Brave Daily https://www.bravedaily.com A faithful conversation. Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:25:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 The Old Testament, the Ancient Near East, and Our Faith Today https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/06/29/old-testament-ancient-near-east-faith-today/ https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/06/29/old-testament-ancient-near-east-faith-today/#respond Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:25:26 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7480 What do I mean? What is the ancient Near East? Broadly and generally speaking, it was the area in ancient times that roughly corresponds to the modern Middle East. Israel was nestled in the land of Canaan between some of the major ancient Near Eastern empires (Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, etc.). The nation was often influenced by the […]

The post The Old Testament, the Ancient Near East, and Our Faith Today appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
What do I mean?

What is the ancient Near East? Broadly and generally speaking, it was the area in ancient times that roughly corresponds to the modern Middle East. Israel was nestled in the land of Canaan between some of the major ancient Near Eastern empires (Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, etc.). The nation was often influenced by the political flow of ancient Near Eastern history. On example of the political turmoil experienced due to other nations is the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple.

When we look into the historical background of that event, we know that King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon’s goal was to secure Babylon’s imperial grip on the ancient Near East. Specifically, he was in the process of driving out Egyptian-supported opposition from within Canaan and Jerusalem happened to get caught up in the situation.

At the surface level, we learn from Scripture is that the Babylonians were used for the judgment of Judah. When we dig deeper and study the ancient Near Eastern background story is when the story takes a deeper meaning. The political circumstances surrounding Babylon’s presence in Canaan were well under way long before the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple. One thing we are able to gain from this detailed information is the highlighting of the sovereignty of God over history.

Why Bother?

I personally believe that understanding the backgrounds (geographical, historical, cultural, etc.) of the Bible profoundly impacts the way that we approach and understand the message of Scripture (see also my post on the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible).

For (another) example, Psalm 74:12-17 is an odd passage of Scripture featuring God’s battle with Leviathan and “sea monsters.”

One of the things that is so interesting about this passage is the similarities that it shares with Ugaritic literature (see ch. 4 in The World Around the Old Testament [WAOT]). When the Ugaritic materials are compared with the portion of the Psalm above we see that this battle imagery likely concerns divine kingship. All of a sudden, this passage becomes less odd and more understandable–the imagery is related to God’s divine kingship. This makes sense because the Psalm is calling on God to act in the situation of his destroyed temple. Beyond historical and cultural backgrounds, geographical backgrounds cannot be ignored!

In 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel for a three-week biblical geography course at Jerusalem University College. One of the most interesting things I experienced, specifically relating to geography (and geology), was seeing just how harsh of an environment the “wilderness” is.

One morning for class, we took our bus to a middle-of-nowhere spot in the wilderness. The vastness of the nothingness was breathtaking and I did not even want to think of having to spend a significant amount of time in those conditions. The heat was blazing at 9:00 a.m., and there was very little vegetation for miles around.

If you ever have the opportunity to see Israel–to experience the land–do it. The things that you see firsthand become the (geographically accurate) images that fill your mind when reading scripture.

How It Helps

The way in which I approach the Old Testament has changed due to an understanding of the backgrounds that influenced the text. In other words, it is important to understand “where the Old Testament is from” (WAOT, xv). Knowing that I am from Pittsburgh helps you to understand why I cheer for the Steelers; knowing about the societies and cultures around which Israel developed into a nation helps you understand Israel. It illuminates the rationale for particular laws and use of particular imagery. This background certainly helps you to have a better mental image of people groups mentioned throughout the Old Testament.

The post The Old Testament, the Ancient Near East, and Our Faith Today appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/06/29/old-testament-ancient-near-east-faith-today/feed/ 0
The World Around the Old Testament https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/06/03/world-around-old-testament/ Sat, 03 Jun 2017 19:26:13 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7460 The World Around the Old Testament: The People and Places of the Ancient Near East Edited by Bill T. Arnold and Brent A. Strawn (Baker Academic, 2016) As a graduate student with a focus in Old Testament studies, especially with an interest in the ancient Near East, I was thrilled when I found out about […]

The post The World Around the Old Testament appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
The World Around the Old Testament: The People and Places of the Ancient Near East

Edited by Bill T. Arnold and Brent A. Strawn (Baker Academic, 2016)

As a graduate student with a focus in Old Testament studies, especially with an interest in the ancient Near East, I was thrilled when I found out about The World Around the Old Testament: The People and Places of the Ancient Near East, a new volume from Baker Academic. Bill T. Arnold and Brent A. Strawn have edited an impressive volume that brings together top-quality scholarship and readability with contributors such as Daniel E. Fleming, Mark S. Smith, and K. Lawson Younger Jr.

