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Preaching – Jason Meyer – A Book Review

I recently read Preaching by Jason Meyer. I try to always read with a completely open mind and I did so with this book. I did not try to go in with any preconceived notions or expectations. However if I had started this book with extremely high expectations I still would have been blown away. This book completely altered the way I look at preaching through all of scripture. There are several things that leap off of the pages of this book. One is how devoted to quality exposition of God’s word that Meyer is. He loves God’s Word. He loves sharing it and teaching it. He wants others to share in this love and to be continually growing in their ability to preach God’s Word. A second thing that leaps off the pages is how committed to basing his ideas in God’s Word the author is. He backs everything with scripture and shows his points through faithful exposition of God’s Word. This makes this a book that is easy to read yet challenging. It makes this a book that everyone that is involved in teaching the Bible needs to read. I hope you will read it.

I received this book from the publisher, Crossway, for the purpose of review with no requirement to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Book Review

 

Crazy Busy – Kevin DeYoung – A Book Review

I recently read Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung and I was glad I did.  I have tried to de-clutter and simplify my life over the past few years and I have been rather successful.  However it seems that I am still always busy.  There is work.  There are the never ending errands.  There are responsibilities at church.  There are the kids.  There is my wife.  There are things to get done at home.  There are bills to pay.  There are broken toilets to fix and walls to paint.  My car is low on coolant.  There is the ever growing do-it-yourself project list thanks to Pinterest.  This is not even to mention my spiritual walk.  I do not say all of this to say I am alone in this issue.  DeYoung, the author of this book, takes the same approach.  He does not write as one that has mastered the problem of business.  Rather he writes from a pastoral heart to help people learn how to biblically deal with the issue, just as he is also learning it.

I would encourage all of you to read this book, even if all you read is the chapter on parenting.  I would say to read it all, but I know you are probably so busy it will talk you awhile to do so.

I received this book in from the publisher, Crossway, for the purpose of review with no requirement to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Book Review

 

Update on Life, Ministry, & Church Planting

Well it has been almost a year since I have sent out an update to everyone so I thought it time to finally send out an update on life, ministry and church planting.  This past fall after a time of prayer and seeking God, Stephanie and I decided to fully hit the brakes on planting Mission Stone Church in Owasso.  With that being said I now want to slightly back up and share what lead to that decision and then share what is going on in our lives and what the future may hold.

Toward the end of last summer I felt I finally had freedom to start working on the steps to planting a church in Owasso.  I started posting on social media about the church more, I met with a couple of pastors in Owasso and Stephanie and I spent some time driving through town and praying for it.  My time with the pastors I met with went well, but as I processed through them something felt off.  I could not put my finger on it at the time, but I knew God was working on me with something.  Then this past fall I had the privilege to interview for a staff position at The Journey Church in St. Louis.  God ultimately did not lead us to serve there, but through the process I was able to examine some areas of my life and see some areas of weakness and some of strength.  Through doing that I was able to see that God was leading me in a different direction than planting at this time.

I surrendered to the ministry twenty years ago this year and have been in some form of ministry the majority of time since; more unpaid roles than paid, and several part time/bivocational positions.  My time as a paid staff member I have either been part time or the only full time staff person.  It was upon prayerful reflection on this that I came to see that God was showing me that I need more seasoning at an established church.  So that is where we are as a family.

I am currently seeking a position at a church, either as an Associate Pastor with roles in educational ministry or discipleship, or as the pastor of a smaller church in a more rural setting.  I am being patient with waiting and trusting all to God.  Until he leads our family to the right position I will still be managing the Chick-fil-A in Northwest OKC and we will still be a part of Redemption Church in Edmond.

Our family is great.  I have completely rebounded from my health scare last Spring and am healthier than I have been in probably a decade.  Stephanie is well and is having an impact on her student’s lives.  Bo is a 2 and half year old bundle of energy and love.  He is growing up so fast and has such a sweet heart.  Lorelai is now walking and becoming more verbal.  She is convinced that she can do anything her brother can do and her smile can light up any room at any time.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support.  Please pray for us as we continue to trust God to lead us to the place where He has for us to serve.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Life

 

What Is Biblical Theology – James M. Hamilton Jr. – A Book Review

I was excited to read What Is Biblical Theology? By James M. Hamilton.  My excitement was not met with disappointment.  This short book gives a great introduction to anyone of how to read the Bible theological and to understand the overarching narrative of the Bible.

Hamilton does a thorough yet succinct job of explaining the Bible’s storyline by examining the symbols, types, imagery and patterns.  This is such an important topic for all believers to know, and Hamilton tackles it with brilliance.  This book is must reading for anyone wanting to take Bible study seriously and to deepen their understanding.  I highly recommend it to anyone.  The book is a quick and easy read but also very deep in its knowledge and insight.  It takes a scholar that is still connected to the average church member to do this and Hamilton shows great acumen in this.

So basically if you want to increase the depth of your Bible study read this book.  It will greatly bless you.

I received this book in from the publisher, Crossway, for the purpose of review with no requirement to write a positive review.

 

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Why I Am Walking At Graduation At 35

To begin this post I am going to restate a post from August of this year, then make some concluding remarks.

