Colson, Charles W., and Nancy Pearcey. Developing a Christian Worldview of the Problem of Evil. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2001. Print.
This book is based on the best selling book, How Now Shall We Live? It is the second of three works that present the Christian worldview in contrast to competing views. The book deals with the problem of evil and suffering. It is designed to be accessible to the layman through individual study or group study. Some of the questions the authors seek to answer include: What is wrong with our world? What is wrong with us? How do other worldviews answer these questions? Why are they flawed? Does the Christian worldview make the most sense out of reality?
I have only read the first three of fifteen chapters, but I am enjoying the book. Everyone has to wrestle with the question of evil, at one time or the other. Colson and Pearcey provide a helpful presentation of the Christian worldview. This would be a great study for our church groups.
Over the last few weeks, our church Finance Team has considered selling one of our church buses. We rarely need both buses at the same time. Plus, we needed to upgrade to newer buses designed for our needs when traveling long distances.
On a recent youth trip, one of the tires went out. While the tire was being repaired, one of the technicians asked if we would ever consider selling the bus. He informed our staff that he was a member of a brand-new church that wanted to reach their community for Jesus. They needed a bus to go around their community to pick up children for Sunday School and church. They were told we were considering selling the bus and we would be happy to talk to them if they were interested and if the bus would only be used for local trips. After they looked at the bus, they offered us $4,000 to purchase it. It was going to be a financial stretch for them, but they needed this tool. Their offer was taken back to the Fort Caroline Baptist Church Finance Team for consideration.
It was at this time that John Shultz and I had the same idea. We felt impressed of the Lord to donate the bus to this new church rather than sell it. After prayer, the Finance Team unanimously agreed. I called the pastor and told him that after considering his offer, we had decided that we could not sell them the church bus. He said he understood and appreciated our consideration. I was able to then tell him, “Pastor, we are not going to sell you the bus, we are going to give it to you!” He was so thrilled and humbled at how God had provided for their church need!
This is just another example of our church’s commitment to our mission to love God, love others, and serve the world. For us, it was not about the money. It was about investing in God’s kingdom. So today, the Browntown Baptist Church in Kingsland, Georgia, has a church bus going around the community picking up boys and girls to learn about Jesus. You had a part in that! Through the church you love and serve, we are able to bless others. May God be glorified in all things.
Thank you for your continued financial support, involvement, and prayers. And thank you for helping us to reach others with the gospel of Jesus Christ here and around the world.
My friend, Geoff Shattock, wrote a moving tribute to my late father-in-law, Sam Jacobs. My emotions would not permit me to read this at the service today, so I share it here.
It’s not easy to be a man A father or a son There is no blueprint Scheme or plan No race that can be won Perhaps you simply make it up Take it steps in time Follow in your father footprints Drink from ancient cup Try to make it rhyme Looking to your God above You strain to hear your call Get it right or get it wrong Covering all with love You raise and take your fall Four offsprung is a legacy A chance to leave a mark Indelibly inscribed with care Through agony and ecstasy In lightness over dark So your time has come to leave No stage craft or false make ups Just authentic scripts and lines Dignified reprise Farewell good man Sam Jacobs
---From Geoff who never met you but saw your legacy
The faithfulness of a church is not measured in how many ministry visits a pastor makes, but in how many people he equips for ministry.
"Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-12 NLT)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalms 23:1-6 KJV)
A couple of weeks ago I asked our members to write a note of appreciation to the person who led them to faith in Jesus. Even if they could not mail it, I wanted them to be reminded of how we were all once without faith in Jesus. We should be grateful that someone cared enough about us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with us. Below you will find the letter that I wrote to the man who led me to faith in Christ. He is with the Lord now, but I think of him often. To whom would you write your letter? What would you say? I would love to hear how you came to faith in Jesus. Leave me a comment below.
I attended the funeral service of a pastor's wife today. I wanted to show my support for my fellow pastor and his family. His wife had suffered for many years, but that does not lessen the grief. I cannot imagine his pain. It reminded me that often a pastor's wife is an unsung hero. We, pastors, could not do all the things we do for our church families and communities without the support of our loving wives. That is certainly the case with my wife. She has always been a faithful partner with me in marriage and ministry.
Here are three things you can do for your pastor's wife.
1. Pray for her.
No one will know all that she has to do to support her husband's ministry. Besides being a wife and mother, she has to share her husband with hundreds or thousands of other people. You will never know all the meals that went cold while she waited on her husband to get home from an emergency or last minute counseling need. You will never know all of the vacations that never happened because they could not afford it, or because the vacation was cut short by a church need. You'll never know how hard it is for her to remain godly in her conversation and attitude after hearing her husband unfairly criticized by church members.
2. Let her be her own person.
Don't expect her to be like the last pastor's wife you knew. She is uniquely gifted by God. She has her own set of talents, skills, personality traits, experiences, and spiritual gifts. She is to be the woman God wants her to be, not the one you want her to be.
3. Don't assume you get two for the price of one.
Her husband is employed by the church; She is not. Do not expect her to be at every church function. Do not expect her to attend every worship service when there are multiple services on a Sunday morning. Don't expect her to be with the pastor as he makes all of his hospital and ministry visits. Her support for her husband at home is what makes it possible for him to be the pastor he needs to be.
I am so grateful to be in a church that honors and loves my wife. They do all three of these, and so much more.
Can you think of some other things you can do to support your pastors wife? Leave some comments below. I would love to hear what you think.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” (Ephesians 2:19, ESV)
“…in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.” (Romans 12:5, HCSB
2. It provides a spiritual family to support and encourage you in your walk with Christ.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1–2, HCSB)
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24–25, NLT)
3. It gives you a place to discover and use your gifts in ministry.
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (1 Corinthians 12:4–7, NLT)
4. It places you under spiritual protection of godly leaders.
“Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.” (Hebrews 13:17, NLT
“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.” (Acts 20:28–29, NIV84)
5. It gives you the accountability you need to grow.
“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21, NLT)
NextSteps Membership Class will be offered August 17, 2014 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. Childcare is provided. Call the church office (904-642-2288) to register or use the Communication Card in your Sunday bulletin. Take the Next Step in your spiritual journey by becoming a member of this congregation.
On my "day off" today I will prepare a funeral sermon. This is the 8th death I've dealt with in four weeks. From suicide to an accident victim, senior adults to young people, expected and tragically sudden, it has been a busy and stressful time.
However, I am grateful to serve the Lord and hurting people. I am also grateful for a congregation that realizes I cannot do it all, nor does God expect me to. One of the greatest challenges I face as I lead our church is to continually equip members to serve as God has called them to. We cannot be the congregation God expects us to be for each other or for our community if we do not take personal responsibility for ministry. We will limit the potential of what God can do in our church if we expect a pastor or a handful of staff members to do all of the ministry. We will stunt our growth and harm our fellowship if we get mad when the pastor cannot give us the individual attention that we expect. And we will hurt our own spiritual growth by not stepping out to serve.
So if a Deacon shows up at your hospital to visit you, then I have visited you. They have been equipped by me, and they represent me and the congregation. If your life group leader ministers to you, then I have ministered to you. If our staff counsels you, then I have counseled you. If a fellow church member gives you a call to see how you are doing, then I have called you. If a fellow member visits our nursing homes or shut-ins, then I have visited.
Most of all, when someone ministers to another person they represent someone far higher and greater than me. They represent the Lord Jesus Christ. It is his church after all.
So I want to thank the hundreds of members who actively minister to others in official and unofficial capacities. You truly are a reflection of the body of Christ.
"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)
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