So Jesus had a wife, did he?

People get all bent out of shape about supposed discoveries like the manuscript that claimed Jesus had a wife. Or they get excited about the latest discovery of Noah’s ark. (Poor Noah must have built a dozen of them.) I didn’t even bother to read beyond the Twitter headline about the wife claim. You can pretty well be sure that if a major media outlet touts it, it’s wrong. Scripture is complete in itself, and our faith ought not to be shaken by such news. Nor should our faith rest in said archaeological confirmations. Or in the Shroud. If the words of Scripture do not convince, no material evidence will either.

• The FPress website was down for over 24 hours. This morning it appears to be back up. These things happen, seems like, just as you’re working on something or depending on it to be online.

• For those who like to keep up with us, our latest ministry report is now online in PDF format. This time, I did a little Zingers feature, one-liners on things happening around here and in the work.

• Brad Cobb sent out the following email. which I’ve slightly edited for length.

Michael Shank is not preaching full-time, and is looking for secular work so that he doesn’t have to move his family. Ordering some of his book, Muscle and a Shovel, now would be a good time, for his benefit. The congregation here ordered another hundred a few weeks ago, and they’re already gone. We’re considering placing an order for another 200 this week (and we’re a congregation of 75 people).

Last week, a Christian in the next town over confided in one of the members that he was struggling with his attitude and anger and in doubting his faith. This member gave him a copy of Muscle and a Shovel. Yesterday, the man called our member, thanking her for the book, said his faith has been incredibly strengthened because of it, and that because of reading just the first half of the book (he’s not done yet), he conducted the first Bible study he’s ever conducted with three other people.

If you can help out Mike (and trust me, it will help you also), please order his book from www.MichaelShankMinistries.com.

I’ve not read the book, but I hear good things about it.

• After the first presidential debate on Wednesday, several saints on Facebook made comments that called attention to Jesus’ discussions with the religious leaders of his day, an attempt to redirect attention from politics to spiritual matters. I liked that. It seemed effective for me, so I hope it was for others as well.

• I like devotional thoughts (and write them, too) and follow not a few brethren’s writings. On occasion I read outside the brotherhood, too, like this one, on BibleGateway.com, about the integrity of the gospels, taken from the Case for Christ Study Bible by Lee Strobel. Seems to me to be quite a challenge to talk about apologetics in a devotional format, but maybe it works for those who already believe. Reinforcement. Continue reading

#books, #corollaries, #devotionals, #divine-faithfulness, #jesus-wife

On 9/11

Most people remember where they were on 9/11. I was in a used bookstore when a lady entered talking to the owner and starting telling about the WTC. I thought she was talking about the plot of a novel.

Where were you that day?

I mentioned on Twitter if the apostles often remembered where they were on the day when the Lord called them. (Do you tweet?)

So far today, I’ve written only this, a prayer of self-denial and full surrender: “My Hopes Collapsed.” (Last night, my editorial, “Sundry Thoughts,” at Forthright Mag was quite late, all my fault. Ron’s book project gets big mention.)

I’d be interested in hearing how you’re serving the Lord today.

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#911, #books, #patriot-day

You know you love history when…

 

Yeah, that would be me!

What happened? 

The loss of the ancient world’s single greatest archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, has been lamented for ages. But how and why it was lost is still a mystery. The mystery exists not for lack of suspects but from an excess of them.

Alexandria was founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great. His successor as Pharaoh, Ptolomy II Soter, founded the Museum or Royal Library of Alexandria in 283 BC. The Museum was a shrine of the Muses modeled after the Lyceum of Aristotle in Athens. The Museum was a place of study which included lecture areas, gardens, a zoo, and shrines for each of the nine muses as well as the Library itself. It has been estimated that at one time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and many other nations. Over 100 scholars lived at the Museum full time to perform research, write, lecture or translate and copy documents. The library was so large it actually had another branch or “daughter” library at the Temple of Serapis.

What a tragedy that was. The destruction of that library did inestimable damage to the pool of knowledge which we possess about the ancient world. Undoubtedly, we would  have a lot more knowledge about Bible times and manuscripts that would flesh out current knowledge.

I saw the photo above on Pinterest and had to share. For someone who passionately loves history, books and libraries it is one of the greatest tragedies in recorded history.

#alexandria, #ancient-history, #books, #egypt, #history, #libraries

Organizing my Books

I sit in my office working and I realize I need a certain book from my shelves. However, I cannot find it.

I mutter to myself, “I must get this office straightened up and organized!”

I answer back. “Yes, absolutely.”

Then I sigh and think,  “Yeah, I’ll do that on a day when I have nothing else to do.”

After a moment, I laughed uproariously and return to my work.

Tomorrow isn’t the only thing that never comes. Preachers never get through with their work. They just stop at a certain point, leaving countless other things undone. It is the nature of the profession.

When would that day come when we have nothing else to do? That would be the day we have forgotten what the ministry is all about.

