Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Blog


Today I'm closing up shop here and launching a brand new blog called "Pass the Cloak." You can visit it by clicking here: www.PassTheCloak.com.

I hope you'll stop by to join the discussion on church issues and leadership development.

Thanks for supporting "Life Under the Sun" for the past four years!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pastor's Conference Videos




Our California Pastors Conference last month was a big success and answer to prayer. We had over 250 pastors attend, and were able to give out eleven books to each attendee, including The Conviction to Lead by Al Mohler, Called to Lead by John MacArthur, and What is a Healthy Church? by Mark Dever.

It was an honor to put together this year’s program and speakers. On our survey form, one attendee spoke of the “marvelous speakers – great spiritual enrichment.” Another said, “It’s hard to pick just one good thing, because the whole Pastor’s Conference was probing, timely, and effective. But the preachers were God sent.”

All the audio and video are now available online for free...
Betrothed: A Call to Sanctify Christ's Bride
2013 CSBC Pastors Conference

The Holiness of God” (Isaiah 6) - Elisha Rimestad
Personal Discipleship & Sanctification” (1 Cor. 4:14-6:11) – Dr. Russell Moore
Is Your Church Prepared to Suffer?” (Exodus 5) – Kevin Hsu
Preaching and Sanctification” (John 17:17) – Dr. Walter Price

Special thanks to the sponsors who made this year's conference possible! These include: 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Book Review: F is for Fenway

It's been a great postseason, and now the Boston Red Sox are headed to the World Series to take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

This promises to be a great World Series, and it will be played on one of baseball's greatest stages -- Fenway Park. Kids can learn all about this unique stadium in the cute book F is for Fenway.

F is for Fenway is an alphabet book about "America's Oldest Major League Ballpark."  Even if you're not a die-hard Red Sox fan, you'll enjoy the artwork and endless trivia on Fenway.

Each page contains an alphabet rhyme, a vintage-looking illustration, and a sidebar with interesting stories and factoids. Some of the poems require a bit more explanation for younger readers to understand.

Every letter of the alphabet has its own poem about Fenway Park. In case you're wondering what's on the "Q" page...

Q is for Quarter
You can't get much for a quarter these days,
But back at the start of the baseball craze,
A dime would get you a bleacher seat
With plenty left over for something to eat. 


Bet they'll be spending a little more than that for World Series tickets.

This book was reviewed through the Amazon Vine Program. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

2013 Pastors Conference


Our 2013 Pastor’s Conference is just over a week away! I was asked to organize this year's event, so let me share briefly about our theme.

Our title this year is Betrothed, and our basic theme is sanctification. Scripture teaches that the church is the bride of Christ -- chosen, beloved, and betrothed. Christ died for our sins and continues to sanctify us with the water of the Word. He is preparing a bride without spot or wrinkle that He will soon come to claim.

Even more surprising, Christ recruits ordinary pastors to protect His bride. Paul describes this sacred trust in 2 Corinthians 11:2. Like a father writing to his engaged daughter, Paul says, “I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” Paul was faithful, and now it’s our turn.

On October 21-22, 2013, we’ll explore this theme of sanctification together. Monday night (10/21), we’ll see that God Himself is our perfect standard of holiness. Then, we’ll consider personal discipleship as a means of sanctification. Tuesday morning (10/22), we’ll learn how preaching and suffering conform the church into Christ’s image. Lastly, we’ll apply biblical principles to the sin of anger.

My prayer is that pastors would feel refreshed and sharpened after our short time together.

