Squad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. John

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The millenial crowd is the in thing right now. If you know words like “lit”, “bae”, “tbh” or “jk” your the crowd I’m talking to. But beyond the slang , there is something that every generation will eventually face.  Whether you’re a millenial, Generation X or a Baby Boomer, like any other human being, it will come to a point that you’ll ask serious questions of your existence. “Who am I?”, “Why do I exist?”, and “What happens when I die?” are something to ponder out. And it do have a connection to the things we pursue. We connected to Theron St. John to find out what Millenials do when confronted with these “Why” questions on life.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the one mistake most millennials do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: I am not sure I would say this is the one mistake, but a major mistake millennials make in their pursuit is they believe purpose is something they create. In other words, we live in a postmodern day and age where we are told there is no absolute truth. With no absolute truth, there is no ultimate purpose. Truth is relative, and purpose is left up to the individual to create. However, the reality is truth is absolute and it is found in God’s Word. It is in God’s Word we discover the ultimate purpose of life, glorifying God! To state it succinctly, then, millennials make a mistake when they believe they create their own purpose for life rather than understanding they can discover it and find it as it has been revealed by the Creator!

Delighting Grace: What do millennials think about when they hear the word “purpose”?

Theron St. John: When millennials hear the word “purpose”, the question, “Why do I exist?” comes to mind. One encouraging aspect I see from my fellow millennials is the desire to know “why”. They don’t want to go through life living out a meaningless existence. They know there is something bigger than themselves to live for. I think that is, in part, why millennials are viewed more as activists on issues than maybe other and older generations. That said, millennials miss the point on answering why they exist if they believe they are in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Humanity must look to the One who has created life to discover the purpose of life, because there is something more to life than what millennials are living.

Delighting Grace: Some Christians do pray to find purpose which is a great thing. But sometimes they just rely in praying more than pursuing something. So how much praying and pursuing must a Christian do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: This question reminds me of the oft-asked question, “What is God’s will for my life?” You are right to say praying for purpose and understanding of God’s will is a great thing. Most certainly, we should be praying regularly for God to give us wisdom in this. I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which reads, “pray without ceasing”. Following that verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. We see the revealed will of God is found in the Word of God. When it comes to particulars and specific issues in everyday life, we glean wisdom from God’s Word. Without giving a quantity of time, I’ll say this: In our pursuits, our prayer needs to be coupled with the study and application of God’s Word.

Delighting Grace: As a single and a youth pastor, how should a millennial prepare to pursue marriage? How do you prepare yourself in marriage?

Theron St. John: Much could be said on preparing for and pursuing marriage, but if I may paint with broad strokes, I (and any Christian millennial) would be wise to pursue and prepare for marriage by developing and deepening a relationship with God and with His church. Of course, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ must be central and first. What this looks like in practical terms is depending on God in prayer to empower you by the Holy Spirit to make purity a priority in your life and to be wise in romantic relationships. As well, knowing God through His Word will show you where you need to grow in Christlike character and it will shape the qualities you ought to be looking for in a potential spouse (for more of this subject, please click here).

A second relationship a Christian millennial like myself should develop and deepen is with the local church. One of the worst things millennials can do when preparing and pursuing marriage is to neglect the wise counsel of brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians do not live autonomous lives but accountable lives. The place for such accountability is the local church. I know from experience the blessing of wise counsel given to me from faithful friends in the local church. I was delivered from some heartache and poor choices because I heard and heeded the wise counsel of those in my local church.

Delighting Grace: There had been floods of books in the 2000 and until now that attaches the word “purpose”. So how do “Something More” stand out among these “purpose” books.

Theron St. John: Something More stands out because of the book’s aim and audience. The aim of the book is to provide a basic framework for understanding our pursuit, identifying the problems, and pointing to the solution. The book is meant to serve as an evangelistic tool, equipping Christian millennials to take their non-Christian friends through the material. Because the book’s ideal audience involves reaching non-Christians, the book does not explicitly address the matter from a biblical worldview until the end of chapter 3 into chapter 4. In the typical Christian book on this topic, the worldview is stated upfront. My reasoning for the distinct structure is due to my target audience. I wanted to lay down some common denominators in our pursuit before showing how the Word of God exposes our problem and offers the solution. I believe the brevity of the book makes it useful as an evangelistic tool. (You can check selected quotes from the book by clicking here.)

Delighting Grace: I read Something More which is short and a great read. Can you tell us the process of producing that book?

