Happy Thanksgiving! Here are a few things I’m thankful for this year


First Thanksgiving at Plymouth

I hope that today will be a warm time of year being around friends and family. I also hope that you are able to spend a few moments reflecting on things that you are thankful for. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments below. To get things started, here are a few things that I am thankful for:

  1. That God saw fit to redeem me by the blood of his Son,
  2. That I have a loving wife,
  3. That I have the ability to read, learn, write, and teach,
  4. That God is continuing to work in me for his Glory,
  5. (I’m also thankful for my puppy, Lucy).

Stop by tomorrow morning at 11am EST for two things that you should be thankful for if you call yourself a Christian. You will learn a bit about predestination and God’s Sovereignty.

In the meantime, What are you thankful for?

A Note to My Readers: Compassion International


If you read the articles published on this website by coming to the actual site (instead of reading it in your RSS reader or some other way) you may have noticed two new items. On the right sidebar there is now a promotional item for Compassion International, and if clicked will take you to a page on the Compassion International website where you can learn more about giving clean water to those in need of it. This same type of promotional item is also located in the footer (the bottom) of each page and article. Seeing these may have raised a few questions for you, which I would like to answer below.  

What is Compassion International?

Compassion International‘s goal is to take a child who is living in poverty and help them from “economic, physical, social and spiritual poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.” Compassion partners with a local church, where the child lives, and works with the church to develop programs that will help a child living in poverty receive the education and spiritual growth they will need to grow out of the poverty they are in. Compassion then partners with people like you and me to sponsor a child so that they can be a part of the programs developed by Compassion and the local church. Learn more about Compassion by reading through the Compassion FAQ page.  
 

Why is Compassion International on this website?

First, I (Aaron), gain absolutely nothing from what you decide to do with the information you receive about Compassion from me on this website. If you decide to sponsor a kid because of reading something here, there is nothing in it for me. I am writing about Compassion International and their efforts because they are a part of the wheel that is Evangelism. I do not receive any monetary support of any kind from Compassion and do not aim to. My aim with writing about Compassion is to introduce you to them, and some of their ministry partners, so that you are aware of needs around the world that you can help with. Questions? Ask them in the comments below 🙂 
 

What can I expect to read or see about Compassion International and their ministry activity?

I am a part of the Compassion Blogger team. I am one of approximately 1,100 other bloggers who have decided to help spread the word about Compassion and their mission through the use of my website and writing. Compassion sends us (bloggers) “assignments” that help to show a need or highlight a specific part of their ministry. You will see videos, read testimonials, and learn how you can become involved. Absolutly nothing pushy (see below).  
 

What do you believe about “pulling on heart strings?”

Great question. I don’t believe in pulling on heart strings. That is to say, I don’t believe in pulling on the heart strings of people to make them do something. A huge problem that I see in churches is that there is such an emphasis on emotional response that people do not really know anything substantial. They do not know why they bleieve what they believe. They believe it because that is what the pastor or their parents have told them.  
 
I sat in a church service once where the pastor used his pulpit, and the forty minutes he had to preach, to try and guilt me and the rest of his congregation into sponsoring a child. I walked out of that service very upset that he tried to use emotion and guilt to have me sponsor a child. I did not sponsor a child. I will not sponsor a child soley based on an emotional reaction, and will not encourage you to either. I do not want you to make an emotional decision when it comes to sponsoring a child. Hear me on this: I do not believe that true heart change (in this case, concern) will come through emotional response only. It must be grounded in God’s Word.  
 
All that I am going to do here is give you information and tell you what you can do. I then want you to continue studying God’s Word and praying. Allow what I tell you to prompt you to seek more from God and his Word. Allow his Word only to make the change in your life, not what I write here. Understood? Good 🙂 If not, fire away in the comments below. 
 
I am extrememly excited to begin writing about Compassion International (you can expect the first writing assignement to appear tomorrow) and look forward to telling you more about what they do and how you can get involved. 
 

No Theological Paper Tomorrow BUT a Detailed Look Ahead (and an updated ‘About’ page)


Sad puppy face

Esteemed Readers (also, if you are reading this, comment below. Say “hi,” “yo,” or anything. I know there are a lot of readers here, but only a few of you like to speak up),

Due to a few personal items that came up this week and required my immediate and direct attention, there will not be an academic paper published tomorrow. The beauty of this is that you should have no doubt that I am human and real. There are times when I simply cannot do everything I would like. While I do not like to get off track, it has to happens sometimes.

So, no paper tomorrow, but I invite you to browse the papers published in the past and take a look at this week’s memory verse.

Here is what you can expect schedule-wise through the end of the year:

  • November 25 – What are We Thankful For?
  • December 2 – Satan: His Origin, Limited Power, and Eternal Position
  • December 9 – Death: What Happens to Unbelievers?
  • December 16 – The Christmas Story Part 1 – The Significance of the Manger in the City of Bethlehem
  • December 23 – The Christmas Story Part 2 – The Significance of the Shepherds and the Angels
  • December 30 – The Christmas Story Part 3 – The Significance of the Birth of Jesus

I hope that giving you a look ahead will make up for the lack of a paper tomorrow. Please accept my apologies on this matter.

I am excited about the rest of the year here and what we will learn together. Be sure to sign up via email at the bottom of this page so that you don’t miss the scheduled topics (and a few bonus posts I have up my sleeve). Also, use the links below to share this post and website with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or using old-fashioned-but-very-powerful email.

I hope that you have a great weekend.

In Christ,
Aaron

p.s. I have updated the ‘About‘ page. It not so much about me, but more about what you can expect here and some pointers on what you can do here. Read and enjoy!

A Quick Heads-Up


Something that has been requested by a few of you is having points of interests (or points to remember) and discussion questions as the end of each article as it is published. Starting today, in four minutes actually, this will be something at the conclusion of any article written about theology, church history, the Bible, etc. My hope is that the points of interest will remind you of the main ideas to keep in mind, and that the questions will prompt you to think more about where you stand on the issue and why, or just to help you do some independent study.

It is my hope that this small addition will help you learn and grow in your Faith!

In Christ,

Aaron

A Note to My Readers


As you may have noticed last week I published a rather focused article in a very focused category (Marriage and Divorce, and Theology, respectively). That post, and the posts that are planned to follow every Friday, have been in the works for quite some time. Actually, just the idea. The articles themselves are written in an afternoon, but the idea of publishing my papers that relate to theology, church history, and the Bible has been something that I have wanted to do for quite some time, but I struggled with how to execute the idea. Last week I just ran with the idea, the smallest portion of it, and clicked “publish.”

Since then I have gained a few new subscribers (welcome!), and I assume this is because of their interest in the academic focus I have decided to take this website. As a result of the new readership, I have started another website for the random things that have found their way here for the past several years (pictures of coffee, cigars, random thoughts, etc). Now that this site has a clear purpose (well written and though provoking articles meant to ignite a passion for studying God’s Word, in one way or another), I feel that it will be best to not post the random pictures here, but on the site that I have created specifically for that reason.

Meet: The Finer Grinds. There you will find what I used to publish here. Consider this site to be the unfocused, unfiltered Aaron. So, if you enjoy drinking coffee with me, or at least seeing the coffee I drink, among other things, head over to The Finer Grinds and subscribe via email.

Thanks for understanding this move and I hope you will stick around on both sites for the content that I create for you.

Cheers,

Aaron