Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Matthew's Begats (video, book and cd)

Families may also want to check out Andrew Peterson's book The Ballad of Matthew's Begats: An Unlikely Royal Family Tree.  Included with the book is a CD of the song.  Peterson makes the genealogy of Jesus memorable for children of all ages.  

Buy the book by clicking on the image below!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The gift we really need this Christmas: contentment

Wherever you are, say "I am where God has set me. God knows what is better for me than I do myself. He who has put all things in their places has put me in this place, and here I will glorify Him."

Thomas Manton, An Exposition on the Epistle of Jude, p. 25

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's the big deal about Calvinism?

Where the Arminian says, "I owe my election to my faith," the Calvinist says, "I owe my faith to my election." Clearly, these two concepts of elections are very far apart.

Where the Arminian says, "I could not have gained my salvation without Calvary," the Calvinist says, "Christ gained my salvation for me at Calvary."

Where the Arminian is content to say, "I decided for Christ," the Calvinist says

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eye difused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

("And Can It Be?" by Charles Wesley)

To say, in the Arminian sense, that God elects believers, Christ died for all men and the Spirit quickens those who receive the Word is really to say that, in the biblical sense, God elects nobody, Christ died for nobody and the Spirit quickens nobody.

- JI Packer

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Like Lemmings to the Shopping Sea

By now the murdering stampede to death of a Walmart greeter on Long Island five days ago is old news, but that news is not too old for us to thoughtfully ponder some sad facts which the recent 'Black Friday' incident reveals about us as humans, Americans and idolaters.

Few lead us on such a soul-searching quest better than poet and cultural analyst Andre Codrescu. You can read or listen to his thoughts here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Revelation - A Vision to See with your Ears

Revelation is a book of graphic symbols depicting God and His plan to sustain us as we faithfully follow Him, His plan to thoroughly destroy His enemies and His plan to reverse the curse as He ushers us back into paradise: the new heavens and new earth.

Revelation is a series of pictures which are best caught when seen with our ears - when listened to in order to capture its big-picture reality of Christ-centered hope. Therefore, I would strongly encourage you not only to read Revelation this year as I preach through it, but listen to it. Unless you have a copy of the Bible on tape or cd, you can listen to any portion of the Bible in a number of translations (including the ESV) here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rightly Reading Revelation

Revelation renews us, not so much by telling us about particular future events, as by showing us God, who will bring all events to pass in his own time and own way.

Revelation constantly utilizes earlier Scripture, but uses it creatively, in new configurations. Any vision of God and and his throne room is less like a photograph than an artistic impression. It is a vision, which symbolizes rather than photographs the realities that it presents.

- Vern Poythress, The Returning King, pp. 99 & 105

Prophetic vision is not intended to provide photographic reproduction of what spirits such as cherubim and seraphim look like. Rather, in prophetic vision God adapts to the need of the moment the visual metaphors by which he portrays aspects of truth about himself and his heavenly courtiers.

- Dennis Johnson, The Triumph of the Lamb, p. 101

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Prepared to Die

I cannot say I have so lived that I should not now be afraid to die; but this I can say, I have so learned Christ, that I am not afraid to die.

- The words of Puritan Stephen Marshall on his deathbed, November 19, 1655

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Treasure Principle Keys

This morning during our Sunday School hour we spent time praying for the upcoming 2009 budget year.  We opened our time of prayer by looking at Randy Alcorn's "Treasure Principle Keys"  from The Treasure Principle.  

1. God Owns Everything.  I'm His money manager.
We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted - not given - to us.
2. My heart always goes where I put God's money.
Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.
3. Heaven, not Earth, is my home.
We are citizens of "a better country - a heavenly one."  (Hebrews 11:16)
4. I should live not for the dot but for the line.
From the dot - our present life on earth - extends a line that goes on forever, which is eternity in heaven.
5. Giving is the only antidote to materialism.
Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda.  It dethrones me and exalts Him.
6. God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
God gives us more money than we need so we can give - generously.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Key to Contentment

Before conversion, before God wrought upon your souls, you were contented with the world without grace, though you had no interest in God nor Christ; why cannot you now be contented with grace and spiritual things without the world?

- Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, p. 214

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Politics of James 3:9-10

Many Christians may be tempted today (and may be more in days to come) to fill their mouths with declamations, sarcastic jokes and doomsday predictions about our new president. At such times we need a biblical reality check to recall why God created our tongues. James 3 helps us:

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not be so.

What, then, should we who long for righteousness to reign on the earth in the face of the election of an unrighteous ruler do with our speech? Paul tells us in
I Timothy 2:1-4:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:1-4).

Over the past two weeks we've posted some wise, biblical advice in the realm of politics from the tongue of John Piper. I'll let him have the last word in guiding us in the use of our tongues in light of our nation's election outcome and in light of
I Timothy 2:1-4:

1. Giving thanks “for kings” is hard when they are evil.
And, as Calvin said on this passage, “All the magistrates of that time were sworn enemies of Christ.” This shows us that anarchy is a horrible alternative to almost any ruler. We should give thanks for rulers because “non-rule” would unleash on us utterly unbridled evil with no recourse whatever. Again Calvin: “Unless they restrained the boldness of wicked men, the whole world would be full of robberies and murders.” The better we understand the seething evil of the human heart that is ready to break out where there is no restraint, the more thankful we will be for government.

2. The effect we pray for is “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly, and dignified in every way.”
Dignified means “serious and reverent,” not stuffy. I suspect what Paul means is not that we can’t live godly and serious lives during times of anarchy. We can. I suspect he means that peaceful and quiet lives, which are the opposite of anarchy, are often wasted in ungodly and frivolous actions. So he is praying for a government that would give peace and quiet (not anarchy), and that Christians would not fritter away their peaceful lives with the world, but would be radically godly and serious about the lost condition of the world and how to change it.

3. Using our peace for radical godliness and serious action will lead to more effective evangelism and world missions.
This last observation is confirmed by the hoped-for outcome Paul mentions. Paul says that the reason God delights in such peaceful, Godward, serious action is that he “desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” More people will be saved if our government restrains the horrors of anarchy, and if Christians use this peace not to waste their lives on endless entertainment, but seriously give their lives to making God known.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Voting to the Glory of God

The election is just over one week away. How passionate about its results should a Christian whose hope is heaven be? How joyous should I be if my candidate wins? How upset should I be if he doesn't? These and other questions are thoughtfully explored in a recent article on Christians and voting by John Piper. May its biblical perspective help us all vote to the glory of God. Read the article here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dressing to the Glory of God

This upcoming Sunday in a message on Revelation 2:18-29 I plan to mention the common temptation for many Christian women to dress to please themselves, stay in fashion or allure men rather than dressing to the glory of God. So, how does one do that? Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters answer that question in a way which not only gets to the neckline and waistline but gets to the heart. Their brief article called 'A Modesty Heart Check" can be found here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Recent conversations I've had with Christian friends have reminded me of the importance of biblical discernment in making lifestyle choices and the danger of doing so by unbiblical rules which lead to legalism. This is not a tangential issue. If we cling to a list of rules instead of to the Cross we abandon the gospel itself. But if we live without discernment we deny the holiness to which the gospel saves us. Therefore, I'm happy to recommend a new, excellent, little book on this topic designed to help us on both counts: Worldliness, edited by CJ Mahaney. Here's a taste to whet your appetite:

Some people try to define worldliness as living outside a specific set of rules or conservative standards. If you listen to music with a certain beat, dress in fashionable clothes, watch movies with a certain rating or indulge in certain luxuries of modern society, surely you must be worldly.

Others, irritated and repulsed by rules that seem arbitrary, react to definitions of worldliness, assuming it's impossible to define. Or they think legalism will inevitably be the result, so we shouldn't even try.

Ready for a surprise? Both views are wrong. For by focusing exclusively on externals or dismissing the importance of externals, we've missed the point. John - inspired by the Holy Spirit - takes the debate to a whole other level. He takes it inside, for that's where worldliness is. It exists in our hearts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Weekly Foretaste of Heaven

In recent years I've become increasingly convinced of the special blessing God designed Sunday to be for our joy. In the following clip Ligon Duncan gives pastors advice about how to approach it with the priorities and attitude to make it the weekly foretaste of heaven God intended. I think his wisdom can help us all embrace Sunday as a day of rest, worship and joy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Revelation Made Easy

Last Sunday as I began our new series in Revelation, I made reference to the excellent interpretive principles for our understanding of the book in Dan Hyde's article entitled, "How Do I Read The Book of Revelation?" During the message I only had time to give you five of Hyde's seven principles, all of which are worthy of our consideration. Therefore, you can read the article in its entirety by clicking here.

