AudioBook: Everyone’s A Theologian

This month Christian Audio is offering a free audio download of R.C. Sproul’s Everyone’s A TheologianHis book is a basic systematic theology, which is an overview of Bible doctrine. While I haven’t read it, I highly recommend it based on other books by R.C. Sproul that I have read. Download Here!

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PROOF: The Power, Freedom, and Joy of God’s Amazing Grace

I appreciated this fresh articulation of the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace–from start to finish.

PROOF: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace by Daniel Montgomery & Timothy P. Jones (Zondervan, 2014).

P-Planned Grace: Before time began, God mapped out the plan of salvation from first to last. God planned to adopt particular people as his own children; Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for these people’s sins and as a substitute who satisfied God’s righteous requirements in their place (John 10:11-18; Ephesians 1:4-12).

R-Resurrecting Grace: Everyone is born spiritually dead. Left to ourselves, we will never choose God’s way. God enables people to respond freely to his grace by giving them spiritual life through the power of Christ’s resurrection (John 5:21; Ephesians 2:1-7).

O-Outrageous Grace: God chose people to be saved on the basis of his own sovereign will. He didn’t base his choice to give us grace on anything that we did or might do (John 15:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).

O-Overcoming Grace: God works in the lives of his chosen people to transform their rebellion into surrender so taht they freely repent and recognize Christ as the risen King (John 6:44, 65; Ephesians 2:4-10).

F-Forever Grace: God seals his people with his Holy Spirit so that they are preserved and persevere in faith until the final restoration of God’s kingdom on the earth (John 10:27-29; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).

*Excerpted from pp. 20-21.

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A Culture of Grace

Gospel truth produces gospel change. At least, it should. In the following article “Justification vs. Self-Justification”, Ray Ortlund, Jr. explains how doctrine shapes church culture–“grace-justification” should produce an atmosphere of grace and acceptance.

Highlights: We are justified by faith in Christ; He receives our punishment for sin and we receive His reward for righteousness. But, “self-justification is the deepest impulse of the human heart”. We intellectually embrace justification by faith, but functionally we live by self-justification.

We desire to save ourselves… We judge others who live by different standards… We compare ourselves to others (who are worse) in order to justify our sins… We fear man–insecurity, anxiety, etc… We manipulate and condemn… all for the sake of self-promotion and self-validation.

“The doctrine of grace-justification… builds… and protects a culture of grace-justification.”

Check out Ray’s article for further elaboration: Justification versus Self-Justification

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Daily thoughts: Titus 1:1

“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and the their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness” (ESV)

The Apostle states both the nature of this specific writing to Titus and the Spirit-breathed nature of all Scripture: it is for the faith of every believer. So, it is with great encouragement that we take up the Bible and read it each day, knowing that it was written for the sake of our faith. Take heart, Christian, as we read and study this word to Titus that our faith was in view, not just his.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your gracious gift of the Word to me. Thank you for caring about the faith of me, thousands of years after the fact. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for guiding the apostle to write these words for my benefit, for my faith. Open my eyes to this glorious truth as I seek to find You in the Word.

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Compassion Curriculum (for Special Needs Adults)

Paul and Jill Miller have written a great curriculum to help special needs adults understand the compassion of Jesus!

ResourcesLeader’s Manual and Student Manual; Free Starter Pack Download

Publisher’s Description

Compassion is at the very center of Jesus’ being—it is the main way that he relates to people. Jesus shows compassion by incarnating, by stepping into other people’s shoes. It is an entirely different way of approaching people—one that begins by looking.

In this 19-session study, students will learn:

  • How Jesus sees people and shows compassion
  • How our hearts can prevent us from showing compassion
  • How to share Jesus’ compassion with others

Come see the beauty of how Jesus looks, sees, and moves toward people like you and me.

Additional resources can be found at

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The Chronicles of Narnia–Free Audio

For those Narnians out there, here’s a great resource to listen to the series online. Unfortunately you cannot directly download the audio, but you can live-stream it for free or download it via itunes podcast.

Lion of Narnia

Link: The Chronicles of Narnia AUDIO

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Free AudioBook: “Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God” (Packer)

Each month, ChristianAudio provides a free download for those who subscribe to their email newsletter (sent only occasionally).

This month the free audiobook is J.I. Packer’s Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God. It’s one of the best resources on the topic of evangelism, and as you might assume, holds a high view of God’s sovereign grace as the initiator of salvation and man’s gospel proclamation as the means that God often uses to bring sinners to faith and repentance. Check it out… after all, it’s free!

