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A Son is Given to Us

December 21, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The birth of Christ, perhaps, was the most promised and anticipated event in the history of mankind. For centuries, the Jews heard and held onto prophecies of one to come who would bring deliverance, justice, peace, and a kingdom. Part of the wonder of Christmas is seeing those prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Christ. God promised, and God fulfilled. Our faith in the promise-keeping God is bolstered by celebrating the “good news of great joy” of the birth of Christ. This month, let’s consider a few of those Old Testament promises and their fulfillment in Christ. This is part four of a four-part series. In no way do I envy J.J. Abrams. He is a movie director. He directed the recent Star Trek films and episode 7 in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. People have loved his work. But now, Abrams faces, perhaps, one of the greatest challenges of his life. He will be writing and directing the ninth episode of Star Wars. After such divided opinion over episode 8, with some saying Star Wars has been ruined for them by this film, many are looking to Abrams to fix it. Save the Star Wars universe from the mistakes of The Last Jedi! Abrams has such incredible pressure to deliver a great film that fans will celebrate.... Keep Reading

A Ruler for Israel

December 14, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The birth of Christ, perhaps, was the most promised and anticipated event in the history of mankind. For centuries, the Jews heard and held onto prophecies of one to come who would bring deliverance, justice, peace, and a kingdom. Part of the wonder of Christmas is seeing those prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Christ. God promised, and God fulfilled. Our faith in the promise-keeping God is bolstered by celebrating the “good news of great joy” of the birth of Christ. This month, let’s consider a few of those Old Testament promises and their fulfillment in Christ. This is part three of a four-part series. I have noticed this month that these Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah were, for the most part, given during times of distress. This serves to emphasize that the birth of Jesus was God’s action on behalf of distressed people. We live in a world wracked by sin and the effects of sin. We need God’s intervention to bring healing, restoration, and redemption. This is exactly what the promised Messiah has come to do. ... Keep Reading

Finding Joy in the Midst of Anguish

December 7, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The birth of Christ, perhaps, was the most promised and anticipated event in the history of mankind. For centuries, the Jews heard and held onto prophecies of one to come who would bring deliverance, justice, peace, and a kingdom. Part of the wonder of Christmas is seeing those prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Christ. God promised, and God fulfilled. Our faith in the promise-keeping God is bolstered by celebrating the “good news of great joy” of the birth of Christ. This month, let’s consider a few of those Old Testament promises and their fulfillment in Christ. This is part two of a four-part series. I suspect that Jeremiah 31:15 was not considered to be prophetic, foretelling what was to come, for the first listeners. The Babylonian Empire had been attacking Judah and the city of Jerusalem in waves between 605 and 586 BC. Jeremiah foretold of this impending doom. Chapter 31 is a word of encouragement in the midst of the tragedy. God promises to “turn their mourning into joy,” and that “your children shall come back to their own country” (v. 13 & 17). And the clearest declarations of the New Covenant promises come in 31:31-34.... Keep Reading

The Virgin Shall Conceive

November 30, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The birth of Christ, perhaps, was the most promised and anticipated event in the history of mankind. For centuries, the Jews heard and held onto prophecies of one to come who would bring deliverance from oppression, justice, peace, and a kingdom. Part of the wonder of Christmas is seeing those prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Christ. God promised, and God fulfilled. Our faith in the promise-keeping God is bolstered by celebrating the “good news of great joy” of the birth of Christ. This month, let’s consider a few of those Old Testament promises and their fulfillment in Christ. This is part one of a four-part series.... Keep Reading

Rice and Beans Again?

November 22, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

In our home we have developed a Thanksgiving Eve tradition. We eat only rice (and sometimes beans) for dinner the night before the feasting. My pastor while I was growing up in Illinois held this tradition with his family. We don’t do this so that we would be super hunger for Thanksgiving. It is a form of fasting. As with any form of fasting, we “afflict” ourselves physically in order to stir up spiritual virtues. We pray for the growth of:... Keep Reading

Safety on Our Minds

November 16, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

When Erin and I committed to spend one year teaching at Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary, some of our family members questioned the wisdom of subjecting our children to the risks of living in Africa for that extended period of time. Our five boys ranged in ages from one year old up to nine years old. We had to be immunized for all kinds of diseases, uncommon in America. The nearest hospital to our home was a three hour car ride on an extremely bumpy road. The water was unsafe to drink. All meat had to be soaked in bleach water to kill any potential parasites. All of our clothing had to be ironed to kill eggs and larva of bugs, which would love the opportunity to burrow into our skin. Yes, that included the cloth diapers for our one year old. Was it safe to bring our children into this environment? Safety is an American ideal. We have vast resources to keep us safe from all sorts of risks. And if we have the resources available, it would be considered foolish not to avail ourselves of these resources. In fact, it is illegal in some instances not to use safety measures (i.e. seatbelt laws).... Keep Reading

Luther and The Jews

November 9, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st was the the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part eight of a multi-part series. One of the darkest marks on the reputation of Luther is his writings and views about Jews. Trueman summarizes well Luther’s progression:... Keep Reading

Luther on Baptism and Communion

November 2, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part seven of a multi-part series. Up until this point in this series we have considered teachings of Luther that we would mostly celebrate. He championed justification by faith alone by reclaiming a biblical understanding of sin and faith. He championed the central place and power of the Word of God in both the worship gathering of the church and in the individual’s life. Luther helped refocus the church’s reception of the sacraments as means of God’s grace being extended to us. There is good reason to celebrate Luther as we recognize the 500th anniversary of his 95 Theses.... Keep Reading

Sacraments as Physical Signs of God’s Actions

October 26, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part six of a multi-part series. Protestant churches all over the world are recognizing or celebrating this week in some manner the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses. For many Protestants, Luther is a champion of Christian faith, especially justification by faith alone. Most Protestants, however, would be astonished to find out that Luther would think very little of their Christian practice, even while they celebrate him. What’s behind this? Divergent views of the sacraments.... Keep Reading

Daily Christian Life in the Word

October 19, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part five of a multi-part series. What does the daily Christian life look like? That’s a question many of us wrestle with on a regular basis as we face various trials and temptations. Specific situations become the driving force behind our spiritual activities. Our aims in the study of Scripture, our prayer life, and our conversations with other believers often are centered on the most urgent need on our hearts and minds. And since we live in an age and culture of abundance, we have vast numbers of resources to address our various needs.... Keep Reading

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