Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ephesians Cloud

Here is a word cloud for Paul's letter to the Ephesians.  Word clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text (Ephesians). The more that word appears in the letter the bigger it is. see 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Marie Lawrence's Mission Trip Testimony

I was personally encouraged by hearing from Marie this past Sunday (9.14.08) regarding God's work on and since her mission trip. You can listen to Marie's testimony by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ESV Study Bible - Intro on Ephesians through Chapter 1

The ESV Study Bible is coming out in October. I look forward to getting this helpful resource. Here is a pdf of the introduction-chapter 1 notes on the letter to the Ephesians.

Introducing Ephesians - Sermon

On Sunday (September 7) I began a new sermon series on Ephesians.

Here is the manuscript for my sermon.
Here is the audio for the sermon (right click to download).

I liked what David Powlison has to say about the letter of Paul to the Ephesians:
You will not go wrong if you plunge into Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Master it. Be mastered by it. Work Ephesians into your thinking, your living, your prayers, and your conversation. The Bible is vast and deep, and human life is diverse and perplexing. But in a pinch you could do all counseling from Ephesians. It’s all there: the pig picture that organizes a myriad of details. And Ephesians is not only “counsel,” but also “counseling.” It talks and walks method as well as content. Paul himself is a changed man. He lives out and teaches wise pastoral strategy. Ephesians aims to teach you how to live. That is a synonym for counseling biblically, for doing face-to-face ministry. (See With New Eyes)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Some Good Reading on Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin continues to dominate the presidential campaign. Here is some good reading from evangelicals on subjects including motherhood, abortion and womenhood.
  • Douglas Wilson continues his discussion in a blog entry called "John Has Slain His Thousands" in which he discusses several questions about McCain, the future of the Republican party, the reversal of Roe, Palin's serious challenge to feminism, etc. This was probably my favorite.
  • Here is a good one by Tim Challies of the Discerning Reader called "Good Saint Sarah." In spite being a Canadian citizen he felt the urge to weigh in.
  • Here is another article by Charles Colson called "Clashing Worldviews."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wilson on Sarah Palin and Pro-life

Sarah Palin is creating quite a buzz and it is very fun to watch. Douglas Wilson, a presbyterian pastor and writer had some interesting things to say about the issue of pro-life and the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP.
That said, my touchstone issue on whether or not this reversal is likely or possible has always been the abortion issue. That is the issue that we have to begin with, and it is therefore a non-negotiable. If we repent there, we can get to other issues as they arise. If we don't repent there (with repentance measured by nothing less than overthrowing Roe), then it doesn't really matter what we do elsewhere because it will be nothing but God's judgment, whatever it is.

Now I have known that if the Dalai Bama is elected, we will have absolutely no chance of getting pro-life judges on the Supreme Court. And if the Republicans have the White House, we might or might not get pro-life judges. But wait . . . there's more. McCain's persona of deliberately irritating conservatives with that maverick schtick of his has been such that it convinced me that there was no way that he was going to be the one to topple Roe -- right up to the recent reports that were circulating that he was actually considering Lieberman for his VP pick. But the bottom line has always been that if I knew that McCain was going to appoint pro-life judges to the Court, I would be more than happy to vote for him. But I -- like many other conservatives -- believed his various erratic and eccentric signals. "Don't ever trust me on this one" was his message, and "okay" was my response. This choice of Palin appears to a clear signal in the right direction, a signal that goes well beyond a pie crust promise --easily made, easily broken. So, is this VP choice making me rethink this election? Yes, it is. I haven't reached any settled conclusions yet, but I am willing to consider it. I'll keep you posted, if you don't mind me thinking out loud.

It is important to note that this is not about an "on paper" pro-life record. McCain really does have that. But if he had chosen another candidate that was ostensibly pro-life in the same kind of way that he is (e.g. Romney), I would have rethought nothing. But Palin is real-time, real-life pro-life. If this is the signal that McCain is making (for pragmatic political reasons, sure) that he is willing to bind himself to a pro-life course of action prior to the election, then it does alter the landscape...

Memorizing Ephesians

Lord willing, this Sunday I will begin a sermon series on Paul's letter to the Ephesians. 

I am not yet sure how long the series is going to take but I plan to memorize this great letters as I go and I want to invite you to join me.  

Here is a good article about memorizing extended passages of Scriptures - how to and why? 

The first few sermons I will start with fewer verses but it will pick up as we go--that is my guess. 

My verse week is on Ephesians 1:1-2
Week 2 - Ephesians 1:3-4
Week 3 - Ephesians 1:5-6
Week 4 - Ephesians 1:7-10