For too long Revelation has been for many Christians at best strange and at worst scary and intimidating. I hope you will find Hyde's principles bringing as much clarity and understanding to your reading of the book of Revelation as I have. Lord willing as the months pass we'll find our love, obedience and worship of the Savior growing as a result.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Tale of Two Husbands

Few decisions in life are so far reaching as those made by married men. As the leaders of their homes, they have the potential to affect their families in profound ways for good or bad. In light of that I've been reflecting today on the recent decisions of two husbands whose decisions have left large wakes behind them - for good and bad.

First is the decision of my friend Luke to resign from his job for the sake of his wife. And it wasn't just any job. It was a ministry staff position in a good church seemingly custom made for his gifts and personality. Luke was a blessing to many in his position, he made inroads into the community for the Kingdom of God and led a number of people to Christ and was discipling many more. Luke was a cohesive fit on the church staff. Everything looked 'right' about his job - aside from the fact that his wife, finding herself in a very foreign, very challenging context, was dying on the vine at home. So what did Luke do? He said 'no' to the church so he could say 'yes' to his wife. He's now looking at a position in a context more suited to his family's needs. Luke put hands and feet to the biblical reality which recognizes that Christ promised to build His church but commanded us to love our wives sacrificially. Luke is a husband imitating Jesus.

What a contrast Luke's story is to the other husband on my radar today, the famed singer of Christian music Ray Boltz. For twenty years thousands have packed churches and auditoriums to hear Boltz sing songs like 'Thank You', 'Watch the Lamb' and 'I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb.' I, myself, have appreciated his music at times. Therefore, what sad news to hear that he's come out of the closet as a homosexual and divorced his wife and devastated the lives of his four children. Boltz proves that when Christian husbands sin against their wives, the waves are profound.

It's a tale of two husbands - one saying 'no' to himself and 'yes' to his wife to the glory of God despite the pain; the other saying 'yes' to his own selfish lusts in disregard for the precious bride God by His grace gave him to serve. It's a tale of two husbands. Which one are you?

9.21.08 - You won't want to miss it!

You will not want to miss this Sunday - or any other Sunday as far as that goes.

9:00AM - We have the privilege of having our Sudan Team Leader from ReachGlobal with us during our Sunday School hour. Be there!

10:30 AM - Andy will begin a new sermon series in the book of Revelation. Be there!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Best...Sermons

Shortly after I was converted back in 1987 I began listening to radio preachers in order to supplement my own church attendance and study of Scripture. Thanks to the Web we now have excellent, biblical, Christ-centered messages at our disposal to download and listen to 24/7. I can think of few better ways to redeem the time we spend driving, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc.

Continuing the theme of 'The Best Of...' from my Summer '08, here is a link to the two best sermons I've listened to in the past few months (thanks Dawn Talley for the tip):

Click HERE for the sermons.

These messages by Dave Harvey have become a mainstay I keep returning to in bringing the Cross to bear in my relational sin. So biblical, so sound, so convicting, so liberating, so Christ-exalting!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Best...Interview

Last week I introduced you to the best book I read this summer. I thought I'd continue that theme with the best recorded interview I heard this summer. It's a Q & A session with CJ Mahaney (of Soverieign Grace Ministries) and his wife Carolyn reflecting on Christian parenting priorities which put the gospel of Christ's grace first. Lord willing you'll benefit from this interview as much as Terri and I have.

