Updated 2017 Book List

Here is the updated book list for this year:

Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

College Ministry 101: A Guide to Working with 18-25 Year Olds by Chuck Bomar

Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support by Brad House

Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary by Ernie Johnson Jr.

Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan K. Dodson

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed The Movies by Mark Clark

Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the King of the Monsters by Brian Solomon

Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation by Susan J. Napier

What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert

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Sunday Devotional: Psalm 40

“I waited patiently for the Lord,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.

How happy is the man
who has put his trust in the Lord
and has not turned to the proud
or to those who run after lies!
Lord my God, You have done many things—
Your wonderful works and Your plans for us;
none can compare with You.
If I were to report and speak of them,
they are more than can be told.

You do not delight in sacrifice and offering;
You open my ears to listen.
You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering.
Then I said, “See, I have come;
it is written about me in the volume of the scroll.
I delight to do Your will, my God;
Your instruction lives within me.”

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
see, I do not keep my mouth closed—
as You know, Lord.
I did not hide Your righteousness in my heart;
I spoke about Your faithfulness and salvation;
I did not conceal Your constant love and truth
from the great assembly.

Lord, do not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your constant love and truth will always guard me.
For troubles without number have surrounded me;
my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my courage leaves me.
Lord, be pleased to deliver me;
hurry to help me, Lord.

Let those who seek to take my life
be disgraced and confounded.
Let those who wish me harm
be driven back and humiliated.
Let those who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
be horrified because of their shame.

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
let those who love Your salvation continually say,
“The Lord is great!”
I am afflicted and needy;
the Lord thinks of me.
You are my helper and my deliverer;
my God, do not delay.”  (Psalm 40)

In the midst of such suffering and pain that we are experiencing during these troubled times, it is important to remember that this is nothing new.  The world has dealt with tremendous pain and sorrow because of this being a fallen world.  David knew of this pain during his life.  Yet he trusted in the Lord to help deliver him.

David knew that that Lord was trustworthy.  He knew that the Lord would bring hope and salvation.  So he waited for the Lord to deliver.  Waiting is hard especially when the hurt is so great.  Yet we are called to wait on the Lord and put our trust in Him.  The good thing is that trust is not unfulfilled.  God is faithful.

This week, let us hope and trust in the Lord, even in the roughest and toughest of circumstances.  Let us wait on Him and trust He will deliver.

Thursday Quote Day: Charles Spurgeon

Here is another quote from pastor and theologian Charles Spurgeon:

“There is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering, and not by earnest activity…The path of trouble is the way home.  Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head!” (Charles Spurgeon)

Sunday Devotional: Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

A couple of years ago, I used this verse for a Sunday Devotional.  I was reminded of this verse again recently and how it is very much still applicable today.

Paul wrote these words finishing up a letter to a group of believers that he cared for very deeply.  He helped to plant the church in Philippi wanted to see and hear that the believers there were growing in their faith.  He wanted them to keep pursuing Christ and to continue the work there.

We as believers have that same calling.  We are to keep pursing Christ and continue the work of sharing the Gospel.  And as we do that, we are to engage life with the filter that this verse   We live in a time when we are bombarded on all sides from things that are not the things in these verses.  We must strive to separate out these things to find the things that are true, that are just, that are pure, that are worthy of praise.

This week, let us make sure that we take time to reflect on those things that honor God, those things that point us to Him.  Let us think on those things so that we can be focused on what it is He has for us to do.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 113

“Hallelujah!
Give praise, servants of Yahweh;
praise the name of Yahweh.
Let the name of Yahweh be praised
both now and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
let the name of Yahweh be praised.

Yahweh is exalted above all the nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like Yahweh our God—
the One enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile
in order to seat them with nobles—
with the nobles of His people.
He gives the childless woman a household,
making her the joyful mother of children.
Hallelujah!” (Psalm 113)

One of the many good things about the psalms is it helps remind and bring us back into meditating and praising the Lord. This psalm is another example of that.  Psalm 113 reminds us of who God is and why we should praise Him.

The Lord is mighty and worthy to be exalted over all others.  He is worthy to be praised for who He is and what He has done.  He gives hope to the hopeless.  He cares for the needy.  He rescues the lost.  He is the Lord.

This week let us remember who God is and what He has done.  And let us give thanks and praise His name for it.

Thursday Quote Day: Darrell Bock

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features a quote from professor and theologian Darrell Bock:

“The issue is not who we may or may not serve, but serving where need exists. We are not to seek to limit who our neighbors might be. Rather, we are to be a neighbor to those whose needs we can meet.”  (Darrell Bock)