Exploring a new church plant in Cincinnati...

Outwardly, there was nothing special about church this Sunday. Yet it filled me with joy. Planned by David Abu-Sara and led by David Pryor, it was a beautiful service. How thankful to God I am for His allowing me serve as pastor of Clearnote Church, Indy. In one sense, Sunday made me sad to think about leaving Indianapolis. Who would want to leave behind the sweet fellowship of a fruitful church? Yet talking to my wife Heidi Sunday afternoon, I told her I was more excited than ever to leave. The church has been established and is growing. Faithful men have been ordained and installed as elders. There is a sweet spirit of love and faith and repentance. Our work here is gradually coming to an end.

The thought of leaving was a bit of a shock last year when it first came to me. But as I began to discuss it with others and sought their counsel, it became more and more clear that God is calling us to plant another church. I've asked Clearnote Indy to prepare to send me out in early 2015, hopefully to Cincinnati, OH...

3 million customer credit cards stolen from Michaels stores...

michaels.jpgMany of the ladies at Clearnote Church like to shop at Michaels, and the crafts retailer has just announced a security breach at a number of their stores nationwide. It looks like the Bloomington store is on the list for having been breached, as are a number of Indianapolis and Toledo stores.

If you have shopped at Michaels during the specified timeframe, watch your credit card charges over the next few weeks and be sure to report anything you don’t recognize. I recommend reading this post by Brian Krebs explaining the incident. Then, I would also recommend reading his article, Are Credit Monitoring Services Worth It? It turns out that credit card monitoring services are mostly worthless. Credit card fraud and identify theft are no fun, however, and there are some pretty basic things you can do to protect yourself against them.

A few updates from Clearnote Fellowship...

A few exciting things to announce from Clearnote Fellowship, today:


First, early bird registration for our summer conference is now live at Here are five quick reasons to be the first to sign up:

  1. We’ve invited Doug Wilson to join our plenary speakers and the last time we had Doug in Bloomington it was, well, exciting. Who knows what will happen this go around?
  2. We’re addressing faith and life in the public square—what it means to be public Christians. It's a hot issue and one we hope to open up in really practical ways through both our plenary and breakout sessions.
  3. Our summer conference is, first and foremost, a family conference. That means we want you to bring your kids. See it as a mini-vacation, really. We have activities, games, and times of instruction dedicated to kids from the nursery through junior high. We call it Camp Clearnote, and it’s a lot of fun.
  4. We were operating close to capacity at last year’s summer conference. Which means we fully expect to close registration early. Don’t get left behind. Or if you’re post-mill and stuff, do, but in a good way.
  5. We may or may not have some fun goodies for you to take home. But we’re not spoiling any surprises here.

Second, we had a great time at our recent pastors conference...

How to opt-out of the new Dropbox terms of service...

Recently, Dropbox updated its terms of service. There is a whole lot of legalese in there that few people have the stomach, or ability, to wade through and understand. Dropbox helpfully put up a blog post to explain the new terms of service here.

However, this blog post came to my attention. Here are the salient points:

No matter what they do (delete your data, privacy breach, overcharging, whatever), you don’t get to sue. Instead, THEY get to choose the arbitrator according to whatever criteria they want, and thus any dispute is decided by someone they’re paying.

Also, you can’t join a class-action suit against them. Which sounds like no big deal, but when a company takes advantage of a bunch of people all in the same small way (incorrectly assessing a service charge, for example), class action is how companies are made to clean up their act en masse, instead of waiting for thousands of people to call them up and demand their $20 back or whatever.

Yikes! If you're inclined to opt-out of the new terms of service, you have until March 24, 2014 to do so. You can opt out by clicking here (you will be required to login to your dropbox account).

C'mon ring those bells--better yet, join us...

Christmas is coming quickly, and we've been preparing... 

Four weeks from tonight, on December 11, 2013, Christ the Word will host its 2013 Christmas Concert. This year we're taking our celebration up a notch and we invite you to be part of it! It will be an evening of all-out rejoicing as we sing of  and celebrate the birth of Jesus!  Plan to join us. Invite your friends. It's going to be a great evening. December 11th | 7:00PM | Christ the Word | 3100 Murd Rd. Sylvania, OHFREE

We have work to do for future generations...

