Archive for April, 2013

Apr 29

Like a Silkworm Eats a Leaf

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Quote

There are many ways in which we should not be like babies, but there is at least one way in which we must. In Sunday’s sermon, “Like Newborn Infants…,” Ryan drew out the comparison that Peter makes between infants and Christians 1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk [of the Word].” As those who are born of the Word, Christians should cultivate and feed an appetite for the Scriptures so that we long for Scripture as much as we really do need it.

Here’s how C.H. Spurgeon put it:

“Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord—not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our in most parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible.”

If you have struggled with Bible reading in general, read Ryan’s article, “How’s Your Bible Reading Going?,” for a reflection on some of the reasons we have a hard time sticking with the Bible. Then, pick up the Bible and feed, remembering Jesus’ own words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Apr 25

What Is Church Discipline?

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Church discipline is that loving process whereby God, through his people, addresses us in our sin for our restoration to him, to his people, and for his glory. Church discipline assumes a corporate aspect to our growth in godliness. It includes the most normal and easy of conversations with one another about how we may grow in faithfulness to God, but it may include any one of several steps outlined by Jesus in Matthew 18:15–18,

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Since we’re all sinners, we should all expect to find ourselves on both sides of this process throughout the course of our Christian lives. But we should all pray for ourselves and for one another that we never see the later stages of this process, and for God’s grace to repent if we do. It should be clear that the issue that moves any of us from one step to another is not the initial sin we’ve committed but the sin of refusing to repent and turn to God.

So important is this process for the purity and health of the church that we have included a paragraph expressing our commitment to this in the DSC Covenant of Fellowship.

I expect and trust that as I lax in my commitment to these principles this body at Desert Springs Church will hold me accountable with reproof, rebuke and exhortation to keep me faithful to the commitment that I am making; and furthermore, as I commit myself to this fellowship, I realize that I am entrusted with the same obligation of mutual exhortation and encouragement. If I ever continue in my sin without true repentance, and do not hear the pleas and rebukes of my brothers and sisters in Christ, I implore this body to seek my spiritual restoration in proceeding in the steps of restoration and purity given by Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20.

If you would like to further explore the subject of church discipline, here are a few resources to check out:

Apr 22

Boston, Getting to Church on Time, and John Piper (The Link List, 4/22/13)

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Link List

A Prayer about the Entanglements of Pornography” (Scotty Smith)

Here’s a heartfelt and helpful prayer for those ensnared in the destructive sin of pornography.

The Boston Bombers Were Outside Their House” (Matt Smethurst)

The shoot out that took down Suspect #1 happened right outside the home of believers, Stephen and Emily McAlpin. Here’s their story.

The Explosion in Texas and Fatherhood” (Grant Castleberry)

Over at the new CBMW site, Grant Castleberry reflects on the death of his father, fatherlessness, and tragedies like last week’s explosion in West Texas.

Courtroom horror” (World Magazine)

Andrée Seu Peterson, reporting on the Gosnell murder trial, reflects on a conversation with her 81 year old mother to show the moral contradiction in the legality of abortion.

How Mollie Hemingway Introduced the Nation to Kermit Gosnell” (Trevin Wax)

Trevin Wax shows how the Gosnell story gained traction in the mainstream media.

Get to Church Early” (Joe Thorn)

Chicago area pastor, Joe Thorn, gives us some good reasons to make a priority of being on time to church.

The Legacy of John Piper in the Lives of Real People” (Desiring God)

After 33 years at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper has retired from his preaching post, though not from ministry. Here’s a nice video tribute put together by his church.

Thanks to the Bethlehem Staff” (John Piper)

Also related to Piper’s retirement, here’s a encouraging read. This is a personal thank you from Pastor Piper to his staff.

The Mystery of the Tiny Door in a Tree” (Joe Rosato, Jr.)

Five dollars from me personally (Trent Hunter) to anyone to visits this tree and brings home a picture of themselves in front of it.

Apr 18

Business as Mission: Creative Parnerships for the Gospel Here and Abroad

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Church Planting

As part of our Spring for SNAP initiative, we’re hosting a Business as Mission Workshop this Saturday at DSC from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM. As you consider joining us, here are answers to a few questions you might be asking.

