Category Archives: Uncategorized

Things I Wish They Told Me at College Orientation

I came across an interesting article this morning on the Boundless webzine.

Chelsey Nugteren shares some things she wishes she knew when starting college. Might seem like common sense, but these are great reminders for any student…

1. Grades still matter

2. Use your summers and breaks wisely

3. Make good friends

4. Find a church and stay there

5. Get a mentor

9/27/12 Update: Here’s the second half of Chelsey’s list. You can read the full articles here and here.

6. Summer/semester lovin’ aint as harmless as Sandy and Danny make it seem
7. Get involved
8. Capitalize on travel opportunities
9. Serve/volunteer
10. Pray. Pray. Pray

Are there any lessons you would add to this list?Are any of these different for the online learning environment?

HT: Tim Challies

The Secret of Patience

Last week, Gabby Douglas flipped and vaulted her way into Olympic history. Gabby and the rest of the “Fab Five” were all smiles after an exciting victory in ladies gymnastics on July 31st. It was our country’s first team gold since 1996 (Gabby was less than a year old at the time).
Two nights later, the world held its breath as judges rated the final floor performance by Victoria Komova of Russia. At last, the scoreboard said it all: Gabby Douglas had taken gold! She became the first American gymnast to ever win both the team and individual all-around competitions in the same Olympics. She’s also the first African-American woman to win individual all-around. Knowing what their family went through to get to this moment, it gave me chills to watch her mom and siblings up in the stands — cheering, weeping, hugging.
There are so many things we can learn from the Olympics. They are ripe with valuable life skills: Discipline. Perseverance. Teamwork. But one lesson that struck me as I watched Gabby was delayed gratification. She and her family have learned that the greatest joys and accomplishments in life only come at great cost, at great sacrifice, over a long period of time. In other words, they were patient.
James 5:7-8 says, “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient…” What do farmers and Olympians have in common? They both know the secret of patience.
Patience is a rare virtue today. Most of us know what we want, and we want it now! Pastor John MacArthur says, “In this materialistic age, we rarely experience delayed gratification. Almost anything we want, we can have immediately. We don’t even need money – we can use a credit card. We don’t have to build anything – we can buy it. And we don’t have to go very far to get it.”
Patience is not easy, but just think of its benefits. When musicians practice, they can eventually perform well. When students focus, they can earn a diploma. When employees are faithful in the small tasks, they can get a promotion. When people save up for big ticket items, they can stay out of debt. When a boy and girl abstain from premarital sex, they can enjoy a marriage that is pure and more likely to succeed. When people take up their cross and follow Jesus, they can look forward to a home in heaven.
Enjoy the rest of the Olympics, and follow these examples of patience. For that is a gold medal every one of us can earn.
This article first appeared in today’s edition of our local newspaper, the Hi Desert Star

Photo credit: On Being

So I Bought an E-Reader. Now What?

More and more people in our church are starting to use e-readers like the Kindle, NOOK, and apps like iBooks. Even our seniors are snatching up e-ink devices because of their clear display, adjustable font size, and portability.

Though I’ve shared before why I still love libraries, I’m also a big fan of e-readers. E-books are convenient. They’re affordable. They’re searchable. And they take up almost no space. With my laptop and iPad, I can tote thousands of books around with me every day.

For those who have recently purchased an e-reader, but aren’t sure where to begin, here are my top recommendations. This list includes a wide variety of genres, so there’s something for everyone. (Prices are subject to change).

The Holy Bible (ESV)
Description: An essentially literal Bible translation that combines word-for-word precision and accuracy with literary excellence, beauty, and depth of meaning.
Free on Kindle    Free on NOOK

The MacArthur Study Bible (ESV)
Description: An essential resource for growing Christians. Combines the ESV text with John MacArthur’s verse-by-verse approach to the Bible, made clear in extensive study notes. Includes maps, charts, and short articles to better understand and apply the Bible. In my opinion, this is the first book you should get after your Bible!
$9.99 on Kindle    $25.64 on NOOK (NASB Edition)
$39.99 on Logos

The ESV Study Bible
Description: The ESV Study Bible features more than 2,750 pages of extensive, accessible Bible resources, including completely new notes, full-color maps, illustrations, charts, timelines, and articles created by an outstanding team of 93 evangelical Christian scholars and teachers.
$8.54 on Kindle    $9.99 on NOOK    $39.95 on Logos

