Sunday, April 26, 2015

Conference: Keeping it real living the Jesus life in a secular world

Too often the gospel becomes abstract doctrines we’re supposed to believe instead of the living Lord Jesus himself, present in his Word. When that happens, then the Christian life becomes unreal as well. We’re left alone with the law as an ideal that we have to make real by our works. Christianity becomes mere talk that has no connection with reality at all.

This conference takes us back to the gospel of the Real Presence of the incarnate Jesus in Word and Sacrament, to give us his life to be our life. When we die with Christ by faith, we find ourselves in this world as it really is, fallen but his, preserved by him for redemption in Christ. Jesus gives us a real life to live in this world as the Body of Christ, to give ourselves away in love to our neighbors in our vocations and to bear witness to the world at large that it still is God’s world.

Presenters include Dr. Jonathan Sorum speaking on “Following Jesus: Bonhoeffer’s Recovery of the Reality of the Christian Life,” Dr. Robert Benne on “The Church’s Public Witness,” and Pastor Jaynan Egland as the Banquet Speaker for Saturday evening. Information on other speakers will be forthcoming.

Our event will take place immediately before the LCMC Annual Gathering in Dallas on October 4 – 7 and in the same hotel and conference center (Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center). We invite you to join us for this important conference. Keep watching our website for more information.

Place: Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center
7600 John Q Hammons Dr.
Frisco, TX 75034
Date: Oct. 3 - 4
Time: Saturday: 1 – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 2 – 4:30 p.m.

Click here to register online:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Worship and Sermon resources - relating to Anzac Day

Anzac Day is an important day for many in Australia and New Zealand....

The challenge for the church and Christians is for us to see this day and what it is about in the light of what God speaks to us through the scriptures.

Following are some resources that may help you in your worship and devotional time...

Worship Resources
Lutheran Church Australia Resources
Portland-Heywood Lutheran Church Resources

Textweek resources
Liturgy Brisbane
Perth Anglican resources
Salvation Army children's resources
Sharing Anzac Day with children
Singing the lectionary
St Kilda Uniting Church worship resources
Sydney Anglican resources
Uniting Church Australia

Pastor Nathan Nettleton - South Yarra Community Baptist 
Sermon Central sermons

Last Resort devotion 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Online Training: Martin Luther offers a free online course the life and writings of the great German reformer, Martin Luther delivered by Dr Gordon Isaac from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

There are 20 lectures totaling approximately 18 hours.

1 Introduction
Introduction to the life and theology of Martin Luther.

2 About Reading Luther
Luther expressed his views in a way that was shaped by his theology and the culture.

3 His Life and Times
Martin Luther was born in Germany in the late 15th century, just after Guttenberg developed his printing press.

4 The 95 Theses
When Martin Luther posted the 95 theses, his intention was to discuss and debate the misuse of indulgences, but it was interpreted by the church heirarchy as an attack on the power of the papacy.

5 The Task of Theology
Luther's writings demonstrate his ability to understand and articulate issues that are at the core of the nature of God and man. His theology is distinct from philosophy and consists of many comments on passages in Psalms and Romans.

6 The Freedom of a Christian
Faith alone justifies. By faith the Christian is made to love God, therefore a person does good works because they cannot remain idle.

7 Luther's Theology of the Cross
The work of Christ when he allowed himself to be crucified on the cross, teaches us about God's nature, our nature and our relationship to God.

8 Luther's Approach to Scripture
Luther's fourfold sense of scripture focused on historical (literal), allegorical (figurative), tropological (moral), and anagogic (future).

9 Christ and the Atonement
Luther's view of the atonement differs from classical views taught during his time and view held by the scholastic tradition.

10 Justification by Faith
Luther's teaching on justification by faith is central to his theology.

11 The Bondage of the Will
Theology of the cross assumes bondage and moves to freedom.

12 Luther on Predestination
Four positions on predestination include the Calvinist, neo-Protestant, intuitu fidei, and Gnesio-Lutherans.

13 Luther on Law and Gospel
Luther's commentary on Galatians is an attempt to set "Law" in its proper setting.

14 The Promise of the Sacraments
The sacraments are an external expression of an internal reality.

15 Luther on Baptism
Luther's teachings on the importance of baptism and arguments for infant baptism.

16 Luther on Christ's Supper
Luther's view of the theological and personal significance of the Lord's Supper.

17 Luther's Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms
The kingdom of God and secular government have areas of unity and areas of differences.

