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Books for your Christmas List

 

img_0262If you’re at all familiar with the idea of “love languages” (how a person communicates or receives love), then you should know that my love language is Books—and possibly sarcasm. I love books. I could wander through Half-Price Books for hours and not get bored. I like hearing about what others are reading, recommending or giving books that I think someone might enjoy, and I—of course—love reading books.

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Looking Ahead to 1 Peter 1:22-25

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Week 7: Sunday 11/13/16
1 Peter 1:22-25
Earnest Love and the Abiding Word

This coming Sunday at College Park Church we will finish chapter one of 1 Peter. We plan to resume chapter 2 in January and make our way through the book by mid-June. This slow and steady stroll through 1 Peter has been helpful for my own walk and a great encouragement to my soul. What has stood out to you so far in chapter 1? Suffering? Hope? Holiness? Exile? Belonging to God?

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Knowing God

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In the Men’s Bible Study I’m a part of, this week we talked about “Knowing God.” In the midst of a series about the basics of growing in Christ we must see our relationship with God at the center of discipleship and sanctification. We are created and redeemed to know God, commune with God, walk with God, and grow in intimacy with God. This is what it means to have a “personal relationship with God.” It is through knowing and enjoying God that we actually then begin to image him in the world we live in.

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Looking Ahead: 1 Peter 1:17-21

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Week 6: Sunday 11/6/16
1 Peter 1:17-21
Don’t Waste Your Exile

Looking Back
Over the next two Sundays at College Park Church we’ll finish out 1 Peter 1 before breaking from the book until January 8th. Last time we gathered (1:14-16 on 10/16), we honed in on the beauty and importance of holiness.

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Miranda Lambert’s “Vice”

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In honor of the Country Music Awards being on TV tonight (hey, it’s a good thing to watch between World Series commercials!), I thought I’d post some thought on a specific country music song. Some music is mere entertainment or to be enjoyed, but some songs actually convey the hidden thoughts and desires of the human heart in powerful, or at least insightful, ways. Miranda Lambert’s song “Vice” has intrigued me since the first time I heard it.

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A 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge

There are different kinds of challenges you might do in November. A couple personal ones I take on each year are never saying no to pumpkin anything and downing as much Thanksgiving Blend coffee from Starbucks as possible while it’s around. It’s a month of food and feasting, and that is certainly something I can give thanks for with a full heart (and stomach)! Beyond that, I’ve also found it a month worth focusing on the gospel-posture of giving thanks.  Thanksgiving, the act and habit, is meant to retune our hearts towards gratitude to God, worship of God, and joy in God. I need more of this in my life and I need it to become a regular rhythm rather than an occasional add-on. For that reason, I’m hoping to not only eat pumpkin pie and drink my favorite blend of coffee to the glory of God this November but to also build giving thanks into my mind, heart, and habits.

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Seven Elements of Biblical Repentance

I know, repentance isn’t your favorite word. It’s not mine either. No doubt it conjures up something like an angry turn-or-burn “preacher” (either pounding the pulpit or screaming in the streets) letting people have it or an ultra-fundamentalist family member unhappy with your choices of what’s right or wrong. Despite the bad taste that might be lingering in your mouth for words like “repent” and “repentance”, let’s together seek to move past those barriers and rediscover what God actually says about repentance. It might never be for your favorite word or your favorite part of being a Christian, but as we look into God’s Word I think we’ll see that repentance is meant to be a life-giving, sin-replacing, gospel-rooted posture of the Christian life. Easy? No. Good? Yes.

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Looking Ahead: 1 Peter 1:14-16

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Week 5: Sunday 10/16/16
1 Peter 1:14-16
Be A Holy People

Last week at College Park Church we worked through 1 Peter 1:10-13, which seems to break down into two parts: loving the gospel and living in light of the gospel. As God’s people we need to remember the gospel and how God’s grace came to us in our sin and rescued us. We should be stunned by a holy God who redeems sinners to himself. And then we should be awed that this same gospel is the reality we live in every day of our lives.

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How to read the Bible with identity in mind

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Since my identity is found in Christ and sanctification is the process of the Spirit remolding me into his image, I find it to be of great help when I read the Bible to first focus on who Jesus is (worship) and then think about what is true of me because I’m in Him (identity) before tying it into how it applies to my thoughts, affections, and actions (ethics). This keeps my sanctification firmly rooted in a longing to see and become like Jesus as well as an awareness of what’s true about me (indicative) and available for me now that I’m in Christ.

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