Blog Posts by Marshall Segal

The Doctrines of Grace Are My Life

Marshall Segal

Calvinism is one of the most controversial conversations in Christianity today. In this new video, Pastor John Piper shares why the doctrines of grace have been some of the most precious and practical truths of his ministry. I wonder whether you’ve avoided the question all together. You might have met Calvinists that seem cold, arrogant, and disconnected from real life. Or you’ve known awful suffering — cancer, abuse, tragedy,…

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What We Confess With Our Clothing

Marshall Segal


What we wear says more about us than we might think.

Many of us probably barely think at all when we get dressed in the morning. But something really profound is happening every time we pull on our pants and slip into a shirt — or five shirts if you live in Minnesota this time of year.

John Piper writes, in his brand new book of devotionals, A Godward Heart:

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The Centerpiece of Sunday Worship

Marshall Segal

What really moves you on Sunday mornings?

There are a lot of potential answers to that question. Maybe the music is enough to get you out of bed. The old hymns have always resonated deeply with you, or the church’s worship band is consistently finding creative and compelling ways to put enduring truth to a new tune.

Or it could be a dynamic, engaging preacher, someone you could listen to…

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100,000 Hours: Eight Aims for Your Career

Marshall Segal

What should I do with my life?

It’s one of the biggest questions on most young minds, especially during and after our college years. The practical question is, "What will I do for a living?" When you do the math — 50 hours x 50 weeks x 40 years — and realize we’re talking about 100,000 hours, the question really is, “What will I be?”

Here are eight aims…

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Top 25 @JohnPiper Tweets

Marshall Segal

We added retweets and favorites, from the data we have available, to gather the top twenty-five tweets from @JohnPiper. They deal with deep, spiritual insight, practical preparation, major current events, and especially relevant resources. And they speak to Taylor Swift, the Boston bombers, President Obama, and everyone else. Sometimes it’s just sentences that change us. May God use these to help you, whether for the first time or one more…

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The Best Quotes from Cross

Marshall Segal

Something potentially historic happened last week as thousands of students gathered for the sake of the unreached peoples around the world. Hundreds stood on Monday night at the close of the first Cross conference to commit to returning to their local church to be sent out to see Jesus treasured where he is not.

We’ve collected some of the most powerful quotes from the ten plenary messages (along with some…

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Our Top Videos of 2013

Marshall Segal

Collectively viewed more than two million times in 2013, these videos garnered attention, some for controversy, others for comfort. Some display moving song-writing, hip hop, and poetry. A couple are the compelling stories of God’s grace and power at work in believers’ lives. Several are Pastor John’s counsel for difficult questions facing millions around the world, like homosexuality, spiritual gifts, and the prosperity gospel.

Because these videos have helped so…

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Are You Pastoring Your Pastor?

Marshall Segal

Some of the least pastored people in the world are pastors.

These men work long, unpredictable hours, addressing every physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual issue under the sun, sacrificing their schedule, comfort, and a thousand other things, all without being relieved of their own personal, individual needs.

Our most prominent, visible members of the body can easily get left out of the regular rhythm of one-anothering (Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13;…

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The Kinds of Gifts That Keep on Giving

Marshall Segal

In the next few hours, you may have more stuff than you’ve had all year — some expected, others a surprise; some practical, others sentimental; some useful, and others not as much.

It might be the latest television or phone or video game system or kitchen appliance, or gift cards to your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or department store. You may unwrap beautiful jewelry or tickets to a big game…

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As Cool As the Other Side of a Calvinist

Marshall Segal

If you know Calvinists, you probably know some bad ones. The stereotypes aren’t fair, but they don’t come out of nowhere. Calvinists are “cold,” “heady,” and “condescending.” They think they have it all figured out and everyone else is blind, slow, or stubborn. They’re so lost in their books, they’re not interested in the needs around them. And they’ve somehow misplaced Christ, but are quite content to follow John Calvin.…

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A Book You Can Be Caught Reading

Marshall Segal

Some books we rarely read in public. Spiritual Depression. Almost Anorexic. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave. Anything on sexual purity.

Regardless of our reason for reading, it can feel like a confession — like we have to explain ourselves if we’re caught with one of these books at church or a coffee shop. Any chance you’ve put When I Don’t Desire God in that category?

This

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Is Everything Bigger and Better in Texas?

Marshall Segal

What is so good about the gospel? Have you ever asked yourself that question? What’s the biggest and best thing God promises us? What is it exactly that makes it such good news?

In a sermon last week in Houston, Piper unwrapped “The Sweetest Good of the Good News.” And it’s something bigger and better than forgiveness, freedom, or an eternity of your favorite hobby — shopping, golfing,…

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15 Quotes from ‘Jesus > Religion’

Marshall Segal

Jefferson Bethke has recently published Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough. The book’s title and content are inspired by his spoken-word video, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” which has been viewed 26 million times. Yes, 26 million.