Tomorrow is commitment Sunday here at Clearnote Church in Bloomington, and we're going to have a party. We've talked about our Faithful Through All Generations capital campaign enough, and it is now time to make pledges and bring our initial offerings. God has been very gracious to us through the years, and we trust that He will continue to be gracious.

The video above was made by Nate Crum to give people an idea of what goes on at our church on any given week. Our congregation saw it last weekend and it was an encouragement to us. Enjoy!

Faithful Through All Generations...

As promised, here's more information on Clearnote Church, Bloomington's Faithful Through All Generations capital campaign:

If you'd like to contribute, you can do so right here: Thanks!

A sneak peek...

Here's a little sneak peek at some of the rumblings happening at Clearnote Church, Bloomington. More to come.

Come to the Clearnote Summer Conference; learn to love the Church

Many are watching the Supreme Court this week to see what it will tell us about marriage and race relations. What will our justices rule on equality in this country? How will their decisions affect our lives? We watch and wait because their words bear weight. They carry authority. We won't escape the implications of what they declare.

Of course, for Christians there is a higher truth and the place God is pleased for us to hear, understand, and live this truth is the Church. Thus God names His Church "the pillar and foundation of the truth."

But we are quick to run to anything else; to campus Bible studies, to home churches, to a church that couldn't and wouldn't offend us; to a place called "church" where we won't have to confess our sins and listen as others confess theirs.

A church where we won't need to encourage others as they suffer because there is no sin or suffering. A church where brothers wouldn't think of admonishing or rebuking one another. To tell the truth...

Clearnote Summer Conference: your children will love it...

“She is our mother.” What a description of the Church—God’s gift to us, His adopted sons, for our care, discipline, and nurture. In a world that hates the Church, we need to stand as witnesses to God’s faithfulness. What better witness do we have than when we love some of the most precious God gives us: children! 
Camp Clearnote

The Clearnote Summer Conference is designed to love, teach, and care for the whole body—especially the very youngest. While mothers and fathers are sitting under the preaching of the Word, your children will be taught and challenged with Bible lessons explaining God’s purposes and works through Camp Clearnote.

We have a busy, fun, and profitable time planned for children of every age.

For our littlest ones, ages 0-3, we have age-appropriate facilities and caring volunteers. With a ratio of less than five children per childcare worker, you can know that your child will have the attention he needs. Even if it is your first time with us, you and your children will feel right at home...

Register now for the Clearnote Fellowship 2013 Summer Conference...

Clearnote Fellowship is excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2013 Summer Conference, "She is Our Mother," to be held July 5th and 6th in Bloomington, Indiana. The theme of this year's conference builds on the 2012 Summer Conference, "I Believe in God the Father Almighty."

Christians in America today reject the fatherhood of God by gagging His word and those who proclaim it. They also scoff at the truth that any true son of God must have the church as his mother. When elders are diligent in their care for the sheep, we often refuse their care, bleat, and run off—away from our mother!

In the 3rd century AD, Cyprian of Carthage wrote: “You cannot have God as your Father unless you have the church for your Mother.” In his Institutes, Calvin writes: "But because it is now our intention to discuss the visible church, let us learn even from the simple title of 'mother' how useful, indeed how necessary, it is that we should know her."

Useful and necessary, indeed! Christ's church is the mother of all those chosen by God for salvation so join us as we sit under preaching focussed on what our relationship should be to this Mother God has given us, and what it means for her to be reformed in our own age.

The Clearnote Summer Conference is like none other! Our habit is to preach the Word of God rather than to give lectures and talks. We welcome children...

2013 Clearnote Pastors Conference audio...

If you missed the 2013 Clearnote Fellowship Pastors Conference, you missed a great time. If you're an officer in Christ's church, we hope you'll join us at next year's conference. To whet your appetite, here are the audio recordings of this year's conference from the Clearnote Fellowship website.

Engaged at last...

Last night Niek and Therese Schreuder hosted a party in celebration of the engagement of their daughter, Réze (pronounced reesa), to our son Taylor. What Christmas joy!

