Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

Apr 10

A Couple Reminders for Sunday

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

I hope you’re having a blessed Good Friday, already pondering the wonder of the passion, suffering, and death of our King, and yet eager for those thoughts to be expanded and elevated in our corporate worship this evening (the service begins at 6:30 PM).

Two friendly question/reminders about our corporate worship this Easter Sunday:

1) Have you invited anyone to join you for one of the services? Have you given out any of the Easter weekend invitation cards? If you haven’t picked up any invitations yet, or you’ve already given away what you have, they will be available again tonight at the Welcome Center. In other words, it’s not too late to invite someone!

Also, if you have invited some friends or family to join you either tonight or Sunday morning, let me ask, have you been praying for them to come, and praying that God would do in their hearts what only God can do? Please do.

2) On a more logistical level, have you thought about whether you can sacrifice the preference for a later Sunday morning service (9:00 AM and 10:45 AM) to go to the 7:30 AM service this Sunday? If years past are any indication, literally hundreds of visitors will be with us on Easter Sunday, and almost none of them will go to the 7:30 AM service. I realize not every one can or will go to the early service — and I admit that the 7:30 AM service would not be my preference, all things considered equal — but let me just ask you to consider going to the 7:30 AM service to open up space in those later services where many will hear the gospel for the first time or for the first time in many years.

By the way, if I remember correctly, last Easter the 9:00 AM service was the fullest. So, if 10:45 AM is the service you normally go to, it might not be of much help for you to come to the 9:00 AM service. Earlier is probably only better if it’s the 7:30 AM service. Thanks!

Looking forward with you to a whole weekend of pondering the passion, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, life, and victory of our Great King. May God do mighty things in minds and hearts for his glory!

Mar 11

Reformation Is a Divine Visitation

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Miscellaneous,Quote

Today I’m working hard on some lectures I’ll be giving in the UK later this month. About 40 folks from DSC will be doing a nine-day educational tour through Scotland, Ireland, and England. As we stop in various places of interest, Ron Giese and I will be giving various lectures on architecture, history, and theology. It’s just about a week away and I’m really getting excited (partly because I get to take my 10 year old daughter with me!)

My talks will focus on different aspects of the Reformation in the British Isles. As I’ve been preparing those today I’ve come across several great articles — some new to me, some I’d read years ago and forgotten about — which introduce the Reformation and Puritanism very well. Let me commend one of them to you even if you’re not joining us on the UK tour. In an older Reformation and Revival Journal artice, J.I. Packer gleefully recounts some highlights of The Reformation:

One thinks, for instance, of Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church, challenging, as it turned out, the whole Roman system of his day. We think of Luther at Worms a few years later, facing the Holy Roman emperor and being told that he must recant the things he had been saying. His famous response to the emperor, nobles and ecclesiastical dignitaries of central Europe ran thus:

“Unless you prove to me by Scripture and reason that I am mistaken I cannot and will not recant. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. There is nothing else I can do. God help me. Amen.”

Those magnificent words have echoed down through the centuries, and no wonder.

Luther stuck to his guns. He translated the Bible into German, and preached and wrote tirelessly to spread the evangelical truth. He became the pioneer of reformation throughout Germany. His name will be honored as long as history lasts.

We think of Calvin, that shy scholar who wanted nothing more than to be a man of letters, reading and writing books for the whole of his adult life. But Farrel told him that he must come to Geneva and share in the work of the Reformation there, which he did. Sleeping only four hours a night he toiled away at the Institutes, that great Christian classic which is still for many of us in a class by itself. He commented on the greater part of Holy Scripture, setting new and superb standards of faithful exposition. Calvin died at 55, absolutely worn out–another of God’s heroes.

We think of John Knox, willing to spend 19 months as a galley slave because of his activities as a Reformer, and then finally rewarded by a few amazing weeks when virtually the whole of Scotland turned to the Reformation. Almost overnight Scotland became the thoroughly Reformed nation that it has been in substance from that day to this.

We think of the English martyrs. There was William Tyndale, defying the king by translating the Bible. He was burned eventually in Belgium because Henry VIII sent word to the continent that he must be put to death.

There was Thomas Cranmer, Henry’s archbishop of Canterbury, who bided his time until it was possible to produce a Reformed confession of faith, a Reformed prayer book, and a Reformed book of discipleship for the Church of England. All too soon his royal monarch, Edward VI, died, and Mary came to the throne. She resolved to bring England back to Rome. She had about 330 English Protestant leaders burned at the stake, including Thomas Cranmer. They put him under intolerable pressure. We would call it brainwashing today. Under this pressure, as others have done since, Cranmer recanted, signing a document to that effect a few days before he was to be burned at the stake. He had been told that when he signed he would be pardoned. But when he found out he was not–he was going to be burned anyway–he sat up all night writing a recanting of his recantation. He died holding his hand outstretched into the flames, saying, “This hand that has offended shall first be burned.”

In the rest of the article, Packer (rather uniquely) moves to discuss the biblical precedents for reformation in general and the biblical descriptions of some key concerns of The Reformation in the sixteenth century. He then offers a four-part conclusion:
1) Reformation is a divine visitation
2) Reformation is a work of Jesus Christ
3) Reformation is a constant task for God’s people
4) Reformation always begins with repentance, seeking God in new ways and putting away wrong things
Go here to read the rest of the article. It’s classic Packer!

