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Showing posts from January, 2010

Dr. Allen Ross at Ridgecrest Baptist Church

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Dr. Allen Ross, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Beeson Divinity School, will be with us at Ridgecrest this weekend for our first annual Bible conference. Dr. Ross is a leading Old Testament scholar and the author of several books including Introducing Biblical Hebrew and Grammar, Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus, Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis, and Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation. I met with Dr. Ross this morning and he alerted me to an invaluable resource he has published on the internet containing a massive amount of his teaching and preaching material. The website is http://www.christianleadershipcenter.org/ . This website is not only a great resource for pastors, laymen, and teachers, but it is dedicated to helping the serious Bible student develop good Bible study skills. Dr. Ross will be teaching from the Book of Psalms this weekend (Jan. 29-

Changing the Tone of Marriage (Listening)

One problem of communication in marriage is that there is too much talking and not enough listening. Americans hear almost everything but listen to almost nothing. In a media driven culture we innately learn to tune in and tune out with lightening speed. This “switching channels” mentality does not bode well for marriage. If you are going to be effective in communicating with your spouse you must learn to listen. Listening is more important than talking. Proverbs 1:5 says, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.” Wise people listen more and talk less. They seek understanding. Remember, communication is not talking, communication is being understood. James 1:19 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers; let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger . . .” James must have known my grandmother. She used to say that God gave you two ears and one mouth, talk less, listen more. Ironically, she was quite the talker! When you vis

Be a Man (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

In the context of a Christian marriage, God is very clear about the roles of each spouse and how they should relate to each other. In the sermon, “Be a Man” we discover from Ephesians 5 the characteristics of a Spirit filled man. His walk with Christ should be obvious and the love for his wife sacrificial. Listen to audio

One Of the Many Reasons I am Southern Baptist - Haiti Relief

Have you given to disaster relief in Haiti? If you have given an offering at a cooperating Southern Baptist Church in the past year, you have. The Cooperative Program is a fund to which Southern Baptist churches contribute, for the purpose of missions, evangelism, and education. Each church determines a percentage that will be taken from their weekly general offering and designated to the cooperative program. For instance, if a church you attend determines to give 10% to the Cooperative Program, 10 cents of every dollar you give goes to the Cooperative Program. Simply stated, your giving will support the efforts of Southern Baptists in your state, in North America, and around the world. A big part of the Southern Baptist mission is disaster relief. Southern Baptists are great at disaster relief - not so good at advertising. Therefore it looks like the UN and the Red Cross are at the forefront of disaster relief. Not so fast. In the face of almost every disaster there is also

Changing the Tone of Marriage (New Language)

This past fall I took an introductory Hebrew class. The first night of the class was an introduction to the Hebrew alphabet, pronunciation, articles, and nouns. It was completely overwhelming. As a closing comment for the evening our professor said, “Take comfort, there are three years olds all over Israel who are learning to do what you just did.” His point was made even more clearly by my five year old daughter, who, just the week before started K-5. She was learning the alphabet. So was I. She was learning to write letters, huge ones, tracing them with directional arrows. So was I. She sounded out words at a laborious pace. So did I. Learning a new language at 36 is a brain transplant. When you get married you will be forced to learn a new language. Communication begins with someone having something to say. He speaks. Interpretation begins. She reacts very differently to what he said than did his work colleagues, or college roommates, or even his dearest mommy. Or pe

Changing the Tone of Marriage (The Script)

The most difficult and frustrating part of marriage is communication. One way to measure the amount of happiness in a marriage is to measure the level at which each person involved is understood. Thus the proper question to ask is not how often do you talk, but are you understood? Most women use their quota of words in a given day. Women have no problem talking, but in marriage women often feel misunderstood. Men say what they mean and mean what they say, but still wonder why their wives “don’t have a clue.” Communication is more than just saying words. Communication is being understood. A lot can go wrong in communication, and usually does. Most couples can write the script. If there is something meaningful in marriage that needs to be discussed many couples had rather ignore the issue than live the tragedy. She will bring up, “x.” He will say, “y.” There will be yelling. She will be hurt by his words. He will wonder why she constantly brings these things up. She will s

Let's Talk (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

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Communication can often be one of the most important elements in your marriage, but also one of the most difficult. We must learn from Scripture to speak less and listen more. Conversations often escalate to arguments because couples are more interested in winning a fight than genuinely caring about what their spouse is trying to say. The tone of our voice, timing, and disrespect are all elements of our character that can work against us in a marriage. However, God’s desire is for our marriages to perpetuate peace and righteousness in our homes and lives. Listen to Audio

Married Alone (Raising Children)

Children are a blessing (Psalm 127), but there is only one word that captures what it is like to raise them, exhausting. It takes a lot of effort and energy to raise children. Raising children, like managing money, is an area that will subdue your marriage if you do not work together. If a couple does not help one another with the children it will begin to drive a wedge in the marriage and one partner will begin to feel alone. Troubled couples allow the duty of raising children to separate the marriage. This can happen in various ways. 1. Leaving one spouse alone to tackle the messy jobs. Kids are messy. Help each other out. 2. One spouse is the hero, the other is the villain. When it comes to disciplining children the key word is support, especially if your children are teens. Mom and dad need to present a united front. 3. Refusal of relief. Realize that both of you are looking for relief. There are times when she has had enough of the kids and he has had enough of the

