Morning Mashup 09/28


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Injury Interrupted My Idolatry – From time to time, Desiring God will feature an article written by a professional athlete. They are always profound for me. This piece from NBA player Landry Fields is no different. Fantastic perspective.

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Pray for the Persecuted Church – Great post from Ruth Ripken on how to get your kids thinking and praying about persecuted believers.

Sex Belongs to Believers – John Piper: “The pleasures of sex are meant for believers. They are designed for their greatest expression by the children of God. He saves his richest gifts for his children. And as we enjoy his gift of sex, we say, by our covenant faithfulness to our spouse, that God is greater than sex.”

Springtime for Liberal Christianity – Typical excellent cultural and religious analysis from Ross Douthat.

The Cosby Conversation We’re Still Not Having – Thabiti Anyabwile: “What we are not discussing is how to prevent the many Cosbys in our homes, families, friendship networks, schools and churches from preying upon our daughters, sisters, and mothers.”

Don’t Hide Behind “The Gospel” – Barnabas Piper: “Only when we can make the connection between the gospel and the centuries of racial inequality in the United States, the lasting impact on our government and social structures, and the insidious and subtle effects on our own minds and hearts is it a solution.”

The Eight Kinds of Commenters in the Christian Blogosphere – Excellent analysis of commenters on Christian blogs. I’ve experienced each of these. My favorite is the “heresy hunter.” They are so pleasant.

Why I Am a Complementarian – “It seems to me that on a very base level the problem of the feminist movement and the patriarchy movement, and indeed sin itself, is principally a lack of trust. We have, from the very beginning, been attempting to wrench what was not given in the search of what was labeled off limits.”

Why Students Hate School Lunches – Just one of many stellar pieces in the Sunday Review section of the NY Times this week. I love this line: “Consider that in France, where the childhood obesity rate is the lowest in the Western world, a typical four-course school lunch (cucumber salad with vinaigrette, salmon lasagna with spinach, fondue with baguette for dipping and fruit compote for dessert) would probably not pass muster under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, because of the refined grains, fat, salt and calories. Nor would the weekly piece of dark chocolate cake.”

Papelbon, Harper Fight Highlights Nationals’ Deep Problems – The dugout fight between Nationals teammates Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper has sparked much debate in the sports world. Personally, I agree with Papelbon’s principle, but not with his methods. Harper may be a NL MVP frontrunner, but he has a lot to learn.

The Art of Conversation – Tips for how men should engage in conversation.

42 Things We Learned from Week 3 – It usually takes a few weeks to gauge how the NFL season will go. Here is what we know after three weeks.

Spieth’s Stellar PGA Season – Young Jordan Spieth’s spectacular season broken down. I don’t think he’s the next Tiger, but the dude can play.

For us to be in love with ourselves is idolatry. For God not to be in love with himself is idolatry. –Zane Pratt

Quick Quotes: 10 Quotes from “Captivated” by Thabiti Anyabwile


Q-train-logoEvery Friday, I plan to share select quotes from a book I am either currently reading or have previously read. Few things have impacted my faith and life as much as reading has. This will be just one way I promote books and reading. These articles will be for the dedicated reader who loves to gain insight from as many books as possible. They will also be for the Christian looking for new books to read. I am always on the lookout for new books to read. Hopefully some things I share will lead you to pick up a new book. Finally, these articles will be for those of you too busy to read. Hopefully these quick quotes will provide you with easy access to books you would otherwise not have time to read. Each article will include a brief discussion of the author and his work followed by ten (or more) pertinent quotes from the book.


I seem to always be looking for books that are just hard to find. I really enjoy biblical commentaries, but would love to find some that are helpful for devotional style reading without forsaking robustness. They are hard to find. I also love concise theological works that may not address all the issues on a topic, but lay out the basics in a biblically and theologically rich manner. There are a few of these, but they are still difficult to track down.

One reason I love these concise theological works is that they are so helpful for non-believers and new Christians. I am always looking for books to pass along to curious non-believers and new converts. While John Frame and Wayne Grudem have written two of the best systematic theologies in the last 50 years, I would prefer a new Christian’s first look at Christian theology to be a little lighter than 1000 pages. Finding concise theological works is great for discipling children and youth as well. While even these shorter works are often too deep for most children, many teenagers can tackle them, especially in a group setting.