Theron St. John: Since Something More is a self-published book the process was a little more flexible than it may have been otherwise. The idea for the book really started 2 ½ years prior. As I interact with those in my generation, I saw a need to produce a concise resource that would share the gospel in an engaging way. For about a year, I took down notes here and there when ideas on the book would come to mind. From there, the challenge was to write the books in a concise manner. Once I did complete that phase, I had friends who serve in student and campus ministry read the book and offer suggestions. After taking their suggestions, I had a couple of other people give feedback, and they edited the book’s grammar and structure. Case in point, the process of producing a book takes commitment and, if it is be done well, is a community project.

Delighting Grace: Thank you for this opportunity Theron. Please do invite our readers to get a copy of “Something More”. Also invite them to check your blog and social media accounts. 

 Theron St. John: You’re welcome. I am grateful for the opportunity to share and for your graciousness in interviewing me. Below is how you can find more of my writings and connect with ‘Entrusted By God’:

Link to Something More book

Link to Blog: http://www.entrustedbygod.org

Link to FB: www.facebook.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Twitter: www.twitter.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Instagram: www.instragram.com/entrustedbygod

Delighting Grace: Any parting advice to a millennial who is down and can’t find purpose in his or her life?

Theron St. John: My counsel to them would be to examine where they have sought purpose in the past. From there, I would encourage them to recognize the symptoms of their problem but also look for the diagnosis of the problem. Only when the symptoms (fruit problem) lead us to a diagnosis (root problem) can we offer the proper solution. These three elements are covered in chapters 2–5 of Something More. First and foremost, they are revealed in God’s Word. So, if I had to condense the answer in a tweet-size sentence, I would say: If you are down and can’t find purpose, don’t look within yourself but look in God’s Word and look up at the cross of Jesus Christ.

(Theron St. John and the author of this blog also contributes articles on Top Christian Books (TCB Media). Check them out and all other stuff at www.topchristianbooks.online)

 

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The Quotable Round-Up #84

tpn6bjcHowdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “What’s Your Worldview?” by James N. Anderson. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“Indeed, one of the toughest challenges Atheist worldviews face is explaining how anything can be objectively good or bad if there’s no God to serve as the ultimate standard of goodness. The same goes for objective meaning and purpose: if there’s no God, then it seems that the universe can have no ultimate meaning, purpose, or direction. The universe just is what it is and does what it does; there’s really no good or bad about it, objectively speaking.”

“Unpopular though the idea may be today, the Bible teaches the polar opposite of Pelagianism: we are born in a sinful and spiritually dead state, unable to live good moral lives apart from divine grace. Indeed, Jesus himself preached the shocking idea that heaven is for immoral people who admit that they’re bad and cry out for God’s mercy and forgiveness rather than for moral people who think they’re good enough to deserve it.”

“In effect, Skeptics want us to believe that they alone have discerned some universal truth about human knowledge, namely, that there isn’t any human knowledge. But do they claim to know that? If they do, they’re not being consistently skeptical; specifically, they’re not being skeptical about their own claim to know a universal truth. On the other hand, if they say they don’t know that Skepticism is correct, why should we take their position seriously? By their own profession, their opinions about human knowledge are no better than anyone else’s.”

“There’s no way to be a consistent Relativist. Just consider the basic claim of Relativism: “There is no objective truth.” Is that claim itself supposed to be objectively true? If so, it obviously contradicts itself! But if the basic claim of Relativism isn’t objectively true, Relativism seems to forfeit any right to be universally accepted or meaningfully debated.”

“On closer examination, Pluralism turns out to be just as “exclusive” and “intolerant” as many traditional religions, if not more so, simply because it cannot accommodate any religion that rejects its distinctive perspective on religion. If Pluralism is right, other religions must be quite wrong. So much for “live and let live”! By excluding non-Pluralist religions, Pluralism exposes itself as just one more religious viewpoint in competition with all the others.”

“Your worldview represents your most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe you inhabit. It reflects how you would answer all the “big questions” of human existence, the fundamental questions we ask about life, the universe, and everything.”

 

Translating John MacArthur: Delighting Grace Interviews Marlene Legaspi-Munar

 

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photo courtesy of Monergism.com

One of the most anticipated events in MIBF (or Manila International Book Fair) are book launches by some of the best publishing company in the country. It features newly released books the book lovers are anticipating. For OMF Literature this is an opportunity to showcase fresh Christian books for the Filipino readers. One of I think the best release they have is the conversational Tagalog version of two of the most sought after books of John MacArthur.