World Around the Old TestamentThe underlying premise to this volume is the idea that, just as it is fundamental to know where someone is from, “the thirteen essays gathered [within WAOT] tell the story of where the Old Testament is from” (xv). The Old Testament was extensively influenced by the world in which it resided and originated.

For those familiar with the 1994 Baker publication Peoples of the Old Testament World (POTW), The World Around the Old Testament (WAOT) offers up-to-date scholarship regarding the societies and peoples that inhabited the world around the Old Testament. Some notable distinctions should be mentioned:

  • POTW begins with a chapter on the Sumerians. Although the Sumerians are the only group discussed in POTW who are not mentioned in the Old Testament, their impact on the ancient Near East made them a worthy addition to the volume. WAOT does not include the Sumerians.
  • POTW includes a chapter entitled “Canaanites and Amorites”, whereas WAOT has three distinct chapters on Ugarit, Phoenicia, and the Amorites. (Arnold and Strawn write: “we believe that WAOT can proceed without [a chapter on Canaan and the Canaanites] if only because—quite apart from the deeply vexed question of the Canaanite origins of ancient Israel—the land of Canaan is where the Israelites lived and so, technically, is not around the Old Testament but the place where Israel was from” [xvi].)
  • POTW divides the Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites into three distinct chapters, whereas WAOT dedicates one chapter to these Transjordan peoples.
  • WAOT includes two final chapters entitled “Arabia and the Arabians” and “Greece and the Greeks”. (Arnold and Strawn write: “we hope that WAOT is even more helpful in including some topics that have not always been included in works of this kind [e.g., POTW]—specifically Arabia and Greece” [xvi].)

The underlying premise to this volume is the idea that, just as it is fundamental to know where someone is from, “the thirteen essays gathered [within WAOT] tell the story of where the Old Testament is from” (xv). The Old Testament was extensively influenced by the world in which it resided and originated. In that respect, it is crucial to understand the world around the Old Testament, and The World Around the Old Testament is a fantastic resource to assist in that endeavor.

Official Description

Leading Experts Introduce the People and Contexts of the Old Testament

What people groups interacted with ancient Israel? Who were the Hurrians and why do they matter? What do we know about the Philistines, the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and others?

In this up-to-date volume, leading experts introduce the peoples and places of the world around the Old Testament, providing students with a fresh exploration of the ancient Near East. The contributors offer comprehensive orientations to the main cultures and people groups that surrounded ancient Israel in the wider ancient Near East, including not only Mesopotamia and the northern Levant but also Egypt, Arabia, and Greece. They also explore the contributions of each people group or culture to our understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures.

This supplementary text is organized by geographic region, making it especially suitable for the classroom and useful in a variety of Old Testament courses. Approximately eighty-five illustrative items are included throughout the book.

WAOT Contents

  1. The Amorites (Daniel E. Fleming)
  2. Assyria and the Assyrians (Christopher B. Hays with Peter Machinist)
  3. Babylon and the Babylonians (David S. Vanderhooft)
  4. Ugarit and the Ugaritians (Mark S. Smith)
  5. Egypt and the Egyptians (Joel M. LeMon)
  6. The Hittites and the Hurrians (Billie Jean Collins)
  7. Aram and the Arameans (K. Lawson Younger Jr.)
  8. Phoenicia and the Phoenicians (Christopher A. Rollston)
  9. Transjordan: The Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites (Joel S. Burnett)
  10. Philistia and the Philistines (Carl S. Ehrlich)
  11. Persia and the Persians (Pierre Briant)
  12. Arabia and the Arabians (David F. Graf)
  13. Greece and the Greeks (Walter Burkert)

RELATED LINKS

The post The World Around the Old Testament appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Matthew West Book, Hello My Name Is Live Chat https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/04/01/matthew-west-book-hello-name-live/ Sat, 01 Apr 2017 12:18:32 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7291 Scroll down to learn about Hello My Name Is and see our LIVE chat with Matthew West. Matthew West brings the rare combination of songwriter and pastor to his ministry. He is a modern-day King David, creating Psalms that touch the heart of God and God’s children. Now, as an added blessing to us all, he […]

The post Matthew West Book, Hello My Name Is Live Chat appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Scroll down to learn about Hello My Name Is and see our LIVE chat with Matthew West.

