The Daily Docket 8/12/15

Seven Reasons You Should “Coach-Up” Your Sermons— I wrote this for LifeWay’s Pastors blog. Regardless of your reasons, the question remains the same: who is analyzing your sermons? If you answered no one, then perhaps these reasons can help to convince you that there is a need.

The “Together” of Evangelism— As we emphasize the personal nature of evangelism, it is important to remember that church is a team sport.

Forgiveness is a Marathon— I couldn’t resist sharing another link from The Gospel Coalition today. Referencing the Emanuel AME community, the author writes, They have chosen the path of forgiveness, but let’s recongize that this path is costly, and this path is long and difficult.

Matt Chandler on Abortion


The Daily Docket 4/24/14

The Me Time Myth— This article is very beneficial.  I’m beginning to see some who are divorcing Chrsitian responsibility and ministry from their family. “Me Time isn’t the glorious missing piece in our lives. Life actually isn’t all about us, as some would have us believe. Our time belongs to God, to our children and our husband, AND to us. There is no such thing as Me Time.”

7 Mistakes We Make in Women’s Bible Study

Sinner, Come Home— Al Mohler recounts John Piper’s stirring sermon reminding a large gathering of Reformed Christian leaders that gospel pleading for the salvation of sinners is a profoundly biblical exercise. You can listen to Piper’s sermon here.

The Surprising and Sickening Outrage Over Josie Cunningham’s Abortion— Trevin Wax shows us the hypocritical double standard of the pro-choice movement and the culture of death.

The Discipline of Secrecy and the Joy of Honoring Others— “Secrecy at its best teaches love and humility before God and others. And that love and humility encourages us to see our associates in the best possible light, even to the point of our hoping they will do better and appear better than us.”

Yes, God Cares How You Vote

As a general rule, I try to stay out of politics.  As a pastor, I have never felt that I should use my position to advocate for one politician or party over another.  However, I do have a responsibility to advocate for Christian ethics and morality.  I have a responsibility to stand for the victimized and the weak.  I have a responsibility to speak God’s word and to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.

When politics cross the line into ethics, morality, and religion, I am not only allowed to speak to these issues, I am compelled to speak to these issues.  Edmund Burke is credited as saying, “when good men do nothing, evil prevails.”  As such, the evil attacks against the morality and ethics of our country are prevailing because far too many good men and women have remained silent, sidelined by the attacks of liberals and fearful that their biblical positions on abortion and marriage will be vilified.

In his most recent blog, Albert Mohler writes that the 2012 election is America’s Great Worldview Test.  More than politics are at stake when the Democratic Party Platform stands for the legalization and normalization of same-sex marriage and for unrestricted abortion.   Mohler speaks of the abortion issue this way,

On the issue of abortion, the Republican platform states, “we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” The Democratic platform states: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that … Continue reading

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A new review of Real Marriage by former members of Mars Hill that raises some concerns with the tone, not the content.

From the beginning of this book, Mark has made passing references to Grace’s mistakes and abuse that lead to difficulty in their marriage, but what about him?  He had been in previous sexual relationships prior to Grace, and with Grace prior to their marriage. What affect had this had on him and how he would view relationships going forward?  Not much is said about this, in fact Mark barely recognizes his responsibility in this at all.

We know what Rick Santorum thinks.  Apparently, that is part of the problem for him in this election, he is forthright.

Rick Santorum opposes same-sex marriage, so did Barack Obama when he ran for the White House in 2008 (and, at least in terms of official statements, even now). But Santorum gets jeered and Obama gets a pass. Why? McGurn understands: “There’s no mystery why. Mr. Santorum is attacked because everyone understands that he means what he says.”

Virgin airlines has hired a coach to teach their cabin crews to whisper.

Virgin claims that its ‘Upper Class Dream Suite’, which is being unveiled in April, will offer the “largest and most comfortable beds in the sky”.

Mr Fitzgerald will train flight attendants how best to “engage with passengers”, coaching them on the optimum “tone, volume and sentiment” to adopt.

October Baby is coming to theaters next month.This is a well done pro-life movie with a surprising impact on one of its actors.  One of the greatest strengths of this movie is its emphasis, not only on the sanctity of life, but on forgiveness and restoration for post-abortive women.

Fantastic Four

Gambling is once again in the spotlight as its expansion is being considered in many states.  Albert Mohler has written a great article on its dangers and the appropriate Christian response.

According to some estimates, as much as one-third of the nation’s money supply now moves through the gambling industry each year. Looking at a recent annual economic report, management consultant Eugene M. Christiansen determined that “Americans spent more on gambling than they did on health insurance, dentists, shoes, foreign travel, or household appliances.”

I’m still not sure if Santorum is actually electable, but I do love his stance on abortion.  We need politicians to speak robustly on this issue.

The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions,” Santorum said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” He said he was talking specifically about some, but not all, prenatal testing, and not about prenatal care in general. He said “there are all sorts of prenatal testing which should be provided free,” such as sonograms.

I picked this up from Tim ChalliesNomophobia, the fear of being without your cellphone.

Using the online polling service OnePull, SecurEnvoy found that 66% of the 1,000 people surveyed in the United Kingdom say they fear losing or being without their phone. Just four years ago a similar survey found that only 53% of people suffered from nomophobia (no-mobile-phobia).

Randy Alcorn’s Money, Possessions, and Eternity is one of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject.  I would strongly encourage it.

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Albert Mohler on the murderous culture of obstetricians who abort one of two or three unborn children to reduce the number of live births.

