Monday, June 23, 2008

Inviting all Florida Friends

Florida friends, we will be in Orlando this weekend. Our dear friends, the Wheatleys, have secured their clubhouse for a little informal get together. So, we will be at the Cypress Springs Clubhouse from 2-5 PM on Sunday. Hope to see many of you there. Of course, we will be at UPC for worship that morning, which will feel really, really strange, but we are looking forward to it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer Reading

Because of moving and starting a new job, I have done very little reading this past year, other than sermon preparation. However, I plan to get caught up this summer. Here are some of the books I am reading, or plan to read.

The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross: Insights from an Arab Christian by Nabeel Jabbour (NavPress). I am about two-thirds of the way through this book. It is very insightful and challenging. In addition, Nabeel is a member of V7PC. He graciously comes by my office about once a month to explain to me the Muslim worldview. The book will challenge your thinking about Muslims. Even more, I hope it will provoke us to view Muslims through love and the cross rather than merely through fear and the news media.

Communion with the Triune God, by John Owen, edited by Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor (Crossway). I am nearing the halfway point of this book. I must confess that I really struggle to read Owen. Most of the time, I would rather read someone who has read Owen than read him myself. However, Kapic and Taylor have done a wonderful job of making this book more accessible. Kapic's introduction and Taylor's outline help keep you on track. I am reading this one very slowly, but there are many gems in it as Owen helps the reader to contemplate the beauty and majesty of the Trinity.

Also, I plan to read a couple of books recommended to me by friends on the topic of evangelism; Going Public with Your Faith by Peel and Larrimore and The Insiders by Petersen and Shamy.

Others in my book bag for the summer are A Quest for More by Paul Tripp, The Ascent of a Leader, by Thrall, McNicol, and McElrath, and, hopefully some sort of non-fiction book for fun that captures my eye at Barnes and Noble.

Preaching at Village Seven

Last Sunday, I concluded my series on 1 Peter. It had been 17 years since I last studied that book. None of my study from back then carried over. I truly enjoyed studying it again. If I had it to do over again, I would have taken longer to go through it.

Now that we are finished with 1 Peter, many have asked, "What's Next?" During the summer, I will be preaching on a few different topics before I start our next book series in the fall. Here are some of the topics we will cover:

June 15 - Work Hard, Rest Easy - a look at God's gift of the Sabbath in Exodus 16:13-30.

June 22 - Religion and Politics: What's a Christian To Do? (Proverbs 31:1-9). I was going to preach this right before the General Election. However, after talking with some others, that might be too late to be relevant. So, I moved it up to June.

July 13 - August 10 - Encountering God in Worship - This will be a mini-series on worship. In this series, we will look at several different Scriptures, including Psalm 63, John 12, John 4, and Isaiah 6.

During the summer, I spend much of my time studying in preparation for my sermon series for the fall through spring. I plan to do a short series (4-6 weeks) on Ecclesiastes. Despite being nearly 3000 years old, Ecclesiates speaks directly to contemporary people. It is challenging to non-Christians who live as if this world is all there is. It is also challenging to Christians because we have bought into our culture's worldview on so many levels.

After Ecclesiastes, I will begin a series on the book of Genesis.