Book Review “Revolutionary Work” by William Taylor

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If you can’t stop singing “Everything is Awesome” because of the cover that reminds you about the Lego movie, then it’s OK.  Because this book is indeed awesome!

Revolutionary Work tackles on the biblical view of work. This book is based on a series presented at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate by William Taylor. Revolutionary Work shows us the work as God’s gift because of our stewardship role in creation. Therefore, it is essential to us. Also it shows a balanced view of it as all vocations are equal and we should not call one as “special”. Despite of being a gift from our Creator, futility can be seen as we are fallen humans as we toil for ourselves, our family and for God’s mandate. However, work should be done knowing God is our boss and the means for us to bring the gospel to our co-workers.

There are four chapters which are a bit long but you can read their summaries at the end of each chapters, which is cool. If you want to skip all of it and distill the essentials, you should go for the summaries.  However, as much as possible read all of it.  The indexes and the Q and A section are must reads also, so don’t put this book down yet.

I love how Taylor’s treatment of  John 4 on the work of God which is the end goal of all our work. The work of God meaning evangelism. That’s on chapter four, which for me is the most engaging part of the book.

All in all Revolutionary Work, though it’s a slim volume, delivers a meaty content that you can find in a thick book. So this is my third time to give 10 of Those and this book a two thumbs up! Now sing some more “Everything is Awesome”

My verdict:

5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “The Sacred Art of Joking” by James Cary

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It’s been a busy weekend because my father in law was admitted in the hospital due to kidney failure. Please pray for him for recovery and financial support.

Anyways, here are 8 favorite quotes from James Cary’s book The Sacred Art of Jokingpublished by Inter Varsity Press.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or at the author’s website.

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“clichés have a grain of truth in them. Jokes rely on clichés and stereotypes, and this can easily be the cause of offence”

“the impression is given that any laughter in church will only ever come from the preacher and never from the Bible itself. This will perpetuate the stereotype that the Bible is always sombre and stern when that is not the case. The result will be that comedy will continue to be seen as a deviation from scripture, and something transgressive.”

“The Church needs an antidote for the barbed and pointed jokes made at her expense, some of which are undoubtedly justified. For a shift in culture to be sustainable, this revivial must spring from the foundational.”

“If the preacher repeatedly uses his or her own comic gifts and gets the congregation to laugh, what does that say about the comic potency of the scriptures?”

“Having been exposed to the extraordinary miracles of Jesus from a young age, many Christians have essentially been inoculated against seeing the humour in the gospel accounts.”

“Modern-day Christians who only want to focus on the lovely and the pure run the risk of trying to be holier than Jesus.” “

“There are other reasons for my concerns on starting with a joke, but here is the one most relevant to the matter in hand: it undermines the idea that comedy can be found in scripture itself. “

“Comedy has the power to awaken feelings of outrage or laughter. Either way, the response is immediate and vocal.”

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “To Fly To Serve” by Adrian Reynolds

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It’s the mid week and I hope you’re enjoying God in everything you are doing. Maybe you’re at the office busy (like my wife) or at home (like me taking care of our baby daughter). God is the God even in the mundane. If fact, the ordinary can be extraordinary when you do it for the glory of God.

Anyways, here are 8 favorite quotes from Adrian Reynolds book To Fly To Servepublished by 10 Publishing. My book review can be read by clicking this link.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by clicking to 10 Publishing.

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“Remember, your role as speaker is to get from the page of the text to the heart of the hearers.”

“…any Bible speaker in any setting must be prayerfully dependent on the power of the Spirit in their preparation and delivery, beforehand and afterwards. Only when he is at work will anything happen.”

“You can start badly, and even finish badly, but still deliver a good talk overall. However, if the middle section’s content is not there, even the best introduction and sparkiest ending will leave your hearers cold and empty.”

“Your task, as pilot of this Bible talk, is to get the truth from the page of the Bible to the heart of your hearers. Get that bit wrong and your Bible talk is not a Bible talk at all.”

” those of us who are piloting the Bible talks are doing so in complete and utter dependence on The Company: in our case, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit.”

“With careful and prayerful preparation, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the talk you are about to give may have exactly the same effect, or even better, than if Piper, Keller or Roberts was standing in front of your audience.”

” a Bible talk is not over until listeners are left thinking about what the main teaching and application is for them personally.”

“A Bible talk is easiest, let’s be honest, if your listeners are all in the same boat. But in most normal churches and settings that’s unlikely to be the case. You’re more likely to be speaking to a mixed lot.”

 

 

 

 

 

8 More Favorite Quotes From The Book “Raising Your Kids in a ‘You Can Do It!’ World” by Paul Tautges

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I really enjoyed reading the book Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World and it’s a great resource for parents in raising their children. So here’s a second serving of 8 favorite quotes from Paul Tautges book Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World, published by 10 Publishing.  I wrote a review of this book in case you missed it. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by clicking to 10 Publishing or Amazon link.

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“The fear of the Lord begins in the heart, with our attitude. Like every other attitude, it works itself out in how we live and love. “

“Since the Bible consistently argues that all behavior flows from the heart, we must see our role as spiritual shepherds of the hearts of our children. “

“As parents, we should ask ourselves if our kids see in us an awe for God. In the way we speak and live, they need to see our reverence for the Lord.”

“Our goal should be to raise not self-confident children, but God-dependent adults.”

“Our kids don’t need perfect parents. They need parents who know how desperately they need the Savior themselves”

“Never, never lose the wonder of God’s great mercy. Be so thrilled with the gospel that your children will never be mistaken as to who you love most. “

“Make church attendance such a habit that there’s never a need for your kids to ask, “Dad, Mom, are we going to church tomorrow?”

“Seeing God as awesome naturally leads to adoration, humility, and submission.”

 

Book Review: “To Fly To Serve” by Adrian Reynolds

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Getting this book and starting to read it I was puzzled on what this book is about.  The word Bible talk didn’t help me grasp what To Fly To Serve  is all about. In my mind I thought this book, is about sparking a talk about the Bible while on board a plane. I also thought this book is about how pilots or crews can live up being a Christian in their profession. Well it took me a couple pages before I realized that its not striking a spiritual conversation on a plane nor Christians in the workplace. To Fly To Serve is book about sermon or message preparations that will make an impact to your listener.

To Fly To Serve Reynolds is so spot on in trying to convey the message of the book. Using how airlines works all through out the book is a very creative, unique and it makes it easy to digest in the mind. Reynolds really nailed it and manage to glue you till the end of this book. Reading it at the initial pages you might not connect on what Reynolds is talking about, but you’ll get the hang of it as you read further.

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To Fly To Serve is focus on how to deliever your message and not about the content of your sermon. Reynolds provides the step by step and also the ups and downs in preparing a good message that will stick to your hearers.

A quick guide on how to prepare for preaching or teaching in the ministry, To Fly To Serve is a great resource for Christians. This short book definitely will decluter the preparations of a message that sometimes we find complicated and messy. Both seasoned and novice will benefit from this book.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

Book Review: Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World by Paul Tautges

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Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World explores the importance of affirming your kids self-worth by pointing them away from themselves to God.  The secular world may praise our children for their talents and look,s but as parents what does the Bible say? How can we show the biblical view of who we are (sinners) in such away it won’t turn our kids to chase the world for affirmation but reinforces parents that these truth will draw them near to the one who trully awesome, God.   It’s an important subject and you might say it’s a tricky one to answer. However, Tautges superby gives biblical truths and practical through it 8 signpost. This brief book is well though out map that will help you see that God is concern with nurturing our kids self-image.

I haven’t read the whole series and I can only say my opinion on Paul Tautges book. However, by just reading this book, you’ll consider the books in this series.

You can actually read Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World in one sitting and then apply it immediately. It’s brief enough not to get you overwhelmed by the wisdom Tautges shares, but not short that finishing the book that will leave you scratching your head  and wondering what you just have read. Tautges is spot on unpacking biblical truth and excellent in giving practical tips for parents. You’ll get excited reading and applying this book.