In Calvin's Geneva, couples were banished if their engagement lasted longer than six weeks. We held a family council some years back and decided the Bayly limit would be six months. A summer wedding is planned.


Clearnote SongbookTo reform the Church is to reform her worship.

Everything about our worship indicates our reverence, zeal, and love toward the Triune God; or alternately, our flippancy and indifference. Hearts aflame for God cry out for men to preach the Word, read Scripture, pray, and sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with zeal. Sadly, though, worship today is aimed at the mind or the heart. It's intellect or passion--never both. When there is zeal, it's rarely "in accordance with knowledge." And those claiming knowledge make a principle out of their absence of zeal.

Five hundred years ago, John Calvin worked to reform every part of the Church's worship. We must give ourselves to this same work today.

That's why I'm very thankful to announce The men behind the Songbook--Jody Killingsworth, Philip Moyer, and the Good Shepherd Band, along with Ben Crum, Joseph Bayly, and Lucas Weeks--have put together a site that is a call to reform our worship. The Clearnote Songbook is jam-packed with goodies to help in that work...

Save the date...

2013 Clearnote Pastors ConferenceOn Thursday, February 21st and Friday, February 22nd, Clearnote Fellowship is holding its 2nd annual pastors conference titled "Preach the Word" at Clearnote Church, Bloomington, IN. If you are (or aspire to be) a pastor, elder, or deacon, I hope you'll come. And if you're not an officer, would you please encourage your own pastors, elders, and deacons to attend? In fact, pay for them to go. It will be a wonderful gift to them and your church. Register now.

Here is the line-up...

Changes to Baylyblog...

Just now, I have disabled threading on comments. Threaded comments seem to work on some sites, but we have found them to be very difficult to follow here on Baylyblog. So, after discussion with Tim, we have turned them off. All comments will now be posted in order time submitted, with the comments submitted the earliest at the top.

I have also disabled the ability to add a comment title. There is, obviously, some loss of information as a result, but we're convinced it will improve comments overall.

Comments are central to the work done here on the Baylyblog, and our writers consider comments very carefully. If you haven't already, please take some time to look over the rules about comments. A link to the rules about comments appears above each comment box on this site.

We have some more changes coming down the pike for the Baylyblog, so stay tuned. It just so happens that we have been busy at work on another project recently...

Please join us this evening for dedication of Christ the Word's new church house...

MapFrontMainNorthAtriumAtrium 2SanctuaryAwningSignUpstairs

Christ the Word, Toledo, dedicates its new church house to the Lord this Sunday evening, June 17, at 6:30 pm.

Our new church house is located on twenty acres across Central Avenue from the 600-acre Secor Metropark, and it features:

  • Over 3,000 square feet of nursery space, with two children's bathrooms (instead of two tiny rooms)
  • Private offices for each staff member (instead of multiple individuals shoehorned into every available room)
  • 75,000 square feet total floor space, 45,000 developed 
  • 4,000 square feet of junior and senior high meeting rooms
  • 14 classrooms, in addition to youth and nursery spaces
  • A shower for those who ride their bikes to work...

"I believe in God the Father Almighty"...

Here's a post by Michael Foster giving you four good reasons to make plans now to attend the 2012 Clearnote Fellowship Conference, "I Believe in God the Father Almighty."

A technical introduction to the new BaylyBlog

In my previous post, I introduced BaylyBlog readers to a few of the new features of the site. In this post, I will introduce a few of the technical details:

  • We are using a slightly modified LAMP stack. Instead of Apache, we're using Ngnix as our server to improve overall performance of our sites. The rest is pretty standard: Ubuntu Linux, MySQL, and PHP.
  • Joseph got a head start on me on this one, but I'll add it here also: we are running Apache Solr on a separate VPS to handle all the indexing and retrieval of content.

Welcome to the new BaylyBlog!

Joseph, Ben and I are very happy to present the new BaylyBlog! We hope you like what we've done to the place. Please take some time to look around. And while you check out the new design—I think Ben did a bang-up job, myself—you can also take advantage of a few of the new features: