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Showing posts from December, 2011

A Year to Remember

2011 is a year we’ll always remember. It was filled with the many joys and struggles of this life. We laughed, went to ER, cried, went to ER, travelled, went to ER, and through it all grew “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18)!
Here are some of this year’s highlights…

Abigail. Our third child, Abigail Adelle Jones, was born on February 10, 2011. She is cuddly and playful and such a sweetheart. She cut her first two teeth at 3 1/2 months, and now at ten months she has 14 teeth! Just like her Grandpa.

 Abby was born right on time, after teasing us with 16 weeks of false labor. The delivery went quite smoothly. But unbeknownst to us, a small piece of placenta was not expelled from Natalie’s uterus. Which leads us to our next memory...

Hospitals. After delivery, Natalie endured severe cramping and heavy bleeding for five hours. It took a D&C, four units of blood, four days in the hospital, and a l…

Books, books, books

It’s hard to overstate the importance of books in the Christian life. C.J. Mahaney shares how his salvation and a love for reading went hand-in-hand:
“Before that evening when Bob told me the gospel, I literally knew nothing of God or His Word. I’d never cracked open a Bible. But from the day of my conversion I couldn’t get enough of Scripture or Christian books. Not long after my conversion, I got a job at a Christian bookstore just so I could read as much as possible” (Living the Cross-Centered Life, p. 148).
Donald Whitney observes, “I’ve always found it to be true that growing Christians are reading Christians. For some it’s a habit they find hard to develop…But let me encourage you to find some time to read anyway, even if it’s no more than one page per day and one book per year” (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, p. 221).

Here’s a list of books I read in 2011. Some were deeply convicting or comforting; others were purely amusing and relaxing.

A Praying Life: Connecting…

A fickle crowd?

It seems funny to bring up Palm Sunday just a few days before Christmas. But a student in one of my classes recently asked a great question about the crowd on Palm Sunday versus Good Friday:

"I read a blog post by Kevin DeYoung that argued that it was two different groups of people. The ones shouting "Hosanna" were Galilean pilgrims and the ones shouting "Crucify Him" were the Jerusalem crowd. What are your thoughts on this?"

Here was my reply:

You've raised a really interesting question about the crowd in Jerusalem during the Passion Week. David Hazard vividly captures the traditional view:

In all probability, the same people who shouted "Crucify Him!" were still hoarse from shouting, "Hosanna!" ("Seeing More of God," Discipleship Journal, Jan-Feb 1995, p. )
But many scholars, as Kevin DeYoung pointed out, dispute this fact. Thus R. T. France writes,

The location is still outside Jerusalem (v. 1), and Jesus will n…

Growing in Christ

Our Wednesday night Bible Study on Spiritual Warfare is winding down. So starting January 4, we’ll be starting a new series called “Growing in Christ.” It’s actually a three-year program I’m developing to help produce mature, fruitful believers in Jesus Christ.I’ve long had a burden for nurturing new Christians, training up mentors, and equipping busy Marines. But I was never quite sure how to pull it off. Though still early in the early planning phase, I think this program will help fill the gap in our discipleship ministry. Here’s an overview:Growing in ChristGOAL: To produce mature, fruitful believers in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13). STRATEGY: three themes discussed in three years:1. SERVE HIM (the hands of a disciple)Spiritual DisciplinesEvangelismFamilyCounselingSpiritual Gifts2. KNOW HIM(the head of a disciple)Christian BeliefsBible OverviewChurch HistoryApologetics/Worldview3. LOVE HIM(the heart of a disciple)Am I Really a Christian?Bearing Fruit of the SpiritWhat if I Backsli…