Website Review: VoicesForChrist.org

Voices For ChristVoices For Christ is an online repository of approximately 50,000 audio sermons in mp3 audio format. All of the sermons are available for live streaming or download free of charge. The site offers messages from 1,175 of the Lord’s servants from our own generation, and prior generations as well. Some of the preachers from a prior generation include Alfred P. Gibbs, Harry A. Ironside, and Stephen Olford. Among the more contemporary preachers you will find Michael Attwood and Craig Shakarji.

The Voices For Christ homepage explains the purpose of the ministry:

Voices for Christ is an attempt to make Christ-centered ministry available to a wider audience. We are especially interested in helping those on the foreign field, those who have a sincere interest in the infallible Word of God, and any desiring to see the Lord Jesus Christ preeminent in His church.

Because of the large number of messages, and preachers featured on VFC it can be a little overwhelming the first few times you visit. However, it is well worth your time and effort to fully explore the site.

Where to begin?

From the homepage click the “voices” tab near the top center. This will take you to the Library page. Here you can scroll through the names of the preachers who are available. When you find a preacher of particular interest, simply click on his name to bring up a listing of available messages. The list can be resorted by clicking on any of the column titles.

If you are interested in a particular topic you can use the search tool located near the top right corner of the Voices’ Library page. Simply enter a keyword and click the “search now” button. When I entered “Hosea” the search resulted in a listing of 88 messages. “Genesis 22” resulted in 73 messages; however you should carefully review the list as not all 73 messages deal with Genesis chapter 22. This is because the search will also list messages about Genesis that just happen to be 22 minutes long, regardless you should still be able to find what you are looking for.

Two additional starting points are “the most recently added messages” link and the “top 25 downloads” link. Both are found on the Voices’ Library page as shown in the screen shot below.

Voices For Christ Library Page

Once you have identified a message that you would like to listen to, you may listen online by clicking the circular play button to the left of each message, download the mp3 file to your computer by clicking the title of the message, or order a custom made CD by clicking the check box to the far left and completing the order form at the bottom of the Voices’ Library page.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that our only authoritative source of truth is the Bible. Resources like Voices For Christ should be used as a help in our study of God’s Word, but never as a replacement. Because of this the VFC Library page states:

While much of this can be helpful, none of this material is a substitute for your own personal study of the Word of God. God’s word alone is authoritative and you should carefully compare anything you find here with the scriptures (Acts 17:11).

Voices For Christ is a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about God’s Word. If you have been particularly blessed by one of the messages from VFC, let us know about it in the comments below.

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An Ounce of Prevention

The catastrophe of King David underscores what can happen when leaders fail to create a structure in which they are answerable for how they spend both their private and professional time. Ultimately, as he did with David, God will hold everyone accountable (especially leaders). The Bible shows us the dangers of living our lives free of accountability.

Most leaders don’t experience a sudden blow-out in their lives. More often it’s a slow leak that leads to disaster.   A man can deceive himself into thinking that a small compromise will not matter. But small steps, taken consistently, add up to a great distance. Small compromise has a snowball effect; momentum develops, and before we realize what’s happening, life spins out of control.  Once that train is moving, it’s tough to just jump off for the purpose of self-preservation.  Believe me; I know this fact all too well!

David didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to trash his life by committing adultery with one of his mighty men’s wives and then having that man killed. David had already begun the descent into spiritual sloth by making small compromises. He began by taking an additional wife, then another and another and another. Eventually David had seven wives in all, but even that wasn’t enough. So, he stocked a harem. David had a slow leak of self-control. And he compounded that problem by not having anyone around who would tell him about the problem.

When another Christian falls into obvious sin, an admonition is imperative, because God’s Word demands it. The practice of discipline in the community of faith begins with friends who are close to one another. Words of admonition and reproach must be risked.  If we are not intentional about inviting someone like Nathan into our lives, God will provide a Nathan for us. But by then it may be too late to spare us from the consequences.

Wise leaders don’t wait for a crisis to establish accountability. Accountability relationships cannot be imposed; they must be invited. The onus is on leaders to establish structures and relationships that hold them accountable for their sin and unleash their God given potential. We must seek out godly people of mature character and give them permission to ask us the tough questions. This requires risk on our part. It requires honesty and vulnerability – risky things that leaders are often skittish about. However, as anyone who has suffered the consequences of a fall will tell you, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

More to come about why I began being accountable…

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Digital Sojourner would like to thank Long Vo for writing this guest post.

