Embracing the ESV Seminar with Dr. Dane C. Ortlund

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The swelling heat in Manila didn’t stop an ESV seminar about Christ-centered Bible reading. This is the second leg of the seminar which took off last Friday at Central United Methodist Church with the topic How the Whole Bible Fits Together.  Then the following day, Saturday,  Dr. Ortlund is scheduled to deliver a talk at Philippine Bible Society. Me and Greg registered on that talk for that’s our vacant day and the weekend has less traffic. He was as always, early and I just came just in time for the seminar to start.

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The 3rd floor hall of PBS was packed with folks who wants to hear this relevant topic. Dr. Dane C. Ortlund, Executive Vice President of Bible Publishing at Crossway, shares Jesus as the Center of the Whole Bible or how to be Christ-centered in reading the Bible. Along with him is his team that also participated in the seminar.

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We were formally welcomed to the Philippine Bible Society and the seminar by Nora Lucero, General Secretary of PBS. In a few minutes she discussed what’s PBS is all about and their current program to make the Bible known to the Filipino people. Then she turn it over to Derek Hill, director of enterprise of the Bible Society and one of the member of Dr. Ortlund’s team. He then briefly introduce our speaker, Dr. Dane C. Ortlund.

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“The Bible is all about Jesus. Not just in the gospels. Not just in the New Testament.” Dr. Ortlund opens his talk with those words. He moved on by giving us the 6 Ways Not to read the Bible. He then proceeds to the misconceptions of the phrase “Christ-centered”. Once those points were established, Dr. Ortlund goes to the main topic by giving 5 things we should consider on being Christ-centered in reading the Bible. The 1 and 1/2 hour flew so fast then we had a 30 minute Q and A. Dr. Ortlund ends his talk with a short discussion on reading the Book of Leviticus with a Christ-centered lens.

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The seminar was short and we wish that it will be whole day affair because we know their are lots of areas that can still be addressed by Dr. Ortlund. I hope and pray that Dr. Ortlund and his team will comeback to Manila soon for another round of seminars. Me and the rest of the 100 + participants really enjoyed his talk.

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Thank you Philippine Bible Society (PBS) for the invite and hosting a seminar that reminds us to be Christ-centered in reading the Bible. Thank you for those ESV devotionals of the Gospel of John which we will prayerfully share to other. Also thank you Dr. Dane Ortlund and his team for coming here in Manila and sharing a wonderful topic that leaves us hungering for the Word of God.

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Here’s a special treat for you my readers. I’m sharing a piece of the seminar of Dr. Ortlund. In this 4 minute video, Dr. Ortlund shares 6 Ways Not to Read the Bible.

and another bonus is an audio recording of the last part of the seminar, Christ-centered Reading of the Book of Leviticus.

 

Pinoy Preacher List #3

qvfpy4dThis is Delighting Grace third batch of Pinoy preachers you should read, listen or watch. Please consider praying for this series that it might widen the ministry reach of these preachers and lift up God’s name everywhere.

Joseph Mangahas – Pastor Joseph shepherds the 40 year old church Cubao Reformed Baptist Church. CRBC is know for it’s annual pastor and worker’s conference. You can listen to his preaching at SermonAudio and on Youtube. Aside from his sermons, you can find other messages from preachers, invited speakers in their Sunday service and past conferences.

Hubert Tan Haboc – Pastor Hubert is the pastor of Christ’s Glory Church of Marikina. Like Joseph Mangahas, he is a graduate of Grace Ministerial Academy.  You can easily access his sermon videos over Christ’s Glory Church Facebook Page.

Rodel Lasco – Finally down south of Manila, pastoring a Reformed church in San Pablo City, Laguna is Dr. Rodel Lasco.  You can listen to his preaching on SermonAudio.

So that’s my list for now and click these link to Pinoy Preacher List #1 and Pinoy Preacher #2 if you have miss out the previous installments. If you know pastors or preachers who are Calvinistic or Reformed and has sermons online, please do e-mail me at nitoymgonzales@gmail.com.

Book Review: A Place Like Heaven by Samuel Miller

eoem3usI requested this book (or booklet) from Log College Press not only to share some quotes or do a review, but also get to know the Synod of Dort. As you might not know this year marks the 400th year of the event. It’s worth celebrating because how the church stood up and defend the doctrine of grace against Arminianism.  I have been exposed to it on a lecture of Ryan Reeves on Youtube and it’s excellent. And after reading  A Place Like Heaven, all I can say that it can share the impression I have with the Ryan Reeves video. It’s excellent!

A Place Like Heaven is a primer booklet that explores Synod of Dort. The booklet tackles the events that leads to the synod, during the deliberation and the aftermath of this ecumenical gathering with a American Presbyterian perspective. It ends with some defense The title of this work came from on of the moderators of the synod describing it as a “place like heaven’. The title might sound like a devotional book but that doesn’t discount the weight of what has been examine in this booklet. I think it lightens up a bit by putting an encouraging tone to the book.

Though this is a primer, you’ll praise Samuel Miller for his remarkable writing that which makes this booklet accessible and clear. At first you might have some inhibitions  reading this, although short it’s written in an 18th century English. However as you read on, you’ll get the hang of it. The content is actually engaging and what you might dismiss as a Smithsonian relic, this booklet is really good. Whenever you start reading it, it grabs your attention and for me this is not a boring read. Miller ends this booklet by answering some arguments against the doctrine of grace.

For a 48 page booklet, I can’t believe I learned a lot about Synod of Dort. Sometimes I ask myself if this is really a primer because it really covers lots of areas of the event. Not that it gave all that is to know about the Synod of Dort but the content of this is enough for you to appreciate that important event. Once you read this, Log College Press books will be on your reading list.  A Place Like Heaven is a great addition for your Synod of Dort resources. Please don’t miss out on this book. Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

The Quotable Round-Up #116

znu4bd1Log College Press has a latest book that I recently received. A Place Like Heaven by Samuel Miller tackles Synod of Dort, an important event for the doctrine of grace, with an American Presbyterian perspective.  My book review is on the way but for now, you can be assured that this is a great book and you can get it through Amazon by clicking this link. Here’s some nuggets from the book that I hope you’ll enjoy.

“It was fondly hoped by many that when Arminius died, the controversy to which his speculation had given rise, would have died and been buried with him. But this, unhappily, by no means, proved to be the case.”

“When heresy rises in an evangelical body, it is never frank and open. It always begins by skulking, and assuming a disguise.”

“The opinions denominated Arminian had been substantially taught long before Arminius appeared. The doctrine of Cassian, of Marseilles, in the fifth century, commonly styled Semi-Pelagianism, was almost exactly the same system. Bolsec, too, in Geneva, about the year 1552, according to some, had also taught very much the same doctrine, though justly regarded as infamous on account of his shameful moral delinquencies. And about fifteen or twenty years before Arminius arose, Corvinus, in Holland, had appeared as the advocate of opinions of similar import. But having less talent than Arminius, and being less countenanced by eminent men, his error made little noise, and was suffered quietly to sink into insignificance, until a stronger and more popular man arose to give it new consequence, and a new impulse.”

“Perhaps it may be said, that no theological system was ever more grossly
misrepresented, or more foully or unjustly vilified than that which is commonly
called Calvinism; but which had been drawn from the word of God, and preached
by some of the best men that ever lived, many hundreds of years before Calvin
was born.”

“The enemies of the system allege, that it represents God as really the author
of sin, and man as laid under a physical necessity of sinning, and then as damned
for it, do what he can. They insist that our doctrine of depravity, and the mode
of inheriting it, if true, destroys moral agency; reduces men to the condition of
mere machines; and, of course, makes all punishment of sin unjust and absurd. In
short, they contend, that the views which we give of the plan of salvation, makes a system of heathenish fate, or of refined Antinomianism, equally destructive
of holiness and of comfort; and that, under the guise of free grace, we build up
a fabric of favoritism on the one hand, and of fixed necessity on the other; at
once making God a partial being, and a tyrant, and man a mere passive subject
of his arbitrary will. But, is it true that Calvinists embrace any such system as
this? Nothing can be further from the truth. It is a shameful misrepresentation,
which has no correspondence with anything but the caricatures of prejudice
and bigotry.”

 

Travel Time: Delighting Grace Interviews J. P. Leo Castillo of Shoestring Travelers

VvhZcDoWhat do you want to start this 2019? Do you want to be adventurous and travel?  Will it be cool if you pick up a camera and start photography? Or show your hidden writing skills and set up a blog? What if I told you you can do all of those things? Well your 2019 will be a spectacular ride! Delighting Grace recently connected with J. P. Leo Castillo, a travel blogger of Shoestring Traveler and took time to chat about blogging, photography and travelling.

Delighting Grace:  How does it feel to be always on the top travel bloggers in the Philippines?

J. P. Leo Castillo: We were on a top 40 list of travel bloggers done by another blogger – it’s not an official recognition – so it wasn’t really that big of a deal but it still felt rewarding.

Delighting Grace: Tell us when did you and your wife started travel blogging?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  Around 2011 if I remember correctly.

Delighting Grace: You go travel blogging with your wife. Is there some sort of advantage of bringing some than being alone in your trip?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  Two is obviously an advantage. You get to help each other, there’s someone with whom you can share the joys and difficulties of a trip and there’s more wisdom with two collective minds when you need to make difficult decisions on a trip.

Delighting Grace: Great! I notice that some travel bloggers are young and alone in backpacking. Compare to them to you and your wife with advance in age. Do still deliver some edge in blogging despite of the age? How does your blog stand out among the rest?

J. P. Leo Castillo: There are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to age in traveling – the younger ones can go to places that may be too extreme for us, for instance. Our advantage as older people is probably that we have more resources at our disposal – generally speaking – to go on those trips. For travel blogging I’m not sure if age is an advantage or disadvantage as it depends more on the writing capabilities of the blogger. 

Delighting Grace: As of this date, how many places did you visited here and abroad? Which one is your favorite?

J. P. Leo Castillo: Hard to count at this stage for local places. We’ve been to all the Southeast Asian countries plus China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and some Middle East countries. Only been to Europe once – Barcelona – and lived and worked in the U.S. for almost 3 years. 

Locally, it’s hard to list a single favorite but rather a group of destinations – Romblon Island, Cuatro Islas and Kalanggaman Island in Leyte, Palawan (Port Barton, Coron and El Nido), Siquijor, Catanduanes, the Caramoan Peninsula (Camarines Sur) and Dumaguete City. Internationally it’s Vietnam and the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, San Diego and the destinations along California’s Highway 395 in the U.S. 

Delighting Grace: Wow. Can you share one travel story that you wont ever forget for the rest of your life?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  A trip to the Khyber Pass at the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan which ended at the Afghan border in 2000, a year before the 9-11 attacks. This was an assignment from our Christian missions organization to see what we could do to reach the Afghan refugees then living inside Pakistan. I love history and the Khyber Pass is full of historical events from Alexander the Great’s time (300 B.C.) down to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970’s (and later the American/NATO operations in Afghanistan). Also got to meet the fierce but very hospitable Pashtun tribesmen who were cradling AK-47 assault rifles as part of their everyday life. 

Delighting Grace:  It feels like its taken out of a movie. Your photography is awesome. It goes well with the travel. How did you learn about photography?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  My team leader back in the 1990’s for the SE Asian office of our missions organization made me the photographer of our team and gave me a film DSLR, then later a digital camera. It was then that I realized I had a knack for taking pictures. My photo compositions came out well even when I had yet to study composition. Later on I began studying digital photography seriously by going to photography web sites that offered free courses. 

