“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).
Though he was facing a brutal death before the ink could dry, I imagine that the apostle Paul had great joy at the time he wrote those words. Nothing could’ve been more thrilling to him than to be able to finish well. Nothing could’ve put him at greater peace prior to execution than having faithfully run the race in biblical ministry.
I recall sitting before our elders and professors just prior to launching into pastoral ministry: “You are going to have to keep a long obedience in the same direction.” With only eight years of pastoral ministry in the church I serve, I often think about the need to endure, especially as I see men in my generation disqualifying. And even more especially as the Lord shows me my own weaknesses.
For help in ministry longevity, it makes sense to look to those men who, by God’s grace, have weathered decades of the normal ministry storms without sinking. In our day, one of those is Dr. John MacArthur. This February, Dr. MacArthur will have been faithfully shepherding Grace Community Church for 48 years. That’s about 576 months or 2496 Sundays.
Monday, December 12th, 2016
Please join us on Saturday, December 24th from 6-7:15pm in the Pink Garter Theatre (50 West Broadway) as we celebrate the birth of Christ with singing and a message from God’s Word. Invite a friend! Childcare will be available for children ages 5 and under.
NOTE: A special offering with be taken to help families displaced by the civil war in Syria. All funds we collect with be given to Children’s Hunger Fund.
Saturday, December 10th, 2016
What Christmas commemorates is big for many reasons. With the incarnation comes the Savior. For those who repent, there is justification, adoption, redemption, reconciliation, regeneration, sanctification, and, one day, glorification. But if we back up a bit, with the incarnation, there is the arrival of the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. It’s difficult for a 21st century audience to appreciate the century-long yearning which the Hebrews had for the Messiah’s arrival.
But why? What is the significance of the Jewish Messiah?
Saturday, December 10th, 2016
Where: This year’s men’s winter retreat will be held at Old Faithful Christian Ranch in Island Park, ID on January 13-15. Directions can be found here. Please keep in mind that we are not able to drive directly to the ranch in the winter months. We will park in the parking lot off S. BigSprings Loop (note: take the second sign for Big Springs Loop.) When we arrive in Island Park we will be picked up by a snowcat (unless you bring your own snowmobile) that will take us to the camp. The ride is about 15 minutes and you will be cold if not appropriately dressed.
What to bring:
Bible, notebook, pen, winter gear (snow pants and boots, gloves, jacket, warm clothes for snowmobiling, etc.), a warm sleeping bag, pillow, and anything else you think you might need. Make sure that when you pack you have a beanie, gloves, snow pants and boots, and a jacket readily accessible.
What If I Don’t Want to Snowmobile?:
Many guys choose not to snowmobile during the retreat. There are alternative activities that are available during the day such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or relaxing at the lodge.
You can register here. Please plan on paying by cash or check at the retreat.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
As I look back, one of my greatest educational irritations is that I never was offered a class on thinking. Even if I was, I probably would not have taken it. Consequently, I operated contently with a sloppiness of thought and did not know it. And the problem seems to be widespread. Our day is one which is filled with thinking errors. We persuade with sentiment and experience rather than truth and logic. Rules of reason are violated often in the public sphere with little concern. Subjective fancies carry more sway in convincing us than objective revelation. It’s a day of serious errors in thought and reason.
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
Here we are again, launching into another holiday season. Most likely, many of us will be spending time with relatives of various spiritual persuasions both this weekend, and over the Christmas holiday. Times with lost relatives can be tricky.
I remember one such situation with my French, atheist grandfather who passed away a few years ago. His name was Georges Lycan, and he spent most of his life as a carefree, pleasure-loving actor in France. That I know of, he appeared in over a dozen Broadway-like plays in France, several TV shows, and about 50 movies, probably the most well-known being his role as Sheriff Stone in the Charles Bronson Western, The Red Sun.
