Free Stuff Fridays (Boyce College)
Parents of teens are always on the lookout for discipleship material. Today, you are invited to enter the Boyce College/D3 Giveaway to win those resources for free! That includes free tuition for a Boyce College dual credit course valued at over $1,200!
Whether you are a pastor or a parent of teens, you are always on the lookout for ways to grow your student’s faith. Enter to win resources to help accomplish your goals through the Boyce College/D3 Winter Conference Giveaway. Here are some of the items Boyce College and D3 are making available to our contest winners:
Student Discipleship Resource Bundle*
Boyce College dual credit course (3 credit hours) online or on-campus ($,1200 value) plus these books:
- God and the Transgender Debate, by Andrew Walker
- Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations, by Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright
- How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison
- This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years, by Jaquelle Crowe
- NASB Grace & Truth Study Bible
Pastor Resource Bundle*:
D3 swag includes a personalized ¼ zip pullover, plus these titles:
- God and the Transgender Debate, by Andrew Walker
- Praying the Bible, by Donald Whitney
- Deep Discipleship, by J.T. English
- 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith, by Gregg Allison
- NASB Grace & Truth Study Bible
*Winners will be drawn randomly and notified by email from Boyce College
ENTER TO WIN
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A Family Easter UpdateBy Tim Challies — 11 months ago
Easter weekend is always a special time in Canada, not least because both Good Friday and Easter are public holidays. Whether you celebrate Jesus, Passover, the Easter Bunny, or nothing at all, you get two days away from the hustle and bustle of normal life. In an era in which governments seem intent on tearing out the religious roots of our nations, I do wonder how long these distinctly Christian holidays will remain. But for now, at least, they are a part of the annual ebb and flow.
My family spent the weekend in a relatively quiet way. We have had a bit of a busy time lately and have plenty more busyness coming up in the next month, so didn’t mind the thought of laying low. That said, we went to church on Easter Sunday, of course, to celebrate the resurrection. We also had a fellowship lunch together as a church—the first in a while—and very much enjoyed getting some time with friends new and old. Because Toronto is a major world city, we tend to have many people coming and going, so there are almost always people to greet and people to bid farewell. Our church is endlessly fascinating that way.
We expect that the next month will be dominated by the final planning for Abby’s wedding. She is due to marry Nathan in Louisville on May 15! This will be the first wedding of that generation on our side of the family and just the second on Nate’s, so we are all quite new at this. Still, Abby has done a wonderful job of planning and organizing, with Aileen also working out some of the fine details. Michaela is going to be Abby’s maid of honor while Ryn will be one of the bridesmaids. The service will be co-led by the pastor from our church and the pastor from Nate’s. We are all very excited about it and eager to celebrate together. It has been a difficult couple of years for our family and it will be lovely to join in a true celebration.
Over the past few weeks I have been putting the final touches on a book that will be available this fall—a book I’ll be telling you about very soon. The cover and text are complete and the page layout is very nearly there as well. I should have one more opportunity to look at it all in a week or two and then it will be off to the printers for a mid-September release date. In the meantime, I’m in the opening stages of a very different kind of book—one aimed at a younger audience—that is still a couple of years away from completion. I am pushing boundaries with this one, but am hopeful it will come out well.
I have not done much public speaking since the pandemic shut down conferences two years ago and do not have a lot of plans to do so in the future. That said, I am slated to be at the Getty Music Sing! Conference in Nashville this September. This is a major event that includes a host of speakers and musicians and draws a large and diverse crowd of attendees. If you plan to be among them, I will look forward to meeting you there. If you don’t plan to be among them, well, it’s certainly not too late! Either way, I hope to host an “extra” event there that will include a couple of speakers you’ll enjoy and perhaps a bit of music. Stay tuned for details!
In the meantime, thanks for reading. I expect I’ll have another update on the far side of the wedding…
A La Carte (January 26)By Tim Challies — 1 year ago
May the Lord bless and keep you today.
My church is hosting a Weekender for pastors, elders, and church leaders from March 25-27. If that’s of interest to you, you can find information right here.
‘Gotcha’ Sermon Clips Are Bad for the Church
Trevin Wax considers “gotcha” sermon clips and says, “I don’t believe the widespread sharing of bad moments in preaching will make the pulpit stronger. The weaponization of preaching clips as ammunition in intramural warfare isn’t a healthy and life-giving development.”
Were the Gospel Writers’ Memories Accurate? (Video)
“There was a time gap of 25 years between the life of Jesus and when the first Gospel was written. When Mark was remembering the life and teachings of Jesus, can we trust his memory? If not, then the written Gospels are not trustworthy either.” Bill Mounce offers an answer in a brief video.
