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Announcing Crossway Direct-to-Church

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What Is Direct-to-Church?

Crossway was founded over 75 years ago with a small budget and a big vision for sharing the good news with the world. Most churches find themselves in the same situation—limited by finances but driven by a great mission.

Crossway’s new Direct-to-Church program enables churches to buy books and Bibles in bulk—with pricing that supports their ministry efforts and honors their church’s budget. As part of the program, churches receive:

  • 40% off bulk pricing
  • Free shipping and handling (US addresses)
  • Updates on new church resources and exclusive seasonal sales

Sign Up Today

If you or your church buys books and Bibles in bulk for ministry purposes, we’d encourage you to sign-up for free at Crossway.org/church.

Members will begin receiving monthly Direct-to-Church newsletters and the opportunity to take advantage of these exclusive benefits from Crossway or a participating bookstore.

We are honored to partner with you in your important work of gospel ministry.

September 17, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book Deals,Company Updates,News | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 9/17/14

Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.


1. Dave Harvey on the importance of reading for leaders

You’re a pastor, aspiring pastor, or church planter, which means you’re busy. Not to go all DeYoung on you, but you’re “crazy busy!” If you’re already pastoring, then you’ve got stuff to do, people to see, sermons to prepare, meetings to attend, hospital visits to make, and counseling sessions to work through. Then there’s home life – you’ve got kids in soccer, a house in need of some serious repair, a lawn so intimidating that your mower won’t start, and a computer on strike. And there’s always the relentless march of Sunday. Sunday is always coming, and you’ve always got to be ready.

The last thing you have time to do is read. Right?

2. Joe Thorn on 10 ways to love fellow Christians

1. Put Them First
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Phil. 2:3)

Self-denial lives at the center of love. True love denies self and supports another. Putting others first should be more than an act of humility, but an act of affection. It’s not that we think so little of ourselves, but that we feel so warmly toward our brothers and sisters in Christ that we are happy to lay aside our interests and preferences so that another may experience blessing.

3. Dane Ortlund on the prevelance of “Gospel-centered” language

“Gospel-centered preaching.” “Gospel-centered parenting.” “Gospel-centered discipleship.” The back of my business card says “gospel-centered publishing.” This descriptive mantra is tagged on to just about anything and everything in the Christian world these days.

What’s it all about?

4.  John Knight on Richard Dawkins and kids with Down syndrome

“Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”

Richard Dawkins recently tweeted the above in response to a woman who wondered what she should do about her unborn child with Down syndrome.

5. Paul Tripp on camping and Christianity

Camping isn’t my favorite hobby. I enjoy biking, painting, and writing poetry, but I’ll pass on living in a tent.

I’ve been camping before, and within a few hours of arriving at the site, I begin to get pessimistic. I look around and see all the potential problems that will arise over the next few days, and I start to rank the conveniences that I’ll miss the most. I can’t wait to get back home.

As much as I avoid camping, I think the illustration can remind us of a few important things in the Christian life…

| Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:15 am | 0 Comments »

What Is True Wellness?

guest post

This is a guest post by John Dunlop. He is the author of Wellness to the Glory of God: Living Well after 40 with Joy and Contentment in All of Life.


Will I Be Well at Age 95?

Henry came to his appointment huffing and puffing using his walker to get down the hall. I, as his physician, shook his hand and asked, “How is it going my friend?” Smiling he gave me a strong handshake and said, “Praise the Lord, I’m well, thank you!”

As pleased as I was to hear his response, it caught me just a bit off guard. I was 65; he was 95! I found myself wanting to feel just as well in 30 years. All kinds of questions began to pop into my mind:

  • Can we truly be well at 95, even when short of breath and using our walkers?
  • Will I be able to say I’m well if I am still on earth at that age?
  • What can I do now to increase the chance of being well in thirty years?

The Concept of Shalom

The ancient Hebrews contribute to our understanding of wellness by their use of the word shalom. Whereas shalom is often loosely translated as “peace,” the true meaning is far more extensive. At root, shalom means “totality.” It is the sense of wholeness we have when every part of our lives is in a profound harmony and unity within ourselves, with those around us, and with God. Shalom leads to wellness.

Where do we find the integrating principle that brings all of our lives together? Once again the ancient Jews had the correct answer. The famous Shema of Israel says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:4-5). We are to be a people of one God. This must be more than something we recite for we need to have him as our single focus and see all other areas of life brought together in him. We are to love him with all of our hearts, souls, and might.

Our love for God is well illustrated in the Scriptures:

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you. (Psalm 63:1-3)

We learn to love God with all of our beings and then find in him our fulfillment and greatest joy. In God we find what we need to be satisfied. We experience shalom through shema and that sets us on the way to true wellness.

All to the Glory of God

And yet while loving God and loving other people are wonderful—and may help us reach our ultimate purpose—they are not that ultimate purpose in themselves. To attain that ultimate goal we must go one level deeper.

Our overriding purpose in life should be to glorify God. We bring God glory in three distinct ways. First, he is glorified in our own spirits as we find greater joy and fulfillment in him. Second, others may give him glory as a result of something we do for them that reflects God’s love and goodness. Third, God is glorified in his own being through our worship as we declare how much we treasure him. The apostle Paul speaks of Christians as being “the aroma of Christ to God” (2 Cor. 2:15). It is difficult to understand fully but in some way we remind God of the sacrifice of his beloved son, Jesus, and in that he is greatly pleased.

