A Ready Recollection

The Mind Numbing Ponderings Of A Pulpit Preacher

Something Old, Something New; Something Borrowed, Something Blue:

I’m going to try something new.  I’m not sure if this will be productive or not but I will try posting sermon outlines on this sight.  As an outline, it is not a complete manuscript. It only gives enough information to build a complete lesson.  As an outline, it can be adapted to various settings.

I would appreciate any comments, perceptions, tips or feedback you may have. I would also like to know if posting outlines is helpful at all. I would also like to know if any ministers can find such post useful.

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Something Old, Something New; Something Borrowed, Something Blue:

TEXT: John 3:29-30 

1.  Something Old

Ephesians 4:22
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

2.  Something New

Colossians 3:9-10

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

3.  Something Borrowed

Galatians 3:27

for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

4.  Something Blue

Blue Blood: A person of nobility or royalty. A member of a royal family.

Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

April 27, 2011 Posted by | Sermon Outlines | 1 Comment

Online Bible Studies

NEW!!!!!!

We have a new menu containing links to various online study’s

April 25, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

List of Suspected Degree Mills.

Some time ago, I presented an article concerning Fake Bible Degrees. Since then several people have inquired as to what institutes they should avoid. While the following is hardly an exhaustive list it does provide information concerning several popular institutes that have questionable standards and are regarded by leading authorities as degree mills.  I encourage you to do your own research.

This information was taken from an article that you can read here.

Brief list of suspected degree mills.

  • Christian Bible College
  • Clarksville School of Theology
  • Summit Theological University
  • The Theological University Of America
  • Vision Christian University
  • Logos Bible College

While there are some who consider these to be “valid” institutions of higher learning (usually faculty members or students who can’t get legitimate degrees elsewhere), I would caution anyone to really do their research before pursuing them.  If it looks too good to be true it probably is. If the legitimacy of an institution can only be argued for by faculty or students, more than likely, you have a degree mill.

The most common ways to identify a degree mill is by their academic standards.

  • If they offer a degree based on “life experience”
  • If they offer full class credit for reading a book or attending a function.
  • If they allow multiple credit for undergraduate work allowing it to substitute for graduate work without leveling courses.
  • If, in the past, they have had to relocate to another city, state or country in order to avoid legal requirements.
  • If a majority of the faculty have their advanced degrees from the same institution
  • If they just flat out sell you the degree after filling out a few forms.

If an institution fits one of these it may be cause for a red flag. If it fits 3 or 4 of these it would be wise to look somewhere else for your education. If it fits all of these you have yourself a degree mill.

BUYER BEWARE!

If it is a quality education you are seeking there are links to several legitimate institutions in the menu marked EDUCATION.

April 25, 2011 Posted by | FYI | Leave a comment

Nations University

April 25, 2011 Posted by | FYI, Videos | Leave a comment

Heritage Christian University

April 25, 2011 Posted by | FYI, Videos | 1 Comment

Egg-stravaganza!

I guess it’s a family tradition.

    

   



Photos provided by Brenda Platt.

April 24, 2011 Posted by | Photo Album | Leave a comment

Seven Wonders:

Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life: by Glenn Beck and Kieth Ablow, M. D.

This book is not about politics at all, but a biography of sorts, with some philosophy, religious thought, and psychology thrown into the mix.

It does provide the reader with questions that should be answered.

  • Where does the courage to persevere come from when everything seems hopeless?
  • Why is it nearly impossible to succeed with faith?
  • How much do family and friendships matter in our journey?
  • How do we break down our walls and reveal our inner truths?
  • What does having compassion really mean?
  • How do you tell real friends apart from those who are holding you back?
  • If there’s no one to blame for my past, what do you do with your anger and resentment?

It is no substitute, of course, for the Bible. I believe the Bible is capable of answering life’s questions but sometimes we need help to realize WHICH questions we should be asking. While I cannot agree with Beck’s religious views I did find this book a good resource for understanding people who find themselves in crisis situations.

I give it 3 out of 5 head bobbles.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Book Review | Leave a comment

The Problem:

We’ve all heard stories about people we know.  It usually comes in the form of gossip or slander. There are times when we hear things that have the potential to turn us against another.  What do we do when such information (be it true or not) turns our hearts and attitudes against another?

The first thing we need to realize is that those who gossip and slander  have an ax to grind i.e. ulterior motives.  Some do it for attention, some to hurt others or to force friends to “picks sides” against another. All of which are the core of sin and the products of hearts filled with guile and hatred.

