Archive for July, 2011
Just about one month ago now, Fred Zaspel joined us for a Parenting Seminar weekend, “The Word on Parenting.” Over the months of June and July we’ve featured a number of helpful parenting resources, and shortly after the weekend, we posted a list of Fred’s personal resource recommendations to the blog.
Now, if you weren’t able to join us, the seminar audio is available as well. Fred delivered three talks during this time with us, each of them on a different aspect of faithful Christian parenting, and each of them equally important.
On the subject of family worship in particular, there are a number of helpful resources available. John and Neol Piper have published an article they’ve written, called, “The Family: Together in God’s Presence.” You can pick this up in pamphlet form for not cost at the Resource Center, or read it online here. In his series from 2008, Proverbs: Wisdom for the Home, Ryan preached a helpful sermon on the subject, “The Family Together in Corporate Worship.” Finally, Fred Zaspel personally recommends an article by Jim Eliff that he’s found helpful, “The Heart of Family Reformation.”
Click here for more sermons on parenting from DSC.
This week, we’d like to highlight some books that we will be featuring at the Resource Center over the next two weeks. While these books aren’t all about men, then are about the things that men should be largely about: knowing God, purity, leadership, being conformed to Christ, guarding doctrine, family.
- A Guide to Biblical Manhood, Randy Stinson and Dan Dumas
- Biblical Eldership, Alexander Strauch
- Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission, Darrin Patrick
- Disciplines of a Godly Man, Kent Hughes
- Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe, Mark Driscoll and Jerry Breshears
- Thoughts for Young Men, J.C. Ryle
- Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know, C.J. Mahaney
- Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World, Joshua Harris
- What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, Paul Tripp
- You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions, Tim Chester
While our featured material is now Man Books, we still have a number of parenting resources available from our emphasis on parenting in June and July. Also, Dave Bruskas was our speaker at last year’s Man Conference, “A Call to Fight for Biblical Manhood,” and delivered several excellent talks available here.
By way of reminder this year’s theme for, The Man Conference, is “Fighting for Godliness.” The event is free and will take place on Saturday, August 6, from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM at Desert Springs Church.
Jesus wants people to have water. He made it and he made us to need it in order to live. But he came and went to the cross in order that we might live eternally. That’s why he says to us, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks fo the water that I will give h im will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
Jesus is that water.
As those who have received this water, we can’t but offer it to anyone who will listen. Here’s a video highlighting some of God’s work through DSC among the Achi during a recent water trip to Guatemala:
[RSS and Email readers, click here to view this video]
In support of this important work among the Achi, we fast and pray together for one week each year. We call this effort, Sola Aqua. This year, from July 24-31, we will fast from all drinks besides water, and pray for the Achi to know the One who offers them living water. Then, at the July 27 Lord’s Supper or on Sunday, July 31, we will donate the money we saved toward the next mission trip to Guatemala.
The next mission trip to Guatemala will take place from October 8-16. If you’re interested in going, contact Clint Moore for more information at, email@example.com.
You can learn more about the significance of Jesus’ offer of living water in Ryan Kelly’s explanation of the name of our church.
Men are important. Along with women, they are made in God’s image, but God has given to men a particular responsibility for leadership in the home and among God’s people. Of course, whether they mean to or not, men are always leading, even if to the wrong place. But men redeemed to God lead their families and churches in conformity to Christ and commitment to his work.
With this responsibility in mind, the theme for this year’s, The Man Conference, is “Fighting for Godliness.” The event will take place on Saturday, August 6, from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM at Desert Springs Church and is in partnership with three area churches: Blaze Christian Fellowship, Mars Hill Church, and Trinity at the Marketplace.
Our two speakers are both preaching pastors at two or our partnering churches: Carlos Montoya, from Blaze Christian Fellowship, and Michael Kelshaw, from Trinity at the Marketplace. Carlos’ story was recently published to the Acts 29 Blog and is worth your read. These are good men and they will lead us is looking to Christ and leading from the gospel.
Topics and Speakers:
“Fighting to be Gospel Centered,” Michael Kelshaw
“Fighting to be a Godly Husband and Dad,” Carlos Montoya
“Fighting to be On Mission,” Carlos Montoya
Morning Session 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Lunch (not provided) 12:00-1:30 PM
Afternoon Session 1:30-3:30 PM
The cost is free, so we hope you can make it and bring a friend. For more information, contact Carlos Griego at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The question of whether to leave one church for another is a tricky one, usually involving multiple dynamics personal, theological, preferential, geographical sometimes, and missiological. Of course, there are others. Some reasons are God honoring, but not all reasons honor the Chief Shepherd of the church. The genuine Christian who desires to glorify God in all of life’s decisions will want to honor Him in this one. The whole question is wrapped up in our view of God, the nature of the church, and the nature of the Christian life.
Of course, our own membership here at DSC is comprised of a number of people who came to us from other churches around town, and our membership process includes learning about the circumstances of those moves. And, of course, a number of our members have left over the years for other churches.
So how are we to think about “switching” chuches? When is it right, when is it wrong, and how do we know?
