Showing posts from June, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Praising the Lord this week for:

~having my girl home after a visit with extended family. It's wonderful to have our little family around the dining table again and to hear her infectious laughter.

~time alone with my husband, who loves me fiercely.

~a God who loves me more.

~gathering with His saints to worship.

~the sovereignty of God.

~lunch with a bloggy friend.

~opportunities to minister to others through prayer.

~the body of Christ.

Blessings all mine with 10,000 beside!

Mark #3 of a Healthy Church: The Gospel

There is a common worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough - a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice - which costs nothing, and is worth nothing. ~J.C. Ryle, Holiness

Mine was not a church-going family. I remember a brief stint during my early elementary years when we attended church. I went to Vacation Bible School with my grandmother and attended church with her whenever I visited. I especially enjoyed when the choir director performed a solo of "Blessed Assurance". I still remember his deep, quiet voice carefully building to a crescendo in the chorus. I knew that hymn well, but the words were meaningless to me. Even though I spent many Easters holding my grandmother's hand during the sunrise service, I didn't understand what we were celebrating. The story of the empty tomb was distant, a tale in a storybook. It meant nothing.

By the time I was a teenager, the god I imagined had disappointed me …

Thankful Thursday

Praising the Lord this week for:

~a quiet weekend of BBC entertainment

~picking my husband up from the airport. So much nicer than dropping off!

~safe travels

~a clothes line, since the dryer decided to quit working

~my Dad

~quiet mornings with the Word of God

Blessings all mine, with 10,000 beside!

Mark #2 of a Healthy Church: Biblical Theology

How you think about God impacts the way you live and what you want your church to be like. -Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (p. 72)
Last week I shared that my husband and I began our church search with a plan to visit churches known for expositional preaching.  We were also looking for something more. We wanted to find a church with a solid Biblical theology.

As Dever explains,
We should want pastors who will preach from the Word of God, but we should also listen carefully to what the pastor says and decide whether or not what he says is according to the Word of God. We need not just someone who claims to preach from the Word, but someone who substantially does that - whose sermons are in line with what the Word of God actually teaches. (p. 60). Perhaps it seems unlikely, the idea that a pastor can preach from the Word without being in line with Scripture; however, in our postmodern society, this occurs far more often than we might think. Sermons are peppered with phrases …

Thankful Thursday

Praising the Lord this week for:

~Garden bounty.

~The Lord's correction. Painful, but so necessary.

~Grace and new mercies.

~Rejoicing with friends. They've been waiting for an occasion for far too long.

~High School graduations. We have a niece & a nephew who are moving on to the next phase of their lives.

~The end of the school year, even though it's a bittersweet reminder that time with my girl at home is fading fast.

~My husband's life. As we celebrated another year, I couldn't help but praise God for allowing our lives to merge into one. He is a tremendous blessing to me.

Blessings all mine, with 10,000 beside!

Mark #1 of a Healthy Church: Expositional Preaching

God's Word is the word we need to hear today. We live in a strange day, when even Christians who claim to be born again and churches that claim to be evangelical ignore God's Word. -Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (p. 54)
As my husband and I began looking for a new church home, our top priority was to find a church that stood firm on the Word of God. Programs and a friendly congregation were secondary; we knew that if the man in the pulpit accurately preached the Word of God, everything else would fall into place. We wanted to find a church that believes in expositional preaching.

Why expositional preaching rather than topical?

An expositional sermon is focused upon the Word, whereas - as you might have guessed - a topical sermon is centered upon the topic itself.  A topical sermon might be replete with Scripture, but there is an inherent danger of misunderstanding and misapplying Scripture if a verse or a passage is taken out of its context merely to support the pr…

Thankful Thursday

Praising the Lord this week for:

~Friday night in with my husband & our newest BBC addiction, Foyle's War

~Saturday evening at the ballpark

~worship at our new church, after a couple of weekends away

~the Lord's grace as we continue to grow

~wise friends who are willing to answer questions and share resources

~good conversations

~rain for our garden

~hot chamomile tea with honey

~a good night's sleep

~inspiration for a summer blogging project

Blessings all mine, with 10,000 beside!

Summer Blogging Project: Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

At the beginning of this year my family made a monumental change; in obedience to the Lord, we left our church of 18 years and began searching for a new church home. My husband and I prayed over a plan we thought prudent. We had an ongoing discussions about what we should be looking for in a church, but finding that church wasn't as easy as I'd hoped (my wise husband knew better). Just as we were growing weary and impatient, God providentially redirected our steps. We are thankful that we have found the place we believe will be our church home for as long as He allows us to remain.

During our search, I poured over Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. This book was an wonderful resource for us. In fact, I believe it would be a great benefit to any believer.

From the Introduction,
Biblically, we find that god's Word is replete with images of delayed blessing. God, for His own inscrutable purposes, tests and tries His Jobs and Josephs, His Jeremiahs, and even Jesus Himself. Th…