Sunday, December 21, 2014

Top 20 Christmas Carols

Oxford University Press publishes most of the carols the world knows and loves — the one that has just popped into your head is probably one of theirs — with newly-composed Christmas titles added every year. 
Their top 20 Christmas Carols according to orders and rights requests are:
1. Shepherd’s pipe carol — John Rutter, from Carols for Choirs 2 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
2. Hark! the herald-angels sing — Mendelssohn arr. David Willcocks, from Carols for Choirs 1 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
3. The twelve days of Christmas — John Rutter, from Carols for Choirs 2 and 100 Carols for Choirs
4. Star Carol — John Rutter, from Carols for Choirs 3 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
5. O come, all ye faithful — David Willcocks, from Carols for Choirs 1 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
6. Once in royal David’s city — Gauntlett arr. David Willcocks, from Carols for Choirs 2 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
7. Angels’ Carol — John Rutter 
8. Candlelight Carol — John Rutter, from Carols for Choirs 5 
9. Jingle bells — Pierpont arr. David Willcocks, from 100 Carols for Choirs 
10. O little town of Bethlehem — Vaughan Williams, from Carols for Choirs 1 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
11. A merry Christmas — arr. Arthur Warrell, from Carols for Choirs 1 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
12. Jesus Child — John Rutter, from Carols for Choirs 3 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
13. Nativity carol — John Rutter, from Carols for Choirs 2 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
14. O Holy Night, Adolphe — arr. John Rutter 
15. I saw three ships — John Rutter, from Carols for Choirs 3 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
16. Ding dong! Merrily on high — David Willcocks, from Carols for Choirs 2 and 100 Carols for Choirs 
17. Joy to the world — John Rutter, from 100 Carols for Choirs 
18. On Christmas Night – Bob Chilcott 
19. What sweeter music — John Rutter 
20. The shepherd’s farewell — Hector Berlioz, from Carols for Choirs 1 and 100 Carols for Choirs - For more information visit:  Oxford University Press

Movie: Joyeux Noel

JOYEUX NOEL (Merry Christmas) tells the true-life story of the spontaneous Christmas Eve truce declared by Scottish, French and German troops in the trenches of World War I.  Enemies leave their weapons behind for one night as they band together in brotherhood and forget about the brutalities of war. Diane Krüger (Troy), Daniel Brühl (Good Bye Lenin!) and Benno Fürmann (The Princess and the Warrior) head a first-rate international cast in a truly powerful, must-see film.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book: The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus

In the Gospel of the Lord, through a distinctive evangelical and critical approach, Michael Bird explores the historical development of the four canonical Gospels. He shows how the memories and faith of the earliest believers formed the Gospel accounts of Jesus that got written and, in turn, how these accounts further shaped the early church.
Bird's study clarifies the often confusing debates over the origins of the canonical Gospels. Bird navigates recent concerns and research as he builds an informed case for how the early Christ followers wrote and spread the story of Jesus -- the story by which they believed they were called to live. The Gospel of the Lord is ideal for students or anyone who wants to know the story behind the four Gospels.

What others are saying about the book

N. T. Wright  -- St. Andrews University
"Studying the Gospels is daunting for the beginner and difficult even for the seasoned scholar. Mike Bird here slices a path through the tangled mess of older hypotheses and offers clear guidelines for the way forward. . . . Everyone will profit enormously from wrestling with the issues presented here in a fresh and compelling manner."

Craig A. Evans -- Acadia Divinity College

"Carefully researched and engagingly written. . . . Michael Bird asks all the right questions about the New Testament Gospels - what they really are, why they even exist, why these four Gospels and not others - and then provides very sensible answers. Bird shows that the Evangelists tell the stories of Jesus' life, teaching, and deeds because Christian faith ultimately is about following Jesus. Scholars and students alike will find new and refreshing ideas in this instructive book."