Delighting Grace:  If someone wants to start a travel blog, what advice can you give to them?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  Write from the heart. Write regularly. Use photos to draw in more interest to your story. Don’t write very long blogs. 

Delighting Grace:  As Christians how do we keep at awe to God as we look at His creations as we travel?

J. P. Leo Castillo: I think if you are in regular fellowship with Him you’ll appreciate His creation more. 

Delighting Grace: Aside from the travel blog you are involved in outreaches, can you fill us out on that.

J. P. Leo Castillo: We start house/simple/organic churches, equipping people to disciple others in the process. Along with partners and people that we work with in the professional and business community. We support young people from needy communities with their education – providing school supplies, providing supplemental educational training and providing college scholarship. We also mentor those who want to start simple churches. 

Delighting Grace: I think that goes along when you blog. As you look around and look back at what you have like talents specifically in our blogging we feel that kind of “advocacy” to help out people. Anyways, please invite them to check your blog and social media accounts for Shoestring Travelers.

J. P. Leo Castillo: You can find out latest adventure over our blog, Shoestring Traveler, follow us on Facebook and on Instagram.

Delighting Grace: Thank you Sir Leo for the opportunity. Looking forward for your next adventures!

Rivers and Robots Concert Experience!

It pays to check the IG Stories.

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Without it we might have missed the opportunity to watch Rivers and Robots live. I’ve been listening to them for quite a while but their newly released album, Discovery, got me hooked to this Christian indie band from Manchester.  A combination of acoustic, indie folk and atmospheric sound (that’s the “Rivers”) with a bit live electronic (that’s the “Robots”) blended with Ogden’s smooth vocals creates this once a bedroom project into a 4 piece band. Later on I appreciated their early albums and Jonathan Ogden (the lead vocalist) solo EP’s. I’m into metal core right now (with bands like Wolves at the Gate, For Today and Memphis May Fire) and listening to Rivers and Robots (plus that IDM group, Tycho) are polar opposite of my diverse musical taste.

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Our preparation for the concert took us a month. First I bought 2 tickets from SM Batangas City (by early November, I grab one for Joan) since it’s so hard to get it online. I then check the location on Google Map because I’m not familiar with place. It’s near Magallanes which is the first provincial bus stop going to Cubao. Then the venue is part of Green Sun hotel.   I told my wife that the concert venue has a hotel so she decided to book us a room with free breakfast buffet. We don’t want to go home that night after the concert, tired while travelling 70 miles back to home. We rather hit the sack right away after the show. This trip is my late treat for my wife’s birthday and as a gift to Joan’s 18th birthday debut. We had her choose between having a debut celebration or going to a concert with hotel accommodation. Obviously she picked the later. Good girl!

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We hit early in the road to avoid traffic since it’s a Friday. We checked in the hotel about 3 PM, took some rest to prepare for the concert. Then it started to rain heavily. By 5 PM, we took a 5 minute walk to the nearest Jollibee to have our early dinner. Good thing the rain had stopped. Going back to the hotel, we first check the venue to see if people are already there. It was on the 3rd floor of Green Sun. Well the folks who got the meet and greet tickets were still there so we headed back to our room and change our clothes. So by 6: 20 PM we fall in line to wait for 7 PM for the doors to open. The line wasn’t that long or overcrowded.

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Once they ushered us in the Eye (sounds like Illuminati stuff!) we were treated to a spectacle of 360 degree proportions! I haven’t seen something like it (the band was surprise also). Walls turned into canvas as it projects some artworks and videos related to Rivers and Robots. But we are more interested on where we will sit. I ask the ushers for their opinions but my wife suggest we should seat near the stairs of the stage. It’s free seating as the ticket indicates so since we are early to come in we get to choose the best ones. The place is not a big concert hall as we expect so anywhere you sit you’ll be close to the stage. That It gives this intimate feel to the concert. Not bad for us who got the 500 peso ticket.

