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Archive for December, 2008

On Sunday, we looked at 1 Timothy 4:6-8, to understand how training for godliness (training ourselves in the gospel and the doctrines that flow out of it – Bible intake) relates to our joy.

I pray that we will be encourage to be in God’s Word in 2009 as a church.
I pray that we will read the Bible through in 2009 as a church.
I pray that the Lord will fill us with His Word in 2009 as a church.
I pray that we will hide God’s Word in our heart in 2009 as a church.

This coming Lord’s day, we will look at how prayer relates to our joy. For your edification this week, I want to point you to a post by John Piper, who is leading Bethlehem in prayer week this week, as he reminds us that the promises of answered prayer encourage us to pray with hope.

May you be encouraged to pray boldly with hope to the God of the promises.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Dec
29

What can you do with old Bibles?

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If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you probably have several Bible translations lying around. In fact, you may even have several copies of a particular translation. You probably even have copies of Bibles around that you no longer use but, frankly, don’t know what to do with.

While we are richly blessed to live in such prosperity where we can afford such luxuries, there are many Christians and peoples around the world that do not have such a privilege. Christian Resources International has found a way to connect peoples without Bibles with those who want to give of their abundance.

Here is a word about CRI:

Christian Resources International is a non-profit organization that provides free Christian literature to converts, missionaries and pastors in many countries. In addition, CRI ships Christian books, Bibles, Sunday School materials, tracts, and more to needy Christians throughout the world.

These pages are an outgrowth of the CRI community. CRI is not a conventional charity, taking in donations and sending money to worthy causes. CRI is a community of Christians from all the nations of the earth, sharing what we have with one another and working together to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to communities everywhere.

Here is why you should “bare your bookshelf”:

Research indicates that the average American Christian owns nine Bibles and is actively in the market for more. That statistic troubles us here at CRI, since we receive more than 400 letters a month from pastors and Christian workers in developing countries whose churches own no Bibles or Christian books.

If you are interested in providing out of your abundance for brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, then I invite you to “bare your bookshelf.”

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

(ht: Justin Taylor)

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Dec
23

God's Word and Our Joy

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This Sunday morning we continue our sermon series titled, Joy to the World. We will see how our joy is deeply rooted in a true knowledge of God which comes about by taking in the Word of God. As we prepare for a new year together, I want to encourage regular and disciplined Bible intake. Here is a list of books that will help you get organized, encouraged and ready to read, study, memorize and know God’s Word.

High Pointe Baptist Church
Recommended Resources for Bible Intake
For 2009


General Spiritual Disciplines

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy by John Piper

Bible Reading

ESV Study Bible

Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy

God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts

How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

Bible Study

ESV Study Bible

How to Study Your Bible: The Lasting Rewards of the Inductive Method by Kay Arthur

How to Study Your Bible by John MacArthur (free online resource)

Bible Memorization

An Approach to the Extended Memorization of Scripture by Andrew Davis (free online resource)

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Dec
23

God's Word and Our Joy

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This Sunday morning we continue our sermon series titled, Joy to the World. We will see how our joy is deeply rooted in a true knowledge of God which comes about by taking in the Word of God. As we prepare for a new year together, I want to encourage regular and disciplined Bible intake. Here is a list of books that will help you get organized, encouraged and ready to read, study, memorize and know God’s Word.

High Pointe Baptist Church
Recommended Resources for Bible Intake
For 2009


General Spiritual Disciplines

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy by John Piper

Bible Reading

ESV Study Bible

Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy

God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts

How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

Bible Study

ESV Study Bible

How to Study Your Bible: The Lasting Rewards of the Inductive Method by Kay Arthur

How to Study Your Bible by John MacArthur (free online resource)

Bible Memorization

An Approach to the Extended Memorization of Scripture by Andrew Davis (free online resource)

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9 Marks is sponsoring a Building Healthy Churches Workshop at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, February 10-11, 2009. If you are close to the area, come check it out!

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Dec
18

I'm on Facebook Now

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Now that I am teaching our Jr/Sr high students on Wednesday nights, I thought I would get on their networks in order to keep in touch. I’ve been on Facebook now for less than 72 hours, and I already have 86 friends and counting. I’ve been able to conn ect with family, old high school, college and seminary friends, and well, just OLD friends! I’m not bragging; I’m just beginning to understand just how addicting this tool can be. Therefore, I was reminded that Justin Taylor has posted a few good links related to Facebook use. This post is for myself more than anyone else; however, if you use Facebook, then these links will be helpful to you as well.

Thinking Biblically About Facebook (by Justin Buzzard)

Redeeming Social Life Online (also by Justin Buzzard: similar to the one above but in a different format)

Don Carson on Technology

So as you Facebook, do it to the glory of God!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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For the next few weeks, we will be looking at Christ, the Bible, Prayer, the church and our joy. This series will begin this Sunday morning, December 21.
2008 AM Christmas Series

December 21
Christ, Our Joy
Luke 2:1-20

December 28
God’s Word and Our Joy
2 Peter 1:3-4

January 4
Prayer and Our Joy
Matthew 6:9-13

January 11
The Church and Our Joy
Hebrews 10:19-27

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Dec
15

My Funny Wife

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For those of you who don’t know my wife Jeanine, I cannot say enough about her. She is truly a daughter of Sarah: a woman who possesses a gentle and quiet spirit with the courage of a lion who fears no man. She is a Proverbs 31 woman by God’s grace and a tremendous helper to me. I never imagined that I could be so in love with a woman like I am with Jeanine, and one of the wonderful things about our relationship is that we love to laugh together.

