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Showing posts from 2016

Out with the old and in with the new

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I really enjoyed my devotional for 2016 which was The Mockingbird Devotional (pictured below). I have also been reading from other various books throughout the year including The Heidelberg Catechism, The Westminster Confession and Reading Romans.



For 2017, I am looking forward to a 60 day devotional edited by Elyse Fitzpatrick.  It includes various authors such as: Bryan Chappell, David Zahl, Ray Ortlund, Matt Chandler, J.D. Greear, Scotty Smith, Paul David Tripp, and Steve Brown.


Favorite Book Friday

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I am ending my Favorite Book Friday posts with 3 fiction books that I have enjoyed.  I don't read a lot of fiction, but evidently those I enjoy are about spiritual warfare.

Names of God: Elohim

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.
The names of God are important because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is. Elohim

Elohim means one true God.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)What it reminds me?  God is worthy of worship for so many reasons but His creation will cause us to praise and worship.  As I look around at humans, animals, flowers, mountains, oceans, and more, I see an amazing work of God.  He made all things.  If He has the power to create everything, then I trust His power over my life.

Tweets and more tweets

This is a now a regular feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts and this usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
Yes, evil & temptation exist in the world & while God may work through evil & suffering, they are not part of God's character. @mockingbirdnyc God loves us to the degree we are in Christ, not like Christ. We are 100% in Christ, so we are loved 100%.  @scottywardsmith Shame attacks our worth and value. Our response? Look to God, the only One who can assign worth and value. @simplegospelpod We don't read the Bible to find things to do or things to know but to find a Person to trust. @feastonChrist via @FitziesPorch The main point of the Gospel is not faith-vs-works, because …

Posting at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today

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Today, I am posting over at the 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting blog.  Many people have resolutions in the New Year.  I have chosen instead to pick a word for the year and learn more about that word.  My post includes two words that I think are important for everyone but especially parents as we begin the new year.  Go here to read more.

Around My Office

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As I was looking around my office before Christmas, I was blessed by several pieces of art that I have.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of them with you over the next few weeks.  Enjoy!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Thank you to everyone who visits and reads the blog!  I hope it continues to be an encouragement to you.  I am always looking for ways to point you to Jesus through the content as well as keep you posted on what is going on in my life.  If you have suggestions for the blog for 2017, please comment below.

I hope you have a great time celebrating Christmas and New Years with your friends and family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Martins!

What does it mean to be "in Christ?"

In 2016, I chose the word "gospel" to focus on and read verses related to this word.  I have finished this study and I am starting my words for 2017 "in Christ" a few months early.  Each week, I will post 1 verse that includes the phrase "in Christ". I look forward to growing in understanding of what it means to be "in Christ."
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set youfree in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

Favorite Book Friday

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I am ending my Favorite Book Friday posts with 3 fiction books that I have enjoyed.  I don't read a lot of fiction, but evidently those I enjoy are about spiritual warfare. 

You Are New

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Names of God: Yahweh Qadash

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.
The names of God are important because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.
Yahweh Qadash
Yahweh is the Hebrew Name for God. It is "I AM". It is used over 6000 times in the Old Testament.  It was such a holy name that the Jews would not even say it. 
Qadash means sanctification.
Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you. (Leviticus 20:8)What it reminds me?  I need to stop striving and working so hard and instead look to Christ to work in me.  Sanctification is a hotly debated topic these days, but this name of God helps me to see that any good that I do is not me, but God working through me.  Instead of spending all of my time focused on myself, I will ch…

Tweets and more tweets

This is a now a regular feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts and this usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
"A low view of law always brings legalism; a high view makes a man a seeker after grace." JG Machen via @JustinHolcomb There are many great stories in the Bible... It is possible to know the stories of the Bible and yet miss the Bible. ~ Edmund Clowney via @KrisDolberry The impetus to good works comes entirely from being moved, aroused, & motivated by the completed work of the Christ... (Gerhard Forde) via JL_Martin We must have a stronger faith, to trust that a sermon mainly about Jesus will "help people grow" more than our set of tips will. @Jaredcwilson Luther on …

Around My Office

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As I was looking around my office before Christmas, I was blessed by several pieces of art that I have.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of them with you over the next few weeks.  Enjoy!

