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Showing posts from 2017

Tweets and more tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the last few weeks.  This is one of the blessings of social media where we can hear the gospel from people all over the world. If you like the tweet, go and follow the person on Twitter. 
When we grasp how secure we are in Christ we don't respond with the desire to sin more but we love God more and desire to sin less. @JohnH4Christ Christians do not live for an identity; they live from an identity. They do not achieve an identity; they receive an identity in Christ. @WePreachChrist Rest in the reality that God isn't simply your just Judge but also your loving Heavenly Father. @MattChandler74 I share the Gospel. Not because I think that they are not saved; I share the Gospel to remind them that they are loved. @RaleighSadler "I do not condemn you. Now leave your life of sin." - Jesus-- Reverse the order of these sentences, and you lose both Christianity and Jesus. @scottsauls Our target is a transformed heart, not changed behav…

Matt Popovits at Here We Still Stand

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Our final speaker for the Here We Still Stand Conference on Saturday was Matt Popovits.

Here are some notes:

Romans 1:16-17

After wrestling with these words, the light bulb came on for Martin Luther.

Man is made righteous in the eyes of God the Father through His Son by faith alone.

The point of this for Luther was comforting hearts rattled by their own evil by faith alone starting with our own heart.

How is your faith? It's not about us making it bigger or greater.

Faith is not intellectual assent, moral courage, positive emotions, absence of doubt.
Faith is dependence. Faith is resting in or relying on something that is greater than you.  The only requirement for great faith is great need. This faith you have is a byproduct of who Christ is not what you have done.

Who gave you that faith? Who maintains that faith?  Christ

This faith in Christ does produce fruit in the people of Christ as it invades our head, heart, and hands. The primary fruit of faith is fight.  I mean this is …

Bondage of The Will

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The second breakout session was on Martin Luther's "Bondage of the Will" by Donovan Riley.

Humanism focuses on our human potential. 

Erasmus writes on the freedom of the will.  The expectation was that Martin Luther would write a response.  Luther did not want to respond. But his colleagues couldn't get him to respond so they asked his wife, Katie to convince him.  Martin Luther wrote it in German and Latin.

People said about Bondage of the Will--You have written on "the hinge" on what everything depends.

It's hard to understand Bondage of the Will without reading what Erasmus wrote.

What does God's wrath feel like according to the Bible? According to Paul, it is free will.

What is the bondage of the will? What our heart wants, our mind always justifies.

Luther--The only thing we contribute to our salvation is our sin and resistance.

Erasmus starts in the Law in the freedom of the will.  He did a word study on "free will". He believed &qu…

David Zahl at Here We Still Stand

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Our first speaker on Saturday morning at Here We Still Stand was David Zahl from Mockingbird.

Here are his thoughts:

"Repeating What We Have Heard"

Social media basically exists to send signals. Those people of Facebook have received their reward in full. Most of our signaling is not overt. We are signaling all the time. Signaling is about self-justification. Signaling is connected to the Law. It flows from guilt and shame.

Whatever you are using to self justify yourself is the Law to you. The Law is everywhere.  We are more religious now than ever before. Religion is all Law. Law disconnected from the Gospel turns into a competition.

There are two signals at the heart of the Reformation-Law and Grace.

Documentary of Daryl Davis-picture of grace

This righteousness needs to come from outside of us. This means that the church thrives when people don't have it all together rather than appearing as good people.

Matthew 22-Parable of the Wedding Banquet-The Ultimate RSVP Ni…

Scott Keith at Here We Still Stand

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Scott Keith was up on Friday afternoon at Here We Still Stand.  His topic was Philip Melancthon.

Here are some quotes:

Everyone loves to talk about Martin Luther, but few enjoy talking about Philip Melancthon.

"What Drove Melancthon's Pen"

Known primarily as Luther's friend. He has written more than Martin Luther.  Author of Augsburg Confession. He graduates with his B.A. at age of 15. He receives his M.A. at age 19. Another B.A. in theology at age 21. Essentially an exegete that dabbles in systematics. Developed "How To" for preaching.

Melancthon's method-search the text, categorize the text, organize the text.

