March 16, 2018

#Read2017 – Literary Adventures in November and December

Can you believe 2017 is almost over? I guess every year goes a little faster, the older and busier you get. And we have been busy! I usually try to avoid that over-used buzzword, but in this case, there's no other word for it. The past two months alone have included: ministering in Wyoming; driving cross-country; spending a month in Massachusetts, a week in Pennsylvania, and a week in North Carolina; visiting extended family, historic sites, and visiting multiple churches throughout the country; finalizing our ministry presentation and beginning our deputation meetings; taking a seminary class in 7 weeks, including writing a 25-page research paper; celebrating the holidays with our [...Read More]

How to Cure Sinful Thoughts

What is God's prescription for fighting sinful thoughts? It starts with knowing Him -- and His Word -- intimately, and ends with obeying Him fully and faithfully. It includes learning to see things (i.e., sin) how He sees them, and responding to them how He responds; rejecting what He rejects; and pursuing hard after what He loves and glories in. (Read the longer answer here.) But sometimes that's easier said than done! It's easy to quote Philippians 4:8, but hard to let it rule over sinful thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis. It's easy to say "obey God" but hard to do in the day-to-day moments when we're tempted by selfish desires. It's easy to say "avoid temptation" but hard to do when [...Read More]

Reading the Puritans: Where Should You Start?

The Puritans lived over 200 years ago, but their words still speak today. Through careful study of Scripture and much prayer, they left a legacy of writings and sermons that address the mind, confront the conscience, and engage the heart. And those who make the effort to mine their works carefully reap rich rewards! (Not sure what I'm talking about? Learn who the Puritans were and why you should read them.) But the list of Puritan authors is over 2000 names long, and their published works number even higher. So where do you start? Here are some favorite go-to recommendations for getting started: Voices from the Past -- Volume 1 and Volume 2 A collection of single-page devotional [...Read More]

Why Should You Read the Puritans?

It's been over two hundred years since the Puritans passed into eternity (as we looked at here), but they left a rich legacy of sermons and writings that speak to the whole of our being. Their works address the mind, confront the conscience, and engage the heart. Those who make the effort to mine their works carefully reap rich rewards!  Their teachings offer fresh perspective of sin, society, and holiness; frank discussions of biblical truth; and transparent exposition of Scripture. But their works are not dusty tomes best left to academia; they are vital and relevant messages for us today! Our world has changed drastically in the last few hundred years (good grief, it's [...Read More]

Who Were the Puritans, Anyway?

From the sixteenth to eighteenth century lived a group of men and women who plunged diligently into the depths of Scripture, passionately upholding it as the ultimate standard for both belief and practice, and leaving a rich legacy of writings on the practical application of biblical doctrine. They were known as the Puritans. You might recognize some of their names: John Bunyan, Stephen Charnock, Richard Baxter, Matthew Henry, Thomas Brooks, Richard Sibbes, John Flavel, John Owen, Isaac Watts, Jonathan Edwards . . . the list goes on to include over 2,000 great men of God. They were intelligent men, though not necessarily well-known outside their circle of fellow believers. Many [...Read More]

Sarah Edwards (Heroes of the Faith)

Mentors don't have to live in our community, or even in our time period. They could be people from history, men and women we can only read about. They might be from other countries or even continents, speak different languages, and have completely different lifestyles than we could ever imagine having ourselves. That's why I enjoy reading biographies -- I like learning from people who have gone before me. We can find at least a few points of commonality with almost anyone . But those we read about, and think "this could be me!" -- those are the ones who become my mentors, my role models of what it means to be Christian in this sinful world. Nancy Leigh DeMoss is one such mentor. I [...Read More]