Archive for January, 2014

Jan 30

Serving the Lord with Gladness at DSC

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Vision

When the Psalmist wanted to say, “worship God!,” he said it this way: “Serve the Lord with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2).

Service can take on many forms in the Christian life. Some are informal and happen in the simplicity and hiddenness of our personal relationships. Others are overt and organized. Both are important.

Here’s the video we showed in the service on Ministry Fair Sunday introducing you to many of DSC’s ministries. Watch this video, visit the Ministries Page, and take note of any ministries you would like to learn more about. Fill out the Communication Card on any Sunday and we will follow up with you that week.

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In the months ahead you will hear about a two-pronged encouragement to study the Bible and serve the body. In the fall of ’14 we will roll out a more substantive ministry of adult education on Sunday mornings to encourage your study of God’s Word. With that will come an encouragement for more of our body to be involved in meaningful service, and especially service on Sunday mornings.

Jan 22

Five Reasons to Come To Clarus

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 14

If you need five reasons to come to Clarus, then here they are. Listen to Ryan and pastors from several of our partner churches share about this year’s conference:

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If you haven’t registered for Clarus yet, register today. Or at least register before January 31 for early registration pricing. Childcare is available by registration for children birth-10 years for families who call DSC home. And if you volunteer to help with childcare you’ll get a free registration.

Jan 17

Justice and the Unborn

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

As you may know, this Sunday is Sanctity of Life Sunday. Although we don’t build our Sunday service around the occasion, we wholeheartedly embrace the cause of justice for vulnerable unborn human life and wanted to link you to an important article on the subject.

Over at Christianity Today, Daniel Darling and Andrew Walker have written a piece, “Abortion Meets a New Generation,” showing the pro-life cause to be a matter of basic human justice, a cause important for each generation regardless of the cultural mood or cost.

Here are some excerpts:

As evangelicals who came of age during the culture wars, we’re part of a generation ready to move past the pitched left-right debates. The critiques of Christian political activism have held some merit: A hyper-focus on elections, voter guides, and strategy has often buried the gospel story. Sometimes following Christ has strangely looked like following an elephant or a donkey. . . .

We’ve heard well-meaning, but cautious lovers of the gospel say that the cause of the unborn is too political, that it casts a harmful pall over the church, damaging gospel witness. To be sure, politics has not always brought out the best of God’s people. A renewed embrace of the grace-truth tension is needed. And yet, can we really claim to be social justice warriors if we ignore the millions of unborn children silenced and snuffed out in America at the altar of convenience? Can we overlook the corporatist worldview of Planned Parenthood that has industrialized abortion? No, we cannot. . . .

In fact, the denial of human life is arguably what triggers all other forms of activism. If we don’t get our witness right on life, how can our witness on any other issue seem anything other than pyrrhic? A Christian approach to social engagement cannot be calculated through the grid of popular appeal or mass approval. . . .

Being pro-life is about justice. And justice is blind—blind to color, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status. Justice is standing up for what is true, good, and beautiful; and on the issue of life, we insist that every child is a uniquely good and beautiful creation of God, and therefore deserving of life.

Click here to read the whole article.

For more reflection on the question of unborn life, read a blog published here earlier this year, “Why are we against abortion?.” Also, in love for the unborn and their parents, consider volunteering at Care Net, one of DSC’s strategic local missions partners. You’ll also have a chance to meet a representative from Care Net next Sunday morning, January 26, at DSC’s Ministry Fair.

Jan 10

What is The Gospel Coalition?

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

Perhaps you have been around DSC for a while and you’ve asked yourself that question. What is The Gospel Coalition (TGC)? Is it a denomination? What is it?

Well, it’s not a denomination. DSC is a local church without ties to any outside governing body. But we are happy to partner with other like-minded churches here and abroad for the sake of the gospel, and that’s what TGC helps us do. It’s a network of pastors and churches committed to the gospel and to its spreading. This network is grounded in a few Foundation Documents, including a Confessional Statement and a Theological Vision for Ministry. Click here to read both.

TGC has a rich website, which serves the broader church with articles on cultural and theological issues, book reviews, a sermon and resource catalogue, and a web hub for TGC conferences and TGC’s global missions effort, International Outreach.

Here in Albuquerque, since Ryan is a council member for TGC, DSC regularly hosts meetings for a network of area pastors who are part of Albuquerque’s TGC Chapter. They meet to pray, discuss Scripture, and offer help to one another in the work of ministry. Click here to check out the chapter’s new website. And, of course, DSC’s annual theology conference, Clarus, is also a TGC regional conference and hosted in partnership with Albuquerque’s chapter.

Enough text. Here are two videos to help put this partnership in context for you, the second of which was recently published at the TGC Blog and features Ryan Kelly.

Founding TGC council members answer the question, “What is The Gospel Coalition?”

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Ryan Kelly discusses the historical background for a church network like TGC

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Jan 1

A Resolution for Your Resolutions

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel

Over at the newly redesigned Desiring God site, Jon Bloom published an article on the subject of new year’s resolutions. After unpacking briefly why resolutions are biblical and why annual resolutions are good idea, he presents a single resolution as the heart of all Christian resolve: love. Here’s a bit from his article, “Your Most Courageous Resolution in 2014“:

. . . resolves can either be rooted in our selfish ambitions or in the love of God. We must think them through carefully. So as we make our resolutions for 2014, God wants them to all serve this one great end: “pursue love” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

“Pursue” is a very purposeful word. The Greek verb has an intensity to it. It means to “seek after eagerly,” like a runner in a race seeks eagerly to win a prize.

. . . Let this be the year that we pursue love. . . . Each person’s situation is so unique that we can’t craft strategies for each other to grow in love. It’s something that we must each do with God, though some feedback and counsel from those who know us best are helpful.

But here are some of the Bible’s great love texts to soak in during 2014 that can help loving strategies emerge:

    • 1 Corinthians 13: soak in or memorize it and let each “love is . . .” statement in verses 4–7 search your heart. With whom can you show greater patience, kindness, and more?
    • John chapters 13–15: soak in or memorize them. Ninety-five verses are very doable. You can memorize them in 3–6 months and be transformed.
    • The First Epistle of John: Soak in or memorize it. You can do it! Forcing yourself to say the verses over and over will yield insights you’ve never seen before.
    • Take 2–4 weeks and simply meditate on the two greatest commandments according to Jesus (Matthew 22, Mark 12, Luke 10). Look and look at them and pray and pray over them. You will be surprised at what the Lord shows you.
    • Read Hebrews 13:1–7, take one verse per day and prayerfully meditate on what you might put into place to grow in each area of loving obedience. It may be one thing or ten things.

If you’ve got four more minutes, read Jon’s whole article, “Your Most Courageous Resolution in 2014.” For a plan and some help in reading the Bible in 2014, check out this post from the DSC Blog last week.