Robert H. Gundry-- Westmont College

"In The Gospel of the Lord Michael Bird treats with acute perception not only the ways in which the early church wrote the story of Jesus but also the ways in which modern scholars have reconstructed those earlier ways. The treatment is wide-ranging, thoroughly documented, evangelical, and eminently fair in its presentation of opposing points of view. Ideal as a required textbook for seminarians and as a compendium for all others engaged in the academic study of Jesus' life!"

Jonathan T. Pennington -- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Well-researched and well-written, this book is a delightful read from beginning to end. It contains both a state-of-the-art discussion of many complex Gospel issues and several creative suggestions for new ways forward. A great resource for studying the Gospels."

-- Library Journal (STARRED review)

“Bird is one of the younger leading scholars in New Testament studies, and this volume is one of the outstanding literary achievements of the year. With care, clarity, and thorough scholarship, the author discusses possibilities for the origins, the genre, and the goals of the four Gospels. . . . This work is scholarly but remarkably free of academese; it should be a perfect fit for seminary libraries, religious leaders, and scholars.”

Read Amazon Customer Reviews here 

Watch an interview with the author regarding the book

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Blessing: May the feet of God walk with you

The Christmas Blessing - May the feet of God walk with you is a popular blessing for many Lutheran congregations in Australia


Sheet music is available from SongSelect  or through the song writer Robin Mann by purchasing All together again music edition 

if you use this song don't forget to register it on your ccli records 

Discussion Starters: Evangelism involves

Evangelism involves discussion starters are short articles to encourage members in their life as Christians.
The following discussion starters first appeared in the Bulletin/toolkit of the Portland-Heywood Lutheran Church in May and June.   You can you use them in your bulletin or newsletter or as a discussion starter at a meeting...
After reading them you may want to ask the following questions:
What did you think of that discussion starter?
What does it mean for our community or congregation?
What is one thing this discussion starter is prompting us to do or change?

Evangelism involves reaching out to all age groups including seniors
Statistics show as a percentage of the population there will be a higher portion of people over 65 in the future (now this does not mean the number of young people is declining in fact they are growing as well in numbers but declining as a percentage of the population. And even though they say the church is getting older we know that not every older person is part of a Christian community or has faith in Jesus… Some older people have deep hurts and regrets, others desire community, some are so battered through life experiences they question if there is a loving God, others are struggling to cope with change, some need an avenue to express their gifts, others are coping with health issues that is affecting theme physically and emotionally, some are looking for what was in the past, some are enjoying life now….and the list continues….The starting point in reaching out to seniors is no different to the starting point in reaching out to anyone else….be prepared to spend time with a senior person in your community..
How might your church community best reach out to older people?

Evangelism isn’t a One-Time Deal…
Read and take notice of Acts 8:36-40 (one of the coolest sections in the Bible… God literally teleports someone)!! The eunuch receives Christ, is baptised, and then God moves Phillip
somewhere else to KEEP proclaiming Christ. We are NEVER done with this…God has strategically placed each one of us in places of work, in neighbourhoods, and in certain social situations NOT for our comfort… but rather He placed us there with specific relationships so that we can literally tell others about Jesus! It’s NOT a one-time deal…it’s a core value that we must embrace in our lives if we are going to follow Christ!....
What relationships do you have now....that give you the opportunity to share Christ?

Evangelism requires the Holy Spirit which means we need to be regularly worshipping and studying the bible
Martin Luther explains that the bible reminds us that we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called us by the Gospel, enlightened us with His gifts, sanctified and keeps us in the true faith (explanation to the 3rd article of the Apostles Creed). Worship and regular bible study are
therefore essential both for anyone who is involved in God’s mission and evangelism and at the same time it is important to lead people to God through bible study and worship as it is
through these activities that the Holy Spirit calls people to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Evangelism requires having a good relationship with God
For us to be involved in God’s mission, means God working in us and through us…It means us have an understanding of what God is on about so we can share with others what we know of the God who not only loves us but everyone…Our relationship with God develops as we love and study God’s Word, pray daily with Him, ask what does it mean for us to be more Christ like, ask for God’s Spirit to fill us and work in us and through us, ask God to reveal our sins, confess our sins and receive His love, forgiveness and guidance, and ask God’s help to see people as He sees them. All this involves dedicating time with God so your relationship with Him grows.

