Spiritual Mentors – Henri Nouwen

The second sermon in our series of Spiritual Mentors, featured one of my all-time favorites: Henri Nouwen. I read many of his books over the years, but I was seventeen when I first read one of his books: The Genesee Diary.

Nouwen had a unique way of talking about and relating the spiritual life in easy to understand ways. I always appreciated reading his take on the spiritual disciplines, such as silence. He just had a way of teaching the basic principles of the spiritual disciplines in ways I could understand. He also was profound, yet in a simple and real way.

Sunday morning, as worship began, I took my place in front of the sanctuary and sat down. I checked to be sure my Bible was bookmarked to the appropriate scripture passage of the day and I was surprised to find that someone had placed a new bookmark in my Bible at this proper location. The bookmark was inscribed with two of the verses for Sunday’s reading. What a joyous and unexpected surprise! Thank you, whoever did this!

Some people bookmark their favorite biblical passages. Others even highlight verses or add written notes in the margins of their Bibles. You can always tell a well-used Bible against one whose spine is rarely if ever cracked. Are you reading your Bible? Each month in our church newsletter, we list suggested Bible readings and I am always amazed at how many people use this simple tool in their own devotional life. Others use The Upper Room or Our Daily Bread for their Bible reading habits. What are you doing?

Here are the quotes from Henri Nouwen that I used in my sermon this past Sunday. Look over them and mediate on them. Think deeply about them and be challenged by them. What are these quotes saying to you?

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Interactive Online Bible Study Videos

Well, it’s coming together… we are about to launch our new Interactive Online Bible Study. Two short videos were uploaded today and a few more short videos will be added by the end of the day. The idea is for you to be able to view the short videos anytime before Monday night at 7pm when we will have our hangout.

Hangouts are live chats or discussions we can have online. Prior to 7pm on Monday I will create the new hangout and we will get started. I am really excited about this and the enthusiasm of those who signed up already is growing!

If you haven’t signed up, there is plenty of room for you. Tell your fiends and colleagues, too! The more the merrier, right? I am having fun creating and posting the videos and I think we will all learn a lot through out online discussions.

Here is the link where you can view all the videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiIzbXoZFdzMDBh9RZvHh9wTm_SEGtdNO

Watch these videos and spread the word! I look forward to being with you interactively on Monday night at 7pm!

My Favorite Bible Study App: Bible Reader

Two years ago I made the monumental shift from a PC laptop to an Apple. Overall, I am extremely happy with the results but I was slow in adding Bible Study software to my new format. I used to have a wide variety of Bible software on my laptop including Quickverse and Nelson’s Electronic Bible. These were dated editions, however, and would not work on the new Apple format. Purchasing Bible software could not be a priority at first because I had other more pressing needs initially.

I did download Bible Reader so I could read the Bible on my MacBook Pro and I used this app most of the time when wanting to check out a particular scripture reading. I did not purchase my favorite translations of the Bible, so this app was only used occasionally and without much practical use in my leadership as a pastor.

This is all changed recently when I decided that something need to be done to get me up to speed with an electronic Bible with good translations and Bible Study helps. It was easy to purchase the add on software packages by purchasing The Bible Study Kit to accompany Bible Reader on my laptop. This bundle includes the following translations: NRSV, NIV, HCSB, and KJV. It also includes the KJV with Strong’s Numbers; the Amplified Bible; Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary; Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary; Easton’s Bible Dictionary; Nave’s Topical Bible Index; Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary; Treasury of Scripture Knowledge; Olive Tree KJV Concordance; Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional; Daily Light, KJV; Life Journal Daily Reading Plan, and Manna Maps Study Set. I also added on the Harper Collins Study Bible.

The result is a a good, quality set of electronic Bible Study tools that are always at my fingertips. An added bonus is that everything syncs to my iPhone, including any notes or highlights I make in Bible Reader. This is sweet!

I am now using Bible Reader diligently for sermon preparation, my weekly Bible Study, and my Small Group.

I highly recommend Bible Reader for anyone who wants to study the Bible more deeply.

Digging Deeper Study Guide

This week will mark the fifth week of adding the Digging Deeper Study Guide in our bulletin. I hope you are finding this study guide useful!

The goal was to provide a way for us to dig deeper into each week’s sermon. I am happy to share that at the very least I am digging deeper into the Bible to find appropriate material for this study guide. This also allows for a more in-depth study of each week’s sermon for me, too.

There is limited time on Sunday morning for me to really dig deeply into the message. I often feel the conflict of time during worship and I also don’t want to get too long-winded! The study guide provides an opportunity for us to expand on the sermon and dig deeper into the subject.

I hope you are finding the Digging Deeper Study Guide helpful. If you are, please share it with a friend and write a comment here on my blog to let me know you’re using it.

Thanks!

Where Do You Spend Your Time & Money?

So where do you spend your time? What do you do and where do you go? Do you spend your time wisely?

In today’s world many of us are busier than perhaps any other generation in history. We have more information at our fingertips, more things to see and do, and the world is only getting smaller! Time is a precious commodity and we must be careful how we choose to spend our time.

How do you spend your money? Do you save for a rainy day or do you buy things you like whenever you feel like it? Is your money well-spent or do you waste away some of your hard-earned money?

This questions really are spiritual questions. How we spend our time and our money say a lot about our spiritual maturity and the closeness of our walk with God. This week’s sermon will explore these two questions and try to see what the Bible says about how we spend our time and our money. You will be encouraged to take a few steps toward a closer relationship with Christ in the process!

Is the Bible for Me?

We’ve been away all this past week on the Youth Mission Trip. We got a lot accomplished and had fun along the way! Today we will be seeing some photos from the trip so be sure to be in worship.

Today we will be asking “Is the Bible for Me?” Many people complain that the Bible is too difficult to understand. Or they say it contradicts science. Others say the Bible is so big they don’t know where to begin. Well, today we will be exploring why the Bible really is for you. It is not too big or hard to understand. Yes, there are some difficult passages of Scripture along the way, but the Bible is definitely for you! Come to worship to learn why this is true.