriguing to me. I am a long-time Christian, but am new to this Gospel-Centered idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus and Scripture and the Gospel, but I’ve never really heard or really understand the Gospel-Centered.
. Check out the post to read what he wrote about living Gospel-Centered.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Passion 2011

If you haven't logged in and checked out the Passion 2011 conference live, you must. Here's the link:

Passion 2011 Live


You listen to talks by Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, Beth Moore and others. Enjoy.

Weekend Recap - Hypocritical Prayer

Yesterday's sermon, Hypocritical Prayer, from Matthew 6:5-6 is now online. This sermon helped kick off our Week of Prayer. As a church, our elders have devoted a week to turn and look to God, expressing our dependence on Him. This sermon also started a series of about 7 sermons on Jesus' words on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, so it was a great day.

The sermon showed the rewards of hypocritical prayer and the rewards of secret prayer. What was staggering to me is that God promises that when we go to Him in secret prayer He will be there. He will reward. I hope you can listen to this and find the confidence to go to Him in prayer.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Weekend Preview - Parenting/Prayer

This weekend, on top of New Years, we are launching some new things at Crestview. During SS, I will be teaching through Paul Tripp's Getting To The Heart of Parenting curriculum (the other adult class features Tom Dixon teaching Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel by Mack Stiles).

To introduce Tripp and my class, I will be showing about the first 45 minutes of an interview that Desiring God did with Tripp (called Ask Paul Tripp Live). Here's the video:

In the AM Worship Service, we will also begin looking at Jesus' words on prayer from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:5ff). This will be our kickoff for the Week of Prayer and include a prayer time after a Noon Meal. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.