Christmas Song by Cloverton

Today I am posting a Christmas Song by Cloverton to the tune of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I love the words and focus on birth of Christ as well as the focus on the cross.  Enjoy!

https://www.facebook.com/AlphaNEOhio/videos/1025102917511316/

What does it mean to be "in Christ?"

In 2016, I chose the word "gospel" to focus on and read verses related to this word.  I have finished this study and I am starting my words for 2017 "in Christ" a few months early.  Each week, I will post 1 verse that includes the phrase "in Christ". I look forward to growing in understanding of what it means to be "in Christ."
22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:22-23)

Favorite Book Friday

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I just started reading this book, but I am already ready to add it to one of my favorites. 

Playing on the Radio

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One of my favorite Christmas songs is Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.  One of my favorite versions is by Pentatonix.  This Christmas season, be reminded of how "God and sinners (are) reconciled."

You Are A Masterpiece

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

Names of God: Yahweh Shammah

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.

The names of God are important because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.

Yahweh Shammah
Yahweh is the Hebrew Name for God. It is "I AM". It is used over 6000 times in the Old Testament.  It was such a holy name that the Jews would not even say it. 
Shammah means is there.
And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There.” (Ezekiel 48:35)
What it reminds me?  No matter whether you are facing good times or bad times, joy or suffering, we have a God who is there.  He walks with us always.  He is not distant, but He is near.  What a comfort to remember God is there beside us each and every day.

Tweets and more tweets

This is a now a regular feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts and this usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
Trying to disengage our work for Christ from our union w/Christ does violence to method the Spirit has chosen to sanctify us. @ElyseFitz Do you see fellow Christians as family members or as competition? @Alex_Early via @keylifenetwork The great command is not "be right" but instead LOVE. @RelevantChris Jesus proves, by the resurrection, that God redeems, heals, and makes all things new. @JustinHolcomb God provides! Either I have a horrible memory or an angel filled my car up with gas. Not sure how to explain it so To God Be The Glory! @JL_Martin The greatest threat to the gospel spec…

Kid's Christmas Program at Hesston MB

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Today was our kid's Christmas program at Hesston MB.  The kids did a great job.  See my Twitter feed for a link to the video. Here are some pictures from the morning:





Kid's Christmas Program Today

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Today is one of my favorite Sundays of the year because it is our kid's Christmas program at church.  As we as pastors like to say, "anything can happen."  Join us at 10:10 a.m. as our 2 year olds through 4th graders share the story of Christmas through their program, "Shepherds, Sheep and Savior."

Happy Birthday, Mitchell!

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Happy Birthday, Mitchell.

Today is Mitchell's 17th birthday! I don't think I am old enough to have a 17 year old.  I hope you have a great day, son.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Mitchell:






Favorite Book Friday

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What does it mean to be "in Christ"?

In 2016, I chose the word "gospel" to focus on and read verses related to this word.  I have finished this study and I am starting my words for 2017 "in Christ" a few months early.  Each week, I will post 1 verse that includes the phrase "in Christ". I look forward to growing in understanding of what it means to be "in Christ."
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:8-11)

Playing on the Radio

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Here is a new song from Jordan Smith that he recently sang on The Voice.  It is on his new CD that includes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It is also one of my favorite Christmas hymns.  Turn it up and enjoy!

You Are Loved

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved usand sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

Names of God: Yahweh Tsidqenuw

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.

The names of God are important because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.


