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Archive for October, 2010

The Complete ESV for Kids – The Seek and Find Bible

Crossway is excited to introduce the ESV Seek and Find Bible for kids. With the complete ESV text, Seek and Find includes colorful illustrations that bring God’s Word to life. Some of the fun additions include:

  • Character profiles provide children with a summary of Bible characters that is easy to understand
  • 130 Bible stories in kid-friendly language to accompany the text and illustration
  • A simple dictionary to help young readers learn the meaning of Bible words
  • Key questions to keep children engaged, encouraging them to dig deeper into Scripture
  • Introductions to each book that highlight key themes and verses
  • Complete ESV text so children can grow and mature with their Bible


This Bible is a great way for kids age 5-9 to dig into Scripture in a fun and creative way while still being exposed to the full biblical text. With over 500 pages of color illustrations and simplified Bible stories, the Seek and Find children’s Bible is great for family reading and devotions.

Learn more about the ESV Seek and Find Bible.seek-and-find-bible

October 28, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 2:55 pm | Comments Off »

Finding Biblical Contentment as a Widow

Is it possible for a widow find authentic contentment? Often times people deal with grief by masking real pain with false contentment by:

  • Packing schedules
  • Thrill-seeking
  • Faking optimism
  • Resigning to our “fate”
  • Indulging in self-pity

But these strategies will not fill the void left by the loss of a husband. Learning to be truly content in widowhood means finding biblical contentment. We must be be satisfied with God’s plan for us and accept wholeheartedly what he has given us. In The Undistracted Widow, Carol Cornish explains that “true biblical contentment is a grace given by God though his Spirit as he does his sanctifying work in our lives.”

Finding contentment as a widow is a process, and Cornish gives us the keys that will open the door to true contentment and happiness:

  • Frequent confession of sin
  • Meditation on God’s Word
  • Memorization of God’s Word
  • Trust in God for everything
  • Heavenly mindedness

Happiness and contentment do not come from the shallow feeling of elation when things go our way. Real happiness comes from wanting God’s will for us, whatever that may be. When we understand and desire this, we then have the ability to move towards contentment once again.

Adapted from Chapter 14 of The Undistracted Widow.

October 26, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Death,Life / Doctrine,Marriage,Marriage / Family,The Christian Life,Women | Author: Crossway Staff @ 6:00 am | 0 Comments »

Called to Care for Widows

called-to-care-for-widowsAfter losing her husband of 38 years to a painful battle against lung cancer, Carol Cornish walked through seasons of shock, grief, loneliness, and healing. Cornish’s compassion and biblical wisdom will help mourning widows find comfort and joy in the sufficiency of God as well as set an example for pastors and counselors ministering to widows.

Check out an excerpt from Carol’s recent interview based on her new book The Undistracted Widow:

1.) How are churches doing in ministering to widows? Where are they lacking?

My impression is that help is adequately provided around the time of the death, but that ongoing ministry could be improved.  In fact, ongoing ministry to older people in general needs improvement. Churches seem focused, like our culture, on youth. Ministry to older people is a low priority if a priority at all. While it is common to hear a lot about the church’s obligation to nuclear families or to orphans, how many times do you hear about concern for widows that leads to intentional ministry to them? Somehow we’ve overlooked the clear and consistent message in the Scriptures that God has deep concern not only for orphans and other vulnerable persons among us but certainly also for widows. I sometimes get the sense that because a fair number of widows and other older people live in retirement communities and because many have pensions and government support that the church assumes all of their needs are being met. But that is a misguided assumption.

2) In what ways did your church best help you as you grieved? What could they have done better?

My church best helped me in a number of significant ways:

  • Prayer: Congregational prayer for us on Sunday mornings, with my husband and me in our home, in small group meetings, consistent, fervent prayer from the leadership of my church and from people in the congregation.
  • Consistent Contact: Email, phone calls, cards, visits – we knew we were not alone in the struggle against cancer and failing health.
  • Meals and other offers of practical help: Our assistant pastor even loaned us a dehumidifier to dry out a wet basement.
  • The support of other widows after my husband’s death: They were my beacon in the darkness showing me how to go on.
  • The funeral service at the church and the reception after the graveside service: I felt so surrounded by the strength and love of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I honestly cannot think of anything they could have done better.  They were a model of how to do it right.

3) As individual Christians how can we best minister to widows? How should the church specifically minister to widows?

The best way to help a widow is to get to know her well and to minister the “one another’s” of the New Testament to her.  Include her as part of your family. Don’t assume anything – check it out with her. Will she be alone on holidays? Ask her.  Does she need help around the house? Take your rake or shovel over to her home and help her with maintenance tasks that overwhelm her.

A church in our area has a sign-up sheet in the lobby for anyone who needs help with grass, leaves, and snow. The youth ministry then provides the elbow grease for helping with these tasks. What a powerful and practical way to show the love of Christ! What a powerful witness to neighbors and communities!

Those in church leadership who are responsible for the care of members need to respectfully and sensitively ask if she needs financial help. Find out if and how family members are in contact with her and if they are caring for her. If they seem to be neglectful, explore with them what they think their role is in caring for her.