J.I. Packer’s Concise Theology is an excellent choice. It is the go-to work I pass along to new Christians and curious non-believers. It is comprehensive and gives a solid and trustworthy overview of Christian theology from a Reformed perspective. But for non-believers and new Christians, I believe it’s best to read one of these concise works on a particular topic: the person and work of Christ. Bruce Ware’s The Man Christ Jesus is helpful here. But one of the best short theological works on the death and resurrection of Jesus, specifically in the last few years, is Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, written by Thabiti Anyabwile.

81HvEVm8fJLCaptivated is a short and steady meditation on the death and resurrection of Jesus. Anyabwile’s goal is for readers to “behold His face and be satisfied as we’re changed from one degree of glory to another in Him.” To be captivated by anything, we must gaze and behold the beauty of a thing. This is exactly what Anyabwile does in Captivated. He helps readers gaze into the beauty of Christ and behold him as an all-satisfying treasure.

If you are a non-Christian considering the claims of Christianity, a new believer, or a longtime believer, Captivated will help clarify your mind and captivate your soul to the heart of the Christian faith. Here are ten quotes to get you started:

1. Only Jesus ends the war between God and man with a peaceful solution. If Jesus does not go to the cross, then God will win the war with a final and terrible judgment against man for his sin. Sinners cannot fight God and win. Having Jesus as our Mediator is the only way for us to be reconciled to God.

2. God’s greatest motivation for all His actions is the revelation of His glory in the universe.

3. The only perfect Father found occasion to deny the only perfect Son because such denial achieved the only perfect goals: a perfectly qualified high priesthood, reconciliation through the only God-man Mediator, loving atonement for the sins of men, the vindication of the Father’s righteousness, and the ever-redounding glory of the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father.

4. Gethsemane’s silent answer rings eternally in the loud joyous praises of the universe.

5. But on that dark midday on Golgotha, when the sun refused to shine, the unimaginable and indescribable happened. That beautiful, shining, loving face of the Father withdrew into the dark, frowning, punishing face of wrath.

6. Death is dead. Jesus destroyed it in His death and resurrection. It was impossible that death should ever have victory over the Author of life.

7. Life lived in light of the resurrection includes radical sacrifices in faith.

8. The death, burial, and resurrection free us from having to keep the law in order to be reconciled with and justified before God.

9. The resurrection turns us from law-keeping to gospel-believing and from self-righteousness to an alien righteousness in Jesus Christ. It turns us from trying to earn God’s love by our good deeds to freely accepting God’s love as a gift through faith in His Son.’

10. Only one infallible way of knowing the truth about who Jesus really is and the power of His resurrection exists. We must have our eyes opened by God.


11751958_1209158262442953_3486622930933138849_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor of Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. They have one son, Jude Adoniram.

Morning Mashup 09/25


coffee-newspaper

A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


Hajj Stampede Near Mecca Leaves Over 700 Dead – Horrible tragedy. Praying for the families of those affected.

9 Marks of a Generous Giver – Comprehensive and concise article on the Christian and giving. “The first three marks involve where your giving goes; the next three tease out heart motives in your giving; and the final three explore dynamics between your giving and Caesar (as well as non-profits you support).”

Why Don’t Protestants Have a Pope? – With Pope Francis in the States, Kevin DeYoung answers an important question with some help from Herman Bavinck.

How to Read the Bible and Do Theology Well – Don Carson: “Although we cannot know anything with the perfection of God’s knowledge (his knowledge is absolutely exhaustive!), yet because God has disclosed things, we can know those things truly.”

Pastoring Rappers – Richard Clark interviews the artists of Humble Beast.

Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books – Albert Mohler shares his reading habits and strategies while offering some suggestions on how to make the most of books.

Speaker Boehner to Resign at End of October – Reaction from Republican leaders varies, but there is a clear commitment to preventing a government shut down.

15 Key Quotes from Pope Francis’ Address to the United Nations – “In the lengthy address Pope Francis covers a wide range of topics, from the rule of law to nuclear weapons to the drug trade. Here are 15 key quotes from the speech.”