Evangelism involves being God’s witnesses everywhere
Acts chapter 1 verse 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of
the earth; is a reminder to us that being a Christian witness involves being a Christian witness everywhere… home, in your street, in your town, in your shire or region, in your state, in your country and throughout the world. Take some time this week to pray for God to fill you with His Spirit and to show you what it means for you to be His witness everywhere….

Evangelism must come back to a conversation about Jesus
It is important to remember we are called to PROCLAIM CHRIST! Notice in Acts 8:31-35 that Phillip began where the eunuch was and brought the conversation back around to JESUS! It HAS TO come back to Christ…our conversations with people can go in many different directions…political and sociological…however evangelism needs to always lead to a conversation about Jesus… no one EVER turned to Christ because they had all of their questions answered!!! Always bring your conversations around to JESUS!

PLEASE understand this…if Phillip had simply said, “I am not going to share Christ with him…I’m just going to buy him a cup of coffee and give him a warm smile,” then we would have had nothing more than a story about a caffeinated eunuch who felt good about himself for a moment but NEVER HEARD ABOUT JESUS! THAT IS A BAD STORY!

Evangelism is about exploring and sharing stories
Everyone person has not just a story…but numerous stories that help them understand and explain their life. As Christians not only has God played a significant role in our story and our stories, we are in fact part of His story. Seeing life this way places God as the main
character and author of our stories giving us a good perspective of our life. Importantly it also helps us link with other people and their stories. Take some time to think about your story and think about how and where has God been part of your story. Then also think about

how is God encouraging you to interact with other people’s stories.

Evangelism involves being normal!!!!
Do you notice in Acts 8:29-30 that Phillip does not say, “Hello, hell-bound sinner, did you know that unless you repent of your sin and give your life to Jesus, you are going to fry like bacon in a devil’s hell?” He did not scream, yell, or hold up signs. He simply listened to the Spirit, ran up to the chariot (at times we will need to chase after people), and asked a simple question, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

It’s amazing the opportunities that God puts in front of us every single day…and when we see them and embrace them, we simply need to be normal, engage with people in conversation, and communicate that we are interested in them.

Evangelism involves praying for and looking for Open Doors
Colossians 4 verses 2 and 3 says, Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.
Open doors can’t be taken for granted. There will be times when it is difficult or appears impossible to share the gospel, because people are resistant to the gospel. Open doors happen when the hearts of an individual is open and receptive to God’s truth. Often for us to
experience an open door we need to have developed a relationship with a persona and be prepared to get in a conversations with people….then we need to have our eyes, ears and minds open to notice when people are open to receive the Gospel.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Study Resources: Exodus Gods and Kings

Exodus:  Gods and Kings opens in December 2014...
To help you grow in your Christian faith we have prepared the a study resource that will help you and others unpack the Exodus story as you reflect on the movie...
download:  .Exodus: Gods and Kings study resources

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Report: Objections to the Christian Faith from the unchurched and dechurched

Objections to the Christian Faith from the Unchurched and De-Churched is the focus of the Resurgence Report from Mars Hill

What do non-Christians really think about Christians and Jesus? 
What do they say when we’re not in the room?
Though the cultural divide between Christians and non-Christians is growing, we are still missionaries with a God-given passion to see people meet Jesus and be rescued for eternity. To do this, it would help to know what they love, what they hate, what they think about Jesus, and what they believe about the big questions of life.
In 21st century America, what reasons do people give for rejecting Jesus? You may be surprised to know that there are nine objections to Christianity that are brought up again and again among an incredibly diverse population. Chances are, the people you’re trying to reach have the same questions and objections, even if they won’t voice them in polite conversation.

The Resurgence Report represents our effort to hear non-Christians speak from the heart so that we can better love our neighbors and humbly lead them toward truth, freedom, and joy in Jesus.