18 Luther's View of the Church
Luther gives a definition of the church and describes characteristics of the church.

19 Luther and the Small Catechism
Luther developed a catechism to help people focus on the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith.

20 Luther for Evangelicals
Martin Luther's writings can encourage people to pursue their relationship with God on a deeper level.

to commence the course visit

Book: Counsel from the cross

Counsel from the cross demonstrates the "why" and the "how" of consistently biblical, gospel-centric counselling, whether in the pastor's study or over coffee with a friend.

With the evermore apparent failure of modern psychotherapies and a discomfort with
pharmacological strategies, many churches are reaffirming the sufficiency and power of the Scriptures to change lives.

To aid churches in ministering to broken and hurting people, the authors of Counsel from the Cross present a counselling model based on Scripture, powered by the work of the Wonderful Counsellor, Jesus Christ. Through careful exegesis and helpful case studies, they demonstrate the "why" and the "how" of consistently biblical, gospel-centred counselling.

The authors' combined backgrounds-one, a woman trained in biblical counselling and the other, a male professor of practical theology-bring balance to this work, making it relevant for those who counsel as part of pastoral ministry and for those involved in friendship mentoring or discipleship.

"A triumph of a maturing biblical counseling movement. Elyse Fitzpatrick, a counselor with uncommon insight into common problems, teams with Dennis Johnson, a seminary professor with a firm fix on justification and the centrality of the gospel, to produce a cross-centered counseling tool. Expect to find the refreshing intersection of the liberating truth of the cross and the power of the gospel to move counselees and impart hope. This book is a major contribution not only to biblical counseling but also to the person in the pew."
—Tedd Tripp, pastor, author, international conference speaker

"Broken people remain so because they never truly understand the nature or extent of God's love. Following the pattern of Paul's letter to the Ephesians, this book triggers worship and hope with exhilarating descriptions of the gospel of Christ and shows us how to live out the love and freedom of the gospel in the relationships and struggles of everyday life. May God use this book to bring a wholeness and joy to believers that is irresistibly attractive to everyone around them."
—Ken Sande, President, Peacemaker Ministries

"Fitzpatrick and Johnson teach that effective counseling for broken and hurting people does not mean walking beyond the gospel into some modern form of psychotherapy, which ultimately provides no solutions. All Christians, especially pastors, counselors, and church workers who yearn to see genuine healing and transformation in their families and churches, should practice the principles of this book personally and use it to help others. This book is biblical counseling at its best; absorbing its teaching will make us all better counselors."
—Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

"A treasure of gospel-proclaiming, biblical, and practical help for every person striving to grow in grace and help others to do the same. Professional counselors, church leaders, and laypeople will all benefit from the accessible case studies drawn from the authors' decades of experience ministering to real people in real situations. This is no mere how-to manual. If seemingly hopeless cycles of sin and immaturity are tempting you to wonder if real change is even possible, Counsel from the Cross is just the book to encourage you and help you to remember both what the gospel declares about us and what it demands of us."
—Tara Klena Barthel, Author, Living the Gospel in Relationships; coauthor, Peacemaking Women

"Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson present a compelling case for the very radical and eminently practical power of the gospel in helping counsel broken people. One will not find here the usual Scriptures taken out of context or mere proof-texting approach that so-much of Christian counseling has offered the evangelical community. Instead, Johnson's exegetical insights and Fitzpatrick's case-wise counsel show how and why we must apply the love and grace of Christ at each stage of our counseling. They are to be praised for mining the riches of the gospel and offering a real model for and recovery of Christ-centered counseling."
—Alfred J. Poirier, Author, The Peacemaking Pastor

"I've learned more about biblical counseling from Elyse Fitzpatrick than from anyone else writing in the field today. I tear into her new books, and return repeatedly to them for inspiration in my own work. Elyse's collaboration with Dennis Johnson has produced a volume that is both theologically astute and full of practical wisdom. I'm already applying the principles I've learned from it in my counseling."
—Laura Hendrickson, Author; Psychiatrist; Biblical Counselor