The Moody Handbook of Theology by Paul Enns (Theology)
Description: Enns leads the beginner into the appreciation and understanding of this essential field of study. It introduces the reader to the five dimensions that provide a comprehensive view of theology: biblical, systematic, historical, dogmatic and contemporary.
$15.38 on Kindle    $15.66 on NOOK
$29.95 on Logos (this is the first edition)

The Gospel According to Jesus: What is Authentic Faith? by John MacArthur (Theology)
Description: MacArthur tackles the idea of ‘easy-believism,’ challenging Christians to re-evaluate their commitment to Christ by examining their fruits. MacArthur asks, ‘What does it really mean to be saved?’ He urges readers to understand that their conversion was more than a mere point in time, that, by definition, it includes a lifetime of obediently walking with Jesus as Lord.
$10.99 on Kindle    $10.99 on NOOK

Ten Lies About God: And How You Might Already Be Deceived by Erwin Lutzer (Theology) Description: The clearer we see God, the clearer we shall see ourselves. With this conviction firmly in mind, Dr. Erwin Lutzer examines ten lies about our Maker that have crept into spiritual thought in postmodern times. And he notes that these deceits are prominent not only in non-Christian minds but in the professing church as well.
$9.99 on Kindle    $9.99 on NOOK
$9.74 on Vyrso (compatible with Logos)

Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, and Roots by J. C. Ryle (Inspirational)
Description: A classic work on personal holiness in the Christian life. Should be read once a year by every Christian.
$.99 on Kindle    $5.09 for Abridged Version on NOOK
$14.95 on Logos

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper (Inspirational)
Description: God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives. 
$7.99 on Kindle    $10.19 on NOOK

End of the Spear by Steve Saint (Biography)
Description: Steve Saint was five years old when his father, missionary pilot Nate Saint, was speared to death by a primitive Ecuadorian tribe. Decades later, that same tribe asks Steve to move back to the jungle and help them. There, Steve learns long-buried secrets about his father’s murder, confronts difficult choices, and finds himself caught between two worlds.
$9.39 on Kindle    $10.52 on NOOK
$8.44 on Vyrso (compatible with Logos)

A Table in the Presence by Lt. Carey Cash (Biography)
Description: In April 2003, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, faced with the task of seizing the presidential palace in downtown Baghdad, ran headlong into what Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North called, “the worst day of fighting for U.S. Marines.” But when the smoke of the eight-hour battle cleared, only one Marine had lost his life. Some said the 1st Battalion was incredibly lucky. But in the hearts and minds of the Marines who were there, there was no question. God had brought them miraculously through that battle.
$9.99 on Kindle    $11.39 on NOOK
$11.99 on Vyrso (compatible with Logos)

The Begotten by Lisa Bergren (Christian Fiction)
Description: At the height of the Inquisition, a secret half a millennium old is about to be exposed-a lost letter said to have been written by Paul and part of what was to become the foundation of the Christian canon. It speaks of men and women-the Gifted-with mysterious spiritual gifts that struck fear in the heart of the Church. Now the letter has surfaced. The Gifted ones are coming together. Their prophecy is coming true.
$11.99 on Kindle    $11.99 on NOOK

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins (Christian Fiction)
Description: Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author’s own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today’s medical field.
$9.99 on Kindle

The Great Divide by Davis Bunn (Christian Fiction)
Description: When attorney Marcus Glenwood resigns from a prestigious corporate law firm to retreat to a small town in North Carolina and rebuild his life after a devastating personal tragedy, he suddenly finds himself in the biggest and most emotionally difficult case of his career.
$12.99 on Kindle    $12.99 on NOOK

A Lasting Impression by Tamara Alexander (Christian Fiction)
Description: Trading an unwanted destiny for an unknown future, Claire finds herself in the middle of Nashville’s elite society and believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art may finally be within reach.
$8.54 on Kindle    $10.19 on NOOK
$9.74 on Vyrso (compatible with Logos)

The New Moody Atlas of the Bible by Barry Beitzel (History/Geography)
Description: This well written work contains a host of full color maps detailing Israel’s geography, topography, weather patterns, history and other vital information. The author’s text is well-written and clear.
$20.62 on Kindle

A History of Israel by Walter Kaiser (History)
Description: The Old Testament was written within a particular historical period that many people are not familiar with. Keeping the people, places and dates clear is necessary to properly understand the Old Testament text. The author provides an excellent and readable text covering the history of Israel, particularly in relation to the world events around her in the ancient time.
$16.99 on Kindle    $19.24 on NOOK    $34.99 on Logos

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Reference)
Description: Study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages-without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. This classic reference tool has helped thousands dig deeper into the meaning of the biblical text. Explains over 6,000 key biblical words. Includes a brand new comprehensive topical index that enables you to study biblical topics more thoroughly than ever before.
$19.99 on Kindle

Christian History Made Easy by Timothy Paul Jones (Church History)
Description: This fantastic book summarizes the most important events in Christian history from the time of Jesus to today in 12 easy chapters. This bestselling book presents key events and people every Christian should know, time lines, worksheets, websites, photos, maps and illustrations. The study guide in the back makes this book an excellent study for any group, including new believers’ classes. It also tackles topics popularized by today’s media: the reliability of the Bible, the accurate transmission of the biblical text throughout time, and sensationalized attacks on the Gospels.
$9.68 on Kindle

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs (Inspirational)
Description: This Puritan classic applies the scalpel of God’s Word to our hearts, peeling back layer after layer of pride and discontentment that most of us didn’t even know we had. He is deep and profound, yet surprisingly easy to read.
$.99 on Kindle    $2.99 on NOOK

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (Christian Fiction)
Description: Join Pilgrim on his exciting journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Written while in Prison, Bunyan’s book has remained in print for 350 years and has sold more copies than any other book apart from the Bible.
FREE on Kindle    $3.99 on NOOK 

For even more book recommendations, see…

50 Books for Every Christian
CHBC Book Recommendations
A Classical Reading List
Master Craftsmen: Good Christian Fiction

Related posts:

Photo credit: Nikkorz

With God, All Things are Possible

Two years ago, our church faced a monumental task: overcome a monthly budget deficit and find $30,000 to do some important facility repairs. For man, it seemed impossible, but with God, all things are possible! (Mark 10:27).


We had many planning meetings, took these needs to the Lord in earnest prayer, then were challenged from a sermon series on 2 Corinthians 8-9 to give joyfully and sacrificially.

Almost immediately, God began to work. $5,000 was offered from the Oldham Little Church Foundation. Then, $3,000 came in from several anonymous donors. Our capital campaign launched in spring 2011, and month by month, God provided beyond what we could ask or think.

Today, I’m pleased to announce we are meeting our budget and have completed three major projects: a new roof, playground, and front sign. Sound system upgrades are also underway. In fact, I got to use my new Audio Technica over-the-ear microphone for the first time last Sunday (click here to listen to the sermon)!

Thank you for your generous giving and your faithful prayers. All glory to God!

This report first appeared in our monthly church newsletter. To subscribe and get our latest edition, please click here.

Focus 21 Survey

Last year, the California SBC invested thousands of dollars and countless man hours to conduct a top-to-bottom review of our convention. The result of these efforts was our Focus 21 Task Force Report, presented at the 2011 SBC Annual Meeting in Fremont.
                                                                                                                                                                                
Those who attended that Tuesday afternoon session will remember the mixed reception. Some wholeheartedly supported the report, while others raised many questions and concerns. The debate was healthy, and ultimately, the convention approved to refer the Task Force report to the Executive Board for further consideration.
I say all of this because right now, the seven recommendations of the Task Force are being reviewed by our state leaders, and the Executive Board wants your input.
They have developed an Online Focus 21 Surveyfor all California Southern Baptists. The purpose of the survey is to “find out about California Southern Baptists’ disposition about each recommendation, which are considered the most important and the distribution of Cooperative Program gifts between CSBC and SBC.”

The survey ends on Tuesday, July 31. Please take five minutes to share your opinion by answering the 12-question survey to help the CSBC Executive Board gain insight and perspective as they move forward in addressing Focus 21 recommendations. You should also spread the word to any others who have a vested interest in our state convention.

This is a golden opportunity for your voice to be heard. Please don’t miss out.
May God be glorified and many disciples made here in California.