Archive for March, 2013
On Wednesday night, Ryan preached a sermon from Matthew 26:36-46, titled, “Dark Gethsemane.” There at Gethsemane, as Ryan said, Jesus was in aguish in what laid before him so that we wouldn’t have to fear death.
This passage raises a number of questions that we weren’t able to explore concerning the relationship of Jesus to his Father. With perfect timing, just yesterday an article was published to the Gospel Coalition Blog dealing with one of the questions raised by this text.
The article was titled, “You Asked: Does Gethsemane Separate the Trinity?” Here’s the question submitted by a reader of the TGC Blog:
When Jesus says to his Father in the garden of Gethsemane, “not as I will, but as you will” (Mt.26:39), how should we think of this relationships within the Trinity? Did the Son have a different desire or will from the Father?
Great question. Click here for a reply from John McKinley.
This image is the top of a new invitation page for this weekend’s Good Friday and Easter Services.
This is something like a digital version of the invitation cards we have made available for years. Those cards are especially useful for the people we meet in the course of our day around town. But for the people we socialize with on a regular basis, this should come in especially handy. The digital space is where so much of our communication takes place already.
So, use it. Use it to invite friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to catch a glimpse of heaven in the singing, celebrating, and preaching of Christ’s resurrection this weekend. Link to it in an email, or use the little buttons at the bottom of the page to share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +.
Some things are meant to be shared. The resurrection is one of them. See you this weekend!
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
– 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
There is nothing more important than the gospel of Jesus Christ. We remember and celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection each Sunday, and we do so in a focused way this time each year.
Since this week is also the week of our monthly Lord’s Supper gathering, we have the opportunity to gather as a church on three separate days. We would encourage you to make plans to participate in each service, and to invite your friends, family, and neighbors to join along.
To help you prepare, here are details and sermon texts for each of this week’s services.
Lord’s Supper, March 27 (6:30 PM)
On Wednesday night (tonight!) Ryan will preach from Matthew 26:36-56 where Jesus prayed to his Father in the garden of Gethsemane before his arrest.
Good Friday, March 29 (6:30 PM)
On Friday evening Ryan will preach from Matthew 27:32-44, the account of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Childcare will be provided for children four years and younger.
Easter Sunday, March 31 (7:30, 9:00, and 10:45 AM)
On Easter Sunday Ryan will preach from Acts 2:22-41, a record of one of the first proclamations of the resurrection of Christ.
Notice that we are hosting an early 7:30 AM service on this Sunday. Child care will be available only at the two later services.
Now about that 7:30 AM service. If your situation allows, please make plans to join us for the 7:30 AM service. Historically our later two services have been quite full, and we have needed to ask many of our guests to attend the service in the overflow room (Youth Room). Joining us at 7:30 AM will help ensure that visitors to our later services feel welcome and have a place to sit, even if they show up a bit late. Thanks for helping us be hospitable.
The good news of the gospel is that, in Christ, we are no longer condemned for our sin (Romans 8:1). It is also good news that we are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:17). Here’s a good word on the gospel’s life transforming purposes in our lives:
I would like to buy about three dollars worth of gospel, please.
Not too much—just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted.
I don’t want so much gospel that I learn to really hate covetousness and lust.
I certainly don’t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self-denial, and contemplate missionary service in some alien culture.
I want ecstasy, not repentance; I want transcendence, not transformation.
I would like to be cherished by some nice, forgiving, broad-minded people, but I myself don’t want to love those from different races—especially if they smell.
I would like enough gospel to make my family secure and my children well behaved, but not so much that I find my ambitions redirected or my giving too greatly enlarged.
I would like about three dollars worth of the gospel, please. (pp. 12-13)
—D. A. Carson, Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians (Baker, 1996)
HT: Justin Taylor
“What Is Love?” (cvcnow)
“‘Til death do us part” doesn’t really mean to us what it should. Here’s what it means.
“9 Things You Should Know About the Papacy” (Joe Carter)
Some helpful history and context for the Papacy.
“Why a New Student Missions Conference?” (John Piper)
John Piper explains the reasoning behind the formation of a new student conference, Cross.
“Goodbye, Faith in Humanity” (Derek Rishmawy)
Surprising news about the Holocaust; unsurprising news about our capacity as human beings.