#books, #ministry, #preaching, #study

A Book Wish

As a huge reader, I have one wish that probably won’t come true. However, what’s the harm in sharing that with you, my friends. If I could get brotherhood books free at the library I would probably read almost all of them. 🙂

 

 

#books

Daily Nudge: Books of the Bible

I thought I would ask a question to get some discussion started on the Fellowship Room. I don’t know if this has been asked before or not. I’m not sure where I heard it. Nevertheless, here is the question.

If you were on a deserted island and could only have two individual books of the Bible, which ones would you want and why?

Speak up and share your thoughts on this interesting questions. Maybe they are your favorite books of the Bible or maybe they would serve special purposes for your situation.

What say you?

#bible, #books, #daily-nudge

Tidbits and Prayer Requests

Hello! I hope all of our readers are doing well. I wanted to share a potpourri of thoughts with you this Friday morning. We appreciate you very much.

  • It is a beautiful sunny day in Southeast Georgia. We ask your prayers that we can get some rain. Our drought is nothing like the Southwest has suffered, but we are double digits below normal for three years. It is sad to see so many ponds dry. Also, continue to pray for rain in the Southwest, they desperately need it.
  • I also ask your prayers for me as I continue battling a neurological condition. The pain has been especially bad, lately. I see a new neurologist in two weeks.
  • I read that the Baptists in Kentucky are having a symposium on Calvinism. They say that only one of the speakers is a Five-Point Calvinist. I wish they would figure out that the Baptist doctrine of salvation is Calvinist-Lite and return to the truth of Scripture on how to be saved.

BTW, here is a shameless plug for my book on how to be saved.

  • On a lighter note, the 17 year-old son of one of my cousins didn’t know who John Wayne was. Moments like these seriously make you feel old. Likewise, I recently realized that in 2014 it will have been 20 years since I finished graduate school at Freed-Hardeman University. Time flies much too quickly.
  • I am listening to the Bible on digital audio. As I write, I am listening to Acts 11.
  • I am privileged to develop a manuscript on John 21 for the Southeast Georgia Lectureship at Richmond Hill. The lectureship is October 27-28. The last chapter of John is a fascinating study and I look forward to taking it apart and finding the treasures there.

This Sunday morning I will be speaking on James 3:1, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

Of this passage, Burton Coffman writes:

“James did not seek to discourage any who might have been qualified for such work. As Harper suggested, ‘His words were meant to remind us of our responsibilities, rather than to deter us from our duties.'”

We must not allow this passage to be a path of rationalization to avoid evangelism. We must all become more knowledgeable about Scripture. What thoughts do you have on this verse?

For your reading:

#books, #forthright, #gossip, #prayers, #rain, #reading, #salvation, #writing

There are a lot of people who want…

There are a lot of people who want better doorknobs without figuring out how to get a door. A doorknob is useless without a door. If we have faulty thought patterns, we remain confused and will never find what we are looking for. In fact, we can unknowingly prevent ourselves from finding it and then complain that it doesn’t exist.

Brethren say that we cannot use denominational books and materials but then fail to understand where those materials come from. We refuse to support sound brethren to write full-time to produce scholarly works. Then we lament the lack of great books written by brethren.

I don’t understand this at all. Why can’t people make the connections here? I have been wondering this for many years and I still don’t have an answer.

Why can’t we allow qualified brethren to write full-time to produce quality writing? How can we convert the world if we do not have the books, tracts and materials to teach? If we refuse to do it, our only options are to use the writing of false teachers, which we cannot do.

This is called a vicious circle that goes nowhere.

#books, #brethren, #sound, #teaching, #writers

‘Whensoever mine shall come’

Winter is setting in, it seems. Although the day invites laziness — cloudy, 57º, with a forecast of rain — much needs to be done today. No meetings scheduled, but plenty of other tasks, writing and such. The Maiden is teaching English at a language school on Saturday mornings from 8-11 a.m., so the mornings are quieter. Not that she’s a noisy person, no.

• The daily devotional is done already. I wish I could keep up the English translation, but that’s down the list of important tasks. Maybe today, who knows? I used to make a bit of a deal about them being translated from the Portuguese, but these days I just stick them on my blog and let it go at that.

• Last night, I talked to my parents for about an hour. I enjoy catching up with them, grateful to have them in my life still. Keeps me up with the old hometown as well. The other day, while in BK, the retired people’s hangout, they ran into an old school friend of mine I’ve not seen since 1975, when I transferred from Lafe school after finishing the 11th grade. Lots of water under the bridge since then.

• Yes, I went to the same school, same building, for 11 years, then transferred my last year to Marmaduke High School, into a class three times larger. I thought it was the end of the world. Things have a way of turning out, though.

• Thanks to Richard M. for the kind review of my book, Choose!. The sequel has gotten gummed up somewhere, but maybe I can brush off that project for another rousing success. After some other items get checked off the list.