Law and Gospel
The Law of God applies not just to external actions, but also inward.What we must do towards God and what we must do towards neighbor.What does the law do? Functions: Civil, Theological, For the ChristianThe Law is accuser. It primarily does one thing--accuses you of your sin.The Gospel is Good News. It's not just any good ne…

Steven Paulson at Here We Still Stand

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Steven Paulson gets Friday afternoon started by talking about Martin Luther. He is a professor and Luther scholar.

Here are some quotes:

Matthew 4:17-The kingdom of God is at hand. We often get stuck on the first word.  We understand Kingdom = what we must do.

Martin Luther was fighting over how we find Jesus.  And particularly what it means for Jesus to stand in front of us.

Gerome translated Matthew 4:17 as "do penance" which led Martin Luther 1100 years later to Reformation.

The church becomes a lending institution.
"The gospel is not for sale"-Luther's argument at the Reformation.

The two great monsters of theology: predestination sickness and evil. Luther discovered these are reasons people don't come to church.

Luther is going to replace financial theology with promise theology.

Luther's First Thesis-The entire life is one of repentance. We must learn how this happens in the passive tense.

I choose you--Christ standing in front of you.

Elyse Fitzpatrick at Here We Still Stand

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It is my privilege to hear Elyse speak twice in the month of October.  She spoke at my church early in the month.  She is one of my favorite authors and speakers. And I get to go glow paddleboarding with her on Saturday!

Here are her thoughts from Friday morning:

Galatians 3:10-14

And do them?

We live in a time of rampant self-helpism. 

It's not that we are not hearing law. Social media functions as non-stop law.  But we haven't done business with "the Law".


The Law reveals God's nature.  The Law is good. 

What is written in the Book of the Law? Wholehearted love, worship, devotion, obedience to God. Wholehearted love and service of one's neighbor.

Jesus perfectly obeyed all of the Law FOR YOU.  He lived a life for 30 years in humility and obscurity. This is not just a placeholder until he can die on the cross. He is fulfilling the law in our place.

What is this curse? The demands of the Law that we cannot, will not fulfill.  It's not just negative, i…

Jared C Wilson at Here We Still Stand

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Jared C Wilson is one of my favorite authors right now.  He was one of the speakers at Here We Still Stand on Friday morning.  Below are his thoughts:

Romans 3:19-26--"Putting the Law In It's Place"

The gospel as good news does not exist as an idea or theory.  You have to take it personally.

The Law's function is good in design. We cannot be flippant about the law.  The Law is not bad, but it cannot do what the gospel does. It reveals the holiness of God. It reveals we are fallen.

The Law's indictment is total in impact. The law is not manageable.  Christ's makes the impact of the law greater.  Luther-"All of life is repentance". Sin affects all people and all of life. None of our motives are unmixed. 

Our imperfect faith merits the perfect righteousness in Christ. It's not the strength of your faith that saves, It's the strength of your Savior. It's not bad news if you can kind of make it.

The Law's fulfillment is gifted in grace. Th…

Daniel Price at Here We Still Stand

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Daniel Price was up first on Friday morning at Here We Still Stand.  Here are some quotes:

Jesus is the best communicator ever. He created it.

Jesus--You will know my disciples by their love.

500 years after the Reformation, it seems like we have lost the gospel.  It needs to be continually proclaimed.


I believe the denial of faith without works comes from not understanding double imputation.

Because of double imputation, you don't have to do anything, but you get to do everything for your neighbor.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

We are new creations to God through Christ. We are alive.  It's all of God's doing.

Jesus gives us the message of reconciliation.  This includes forgiveness of sin (taking our all our sins) AND giving us His righteousness.

Double imputation is a hill worth dying on. Christ died on it.

2 Corinthians 5:21 is what Martin Luther called the Wonderful Exchange.

Whenever I hear the law, I get excited because the gospel is coming.  But many times in church all w…

Breakout Session-Two Kingdoms

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The first breakout session on Friday night was by Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto.  He provided an extensive handout (see below), but I will include a few thoughts here.

What was my place as a Christian and journalist in this messed up world?

What is the role of Christ in our culture?

5 Views of Christ and Culture by H. Richard Niebuhr (handout)-Christ against culture, Christ the transformer of culture, Christ and Culture in paradox, Christ above culture, and Christ of culture.

The only one that makes sense to me is Christ and Culture in Paradox.
Luther said that the Devil was always trying to get people to combine the two kingdoms.





Steve Brown at Here We Still Stand

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The first session at Here We Still Stand was Steve Brown from Key Life. Here are some quotes:

God never speaks to just one person.

