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Pastor Marc Musing

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Personal Bible Study Tips

When anyone first begins to read the Bible it immediately becomes obvious that the Bible is different than any other book. It originates in God Himself, for these are the very words of God. It also comes from authors who wrote in ancient days (1400 BC through 70 AD), and it deals with the heaviest subjects of all time (God, creation, morality, life’s purpose, human depravity, gracious redemption, and humanity’s ultimate end). The Bible can be intimidating and confusing in some areas.

However, it is also true that the Bible is quite similar to other books.


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Mother’s Day

How is one to speak of motherhood? Should I say something funny about the incessant troubles of rearing unappreciative and naïve children? Should I mention a note of gratitude for all of the mothers who have sacrificed themselves through a life of tireless nurturing and care? Should I applaud those mothers who have raised exemplary children to adulthood, and maybe even celebrate the motherhood of the one who was once their little girl?

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Why I no longer use the NIV…

I began my Christian journey as I was reading through “The Student Bible” New International Version, which was published in 1996 by Zondervan. It was given to me at some point during my teen years, but I never had any time for the Bible until I was miraculously converted in my college dorm room. One afternoon I noticed that I was just sitting on my bunk bed, reading the Bible, and this had been a regular occurrence for several days. This was totally unusual for me, and so I began to notice other changes in my affections too. God saved me from my sin, from myself, and from His wrath.


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What does the Bible really teach about Homosexuality?

From beginning to end, DeYoung’s book “What does the Bible really teach about Homosexuality?” was engaging, accessible, and Gospel-focused. He rightly reminds readers that homosexuality, just like all other experiences that a human may have, is not removed from a larger story or narrative. DeYoung also helps Christians and non-Christians to understand the nature of what we are talking about as well as what is at stake in such a discussion. The book is great mix of scholarly research, logical reasoning, and pastoral candor. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Everyone can and should read this book.

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Is the Bible the Word of God?

It would not be an overstatement to say that God’s revealed word has been a source of controversy from nearly the beginning of time. The serpent of old asked Eve, “Did God actually say…” (Gen. 3:1), and that question has been an incessant refrain ever since. One of the central topics of the conversation, especially during the last 150 years, is inspiration. What do we mean when we say that God inspired the Bible? How has God inspired the texts we understand to have been written by various authors over the course of about 1,500 years? There are many more questions that arise in this kind of conversation, but it is helpful to begin by asking, “Is the Bible the Word of God?” Of course even this question will require some explanation, but here is a constructive starting point. Basil Manly has written a fantastic work on exactly this topic, and I found it to be extremely productive. Surprisingly, it was also food for my soul.

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An encouragement as we face death in Diana, TX

 

Coach Keith McKinley (a coach in the New Diana school district) died on Tuesday, April 7. The story in the Longview News Journal was very brief, and heart breaking.[1] A young man, seemingly in good health, simply dies without warning. Adding to the tragedy, Keith has left a wife and three children behind to grieve their loss.

In times like this, it is inevitable that we begin to ask questions like “How does something like this happen?” or “Why would God allow such a terrible thing?” These are serious questions that should not be passed by too quickly or answered too carelessly. When we face the most difficult pains of mortal life, it is always beneficial for us to consider what God has revealed in His word. We cannot know the answer to every question, but we can answer many of the tough questions of life because God has graciously told us what is true.

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Pastor Marc to FBC Diana Family (March 2015)

 

It is certainly exciting to be part of this church family during times like these. As I type these words our attendance is slowly and steadily increasing, financial giving is outpacing our spending, Life Group participation is growing, missions efforts are taking shape, local evangelism plans are forming, the worship of God through Christ is the main focus of our worship gatherings, and many are voicing their excitement about all that is happening among our congregation. These are exciting times indeed! During times like these, however, it is always good to observe a bit of caution and recommit ourselves to keeping the proper focus.

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Hell or no Hell in the Apostles’ Creed?

Anyone who has spent any amount of time thinking through the affirmations contained in the Apostles’ Creed has probably had some struggle over what to do with one peculiar phrase. The phrase, of course, is “he descended into hell.” This phrase is a statement about the work of Christ, and it is vexing to any biblical student. What does it mean? Why was it included? How many Christians have affirmed this belief? Is it biblical? Should I affirm such a thing?

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Pastor Marc to FBC Diana Family (Jan 2015)

Happy New Year! I pray that you have been able to enjoy the Christmas season and that you have found solid ground beneath you as you have reestablished your daily routine. There is so much that seems naturally tied to the ending of one year and the beginning of another. The previous year’s experiences are usually inventoried and assessed, annual tax preparations begin, and New Year resolutions are made. This can be both disappointing and exciting. If last year wasn’t so wonderful for us, then we are able to see new possibilities and opportunities in the year ahead. If we find ourselves less advanced in one way or another than we had hoped to be at this time in life, then we may plan to make a more diligent attempt to achieve thoughtful goals over the next 12 months.


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Pastor Marc to FBC Diana Family (Feb 2015)

2015 is off and running, and FBC Diana is too. You may have noticed already, but our church family has grown recently. We are very glad to have welcomed 2 new families and one soon-to-be family to our membership. We are also glad to welcome Mark Jonah as a faithful leader in our musical worship. As you likely know, Mark Jonah has voluntarily spent many weeks with us, and his leadership in musical worship is marvelous. Our congregation is truly grateful for Mark’s willingness to serve as Minister of Music.

In all that we have seen and experienced recently, we are wise to look again to the Scriptures in order to remember who we are and what we are to do. Throughout 2015 we will be asking the question, “Who is FBC Diana?”

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