Jason Helopoulous has organized a number of legitimate and illegitimate reasons under three helpful headings in a post, Good Reasons for Moving On, published to Kevin DeYoung’s blog about a year ago now. I found it helpful and commend his wisdom to you.
In brief, here’s his outline:
Good Reasons for Moving On – The Four P’s
1. Providential moving
2. Planting another church
3. Purity has been lost
4. Peace of the church is in jeopardy due to my presence
Possible Reasons for Moving On – The Three S’s
2. Special Needs
3. Special Gifts
Reasons Often Used Which are Insufficient
1. Children’s Ministry
3. Youth Group
4. Church has changed
5. New Pastor
6. I’m Not Being Ministered to
8. There are others…
Read the whole article here.
Also, over the years a number of sermons have been preached at DSC on the subject of the church. Three message topic categories are worth highlighting: The Nature of the Church, Church Issues, and Church Membership. Specifically related to the shape and priorities of DSC, Ryan preached a three part series at the start of 2011, Worship, Community, Mission.
This Sunday, Carlos Griego preached the first of two sermons overviewing the book of Acts in our series God Speaks: We Listen. As Carlos said, this book is a good match for a resident church planter to preach. Of course, it is also a good book for a church planting church to hear. By God’s grace, DSC will plant Redemption Rio Rancho in early 2012 and see the gospel spread in that place.
In the course of his sermon, Carlos explored the nature of God’s new humanity. When men and women believed on Christ and received the Spirit, these individually transformed people were together a transformed people. By extension of this work of the Spirit in them, a transformation of culture followed. Carlos quoted from Rodney Stark’s book, The Rise of Christianity, which relates something of how this happened in and through the early church:
“. . . Christianity served as a revitalization movement that arose in response to the misery, chaos, fear, and brutality of life in the urban Greco-Roman world. . . . Christianity revitalized life in Greco-Roman cities by providing new norms and new kinds of social relationships able to cope with many urgent problems. To cities filled with the homeless and impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered an immediate basis for attachment. To cities filled with orphans and widows, Christianity provided a new and expanded sense of family. To cities torn by violent ethnic strife, Christianity offered a new basis for social solidarity. And to cities faced with epidemics, fire, and earthquakes, Christianity offered effective nursing services. . . . For what they brought was not simply an urban movement, but a new culture capable of making life in Greco-Roman cities more tolerable. . . . But perhaps, above all else, Christianity brought a new conception of humanity to a world saturated with capricious cruelty and the vicarious love of death.” (161, 214)
Now, Carlos also explored the opposition Christians faced because of their allegiance to Jesus Christ. So, there’s no one response which indicates faithful Christianity. But with that qualification, Carlos asked a good question, If the church was to close up shop in 10 years would the cities of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho miss us? Would we have loved those around us so deeply, met needs, cared for the city and served in such a way that if we were to disappear, a hole in this place would be felt?
Summers are a time of transition for many of us. This is especially true for those families with high school students on their way to college. This means new places. It mens new responsibilities. It means new opportunities in the service of Christ. It means new temptations.
In his article, “Learning to Thrive at College,” Alex Chediak offers some simple but wise advice for college students:
College should be a temporary season of academic preparation and personal growth to propel a lifetime of effective service to God and neighbor. It should be a launching pad into all that goes with responsible Christian adulthood. Yet for some, it’s a time when they abandon the Christian faith, displaying that they never really belonged to Christ (1 John 2:19). For others, their faith remains intact, but they waste their college lives with video games, partying, and other frivolities—an expensive vacation funded by Mom, Dad, and debilitating student loans.
…I’m convinced that you should not just survive college but thrive at college. Don’t just maintain your faith, but really come to own it — growing thick, strong roots (1 Timothy 4:12). Don’t just squeak by classes with as little effort as possible, but strive to discover your calling — what God uniquely wired you to do — and to love God with all your mind by giving it your very best (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Socially, college is a season for making life-long friendships — not just the kind you have a great time with (good as that is) but the kind that spur you on to love, trust, and follow God. Pursue relationships that help you put away childishness, grow in maturity, increasingly make wise choices, and “expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.” And who knows? Maybe one of these friends will become a fabulous husband or wife.
College is a time for assuming responsibility, for becoming a disciplined steward of time and money, for recognizing that recreation is a gift of God to be enjoyed in measure but never to dominate our lives. Rather, when properly pursued, recreation empowers us for our work rather than distracting us from our work.
As a student, remember that your work is learning (studying) so that you can, for a lifetime, increasingly love God with a well-trained mind, a mind that can identify key questions, pursue understanding, dissect arguments, discover logical fallacies, and communicate effectively.
Let’s be sure to pray for our college students – both those who are away at college, those who are in town for college, and those who have moved to town and are a part of our church.
Alex is the author of, Thriving at College: Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith, and Get Ready for the Real World!. If you are headed to college or know someone who is, order a copy from Amazon. While we aren’t carrying this book at the Resource Center, we are featuring a number of other books on the theme of parenting through the rest of this month.