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Pastor Blair’s Top Ten Books Read in 2017

As usual, my top ten tend to reflect my interests in history. I choose the ranking on how much the book influenced my thinking. If I have found myself still pondering and dialoguing with the content much later, I rank the book higher.  The reviews can be found in my earlier blog posts. Trueman, Carl R. Luther on the Christian Life. Wheaton: Crossway, 2011.  ...

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How I was introduced to Indelible Grace?

How I was introduced to Indelible Grace? Prior to working on my doctorate, I was a college and university pastor in Tennessee. We had our own Bible study on Sunday morning (and on Sunday Evenings after church services in the summer). Prior to our study we sang songs, and I could tell the students were interested in songs with substance. So, at one of my conferences, I cam...

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What Pastor Blair Has Been Reading (from October 2017 through December 2017)

What Pastor Blair Has Been Reading (from October 2017 through December 2017)   Beale, G.K., The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: 1-2 Thessalonians. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2003.  This was a nice overview of the Thessalonian correspondence. I consulted it from time to time. However, it suffers from both a lack of detail in some areas and possibl...

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Preparing for 2018

It’s that time of year again when you hear of people making New Year Resolutions. I am no different. I do try to set spiritual goals for myself that are realistic but also stretch me to depend upon God for lasting fruit. To that end, I have found Donald Whitney’s questions for self-evaluation very helpful. (http://biblicalspirituality.org/10-questions-to-ask-at...

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Report from the 2017 Annual Business Meeting

Last week our congregation approved a $643.258.00 annual budget for 2018. The Financial Ministry Team reported that our expenditures for the end of 2017 is estimated to be around $601,000.00. Any surplus will be put toward any necessary capital improvements and the 50/50 fund.  The Rev. Brian Milby was also re-affirmed as elder of the church. (Every elder must be r...

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Final Thoughts from Thessalonians

As we finished our sermon series on the Thessalonian correspondence, I challenged you to grade yourself upon the eight great themes found in these two letters. If you were like me, you didn’t give yourself an ‘A’ in any of the categories because you were well aware that we all could use improvement in some area of our lives. But most likely there were one...

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Why You Should Come to the Annual Meeting

Just 50 years ago, no one who was a member of a church would even conceive of skipping a business meeting. Yet in our day an age, it is quite common for people to be absent from one of the most important meeting of the year. Some people skip it, because they don’t like conflict. But I think at Providence, we are most likely to skip because it is conflict free a...

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Being Thankful for You

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. I love the autumn. I love the food. I love the sports. And I love the emphasis on being thankful (especially before the materialism of Christmas sets in). My family and I take time to write down things we are grateful to God for, but too often we fail to recognize how thankful we are for the body of Christ. In her book on pray...

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When you don’t feel appreciated …

This past Sunday, both Brian and I received a bag of cards and letters from the congregation. Over the afternoon, I delighted in reading the heart felt sentiments expressed in those notes. Some made me laugh and few brought a tear to my eye. This was already on top of a few small gifts others had brought into the church. I cannot thank you enough for the kindness you expre...

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Marking the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

It is widely regarded that October 31, 1517, the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany, marked a turning point in the Protestant Reformation. But it would be incorrect to believe the reformation began on that day.  God has been reforming his people ever since he called a people to Himself. Truth has always been dissemin...

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