Last weekend’s sermon on John 19:17-42 “He was Crucified, He was Dead, He was Buried” is online!
Check it out HERE!
This is a part of the Gospel of John Series.
It seems that I always have people asking me what I am reading during seminary to see if there is anything that they would benefit from reading. So I will update this list as my seminary career progresses to keep everyone informed.
The titles in RED are books that I have made it through during the current semester and the titles that are not red are still in progress.
Dr. Travis Dickinson
Dr. Calvin Pearson
Kristen & I are very excited about our future with the child God has entrusted to us. Although we have had children of the faith through ministry and mentoring relationships, this will be our first addition to our family after eight years of marriage.
Please join us in praying for this child & the medical procedures that it will require for him/her to get here.
Pastor Mark Driscoll is the leader of a large church in Seattle called Mars Hill & is the author of several best sellers. But I like Pastor Mark for another reason.
He is committed to Jesus and leading others to Jesus.
This is played out through the ministries of his church, his preaching style, and his heart to equip fellow pastors. His team produces one of the podcasts that really helped me grow in my faith as a new believer as well.
So Pastor Mark, Thanks for the book & Keep leading people to Jesus! All for His Glory!
I can’t believe it. I got in. Wow!
This has been a journey.
As some of you may know, I was not the best or brightest student growing up. I did not have a passion or drive to go to school for any reason. I did not care for it or find any purpose in it. However after God called me back to school and eventually seminary, the doors seemed to come open and I asked God to push me through whatever doors He desired me to walk through. To be honest, I am not sure that this was the door that I had envisioned at the time. But I do know that where God leads, He equips. So I am confident in His steadfast help in this process.
Please be in prayer for me and my future studies. This average student can use all he can get.
P.S. I will be working on a Ph.D. in Evangelism & Church Vitalization at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.
This past week, I was thinking about my personal study habits and how much trial and error I have gone through to get a good Bible study system that I like.
It seems that there are several programs out there that claim they are the best but no system really fit what I wanted for the outcome that I desired, fitting into the time I have available, and working with a seminary student’s budget. (With seminary and 2 jobs, time is very limited and funds are sometimes scarse.)
In my search, I was looking for a method that would allow me to quickly work through the text, get something out of the text, record what was gained, & do all this in a clear way for future reference.
With that being said, this is the materials and method of study that I use everyday. I hope that you gain something from this and that it encourages you to study more in this new year.
I am going to approach this with a break down of the tools I use with notes on the way that I use them. This way, we can systematically work through what you need and how to use these.
The first thing you need for Bible study is a good Bible. I am not talking about the family Bible that is 50lbs. and has never been removed from Grandma’s bookshelf. I am talking about a Bible that you have chosen in a translation that makes since to you and feels good to you.
A Bible is somethings you should have for a few years. It will be a close friend, spend a little money on it.
On the high end of price range, I like the Cambridge Bibles. They are real leather, have very thick pages, they look very nice, and they are super durable. I have had one of these for 3 years of constant use and it looks brand new. Sometimes, you can find these on sale for great deals.
In the lower price range, I prefer Bibles made by Crossway or Zondervan. They are usually a leather substitute and have slightly thinner pages. These usually last me a year to two years and they show a lot of wear.
A Bible is a book you should understand, so purchase a translation that you can read and understand.
Without going into original languages and translator intent for each translation, I would recommend three different translations rated by preference and readability.
1st preference ESV (English Standard Version) – This is a smooth conservative translation but uses some words that may be unknown to unchurched eyes.
2nd preference HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) – This is a smooth translation as well and the word formatting is very cool.
3rd preference NASB (New American Standard Version) – This is a very literal translation and some words may be foreign to today’s readers. However this is a great translation for those desiring to have a very literal translation.
4th preference NIV (New International Version) – This is a decent version with easy readability. However there have been many revisions over the years. I would recommend a 1984 edition.
Look for things that will cater to what you desire in a Bible. Does the Bible have enough margin for notes? Does the Bible have cross references? Is the Bible red letter (words of Christ in red)? Is it a single column?
Now before we get overwhelmed with all the options, just remember, there is no right answer here. It is simply personal preference.
In my case, I like a single column for easy reading, a wide margin for notes and reflections, and red letter so I can skip to the words of Christ easily. I write in my Bible a lot and prefer a Bible that is easy to work with.
What do you look for when shopping for a new Bible?
As many of you may know, the close of a season occurred last Friday afternoon as I graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (@SWBTS) with a Master degree in Divinity and a concentration in Evangelism. This has been a long time coming and a long journey to get here. Even though I was able to get through the program faster than Kristen and I expected, it has been 3 full years of long nights full of homework and papers along with the financial pressures that come with going back to school.
Although this journey has been a long one, it has been a great one. I have made friends in seminary that I would not have connected with other wise, I have grown in the Lord personally, and I have watched the Lord do things that are simply unexplainable. The Lord has been faithful in providing when He called me to seminary.
At this point, many people have wondered what is on the plate for Kristen and I in ministry and life.
Well this last Sunday I began a pastorate at First Baptist Church Jewett, TX. Kristen and I felt called to Jewett last April and I accepted a call to be the lead pastor of this loving family of faith. We are now in transition to move to the city of Jewett over the next month as Kristen is still finishing the school year. As you can understand, this is a crazy time of excitement and joy, watching dreams and calling come to reality. It is a real adventure!
In the near future I will post more pictures of the church and give some more details about the community we will be ministering to.
Please be in prayer for FBC Jewett, the community of Jewett, Kristen and I as we press forward to see what the Lord has in store for our family.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
(1 Corinthians 13:1–13, ESV)
Reflecting on these passages this morning, I cannot help but see the evident need of Love in our society today. With all the hate in the world, there is an obvious desire for acceptance and love by our society. It is almost as if our culture is calling out with a natural thirst for love.
This is the key for those who know Christ. We have seen love in action. We have experienced the power and victory of lov ein our lives. This is our opportunity to show love to others. Here, Paul makes this clear by outlining what love is; patient, kind, humble, easy going, and righteous.
Jesus commanded this of his disciples.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:
just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.””
(John 13:34–35, ESV)
The command is clear. Now we must act.