Filled with Jefferson’s own story, the book is raw and authentic. It will engage many,…

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Four Keys to Satisfying Your Starving Soul

Marshall Segal

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. –2 Peter…

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Lecrae Unwraps His Joy in Jesus

Marshall Segal

How do you pursue joy in Jesus? I mean what does it really look like — like today? How about when things are crazy at work or tense at home? If God made us to enjoy him, we have something infinitely valuable at our fingertips at any given moment. But how do we tap into it?

In this two-and-a-half-minute video, Lecrae Moore talks about his joy in Jesus — where…

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Meet Grace’s Masterpiece

Marshall Segal

Do you find theology intimidating? Does it sound distant, cold, academic?

Maybe you’ve known people who are really into theology and don’t seem to love Jesus much, or don’t seem to go to the hard places where poverty, suffering, and unbelief live. So you stopped calling after a lousy first date.

But what if your stereotype of theology really isn’t theology? After all, at its simplest, to do theology is…

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All Lewis Conference Media Now Available

Marshall Segal

Whether you’ve read the Chronicles of Narnia, the Space Trilogy, Mere Christianity, or other works by C.S. Lewis, you’ve probably wanted to ask him some questions. While we can’t give you the man himself — he died 50 years ago this fall — we might have your answer. Or 23 of them.

Our recent national conference dove deeply into the life, heart, and influence of Lewis, celebrating all we’ve…

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The Biggest Spectacle at Catalyst

Marshall Segal

ATLANTA — It was our first time at Catalyst, and we were prepared for some highly produced craziness.

They have fired a man from a cannon, belly-flopped another guy 30 feet into a kiddie pool, offered camel rides onsite, and set ridiculous world record after ridiculous world record — including bubbles, Frisbees, and whoopee cushions. Not exactly where you expect to find our 67-year-old Pastor John.

But the biggest spectacle…

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Meet the Miracle Next to You This Morning

Marshall Segal

God gave me you to be my miracle.

That’s the banner over our relationships in the church. God performs the miracle of our growth in godliness through people — Holy-Spirit-filled people in our lives and churches.

These are the people sitting next to you in corporate worship this morning. Maybe another morning with the same people at the same building on the same day of the week begins feeling ordinary…

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God Will Not Let You Go

Marshall Segal

Relentless. That is pastor Leonce Crump’s one word for the love of God for sinners.

He has met this relentless Savior again and again on his journey from part-time Catholic to gospel-loving pastor. In this three-minute video, he tells us why God loves his children no matter what. “I am rescued by God. Restored by God. Renewed by God,” Crump says. “He is absolutely relentless in his pursuit of those…

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The Cost of Love and the Power of Pleasure

Marshall Segal

LYNCHBURG, VA — Imagine what God may be pleased to do throughout the world over the next 50 years with the lives of 10,000 college students in love with Jesus and aimed at the nations.

John Piper addressed such a hungry crowd this morning at a convocation at Liberty University. He was asked to speak for their twice-annual missions week, which was established to inspire and mobilize minds and hearts…

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It’s Not You, It’s God: Nine Lessons for Breakups

Marshall Segal

Some of a single person’s darkest days fall after a breakup.

You risked your heart. You shared your life. You bought the gifts, made the memories, and dreamed your dreams together — and it fell apart. Now, you’re back at square one in the quest for marriage, and it feels lonelier than square one, and further from the altar, because of all you’ve spent and lost.

No one begins dating…

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Finding Joy in the Everyday

Marshall Segal

The Tuesday after a long holiday weekend may feel like the epitome of the mundane. It’s easy to sense joy in Labor Day’s food, friends, and freedom. It’s much harder to find it returning to the ruthless routine of work and school and family.

Unless your joy is in Jesus.

In this two-and-a-half-minute video, pastor Jeff Vanderstelt uncovers some keys to rediscovering joy each day, in the everyday things of…

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What Would We Do “Without” the Gospel?

Marshall Segal

Have you ever stopped to look at just one word in God’s word? Maybe you look it up in a concordance or do a search online. You might search for “hope” or “peace” or “God” or “life.” But what if the gospel is in a preposition? Take “without” as an example...

Nothing Without God

The God who made the world and everything in it looked out across an earth “without…

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Five Back-to-School Basics

Marshall Segal

The beginning of August signals the beginning of back-to-school shopping, or at least back-to-school-shopping commercials. You may not know it, but whether you’re a freshman or senior, you’re going to need more than notebooks, pencils, and a strong book bag.

You need truth. Sure, you’re going to school, willingly or unwillingly, to learn, but there are truths you need before the algebra, literature, and biology. While you should develop good…

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