Click HERE to listen!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Best...Book

The summer is quickly coming to a close, but before it does I'd like to recommend to you the best book I've read in recent months: Stephen Nichols' Jesus, Made in America.
Nichols deftly takes us on a 400 year tour through American history, revealing how the general populous thought of, responded to and 'used' Jesus at various key points along the way. It is a tragic story which begins with a God-glorifying, biblically grounded view of Christ by the New England Puritans of the 17th century but ends in our own day with the wholesale highjacking of Jesus by Christian retailers, political activists, evangelistic film makers and the Christian music industry.
Using his skills as a professional historian and keen cultural analyist, Nichols conclusively topples, among others, the popular notions that our nation was founded upon the Christ of the Bible, that Veggie Tales presents an accurate Christology or that wearing Christian clothing and jewelry (or promoting Christian music or movies for that matter) makes for a church where Jesus is truly understood and worshipped and the true gospel is extended compelling the world to follow Him.
The upshot of the Jesus subculture we've made as American evangelicals is a trivialized Christ, a manipulated God and the creation of a Savior who itches us where we scratch rather than the God of the Bible Who brings us to our knees in repentance, hope and worship. If the American Christian ghetto has ever left you mesmerized or cynical due to its consumer-driven hypocrisy and obsession with 'cutting edge Christian culture,' then this book could prove a healing agent of hope in your life. On the other hand, if you happen to be one of the many Christians who swims so deeply in our evangelical subculture that you assume all its trappings are God-honoring and good, then perhaps you need Nichols' book most of all.
Will the real Jesus (not the 'American Jesus') please stand up! This book carefully, graciously and biblically helps us find Him in the crowd.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Trinity From Hell...In Us

[Truly] Trinitarian thinking/praying before Holy Scripture cultivates a stance and attitude that submits to being comprehensively formed by God in the way God comprehensively and personally reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Holy Scriptures.

The alternative to that is taking charge of our own formation...a divine self in charge of myself...[where] the three-personal Father, Son and Holy Spirit is replaced by a very individualized personal Trinity of my Holy Wants, my Holy Needs and my Holy Feelings.... My needs are non-negotiable. My so-called rights, defined individually, are fundamental to my identity.... My wants are evidence of my expanding sense of kingdom. I train myself to think big because I am big, important, significant. I am larger than life and so require more and more goods and services, more things and more power. Consumption and acquisition are the new fruits of the Spirit. My feelings are the truth of who I am. Any thing or person who can provide me with ecstasy, excitement, joy, with stimulus, with spiritual connection validates my sovereignty....

We might suppose that the preaching of this new Trinitarian religion poses no great threat to people who are baptized in the threefold name of the Trinity...and daily get out of bed to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.... But this rival sovereignty is couched in such spiritual language, and we are so easily convinced of our own spiritual sovereignty...and the new Trinity doesn't get rid of God or the Bible, it merely puts them to the service of needs, wants and feelings.

What has become devastatingly clear in our day is that the core reality of the Christian community, the sovereignty of God revealing Himself in three persons, is contested and undermined by virtually everything we learn in our schooling, everything presented to us in the media, every social, workplace and political expectation directed our way as the experts assure us of the sovereignty of self.... And don't we still attend Bible studies and read our assigned verse or chapter each day? As we are relentlessly encouraged to consult our needs and dreams and preferences, we hardly notice the shift from what we have so long professed to believe.

- Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book, pp. 33-34

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Here's the church, here's the steeple...

I recently read that the reason church attendance is declining in some churches is because those who attend on a regular basis are not inviting their friends, neighbors and family members.

What do you think? If we are not inviting people to church - who is? Who or what are we relying on to bring people through the doors of our church?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nature-Deficit Disorder

In less than two weeks I will be heading off into the great outdoors of Glacier National Park for a time of retreat. I enjoy backpacking, hiking and anything else that has to do with mountains. I have jokingly said that my responsibility as a father is to teach my boys what to like at an early age. Out of responsibility I am trying to teach them how to enjoy backpacking, hiking and anything that has to do with mountains. They will come around eventually.

All joking aside - I do believe it is my responsibility as a father to train our boys to enjoy God's good creation. This happens best in the context of being out in God's good creation. I don't want our boys to grow up with the understanding that all good and fun things happen inside with electricity.

Albert Mohler recently wrote on this topic. He says

The troubling development is that many children never play outside. They prefer to play computer games, surf the Internet, or update their Facebook pages. Their parents are increasingly afraid to let them play outside, scared by the constant barrage of news stories about crimes against children. These children and teenagers are accustomed to air conditioning, sophisticated entertainments, and lack of physical activity. They are aliens in the outside world...

