But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Apologetic Report - For the Church
Sunday, 26 March 2017 15:30

Jesus Is Better Than Our Dreams

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To dream is the fulfillment of our imaginations and minds, gifts and talents, callings and longings all intricately woven together. We were born dreamers as Christ image-bearers because all of humanity is longing for something better; people aching for the idealistic romance of dreams fulfilled...

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When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful . . .

I was in Disneyland last December, before Christmas, and I heard this song (from Toy Story 2) in one of the venues, and even though I'd heard it before, it struck me somehow more deeply this umpteenth time. I got to thinking about the Christmas...

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Sunday, 26 March 2017 15:00

Links For The Church (3/27)

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Trusting God Enough To Lament

The Psalms teach us to pour out our sorrows to God. David Gundersen writes about the posture we need to come to God with our lamentations. 

Why I Didn't Sing When I Visited Your Church

Tim Challies describes why people may not be singing in a church, and encourages...

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Saturday, 25 March 2017 15:15

Freedom is Coming

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"Jesus said unto them, If ye seek me, let these go their way."-- John 18:8

Mark, my soul, the care which Jesus manifested even in his hour of trial, towards the sheep of his hand! The ruling passion is strong in death. He resigns himself to the enemy, but he interposes a word of power to set his...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017 15:30

Production or Virtue?

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We are fanatics for productivity. Some of us are like miniature corporations ticking off our project objectives and meeting our target points. And for many, productivity is the canon for self-evaluation.

I started to realize this about myself early in my marriage when I would get flustered by...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017 15:15

Keep Going Out and Keep Sowing

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“He who goes out weeping” (Psalm 126:6)

To live in light of eternity means to live every day with an awareness that you will one day reap unspeakable joy when you see the face of Christ. 

The joy in that moment will outweigh every sorrow of today. 

This constant,...

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:15

Scripture in Songwriting

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Worship leaders and music directors are faced with a seemingly impossible task in the era we live.

Mass-marketed music is advertised to them, written for them, and sold to them by commercial enterprises designed to make as large a profit as possible for shareholders. That’s capitalism in...

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:10

To PhD or Not to PhD

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Recently, Dr. Jason Duesing, Provost of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and College, invited a few faculty members to participate in a panel discussion regarding doctoral studies. I enjoyed the questions from students and wish to summarize my thoughts here.

I suggest four factors...

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:05

One Problem With Being an Insecure Minister

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When I first started in ministry, I was terribly insecure. God still used me, all wasn’t lost, but I was a mess. Truth be told, I still am. But the words of John Newton ring true over this area of my life. “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to...

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:30

When God Gives You "X" But You Asked For "Y"

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I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, but I was bitter at God. Although he never promised that I was entitled to tour the land of Europe, I thought he owed it to me. It was the center of my prayer life, “God, thank you for this offer for my punk band to tour Europe, please work...

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:15

Making A Pastoral Apology

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I knew I needed to apologize after the moment the words left my mouth. I felt I couldn’t do it quickly enough! But the congregation was dismissed and the opportunity gone. In a moment of frustration at the end of the service, I had scolded families for not using our nursery and...

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:00

Counsel For The Counselor

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HELPFUL COUNSEL FOR PASTORAL COUNSELORS

Pastoral counseling is one of the primary aspects of the ministry of a shepherd. For most pastors, counseling is not an option. As a shepherd who loves the congregation, it is impossible to counsel with a disconnected heart. Pastors often find themselves in...

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Monday, 20 March 2017 15:15

On Emotionalism and the Gospel

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Many Christians have likely experienced emotionalism - the moments at various worship services and events when excessive focus is placed on a person's emotions. Often, you will see it in places where “decisions” or “worship experiences” are elevated above...

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Monday, 20 March 2017 15:10

Oddly Fashioned Heroes

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Recently, Dr. Tim Keller, lead pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan, announced a transition plan that will ultimately see him pivot out of his current role as Senior Pastor and into a training and equipping position with Redeemer’s church planting initiatives. The news trickled across...

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We asked Adam McClendon, "How can a church stay attractive to younger people without alienating older people?"

Authors: For The Church...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 15:30

Links For The Church (3/20)

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So I Quit Drinking

This piece by Sarah Bessey tells the story of her journey with alcohol. But more than that, she makes an encouraging appeal to find a new appreciation for godly conviction. 

10 Things I Did Not Do that Improved My Congregation's Singing

Less is more in Scott Connell's helpful...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 15:00

Tale As Old As Time

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“Tale as old as time, tune as old as song, bitter sweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong, certain as the sun, rising in the east, tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, beauty and the beast.” –Mrs. Potts

Not many stories have impacted me the same way...

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Saturday, 18 March 2017 15:15

Faith Engages the Omnipotence of God

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"Strong in faith."-- Romans 4:20

Christian, take good care of thy faith; for recollect faith is the only way whereby thou canst obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith.

Prayer cannot draw down answers from God's throne except it be the earnest prayer of...

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Thursday, 16 March 2017 15:30

Learning From Lifetimes of Experience

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The last thing I would want from a guide on the summit of Everest would be for him to turn to me in the Khumbu Icefall and sheepishly whisper, “You know, this is my first time to the summit as well. But I read Krakauer’s book, so no worries.” Rather, I would want a guide who...

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Untold millions in America today believe that moral living and occasional church attendance will please God at the last day. But from the very beginning of his public ministry—in fact, from his first-ever sermon—George Whitefield made it clear how deceptive this mindset can be....

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:15

2 Good Reasons to Say "Amen" Today

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Amen has become little more than a Christian sign-off to God, an appropriate way to let the Almighty know that we have deemed the conversation over. It is a sign we are now discontinuing communication with Him so we can move onto other areas of our lives.

We also use the word as...

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:10

How Have I Loved You?

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"I have loved you," says the Lord. "But you ask, 'How have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?" declares the Lord. “Yet I loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”...

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:05

Living to Honor, Not to Earn

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"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be...

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 15:30

Adoption is Commitment

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On October 20th we brought a three and a half-year-old girl into our family to be our daughter. The adoption of this sweet little one is more than the fulfillment of a dream.

It’s a calling.

To be more precise, it’s our calling.

It’s something birthed out of conviction and love.

God...

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 15:15

Feminism and the Fall

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In the wake of the last election, women’s issues seem to have come to the forefront of all mainstream media. After the first woman to run for president lost, and a man with a history of misogynistic and abusive tendencies toward women won instead, there were a lot of loud voices ready to...

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