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Showing posts from May, 2012

Tools for Teaching (Part 2)

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Last week I spent time moving my family from Alabama to Georgia.  After 3.5 months of being away from them I am glad to have my wife and daughters with me.  So now that we have all the Branams in the same place; back to the blog and our discussion of teaching in the church. When it comes to teaching in the church, we cannot continue as we are.  Teachers are the tongues of the church .  Even though they comprise a small part of the congregation, relative to the number of students, what they say and teach carries a great deal of weight within the congregation.  So how do we improve our teaching?  The answer is time, tools, and training .  In my previous post I mentioned the importance of using tools to help us rightly divide the Word of God.  What are those tools? If we are to answer the question of “what are the tools?” we must ask another question, just what is it we are trying to do?  The task determines the tool.   I am not a craftsman nor am I a repairman.  As for too

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

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Determining whether or not God loves us based on the unpredictable circumstances of the day is like playing the foolish childhood game of "He loves me, He loves me not." In this game love is not based on a person's character, but on how many petals are on the flower. It is time we stop playing this game with God and settle on the truth that His love is steadfast for us.

Tools for Teaching (Part 1)

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Last week I mentioned that when it comes to teaching we cannot continue as we are.  Teachers are the tongues of the church .  Even though they comprise a small part of the congregation, relative to the number of students, what they say and teach carries a great deal of weight within the congregation.  So how do we improve our teaching?  The answer is time, tools, and training . Tools The Bible is a living Word.  It speaks, but this does not mean that it is easy to understand.  Many people mistakingly believe that because the Bible is spiritual in nature that with a little prayer and righteousness one will gain mysterious insight into the Word of which the natural man is not privy.  This is the stuff from which cults are born! While it is true that Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” he also tells Pasto

How the Gospel Changes Our Heart - Tim Keller

Time to Teach

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Last week I mentioned that when it comes to teaching we cannot continue as we are.  Teachers are the tongues of the church .  Even though they comprise a small part of the congregation, relative to the number of students, what they say and teach carries a great deal of weight within the congregation.  So how do we improve our teaching?  The answer is time, tools, and training . Time It takes time to be a great teacher.  It goes without saying that the longer you teach, the more you should improve in your teaching.  It is not unusual for beginning teachers to struggle, so give it time.  Yet this is not the investment of time to which I refer.   Study Time -  Again, it goes without saying that teachers should spend time in study.  Great teachers do not cram.  They are disciplined and calculated.  Great teachers are great planners.  They are able to say “no” to things that threaten time in study.  Life is full of interruptions.  Yet even then a great teacher is able

Obama, Gay Marriage, The Manhattan Declaration Response

I received this email this morning from The Manhattan Declaration concerning President Obama's support of gay marriage.  There are some good links to resources one should consider. _______________________ Today, for the first time, President Obama publicly affirmed his support for same-sex marriage, a calculated political maneuver intended to energize his base in the months before the November presidential election.   http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304070304577394332545729926.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories   At a time when most Americans’ primary concern is their ability to work to provide for their family,  as crippling debt, record deficits, and fragile global markets loom over the economy, the President seems intent on having a national conversation about life, love, and religious liberty.   So be it.   The Manhattan Declaration is a coalition of the historic Christian faiths united in support of the sanctity of every human life, marriage as

The Tongues of the Church

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A few weeks ago I began a discussion of the importance of youth education in the church, seeking particularly to drive home the point that we should expect more for them and from them.  If our students are to leave the church as modern day Josiahs rather than Jezebels we must give serious consideration to the matter of education in the Christian church and home.  ( See previous posts ) If we are to take corrective measure we must evaluate several aspects of education:  teaching, curriculum, the relationship between the church/school and home, and finally the disposition/dedication of the learner.  Let’s consider these matters in order; first of all, the teacher. James says in James 3:1, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”  This verse in itself does serious damage to the modern day philosophy of the typical Baptist church, that “almost everyone” should serve as teachers.  The foundatio

Weekend Update, May 5 Edition

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Not Spam

For the past couple of months I have been wondering why no one was submitting questions via "Just Ask."  I discovered this morning a backlog of items in my junk folder.  Your questions are important to me, but apparently they are spam to Apple's iCould email.  I will sort through the archive and answer them as quickly as possible. Sorry, BB, Gal. 2:20

Khesed

On Sunday I mentioned the Hebrew word "Khesed" which is translated "steadfast love" in the ESV.  This morning I wanted to share with you a verse from one of my favorite hymns, "The Love of God (1917)" by Frederick M. Lehman.  In my opinion the third verse of the hymn is the finest ever composed.  It is said that it was first penned by a Jewish Rabbi in 1096.  A strange caveat to the story is that it was also found written on the wall of a prison room inhabited by an insane man.  As I said on Sunday.  Our circumstances in life are unpredictable and vacillating at best.  Yet the love of God is steadfast toward us. Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.