Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Here’s a post to acknowledge my absence from the blog-o-sphere. I’ve been away since September with too much to do, and too little time to do it. My household is shrinking, too. My firstborn son, Nathan has married and moved into his own home. God has blessed Nathan and his wife, Colleen, with a honeymoon baby. My daughter, Naomi, and her husband Nathanael, are expecting their second child. It’s a great thing to be a grandparent. Enjoy the pictures. “So how is it being a bi-vocational pastor?” I’m asked by folks who know that I’m a homeschool dad who teaches public school students during the week, and preaches sermons to the saints on Sundays.

Allow me to recount my blessings. I’m delighted to have the freedom to live out my faith in a great community. I’m blessed to be able to disciple my children in the ways of the scriptures. I’m privileged to work with students who have an appetite for knowledge and truth. I’m thrilled to spread the vision of discipleship to unite church and home, and to transform the culture. Shucks, I’m having so much fun, perhaps I should be tri-vocational. I jest.

Good Times We’ve Had
Recently, we elders of Coram Deo Church preached our way through a series of topics that paralleled Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project. We came to more fully understand the marvelous imprint of our triune God upon all human institutions. Since we are made in His image, it is no surprise that the very nature of God is expressed in marriage and the family, in the church, in the state, in the sciences, in the arts, in the economy, in everything.

Good Works To Be Done
In these times of economic calamity and political scandal I am more convinced than ever that we need to seek the face of Almighty God, Him who first sought us. God is sovereign over every aspect of His creation. He is just and powerful, yet He cares for the lowly and the needy. He ordains the rise and fall of nations. And He welcomes humble, child-like faith.
If the American dream of autonomous individualism and materialistic consumption comes crumbling down around us, then perhaps we will take notice again of our Creator. Perhaps we will see the deception of a worldview that curses children and blesses debt. Perhaps we will craft an exit strategy from our reliance on the secular state as our savior. Perhaps we will lose our fondness for being comfortable, religious spectators. Maybe we'll start shining the Light of Christ to the world around us. It will not be without cost, just as Jesus promised.

A Son Is Given
Tomorrow I will preach a Christmas message entitled God With Us, God For Us, & God In Us. I am pleased to include a couple of young apologists from the Clarion Speech and Debate Club, Jachin Scott and Tait Deems, to help me make the case for salvation in Christ alone. It is young men like these who give me great hope for the future. May the Lord raise up more men in the church to boldly proclaim the gospel of peace and the salvation story of GRACE - God's Riches At Christ's Expense.

Soli Deo Gloria,

John Sleadd