Archive for September, 2009

Sep 29

Why Membership Matters

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Recommended Link,The Church

Kevin DeYoung gives a six-fold answer to the oft-asked question, why does membership matter?

  1. In joining a church you make visible your commitment to Christ and his people.
  2. Making a commitment makes a powerful statement in a low-commitment culture.
  3. We can be overly independent.
  4. Church membership keeps us accountable.
  5. Joining the church will help your pastor and elders be more faithful shepherds.
  6. Joining the church gives you an opportunity to make promises.

Go read the whole post to see how each of these are fleshed out.

Related to this is Kevin’s new book (co-authored with Ted Kluck), Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion. I’ve only had time to skim it, but what I’ve read so far I’ve heartily agreed with and enjoyed. I’m sure we’ll be carrying this in our church Resource Center soon.

Sep 18

Next Sunday: Luke 12:1-34, Take Two

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Sermons,This Sunday

As I mentioned in last Sunday’s sermon, the next week will cover the same verses in a slightly different way.

Last Sunday we looked at the general principles in the passage:

  • Don’t Worry about People
  • Don’t Worry about Possessions
  • Don’t Wonder about His Promises
  • Don’t Wonder about “Priorities”–Seek His Kingdom

This coming Sunday we will focus in on how we seek God’s kingdom, specifically

  • …with our Speech (vss 4-12)
  • …with our Stuff (vss 13-34)

If you didn’t hear last Sunday’s message, especially because it is the first-half of a two-parter, take some time before this Sunday to listen to it. And whether you heard the message last Sunday or not, please take the time to read through the verses again before we meet for corporate worship on Sunday AM.

Looking forward to seeing you and worshipping our great God and Savior with you on this next Lord’s Day. May God’s goodness and nearness and power and truth be evident!

Sep 18

Resources on Fear and Worry

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Quote,Recommended Link,Sermon Follow-Up

In last Sunday’s message — “Worldly Worry vs. Kingdom Confidence” (Luke 12:1-34) — I mentioned a couple of very helpful books on fear and worry by Ed Welch:

On a related theme, the words of John Newton’s hymn, “Pensive, Doubting, Fearful Heart,” are full of comfort:

Pensive, doubting, fearful heart,
Hear what Christ the Savior says;
Every word should joy impart,
Change thy mourning into praise:
Yes, he speaks, and speaks to thee,
May he help thee to believe!
Then thou presently wilt see,
Thou hast little cause to grieve.

“Fear thou not, nor be ashamed,
All thy sorrows soon shall end
I who heav’n and earth have framed,
Am thy husband and thy friend
I the High and Holy One,
Israel’s GOD by all adored;
As thy Savior will be known,
Thy Redeemer and thy Lord.

 For a moment I withdrew,
And thy heart was filled with pain;
But my mercies I’ll renew,
Thou shalt soon rejoice again:
Though I scorn to hide my face,
Very soon my wrath shall cease;
‘Tis but for a moment’s space,
Ending in eternal peace. 

When my peaceful bow appears
Painted on the wat’ry cloud;
‘Tis to dissipate thy fears,
Lest the earth should be o’erflowed:
‘Tis an emblem too of grace,
Of my cov’nant love a sign;
Though the mountains leave their place,
Thou shalt be for ever mine.

Though afflicted, tempest-tossed,
Comfortless awhile thou art,
Do not think thou canst be lost,
Thou art graven on my heart
All thy walls I will repair,
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew;
And in thee it shall appear,
What a God of love can do.

Red Mountain Church has an excellent recording of this hymn, which can be downloaded here for free. I’d highly recommend any or all of the modern hymns on their six albums.