Posted in Conferences on July 22, 2010|
Leave a Comment »
If you are live on far eastern side of the US, your opportunity for some great conferences awaits you in September. Two are even on nearly the same weekend in the same city:
9Marks at Southeastern (September 10-11, 2010)
This year, President Danny Akin, Mark Dever, Matt Chandler, David Platt and I focus on biblical theology. From the conference website: “The second 9Marks at Southeastern conference will consider why biblical theology is essential for the church, where it’s unexpectedly challenged, and how pastors can lead churches to exhibit the faithfulness Paul requires of Timothy.”
The Ocean City Bible Conference (September 12-15, 2010)
This year’s theme is “Living the God-Centered Life.” I’ll have the honor of joining Phil Johnson, Paul Tripp, Fred Zaspel, and host pastor Kevin O’Brien in the ministry of the Word. From the conference website: “This year we will be holding our lives up to the Scriptures to see if everything we are and everything we do has God at the center.”
Ligonier Ministries Regional Conference–Washington, D.C. Area (September 17-18, 2010)
The list of preachers includes: Albert Mohler, Robert Godfrey, Burk Parsons, R.C. Sproul (via video), and R.C. Sproul, Jr. From the conference website: “This conference will provide sound teaching as to how Christians can recover a biblical understanding of the world around us and, consequently, how we can reform our lives and our spheres of influence.”
Peacemaker Ministries National Conference (September 16-19, 2010)
What an important theme for our times. This year’s speakers include: Joshua Harris, Chris Brauns, Bishop Efraim Tendero, and Ken Sande.
(Sorry for the cut off graphics. Can’t figure it out. But go here to see them done right.)
I don’t think I will make even one of them because of my schedule but hopefully they will put some of these on-line in October.
It would be a joy to see you at one of these great opportunities!
Read Full Post »
I returned from the BASICS Conference late last night and was blessed again by this time with fellow believers, most of whom are pastors. I enjoy this conference because
- it is small (700 in comparison to larger gatherings of 5000 men at the Shepherds and T4G conferences)
- the speakers are lesser known but equally refreshing (this year was Voddie Bauchman and Jerry Bridges along with Alistair Begg who always speaks)
- the food is great (no other conference features sit down full course meals like BBQ ribs, and chicken breast, open face turkey sandwiches, beef brisket, salad, other vegetables, and quality desserts
- the fellowship among the men is always close and personal (no airs among the men I meet)
- the closeness (only 2 hours a way–and with fuel prices what they are, this factors in)
The theme of the conference was “Preaching the Gospel to Yourself” and was designed to remind us as pastors that we never graduate from the gospel.
I appreciated how Alistair started off the conference by praying for three things for all the attenders. He wanted us to be
- Renewed in our spirit: to have a steadfast heart for God and for God to expose and remove from us a soft (cowardly), sour, or strident spirit among us.
- Restored: restore to me the joy of my salvation and take away a jaded or overly familiar spirit toward the truths that would be preached
- Refreshed: Just like Onesimus had refreshed Paul’s heart so he prayed that our hearts would be refreshed by the Word, those who preached it to us, and those who served us.
I believe God answered those prayers in my life. I did leave the conference refrehsed, restored, and renewed..
Jerry Bridges ministered to me in the first session. Several things really stuck out to me:
- All of us are still practicing sinners. We may not be committing the “big” sins anymore outwardly, but we often practice and cherish respectable sins. So often we become so focused on the flagrant sins of non-believers that we no longer see the respectable sins in our own lives.
- The secret of communion with God is that we acknowledge our guilt, experience his grace, and respond with gratitude to Him.
He repeatedly stressed how that we are still sinners–saved sinners, but still sinners. That is why we need to preach the gospel to ourselves everyday! Even on our best of days we fall short of the holiness of God. As Christians, we need to learn that we must and how we must take our sins to the cross, otherwise our conscience will be trying to play defense attorney in our lives. So many Christians don’t know what to do with their sin. What we must do is keep taking them to the cross where forgiveness for sins has already been offered!
We must also fight against the temptation to think that we are saved by grace but that we earn God’s blessings! That is a tragic mistake in thinking, but this is our default setting. We always want to put our “good works” into the equation somewhere.
Let us always remember that the gospel means that there was never nor is there ever anything in us or done by us to make us acceptable to God. What makes us acceptable to God is what has been done for us by Christ and what has been imputed or credited to us–namely His righteousness.
Praise God, as John Newton said, “I am a great sinner, but I have a great Savior!” And let us keep in mind Galatians 2:20 when we find ourselves struggling with sin and not making much progress against it.
I hope to have more comments on the conference in the coming days, Lord willing!
Read Full Post »