Check out

Beyond color blind: Why race still matters
I’d encourage you to read anything that Trillia Newbell writes on this subject. She’s been a great help to me in sanctifying my outlook on racial issues.

How to keep ahead of your email by keeping score
I play this email game quite often and it often cuts my emailing time by about half.

Lifestyle Liberalism and its Consequences
Knowing how hard it is to keep teenagers on the moral tracks, I often wondered what hope liberals had with their own children. Now we know. They have no hope.

How to welcome a new pastor: 10 suggestions
As I’m hoping to begin co-pastoring a church in the near future…

Four Good Reasons to Read Good Books
The writer of this article is a fifth reason.

How does a pastor deal with carnal Christians in his church?
Brian Croft answers this question with five approaches.


The Most Essential Life Skill: Teachability

There’s one characteristic that separates the successful from the unsuccessful in every walk of life: teachability.

Those who are teachable, and remain so, usually succeed. The unteachable usually fail. I’ve seen that in business, I’ve seen it in the ministry, I’ve seen it among students, and I’ve seen it in my children.

No matter how much talent and gifting we have, if we are, or become, unteachable, we will never reach anywhere near our full potential in our careers, our callings, or our relationships.

The Distinguishing Difference
Think of all the successful people you know, what is it that distinguishes them all? It’s teachability, isn’t it.Think of all the people you know that never really made the most of the gifts and opportunities God gave them. Unteachability is the common thread, isn’t it?

If there’s one thing I want to to teach my children and students, it’s teachability.

When I speak to young people or students, I can usually tell quite quickly the ones who will do well in their lives and callings. And those who won’t. Teachability makes the difference.

Teachability gets people to the top. But if you lose teachability at the top, you won’t be at the top for long.

So what does unteachabilty look like?

  • Don’t take notes, read books, or learn anything unless it’s the bare minimum or what’s essential for exam purposes.
  • Don’t ask questions or attempt anything that might reveal your ignorance or risk you looking stupid.
  • Don’t accept responsibility for your failures but blame anyone and everyone else.
  • Don’t seek or accept one-to-one personal guidance or mentoring from parents, teachers, pastors, elders, etc.
  • Don’t listen, but talk, talk, talk about yourself, especially when you’re with someone you could learn a lot from.
  • Don’t take criticism or correction without resentment or retaliation.
  • Resist moving out of personal comfort zones in work, study, ministry, or relationships, but always look for the easy and familiar route.
  • Don’t read, listen to, or learn anything that challenges existing presuppositions, practices, and prejudices.

In contrast, teachability means:

  • You’re aware of the limitations of your own knowledge and abilities.
  • You admit limitation, inability, and ignorance to others who can teach and help.
  • You regularly ask for help, instruction, guidance, and advice (before the event, not after disaster strikes).
  • You learn from anyone and everyone you can (the best educated pastor I know writes notes for his own benefit even when listening to a novice preacher).
  • You listen to others carefully and patiently with a desire to learn from everyone.
  • You’re prepared to move out of your comfort zone, try something different, make mistakes, look stupid, answer wrongly, etc.
  • You don’t give up when you fail at something, but seek help, and try again and again until you get it right.
  • You’re willing to change your views and practices when convincing evidence is presented to you, even if it means admitting you were wrong.

There’s another word for teachability.

Humility.


A Balanced Preaching Menu [Video]

Are you serving up a balanced diet to your congregation? In this video I give a brief summary of ten kinds of sermon (email and RSS click here to view video)

  1. Doctrinal Sermons
  2. Theistic Sermons
  3. Apologetic Sermons
  4. Controversial Sermons
  5. Practical Sermons
  6. Historical/Biographical sermons
  7. Experiential Sermons
  8. Topical Sermons
  9. Evangelistic Sermons
  10. Discriminatory Sermons

Previous videos in the How Sermons Work series here.


Check out

3 Unique Resources for Studying Kind David’s Life
The Leithart book looks especially appealing.

Drowning in Leviticus
Some encouragements for you if your annual Bible reading plan has hit the buffers in Leviticus.

25 Ways Men can be Servant Leaders
For all husbands and fathers.

20 Free Entrepreneurship Courses Online
Only after you’ve watched Economics Has Consequences (also free!).

7 Tips for Public Speaking Without All the Notes
It can be done!

Four Ways to be a Courageous Leader
Ed Stetzer: “Christian ministry often elevates people who can write and speak into positions of leadership and influence before their character is prepared to handle it. In other words, if you can write and speak, you sometimes gain influence without possessing the character to handle it.”


Children’s Daily Bible Reading Plan

This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Jason Henry, a missionary in Mongolia, has very kindly collated and produced the second year of morning and evening readings in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

And here are the daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books. Further explanation of that here.

Old Testament

New Testament

May God bless you and your children as you study the Word of life


How can I explain the Trinity to a child?

Last week, I took part in a Google Hangout at Ligonier’s 2013 National Conference. One of the questions I was asked was, “How can I explain the Trinity to a small child without moralistic illustrations or logical arguments that go over their head?”

If you click on over Ligonier’s blog, you can watch the hangout or read my more considered answer which goes along the following lines:

  1. Read the Bible with your children
  2. Catechize your children
  3. Encourage your children to experience the Trinity
  4. Focus your children on Christ
  5. Pray for your children
  6. Excite your children

You can also find out why Sinclair Ferguson thinks every preacher should use Velcro.