Monthly Archives: July 2007

GRBC Recommended Reading

As you all know I have recently decided to post online learning opportunities sporadically to encourage continued learning.  You can check them out on the tab at the top of the page named “Online Learning.”  In that page you will find links to previous talked about resources.  I hope in the future, upon the recommendation of my wife, to link back to the original posts also.  Before I start my rant on this new learning resource I want to point out Timmy Brister’s Blog named Provocations and Paintings.  He is going to start a new series on Blue Collar Theology and I recommend that you keep up with it.  You can read the first blog here.

Ok here we go.  Our church has a link on it’s website called “Recommended Reading.”  I know that there are no class lectures here, but this is an excellent resource if you are trying to find your next book to read.  On the website you will find .pdf files of 1-2 page book reviews written by church members of many different books.  I realized that I had not written about it when I recently wrote a review for the Simply the Gospel Journal (see the side bar) that is now posted on that page.  I hope that as you all continue on in your reading that you will check out this page and get some ideas of good books to read.   Enjoy.

Update:  Kathy is listening to the Medieval History class from Covenant Theological Seminary that I recommened earlier.  Besides the paedobaptistic slant, it has been excellent.  It has also brought up many good discussions between the two of us on the meaning of Baptism and the arguments for both sides.  And yes we’re still still Baptists.

–Dirk

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Book Recommendation: The Big Picture Story Bible–Dirk

Kathy recommended The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helms here, and now it is my turn.  Since she added a picture I won’t.

I am almost done reading through it my second time with Josiah and I have been very impressed with this book.  I hesitate to call it it a Bible, because it really isn’t a translation of the Word of God into English.  Instead, it is a book that tells the big picture of the Bible in story form.  True to it’s name, it is the BIG picture which means many stories and details are left out. 

The story starts with creation, continues to the garden and the fall, and then spends the rest of the time talking about the Promised One of God.  In the Old Testament portion of the book the promise of the coming Christ is mentioned over and over again as the main point of the Bible.  This is good.  I have come to realize that many adults do not understand that the Old Testament’s big picture is Jesus.  All those stories that are percieved as weird, and the rules and regulations that seem antiquated , but it all points to the coming of Christ.  This is cohesive story is a good thing to start teaching children. 

The New Testament section picks right up and explains that the Jesus is the promised one from the first part of the story.  Jesus ministry, teaching, and life make up the middle part.  It ends with the exultation of Christ as seen by John in the book of Revelation.  So what do we get out of this book in summary:  God is creator; man sins; God promises a Savior; man still sins; Savior comes; man still sins and kills Him; people are saved by believing Jesus is the Savior; He is seen and explained throughout the entire Scriptures by His disciples; He will come again!  Praise the Lord to that story of the Bible.

The only down sides that I find in this book are twofold and somewhat minor.  I really miss some of the stories that are left out of the Old Testament, like Jonah.  Second, being an opponent of icons, I am a little bothered by the picture representations of Jesus.  I know they aren’t used in worship and they are trying to teach small children about him, so I guess it is my problem.  None of the pictures are done in poor taste like the Jesus action figures  ( you can go here for an even worse kind of Jesus action figure, I saw them here on a video ) I just learned about being sold at Walmart nevertheless I am still not accustomed to them.

My final assessment is this:  If you have young children/grandchildren this is a great book to have for the use of teaching the story of the Bible.  It is a great jumping off place and I know Josiah doesn’t understand what I am saying, but I still explain things in more detail to get myself ready for the day when he can.  –Dirk

Kathy’s note: While I agree with Dirk’s iconoclast sentiments, I think I’m ok with the depictions of Jesus here because while Jesus is God, He is also human. It is the human aspect that we can see. I have come to be ok with pictures of Jesus if they are dealing with his earthly ministry and are not used for worship. For that reason, I thinks this book will be helpful for our kids.

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Five Years! (indulge me)

Five whole years.

Half a decade.

That is how long Dirk and I have been married.

It sounds like such a long time! It certainly doesn’t feel that way. Dirk and I woke up this morning talking about what we were doing at this moment 5 years ago. My bridesmaids had all spent the night at my parent’s house and two of them went to the garage sale across the street. Jamey bought a bike for her boyfriend(now husband) and Karen I believe bought a microwave–she was about to start grad school at Sam Houston and needed a few supplies (now she is a school psychologist). My best friend from high school spent the night with me on the spur of the moment(so like us in high school!) so that we could catch up over the past few years. It was so much fun. Annabell did my makeup(I am still so thankful for that!), Amy(sister) remembered all the things I forgot, and Beth(other sister) managed to be there for everything while caring for a 6 month old(now about to start kindergarten!).  Dirk spent a lot of the morning alone, and was able to spend time in the Word and write in the Bible he gave me before the ceremony(which I still use exclusively). It was such a great day.