Amazon Customer Reviews

Monday, April 06, 2015

Easter Sunday sermon: He is is changing

The Easter Sunday sermon from the Portland-Heywood Lutheran Church, He is is changing can be heard here
Reading:  Mark 16:1-14

Video Devotions: Discipleship Moments

“Discipleship Moment” videos from Bishop John Bradosky and other executive staff of the North American Lutheran Church are published regularly. These short videos can be used before worship on Sunday mornings, as an introduction to Sunday school or Bible study times, or for personal use.
Reflections on what the word “discipleship” really means, and what it means to be “mission-driven” are just a few of the many topics you will hear about. There will be personal stories from local congregations, international missions and personal ministry experiences featured.

To access the full list of videos visit:
Some of the first Discipleship Moments:


Saturday, April 04, 2015

Video and Article: Stop saying the church is dieing

The common quote - 'the church is dieing' Ed Stetzer argue this is neither true theologically or statistically....
He argue there is a transition.....

Take a listen to the video

and read his article at Christianity Today

Then think about
What does this mean for us?
What can we learn from this and the branches of Christianity that are growing?

Quote: A response to a well used excuse of not coming to church

At funeral, weddings, Christmas, Easter and often in evangelising in the community I am regularly told....ahh I come to church the roof will collapse or the walls will be destroyed...and my response recently has been that has received some good reactions...You don't need to worry about that because we have the cross holding up the church....and God says nothing can destroy that...not even my or your sin!!!
Pastor Richard Schwedesw

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Video: The Big story for Kids The bible in 5 m

The bible in 5 minutes for kids

The Big Story from The Gospel Project | LifeWay on Vimeo.

Book: Cooking with the bible

Humans are visual and sensory visuals and the senses are great ways to lead people to listening to and discussing stories from the bible...Cooking with the bible can be a great way to do this for people who love cooking and talking

Cooking with the bible provides a feast for the body, mind, and spirit, introducing contemporary cooks to recipes for eighteen meals described in the Judeo-Christian bible. Each chapter begins with the menu for a biblical feast, followed by a brief essay describing the theological, historical, and cultural significance of the feast. Next are separate recipes for the dishes served in the meal, followed by more commentary on the dish itself, preparation methods used in biblical times, and how the dish was served.

Since biblical times, the Judeo-Christian lifestyle has centered on meals. Extending hospitality to both friends and strangers was a divine command, and an invitation to dine was sacred. The Judeo-Christian bible is peppered with stories of meals; these range from simple meals put together quickly in order to feed a few unexpected guests, to elaborate feasts carefully prepared to please dozens of partygoers for many days. Cooking with the Bible looks at eighteen of these meals found in the Scriptures, providing full menus and recipes for re-creating some of the dishes enjoyed by the peoples of biblical times. While describing how ancient cooks prepared their foods, Cooking with the Bible also explains how contemporary cooks might use modern techniques and appliances to prepare each of the eighteen meals. To set the scene for each meal, the book examines the scriptural text in detail, describes the backstory for each, and, in the process, traces Judeo-Christian history from the ancient city of Ur to the lands of Egypt to the holy city of Jerusalem. Along the way, the reader will learn about the history of the bible itself. In the Middle East, eating was not and is not for daily sustenance alone—it is a way of life, and Cooking with the Bible reflects that reality, providing multiple feasts for the body, mind, and spirit. More information is available at:

Each chapter begins with the menu for a biblical feast. A brief essay describing the theological, historical, and cultural significance of the feast follows. Next come separate recipes for the dishes served in the meal, followed by more commentary on the dish itself, preparation methods used in biblical times, and how the dish was served. Recipes for a wide variety of breads, stews, rice and lentil dishes, lamb, goat, fish and venison meals, vegetable salads and cakes are detailed, all of them carefully tested. Make delicious dishes such as Rice of Beersheba, Rebekah's Tasty Lamb Stew, Date and Walnut Bread, Ful Madames and Scrambled Eggs, Pistachio Crusted Sole, Bamya, Goat's Milk and Pomegranate Syrup Torte, Haroset a la Greque, Pesach Black Bread, Watermelon Soup with Ginger and Mint, Date Manna Bread, Oven-baked Perch with Tahini, Braided Challah with Poppy Seeds and Lemon, and Friendship Cake.