Recently I have book reviewed Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace which are a must read. The translation is done by author Marlene Legaspi -Munar. So Delighting Grace talked to Ms. Marlene about her latest translation project and more about the two books by John MacArthur.
Delighting Grace: How did you end up with an awesome translation gig?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I started translating years ago when a missionary friend, Mike Gingerich from Action International Ministries, asked me if I would be interested in translating the book The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. I did and I enjoyed the experience. Since then, I’ve translated modules, Bible study materials, and other books. Some of the books I’ve translated were published by CSM Publishing and OMF Literature. The latter published the Taglish (conversational Tagalog) translation of John MacArthur’s Found: God’s Will and Found:God’s Peace. The translated titles are Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace respectively.
Delighting Grace: Prior to the two books you have translated, do you enjoy reading books from John MacArthur?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I’ve read books by John MacArthur before, and have listened to his radio program over at 702 DZAS (a Christian AM station in the Philippines).
Delighting Grace: Which of the two books you have translated is more attached to you personally?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: Usapang God’s Peace is easily a favorite. It covers a topic most of us are interested in: how to overcome uncertainty, worry, and anxiety. The book reminds us to pray with thanksgiving and focus our thoughts on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8). It talks about peace and God’s grace as well. By God’s grace we have been saved, and it is also His grace that enables us to know God and serve Him. And as John MacArthur said, “God’s peace and grace are always available to us”. What a great comfort to know that.
Delighting Grace: Aside from translating the book to make it understandable, what other factors do you consider when translating a book?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: Of course, I have to adhere to the publisher’s style guide when translating. The goal of translating a book from English to Tagalog, or Taglish (combination of Tagalog and English, or also called conversational Tagalog) is to reach a wider audience who appreciate a book written in this language. So I always keep in mind that the goal is to make the book reader-friendly and easily understood while remaining faithful to the message of the source text.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us the process of translating Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace.
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I was offered by Ian Magallona, senior editor of OMF Literature to translate both books, one after the other. I think it took me more than a month to finish translating each book.
Delighting Grace: If you have to choose one between the two, which do you think is the most needed book that our fellow Pinoys needs to read and why?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I believe both books, Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace will speak to many Pinoy because they address different needs. We need to know God’s will for our lives, and we certainly need God’s grace and peace to keep us going each day and to live meaningfully and abundantly.
Delighting Grace: Please invite us to get the copy of the books and also books you have written.
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I hope you get a copy of Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace, the Taglish translations of John MacArthur’s original titles Found: God’s Will and Found: God’s Peace. They’re available at OMF Literature Bookshops and other Christian bookstores.
Aside from these translated titles, you might also want to get a copy of the other books which I’ve written. My latest book is a travel-themed devotional called Traveler’s Notebook: Insights from Life’s Journey published by CSM Publishing. And if you’re a mother seeking how to balance family and work responsibilities, my other book How to be a Happy Working Mom published by OMF Literature could be the book you’re looking for. You can order online How to be a Happy Working Mom from Passages Books through this link.
You can also visit and like my author page on Facebook.

Delighting Grace: One last question, what if one day John MacArthur visited you and thank you for translating his books, how would you react?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: First of all, it’s always an honor to serve God by translating books that communicate God’s will. I’m already blessed translating books by other authors, but a “thank you” from these authors would certainly be an encouragement!

 

The Quotable Round-Up #83

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the late Jerry Bridges book titled “Who Am I?” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The good news of the gospel is that Jesus took our place on God’s death row and actually died in our place to satisfy the justice of God so that God might fully pardon us without violating his justice.”
— Jerry Bridges

“On our good days we think God must surely be pleased with us and is smiling at us. We forget, as we saw earlier, that all our righteous deeds are like polluted garments in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). On our bad days we tend to think we have lost the favor of God because of our sin. We forget that he no longer counts our sin against us because Jesus has already born that sin in his body on the cross.”

“(This) faith is like the two sides of a coin. On one side is “renunciation.” On the other side is “reliance.” In order to trust in Christ we must first of all renounce any trust in our own perceived righteousness. Then we must rely completely on the finished work of Christ in both his life and death. That’s how we are justified.”

