Today I’m on my way home from T4G, where I had a great time hanging out with some terrific people, hearing excellent and edifying messages from many of the speakers, and sleeping far less than I should have. (Okay, that last part isn’t quite so great…) Even with all the excitement, I’ve still managed to get some blog reading and deal searching done, starting with a look at some Kindle deals that are ending soon (like today soon):
- Preach by Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert—$2.99
- Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper—$2.99
- Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer—$2.99
- Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson and Eric Geiger—$2.99
- The Church by Mark Dever—$2.99
- Reviving the Black Church by Thabiti Anyabwile—$2.99
- Exalting Jesus in 1&2 Timothy and Titus—$2.99
- What is Reformed Theology by R.C. Sproul—$4.99
- The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler—$4.99
- Jesus: The Only Way to God by John Piper—$1.99
- Willing to Believe by R.C. Sproul—$2.99
- Why Believe the Bible by John MacArthur—$2.99
- The Promises of Grace by Bryan Chapell—$2.99
- Follow Me by David Platt—$4.99
- The Compelling Community by Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop—$2.99
- The Gospel as Center by Keller and Carson—$2.99
- Know the Heretics by Justin Holcomb—$2.99
- The Unadjusted Gospel, Preaching the Cross, and Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theologyby the T4G Speakers—$2.99 each
- The Hardest Sermons You’ll Ever Have to Preach by Bryan Chapell—$3.99
- Oversee God’s People by Brian Croft and Bryce Butler—$2.99
- The Christian Faith ($8.99) and Pilgrim Theology ($5.99) by Michael Horton
- Historical Theology by Gregg Allison—$7.99
- Church History Volume 1 by Everett Ferguson and Volume 2 by John Woodbridge—$7.99 each
- Gospel-Centered Counseling and Gospel Conversations by Bob Kellemen—$6.99 each
- God Is the Gospel by John Piper—$2.99
- The Pastor’s Ministry by Brian Croft—$3.99
- Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas & Tom Wood—$2.99
- Preaching and Preachers by Martyn Lloyd-Jones—$3.99
I’m not a big fan of overdoing it. Not a huge proponent of overcooking your sermons, overproducing your worship service. But there are a few things I think pastors probably could do more of than they already do, no matter how much they already do.
Dave Ferguson argues, “God’s way of reaching and restoring the world has always been through a blessing strategy.” He asks, “How do we in a very practical way that’s theologically grounded explain to people how they could bless people in places they are incarnating?” He answered this question with five ways to bless your neighbors with the acronym B.L.E.S.S. that I find helpful.
His obscure name is a compound of two other names—Obed, David’s grandfather, and Edom, Esau’s nickname. No doubt, many of us would have to Google him to figure out who he was. Yet he beautifully illustrates what has happened to us—especially us Gentiles—through Jesus.
I appreciated reading this piece by Jamie Brown:
Every worship leader has the experience from time to time of a service that just seems to fall flat. The songs didn’t work, or the musicians didn’t gel, or the technology didn’t cooperate, or the congregation didn’t respond. Whatever the reason(s), even in the most passionate of congregations, there are times when the singing isn’t exactly robust.
But when that’s the regular pattern, and when the congregational singing is consistently paltry, what is a worship leader to do? I would suggest that if a worship leader is observing (over a period of months or years) his or her congregation isn’t singing, that some difficult questions need to be honestly asked and answered.
There are those Sundays when you wake up with the resurrection on your mind. These are the days that you know – you know – that Jesus is alive, and because He lives, everything is different. You breathe in the truth of His life and the celebration boils inside you. You are compelled to sing – to shout – with the people of God. And you walk into a worship service with the song already in your soul only needing someone to give it words.
There are those Sundays.
And then there are the other ones. The ones where you think about having only one more day of the weekend. The ones when it’s a struggle to get the kids clean, fed, dressed, and out the door. The ones when the sun is shining brightly and the outdoors beckons. When you think about all the reasons why you deserve to just take it easy for another couple of hours.