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Once Upon a Tree

Published by: Sam Crabtree
July 3, 2015

I recently reread Calvin Miller’s 1967 book (I was a high school junior) Once Upon a Tree, in which Miller says, “History is nailed together! Literally it is!” He means that everything that came prior to the cross and everything that comes after are given their meaning and significance by the cross. 

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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The Presence of the Lord

Published by: Sam Crabtree
June 29, 2015

Our God is both transcendent and immanent. That is, he is above creation, yet has condescended to be present in creation. Throughout Scripture, the Lord is present in creation in different ways at different times. He can be present to bless, or curse. When God’s favor is upon you, being in the presence of the Lord is something that lands on the blessing side of the ledger. Consider the following passages of Scripture:

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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Easy Chairs, Hard Words

Published by: Sam Crabtree
June 26, 2015

Douglas Wilson’s book Easy Chairs, Hard Words contains “Conversations on the Liberty of God,” presented as a series of fictional conversations between a curious young Christian and a seasoned pastor. Here are 10 excerpts.

Salvation is not a personal possession of ours, like car keys, which can be misplaced by us.

In salvation, Christ does not become our property; we become his.

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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A Shelter in the Time of Storm

Published by: Sam Crabtree
June 25, 2015

Paul David Tripp authored 52  meditations on the Psalm 27. Here are 10 excerpts.

Why would I pray to be taught again and again and again by the Lord? Because his wisdom is just that deep and vast.

You and I will never understand and celebrate the magnitude of God’s transforming grace until we understand the deep damage that sin does to the human heart. Its effect is so pervasive and so comprehensive that it influences everything we do and everything we say.

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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Note to Self

Published by: Sam Crabtree
June 16, 2015

That’s the title of Joe Thorn’s small volume containing forty-eight chapters, each a succinct two pages long. Here are ten excerpts.

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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All vs. Wrong

Published by: Sam Crabtree
June 9, 2015

I recently said to a teacher, “I’m not as concerned with your students getting it ALL, just so they don’t get it WRONG.”

In other words, I am less interested in pursuing exhaustive knowledge than I am in ensuring that students don’t go away believing things that are false.

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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The Library of My Heart

Published by: Sam Crabtree
May 27, 2015

Desiring God board member Peter Hedstrom at the recent board meeting prayed, “Lord, go to the library of my heart, and clear off the shelves where I have volumes of bitterness (etc.) so that I do not go back to them. Purge the library of my soul.”

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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Eight Questions

Published by: Sam Crabtree
May 22, 2015

The Desiring God board met for a day and a half recently, and during a board development portion of that meeting, the board members were asked individually to respond to the following questions.

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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On Priorities

Published by: Sam Crabtree
May 1, 2015

In accord with Christian hedonism (and even Martin Luther’s, Bondage of the Will), Dallin H. Oaks is quoted on Goodreads.com, “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”  

Stephen Covey helpfully states, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

 

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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What Paul Bishop Said

Published by: Sam Crabtree
April 29, 2015

Last week at Bethel University’s Pastors Prayer Council, Paul Bishop pointed out the inscrutability of God in that he is 1) immutable, yet 2) his mercies are new every morning.

 

 

Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.

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