• Many people we know have passed on recently, not to mention the many deaths from the tornadoes, floods, and other disasters that have struck towns and cities around the globe. We pray, we send money, some are able to go and give physical help. Our brief mortality rings in our ears constantly, does it not? But the Christian is not disheartened by it. On the contrary, he can say as John Donne, in his Meditation XVI:

God hath kept the power of death in his own hands, lest any man should bribe death. If man knew the gain of death, the ease of death, he would solicit, he would provoke death to assist him by any hand which he might use. But as when men see many of their own professions preferred, it ministers a hope that that may light upon them; so when these hourly bells tell me of so many funerals of men like me, it presents, if not a desire that it may, yet a comfort whensoever mine shall come.

Than with that, what better way to conclude?

#books, #devotionals, #family, #john-donne, #meditations

Adam Cozort writes on The Christian Graces

This comes from David Lemmons’s email today when he sent out the congregation’s bulletin.

May I tell you about a new book?  My young friend, Adam Cozort, has come out with another book.  He first wrote, Studies in Genesis, and now comes forth with: The Christian Graces: God’s Blueprint for the Development of Complete Christians.  This one is a bit shorter than the previous because he is dealing with only three verses.  May I share with you what I wrote to him…

I have now read your excellent book on 2 Peter 1:5-7.  I think you have done a great service to the brotherhood by zeroing in on this vital passage. You did a wonderful job of helping readers to understand how important this instruction is for our spiritual well-being.  Anyone who takes the time to ponder, for just a few minutes, the subtitle of your book will receive a blessing.  Especially is that so as they continue carefully to read the text.  The flow of the book is very well done and I think you have definitely written something worth reading.  I recommend it highly to all.

Adam says that the new book will be released in the next two or three weeks.  The book will retail for $5.00, but you might be able to get one pre-ordered by contacting Adam’s father, Keith, for a discounted rate of: $4.50.  His Email: cozortATsbcglobalDOTcom. If you can encourage this excellent young writer, I would urge you to do so.

#books, #christian-graces, #christian-virtues

Best Book for High School Students

If I could recommend one book that every young person should read, other than the Bible, it would be “Life on the Edge; A Young Adults Guide to a Meaningful Future” by Dr. James Dobson (1995). This book is specifically written for ages 16-26, which Dr. Dobson calls the “critical decade.”  My son discovered it when he was 26 years old and it has been his favorite book ever since.  A few years ago, my husband read a copy of it as well, not realizing how much it meant to our son. He was also very complimentary of the book.

In the book Dobson covers a range of topics including how to find the person you will marry, choosing your life’s work, handling money, getting along with your parents, choosing a college and many others. The book is written in a warm, conversational style and would make an outstanding gift for graduation.

#books, #nudge

"Sound Doctrine" Best in My Book

The “Sound Doctrine for Everyday Living” study books by the late Bro. Wendell Winkler are the best study guides for young adult and adult classes, in my opinion.

Two, “Studying Sin Seriously” and “The Christian and His Influence” are the best in that series. They are life-changing books that have the power of the gospel to sink deep into hearts and bear fruit. “Things That Accompany Salvation” is another great book in the series that teaches there is more to being a Christian than just wearing a name.

Here is the link for those who are interested: http://www.winklerpublications.com/index.asp.

 

#books, #study, #sunday-school

Pocket Knife Opens Wonders

My pocket knife opens boxes of books that come in — just about every week —- bringing delectable tidbits of fruit for the mind.

The boxes are transported downstairs to my little study, and then my pocket knife goes about its work. Usually, there are pieces of tape on each end of the box flaps and one down the center. Three cuts usually does it. The books, clothed in their brightly colored covers, come out.

Perhaps it’s a new book by Randal Matheny, or Richard Mansel. It could be one of the “Truth For Today” commentaries. I really like those. But most special of all are the new Bibles. Don’t you love the way a new leather Bible smells? After a new Bible comes out of the box, it’s time to make a new friend.

Now, do you want to discuss steak knives?

#bible, #books, #knives

Thiselton on Paul

Anthony Thiselton, author of a massive, excellent commentary on 1 Corinthians, has written The Living Paul: An Introduction to the Apostle’s Life and Thought, published 2009 by InterVarsity. See on this page two reviews. Though not a large work, it has Thistelton’s erudition behind it. From the first review, his position on women in leadership may be weak, but probably the second reviewer is not far from the mark when he says, "Surely, The Living Paul deserves the label as the definitive new introduction to Paul’s thought."

Our brethren have, rightfully so, a high appreciate for Paul and his writings, and this book will likely enhance that appreciation.

#books, #new-testament-studies, #pauline-studies

Resolutions

I hope you had some success with yours for 2010. I did manage to listen to the New Testament every month this year. However, I failed in other areas. I wanted to read/listen to 100 books, but I fell a little short. I also planned to finish my novel, but my health situation precluded that plan.

How did you do with your resolutions?

I plan to attempt all three of those again next year. It is just two books a week to reach 100. But there are some big books I would like to read, so I get behind. 🙂

Maybe I can post here more often, as well.

#books, #reading, #resolutions