Short, clear and biblically solid, Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World is a must read for every parents who wants to rear their children in biblical principles without being a complicated map that will leave you in confusion. Paul Tautges laser focus book will do a great job for parents who doesn’t know where to start or in a middle of a parenting maze.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

Arts and Works: Delighting Grace Interviews Quits Sabio

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While searching for pastors with sermons online for my blog series, a friend recommended me to consider Quits Sabio. Although he has not audio or video online, a pastor having a blog is a plus for me. As I check him out, look at his blog and his websites, I’m impress with his bi-vocation career. And I think many will consider it a cool job. Also he with his wife is into painting. So an interview must happen :-). And here it is.   We ask Quits about being a game developer, the industry, him being bi-vocation and the biblical view of creativity and arts.

Delighting Grace: Hello pastor. Can you tell us something about yourself?

Quits Sabio: I’m Enriqueto Sabio, but you may call me Quits. A husband to Malou and a father to our only princess, Amara. I’m bi-vocational; an elder at Sovereign Mercy Evangelical Church (SMEC) for almost 5 years now, and the current Technical Director of Funguy Studio. My wife and I love music and arts. In our spare time, we paint and play some music together.

Delighting Grace: How is the game developers industry here in the Philippines? How did you get into the job? It seems to be a dream job for some.

Quits Sabio: Game development industry in the Philippines is booming. Partly because of the height of mobile market here, and we have a lot of creative minds who worked on popular international titles in the recent decade. Not only that, most of our development companies offer diverse services. Spanning from games and onto enterprise applications, and multiple platforms such as mobile (ios, android, windows), console, pc/mac, vr/ar and many more.

How did I get into the job? I just posted some of my prototypes online after graduation, then one day I received a phone call from them. That’s how it happened and It is all grace. This is my first job and I haven’t left ever since.

Delighting Grace: What are the ups and down in your secular career?

Quits Sabio: The downside in my profession as a game developer is the constant need to meet the demands of our clients. Sometimes they’ll call you even on weekends or holidays just because there’s a bug in the game that needs fixing. But the upside is high pay grade. Definitely worth the effort. That is why by God’s grace I’m able to provide a little help in lifting some of the burden from our local church financially. Having said that, I still find some time to minister to God’s flock and be with my family. The other downside though is that sometimes I missed important company meetings and outings, because weekend is non negotiable for me.

Delighting Grace: So you’re a pastor and has secular work. And you manage to blog too. How do you manage being bi-vocational?

Quits Sabio: Currently, I only work three times a week in the office, and twice I have to work from home. With that setup, by God’s grace, I can still lead a bible study every Monday, prayer meeting on a Friday, a monthly visitation for each family, and corporate worship on a Sunday. For sermon preparation, I allocate an hour or so each day to read and be familiarized with the text and then I’ll work on my manuscript for the whole day of Friday and Saturday. That’s what my week looks like regularly. Of course that’s not always the case when I was just starting out on both of my vocations. I struggled a lot because I had to work at the office five times a week. But through God’s providence, eventually I got promoted, and so now I have the luxury of time.

I think the best way to manage your time is to prioritize what’s most important, namely God, then everything will fall into its right places.

Delighting Grace: Wow that’s indeed God’s providence. Pastor, your work requires being creative as well as artistic.  So what’s the biblical view of creativity and arts?

Quits Sabio: A biblical view of creativity and arts is not that far from how we view objective reality around us. Just like how nature reveals the glory of God and His invisible attributes, a true art must reflect the  Author of the good, the true and the beautiful. In other words, there really is such a thing as beautiful artwork and an ugly artwork, good music and bad music. I don’t buy the secular mentality that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. That it’s all subjective. Yes, we may respond to it subjectively, but the criteria for good art is not subjective. There are some criteria for beauty such as form, symmetry and asymmetry, color harmony, contrast and values(light and shadows). It must represent truth even though what you’re portraying is a fiction. Meaning, behind the imagery are objective realities. And if it is to be good, it must either explicitly or implicitly reflect God’s holy character. So just as there’s a standard for morality, there’s also a standard for beauty, namely God.

