April 2014

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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...

"The Shack," starring Oprah...

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Vindicate the weak and fatherless...

In his own eyes, every man is righteous.

Recently, my wife was having dinner with a large group celebrating the birthday of a dear woman who had reached her ninety-seventh year. One of the men at the table proposed they sing "Happy Birthday," but there was a fly in the ointment: a woman in their group voiced disapproval of such an intrusion in the privacy of others.

Another man at the table responded, "Oh, come on; all of us would be happy to hear a table singing 'Happy Birthday'!" Seeing she'd lost the battle, the table began to sing while the objector got up and walked away. One celebrant announced to the others in the restaurant, "She's ninety-seven!", so of course the whole restaurant joined in the happy chorus. It was very sweet.

When the song was over, the objector returned to the table and my wife asked, "I guess you were making yourself scarce?"

She replied, "I have high morals and I take them very seriously."

This isn't an article on ethnic or regional differences in conviviality...

China comes to faith in Jesus Christ...

Back in 2010, the number of Protestant Christian believers in China had grown to 48,000,000. Projections indicate that, by 2030, China will have slightly under 250,000,000 Protestants and Roman Catholics—more than any other nation. We are seeing confessions of Christian faith by Chinese men and women in Clearnote Church, Bloomington, and we praise God as we watch the Holy Spirit working in Chinese students bringing them to faith.

Bloomberg won't be knock-knock-knocking on Heaven's door...

Therefore pride is their necklace; The garment of violence covers them. Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart run riot.  - Psalms 73:6, 7

A conference for the whole family...

Conferences get a bad rap around here, and for good reason. Generally speaking, conferences tend to be about money and personalities and book sales and money and self-promotion and money and stuff, for instance. They're also a really great opportunity for super-spiritual people to go and listen to their favorite super-apostles so they can feel super-righteous about their super-awesome understanding of supralapsarianism or something like that.

But if you're like me, there are still a few conferences out there that you like the idea of going to...

The invisible graduates...

This article was written by Kate (Yoder '07) Bedinghaus and Heather (Bayly '98) Ummel for the most recent edition of the Taylor University magazine.

Fill in the blank: More Taylor grads work as ________________ than in any other vocation.

  • Teachers
  • Missionaries
  • Youth Pastors
  • Business Professionals

​Answer: It's a trick question. We didn't do a statistical survey, but we're willing to bet the answer is mothers.

As young women at Taylor, our minds were consumed with endless tests, friendships, wing events, and cute boys. There were deeper spiritual questions to ponder. There were decisions about the future to be made. These thoughts left little room for the seemingly faraway possibility of motherhood. The idea of children was filed away under "Someday," after mission work, world travel, and a rewarding career...

He is Risen!

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.

For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1 Corinthians 15:21-26)

PCA's Philadelphia Presbytery overtures General Assembly to study women elders...

From the blog of Pastor Andrew Dionne of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Spartansburg, South Carolina:

No need for a study committee...

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.

Shared e-mail addresses...

Our church has a policy that pastors and elders, at least, must have a personal e-mail address other church officers may use with confidence that the officer is the only one who will read e-mails received at that address. It's a necessary policy for churches, but sometimes officers balk at it and try to do church business from an e-mail address they share with their wives. This is the reason this excerpt from a recent TidBITS article on e-mail addresses struck my funny bone...

Visualize impeachment...

Last week an NPR pundit opined on the U.S. Supreme Court’s strategy to impose sodo-matrimony on the nation. Speaking of last summer’s decision to overturn only part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the pundit explained the High Court “didn’t want to get too far out in front of the people.” This sort of cant is supposed to lull us into believing that We the People and our Injustices are headed in the same direction toward the Promised Land of sexual liberation and tolerance. In other words, the Injustices are in the vanguard as they appeal to the better angels of our nature to acquiesce in homosexual marriage. With gentle nudges, they’re only accelerating the transition from our budding, enlightened inclinations toward actions we would eventually take anyway.

In reality, for the last fifty years the Supreme Court has exercised a debasing cultural and spiritual influence on our nation. Any moral capital the Court won in outlawing segregation in 1954 was years ago forfeited as it rampaged through state law after state law after state law erected to protect the weak and innocent. Abortionists, murderers and rapists on death row, and pornographers have been frequent recipients of the Supreme Court’s solicitude and succor. Then as if that weren’t enough, in the 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas, homosexuals were enshrined in the constitutional Pantheon. The Court has an insatiable appetite for strong delusion.

A more honest pundit would have said that...

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