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As we look around, people are filling up the seats but there are still vacant seats when the show started. We estimate 400 people in attendance. It took 1 hour and a half for the show to begin (why that long Becca Music?!), and since some of the concert goers are eating their dinner on their seats as they wait for the band, I decided to go back to our room to get some bottled water and our raisin bread because we started to feel hungry. But soon as I got back to our seats, the band enters in and took the stage. People starts to clap and cheer as each of them climb up on stage and took their instruments. They’re ready to give us an awesome night!

They open their show with Dreams, the first song in their latest album then followed by the second song also on that album, Call Your Name. The repertoire consists of mostly their new album and few of their earlier songs:

We Will Overcome

Be Still

 Author/Perfector

 Satify

My Refuge

Fall Down

 Brighter than the Sun

Boldly I Approach

Burn For You

Acoustic set– The Bridegroom and White as Snow

Home

Provider

Overflow

Lift Up My Eyes

Shepherd of My Soul

Know You More

Foveremore

 The crowd favorites were the first two songs, Provider and Lift Up My Eyes. Jonathan sang two solo acoustic that made the whole venue went pin drop silence.

The 1 hour and 30 minute show ends with the song Waiting for You. With its catchy and happy vibe it launches us in feel good mood. After that, that was it! It’s a wrap! We trying to cheer them back to stage for an encore but they didn’t. One whole set with no breaks and no front acts. Anyways the show was a blast. What more can we ask for.  The band was amazing! Even as I write this (after 3 weeks) I can still feel that performance. Listening to them in Spotify is one thing and it’s another level to see them live.  My wife and Joan are now hardcore fans of the band (my wife’s” fall into sleep” music is Jonathan Ogden’s EPs and Joan listens to Discovery while doing her chores).

After the show I approached a familiar face to say Hi. Its pastor Kit and his wife. We had our pictures and talk for a moment. Would love to chat some more but I told my wife and Joan wants to go to our room because they’re so sleepy. Another familiar face we met (by accident) is Phoebe, daughter of author Marlene Legaspi-Munar, in the elevator going down to the lobby.

Before we go to our room I check them in the hall to their rooms. No soul found. I think all the guests (including them) are now sleeping. So we went inside to call it a day.

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The next day, me, my wife and Joan lost all hope to have pictures and get the CD signed by the band. But as we check out of the hotel that morning so sad and a Grab taxi is waiting for us outside, all of the sudden we saw Jonathan walking at the lobby. That was after I decided to go to the bistro to check if they are having breakfast. Nathan was there so I ask for a signature and a picture. Coming back to see my wife and Joan, Jonathan was at the lobby (I think he’s shot a part of their video blog) going to the bistro to have breakfast. Wow talk about providence!  We took the opportunity, have pictures and got the CD signed. I wish to go back to that moment because I have lots of things to say to Jonathan. The only words I was able to say was “Are going to have breakfast?” I should have said something else! Anyways, we went home so happy and with a new appreciation of the band. Thank you Becca Music for bring the lads of Manchester to the Philippines!  And to Rivers and Robots God bless you as you reach the world with the music and the gospel!  Hope to see you soon!

Book Review: The Real Martin Luther by Josh Hamon and Brynn James

mb26cp3We all want to read a book that has something to do the occasion to make us more appreciative on the event. Come Reformation Day 2018 and a book came to me that is quite not the book I’m expecting read. Its bio book about a certain Reformer that has a concoction of history, humor and cartoons in it.

The Real Martin Luther is a bio book for the rest of us. The reasons are from being too lengthy or too boring to read.   Josh took Luther from the stained glass and introduces him as a human flaws and all. I think every biography book strives to present the person as ordinary as possible so we can easily relate on whom he was and what he has done.  The Real Martin Luther goes beyond that by injecting humor to the narrative. It’s getting the low down on Martin Luther without hitting below the belt. Luther wasnt drag to the mud here.  This book reminds me of Plato and a Platypus Walks into a Bar… adding comedy to a boring subject.

