Consider a Bible for Your Devotions – Part 1

The purpose of these two articles is to serve a dual purpose – first is to challenge you to have a second Bible that you use only for your devotional time.  Second, in the  next article, I thought I would just give an informal evaluation of the Bible I have been using for my devotions this last year.

Let me begin my stating that there are many folks who will prefer to use the same Bible for church and devotional times, and that is fine if it works for you.  What I found though, in my life, is that if I do not read actively in my devotional time then my mind will wander.  Reading actively for me means Continue reading

A Time for Silence

If the truth of the Christmas message never moves us to silence, then I have to wonder if we are missing an important and appropriate response.  To be more bold, I’m convinced that we must find time to ponder the weight of the Incarnation.  If there is a “time to be silent,” then certainly Christmas is one time. Continue reading

How to Read Through the Entire Bible

The Bible is God’s Word to people.  We know that and do not debate that.  So what is so hard about reading the whole Bible?  Well, if you have ever tried and given up then you know it is not like reading any other book.  Let me give you some helpful suggestions to put you on track to keep your commitment to read the Bible: Continue reading

18th Century Resolutions for the 21st Century

Well, Christmas is here and the new year is right around the corner, which means – new year’s resolutions! We make resolutions concerning our finances, our weight, our family, our job and our spiritual walk with Christ. As you begin to think about the goals you want to accomplish over the next year let me encourage you with some additional goals. Jonathan Edwards, the 18th century Puritan preacher made some resolutions that have been a help to serious-minded Christians throughout the years. What’s interesting to note is that he began these seventy resolutions as a seventeen year old. Below are just a few of Edwards’ resolutions. You will find a link below to all seventy resolution.

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory….

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it. Continue reading

“I just gave up”

How many people have said those words about trying to read through the entire Bible?  As we close in on the end of 2009 I want to encourage and challenge you to make a commitment to read through the entire Bible.  Most people are not against it; they love Bible preaching and they love their Bibles.  People struggle with a plan and the adherence to the plan.  The goal of this post is to put the idea in your mind and then give you some inspiration.  Here then is the inspiration.  It is an e-mail I received and ask permission to put in here for you:

Dear Pastor Campbell,
You wanted to know and I’m telling you that I DID IT! I read through the Bible! I’ve started it many a January, but fell farther and farther behind as life happened, until I just gave up. Well, it took me 2 years but I persevered and finished my last book, Ezekiel, this morning. (Not the easiest book to wade through.) Yea! Next time I’ll shoot for a year.
Have a wonderful, sunny day,
“Someone who took the challenge!”
So there you have it. What’s holding you up from trying?

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah began December 11 this year. Traditionally and historically, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday as the time commemorates one of the greatest victories in Jewish history.  This past year, Craig Hartman of Shalom Ministries preached a very helpful and insightful message titled, Happy Hanukkah. We make it available again in an effort to appreciate God’s chosen people, to understand the holiday itself as well as to witness to your Jewish friends.

Thinking About Santa

Warning: the following article may burst your “holiday bubble” if you still believe in Santa. In all seriousness, good people differ on the role Santa should or should not have in a Christian family’s life. I thought the following was a thought-provoking section of a book that I recently picked up. It’s written to be a help to you as you navigate the holidays with your family.

The following is an excerpt taken from a book, Treasuring God in our Traditions, by Noel Piper. (Crossway Books, copyright 2003, pp. 80-81).

For several reasons, we have chosen not to include Santa Claus in our Christmas stories and decorations. First, fairy tales are fun, but we don’t ask our children to believe them. Second, celebrating with Santa and manger will postpone a child’s clear understanding of what the real truth of God is. It’s very difficult for a young child to pick through a marble cake of part truth and part imagination to find the crumbs of reality. We want our children to understand God as fully as they’re able, at whatever age they are. So we try to avoid anything that would inhibit or distort that understanding. Continue reading