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God’s Good News: Lesson 1 Part 1

  1. READ THESE VERSES IN YOUR BIBLE: Romans 1:1-18
  2. READ TEACHING ABOUT THE VERSES

God teaches us His Own Gospel (chapter 1 verse 1 to 15)
What a great blessing! God has written down His message for us! God had Paul write a letter to tell us God’s gospel. In this letter to Christians in Rome, God explains His message of good news. I am so glad God has told us His gospel. We do not have to guess. We can know what His message is.

This good news was promised before Jesus was born. The prophets like Isaiah told men that God would send His Son to be a Savior (Isaiah 9:6, 49:6, 53:12). Here are a few examples. God said when Christ would come (Daniel 9), where He would be born (Micah 5:2), what He would do (Genesis 3:15, Zechariah 9:9, Isaiah 53), how He would die (Psalm 22, Psalm 69, Isaiah 50:6), and why He would die (Isaiah 53). Only God could tell these things hundreds of years ahead of time! So we can know this is God’s message!

We also know Jesus is God’s Son because God raised Him from the dead! Now God wants people to hear His message about the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants you and I to know what Christ did and what God wants us to do. Then he wants us to tell others His gospel.

That is what Paul did. He served God by telling people God’s message. He had a burning desire to preach the good news of Christ to the nations of the world. He was ready to bring that gospel to the people in Rome too. They needed to hear it! Why?

Continued in Lesson 1 Part 2

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Introduction: God Teaches Us His Good News

This is the first installment of a new series of posts prepared to help us better understand God’s good news as taught in Romans chapters 1 to 8.

There are 10 lesson units plus a final review unit… each of the units will be posted in 2 installments.  Occasionally helpful illustrations will be posted to further aid us in our understanding of God’s gospel or “good news”. It is interesting to note that the word “gospel” literally means good news.

The postings in this series should go up every Tuesday and Thursday here at the Digital Sojourner, so be sure to check back regularly.  You may also subscribe to the Digital Sojourner’s RSS feed here.

At the conclusion of the series all of the lesson material, plus review questions for each lesson, will be made available as a single PDF file for you to download.

 

Continued in Lesson 1 Part 1

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Website Review: johnlennox.org

During the past decade New Atheist writers such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris have waged war on theism in general and Christianity in particular. They contend that faith in God is unscientific, irrational, and down-right harmful to society.

Various Christians have eloquently and reasonably answered these critics by means of the spoken and written word. Among them is Dr. John Lennox, whose academic credentials give him an opening to weigh in on scientific questions, especially when they intersect issues of faith; he is described thus on the website’s biography page:

Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum. In addition, he teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme at the Executive Education Centre, Said Business School, Oxford University.

His website – www.johnlennox.org – is an especially useful tool, providing video and audio discussions on pertinent apologetics questions like “God and suffering,” “Axioms and Inferences: A Mathematician Thinks About Faith,” “Atheism and morality,” and “Limitations of science,” among many others. It also provides various treatments of brother Lennox in the mainstream media, including newspaper interviews and radio programs.

The site is well-organized, attractive, and user-friendly… a real boon for the sojourner who takes 1 Peter 3:15 seriously.

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Jottings – The Bucket of Your Speech

That which lies in the well of your thought will come up in the bucket of your speech.

This was written by Dwight L. Moody on the flyleaf of his Bible. I came across this gem while reading the book “Notes From My Bible” which was originally published in 1895 by the Fleming H. Revell Company. The book is a collection of notes, anecdotes, and illustrations that D. L. Moody recorded on the margins of his Bible.

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Slick Sojourning

Unlike previous generations, Christians today are blessed with a wealth of resources—and I’m not only talking about the amount of teachers around today. Living in a post-Guttenberg era we have the benefits of years of print and now years of digital information. This all means that we have access to information if not within 20 minutes (a local library) then right at our fingertips. Of course, this might all come with its own problems, but at the very least no believer living in the New World should be able to say “I just don’t have access to the right tools” when it comes to being trained in the faith.