The artwork is awesome and also hilarious. Brynn James sets the tone on how we should visualize the book with just the right artwork style. She then puts some millennial and hipster references here and there to poke fun to Luther. Sometimes it complements the text and sometimes it’s a standalone humor. My only hopes for future volumes are that they go all out in artwork as in turn it into a comicbook.

This book is the first volume of the Holy Misfits series so we should expect there is more of this stuff. You’ll finish The Real Martin Luther not really laughing so hard to forget it all together, but with a fresh outlook on this reformation hero. A bit bold and a bit uncomfortable for readers who usually digest the usual biography book. But then again this is a totally different bio book. It’s history that is entertaining. This book is definitely a must read (re-read) for everyone.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

(The review copy of this book is provided by the author)

The Freebie Round-Up #20

8lxjf1qHad a great time over “Excelling in Relationships” counseling seminar by David Meengs and Student Missionary Outreach. Charity Baptist Church hosted the seminar last Saturday and it was amazing. I’ll be posting here soon the seminar notes for everyone to read. Anyways, its freebie time and I hope you’ll enjoy these free stuff!

FREE Special Edition 20th Year of 9 Marks Journal – Titled ‘Essentials” this free special edition gathers the best of the best articles that graced 9 Marks Journal for the past 20 years. Enjoy it on different digital formats.

*New must read post: The Quotable Round-Up #100, A Trip to Boosale (Revisited and Updated), 5 Questions A “Bible Only” Proponent Should Ask, 5 Questions A Biblicist Should Ponder,

FREE e-books from John MacArthur, Douglas Wilson, R. C. Sproul and Matthew Harmon – Cross-Point Books collects 4 freebies in one post. Enjoy while its still free.

FREE e-book “Tale of Two Adams” by Chris Caughey –  The problem of us and this world all boils down in the tale of two Adams. Grab this freebie and let Chris Caughey discuss major doctrines through Genesis all the way to Revelation.

*In case you missed these: Collecting the Past: Delighting Grace Interviews Caleb of Log College Press,  Accessible Apologetics: Delighting Grace Interviews Jason L. PetersenSquad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. JohnTested by Time: Delighting Grace Interviews Dr. Isabelo Magalit.

FREE e-booklet “From Agender to Ze: Glossary for the Gender Identity Revolution”  – This is a must have for Christians who engages on gender issues. This free e-booklet collects the terms and language to better understand who we are dealing.

FREE e-book “A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking” by Douglas Wilson – As if we had enough of Wilson, here’s another one from him.

FREE Live Event hosted by Anchored North – Click here to register to this free event titled Evangelism Power Hour, that aims to teach how to reach the next generation with the gospel.

*In case you missed these : 5 Christian Podcast You Should Be Listening Right Now7 Awesome Ways to Learn Church History Online for Free, 7 Short But Excellent Christian Books I Have Read, 5 Important Things to Do Before Starting to Read A Book3 Essential Reasons to Re-Read Your Favorite Book.  

FREE e-book and audiobook  “The Problem with Seminaries” by Gary North – Gary North points out the crisis facing seminaries today. In this free e-book he discuss how humanism infiltrates the seminaries and how to find solution.

 

 

Live It Well Conference (Day 2 Notes)

cbqx3ijHere are my notes on the second day of Live It Well Conference with guest speaker Tim Challies. Click here for Day 1 Notes.

(I enjoyed the messages from Tim Challies and had fellowship with friends who also attended Live It Well. Thank you Higher Rock Conference for bring Tim here in the Philippines and looking forward for more conferences.)

Session 5: Live in Freedom

Romans 8: 1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

We live in 3 kinds of culture:

  • shame
  • fear
  • guilt

These 3 can be seen when Adan and Eve sin against God.

Your standing on God or man depends on the level of honor/out of fear/ guilt or innocence.

Fear and Guilt

  • every time you break the law of God

Romans 8:1 

  • one group is facing condemnation but they are not condemn.
  • the group that is not facing condemnation is now in Christ.
  • their is still condemnation to the group that is not in Christ.