God’s unconditional love poured out in our heart is the unique force impelling us to love him and others. –G.K. Beale

Leaning on the Promises of God: 3 Ways to Apply God’s Promises to Your Life


rainbow-god-promisesHow many of us believe the promises of God are true, but see no fruit of this belief in our lives? I think there is a common disconnect between assenting to the promises of God and trusting the promises of God. Trust or belief in the biblical sense of the words are inextricably tied to action. We believe, so we act on that belief. Any faith that does not result in a changed life where actions and works are altered is worthless.

While the promises of God are far from empty, I wonder if our belief in them is. American Christians are far better off than the majority of people who have ever lived, and yet we probably worry more than any other society in the history of the world. Worry, discontent, and fear of losing our comforts mark many Americans today, Christians included. What would happen if Christians truly trusted the promises of God?

Puritan William Spurstowe (1605-1666), an English pastor and member of the Westminster Assembly, wrote a beautiful work entitled, The Wells of Salvation Opened. In it, he discusses the promises of God and our response to them. He warns that we should not rest in “a general faith, which goes no further than to give a naked assent unto the promises of the Gospel as true; but does not put forth itself to receive and embrace them as good.” True faith works. It doesn’t just mentally assent to the truth of something. It receives and embraces the truth or reality or Person as good. True faith is a work of the heart. Yes, our minds are definitely (crucially) involved. But without the heart’s affections being moved to delight in a thing as good, faith is absent or false.

Why is it crucial then for a Christian to truly trust the promises of God with his whole being and not just mentally assent to their truth? In the gospel, God has promised to rescue, redeem, and secure sinners from death unto life in Christ. We receive this promise through faith in Christ, but there are many who only assent with their minds without ever acting on their faith in Christ (See Acts 8:13, 23; John 2:23; Matt. 25:11). In each of these examples, God’s promises are believed to be true, but not embraced as good.

Trusting the promises of God produces sweet fruit. Mere assent to the truth of the promises of God produces a bitter and barren life. Trusting God’s promises is the building blocks for a solid and firm stance in the face of sin and suffering. Mere assent to the promises of God is like standing on shifting sand on the brink of a storm. When it comes, you will be swept away in its floods.

How do we practically trust the promises of God? How do we apply them to the messiness of every day life? What do the promises of God in the gospel mean for the stay-at-home mom, the CEO, the teacher, the 5th grader, the college student, and the pastor? How can each of these people apply God’s promises on a daily basis?

A critical word from Spurstowe is helpful here:

When a Christian first turns his thoughts towards the promises, the appearances of light and comfort which shine from them do oft-times seem to be as weak and imperfect rays which neither scatter fears nor darkness; [but] when again he sets himself to ripen and improve his thoughts upon them, then the evidence and comfort which they yield to the soul, is both more clear and distinct but when the heart and affections are fully fixed in the meditation of a promise, Oh! what a bright mirror is the promise then to the eye of faith! What legions of beauties do then appear from every part of it which both ravish and fill the soul of a believer with delight!

Spurstowe beautifully describes the Christian’s experience with the promises of God. At first they seem too good to be true, so distant they can do us no good. But spending more time with them, like sitting by the fireplace, will warm our hearts with indescribable comfort. To think, that when I sin against God even after being found in Christ, condemnation is not consigned to me because God promised “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). To think, when I am abandoned by everyone around me finding enemies on every side, love everlasting kisses my face and embraces my soul because God promised nothing will separate me from his love (Rom. 8:31-39).

What if we truly trusted the promises of God? Our lives would be radically impacted. Our view of the world would gain much needed perspective. We would never look at our circumstances the same. We wouldn’t fall into despair, because leaning on his promises means a Pauline sorrowful joy is existentially possible. Don’t live life independently from the promises of God. Take them with you wherever you go. Where them around your neck and cling to them when the waves of life crash against you. Don’t just know the promises of God are true, apply the promises to your life.

How can we practically trust and apply the promises of God on a daily basis? I believe there are three ways we can do this:

1. Know the Promises of God

While we can’t end with mental assent, we must begin there. Know the promises of God. This requires pointed and intentional Bible reading. Read the Bible every day and you will encounter many direct and indirect promises to wield in the daily fight for joy.

2. Meditate on the Promises of God

It isn’t enough to have a list of Bible verses of God’s promises. In order to know how to apply them in your particular life setting you must meditate on them. Think deeply about these promises. What are their implications? What are you going through that requires dependence on this or that promise? Fix your mind on God’s promises in such a way that the promise is turned into “a strengthening and reviving cordial.”

3. Memorize the Promises of God

A very practical way to apply the promises is not only to know and meditate on them but to commit them to memory. According to Spurstowe, we should commit specific passages to memory for specific trials we may face. Scripture memory isn’t just an activity for children’s ministry. It is a weapon used to attack the powers of darkness in this world. It is a means of grace to fight for joy in the midst of sorrow.

When life creates hunger, feeding on the Word will provide satisfaction and spiritual nourishment unlike anything else. Act with faith in the promises of God and you will be radically transformed and freed to live and love to the glory of God in all circumstances.

Oh! how securely and contentedly then may a believer, who acts with faith in such promises, lay himself down in the bosom of the Almighty in the worst of all his extremities! Not much unlike the infant that sleeps in the arms of his tender mother with the breast in his mouth, from which, as soon as ever it wakes, it draws a fresh supply that satisfies his hunger, and prevents its unquietness.


11751958_1209158262442953_3486622930933138849_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor of Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. They have one son, Jude Adoniram.

Morning Mashup 09/23


coffee-newspaper

A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


Should We Elect a Muslim President? – Great stuff from Baptist historian Thomas Kidd. He writes, “real religious liberty requires that law-abiding adherents of all faiths have equal access, in principle, to the benefits and offices of the republic, including the presidency.”

Guard Your Hearts at All Costs in the War with Porn – Brian Renshaw offers four helpful safeguards against pornography.

7 Tips for College Students – John Piper offers seven bits of advice for college students. I especially echo #4.

A Brief History of Complementarian Literature – Owen Strachan offers a comprehensive list of books on complementarianism that should be on every pastor’s shelf.

It’s Time to Increase Our Giving to the Cooperative Program – SBC president, Ronnie Floyd, calls SBC churches to give more to the Cooperative Program.

Yogi Berra Dies at 90 – One of the greatest Yankees and catchers to ever play the game died last night at age 90. Both on and off the field, he was one of the most gifted and interesting people the sport has ever seen.

Is Pro-Life Winning? – Russell Moore: “The cause of the unborn will triumph, ultimately, not because pro-life politicians are alive but because Jesus of Nazareth is.”

10 Surprising Facts About LEGO – Everything is Awesome!!

You ascended from before our eyes and we turned back grieving, only to find you in our hearts. –Augustine

Simple Devotion: 3 Keys to Vibrant Family Devotions


FamilyDevotions1-1024x733There is a gap between the desire most Christian parents have to disciple their children and practically carrying out this desire. Timothy Paul Jones has extensively written on this gap and how we can close it. I have not spoken with one parent who has said they do not want to disciple their children. Every parent, without fail, has a desire to disciple their children. But when I ask these same parents how they are carrying out discipleship in the home, they, without fail, begin their answer with a sigh and say, “Well…”

Why is it that we are unable to put our desires for family discipleship into practice? Why do we struggle to initiate family devotions? Why is it so hard for us to discuss a Person who we claim we are staking our lives on? Why is talking about the gospel so awkward for many families?

Family discipleship is not legalistic, nor flippant. We don’t want to go through the motions and we don’t want to be insignificant or irrelevant. Children and teens can quickly determine whether you truly believe what you are talking about. They have a sixth sense for identifying sincerity. We are not after check-list Christianity in implementing discipleship in the home. We are after biblical obedience through a vibrant and gospel-centered discipleship culture in the home. We want our children to see us as their parents as their primary disciple-makers.

But how can we bridge this gap between desire and practice? How can we implement such vibrant family devotions in the home? I believe bridging the gap between desire and practice in family devotions is found in initiative, simplicity, and discipline.

1. Vibrant family devotions require initiative

Simply put, in order for family discipleship to exist there has to come a breaking point in your desires when you finally say, “Enough is enough. Let’s do this.” Fathers, let’s resolve to no longer let our families be spiritually bankrupt and lacking in the home. We can do this by simply sitting with our families, opening the Bible, and reading. You have no idea how much your wife and children will appreciate your initiative to lead them in Christ. Just turn off the TV, open the Bible, and read. It doesn’t matter where you begin. You could begin with one of the gospels, such as Mark or John. Read one chapter each night. Read five verses! The length could not matter less. What matters is that you take the bull by the horns and end the spiritual hunger by feeding your family the sufficient and satisfying Word of God. Without your initiative, family discipleship will remain a waning desire in your heart.

