Check Back in October

August 30, 2006

I’m having technical difficulties and need to focus on some other priorities.  Check back in October and I’ll let you know what my future plans for this site are.

In Christ

Pastor Mike

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Book Review: Women’s Ministry in the Local Church

August 14, 2006

Book Review: J. Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt Women’s Ministry in the Local Church

I picked up this book from my wife’s reading stack and I am glad I did.  This is an extremely helpful book for those who desire a Biblical women’s ministry that embraces women’s God-given role in life, marriage and the Church.

Duncan and Hunt understand that God created women to fulfill the roles of helpers and life-givers.  They will also typically hold the roles of wife and mother.  Duncan and Hunt, graciously but firmly, stick to what the Bible says about the need for women to be submissive to the elders of the church and the need for male leadership within the church.  However, they also lay out a rich vision for an effective, powerful, compassionate women’s ministry.  In fact, they insist that it is absolutely vital for churches to embrace women’s ministry in order to combat the false views of womanhood that dominate our culture, promote Biblical marriages and family life, and effectively disciple women in a way that affirms and celebrates their womanhood. 

The chapter titles reveal the key concepts that need to be woven throughout a Biblical Woman’s ministry: submission, compassion, community, discipleship and scripture. I greatly appreciated the emphasis on multi-generational woman’s ministry and the need to relate the ministry to the larger life, teaching and ministry of the church.  I also found the positive emphasis on what women can, should and must do within the church refreshing.  All too often, we focus on what they cannot do, forgetting the valuable roles they have.

My one criticism was that Hunt particularly seems to overemphasize the word “covenant”.  This is not surprising due to her Presbyterian background, but I felt the constant addition of “covenant” in discussion of community a little repetitive. I believe the principles would be the same by simply referring to the concept of community and family that God calls His people to be.

Regardless, this is a refreshing, helpful book that both
Elders and Women’s ministry leaders should read.  It challenged me to rethink how I approach and support women’s ministry in the church I have the privilege of pastoring.

You can purchase the book by clicking here.

In Christ

Pastor Mike


Missions and the Return of Jesus

August 12, 2006

Have you ever considered the connection between missions and the return of Christ?  Consider this statement by George Ladd

God alone, who has told us that this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations, will know when that objective has been accomplished.  But I do not need to know.  I know only one thing; Christ has not yet returned; therefore, the task is not yet done.  when it is done, Christ will come.  Our responsibility is not to insist on defining the terms of our task; our responsibility is to complete it.  So long as Christ does not return, our work is not done.  Let us get busy and complete our mission.

Do you love the Lord’s appearing?  then you will bend every effort to take the gospel into all the world. It troubles me in the light of the clear teaching of God’s Word, in the light of our Lord’s explicit definition of our task in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) that we take it so lightly. . .

Ladd is commenting on Matthew 24:14.  I would encourage you to read it and consider what you are doing to hasten the coming of our Lord.

In Christ

Pastor Mike


Heritage Valley Bible Church Website

August 10, 2006

I have the joy of announcing our new church website.

You can find it at hvbible.org.

On it you can find my recent sermons, information about our church and ministries, and other helpful resources.

Enjoy!

In Christ

Pastor Mike


Is There Mayo on My Face?

August 8, 2006

One of the realities of the Christian life is that while we see others sins so clearly, we frequently have trouble seeing our own.  We hear a sermon, read a passage and instantly think–

of someone else. 

So, we become ensnared in sin and hardened by its deceitfulness.  It is like looking into a mirror in the morning and not noticing the mayonnaise on our face.  Our sin is clearly evident, but we simply can’t see it (or won’t).

Brothers and Sisters, this does not have to be! Here are few principles that will help you see the sin in your own life so that by God’s grace, you can deal with it, find forgiveness and grow in holiness.

First, fellowship with God’s people.  God specifically tells us that we should encourage one another daily so that we are not hardened by sin (Hebrews 3:12-13).  We are exhorted to carefully consider one another, with the purpose of stimulating one another and encouraging one another.  This happens when we faithfully gather together (Hebrews 10:24-25).  Please don’t buy the lie that you can live the Christian life on your own.  You can’t.  You need other believers to encourage you.  You need them to point out the mayonnaise on your face.

Second, actively seek rebuke.  Remember, you can clearly see other people’s sin.  Guess what.  They can see yours too.  The problem is most people don’t want to offer unsolicited help.  So, you need to ask.  Go to people who are close to you: your spouse, your children, a fellow member of your church and ask them:

  • Are there any sins in my life that I am missing?
  • Are there areas that you think I need to grow in to be more Christlike?

Third, learn to graciously and humbly receive correction.  There are those rare brave people who will approach you about sin they see in your life.  They love you enough to point out the mayonnaise.  Please, let them help.  Even if they are not totally right in every detail and at every point, there is probably some truth in what they are trying to tell you.  Cultivate friends like this.  

In Christ

Pastor Mike


Love Means Paying Attention

August 4, 2006

Click Here for an excellent post by the Young Men at The Rebelution.

I highly recommend this post.  Read it.  Share it with someone you love and ask them to help you set appropriate limits in your life so that you can pay attention to those you love.

In Christ

Pastor Mike 


The Bible and the Church

August 4, 2006

How do you make decisions in your Church?  Do you just ask “does it work”? Or, do you consciously and regularly look to God’s Word?

“The Bible is to have a controlling influence in our lives and in our ministry in the local church. . . The people and the house we serve are not ours; they are His.  It is vital that we live and minister in accordance with His Book.  This is completely counterintuitive in our pragmatic culture.  We want to minister our way.  We want to set up ourown rules and define the game plan. But Paul emphasizes that if we are to grow in grace as a congregation, if we are to be what He has called us to be, we have to live and minister according to the Book.–Ligon Duncan, Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi.

Next time you face a decision in your church life–be the voice that cries out, “What has God said about this?”

In Christ

Pastor Mike