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Archive for December, 2012

A Message and a Prayer for the New Year

As we celebrate the faithfulness of God in 2012 and look forward to a new year, we thought the message in this short video from John Piper would be a fitting reminder and encouragement:

We also appreciated Trevin Wax’s adaptation of Jonathan Edwards’ first 21 resolutions as a prayer for the new year.

Life is short, and we pray that we will not waste even a day of this coming year. Will you pray with us to that end?

Related Posts:

December 31, 2012 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Life / Doctrine,Sanctification,The Christian Life,Video | Author: Lindsay Tully @ 8:00 am | 0 Comments »

Thanks, Christmas Spirit, & New Year’s Resolutions

A guest post by Jessica Thompson

During this time of reflection on the last year, trying to figure out what to be thankful for each day of November, and also trying to be properly respectful of the true meaning of Christmas—my sense of failure, and alternately pride, grows in fertile soil. I fight with thoughts of “I really should be more grateful” and “I failed at my last 20 New Year’s resolutions” and “why doesn’t the incarnation make me fall to my knees?” mixed in with “why can’t people see Christmas is all about Jesus” and “look at those people pushing and shoving to get the Black Friday deals with greed spilling from their heart.” I can get pretty wrapped up in the me of everything.

One of my favorite tweets of 2012 came on New Year’s Day from my pastor. It read, “Feel like a jerk? Take heart, you’re a lot worse than you think. Good thing Jesus paid the whole bill. Happy New Year.”

That has stuck with me throughout the year, and I pray it sticks with me for the finish of it. I tend to think that if I’m grateful enough or if I don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season then maybe I’m actually doing okay and I’m somehow more pleasing to God. I forget the truth that the Bible gives me–that I was dead in my sin and a lot worse than I really even want to admit. Yet I also forget that my sins of ungratefulness, my sin of indifference to the incarnation, and all of my failures for this last year have been forgiven. I don’t have to make up for them, they have been cancelled, nailed to the cross. The truth is, I can never be good enough, grateful enough, or awed enough. There was only One who lived that way. He was perfect as his Heavenly Father was perfect, and that is now my clothing. My mind and heart come alive at this thought. The glorious light of undeserved right relationship with God chases the darkness of my self-condemnation and pride and gives me true gratefulness.

As you make your lists, and do your 30 days of thanks, and go through advent calendars, remember this: You were dead, you are now alive. He has forgiven all sins. He has cancelled all the debts. He has clothed you in his righteousness so that you don’t have to work up your own. There is goodness and mercy that are promised to follow you for the rest of this year, all of next year, and every day for the rest of your life. His faithfulness will never fail because he cannot deny himself. You have all the hope and grace you need to finish 2012 and to start the 2013. Jesus paid the whole bill and left the tip. There is nothing now for you to do except believe this good news, smile, and rest.

“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence.” – Augustine of Hippo

Jessica Thompson, co-author of Give Them Grace, is a member of an Acts 29 church in California and has been homeschooling for the past two years. She is married and has three children.

December 27, 2012 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Holidays,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life | Author: Crossway Author @ 8:00 am | (2) Comments »

Christmas Blog Post Round-Up

In celebration of Christmas, we wanted to gather some of our favorite Christmas posts from years past for your enjoyment. We’ve included a few of sentences from each post:

  • “Keeping Holiday”, a Q&A with Starr Meade — Crossway recently interviewed Starr Meade, the author of the children’s book Keeping Holiday, about literature, her new book, and more. Here’s what she had to say.
  • Glory to God in the Highest by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. (from Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus) — Isn’t it interesting how in Christmas cards and on public displays we often see the words, “Peace on earth, good will toward men”? But how seldom we see the prior words, “Glory to God in the highest”! But there is no peace, there is no good will, unless there is glory to God in the highest first.
  • The Great Reversal by Tullian Tchividjian — When I’m asked to describe the true meaning of Christmas, I like to say that the birth of Christ is the sure and certain sign that “God is on the move.” The arrival of Jesus two-thousand years ago ensured that God had begun the process of reversing the curse of sin and recreating all things. In Jesus, God was moving in a new way and, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “winter began stirring backwards.”
  • “God Becomes Man”…What? by Eyse Fitzpatrick — Okay, hold on just one moment. I know we’re all busy and that this time of year creates all sorts of added responsibilities and distractions, but what is that title again? “God Becomes Man”?…Um…What? Really?
  • When the Gospel Transforms Your Christmas Expectations by Stephen Altrogge — I have certain expectations when it comes to Christmas. I expect to drink egg nog, even though I don’t really like it. I expect to listen to hours upon hours of Christmas carols. I expect to watch the movie Elf. I expect to drive around with my family and look at Christmas lights. And I expect to get some gifts. Twenty-eight years of Christmas experience has taught me what to expect. But how would I feel if some of my expectations weren’t met?
  • The Incarnation: How Did People Know God Was Coming? by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears (from Doctrine) — Because God is sovereign over the future, he alone is capable of giving prophetic insight into the future. In great mercy he did this for his people in the Old Testament. He detailed for them who was coming to save them, how he would come, where he would come, when he would come, and why he would come, so that they would anticipate the incarnation and salvation of Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus of Nazareth vs. Caesar Augustus by Trevin Wax (from Holy Subversion) — Consider Jesus of Nazareth alongside Caesar Augustus. At the time of Christ’s birth, Caesar had issued a call to the Roman world that everyone be counted and properly taxed. As he enjoyed luxurious accommodations in his Roman palace, he hoped to demonstrate his own greatness before a watching world by publicizing the great number of people under his domain. And yet in an unnoticed corner of Caesar’s kingdom, in a simple stable, sleeping in a feeding trough, the Son of God had come to show the glory of his Father.
  • Where Did “Lefse” Come From? A Scandinavian Christmas Story from Larry Woiwode [Video] — Author Larry Woiwode recalls childhood memories of his Norwegian grandmother making lefse on the stove in Minnesota when they went there to celebrate Christmas. He asked his family and others where lefse actually originated, but nobody seemed to have an answer . . . Woiwode brings us his first Christmas story, The Invention of Lefse.
  • Calvin and Claus by Christin Ditchfield — One of my favorite comic strips is Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson, following the adventures of a bright but mischievous six year-old boy named Calvin and his stuffed tiger, a.k.a. imaginary friend Hobbes. (Both named for – of all things – famous theologians!) Every Christmas, poor Calvin is a tortured soul, torn between his desire to be “good” so that Santa will bring him lots of presents – and the (at least for a little boy) overwhelming temptation to smack the little girl next door with a perfectly formed snowball. Often the strip shows Calvin weighing the pros and cons – the “pleasure of sin for a short time” against the possibility of future but unknown rewards.