2. Vibrant family devotions require simplicity

This is where the family discipleship train begins to derail. Dads think they need seminary degrees in order to disciple their families. When dads think of family devotions or family worship, they think of children sitting attentively at their feet or in mom’s lap by the fireplace. Dad will read a chapter of the Bible and then give a robust three point devotion. Then spontaneously the children will start singing a glorious hymn. Dad will close with a theologically rich prayer and the Cleavers will then head to bed.

This fanciful and New Earthy idea of family devotions is what leads to a hit and miss family devotion time in the home. When dads realize how impossible a perfect family devotion time really is, many become discouraged and fail to follow through with the initiative they began. But the good news for dads is that there is no such thing as a perfect family devotion time. Jesus died for all your failed family devotions. And he is sufficient in them as well.

One way to move forward through messy family devotions is simplicity in practice. Dads, you don’t need a seminary degree to disciple your families. No one is more qualified to train your children in the fear of God than you because you have been entrusted as the primary disciple-maker in their lives. So, keep your devotions simple. There is no need to complicate things. Read a passage. Read a verse. Make a brief comment about the text and explain the gospel. Pray for your family. If your family devotion time barely lasts five minutes, good! Family devotions do not require 30 minutes of exegetical expertise. By all means, if your family is suited to go deep and far, don’t hold back. But if formality and time are issues that are keeping you from leading a family devotion, just keep it simple. Read. Comment. Explain the gospel. Pray.

3. Vibrant family devotions require discipline

Like sticking to a diet, implementing vibrant family devotions requires discipline. Like a prize fighter who spends countless hours sweating and bleeding in the ring, dads must gather their families around the table or in the living room or bedroom to fight the good fight of the faith through simple devotions. But we must show up for the fight every single morning or night. Set a time to lead a devotion and meet that time every day. If you have to miss your morning devotion, do it in the evening. But don’t unintentionally miss a day. I encourage the families I minister to to lead family devotions five days per week, leaving the weekends off. As necessary as breakfast and dinner are in your home, make family devotions just as necessary. Let your attitude be: No matter what we do, we are going to read the Bible, pray, and discuss the gospel today. Even when you blow it; even when the kids aren’t paying attention; even when your toddler is playing in his food or pulling his sister’s hair, the practice of devoting time and energy to read the Bible, pray, and proclaim the gospel to your family with discipline will speak volumes to your kids. Even if they don’t understand everything, they will understand that this Jesus guy is super important and must be pretty awesome!


11751958_1209158262442953_3486622930933138849_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor of Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. They have one son, Jude Adoniram.

Precious Time: Brief Reflections on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16


Infinity-Time1Have you ever done something or went somewhere and then said to yourself, “Boy, that was a waste of time!” I remember waiting in line to get the autograph of one of my favorite authors. I had one of his books with me and was so excited for him to sign his name on the inside cover of the book and take a picture with me.

I waited in line almost an hour and my favorite author still wasn’t there. Suddenly, I heard the crowd at the front of the line grumble. Word passed from front to back that the author was unable to sign autographs after all. He wasn’t feeling well and was heading to the airport to fly home. I remember rolling my eyes and sighing with everyone else, saying, “Boy, that sure was a waste of time!”

When we spend a lot of time or energy doing something, we want it to be worth something. We want it to count. We want it to matter. We never want to waste our time. Paul wanted the Thessalonian Christians to know that he had not wasted his time with them. He wrote, “For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain” (v. 1). You see, being a Christian in Thessalonica was not easy. Christians were not popular in this city. Paul himself suffered in this city, but he wanted the Thessalonians to know their time and his time was not wasted.

Why? Why would Paul’s time with these Christians not be wasted? And how does Paul know this? Is it worth it to follow Christ when it’s not a popular thing to do? Is it a waste of time to go to church? Is it a waste of time to have family devotions? Is it a waste of time to intentionally pray or share the gospel with your neighbor?

