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Archive for December, 2010

Reaching Prisoners with the Gospel

Inmates have a lot of time on their hands—time to read.  For this reason, Crossway is excited to partner with Prison Book Project, a ministry dedicated to introducing prisoners to the saving grace of Christ.

Crossway provides free reading materials to be sent out to inmates all across the nation. These books and Bibles can reach dozens of individuals in a given prison, and with millions of Americans currently incarcerated, these life-giving resources have the potential to bless untold numbers of inmates. Not only are prisoners’ lives being changed directly by this ministry, the lives of those around them are being affected as well.

Check out this video or learn more here.

December 31, 2010 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 6:00 am | (3) Comments »

Demolishing the Walls of Your Comfort Zone in Practicing Hospitality

practicing-hospitality2In Practicing Hospitality, Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock offer practical insight for how all believers can practice hospitality from a biblical perspective. In a recent interview, Ennis challenged readers to demolish the walls of their comfort zone and to be counter-cultural even within their own communities to be intentionally hospitable:

  • Demolish the walls of your comfortable social circle. If you are married, include singles in your next gathering; if you are single, invite a family for dessert and game night at your home, apartment, or dorm room. Choose to be counter-cultural in relation to your guest list.practicing-hospitality11
  • Readily accept and extend invitations to those who are different from you. One of the greatest hindrances in our Christian community is that we tend to stratify ourselves. Yet, Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 9:22 that he became all things to all men that he might save some. It may be awkward at first but you will soon learn to adapt—especially when you recall the truth of Philippians 4:13.
  • During the 2010 spring semester I taught a new class for our HE-FCS students entitled “Resource Management for the Aging.” The focus of the class was twofold—to stimulate an awareness of the largest population of individuals in America and to challenge the students to become wise stewards of their resources so they are prepared for their senior years should the Lord not return. The results of the class were incredible. The students, through the distribution of a Senior Saint Survey, learned much about senior saints, their needs, and, potential ministry opportunities to them. The need for inter-generational relationships was clearly revealed throughout the various class assignments. There is no better way to initiate these relationships than through the extension of biblical hospitality.
  • Begin to eradicate the barriers by embracing the truth of Titus 2:1-8. Be willing to be both a younger and older Christian in the lives of believers. Again, biblical hospitality provides a practical venue for implementing the inter-generational relationships outlined in this passage.
  • Clothe yourself with humility (1 Peter 5:5) as you extend biblical hospitality. Walls are built when we think that we have all of the answers or our choices are the best choices for everyone. Learn the difference between biblical mandates and preferences and then expand your borders to include people of differing socioeconomic levels, family size, school choice, and even theological persuasions. Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that as believers we should sharpen one another. There is no better way to abolish cultural differences between families than to purpose to dismantle the unbiblical walls we have constructed. Food is always a good lubricant to assist in the demolition process.

Check out the full interview or learn more about Practicing Hospitality.

December 30, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Church Ministry,Community,Life / Doctrine | Author: Crossway Staff @ 6:00 am | 1 Comment »

A Great Companion for Your Study Bible…

The ESV Bible Atlas has been out for a few months, but we wanted to draw your attention to it again because it’s such a unique resource and is a great companion for your Study Bible, providing rich detail on the geography and cultures of the Bible.

Wayne Grudem describes it as “a remarkably beautiful and rich resource for historical, geographical, and archaeological background material that will deepen our understanding of each section of the Bible and increase our appreciation of the Bible’s amazing historical accuracy.”

Here’s a 19 page excerpt of the ESV Bible Atlas:

December 29, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,News | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 6:00 am | (3) Comments »

Repenting of Righteousness

When we’re overwhelmed by habitual and recurring sin, it’s tempting to create a strict set of rules to keep us in line. We write a signed and dated vow or we establish schedules to squeeze out room for sin. But legalism always seems to fail us. Soon we fall right back into old patterns. Colossians 2:20-23 says:

“If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations…these have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.”

Only God can bring true and lasting change, because only God can change the our hearts. Jesus does what legalism can never do: he gives us a new heart and a new spirit.

From You Can Change by Tim Chester

December 28, 2010 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 1:40 pm | (2) Comments »

The Memory Moleskine—Memorize Philippians by Easter!

Have you landed on a plan for reading the Bible in 2011? A couple days ago we pointed to several reading plans, but here’s another option you may want to consider. Join the Resurgence and Timmy Brister in Partnering to Remember!

“Let’s face it. Memorizing Scripture can be a difficult discipline, especially memorizing long passages of Scripture. In our fast-paced lives of multi-tasking with any number of things vying for our attention, there is a real danger for the Word of God to get squeezed out of our daily lives. More than any other time, Christians need to partner together for the purpose of internalizing Scripture, encouraging one another to abide in the words of Christ, and remembering the weighty truths that center us on God’s work in our lives. To do this, a system for memorizing Scripture has been created called the memory moleskine.”—Timmy Brister

Grab your ESV, a moleskine (or journal of any type), and learn more here to get started in 2011!

December 27, 2010 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 7:59 am | (4) Comments »