Monday, November 30, 2009

Fear the 13th man

We watched the Grey Cup game yesterday with some friends. This is my son's Facebook status that he posted when we got home:

"One of the Riders' fans was carrying a sign during the game which said "Fear the 13th Man". Oh, the irony."

Well played, Josh.

P.S. My apologies to my American readers. If you're curious, you can Google for the rest of the story.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bible Blitz

Crossway Books has made a package that includes an ESV New Testament available for a very low price. It comes with a door-hanger bag, so we went out this morning and hung a bunch of them around Edson. We, in this case, are volunteers from five churches in town. We had a good turn out and we distributed almost all of the 2500 kits that we ordered.

Being a cooperative project, we listed the names, service times and contact information for the churches that participated on the invitation sheet. I think that in itself says something to our community.

Thanks to Crossway for making this possible, Carol's Books in Edson for tipping us off to it and ordering the materials and to Pastor Steve and the Edson Alliance Church for leading and hosting the teams today.

If you're in another town, check out the possibility of distributing a bunch of Bibles before Christmas. Consider partnering with other churches to biltz your town or neighbourhood.

Now let's pray that people will read their new Bibles!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Paul's Passion for the Church

Last night we had a good Bible study on the book of Philemon. We finished a lengthy study of Philippians last week. Until Christmas we'll do some smaller books and thematic studies.

Philemon is a little jewel. One thing that struck me was Paul's between-the-lines betrayal of his ministry passion in verse 7:

For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.*

Paul is in prison as he writes this, but his source of joy and comfort is good news concerning people in one of the churches he planted. He isn't giving thanks for physical help or personal encouragement (though he does that elsewhere), but for the work of a brother who refreshed the saints.

I had to ask myself, "Is this what I live for? Is this encouragement and spiritual refreshment of the saints what gives me joy and comfort?"

As a cross-reference, we took a look at Paul's mission statement in Colossians 1:28-2:3:

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.*

I can identify with Paul's passion to some degree, but it is so easy to be distracted with "ministry" things that do not serve this goal of seeing the saints (and pre-saints that we are evangelizing) not only brought to a greater knowledge of Christ, but brought to the point where they are delighted in Christ and refreshed by His truth and love.

*All Bible quotes are from the ESV

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


My favorite Christmas album is Savior by Sovereign Grace Ministries. We've had the album for three years now, but I just started listening to it for this season last week - Thursday morning, to be exact. I listened to some of the album at the gym and then plugged my iPod into my car stereo on the way home. Just before I got home, the song Rejoice really got me. Here's the last verse:

All the church rejoice
For your King returns
On a white horse wearing a crown
He will break the sky with the angel's shout
Descending from the clouds
The the dead will rise from the land and sea
All His people will ascend
We will reign with Him for eternity
Rejoice, all the church, rejoice*

I was overwhelmed by the bittersweet reality of that awesome truth. The tears came because our Emily is now one of those dead, but she will rise. So will I - by God's grace - with all God's people. I am thankful that Emily, my dad and other believing loved ones that have gone ahead of us are present and alive with Christ, but what a glorious day awaits us all at the Resurrection!

We sang Rejoice at church on Sunday for the first time and it was well received. This is the first time I've told my story from the trip back from the gym, however.

By the way, you can buy the album at the Sovereign Grace site for $8 plus shipping, or download it there for $6 or buy it on iTunes. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Drift

I preached on Hebrews 2:1-4 on Sunday. The first few minutes of the sermon were not recorded. When I listened to the introduction as I was editing the file for upload, I thought the inadvertent edit improved the message. If you're interested, you can find it here.

Sax for Teeny

I saw the title of this post in the closed captioning in a hockey highlight package this morning at the gymn. The sound was down on that TV, but I knew what they were talking about as they were showing a fight from the Oilers game last night.

Only Oilers aware hockey fans will get this post, but I thought it was funny.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Catching Up

There's lots going on these days, but that has not been reflected here. Here are some highlights:
  • A trip with Josh to Ontario and New York. Our Fellowship Baptist National Convention was in Niagara Falls last week, so I took Josh along and we met some friends and checked out a possible school for Josh in Toronto.
  • Baptisms on Sunday. Excellent, God-honouring testimonies. We're thankful.
  • A new sermon series on the book of Hebrews. Messages are going up at

Much more could be said, but for the sake of getting something up, I'm going to post this without further elaboration.