“Consider Yourself” (Burk Parsons)
Here are ten things to consider before engaging in controversy
“Engaging the Quiet Guy In Your Small Group” (Ben Reed)
There are many reasons a person might be afraid to talk in a small group. Here’s help for opening up the conversation.
“Toy Stories” (Gabriele Galimberti)
A little off topic, but fun. This photographer traveled around and took photos of kids with their toys.
“Data reveal scale of China abortions” (Financial Times)
A reminder to pray and plead for the lives of the unborn.
“Gospel Presentations or Conversations?” (Alvin Reid)
Encouragement for conversational gospel sharing in an age of “presentation.”
Last weekend we wrapped up another great Clarus conference. If you were there for any part of it, I’m sure you agree. The speakers, the talks, the themes, the singing, the fellowship, even the books we were able to give away—all seemed to be used of the Lord in special and specific ways. It’s been so encouraging to hear from folks how God worked through these means. But it’s also so encouraging to me to ponder what went on behind the scenes to make that weekend a reality.
The Clarus weekend makes me think of a fine Swiss watch. There’s the wristband, the face, the hands, and of course, the important function of it accurately telling time. All these elements are front-and-center; they’re what people see; they’re the cues by which most of us judge whether it’s a fine watch. But, as we all know, underneath the face of the watch there is a hidden, small universe of complex inner-workings. This is what makes the watch tick.
Like a fine Swiss watch, Clarus has a small universe of complex inner-workings that are mostly unseen to those attending. Every year new gears are added, and every year those gears turn and click more smoothly than they did before. As a way of saying thanks to them and giving glory to God for his work through them, allow me to open up the back of the Clarus watch and point out some of the more important pieces that make our conference weekend a fine Swiss watch (and not a time bomb!).
Trent Hunter has always played a key role in Clarus planning and logistics, but for Clarus 13, we made Trent the QB. Pastor Ron and I functioned like coaches at times—doing some watching, some nudging or redirecting here or there—but Trent was the Payton Manning on the field. Like a QB, he wasn’t the only guy on the field, of course, but like Manning he called the plays, knew where every one needed to be, and what they needed to do. The number of details that he was able to keep track of and manage efficiently was astounding. God has gifted him in unique ways. Humanly speaking, Clarus would not be what it is today and do what it does without Trent. Thank you, Trent!
Carolyn Rush can spin just about as many plates at one time as anyone. And she does it with amazing grace, wisdom, and care. Specifically, Carolyn handled the registration for over 700 people. That included not only keeping track of who registered, but dealing with people’s (endless) changes, and overseeing the on-sight check-in process. That is a significant task with many details; yet, it pales in comparison to Carolyn’s amazing gift for roaming triage—spotting problems and making quick, wise solutions. She also oversaw all of the hospitality for the weekend—not only the coffee and snack bar, but meals for a pastors luncheon, guest speakers, sponsors, and many of the volunteers. Of course, that also suggests that there was a no small team of food makers and servers. So, to Carolyn and her massive team of worker-bees, thank you!
Chris Saiers, our tech guy, is always a massive part of what happens underneath the face of the watch. He is a consummate servant, happy to wake up early, stay late, pull cable, and give vigilant attention to the small, but oh-so-important details of microphones and sound levels. That’s true of every Sunday, but all the more with a weekend like Clarus. One telling anecdote: in the staff meeting after Clarus, Carolyn joked that she never saw the inside of the Worship Center…and Chris joked that he never saw the outside of it! Thank you, Chris!
Ian Byrd, our facilities guy, has predominantly a pre- and post- job. For every hour of a DSC event, Ian puts in multiple times of hours before and multiple times of hours after. Think of what it might mean to get from Friday PM clean up to Saturday AM start time! And there’s even more work to go from the last Saturday PM Clarus session to Sunday AM services. And that’s not to mention some serious “spring cleaning” in the weeks before Clarus—e.g., did you see how shiny our floors were? That’s Ian. Adding 100 extra chairs to the Worship Center—that’s Ian. Oh, and by the way, because he has this kind of pre- and post- job, he rocks the drums during most of our services and much of the Clarus weekend. Thank you, Ian!
