Book Picks (Non-Theology)

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Pastors are readers, there is no denying it. And sometimes we read things that aren’t theological or somehow related to what we are studying or preaching. Sometime we read for fun. So here are some fun read picks from the PS23 team.

John – A Hobbit, a Wardrobe and the Great War by Joseph Loconte

Two of my favorite fiction authors are J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis (although The Chronicles of Narnia is not my favorite thing from Lewis). And I knew well that they were friends and met together, with the rest of the Inklings at the Eagle and Child pub and were fast friends.… Continue reading

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Biblical Self-Control pt. 1 – Its Definition

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Of all the Bible verses we Christians have memorized, near the top is probably Galatians 5:22-23 — the Fruit of the Spirit. If you are like me, the reason you know these verse so well is because when you were at camp, you sang a silly song that went like this: “The fruit of the spirit’s not a coconut” (tap your head while making a hollow sound with your mouth to imitate the sound of coconut). “The fruit of the spirit’s not a coconut” (sound again). “If you wanna be a coconut, you might as well hear it, you can’t be a fruit of the spirit.… Continue reading

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I Don’t Sing!

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“I’m not a singer”

“Nobody wants to hear my tone-deaf voice”

“I’ve heard cats fighting that sound better than me when I sing.”

“Children turn around and stare at me in church if I open my mouth.”

In my years of music ministry I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why someone should not sing. Frankly, it’s often the excuses made that make me cringe, not the voices. As George Sweeting once said, “Excuses only satisfy the one who gives it”.

I don’t believe it honors God to infer that the very thing He created you to do, He messed up. Continue reading

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The Forgotten Qualification

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This should be a golden era for the church. Never before in church history has there been such unfettered access to the word of God, especially here in the West. Not to mention all of the great theological content that is available for free online, like many puritan writings, much from Charles Spurgeon, S. Lewis Johnson and so much more. But we are not in a golden era, and I am convinced that a large part of problem is a lack of qualified leadership in the church. To be clear when I say leadership, I mean pastoral leadership (eldership), and when I say qualified, I don’t mean talented or full of ability, I mean meeting the biblical character qualifications spelled out in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.Continue reading

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Dealing with Criticism in Ministry

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Dealing with criticism is a common challenge facing all pastors and an especially difficult one for many of them.  If you are a pastor, you know what it is to be criticized.  If are not a pastor but have one (or more), I can assure you that you are being shepherded by a man (or men) who has dealt with the challenge of criticism.

Last week I gave a message at a small pastors’ conference for the network our church is a part of (check them out!) on this very issue; dealing with the challenge of criticism.  It was a good subject for me to work through, since for me personally, the steady flow of criticism has been the challenge that has most frequently led me to question whether I can endure as a pastor for the long haul, and whether I even want to do so. … Continue reading

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