Saturday, November 11, 2006

Search Phrases

Once in a while I peer into the file created by Blogflux that lists all the search phrases people typed into Google or Yahoo that led to this blog.

First of all, how some of these things relate to this blog is beyond me!

Second of all, some of these are hilarious!

Third, some of these are so very sad.

What I cannot figure out exactly is what page they linked to from the search engine. Not that it matters. Anyway, if you are interested in these kinds of things, here is a small sample of what brings people to KERUX NOEMATA!

  1. joel olsteen quotes on love
  2. what does it mean for a elder to be blameless
  3. when everything is going wrong
  4. "STD rate" syria
  5. mats sundin's love life
  6. baptismal tank for baptism
  7. when should a pastor leave a church
  8. "Flashing Amber Power light" on Dell
  9. why is everything going wrong in my life
  10. boring pastor church
  11. a love song for our pastor that the kids can sing
  12. hoogly


We needed to make a quick trip up the folk's cottage this week to fix something before the big snow starts to fall. Amazing how much the world can change in two months!



 Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 10, 2006

Resolved: Jonathan Edwards and the Men of GFC

One thing we do at various men's meetings is crystallize what we believe the Scripture is teaching us as men. Then, in the spirit of Jonathan Edwards' "resolutions," we determine how we are going to seek to live that truth.

We have come up with four resolutions over the last few years. Here is the first one.

Resolved: In order to finish well, I will seek to live every moment of my life with a growing passion for Jesus, a disciplined lifestyle and a single-mindedness for His will; and to break every habit or pattern I find which interferes with this, replacing it with that which will help. (May 5, 2004)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

EXAMINING EMERGENT: Gets an Improvement

EXAMINING EMERGENT: Links to Every Section of This Study

I added a new page to EE today that works like a Table of Contents. You can access the entire study from this post.

You are welcome!

Men's Accountability Questions - Part II

Here are the rest of the questions we use to help foster authentic relationships amongst our men. Our original list started by using some of the questions written by the "Holy Club" headed up by John Wesley. We adapted, added and edited from there.
Again, we do not use these questions in a way that suggests works-salvation! They are merely a means to helping us walk godly in this present age. We need Jesus - and we want to help each other feel that! They are really a tool to urge a good answer to question #22....


12. Are you habitually self-conscious, self-pitying or self-justifying?

13. Have you been praying for opportunities to speak to others about Jesus? Have you fully taken those opportunities? When was the last time you intentionally and clearly presented the gospel to an unbeliever?

14. Are you enjoying prayer?

15. Have you been listening to your conscience: ceasing activities it convicts you of, and doing activities it prompts you to do?

16. Have you been disciplined with your time (getting enough sleep, managing free time, not over / under-working, etc.)?

17. Have you been acting discreetly in your contacts with the opposite sex?

18. Have you remained morally pure? Have you watched, done, said anything impure you ought to tell me about?

19. Are you proud?

20. Are you fulfilling all your biblical obligations to your household?

21. Is Jesus alive to you? Is your hope in Him alone for putting sin to death? Are you experiencing the “sensible impression” of His work in your life?

22. What is one way you are seeking to improve yourself, your family or your surroundings?

23. Did you lie or mislead me in your answers to any of these questions? Is there anything else you think the Lord would desire you to tell me?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Men's Accountability Questions - A Free Tool to Help Build Authentic and Helpful Male Friendships

One of the things we do as a church is meet with our men once a month to challenge them to live and act as godly men. Over the years, we have developed this list of questions to aid our authentic pursuit of each other. We just began using them again last month and it was a great time of encouraging each other.

In light of recent news items, as well as a remarkable discussion in my class at TBS last week, I thought I would post these here. Feel free to use, adapt, adopt, or ignore. But, by all means, do not feel free to grow lax in your mortification of sin!

I will post part II of this list tomorrow, Lord willing.


We agree to give one another free reign to ask any or all of these questions to one another for the purpose of aiding our efforts to "live holy in this present generation." We do not expect to gain salvation or favor from God by keeping these outward standards, but prayerfully anticipate that they will be another tool used of the Holy Spirit to put sin to death in us. We also agree to add, change, and / or delete this list of questions as we think necessary.

1. Is the Bible living to you? Are you being faithful to read it with understanding every day?

2. Have you confessed all known sin to the Lord?

3. Have you been jealous, critical, irritable, touchy, impatient, or distrustful?

4. Have you been grumbling or complaining often?

5. Is there anyone you currently fear, resent, easily criticize, dislike or disregard? What are you doing about it?

6. Whom have you offended? Does anyone need you to say to them, “Please forgive me?” Is there someone you need to speak to about their sin?

7. Have you prayed about all the money you've spent? Are your resources controlling you or are you, by God¹s grace, controlling them?

8. Are you consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that you are better than you really are?

9. Have you been brutally honest in all your words and actions? Have you been exaggerating?

10. Have you been preaching justification by grace through faith alone to your heart? Have you been presuming on that justification, “sinning in order that grace might abound?”

11. Have you gossiped? Have you misused your tongue?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pastoral Visitation - Links to the Series

Pastoral Visitation - Part I

Now, I cannot imagine pastoral ministry without them. I think I will blog more in the coming days on how we go about doing these visits. Tonight, I just wanted to whet the appetite of all you pastors out there! ...

Pastoral Visitation (Part II) - Scheduling the Meetings
At one of our FRPS meetings, a brother shared how his pastor organized these visits. It was quite simple - but revolutionary to me! ... The advantages to this type of organized visitation are many, some of which I have already listed. ...

Pastoral Visitation (Part III) - What You Aim For

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, 90. The presupposition behind pastoral visitation is that it is one of your duties as an undershepherd of Christ's flock to know His sheep. A man cannot care for sheep he never sees. ...

Pastoral Visitation (Part IV) - Visit to Pray Better

I think the one aspect of pastoral ministry I enjoy most is watching God change a man. The more you pray for this ... In the next post I hope to deal with some of the ways you might practically instruct your members during pastoral visits.

Pastoral Visitation (Part V) - Personal Instruction

The pastoral visit is one such place where this instruction might take place. It generally sounds strange to our ears to read of ... Members under our pastoral care need us, at times, to give specific instruction. This teaching must be: ...

Pastoral Visitation (Part VI) - Questions and Answers

Dan S. asked a two-pronged question: “That brings up the question of the connection between pastoral visitation and pastoral care. Are they the same thing in your mind? Does pastoral care/visitation give the message that all ...

Pastoral Visitation (Part VI) - Questions and Answers

This series is drawing to a close just as our fall round of visitation is coming to an end. It has been wonderful. Although I spend much time with people from my congregation, see them Sunday morning and night and then again on Wednesdays, pray with them, socialize with them, etc., there is still nothing like meeting with them in their home for the purpose of spiritual conversation.

I think in every meeting this round someone made a comment like, “It was good to speak of Christ to one another!”

This reminds me of Paul’s words to the Romans: “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12).

Before we moved on, I thought I might interact with some of the comments that have come in during this series:

Puddleglum wrote: “This is one of the most difficult aspects of my ministry and I shall be looking forward to your insights.”

It was a major failing in my ministry for years – one which I really wanted to fix! In fact, it is still a very weak area of my ministry, but at least now we are doing it. Not quite at a Baxterian level, but something is better than nothing! Don’t give up, Puddle.

Chris Hillcoat wondered if we would be “coming to Southampton for an elder’s visit. Um... no.

Trish asked: “ you ever get "issue-members" exploiting the privilege of a visit ready to unharness their hobby horse or beef or complain?”

I suppose that is part of the purpose of the visit. If a brother sins in his words, it is just another window into his heart to address the issues that are going on there. In other words, “it’s all good!”

An anonymous commenter said: “I often wonder why Christians, especially pastors, do not have a burden for ministering spiritually to other Christians, or any thought (it would seem) as to how they are faring in their Christian life.”

I think most pastors are very concerned about the spiritual condition of their sheep, but many have been so influenced by the professionalization of the ministry that they think only in terms of the mass, not the individual. Plus, most men have received no training or modeling whatsoever in how to do this. It can be an intimidating thing to go to someone’s home to speak to them about their spiritual life. This is one aspect of ministry I think would be better caught than taught.

David Reimer queried: “At some point, perhaps you could reflect on Martyn Lloyd-Jones and visitation. I'm not sure it was near the top of his "to-do" list, though I could be wrong.”

Dare I say anything negative about the Doctor!? One of my all-time heroes? Well, no man is perfect, and perhaps this was a minor blemish on his ministry. But, not all men are the same. Although he might have rushed to conclusions the odd time, the Doctor did spend time with people after services at Westminster to speak to them of their spiritual condition. This is not the same as what I have been suggesting here, but for a man of such influence and popularity, this is quite commendable.

My old pastor John MacArthur does not go from home to home, as far as I know. But, at least during my days at Grace Community Church, you could always talk to John after Sunday night services – if you could wait. I really appreciated that!

Kenny mocked: “And what does the shepherd get from the sheep? ... anthrax!!” Kenny must have been having a bad day! ‘Cause I know he loves his sheep!!! (Even thought I still don’t really understand what he meant!)

Dan S. asked a two-pronged question: “That brings up the question of the connection between pastoral visitation and pastoral care. Are they the same thing in your mind? Does pastoral care/visitation give the message that all care/visitation is the sole responsibilty of the pastor?”

Neither care nor visitation are Bible words, so I am not sure I want to define them for anyone else except for how I am using them. I think it is all just “pastoring.” Ephesians 4 is clear that part of our job as pastors is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Part of that equipping should be visiting them to see if they are serving in the church in some capacity. And if they are not, then we can direct them to that.

The fact is, if you have been set aside by a group of people to pray for them, preach to them, live before them, etc – you will always hold a special place in their heart. So, yes, we might say that everyone needs to minister to everyone else, but the words of a trusted pastor who is a man of God often carry more weight than others. They do in my life. After all, aren’t they to account us worthy of double-honour if we labour and preach well?

Thanks to all for your questions and comments!

I think that will be the end of this series for a while. Challies is egging me on to do something else!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Letters from Ted Haggard and Gayle Haggard

Between Two Worlds: Letters from Ted Haggard and Gayle Haggard

JT prints the letters written by Ted and Gayle Haggard to their church as a result of Ted's admission of sexual immorality.

Could there have been a better letter written in such circumstances?

Read and learn, Christian. Let your heart feel the weight and deception and death of sin.

"The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem.

I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life.

For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach."