Sunday night's sermon on Proverbs 20:12-28:
Here's a letter I put into our local paper, edited down from something I posted here last week. (You've got to scroll down a ways to find it - "redemption not in the job description". The link might not last many more days.)
For Christmas, my father-in-law generously got me a new set of Kittle's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. This is a huge and rich resource, chronicling the biblical and extra-biblical usages of the more important words found in the Greek New Testament. It's word studies on steroids. And it looks really cool on the bookshelf.
It's hard to describe how exciting it is to see God raising up a specific group of people who are excited about being part of church planting. Many of the people I talked to last week have a real grasp of some of the sacrifices and are willing to be trained and pushed beyond their comfort levels. Different people are excited about different aspects of a new church, but there's two things that people are most excited about.
The first is the increase in the depth of fellowship. As our church has continued growing, it's become harder and harder to get to know new people and maintain deep friendships with others. And while we should not expect the new church to remain small for long, there's something electric about banding together with a group of people and attempting to do something that only works if God wants it to.
The second is that most people are very excited about seeing new believers brought into the kingdom. While no church is "where we should be" in evangelism, God has really been blessing us lately with the fruit of the gospel. It's given all of us, I think, more confidence in the power of the gospel for the salvation of souls - especially those of our neighbors, friends, and family.