Posts tagged #Worth Reading

Worth Reading

Ephesians 4:1-6

Do you come to our gathered worship service expecting God to speak to you through his Word? We encourage you to prayerfully read through the passage that will be preached prior to the service to help you prepare.

No Little People, No Little Places

Many people in our town know my youngest son, Tim. Often, Tim is recognizable because he has Down syndrome—and there aren’t that many people in Ephrata, PA who are recipients of that “noticeable extra little something” called the 47th chromosome...When I drop him off at work every evening, . . . he declares with gusto, “Let’s go get those customers!” or he says, “Customer service—to the glory of God!”
The Scripture emphasizes that much can come from little if the little is truly consecrated to God. There are no little people and no big people in the true spiritual sense, but only consecrated and unconsecrated people.


TULIP and Reformed Theology: Total Depravity

The idea is that we are not sinners because we sin, but that we sin because we are sinners.


We’ve Lost Our Vocabulary of Wonder About Heaven

By losing our vocabulary of wonder, I mean that we’ve come to think of Heaven as utterly immaterial and non-physical, a home suited for body-less angels, not real people. Floating in clouds while strumming harps isn’t anybody's idea of a great time. But the Heaven God promises is for human beings, who aren't just spiritual but physical too. This is why the biblical teaching of the physical resurrection and eternal life together on the New (resurrected) Earth is so critical. . .
God tells us to set our minds not primarily on this life, but on the person we were made for, Jesus, and the place we were made for: Heaven (Colossians 3:1-4).

This blog was written by Andy Styer

Worth Reading

Ephesians 4:1-3

Do you come to our gathered worship service expecting God to speak to you through his Word? We encourage you to prayerfully read through the passage that will be preached prior to the service to help you prepare.

 

My Father’s Anger

But here’s an important distinction. Though I felt Dad’s anger, I always knew what kind of anger it was. It was the anger of, “You, my son, have done something wrong, and I am angry that wrong has been done.” But there’s another kind of fatherly anger that I never felt. It’s the anger that says, “You have done something wrong, and I am angry to have such a son who would do this kind of thing.” The first kind of anger came and left. Even minutes after discipline I knew I was welcomed into the love of my father.

TULIP and Reformed Theology: An Introduction

The Local Church Is More Awkward Than Your Facebook Wall

We are not called to engage the local church with blind trust in the pastor or members. We can be realistic and admit that the local church only realizes the biblical model in fits and starts. But it remains the most beautiful hope we can imagine. We give ourselves to it because it is the community through which God will ultimately solve the problem of human loneliness and isolation, “to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth” (Eph. 1:10).

This blog was written by Andy Styer

Worth Reading

James 5:1-12

Do you come to our gathered worship service expecting God to speak to you through his Word? We encourage you to prayerfully read through the passage that will be preached prior to the service to help you prepare.

Reading the Hymns: Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending

May this aid our adoring of Jesus this advent season and also prepare those who will join us for gathered worship this Sunday at Proclamation, as, Lord willing, we will sing this song.

A Woman of Whom the World Was Not Worthy: Helen Roseveare (1925-2016)

“God never uses a person greatly until He has wounded him deeply. The privilege He offers you is greater than the price you have to pay. The privilege is greater than the price.” -Helen Roseveare

 

Jesus, a Broken Car Window and a Girl from Oman

I love stories like this….Sometimes the sparks of the Incarnation flicker and spatter so hard around this planet some two thousand years after the event that you can almost feel it.

This blog was written by Andy Styer

Worth Reading

James 3:13-18

Do you come to our gathered worship service expecting God to speak to you through his Word? We encourage you to prayerfully read through the passage that will be preached prior to the service to help you prepare.

 

10 Things You Should Know about Physician Assisted Suicide

 

Neither a Republican Nor a Democratic Church

Some members of our congregation are happy with the results of this last week’s election, some don’t care, and some are scared. It’s our job as a congregation to live out the covenant we’ve taken before the Lord, and to show that the Christ we share is more important to us than the politics we don’t.

Political Idolatry and Mocking Your Mission Field

The idol of politics may cause us to identify as a Republican (or Democrat or Libertarian) rather than as a citizen of Heaven. Every non-Christian is the mission field, but when politics becomes an idol suddenly those who disagree with us become the enemy and those who agree with us, despite the fact that they might be just as lost as the others, don’t get evangelized as well.

This blog was written by Andy Styer

Worth Reading

James 1:26-27

Do you come to our gathered worship service expecting God to speak to you through his Word? We encourage you to prayerfully read through the passage that will be preached prior to the service to help you prepare.

 

Live Like Sons and Daughters of the King

Galatians as a whole suggests that we will be tempted to compromise and deny the gospel by treating God as an impersonal Master, and not a father. We’ll try to prove ourselves to him and earn his love when he has already loved us, and sent his Son for us…

Three unusually sweet promises lie in these four verses for precious sons and daughters of God.

 

Commentary: Our tragedy and God's love for orphans

Caring for these children is not the job of governments or institutions; instead, it is the job of families, people and communities. As Christians, our compassion is simply a response to the love that God has already shown us.

The Election is Over. Let’s Get Political.

More than anybody, then, it’s high time for Christians and churches to turn our heads from the national news and focus our attention back to where the real political action occurs. It’s not in Washington, and it’s not through a quadrennial affair. No, no. It’s a weekly affair—and it occurs in and through our churches. Every week, our congregations gather as embassies of heaven. Every week, our pastors make a political speech, and we go out as ambassadors with a political message. “The King offers pardon for every rebel who would repent!” Every week—and all week—our churches should exemplify for the nations divine righteousness, justice, and love.

This blog was written by Andy Styer

Worth Reading

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James 2:14-26

Do you come to our gathered worship service expecting God to speak to you through his Word? We encourage you to prayerfully read through the passage that will be preached prior to the service to help you prepare.

 

Faith and Works

Are believers justified by “faith plus works” or by “faith alone”? The answer to this question requires that we carefully distinguish between, without separating, faith and works in the believer’s response to the gospel promise in Jesus Christ. The old adage, “He who distinguishes well, thinks well,” is most appropriate when it concerns the important question of the relationship between faith and works in the life of the believer.

 

My Dad, the ER, and the Culture of Death in Colorado

Well that was fast. Not even a minute into the evaluation and the doctor suggested we go ahead and let my dad go. The injuries that landed him in the ER on Sunday night did not appear to be life-threatening. He’s 75. Memory loss is his only known ailment. And yet, this doctor, who had never known my family before that moment, suggested we consider not saving our dad’s life if, “God forbid, something happens.”

 

9 Things You Should Know About Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger

This weekend Planned Parenthood celebrated its 100th anniversary, commemorating the day that Margaret Sanger, the organization’s founder, opened the first birth control clinic in America. Although Planned Parenthood has attempted to distance itself from Sanger’s more illiberal views, they still praise her role and annually give the Margaret Sanger Award—the organization’s highest honor—to “recognize leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement.” (When Hillary Clinton won the award in 2009 she said, “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously. Her courage, her tenacity, her vision. . . . I am really in awe of her.”)

Who was Sanger? Here are nine things you should know about one of the 20th century’s most controversial figures:

This blog was written by Andy Styer

Worth Reading

James 2:14-26

Do you come to our gathered worship service expecting God to speak to you through his Word? We encourage you to prayerfully read through the passage that will be preached prior to the service to help you prepare.

 

The Bible Is Strange - Why Read It?

The Bible is strange. The events in the Bible are so far removed from us that they might as well have happened in outer space. Reading the Bible can feel like reading about an alien race and culture.

Why God’s Sexual Ethic Is Good for the World

In what sense is God’s sexual ethic not just true, but also beautiful and good for the world?

That’s the question Sam Allberry (author of Is God Anti-Gay? and a founding editor of Living Out, a ministry for those struggling with same-sex attraction), Rosaria Butterfield (author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert and Openness Unhindered [20 quotes]), and Jackie Hill Perry (spoken word poet and hip-hop artist) take on in this new seven-minute roundtable video.

Singing Man: The Story Behind the Viral Video of Ben Ellis

On September 7, 2016, 400 high school students from Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, along with their teachers and administrators, loaded into buses and cars and drove two miles to the home of Ben Ellis, a Bible and Latin teacher in the late stages of an aggressive cancer.

The students and faculty poured out of the buses and onto his lawn, and sang worship songs. With his window open, Ben leaned forward into view and sang along. . .

This blog was written by Andy Styer

Worth Reading

Psalm 145

Do you come to our gathered worship service expecting God to speak to you through his Word? We encourage you to prayerfully read through the passage that will be preached prior to the service to help you prepare.

All of these will help prepare you for this Sunday:

God has a name, and he's given it to Jesus

. . . the claim of the New Testament is exactly that: Jesus Christ now bears the name Yahweh. And rather than detract from God’s glory, confessing Jesus as Yahweh magnifies it.

It takes a little bit of work to see this, however. . .

. . . as our God becomes that much more magnificent in the eyes of all, we will offer our praise to him, to his glory.

Singing Helps Us Feel the Gospel

God gave us singing to affect the things we love, to remind us of the things that are most important about what Jesus Christ has done to save us, to redeem us — those things are most important in life. We want to be amazed by those truths.

The Past, the Trinity, and the Community: Reflections on Race and the PCA

If we as a denomination long to delight in racial reconciliation, such truth-telling is required. To put it another way, the PCA needs confession and dialogue in order to live out the implications of our theological commitments. We need these things in order to pursue the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. What’s more, such truth-telling is an outworking of what it means to image our Triune God.

This blog was written by Andy Styer