2015 Highlights

  • Published article for TGC
  • Taught at the Table on my 2-year FPC anniversary
  • Visitors: Heather, Morrissey’s, Brinn, Brittany, Jeff
  • Skiing in Taos
  • Rodeo concerts: Zack Brown Band (B&Ju), The Band Perry (Heather)
  • Birthday surprise by Brinn
  • CONNECT – creativity. 80 now in small groups
  • All the babies! Brinn, Julie, Kristin, Megan, Rania
  • Friendsgiving in Boston
  • D-track alumni: confession this summer; co-lead with Melissa
  • Teaching the Boomers – receiving encouragment
  • Anna moved to Honduras!
  • Yeager’s moved back to Boston!
  • Taylor Swift concert!
  • Israel!! With a best friend and a great mentor
  • living with Melissa, growing in friendship
  • Hospitality in our home: medical professionals brunch, firepit night, chili cookoff, 2 bible studies every week, summer book club on Keller’s “Prayer”
  • Sending Melissa to lead her own small group
  • Discipleship call on Christmas Eve from Alex

 

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a one-another life

“Keeping company with Jesus is not just a private spiritual act, it is the way we share the trinitarian life of God with others. We are meant to live in community in the same way God does. In  the company of others, we make our journey and learn to tell the truth about ourselves.

Sharing our lives with others is always a risk. Authenticity, interdependence, and being known come with a cost. But the alternative to paying the cost of living a one-another life is to live cut off from God.”

~ Adele Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines

It is finished.

For years, several questions regarding faith have (re)surfaced.

Take a peek into my mind…

According to James, is there “alone” faith and a faith that is effective and productive? If so, this raises the question, effective and productive of what? Of fruit? Of works? Do both impact justification? If James describes two different categories of faith (an “alone” faith and an effective, productive faith), is only one truly salvific? If obedience to the law maintains or preserves salvation, what’s the quota?

I believe that the faith that alone justifies is not unproductive of works. Faith according to Paul is the wholehearted trust in God that according to James produces works. There is nothing we do that saves, but salvation does transform our whole life. It becomes different and produces fruit and good works. As a rookie theologian, I believe James writes of faith as proof of justification. The vindication of righteousness is our good works. And complimentary to James, Paul writes of faith as the ground of justification, for we cannot have something to boast about. It is Christ who is the ground of our justification. The conclusion: our justification is by faith alone, but it is not a faith that is alone.

Jesus came to live the life that we can’t live – a life of obedience.

He lived in perfect obedience to the Father. To be a Christian is to say that I rest on Christ’s completed work because “it is finished.” What exactly was finished?

Everything needed for life and salvation in God.

Everything is finished for the perfectionist, the moralist, and the “to-do list” maker.

For, in Him, we find rest.

early morning

It’s early, and I’m wide awake.

As soon as I woke up, several thoughts amalgamated into one prayer of thanksgiving and awe.

For this married, crazy, free spirit…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and these two theology-thinking, Jesus-loving college beauties…

 

 

 

 

 

and this engaged, thoughtful servant…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because even though the title of “mentor” is mine, it is their lives, their stories, and their faithful witness to Christ that teach me more than a thousand books ever could.

“For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” (1 Thess. 2:19-20)

evangelism

I enjoy outlining books almost as much as I enjoy reading them. I highlight, I underline, I star, I make smiley faces, I underline again, and I make comments in the margins. Whatever book I’m reading often begins to look like my journal. And I like that.

I hope you enjoy this outline of a chapter on evangelism…

  • The priority
    • The main concern: acceptance with God
    • The chief burden: 2,700 million unreached peoples
  • The definition
    • “Euangelion” – the good news
    • not recipients
    • not results
    • not methods
    • there is only one gospel.
    • Bible and gospel – alternative terms?
  • The events
    • Death / Burial / Resurrection / Appearance
    • All are real, historical, objective.
    • Significant events and saving events!
    • Acts 2, 3, and 5
  • The witnesses
    • The Old Testament
    • The uniquely-qualified apostles
    • Our responsibility today? Bear faithful witness to the one and only Christ
  • The affirmations
    • The word of the Lord is a word from and about God.
    • He is savior.
    • He is lord.
    • The absolute uniqueness of Jesus Christ.
  • The promises
    • The forgiveness of sins
    • The gift of the Holy Spirit
  • The demands
    • Repentance – Without repentance, there is no salvation.
    • Faith – believe in the Lord and you will be saved.
    • Saving faith = total submissive commitment to Jesus Christ.
  • The context
    • What precedes it – presence
    • What follows it – persuasion
    • In issuing the gospel invitation, we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. (Lausanne Covenant)
  • The results
    • Obedience to Christ
    • Incorporation into his church
    • Responsible service in his world

 ~ “Christian Mission in the Modern World” by John Stott

classic Aves

28 minutes ago I received this text message:

“do u believe the book of Daniel was written at the time of antiochus or that it is prophetic?”

It makes my day when Avery sends texts such as these. In fact, it happens so often that my friends and co-workers have begun to ask me, “so what’s the latest deep theological question via text from Aves?” Because everyone knows that all theology can be summed up in 160 characters or less. (shaking head)

But I love the immediate-need-to-know in my friend.

So keep the texts coming, Aves.