What is the “Business as Mission” (BAM) Workshop?

This workshop is designed for two purposes. The first purpose is to help all of us better grasp the opportunity for the gospel that is before us in all of our jobs and vocations.

The second purpose is to help us begin to partner as a church in creatively supporting the work of SNAP through our respective vocations.

What do we mean by that? We’re not talking fund raising. We’re talking about skill and business resource sharing. Let me explain.

Are you a lawyer? Our SNAP team will be entering what is called a creative access country requiring a legitimate job identity in order to carry out their primary agenda of gospel ministry. They will need help setting up an LLC in the US to further legitimize their work. You can help with that.

Or, here’s another example. Let’s say you make candlesticks. Maybe candlesticks are in need in our target country. You could be a supplier and our missionaries can sell your candlesticks. Or maybe you can help our missionaries establish a candlestick business of their own. Or maybe our missionaries will be making widgets, and you can help as a consultant in manufacturing processes.

What outcome should we pray for?  

Creative access countries need sending churches to be creative. We’re praying for God to grow our church in seeing our vocations, skills, and business resources as assets that can be creatively employed for the sake of the church’s mission. Then, out of this we are praying for creative solutions, skills, and business resources to emerge from within our body in support of our SNAP initiative.

What’s the Schedule?

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Business as Mission Foundations: 3 sessions covering the Biblical and historical “why?” and “what?” of BAM

12:00 PM-1:30 PM – Lunch break

1:30 – 3:30 PM – Business as Mission Practice: 2 sessions covering the “how?” for specific SNAP initiative, including next steps for our church

If you want to come, just show up on Saturday morning. No registration required. Email with questions.

Who is leading the workshop? 

We will be joined by three workshop leaders:

Larry W. Sharp is the Founder and current Director of Strategic Partnerships of a Business for Transformation consulting firm, International Business and Education Consultants ( He has served 21 years in Brazil and 19 years as Crossworld VP of Operations and currently as Vice President of Business Partnerships. Since 2007 he has devoted energies toward Business as Mission themes. He holds degrees in Bible, business (B.A. Seattle Pacific University), and education (M.A. Azusa Pacific University) and a Ph.D. (University of Calgary, Canada) in comparative sociology of education and administration. He has spent most of his career in education and supervisory roles. While in Brazil he served as teacher and headmaster of the Amazon Valley Academy (15 years) and President of the Missão Cristã Evangélica do Brasil for six years.

Ben Briggs moved to China at age 25 to start a leather factory. Knowing practically nothing about manufacturing, business management, leather, or Chinese, Ben and his Dallas-based bosses at Barrington engaged business for mission. Over the ensuing eight years, the factory grew to 100 people producing high-end goods for Ritz-Carlton, Neiman Marcus, Tommy Bahama, the PGA, and more. But most importantly, Ben’s team hired and mentored several deaf, handicapped, and Down syndrome employees, using their business as a platform to bless employees, glorify God, and benefit the community.

Dean Callison serves as a Sixteen:Fifteen Business As Mission Coach. Dean is a Certified Financial Planner and has spent the last 25 years doing financial and philanthropic consulting. Dean has assisted many stewards in the transfer of financial resources to missional projects around the world but he is especially interested in assisting stewards with gifts of time and talent to help the growing Business As Mission movement. Dean is pleased to assist Sixteen:Fifteen, influence churches and individual stewards towards real business and real missional efforts in the least reached areas of the world. Dean has a degree in Business and Economics from Taylor University. Sixteen:Fifteen exists to help local churches discover and use their unique gifts in partnership with others to make Christ known among all nations. Sixteen:Fifteen’s vision is to coach 1,000 churches toward a strategic missions focus, resulting in an incremental $1 billion invested to reach 1,000 unreached people groups around the world within the next 10 years.

Apr 12

The Grace of God is Lavish!

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel

Hear and don’t forget this reflection by Matt Chandler on Ephesians 1:7-8,

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us . . .

[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]

HT: Justin Taylor