Posts Tagged ‘Ligonier Ministries’

Happy New Year to one and all! Can I start off my thanking those of you who take the time to log in and read some of my thoughts from time to time. I am constantly amazed at the numbers who read this blog from around the globe. It is with this in mind, alongside the launch of 20schemes, that this will be my last week blogging as Niddrie Pastor. I will leave this site active as a place to log on and find archives but, as of the 7th January, I will be blogging from my 20schemes site. I will keep you posted over the next week as I make the change. Can I encourage those of you who subscribe to the site to consider following me over to this new site. Thanks so much!

Now, the blogosphere is awash with reading plans for 2013 and, perhaps, the most comprehensive can be found on The Gospel Coalition website. Please click on the link here to find reading plans galore! There is also a great blog post form Matt Smethurst on the dangers of being sucked into Bible reading Plans with the wrong motivations. Worth a read here.

The Ligonier blog always comes up with the goods! Happy hunting for various plans here.

The 19th Century Scottish minister, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, (sometimes spelled McCheyne) who lived from 1813-1843, prepared a plan for Bible reading to take readers through the New Testament and Psalms twice a year, and through the rest of the Bible once each year. His plans can be accessed easily here.

Tim Chester has some great words of advice on his blog and his reading plan(s) can be accessed here. What I like about Tim’s is that it has a communal element to it (although to be honest every plan could be communal if you wanted it to). Worth a quick look though.

For a helpful perspective on the whole reading plan thing, Garrett Kell offers some honest and wise words on his provocatively entitled blog post, “Why I Plan To Read Less Of The Bible This year”. Check it out here.

My own personal plan is snappily called: Professor Grant Horner’s Bible reading System. Google it or you will find it on most of the blog sites above. I have been using the system throughout 2012. Basically, I read 10 chapters a day from various parts of the Bible. I have worked out that I have read the entire Bible at least 3 and a half times this past year. That’s probably more than I did in the whole of the previous 5 years! I admit that the early weeks were a struggle but, with perseverance, I managed to stick to the plan with amazing ease. I have found it particularly helpful to be able to download the plan onto my iPhone. You can download that here. As usual, the great Tim Challies has produced a list of resources to go along with the plan. These can be found here. Finally, for mutual encouragement and accountability you can access the Facebook page here.

No, it hasn’t made me Godlier or holier and no I don’t think Jesus likes me better than  people who’ve struggled through their devotions this year. At times it has been a chore but after the first few weeks I really got into the groove. Now, I didn’t use it devotionally but instead just read the chapters through at normal reading speed. Like a spiritual shower if you will! Besides this reading I followed my own personal, spiritual routine which enabled me to soak a little longer in the bath! I just found the habit of constantly reading scripture daily nice – that’s all. What I found helpful, particularly when I went through a spiritual ‘dry patch’ in terms of my own devotions, was that I was at least reading huge chunks of scripture as a matter of coarse even when I didn’t really feel like it. Make of that what you will but the point is my head was in the Bible rather than in the TV when I was having some tough times. Remember our faith rests in Christ and not on how we do in these things. Let’s all guard our hearts and watch our motivations.

I hope that we will all grow in truth and grace in 2013 as we wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Here’s a web station from Ligonier Ministries that you will find helpful. It covers music, debate, sermons and lectures form a host of men including, OS Guiness, RC Sproul & Alistair Begg.

Listen here.

On Sunday evening I have been teaching a parenting class for a group of about 15 people crammed into my front room. One of the dangers of parenting courses is that people think they are only applicable for those with children. Singles think they have no need to know, older couples think they have done it all, those struggling with having children find it difficult and many think it a topic best left to the parent alone.

Scripture has much to say on the topic and this evening we will be looking at the issue of motherhood and daughters. Miriam (my wife) and I have had some interesting conversations off the back of the course. One of the big ones for us has been: who is there in our church that could be an older sister and/or grandmother type figure in the church? Who is there outside of our family unit who could help us raise our girls and bring some much needed Christian maturity into their lives? Apart form one young woman in the church and an unbeliever in the community, the answer at the moment, sadly, is nobody really.

I think perhaps one of the great issues of our day in the Western world is that we have reduced parenting and family to mean merely ‘mum, dad, & children’. Raising children is not really a community affair anymore. We think that is sad and that great riches are being lost to our children and to the Christian community of which we are a part. It’s a delicate issue and cannot be forced. It’s not like we can say, ‘Hey you, be my daughter’s big sister and teach her how to be a young girl in the Lord.’ We are still talking about it and praying it through.

Meanwhile, Mark Bates has written a short piece below to stimulate our thinking in this area.

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/it-takes-church-raise-child/

Entitled, ‘A Collision of Lives’ I have to admit that I found this documentary fascinating, not because of the level of debate (average) but because of the personal, behind the scenes glimpses, of discussion between the two men. There is a lot of ‘to-ing & fro-ing’ in terms of putting forward views, as there should be in these things. I just felt it was well handled and not overly aggressive from either side. A wonderful documentary, with a particularly poignant admission from Hitchens right at the death. It is well worth taking 90 minutes to sit and watch it. I loved the little Dawkins anecdote at the end which only confirms my suspicion that he is a muppet. 🙂

Take a look here at an interview with Hitchen’s brother, Peter, on his view of atheism and belief in God. Take a read here. Here’s what he says about the death of a loved one:

Death is the great reminder that this life is limited, and that it may not be the end. For most of our lives, we behave as if this is not so. It is only when death touches those close to us that we are forced into this understanding, especially in a modern world where death is kept at a distance, ignored, undiscussed, and shuffled off into corners.

Christ is risen.


A welcome, balanced thought here on what can sometimes be a very emotive discussion on the issue of the poor and our response as ‘rich’ Christians.

You need to get on to this site here to watch the Ligonier 2009 Leadership Conference. You would be foolish not to get on this!! You have Sproul, Lawson, Ferguson & Duncan doing the bizz – you have to love that (even if you don’t agree with everything).