Writing a More Effective Blog

I’m finding that as I write more, the more I realize how easy it is to just write about anything and everything and forget the purpose of this blog. Namely to help people pursue Jesus better, to have better theology, and to have better marriages as a result.

So I’ve finally figured out some general categories that i will be starting to post in:

      1. Life’s Pursuit

Life’s Pursuit will be a retelling of the past week (or month) of my life and what God has been teaching me through it. It will be filled with struggles, great times, ministry updates, work updates, etc. Why call it “Life’s Pursuit”? Well, because the Christian life isn’t just lived two hours on Sunday. It’s pursuing Jesus in the midst of all of life.

    2. Marriage

There’s no catchy name for this category of post. Just like it sounds, marriage! It could be what I’m learning in marriage, or something iv’e learned and want to pass to my two readers. Whether how to handle money together, or how not to say things, it will be a fun time writing!

3. Theology 

Having good Theology is something I’m very passionate about. As the great Dr. James White has coined “Theology matters”. And this is why I love writing about it, it effects every area of our lives. Our marriages, how we view God, how we view nature, how we view ethics, etc. Theology touches every single person on this planet because like Romans 1 says, they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. So theology tells us about literally everything.


Anyhow, this is how I’m going to segment each post each week. Keep a lookout!

My Trophies

Ever gone to that conference and got a ton of free books? Or perhaps your friends have some fantastic new titles that you really want to read. 20160430_120023.jpgI can relate to both. A couple of years ago my wife (then girlfriend) and I went to a counseling conference in Lafayette Indiana (read about here!). Of course I purchased many great books that are still sitting on my shelf collecting dust (besides one I’m currently reading).

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a slow reader, or perhaps I just don’t take the time to read each day, but I walked into my apartment and realized I’d only read about 10% of them. I had turned my Christian books into trophies, not tools. They had become pseudo status symbols of my walk with Christ, hoping people would assume that I’m an avid reader who devours great Christian authors.

God really convicted me on this and I’ve begun to be more diligent to read more. Self-discipline is something I need more of. Whether it be to stop watching Netflix and read, or take my work break to open the scriptures, I’m trying to commit to use my time in a more profitable way.

And I’m not saying owning books you don’t read is bad, I’m just saying for me, I found that I had become lazy and just bought them for a sub-conscience (now conscious) want to feel more spiritual or godly. But God’s shown me (quite obviously) that the only way they can help me grow in godliness is if I actually sit down and open the pages.

 

 

The Worldview Of Pantheism

Pantheism is a worldview not many of us are familiar with, though it’s more prevalent in today’s culture then we may troad-815297_1920hink.

Pantheism is basically the belief that “everything” in the universe is god, or a manifestation of him. So when we hear about people saying god is “in nature” or god is “everything” that is pantheism.

Growing up, the town i lived in had many such pantheists. Coming from a hometown of less than 1000 people, the country setting added to the worldview definition of some people. I heard things about god being “in all of us” and god being nature and it’s general vibe.

So what does the Bible have to say about this? A lot! Christ came as a man, meaning He literally walked this earth. “The word became flesh and dwelt among us”.

God isn’t “in the trees” or “in everything”. God did in fact create the universe, but He’s a person. One God in three persons, father, son and spirit.

Some verses to read up on:

John 1:14

John 10:30

Romans 5:5

Ephesians 4:4-6

Why I Trust The Bible

There are reasons, I think, for why we should trust the Bible. And one of them isn’t “blind” Faith.

What i mean when i say blind faith is a faith that won’t reason, won’t think, or won’t search scripture for validating evidences.

What I don’t mean is that someone is stupid for not being an apologist for a living. Christians bible-879084_1920believe the bible for many reasons, some people just major on some things over others. and it’s certainly not wrong to do so, just as long as scripture is our authority.

What I’m going to be presenting in today’s worldview assignment is by no means exhaustive. These evidences are very close to my heart and mind and are the specific ones that have spoken to me during times of doubt and questioning. So if your faith isn’t strengthened by this, there are always other resources!

Any how here are 3 reasons I believe in Scripture as the authority on everything.

  1. It’s Without Error
    Though this is widely debated, I find this evidence to be very compelling. The Scriptures show an astonishing fluidity despite 40 authors writing from 3 different continents from many different cultural contexts. The fact that they have the same over arching narrative is a miracle in of itself!The fact that the prophesies of Christ were all fulfilled in Him- one man, is astonishing as well. Even just a fraction of the historical prophesies being fulfilled in Christ is the equivalent of spreading silver dollars a foot deep over all of Texas, blind folding yourself, and finding one painted red. And you only get one try. And that’s just a mere few prophesies.

    Another inerrant reason would be history. The Bible documents actual events and places. If you study myths, they use fragmented depictions of the world. The Bible actually uses documentable, real-life places, real life kings, and real life scenarios. And even the so-called “heroes” of the faith are documented in all their sinfulness. If the Bible were fabricated, why would they show all the figures (i.e. Paul, David, Peter) struggling in such heinous ways?