...God reveals His glory in creation. How can we read the Psalms with insight if we never look and see that the heavens really are telling the glory of God? Something precious is lost when children -- or adults -- are alienated from the created world. This choice for alienation is a choice to cut ourselves off from what God has given us to enjoy and to appreciate.

Here's some good news. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to provide your children with experiences in nature and outdoor play. Just open the door and point them into the back yard or take them to a local park. Take a walk in the woods or go fishing in the lake. Go where the light does not obscure and see the wonder of the night sky.

Who knows? Your children just might forget to look for the nearest electrical outlet.

So here is my challenge. Go outside. Stay outside. Enjoy, or learn to enjoy being outside and worship God for His unique work of creation!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Stain of Stingy Christians

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm cheap. Unless its to purchase an unusually great book, I typically keep my money in my wallet. That principle usually holds true when I go out to a restaurant. Despite the food I might buy, I almost always ask for water.

But recently while reading a post from a few months back on Abraham Piper's excellent blog I was convicted about my stinginess in restaurants and the ugly mark it can leave - especially when I'm known as a Christian in certain restaurants. His comments appeared in the context of large groups of Christians flooding the nearby restaurants during a recent Christian conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Consider Abraham's bold call to Christian generosity in the marketplace and the comments of some of his friends:

When Christians at conferences overwhelm a bar/restaurant it’s an opportunity to blow minds with Christ-centered generosity. Tip high and buy drinks. - Abraham

A long time ago I was a waitress. I had a table of 20 from a local church. Needless to say they worked me rather hard. My tip? Bible tracts. Can’t say I was feeling Christ’s love that day. Somehow God still drew me near to his heart despite that experience. - Karen

I had a friend I was witnessing to who had horrible experiences with big groups after church would let out. They would tip those tracks that looked like money. How sad. In my experience in the service industry I found that gay men tipped the best and big church groups the least. - Aaron

I worked for three years as a waiter/bartender and all the non-Christians I worked with HATED the church crowd. Inevitably, a troupe of about 20-30 would come in 20 minutes before close unannounced, all order water, split the meals and complain about the music. - Drew

Back in my McDonalds days I used to dread working on Sundays because of having to deal with all the church people. On the other side of the spectrum, I remember one day when a group of kids from a nearby Bible institute came in and left such a great testimony that I felt compelled to let the leadership of the institute know. - Andrew

I know a lot of Trinity folks who commonly frequent restaurants after church on Sundays and are likely spotted as Christians for the size of the group and how they're dressed. That's not often me but I do spend a lot of time in Minot's restaurants meeting with people - sometimes with a Bible in hand. In some establishments I'm trying to build relationships with the staff. Please join me in heeding Abraham and his friends as they call us to intentional generosity for the sake of Christ. By God's grace we'll be cheap no more.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ministry to Women

A few weeks ago we looked at Paul's instruction to Titus about the discipleship of the people of God. During the worship service I mentioned that I would post a few resources on the topic of ministry to women. I apologize for the delay in posting these resources. Below are links to a few things that may be helpful in your pursuit to disciple a younger woman.

1.) Girl Talk: Conversations on Biblical Womanhood and Other Fun Stuff - this blog is a collaboration of four women (of all ages). I would highly recommend this blog for your regular reading. They often link to other books on the topic of biblical womanhood. This blog has everything from practical advice on applesauce recipes to reviews of several books that we have on our Trinity book table.

One of the most helpful resources produced by this team of women is the Modesty Heart Check. This checklist walks through practical modesty issues having to do with clothing. I would recommend that every woman print out this document and prayerfully read through the list. I would recommend that every husband/father read through the document with his wife/daughter to help them understand the mind of a man when it comes to clothing.

2.) The books listed below are also recommended resources. We have both of these books on the Trinity Book Table. Pick one up this Sunday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our New Statement of Faith

The 2008 Evangelical Free Church National Conference will go down in modern church history as significant due to the approval of a revised Statement of Faith for our denomination. Back in 1950 when the EFCA was born a Statement of Faith was drafted which, though it has served us well for more than half a century, was most concerned about general doctrinal affirmations rather than theologically careful language. Our denomination's Spiritual Heritage Committee has done an admirable job in redressing that with our new Statement of Faith which moves twelve points into ten and provides greater biblical clarity on a number of levels.