Jan 19

Calvin’s Institutes – A Piece of Cake?

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Miscellaneous

Actually, yes – even in Latin. Quite literally. And not just a piece of cake, but a whole cake. At least it is to Bryan Lopez (long-time youth intern at DSC). If you know Bry, I bet he already sent this to you (who can blame him?). In case you haven’t seen this, here is his recent birthday cake in all its reformational glory.

Jan 9

About This Blog

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Miscellaneous

Well, I never thought that my first blog post would begin with an apology for being a neglectful blogger! But that’s exactly how this should begin. So sorry! I hope that in future days this is a place you come back to frequently because you benefit from multiple posts per week.

Why should you come back? Why do we have a blog now, anyway? What do we hope to accomplish through this blog? Well, I’m glad you asked.

This is a church blog. Like any other good Christian blogs that might point you to helpful articles, sermons, or quotes on the web, or comment on a passage, doctrine, or a current event (check out some great ones at our Resource page), this blog will do similar things, but it is primarily aimed toward the saints at DSC. Anyone is welcome to read what’s posted here, of course (the web is, after all, world-wide now); but the posts primarily relate to what God is doing in and through DSC. It is a more personal, more thorough venue for communicating, promoting, and teaching.

So here’s a sample of the kind of stuff you’ll hopefully consistently see on this blog:

More thorough and more behind-the-scenes communication about the nuts and bolts of our church and its leadership. This might look like an explanation about some decisions we make, more detail about what’s going on this week, plans in the works, etc. Ron’s first couple of posts on communication and finances are great examples of this.

Another platform for promoting DSC events and/or ministries. We are constantly looking for ways that DSC’s ministry opportunities can be more efficiently and more thoroughly communicated. As Ron said in a recent post, the Newsletter is one example of this. This blog is another way. Here events can get an extra measure of promotion and appeal, or just another reminder that its happening in just a few days, or that the sign-ups for it end this week. You get the idea.

Sermon preview. Most weeks, by Thursday or Friday I plan to let you know what that Sunday’s message is about and from what passage it comes. So, for example, this Sunday is our Ministry Fair Sunday. To help us think about where we fit in and how we can properly serve the Body, I’ll preach from Romans 12  “To be in Christ is to be in His Body.” Some weeks I might mention just the passage and title (like this week); other weeks might include a quote or a short description. But the biggest reason for the sermon preview is to encourage you to read the passage of that Sunday’s sermon sometime before we assemble on Sunday morning. Perhaps it will also be a reminder to pray for me (or whoever is preaching that Sunday), that God would be rightly explained, exalted, and enjoyed through the preaching.

Sermon follow-up. Most weeks, there are many overflow thoughts and applications that couldnt get fit into the sermon (yes, believe it or not, I actually cut material to make a 50-55 min. sermon!). Sometimes after the sermon there are things I wish I hadn’t said or had communicated more clearly, or an objection or question that wasn’t adequately anticipated and answered – anything that I may want to clarify afterward now can get clarified. Sometimes things get said in one service’s sermon that didn’t get said in the other, and I wish it had – I can share that on the blog later that week. There are also web articles or books that I’ve found or referred back to that week that would make for great follow up reading on that week’s topic or passage, should you want to dig deeper.

Miscellaneous recommendations of articles, sermons, ministries, blog posts from around the web or quotes from our own reading. On our previous website, we had a section we called “Best of the Web” where this was done. We plan for those web resource tips to continue here. Some weeks you’ll see just one or two such recommendations. Some days may have several recommendations. These may relate to things we’re talking about as a church right then or might be more arbitrary, but are nevertheless trustworthy, good, and, hopefully, helpful.

Commentary on a passage, a quote, a doctrine, an aspect of the Christian life. Again, this may or may not relate to any one thing being preached or planned for at DSC, but as the mood hits either Ron or I we will take opportunity to write out a meditation about something we’re reading or thinking. Again, Ron has already provided a great example of this with a meditation on “His mercy endureth forever.”

Get to know a ministry or a staff member. As part of the increased communication already mentioned, this blog can provide an opportunity for you to better get to know specific staff members, elders, deacons, or other ministry leaders. For instance, in the near future I plan to interview Memo Ochoa, our communications director and website Jedi, about the creation of the new site and other aspects of his job. Since Memo is a behind-the-scenes kind of staff member, it’s possible that you may not know who he is, let alone what drives his vision for God-glorifying design work. But I’ll leave the rest for the actual interview.

Hearing more about how a ministry event went; how God worked and where that was seen. This blog may also be helpful for another kind of interview: where Ron or I ask questions of a DSC member about a recent ministry event in which they were able to be involved. We often have major ministry events which take place away from the DSC campus that are significant, powerful displays of God’s goodness and glory (a missions trip to Guatemala, an afternoon with East Central Ministries, or a Father-Son retreat). We try, from time to time, to share just a few highlights in a Sunday morning service for such things, but so much more could be said than what we’re able to say in our corporate meetings. Perhaps this blog will prove to be a good place for those experiences to more specifically and more personally be relayed to the church body.

So we hope you’ll come back and keep coming back. Or, if you want to have these posts e-mailed to you or to use them with a blog feeder, you can access those options at the top-right corner of the blog where it says RSS.