Financial Meltdown: Christian Perspective Thursday, Apr 30 2009 

As someone who went to seminary and now works in finance this is a wonderful opportunity to hear from an educated and accomplished brother in Christ on the current financial meltdown. Dr. Paul Mills, who works for the International Monetary Fund, just spoke at Capitol Hill Baptist Church on The Financial Breakdown: A Spiritual Diagnosis.

Here are the slides from the presentation along with audio: The Financial Breakdown: A Spiritual Diagnosis

http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/audio/2009/04/22/the-financial-breakdown-a-spiritual-diagnosis/

 

Paul Mills, International Monetary Fund

Having studied for a PhD in financial economics at Cambridge University, Paul Mills joined the UK Treasury in 1992. After periods in macroeconomic modeling and financial regulation, he specialized in government debt management, culminating in establishing the UK Debt Management Office in 1998. Paul remained at the DMO as head of policy and deputy CEO until returning to the Treasury in 2000 to lead policy sections managing the UK government’s balance sheet (debt, cash, and currency reserves) then financial stability and regulation. He joined the IMF in 2006 and has worked on global financial stability, the U.S. financial system, innovative risk transfer, climate change and financial markets, and Islamic finance. (http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/2492)

Mark Driscoll – Song of Solomon Conference Wednesday, Apr 29 2009 

In what seems to be a conference that has flown under the radar, Pastor Mark Driscoll is speaking this Friday and Saturday at the Song of Solomon Conference at James River Assembly in Ozark, Missouri.

Driscoll will be speaking on the following topics:

– The Art of Attraction and Dating

– The Art of Intimacy

– The Art of Conflict

– The Art of Romance

– The Art of Commitment

For more information: http://www.songofsolomon.com/details_ozark.asp If the sessions are released to the public we will make sure to get the word out!

Dave Ramsey – Financial Peace University Sunday, Apr 26 2009 

I just completed Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. It was a good book, albeit a very basic book. Dave reviewed finance 101, which would seem to be common knowledge except for the fact that our country and the world are in a deep recession because of society missing the big I on the eye chart when it comes to finance. The number one rule when dealing with money is not to spend more than you make. Create margin in your life as Andy Stanley often says. That margin comes from spending less than what comes in. One terrible example of this spending more than one has came up yesterday when I was watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the second thriller of the weekend New Hampshire International Speedway was advertising an upcoming NASCAR event with the following promotion, “The “FansFirst Four Pay” allows fans to secure their tickets, camping spots, and pre-race pit passes with a 25-percent deposit. The remaining balance will be spread out over three additional interest-free payments.” If you need to finance tickets to go to NASCAR, maybe this is an event you should watch on television!

I just completed Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. It was a good book, albeit a very basic book. Dave reviewed finance 101, which would seem to be common knowledge except for the fact that our country and the world are in a deep recession because of society missing the big I on the eye chart when it comes to finance. The number one rule when dealing with money is not to spend more than you make. Create margin in your life as Andy Stanley often says. That margin comes from spending less than what comes in. One terrible example of this spending more than one has came up yesterday when I was watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the second thriller of the weekend. New Hampshire International Speedway was advertising an upcoming NASCAR event with the following promotion, “The ‘FansFirst Four Pay’ allows fans to secure their tickets, camping spots, and pre-race pit passes with a 25-percent deposit. The remaining balance will be spread out over three additional interest-free payments.” If you need to finance tickets to go to NASCAR, maybe this is an event you should watch on television!

Getting of my soapbox, there were two things I am going to change in my life after reading the book and there are not many books you can write that about! The first thing is that my wife and I are creating a budget. We always try to be conservative with our spending but we had not previously made a week-by-week budget. After sitting down and going over all expenditures, that budget is now in place. Also, as part of the budget we are moving from using our credit card to spending cash. Dave made a reference to how the average grocery bill on a credit card was nearly double the average grocery bill in cash. So to cash we go! We will see how it works for a couple months!

