Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thanks Jeff & Judy!! We Appreciate You Both!!

Wednesday, October 26th during 222mission, we presented Jeff & Judy Crotts with a gift showing our appreciation to Jeff as our pastor and his dear wife Judy. Thanks to a lot of sacrificial giving, Jeff & Judy received a gift certificate to Elizabeth's (restaurant) in North Little Rock, as well as a cash gift of $240.00!

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages."

1 Timothy 5:17-18



*Perhaps you'd like to leave a comment briefly explaining how Jeff and/or Judy have influenced your life...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sola Shirtus on Backus

(please know that this is partially tongue in cheek)
Now you can spread your reformation roots with the latest in reformation gear! From bobble heads to baby bibs, there are ways for everyone to take their stand! Mom won't let you dress up for Halloween, then dress up for Reformation Day!
Check out the following reformation clothing & gift shops online:

New Reformation Press

Theological Pursuits

A Puritan's Mind

Old Lutheran

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Join us at 222mission, Wednesdays at 6:30PM in the choir room at BCLR. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Christianity In 3 Easy Steps

Please excuse the personal blog entry, but I thought this would be extremely helpful for those of you in the early stages of independent life...

Aaron Job has successfully summarized practical theology into three easy steps, in this letter to his mommy:


Dear Mommy,

I love you so much. I will not love Satan. I love God better than you. I hope you will love me too.

Love A.J.

Here's all you need to know guys...Love your mom, don't love Satan, love God more. Got it?

Bible Doctrine - Chapter 5

Click the link below to open a Word doc. of Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter 5 that was taught on October 16th. Remember, this will be a rough outline, but should assist those in Bible Doctrine Study Groups.

Have fun!

Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter Five:
The Character of God: “Communicable” Attributes

Monday, October 17, 2005

More On Reformation

Here's another article, as promised, in anticipation of Reformation Day - October 31st. Since Jim Eliff writes better than I, and since he's our trusted friend, I've borrowed from his library of articles once again. Enjoy! (BTW, that's Luther in the photo, not Jim...they do kinda favor though...)

October 31st, 1517Wittenburg, Germany
It was October 31st, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany.
Martin grasped a hammer and a long piece of paper covered with his writing. He walked out into the street and straight over to the castle church door. It was here that community messages were often posted.
Martin nailed his 95 points of discussion on the door. He only wanted to lay out his newly discovered views of the Bible to other church leaders in the Medieval Catholic church. He thought he was free to do so even though his thoughts were radical. After all, he was an Augustinian monk and a professor of theology.
Martin called himself a “stinking bag of maggots,” and certainly did not dream of being a leader in a revolution of thinking in Germany and across Europe that shaped history in a powerful way. But God had determined something far bigger than the monk Martin Luther expected when he penned those 95 Theses.
Without his knowledge someone printed his words on the newly invented Gutenburg press, distributing it all over Germany. Within a very few days, Martin found that he was the subject of everyone’s thoughts. In the cathedrals and great stone castles of his homeland, the pubs and peasant’s cottages—everyone was talking about the views of Luther. Without a signal to announce it, the Protestant Reformation had begun!
Just what was the Protestant Reformation all about? What did Luther and others protest?
The protesters were seeing something new about how a person is accepted by God—that is, new to them. They protested that the church had been teaching the wrong view about the most important issue of life. They discovered that the Bible says we are not accepted on the basis of our religious deeds, or even our good deeds along with our faith, but that we are accepted before a holy God only through faith in Christ.
“Through faith alone in Christ alone” began to be heard all over Europe. The people must transfer their confidence for salvation in the church’s religious traditions to Christ alone. The reformers wanted the people to return to the Bible’s plain teaching on how to be a true Christian. Because heaven and hell were at stake, the passions rose very high. Many would be persecuted and some even killed for this truth. But through it all, tens of thousands of people were converted to Christ and were assured of heaven.
We have been feeling the effects of the Protestant Reformation ever since. Many of our churches have their historical roots in the Reformation. Returning to the Bible as the source of understanding about how we are to relate to God has shaped nations. Perhaps no other religious period since the coming of Christ has been so influential as this one.
But many people, and even many churches, have forgotten the great lessons that were made so clear beginning on October 31, 1517. What difference can this mean to you nearly 500 years later?
This passage from the Bible is a good place to start. It describes God’s way to understand salvation:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
Through these 500 years since the Protestant Reformation, and throughout time, men and women, youth and children have come to Christ in this simple way—through faith alone in Christ alone. Placing our full confidence in Christ’s perfect life and sacrificial death for sinful people is the only way to God. It is not that good works are not important—they are a result of true faith in every believer’s life. But those works cannot save. Salvation is a gift of grace, not a reward for trying to be good.
Like Martin Luther, you may come by faith alone to Christ alone even now, all these years later. In fact, this is the very way the first New Testament believers came to Him!

