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Looking Forward To Sovereign Grace Music’s Upcoming Album 30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church

Bob Kauflin announced this week that Sovereign Grace Music are marking their 30th anniversary of recording with an album featuring guest musicians performing a selection of their better known songs.
Appropriately enough it’ll be called 30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church
The track list is:
Let Your Kingdom Come (feat. Chris Jackson)
All I Have Is Christ (feat. Paul Baloche)
Jesus, Thank You (feat. Brook Hills Music)
Behold Our God (feat. The Village Church)
O Great God (feat. Matt Boswell)
The Glories of Calvary (feat. Norton Hall)
Oh the Deep, Deep Love (feat. Aaron Keyes)
Now Why This Fear (feat. Sojourn Music)
The Glory of the Cross (feat. Matt Papa)
I Will Glory in My Redeemer (feat. Austin Stone Worship)
Greater Than We Can Imagine (feat. Nathan and Lou Fellingham)
I Have a Shelter (feat. Enfield)
I Stand in Awe (feat. Glenn Packiam)
Before the Throne of God Above (feat. Kristyn Getty)

Bob’s post has all the release details.
I’ll be trying to get in for the discount bandcamp pre-release price on April 1.

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Thoughts On Day Two: Tim Keller Planters & Pastor’s Conference

Some grabs from yesterday.
Contextualisation: Bringing the changeless message of the Gospel to address the particular cultural situation of the audience.
Sermon introductions: ‘Open up your Bibles to …’ is also a contextualised approach to a felt need of an audience.
No one presentation can transcend all cultures.
What steps do we take to locate/stay in touch with the context of our locality?

On marriage and ministry (in conversation from Kathy and Tim Keller):
If you have an unhealthy marriage, how can you have a healthy ministry? The Gospel of Christ is clouded if it’s not being exercised at home.
Ministry marriages fall apart: how does it happen? – getting busy for the Lord, getting hollow in life. Something comes along to fill the hole.
Over the long journey sexual chemistry will not be consistent.
Friendship can be. It needs to be continually renewed and remembered.
Culture tells us when you lose sight of it you move on.
Every relationship gets old.
You have to learn to reinvigorate and renew them.
Put new meaning in the physical and non-physical aspects of relationships.
Possible quote of the day: ‘Sometimes it’s just meat and potatoes sex.’ (from Kathy Keller)

Missional conversation: not about changing the topic to the Gospel, but bringing the Gospel to bear on every topic.

And Chris Siriweera wanted me to include this photo of him, to prove that he was here.

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Footy Tipping 2014 – NRL Round 4 / AFL Round 2

Thoughts this week are with Alex McKinnon and his loved ones in the wake of the shocking injury sustained last weekend.

NRL (last round 4/8; season tally 9/24)
New Zealand
North Queensland

AFL (last round 5/9; season tally 5/9)
Greater Western Sydney
Port Adelaide
West Coast
North Melbourne

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A Letter From David Cook About Encouragements From Gospel Work In England

David Cook has written a letter outlining some positive experiences and perspectives about evangelical Christianity in the UK.
It’s posted on the Presbyterian Church of Australia Website.

We have been in the U.K. now since 13th February, long enough to have some reflections:
In Australia we may think that the Church we see in the Royal weddings or funerals is typical of the church here – formal and lifeless. That is contrary to our experience. We have found the Church to be faithful, creative, lively and very well led…

Read the rest at Presbyterian Church Of Australia.

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Thoughts On Day One: Tim Keller Planters & Pastor’s Conference

Just a brief note as we prepare for day two.
As they say in the classics ‘he wrote the book.’
The ground covered in Keller’s talks yesterday focussed on the latter content of Center Church.
Of interest were:
His observations on institutions and movements and their differences, strengths and limitations.
Gospel work needs the best of both: the structure and accountability of an institution and the focus and flexibility of a movement.
Revival being a time when sleepy Christians awake, where nominal Christians become born-again (and know it), and when unbelievers come along to see and hear what’s happening (and get impacted by the Gospel).
The imperative for different denominations to retain their strengths and distinctives, but be open to learning from the strengths of others without defensiveness.
The need to pastor and lead in a way that helps people be Christians all the time, not just on weekends and evenings.
How evangelism, integration of faith and work, deeds of justice and mercy need to be integrated into gathered church life and discipleship. Helping Christians think about how their work places and vocations can be kingdom work.
The recognition that institutions can lose their first love and come to exist for their own sake, and that movements can lose their first love and come to exist for the sake of those they once sought to impact for the Gospel.

The fact that Jesus is raised from the grave, and that truth defines our identity, not our desires, relationships, or the way we’re perceived by others.

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The Negative Impact Of Popular Music On Singing In Church

Steven D. Brooks points out that ‘reality’ television singing competitions are more than just problematic by discouraging the wider public from singing, the impact is that Christians are not being obedient to God because they don’t think they sound okay.

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Psalm 96:1-2
We have a problem in our churches I like to call the American Idol Syndrome. Because of our culture’s obsession with American Idol, The Voice, and other “reality” singing competitions, our congregations oftentimes come to worship services with two preconceived ideas: 1) they expect the worship team singers to sound like the latest competitors on television; and 2) they feel minimized because they don’t sound like the competitors on television.
Have you ever heard someone in your church tell you they can’t sing? Over my years in ministry I have heard many Christians say they can’t sing. And they believe it. Either they were told so at a young age or they just don’t feel confident when they sing. My response is always the same: “That is a lie from the pit of hell.” I believe this is one of the greatest lies the evil one has convinced us of. Satan knows the power of singing God’s praises, so he has convinced us that we can’t, or shouldn’t sing. We must stop believing that lie! When we buy into the lie, Satan is victorious.
Our congregations must be instructed and encouraged to use their voices, no matter how they sound, for the glory of God. Singing is an important part of offering our worship to God…

Read the rest of the post here.