What can I do to be “in Christ”? 

No. There is nothing you can do.

Jesus takes your righteousness. Your fear and guilt are removed by trusting in Christ.

“The guilty can be made innocent. The innocent cannot be guilty.”

Tim sites examples on the burden we carry from his mother’s testimony (which in that point Tim got emotional) and Pilgrim’s Progress.

Many Christians live feeling the burden of guilt and that God will somehow punish them.

Question: Where does these burden comes from?

Answer: They are bringing those burdens back to them.

Remember:

  • The gospel didn’t stop the moment you trust in Christ. Its just the beginning.
  • God didn’t demand two payments of sin. It’s already paid. Not just on sins you have done but what you are doing and what you will be doing. Let go of the guilt.

 

Session 6: Live to Die

Ecclesiastes Chapters 11 and 12 

(Addressing growing old and a much wiser Solomon addressing the youth.)

v. 5 – Acknowledge man will die

v. 6 – Remember your Creator

v. 7 – We will return to dust

Chapter 11: 7- Chapter 12

Who will you be then?

Godliness just doesn’t just happen.

Who you are today is who you’ll be in old age. You have to make it today to be committed to be joyful/godly today.

Be joyful and holy today.

v.9 – Rejoice with your youth

3 Joy Enhancers According to Ecclesiastes 11: 9 

  • Enjoy life but acknowledge that youthfulness will come to an end. Savor life. We have one opportunity to live a life well.
  • Enjoy life but acknowledge of a coming judgment. Live with boundaries. Know what to avoid and what to pursue.
  • Enjoy life but acknowledge the vanity of it. Life is a vapor. Nothing will last forever.

Every joy in this world points out to the Creator. Enjoy it as a gift.

Chapter 12

Remember Him today.

v. 4- Metaphor of a crumbling body of an old man.

What pleasure or passion God’s want you to pursue?

Who will you be in old age?

 

Session 7: Live to Share the Gospel

Jonah 4 (Jonah’s reaction with God sparing Nineveh)

What if the Book of Jonah ended in Chapter 3? or Matthew ended in Chapter 27?

It would be a different book.

Beholding God in Jonah 4

God’s characters displayed in the last chapter of that book:

  • patience
  • sovereign
  • compassionate

Patience

v. 1-3 – Jonah’s anger with the people of Nineveh repenting

v. 4-6 – God’s response to Jonah

Do you reflect God’s patience to your life?

Does that patience extends from you to others?

Sovereign

v.11 – God is sovereign even if you don’t understand it.

Do you love God for being sovereign?

Jonah love God’s sovereignty when it is in favor to him.

Jonah loves God’s sovereign when God rescued Him with a fish and when God gave him the plant. But Jonah didnt see God’s sovereignity when God spared Nineveh.

Do you love God’s sovereignty when it gives you the good? Remember Romans 8: 28?

Compassionate

v. 11 – Do you reflect the compassion of God?

God is a God of compassion. God extends that compassion to you when He saved you. Will you extend that compassion to others?

The soul is precious. The one thing you can take to heaven is souls.

How do we express that compassion of God?

Share the gospel.

Session 8: Ask Me Anything 

No notes taken.

 

Live It Well Conference (Day 1 Notes)

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Here are my notes on the first day of Live It Well Conference with guest speaker Tim Challies. Click here for Day 2 Notes.

Session 1: Live It Well

Question: How do we live out what the Bible says?

Example: How do I live out the Great Commission on work or school?

Westminster Shorter Cathechism states:

What is the chief end of man?

 “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

But HOW?

There were a great deal of books a few years ago on the theme of being radical in the Christian life.

What need does these books addressing?

Significance,being radical, hoping to spark our lives etc.

But in 1 Thessalonians 4, being ordinary is enough!

How does it look like being an ordinary Christian?

How can we live our lives pleasing to God?

In 1 Thessalonians 4,

1.) sexual purity

2.) loyalty/ loving one another

3.) industrious/live peacefully/mind you own affairs

Sexual Purity

Be a Christian that is sexually pure.  The way we handle our sexuality shows if we are following God.

v. 3 Sanctification- do we want to be holy?

Why? Because it stuns and stops Christian growth

Negative – Avoid sexual immorality

Positive- put sin to death, pursue righteous and what is holy, control desire.

v. 6 we see the warning

Loyalty/ Loving People (v.9)

1.) Love taught by God shown through the cross. Is your church committed on the cross of Christ?

2.) The primary love of the Christian is to love other Christians. How do you express love to the local church?

Industrious (v. 11)

Aspire to work peacefully, mind your own affairs.

Be content to be unnoticed.

Session 2: Live In Christ

Mark 5: 1-20 – Jesus encounters a demon possessed man.

Have you been set free?

The man is demon possessed. We are possessed by the power of sin. Jesus comes to our world to free the oppressed.

Angels and demons exist. They know Jesus is the Son of God (He is God Himself). The demon is terrified.

Jesus offers freedom to this man. This man cannot free himself. He needs Jesus.

Have you been set free?

Jesus is powerful. If Jesus can offer freedom from demon possession, he can offer freedom from sin.

Look at v. 15 for the response.

There are two response:

1.) They saw the power of God but not the man who is now OK. They (the people) saw God’s power but they dont want anything from it. “Jesus go away.”

2.)  This man wants to be close with Jesus. “Jesus I want to go with you.”

Jesus response: STAY! (Tell people around you what Jesus had done to you.)

How will you response?

Something to think about:

Pitiful – the man possessed with demons.

Most pitiful – Jesus on the cross with billions of billions of sins.

He can offer freedom. The oppressed are set free!

Have you been set free? The man possessed with demons can now live a life. We cant live the life because of sin.

Session 3: Live in God’s Word

Psalms 19

Canadians has traditions of wishing. Wishing by blowing a birthday cake, tossing a coin in a well and making a wish or wishing on a falling star.

So as the song by Jiminy Cricket:

“When you wish upon a star
Your dream comes true.”

The truth is, wishes are things we want, but we don’t want to work for it.

Almost all our prayers are wishes. Prayers needs to take form of an action.

In Psalms 19, David is praying. He is not just wishing. He has a desire and plan.

David’s prayer (v. 14): 

  • “Let my words of my mouth”- clean mouth/outer
  • “and the meditation of my heart” – clean heart/inner
  • “be acceptable to in your sight” – “Make me acceptable to you”
  • “O, Lord” – depended in God
  • “my rock” – immovable
  • “and my redeemer” – saves/ keeping the covenant

And how will David do this?

Meditate on the two books of God:

1.) Book of Nature (v. 1-6) – Universal (revealed to everyone) but limited purpose (Romans 1: 18). We need to meditate to the beauty and wonder to nature that points to the Creator.

2.) Book of Scripture (v. 7-11) – Recorded Word of God for us. Even more sufficient than the Book of Nature.

7 Great Reasons Why Read the Bible

  • to be saved
  • to be wise
  • to be joyful
  • to have clarity
  • to be clean
  • to be godly

Free from sin and hating sin are the effects of meditating to these two books (v 12-13).

How can you have a clean mouth and clean heart?

Read the Book of Nature and Book of Scripture.

Are you reading those two books?

Session 4: Live in God’s Will

Judges 6 – Gideon and the fleece.

We have this fear. Fear that if we make a wrong choice God will bless us less.

There are two ways in making a choice:

  • God’s way
  • our way

What is God’s will?

How will God guide me today so I can consciously participate in doing His will?

Keep these in mind:

  • God is sovereign
  • God is speaking today
  • God is speaking to you today
  • God speaks clearly

How do we know God’s will?

Through His Son by the Holy Spirit in the Bible. The Bible is enough. God is speaking to you in the Bible.

How can I make a decision that is accordance with God’s will?

  • What does the Bible say about it?
  • What is the wisest choice or choices?
  • What do I want to do?