Archive for November 30, 2012

Behind the Blog: Move over Movember

Here on the last day of November — endearingly known as Movember by many working a fresh mustache for men’s health awareness — we went behind the blog for some backstories on the full face of content we grew in the last month.

Some posts are pretty straightforward in their conception, production, and presentation. But others have more disputed histories, with uncertainties about their precise genesis or even a touch of conspiracy theory. Like our new Advent ebook.

In this episode, we talk about the new collection of December devotional readings from John Piper, as well as several fresh resources from the past month. Topics range from Spurgeon’s rocker to improving your baptism to what happened in Milwaukee and didn’t stay there.

Stream or download the 24-minute audio.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Beware a Quaint Christmas


If you’ve been a Christian for a number of years or if you grew up where Christmas is traditionally celebrated, the idea that a member of the Godhead became veiled in flesh may have lost its strangeness. It’s Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year! It’s kind Joseph, serene Mary, and incandescent baby Jesus in a manger. It’s a crèche with quaint figurine shepherds, three wise men, sheep, a donkey, and an ox. Oh, and the chubby cherub with the “Gloria” scroll.

Precious baby Jesus; you just want to pick him up and give him a squeeze.

And if you could have, you would have been holding Yahweh who at that moment was upholding you along with the entire universe by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). You would have been squeezing the Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16). Your hands may have trembled to be holding the seven-pound, newborn “Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6).

The Christmas story is the wildest story in the history of the world. So don’t let Christmas merely be quaint — for you or for those you know and love. Let it make you quake.

There is glory to see in the manger, but to see it we likely need to do more than just set up the crèche and read Luke chapter two. To really see the Jesus of the manger we need to see the Jesus of Mark 4 who rules the wind, the Jesus of Matthew 27 hanging by nails on a Roman cross, and the resurrected Jesus of Revelation 5 reigning eternally victorious.

This is why we think Christmas is a great time to read and give away Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. It’s a time when so many people are looking at the Christ Child and we want them to see the Real Thing. So we’re making cases (48 books) available for a suggested donation of $79 ($1.65 per copy) so that you or your small group or church or ministry can give these away by the stack. If this is something you’d like to join us in, here’s where you can get them.

The Christ of the crèche is not quaint. The Messiah of the manger is the “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). Let’s help people really come and adore him.

Free Stuff Fridays

Free Stuff Fridays
This week’s Free Stuff Friday is a little bit different. Today’s prize comes courtesy of Zondervan and is a complete set of the brand new Theologian Trading Cards. Yes, you heard that right—Theologian Trading Cards. You know there’s got to be someone on your Christmas list who is going to love these. I’ve got 5 sets to give away. Here’s a description:

Theologian Trading CardsPatterned after the all-American baseball card, Theologian Trading Cards provide essential information about the major teachers, leaders, and trouble-makers throughout the history of the Church. At a glance you will have access to information regarding 288 important figures in church history, including when and where they lived, their contribution to the church, and enduring significance.

Each figure has been placed on the roster of one of 15 “theological” or “historical” teams; this aids readers in discovering the practical, chronological, and theological connections between figures. Examples include the Orthodoxy Dodgers (heretics); St. James Padres (Church Fathers of the Patristic Era); and the Wittenberg Whistle-blowers (Early Reformers and later Lutheran Church).

Theologian Trading Cards are perfect for students taking a church history course who want a memorable study aid to help them retain important information about select individuals in the church, as well as non-students who just want to learn or want to begin a hobby of card collecting.

Giveaway Rules: You may only enter the draw once. Simply fill out your name and email address to enter the draw. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon.

Advertise here via BEACON

Will you miss Christmas this year?

“Miss Christmas? How in the world is that possible?”

Many people—if not most—do miss Christmas every year. Truthfully, it’s hard not to. There’s shopping, traveling, visiting family and friends, attending work parties, sporting events, new movies and games, shows, and finals in school. We can become so preoccupied running around doing Christmas “stuff” that we completely miss the entire point of Christmas: the birth of Jesus. We might remember it at our church services, but how can we daily worship God this season and celebrate his coming?

A quick lesson from the busy innkeeper

Don’t miss it like the innkeeper did when Mary went into labor (Luke 2:6–7). Whoever the innkeeper was, he was so busy with what was going on around him (the census taking place in Bethlehem in Luke 2:1–5, 7) that he turned away a pregnant teenage girl, Mary, and her husband, Joseph. His inn was full, and there was no level of hospitality whatsoever. He was apparently so busy with business that he failed to even point them in another direction or at least contact a local midwife who could have helped deliver Mary’s baby. Instead, they left her all alone with Joseph to deliver their baby.

Christmas this year will be what it has been for many years: busy and commercialized. So be careful to not just “go with the flow” this Christmas. The world we live in does not worship Jesus. Christmas activities—unless redeemed for Jesus—will not lead you closer to him, but will fill you with endless activities and worries that will lead you to completely miss Jesus this season.

Christmas at Resurgence

We’re really excited about Christmas this year at Resurgence as we have a great lineup of pastors, authors, and worship leaders to write on practical issues for men, women, families, and church leaders this Christmas to help you navigate this season and live for and fully enjoy Jesus during it.

Here’s a sample of some topics to expect:

  • Why a virgin birth?
  • Should Christians fight to keep “Christ” in Christmas?
  • Creating a robust Christmas liturgy
  • Song suggestions for Christmas from Mars Hill Music
  • Leading your family well through Christmas chaos
  • Finding balance as a blended family
  • Practical tips on introducing Jesus to others this Christmas
  • Showing Christmas hospitality
  • And more . . .

Our hope is to challenge and encourage you to live for and enjoy God this Christmas season.

Don’t miss a beat

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to Resurgence’s feed to get the latest updates on posts and the like.