The Bible clearly states, that is COMMANDS, that if such occurs we have the obligation to approach the person to see if the stories have any faction of truth.  Unfortunately, many seem to feel that they are “above” this command. They believe they don’t have to talk to “so and so” and continue to harbor feelings of hate and vindictiveness against a person that may very well be innocent. Some even join in the tirade of slander and gossip believing that they are doing so for “the greater good”. The truth is that two wrongs have never, ever made a right.

Such arrogance will lead to destruction.  Not only are the reputations of innocent people at stake but the souls of those who gossip and slander are endanger of the fires of hell. Those who engage in such seek only to vilify, destroy and steal the good name of fellow Christians all for the sake of attention or some other selfish gain.

No one is above the command to approach those whom they have heard rumors about to seek the truth in the matter.   The Bible clearly gives you only two choices, you talk to them or you keep your mouth shut.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

Church Youth

We have several activities throughout the year.

Our youth and those for sister congregations enjoy fellowship and fun together.

Our youth group continues to grow and we are super excited about the infinite possibilities.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Photo Album | Leave a comment

We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men

TEXT: Acts 5:22-32

What should Christians do when faced with conflict between human authority and God’s authority?  Notice what Peter and the other apostles did.

1.  Their aim was to serve and glorify God.  They were not motivated by ego or out to protect their own power.

2.  Their point of obedience was specific and particular.  They did not resist the authority of the Jewish counsel in total.

3.  They approached the situation with a spirit of submissiveness toward both the counsel and God.  They did not harbor rebellious anger toward authority in general.

4.  They delivered a positive, factual message about God’s plan and power in loving truth.  They did not slander or show disrespect to those in authority.

5.  They accepted the cost of being loyal to the truth without anger or bitterness.

April 15, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

The Secret to Waking Up the Pew Potatoes

The Secret to Waking Up the Pew Potatoes is designed to double or even triple the attendance in the church assembly in just a few months.  Every member is empowered to do what he/she can for church growth.  From the very young to the elderly, everyone is given a simple task to accomplish.  This doesn’t overwork anyone, and everyone rejoices together as the numbers increase.  This step-by-step system is designed to help older established congregations, who have stopped growing, to re-ignite their passion for lost souls.  Putting the concept to work generates an endless supply of contacts for Bible studies and resurrects what is often a near-dead congregation!

At least that’s the description.

The truth is, while there are many good ideas in this book it still focuses more on superficial perception than on actual growth. I found several of the ideas worth implementing and whose application produced some results but far from those promised of doubling or tripling attendance. Many of the concepts were generic and, let’s face it, just common sense things we were already doing.

I did, however, find many of the charts and studies to be very useful. Sermon outlines, class ideas and Bible studies that can help any congregation. I can see how this book might sound attractive to a struggling congregation. While it can be of some use, don’t get your hopes pinned on dramatic results.

This book would be best used in conjunction with other resources. It is worth the read and is a pretty good investment but it does make promises that is application simply can’t keep.

I give it 3 out of 5 head bobbles.


April 14, 2011 Posted by | Book Review | 2 Comments

Why Did God Give Us The Bible?

If God did not give us the Bible that means that it is a product of man.  It is easier to believe that God gave it.  It would indeed be incredible if  men, not aided by divine inspiration, could have produced the Bible.  Take notice of the volume lying around your house called the Bible; it was written by the hand that made you! Why did God give this volume?

1.  God gave the Bible to reveal himself to man: It is a permanent record of God’s revelation of Himself to man.  Without the Bible, man might conceive that there was some force out there that is superior to man, but without the Bible man could possible know what that ‘force” is; without the Bible man could not know anything about God.  One skeptic who rejected the information about God in the Bible began to set forth his concept of God.  He was then asked, “Where did you get your concept of God?”  Man may foolishly try to make God fit into his own image of what he want’s God to be, but such a “god” would not be the true and living God revealed in Scripture.

2.  God gave us the Bible to reveal to us a lasting picture of Christ:  What would you know about Christ were it not for the Bible?  relatively uneducated men gave in the Bible the record of a man who was the world’s greatest teacher who taught and lived perfectly the world’s greatest truths!  Their being uneducated is good evidence they were divinely aided.

3.  God gave the Bible to reveal man to himself:  God’s word is like a mirror. (James 1:22-25)  This is why some despise the Bible.  it is said an unbeliever gave a Bible back to a missionary and exclaimed: Every time I read this book it makes me feel guilty!”