What is the report?
Together with market research companies, Gfk and Saurage Marketing Research, we put together a massive collection of data and resources by polling and interviewing un-churched and de-churched people across America.
Interviewed 8 focus groups in 4 cities (San Francisco, Phoenix, Austin, and Boston)
Conducted a telephone survey with 1,000 responses throughout the U.S.

What comes in the report?
Resurgence has made the entire report and all of our research available to you for free:

Phone Survey summary and responses from GfK.
List of the Top Objections to Christianity.
List of 1,000 verbatim responses to “What is your impression of Evangelical Christians?”
List of 1,000 verbatim responses to “Who is Jesus?”
Saurage Focus Groups summary.
10-minute audio clips of both men and women focus groups in 4 different cities.
Full transcripts from each focus group.

Who is this report for?
Pastors, Church Planters, Ministry Workers, Bible Students, Authors, Bloggers, and more. The Resurgence Report was built with ministry leaders in mind, but can be used by anyone, Christian or non-Christian, wishing to explore more about the objections to Christianity.

How do you define un-churched and de-churched?
Un-churched are those who have never attended a church regularly, and de-churched are those who once attended regularly but are no longer part of a church.

Our hope is this valuable research can be helpful for you as you prepare content such as sermons, books, or blog posts.

You can download this report at

Why being the body of Christ requires God!!!

Why being the body of Christ....requires God.....
a/ It is ultimately God's body......think about it!!! The body needs to be constantly shaped by God!!! (this means every member needs to be shaped by HIS WORD, HIS SACRAMENTS AND HIS COMMUNITY!!!)
b/ Everyone in the body needs to be ministered to!!!
c/ Everyone in the body needs to minister to others in the body!!!
d/ Everyone in the body is called to take God's great news to those outside the body!!!
e/ Everybody in the body needs to be welcoming people on God's behalf!!
Try doing this without God, His word, His influence, His will be nothing more than a collection of people, no matter how good they look, that are more worried about themselves and how others see them...than God touching the lives of others through them!!!!

Check out the following passages:
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
Romans 12:3-8
Ephesians 4:1-16
Hebrews 10:19-25
Acts 2:42-47

Friday, December 05, 2014

Center Stage Bible Skits: Old and New Testament

Center Stage is a two disk CD containing over 100 Bible story skits with colorful, realistic Bible times projectable backdrops and easy to follow instructions for creating props and costumes. 
One CD contains Old Testament Bible stories and another contains New Testament Bible stories. 
This unique resource is an all-in-one, easy to use set that allows you to easily integrate drama into classroom, education, or worship settings. 

Each CD provides:

  • Over 50 Bible story skits.
  • Instructions for props, costumes, and backgrounds that add depth and interest to a production.
  • Downloadable scripts and directions on a CD-ROM
  • Realistic, colorful Bible times projectable backdrops.
  • Easy to follow instructions. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Book: MotorSage: Mixing Water and Oil

MotorSage is the ideal book for the Christian automobile lover.   Thomas Beam (a automobile expert and a Christian pastor) has produced a collection of faith-based short stories produced especially for those who love automobiles. These stories deliver real and thoughtful messages both for those who are technically-minded and those who think they are not.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Article: Dear parents with Children in Church

Jamie Bruesehoff, writes an article for parents with children encouraging them to persevere in worship....this is also a good an article for everyone in the can read the article 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Article: Sermon Structures

David Schmitt at Concordia Theology discusses that preparing a sermon can be a messy activity. Meditating on the Scriptural text, the world around you, and the work of God in the lives of his people produces a vast array of ideas and experiences. For example, one week a preacher may gather together a line from a hymn, a scene from a recent movie, a metaphor of the gospel, an exegetical insight, a conversation after bible class, a controversy in the news, and a child’s drawing left in the pew. Any of these ideas might make it into the sermon. All of them cannot. So the preacher needs to be selective about what he includes and purposeful about when he includes it as he shapes the experience of the sermon. How does a preacher do that?  By using a sermon structure.

A sermon structure is the purposeful ordering of ideas and experiences in the sermon.  It helps the preacher identify what material will be included in the sermon and organize that material into purposeful proclamation. Historically, preachers have found that certain structures work well for communicating to God’s people. This website provides you an overview of those structures, both in theory and in practice.
The structures are divided into three categories:  thematic structures, textual structures, and dynamic structures. Thematic structures arise from the teaching of the sermon. The preacher identifies a main teaching and then divides that teaching into points for the hearers that follow one another in a logical order. Textual structures arise from the text of the sermon. They may follow the text in a verse-by-verse fashion, move from the text to application, or incorporate the genre of the text in preaching. Dynamic structures arise from the experience of the hearers. They identify the experiences of one’s hearers, their cultural and spiritual modes of knowing, and use them in service to the proclamation of the gospel.
Each structure has strengths and weaknesses in respect to the tapestry of preaching and, therefore, preachers choose their sermon structure wisely. For example, a verse-by-verse structure can work well in communicating the meaning of a text (i.e., textual exposition) but may cause the hearers to be unsure of the primary teaching of the sermon (i.e., theological confession) or to lose sight of the work of Christ in their lives (i.e., evangelical proclamation). In contrast, a thematic structure of definition can work well in defining one main thought for the hearers (i.e, theological confession) and applying it to their lives (i.e., hearer interpretation), but may overlook much of the text (i.e, textual exposition) or not relate this teaching to God’s gracious work in Christ (i.e., evangelical proclamation).
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of various sermon structures enables the preacher to use them wisely. The more familiar a preacher is with various sermon structures, the greater ability he will have to choose the structure that fits his preaching situation. This website is an introduction to various sermon structures and hopes to foster variety of form and faithfulness in proclamation.

Table of Contents

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book: Ministry in disaster settings

Ministry in Disaster Settings: Lessons from the Edge studies the issues for clergy and church leaders during disasters. 
It is based on interviews with a number of ministry agents who cared for their communities during and after major tragedies. The book seeks to understand what were the issues for them, including how they were affected, if and how they were cared for, and what lessons the church can learn in doing this work and caring for the carers. this is a valuable resource to all people involved in ministry, chaplaincy and caring for pastors and other religious helpers. 

Part One is a series of Case Studies of individual ministers and chaplains involved in: 

  • The Granville Train Disaster; 
  • The Kempsey Bus Crash; 
  • The Port Arthur Massacre 
  • the Thredbo Ski Resort Landslide. 

Part Two examines the nature of ministry "on the edge" and its affect on ministry agents. 
Part Three is Biblical and Theological Reflections on Ministry in Crisis times. 
Part Four consists of lessons for ministry on the edge; for pastors and their carers.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Article: Choosing leaders: Character, Competence and Committment

Many congregations and churches are in a position of selecting leaders....lay and paid leaders.   

The following article from Ivey Business Journal highlights that when it comes to selecting and assessing CEOs, other C-suite level executives or board members, the most important criteria for boards to consider are competencies, commitment and character. This article focuses on the most difficult of these criteria to assess – leadership character – and suggests the eleven key dimensions of character that directors should consider in their governance roles.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Small Group/Life Group Video studies first lesson free from over 140 bible studies

Zondervan offers the entire first lesson for over 140 their DVD based group Bible studies. No more guessing on the content, instead you get the full video experience by being able to see and evaluate the complete first lesson of each multi-lesson Bible study.
Each video is easy to share with your friends, small group or Bible study. Just hit the "share" button under the video and send it via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Zondervan video-based group Bible studies are available on DVD. These video Bible studies feature a variety of topics from many authors, and are available wherever small group resources and curriculum are sold including, and many others

Visit the playlist page
or click the video below

2014 New Years eve and New Years day ideas

New years eve is a great opportunity to spend time with God and other Christians, reflecting on the year gone and preparing of the year ahead
Following are some suggestions that may help you in your New Years eve and day planning.

New Years Eve worship service with stations

LifeWay suggestions for New Years Eve

United Church of Christ Watch Night Service

African American Lectionary Watch Night Service

Textweek suggestions

Reformed worship ideas

Messiah Lutheran Church - Worship ideas you can use

Creative Youth Ideas

Skit Guys videos

Bible Readings recommended by the Lutheran Church of Australia
31 Dec 14 New Year’s Eve
Jeremiah 24:1-7 The vision of the two baskets of figs
Psalm 102:24-28
1 Peter 1:22-25 We are born anew by the word of God
Luke 13:6-9 The parable of the unfruitful fig tree

1 Jan 15 New Year’s Day
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 For everything there is a time
Psalm 8
Revelation 21:1-6a A new heaven and a new earth
Matthew 25:31-46 The last judgment

Monday, November 10, 2014

Article: 7 lies Christian parents believe

Callie Grant in an article in the Relevant Magazine discusses that properly leading a child means clearing the air of our own misperceptions. Here are seven myths that block effective Christian parenting.
Read the article at

Newsletter: In Every Place Witnessing Newsletter

In every place is a newsletter that offers news, information, inspiration and encouragement for personal Christian witnessing.  The newsletter evolved from follow up email communications sent to participants of Witness Workshops conducted in various Districts during 2012/13. 

This edition of the newsletter includes:

  • Biblical reasons for witnessing
  • Encouragement
  • Prayer
  • Six Witnessing principles
  • Proven Gospel outlines
  • Excuses given for not witnessng

Web Site: Living in the next phase - ministry to and by older Christians

Living in the next phase vision is to see third (55-75 year old's) and fourth (75 plus year old's) age people nurtured in their faith, reaching out to their peers with the Gospel and exercising their spiritual gifts and godly wisdom in a vital ministry within the church.
Influenced strongly by Psal 92:12-14....The righteous will flourish ... they will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green ...

The web site includes:

  • Events
  • Articles
  • Recommended Reading
  • Newsletter
  • Recommended Education
  • DVDs

DVD of their 2014 conference
Session 1: A Biblical Approach to Aging (Bishop Peter Jensen)
Session 2: Living in the Next Phase (Rev. Dr Andrew Cameron)
Session 3: Understanding the Global Generations Mindsets and Implications for Mission/Ministry to the Aging Baby Boomers (Mark McCrindle social researcher)

Workshop 3: Forever Young: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Challenges of Aging Well Convener: Jill McGilvray, Speaker: Dr Andrew Cole
Growing Older in a Youth Obsessed World 
Living Well in the Next Phase
• Creation
• The Visit
• Our Mortality—Thanatology
• Palliative Care
• Beyond Death—1 Cor. 15
• Jesus—The Way, Truth & Life
Who Cares for the Carer?
• Who is a Carer?
• Care for the Carers: Carer Wellbeing
• Spread the Word of God
Empowering over 55s for Ministry
• Identifying Opportunities for ministry with seniors in the local church
• Recruiting, Preparing & Maintaining teams for seniors ministry
• Discovering and using your Spiritual Gifts in ministry
Sharing the gospel with Over 55s
Session 1: Preparing Our Gospel…
Session 2: Preparing Ourselves
Session 3: Preparing for God’s People..
Growing a Dynamic Ministry to Over 55s
Session 1:- Our Identity in Christ
Session 2:- Our Part in Christ’s mission
Session 3:- Vintage Christians
Enjoying Your Best Years: Staying Young While Growing Older
Session 1: Saying Young while growing older
Session 2: Ageing Well to enjoy our best years
The Best is Yet to Come
Biblical foundation and principles of Ministry to Older Adults
Designing a Ministry to Older Adults

Visit Living in the next Phase

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Book: Seeing God as Father: The Fullness of Sonship Explored by Noel Due

Noel Due, the regional resourcing pastor for the Lutheran Church of Queensland, along with Daniel Bush and Steve Brown, explore what it means for God to be our Father.
There book is helpful if your reality and vitality of God’s fatherhood is outside your experience.   The wonderful news is that God isn’t like your father, no matter how good or bad he’s been. To call God “Father” isn’t an analogy; he’s not like a father—he is the one and only Father, of whom all earthly fathers and mothers are but poor reflections. In the face of Jesus you see him as he really is and he’s poured out his Spirit so that he’ll be your “Abba.” His purpose is to lead into your true destiny, the liberty of sonship.
Chapters include:
Seeing God as Father

  • God the Father:  all in all
  • Filled with fullness
  • Father's Plan
  • The Lord in our midst
  • The Father's Cross
  • Freed to rest
  • Being in the Spirit
  • Waking in the Spirit
  • Confident Access
  • Joyful Mission
  • Perfecting Sons and Daughters
  • The United Family

Article: Wondered into anyone's heart lately?