“In the plan and purpose of God the Father, he caused Jesus to become sin for us—again, with Jesus’ cooperation, despite the unimaginable anguish and torment involved. God took all of our collective sin down through the ages, all of it, and laid it upon Christ. Every sin that we commit in thought, word, deed, and motive was heaped upon him. He was made to be sin.”

“By his perfectly obedient life over thirty-three years, Christ earned the blessings of God. By his death on the cross he experienced the curse for disobedience. As our representative, all that he did in both his life and death accrues to our benefit.”

“Everything good in me or around me, whether spiritual or material, is a gift from God. More importantly, as one who has trusted in Christ as my Savior, I know that he has taken on himself the accountability for all my sins and has fully paid the penalty for my every act of disobedience.”

“When we begin to answer the question, “Who am I?”, we need to start with the most basic truth about us: we are created beings. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). While being made in God’s image puts us on an entirely different plane from any of the animals, we are still creatures. This makes us both dependent upon God and accountable to God.”

The Digital Round-Up # 19

q5fmhucHey folks! Prepare for another round of the “The Digital Round-Up” as we serve you interesting articles, freebies and videos. And if you’re enjoying this stuff, please do tell us on the comment section. So buckle up and enjoy the thrill.

Free “Pray For your Church” ebook by Mike Leake. Its a “31- Day Prayer Challenge” that helps families on praying for the church to have focus, encouragement, accountability and challenge. The also created a website for this freebie: http://www.31dayprayerchallenge.com/

Why legalism destroys churches and kills Christians – This article shows us how the law in the hands of a sinner has a devastating effect to us Christians and how rightly using it liberates us to such predicament.

What did Jesus Mean by Gates of Hell? – Michael Heiser carefully explains what this passage in Matthew 16: 17-18 and what it means to the church that Jesus built.

5 Ways to Glorify God This Summer (And 1 Way Not To) – Its a hot summer here in the Philippines and aside from hitting the beach there are stuff you can do to glorify God.

How to Talk to Atheist and Skeptics About Jesus – Michael Horton wrote a short excellent article on sparking a conversation about Christ to atheist and skeptics.

The Christian Sabbath – Theology Check looks on the issue of Sabbath and how it affects the Christian and his day of worship.

10 Bible Verses About the Deity of Jesus – A great list of verses that affirms that Jesus is God.

Tim Challies has a new series on which he looks at  great sermons.

 

 

The Quotable Round-Up #82

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from Theron St. John’s book titled “Something More” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at Lulu.com.

“Inquiring about identity is an essential element in finding one’s purpose.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“Understanding the purpose, or aim of life, will enable one to endure the ups and downs of life.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“When someone can identify who they are at the core of their being, when they realize their purpose for life, and when this search for purpose couples with the pursuit of joy, the hoped-for result is to find satisfaction.”– Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“Maybe the reason our relationships, possessions, and achievements fail to provide us with purpose and fulfill us with satisfaction is not because we are searching for what cannot be found. Maybe the issue is not in the objects in and of themselves. Maybe the vanity of our search stems from our ruling desires and expectations. In other words, the problem is not that we are looking for happiness. The problem is that we are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. We settle for lesser things.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

“We can only unearth the root problem in our pursuit when we discover how far we’ve drifted from the grand and glorious purpose for our lives.” — Theron St. John, “Something More” #theronstjohn #somethingmore #purpose #satisfaction #meaning #joy

5 Christian Podcast You Should Be Listening Right Now

yzoppmoHere’s my favorite podcast that had a massive impact to me as a Christian. Listen and enjoy these podcast and don’t forget to connect to them and tell them you like their stuff.

1.) Pastor Discussions Podcast – Imagine two rural pastor from Nebraska share Christian living, doctrine and everything in between. Jon and Joe will talk it out that will make you easily relate to every episode you listen to.

2.) Word Matters – A very helpful podcast hosted by Trevin Wax and Brandon Smith as they tackle difficult Bible passages that often confuse Christians.

3.) Reading Writers – Its all about authors, reading, books and writing hosted Aaron Armstrong and David Schoeder. This newly improved podcast will deliver more solid content to the listeners.

4.) Home Row – Hosted by author J. A. Medders, this podcast is similar to Reading Writers but more focus on writing. Each episode provides tips and advice on how to improve in writing and other aspect of the craft.

5.) Expositor Podcast – Let Dr. Steven Lawson teach you expository preaching. Every episode is 10 minutes or less and won’t eat up your time. Lawson delivers solid and relevant in every angle of expository preaching  which will really equip you and your sermons.