(Saint) Patrick

Patrick“59…For beyond any doubt on that day we shall rise again in the brightness of the sun, that is, in the glory of Christ Jesus our Redeemer, as children of the living God and co-heirs of Christ, made in his image; for we shall reign through him and for him and in him.” (Patrick’s Confessions)

(This is a repost from 2015.)

I’m a sucker for holidays and themes, and not just because they’re an excuse to indulge in some of my favorite foods–although that does help (Shepherd’s Pie or Shamrock Shake anyone!?). So tonight I finally got around to reading The Confessions of Patrick (otherwise known as St. Patrick) and it was a treat. This mid-fifth century work is short but stocked full of rich Trinitarian theology, an attractive humility coupled with gratitude for God’s mercies, and keen insights as to his understanding of salvation. Patrick quotes freely from both testaments and seems to see his own missionary journey in line with Acts and the spread of the gospel to all nations. One of its greatest strengths is his missionary zeal and passion for the spread of the gospel. He sees himself as a humble servant redeemed by God and at his disposal for the kingdom. Here’s a sampling of quotes from the book. It’s a short read and you can find the text free online.

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Lent and Living as Stewards

This past Sunday, Pastor Mark continued our All In series on stewardship. The focus this week: time. While none of us probably look forward to the conviction accompanying a sermon on how we use our time, it’s a necessary exhortation that actually frees up to focus on the things that matter most in our short lives.

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Learning to Pray from Paul

Paul’s prayers—like his letters in general—so overflow with richness that you feel like you’re working to catch every drop as it pours out. There’s always more to be seen and acted on than what you find in the moment. This makes studying the Bible exciting, knowing that there’s always more to be found later when we return (or “fresh grass” as Dale Shaw likes to say). Paul’s prayer over the church at Colossae (1:9-14) is one of those crammed prayers that can not only benefit us but it can teach us about prayer. As he prays for the knowledge of God that leads a life pleasing to God, and strength so we can persevere in such an endeavor, there is so much to see, learn, pray into, put into practice, and be shaped by.

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How to read the Bible with identity in mind


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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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

Last week monkimage

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


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


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”


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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