Doug Pollock, the author of the book Irresistible Evangelism highlights that many of our evangelistic efforts can build walls, perpetuating the us v them standoff...but then discusses there are ways to wonder into someone's heart....and you just find these ways help someone wonder their way to the article Wondered into anyone's heart lately?    The article is available here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Advent Devotions: Life on the Jesse Tree

Life on the Jesse Tree is a Series of Advent Devotions from the Royal Redeemer Worshipping Community
The tradition of the Jesse Tree dates back to the Middle Ages. The Church of that day began to explore the lineage of Christ and the family tree listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. As they explored the stories of those in this family line, they saw that each and every one of them ultimately pointed to the coming of this baby born in a manger in Bethlehem.
Life on the Jesse Tree is a series of 25 daily devotionals written by the staff of Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church and School along with key Bible references.
To download a copy of these Advent Devotions visit:

Outlook and Google Lectionary Calendars: Year B

Year B Lectionary Calendars for Outlook and other electronic calendars are available from:

Lutheran Church of Australia - Year B

Click on the RCL entry for the bible readings
An ical format for importing into Outlook is available here
You can view this calendar here

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod - 
Concordia Publishing House
One Year and Year B Calendars are available here

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - 
Augsburg Fortress
Known as the Little Red Book is available here

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod  - 
Common Worship
Google Calendar is available here

Narrative Lectionary
ical format for importing into Outlook is available here
You can view this calendar here

Share Life: Outreach lessons from Jesus

Share Life is an outreach resource produced by Concordia Publishing House

Share Life Devotional and Share Life Flipbook

In share life we discover how Jesus shows us how to live out our faith in small ways.
Each lesson walks readers through a Gospel of John narrative
Includes practical ideas to put into action immediately
Do you ever get tongue-tied talking about your faith? All of us struggle sometimes to find the right words. If you truly desire to make an emotional connection, focus on personal interactions instead.
Share Life! resources encourage Christians to focus on things we do rather than words we say, so that others may see the love of Christ in us. Show people the abundant life you have in Jesus instead of telling them about it. After all, actions speak louder than words.

Book: Builder ministry for the 21st Century

Builder Ministry for the 21st Century is intended to promote productive discussion among ministers and church leaders who are concerned about the future of their congregations and church bodies. Author David Luecke says "the bottom-line message of this book is that Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians need to become better at promoting and sharing personal spiritual experiences. Instead of assuming the spiritual goods of life in Christ, they need to be more effective at delivering the spiritual goods."  

Chapter 1 notes how the overlap between a congregation's loyal church community and the larger social community is disappearing.
Chapter 2 shows how churches that stayed with their roots in European state protected church bodies have a valuable heritage of stressing the objective truths about God, sin, Christ and salvation.
Chapter 3 focuses on the inherited shepherd model of ministry, with its strengths and weaknesses.
Chapter 4 describes the builder model of ministry that is oriented to building up the fellowship of Christ's body in a particular location.
Chapter 5 presents the fellowship builder's box of tools.
Chapter 6 discusses how to cultivate the soil for the Holy Spirit's work in a congregation.
Chapter 7 explores the place of personal spiritual experience and feelings in church life together.
Chapter 8 highlights how church bodies develop their own customs and cultures for living out their faith.
Chapter 9 distinguishes between a congregation's formal organization in service to its basic identity as an informal fellowship.
Chapter 10 develops the role of oversight in church leadership.
Chapter 11 focuses on a transition process