Posted tagged ‘Update’

Update on the Puritan Reading Challenge

July 8, 2008

As many of you have noticed, I did not blog anything during the month of June for the Puritan Reading Challenge.  There are numerous reasons for this, not the least of which is my transitioning to a new city, adapting to my new ministry responsibilities, and living out of a suitcase for the past month (my library and all our belongings are still in storage as we await news on a house).  With the annual meeting of the SBC and the National Founders Conference, it seems like I was on the blog a lot this past month when in actuality I have spent relatively little time on the internet.  I regret having missed last month, especially since it was on John Owen and The Mortification of Sin (!), but providence had it that my time and energies would be best spent with whatever extra time getting to know the city and more importantly those who make up Grace Baptist Church.

I trust that you understand my absence in this aspect of my blogging for the past month, and it is my hopes to pick back up with greater focus and discipline for your encouragement and joy in learning from the Puritan divines.  Six months to go in 2008, and with plenty of time to devour some Puritan Paperbacks, this is a good point to refresh our minds and revive our hearts that there would be greater resolve in our study together.

I do sincerely appreciate the encouragement I have received via comments, email, Facebook, and elsewhere, and I hope that those who have perhaps set aside the challenge in recent months will rejoin me (and others) in taking up the Puritan Reading Challenge for the remainder of the year.  The challenge has always been and will continue to be a means to grow in godliness and greater enjoyment in God, not a drudgery or obligation to check off at the end of the month.  With that said, I am gathering my thoughts and energies to use this blog and this challenge for the expressed purpose of provoking others to godliness that we may pant ever harder for the glories of Christ in things.

Band of Bloggers Registration Closes in One Week!

March 26, 2008

Just a quick reminder that registration closes in one week for the 2008 Band of Bloggers fellowship, so all of you who have been holding off, be sure that you register by the 31st.  There is still plenty of room left, and if you have a fellow blogger coming to T4G or in town, be sure to invite them to join us.  Click here to register.  You can also check out all who are attending, which has now eclipsed 100 bloggers from across the country, Canada, and UK.In the upcoming days, I am going to share with you some of gifts we will be giving away to all who attend, so stay tuned to the Band of Bloggers website as well as P&P for those details.

Band of Bloggers Update

March 11, 2008

The Band of Bloggers fellowship is about a month away, and I want to provide a little update from my last announcement a couple of weeks ago.

1.  Registration

As of today, there are 86 people registered for this year’s event, putting us at around 57% capacity.   There is still plenty of room, so if you have considered attending, be sure to register before the end of the month (registration ends March 31st!).

2.  Panel Change

Due to some unforeseen commitments, Mark Lauterbach will not be able to join us for the panel discussion, although he will attend the fellowship as much as possible.  I have asked Abraham Piper to substitute for Mark as part of the panel to which he graciously agreed.  The new panel lineup is Tim Challies, Justin Taylor, Thabiti Anyabwile, and Abraham Piper.  Owen Strachan who blogs with me here will be moderating the discussion, focused on “The Gospel Trust.”

3.  Meeting Room

The meeting room at the Galt House has been changed in order to allow for conference tables.  The Band of Bloggers will be meeting in the Combs-Chandler room of the Galt House (2nd floor of Suite Tower).  Signs and directions will be provided.

4.  Giveaways

I have been working hard over recent weeks to do a little something special for those who attend.  At this point, I can say that the giveaways for everyone who attends is quite significant, especially if you consider such a small operation.  Many folks have been generous and supportive of this event, and I look forward to announcing the giveaways toward the end of the registration.

5.  Live-Streaming Help 

There have been several who have asked if we will be live-streaming the panel discussion online.  I would love to do this, but I will tell you that I neither have the money, the time, or the where-with-all to pull that off.  Anyone who is interested in helping in this matter please email me at

I will be providing more updates in the weeks to come as the fellowship details are solidified.  I am super excited about this opportunity of meeting many of you for the first time as well as catching up with some folks from the first Band of Bloggers!