Living with a passion for God and his glory will have the following results:

  • It will free us from worry and anxiety as we will be less focused on ourselves
  • We will function out of a sense of fullness, not emptiness
  • It will energize us and ignite us with passion
  • We will fulfill our true purpose, find our niche, feel at home, and be content
  • We will do things with eternal impact
  • We will experience wellness in its truest sense

6 Areas of Wellness

In order to have this unified focus on God and his glory in our lives we must carefully review each area of our lives to see what changes are needed. These areas include:

  1. Physical: Are we being good stewards of the bodies he has entrusted to us? This includes eating well, controlling our weight, exercising, getting proper rest, and taking advantage of the good medical care available to us.

  2. Mental: As age approaches it is increasingly important to keep using and sharpening our minds. Dementia may intervene but even that offers opportunities for God to be glorified.

  3. Social: Relationships are more important as we get older and we need to ensure that we’re making the best of them. It’s critical that we choose a living situation where we will not be isolated but can continue to build close friendships while strengthening our family relationships.

  4. Financial: Are our finances worry-free? Rarely can we increase our resources but we can often limit our expenses. We must be good stewards of the resources God has given us, saving to meet our future needs, and leaving room to be generous.

  5. Spiritual: Our later years offer rich opportunities for spiritual growth and service. Some of the fruit of the Spirit like patience and gentleness may be late bloomers. All believers, no matter their age, are given spiritual gifts through which they can help others. Our abilities may change over the years but there will always be need for prayer and encouragement for others.

  6. Emotional: Are we learning to be content? That must exist in three tenses: we must be comfortable with the past, satisfied in the present, and confident of the future. As age advances depression is all too common and we must learn to effectively deal with that.

Once we get to Henry’s age it’s unreasonable to think that we will continue to be totally well in each of these areas. But, if we review each of them and carefully take stock of where we are now,we can make some corrections that will maximize the chance of true wellness as our lives progress.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)


John Dunlop (MD, Johns Hopkins University) practices medicine in Zion, Illinois, and serves as an adjunct professor at Trinity International University. He is board certified in geriatrics, holds a master’s degree in bioethics, and is a fellow of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. Dunlop is the author of Finishing Well to the Glory of God: Strategies from a Christian Physician and Wellness to the Glory of God: Living Well after 40 with Joy and Contentment in All of Life.

September 16, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Life / Doctrine,Sanctification,The Christian Life | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:15 am | 0 Comments »

Christ in All of Scripture – Proverbs 31

 

Proverbs 31:25-30

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”


The book of Proverbs concludes with a family scene both impressive and heartwarming. At the center of this ideal family is a strong woman of wide-ranging capabilities, fully involved in the challenges of life. The glowingly positive message here is that “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov. 31:30). The word “praise” occurs three times in verses 28–31, setting an overall tone of encouragement in this home. The children rise up in respect and speak well of their mother (Prov. 31:28). The husband, never a faultfinder, gently praises her for her outstanding qualities (Prov. 31:8). This remarkable woman gives herself diligently to her family and her community (Prov. 31:10–27), and her family communicates how they admire her (Prov. 31:28–31). This wise family sees through the false glories that inevitably disappoint: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain” (Prov. 31:30). Their mother, who “has devoted herself to every good work” (1 Tim. 5:10), embodies the godly wisdom of her entire family.

Clearly, the life of wisdom is not just for Sunday, but for every aspect of life. It is not austere and grim, but attractive with a sincere enjoyment that flows from one human heart to another. Best of all, the life of wisdom will matter forever. When we are with the Lord in heaven above, we will find that our deeds will have followed us, transformed by his grace into eternal blessing (Rev. 14:13).

But “who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:16). We are not. Even the “excellent wife” of Proverbs 31 is not sufficient in herself, but she “fears the Lord” (Prov. 31:30). Her ultimate regard is not for her beauty, goodness, or accomplishment, but for the One who provides for her every need and loved one (cf. Prov. 1:1–7). We are prepared by such an example to remember that God must make us sufficient for what we face and for what he requires. Ultimately, in Christ, he does so. What he commands, he also gives. Therefore, we may receive his counsels in the book of Proverbs with this wonderful assurance: “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5).


This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.

 

September 15, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,Gospel Transformation Bible,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:48 am | 0 Comments »

Video: God’s Broken and Redeemed Work-in-Progress

In the video below, Rob Bentz sits down with Justin Taylor to discuss his new book, The Unfinished Church: God’s Broken and Redeemed Work-in-Progress.


Interview: Rob Bentz and Justin Taylor
from Crossway on Vimeo.

Timestamps

  • 00:13 – Tell us a little about yourself.
  • 00:30 – Why did you choose “unfinished” as the main metaphor you use to describe the church?
  • 02:09 – What sets this book apart from other books about the church?
  • 03:31 – What do you think of the statement, “I love Jesus…it’s the church I can’t stand”?
  • 04:46 – What do you mean when you talk about the “church of the mirror”?
  • 05:44 – Why is genuine biblical encouragement so important for the church?
  • 07:00 – How does the ongoing process of sanctification relate to the ongoing presence of sin in the church?

Learn more about the book and download an excerpt.

| Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,News,Video | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:15 am | 1 Comment »