He began by sharing a story about Jerry Bridges.

Romans 3:21-28 and Luke 18:9-14

Tell him that "Jesus loves him"

I believe we are sitting on another great awakening.


William Hendricks-"Most churches preach grace but live works." From Exit Interview

Faith Alone might be the most controversial of all the solas. 

How do you kill an awakening?  Add some requirements. Throw in some kickers (what to do). Limit God's love. Be too serious.

There is only one "good and faithful servant" and it is not any of us.

The tax collector was justified, but he was not fixed.

There's something unreasonable about God's love toward us. If we never get better, he will love us the same.

Afternoon Podcasts at Here We Still Stand

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I am attending Here We Still Stand in beautiful San Diego.  This morning, I had the privilege to walk around the bay at sunrise and then walked to the ocean as well. Visit Instagram for those photos.

The pre-conference at Here We Still Stand included several different podcasts.  Here are some thoughts/quotes from the afternoon:

40 Minutes in the Old Testament--Isaiah 61-Chad Bird, Daniel Emery Price, Erick Sorenson

Background: God bringing His people back

From the beginning of Isaiah 61:1-3, we see the Trinity (Father, Son & Spirit)
7 verbs follow showing the work of God. Every aspect of his work is focused on US.
Bring good news to the afflictedBind up the brokenheartedFreedom for captivesRelease of darkness for prisonersProclaim year of the Lord's Favor Comforts all who mournGive them a crown of beauty instead of ashes; Oil of joy instead of mourning This is quoted by Jesus in Luke 4 and He says it was fulfilled in Him.
The Gospel cannot be stopped.  
Front Porch with the Fitzs

Here We Still Stand

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I am so excited!  As you read this, I am headed to beautiful San Diego, California for Here We Still Stand.  This conference is a celebration of the Reformation that occurred 500 years ago.  Some of the speakers include: Jared C Wilson, Elyse Fitzpatrick, and Steve Brown. 



I will be sharing quotes from the event on the blog over the next few days so check back to read what I have been hearing.

I will also be spending time at the beach, at the pool, participating in a live recording of Front Porch with the Fitzes podcast (maybe even glow paddle boarding), and enjoying being with brothers and sisters in Christ from around the country.

Check back for quotes from the speakers and workshops from Thursday-Saturday!

Quotes from Books I Am Reading

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Currently, I am reading two books.  The first is Gospel Centered Kids Ministry by Brian Dembowczyk and Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt.  Here are some quotes from this week's reading:

The battle of sin is won and lost in the heart.

The beauty of the gospel is that it would not be based off of human effort; rather, it would rest entirely on what God would do on man's behalf.

The gospel is not good advice about how to live; it is good news about what God has done.

Our target is a transformed heart, not changed behavior. A transformed heart will always result in changed behavior that honors God, but changed behavior will not always result in a transformed heart that yields to God.

We cannot move straight to application through bypassing the gospel. We need to filter everything we teach through the gospel.

But we always follow the "what" of God's commands with the "why." And that "why" is always anchored to the gospel in looking at who Jesus i…

Gospel Playlist

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This is a regular feature now that replaced "Playing on the Radio." I will be sharing songs from my "Gospel Playlist" on my phone.

The gospel is good news.  It reminds us what Christ has DONE for us.  As I share, I hope it will be an encouragement to you today. 

Song today is: Jesus Saves by Jeremy Camp

You Are Crucified

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

What does it mean to be "in Christ?"

For 2017, the phrase I am focusing on is "in Christ."  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."
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. (Philippians 3:1-4)

Friday Discipleship

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If you are regular reader of the blog, on Fridays I have shared new books, favorite books, and most recently kid books.  Now, I am going to share discipleship resources that I would recommend each Friday.

The next few weeks, I will be sharing catechisms or confessions that have been helpful to me.

Names of God: Yahweh Yahweh

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 Yahweh
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. 

Yahweh means I am. 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)What it reminds me?  God has no beginning or an end.  There is no other god but Yahweh.  He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  And He is our God!

