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Blogs

Overcoming 5 Types of Anger | David Dunham, RPM Ministries
“Not all anger is the same, and so counseling always needs to be person-specific. As you train yourself to understand the diversity of anger’s manifestations you will be better equipped to help those who are struggling with it.”

Jesus Loves the Rich| Nicholas T. Batzig, Feeding on Christ
“the Jesus of Scripture never showed partiality to the poor as over agains the rich. The Jesus of Scripture came into the world to redeem rich and poor. A brief survey of the Gospel record teaches us this important lesson–a lesson that we so desperately need to learn if we are to be faithful witnesses to the saving grace of God in Christ to all in in a day in which the rich are vilified by the poor. ”

Here’s A Primer On Pro-Life Responses To Common Counter-Arguments | Daniel Payne, The Federalist
“The ideas of the pro-life movement are much richer and more interesting than many commentators would have you believe.”

7 False Teachers in the Church Today | Tim Challies
“False teachers take on many forms, custom-crafted to times, cultures, and contexts. Here are seven of them you will find carrying out their deceptive, destructive work in the church today”

7 Ways to Do Political Punditry Wrong in a Polarized World | Kevin DeYoung, TGC
“Let’s briefly consider seven ways to do political punditry wrong in a polarized world.”

Saying No to More Work | Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review
“Most people have way more to do than they can possibly fit into their workweek. The smartest ones are constantly reprioritizing their to-do lists… To stop more things, or the wrong things, from creeping onto your list, you have to start saying no.”

David Beckham reveals the secret to his long-lasting marriage | Sam Haysom, Mashable
Not many celebrity marriages last twenty years. David Beckham has a simple explanation:

We stay together because we love each other; we stay together because we have four amazing children, and do you go through tough times? Of course you go through tough times. It’s part of relationships, it’s part of marriages, it’s part of having children, it’s part of having responsibilities.

Kindle Deals


The Next Story: Faith, Friends, Family, and the Digital World by Tim Challies ($3.99)


The Pastor’s Ministry: Biblical Priorities for Faithful Shepherds by Brian Croft ($3.99)


Pray for the Flock: Ministering God’s Grace Through Intercession by Brian Croft and Ryan Fullerton ($2.99)

Video

What are some common rookie preaching mistakes? | H. B. Charles, Jr.


Why Read “The Deacon”

Article written by Cornelis Van Dam, author of The Deacon.


A newly ordained deacon once asked me: what exactly am I supposed to do? The fact that he made that query was the initial impetus to the writing of this book, not just for the deacon, but also for the average member of a congregation.

Have you ever wondered what the biblical expectations for the deacons in your church are? This office is not always as appreciated as it should be. But, once you understand its biblical basis you will recognize that it is truly a tremendous gift of God. The blessings associated with it are incredible, even in congregations that are financially prosperous and do not appear to have many materially poor in their midst.

The diaconate isn’t just about money. This book hopes to demonstrate that the importance of the deacon goes far beyond simply providing for material needs. This office is all about everyone in the congregation sharing in the joy of salvation. To attain this understanding we need to consider this office within the context of the entire Bible and not just the New Testament.

Doing so raises interesting questions. Why was there no diaconal office in Old Testament Israel? How did God provide for the poor then? What are the implications and principles for us today? Working through the New Testament material will also help us to understand why God granted this office to the church as well as his current expectations for this office. You may wonder why Rome has a completely different idea of the deacon than Protestant churches. Such queries can be answered by investigating the early history of this office in the patristic and medieval church and considering what happened at the Reformation with its determination to return to the biblical roots of the office.

Each age in the history of the church has its own challenges in applying the biblical instructions on the diaconate to today’s pressing issues. This book seeks to address the questions that are raised. Should the diaconal office not be open to women? Is there still really any need for the diaconal office with government safety nets, welfare agencies, and insurances that can take care of just about anything. But what about the poor in the less developed parts of the world? What task do deacons have concerning this crying need?

This book addresses these and other related questions without letting the theoretical exclude the practical. Understanding the biblical demands and expectations for the diaconal office yields important useful principles and advice for deacons today. To facilitate discussion the book contains questions for discussion and reflection as well as suggestions for further reading.

It is my hope that this book may help equip and encourage deacons and enable members of the church to grow in appreciation of the diaconal task. This office is indispensable for the health of the church.

The Deacon by Cornelis van Dam


Online Bible Commentary Resources

My thanks to Travis Fentiman for providing this resource.


Just now, the best and largest Bible Commentary collection on the net has been made fully available:

Bible Commentaries – ReformedBooksOnline   2,200+ works

It includes:

– Every commentary that Charles Spurgeon gave his top recommendation (3 stars  *** ) and ‘good’ recommendation (2 stars  ** ) to in his Commenting and Commentaries  (1876);

– Every Reformed, Puritan or otherwise good commentary we could find on PRDL and EEBO that is in English;

– Every relevant commentary mentioned by Dr. Richard Muller in his survey of the major Reformation and Puritan era commentaries in McKim’s Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters that is in English and online;

– Most of the older Bible commentaries that a Bible-believer would be interested in, that are free online (in the public domain, pre-1920’s);

– The best of the commentaries listed in Cyril J. Barber’s The Minister’s Library (1974), including his top recommendations;

– The major commentaries from the Early and Medieval Churches that have been translated into English;

– And many more.