This fall we will be presenting one combined Sunday School class for adults for the purpose of understanding and embracing the doctrinal beliefs and philosophical distinctives of Trinity Church. You'll especially not want to miss the first class session in which we will discuss our new Statement of Faith. In the meantime you'll find two resources helpful:

The new statement of faith may be found by clicking here.

A recent Christianity Today article documenting the significance of our new Statement of Faith may be found by clicking here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vacation to the Glory of God

A few days ago I stumbled across a series of posts on C.J. Mahaney's blog. The title of the series is "Leadership + Family Vacations." In these posts he discusses the role of the father/husband while on family vacation. He writes about seven lessons he has learned in his history of family vacations. He suggests that the father must be the one setting the example in the following seven ways.

1. A Servant Heart
2. A Tone-Setting Attitude
3. An Awareness of Indwelling Sin
4. Studying Your Family
5. Skillful Surprises
6. Intentionally Together
7. Gratefulness to God

He concludes by saying-
Fathers, I hope some of the lessons I have learned over the years and the mistakes I’ve made and sins I’ve committed on vacation somehow serve you and make a difference in your vacation experience. Before you this summer is a sweet opportunity from God to deepen relationships between family members and create memories that your children will never forget, memories that will outlive you.

You can rest when you get home.

Dads and husbands - serve your families well on vacation. It doesn't matter where you go or what you do - point your family to Christ.

I would encourage you to read the entire article here (it's a .pdf).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Lord's Supper at Trinity

This Sunday (6/29) I plan to help us delve into some practical issues related to the Lord's Supper based on I Corinthians 11. One of the things we'll be discussing is the frequency with which we celebrate holy communion as a church family. Over the past months we as elders have wrestled with the combined testimony of Scripture, biblical theology and church history and have concluded that Jesus' original design for the Lord's Supper was to see it as one of the primary elements of Christian worship. In other words, whenever we gather to hear the Bible preached, to sing and to pray as a church it also makes sense to gather around the table to remember Christ's death and second coming. Consequently, beginning in September we're considering beginning the practice of every week communion.

We'd like to know what you think. Please click on the word "comments" below to post a reply and join the conversation.

Grace and peace,


Here are some web resources on this issue I've found helpful:
*(click on the title to read the article)

Why Weekly Communion? - by Dr. Tom Browning

Weekly Communion - by Douglas Wilson

Common Practice - On Weekly Communion - by Jim Rogers

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blog Introduction and Appropriate Commenting

Greetings Trinity Church and welcome to the Trinity Church Blog. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term blog, let me introduce you. A blog is an interactive web log (blog is short for 'web log'). The authors of a blog are able to publish information to the internet for the audience to read and post comments pertaining to each blog post.

Andy and I will periodically post articles, links and other church related materials to this blog. We would like you to comment or ask questions in the comment section if you so desire. If you choose to comment please provide your name in the appropriate section. All anonymous comments will be deleted.

Please keep the following things in mind as you consider what you will write in the comments section. This has been copied from a long-time, respected Christian blogger.

  • Am I expressing love for my fellow believers? (John 13:35, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.")
  • Are my words gracious and "seasoned with salt"? (Colossians 4:6, "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.")
  • Are my words edifying, appropriate, and grace-giving (Eph. 4:29)?
  • Do my words convey a heart attitude of humility before God, contrition over my sin, and reverential awe at God's Word? (Isa. 66:2, "This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.")
  • Am I "speaking the truth in love"? (Eph. 4:15)
  • Am I "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"? (Eph. 4:3)
  • Am I pursuing "what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding"? (Rom. 14:19)
  • Am I "slow to speak" and "slow to anger"? (James 1:19)
  • Am I "quick to hear"? (James 1:19)
  • Is the fruit of the Spirit--“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control"--evident in my heart and through my words? (Gal. 5:22-23)
  • Am I increasing in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love? (2 Pet. 1:5-6)
  • Am I writing with eternal reality in view, remembering that my words will serve on judgment day as evidence about my heart? (Matt. 12:37, "By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.")
We look forward to providing helpful information with a way to promote charitable interaction between brothers and sisters who love each other with the love of Christ.