The Sweet Spot
Darryl Dash considers the benefits and drawbacks of aging.
Pastors, You Don’t Have to Be an Expert on Everything
Michael Kruger looks at a popular book and draws some lessons for pastors. “Pastors too need to realize they are not experts in everything. Yes, they have been trained in theology, bible, church history, etc. But that does not make a pastor an expert on immigration policy, epidemiology, or tax reform.”
Turning From Ancestor Worship Will Be Costly, Jesus Said So
Lucky Mogakane: “Ancestral worship remains a significant hindrance to the gospel in many African countries. Generally, Africans do not have a problem with the gospel message. But a massive question hangs over the decision to repent and believe, related to worship of the ancestors.”
God Is Not Going to Slap the Cookie From Your Hand
“I tend to be overly analytical. I’ve spent a great deal of thought on what’s God’s part and what’s our part in the Christian life. I can’t say I have it all figured out, even now. My tendency is to want to sort it out neatly in a series of points. God does this: 1, 2, and 3. And we do this: 1, 2, and 3. But I don’t think it works like that.”
Flashback: The App of God
As one medium gives way to another, we do well to remind ourselves of what the Bible really is. Not a book, but something far better, and far more transcendent. It is the enduring words of God himself.
To every believer, the debt–book is crossed; the black lines of sin are crossed out in the red lines of Christ’s blood. —Thomas Watson
Another Week in a Difficult and Hostile WorldBy Tim Challies — 10 months ago
Bounded by a lake on its southern side, the city of Toronto and the suburbs that surround it are being steadily pushed to the east, west, and south. In these regions, developers are buying great stretches of farmland and converting them into dense neighborhoods. With hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Canada each year through immigration, and with hundreds of thousands more being born here, the demand for housing is insatiable and the city is expanding outward like a slow-moving tsunami.
Yet if you push outside the bounds of the city and drive past the new suburbs, it still does not take long to come to farmland. And at this time of year the farmers have just finished sowing their seeds. Some of the early crops went into the ground in the opening days of the month, but it’s in the later weeks of May—weeks when it becomes less likely that nighttimes will bring frost—that most crops can be safely sown.
If you were to trace the life cycle of a single plant, you would see that it is planted in May, that it pushes above the ground in the warming days of spring, and that it reaches maturity in the summer. When the farmer determines that it is fully ripe, he harvests it and ships it to a nearby grocery story or farmer’s market where it is sold as fresh local produce.
At that market a shopper—perhaps a clerk at a clothing store downtown—, adds it to her cart, takes it home, and serves it for dinner. Her husband, who works at the nearby automotive plant eats that same meal, as do their school-aged children. The meal feeds and sustains them for another day, providing the nourishment and strength they need to carry out their tasks. And thus, in a roundabout way, the farmer plays a quiet but key role in that clothing store, in that car plant, and in that school.
Pastors are often compared to farmers and for good reason. For in much the same way, the pastor plays a quiet but key role in the lives of the people of his church. He labors in his office throughout the week, prayerfully studying the Bible, carefully planning a worship service, and diligently preparing a sermon. Then, when Sunday finally arrives, the church gathers to sing and to pray together, to read the Scriptures and to celebrate the ordinances. The pinnacle of the service is the preaching of the Word in which the pastor exposits a passage and applies it to the daily lives of the people. The congregation listens carefully, searching the Bible to ensure all of these things are true, and considering how they can take those truths and live them out day by day. By the time they hear the final “amen” and shake the final hand on the way out the door, they are equipped and energized for another week of life in a difficult and hostile world.
In this way the pastor, like the farmer, is in the business of feeding people as they go about their lives and fulfill their vocations. The people come to church each week weary and hungry, eager to be fed. And it is the task of the pastor to meet their need for spiritual sustenance, to equip them for their God-given duties, to feed them good food. It is his privilege to fill them up and send them out full and satisfied.
And so the calling upon pastors is to feed their people. What will truly energize them for another week in this world is not entertainment and not platitudes, not feel-good phrases and not motivational speeches. What will truly meet their spiritual hunger is the spiritual food of the Word. They need to be fed from the Word and this is the pastor’s responsibility, the pastor’s task, the pastor’s privilege.
And church members, the calling upon you is to be fed, to diligently attend the services and to attentively listen so you can receive the good food the pastor has prepared for you. Then, having been filled with such nourishment, you can go beyond the walls of the church to carry out your God-given tasks—the sacred tasks of fulfilling your vocation, loving the people around you, and telling the world about Jesus. You can go full, fed, satisfied, and energized to do all God has called you to do.