Issue #31

Where Prayer becomes Real, Galileo, Every Moment Holy Volume 2, and more...

Issue #31
Photo by Jack Sharp / Unsplash

Bible Study: Hebrews Part 4 (1:2b–3) — The Worthy Son

…his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
— Hebrews 1:2b–3 (ESV)

After a bit of work and thought, I cut off the last verse from this study. We will pick that up as we begin looking at the comparison with the angels in the next study. In this study, we will focus on how the author expands on the identity of the Son God spoke through in the last days...

Keep Reading→

Explore the Scriptures 📖

What is the Millennial Reign of Christ in Revelation in Revelation 20? | Thomas Schreiner 📽 →

In this video, Dr. Thomas Schreiner walks through the three primary options for interpreters of Revelation 20 and the 1000 years. I love the clarity he brings as he explains the different options and the charity that he gives to the positions he disagrees with.

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Read and Reflect 📖

Six Reasons You Seriously Need to Slow Down | Frank Powell 📃 →

We’re obsessed with being busy and getting things done quickly. Our pace is out of control.

If we compare our pace to the pace of Jesus’s life, there aren’t many similarities. Jesus was never rushed. He wasn’t overwhelmed by life, even though He had an enormous mission to complete in a very short period of time.

Jesus never rushed, because He moved at God’s pace. You see, hurry isn’t from God. It’s the world’s pace.

Culture’s obsession with busyness and hurriedness isn’t just a scheduling problem. It’s a heart problem. It’s time to consider what a hurried life is costing us:

He discusses six problems with a hurried life:

  1. It Destroys Your Relationship With God
  2. It Decreases Your Capacity to Love Others
  3. It Increases the Power of Temptation
  4. It Numbs You to Injustices
  5. It Increases Narrow-Mindedness and Legalism
  6. It Clouds Your Purpose and Diminishes Your Passion

One interesting feature of the flawed but nonetheless delightful TV series The Chosen following Jesus and his disciples is how often Jesus retreats to pray and rest. When you read the gospels, you find that this is a deeply important part of Jesus’ life.

Yet in this culture, it’s so often the opposite case. We skip solitude and prayer when we get busy.

I encourage you to read this article and think deeply about the rhythms and patterns in your own life.

Housekeeping Updates

Hello everybody. I'm sorry to interrupt the flow of links. I have a few updates that I need to share with you; they have been piling up. I'll try to be quick.

  1. We have a new theme for the website. If you're not logged in, you will see a prominent sign-up page. If you are, the homepage will take you directly to the latest letter. Check it out! I'm working on more improvements, like a table of contents for every letter, but I'm not a web designer or engineer, so it may take a bit of time.
  2. The membership program has been updated with several options instead of the previous single option. If you have the means to help and are blessed by our ministry, please consider joining. There are options at $2, $5, $10, and $20 per month (and their yearly equivalents) with some physical perks available. We're working on more perks for our members in the future.
  3. You may have noticed (or not), but the Bible Study now has video and audio options. We have a YouTube channel and a podcast available. We're still learning and growing, but I'd love it if you joined us in studying the Letter to the Hebrews. It's a detailed study, but I guarantee you will learn things you didn't know! If it's not for you, no worries!

I'm so grateful for each of you. I hope that even if you don't find every link helpful, you will skim through and find the ones that are! If you have any questions about the above, you can reach out to Back to the links!

Consider Another Perspective 🤔

Should Christians Practice Halloween? | Remnant Radio 📽→

This is a very American Christian question, but nonetheless important. This is something my wife and I have talked about and come to our own conclusions about. You must do the same. I think the Remnant Radio guys do a good job in this video of being open and charitable while still discussing their knowledge and experiences.

You may be someone who wants nothing to do with it, or you may not know of any problems with Halloween. In either camp, I'd encourage you to watch this video with an open mind. I think there are some clear lines that Christians must not cross (attempting contact with spirits, for example), some they should not cross, and some parts of Halloween that are unobjectionable. How you choose to practice or not will be a matter of conscience.