Copyright © 2002 Jim Elliff Permission granted to copy in full for non-profit use, including all copyright information. Other uses require written permission.
For more information see our website at:

www.WayToGod.orgThis article is also available in tract format.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


There are 21 new photos posted. These were taken Wednesday night, October 12th - before, during and after our 222mission weekly meeting. Click here to view the photos (you'll be taken to our flickr photo page)

If you've never been
to our Wednesday night meetings (which meet in the choir room at BCLR - 6:30pm), you'll get a glimpse of the fellowship & teaching time we all enjoy each week.

We had a couple of new guests that night - namely, Aimee Williams' dad (all the way from Maine) and...the coffee pot!!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bible Doctrine - Chapter 4

Click the link below to open a Word doc. of Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter 4. Remember, this will be a rough outline, but should assist those in Bible Doctrine Study Groups.

Have fun!

Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter Four:
The Character of God: “Incommunicable” Attributes

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bible Doctrine Study Groups Are Meeting

Until we come up with a catchier name with no cheese, we'll refer to them as "Bible Doctrine Study Groups". These are small groups meeting on different campuses right now - and soon, at different locales in Little Rock - where we will meet to discuss the Bible Doctrine lesson from the previous Lord's Day.

So far, we have groups forming at UCA, UAMS and UALR. Anyone is welcome to attend any of the study groups - even if you weren't in the class on Sunday morning. You can get the outline and application questions here on this blog, and Lord willing, we'll have the audio from those classes available online soon! (Be praying about this!). This is also an opportunity for you to invite friends - use this as an evangelism tool and an open door to invite them to our 222mission fellowships on Wednesday nights & Sunday mornings as well.

Just click on the calendar icon below or in the sidebar (top right of page), and find a group that's meeting near you. Then, click on the event, and the meeting time, place and contact person will pop up in another window. We look forward to seeing you there!

Blog Spotting - Uncle Blog Wants You!

I'm finding out the hard way that many of you have your own blogs. Share the love brothers & sisters! If you have your own blog site, let me know. I'd like to link it on the 222mission blog- with written consent, of course.

Pork chops and applesauce. Gonna be a sun-shiny day!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A More Spontaneous and Genuine Evangelism

