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

A Brick in the Valley - Apologetic Report
Thursday, 17 January 2019 06:57

A Story of Romance in Stillman Valley

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imageEthel Devore passed away this morning. The below story is an edited version of a February 2008 church newsletter article. The hardware store is now a community center. I sure enjoyed hearing Ethel telling me her story. 

You probably don’t think of the Hardware store here in town as a real...

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018 02:21

Invite Christmas Storytelling

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imageThe aroma of stories should fill Christmas gatherings like potpourri.

This morning, I ate bacon and eggs at the senior breakfast. I hasten to say that I qualify as a “senior” because of my role as pastor. Though, I will soon have dual citizenship based on both age and clergy status.


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The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) understands that, beyond parents, coaches influence young people more than any other group. As a result, the focus of FCA’s ministry is to engage, equip, and empower coaches for Christ.
In his new book, Them: Why We Hate Each...

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We recommend these books to our church family

Christians are called to love God with their minds (Matt 22:37-40). Loving God with our minds means striving to hide the meaning and understanding of God’s Word in the depths of our being so that we see life through a Christian lens and walk...

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Thursday, 21 June 2018 02:27

Quotes: How Does Sanctification Work? by Powlison

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imageI highly recommend David Powlison’s How Does Sanctification Work?, especially to pastors and counselors.

How does sanctification work? is one of the more profound books I have read in recent years. In a short amount of space, Powlison provides a nuanced view of how Christians are...

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018 00:45

Haddon Robinson Preaching Retreat 2018

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imageI am again privileged to be part of the Haddon Robinson Study Retreat. This year we are studying the Gospel of Mark and our guest lecturer is Mark Strauss of Bethel seminary. 

Each year a group of pastors gather for a week of intense study Covenant Harbor Camp near Lake Geneva, WI . Our format...

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Wednesday, 31 January 2018 23:48

What is a legitimate basis for asking for God’s blessing?

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imagePsalm 67 describes the right sort of motivation for praying for God’s blessing.*

Nearly every week, I close our services at The Red Brick Church in Stillman Valley with a biblical benediction that is thousands of years old: “The LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD make His face shine...

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imagePeople often question how God could hold someone morally responsible who did not have access to the Bible. You may have heard the objections, “How can someone be judged according to a standard he or she didn’t hear or read?” 

The Apostle Paul explained in Romans that all...

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Sunday, 28 January 2018 03:05

G.K. Chesterton Illustrates Why Freedom Needs Boundaries

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imageOur secular age argues that freedom is found in doing whatever we please. G.K. Chesterton illustrates why freedom is not found in the absence of restrictions.

We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea. So long as there was a wall round the...

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imageClick through the below link to read Trevin Wax’s interaction with a major Lifeway survey that identifies common traits of children who flourish as Christian adults. 

A central part of our passion at The Red Brick Church is that our young people will follow Christ all of their lives. We...

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There is about a 70% chance the man who stopped was an angel. . .

It’s that time of year when we again consider Christian morality and lemonade stands. Below find answers to common questions.

  1. How often should I stop when I see a lemonade stand? 100% of the time.
  2. That seems like a high standard. Is it okay if I bat say .950? No.
  3. How much should
Thursday, 14 July 2016 18:46

The French Spirit

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Our 2 youngest with French veterans at the Arc de Triomphe (2010)

“I began to cry. Not out of sorrow for myself, nor because of my wounds, but at the great joy that I felt at being back on French soil.” Commando Robert Piauge, June 6, 1944

Grieving as we are for our fellow image-bearers in France, I was reminded of this D-Day story that

Monday, 20 June 2016 03:00

Depression: Dr. David Murray at Bethel Church

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One in ten people struggle with depression. Over the course of a lifetime, one in four will battle this condition. In the below sermon at Bethel Church, pastor, author, and professor Dr. David Murray preaches a sermon on Psalm 77 that surveys depression and offers a broad strategy for battling the blues. The audio for this sermon is available on B

Thursday, 16 June 2016 21:00

Can you prayerfully fill in these blanks?

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 See if you can prayerfully fill in the blanks before Sunday’s sermon (6/19/16) at the Red Brick Church. For more on Sunday’s excitement, see this announcement

The people at our church know that I am not generally a fan of “fill in the blank” sermon notes. However, given our baptism service on Sunday — and a

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 23:00

“Sacraments”: Should Protestants Use the Word?

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Protestants can use the term sacraments. What is important is to define the significance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper in an ongoing way.

Regarding use of the term “sacraments,” Grudem writes:

There is disagreement among Protestants even over the general term that should be applied to [baptism and the Lord’s Supper].

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 04:00

Propitiation: Its Meaning / The Gettys Are Right

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In the context of Christian salvation, the word, “propitiation”  means the turning away of wrath or anger usually by an offering.[1] Propitiation appeases the wrath of God rightly brought about by our sin.[2] First John 4:10 summarizes, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be

Nehemiah 12:43 reads, “And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God has made them rejoice with great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. And the joy or Jerusalem was heard far away.” We are having one of those kinds of weekends — for reasons I explain below — and I am really looking forward to

Atonement is central to what Christians believe. Yet, many believers cannot define this important word. Michael Horton offers this explanation, “Christ died in our place, bearing God’s wrath, satisfying his justice, and reconciling us to the Father.”

Broadly, the word “atonement” refers to reparation for an

Saturday, 11 June 2016 16:10

Selah: What does it mean in the Psalms?

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The untranslated Hebrew word “selah / סֶלָה” found 71 times in the Psalms, reminds us that the Psalms are poetry and were often accompanied by musical instruments.

This summer I am preaching from the Psalms. The Psalms are precious to Christians. They teach us to pray, how to lead our emotions, how to

Friday, 10 June 2016 10:24

Hurting Parents: The Most Tired People I Know

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Concerned and broken parents are some of the most tired people I know. Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 3 will consider how God sustains his people even when they are brokenhearted for their children and full of regret over their own mistakes that may have contributed to their children’s situation. Join us Sunday at either 9 or 10:30 at the

Friday, 03 June 2016 12:17

Discouraged About Politics? Savor Psalm 2! Featured

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Those of us disillusioned and discouraged about the moral and political landscape of the day would do well to meditate on Psalm 2. In savoring the second Psalm, we move from a place of disillusionment with the “kings” of our day to sweet reverence for the one true King.

As I’ve previously explained, Psalms are about being moved

Saturday, 14 May 2016 17:08

Baccalaureate Sermon 2016: Name The Name

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 This is not an exact transcript. I preached a slightly shorter version. My central point was that, even when facing those intolerant of Christianity, we should name the name of Christ. Salvation is found in no one else (Acts 4:12).

I am privileged to deliver the baccalaureate sermon to the 2016 Stillman Valley High School graduates: a group so

Monday, 09 May 2016 23:00

Haddon Robinson GCTS Study Group 2016

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For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Cor 1:20, NIV

This week I am blessed to join with a group of pastors at Covenant Harbor Retreat Center (Lake Geneva, WI). We will enjoy digging into 2 Corinthians under the instruction

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 20:04

See the Big Picture of Acts

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If you read the Acts verses in column three of the below table, you will understand much about the big picture of Acts.

The thesis or theme of Acts could be stated in this way:

Christ builds his Church through the Spirit empowered proclamation of the Word – – despite many conflicts in the battles of a fallen world — even in and

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 07:39

Follow Me: A Call to Die by David Platt

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Watch this video and see, also, What Scares Me Most as a Pastor.”

The post Follow Me: A Call to Die by David Platt appeared first on A Brick in the Valley.

Authors: Chris

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