Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Eight Traits of Good Teaching

by David Mathis

  • A good teacher asks himself the hardest questions, works through to answers, and then frames provocative questions for his learners to stimulate their thinking.
  • A good teacher analyzes his subject matter into parts and sees relationships and discovers the unity of the whole.
  • A good teacher knows the problems learners will have with his subject matter and encourages them and gets them over the humps of discouragement.
  • A good teacher foresees objections and thinks them through so that he can answer them intelligently.

Read the rest at Desiring God.


44 Years Ago

Apollo 11, the first man to step on the moon, July 20, 1969.

Neil Armstrong.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

I was excited, and when I saw the print on the surface of the moon–that was real.

And that is the reason why I am an amateur astronomer.

Pensées for the Pastor

“Things I’ve Learned Along the Way…” is rightly the way for thinking through pastoral ministry. A blog by H. B. Charles, Jr., HCB2 is helpful as we think through ministries in the Chinese-Filipino church.

Here are a sampling of his thoughts:

2. Sheep bite.

3. Faithful preaching does not guarantee church growth.

12. Preaching can get you into trouble. And preaching can get you out of trouble.

24. There are no better minds, only better libraries.

55. Every pastor needs a pastor.

69. Write everything down. Your memory is not that good.

You should read on, the list is up to #103.


Four Nativity Hymns: A Repost

It is December once again, and as we remember Christ’s birth during the advent season, let us reflect from the Gospel according to Luke the four nativity hymns. These hymns according to Ryken may well be considered as the last of the Psalms and the beginning of the new covenant hymns. May this Advent truly bring the meaning of the Incarnation, and may it serve to help us trust more and more on this Great Savior–the glory of Israel!

Mary’s Magnificat (1:39-55)

Zechariah’s Benedictus (1:56-80)

The Angels’ Gloria (2:8-20)

Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis (2:21-38)


There is a reason for the loss of  joy in a Christian and that comes from a discontented heart.

“John Calvin nailed it when he said, ‘Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.’ In the original context, Calvin was referring to man’s constant desire to make an image for God, but his point is applicable nonetheless. Our hearts are raging idol factories, constantly crafting new idols for us to worship. These aren’t golden, tribal native, ‘please send the rain, here’s a bloody goat’ idols. The idols we manufacture are more subtle and dangerous.”

“I am my worst enemy” by Stephen Altrogge in The Greener Grass Conspiracy, 17-8.

Giveaway Contest

From Reformed Praise:

To celebrate the release of our first album, we’re going to give a bunch of them away! There will be 10 winners chosen, and while all will receive a digital copy of Merciful to Me, the top five winners will receive:

  • 1st prize: 5 CDs
  • 2nd prize: 4 CDs
  • 3rd prize: 3 CDs
  • 4th prize: 2 CDs
  • 5th prize: 1 CD

Visit ReformedPraise

A Marriage Made in Heaven?

Is there really such a thing as a “marriage made in heaven?” I wonder if there is really such a thing as a marriage that is totally heavenly! According to statistics found in a website, the current divorce rate in Australia is 53%.[1] And the conclusion is that, many people marry for the wrong reasons! The same website thus cautions singles from committing the same error by listing those wrong reasons; a few examples are: when a person is so desperate, like having children, or wanting to get out of home, for money, for power, or to end loneliness, etc.

It is no wonder a man raised his hand when the officiating minister in a wedding ceremony politely asked the congregation if anyone objected to the bride and groom being wed. The old man rightly asked this question, “How do you know this marriage is going to work?”[2] The man did not have any personal reasons against either of the groom or bride. All he wanted to know, based on statistics and experiences of failed marriages, whether the marriage was going to work. Personally, I believe this is a valid question, and I know the Bible has an answer for it.

Going back to the oft-quoted phrase “marriage made in heaven,” is the question, is there really such a thing? My answer to this question is both yes and no.

Continue reading

10 Things You Can’t Live Without?


10 new American essentials:

1. Portable computers.

2. High speed internet access.

3. Smart phones.

4. Education.

5. Movies.

6. TV.

And the rest,… read more.

Available again: The Shepherd Leader

Good news from Justin Taylor:

“The second printing is now in stock, and WTS Books is graciously offering an addition discount for Between Two Worlds readers who might want to order a 5-pack of the book (as this is a good one for elders to read together). Just use the coupon code B2WSHEPHERD when you check out. You’ll get an additional 10% of the 5-pack, so the total will be 48.57 (or 46% off the retail price). WTS Books charges just $1 for shipping. The offer expires Tuesday night, March 16th, at 11:59 PM EST.”

HT: Between Two Worlds

One on One with Dr. Horton

Over dinner last Saturday, I challenged my son, Daniel, to interview Dr. Michael Horton because of his work in college. He is currently pursuing a degree in journalism, for that matter, it was appropriate for him to have a talk with a known speaker and theologian.

I am highlighting some of the things that came out of the interview.

Daniel: If you were living in the 16th Century during the time of Martin Luther, will you nail the 95 theses and what would you add to what he did not put in his 95 theses?

Dr. Horton: Yes, I would like to think that I would. I don’t think everything in our days is exactly the same as before. When Luther wrote the 95 theses, it was more on a debate against indulgences. Let’s see, I would like to add maybe the nature of worship, Calvin once said that worship was as important as justification and God takes His worship seriously.

Daniel: Who is your favorite reformer and who would you bring back from the dead in order to ask a question from him?

John Calvin theologically for me and Martin Luther is fun for me. In addition, Calvin is sickly, poor guy. I have a lot of questions to ask and to narrow it to one, I would want to ask Erasmus this question: Why he didn’t think the Gospel was impossible to get right?

Daniel: How did the word Reformation enter into your life as a doctrine?

I think reading reformed books recommended to me by a chiropractor in our town. My dad started reading reformed books. My older brother just became  reformed, he began feeding me James Boice’s, and that’s how I became reformed. My dad became an active Christian after reading reformed books.

Daniel: Who or what were the source of inspiration for the books you have written?

The people I envision in my life, and I picture the struggling Christians looking for answers to their questions.

Read more at Daniel’s blog.