So here’s only a fraction of the great resources and where you might find them:

OLD-SCHOOL

Inter-Library Loan. Our Library System in the States is interconnected and (usually) free and they have the ability to borrow books from other libraries and allow you to read from 2 weeks to a month and a half. If it’s in print and older than 6 months you will be able to find it in here. Check with your local public librarian.

University Libraries. Usually colleges in your neighborhood have a library that is accessible to the public if you have the right identification. That ID might cost you a small fee but it’s worth it for the periodicals and books that they might have available.

Amazon Marketplace. You don’t necessarily need the newest editions of books and commentaries—search the used books in Amazon and get them for a steal.

MULTI-PLATFORM

Dropbox. Perfect for syncing files across multiple computers but just as perfect for carrying electronic resources on the go. Seriously, this is a must.

Logos. Probably the best Bible Library software available but it comes at a hefty price. I personally think it’s worth it since it lets you deal with the text in Greek and read up on what others have said. Also, if you picked up Logos 4 for Mac or PC, you’ll have access to the full functionality of this free app: tons of resources on the Go.

PC

Open Office. If you don’t want to shell out the dollars for Microsoft Word, you have the ability to download a word processor with all of MSWord’s power and none of the price tag since it’s free.

E-Sword. Well-established Bible software with a bunch of extra modules (which are additions to the program like commentaries, multiple Bibles, and even scripts that convert your notes to Microsoft Word). Note that although most of the modules are free (like Keil and Delitzsch’s awesome commentary of the Old Testament) there are things in here that come at a cost. (Xiphos is also good)

MAC

Accordance. Great software that also has Mobile integration for on the go study and note viewing—just realize it comes at a cost.

MOBILE

YouVersion. A mess of Bible Versions which even allows you to add your own notes. Careful though: you’ll need a data plan or wi-fi to fully access it.

Olive Tree. Bunch of Bible Versions and you can even purchase premium Bibles and books.

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Tools – A Regular Feature

Another feature you can expect to find here at the Digital Sojourner is Tools.

There are many tools available to assist the Christian as he or she sojourns through the modern world. There are power tools, such as Logos Bible Software, that are highly sophisticated and relatively new. Other tools, such as a spiral bound notebook and pencil, are neither new nor sophisticated and yet are highly useful in their own right.

The key is to use the appropriate tool, at the appropriate time for its intended purpose. A surgeon might use a chainsaw to take down a tree in her backyard, yet she would never even think of bringing such a tool into the operating room. Tools, when used appropriately, will never become a distraction or a hindrance.

We will attempt to regularly share with you insightful articles about the tools we use in our sojourning.

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A Modern Day Paradox

No other generation has had access to as many tools and resources as believers do today. This is especially true in the English language.

Many Christian homes have more Bibles than people. Concordances, lexicons, dictionaries, atlases, and commentaries fill our bookshelves. Many of these tools have been digitalized and made available as computer programs or over the internet.

With the advent of mobile “smartphones” wirelessly connected to the internet there is an inconceivable amount of information that can be accessed at anytime and anywhere. One can even fact-check a preacher in real time without ever leaving the pew!

An Alarming Paradox.

Unfortunately no other generation of believers have been as unacquainted with the scriptures as ours. Walk up to the average Christian at the average church and ask a few mildly challenging questions. Who is the first man? Who is the second man? 1 Cor. 15:45-48. Or, what is meant by the term justification? More often than not you will be met with a blank stare and a quick change of subjects.

How Can This Be?

Have we become more fascinated with the tools than we are with the purpose of the tools? Are we more fascinated with technology than with the Author of the scriptures? This should not be, and yet I know that I have been guilty of this all too often.

God’s Word must be paramount, not the technology. Such tools exist to help us. May we always be mindful of their proper place; otherwise the very tools that were meant to help will become the greatest of hindrances.

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Jottings — Expect Testing

Expect testing.
God tests the righteous… it’s part of the Christian experience.
See & rejoice in the Lord…it’s our strength.
Choose to rejoice.
Sing unto the Lord.
Others are watching… talk it out with the Lord.

From a message preached by Warren Henderson at the 2011 Greenwood Hills Labor Day Weekend Conference.

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