Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Seeds Family Worship and Passport to Purity

I've been working on an update to FamilyLife's Passport to Purity. It's a GREAT product that makes it easy for a parent to prepare their pre-teen for the years ahead, turning what could be an awkward conversation into a fun and memorable weekend.

We've partnered with Seeds Family Worship to do the scripture memory songs. I've posted a couple of samples of the new songs and some of the audio segments here.

For now, you can also purchase the old version at FamilyLife's website: Passport to Purity
(The new version is set to be available April 27th).

New Cover for P2P

Here are some sample pages from the new manual, all taken from the fifth session which covers the topic of dating.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Goal of Bible Study

The great Puritan John Owen on the goal of Bible study:
"If any expect that the Scripture should be written with respect unto opinions, notions, and speculations, to render men skillful and cunning in them, able to talk and dispute... they are mistaken. It is given to make us humble, holy, wise in spiritual things; to direct us in our duties, to relieve us in our temptations, to comfort us under troubles, to make us to love God and to live unto him... Unto this end there is a more glorious power and efficacy in on epistle, one psalm, one chapter, than in all the writings of men... he that hath not experience hereof is a stranger unto the power of God in the Scripture... Sometimes an occasional passage in a story, a word or expressions, shall contribute more to excite faith and love in our souls than a volume of learned disputations."
[as quoted from J.I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness, emphasis his]

So true. Helpful reminder to evaluate why I study the Scriptures. Is it to exalt myself, or exalt Christ? To puff up my knowledge or to know Him? Is it because I desire a deeper intimacy with Jesus, or a greater reverence among men? The motives of the heart are often hard to understand or even uncover, but praying and seeking them out is a glorious endeavor.

[image found here]

Monday, January 23, 2012

Top books of 2011

The Enemy Within by Kris Lundgaard - Powerfull re-working of Owen's classic "Mortification of Sin in the Beliver." Blogged about the book here.

Wendell Berry: I went on a WB reading kick this year and consumed a bunch of his works. Introduced to him by a friend who said "If you replace every use of the word 'community' in Berry's books with the word 'church,' it would revolutionize the way we do church." For an introduction to his fiction, try Fidelity (a collection of short stories). For non-fiction, try What are People For?  Other favorites were Hannah CoulterJayber Crow, and Citizenship Papers.

Colonel Roosevelt - Third book in a trilogy of an amazing story about an amazing man. If you want to be inspired to live life at its fullest in 2012, read all three volumes in this series. Previously blogged about the first in the series here.

Unbroken - Many have raved about this story of an Olympic runner turned Japanese POW in WWII. His perseverance, resilience, and ultimately his ability to forgive is super human. The author's story ads an interesting layer, as she struggles with debilitating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Vertigo, hardly unable to even leave her bedroom at times.

How Should We Then Live? - by Francis Schaeffer. I've been a big fan of Schaeffer since being introduced to him in College. One of my seminary professors said, "Sell whatever you have, and go out today and buy his complete works." Couldn't agree more! I try to read a little of him every year. This version includes pictures of much of the art Schaeffer analyzes in the book.

A Million Ways to Die by Rick James - Crusade staff member writes about the core of living as a Christian: dying. Simple concept, yet frustratingly difficult to live out. James is witty and quick to highlight his own failures, yet inspires with some successes as well.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner -  Introduced to Stegner through Berry's works (Berry was a "Stegner Fellow" at Stanford). Some of the finest modern literature I've read. Similar to Steinbeck in style and regional themes. Stegner's Angle of Repose was a worthy read as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Long Story Short

FamilyLife recently interviewed Marty Machowski about his book of 10 minute family devotions called The Long Story Short.  Marty's goal was to make it easy for a father to lead family devotions 5 days a week. This book covers the Old Testament in 78 chapters (that's right - 78 weeks of five devotions). It's an incredibly valuable resource, as any man knows who has tried to be consistent with biblical instruction at home. Marty really does make it easy. I have a couple of friends who are using the book and it has revolutionized their approach to this time with their family. I've begun to mix in some of the readings with our family devotions and have been very pleased. You can see by the online sample that they are creative, imaginative, and biblical, and of course, most importantly, they are SHORT!

You can read more about Marty's ministry on his resource site: http://gospelstoryforkids.com/

You can also listen to our interviews with him: Day One and Day Two

Order the book here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tim Keller on Marriage

This week Tim Keller is on FamilyLife Today discussing his new marriage book, The Meaning of Marriage.

You can listen/download today’s program here.