Yahweh Tsidqenuw

Yahweh is the Hebrew Name for God. It is "I AM". It is used over 6000 times in the Old Testament.  It was such a holy name that the Jews would not even say it. 
Tsidqenuw means righteousness.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ (Jeremiah 23:5-6)16 In those days Judah will be s…

Sermon Notes from "The Power of Songs"

Here are my sermon notes from my message today at Hesston MB. 

Advent: The Power of Songs Luke 2:19 & Selected Verses
Introduction: This advent, we are focusing on head, heart, and hands.As a church we talk a lot about discipleship in the area of head, heart, and hands.But what exactly is meant by the heart in Scripture?How do you understand “heart”?
Read Luke 2:19
Thoughts on the heart:
·21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)
·Above all else, guard your heart,for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
·The heartisdeceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
·5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)
·“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israelafter that time,” declares the Lord.“I will put my law in their mindsand write it on their hearts. I will be their God,and they will b…

Tweets and more tweets

This is a now a regular feature on the blog.  Usually on Mondays, I get caught up on my favorite podcasts and this usually results in a lot of tweeting on that day.  However, if you are at work and not checking Twitter during that time, you might miss some of the great truth being shared by others.  So, I am sharing some of best tweets from the previous week which include great wisdom and truth.
Richard F Lovelace: "Spiritual life flows out of union with Christ, not merely imitation of Christ." @rayortlund The One who never was plagued by “me, me, me” gave Himself selflessly so that we might be united with Him in spite of ourselves. @rjgrune Saul was an imperfect king Israel wanted from God, but Jesus is the perfect king God wanted to give His people. #thegospelprojectkids The only one who can assign value to you is the One who made you. He says you're priceless! @RelevantChris Broken people need less Should / Just impossibility and more Because / Therefore security. @bl…

Favorite Book Friday

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Today's Favorite Book Friday is a Christmas book.  It is by the author of my favorite kid's Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones. 

What does it mean to be "in Christ?"

In 2016, I chose the word "gospel" to focus on and read verses related to this word.  I have finished this study and I am starting my words for 2017 "in Christ" a few months early.  Each week, I will post 1 verse that includes the phrase "in Christ". I look forward to growing in understanding of what it means to be "in Christ."
6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:1-4)

Playing on the Radio

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Here is my first Christmas song to post for this season.  It is called "His Name Shall Be Called" by Matt Redman.  Be reminded who He is. 

You Are Holy

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

Posting Today at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting

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Today, I am posting over at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.  Head over here to see my thoughts on being thankful.

Advent Resources for Your Family

I would like to share some of my favorite resources to use with family during Advent. I hope they will be a blessing to you and a way to fix your eyes on Jesus during this Advent. 
The Donkey in the Living Room by Sarah Cunningham--I met Sarah at the D6 Conference in Louisville. This is a fun tradition that was established in her own home as a child. We used this resource last year as an ebook, but it is available now in Christian bookstores.  Adorenaments or The 12 Names of Christmas by Family Life--These have been a favorite tradition for our family. This has been edited to include an adult version and child version. Each of these ornaments uses a name and image of Jesus and includes a brief reading for each Adornament or name of Jesus. The ornaments are great for families with younger kids.  The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel--We used this several years ago in our family. Lisa shares the stories of many of the traditions that we participate in during the Christmas season.  …

Names of God: Yahweh Shalom

We often forget.  We see throughout history the Israelites and the church forgetting. We need to be reminded often of who God is in Scripture, church history and in our lives and churches.

The names of God are important because these names are not just what God does, it is who He is.  I hope this will encourage you as you are reminded of how good, great, and awesome our God is.

Yahweh Shalom
Yahweh is the Hebrew Name for God. It is "I AM". It is used over 6000 times in the Old Testament.  It was such a holy name that the Jews would not even say it. 
Shalom means peace.
24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace.(Judges 6:24)
What it reminds me?  When I am anxious and fearful, God offers peace. When life is spinning out of control, God is still on the throne and is all-powerful.  In our busyness and chaos, God can give us peace as we get our eyes up on Him and off our circumstances.  great, and awesome our God is.