Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sabrina's Testimony

In a recent update letter, the Campbell's (our missionaries in Paris, France), shared a video link with this note:
Some awesome filmmakers from our mission (GEM) recently made a video depicting the testimony of Sabrina, one of the French nationals we've been training and discipling here. Her story is nothing short of miraculous, so please share this liberally, however and wherever you can.
Here it is:

Why I Live: The Sabrina K├ębli Story [English] from GemStone Media on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Gospel in Less Than 30 Seconds

Last Sunday, Pastor Tyler challenged us to learn how to share the gospel in 30 seconds. I asked him if he'd be willing to give us a sample of what that might sound like. He took up the (his!) challenge. You can watch him do it here, and then go give it a try yourself!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Provoking 1 Peter 3:15 Question At Work

On Sunday, Pastor Tyler mentioned several excellent points from a blog post by Pastor J.D. Greear. If you want people to ask you "for a reason for the hope that lies in you," why not think of ways to provoke that curiosity in your co-workers? Greear collects 26 ideas for how you can do just that. I'd encourage you to read the whole thing. You can find it here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jon Bloom on The Priceless Grace of Pressure

Beth pointed out this post by Jon Bloom this morning. It's a really wise word. Here's a taste to whet your appetite:
Pressure is one of the more resented of God’s graces.
I’m not wired to appreciate pressure. But I am wired to need it. I find that when the pressure is on, I often wish it were off. But I also find that when the pressure is off, I tend to waste more time. I have a persistent misconception that I am more creative when the pressure is off. But, while that may be true for a few things, as a general rule it has not been my actual experience. Necessity tends to produce resourcefulness. Deadlines tend to induce creativity. Leisure tends to induce indulgence and procrastination. 
He “knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). And so he gives us some seasons of green pastures and still waters (Psalm 23:2). But rarely as many as we would wish. And often not when we think we need it. God knows far better than we do when we really need refreshment when we need to be pushed. It is precisely because God knows our frame, and what kind of dust we really are, that he mercifully doesn’t relent the pressure — because when the pressure is off, we have a tendency to forget our need for God (1 Samuel 12:9;Revelation 3:17). Our proneness to wander is curbed by the priceless grace of pressure.
 I'd encourage you to go and read the whole thing.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

BOM for August - The Total Money Makeover

Here's the BOM for August:

Many of you are probably familiar with Dave Ramsey. You may have listened to him on the radio. You may have attended one of his Financial Peace seminars. There are lots of other resources on his website. You can sign up to receive his e-newsletter, where you'll regularly receive very practical articles like "12 Numbers That Can Change Your Bank Account for the Better" or "10 Ways Your Thriftiness May Border on Theft."

Ramsey is a Christian, but a lot of what he writes is stronger on the nuts and bolts of $, debt, budgets, etc., and not so strong on the nature of and motivation for biblical stewardship and giving. This book is like "Proverbs on Money." It's not a full blown biblical theology of money and giving. In order to round out the picture a bit, I'd encourage you to read a book like Randy Alcorn's Treasure Principle. It's nice and short, but a powerful summary of biblical stewardship and giving, based primarily on Matthew 6:19-24.

That said, Christians can understand the concepts of Matthew 6:19-24 and biblical stewardship, and yet never really get down to practicing the wisdom and restraint of budgeting, avoiding debt, saving and planning, or practicing the grace of generous and regular giving. For instance, how many of you "know" budgeting is important? How many of you are actually "on" a budget and using it every month? I hope Ramsey's book will help us in these very practical and helpful ways.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Interview with Sam Allberry About His Book, Is God Anti-Gay?

We highlighted Sam Allberry's book, Is God Anti-Gay, in July. Here's a brief and helpful video interview with the author, Sam Allberry. He introduces the book, discussing why he wrote it and some of the significance of the issues raised in it.