We will never waste our time when we talk about, think about, and share the gospel. Spending time on the gospel is always time well spent. Paul had shared the gospel with these Christians “in the midst of much conflict” (v. 2). Through all the trouble Paul faced, he continued to share the gospel and do whatever it took for these Thessalonians to believe in Jesus. Paul didn’t waste time trying to please other people because he wanted to please God. Paul didn’t waste time keeping the gospel to himself. The gospel was given to him, so he wanted to give it to others (v. 4). Paul didn’t waste his time bragging on himself. Instead, he spent his time bragging on Jesus (v. 5-6).

Paul shared everything he had with the Thessalonians. Most importantly he worked “night and day” both earning a living and sharing the gospel (v. 9). He didn’t waste his time with what he taught the Thessalonians. He taught them the gospel and showed them how to live it out each day (v. 10-12).

Do you know how Paul knows his time wasn’t wasted? First, he obeyed God’s command to teach and preach the gospel. You will never waste your time obeying God. But his time was also not wasted because the gospel found a home in the hearts of the Thessalonians and they were changed. They started imitating Jesus (v. 14). They suffered for Christ (v. 15). When the gospel changes your life, you know you are not wasting your time in church or in Bible study or in family devotions or sharing the gospel with your neighbor. Whatever helps you look more like Jesus is not a waste of time.

You can do a lot of things that are a waste of time. Following Jesus is never one of them. You will never waste your life following Jesus. You will find it.


11751958_1209158262442953_3486622930933138849_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.

Morning Mashup 09/21


coffee-newspaper

A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


Evangelicals Won’t Cave – Lengthy, but good. Russell Moore: “I don’t think American Evangelicals will fold on our sexual ethic…If so, the vibrant Evangelical witness God has called together in Nigeria or Argentina or South Korea or China will be alive and well and ready to send missionaries to preach the whole Gospel. Whether from America or not, a voice will stand, crying in the wilderness”

Dissertation on John Piper’s Life – Justin Taylor’s dissertation on John Piper and Christian Hedonism is available through SBTS. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through parts of this piece. Well done, Dr. Taylor.

Carly Fiorina Surges in Recent Polls – A recent CNN poll shows Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina rising to second in the polls behind Trump.

Why Most Sermons Fail in the First Five Minutes – A helpful look at a common problem as well as solutions for fixing it.

The State of Great Britain – “If Britain were to join the United States, it would be the second-poorest state, behind Alabama and ahead of Mississippi.”

Why C.S. Lewis Told Carl Henry “No” – Excellent brief look at Lewis’ shift from writing gospel explanations and doctrinal defenses to fiction.

4 Fake Grammar Rules – This post will relieve many writers like me.

Treat sin as it will treat you; spare it not for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the world; treat it therefore as a murderer should be treated. Kill it before it kills you. –Richard Baxter

Morning (Afternoon?) Mashup


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Okay, so maybe I didn’t get Morning Mashup quite finished last night. “Bad blogger!” I know. I got to chill with my five month old son Jude for a little longer than usual this morning, so if that means y’all have to get your Morning Mashup at 1:00, then so be it. Of course, my West Coast friends will be quite pleased to receive their email notification at 10:00 instead of 6:30. You’re welcome, guys! Well, anyway, here is your late Friday edition of Morning Mashup–a mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


The New York Times turns 164 – The New York Times was first published on this date in 1851. The Times has celebrated by sharing a digital version of that original and groundbreaking paper. I’m thankful for this publication even when (most often) vehemently disagree with it.

Arabic Baptist Church Fights Confusion, Grasps Evangelism – “White or Arab, English-speakers or not, members of the congregation have the same mission: Evangelizing Middle Tennessee’s Muslims in a language many of them understand.”

Fiorina Was Right – It truly hurts my heart to see so many on the Left willing to fight so hard to see innocent and helpless babies butchered. Technicalities aside, the images Fiorina described Wednesday night are real. How much have the consciences of those on the Left been seared?

Have Evangelicals Who Support Trump Lost Their Values? – Russell Moore’s NY Times op-ed is fantastic. And there is a wonderful reference to The Office where Moore compares Trump to Dwight Schrute. But did Dwight really deserve that?

Six Traits to Look for in a Spouse – “Dream and pray and seek counsel about the characteristics you should be looking for in a potential spouse, and then resolve not to settle for less.”