Tim Keller – Gospel Coalition Notes Sunday, Apr 26 2009 

Gospel Ministry – Dr. Timothy Keller –

Acts 19:23-41

– “Manmade gods are no gods at all”

– Paul always took on and challenged the idols of the culture

– You cannot minister the Gospel in a life changing way unless you discern the idols of the culture, expose them, and destroy them

1) Discerning Idols

a. Idols are manmade gods

b. Acts 17

i. Verse 16 – Saw the city full of idols

ii. Went to the Agora (marketplace – Hollywood, Harvard, NYT)

iii.

c. Every culture not based on the Glory and Grace of God is based on idols

d. David Clarkson – vol. 2 – Soul Idolatry Excludes Man out of Heaven

e. “Anything in your life that is so central to your life that you cannot have a meaningful life if you lose it”

f. Could be family, children, achievement, relationship, beauty, money, politics, moral record, religiosity

g. “When you take a finite, limited thing…when you take a good and make it ultimate you make it an idol”

h. Business = Profit, Artists = Expression

2) Exposing Idols

a. “Manmade gods are no gods at all”

b. 3 Kinds of Idols to expose

i. Personal – Money, Romance, Children

ii. Religious – Truth, Gifts, Morality

iii. Cultural – Reason, Family, Politics

3) Destroying Idols – How do you not only expose, but destroy idols?

a. Idols are:

i. Empty and worthless

ii. Wield enormous power

b. Paul risked his life in order to defeat idols

c. Jesus gave his life to defeat idols – Colossians 2:15

Suggested Reading from Monergism Books Tuesday, Apr 21 2009 

http://www.monergismbooks.com/ReadersGuide-Web.pdf

As an avid reader I was thrilled to see Monergism Books

publish a list of suggested books. Enjoy.

Matt Chandler – the Village Church Tuesday, Apr 21 2009 

I love the new website for The Village Church.  Top 3 parts of the site:

1) The Sermons – http://hv.thevillagechurch.net/sermons

2) Articles – http://hv.thevillagechurch.net/articles

3) Recommended Books – http://hv.thevillagechurch.net/books

What a wonderful resource this site it. Thanks to The Village Church for their hard work on it!

Gospel Coalition Live Today Tuesday, Apr 21 2009 

The Gospel Coalition 2009 National Conference in Chicago starts today. They will be streaming a live webcast of the plenary sessions at Christianity.com. It’s an incredible lineup of speakers. Here is the webcast schedule for today alone: 2pm CDT (Noon PDT): Tim Keller. 4pm CDT (2pm PDT): John Piper. 7pm CDT (5pm PDT): Phil Ryken. 8pm CDT (6pm PDT): Mark Driscoll. Get the full conference schedule here. If you miss any of the live talks, the audio and video of each session will be available free online within a day of each session at thegospelcoalition.org. You can also follow Mike Anderson on Twitter (@mikeyanderson) to get his live updates from the conference.

Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church – Mark Driscoll Saturday, Apr 4 2009 

I spend a year at Bible college. It was one of the best years of my life, but it wasn’t an easy one. My first semester was great, I was learning a great deal and spending more time in my Bible than ever before. However when I came back for the second semester I started to wonder about a few doctrines and rules. When I searched for the reasons behind the rules in the Bible I could not find them. It was at this point I started reading great theologians like Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper among others. Then I happened upon Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. For the last couple months of Bible college and the following summer I dove into his sermons and was transformed in a way that far exceeded the year I had spent in Bible college. Pastor Mark read and studied his Bible and taught straight from the text. My knowledge and understanding of Jesus grew tremendously in those months. It has been years now and I have continued to listen, watch and read Pastor Mark’s work. This past week I read Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church for the first time in a couple years and I was challenged afresh. This book is the amazing story of Mars Hill church and how they have grown from a small Bible study to a church that impacts culture in amazing ways. They are actively doing what we are called to do when the Bible says, “go and make disciples.” I encourage every Christian to read this book.

Along these lines I just noticed this Nightline story on Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaithMatters/Story?id=6711206&page=1