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Archive for April, 2012

I had the privilege of preaching on Genesis 6:9-22 this morning. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: As a result of the widespread corruption of humanity, God tells Noah He will destroy the earth by a flood and that he (Noah) is to build an ark, which he does wholeheartedly.

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Winston Churchill is one of my favorite politicians, leaders, and people in history. I love the stories told about him and his reported interactions with others. He may be the most important person of the twentieth century.

Paul Johnson, eminent British historian, wrote a small biography of Churchill – appropriately called Churchill – in 2009. I just got around to reading it and am very glad I did.

Johnson’s biography isn’t exhaustive – it can’t be in 168 pages – but covers all the major periods in his life. We’re given the broad sweep of Churchill’s life, with individual aspects highlighted. In a chapter called, “Supreme Power and Frustration,” Johnson gives ten points (all with examples) that lead to the conclusion that Churchill saved Britain during the Second World War. Near the end of the book, he provides five lessons to be learned from Churchill’s life.

Churchill would be a good introduction to Sir Winston’s life and work, but also helpful to those who’ve read a lot about him. For a more full treatment, I would recommend Martin Gilbert – Churchill’s official biographer – or William Manchester. If you want a well-written account of the life of Churchill, Johnson’s book is one you definitely want to check out. It’s a good read.

Johnson has also written several other brief biographies – George Washington among them.

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This morning, I had the privilege of preaching on Genesis 6:1-8. The following is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The rapid increase of sin brought God’s grief, judgment, and grace.

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We’re trusting God to do something big at Immanuel in June and July. It’s out of our comfort zone and is a definite step of faith.

We’re planning a Vacation Bible School-like format and curriculum for children age three through middle school. It will take place outside – under a number of canopies – for eight Sundays during the worship service. Quite a few volunteers will be needed from within the congregation, as will supplies, snacks, and a lot of other things we haven’t even though of yet. We’ll also invite children from the neighborhood – a lot of them. I’ll take a break from my sermons in Genesis to preach on each of the eight themes.

This will be the biggest, most volunteer-intensive activity we’ve done since I’ve been here (coming up on four years in August!). We don’t have hundreds and hundreds of people to choose from to help or hundreds of children, either. There may be times during June and July when there will be more people outside helping with the kids than are inside in the sanctuary worshiping God.  There is some “fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:13), but also walking “by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Football teams know that sometimes you have to “go long.” In other words, the quarterback needs to throw a pass way down the field every once in a while – try for something big, don’t always play it safe.

We would appreciate your prayers – most of all that God would be glorified.

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on Genesis 5:1-32. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: There is grace, life, blessing, hope, and redemption in the midst of death.

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Here are some good links to helpful and thoughtful articles I’ve read in the last week or so. They’re all worth reading and thinking about.

Nancy Guthrie writes on being asked to pray for someone and being asked to pray for a specific outcome. This makes Nancy, and me, a bit nervous.

David T. Koyzis writes on the myth that the divorce rate among Christians is the same as non-Christians.

Phil Johnson writes on the anatomy of apostasy.

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I had the privilege of preaching on 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 this morning, Here is a summary of my Easter sermon in one sentence: If the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is not an objective reality, the implications are disastrous – but because He did, the implications are magnificent!

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