4 Truths About Hell – “So, what should we think of hell? Is the idea of it really responsible for all the cruelty and torture in the world? Is the doctrine of hell incompatible with the way of Jesus Christ?”

5 Ways to Minister to Women in Crisis – “The bad news is that we’re inadequate. The good news, though, is that Christ is more than adequate to deal with any traumatic situation. It is to him we must point our struggling sister.”

Book Recommendations – If you ever wondered what was on the bookshelves of The Gospel Coalition board and staff, wonder no longer. This resource is awesome.

It is better for us to confess our ignorance than express an unwarranted confidence. –John Stott

Quick Quotes: 10 Quotes from “Show Them Jesus” by Jack Klumpenhower


Q-train-logoEvery Friday, I plan to share select quotes from a book I am either currently reading or have previously read. Few things have impacted my faith and life as much as reading has. This will be just one way I promote books and reading. These articles will be for the dedicated reader who loves to gain insight from as many books as possible. They will also be for the Christian looking for new books to read. I am always on the lookout for new books to read. Hopefully some things I share will lead you to pick up a new book. Finally, these articles will be for those of you too busy to read. Hopefully these quick quotes will provide you with easy access to books you would otherwise not have time to read. Each article will include a brief discussion of the author and his work followed by ten (or more) pertinent quotes from the book.


As I was looking through the books on a shelf in my study, I came across one of the best books I read in 2014. Show Them Jesus is one of those books you read quickly the first time because the content and writing style is so good. But the second time through you take time to draw out every principle and learn from each concrete example. My simple conclusion after reading this book twice over: If you teach the gospel to kids, be ashamed if you don’t have this book. Pastors should require every staff or lay leader in the church who teaches kids. Even if you only teach kids for one semester, you would immensely benefit from this book. All pastors to children or children’s ministry directors should be required to read this book.

Do I agree with every example given? No. Do I think the author could have provided a better illustration here or there? Sure. But most points of disagreement were in the realm of personal preference. The principles given for teaching the gospel to kids are biblically and theologically rich. Klumpenhower, a veteran children’s ministry curriculum writer, knows the struggles and inadequacies in most children’s curriculums. He also knows the struggle in teaching the tough parts of the Bible to kids, as well as the issue of discussing personal sin with kids. He is honest and open about the struggle, but offers no excuses for refusing to habitually lay the gospel before our kids.

Show Them Jesus is instructive. One could easily take the author’s principles and concrete examples and immediately put them to use in a children’s ministry or family devotion time. You will immediately feel the benefit of this book. I dare you to pick up a copy and not see improvement in your teaching and children’s ministry.

41YDWctSBDLIf my embellishing doesn’t lead you to Amazon, hopefully these ten quotes will send you to pick up and benefit from Show Them Jesus.

1. The message of Jesus’ death and resurrection is a tool of the Spirit to change hearts. Nagging is not. Rather than coax the kids into temporarily acting better, Joe told about Jesus and trusted God to use that message to make the kids become better.

2. When it comes to teaching the gospel, all of us are clumsy.

3. If you feel uncomfortable talking with your kids about how Jesus died for us, start changing that right now by building a habit of mentioning the cross.

4. A good-news teacher must not sugarcoat God’s demands.

5. The good news does not let Christianity become a guidebook by which kids adjust their lives.

6. The gospel-day trap happens when we think of the good news as very important—critical to salvation!—but as something that only some kids need to hear some of the time.

7. Kids will always choose according to their nature, and the conversion from a sinful nature to a reborn-by-the-Spirit one seldom comes by pressing for an external decision. It comes from being convicted of sin, hearing of God’s saving love, and finding delight in the matchless person of Jesus,

8. We should teach the good news with an urgency and expectation that its payoff is good behavior, or else our doctrine will be served cold. And we must teach good behavior only when we show it flowing from the good news, or else kids will choke on moralism.

9. Jesus isn’t anything like the moody, distant God many kids imagine. In Jesus, God’s absolute authority and his utter love come together—and the result is “Wow!”

10. In lesson after lesson kids need to see a thousand wonder-filled details that make up the character of Jesus, until they realize, with a gasp, that they have seen the face of God. And God is so, so good.


11751958_1209158262442953_3486622930933138849_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.