For driving directions and speaker bios, visit our conference webpage. Here's the full schedule:

Betrothed: A Call to Sanctify Christ's Bride
2013 CSBC Pastors Conference
October 21-22, 2013
Shadow Mountain Community Church
El Cajon, CA

Monday, October 21 | 6:30 pm – 9pm 
6:30 pm Musical Worship (Barabbas Road Baptist Church)
6:50 pm Session I: The Holiness of God (Elisha Rimestad)
7:30 pm Session II: Personal Discipleship & Sanctification – 1 Cor. 4:14-6:11 (Russell Moore)
8:25 pm Session III: Q&A Panel
9:00 pm Closing Prayer

Tuesday, October 22 | 8:30 am – 11:30 am
8:30 am Musical Worship (Barabbas Road Baptist Church)
8:40 am Session IV: Is Your Church Prepared to Suffer? – Ex. 5 (Kevin Hsu)
9:20 am Logos Bible Software Demonstration (Jose Martinez)
9:35 am Session V: Preaching & Sanctification – Jn. 17:17 (Walter Price)
10:10 am Election of 2015 Pastors’ Conference President
10:30 am Session VI: Anger Mismanagement: Only Grace Transforms the Heart – Mk. 7:20-23 (Jim Newheiser)
11:30 am Closing Prayer

This conference is FREE and open to all pastors, their wives, and laypeople. Through the generous donations of our sponsors, we'll also be giving away ten books to every pastor in attendance. Hope to see you in El Cajon!

Related posts:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Grace Unplugged


Have you heard about the new movie Grace Unplugged? It opened last weekend in theaters nationwide and has garnered quite a bit of attention.

Grace Unplugged is an entertaining film with high production values and a strong Christian message. On opening weekend, it was the top-rated fan movie on Fandango.

The story goes like this (from the movie website). Having just turned 18, Grace Trey aspires to more than just singing at her church, where the worship leader is her father—a former pop star. So, with the help of Mossy, her dad's former manager, Grace records a cover version of her dad's old Top-10 hit, runs off to Los Angeles, and begins to taste the kind of stardom she's always dreamed about. Yet with each rung of the ladder she climbs, Grace feels more and more pressure to compromise her values, further straining her relationship with her parents. Will everything she experiences lead her to reject her faith … or rediscover it?

The movie is a drama and the rating is PG, so its themes are for older children up through adults. I watched a prescreening at the SBC Convention last June, and really liked the parts I saw. This would be a great movie for a youth group or family night out.

You can watch the official trailer here:


Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Shelter in the Time of Storm


“For three hours Jamie and the four children hid behind stacks of packaged flour in a storage area. ‘I remember thinking on the way in that the flour would be good, protective from bullets,’ she said. They heard the sounds of hand grenades, machine guns and helicopters as they hid.”

This article is a first-hand account by some of our IMB missionaries who witnessed the Kenya terrorist attack. It is a bold testimony to God’s protection and the power of prayer:

I loved this prayer request: “Pray that even as people's thoughts ran to God during the crisis, they would continue to run to God as daily life resumes.”

And also this perspective: “These things happen. It’s sometimes the cost of doing [mission] business. It is the reason we are here. Only Christ can penetrate this evil. He called us, we obey and stay until He releases us. Sometimes living in the center of God’s will is dangerous. Dangerous, but God is good. I’m praying that God will use this to bring glory to Himself, which He always does.”

Friends, these are the unsung heroes doing Gospel work that you won’t see on the nightly news.

You can read the whole thing here.
Photo credit: Rossyln Academy

Monday, September 30, 2013

Find Hope in Jesus

Hope -- everyone needs it.

Hope gets us out of bed in the morning and gives us reason to live another day. Hope keeps us going when the going gets tough. Hope believes real change is possible in our messed up lives.

But true hope is not found in money, or pleasure, or success. It's found in a person named Jesus Christ.

In the Bible, hope is more than "wishful thinking" (like "I hope the Angels make it to the playoffs." Sadly it's too late for that.) Rather, hope means “confidence” or “patient expectation.”

We know for sure Christ is coming back, and that believers will become like Him, because we will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).

Paul reminds us in Romans 8:24-25 that “In hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Jesus Christ is food for the hungry soul. He brings healing to the sick. He offers a home for the lost. He gives hope.

People desperately need hope, and the gospel is the only place they will find it. May each of our churches help people find hope in Jesus.
Photo credit: adamr