Drew Hodge has a job that isn’t exactly hidden, but there is much to his work that very few see. Drew set for himself the goal that the Psalterium, Vol. 2 CD would be ready for release at Clarus. That meant a lot of time in the studio in the weeks, even months, before. Drew (along with Chris and Ian) put in many serious hours to get Psalterium, Vol. 2 done for us and our Clarus guests. And just when it’s all done and the CD is a (masterful!) reality, Drew skillfully led us in singing throughout the Clarus weekend. Think about it: each session, Drew knows that he’s leading the next song; each break, Drew is gearing up to lead us in several songs. There’s no quit in Drew, the world’s toughest worship leader. And though his fellow musicians and singers may not have quite as much muscleage, they have the same strong commitment to serve our church and region in excellent, Godward worship. Many thanks to Drew and his team!
Memo Ochoa, our communicati0ns and graphics guy, was the single source behind every image you saw related to Clarus. From the website, to the promo material, to signage around the building, to every single slide that went up on the screens throughout the Clarus weekend. Memo was the beautiful mastermind behind it all. And he not only designed it all, but through the Clarus weekend ran around the building getting the right slides in the right places at the right time. Only Memo and few others in this world know just how much time, energy, and precise care went into giving Clarus its creative, tasteful, and consistent look. Thank you, Memo!
Kristi Hunter headed up all of the childcare for the weekend. That’s a massive (quite intimidating) undertaking. It included the recruiting and coordination of over 50 workers and the care of kids for a dozen hours. Sunday morning children’s ministry is complicated, but with Clarus, the hours roll on—and, as the hours roll on, kids potentially get more crazy. So, for pragmatic reasons, and more than pragmatic reasons, you need a Clarus children’s ministry that is fun and educational. And Kristi has done just that, creating what is basically a Clarus kids’ curriculum and program that follows the theme of the “big kids’” Clarus. Kristi’s diligent and wise organizing work, with the sacrifice of dozens of workers, together make up a real, wise, godly, and important part of Clarus, without which many families would not be able to come to Clarus. Thank you so, so much, Kristi and all those who served our kids.
Kayla Hembree, our front desk gal, was our on-site liaison to our sponsors (or ministry partners). That’s an almost indefinable, and quite-inclusive, assignment. Basically, whatever that Books and Resources Room was, was owing to Trent’s coordination in getting those ministries and publishers there and Kayla’s management of that space. Thank you, Kayla! (And this is a good point to mention how the whole Hembree family served Clarus sacrificially and wonderfully! It would take much more space than I have to unpack what each of them did, but they most likely get the award for the biggest family “buy in” to Clarus.) Thank you, Kayla and all the Hembrees!
Tim Bradley, Clint Moore, Ron Giese, and Nathan Sherman met so many needs and were constantly on hand for whatever came up. From emceeing, to ushering, to speaker hospitality—even running out for cough drops for a speaker—no task was too small to embrace with a smile, no task was too big to pass off to someone else. I get to work with these guys all the time. So this is simply par for the course. I’m blessed beyond measure for their partnership and friendship and fellow-shepherding. We’re immeasurably blessed that they’re at DSC.
Several local pastors served Clarus with their minds and fingers—that is, with the writing of tweets and blogging summaries of the sessions. Tom Brainerd, Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church, was a tweeting super power. Pastors John Hunt (Covenant of Grace), Michael Kelshaw (Trinity at the Marketplace), Tim Bradley, Tim Ragsdale, and Nathan Sherman (DSC) blogged specific sessions. Nathan also served us by getting all the posts tidied up and to the web. Thank you much, brothers!
Ben Moore graciously served Clarus with his excellent photography. Thanks, Ben!
Patrice Kelly, mi madre, headed up the kitchen, casted arm and all. Thanks, Mom!
Doug Shawn, as always, took great care of us by heading up the safety team. Many thanks to Doug and his team!
There are many others I could mention and thank. In many ways, this is a dangerous blog post to write because I’m mentioning several people by name, but so many more were involved, sacrificing time and energy to make Clarus what it was. I’ve simply wanted to shine some light on the inner-workings of the “Clarus watch” by pointing out some of the bigger gears and mechanisms. Like a watch, there are countless pieces, screws, and movements. So, please know, whatever part you played—including just coming and listening and growing and fellowshipping—we’re so thankful.
May God be pleased to use it all—small or great, visible or invisible—to his glory and the Church’s good!
Proud and thankful to be such a small part, such a needy recipient, and to be in partnership with such great people,
Clarus ’13 was a great time of worship through the preaching, teaching, and singing of God’s Word. As promised, here are the songs from this years conference with links to chord charts and audio where available. We hope you are encouraged by these songs of grace in your own life and the life of your church.