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Posts by Thomas Rydland

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Are We Missional?

We want to be "missional." Are we? Here are some helpful diagnostic questions from Trevin Wax...

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Missional Mindset

What is a missional mindset?...

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10 Steps in Evangelism

Tim Keller suggests 10 things to consider in everyday evangelism: Let people around you know you are a Christian (in a natural, unforced way) Ask friends about their faith – and just listen! Listen to your friends problems – maybe offer to pray for them Share your problems with others – testify to how your faith helps you Give them a book to read ...

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Complementarianism for Dummies

The leadership of CRC is "Complementarian," and we try to live and teach and counsel and preach accordingly. What does is it mean to be "complementarian" anyway?  Mary Kassian is one of the people responsible for coining the term. She wrote a helpful primer article on the idea: Complementarianism for Dummies. Read the entire article here. Read some excerpts below:&nb...

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Practical Missional Living

12 Ways To Engage In Practical Missional Living...

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Jesus: Perfect Man

The Word, God-the-Son, the second person of the Trinity became a man around 2000 years ago and took the name, "Jesus." Why did he become a man? There are several ways to answer, and lots(!) of implications for the fact. Hebrews 2:14 answers: "[Jesus] himself likewise partook of the same things [namely, flesh and blood] that through death he might destroy the one who has t...

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No, Mormons Are Not Christians

Are Mormons Christians? No. Here's some helpful clarification - ...

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The Gospel Coalition National Women's Conference

The Gospel Coalition's inagural women's conference is taking place in Orlando this weekend (June 22-24), and it will actually be broadcast live!...

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Jesus: Our God

As mysterious as it may be, we believe that Jesus is rightly identified with Yahweh God of the Old Testament. ...

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Understanding God's Ways

"Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day" (Ps.119:97). "I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts" (Ps.119:99-100). Those in Christ naturally want to understand him and his ways and his will for us more deeply. How? Psalm 119 helps us to know at lea...

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Remember and be Fruitful

There is a positive correlation in a Christian’s life between his memory that he is forgiven of his sins, and the fruitfulness of his life. If you are in Christ, there will be a positive correlation in your life between your memory that you are forgiven of your sins, and the fruitfulness of your life. In 2Peter 1, the Apostle Peter mentions godly qualities like self...

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Why Preach?

Why do we preach in our Sunday worship services? What is preaching, anyway?...

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The Hope and Stay of Marriage

A God-glorifying story of one couple's Christ-exalting marriage. ...

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"Barabbas and Me"

Barabbas - the guilty who goes free? Barabbas - the sinner released to new life while the death he deserves is paid by an Innocent Substitute?...

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Why is Good Friday Good?

What is good about Good Friday?...

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Excitement for the Needy

The brokenness of our world and the truth of the gospel....

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O, That We Would Prophesy

I'm praying that Christ Redeemer Church will abound with members who "earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that [they] may prophesy" (1Cor.14:1). ...

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Gospel-Centered Church

We want to be a "gospel-centered" church. What does that mean? What does it mean to be "gospel-centered"? ...

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Who's Controlling Your Heart?

"All human desire must be held in submission to a greater purpose, the desires of God for his kingdom."...

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Sustaining Marital Love

"It's the covenant that sustains the love, not the love that sustains the covenant."  Check out this fantastic 5 minute discussion about sustaining the covenant of marital love. It's part of several roundtable discussions between D.A. Carson, John Piper, and Tim Keller of The Gospel Coalition. ...

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Is There Room at the Cross for Christians?

Christ Died For The Sins Of Christians Too -  This is a GREAT article reminding the reader about what the gospel is, and who it's for! There's a helpful (and needed, I think) splash of church history / historical theology to boot. I commend it's reading! A few highlights (boldface mine):  "The whole gospel is outside of us." "This 'ali...

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Pursuing Maturity and its Challenges - Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and Their Families,

Finally... the last post in this series. If you haven’t already, please take time to read the previous parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. This is the last entry for this series on what we hope will shape our church ministry to young people - roughly 12-18 years old - along with their families. I’ve been sketching t...

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Rejoicing in God’s Design for Manhood and Womanhood - Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and T

This is part 8 in this series of posts. If you haven’t already, please take time to read the previous parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. As Christians, we hope to engage with the culture around us. While we may be tempted either to indulge in the culture, or, to isolate ourselves from it, we want to avoid those two ditches for the sa...

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Spreading the Gospel - Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and Their Families, Part 7

This is part 7 in this series of posts. If you haven’t already, please take time to read the previous parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. At one point our Congregational Affirmation of Faith states that “God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.&rdqu...

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Delighting in Scripture and Praying in the Spirit - Shaping Ministry Youth, Young Adults and Their F

This is part 6 in this series of posts. If you haven’t already, please take time to read the previous parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.   Two more vision pillars on which we’ll aim to build our church’s ministry to both young people and their parents have to do with the Bible and prayer - delighting in Scripture and Pray...

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Growing in the Church-Home Partnership - Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and Their Families

This is part 5 in this series of posts. If you haven’t already, please take time to read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4   As I’ve mentioned in the previous posts, we hope to build the youth and young adult ministry of Christ Redeemer Church on top of several vision pillars. The fourth one (in no particular order, by the way) has to do...

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Thriving in the Church - Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and Their Families, Part 4

This is part 4 in this series of posts. If you haven’t already, please take time to read parts 1, 2, and 3. Not only do we want to see young people enjoying the benefits of biblical fellowship together with their peers and families, but we also want to see them flourishing in the local church as contributors to its mission. We want young men and young...

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Enjoying Fellowship - Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and Their Families, Part 3

This is part 3 in this series of posts. If you haven’t already, please take time to read parts 1 and 2. Christ Redeemer Church wants to see God’s kingdom advance through the gospel of Jesus Christ for the Glory of God and the joy of all peoples. Under that broad vision, we want to see young people loving Jesus together with others who love Jesu...

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Loving Jesus - Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and Their Families, Part 2

This is part 2 in this series of posts. If you haven’t already, please take time to read part 1. Under the broad vision we have at Christ Redeemer to see God’s kingdom advance through the gospel of Jesus, we want to build our ministry to the youth and young adults in our midst upon several vision pillars. The first of which is directly related ...

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The Power of Companions

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov.13:20). “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1Cor.15:33).   “Nothing perhaps affects man’s character more than the company he keeps. We catch the ways and tone of those we live and talk with, and un...

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Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and Their Families, Part 1

As Christ Redeemer Church seeks to advance the kingdom of God, we want ministry to youth (12-14) and young adults (15-19) to cultivate their Christian maturity. We want to think of them not as “adolescents” drifting into adulthood, but, rather, as “apprentices” learning and pursuing the trade of Christian adulthood from those who have gone before th...

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The Right Kind of Accountability

Back in February, Tullian Tchividjian put up a couple posts on his regular blog over at The Gospel Coalition related to the downside of a specific kind of accountability among Christians. Of course, we need accountability: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living Go...

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Michael Horton on the Message of the Bible

It’s important, I think, to be regularly reminded that the the Bible is not an instruction manual for life, or a flowchart for wise decision-making, or a guide for healthy relationships. It’s helpful to be reminded because the drift into that thinking is natural for many of us without gentle re-direction. “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.” Many of ...

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Jesus, His Cross, and Blotted-out Sins

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts.3:19). Pretty straightforward, right? Repent and you’re sins will be forgiven. Well, yes, it is simple, but not simplistic. Let me qualify... Our sins are not blotted out simply with the wave of a magic wand in God’s hand and the words, “You’re forgiven.” It&rsq...

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Thinking About Family Ministry

I read an article last week in the Journal of Family Ministry called “The Problem and The Promise of Family Ministry” [JFM 1.1 (2010): 36-43]. The article mentions three trends characterizing ministry to families over the past couple hundred years and suggests that in recent years, a fresh appreciation for the biblical call to parents is taking hold f...

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Unquenchable Love

“Surging waters cannot quench love, floodwaters cannot overflow it” (SS 8:7 NET).   The love described here is a fiery love with a deep, resolute devotion in it. It’s a love that cannot be moved, even under the harshest opposition. It’s a resolved commitment. The decision has been made, and it’s impossible for it to be undone. Like skyd...

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Help for Parents

Paul Tripp has a great deal of wisdom and God has used him to shape much of my thinking about how the gospel impacts daily living. He has a lot to say about parenting in this light. Desiring God has posted a great “DG Live” video that I hope you'll take the time to watch, whether you're a parent or not. Paul Tripp on the Heart of Parenting...

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Raise Them Up

What might it mean to raise up our children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph.6:4)? Robert Plummer has a helpful article on the subject in theJournal of Family Ministry. Here are some excerpts (emphases mine): “In one setting, a father might fulfill Ephesians 6:4 by sharing the stories about Jesus that he himself has learned orally whi...

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What Is Repentance?

Fundamentally, in the Christian sense of the idea, to repent is to turn from wrong thinking and attitudes about Jesus, to right thinking and attitudes about Jesus and his gospel. To repent in this sense is to turn away from thinking that assumes Jesus was just a man, or just an example, or just a counselor, or, maybe, just some crazy person, etc. It’s to turn away f...

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Glorify God at Work

Happy Saturday! Many of you will have today "off" from your regular work and engage in more leisurely and restful activities. Great! Enjoy. As you rest and gear up for another week of labor on Monday, take a few minutes to read the June 4 post on the Desiring God blog. It suggests 12 ways to glorify God at work. ...

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A Funny Look at Small Groups

Small Group ministry is important to us at CRC!  God's kingdom is best displayed when his people joyfully embrace his passions and priorities (i.e., his glory in the salvation of his people and their representation of him in the world) and pursue a lifestyle that reflects them - in family relations, neighborhood relations, in workplace relations, in fr...

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Emotional Suffering and the Cross

Jesus was brought to Golgotha and crucified. Nails were driven into is hands and feet, and then he was hung on a cross. I cannot imagine the pain. Prior to that he was lashed, spit on, struck, pierced with a wreath of thorns on his head, and forced to carry the lumber of his cross. Painful as it was, none of it was a surprise to Jesus. He taught that “the Son of Man ...

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The Church is Important!

“Devotion to Jesus cannot be effectively implemented without a devotion to the local church.” So says Dave Harvey of Sovereign Grace Ministries. The quote comes from a chapter of the book that our CRC small groups have been discussing twice a month since February - Why Small Groups? Chapter 7 puts an exclamation point at the end of a book about ...

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What's The Bible About?

I recently saw a church’s upcoming sermon series advertised in a coffee shop. Part of the ad implied that the particular Bible chapter they’d be covering is about “help for how to live life when life gets you down.” Now, it’s true that God uses the Bible to help us live life. However, that’s not what it’s about... not mainly. Don&...

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Snowballing Comfort and Joy

We are loved by the "God of all comfort" (2Cor.1:3). Notice how he blesses his people through his people by adding comfort to comfort and joy to joy. God comforted Paul, through Titus, through the Corinthians (2Cor.7:6-7). The Corinthians comforted Titus, who in turn comforted Paul. Paul was filled with joy, because Titus was filled with joy, because he was ref...

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