Matthew West brings the rare combination of songwriter and pastor to his ministry. He is a modern-day King David, creating Psalms that touch the heart of God and God’s children. Now, as an added blessing to us all, he has compiled his thoughts into a book. A person can almost hear Matthew sing through the pages. I’m deeply grateful for this work, this singer, this friend. — Max Lucado, New York Times best-selling author


You cannot discover who you are until you discover whose you are. @Matthew_West
Click To Tweet


Matthew West Book Description

The world goes out of its way to make you believe you are not good enough. Maybe you aren’t sure you like where you’ve been, or who you’ve become. Maybe someone has made you believe a lie about who you are by speaking damaging words to you. The discovery of our true identities does not begin by looking within ourselves, but by looking to the One who made us. Hello, My Name Is will inspire you to not wear the nametag that someone else gave you, but to wear the name of who God says you are.

  • Your name may be Lonely. . . He calls you Friend.
  • Your name may be Failure. . . He calls you Redeemed.
  • Your name may be Broken. . . He calls you Beloved.

It is time to tear off the false nametags that cover up your true identity. Understanding who you are begins with knowing Whose you are so you can embrace your destiny as a child of the one true King.

Watch the Matthew West Interview Live

 

Hello, My Name Is will silence the lies of the enemy so you can hear God whisper, ‘You are mine. You are wanted. You are so incredibly loved.’ — Lysa Terkeurst, New York Times best-selling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries

The post Matthew West Book, Hello My Name Is Live Chat appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Who is Shaun Tabatt? https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/03/25/shaun-tabatt-show/ Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:39:15 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7267 Shaun is the host and producer of The Shaun Tabatt Show. Previous podcasts include Author Talks with Shaun Tabatt (121 episodes) and Fortress Press Live (24 episodes). Active in the Christian publishing community, Shaun is part of Baker Publishing Group, where he serves as Marketing Manager for the Bethany House Nonfiction and Chosen Books brands. […]

The post Who is Shaun Tabatt? appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Shaun is the host and producer of The Shaun Tabatt Show.

Previous podcasts include Author Talks with Shaun Tabatt (121 episodes) and Fortress Press Live (24 episodes).

Active in the Christian publishing community, Shaun is part of Baker Publishing Group, where he serves as Marketing Manager for the Bethany House Nonfiction and Chosen Books brands.  He also continues to serve a select number of clients through his company, Cross Focused Media, LLC.

Fun Fact: Shaun and his wife are the parents of nine children.

Specialties: Social Media Marketing, Literary Publicity, Podcasting, WordPress, Book Review Blog Tours

Watch out full interview below:

powered by crowdcast

The post Who is Shaun Tabatt? appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Our Reflections on Love Lives Here Book by Maria Goff https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/03/17/love-lives-here-goff/ Fri, 17 Mar 2017 16:25:23 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7230 Modern Christian culture has a gift in Bob and Maria Goff and their crazy life. You may have read the book that he penned by the title of Love Does. In the book, Bob introduces his wife Sweet Maria Goff. Now, in her new book, Love Lives Here you get to become more acquainted with […]

The post Our Reflections on Love Lives Here Book by Maria Goff appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>

Modern Christian culture has a gift in Bob and Maria Goff and their crazy life. You may have read the book that he penned by the title of Love Does. In the book, Bob introduces his wife Sweet Maria Goff. Now, in her new book, Love Lives Here you get to become more acquainted with her. This book is a deeper dive into their life. It is a collection of snippets of Maria’s life as a wife, mother, and daughter of God.

Where Does Love Live?

These stories inspire us to make our lives a place where love lives regardless of where we find ourselves. Our geographical position or the season of life that we are in right now do not matter. My life looks normal compared to the Goff’s. Maria never talks down to me despite that fact. I have been inspired to create my own adventures instead of simply copying the Goff family. I must live life rather than letting it live me.

love lives here book maria and bob goffMy daughter is slowly inching towards her first birthday. Due to this my soul resonated with the ink of chapter fifteen entitled “Let Love Set The Table.” Our house has slowly entered into chaos with toys everywhere and my book collection being pulled off the bottom shelves. I have engrained the words Maria wrote in my brain as a daily reminder. She writes on 172, “Hospitality is always a matter of the heart; it’s not the condition of our homes.” No matter how disheveled the house may be on a Friday afternoon when we are expecting friends to gather soon, I need a reminder to check my heart. My heart must see life properly. I can still show hospitality regardless of the condition of my home. After all, it is only this way for a season, but while it is, it must be a place where love lives.

Where To Go From Here?

The book focuses on more than just the physical home. The focal point is the experiences of life. We must find the ability to live a life where we create space in our relationships where love can live. The reader will feel loved and encouraged to love others wherever they are today.

