Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Abiding in Christ - Character Studies

Two church planters in Houston, Texas Andrew and Carlee Coker shared some studies they made on Abiding in Christ, and they are awesome!

You can check get the study here.

But here's a preview:

Abiding in Christ - Character Studies

Who is this passage about?
What were some of their character traits?
How did they abide in God?
Daniel 6.3-4,10
     Extraordinary Spirit
     Attention to details
     Prayed 3x daily
     Steadfast in the face of persecution
     Godly example

Jonah 2.1-33
     Humble before God
     Persistent in the face of death
     Remembering the Lord
     Yields to God
     Self absorbed
     Obeyed God
     Gave thanks
1 Samuel 3.1-10; 7.10-17
     Humble Servant
     Quick to Serve
     Remembering the Lord
     Dependant on the Lord
     Faithful to the Lord
     Strong work ethic
     Not attentive to details
     Remembered the Lord
     Listened to the Lord
     Ministered before the Lord
     Quick to Obey
     Finishes well
Nehemiah 1
     In touch w reality
     Works hard
     Knows God and His Word
     Trust the promises of God
     Acted out compassion
     Trusts God
Luke 10.38-42
     Being with Jesus
     Jesus First!
Matthew 4.1-2; Luke 5.15-16; 6.12-13
     Seeks Solitude
     Pace Setter
     Spiritually Strong
     Level Headed
     Led by the Spirit
     Spent lots of time w the Father
     Fed and Led the Flock
     Loved the people
     Persistent in doing the right thing

Friday, May 5, 2017

Back to my Notebook

This year I moved from taking notes in my margins back to my taking notes in a notebook. This week, I finished the notebook I started in January. I'm following The Cornerstone Reading Plan: 2 Chapters in the Old Testament starting in Genesis 1 Chapter in the Old Testament starting in Psalms. 1 Chapter in the Epistles and 1 Chapter in The Gospels/Acts (although I'm mixing that up with a Gospel Harmony study).

My notebook entries include the date, the chapters I'm reading and notes on each chapter. I follow a general rule that I have to write something down about each chapter even if it's obvious. I don't always do a good job with this, but it helps me slow down.

I usually do a verse by verse or topical study along with this and am memorizing First John. It's a lot, but I'm full time and need to give myself to the Word and prayer (Acts 6:4)

I have four months of notes in one notebook. I'm excited to start another. I'm not done taking notes in my Bible, but I will save that for another post.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

From Sorrow to Hope Project

One of my goals for 2017 was to read a commentary on Jeremiah. I recently finished Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope by Philip Graham Ryken.

It was very clear and readable with an emphasis on God's glory and application to current events. It read like a series of sermons rather than an academic text, but drew from scholarship.
If I were to recommend a commentary on Jeremiah, it would be Michael Brown's from the Expositor's Bible Commentary series, but Ryken's was a very good read, and by far the most accessible commentary on Jeremiah I've seen.

I was looking for a commentary I could read daily in small sections, and Ryken's is formatted in ten page chapters for each section of verses tackled. It worked well as a daily devotional reading. It may be a little more academic than what most people want for daily reading, but I would like to see more folks try this. Not all commentaries are reference works. Some are meant to be read cover to cover and this is one of them.

One of the things that has helped me read through larger academic volumes is Goodreads lets me track my progress with update bars. After reading, I enter in the page number and watch the percentage and progress bar advance. It may not work for everyone, but I find small mental rewards like this motivating and rewarding. I hope you find a readable commentary, maybe the Preaching the Word series, a shot.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Palm Sunday Readings

This morning we went through a series of Palm Sunday readings. This is the first time I've read through these passages back to back and was powerfully moved by the experience. We read up to John and then prayed together after each passage. I was choking back tears at the end as we rejoiced together and looked forward to the coming of Jesus Christ our King and His Kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven.

2 Kings 9:13

Zechariah 9:9

Psalm 11:25-26

John 12:12-19


Mark 1:1-11


Matthew 21:1-11


Luke 19:11-40


Revelation 19:11-21
Revelation 21:1-7


Monday, April 3, 2017

Updated Giving Options

There are new electronic giving options available on my website, Including Stripe and recurring giving options. Thank you! :) Check them out here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I'm Getting Married!

I am so excited to tell you about my relationship with Tatiana Cortes, the most wonderful woman of God I’ve ever met. This month I asked her to marry me. She said, “Yes.”

As I have grown to know Tatiana over the last year, first as friends, I have grown in my admiration of her passionate faithfulness to God and His glory, her deep desire to abide in Christ, and her sacrificial love for our immigrant friends and neighbors. I am more impressed with her character every day. I spent a lot of time in prayer and asking for advice before pursuing a relationship with her. I remember describing her to my mentor Chuck Wood. He listened carefully, and then said, “If I were you, I would ask that girl on a date today!” She has been everything I have asked God for and more.

Tatiana moved to Hamtramck two years ago because of God’s call on her life to work with Bangladeshi people and demonstrates the love and Spirit of Jesus as a High School writing teacher in Hamtramck. She shines the light of Christ among immigrant high school students, co-teachers, and friends every day. There are so many miraculous stories I want to share from Tatiana’s life, but I will let her share in a special letter to all of you.

I have grown in Christ, been encouraged, challenged, and been deeply loved because God put Tatiana in my life. I am in love with her. I want to spend the rest of my life with her, partnering as family and in ministry. Beyond that, I know that this is God’s good, perfect, and pleasing plan for us.
There are so many ministry stories to tell from this month: Bible studies with young Bangladeshi men, loving fun with Syrian refugee families and children, trainings for upcoming events in Detroit. At one training, we even got to see a family of eight people surrender to Christ and be baptized the same day. A team from the training baptized the parents and then led the parents in baptizing their children! I’m rejoicing with the angels over more stories of decisions for Christ from this month. 

For me, none of these stories compares with the joy and triumph of knowing I have found the woman I will spend the rest of my life with. There is no doubt in my mind that together Tatiana and I will be more fruitful for the Kingdom, and God will receive the most glory from our lives. I’ve never been so convinced that the best is yet to come!