Jenny makes this clear. She explains that she had conceived through IVF and an egg donor. Had the pregnancy occurred naturally, she said, “I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it.” Nevertheless, “The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.”

Fox News reports on university students who are asked to compare redistribution of wealth with redistribution of GPA points.  Interesting

If I do give GPA points to students who don’t deserve it, that just isn’t fair.  I work for my grades.

Current generations seem to have lost the ability to speak clearly and with authority.  You may have seen this already, but its funny for me everytime I watch it.

This Peanuts strip really represents how I feel sometimes.

(Not So) Fantastic 4

This list must be grouped as a collection of not-so fantastic links as they all do with shocking cases of abortion recently brought to light.

In Australia, a couple has aborted twin boys because they wanted to have a girl.

A married couple who aborted twin boys the wife was expecting after IVF treatment have gone to court to choose the sex of their next child – because they want a girl.

The husband and wife already have three sons and said they now want to have a girl after their baby daughter died soon after birth.They are both aged in their 30s and have taken their case to a legal tribunal after an independent medical body known as the Patient Review Panel rejected their bid to choose the gender of their next child using IVF.

A Pennsylvania doctor is charged with killing 7 babies after birth with scissors.

Gosnell typically worked weeknights, arriving hours after his unskilled staff administered anesthesia and drugs to induce labor. He then “forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord,”

60% of African American Babies aborted in NYC.

A new report has found that 41% of babies in the womb were aborted in New York City in 2009.

As is common throughout the country, there was a major racial disparity, with the majority of abortions being from African-American and Hispanic women.  About 60% of African-American women’s unborn babies were aborted, 41.3% for Hispanic women, 22.7% for Asians, and 21.4% for Caucasians.

Albert Mohler does a good job of summarizing the terrible week in abortion news and challenging the logic of abortion.

Once we … Continue reading

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Justin Taylor has highlighted a new album by John Mark McMillan. See video of “Death in His Grave” below.

Shaun Groves on John Mark McMillan new album, The Medicine: “I can’t recommend it highly enough. Beautiful, innovative, poetic, intelligent, subversive, theologically robust, sonic sweet tea and biscuits, transcendent.”

Interesting statistics on young women and their use of Facebook.

While the study covers all of social media, it’s clear that women in the 18-34 range are focused on their Facebook accounts. More than half of young women (57%) say they talk to people online more than face-to-face. A full 39% of them proclaim themselves Facebook addicts, while 34% of young women make Facebook the first thing they do when they wake up, even before brushing their teeth or going to the bathroom.

Last week, Al Mohler posted this horrifying article on feminism and abortion.

“f you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.” That statement, published for all the world to see, perfectly distills the inescapable logic of the abortion rights argument. It is based on a willingness to kill — and on the horrifying audacity to call this killing “the lesser evil.

Finally, check out the work that Aaron Coe is doing with SendNYC. They have a goal to plant 100 new churches in NYC in the next 10 years and they need your help.

Mission: SendNYC exists to mobilize and equip leaders in order to plant gospel-centered churches in New York City, North America, and cities around the world.

Death In His Grave … Continue reading

The Fantastic Four

Has Noah’s Ark been found on Mt. Arrarat? Some Chinese researches believe it has.

A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say wooden remains they have discovered on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey are the remains of Noah’s Ark.

The group claims that carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old, meaning they date to around the same time the ark was said to be afloat. Mt. Ararat has long been suspected as the final resting place of the craft by evangelicals and literalists hoping to validate biblical stories.

Baby survives nearly two days after abortion. This is a frightening look into a grotesque practice.

The infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, and was left by doctors to die.

He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body.

Christianity Today’s Children’s Ministry page has an interesting article on bribing children to come to church.

Kids do all sorts of stuff without bribes involved. The secret is to give them something they don’t get elsewhere. Consider, for a moment, why many kids like gym class even if they don’t care for the activities. They likely believe the gym teacher is cool—most of them are, you have to admit—and he or she somehow makes kids feel special. Or why do kids thoroughly enjoy some classes and not others? Many times, you need look no further than a teacher who bonds with and affirms each child in unique ways. And why will a child who meets with a mentor eagerly wait for that special time together … Continue reading

Preaching The Gospel is Pro-Life

A recent Newsweek article explores the changing face of the pro-life movement in America, especially since the political landscape has changed under the leadership of Barak Obama. In Pro-Lifers in Obama Land, Sarah Kliff looks to those in the pro-life camp who are leaning toward legislation and agendas that aim at reducing abortions rather than eradicating the awful practice.

Though, I agree that one life saved is worth the fight and that a reduction of even a small percentage in the number of abortions would be a victory, I do believe that the battle of abortion is more about life than about numbers. When our focus is on reduction rather than eradication, our ethical standards have to shift. For instance, in which area should we focus on reducing abortions? Should we focus on minorities, on the poor, or on the rich? Should our efforts at reduction focus on sex education, economic improvement, or visible fatherhood? In other words, which lives are worth saving and which lives are to be ignored?

The Obama administration claims to have abortion reduction as its goal (and I hope that it happens), but President Obama’s track record is not one that speaks of abortion reduction (click here for an example). However, Obama’s hero, Abraham Lincoln, did not have slave reduction as his goal. Instead, Mr. Lincoln saw slavery for what it was, an evil brutish act that robbed people of their basic human rights. Lincoln fought to end slavery and Wilberforce was used by God to pave the way.

Abortions will be reduced as we continue to fight to see the practice of abortion ended. Until that day arrives, however, we must … Continue reading