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by | May 1, 2014 · 1:54 pm

From the Perspective of a Toddler: Absolutely Hilarious

I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve written on this blog. After a necessary reprieve, I’m planning to start writing again. But, as an initial start, I wanted to share a blog post that totally made my day! Enjoy…

Backstory: On Twitter, I follow a lady who writes quippy little posts about her toddler’s life, from his perspective. It’s almost always hilarious. Here’s an “open letter” from her toddler to another child that he punched on the playground. It’s worth your time… Read it as if the Toddler is writing it and you’ll be laughing:

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When we are anxious

Peter’s letter contains one of the most quoted and loved verses on anxiety “Cast all your anxieties (burdens) on him, for he cares for you.”

This is wonderful good news to the person who is anxious and worrying but the Word of God does not start with that thought. Instead we find strongly worded command to “humble yourselves, therefore, before the mighty hand of God.” This is key to helping combat worry and anxiety. It is the lesson learned by Job and it is here summed up: humble yourself before the mighty God.

This is the rock solid assurance for our souls, that there is a mighty Creator, a Lord of heaven and earth, bigger and stronger than all of the creation. He is exalted and glorious wonder, seated on a throne, surrounded by thousands of angels and creatures declaring and singing his praises.

When we begin here, at the throne of God, we will be humbled before him. When we recall the deeds and character of God we will bow in humiliation. And it is here that our sorrows, anxieties, and burdens are cast at his feet. The same mighty God who spoke the universe into being is the one who cares for us. Cares so much that he “has called us to eternal glory in Christ” and chosen us of all the created things to be his beloved.

This will begin to spread the light of the Gospel hope into your burdens and anxieties. This will be a lasting cure for the sinful tendency to worry and fret. The God of the universe, enthroned in light, has redeemed you. Rest in him and be well.



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LOVE: When the Lord Moves the Mountains to Meet His Own Wherever We Are

“Waiting Here for You” by Christy Nockels

“Lord I Need You” by Chris Tomlin

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Interesting Articles

Here’s a convicting thought: 

If God should have no more mercy on us than we have charity to one another, what would become of us? —Thomas Fuller

Mark 11:20-25 “As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer,believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Ordinary Faithful Pastors: Here are a few thoughts from Ray Ortlund, Jr. on his late father, a faithful, ordinary pastor.

Growth in Christ: Spiritual growth is inevitable, sometimes slow and imperceptible, but it’s a certainty for anyone who is in Christ because the Master Builder completes everything that He begins.

Personal Purgatory: Praise God that He does not treat us this way, and that He removes the condemning guilt of our sin.

Ge0-Tracer: An entertaining Google Maps game.

Having a Servant’s Heart: A story from the life of D.L. Moody.


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Articles: Recent Readings

Here are a few articles that I found worth my time:

Are you more of a proud or broken person? This chart gives some insightful perspective on pride and humility.

Tips for Leading Small Teams: This article provides beneficial insight into managing teams well, whether in a professional or ministry context. It’s worth a quick scan.

Falling in Love Everyday: This was a sad article, but interesting in how an amnesiac retained his love for his wife.

Is the Internet the Source of Our Problems: Interesting article about a dude who disconnected for a year.

Are you busy? Do you have to be?: Some thoughts on being “busy” all the time.

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Here are a few articles that I have found worth my time in recent weeks:

“The Great Man Hunt”: Guys, we need to ‘man-up’ and start becoming men of maturity and integrity who have holy ambition for the things of God–including being worthy and able to lead godly young women. Pursue Jesus. Pursue a woman. Pursue well.

“Marriage Expectations”: We all have unreasonable, inflated expectations. We’re tend toward the extremes of being either idealistic or pessimistic–but healthy, gospel-reflecting relationships involve having the right expectations.

Defining Biblical LoveWhat Did You Expect? (Part 1) & What Did You Expect (Part 2). Here are two excellent descriptions of real, biblical love as seen in the struggle of marriage, as two sinners fight the good fight and apply God’s grace to one another.

Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken: Here David Powlison addresses an increasingly pervasive and destructive topic. He identifies the heart “conditions” underlying sexual sin, and provides the light of gospel truth for finding victory.

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Strength of His Name

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Unending Mercy

His grace is greater than all of our sin–Praise God!

Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, for they have been from old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions. According to Your lovingkindness remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord… For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity for it is great. (Psalm 25:6, 11)

Martin Luther:

“This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness,

not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise.

We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. 

The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end but it is the road.

All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.”


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Writing Advice

I appreciated this “advice” from a seasoned writer, even if I don’t always heed it:

“These really are the keys to writing blog posts, op-ed pieces and columns, and even testimonies to Congress:

  • to speak fearlessly from the heart,
  • get to the point immediately,
  • keep the message simple and focused,
  • and use the fewest words you can.” [1]

Boom… goes the Dynamite!


[1] Vivek Wadwha “My Secrets How I Became a Prolific Writer and Learned to Get Beyond School Essays” (emphasis added).

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The Source

“It is not the bee’s touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweetness.  It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.” (Thomas Brooks)

 “Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.” (Jonathan Edwards, “Resolutions,” #28)

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Living Like Widows & Beggars

We are all beggars in our hearts–beggars in need of the Bread of Life. We have been given fullness in Christ, but though we have our dear Jesus, we never lose our need of Him. We are like beggars–and in this life, God gives us perpetual need so that we will come hungrily to Him for satisfaction. May we live on this side of glory as persistent widows and salivating beggars who run to God for provision of every need and desire–and may we live expectantly as we trust that He has and will meet us with mercy and grace in our time of need.

(Image Source)

Luke 18:1-8 “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

“It is very apparent from the Word of God that he often tries the faith and patience of his people, when they are crying to him for some great and important mercy, by withholding the mercy sought for a season; and not only so, but at first he may cause an increase of dark appearances.  And yet he, without fail, at last prospers those who continue urgently in prayer with all perseverance and ‘will not let him go except he blesses.’” [1]

Lord, teach us to pray and to trust you with everything that we need and desire. Let us be faithful widows and fulfilled beggars.


[1] Jonathan Edwards, “A Call to United Extraordinary Prayer,” in Works (Edinburgh, 1979), II:312.

[HT: Ray Ortlund, Jr.]

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An Everlasting Love

The love of the Lord is an everlasting, covenantal love rooted in His character rather than ours. We receive His love, not because we are worthy, but because He is! Check out the way He describes His commitment to His people, despite their infidelity:

Hosea 2:14-23

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
“And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.

“And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD,
I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and they shall answer Jezreel,
and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”

There is no greater love than God has for His people… May we worship Him as we fall in love with Him, and extend that love toward others around us.

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The Man of God: A Life-Giving River

Acts 20:28 “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

“The life-giving preacher is a man of God, whose heart is ever athirst for God, whose soul is ever following hard after God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power of God’s Spirit the flesh and the world have been crucified and his ministry is like the generous flood of a life-giving river.” [1] 

The daunting responsibilities of every minister of the gospel–and really, every believer, is to embrace a life of:

  • Praying
  • Trusting in God’s promises
  • Rejoicing in the truth
  • Weeping over souls
  • Musing on the depths of revelation
  • Praising God’s name
  • Treasuring the riches of Christ
  • Walking by the Spirit
  • Exercising spiritual gifts
  • Dealing with demons
  • Pleading with backsliders
  • Perseverance in the challenges of marriage
  • Playing with children
  • Courage in the face of persecution
  • Patience with everyone

“God, deliver us from [making ministry about profession]! Deliver us from the ‘low, managing, contriving, maneuvering temper of mind among us.’ God give us tears for our sins. Forgive us for being so shallow in prayer, so thin in our grasp of holy verities, so content amid perishing neighbors, so empty of passion and earnestness in all our conversation. Restore to us the childlike joy of our salvation. Frighten us with the awesome holiness and power of Him who can cast both soul and body into hell (Matt. 10:28). Cause us to hold to the cross with fear and trembling as our hope-filled and offensive tree of life. Grant us nothing, absolutely nothing, the way the world views it. May Christ be all in all (Col. 3:11). Banish professionalism from our midst, O God, and in its place put passionate prayer, poverty of spirit, hunger for God, rigorous study of holy things, white-hot devotion to Jesus Christ, utter indifference to all material gain, and unremitting labor to rescue the perishing, perfect the saints, and glorify our sovereign Lord. In Jesus’ great and powerful name. Humble us, O God, under Your mighty hand, and let us rise, not as professionals, but as witnesses and partakers of the sufferings of Christ. In His awesome name. Amen.” [2]


[1] John Piper, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, 3 (2013).

[2] Ibid, 3-4.

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