I'm continuing to study my way through the book of Galatians. I'm translating the book while doing lexical, grammatical, and syntactical analysis. I'm also providing an interpretation based upon my study and upon some excellent commentaries from Longenecker, George, MacArthur, and Bruce. I've finished through most of chapter 2 (and done a bit of 6), so if you're interested, take a look at the Galatians section.

Spiritual Leadership Book

Over a year ago I read Oswald Sander's book "Spiritual Leadership." It's a great book, describing what a spiritual leader does. It was my favorite book on the subject, but now I've found one even better. I'm reading Henry & Richard Blackaby's book "Spiritual Leadership." It describes not so much what a spiritual leader does as how a spiritual leader thinks. Here are three quotes: "Ultimately leadership is more about 'being' than about 'doing.' Leadership development is synonymous with personal development." [31] "The greatest area of concern for spiritual leaders is their hearts. When God sees people with righteous lives, he may exercise his prerogative to show himself strong in their lives in order to accomplish his divine will." [46] "God does not ask his followers to operate by vision. God's people live by revelation...Vision is something people produce; revelation is something people receive. Leaders can dream up a vision, but they cannot discover God's will. God must reveal it...It is critical for leaders to walk closely with the Father, so they are keenly aware of his revelation and are ready to respond in obedience to his initiative." [69-71]. Wow! I wonder how many pastors think like this.

Inductive Bible Study

Part 3 of the tutorial has been posted; this one is on interpretation. If you're interested, visit the tutorials section.

Was Phoebe a deaconess?

I've attempted to answer this and a few other questions from Romans 16. There are also a couple PowerPoint slides with structural diagrams (a technique to highlight the structure of the text). Visit the section on Romans if you're interested.

Of obligations and God's glory

I've done a bit more studying in Romans, this time looking at the first half of chapter 15. It wraps up Paul's discussion about the obligations of the strong to the weak by showing how the whole matter can bring glory to God. If interested, look on the menu at the left or click here.

Web shopping: Books-a-million vs Wal-mart

For Christmas we a got a nice gift certificate to Books-a-million's website. So we selected 4 CD's of acapella hymns from Glad and Acappella. Total, it's going to take Books-a-million over 3 weeks to deliver them. In contrast, when I've ordered books and CD's from Wal-mart's website, it usually arrives within a week. Don't get me wrong, I love getting free CD's (thank you Scooter and Cricket!), but Wal-mart sure seems to figured out this whole efficiency thing a lot better.

Want to hear samples of the music we're getting? Try here:

Glad's The Acapella Project
Glad's Acapella Hymns

Acappella's Hymns for all the World
Acappella's Hymns for all the Ages

Hmmm, why does Glad spell acapella with 1 'p' and Acappella spell their name with 2?

Inductive Bible Study

I've posted part 2 of my tutorial in Inductive Bible Study. If you're interested in learning how to study your Bible better, look to the "tutorials" section on the left or click here.

Family news

Two big news items from recent weeks. First, my father is engaged. Through some mutual friends, he met a woman from South Carolina, Mary Holovar, and they hit it off right away. The wedding is planned for May.

Second, well, the picture of my nephew says it all.

Of obstacles and stumbling blocks

I attended a teachers' meeting at Calvary last night, and there was discussion on what is meant by "obstacles" and "stumbling blocks" in Rom 14:13. I did a bit of study and wrote a short paper on the subject. If you're interested, check out the link to Romans on the left or click here.

Who is the lion?

I'm reading "The Chronicles of Narnia" to my children. [Soapbox: To those of you who are parents of young kids, let me suggest that reading good stories to your children is a most wonderful way to spend time with them. If you do, make sure you read expressively and act out parts of the story; that makes it come alive.] We just finished "The Magician's Nephew" tonight. At one part in the story there is a singing lion. When the lion sings, things come into being, things like grass, flowers, trees, stars, and other animals. I asked my kids, "who is the lion?" Jacen spoke up first and said, "It's Aslan." You see, he had read part of the next book, and so he knew the lion's name. He gave the right answer, but Emmy gave a better answer. She said, "It's God." I was stunned at her perception (the books is an allegory, and the lion does indeed represent God) and asked, "why do you think that?" She replied, "because only God can create." Wow! Talk about out of the mouth of babes! Is this not exactly what the Bible says?

Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all. (Mk 10:15)