Once again I headed up north to Lake Waubesa Bible Camp with my students for our annual beginning of the year retreat. This year the theme was. “Dangerous Truth.” Below are the three messages I preached during the retreat.
What 5 things can I do to best take advantage of a conference? – Do not go to see/get close to the celebrity preacher. Go to hear the Word preached. Granted not all conferences provide “preaching” narrowly defined. But all of them ought at least seek to provide wisdom from the Word of God. That is where the power is. Let us hope that the celebrity preacher became such because of his fidelity to the Word, because he has a gift to lift up Christ rather than himself. If so, look to Christ. – R.C. Sproul, Jr.
It can seem as though today’s culture encourages weakness, not strength. And this attitude has crept into the church. Yet God’s people are called to be soldiers, and to fight for His cause and kingdom. Based on the book of Joshua, Be Strong is an inspiring guide to pursuing a victorious life.
Part of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s best-selling “BE” commentary series, Be Strong has now been updated with study questions and a new introduction by Ken Baugh. A respected pastor and Bible teacher, Dr. Wiersbe shares the need for strong, dedicated believers. You’ll discover how to dodge defeat, pursue your purpose, and take hold of all God has in store for you.
Download the book here.
So today is the 17th anniversary of the death of Rich Mullins. Outside of David in the book of Psalms, I don’t know of another poet who so accurately expressed the feelings of my soul. I can remember during an exceptionally difficult time in my life listening to such songs as “Hold Me Jesus” and “Jacob had Two Women” to help express myself. While I have always loved songs like “Awesome God” and “Step by Step” I have to say my all-time favorite song from Mullins came from his unfinished album released after his death. The song is “Hard to Get”in which Mullins wrestles through his struggles to understand God and His leading. I so get that! My favorite lyrics which have helped me through many a sorrow are:
I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here
Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led
And so You’ve been here all along I guess
It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get
I would highly recommend the recent movie that was made about his life, Ragamuffin.
Thank you, Rich. Looking forward to worshiping with you one day…
I will always have an affinity in my heart toward Southern Gospel music! I love the blended harmony of a gospel quartet. There are few things that can get this conservative, straight-laced Baptist’s toe to tap than an ole’ fashioned gospel tune.
This week I was excited to learn one of my favorite gospel groups, Gold City, was releasing a new album. What made me even more excited was the revelation that this album would be a hymn collection. So, let me share with you a few thoughts on Gold City’s latest album (out today!) – Hymn Revival.
This is just classic gospel at its best. The harmony, the beat, the down-home feel – it’s all there. The fact that these are all familiar hymns (old and new) make it an easy cd to sing along with. I first listened to the album in the car with my family. From the very first song, (“Nothing but the Blood”), my two year old began dancing in the seat. It’s just that good. The harmony in “He Hideth My Soul” is just awesome. “Victory in Jesus” was my favorite hymn growing up and Gold City did not disappoint me in this rendition.
I really appreciate the fact that two newer hymns were included, “Power of the Cross” and “In Christ Alone.” “In Christ Alone” is clearly my favorite song on this cd. It’s a powerful song sung in such way that might have you on your feet or in tears by the time it’s over.
My only criticism would be the remake of “Farther Along.” That is one of my favorite gospel songs and I was disappointed with this version of it. You can’t sing along with it and there’s no great harmony to be heard.
But, don’t let that one minor issue stop you from purchasing this album. If you are a Southern Gospel fan, go out and get your copy today. I would lend you mind, but I have a feeling it will be in my car CD player for a little while to come…
Click here to purchase this album from Family Christian Stores.
The album was given to me by Family Christian Stores for the purpose of a fair and honest review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Depression Can no Longer be the Elephant in the Room – I chose to fight, and I won that day. That’s the deal. You fight depression day by day. But here’s the thing: I don’t always have a choice to fight. And I want to try to help people understand that others don’t always have a choice either. Sometimes my depression is just too strong. It is a tsunami wave and I am a toddler. I get knocked down before I even realize what is happening. Because depression is an illness. – Gillian Marchenko
God’s Not Dead! My Thoughts – Where there are many real challenges to being a Christian in college, we shouldn’t paint college like this dark and evil place where its only aim is to indoctrinate our children with anti-Christian thought. This is fundamentalism and this is why no one takes Christian culture seriously anymore (if they ever took Christian culture serious in the first place). – Casey Ehlers
To Those Who of You Who Don’t Like Singing on Sunday – If all the universe sings loudly and passionately to God, maybe the problem is with us. When we don’t feel like singing, the problem isn’t a singing problem, but a seeing problem. If we could see God as he truly is, we would be utterly undone. We would be singing for joy, kneeling in adoration, and weeping in gratitude. If we saw Jesus in his resurrected, ascended glory, there would be no talk of, “Well, I’m more of the quiet type.” – Stephen Altrogee
9 Reasons We Can be Confident Christians won’t be Raptured before the Tribulation – The wording of 2 Thessalonians 1:5-7, when read carefully, shows that Paul expects to attain rest from suffering at the same time and in the same event that he expects the unbelievers to receive punishment, namely, at the revelation of Jesus with mighty angels in flaming fire. This revelation is not the pre-tribulational rapture but the glorious second coming. Which means that Paul did not expect an event at which he and the other believers would be given rest seven years before the glorious appearing of Christ in flaming fire. Vengeance on unbelievers and rest for the persecuted church come on the same day in the same event. – Justin Taylor
What’s Wrong with the Wrong Side of History Argument – Furthermore, it’s not as if nineteenth century Christians were the first ones to object to slavery. This is why the analogy with the church’s view of homosexuality falls wide of the mark. The church has always believed homosexual behavior to be sinful. The church–and not the whole church–can only be found to be supporting chattel slavery in a relatively brief historical window. Even if we look at slavery of any kind, it’s not as if Christians never spoke against the institution until the nineteenth century. As early as the seventh century, Saith Bathilde (wife of King Clovis III) became famous for her campaign to stop slave-trading and free all the slaves in the kingdom. In 851 Saint Anskar began his efforts to halt the Viking slave trade. In the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas argued that slavery was a sin, and a series of Popes upheld the position. During the 1430s the Spanish colonized the Canary Islands and began to enslave the native population. Pope Eugene IV issued a bull, giving everyone fifteen days from receipt of his bull, “to restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of said Canary Islands…these people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without exaction or reception of any money.” The bull didn’t help much, but that is owing to the weakness of the church’s power at the time, not indifference to slavery. Pope Paul III made a similar pronouncement in 1537. Slavery was condemned in papal bulls in 1462, 1537, 1639, 1741, 1815, and 1839. In America, the first abolitionist tract was published in 1700 by Samuel Sewall, a devout Puritan. Meanwhile, Enlightenment bigwigs like Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire, and Montesquieu all supported slavery. – Kevin DeYoung