24 November 2015

Guest Post: On Choosing a Church Home

From time to time, when life gets a little hectic and the blog gets a little too quiet, I like to enlist the aid of guest bloggers to continue to provide the reader with thoughtful and interesting material.

Today's guest post comes to us from Pastor Don Green of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pastor Green is also the voice of the new Bible-teaching radio program, The Truth Pulpit.

The task of finding a church can be a daunting one. Where do you start? How long do you "shop"? What should be your top priority when searching for a church home? How can we exercise discernment in the process? Read on to hear Pastor Green address this issue.

22 November 2015

Equipping Eve: A Blessed State of Affairs

The idea of "blessing" has been hijacked by the prosperity movement, but the reality is that those who have been saved are blessed by God. But how is this blessing determined? How is it measured? What does it look like? Is blessing a state of mind, or a state of affairs?

Click here to listen to this episode of Equipping Eve.

Click here for a list of resources used in this episode of Equipping Eve.

Additional Resources
Equipping Eve: What Happens at Small Group

Sunday Morning Praise

Thanks to God

20 November 2015

This 'n' That

Look, I get it: you like to be comfortable. Hey, I like to be comfortable! It's one of the reasons I'm thankful my workplace has a casual dress policy. Let's face it, we ladies especially are going to be more productive if we aren't tottering and freezing in heels and hose, respectively.

I'm also thankful that I live in a town that isn't, for lack of a more respectable term, stuck-up. Been there, done that. I've lived in those places where you feel as though your hair and makeup must be impeccable before you can even run to the store for that one forgotten dinner ingredient, lest someone glance at you sideways with that judgmental, fashionista stare. Yes, I like comfort.

I do not
There is a line, however, that can be crossed. And that line begins with pajama pants…in the grocery store. Yes…pajama pants. I do not understand. Can you not at least grab a pair of sweatpants? Do I really need to see you in your fleece jammies with your favorite childhood character splattered across them? Have you no dignity at all? Yes, there is a point where one can be too casual and too comfortable, and jammie pants at the grocery store is that point.

And if we're going to take away a lame sermon illustration from this little discussion, let it be this: do not allow your time in the Word and in prayer become too casual or comfortable. Do not let it be an afterthought, and do not forget the One whose Word you are reading and the One whose throne you are approaching.

All of that being said, there is no required dress code for your weekly round-up. So get comfy and take some time to relax as you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

19 November 2015

Vessels of Mercy

Like every potter he first of all makes the outlines in the clay. You may have seen a man at work executing designs in glass. Perhaps at the very first moment you may form a rough guess of what the whole thing is to be, though the ornament and elaboration which constitute the main part of the beauty you cannot yet discover.

Certain it is, that the moment a man begins to be prepared for heaven by the grace of God in his soul, you may see the outlines of what he is to be, although it is but the bare outlines. Shall I tell you what those outlines are? There is first of all in him—faith in Christ; a simple, child-like trust in him that did hang upon the tree. There is next in him another mark of the potter's hand—that is love to Christ—a love that is strong as death, though sometimes it seems to be feeble as a worm. There is in him also a hope that makes not ashamed, and a joy which makes glad his countenance. It is but the bare outline, as I have said, for the glory which excels is not there. The vase is only in its embryo, but yet sufficiently developed to give prophecy of its finished form; as for the pictures that shall be inlaid, as for all the many colors that shall be used on it, you cannot guess as yet, nor could you, unless you could climb to the potter's seat and see the plan upon which he looks as the clay revolves upon the wheel.

Dear brothers and sisters, have you anything in you as yet of the great outlines? Can you say in truth, "I believe on the Lord Jesus?" Fear not then, my hearer, you are a vessel of mercy.

— Charles Spurgeon
And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. (Romans 9:23-24)
Further Reading
The Veil is Not Rolled Up, but Rent
Resting in the Immutability of God
Christ is All

16 November 2015

The Truth Pulpit

The Bible is God's final, authoritative, inerrant Word. Yet, it is a sad reality that in evangelicalism today, many pastors handle it with casualness or even callousness. This is why doctrinally sound, in-depth, expository Bible teaching is such an important treasure. Unfortunately, it is a jewel that is becoming more and more rare.

That is why it is such a joy to be able to share with you a newly-available podcast. The Truth Pulpit features the Bible teaching of Pastor Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For those who are local, you may listen to the broadcast live weeknights at 9:00 PM on WFCJ 93.7. For those of you whose radio dials will not reach that far, you can subscribe to the podcast at SermonAudio.

The opening series for The Truth Pulpit is entitled, "Essential Truth," and it is a collection of sermons that is, if you'll pardon the redundancy, essential, for every Christian to hear. These messages will help build a foundation of biblical truth for those who are new to the faith, and will help strengthen that foundation for those who have been blessed to know the Lord for awhile. You will also want to visit the website, where you can download a free study guide to help you study along with each message.

God's Word tells us that His law is perfect, unchanging, and pure. It is written with clarity, so that even the simplest of men can understand its saving message. What a joy it is to have this new resource available to those who desire to know God more by studying His precious Word!
The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psalm 19:7
Additional Resources
The Birth of a Church
Trusting God in Trying Times (sermons by Pastor Don Green)
The Bible and Homosexuality: A Q&A with Pastor Don Green

13 November 2015

This 'n' That

Is it weird that I get excited when the new Menards ad arrives each week? Am I the only one who thinks that Menards is the greatest home improvement store of them all?

I love the smell of sawdust and I loved
watching my grandfather in his workshop.
It's true, this may seem like an odd store for a woman—a woman blogger, no less—to enjoy, but I have a good reason. Menards smells like sawdust. My grandfather's workshop smelled like sawdust. My grandfather loved Menards. For me, Menards = memories of grandpa.

I think of my grandfather a lot at this time of the year. With Veteran's Day, I remember his curious and interesting stories of life as a Navy "Seabee." With hunting season in full swing, I remember the many years growing up and making molasses taffy for him to take along for his hunting trips. As December approaches, and as I anticipate the joy-filled season of Christmas, a somber cloud looms as I recall that December 21 many years ago, the day my grandfather died. I miss my grandpa. I look forward to seeing him again one day.

The moral of the story? Do not mock my love of Menards. Also, cherish the memories you have with loved ones, but do not cling too tightly to those people. Our lives here truly are but a vapor. Like the grass that withers, we too will one day die. And yet, while this body dies, our soul does not. Whether we have been brought to repentance and faith in Christ, or whether we spend this earthly life at war with God, we will live forever. If you have been saved, do you long to see your Savior, or do you think to yourself, "I still want to see/do/experience ______ in this life"? This life is not forever, and it could end far more abruptly than you anticipate. Are you ready to meet Christ? Please, dear Christian, pry your fingers from this world, and pray that God might help you place your hope in and focus on the One who is, who was, and who is to come, the Lord Jesus Christ.

So...while I highly recommend you do some Christmas shopping at Menards, I don't recommend that you traipse off to the store without first enjoying your week in review (kind of):