Pray about it and seek, in everything you do, to do it for the glory of God.

If you've enjoyed reading this letter, please share it with others and help us grow. We exist to help Christians grow in their faith and to make the name of Jesus Messiah glorified in all the earth. We grow thanks to readers like you sharing what we do with others. Thank you!

Church History Corner ⛪️

The Enduring Lesson of the Galileo Myth | Joe Carter 📃 →

Galileo thus became the first great man to be persecuted by Christians for his faith in science. Scientists eventually had the last word, though, for three centuries later, at a ceremony in Rome before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope John Paul II officially declared that Galileo was right, and the church was wrong.
That’s the story you may have heard about Galileo Galilei. But that’s not the true story.

If that’s the story you heard, read the real story. It’s both more nuanced and more interesting.

Christianity Is True ✝️

The Criteria of Embarrassment and the Apostles | Testify by Erik Manning 📽 →

One way we know the gospels are reliable is by utilizing the criteria of embarrassment. If you want people to trust their leaders, you usually would try to paint them in the best light possible. You don't go out of your way to undermine their authority. But that isn't what we see at all in the Gospels. Those who would eventually lead the church often look impulsive, incompetent, boastful, and stupid. If the Gospels are supposed to be PR for the apostles, their propaganda team was a dismal failure.

The criterion of embarrassment is one of the best pieces of evidence that the Gospels, and once you hear it, it seems obvious. It makes it incredibly unlikely that the gospels were created as fictions to prop up early church leaders.

Listen and Learn 🎧

Where Prayer Becomes Real (with Kyle Strobel) | Think Biblically with Sean McDowell and Scott Rae 🎧 →

Prayer isn’t a place for us to be good or right. It isn’t a place for us to perform or prove our worth. It’s a place for us to be honest, present, and known—a place for us to offer ourselves and receive God.

This interview covers Strobel and Coe’s new book on how honesty is the key to prayer. It’s of the best conversations on prayer that I have heard. I have read the book from cover to cover, and it is simply outstanding. It has changed the way I pray. The description doesn’t do this one justice.

For More:

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This is completely optional, and everything that is currently free will continue to be free. Thank you for reading The Garden Weekly.

Best with a Cup of Tea ☕️

Every Moment Holy, Vol. 2: Death, Grief, and Hope | Douglas McKelvey and Ned Bustard 📚 →

I wrote about Every Moment Holy, Volume 1 in Issue #12. At the time, I praised it as one of the “most used books in our household,” praised it as one of the best books you could buy for your household. All of that is still true.

Every Moment Holy, Volume 2, is deeply important, but it is not essential for my house in the same way that Volume 1 was and is.

Briefly, to recap what Every Moment Holy is, as a series. The books are liturgical prayers written by Pastor Douglas McKelvey. By a “liturgical prayer” I mean a prayer that can be used alone or in community.

You may ask, “Why would this be helpful? Shouldn’t my prayers come from my heart?” I think that this common question is really a question of planned prayers compared to spontaneous prayer. Sometimes we have the idea that spontaneous prayer is necessarily better. But I don’t think that this is the case.

Pre-written prayers can have the effect of molding our hearts and minds. Spontaneous prayer, while still important, can result in our minds wandering or feeling that we don’t have words for the moment. These wonderful prayers by McKelvey are designed to help us know how to pray, as Jesus taught his followers the Lord’s Prayer.

While Volume 1 focused on everyday prayers, Volume 2 focuses on death and grieving. Because of that, it’s less useful in a daily way, but when you need it, you’ll really need it.

Some liturgies:

  • “For When the News is Bad”
  • “Before a Medical Treatment”
  • “For Caregivers in Need of Rest”
  • “12 Meditations to Anchor the Heart in Eternal Hopes”
  • “For Missing Someone”
  • “For the Anniversary of a Loss”
  • “For Seasons of Anger and Frustration”
  • “Upon Feeling Frustration at Others”

For More:

Keep Your Mind on Things Above

I will be praying for you this week.

As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
— Matthew 5:40-42 (CSB)

Joel Fischer