I began college in August of 1996.  That seems like a lifetime ago to be honest.  In many ways it has been.  So much has changed since then.  We have had 5 presidential elections, most of them containing controversy.  America has been attacked by terrorists.  An African American now resides in the White House, yet our country remains as racially divided as ever.  I have gone from a somewhat shy, unsure, recently turned 18 year old to a mid 30’s husband and dad that loves to play with my kids.  I have lived in at least 14 different places, including apartments, dorm rooms, and for a month a friends couch and now I own my own home.  I am on my 6th vehicle since that 1983 Nissan King Cab pickup I hauled my stuff to OBU in. I have gone from short hair to kinda long and shaggy hair to spikey hair, to even black hair at one point to now back to really short almost no hair.  I have worked many places, had many friends, and been through a lot.  However one thing that has remained the same as it was back then is that I have no college degree.

You see I had many up and downs during college, some hardships, some curveballs.  But really it was no different than what perhaps many of you faced and overcame.  I admittedly did not handle them well at the time.  I participated in commencement in the Winter of 2001 knowing I still lacked several courses. I remembered being shocked that my name was on the list of December graduates, but since my sister was graduating the same day I decided to go ahead and be a part of the ceremonies.  I went back two years later in 2003 to finish those courses and to complete a second major.  Those plans however were derailed after just one semester and well life happened and I never went back to finish my last 6 hours.

To be honest I think I had accepted the fact that I would never finish my college degree.  It just seemed like a crazy dream that I would ever be in a position to do so.  Now sure there were times I dreamed about it and about even going for my masters and eventually my doctorate.  However those always seemed like a nice thought, you know the kind that makes you smile and then you get pulled back into the real world.

Well as I type these words right now I can see my 4 text books for this semester (and WOW have prices gone up in over a decade), I can reach to the side of my desk and pull out my class list and look at it.  That is right; through an amazing series of events and blessings I am enrolled in those final 6 hours to finally complete my degree.  It does not seem real at times, it may not until my first test (AAAACK that has been awhile!) or till Fall Break or my term papers, or the end of the semester.  I am grateful to be going back to finish.  It has been a long time and something I need to do.

Well the tests are all taken, the papers all written, I passed all six hours and only one thing remains.  Tomorrow morning I will get up, put on a a finely pressed dress shirt, my black suit, recently polished boots, a new green tie, and go to OBU to participate in Winter Commencement.  I wrestled with whether or not to walk in graduation again quite a bit.  I mean I have no connections to the current students I will be graduating with and I have already done this song and dance once 12 years ago.  So why do it again?

I think the biggest thing is that it really means something to me now.  As stated above I knew I was not really finished when I “graduated” in 2001.  In the decade plus since then I have always felt like something was missing or not complete.  I think actually taking part in graduation will give me a sense of finalty and bring a sense of resolve to my college experience.

I have admittedly had a long winding journey to complete my college degree.  Would I recommend this track or journey to anyone?  No, not really.  Do I regret it though?  No, and I say that because of the experiences I have had along the way.

So to everyone that has played a part in my College journey, no matter how small or great, I say thank you and ZIP BANG OBU!

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Life

 

ESV Gospel Transformation Bible – By Crossway – A Book Review

I have purposefully waited almost two months to do this book review.  I did not want to rush the review of a Bible.  Instead I wanted to give myself adequate time with it to give a complete review.  So for the past 6 plus weeks I have carried the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible as my main Bible and used it in church, small group, personal study and to read.  I want to say this first.  I am very impressed with this Bible.  I have really grown from using it.  Any faithful study of scripture is a good endeavor and using a Bible that constantly points to Jesus and the Gospel at every point just enhances that.

I do want to address something I saw before this Bible was released by Crossway and that is that I saw some social media postings showing unease and alarm for this particular work.  Now these concerns were not the work of the typical blogger living in his mother’s basement all hopped up on Mt. Dew and video games, not these were from pastors and others actively involved in ministry.  I can say unequivocally that I have found no reason for this after almost two months using this Bible daily.  I think there are several points where all of these concerns should be dismissed. First this is God’s Word, we can trust it and trust the Holy Spirit to continue to use God’s Word to transform lives.  Second this Bible is produced by a very reputable publisher in Crossway.  Third we can look at the list of study notes contributors and rest easy as we see men and women who are faithful to God’s Word and to the work of spreading the Gospel.

Overall I think this a great Bible for anyone looking to really let the Gospel take hold of your life.  But like with any Bible you have to read it, study it, and let it change your life.

I received this book in from the publisher, Crossway, for the purpose of review with no requirement to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Bible, Book Review

 

The Poverty Of The Nations – Wayne Grudem & Barry Asmus – A Book Review

I recently read through The Poverty Of Nations by Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus.  I took longer than normal to do so because I really wanted to give this book a thorough read.  I wanted to drink deep from the authors perspectives and combined wisdom.  I will say upfront that this work challenged and pushed me.  There was definitely a point during the second chapter, where the authors repeatedly stated their desire for nations to produce more goods and services that I wanted to throw the book across the room and walk away from it.  It was not that I did not agree with their points (I agreed with some and disagreed with others).  Rather it was the overkill of that one phrase that just seemed too much for me.  I will say it was effective though.  As I read through the rest of the book it gave me a lens through which to view everything.  The repetition drove home the key point so well that it was never far from my mind throughout the  reading of the book.

I do wish the authors had interacted with scripture more and used it more of a starting place.  However they are clear upfront how the book will be structured and what will be done and what will not.  So while I might have wished that I was not surprised by the lack of it.  All in all I think this is a very valuable group and one that should be worked through in community with other believers.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Book Review

 
 
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