Verse of the Week

My Aunt Kay Jean suggested I start sharing a verse of the day.  I liked her suggestion but decided instead of a verse of the day, I would share a verse of the week.  Be reminded of who God is from His Word.
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. 3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good. 4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:1-4)

Tweets and more tweets

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Here are some of my favorite tweets from the last few weeks.  This is one of the blessings of social media where we can hear the gospel from people all over the world. If you like the tweet, go and follow the person on Twitter. 
Church, what's our message? Paul makes it clear in 1 Timothy 1:15-Christ Jesus came to save sinners. @rantingbeggar'O wretched man that I am...' is permanently married to 'It Is Finished!' @JTMRM2002  The strength of your salvation lies not in your hands but His. @jaredcwilson Rather, every story in the Bible is designed to either proclaim or point towards the gospel in some way. @briandembo As I was praying & looking at this window at #hesstonmb yesterday, I was reminded of Jesus' words from John 7:38, "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." @JL_Martin

Gospel Playlist

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This is a regular feature now that replaced "Playing on the Radio." I will be sharing songs from my "Gospel Playlist" on my phone.

The gospel is good news.  It reminds us what Christ has DONE for us.  As I share, I hope it will be an encouragement to you today. 

Song today is: Jesus Paid It All by Newsboys


You Are Chosen

“For he chose usin him before the creation of the world to be holy and blamelessin his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4)

Evening With Elyse Fitzpatrick is tonight!

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If you live in the Hesston area, join us tonight from 6-8 p.m. at Hesston MB Church (610 W. Randall) for an Evening With Elyse Fitzpatrick.  Elyse will speak twice and there will be snacks and opportunities to purchase Elyse and Jessica's books as well as get them signed. 

Hope to see you there!

For more information about Elyse or the event, go here

Friday Discipleship

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If you are regular reader of the blog, on Fridays I have shared new books, favorite books, and most recently kid books.  Now, I am going to share discipleship resources that I would recommend each Friday.

The next few weeks, I will be sharing catechisms or confessions that have been helpful to me.

What does it mean to be "in Christ"?

For 2017, the phrase I am focusing on is "in Christ."  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."
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men.8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

Names of God: Yahweh Tsuri

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 Tsuri 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. 

Tsuri means rock.
To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, (Psalm 28:1)What it reminds me?  Our God is solid as a rock.  Rocks are used as foundations so we rest in God as our foundation.  Rocks are strong so we can trust God is strong for us. Rocks are firm so when life is out of control, we can trust God to be a firm foundation for us.

Verse of the Week

My Aunt Kay Jean suggested I start sharing a verse of the day.  I liked her suggestion but decided instead of a verse of the day, I would share a verse of the week.  Be reminded of who God is from His Word.
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Tweets and more tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the last few weeks.  This is one of the blessings of social media where we can hear the gospel from people all over the world. If you like the tweet, go and follow the person on Twitter. 
In the Gospel we don't get instructions about how to create a better version of ourselves. We get a new identity, a gift.-David Zahl Behavior follows belief. Who do you think you are? Satan says you're dirty and used. God says your clean and holy with a limitless future. @JeremyG220 We are justified, sanctified, & glorified by grace. The entire Christian life is lived under the reign of God’s grace. (Jerry Bridges) Grace was not an addition to God’s plan; grace was a part of God’s plan from the very beginning. Law was temporary, but grace is eternal. (Warren Wiersbe) Only God could rescue Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from fire. God rescues us, too, from sin through His Son, Jesus. #thegospelprojectkids

Sermon Notes--"There's A Battle Going On" based on 1 Timothy 1:18-20

Introduction: When you hear the word “battle”, what do you think about?Recently on TV, you could watch Battlebots, Battle of the Network Stars (originally aired 1976-starts from ABC, CBS, NBC competed in various sporting events), Lip Sync Battle. Or what about some of the famous battles in movies such as Braveheart, 300, Star Wars? Or an unknown dance battle that has recently been discovered?
Review-Vs. 1-2 Introduction; Vs. 3-11-Law, doctrines; Vs. 12-17-Mercy, Grace, Transformation of the Gospel-Christ came to save sinners, Worship
Follow (vs. 18a)
·Term of relationship-my son-someone he had discipled-see vs. 2.-“my true son in the faith”
·This instruction (command, order, charge)-in reference to vs. 3-5
oSame root word as verb in vs. 3 and same word in vs. 5
·Prophecies
oA reference to his calling. See 1 Timothy 4:14-“Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.”
oWhen I face the tough days of ministry, I am enco…