This last Sunday, we gave a number of things away that I believe are really helpful resources as we live on mission at Calvary, making more and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. I thought it would be helpful to make sure you had access to them, in case you were unable to be there, or you were there but missed noting the ones we gave away.
First, we handed out the “Moving People to the Right” visual that we have been referring to for months now (click on image to download a .pdf). I walked us through the 4Es at the beginning of yesterday’s sermon in the hopes it would become more concrete to your everyday, and on the backside you will see listed the contexts where we live this out. You’ll hear more about those contexts this coming Sunday, and during our Wisdom series over the next four weeks.
Second, we handed out a new sermon schedule and reading card for our journey through The Whole Story over the next few weeks (click on image to download a .pdf). Please note that we’ve slightly adjusted the schedule from the previous card, so that this week your reading is in Proverbs, which I will then preach on this coming Sunday, August 12th. Also note that you’ll continue reading a Psalm per day in addition to that.
In addition, to spur us on to work the 4Es—engage, evangelize, establish, equip—into our speech and lives, I gave away some books for those who could answer a few questions at the beginning of the sermon. A number of you asked what those resources were, so here you go.…
Pastor Jon recommended this resource to fan the flame of our evangelistic efforts, and to supply ideas on how to naturally and confidently share the good news of the kingdom of God.
A major aim of The Whole Story sermon series is to establish and equip Calvary in our understanding of the big story of the bible. One of my favorite resources toward that end is this wonderful resource from Sally Lloyd-Jones. And don’t let the idea that it is a children’s bible keep you from buying and reading it. As Tim Keller has encouraged, “I believe that every Christian should read this bible.” You will find yourself encouraged and equipped.
A resource that pairs wonderfully with Jones’ work is this newer study Bible, put out by Zondervan, and edited by one of my favorite pastors and scholars, D.A. Carson. This bible takes a biblical theological approach (i.e., a more ‘story-like’ study) in the articles and notes supplied along with the NIV text of the Scriptures. It is an excellent resource for us as we make our way through the Whole Story.
One of the books I read every single week as I prepare the sermon for Sunday in the Whole Story series is this little volume by Tremper Longman. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in concise, understandable, and helpful introductions to each of the books of the Old Testament. Every chapter addresses an Old Testament book and deals with content, authorship and date, literary style, and how that book anticipates the Gospel; as well as providing additional resources for study, and discussion questions.
All of these resources are available at our Whole Story Resource Table and Book Nook in the lobby at our campus. I hope they will be helpful to you as you pursue our mission of making more and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.
This past Sunday we completed our journey through the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, focusing our study on Ezekiel. We discovered in Ezekiel a book filled with dark visions and confrontational language. And one of the visions (probably the central, controlling metaphor of the book) Ezekiel presents is Israel as a beautiful bride who turns against her bridegroom, God, and breaks all the stipulations of her covenant.
Day Thirty: Vistas of Wisdom
I am very near the end of this little writing experiment called “31 Proverbs.” While I’m unsure how helpful it has been to how ever many have read it, I know that the process of sitting down six days each week to read, ponder, and then ponder some more by plunking on a keyboard has helped me grow in my understanding of wisdom.
Day Thirty-Two: A Mother's Wisdom (part two)
Yesterday, we heard from what was likely King Solomon’s mother imparting worthy words of wisdom in the area of leadership. For the sayings of wisdom we find here are those “which his mother taught him” (Proverbs 31:1). And she now turns her attention to the search for a woman of virtue and noble character, suitable to be a wife and mother.
Day Twenty-Nine: Please—Quietly Hold Your Tongue
Anger. noun. “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” (New Oxford American Dictionary) As I entered day twenty-nine of Proverbs this morning, and came to 29:11, it struck me that this book has quite a bit to say about anger, strife, wrath, quarreling, fights, and rage. It is a theme that Solomon keeps coming back to, probably because he knows that it is a theme woven through humanity and history. Sometimes the best way to see a theme is to pull on that string so all the wisdom he has offered comes together for our observation. The accumulation helps us feel the weight of it.