When Your Future Looks Hazy

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This morning, my wife and I have arrived on the campus of the Christian college that our daughter will be attending as a freshman this fall. Of course, the excitement that we have for her and her future is off the charts!

The entire process of checking in, finding one’s dorm assignments, getting a mug shot for your ID card (my first card was a real picture laminated & pressed onto an ID card – yes, very ancient!), carrying one’s entire belongings into a dorm room, meeting new roommates, figuring out how you are going to share that small room with three other roommates and all of their stuff, and trying to process the myriad of other tidbits of information is exhilarating for an 18-year-old moving away from home for the first time.

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Book Review: Preaching That Pleases God by Tom Farrell

preachingI started reading this book the third week of September 2014 – the same week I attended a “Preach the Word” conference in Baltimore, Maryland. That conference, along with this book, has really challenged me concerning the preaching of the Word of God!

Outstanding, solid read! If I was teaching a college-level class on the subject of preaching, this would definitely make the list of textbooks for the students to read, study, and dissect.

It does not take long for one to realize that the author has done his homework concerning this book. Of course, his preaching ministry over the past thirty years only adds to his vast knowledge and wisdom concerning this topic. I love the humility of this author as he teaches all of the facets of preaching.

The material is very applicable but I also find it quite inspiring. Going back through the book, I found I had underlined over one-hundred sixty sentences, thoughts, or illustrations. The book has four parts:

1. The Commission for Preaching
2. The Comprehension of Preaching
3. The Construction of Preaching
4. The Communication of Preaching
Continue reading “Book Review: Preaching That Pleases God by Tom Farrell”

In the Grand Scheme of Things

TrainLast month, I set out for work on what I thought would be a typical Monday morning commute – long, but necessary. After 45-50 minutes of driving, I parked my car and made my way onto the loading platform at the train station. It seemed that the trains were delayed (not unusual during this railway construction phase here in Philly) but I didn’t think anything of it. Boarded the train and away we went. The train stopped after only a few minutes. A voice crackled over the intercom, “There will be a twenty-minute delay due to a medical emergency.” After a low murmur arose from the train’s irritated commuters, we all sat and waited.

After what seemed longer than the promised twenty-minute delay, the train started moving in the right direction. It’s about time, I thought to myself. After pulling in to the next stop, we were all met with unpleasant news. Due to the nature of the medical emergency ahead of us, they were shutting down the westbound track that crossed over the river into Philly. We were advised to get on a train heading eastbound. Eastbound? That is not in the direction of my destination. That is the opposite direction of the work, people, and meetings that were waiting for me.

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How My Long Commute Has Helped My Walk With God

CommuteFor most of my life, I had managed to stay out of the “long commute” club (I define long commute as anything longer than a thirty-minute drive). However, in the fall of 2012, I joined hesitantly as my commute from Northwest Indiana to Chicago began on a daily basis. After a fifteen-mile drive, I would get on a train (NICTD) for a forty minute ride. After hopping off of the train, I then walked approximately 17 minutes (1.2 miles) before I would arrive at my work place.

At first, I couldn’t believe that I was commuting 75-90 minutes each way every day! In addition, I would moan and bemoan the fact that nearly three hours of every day was wasted with my commute (whine, whine). However, it wasn’t long before I realized what a blessing I had been given. It was during that commute that I was beginning to spend a good amount of time reading, re-reading, and meditating on God’s Word each day. Many of the books that were “shouting” at me to be read were now being consumed in a rather quick manner. In addition, I was constantly meeting new people which led to many different discussions about God, the Bible, and eternity.

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Live For God’s Approval

If you choose your wardrobe upon what others might think of you, you are living for man’s approval.

If you choose not to attend a certain leadership/ministry conference because of what some might think of you, you are living for man’s approval.

If you choose not to post a helpful article or quote online that you just read due to the name of the author and what others might think of you, you are living for man’s approval.

If you choose not to make ministry changes in your church due to what fellow brethren might think, you are living for man’s approval.

If you choose to sidestep certain topics in your preaching ministry, you are living for man’s approval.

If you choose to elevate preferences above convictions, you are living for man’s approval.

God, a Rock, and a Bear

During this calendar year of 2012, I have been reading the Psalms unlike I ever have before. My plan since the start of the year has been to read the same Psalm two days in a row and meditate on that Psalm. In addition, I have been reading the Treasury of David by Charles Spurgeon concerning each Psalm. Not only did Spurgeon comment on each verse in this literary treasure, he culled commentaries as far back as the 1500’s and included thoughts and comments from authors unheard of today. Talk about phenomenal insight!

Recently, I have noticed how dependent David was upon God. I find this fascinating because here you have a very successful man (even from a young age), who did not rely on his own strength, money, status, or fame. He truly poured out his heart to God on a regular basis and made known his dependence on God. It was as if David truly did believe that God was the only one who could see him through.

So many Christians today (including myself), rely on so many things other than God. Continue reading “God, a Rock, and a Bear”

Definition of “spiritual”

Hello there! I would like to begin this blog with the definition of the word, spiritual. Although many deny it, we live in a spiritual world. The Word of God states that “God is a spirit,” (Jn. 4:24) and mankind was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). I plan on exploring spirituality throughout this blog.

While exploring spiritual things, I also want the subjects shared to be relevant to your life. The word relevant means “pertinent or applicable.” So much of the subject of spirituality is not applicable to people’s lives. My desire is for these postings to be applicable to your life.

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