The majority of these commentaries are fully available and free online. The best ones are at the top of each page.

For the first time, the best Bible commentaries throughout Church history have been made conveniently available in one place to all lovers of God’s Word, Bible students, pastors, missionaries, and translators throughout the world, for anyone that has an internet connection, for free.

Bible Commentaries – ReformedBooksOnline   2,200+ works


Hiding in the Light

As part of our family digital detox, we are trying to provide more “real” books for our children to read. My daughter Amy (13) recently read this book and here’s the book report she wrote afterwards. 


Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Rifqa was loved as a young child until one day an incident shattered her life. She was was trying to get something off her brother. Because her brother had always seen men treating women as dirt, he threw something at her eye, which deformed it. That was when all the despising and abusing of Rifqa began.

Converted to Christ, through a friend, Rifqa practiced her Christianity in many wonderful ways. Her parents noticed a change in her ways of praying to Allah and made her go to more and more Islamic classes, which she hated. Rifqa saw so much violence in her life. Her book gives us an insight into some aspects of Muslim culture.

Eventually Rifqa had to run away to save her own life. She stayed  at a Christian friend’s home. Her parents tried to track her down by taking many Christians to the police and having them interrogated. The police soon found her and she was taken to jail.

Fighting court cases against her own parents and family made her so aware of how badly they needed Christ. Watching how fake her father was out in public made her feel terrible because she knew at home he was a cruel abusive father.

Being released from jail, Rifqa started a whole new life traveling from foster home to foster home. Wonderfully, in the end, she  found herself in a Christian foster home. These loving Christian people  taught Rifqa the ways of the Christian life. Blessedly, Rifqa is still following the Lord to this day. This book is an excellent read for ages 12 and up.

I would recommend parents to look it over once to decide if it is appropriate for their children as Rifqa’s uncle assaulted her. There was no description but a brief mention.

Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus 


Facebook Live on Digital Detox

Here’s the Facebook Live video in which I explain the Digital Detox Questionnaire. You’ll want to skip the first 45 secs of awkward silence. The wound on my head is the result of saving my family from an armed intruder walking into a cupboard. Despite valiant efforts, I was unable to blame my wife for this. More Digital Detox resources here.


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Blogs

Passing of Rev. Dr. Iain D Campbell
I join the wider church in extending my deepest and prayerful sympathies to Iain’s wife, Anne, their children: Iain, Stephen and Emily, his mother, Lily, together with the wider family.

It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Rev Dr Iain D Campbell, minister of Point/Knock Free Church. Last Sunday Dr Campbell was transferred from the Western Isles Hospital to Glasgow where he passed away early this morning. He was 53.

What Professors Are Writing… No One Is Reading
Yep. True of theological journals too.

“Most Western academics today are using their intellectual capital to answer questions that nobody’s asking, on pages that nobody’s reading.”

Roe v. Wade Is A ‘Jealous God’ That Demands Blood And Generates Rage
As the late Chuck Colson wrote, “The right to an abortion has proven to be a jealous god. In exchange for sexual freedom, it demands everything else: cherished ideals, right priorities, the First Amendment, and even decency. It insists that nothing be spared in its defense.”

Today Is My Birthday Because My Mom Chose Life
“The terrified young woman who gave me life is my hero. She made a courageous choice to be my mother, even if it meant she could only remain in the role for a few days. The only tie she will ever have to me is her blood and her genes. Another woman, equally heroic, stepped into my life. She willingly became my mother, and made me her permanent daughter. Both women loved me. Both made choices that will affect my life forever.  Every day, thousands of women face similar decisions. Many demand control over their bodies and the “right to choose.” How do we convince them to make the same life-saving decision I’m eternally grateful my mother made for me? ”

4 Reasons to Soak Yourself in the Psalms
“If you don’t know the Psalter well, try spending a month or two or 12 in the Psalms. To read the Psalms in a month you’ll need to read about five per day. Most are pretty short, which should leave time for prayer, reflection, and reading elsewhere in the Scriptures. Even on the day you read the 176 verses of Psalm 119, it won’t kill you. Let’s join with God’s people through the millennia and again learn to sing the songs of the Messiah.”

Performing a “Time Audit” of Your Life
This looks like a good resource.

A Few Observations From My Recent Time in the Pit
Mike Leake writes honestly and helpfully about his latest descent into the darkness of depression:

At times I have to tap out. I have to say, “Man down!” And I have to plead with the church to pray for her wounded…like me.

Kindle Books

A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships $3.99.

Loving the Way Jesus Loves $3.99.

The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist $1.99.