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Archive for February, 2011


Feb 24

Sermon Follow-up: “Seek Things Above”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “Seek Things Above,” Ryan preached from Colossians 3:1-4, where Paul exhorts us to “seek things that are above, where Christ is, not on things that are on earth.”

Ryan quoted a helpful section from Jeremiah Burroughs’, A Treatise of Earthly-Mindedness (1649), where Burroughs expands on Paul’s words in Colossians 3:

Earthly-Mindedness =

  1. When men look upon earthly things as the greatest things.
  2. When their choicest thoughts are busied with earthly things.
  3. When their hearts cleave to the earth.
  4. When their hearts are filled with distracted cares about the world.
  5. When the greatest endeavors of their lives are about earthly things.
  6. When they seek any earthly thing for itself, and not in subordination to some higher and godly good.
  7. When they are earthly in spiritual things.
  8. When they conceive of the most heavenly truth in an earthly way.

A Treatise of Earthly-Mindedness is available for purchase here and download here. If you would like to explore this theme more, consider buying Jason Stellman’s recent book, Dual Citizens: Worship and Life Between the Already and the Not Yet.

Feb 22

Clarus 2011 (April 29-May 1): Now a TGC Regional Conference

2011 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Clarus 11

We are very pleased to announce that, as of 2011, Clarus will serve as a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition (TGC). Several developments have lead to this unique partnership. DSC began this yearly conference, now named Clarus, several years ago. Over the years, by God’s grace, we have been privileged to have some first-rate speakers; thus, interest and participation has steadily grown—both in attendance and on the web. In 2010, an Albuquerque Regional Chapter of TGC was formed. Many of these Albuquerque-area pastors were already in fellowship/partnership, and in many cases through connections made at Clarus. After discussions with TGC’s executive leadership, it seemed natural to tie the existing local/regional conference efforts of Clarus into the broader, national movement of TGC.

For those who have attended Clarus in previous years, it will be clear that this partnership will not change much of the feel and aim of the conference. Our hope is that, now as a Regional Conference of TGC, this event will be able to more broadly serve pastors and other interested Christians in the SW (Phoenix, Denver, El Paso, etc.). We are thrilled to have TGC’s support and to be able to help the gospel-centered resourcing and networking efforts of TGC.

Clarus conference attendees are entitled to a discount to TGC’s National Conference in Chicago from April 12 – 14. Instead of $250, the cost for an adult will be $100. For couples, instead of $350, the cost is $150. If you are attending Clarus and plan to attend the TGC’s National Conference, contact the church office for the discount code.

So we hope you will join us, April 29 – May 1, to hear from guest speakers, G.K. Beale and Carl Trueman on this year’s theme, “Scripture: God Speaks.” Stop by the Clarus site to learn more about Clarus, this year’s speakers, the conference schedule, and how to register.

Feb 18

Church Directory Update

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Administrative

At the conclusion of his third letter, John wrote to Gaius, “I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face” (14). DSC’s Church Directory is meant to help us know one another by name, but also by face.

Our church directory was completed this last year and we are committed to keeping this resource current. Here are some details for how to be included in and take advantage of the directory:

  • Photo Appointments: If you are not in DSC’s current Church Directory, sign up at the Information Center on Sunday or call the church office at 505.797.8700 to set a time to have your photo taken for the supplemental edition to be released this Spring. Photo appointments are available from Thursday, March 3 – Saturday, March 5.
  • Update Information: Update your directory information at the Information Center on Sunday or by contacting the church office at 505.797.8700 or carolyn@desertspringschurch.org.
  • Hard Copies: Hard copies of the Church Directory are still available at the Resource Center for $5.00.
  • Online Edition: The current directory, along with any updates, is also available online. Contact the church office for the password.

Feb 17

Prizing the Privilege of Prayer Weekend

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Events

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Thomas Brooks, a 17th century puritan pastor, wrote the following about prayer:

God looks not at the elegancy of your prayers, to see how neat they are; nor yet at the geometry of your prayers, to see how long they are; nor yet at the arithmetic of your prayers, to see how many they are; nor yet at the music of your prayers, nor yet at the sweetness of your voice, nor yet at the logic of your prayers; but at the sincerity of your prayers, how hearty they are.

This weekend is DSC’s annual Prizing the Privilege of Prayer weekend. Saturday at 8:00 AM is the Men’s Prayer Breakfast. If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, call the church office if it is open to let us know you are coming. But if you forget, you are still welcome to come. This Sunday, take advantage of the chance to pray with the body through guided prayer gatherings in the West Wing during both services.

There are also several helpful prayer books and resources available at the Resource Center:

Also, go to the messages section of the site to hear sermons on prayer, a Saturday Seminar on Prayer by Ryan Kelly, and a series of sermons on prayer by Jerram Barrs from his visit to DSC in 2009.

Feb 14

Sermon Follow-up: “Self-Made Religion”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “Self-Made Religion,” Ryan preached from Colossians 2:18-23 to warn us against the danger of self-made religion. Self-made religion, to be sure, comes in many different forms. One of those forms, which is as subtle as it is dangerous, is legalism. Paul wrote to the church, “…why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations …according to human precepts and teachings?”

In his article “Legalism and its Antidotes,” Dominic Smart expands on the danger of legalism:

Legalism is primarily a God-ward thing. It’s a way of making and keeping yourself acceptable to God. From this flows the legalism that is directed towards one another. It’s a way of scoring sanctity points in our fellowships, and exerting what one postmodernist called a “truth regime” – it’s about pride, power and control. It simultaneously glorifies man and “unsecures” man. Thus, its true opposites are grace and faith.

Yet it is so plausible. The need for order, structures and boundaries feeds our quest for control. Our very ability to keep some rules feeds our pride and gives us the impression that our relationship with God is somehow founded upon this ability.

…It often arises out of a good motive: to be holy. We don’t want sin to rule over us, we don’t want to grieve God or to stray from his path. And it is a narrow path compared to the one that leads to destruction. So in order to avoid big sins we add rules to God’s word – hedging sinful territory around with codes that are intended to keep us from it. It is the well-intentioned, keen and committed who are most prone to it. The half-hearted Christian couldn’t really care enough to veer towards legalism (though he or she makes up for it with many other errors). It was the scribes, following good Ezra, who developed “the traditions of men” which people preferred to the word of God: a preference that Jesus blasted in Mark 7.

But all this focuses the mind on self. It takes the mind and heart away from Christ, the Proper Man. It takes our faith away from His sufficiency and misplaces it upon ours. We live to achieve his approval; we forget that we are already alive and accepted in Christ. Ever so plausibly, we are sold a different gospel: one that isn’t really a gospel at all. And the desire not to sin in some big way can be little more than a mask to hide our lack of faith in Jesus, “who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption”. (1Cor 1:30). Holiness is not a matter of living on eggshells with a God who is reserving judgement on us and might turn us away at any moment.

It really is a deadly false thing, this warped alternative, this lie, this all-pervasive and hideous distortion of Christian living.

Smart goes on to unfold the following eight ways in which legalism is a distortion of the Biblical gospel:

  1. Legalism cannot deal with sin
  2. Legalism cannot bring us closer to God
  3. Legalism sends us in entirely the wrong directions as we progress through life
  4. Legalism is narrow-minded and sinfully boring
  5. Legalism encourages, even protects hypocrisy
  6. Legalism ends up trivializing life with God.
  7. Legalism produces a false gospel
  8. Legalism robs God

We recommend the entire article, where Smart expands on each of these points and follows them up with eight antidotes to the poison of legalism.