Sermons, Worship

Sermon: Biblical Worship

It’s not often you get to hear a great sermon out of Leviticus, so I wanted to share this one with you, preached by my friend Laramie Minga, Pastor of Worship and Discipleship at Woodlawn Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

If you’re a new Christian or maybe you’re just coming out of an unbiblical “church” and you’re not quite sure what biblical worship in a doctrinally sound church is supposed to look like, this sermon will help. And even if you are in a solid church with biblical worship, Laramie’s sermon will be an encouragement to you. The worship pastor at your own church might even enjoy giving it a listen.

The text for the sermon is Leviticus 10:1-11.

Here’s the visual for the elements of worship around the 37:34 mark:

I hope you’ll enjoy this great teaching from God’s Word as much as I did!

Easter, Top 10

Top 10 Best Easter Songs

Originally published April 3, 2015

There are so many great Easter hymns and worship songs out there. After all, how can a songwriter go wrong proclaiming the glorious truth of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection? It was hard to narrow it down to my ten favorites, but I gave it a shot.

(Please note- I am not familiar with all of these musicians. Their presence here is not an endorsement of any unbiblical theology any of them may hold to. Please thoroughly vet the doctrine of any Christian musician you choose to follow and make sure it matches up with Scripture.)

1. Jesus Paid it All– Nominated by my 11 year old son, who said in the car on the way home from church, “They need to do ‘Jesus Paid it All’ next week, because it is a very appropriate Easter song.”

2. Arise My Love– The grave could not hold the King!

3. Low in the Grave He Lay– You’re not really a Southern Baptist unless your church does this one every Easter.

4. The Old Rugged Cross– What a precious song this is and what a beautiful job this family does on it. (Us Louisianans know how to sang!)

5. Sunday’s On the Way– The resurrection is not an allegory for your personal problems coming to an end. Other than that, this is pure 80’s “in your face, Devil!” CCM awesomeness.

6. The Wonderful Cross– Who ever thought something so horrific could be so beautiful? But it is.

7. Man of Sorrows, What a Name– Hallelujah, what a Savior!

8. He’s Alive– The resurrection through the eyes of Peter. Oh how sweet it must have been for him to see Jesus alive again.

9. I’ve Just Seen Jesus– I love singing this one with my husband.

10. Christ the Lord is Risen Today– He is not dead. He is alive. We have this hope in Jesus Christ! This arrangement is such a nice blend of the traditional and the contemporary.

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Happy Easter everyone!

Christmas, Holidays (Other)

Have Yourself an Awesome Little Advent 2020: 12 (Mostly FREE) Advent Devotionals, Activities, and Resources

Is your family getting ready for Advent? Loosely defined, Advent is the period of time leading up to Christmas when we commemorate Christ’s first coming and anticipate His second coming. And what better way to do so than by making Bible study and worship part of your family tradition? Here are some awesome Advent resources for young and old alike. Most of them are free, but the ones that aren’t, I’ve marked with a 💰.

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December Advent!– Here’s an advent calendar, craft, and devotional all rolled into one! Naomi’s Table is a women’s Bible study resource that I highly recommend for sound doctrine and right handling of God’s word. Have a listen to their daily Advent podcasts and make the Advent calendar that goes with them!

Rejoicing in Christ the Newborn King– “The family time of worship can be an opportunity to help reshape the thinking of our families regarding the true significance of Christmas…Each day [of this devotional] is meant to help you as a family not only read about these things, but discuss them together, and then unite your voices together in singing a great Christmas hymn. May it be used to help you better rejoice in our Lord Jesus Christ.” From Reglious Affections Ministries (click for more details, a sample from the book, and a list of the 25 hymns included)💰

Need a good Advent playlist? I’ve created one on YouTube. Your favorite Advent (not Christmas) song isn’t included? Leave a comment and I’ll add it if appropriate.

Advent Calendar in a Jar– What a cute idea for a gift or for yourself. Free printables and instructions for making an Advent calendar banner, with a Bible verse for each day. You can even use them as Scripture memory cards! (Kim seems like a sweet lady but don’t get your theology from her. Stick to her craft and decorating ideas.)

Hymns & Carols of Advent & Christmas“A collection of hymns and carols for Advent and Christmas. Great for Christmas caroling, family gatherings, or Christmas Eve Services…This is simply all of the Advent/Christmas hymns included in Hymns to the Living God.” You can purchase (💰) the print and Kindle versions here, or download, print, and copy the PDF version for free here.

The Jesse Tree– A charming precursor to the Advent calendar, the Jesse tree traces the story of Jesus from Creation to His birth. Using your Christmas tree or a crafted tree, hang an ornament each day that represents the Bible story for that day. This site has a free Jesse Tree tool kit with ideas for making your own Jesse Tree, the Scripture references for each day, and printable ornaments. (They also offer a family devotional and a individual devotional. If you’re considering using them, please do so carefully and discerningly. I read several of the family devotions and they seemed OK, but the Reformed Church in America {which sponsors this site} appears to have struggled with progressivism in their theology.)

The Special Wreath– “Teach a special child in your life about the significance of the Advent wreath. With a rhyming flow, children will learn the parts of the wreath and ultimately, that Christmas is not just about presents, but the best gift of all, Jesus Christ!”💰

DIY Advent Wreaths– Are you the crafty type? Make your own Advent wreath! From country, to classic, to kid-friendly, you’re sure to find one that’s a fit for your family. (These links are for craft instructions purposes only. Several of these sites are Catholic and otherwise non-Christian.)