Delighting Grace: What are the common misconceptions of arts & creativity held by Christians?

Quits Sabio: One common misconception that comes to my mind is the idea that for an artwork to be considered as “Christian Art”, the subject must be biblical figures and events. That is not the case though. Art can be considered a “Christian Art” as long as the Christian artist did it to glorify God. To quote R.C. Sproul; “art is its own justification.” If it attest to God’s beauty and majesty, then it is a Christian art.

Second, as I mentioned earlier, is the notion that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. God himself declared that his creation was good only after he brought order to the void of Genesis 1:2. Also when God commissioned the construction of the temple, He gave precise materials, measurements, colors and form.

Thirdly, and probably the most controversial one, is the issue of portraying the Son of God in paintings, sculptures and even in movies. To understand the issue better, I would encourage you to read the article “Graven Images” from Ligonier.

In the article Robert Letham said;

“Where We Agree. Reformed theology believes in icons too. The idea of image (eikôn) is a biblical category — man made in the image of God, Christ the image of the invisible God. However, beyond this, everything is iconic for the Reformed. God has imprinted evidence of His own beauty and glory throughout creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1–2). What Calvinism did was to enable a this-worldly appreciation of beauty. By eliminating art and sculpture from church worship, it drove it into the world, placing the aesthetic in the context of general revelation, as the witness to God in the world rather than as the focus of the worship of God in the church.”

Basically, what he’s saying is that creating icons or images of any sort is not evil in itself, as long as it’s meant to point us to God within the realm of general revelation. Like how the natural world points us to His glory, and not to replace Him as the object of adoration within the context of church worship. Having said that, the debate rages on even within the Reformed camp to this day. So one must be careful when handling this issue. I for one, don’t paint images of Christ and don’t own one. But when I’m watching movies that does portray Jesus, or when I expressed admiration to the artistry involved in Da Vinci’s Last Supper, I know that I’m not worshipping those images. I know that it’s just an image pointing me to the real one, just like how the heavens declare the glory of God. If that image drives me to God’s word where I’ll find the accurate portrayal of Christ, then that’s fine with me.

Delighting Grace: Now let’s bring those we have talked about in one bag. How do we nurture believers in pursuing a diverse vocation say game developer?

Quits Sabio: Create an environment where they will discover their giftedness. If it is creative arts and music, expose your people to art history. The remarkable thing is, much of the good artworks and music ever composed, or created were from periods and eras where Christian worldview flourished.

For computer programming, just as in biblical exegesis, it requires much thinking. I know this could be a stretch for others, but for me, my training in exegesis and hermeneutics helped me on how to understand programming languages and vice versa. Attention to details is necessary if you really want to have a career on game development.

So we should promote high level of thinking, and at the same time appreciation for good music and arts.

Delighting Grace:  If a young believer seek counsel to you in the matters of which career path he will take, he is choosing either what he is passionate about like graphic design or practical like being a nurse or engineer, what will you advise to him? Will it change if he is a family man?

Quits Sabio: It doesn’t have to be either or. Choose what is practical and you’re passionate about. For me, being a game programmer is very practical and yet is very close to what I’m passionate about, namely creative arts. I think that answers the second question too. It doesn’t have to change if you’re a family man.

Delighting Grace: Thank you pastor for your time. Please invite us check you out and some of your works

Thank you for this opportunity, Delighting Grace! You can check out some of my articles through our church’s website at sovereignmercy.com, and through reformedexegetessociety.org. For my artworks, just visit MMS Music and Arts.

The Quotable Round-Up #118

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The mid-term election is now over here in the Philippines. We can see defeats and victories of those who ran for office. Some are already proclaimed winners. Now lets get back to reality and pray for these newly elected officials that they may serve this country well. There are lots of works to do to help this country move forward. Whether you like the officials or not, keep them in prayers. And always remember the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men.

Anyways, here’s 7 quotes from the new book by Sean McDowell & J. Warner Wallace, So The Next Generation Will Know. The book review is on it’s way but if you want to get the book, click on this Amazon link to place your order.

“… a biblical worldview is grounded in biblical teaching. You can’t align your life to the truth of the Bible if you don’t even know what it says. That’s why everything begins and ends with the study of God as revealed in Scripture: theology.”

“If Christianity is considered to be just a subjective opinion (an individualistic preference about God) and not the unique and only cure for spiritual death (regardless of an individual’s personal opinion), don’t be surprised when young people treat Christianity more like a cookie than a cure.”

“Worldview is not just about the mind—it is also about the orientation of the heart. Simply put, a worldview is a fundamental commitment to reality that shapes how we live.”

“…worldview as simply a view of the world that answers three critical questions: (1) How did we get here?—Origin; (2) Why is everything so messed up?—Predicament; and (3) How can we fix it?—Resolution.”

“…every generation of young people has sought to find their place in the world. But what is different for Gen Z is the depth of loneliness many feel and the availability of endless counterfeits that claim to be able to fill their hearts with meaning.”

“The next generation of Christians faces spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and moral challenges like no prior group of believers. And much of this is because of the ubiquity of technology. Members of Generation Z face more challenges just one click away than previous generations did when they would look for it.”

“Theology and apologetics are not direction­less pursuits. They point us toward holy behaviors and provide us with answers to several questions that matter to young people.”

 

The Rebel’s Dictionary: Snoremon

The Rebel’s Dictionary injects humor and satire to made up words. TRD’s goal isn’t to poke fun on individuals or use these words to label a person or entity.  By using funny words as jump off point, TRD aims to discuss issues concerning Christians, the church and Christianity at large. At the end of every entry, TDR includes biblical and practical answers. 

The Rebel’s Dictionary Entry #2

Snoremon (noun) – refers to a sermon that induces sleep to the hearers. It might not be the message itself that pushes the snooze button to the listener because of the different factors involve. It might be the way the sermon is delivered or the length of the sermon (commonly in long messages). Regardless, because of a snoremon, rather than becoming a worship service, the Sunday program becomes a sleep over fellowship.

 

Reality Check: The problem with snoremons is a two way street. It’s not just the pastor’s part but also the pew. A pastor may do the best of his skills to craft and deliver a sermon.  However he can’t control the listeners in other weak areas he or she might have. The best solution is a pastor should diligently polish his messages and the listeners should be a diligent receiver of the message.  Here are some tips that might will help you fight snoremon:

Book Review: Preaching With Passion by Alex Montoya (The book is available at PCBS)

5 Reasons Why Your Sermon is Boring (and 5 Ways to Fix it)

5 Essential Things to Prepare Before Sunday Service 

If you’re a member consider praying for you pastor and for yourself 

Church members should consider practicing this to avoid falling asleep.

Desiring God: Listening to the Word Preached 

 

 

The Quotable Round-Up #113

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I’m half way through Broken Pieces by Simonetta Carr. The book is about  the tragic story of her son, Jonathan as he battles schizophrenia. If you want to purchase a copy of the book at Amazon please click this link. But for now, here’s 5 quotes from that book.

“Once we recognize our powerlessness and fix our eyes on God, we can understand why his Word constantly reminds us not to fear.”

“I remember a popular saying: “A parent only is as happy as his or her most unhappy child.” It’s true, as far as our tendencies go. We would like so much to take on their sorrows, even if that won’t do them any good. The only answer is to ask the Lord to give us all strength. He can sustain us while he works in our children’s troubled minds.”

“It’s easy for us to think that our motherly care is the main influence in our children’s lives, when in reality they are in God’s hands and he uses our parenting efforts for his glory.”

“Pain is an intrinsic part of the Christian life in this earthly pilgrimage.”

“I think that most Christian parents want to “be the Holy Spirit” for their children. We want to enter their minds and direct their thoughts, especially when we see them stray. This desire is magnified in my situation, when my son’s thoughts are absolutely unintelligible and unfathomable—just like the voices he is hearing.”