4.  God gave the Bible to reveal man to man:  It will show us the sin in others as well as our own sins, and it will make us “consider ourselves” as we view the mistakes of another.  There is a Native American proverb that shows the meaning of this.  it says: “I will not criticize another until I have walked in his shoes for two weeks.”

5.  God gave the Bible to reveal His plan of salvation:  No more can we look for visions and signs: God speaks to us through His Son in the new testament.  (Hebrews 1:1-3)  Salvation is in Christ and no where else.  (Acts 4:11,12; 2 Timothy 2:10; 3:14)  To be in Christ is to be in His body which is His church.  (Colossians 1:2, 18: 3:15)  We are baptized into Christ.  (Romans 6:3)

6.  God gave the Bible to reveal man’s destiny:  We are going somewhere.  We cannot will our souls “OUT” of existence.  The Bible determines our eternal destiny, depending on our attitudes towards it.

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

Get Real

Get Real by Glenn Colley and Chuck Webster

Straight talk to teen guys and girls about respect, responsibility, and restraint in a time when “anything goes”. Give teens the gift of information that will keep them from experiencing regret. Biblical, easy to read, sound advice. Great for teen Bible classes.

MY REVIEW:

Looking through curriculum for ANY class is somewhat stressful; teen classes can be excessively stressful. That is, when you take into account attention spans, temptations to “text” during class and all out boredom.

“Get Real” made an impression on me. Not just because I know one of the authors but the fact that it’s not exactly like other teen oriented books. Many text that are geared towards teens have a generic flavor that tends to be, how shall I say, naive at best. Get Real is different. It actually treats teens like real people and not merely as students who need to be told what to do, how to act and react.

This work does more than just address issues, it encourages self examination. That ability alone sets it apart from many other class-books. After reading through it several times, highlighting this and that and making some personal notes I fond it to be very conducive to the needs of Christian teens.

I give it 4 out of 5 head bobbles.

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Book Review | Leave a comment

Do You Suffer From Comparisonitis?

TEXT: Romans 12:3

One of the most debilitating conditions of the 21st century is “comparisonitis”- the tendency to measure one’s worth by comparing oneself to other people.  You won’t find this illness listed in any of the standard medical textbooks, nor will your insurance or any medical compensation program reimburse you for it.  But make no mistake: comparisonitis is a scourge as widespread and destructive as any physical or emotional malady known.

Do you suffer from it? Do you find ways to look down on others and think highly of yourself because you enjoy greater talent, intellect, status or wealth than they? Or do you look down on yourself and envy others because you feel you are not as capable, smart, powerful of rich as they?

Comparisonitis is an ancient disease. Certainly Paul was aware of how deadly it could be.  That’s why he offered the antidote for it-to see ourselves not as we measure up against others, nor as others evaluate us, but as God sees us.  Ultimately, His estimation of our worth it what matters. and to Him we matter a lot!

Do you suffer from comparisonitis? What needs to change in your self-assessment for you to see yourself as God sees you?

April 11, 2011 Posted by | Counseling | Leave a comment

The Jenkins Institute

by Jeff Jenkins and Dale Jenkins

LEWISVILLE, Tex. (BNc) – Our dad Jerry Austin Jenkins was a man of vision and passion. He left behind a legacy of faith and his vision for serving the church.

He saw a forest and envisioned a Christian camp for young people. Today, Maywood Christian Camp is a first-class camp and home to thousands of young people each summer.

He envisioned a television program by which the gospel could be preached throughout the Southeast U.S. At the time of his passing, “The Living Word” television program was the longest running and most popular, locally produced religious broadcast in Alabama.

He envisioned a Christian school in Birmingham that would allow students to learn the Word of God every day. Now Jefferson Christian Academy serves Birmingham and surrounding areas in a marvelous way.

He envisioned a school to train deaf preachers to carry the gospel to the deaf around the world. Today, the Birmingham Bible School for the Deaf has sent deaf preachers around the country to proclaim God’s message to those who cannot hear.

He learned that there was one English-speaking nation left in the world where there was no church of Christ and he envisioned the church being planted in that country. Now there are strong, growing, and vibrant congregations throughout the nation of Belize.

Dad believed the best was yet to be. Among two of his favorite quotes were: “The future is as bright as the promises of God,” and “Attempt great things for God, expect great help from God.”

The Jenkins Institute seeks to honor this type of vision. Through seminars, workshops, books, and publications, we will continue and hope to expand the legacy of a man with faith and vision.

Our goal in these efforts is to edify the church, encourage preachers (especially younger preachers), and strengthen families. Between the two of us we have more than 70 years of experience in preaching the gospel and helping churches grow.