So, while checking her email yesterday, my funny wife had a little extra time on her hands to google my name. I wanted to share the email she sent to me so you can get a view to her fun side. Here it is:

********************************

I decided to Google your name and see what it came up with. Here you go:

You died

You won a Lowrider Arte magazine contest ($300) by drawing a picture of an almost naked woman with skulls around her (When do you do this? while you sleep or is it stashed in the shower in your office?).

You’re a plastic surgeon with an interesting website. (Where’s the cash buddy and when can I get a tummy tuck?).

Your a druggie who leaves his meth qtips around his apartment, and your girlfriend (not me) used the qtip to clean out your baby’s (once again not mine) nose. Not a good scene.

You’re a boxer (not a good one) in Las Vegas.

You’re a VP for research at UT.

You’re a internet scam artist: My name is Mr. Juan Sanchez Jr, a merchant here in Spain, presently taking medical treatment. Now, I have been diagnosed with Prostate and Esophageal cancer that was discovered very late due to my uncaring attitude for my health. (Not really original. If I were you I would have included 5 daughters and weddings to pay for).

You’re an actor who played in a film in 1996 with Sydney Poitier called To Sir With Love II. You were just a gang member and have done no other films since.

You’re also a news anchor at KGNS-TV, but…..Not liking to be called “One” instead of Juan, he opted for his nickname of Larry. (Mind if I call you that).

And yes, you were listed as a theologian. But the above were a little more interesting.

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Dec
08

It's Great to be a Florida Gator!

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Jeanine and I were in school at the University of Florida in the days of the “fun and gun” offense. I actually played in the band, so I went to every home game and many away games. It was great fun, and I remember when we would cheer – “It’s great to be a Florida Gator!”

This season is no less fun! The Gators have evolved into arguably the fastest team in NCAA football, and by certain accounts, the “hottest” team in the NCAA. However, there is another reason why I think it’s great to be a Florida Gator – God’s favor on a passionate Christian young man named Tim Tebow. While the world is awed by his athletic prowess and leadership skills, suggesting that Superman wears Tebow pajamas, the words and actions of this young man point to Jesus Christ!

With great excitement our family watched the SEC championship game. The first thing I noticed was that when Tebow stepped onto the field, he pointed his finger to the heavens and looked up as if to say, “for Your name’s sake.” Now, if you are skeptical that this may have been a gimmicky move, then all you needed to be convinced otherwise were his first comments to Tracy Wolfson immediately following their victory. After Tracy asked the preliminary obligatory questions, Tim Tebow answered: “First of all, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

This is the same initial comment he made when he received the Heisman trophy in 2007. I praise God that he would place such a young witness in such a prominent place. His influence has been so strong that Coach Urban Meyer (a Roman Catholic) was moved to take his entire family on a mission trip last summer.

I pray that God would continue to raise up such witnesses in prominent places for His glory. For now, we will continue to cheer Tebow on that God would raise him up to be a greater influence. After all, that is precisely what Tebow himself would like.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24
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Of all holidays, none probably tempts us toward materialism and covetousness like Christmas. Already we have heard stories of someone being trampled and killed as the doors opened for shopping after Thanksgiving. How are we to battle temptations toward materialism and covetousness?

Dave Harvey, in his chapter on “stuff” in the book Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World, edited by C. J. Mahaney, provides some wonderful, gospel-centered counsel. I want to simply point out the five ways we can loosen the chains of materialism and covetousness:

1. Consider your true treasure – Christ. The apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (ESV).

When we are tempted to believe the lie that “stuff makes me happy” or “I’m rich because of what I have,” we must consider Christ. He is our treasure, and He satisfies above all things! Even if we were to lose our mutual funds, homes, cars, clothes, even our very lives, if we have Christ, we are rich!

2. Confess and Repent! We must see materialism and covetousness as sin. They are not just bad habits or character traits; they are sin. Our Lord is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (including materialism and covetousness) if we confess them (1 John 1:9).

3. Give thanks for everything. When we understand that God owns everything and that every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17), then we should be able to look around us and see that our homes, our jobs, our cars, our clothes, our food, everything has been provided by Him. When we see everything as a gift from God, we should be moved to gratitude. We should thank God for our homes, cars, clothes, food, jobs, everything! When we begin to develop thankful hearts, we will begin to be content with everything God has provided for us.

4. De-materialize your life. One of the tragedies of prosperity such as we see in America is that even Christians get caught up in the accumulation of possessions. One great way to overcome materialism and covetousness is to get rid of stuff!!! We don’t need all the stuff we have, and someone else needs to have all the stuff we don’t need. Consider clothing. How much of the clothes in your closet go unworn for long periods of time. How much of the clothes in your closet can you keep and still have enough variety in your wardrobe for work, entertainment, church, etc. What if you removed all the good clothes in your closet that you don’t wear and gave it to someone who has a need for such clothes.

On Saturday, High Pointe will have a clothing swap for our community. We have been collecting good, used clothes from our congregation and plan on giving it away this Saturday to those in our community who have that need. What other stuff is accumulating at your house that you don’t need but that could be used by someone else?

5. Give generously. As Randy Alcorn says, “giving is the antidote to materialism.” Giving is evidence that our stuff does not possess us. Giving is the proof that we understand that what we have belongs to God and that we are simply God’s delivery guys, as Alcorn suggests. Let us be cheerful, sacrificial givers as our Lord has been to us. And let us become victors in our battle against materialism and covetousness by God’s grace and in faith.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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