Brave Daily was honored to be on the launch team for the book. As such we received a review copy. But it does not interfere with our endorsement of it. Get this book, so in the end we can say “Love Lives Here”.

Links Relevant to Love Lives Here

Love Lives Here Official Description

This is a book about discovering what we really need.
There are a lot of second-best options, but we weren’t made to live a second-best life. Finding what we actually need is different than what we are often offered. There are many books full of opinions, steps and programs. This isn’t one of them. This is about craving the things that matter. Things that don’t just work, but last.
In a life that may seem to be all fun and games with an endless supply of balloons, author Maria Goff shows how this life is also lived with intentionality, passionate purpose, and a little planning—all of which make a life rich in legacy. But she had to figure out the help she needed first in order to live the beautiful life God wanted for her and wants for us.
Love Lives Here is a collection of stories that include the ways Maria and her husband, Bob, navigated family their way, without clear instructions or a road map. It’s about what they learned to make their lives meaningful and whimsical and how they created a space for their family to grow together while they reached outward.
“What a gift to read Love Lives Here and find within it a friend who is as authentic and inviting as Maria Goff. Through her earnest telling of the stories of her life, she provides greater meaning to all our lives. We were thrilled to read this book.”
Donald Miller (bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz and Scary Close) with Betsy Miller
“Grace is a contagious force we all crave and Maria contains so much grace it floods you from just a short time with her. May these pages overwhelm you with God’s love, and hope that Maria knows so well.”
Jennie Allen, Founder of IF: Gathering and Author of Nothing to Prove

The post Our Reflections on Love Lives Here Book by Maria Goff appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Maria and Bob Goff, What I Learned From Our Talk https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/03/11/maria-and-bob-goff-book-interview/ https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/03/11/maria-and-bob-goff-book-interview/#comments Sat, 11 Mar 2017 17:43:22 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7225 Maria and Bob Goff, do you know the names? Sometimes you get the chance to sit down and chat with people like Bob Goff and Sweet Maria Goff, people who have helped shapes the lives of millions of people around the world. For those wondering, yeah you’re right, Bob is that balloon guy” who wrote Love […]

The post Maria and Bob Goff, What I Learned From Our Talk appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Maria and Bob Goff

Maria and Bob Goff, do you know the names? Sometimes you get the chance to sit down and chat with people like Bob Goff and Sweet Maria Goff, people who have helped shapes the lives of millions of people around the world. For those wondering, yeah you’re right, Bob is that balloon guy” who wrote Love Does🎈. And when I say that you sometimes get the opportunity, I mean sometimes in the same sense as winning the lottery (and not just because that’s how I felt that day).

I recently had the very rare chance to hop on the phone with both Maria and Bob Goff during launch week of Love Lives Here and here’s the full conversation for you to listen to:

 

Here are three things that learned while talking with Maria and Bob Goff:

Your Story Matters

I don’t think often enough how the story of my life would be summarized, but I do want a story that oozes of love like that of Sweet Maria and Bob Goff. If you do a search for Maria, here’s the first line of how the Internet summarizes her: Maria Goff has made a career out of loving her family and neighbors, raising her children, and turning houses into homes. Are. You. Kidding. Me.

Not only does her fabricated Internet bio wreak of love, but the way that she talks and laughs are equally laced with compassion and steady grace. We need to be a people that are quick to remember that our individual stories matter and we need to gladly welcome others into our story.

Case in point, Maria left me (a complete stranger) a voicemail leading up to our call and and closed in saying “I’m looking forward to our call!” How often do we feel that others are interruptions in our grand-narrative? And how often do we lose sight of our own grand-narrative? Your story matters and so do the stories of those around us.

In reading Love Lives Here, I hope that people will find that where they are is where love lives. —Maria Goff

Love Lives and Gives, Just Ask Maria and Bob Goff

Most of the time, I feel that I view love the same way that I view my car’s gas tank. “You’ve got 25 miles left to empty” Can you relate? I often think to myself, “If I could just do something for myself for a change!” We have turned love and time into some sort of currency in which we’re sometimes in surplus of, sometimes low on, and even sometimes indebted to others with.

love lives here book maria and bob goffLove doesn’t operate that way and might in fact need to be viewed in much, much the opposite light — particularly if you’re a believer. Love, patience, grace, kindness and peace are never-ending and always a welcomed reply in any situation. Yes… we get tired and distracted but if you’re a believer you no longer live and are now in Christ, you are now in love. Freely live in that love and freely give that love to others who deeply need it.

Love Laughs

Well, Jason. That’s strange. I know, but I don’t think I caught this until exchanging thoughts with Maria and Bob Goff from the comfort of my own home. If you know either of them, you know them for their absolutely crazy stories (“We are different in the way that we express ourselves and the way that we live our lives, and we know that,” said Maria Goff) and their exceptionally contagious laughs.

Interestingly on the tail of my chat with Barnabas Piper about faith and curiosity, Maria, Bob and I talked a bit about a child like faith. There is something to being a people who are unsettling and constantly curious. To being a people who enjoy being surprised (that’s how laughs usually come about, is it not?). To being a people who take great pleasure and joy in experiencing something new.

I think as we age, we become a people who lose site of the curious and forget to laugh, and to laugh deep. Love laughs, and love laughs deep like the Goffs do. You know, you’ll listen to a sermon or a lecture and you’ll hear someone highlight something noteworthy, saying, “If you don’t take note of anything else I say today, write this down…” Here’s my noteworthy tidbit for you to write down from the interview: Write down the laugh that you hear from the Goffs. Write it down on your heart and in your homes because that is love. Love laughs.

Watch the Book Trailer

 

Be sure to pick up your own copy of Love Lives Here Book by Maria Goff.

The post Maria and Bob Goff, What I Learned From Our Talk appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/03/11/maria-and-bob-goff-book-interview/feed/ 2
The Curious Christian: A Conversation with Barnabas Piper https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/03/07/curious-christian-barnabas-piper/ Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:53:32 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7214 Watch live as we interview Barnabas Piper about his new book from B&H Publishing Group, The Curious Christian. 📖 Learn more about the book: http://amzn.to/2kzCiNA The Curious Christian: Curiosity Creates Connections There was a lot that I could have taken away from my discussion with Barnabas Piper. Aside from his (what appears to be) dry sense […]

The post The Curious Christian: A Conversation with Barnabas Piper appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
curious christian barnabas piper

Watch live as we interview Barnabas Piper about his new book from B&H Publishing Group, The Curious Christian. 📖

Learn more about the book: http://amzn.to/2kzCiNA

The Curious Christian: Curiosity Creates Connections

There was a lot that I could have taken away from my discussion with Barnabas Piper. Aside from his (what appears to be) dry sense of humor and quick whit, he’s a deep-thinker who isn’t afraid to ask imaginative questions. No wonder he’s written a book on faith and doubt (Help My Unbelief) before this one on curiosity. The subjects that he is most concerned with are the very tangible, day-to-day matters that a lot of believers and non-believers alike wrestle with — and curiosity is no exception.

What if you stopped being curious about your spouse, your passions, your studies or even your athletic abilities? What if you stopped “pushing the limits” or asking WHY? when someone explains something to you? Imagine with me a little kid, starving to know more… “But why is the grass green!?” I think Jesus was on to something when he prompted us to have child-life faith. Don’t you?

In the video above, I spoke with Piper about how far is too far when getting curious about Scripture. I think more often than not we tend to box in our beliefs, but this was a refreshing reminder to get creative in the right context. Piper reminds us to not get too comfortable in anything; especially with our faith.

The Curious Christian: Official Book Description

Curiosity is such a childish word, right?

Not so fast. Just because we grow up doesn’t mean we should lose our wonder at the world, or the people around us. When we do, we lose so much because curious is how God made us to be.

curious christian piperWithout curiosity a Christian’s life is incomplete. His relationship with God is incomplete. His connections to others are incomplete. He doesn’t know how to interact with the world around him—politics, media, art, entertainment, science, and so much more simply fly past or overwhelm him. Without curiosity he can never discover deep things, deep connections God tucked below the banal surface of life.

Author Barnabas Piper explores what curiosity is, and how it affects relationships. What if people so sought to learn about each other that the most unlikely people became advocates and friends?

It would be transformative, and it would stem from curiosity.

Learn More About the Book:
http://amzn.to/2kzCiNA

Links Related to The Curious Christian:

The post The Curious Christian: A Conversation with Barnabas Piper appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Overcoming the Top 3 Hurdles Churches Face on Social Media https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/03/02/overcoming-church-social-media-hurdles/ Fri, 03 Mar 2017 02:24:49 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7204 Interview with Ryan Wakefield of Social Church Here are the three hurdles we’d like to confront: Putting the “Social” back in Social Media Developing good content Getting good reach and engagement About Social Church You want your church to win at social media. We will help you do just that. In short, we get it. […]

The post Overcoming the Top 3 Hurdles Churches Face on Social Media appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Interview with Ryan Wakefield of Social Church

Here are the three hurdles we’d like to confront:

  • Putting the “Social” back in Social Media
  • Developing good content
  • Getting good reach and engagement

social church

About Social Church

You want your church to win at social media. We will help you do just that.