What We Do

PREACHING SEMINARS – These two- to three-day seminars are held at various regions around the country. The format allows preachers to attend and not miss a Sunday at their home congregation. We encourage elders to send your preacher. It will do him good to have a little time away from the daily grind and to interact with other preachers. If you are a preacher and would like to help in planning a Preaching Seminar in your region please contact us.

We have committed ourselves to encouraging those who preach. These seminars will serve to provide strength, education, and fellowship as well as providing a welcomed retreat for the preacher. We will study, pray, laugh, equip and learn to do the Lord’s work more effectively together. We believe these seminars will invigorate your ministry and reignite your energies.

CHURCH GROWTH SEMINARS – These weekend or one-day seminars will strengthen God’s people. The church will learn how every member can do his or her part in helping the local body grow.

LEADERSHIP SEMINARS – These seminars are designed for elders and other church leaders to learn valuable tools that will help them become better leaders for the Lord. In these seminars you will grow in your knowledge and ability as a leader of God’s people.

FAMILY SEMINARS – These seminars are meant to build better families. The home, the building block of our society, is struggling. In these seminars church families will receive valuable tools to help strengthen their home. Family Seminars can be held on weekends, Sunday-Wednesday, or Sunday only.

GOSPEL MEETINGS – If you would like to have an old fashioned gospel meeting where the gospel is preached at each service, we are happy to help. Sermons can be designed to be evangelistic in nature to reach out the lost souls, or they can be designed to encourage the church. We attempt to do at least one combined meeting each year where both of us preach, in addition to our individual meetings.

WEBSITE – Our website explains the nature and work of The Jenkins Institute. It includes our blogs and our speaking schedules. Here, “Thoughts From The Mound” and “The Tie That Binds” will continue to encourage, challenge, and inspire. And “The Scoop Blog” will expand as Jeff and Dale work on it together. It also includes an explanation of the various seminars available as well as our contact information.

We desire to be an encouragement to fellow servants and their work. We will help churches and individuals develop and promote the good works they envision being a part of that will bless our great brotherhood. Our prayer is that The Jenkins Institute will be a tremendous blessing to our great brotherhood for years to come.

For more information about having one of these seminars in your area please contact us at:

or both of us through the contact information on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

April 7, 2011 Posted by | FYI | 1 Comment

Tapestry of Scriptures:

The Lord said; “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”.

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.  If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

God said: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,  I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God,  I also will ignore your children”.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus said; “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

April 6, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | 1 Comment

Eight Major Causes Of Depression.

(1) Biological factors.

(2) Learned helplessness (sense of being trapped and unable to remedy an intolerable situation),.

(3) Rejection.

(4) Abuse.

(5) Negative thinking.

(6) Life stress.

(7) Anger.

(8) Guilt.

  • Avoid being alone. Force yourself to be with people.
  • Seek help from others.
  • Sing. Music can uplift your spirit as it did for King Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-23).
  • Praise and give thanks. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
  • Lean heavily on the power of prayer.
  • Meet with God’s people on every occasion. “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance” (Psalm 42:5).

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Counseling | Leave a comment

Does The Language Get In The Way?

What is the best Bible translation? Which is the most accurate? What should I be using?  These are questions I hear all the time. You can ask these questions and each person would probably give you a different answer.

But enough about that.  This is not an article about translations (though that would be a good article in the future).   What I want to talk about is the message itself.  Regardless of your translation, I feel, that sometimes the actual language gets in the way of understanding what is actually being said.

I will now give a few examples of what I am talking about. First I will post the verse in a series of translations, then I will render it in language that anyone can understand.

Matthew 25:40

New International Version (©1984)

  • “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

King James Bible

  • And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.

American Standard Version

  • And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.

My Rendering.

  • This is what the King will say. “You want the truth; when it comes to even the most distant of my family, you mess with them you mess with me!”

Matthew 5:3

New International Version (©1984)

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

King James Bible

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

American Standard Version

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

My Rendering.

  • When you understand that you are in great spiritual need, you can find happiness in my heavenly kingdom.

Now this is just a sample. We need to realize that a word for word translation sometime misses the point.  Why? because the original was written in languages that, at times , cannot be translated with a single word. A literal translation may give you the proper “translation” but does the meaning translate? My renderings are not “translations” per say; but they do convey a dynamic equivalent of the actual meaning.

As far as which translation to use, use as many as you can in your personal study. Compare and study the different ways the same verse is rendered. The truth is there.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment