Thanksgiving Book Release Day & Grumbler’s Quiz!

My book, The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of a Lost Spiritual Discipline, releases today. It’s exciting to see the work become a reality, and I pray that God will use it to stir up gratitude in the hearts of his people.

Maybe you think you’re not really a grumbler, so a book on gratitude isn’t for you. Here’s a Grumbler’s Quiz (excerpted from the book) to help you know if it’s for you or not.

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Three Identity Struggles

Discipleship is essentially following Christ for the purpose of maturing in Christ-likeness. Disciples rediscover and then faithfully live in light of their identity in Christ. Or to say it differently, discipleship is the process whereby we’re remade and we regain who we were created to be as image-bearers of God by being transformed into the image of Christ.

If believers have a new identity in Christ why don’t we live it out? Obviously layers of answers could be offered here related to doctrines of sin, sanctification, and glorification so let me narrow the question. What are a few identity issues that keep Christians from understanding and living out the reality of who we are as a new creation in Christ?

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Articles on Two Key Doctrines in Colossians

Colossians is full of great theology. Not just informative, but the kind of theology that warms our hearts with the knowledge of who Jesus is or that provides solid ground to stand on when our faith is shaky. The deeper we dive into Paul’s theology in this book the stronger our faith becomes.

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New Book Available on Amazon

You can now purchase a copy of my new book Finding Satisfaction in Christ: A Devotional Study of Colossians in paperback or kindle formats. I wrote this over the course of a few years. What began as a small group study on Colossians in the home of our friends Dan and Emily later turned into a Group Discussion Guide for College Park Church that blossomed into a full-length book slowly written off-and-on over the course of a few years. As any writer or teacher struggles with, I hope my personal joy and benefit of studying Colossians leads to your joy and encouragement as you read through Colossians with me. Here’s a bit about the book.

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Three Truths About God to Remember when Anxious

Anxiety is overwhelming. It can affect our bodies. It wreaks havoc on our emotions. And it consumes our thoughts. They race like a runaway train or get caught in a vicious cycle of spinning round-and-round with “what if…”, “if only…”, or many other possibilities. Anxiety awakens us in the dark hours of the night. It can rob us of a day’s joy and suck the life right out of us.

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Perseverance in Faith because of Preservation by Grace

(Below is a section from a longer article on “Eternal Security, Perseverance, and Assurance.” You can read the full version here. And here is a list of verses written out that are related to the doctrine.)

Some of our biggest theological and practical struggles come from not knowing how to put together statements in Scripture that don’t fit at first glance. Part of being a good student of the Word is reading all of Scripture together and letting it interpret itself. When two ideas take us different directions we slow down and look at both together.

One example might be Christology. We give full weight to texts speaking about Jesus’ divinity without slighting his full humanity, and vice versa. We allow both texts to speak with one coherent voice.

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Loving the Sojourner: Reflecting God’s Heart for Immigrants & Refugees

I recently had the privilege of teaching on a biblical theology of pilgrims, sojourners, and exiles. While my focus was on how Christians are spiritual sojourners as citizens of heaven living on earth, I was struck again by how much the Bible speaks to the situation of sojourners today (immigrants and refugees). Think about how much of the Bible is written about or to people on the move: whether exiles, sojourners, wanderers in the wilderness, or people on a pilgrimage.  This wealth of biblical material provides insight into how we might think about, treat, and care for immigrants and refugees (sojourners) today. (A sojourner in the Bible was one residing in or traveling through a country not their own. This is why some translations use “immigrant” for sojourner.)

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Scripture Sheds Light on Scripture: Hebrews 3-4, John 10, and Psalm 95

This weekend we did a painting project in our home. Though we had the room’s lights on and could see most things, it wasn’t until we turned on additional floor-lamp that the shadowy corners were illuminated. We didn’t need that extra light to see the biggest things, but it does help us notice things we might have otherwise missed (like where the wall needed a second coat).

Scripture sheds light on Scripture. Sometimes the link is explicit, either through a quotation or a direct allusion, while other times connections are present but without immediately standing out. As you dive deeper and look at important themes and words, you see the overlap. Reading Scripture as one book that’s unified and cohesive allows Scripture to not only interpret Scripture but to give further insight or clarity to itself. Reading a passage with related themes can be like turning on the additional light in the room. It might just help you see something otherwise hidden with an “aha” moment.

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Gospel: Narrowly and Broadly Used

One of the areas of disagreement in the in-person and online wider Christian world (often a very scary and even unChristian place), is what is actually “gospel work.” Are effects of the gospel part of the gospel? Are things Christians work towards and cultivate in their church, community, and family connected to the gospel, or is “the gospel” only the message of how sinners become right with God? It’s a good question, when really asked rather than thrown out as a smoke-screen to avoid allowing the gospel to do its deep work in our lives.

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