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, 08 June 2017 13:21

Sabbatical Update: Working at Resting

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imageSunday (6/4/17) Jamie and I were blessed by a sermon from Pastor Bruce McKanna on Sabbath rest. Bruce gave this beautiful challenge: “Don’t give yourself permission to rest so much as hear God’s permission.”

The first Sunday of my sabbatical, I preached in the GSOI. June 4th...

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imageOne of my summer sabbatical goals is to read widely. Below is a book I would recommend for those looking for Christian beach reading. It is written at a level that is easily followed and offers a fresh look at apologetics.

Skeel, David. True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World....

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Thursday, 01 June 2017 04:03

Paul Tripp: Parenting is Gospel Ministry

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One of the first videos every parent should watch — whether their children are three or thirty. The audio is available here.

The post Paul Tripp: Parenting is Gospel Ministry appeared first on A Brick in the Valley.

Authors: Chris

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 12:35

Sabbatical Notes: Working at Resting

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image I’m thankful for the opportunity to recharge! 

A week into my sabbatical and here is some of how I’m working at recharging:

  • Memorizing and meditating on Romans 11:33-36. I can’t believe I haven’t previously memorized.
  • Lots of Scripture review and meditation.&nbsp...

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017 01:57

How do I forgive someone who refuses to say sorry?

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Watch the below video with Dr. Jeremy Pierre. If I ever issue a revised copy of Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds I’m going to pay my own gas money to buy Dr. Pierre lunch so we can talk biblical forgiveness. He interacts with hard...

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017 00:12

Haddon Robinson Study Retreat 2017

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imageI am again privileged to be part of the Haddon Robinson Study Retreat. This we are studying the Old Testament books of Hosea, Amos, and Micah under the instruction of Wheaton’s Danny Carroll.

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

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Saturday, 06 May 2017 02:37

Tim Keller on Why We Should Catechize Our Children

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Jamie and I didn’t formally catechize our children. Though we did spend a great deal of time with them in theological instruction and dialogue. But I agree with Tim Keller’s points and if we had it to do over again, I think we would. 

The post Tim Keller on Why We Should Catechize...

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Witness how a grandfather sees color for the first time. Then consider how great will be the Christian’s joy when not just one malady is cured, but EVERY hurt is healed– in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:52). 

Christ’s resurrection assures Christians that we will...

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Tuesday, 07 March 2017 05:48

St. Titus “The Tough”

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imageSpiritual leadership requires guts and grit. You have to be tough to lead. Consider the biblical example of Titus.

When I left the corporate world and went to seminary, I pictured spiritual leaders as clean cut guys in starched white shirts and blue suits. I understood that spiritual leadership...

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Wednesday, 01 March 2017 01:54

Piper on the Glory of Christ in His First Coming

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Second Corinthians (2 Cor 4:6), encourages believers with the truth that God who created all things has shown us “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” In his book, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love...

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Tuesday, 28 February 2017 01:31

Lent: Questions and Answers

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imageLent – What is it? 

Lent is the 40 period (less Sundays) before Easter and is based on Jesus’s forty days in the wilderness. Some Christians fast, think soberly about their faith, and focus on repenting of their sins during this period.

Does The Red Brick Church ob...

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Thursday, 23 February 2017 08:04

Such an Important Article: Man in the Middle

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image I started reading this the article, Man in the Middle, by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra because I have long appreciated Dr. David Dockery’s leadership in evangelicalism. But as I began reading, I realized that this piece tells a far bigger story than Dr. Dockery’s personal...

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Thursday, 23 February 2017 03:04

Sanctification: Selected Passages and Quotes

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Sunday (D.V.), I am preaching on 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, and the pattern of sanctification. Below are some of my favorite passages on sanctification as well as key quotes that summarize what we believe about how Christians are sanctified or increasingly conformed to the image of Christ. It took me...

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017 02:23

Murray on the Lack of Exultant Joy Amongst Many Christians

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imageThe great theologian John Murray explained that an unwillingness to preach judgment inevitably leads to a lack of biblical joy. 

Many Christians would agree with the assessment that there is a lack of joy amongst Christians. But fewer would agree with John Murray’s explanation of why we...

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:18

Read Proverbs 43% of the Time (The Rest of Your Life)

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imageWisdom is the saw we use to cut our way through life. Without sharp saws, life is like cutting through a piece of oak with a butter knife.  So how do we sharpen our saws? Answer: By spending ongoing time reading and meditating on Proverbs. 

All of us make decisions that have great...

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Friday, 17 February 2017 10:09

Plugging Into God’s Power

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imageIn Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines David Mathis helps Christians understand how they can grow by God’s grace rather than wearing out in their own strength.

The key to growing as a Christians is to understand how to grow through God’s strength rather...

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Monday, 13 February 2017 10:17

Why?

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image “Why?” we cry out when we suffer. While we cannot understand all the reasons for pain. There are comforting answers to consider.

Many of you have prayed recently for our niece Michelle who underwent major surgery last week. Michelle (the daughter of one of my wife’s many sisters)...

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Friday, 27 January 2017 11:02

Trip Lee: Is “Church Membership” Found in Scripture?

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Our church stresses “meaningful membership” in an ongoing way. Sometimes people counter, “But I don’t find the phrase in the Bible.” Here Trip Lee speaks to this objection.

The post Trip Lee: Is “Church Membership” Found in Scripture? appeared first on A...

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Friday, 27 January 2017 09:39

Why Read Great Literature?

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imageRead this article by Philip Yancey and your motivation for reading great literature — especially Dostoyevsky — will grow.

Many are aware that there is a collection of “great books” and that our minds and hearts benefit from reading them. We’ve heard comments like,...

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Wednesday, 28 December 2016 12:11

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Days! (10,000 with Jamie)

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imageAs of 12/28/2016, my beautiful wife and I have been married for 10,000 days. While, I could easily list 10,000 ways I am thankful for her. Here I’ll just mention 11.

There is a web site for just about anything including calculating how many days ago something took place.

Last spring, I realized...

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Friday, 23 December 2016 17:12

A Christmas Present from Our Local Church

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imageLocal churches given wonderful gifts to their communities. The gratitude of people who receive those gifts reminds us that the sacrifice of persevering in a local church is worth it.

My pretty wife, Jamie, and I found ourselves with an extra hour on this wintry day. So Jamie put some Christmas...

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Friday, 16 December 2016 10:33

The Tragic Progression of America’s Idolatry

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In his excellent book, Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith,Mike Wittmer summarizes the tragic progression of America’s idolatry and the consequences that have ensued.  

We have witnessed God’s judgment in recent history. Americans entered the twentieth century with trust in A...

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Friday, 16 December 2016 08:38

Set the Bar Low for Spiritual Disciplines

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image

Often the best strategy for spiritual disciplines is to set very, very modest goals. Hopping over a low bar adds up to a high stack of results.

The new year is fast approaching when people will identify lofty goals for the coming year. People will decide to read through the Bible, memorize 100...

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Thursday, 15 December 2016 07:31

2 Corinthians in January

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I look forward to starting a new series at the Red Brick Church on 2 Corinthians on January 8, 2016. I always enjoy going through books of the Bible with our church family.

You can a start on 2 Corinthians by watching this overview video from The Bible Project.

For an introduction to The Bible...

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Friday, 28 October 2016 07:37

An Excellent New Resource for Young Families

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imageIf you have grade school age children – – or if you buy presents for them — The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith order this book and check one item off your list. It JUST came out. So chances are the family you have in mind doesn’t already own a...

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