In short, we get it. You love to see people find life in Jesus. We can help you see more life change in your church by helping you connect with more people in your community.

Whether you’re a pastor, church leader, church communicator, or volunteer your time is limited. We know, because we are pastors, and church communicators! We’ve been in the trenches of ministry. That’s why we’re dedicated to equipping you with expert coaching, done-for-you-resources, and time-saving tools so that you can have an effective digital presence that can attract new visitors every week and engages your congregation.

Jump into the articles and let’s connect on Facebook.

The post Overcoming the Top 3 Hurdles Churches Face on Social Media appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
The Body Needs: Christ the Head https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/02/26/christ-the-head/ Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:34:04 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7198 “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its savior…For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we […]

The post The Body Needs: Christ the Head appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
“Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its savior…For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of His body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:22; 29-32)

christ the head

There are a lot of metaphors in the Bible for what the Church is like. We are the branches, connected to the True Vine. Apart from this Vine we can do nothing. We are part of a building, and we have a Cornerstone, without whom we would fall. But the most common image we have is of a body. We are the body of Christ and He is our Head. All of these metaphors point us to a very important truth. Without Jesus we would be nothing. As branches, as the body, as the church of Christ we owe everything we are to Him. Branches that aren’t connected to the Vine die. A body without a Head is lifeless. A church without Jesus can’t exist. We can’t live as individual members, or even as a whole body, if we aren’t connected to Jesus. As members of Christ’s body we are completely dependent on Him for everything. The Bible says we were dead in our sins, but we have been made alive in Christ. God brought us into the body of Jesus Christ. He attached us to this Head and in doing so He gave us life.

Christ the Head of the Body

The Head is where every action of the body flows from. In Ephesians Paul talks about how the relationship between husbands and wives is like the relationship between Christ and the Church. He quotes Genesis when he says “Therefore a man should leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife…” He then says that this great mystery is really talking about Jesus and the Church. This chapter in Ephesians is often cause for a lot of debate and grief for people. And that’s unfortunate because when we get so caught up in debates we lose sight of something much more beautiful that Paul is trying to communicate here.

The man leaves his father and mother, everything that defines him and is known to him. He leaves them for his bride. When he comes to her, he holds fast to her. He clings to her because he loves her. He holds to her in such a way that they become one flesh. He becomes so close to his wife that they cannot be defined apart from each other. He gives himself up, not just to be with her, but also to become one with her. He becomes her head and she becomes his body, they become one in such a way that they can never be separated.

Jesus left His home in order to be joined to His bride. He left His Father so that He may become our Head. Now, He clings to us in such a way that we become one flesh with Him. He brings us so close to Himself that we cannot be defined apart from Him. We now have His identity and His righteousness as our own, because He is our head. We are connected to Jesus in such a way that we can never be separated.

Related Links

The post The Body Needs: Christ the Head appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Christian Music Notable Releases for 2016 https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/02/11/christian-music-2016/ Sat, 11 Feb 2017 15:12:44 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7166 Christian music aside, twenty sixteen was a year for the books. We witnessed the well-deserved Cleveland Cavs championship (I hail from Northeast Ohio). We experienced one of the most legendary — or should I say stressful and comical — election years ever. Celebrity deaths seemed to be at an all-time high and we finally saw […]

The post Christian Music Notable Releases for 2016 appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
Christian music aside, twenty sixteen was a year for the books. We witnessed the well-deserved Cleveland Cavs championship (I hail from Northeast Ohio). We experienced one of the most legendary — or should I say stressful and comical — election years ever. Celebrity deaths seemed to be at an all-time high and we finally saw the return of Gilmore Girls. Finally. It was a year that has left its mark on all of us in many ways.

Christian Music Notable Releases for 2016

2016 was also a great year for CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). From the somewhat anti-climatic DC Talk reunion announcement, to the increase of Christian artists making their way into the “mainstream” airways, Christian Music had a great year.