My two vivid memories of that day were praying with my bridesmaids before the ceremony and when my dad and I stood at the door to the sanctuary before the music began and the doors swung open, he kept patting my arm telling me not to be nervous–apparently I was shaking, but I was not aware of it.

I wish we could upload some pictures of how young and skinny we were back then, but since at that time digital photography was still so cutting edge(and our photographer was a dying breed) we would have to go to Walmart and scan in our pictures, and we’re too lazy to do that. Trust me, we were skinny once.

What could I say about the past 5 years? There is so much I could say. By God’s grace we still love each other. We still are best friends. We still could spend all summer together and never get sick of each other. We still make each other laugh. We still have inside jokes from when we were dating. We still like to cook together. We still drink coffee together. We still have never celebrated Valentine’s Day. I still tell him everything about every book I’m reading, and he still listens with interest. I still leave drawers open and he still closes them. He still likes to teach me about the human body, and I’m still learning new things. We still like to talk about scripture and learn from each other.

Yes, God has been good to us.

On top of all of that, we have a precious little boy… 

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…who is not impressed.

Thank you, Lord!

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Book Recommendation: The Big Picture Story Bible

Sunday at church our pastor made the comment (and I paraphrase): If you do not see Christ in the Old Testament, you are not reading it correctly.  Too many times the Old Testament is thought to be a collection morality tales to remind children not to lie, and to trust God. If that is all you see, you are sadly mistaken.

 That reminded us that we have not yet shared the fabulous book that we’ve been reading to Josiah:

 The Big Picture Story Bible

Kathy’s Plug: We have gotten to know The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm pretty well as Josiah is now in his third time reading the book with us. Dirk and I have been taking turns reading it all the way through with him, and we both have been impressed with many elements of the book.

The illustrations are colorful and fun, and they also express a lot of depth of meaning. Some of the concepts it addresses are complex and we thought it did a great job with trying to express them. The idea of the book is to show children the ‘big picture’ of the Bible: Jesus.  It is an overview of many stories of the Bible all pointing to Christ. It does a great job of maintaining the story and illustrating the major themes.

I would not recommend that you use this in place of a Bible for children, however. There are too many stories left out for it to be considered a true ‘children’s bible. It would be a great supplement to the enforce the theme of Christ all throughout the Bible.

The best part, which makes the book so worth it, is the story of the walk to Emmaus where Jesus shows vividly how He was foretold to God’s people in the past: the passover, the temple, the whole sacrifical system, the promise if a davidic king, and many more.

I’m definitely not an expert on Christian books for children, but I would guess that a book like this is a rarity. It makes it clear that the events in the Old Testament are all a foreshadowing of Christ. Like I said, it leaves out many stories that children should know, but it definitely builds a foundation about Christ being everywhere in the Bible.

Dirk will add his review shortly.

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Josiah’s photo shoot

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A few weeks ago, our friend Chase Pedigo came and photographed Josiah. It was a big departure from his normal fare of Astros players and weddings, but he did a FABULOUS job!  He really captured all his expressions and moods. We are so pleased with his work–I highly recommend him! Here are a few of the priceless shots he got:

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 These are the only ones I have approval from Dirk to share on here–he wants to save the best ones for later.  They are sooo cute!!!

–Kathy

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You spin me right round…

Josiah has a new trick. I doubt that he considers it as such, but its impressive. He did it last night, and to see if it was a fluke I tried it out again. I realize this is probably a normal baby thing, but it was fun to watch. We put him on his belly to work on pushing up(he’s really good at that, by the way) and he spun himself in a full circle while pushing up. His belly never left the floor, so it was something like a lazy-susan spin. This was a span of about 4  to 5 minutes.He was exhausted after he finished, but he did a great job! Here are some pictures:

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 He made it almost all the way around, but I’m tired of uploading pictures. 🙂 I did not interfere or turn him in any direction, this is sheer Josiah-work. Anyway, we thought it was funny. i’m sure everybody’s kids do this, but we thought we’d share. –Kathy

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Sermon Audio

I get the itch sporadically to write about learning opportunities that everyone can take to enrich their study of the Bible.  Today’s featured opportunity is Sermon Audio.  This website is a database for pastors and teacher from the world over to post their sermons, notes, conferences, videos, and some live feeds.  Here are some of the people that you can listen to that are very good:

Brad Baggett Pastor/Teaching Elder at GRBC
Dr. Ian Paisley Minister of the Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Dr. Curt Daniel First Baptist Church Parker, TX
Paul Washer General Director HeartCry Missionary Society
C.H. Spurgeon The “Prince of Preachers” sermons are read by several people on here.

This a very short selection of hundreds of pastors that have sermons on Sermon Audio.  I hope that you take the time to check them out.  I have the other learning opportunities listed on a separate page.  Click the link in our header!–Dirk

 Special Note: Aside from that, I added a fun page at the top to highlight some fun stuff we’vecome across. You can check it out once your brain gets full from all this learning. 🙂 –Kathy

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