If she resides in a nursing home or retirement community, she is still the church’s responsibility. Be sure to visit on a regular basis and find out how she is being cared for. undistracted-widowAsk her questions about the care and services provided. Make sure the staff knows that you look in on her on a consistent and frequent basis.

Any faithful widow left truly alone is the church’s responsibility. The church must be her advocate so that she is not abused and neglected.

Read the full interview here or order your copy of The Undistracted Widow.

October 25, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Church Ministry,Death,Interview,Life / Doctrine,Marriage,Marriage / Family,The Christian Life,Women | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:44 am | (3) Comments »

Keeping the Gospel Central

In April 2009, John Piper, Philip Ryken, Mark Driscoll, K. Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell, and J. Ligon Duncan gathered in Chicago at The Gospel Coalition National Conference to preach through the book of 2 Timothy and encourage the faithful proclamation of the gospel.

Based on the six messages given at the 2009 national conference, Entrusted with the Gospel serves as a strong reminder to the church of the glorious weight of Scripture. And to it’s leaders, the great responsibility of being entrusted with the gospel. These pastors discuss unashamed courage in gospel preaching, rightly dividing the word of truth, pitfalls and parodies of ministry, and finishing well.

Preview of the six chapters:

  • John Piper: Feed the Flame- Expounding on 2 Timothy 1:1-12, Piper speaks of the necessity of feeding the “white-hot flame of God’s gift—of unashamed courage to speak openly of Christ and to suffer for the gospel. Feeding the flame is a continuous, on-going action. Continuous feeding of this flame requires courage, found only in God.
  • Philip Ryken: The Pattern of Sound Words- Examining 2 Timothy 1:13-2:13, Ryken unpacks the apostle Paul’s advice to Timothy to follow the call to faithful ministry, following the pattern of “sound words” that he had heard from Paul, words grounded in the gospel. A faithful minister keeps the faith, living a life shaped by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Mark Driscoll: The Marks of a Positive Ministry- Driscoll bases his message on 2 Timothy 2:14-26, emphasizing the need for church leaders to be positive. “The are trusting, supportive, and encouraging. They build bridges and mediate conflict.” Driscoll lays out 20 marks of a positive ministry, including positively emphasizing what you are for, not against, and positively practicing repentance before preaching it.
  • K. Edward Copeland: Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry- Using 2 Timothy 3:1-9, Copeland stresses the pitfalls that pastors should avoid, which include  wasting valuable time on recreational preaching, misdirected self-love, performance without belief, and impersonation of true gospel-ministry.
  • Bryan Chapell: Preach the Word!- Chapell looks to 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5 to emphasize the importance of adhering to orthodoxy. Paul is stressing to Timothy the point that the Bible must be believed, and false teachers kept from creeping into the church. Chapell reminds us that God speaks to us through his Word, and when we believe the Bible, we hear God’s voice, see him work, and know his heart.
  • J. Ligon Duncan: Finishing Well- Finishing up the study with 2 Timothy 4:6-22, Duncan warns of the danger of seeking to change the gospel message to fit a particular time or culture.

Entrusted with the Gospel is now available. Learn more or preview the intro and sample chapter.

October 22, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:28 am | 0 Comments »

Q: If pain & evil exist, then how can your God be good?

apologetics3One common argument against the existence of God is the ubiquitous presence of pain and evil in our world. Modern thinkers often conclude that horror and injustice make the existence of a loving, all-powerful God implausible.

Interestingly enough, it is the last two generations of Europeans and Americans, generations that have experienced a radical decrease in suffering, that have struggled the most with the problem of pain, much more so than previous generations that experienced much greater suffering in general.

In Apologetics for the Twenty-First Century, Louis Markos holds that the reason for this shift dates back to the eighteenth century writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who philosophized that humans were inherently good. Until then, people had accepted pain and suffering as a result of the inherently sinful nature of man. “Because we misunderstand—or refuse to accept—that we are fallen, we imagine that we ourselves (apart from God) can eradicate evil and suffering through state-funded public education, universal health care, and free-market capitalism…we are left angry and bitter when we do not get what we think we deserve,” Markos says in chapter 15.

“Because we misunderstand—

or refuse to accept—that we are fallen,

we imagine that we ourselves (apart from God)

can eradicate evil and suffering…”

Arguments have been made that if God is all-powerful and all-loving, that he would do anything he wants and eliminate suffering. The philosopher Alvin Plantigna refutes these claims by pointing out that God does not do irrational things, i.e. make a square a circle or simultaneously give and not give us free will in order to combat suffering. Many scenarios exist by which God demonstrates his love and power by using evil for good. In this way, God ensures our free will and shapes us into the people that he would have us be.

apologetics-for-the-21st-century2All other arguments aside, we see in the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ a God who suffers for us and with us. He experienced full suffering himself on our behalf and is therefore a God who can truly empathize with our pain. While God does not promise that we will not suffer, he does promise to be with us when we do.

Excerpt modified from chapter 15 of Apologetics for the 21st Century.

October 21, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Apologetics,Church History,Culture,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life,Theology,Trials / Suffering | Author: Crossway Staff @ 6:00 am | (2) Comments »