thoughts on life and theology from an ordinary pastor

Preparing for Sunday – Leviticus

Carefully Think Read through Leviticus 1-5 and make a list of the various offerings Israel was to give. What was the role of the priest? What did the one making the offering have to do? What was the overarching reason for all of the offerings? Read Leviticus 10. What was Nadab and Abihu”™s failure? What does this suggest about God? What does it suggest about people and their approach to God”™s commands? Read Leviticus 16. What is the main theme of this chapter? Who”™s sin was covered? How? What do you learn about how sin is atoned for in this chapter? Read Leviticus 18-20. What is the overarching motive mentioned over and over that should move the Israelites to obedience? Prayerfully Meditate According to Leviticus, how much of life was treated as worship? What does this suggest about how God”™s people should think about life? According to Leviticus how do you know that God took public worship so seriously? What does it suggest to us about our approach to worshiping God? Read Hebrews 8-10. In what ways is Jesus the fulfillment of what you read in Leviticus? Read Matthew 5-6. In what ways is Jesus the fulfillment of what you read in Leviticus? What should the most significant effect of Leviticus be on your approach to worship this Sunday? Intentionally Act What areas of sin have been brought to your mind in contemplating Leviticus and its affect on worship and life? Confess those specifically to God in prayer. Respond in prayer to God for what you have learned from Leviticus and Hebrews (mentioned above) and the role Jesus plays... read more

Mid-Week Minutes 7.20.11

Be sure to see our web-site bookstore to find links to the music we sing each week. To order one of our hymnals clicker HERE. Download Songs for the Cross Centered Life Download Awaken the Dawn, Keith and Kristyn Getty Download Enfield’s O For That Day Don’t forget about our Dessert Fellowship with the Bowmans this Sunday Evening at 5:30 p.m. Bring your favorite dessert to... read more

An Ordinary Pastor’s Quarterly Planning

This week I will spend the better part of a morning reviewing major personal and ministry goals from the past three months and evaluating what I should focus on over the upcoming three months. I make these plans in theological pencil, recognizing that God riules over every detail in both the short and long term ““ I am desperate to avoid presumption (James 13-17). At the same time, I want to be wise and intentional about the life and ministry God has entrusted to me as a stewardship. So what will I do this Thursday morning in evaluation and planning. Pray. This is more than an obligatory beginning step; it is a cry to an almighty God from a desperate heart that is deeply affected by His merciful grace, seeking wisdom and leadership from the one who is all-knowing. I dare not plan without a spirit of dependency, and dependency is deepened when I humble my heart in prayer. Review my long-range goals. I base these on the providential roles I have (husband, father, pastor, etc), as well as key verses that describe God’s desires for me inch of these roles. Some of my roles have been broken down into additional categories (i.e., pastor: teacher, shepherd, staff supervisor, etc.). I often find myself revising these long-term goals, seeking greater clarity insight of providential circumstances, better understanding gained through the study of Scripture, the passing of time and gaining specific experience. My aim is to to be practical in how I apply God’s word in each of the roles God has blessed me. Review my annual goals.  Each year I... read more

Cap-Review: The Glory of God

Cap-Review: The Glory of God from Bret Capranica on Vimeo. An Ordinary Pastor’s Brief Review of The Glory of God: Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson have blessed the church with a helpful volume in Crossway”™s “Theology in Community” series, entitled, The Glory of God.  The aim of the book is to ask and answer the question, “what does the Bible teach” about God”™s glory (20).  The editors seek a two pronged attack in achieving their aim.  Chapters 1-6 seek to “help us glorify God in our minds by focusing on biblical and theological truths related to his glory.  Chapters 7 and 8 help us rejoice in our hearts as they illuminate how these truths about God”™s glory shape our view and approach to the church, pastoral ministry, and missions” (21).  Nine different authors, all instructors at theological institutions, contribute to the volume.  The audience is intended to be college and seminary students and those pastors with such training (14). The book is arranged by addressing the subject of God”™s glory historically, then from the perspective of the Old Testament, New Testament, the Synoptic Gospels/Acts/General Epistles, John”™s Gospel/Revelation, and Paul”™s Epistles.  The book then contains a chapter on the overall theology of God”™s glory, and concludes with chapters on pastoral and missional implications of God”™s glory. I found the structure and arrangement of the book helpful.  Moving from an historical sweep to looking at how God”™s glory is described in detail from the Old Testament through the emphases in various New Testament genre, then to a more global evaluation of the biblical material, ending with more practical implications was... read more

Preparing for Sunday-Exodus 32-40

Carefully Think This Sunday we will be finishing up with Exodus 19-40. Our focus will be from chapters 32-40. Read through these chapters and see if you can identify and write down the main idea for each of them. Read Exodus 32 again. Note carefully, who did Israel and Aaron say the golden calf represented? How does Israel”™s sin relate to any of the Ten Commandments? Chapters 25-31 and 36-40 describe the construction of the Tabernacle. Why do you think this was so important in Israel”™s life? What indications do you see in the text? Prayerfully Meditate From reading chapters 32-34, what lessons was Israel to learn about themselves and about relating to God? How would those lessons correlate to us? In what ways do we pursue idolatry as Israel did in chapter 32? How would you relate your passion for God”™s glory to Moses”™ passion for God”™s glory as seen in 33-34? Intentionally Act From what you have been seeing both last week and this week, how should Exodus be impacting your approach to worship with God”™s people each Sunday? What needs to be enhanced, stopped, changed ““ in your personal approach to corporate worship? Spend some time praying for those who will be leading the service on Sunday (Bret Capranica, teaching; Dawson Bryant, music; Mark Krystyniak, prayer and Scripture reading). Pray that they will be thoughtful, focused, encouraging, helpful to the body, and full of Christ in their leadership. Pray for others who will be participating in the worship service ““ that they will have servant”™s hearts, affection for Christ that encourages others, focus on how their... read more

Preparing for Sunday: Exodus 1-19

Carefully Think Read through Exodus 1-19. As you read begin underlining and make a list of the actions you see from the following:  God (what does the text say he does), Moses (how does he respond to God, Israel, and Pharaoh), Pharaoh (how does he respond to Moses and God), and Israel (how do they respond to Moses and God). If you are limited for time, concentrate on the plague accounts of chapters 7-12.  What is the chief purpose behind God”™s bringing the plagues (pay attention to the “so that” phrases)? How would you summarize the theme of Exodus 1-19? Prayerfully Meditate What do you learn about how God works within the actions of people from reading Exodus 1-19?  What does this suggest is true about how God is presently working in our world and in your life? What do you learn from Israel”™s responses to Moses and God throughout these chapters? In what ways do we respond similarly or differently? What was God revealing to Moses, Israel, and Egypt about Himself? How should that impact you? Intentionally Act Pray in response to what you have learned from Exodus 1-19. What sin should you confess? How could you respond in unique praise for who God is? How would any of these lessons impact the way you are currently praying for others? Consider how what you have learned about God should impact the way you worship Him with God”™s people this Sunday. Write out a few responses. Pray for those in our gathering this Sunday who do not know Christ. Pray that they will see God”™s greatness and their need... read more
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