John Piper’s Report on His Leave of Absence

John Piper

I wrote this report for Bethlehem and have adapted it for this first day of 2011 on the DG Blog. It’s longer than a blog should be. My only excuse is that I did cut 263 pages.

For eight months of this year (May–December), I was on a leave of absence. That meant I was free from all my pastoral duties. It also meant that all my public ministry was shut down (with a few exceptions): no preaching, no writing for publication, no speaking (except for the Desiring God... Continue Reading

2011 Bible Reading Plans

Tyler Kenney

Last year David Mathis outlined several good plans for people wanting to read through the Bible in a year. They're worth mentioning again, so I have reproduced the list (with minor updates) below.

Of course, there are tons of other plans out there. Just google "Bible reading plan" and you'll get pages of results of all different kinds, for personalities and lifestyles and needs of all different kinds.

[Update: Justin Taylor's post today brings together some great content on Bible... Continue Reading

Joel Beeke on Busyness and Prayer

Tyler Kenney
Joel Beeke on Busyness and Prayer

This is the second question we put to Joel Beeke, upcoming speaker at our 2011 Conference for Pastors. (Read his answer to our first question.)

You wear many hats: seminary president, publisher, author, pastor, husband, father, etc. Such a heavy load must make prayer a difficult thing to fit into your schedule. What has been your experience? And what counsel would you give to those who feel too busy to pray?

Like every other Christian, I suppose, my experience has been that... Continue Reading

Next Year In Jerusalem!

Jon Bloom
Next Year In Jerusalem!

At the end of every Passover Seder, the Jewish diaspora pronounce the wistful prayer: “Next year in Jerusalem.” It is the deep longing for the promised, peaceful Messianic Jerusalem with a restored Temple—a profound wish that the next year be a happy one.

It seems to me that Christians ought also to say, “Next year in Jerusalem!” rather than wishing one another a “Happy New Year.” For we have come to know the Messiah and he has given us a glimpse of what we long for:

And I saw the holy... Continue Reading

Top 5 Books Read in 2010

David Mathis

In reflecting back on 2010 at year’s end, here are what I’d call “the top 5 books I read” (in order of author’s last name):

Gospel in Life by Tim Keller

It’s not a typical read-it-on-your-own book, but specially designed for small-group study. Our weekly small group tackled the 8 sessions together this Fall.Each session has a “home study” (nice way of saying “homework”) and a 10-minute video lesson by Keller on the accompanying DVD. The topics are great, the content is outstanding,... Continue Reading

Joel Beeke on the Best Puritan on Prayer

Tyler Kenney
Joel Beeke on the Best Puritan on Prayer

This is the first post in a series of questions and answers with those who will be speaking at our 2011 Conference for Pastors. The questions will address a variety of topics, at times focusing more on prayer, which is the conference theme.

The following question was put to Joel Beeke.

You have written much on the lives and thoughts of the Puritans. Which Puritan do you think has the most to teach us about prayer? What would he teach us?

His response:

I’m sending a book... Continue Reading

Help Us End the Year Strong

Jon Bloom

Like most non-profits in the U.S., December is a crucial month of financial support for us at DG. Historically, we receive about 30% of our annual gifts in December. This year we’re praying for $823,000 to help us meet budget.

To date we have received$327,000toward that goal. Historically, the last day of the year is our largest receipting day. The Lord provided$226,500on December 31, 2009. The Lord seems to like to supply in this way, since he does it so often.

We know the Lord... Continue Reading

How Did You Do in 2010?

Tyler Kenney

The last week of the year is a good time—with God's help—to reflect on the past 12 months, do a little self-assessment, and decide what things to repent of and reach for in the next lap around the sun.

At the end of his first year as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper led his people in doing this through his sermon "I Have Kept the Faith."

Below is the conclusion of that sermon. Just plug in "2010" and "2011" where you read "1980" and "1981," and the content is still... Continue Reading

Three Features of Free Grace

Tyler Kenney
Three Features of Free Grace

In Miscellanies #191, Jonathan Edwards defines free grace as the kind of grace in which "the abundance of the benevolence of the giver is expressed, and gratitude in the receiver is obliged." Then he outlines three ways through which this kind of grace—which he also calls gospel grace—is realized (spacing and italics added):

Now I think these three things do constitute the freedom of grace. . .

(1) When the gift is to an offender, without satisfaction paid by him. . . .

(2) When... Continue Reading