Microwavable Moka Pot - One method of brewing coffee that I’ve never been interested in trying is the moka pot. I’ve heard too many stories of bad coffee resulting from such a device. I’d love to have one for displaying in my collection of coffee accouterments, but not necessarily to use. A couple of German brothers decided to make one that works in the microwave. Good idea or not?
Deleted Wikipedia – You have to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt. If anyone can change the information on the page, I have to question its reliability. Useless, yet humorous, pages that were deleted also hurt its credibility. But they are amusing.
Bottled History – I love seeing and hearing of people who are dedicated to something consistently. This guy has been building ships inside bottles for years. The video is pretty captivating, but I’m sure I’d never have the patience to do this myself.
Why Christians Should Read Fiction – I enjoy a good story. Every now and then, I have to set aside whatever it is I’m reading and pick up something fictional, usually when Ted Dekker releases a new book. Here’s a great article explaining why adding fiction to your reading schedule regularly is important.
A Scary Confluence Of Trends – The average age of marriage is trending older. Yet the average age of the first born child isn’t. That’s frightening, frankly, especially as I consider my own children. What and how I teach them about marriage, sexuality and purity has never been more critical.
The State Of The Bible In 2013 – The Barna Group has released an interesting infographic on the state of the Bible in America today. This is interesting because their conclusion is that the Bible remains a major source of influence in many people’s lives. And yet we seem to be on a speeding train away from God and morality culturally. There’s a major disconnect there somewhere. This info is interesting, but I think there’s more to be seen.
The truly wise man is he who always believes the Bible against the opinion of any man. – R. A. Torrey
Paul’s explanation of God’s desire for all men to be saved is directly tied to his call to prayer. And he will finish that thought in this week’s passage. But first, Paul seems to go into a bit of an explanation concerning his own calling. You can see it in 1 Timothy 2:7-8:
There seem to be two separate thoughts going on in these two verses. The NIV and other translations separate these two into different paragraphs. However, I think verse eight wraps up Paul’s thoughts on prayer quite nicely, before he moves on to other aspects of public worship in the following verses.
But before he finishes off that thought, he refers to his own calling as an emphasis of God’s desire for all to be saved. He uses three terms to describe himself.
- A herald: This is one who publicly proclaims a message.
- An apostle: One sent on a mission. In fact, he received this mission directly from Christ himself in Acts 9:1-19.
- A teacher: This term seems to emphasize instruction and exhortation, in contrast to the first term, referring more to evangelism.
As a result of these indicators of his authority, Paul declares his desire is similar to that of God’s; he wants us to pray for the salvation of all men. Verse eight concludes his thoughts here on prayer, though the next section is linked to public worship as well.
A few years ago, a friend gave me a copy of After The Flood, by Bill Cooper. I was fascinated, and read through the entire book, appendices and all, in a couple of evenings. It was full of research and details about what happened just after Noah’s Flood, and how mankind was forced to spread out across the face of the earth after God’s actions at the Tower of Babel.
I loved the information presented in After The Flood. But I wasn’t aware of much else along the same lines until recently.
A few days ago, I received a copy of Bodie Hodge‘s Tower of Babel. Once again, I devoured this book, cover to cover, in just a couple of evenings. I simply couldn’t put it down.
Check out the Master Book book trailer to see what I mean:
Tower of Babel is packed full of tons of incredible information. And after reading it, one has to wonder how mankind can continue to deny God’s existence and involvement throughout history.
One of my favorite sections of Scripture is the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5, 6 and 7. Some of Jesus’ best known teachings come from these three chapters. And many of the topics he speaks of in these verses have become very familiar to us.
Too familiar, maybe.
From turning the other cheek to being a city on a hill. From treasures in heaven to judgment. From divorce, murder, and adultery to giving, worry and fasting. There are the wise and foolish builders, the narrow and wide gates, and the passage telling us to ask, seek, knock. And then there are the Beatitudes.
While most of these passages are straight forward and can be taken at face value, the Beatitudes seem to stump us. The Beatitudes seem vague and general. Are they a stair-step progression of what a Christian should be? Or are they deeper than that? Or, perhaps, is it much more simple than that?
These are some of the questions that have always bothered me as I read these short verses. I’ve landed on the general belief that they are a progression that we go through as Christians as we grow, but even so, that understanding seems to leave something behind. It doesn’t quite explain this passage of Jesus’ words satisfactorily.
Until now. Until I read Crucifying Morality, by R. W. Glenn.
Because of my love for the rest of these chapters, and when I saw that this book might help explain the purpose of the first section, I had to read it.
And I’m glad I did.
Crucifying Morality is a deep examination of the Beatitudes, looking at them in a totally new light. These eight statements aren’t steps to follow, or phases we go through. They are, quite simply, the Gospel in a nutshell. Jesus makes these eight declarations and stuns us when we actually get a good look at what he’s saying, and not what we think he’s saying.
Too often, we try to do our own thing. Even in the realm of our faith, we tend to think that if we just do more, or do it better, we can somehow please God and take a step closer to salvation.
But Jesus makes it clear: nothing we can do will get us there. He had to do what needed to be done; he had to crucify our morality, so that we could depend upon his grace to do what we could never do on our own.
One Perfect Life is one of those resources.
One Perfect Life is a harmony of the four gospels. Where most harmonies use a column format, showing the events and occurrences of each of the four gospels in separate columns, One Perfect Life has blended the four gospels into one continuous story.
This is immensely helpful, especially as you read through the gospels, and allows you to see just how the life and ministry of Jesus unfolded.
Included in One Perfect Life are a harmony of study notes from the John MacArthur Study Bible. I’ve been using this Bible for the past couple of years and have found these notes to be amazingly helpful.
Not only does One Perfect Life contain the life and ministry of Jesus, it also bookends the life of Christ with several key passages that anticipate the Messiah, as well as reflections from the rest of the New Testament that further reveal God’s purposes in Christ.
This book will be a tool that I keep handy as I study and teach the gospel in my ministry. In fact, I’ve already found it to be incredibly helpful in just the few short days I’ve had it.
I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of One Perfect Life and read it. It will help you understand the flow and order of Christ’s life and ministry more fully, both for yourself and for those you may teach.
Have you ever used a harmony of the gospels? How did you find it helpful? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.“