From my early teen years, I often spent summers with him at his country home in the Loire Valley. He enjoyed spending those warm days showing me pictures from his acting days, taking me hunting, teaching me about French wine and cheese, and making me repeat the most difficult French words 100 times until I pronounced it right (e.g. “grenouille”).
But our relationship changed a bit when the Spirit of God gave me the new birth and I put faith in Jesus Christ. Not long after I was saved, I was off to France for another visit. I stumbled along as I attempted to explain to my grandfather that Christ had substituted himself on the cross for my sins. He fired back, proudly, “Je suis un athee” (“I am an atheist”). He tried to comfort me one day by saying, “Well, Eric, if I was going to be religious, I would be a Buddhist.” I often struggled with what to say and how. At times he was perplexed. Other times he would mock me. For example, when he dropped me off at the Paris airport that summer, he gave me a swift, “Bravo, Eric, on this new religion thing.” He had lived a life where, it seemed, he was always able to take care of himself. He had wealth, fun, and fame. The idea of Christ was as foreign as it was intrusive to him. For these reasons, family is often the crux of evangelism.
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
It’s the most important statement in Scripture. Actually, in all of written literature. Actually, in the universe.
“The Lord reigns.”
It is a phrase that appears five times in Scripture, four of which are in the psalms (1 Chron. 16:31; Ps. 93:1, 96:10, 97:1, 99:1). Despite the simplicity of the statement, it is not simplistic. When we gaze on this fundamental truth, we do well to pull over, park, and take a slow walk around this site so that we do not miss the grandeur of the truth contained therein. There is much to learn about God in nature and creation; his care, power, design, and creative ability. But we learn far more from his word.
The declaration, “the Lord reigns,” contains at least 10 sites to see pertaining to the supremacy of God. Like any season between Genesis 3 and Revelation 20, these are appropriate times to take a longer than shorter gaze upon at least 10 sites contained in the phrase, “The Lord reigns.”
Monday, November 7th, 2016
Please join the ladies of Cornerstone on Saturday, December 3rd from 1-3 pm, for a time of fellowship, teaching, and food, as we celebrate the birth of Christ. There will be hors d’oeuvres, tea, a time of singing, and teaching from God’s Word on the meaning of Christmas.
This year the Christmas Tea will be located in Cornerstone’s facility located at 50 West Broadway (You will use the stairs in the middle of the Pink Garter Plaza to enter our facility). You may park anywhere on the street or the parking garage just a few blocks away.
Please sign up here.
Contact Angelique at email@example.com for more information.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Over the past week evangelicalism has witnessed an intriguing exchange surrounding the LGBTQ issue. Briefly, it began when RNS posted an interview with Jen Hatmaker in which she affirmed the holiness of LGBT relationships, to which Rosaria Butterfield responded, to which RNS responded.
In reading these articles, and others like it, there seems to be a common confusion lining the discussion: What is love? What is unloving? What criteria determines if something is loving or not? Often the unloving penalty flag is (unlovingly) thrown into the mix of these conversations. It’s not possible to dissect all the issues. But briefly, it’s worth pushing pause and examining what we often label “loving” and “unloving.”
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
For as long as anyone knows, humanity has had a fascination with the supernatural. It’s an allure that transcends culture and time. So it has been in many contemporary Christian movements.
It was in 1987, after a John Wimber conference on miracles, that Bill Johnson claims to have experienced his ministry breakthrough. Then in 1996, after an experience at the Toronto Revivals, he began serving at Bethel Church in Redding, California, the original home of the Jesus Culture movement and Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Johnson, who is considered to have the “apostolic gift,”teaches many doctrines which fall in line with the NOLR (New Order of the Latter Rain Movement) and the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation). A proponent of the Toronto Blessing, Johnson supports individuals such as John G. Lake, Rodney Howard-Browne, and Smith Wigglesworth (the notorious, early 20th century faith-healer known for punching and slapping people with sicknesses as a means of miraculously healing them).