Married Alone (Money)

One reason God created marriage is so that man and woman could work together to subdue the Earth (Gen. 1:28). God formed the Earth out of chaos; our job is to keep existence trending towards order rather than returning to chaos. Yet it seems life has a natural tilt toward the chaotic. Left to themselves, certain areas of existence will quickly spiral out of control; like the bathroom sink of a five year old. Five year olds do not have the proper motor skills required to balance a dollop of AIM on a toothpaste, gently wet it under a trickle of water, and stick it in their mouth. Five year olds also lack the ability to spit. At five they spray, they do not spit. It doesn’t take long for our daughter’s bathroom sink to descend into chaos. In about three days it looks like a tube of toothpaste was attacked by a serial killer. There is toothpaste blood everywhere. Money is one of those areas where there will be blood in the marriage if there is not control. Money will subdue a ma

Haiti Disaster Relief

Here is a link to information concerning disaster relief through the Alabama State Board of Missions and the North American Mission Board: http://www.alsbom.org/templates/System/details.asp?id=36469&PID=753329

Married Alone (Attitude)

In the previous post we discussed the danger of one or more partner in marriage feeling alone. When someone feels as if they have been left to fend for themselves, to do all the necessary work, or to clean up the mess it will change one spouses’ opinion of the other. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” When there is a good attitude within the marriage that attitude serves to foster and nurture the marriage through almost any trial of life. Here is an example in microcosm. The three year old spills milk, as three year olds are prone to do. But instead of the wife responding alone, the husband also jumps up instinctively to help with the mess. Such movement comes from attitude and understanding a key component in marriage, that of covenant partnership; of simply helping one another to subdue. If a husband is instinctive about spilled milk he will foster in his wife a joyful heart. There will be other spills, more catac

Married Alone (Attitude)

In the previous post we discussed the danger of one or more partner in marriage feeling alone. When someone feels as if they have been left to fend for themselves, to do all the necessary work, or to clean up the mess it will change one spouses’ opinion of the other. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” When there is a good attitude within the marriage that attitude serves to foster and nurture the marriage through almost any trial of life. Here is an example in microcosm. The three year old spills milk, as three year olds are prone to do. But instead of the wife responding alone, the husband also jumps up instinctively to help with the mess. Such movement comes from attitude and understanding a key component in marriage, that of covenant partnership; of simply helping one another to subdue. If a husband is instinctive about spilled milk he will foster in his wife a joyful heart. There will be other spills, more catac

Home Improvement (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

The marriage union is constantly threatened by issues that create a sense of separation. In this sermon, we discuss three areas that are at work to subdue and drive a wedge in the marriage bond. These are money, kids, and in-laws. Here are some practical ways from the book of Proverbs on how to keep a good attitude and prevent separation in your marriage. Listen to audio

Married Alone

There may be two people standing at the altar in the wedding photo album, but if there were a photo taken that reflected the current state of the marriage; it would show two people standing alone. Two people, alone, how is that possible? An odd and paradoxical thought, it is, but it is also a reality. Many people are married, live together in the same house, but the two exist virtually alone. God’s design for marriage is for two people to become one. God said that, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him (Genesis 2:18).” A helper? Notice that God did not create man a mate. Dogs mate. Horses mate. By the way, the KJV doesn’t say “mate”, the word is “meet.” Some people practice a more animalistic, loose sex life, but people were not designed to mate, people were designed by God to bind. Dogs and cats can fill the Earth; roaches are pretty close to finishing! People were designed by God to fill it and subdue it. Back to the original question, wh

Ruth Uncovered

When we made our move to Trussville we decided to exchange the name “Sunday School”, which generally implies Christian education classes that meet on Sunday, for CLG, or Christian Life Group, a term we felt better reflected our purpose for Christian education and the fact that not all of our groups meet on Sunday. Most of us, including myself, steeped in SBC tradition still slip up and use the term Sunday School. So yesterday, when confronted several times with the question, “Have you read today’s Sunday School lesson,” I knew something was stirring in our CLG’s. The ruckus is over Ruth. In Lifeway’s Masterwork series Ralph Douglas West has written a provocative account of the biblical narrative found in Ruth 3. In short, West portrays Ruth and Naomi as two women of great faith who tiptoed and toyed with sexual scandal. In Ruth 3 the biblical writer shares an account of how Naomi and Ruth scheme to secure the favor of Boaz as Ruth’s kinsman redeemer. To do so, Naomi instructs Ruth to

A Family Christmess (Sermon Audio: Sunday A.M.)

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In the Jewish culture family is important. Lineage is even more so, hence the genealogies of Jesus. Matthew writes a genealogy of Jesus that points to his destiny as a King. As a son of David He has a right to the throne. But in writing his genealogy there are also those very human subplots, like my family, and your family, it is our Family “Christmess.” How can you deal with your family Christmess? Listen to audio

Wise Marriage, (Sermon Audio: Sunday A.M.)

For the next seven weeks we are going to be discussing marriage. This is the intro sermon. Smart Marriage is a series of sermons aptly subtitled, “good ideas for a great marriage.” These sermons will be taken mainly from the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs are observations of life. They are the advice of fathers to sons, grandmothers to granddaughters. In life and marriage there are only two courses. Either we are learning and growing, becoming a better version of ourselves, or we are fools. It is your choice. Listen to audio