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
Tuesday, 14 May 2019 02:52

Haddon Robinson Preaching Retreat 2019

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I am again privileged to be part of the Haddon Robinson Study Retreat (Map of Participants — Don’t miss Ireland!). This year we are studying the book of Isaiah and our guest lecturer is Tim Mackie of The Bible Project. Watch the Bible Project on Isaiah 1-39and Isaiah 40-66!

Each year a...

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Tuesday, 05 March 2019 03:36

Lent Questions and Answers

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What is Lent?

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 observe Lent? 

No. We...

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Sunday, 03 March 2019 07:44

Talking Points For Those Wounded at Church

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What talking points do you suggest? Wednesday (2:00 PM CST, 3/6/19) I will be a guest on the Chris Fabry show. I will speak as one of the wounded to those finding their way forward after church disappointments.

A recent series of tweets from ThinkingGirl expressed where many are at following train...

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 imageI wrote Unpacking Forgiveness after my family was deeply wounded at Harvest Bible Chapel. The thesis of that book is that biblical forgiveness can only truly be unpacked in a gospel-centered way — and biblical forgiveness certainly does not mean cheap forgiveness. If you take my FOR...

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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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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

Saturday, 19 March 2016 10:58

Forgiveness Links and Moody Radio

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I’m looking forward to unpacking forgiveness on the Karl and June Mornings show on Moody Radio Monday morning (3/21/16) at 7:00 AM CST. The hosts and I are going to go right after tough forgiveness questions and common Christian misunderstandings.

Hopefully, many of you can listen live. If not, I will post a link to the audio if one is

Sunday, 06 March 2016 05:44

6 Areas of End Times Agreement Featured

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While there are many different interpretations of how events of the end times will unfold, orthodox, Bible-believing Christians passionately agree about the most important matters. Here I point out six end times areas of agreement about which the Bible is explicit:

1. King Jesus will soon return. Jesus could not have been clearer. The word

Friday, 26 February 2016 17:31

Why My End Times Title is “Soon”

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WHY does the Bible tell us so much about what will happen at the end of the age? Beginning on March 6, at the Red Brick Church, I will preach a new series on the end times and the return of King Jesus.

If you read the below verses from the book of Revelation, you will understand how I came up with the title, “soon.”

The revelation of

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