Pursuing my Doctorate of Ministry: Expository Preaching and Teaching

I was recently accepted by Liberty to pursue my Doctorate of Ministry: Expository Preaching and Teaching. I must admit to the fact that I am pretty excited. One of the things that is true about me is that I love to learn. If I am heading out to get the oil changed in my car I will take a book with me. If I visit the dentist I take a book. In fact, it is hard to imagine not continually reading, growing, and learning new things. It’s just how God has made me. With that said I have decided to push myself and grow in the area of preaching. Preaching is one of the things that I love to do and I want to improve and learn how I can be a better communicator of the Word of God. Would appreciate your prayers as I step out into this new adventure!

Holy Sexuality

I am going to teach an eight week class called ‘Holy Sexuality” beginning Feb 19th at New Life Church. My goal is to video record each session and post it here on my blog. Below you will find a description of the class and the particular topic for each week.

Our American culture is working overtime to shape the way that we think, feel, and live when it comes to our sexuality. Which means that the very worst thing the church can do is to remain silent about sex, same-sex attraction, transgenderism, porn, purity culture, and the temptations that we all face each and every day. It has been said that the more religious a family is the less likely they are to talk about sex in the home. This needs to change in the home and in the church! When it comes to this class we want you to bring your questions. We want you to bring your friends. Together we will discover just how incredibly relevant God’s Word is when it comes to addressing all these topics. Pastor Michael will be leading this 8 week class and it all gets started on Sunday, Feb 19th, 10:15 AM. Hope to see you there!

Week 1-How We Got To “I’m A Woman Trapped In A Man’s Body”

Week 2-Is Our Sexuality Who We Really Are?

Week 3-What Purity Culture Got Wrong And Right

Week 4-Homosexuality

Week 5-Pornography

Week 6-Parenting Kids In A Hyper-Sexualized Culture

Week 7-Marriage and Divorce

Week-8-Growing In Holiness

What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Dr. Wayne Grudem was one of my professors when I studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary. Dr. Grudem received his PhD from Cambridge, his MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary and his BA from Harvard University. Dr. Grudem is a New Testament scholar and he wrote “Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine.” Chapter 39 of his Systematic Theology book is entitled, “Baptism in and Filling with the Holy Spirit.” HERE is the link to this chapter. I believe Dr. Grudem does an excellent job of explaining what the Bible teaches when it comes to the topic of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There are incredibly important questions that this chapter will answer:

What is baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit received by all believers the moment they are saved or is it a later work?

Are there two types of Christians? Those who are baptized in the Spirit and ordinary Christians?

What is the difference between being baptized in the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit?

What role does speaking in tongues have to do with all of this?

How do we understand the “second experiences” of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts?

One of the things I appreciate about this chapter by Grudem is that he is looking at all of Scripture and not just a few isolated passages. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and get ready to do some heavy duty reading and thinking!

Why do smart men and women settle for the wrong person?

One of the great temptations that exists among single people is to settle for a relationship that is not best for them and does not glorify God. I have been in pastoral ministry for approximately 20 years and I can guarantee you that these relational compromises take place all the time.

On top of that I have three kids and one of my great desires is to see them marry someone who loves God with all of their heart. So this topic of finding the right person to marry is very important to me.

With that said, I want to strongly recommend to you that you buy and read “She’s Got The Wrong Guy: Why Smart Women Settle” by Deepak Reju. Yes, the book is about how and why women make bad relational decisions (and how to avoid it) but this would be a great book for everyone to read. Singles should read it. Teens. Moms and dads. Male and female. This book is excellent and will give you a lot to think about when it comes to what to look for when it comes to dating and marriage.

The author, Deepak Reju, is a pastor of biblical counseling and families at Capitol Baptist Church in Washington D.C. His writing is absolutely filled with with biblical wisdom and not merely his own opinion.

Part 1 will begin to answer the question, why do smart women settle, and how to live by faith in all of your relationships.

In Part 2 Deepak begins to describe some of the kinds of people that could potentially lead to a bad marriage:

-The control freak

-The promiscuous guy

-The unchurched guy

-The new convert

-The unbeliever

-The angry man

-The lone ranger

-The commitment-phobic man

-The passive man (danger!)

-The unteachable guy

In Part 3 you will find topics like, breaking up for the glory of God, in pursuit of a real Christian man, why waiting is okay, grace for today.

As I have already said, I strongly recommend this book. I believe it could potentially save you, or someone you care about, a lot of heart ache.

Slow death in small town America

I grew up in a small town in America. I have memories of mom and dad attending church at times and prayer happening before the evening meal. It was at Vacation Bible School where I said the sinner’s prayer and I was eventually baptized. In my home, and in the life of my parents, Christianity and church always felt more like an obligation than a passion.

Yeah, I attended youth group for awhile in high school, but eventually sports and work became more of a priority for me. There were moments where I sensed that something was not quite right with my faith. All the stories of lives changed and real joy in Christ seemed to only be the experience of other people. I just kept telling myself that I was not much different than mom and dad and my other church friends.

Went off to college and had a hard time connecting with a campus ministry or a local church. During college I grew intellectually and began distancing myself from quite a few of the myths of Christianity that I believed as a young boy. Eventually I got involved with the wrong friends and ended up partying and pursuing pleasure. Was there some temporary guilt? Sure. But I shrugged it off and found it easy to get distracted with a million other things.

I met a girl. She came from a Christian home and genuinely seemed to love God. We dated in college and eventually got married and moved back to my hometown. Life got busy and we found once again that it was hard to find time to get connected and involved in church. If I was being completely honest there were some people in the church that really bugged me and I had a hard time laying aside my bitterness and anger. The love for God that my wife had at one time seemed to slowly fade away. My kids were becoming apathetic about spiritual things. Was I the reason for their lukewarm faith?

I worked hard all my life. I had a passion for politics and those closest to me certainly knew my opinions. I took care of my family, enjoyed my hobbies and tried my best to be a good person. Was involved in Kiwanis. Attended church on occasion. Eventually, like everyone I died.

At my funeral my family and friends all had nice things to say about me. I was a good guy. I loved my kids. I was an avid hunter and fisherman. I had great sense of humor. The pastor preached about how I was with God and in a better place.

I never had a relationship with Jesus.