Heroes at the Gate: Update from Union University

February 13, 2008

A couple of days ago I shared a word from by good friend Ben Dockery who has been emailing updates to his family and friends.  With his permission, I am posting one he sent me yesterday believing that it would be as much of an encouragement as it is a call to prayer (plus, it is always nice to hear what’s happening from a more personal style than that of a reporter).  Please remember UU, and if you can, support them with a financial gift.  For more updates, be sure to check the UURecovery blog.



The music turned back on, and I have another hero.

Day six, if my count is right.  I opened the seal on my favorite coffee beans, dumped them into my grinder, and made a fresh pot of coffee for the first time since Tuesday’s storm.  As my wife and I repared to tackle the recovery projects of the day, I selected a folk/bluegrass artist and let him sing throughout our home.  I could not help but think that this is a good indicator of where the university is on its road to renewal (borrowing a word from the February 5, 2008 video).

Spirits are up, laughter resounds, and the Union community rallies daily.  One of my heroes, Andy P., has served the students of Union for the last three and a half years.  God has called him to serve full time with the IMB in Africa, but I was able to chat with him on the phone briefly concerning the chaos following the tornado.  He is pining away to be here with students, yet his call is elsewhere.  I can’t help but think that there is no better training for his family than to handle the longings to be somewhere other than where he is.  If that is not what day one will feel like, it will feel that way shortly.

The next step on the ground is to continue executing the recovery efforts of the students belongings: painted wooden elephants from their first mission trip, a great grandmother’s wedding ring, the Bible cluttered in ever-maturing margin notes now joined by debris and water stains, and other things like a pair of glasses or a passport.  Also, we get to climb the mast, perch ourselves above the sails, stretch out the telescope, and look to the horizon.  The semester is daunting.  The emotional bandages still need to be delicately placed according to each student’s need.  The agents of pain now look like the anxieties of the next thunderstorm, the displacement felt from unfamiliar space, the unsettledness of looking to leveled grounds that used to be home to hundreds.  So many of these things are intangible, but we hope to walk along each one in a tangible way.  The God who took on skin, knee caps, eyelashes, and a man’s voice, now calls us to the task of the gospel.  It looks a little different than last semester’s ‘strategic plan’, but the call is still faithfulness.

My hero today is student named Micah. Micah played big roles the first few days, but today I asked him to stand next to a gate.  He stood in the sun and only allow authorized people to drive through.  He bore the brunt of frustrations for asking people to redirect, but he never complained.  Although the news interviews did not flock to him, he served.  Although his face suffered wind and sun burn, he was faithful  where he was.  As the music turned back on in my home, I started to realized that the call to respond to a tornado
is the call to stay at your missionary training
is the call to stand by a gate
is the call to the gospel.

Blessings in Christ,


Two-Week Update on the Puritan Reading Challenge

January 23, 2008

After two weeks, the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge has eclipsed the 200 mark (currently at 204) for those taking the challenge and nearing the mark of 100 blogs promoting/blogging it as well (currently at 99). Very cool. For those of you who are on Facebook, Tracy has also started a Facebook Group for the PRC which you can join by going here. On another note, I talked to RHB who mentioned to me that they have sold nearly 150 sets (the “P&P Special”). While there are more taking the challenge than I am aware of, the fact that the great majority have bought the entire set of 12 books is fantastic, which leads me to believe that the majority of you are reading the Puritans for the first time. Boy are you in for a treat!

On a personal note, I am beginning a full load of classes for the Spring semester next week. What this means is that I will not have the time to blog as much in the future (as you could imagine). However, I am going to do everything I can to be encourager and facilitator of discussion in the weeks and months to come. More than the initial excitement is a passion to spread the knowledge of God and savor the greatness of His grace with others like you. May we all with renewed minds and resolved hearts press on to know the Lord!

Three Notes to Remember:

1. Don’t forget the Calling for Truth radio program next Wednesday at 1:00pm EST!
2. I will post an open thread on Thursday, Jan. 31st for you to share your conclusion on The Bruised Reed.
3. I will be announcing the winner of the January giveaway on Friday, Feb. 1st.