In this Podcast episode, Pete explores the first and most important characteristic of a church culture that deeply changes lives – a slowed down spirituality. This is a church culture where people refuse to allow a hurried world to set the pace for their lives but instead live by rhythms that are slower and more deliberate. They set aside time each day to immerse themselves in Scripture, silence, and solitude, which are foundational practices for their communion with Jesus.
So as an avid commentary reader and one who has made a daily habit of expanding my Biblical literacy, I wanted to write some advice to put you the path to well-informed biblical interpretation. My hope is that you will eventually come to stand on your own and not rely on the interpretive skills of others, even more so, I want you to be able to spot bad interpretation in a sermon, a small group, or in the media. Too often we say to ourselves “that doesn’t sound right,” but we simply don’t know why. Well, read these tips, grab a cup of coffee, and start interpreting.
Have you ever heard of The Bible Project? Now, there is an app and reading plan from Crazy Love Ministries that walks through the entirety of the Bible through one year in a way that is engaging, thoughtful, and easy-to-follow. It's simply called, Read Scripture--and it's awesome!
Watch the highlights from the Spring 2018 Greenhouse Environments training intensive.
Back in February 2018, several church leaders met together for a Greenhouse Environments training intensive. Greenhouse Environments is part of the Alliance Southeast's MIP (Multiplication Impact Process) that is the umbrella initiative that includes Gospel Footprint and Flywheel.
Streetlights Bible is the world’s first urban audio Bible, combining the authentic Word of God in the New Living Translation with a dynamic score influenced by the cultures of the inner city. Top recording artists and accomplished music producers unite to bring you word-for-word Scripture recited to industry standard, street-credible beats.
When Christians pray, we pray as those who have been freed from praying like the world. We pray as those who first have heard from our God in his word, who have embraced his gift of unsurpassed grace in the person of his Son, and who have no need to earn his favor with our repetition, posturing, and pretense.
Rather, we can ask simply, as children. We can ask profoundly, with new hearts trained on him, not just the things of earth. And we can ask with humble confidence knowing that our Father already knows our needs, and knows them even better than we do, and is even more committed than we are to meeting them in the deepest and most enduring ways.
My favorite book on the church and God’s mission is Total Church. I admire Steve Timmis and Tim Chester tremendously and I have learned so much from them. I can say the same for Alan Hirsch, Jeff Vanderstelt and many others that I would consider missional experts.
But eventually I had to stop listening to them.
The only way to follow Jesus is with total and complete abandon. Those are the terms Jesus always gives: you’ve got to jump with all of your strength. The Christian life doesn’t work if you hedge your bets. The problem is, taking huge risks requires huge confidence. Where do we get the strength to go all-in for Jesus?
A guest preacher was speaking at a series of meetings at our church. He was teaching on the prayers of the apostle Paul found in his New Testament letters, and encouraging us to pray these inspired prayers as our own. Then, at one point he held up his Bible said, “Folks, when you pray, use the prayer book.” In that moment I suddenly realized, “The entire Bible is a prayer book.
Distracted, obligatory, ordinary — I doubt any such words came across Moses’s mind as he ascended the mountain. But some three thousand years later, we rarely marvel that God permits imperfect humans into his presence. How did the shocking become so ordinary to us? Is it even possible for our experiences with God to be that fascinating?
Most Christians are aware of the importance of personal reading of God’s word. But just how should our daily Bible reading be done? Are there any guidelines for making the best used of our time and gaining the most from our reading of God’s word? Here, then, are five guidelines that have helped me much over many years of reading Scripture.
Sometimes the hardest part of discipleship is teaching people how to handle the Bible. We know that the Holy Spirit will help us learn as we read, but we cannot ignore that it can be quite daunting and even intimidating. You don't need a seminary degree to help your friend begin with the Bible; here are a few suggestions of how you can help Bible beginners get started.
Chances are you are among the massive majority of Christians who rarely or never fast. It’s not because we haven’t read our Bibles or sat under faithful preaching or heard about the power of fasting, or even that we don’t genuinely want to do it. We just never actually get around to putting down the fork.