Shaped by God’s Story
How well do you know the scriptures? If someone asked you to summarize the Bible, what would you tell them? Could you clearly relate God’s Story? Perhaps even more importantly, do you understand your place in His Story? I am hoping our new sermon series will help you know, tell, and live God’s Story.
Beginning this weekend, we’ll look at the Old Testament narrative and seek to discover anew the incredible story contained in those thirty-nine books. Over the next four months, our focus will be on understanding God’s Story and, as a result, becoming better equipped to fulfill Pearce’s vision of “engaging our time in the timeless Story!” (This fall, we’ll tackle the New Testament narrative.)
The series, entitled “Shaped by God’s Word,” begins, of course, at the beginning. You may want to skim through the book of Genesis and remind yourself of its storyline.
Reading About the Story
I’ve chosen two excellent books to accompany our sermon series on the Old Testament. Both of these books are available for modest donations at Pearce’s book rack in the church lobby.
For adults, I highly recommend Sandra Richter’s The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament. If your knowledge of the Old Testament feels like a grab bag of people, books, events, and ideas, Richter’s book can help you make sense of the Old Testament. A professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, she will, like a home-organizing expert, help you straighten up your cluttered closet. She’ll provide hangers for a host of biblical facts and a timeline on which to hang them. This is worth the investment of your time!
For young children, I recommend The Big Picture Story Bible, by David Helm. This gifted storyteller has an uncanny insight into a child’s imagination and presents a solid explanation of the big-picture message of the Bible. The artwork is as simple and captivating as the storytelling. I gave a copy to one young mom to check out and she texted me this week: “The book is amazing! My two-year-old daughter and I spent at least twenty minutes reading it after she woke up from her afternoon nap. We both love it!”
Speaking of Grasping Scripture
The conference is entitled “Proof of the Truth” and it honors and defends the authority of God’s inspired Word. Dr. Craig Blomberg will be the keynote speaker for the conference that runs from 7–9:30pm on April 28. He is currently the Distinguished Professor of the New Testament at Denver Seminary where he has taught since 1986. A prolific author, Dr. Blomberg’s most recent book is The Historical Reliability of the New Testament: Countering the Challenges to Evangelical Christian Beliefs.
There is a $15 registration fee for this conference. You can register now online at eventbrite.com for the Proof of the Truth Bible Conference. For more information, contact Jim Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for Your Graciousness
I would be amiss if I failed to express my appreciation for the many gracious remarks in response to the announcement last week of my plans to retire on December 31, 2017. Thank you! I will do my best over the next eleven months to prepare our congregation for this transition.
If you missed last weekend’s services, you may want to check out the podcast and catch Terry Taber’s interview with Pastor Mike and me. Find our sermons here.
Future Free Methodist Leaders
It seems appropriate that on the Sunday I talked with the Pearce family about my retirement, I met with three future Free Methodist pastors. Kraig Johnson, Sarah Grice, and Colleen Dick all sense a calling to pastoral ministry and are presently serving as Local Ministerial Candidates (LMCs) at Pearce.
LMC status is the first step on the ordination process. Each of these individuals is being recommended to the Genesis Conference for consideration as a Conference Ministerial Candidate (CMC), the next step in the process. If they are approved by the Conference, they will be received as CMCs at the evening session of the Genesis Annual Conference on Thursday, May 25.