Saturday, January 28, 2006

Wonderful, Imperfect Church

A letter detailing God's kindness in transforming one woman's perspective on the local church:

"I am a youth pastor's wife and a mother of 4 precious little girls and haven't read a book in it's entirety for...a long time :) So, when our head pastor distributed your book "Stop Dating the Church--Fall In Love with the Family of God" I looked at the title and was immediately interested.

In a nutshell...For the last 5 years the Lord has shown me that my heart was hard towards the family of God and the ministry as a whole. For me, it was a control thing. I wanted to do A, B and C and if God's plan didn't line up with mine, then the walls went up, excuses were made and reasons were conjured why I couldn't devote myself 100% to God's family and His ministry. While I was in my safe and controlled "shell" I watched as the faithful served. Strange thing is, they were happy. They weren't looking over their shoulder to see who noticed what THEY were doing. They served one another with joy and to the glory of God.


Through their faithful testimony, I have fallen in love with our church family. Now I can see why our wonderful and imperfect church is so key to my relationship with the Lord."

Thanks for sharing this, Jenny!


Friday, January 27, 2006

Join the Podcast

A guy named Luke recently posted this review in our iTunes podcast review section:

"In some weird way a couple years ago I ended up with a New Attitude MP3 of every sermon from all the past years. The first one I decided to listen to was “The Main Thing” by CJ Mahaney. While all of my friends decided over the summer to go on mission trips I had to stay home. These sermons helped me learn so much. From “The Main Thing Pt. 1 and 2” to Joshua’s “Blind Bartimaeus” and “Stop Dating The Church” these sermons have been a real blessing from God. I highly recommend this Podcast for anyone, particularly the College age group, to listen and be blessed. Oh, and by the way. I was so pumped to find out that The New Attitude Conference is coming to Louisville, Kentucky MY HOMETOWN! I can not wait."

Thanks for the encouragement, Luke!

To join the Covenant Life Church podcast, click here.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

18 Pairs of Shoes



A big thanks to everyone who commented on the Affluenza sermon I did two weeks ago. Someone asked how we can know if a particular purchase is motivated by greed. In other words, "When does God want us to enjoy his good gifts and when does our spending cross the line into greed?" I don't know that there are easy answers but I believe this is the ongoing tension that we must embrace to live as faithful stewards in this world.

And I think the issue of contentment is a key. That's why I commend the second message in our Affluenza series entitled "Great Gain" that my friend and fellow-pastor, Eric Simmons gave. He addresses the issue of contentment from 1 Timothy 6:6-10.

I have an iPod issue, in his message Eric confesses his shoe and clothing problems along with a passion for Monopoly that borders on obsession (grin). Check out the message and let me know what you think.

Note: If you're not familiar with Eric Simmons, he's not only the capable pastor of our singles ministry, he has taken over the New Attitude Conference for me. He's doing a great job of not only restarting the conference, but making it better than ever. If you're single, please consider joining us in Louisville, KY, for New Attitude 2006. The conference will feature, CJ Mahaney, Mark Dever, me, Eric, Mike Bulmore and a ton of other breakout speakers.

"Together for the Gospel" Blog


CJ Mahaney, Al Mohler, Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan—the men heading up the April conference called Together for the Gospel have launched their own blog.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

ENTRUST

On January 28, 2006, Covenant Life Church will be hosting the Entrust seminar. Led by Kenneth Maresco, Dave Harvey, and Jeff Purswell, Entrust is designed to instruct men who want to learn more about the pathway to pastoral ministry in Sovereign Grace churches, and to inspire called men to humbly pursue becoming pastors and church planters.

Details:

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Infected by Affluenza



This past Sunday I preached the first message in a 3-part series we're doing at our church entitled "Affluenza." The sermon opened with these words:

What is affluenza? Affluenza is a nifty little word that some clever sociologist created by mixing two different words together. The word affluence means having a great deal of money. Influenza is a highly contagious disease.

And when you mash the two you get “affluenza” which is a useful word for describing the problems generated by a rich consumer culture that has an endless hunger for more and more stuff.

Affluenza is the disease of greed. It’s the materialistic mindset that says that getting more money and possessions for yourself is the ultimate aim of life. Affluenza is the spirit of our age and it has infected all of us.

You can download or stream the rest of the sermon. After you listen, post your comments and opinions about how you see affluenza in your own life or the world around you. And how do you think Christians should respond?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My Two Non-Dating Books

QUESTION: "I'm curious to know if you'll ever write a book that doesn't have to do with dating/courting/marriage! I love your writing. You are one of my favorite authors. Among the MANY, I too have read I kissed Dating Goodbye and in the proccess of "Boy Meets Girl"-both great. But am curious if I'll ever be able to read something by you that's not about dating or anything related. Perhaps a Biography, or something pertaining to Faith. I love how you communicate your thoughts and ideas. Keep going! Don't stop writting!"—Liz

Josh's ANSWER: Thanks for your encouragement. I'm glad to hear you like my first two books. And in answer to your question I've actually written two books unrelated to dating and courtship. Someone might argue that Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is) is a relationship book, but it's really about fighting the sin of lust (which unfortunately is something we humans struggle with apart from relationships). But my fourth book Stop Dating the Church—though it has dating in the title—has absolutely nothing to do with relationships. Even though I'm sure there are many confused people who think from the title that it's an anti "dating in the church" book the truth is that it's all about the importance of passion for and commitment to the local church.

You can learn more about my "non-dating/courtship" books here:

• Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is)


• Stop Dating the Church

Monday, January 02, 2006

Narnia and the Seven Deadly Sins


Like the picture? That's me playing with my kid's Chronicles of Narnia toys. No, I am not going to add another review of the movie to the ten million that have already been written (I did see it and liked it). Instead I wanted to pass on an interesting article by Dr. Don W. King. In case you're wondering he has absolutely no relationship to this Don King.

The article is called "Narnia and the Seven Deadly Sins." The premise of the article as Dr. King explains it is this:

Since Lewis so readily refers to the seven deadly sins in many of his other works, it is my contention that he may either consciously or subconsciously have emphasized one of the seven deadly sins in each one of the seven Narnian books. Let me add here that it is certain Lewis dealt with multiple sins in Narnia; in fact, each book reflects this. Nonetheless, each book does seem to portray one particular deadly sin above the others.

He goes on to explain each one in each book in what I considered a convincing manner. Very interesting and not something I'd ever read before.

My friends Drew and Diane Jones told me about the article because of a series we're doing at our church on money and possessions called Affluenza. This week I'm preaching the first message which will address the danger of greed. Greed is the deadly sin dealt with in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Ironically, I'm right in the middle of reading this book to Emma and Joshua Quinn. They're too young to see the new movie, but they've loved the first three books. Last night we read how the "beastly" Eustace, after sleeping in a dragon's lair with a greedy dragon heart was magically transformed into a dragon himself. My kids got a big kick out of this.

I'll keep you posted on the Affluenza series. Studying this topic is already deeply challenging my own soul and I pray it will serve others. In the meantime, check out the article on Narnia and let me know what you think. And if you have time to post a comment, take a second and tell me your favorite Narnia book. I think mine is A Horse and His Boy, but I'll let you know officially after I've read them all through again with my kids.

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