Saturday, November 28, 2009

Asher Alexander Bradshaw

Our son was born this past Tuesday (Nov. 24) weighing in at 8lbs 10oz. Perhaps we should have named him "Ouch". I'll write more about the experiences (and continued experiences) when I am more lucid. Right now the ratio of poo-poo diapers to quality minutes of sleep is around 20:1 and it is nap time now (for us... thanks to Aunt Ashley and Aunt Kathy watching baby for a bit). Needless to say our lives are changed forever and what an enormous grace it is to us. Admittedly it doesn't feel like a grace at 3am with the sound of a crying baby ringing in my ears, but a grace gift he is. We are so thankful for God's great provisions.

I'm also very thankful for my wife Blair. She said around 4am this morning during one of our many trips to calm baby Asher that this was about "learning a whole new level of selflessness". How wise and how true! I'm so humbled by my wife's strength. She is truly a model of meekness which is harnessed strength. So here we go on a whole new chapter of our life together and the first chapter of Asher's life. We covet prayers, words of encouragement, and of course, any sleep you can loan us!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching!"

About a year ago our church adopted a mission statement to make it clear who we are and what we are about. It goes like this... "Memorial Baptist Church seeks to be a family who glorifies Christ through living and proclaiming God's Word." This coming year we will begina four year process teaching and implementing what we'll call the Four Pillars of our church- 1) Linking in Fellowship; 2) Learning the Bible; 3) Leading in Ministry; and 4) Living out the Gospel. These four pillars sum up what is expected of every member if we are to consistently carry out our mission statement.

When I think of a church's specific and clarified mission or vision it is hard not to think about the Apostles in Acts 5. They were boldly preaching the gospel and getting a lot of opposition for it by the Jewish leaders. The Sanhedrin by and large tragically rejected Jesus as Messiah and Lord. The Apostles were brought before the High Priest to face charges of preaching the good news of Jesus Christ after they were told not to. The High Priest said in Acts 5:28, "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching." Now how's that for a mission or vision statement?? How about... our vision is to fill our city with the teaching of God's Word!? Can you imagine a city filled in every dark corner with Biblical teaching? That's pretty impressive and should be the goal of every church. Our church is in Port Arthur, Texas and my prayer is that Port Arthur would become filled with the teaching of Biblical truth!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Inside Planned Parenthood

This is Mike Huckabee's interview of Abby Johnson who recently left Planned Parenthood to join the pro-Life cause. May others open their eyes to the horror of all the tiny men and women that are heinously murdered every day.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bible Alphabet Soup- NASB, ESV, HCSB, NIV, KJV...

If you want to read a helpful interview to understand the differences between Bible translations and the kinds of decicions a translation team makes HERE is a great article. The interview is with Dr. Ed Blum the general editor of the Holman Christian Standard Bible. The main English translation I use is the New American Standard Version but I do really like the English Standard Version (after all it is the one all the "cool kids" are using these days- inside joke) and have especially found the ESV Study Bible to be an excellent tool. Some English translations are better than others and some are more readable. The ESV and HCSB have attempted to be in the company of the better word-for-word translations (like the NASB) while being more readable like the NIV. With all that said, check out the interview with Dr. Blum. Below are two more articles I'd recommend on English translations of the Bible.

John Piper on why his church uses the ESV

Daniel Wallace on why not the KJV

Longing for Community

As I've been teaching through Nehemiah over the past several weeks in our Sunday night "Nightlight" service the parallels with the Old Covenant community and the New Covenant community are undeniable. Nehemiah set out to rebuild a city and in 52 days amazingly the wall around Jerusalem was completed. Of course the bigger job was rebuilding or re-covenanting the community. It was the community of God's people bound in covenant that served as a witness to the world of God's glory.

This communal witness is also the church's charge to keep. The way we worship, the way we serve one another, and the way we live and speak bears witness to the world of God rule over and in our lives. Our witness is not in a wall and it is not in programs, buildings, but in our community built on the Word of God. I long for this community fleshed out in genuine relationships. I'm so thankful for friendships in my church family but there are still so many who are strictly event-attenders (morning worship, Sunday School, etc) and not invested in each other's lives. I long to see the kind of authentic community throughout our membership that is not built around attending programs and events but is reflective of what Luke described in Acts 2 or Paul in Romans 12. Of course this only happens as we are constantly nourished on Scripture. I love what John Piper said of his call to ministry, "I am enthralled by the reality of God and the power of His Word to create authentic people." Amen.