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I just wanted to link this site to a new site, where I’ve picked up blogging with some Bible Presbyterian brethren. Here’s the newest piece on Vice President Pence.

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Here is an important little note from my friend, Doug. Please think about supporting him – even $20 a month would be super. Give him a look.

leamans4brazil

Many people have asked and many more may wonder, “When are you leaving for Brazil? Where are you as far as support?” I am sure that my silence has brought these questions. Let me give you the quick answer and then try to quickly explain what goes on in my heart about missions and fund raising. The work in Brazil is ready and waiting for us. What more do we need? I need to raise $1,100.00 in monthly support.

The Christian life is to be full of faith. Hebrews tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” I have admired the missionary stories of men like Hudson Taylor and George Muller. They never explicitly asked for funds. If George Muller could nourish, house, and teach over 10,000 orphans by trusting in God’s provision couldn’t I trust God to provide for the care of my family? Their lives conveyed…

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In Search of a Homeland : The Story of the AeneidIn Search of a Homeland : The Story of the Aeneid by Penelope Lively

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lively’s retelling of Virgil’s classic is a wonderful read. The story is, well, the Aeneid. So, it’s great. The illustrations are fun and the kids really liked them (so did I). Got little ones? Get this and read it. I love introducing my little ones to the classic books in a way that is accessible. I used to tell them Homer’s and Virgil’s stories before bed from memory… this method is WAY better.

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The Spigot

Heidelberg Catechism #18

Q. But who is that Mediator who at the same time is true God and a true and righteous man?

A. Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30).

Theological: Christ is the great mystery solver. First, the massive enigma of how sinful man can be saved by a man is elegantly resolved in the person of the God-man. Jesus is like Sherlock: “Elementary, my dear Watson. God simply united himself to a human nature in one person. Thus, we have true God and true and righteous man.” Second, we see in Christ the solution to humanity’s most basic problem. Jesus Christ, the God-man, is redemption. The most fundamental problem for humanity is not childhood obesity, nor how to feed the third-world, not even world peace, but peace with an offended God. Any Christian theology that places that God-ward orientation of redemption in the back seat misses the boat. We need peace with God. From that flow the issues of life.

Practical: I’m tellin’ ya, baby, this stuff preaches! It has to. The ministry of the Word is primarily the ministry of the Gospel. The ministry of the Gospel is the preaching of the story of the God-man dying for sinner, coming back from the dead, ascending to heaven, where he rules all the nations of men, and returning in the future to redeem his people fully and to crush all remaining opposition. That preached story is attended by the Holy Spirit, who brings people to life. The ministry isn’t primarily about helping people live better. We want better marriages. We want better parents. We want more sanctified lives. These things are the garden of the Christian life, and we want beautiful flowers. These things all flow, however, from simple faith in the Gospel message: peace with God through the person and work of Jesus Christ. If you want to water the flowers to have a nice garden, you gotta get your hose securely on the Spigot.

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What’s meant by “Connecting Always Requires Energy”? It’s right to take it at face value. If you hope to connect with people, you’ll need put some spunk into it, baby. Maxwell does a good job explaining what he does and doesn’t mean.

When I suggest that energy is required to connect with others, I’m not saying that you must be a high-energy person to connect with others. Nor do you have to be an extrovert. You must simply be willing to use whatever energy you have to focus on others and reach out to them. It’s really a matter of choice. (Connecting, 78)

Maxwell enumerates five ways to use energy to connect with people. The first is to take initiative. You have to make the first move. Simply put, if you want something to happen, make it happen. This concept is embedded in evangelism. We don’t stand still waiting for the nations to come and be discipled. We GO and disciple the nations. There’s gospel initiative on the part of Christians. In a similar vein, whether we want to gain friends, build business, or organize a golf tournament, we’ll need to take the initiative in doing so. One cannot simply wait for other people. For “when it comes to interacting with others,” says Maxwell, “they often wait for the other person to take the first step. But all that does is lead to missed opportunities.” Missed opportunities are sad.

Now, taking initiative with people can be scary. It takes both confidence and willingness to make oneself uncomfortable to do it. Picture the new couple at church last Lord’s Day. It is so comfortable to talk with our friends instead of greeting that couple, but we need to extend ourselves. We need to think of how to minister to other people, and that’s often uncomfortable.

Initiating a conversation with someone often feels awkward. Offering help to someone means risking rejection. Giving to others can lead to misunderstanding. You won’t feel ready or comfortable in those moments. You just have to learn to get past those feelings of awkwardness or insecurity. (Connecting, 81)

Love of Christ and a heart to see him glorified and a desire to minister to other people should be enough for us to overcome our own feelings. After all, fear (for example, of rejection, awkwardness, pain) is only in one’s own head. Love for Christ and for other people must be a stronger motivating factor.

So, try it. Put the energy into overcoming your fears. Start small: meet someone you don’t know. Go introduce yourself to the visitors at church.

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