“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’”

— Luke 2:10-14 (ESV)

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2012 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Holidays,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life | Author: Lindsay Tully @ 8:00 am | 0 Comments »

New Video Teaching DVD for “A Woman’s Wisdom”

Advice books continue to top bestseller lists even though much of the “wisdom” being offered proves shallow in the long run. Many women are looking for practical, proven advice for life, and the book of Proverbs is one of the wisest places to start.

This one-disc DVD features popular Bible teacher Lydia Brownback unpacking the wisdom found in the book of Proverbs and serves as a companion to her book, A Woman’s Wisdom. Brownback shows how the Bible speaks to real life issues such as money, purity, marriage, and the day-to-day grind in a conversational, engaging manner in each of the 10 sessions (sessions are each approx. 20 minutes in length).

See the trailer below, and learn more here.


Endorsements for A Woman’s Wisdom:

“This is one of those books that should be studied more than simply read, and I can see it as a valuable resource for women’s Bible studies.”
Jerry Bridges, author, The Pursuit of Holiness

“From the wisdom of Proverbs, Lydia Brownback draws wise and ever so practical applications for women. Her clear and consistent call is to embrace the full wisdom of God given to us in Christ.”
Kathleen Nielson, Director of Women’s Initiatives, The Gospel Coalition


December 20, 2012 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,News,Video | Author: Lindsay Tully @ 8:00 am | 0 Comments »

7 Bible Reading Resources for the New Year

With the upcoming new year many of you have some strategy for reading the Bible, whether through an established reading plan or on your own. Similar to last year, we’ve compiled a list of 7 Crossway and ESV resources than could be helpful companions for your Bible reading in 2013.

Reader’s Bibles

1. ESV Single Column Legacy Bible — This is an ideal Bible for those wanting to read through Scripture at a steady pace. The text is laid out in a single column format, and section titles are placed in the margins, letting you move from passage to passage with minimal distractions. This is also a great edition for reading the Bible in its own context.

2. Single Column Journaling Bible — For those looking to record their thoughts as they read God’s Word. The Bible text is presented in an easy-to-read single column format alongside generously sized, ruled margins. This Bible is printed on high-quality cream paper that minimizes show-through of text and notes.


Devotional Books and Bibles

3. The One Year Bible® — The popular One Year Bible is available in the ESV translation. In this edition the text is broken up into select readings that are then compiled for each day. Readers who follow along throughout the year will work through the entire Bible.

4. Daily Reading Bible — Portions the Bible text into 365 daily readings, following the M’Cheyne reading plan. Each day displays chapters from various books of the Bible, presented in a simple and non-distracting layout.

5. For the Love of God (Vols. 1 & 2) — Using a slightly modified version of the famous M’Cheyne reading plan, D. A. Carson provides devotional commentary for readings assigned to each day of the year. Following the M’Cheyne reading plan and using For the Love of God as companion volumes, readers will work through the New Testament and Psalms twice and the rest of the Bible once.


Digital Resources

6. ESVBible.org — Users can sign up for a free account on the newly redesigned site and gain access to 12 different reading plans. Each plan includes links to the pertinent passages and tracks your progress through the year. In addition, the reading plans integrate with all of ESVBible.org’s other features, including highlights, notes, and study modules.

7. Downloadable Reading Plans — The ESVBible.org reading plans are also available for download on esv.org. Users can subscribe to the reading plans by RSS feed, email, iCal calendars, or print them off.

There are also reading plans available on sites like YouVersion.com, Biblegateway.com, and many others.

Whether you use an established reading plan or follow your own strategy for reading the Bible, we want to encourage you to make 2013 a year of immersion in God’s Word!

December 17, 2012 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 8:00 am | (2) Comments »