Thursday, October 29, 2009

Climbing Out of Babyhood

This morning my son Samuel was awakened by a thunderstorm. He cried
for a couple of minutes. As Sheri and I were talking about going to
get him out of his crib, he comes to our door. Samuel turns 2 today.
The ability to get out of the baby bed is definitely an indicator that
it's time for a "big boy" bed. Another day, another milestone.
Praise God for allowing me to be a father and watch my children grow
from infants to adults.

Sent from my mobile device

Friday, October 23, 2009

Priorities of a Church

A friend of mine posted a thought provoking blog entry regarding the priorities of a church, and just what the responsibilities of the church should be. Though he is asking for details, I believe a general principle can guide all our responses. The church should prioritize its responsibilities as follow:

1. Duty toward God
2. Duty toward members (of both the local church and the church universal)
3. Duty toward the lost

So then, worship is the primary responsibility. Included in that is the preaching of the Word, prayer, singing. As a natural consequence, the building up of the body encourages the worship of God. Finally, evangelizing the lost is the means whereby God adds souls to the body. Keeping these priorities in mind should help to answer the question of the details. By the way, these priorities similarly apply to other spheres of government as well, keeping God as the top priorities, but the other responsibilities vary according to the people involved.

For your reference, here is a link to my friend's post: Click Here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What Should the Church Look Like?

Historically there are three distinguishing marks that identify a true church. They are:

1) The preaching of the Word
2) Administration of the sacraments/ordinances (The Lord's Table and baptism)
3) Administration of church discipline

If any of these three are lacking, then you don't really have a true church. However, how do you know if a church is fulfilling these things properly? I have found a web site that seeks to answer that question. The details of these three marks are expanded into "9 Marks," which just so happens to be the name of their website. :-)

Mark Dever leads this ministry. Here he describes the following nine marks of a "healthy" church. If you read these, you will see the historical three marks contained in these points. Yet, there is a clarity offered here that is very worthwhile. I intend to spend some time browsing through this site. The nine marks are:
1. Expositional Preaching
2. Biblical Theology
3. Biblical Understanding of the Good News
4. Biblical Understanding of Conversion
5. Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
6. Biblical Understanding of Membership
7. Biblical Church Discipline
8. Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth
9. Biblical Understanding of Leadership

Monday, October 12, 2009

Modern Reformer of Education

A hero of the homeschool movement has gone home to be with the Lord today, October 12, 2009. Chris Klicka was truly a reformer in education. He fought for the rights of parents across the country and around the world to homeschool their own children. I have his book entitled Homeschooling: The Right Choice. It has been a very good reference when defending my and my wife's choice to homeschool our own children against naysayers.

Chris battled multiple sclerosis for 15 years. Yet he was a champion through it all. He never failed to give glory to God. He never complained about his condition, and neither did he allow it to slow him down. He was a senior attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Please join me in praying for his family. He leaves behind a wife and seven children ages 11 - 21.

Here is a link to the announcement on the HSLDA site:

10% Off at Getty Music


I have discovered some very good music. They are called "modern hymns." The songs have a richness of doctrine that I appreciate in the old hymns, and yet they are new. The authors are a couple, Keith and Kristyn Getty. I've seen their music added as a supplement in a few Reformed churches that I've visited lately. The website is

I placed an order last night and they sent me a 10% off coupon good for the next two weeks that they invited me to share with my friends and family. My readers are my friends. So, if you want to order, enter the following code at checkout for a 10% discount: Southerland35590

I'm not an affiliate or anything, so don't do it to "help me out." Order only if you enjoy their music after previewing it at their site.