Advent Sermon Series– You’ve loved the guest posts from my friend Pastor John Chester here on the blog. Now, here’s an Advent sermon series he preached a few years ago! Give a listen to Mary Knew, The Joy of the Messiah, The Humility of the Messiah, and The Mission of the Messiah. (You’ll need to scroll down the page a little.)

Advent Printables and Crafts– If you lean more liturgical (or even if you don’t), check out these Anglican-based resources for “Jesus Tree” ornaments, St. Nicholas Day treat bags, coloring pages, and more from The Homely Hours blog.

Visual Theology Advent Reading Calendar If you love Tim Challies’ Visual Theology prints and posters, you’ll be pleased to know he created one for Advent. With daily Scripture readings from December 1-24, this will be a lovely addition to your holiday decor. Print the 8.5″x11″ or 18″x24″ versions for free, or order the print (also comes in a coloring version).💰

25 Christmas Myths and What the Bible Says– Was Jesus Born on December 25? Did the angels really sing to the shepherds? And what about that inn keeper? In 25 Christmas Myths…, Gabriel Hughes tackles some of the folklore and false assumptions that have sprung up around the Christmas story and shares what the Bible really teaches. One lesson for each day December 1-25. Get a sneak peek below. Audio is more your thing? Gabe discussed myths 1-10 from the book on his podcast in 2018. 💰

What’s your favorite Advent resource?


I do not endorse anything on any of these sites that deviates from Scripture or conflicts with my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs at the top of this page.
Gratitude, Holidays (Other), Prayer, Thanks/Thanksgiving

Throwback Thursday ~ 25 Things I Forgot to Thank God For

Originally published March 13, 2015

25 things

I’ve just been in a funk, lately. Nothing out of the ordinary is wrong, but it’s been raining for eleventy two days in a row, and the constant darkness and dreariness seems to have wormed its way into my psyche and, I noticed recently, even into my prayer life.

A couple of days ago, I started out my prayer time with a huge sigh followed by a bunch of wimpering and whining about nothing of consequence. I was just moody. And I didn’t feel like praying.

And then God graciously brought a lovely little snippet of Scripture to my mind:

give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Want to know God’s will for your life? There it is: give thanks in all circumstances. When you get a new car. When you catch your spouse cheating on you. When you’re on a glorious vacation. When you get laid off from work. When you’re happy. When you’re sad. When you’re in the mood, and when you’re not in the mood.

Give thanks in – not necessarily for, but in – all circumstances.

Well, this was certainly a circumstance. Why not give gratitude a try? I was in the car headed to pick up my boys from school, and I decided to spend the entire twenty minute drive just thanking God for things.

I started with the big stuff: salvation, forgiveness for my sin, times when God has miraculously provided, specific answers to prayer…

I was starting to slow down and I still had about half the drive left. Surely there was more to be thankful for! And that’s when it struck me. How often do we forget to thank God for all the (in our eyes) tiny little unnoticed things He does for us every day? We thank Him for the miracles, but what about the mundane? What “little things” had I forgotten to thank God for?

1. Air conditioning. I live in the South. Enough said.

2. I know where my next meal is coming from.

3. Social media and e-mail. I can keep up with far off loved ones, and I’ve “met” some awfully nice people.

4. I can see. I can hear. I can think clearly. I can walk.

5. I live in a country where Christianity is not yet against the law.

6. Sunsets.

7. Cute baby animals.

8. I can read and write. That’s not the case for women, globally.

9. I was able to conceive and carry my children to term.

10. Warm quilts on cold nights.

11. The Bible is available in my native language, and I have several copies of it.

12. I have no fear of suicide bombers in my community.

13. The beach.

14. A crawfish boil with friends.

15. Reliable electricity.

16. Hearing my children sing when they think no one is listening.

17. My husband is a believer and is good to me.

18. Mountains. I miss mountains.

19. Indoor plumbing and clean drinking water.

20. Laughing hysterically with my family.

21. Level-headed discernment ministries.

22. Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.

23. A roof over my head.

24. Home schooling.

25. People who are kind (or crazy) enough to read my blog articles all the way to the end.

Well, that was my list, and I think I’ll keep looking for things to add to it. Thanking God for the “little things,” realizing they might be big things to others, and recognizing the pervasiveness of God’s blessings and provision cheered me up and was truly a worship experience.

What kinds of things would you put on your list?

Holidays (Other), Thanks/Thanksgiving, Top 10

Top 10 Bible Verses on Giving Thanks

Originally published November 20, 2015

thanks

Next to Easter and Christmas, there’s no better holiday that Christians could celebrate than Thanksgiving. Scripture reminds us over and over that we have a precious Savior and innumerable blessings to thank God for. Here are ten of my favorite Bible verses about giving thanks. Feel free to share them around on social media or print them out to use in your Thanksgiving decor.

1. Psalm 100:4

ps 100 4

2. 1 Corinthians 15:57

1 cor 15 57

3. 1 Chronicles 16:8

1 chr 16 8

4. Ephesians 5:20

Eph 5 20

5. Psalm 69:30

ps 69 30

6. Colossians 3:17

col 3 17

7. Psalm 79:13

ps 79 13

8. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

1 thess 5 18

9. Psalm 86:12

ps 86 12

10. Revelation 7:12

rev 7 12

What’s your favorite Bible verse about giving thanks?