Like every year before it, there are always some albums that stick out more then others. I am going to share with you what I think were some of the biggest releases of the year. Now I want to for warn you that I do listen to other genres outside of the CCM field. However, I want to keep this article to the albums that made the biggest mark on Christian music in 2016. Without further ado lets begin … and if you’d like to give a listen to the albums while you read my thoughts, I put together a playlist for you here:

#5. Have it all – Bethel Music (various Artists):

Not many worship albums do I find it easy to listen to straight through. Most of the time I find myself skipping around and reconfiguring the track listing. This album was definitely an exception. Each song seems to move seamlessly into the next creating an intimate worship experience. Some of the note worthy songs are: Lion and the lamb by Leeland. Leeland has always been a solid songwriter and I feel this one is no exception. Pieces by Steffany Gretzinger is another great song on this album. Her songs have an amazing way of brining on personal reflection and provoking thought.

For worship leaders this album had a select few tracks that would be great for a Sunday morning setting. Making this a great album for personal quiet times and reflection.

Learn More and Purchase: Have It All by Bethel Music

#4. American Prodigal – Crowder:

Crowder’s sophomore album was gritty. He has again redefined his sound and discovered a new way to make worship anything but ordinary. Calling this sound swamp rock, Crowder encompasses sounds from the south as well as some classic hymn styles songs. I don’t feel like it was better then Neon Steeple, however, it was a solid album through and through. Every song is catchy and memorable. Crowder even reached out to two hip-hop artists from Reach Records to feature on two of his songs. Tedashii & KB were both great additions to this project. Some songs worth mentioning are Run Devil Run, Prove it ft. KB, and my personal favorite All My Hope. Although I miss the David Crowder days, this projects proving a real success.

Learn More and Purchase: American Prodigal by Crowder

#3. Good Religion – Dream Junkies:

Having only experienced the West Coast once I am no expert at Southern California Culture. However, this album took me straight across the country and put me right on a sunny boardwalk enjoying the great atmosphere of LA. I found this album later in the year and immediately fell in love with its tracks. This group is composed of three solid solo acts that when put together become a collaboration for the ages. John Gives, Beleaf, and Ruslan bring three different dynamics that blend so very well. Normally I don’t think these guys would fit the CCM Category but this act has a great message that needs to be shared to churched and un-churched alike. One disclaimer this album has some mild urban language, while fitting and relevant to the message of the album, it does contain words that are not usually equated to the Contemporary Christian Music culture and can be seen as offensive. Tracks to check out are Boogie Man, I got the Juice, and Left Coast ft. Murs.

Learn More and Purchase: Good Religion by Dream Junkies

#2. H A R D L O V E – Needtobreath:

This is the sixth studio album from the Carolina boys. Its also the follow up the their biggest album to date. After the success of the song Brother ft. Gavin DeGraw, they launched this album to a larger fan base including those outside the CCM realm. H A R D L O V E has again given the band a chance to redefine their sound. This album goes a little more soulful then the previous albums. I had the opportunity to catch them on their Tour de Compadres with great supporting acts. These guys have no problem recreating their sound from the album and producing it live on stage. Tracks to listen to include: Hard Love, No Excuses, and Be Here Long. I recommend taking this album on a road trip.

Learn More and Purchase: H A R D L O V E by NEEDTOBREATH

#1. To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere – Thrice:

This Album is the best thing from Thrice since the Alchemy index project in 2008. After taking a little hiatus and allowing Dustin Kensrue (Lead singer) to lead worship for Mars Hill Church under Mark Driscoll, they have come back and have not held anything back. In 2014 the band announced that they will be reuniting to put more music out, and it was worth the wait. To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere (TBEITBN) has the grungy sound that you have come to expect from Thrice while bringing relevant lyrics that cover topics such as war, oppression, and just regular ole politics. But don’t let this deter you from giving it a listen; this album invites you to critically think about life, religion, and politics, while letting you decide for yourself what you believe. With that being said here are some tracks to check out: Hurricane, Blood on the Sand, and Black Honey.

Learn More and Purchase: To be Everywhere is to be Nowhere by Thrice

I look forward to what 2017 has to offer, if its anything like twenty sixteen then it will be a great year. I am going to leave you with the honorable mentions that just didn’t quite make the cut.

  • Twenty-One Pilots/Mutemath – TØPxMM EP
  • Switchfoot – Where the Light shines Through
  • Hillsong United – Of Dirt and Grace
  • All Sons and Daughters – Poets and Saints

Guest post by Jeff Rettig.

The post Christian Music Notable Releases for 2016 appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
A Gospel Series: The Nature of Salvation https://www.bravedaily.com/2017/02/09/gospel-series-nature-salvation/ Fri, 10 Feb 2017 01:58:53 +0000 https://www.bravedaily.com/?p=7123 Gift (n): “something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present” (definition courtesy of Dictionary.com).  Gifts are an interesting thing. We love them, but we hate them at the same time. We love them because they’re free, because (most of the time) they are things we’ve been […]

The post A Gospel Series: The Nature of Salvation appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>
salvation gospel

Gift (n): something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present” (definition courtesy of Dictionary.com). 

