Cindy Winters Reflects the Grace and Glory of Christ

Most of you have already heard of the tragic event that happened at FBC Maryville.  Please continue to pray for the Winters family…

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(HT: Chris Brauns)


Reju: 17 Things That Seminary Never Taught Me

Deepak Reju:

1. How to tell a man his wife just died.

2. How to tell a couple they should not get married.

3. How to tell a staff member he is fired.

4. How to tell my wife that I am depressed.

5. How to tell someone that he or she is foolish.

6. How to encourage someone who has given up on life.

7. How to plead with a man to stay with his wife.

8. How to give comfort to a woman whose husband just left her.

9. How to give comfort to a mother who just suffered a miscarriage.

10. How to navigate the IRS tax code for pastors.

11. How to chair an elders’ meeting.

12. How to organize and manage a church budget.

13. How to balance church responsibilities with family life.

14. How to do a wedding and a funeral.

15. How to administer the Lord’s Supper.

16. How to best use technology for the sake of the kingdom.

17. How to shield my kids from the pressures of being a PK.

(HT: Z)

9Marks E-Journal: Counsel for Young Pastors


9Marks has posted there March/April 2009 e-journal also available in a pdf formt.  This edition is centered on practical advice for the young pastor.  Below is the Editor’s Note and the table of contents.

Editors Note:

“Clear vision but little depth perception.” That’s how I’ve heard Mark Dever characterize young pastors.

Young pastors see their doctrine with utter clarity. They know exactly what a church should look like. But they don’t know how to assess what’s important, what’s really important, and what can be overlooked. Their gauges haven’t developed.

Probably, the best solution for this is plain old experience. Yet a little battle wisdom from older men can’t hurt, either. So we turned to several pastors who have walked a few miles down ministry’s road, asking them to pass on a morsel or two of counsel.

Bob Johnson and Ken Swetland talk about getting started. Matt Schmucker, Mark Dever, and Phillip Jensen offer their thoughts on making changes. Philip Ryken and Robert Norris help us persevere to the end. And a couple of younger guys, like Aaron, Greg, and me, throw in our two cents.

One word of caution about an eJournal full of practical advice: Wisdom can be found in principles of the sort you’ll find here. But wisdom always begins with a posture of heart—a heart the trusts and fears the Lord. Only this heart finds the wisdom to know which principles apply when: “Is now the time not to answer the fool according to his folly (Prov. 26:4)? Or is now the time to answer him according to his folly (Prov. 26:5)?”

Only the Lord will make your paths straight.

That means that we cannot tell you exactly how to pastor your church, unless the matter is plainly Scriptural. You’re God’s man for that job. So take what’s offered here. Consider how it might apply in your context. But above all else, guard your heart, that it would fear only him.

We’re praying for your pastoral work, reader. Pray, too, for us.

Table of Contents:


A Pastor’s Priorities For Day One
So you’re a brand new pastor. What do you do when you show up at the office on Monday?
By Bob Johnson

The Goals and Benefits of an Installation Service
More than a formality, an installation service gives you a chance to set the tone for your pastorate and begin the work of shepherding.
By Aaron Menikoff


8 Steps for Dealing with Difficult Leaders
What do you do when influential members of your church are—shall we say—less than helpful?
By Ken Swetland

Dealing with Bad Documents
You’re the pastor now, but the church constitution is clunky and the statement of faith is almost heretical. What do you do?
By Greg Gilbert


Is This a Hill Worth Dying On?
Some pastors make every dispute a hill to die on; others wouldn’t fight to save their grandmother’s life. Schmucker offers some guidance.
By Matt Schmucker

What I CAN and CANNOT Live With as a Pastor
What issues are worth fighting—or leaving—over? Are there any criteria?
By Mark Dever

Love the Church More than its Health
Pastors need to love the people in their church more than their dream of a healthy church.
By Jonathan Leeman

Should Pastors Change Anything in the First Year?
An old maxim says, “If you don’t change something in the first year you never will; and whatever you change in the first year will be a mistake.” Is that right?
By Phillip Jensen

One from the Vault: Mark Dever’s classic article from 2000, How to Change Your Church


WWJD—What Would Jim Do?
James Montgomery Boice’s successor shares a few lessons he learned from watching a master.
By Philip Graham Ryken

Shepherding and Trust
A church doesn’t learn to trust its pastors overnight; he better be in it for the long haul.
By Robert Norris

A Pastor For Now
Why Mark loves the pastorate, but will be happy to proceed to what’s next.
By Mark Dever


Book Review: Evangelism: Doing Justice and Preaching Grace, by Harvie M. Conn
Reviewed by Greg Gilbert

Book Review: Jesus the Evangelist, by Richard D. Phillips
Reviewed by Byron Straughn

Book Review: The Heart of Evangelism, by Jerram Barrs
Reviewed by Geoff Chang

Book Review: Vibrant Church, by Thom S. Rainer & Daniel L. Akin
Reviewed by Jonathan Leeman

Book Review: Simple Church, by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger
Reviewed by Graham Shearer


On Books with D.A. Carson
Posted on February 25th, 2008
Mark Dever asks D.A. Carson for a tour of how he writes and what he’s written.

Christian Discipleship and Growth with Donald Whitney
Posted on January 25th, 2008
Don Whitney discusses busyness, praying through Scripture, the disciplines, mysticism, and more.

Thabiti Anyabwile on Why TIME Magazine’s Recent Listing of the “New Calvinism”May Not Be a Good Thing

Thabiti Anyabwhile gives seven reasons why the hype and attention over TIME magazine’s listing of the New Calvinism may not be a good thing.  In this list he includes the potential for christian celebrity(ism) and making biblical truth a fad.  Anyabwile brings up some serious concerns.  I’ve listed one of the seven below.  Read his whole post here.

Pure Church:

3. The media attention forces some superficial attempts at self-definition, and the inevitable result are “camps” of Reformed types. Add a little carnality, and then you’ll hear folks saying they’re of Paul, or Appolos, or Peter, or Dever, or C.J., or MacArthur, or Driscoll, or the really, really Reformed, etc when those men weren’t even looking for groupies. We need a strong confessional center with the charity that celebrates secondary and tertiary distinctives. Which is why I am so encouraged by this group and the work of these friends and this growing fellowship.

World Builder

I apologize for not being able to post.  These next couple of weeks are pretty busy with mid-terms and papers so the posting will be very limited.   I did run into this short film on the net.  If you know me by now I love creative short films and this is one of the most amazing ones I’ve come across in a long time.  This film is called World Builder and was created by Bruce BranitBranit has done work on a number of television shows including abc’s hit show LOST.


A strange man uses holographic tools to build a world for the woman he loves. This is a short by filmmaker Bruce Branit known also as the co-creator of 405.

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