  2. The Resurrection and the Following Events
    In Scripture the apostles, after being scared to death that Christ wasn’t coming back after His Crucifixion, were renewed in their vigor for the faith after Christ showed up in the flesh as proof of his Resurrection. Whats amazing about this is that 11 out of the 12 died a martyr death, and the one who didn’t die in that manner was boiled alive and exiled to an island called Patmos. What could cause such a radical devotion to Christ? He is risen.
  3. God’s Calling of Me
    I am by no means a “great man of God” and that is the exact reason this is one of my evidences. I am a wicked sinner saved by grace. Only by the grace of God am i writing these things today. If it were up to my flesh, I would not be a faithful husband, I would hate God, and I would not be a Believer. Some would say that this is too extreme, but I know how sinful my heart is, and though God is sanctifying it day by day, I know that any good I do is from God, and any fruit I may show is ultimately enabled by the Holy Spirit working in me.

    And because I know Christ is changing me from the inside out, so I know I can trust Him when He says:

    “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Thanks for reading!
This has been a school assignment for my worldview project.

New Work, New Schedule

As anyone following this blog knows, I’ve been studying Greek for the past few months. We made it through Greek Elements 1 and made it into participles and stopped mid-spring due to other arrangements the class had to make.

I was happy and sad that we stopped, happy because I could fit in 2 extra afternoons of odde50c14feec4be66bd9dbb08f4fb3ce1a-jobs, and sad because I really did enjoy learning the language. It’s been encouraging listening to Podcasts with Greek scholars saying “genetive case” or “its in the aorist, not present” and actually knowing what they’re talking about.

So anyhow it’s bittersweet, but I’m glad for the extra money that God’s been providing these weeks of spring.

What I’ve been keeping myself busy with has been making wedding decor for my family’s business, working at my local hardware store, and landscaping and odd jobs for my own business.

It’s all been going well, the odd jobs have picked up significantly, i have them consistently Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Fridays.

Although, as my parents have said, my “other part-time job” has nefbeen Jury Duty. I’ve been to three draws and sat on two cases, the last of which was this past Thursday. I hope to post about the experience soon, maybe on an extra post.

Anyhow, that’s a bit of an update on life and school, although there’s so much more to say about College plans! That’s another post also…

Thanks for reading! To be updated on new posts make sure to subscribe! Also, let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts or questions!

Ministry Updates: Worship Team, Sunday School, and Teen Group

  1. Worship Team:

My wife and I both play for our churches worship team. I play drums, she plays piano and also sings. (and she’s quite good at it, too!) The last couple weeks have been honestly rough, why? Because of the weather. Our practices have been canceled a couple times which has caused us to rush through sunday morning practice before service, but there’s really nothing we can do about it, God had us home those nights for our safety, so I know He’s just watching out for us. Anyhow, other than the lack of practice things have been going well as of this week. A little while ago we had a good practice where we reset the stage’s wiring, and freed tension in the longer XLR cords. The music itself went well, nothing perfect, but we managed to get through it! I enjoy worship team. I love music anyways, but being able to help lead a congregation in worship of Christ is amazing!

2.  Sunday School:

At NHBC we have many different sunday schools for all ages, but the one i serve in particular is with the teens. Mark, the leader has me helping him when he needs it and has me teaching at times, which has been a very growing process. I thought it’d be easy to read the material and go with it, but it’s a whole other thing to present it in a way that shows your own passion about it during the fact.

In the material we’ve been going through a lot of worldview material, ranging from presuppositions to the seven C’s of biblical history. I’ve been learning a lot through teaching and listening to good teachers. As that old saying goes: “God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason!”

3. Teen Group (aka Youth Group)

A famous youth leader once said that “you have to earn a teenagers respect” though I’m still a teenager (19) I’m in charge of leading a few younger teens in my group, and I can tell you- that saying is 100% true. Though of course we should always respect each other despite our age, these teens will know whether you care or not. They know if you’re just reciting words from your head but really don’t care at a heart level. They know.

That’s definitely been the hard part, asking God for the strength to genuinely care when I don’t “feel” like it. There have been times I didn’t want to go to youth group, after all a nice cup of hot chocolate with the wife cuddled up watching a good movie sounds pretty nice right? And of course it is, but God’s been working and changing my heart through those youth nights.

And even when that kid that drives you up a wall (almost literally) God still gives the strength to love them in every situation.

Thanks for reading! I really want to get back in the habit of writing, i enjoy it and i want something to read 5 years from now to remember what I did. So… Hi Nolan 5 years from now!

 

A Few Photos (WOL Reverb 2014)

The NHBC Youth group and I just arrived home from a trip to maine for an all-night (a.k.a. no sleep) event hosted by Word of Life Bible Institute. It was long and stressful being the leader of junior (sugar) high boys who really have no definition of “indoor voices”, but I’ve come to love them despite the craziness. After all, being a leader doesn’t mean things will be easy. But that challenge to be a patient leader takes a whole new level when you’re sleep deprived.

Anyhow, in this post I’m only including a few photos from the night. The full post about it will be forthcoming in the next week or so, thanks for reading!
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Above: The bowling alley
Below: Hockey game!

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Below: The speaker presenting the gospel.
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