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

For the Church - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 25 July 2018 15:05

Hope Deferred and the Pastor-in-Waiting

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“What do I do while I wait?” 

It’s a question I’ve heard dozens of times. Trained men, ready to rumble for the gospel, can sometimes find they lack immediate opportunity to fulfill their ministry dream. It feels to them like the big game has started and...

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Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:10

A Great Commission and a Modern Mission

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The climate of Christianity today can make it easy for us to take global missions and growth of the church for granted. We imagine that missions has just always existed as we see it today. It is important that we take the time to understand the history of modern missions, because it shows us...

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Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:05

Dear Death

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Dear Death,

Thank you for your painting. It turned out beautiful. Indeed, the idea was nothing foreign to you. Over the centuries, you have mastered the art of painting yourself on the canvas of history. Nero and Hitler were well-trained pupils — both learned your craft well. But, the...

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Monday, 23 July 2018 15:15

The Pastor's Wounded Back

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I have back problems. Natural, literal problems. They aren’t caused by having been tortured or imprisoned for my faith, either. Some of them were accidental because I think I’m stronger than I am. Some of them were dumb, like cutting a frozen ice cream cake (true story).

When the...

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Disciples of Jesus are followers of Jesus.

They walk not only where He walks, but in the manner in which He walks. It means that we acknowledge the lordship of Jesus and seek to see that lordship actualized in every area of our lives. That’s what disciples do. Jesus’ first call to...

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Sunday, 22 July 2018 15:15

Groanings Too Deep for Words

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It is when we are at our weakest that the strength of the Lord is best perfected. Jesus is specifically looking for the poor in spirit in order to bless them with the riches of his grace. And since this is true, it stands to reason that the poorer our spirit becomes, the more of his riches we can...

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Sunday, 22 July 2018 15:10

Meditations on Dust

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The godly are the God-ward—and faced there, they know they are not like what they see. They are not righteous in all their ways; they are not naturally near to the truth; not able to save, able to endure, able to abound in a perfection of goodness and greatness, able to act with...

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Sunday, 22 July 2018 15:05

Links For The Church (7/23)

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Student Ministry Isn't Second-Tier Ministry

Adam Griffin writes about the importance of student ministry, and the need for student pastors to shepherd students and point them to the gospel. 

9 Ways To Make Social Media More Christian 

There isn't an etiquette handbook for social media, but...

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Saturday, 21 July 2018 15:15

Christ and His Bride

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"I am married unto you."-- Jeremiah 3:14

Christ Jesus is joined unto his people in marriage-union. In love he espoused his Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection he toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had...

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The students in my classes know that I don’t like adverbs.

Or, I should say, the over reliance on adverbs. In academic writing, they are a quick shortcut to the expression of thoughts but do not often* bring clarity, and hinder progress in the writing discipline. However, adverbs,...

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Thursday, 19 July 2018 15:05

A Pastor’s Thoughts on Reading Augustine

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Augustine’s influence is profound, his depth of insight stunning, and his literary output insane. Isidore of Seville (AD 560-636) once said that if anyone claimed to have read all Augustine wrote, they were a liar. The progress I’ve made in Augustine is minimal, but I would like to...

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 15:15

The Beautiful Things We Miss

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"You don’t seem happy, Dad."

She was right. Without looking up, I snapped at my daughter, letting her know how much I had to do as we raced out the door for church on Easter. 

It was just a small, ordinary moment. I doubt my kids will be talking about it at lunch after my funeral....

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 15:10

What Can the Kindness of Jesus Do?

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In his latest book, Some Pastors and Teachers, Sinclair Ferguson considers how God changed the city of Geneva through the ministry of John Calvin. He questions how Geneva was “transformed from a quasi-political reformation to a genuine gospel reformation.” 

First, prayer...

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 15:05

5 Marks of Effective Prayer

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"And a leper came to Jesus, imploring him, and kneeling to him said, 'If you will, you can make me clean.'"– Mark 1:40​

The last passage of Mark 1 (verses 40-45), records the miracle of Jesus cleansing a leper. It is also recorded in Matthew 8:1-4 and Luke 5:12-15.

Leprosy was the most...

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Despite their reputation as joyless and dour sticks-in-the-mud, the Puritans did not reject all forms of recreation. They simply sought to engage in recreation and entertainment in a God-honoring way. And, in the 16th and 17th centuries, that primarily meant music, art, sports, and reading books.

In...

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Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:10

They Never Saw This Coming

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Have you ever noticed that the eyesight that leads you into sin is blind, but the eyesight to lead you out is presumed to be 20/20? This is the case with Joseph’s brothers. They have a plan to get out of trouble, but it’s shortsighted and poorly designed. What’s more, they...

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Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:05

9 Ways to Optimize Your Time Away

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Vacation, as a planned and protracted leisurely excursion, is a relatively modern invention. Middle-class furloughs to the beach, weeks at theme parks, and recurring holiday getaways all would be unfamiliar to the premodern family.

Yet, seasons of rest and recreation are a pattern as old as the...

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Monday, 16 July 2018 15:10

What God Says is Better

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The Empty Deceit of Sin​

Believer, the delicacies of sin are widely displayed and lifted up for all to indulge in. From movies to Netflix Originals to commercials to Facebook posts, everywhere we look, there are vices set like bear traps - covered up and entrapping in their grip. Like in...

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Monday, 16 July 2018 15:05

Work, For I am With You

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“Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.” – Haggai 2:4-5​

Some of my most beloved memories of growing up in Kentucky are the many summer days...

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Sunday, 15 July 2018 15:15

Jesus More Than Likes You

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Christian, God takes pleasure in you.

It’s such a simple claim, but such a difficult thing to believe, isn’t it? Especially when it seems nobody else does.

Words sting. I have trouble to this day remembering encouragement given to me, even though I know I receive it regularly. I...

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Sunday, 15 July 2018 15:10

Doormat Christians?

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“Christians shouldn’t be doormats,” I said as a side comment at our weekly men’s breakfast. This comment led to a great discussion. What does that mean? Should we always ride off into battle the moment we sense a conflict? What about Jesus? He...

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Sunday, 15 July 2018 15:05

Links For The Church (7/16)

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Letter To An Aspiring Theologian

Kevin Vanhoozer writes a humbling letter to those who are studying theology. He raises helpful questions to encourage the aspiring theologian to be on guard against sin and to move forward in faith.

The Grafted Life

In this reflection on grief and growing, Kelly...

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Saturday, 14 July 2018 15:15

Keep the Altar of Private Prayer Burning

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"The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out."-- Leviticus 6:13

Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their fires here, therefore let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence,...

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Thursday, 12 July 2018 15:10

3 Reasons to Give Away Our Books

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Four years ago an older, frail, gentlemen walked into the bookstore I worked at when I was a college student. He came in and requested some books for him and his wife. I struck up a conversation with him and we talked about theology. It turns out he was a pastor at a small church outside of the...

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In Part One of our Pastor’s Wife series, we exposed four lies: don’t be anyone’s friend, don’t reveal your weaknesses, be available to everyone at all times, and my husband is important; I am not.

There are more lies to explore and bring into the light. Though they are worth...

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