Gifts are an interesting thing. We love them, but we hate them at the same time. We love them because they’re free, because (most of the time) they are things we’ve been wanting to have. We hate them when they’re unexpected, because ironically, we feel indebted to the giver—despite the fact that by definition they are given without expectation of something in return. Plus—we didn’t ask for it. It turns into a combination of feeling indebted and slightly irritated. We will most likely find a way to “pay them back,” whether it be with money, an act of service, or some delicious food. We can get away with trying to pay our giver back in most situations, but there’s one gift that we can’t pay back, no matter how mightily we tried. In fact, to try and pay it back would ruin the beauty of the gift in the first place.

This is the gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and it is only meant to be received.

Salvation: Why, What, How

As we discussed in the last post of this series on the nature of man, we are currently separated from God because of our sin. Not only does our sin separate us from Him now, but it will separate us from Him forever. Our sinful nature and continuous acts of sin make us enemies of God, who rightfully deserve His holy wrath and condemnation, which is death—in this life and for eternity (Romans 6:23).  This reality gives way to our greatest need of all: salvation.

We need someone to pay the price for our sin. We need someone to die in our place. We need someone to make atonement for us, that we might be reconciled to God, that we might be spared from death and given eternal life, and that the Lord of heaven and earth might be glorified throughout all the earth. We are in such great need.

We never would have been able to do this ourselves. We’ve gone over this: every single human being that exists, ever has existed, and ever will exist besides Jesus Christ is sinful by nature. None of us are unstained. If any of us were to die, it would be what we deserve. There is nothing we would ever be able to do to fix our very permanent predicament. Praise the Lord that He didn’t leave us stranded in it.

Salvation: God the Initiator

Out of love for the world and the goodness of Himself, the very Creator of the universe did what needed to be done for our good and His glory. We deserved no good. Death would have been perfect justice. Yet in His great love and kindness, He did all of the work to provide our salvation.

Jesus, the Son of God and God Himself, humbly came into the world as a helpless baby boy, lived the perfect and blameless life that is impossible for us to live, died a humiliating death on the Cross that should have been ours, rose from the grave and appeared to thousands, and ascended into heaven to His rightful place on the throne.

Yes, God did this. He is the initiator of our salvation (John 3:16l 1 John 4:10). We were dead in our trespasses—eventually to be lost forever, yet God initiated the means of our salvation. He didn’t do this because of anything good we’d done, nor did He do it because we deserved it. Justice would have been our eternal destruction. But the Lord is merciful, perfect in all of His ways, and to remain perfectly just, He had to be the one to make atonement for us, because noone is perfect besides Him. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because of His spotless, rightous, divine nature. Through His life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, He has appeased the wrath of God towards us, making it possible for us to be reconciled to God and enjoy Him forever (1 Colossians 1:20-22). God Himself did all of the work, and there’s only one thing that we must do:

Believe (Acts 16:30-31; John 3:16, John 11:25-27).

God has made the way for salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, and all we need to do to take hold of this salvation is to believe; to believe that we are sinful and in desperate need of a Savior; to believe that Jesus truly is the Son of God, meaning that He is God in the flesh (1 Colossians 1:15-19, Philippians 2:9-11, Romans 10:8-13); to believe that He truly was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:14-19); to believe that He truly is the propitiation for our sins and that through faith in Him, you are made right with God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17, 1 John 2:2).

” For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (emphasis mine)

Yes, friends: salvation by nature is a gift, and nothing compared to it. We cannot pay God back, nor should we try. The whole point is that He paid it all and that the payment is complete. This does not mean that we have license to continue on unrepentant sin because we know that the penalty for sin has been paid (Romans 6:1-2). In fact, God in His Word commands us to do good works of every kind, even going so far as to say that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26; Micah 6:8). But our motivation for doing good works is not to earn God’s love or our own salvation. No, our good works are an outpouring of thanksgiving to God. They are a response of love for Him, worship of Him, and gratitude for His unfathomable, unchanging, eternal gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

The very nature of salvation is that it is a gift, and when we try to change this aspect of salvation, we destroy the Gospel. There is nothing we’ve done to earn it, nothing we can do to lose it, nothing we can do to pay it back. Won’t you embrace the true Gospel and receive the most precious gift of all?

The post A Gospel Series: The Nature of Salvation appeared first on Brave Daily.

]]>