From our friend, Jim Elliff

It is an elementary lesson in understanding the original languages to see that Matthew 28:19 is not a command to "go" but to "make disciples of all the nations" as you are going." It was not Jesus' intent to say that the individual Christian must change locations in order to evangelize. But it is most certainly the whole church's responsibility to see to it that we make disciples where we are, now. Evangelism is not to be done later when the move takes place, or when the trip is taken to another far off country, or when the special evangelistic project commences, though it is certainly inclusive of these.
Yet, nothing is more discouraging than evangelism. The mere mention of the word strikes fear in most people. If it is my goal when speaking in a church to make all my listeners uncomfortable and convicted, all I have to do is say, "evangelize!," and the guilt quotient rises as fast as the heads drop. Beads of sweat appear on the pastor's brow. It is the great undone command, and none of us like to be reminded of it.
In my view, much of our fear comes because we've made evangelism too difficult and confusing.
First, we often try to do evangelism in a vacuum. Without a group of people enjoying and discussing the opportunities they have had, and without a leader among them who is active in this area, most of us will not find the ongoing stimulus to keep it up. However, when you find this happening, there is a built-in excitement about evangelism. Being in such a group for a long time myself, I'm finding constant motivation to continue. As I hear the stories of normal people, some of them quite reserved, doing what they can to get the word out, I'm charged up and reassured that God can use even me. That's the first help I want you to consider.
For some of you this might mean establishing a weekly small group meeting just to communicate to each other about what is going on in your evangelism. It might be as simple as coming together 30-40 minutes prior to a regular meeting of the church, or meeting with a team of motivated people for breakfast. This meeting should be about your encounters (even the little ones), your concerns, your creative ideas for reaching others, and specific prayer for those you have spoken to or will speak to. In our case, we take 30-40 minutes weekly in our main church meeting in an open session. Much of that time is spent talking about evangelistic encounters. We also take time at the end of the session to pray for each unconverted person who was mentioned. This provides a powerful motivation to do more.
Second, we have the mistaken notion that evangelism is a choreographed set of ideas well laid out, perfectly transitioned and flawlessly presented. Forget it. It's not this way. Many of us have tried this with frustration. It is much better to think of evangelism the way the Bible does—"sowing the seed" in any way you can. Any of us can do that. Ever seen a weed grow in an otherwise barren parking lot? Somehow the seed got there and flourished. The simple word in the right place, or the tract well-placed might be the means God uses. Well-oiled presentations frustrate because there is no room for serious questions and discussion on the one hand, and it rules out the less verbal among us, on the other. Rejoice over even the smallest of advances! You are sowing the seed.
I don't wish to say that there is no value at all in memorizing a set plan. But there are many limitations to such methods. The proof is that the enthusiasm for such plans often dies away after the weeks of concentrated effort are finished. Also, among the least desirable aspects of most of these plans is the fact that they may not encourage listening to the person you are addressing. It's primarily about getting a set of concepts across, rather than finding out the real questions people have and the dilemmas they face. There are people using block plans who work hard at overriding this obstacle, thankfully, but they more prove my point than void it.
Third, we have not made enough of the fact that evangelism has a great deal to do with what you expect God to do. If you raise your antennae as the day begins and ask God to make you an instrument for divine encounters during the day, it will happen—almost every time. Christians living in anticipation of being used by God are like cats on the lookout for mice. They never lose their focus. They seem to sleep with their eyes and ears alert. When you stay ready, you are actually living by the faith you claim to exercise!
Fourth, we have missed the idea of context. Have you ever gone on a mission trip and then come back determined to focus on others who need Christ the same way you did overseas? What happened? You gradually got sidetracked by all the distractions of life. What you need is a mission field here! I'm sure of one thing: If you put a true believer who has his lights on into a dark place, he or she will make a difference. In addition to all the other opportunities "as you are going," you need someplace, or perhaps several places, where your focus is all about people and sowing seed.
For instance, you might make a regular stop at a coffee shop early in the morning. Get to know the workers and the regular customers by name. Then, at the appropriate times, insert a clear word about Christ or pass on a piece of literature for your friend's comments, or whatever gets the seed out. Others of you might join a club or participate in a community college class (or even teach the class!). You might meet people at the gym, or walk regularly in a mall, or . . . you name it. You can bounce these ideas around in your seed-sowing group. Your regular places for seed sowing will help keep you alert for all the other serendipitous moments you might encounter. (see "The Value of Hanging Out" at
Fifth, we have often not made the best literature available in abundance. God brought the gospel to us, not only in the person of Christ, but in words. The history of the use of words in evangelism is remarkable. You should always keep materials available in your purse, car, brief case, and appointment book. In our church we make some key tools available at all times for the group to use. Each week people carry out handfuls of books or booklets for use in evangelism. Some also make use of CDs of evangelistic messages. I love for people to write out their own testimony to slip into a booklet. This multiplies the value of the item you are giving away and makes it much easier for people to receive. "Here's my story about how my life was changed along with a booklet that explains the truths that made the difference. I'd like to give you a copy to see what you think?" This approach is costly. We spend a lot of money providing the best tools for people. But we think it is worth every penny.
Sixth, we have not trained ourselves well in three important areas. It is important to work together on: 1) the content of the gospel, 2) how to converse and build relationships, and 3) some apologetic issues. Interestingly, these are largely untaught. Rather than teaching a block plan, why not study these three strategic aspects of the gospel and its presentation as your training approach?
Teach the content of the gospel itself, not just a set of phrases about the gospel. A man can talk for hours about a car if he understands what's under the hood. A woman can spend the day talking about decorating the home when she has concerned herself with learning the philosophies and combinations that are involved. But when a plan is learned and there is not much biblical and theological knowledge behind the phrases spoken, the presenter is unsure and uncomfortable. He has memorized a few statements and transitions, but what does he actually know? It is no wonder the believer does not want to venture out. "What if someone asks a question?" he thinks. It is the person that knows the most theology that can answer the best and has the least fear.
Learning how to converse provides a wonderful practicum for the group also. My common way of evangelism is to ask questions. I just keep probing until I discover the person's philosophy concerning root issues. It doesn't take a lot of brains to ask the questions. I've learned to get into the thinking of the person. They appreciate that. I respect them as I converse, but I keep probing. Sometimes I say, "That's very different than my view, but please tell me more." I don't explain my view yet; I'm just salting the conversation. I don't mind asking personal questions either. In turn, they eventually ask, "So what is your view about this?" This provides an excellent way to present what I believe about the problem and the solution in Christ. It would do the church well to study the simple art of having a meaningful conversation.
Basic apologetics provide another field of preparation. Although simply understanding the theology of the gospel will take most people a long way, learning how to address certain questions and/or objections that might arise with sound biblical apologetics is also very useful. I am more philosophical in my approach to apologetics, but am not without some interest in hard evidences as well. When you don't have a ready answer, you can just say so. Perhaps you can arrange for another meeting to discuss the issue further, or get the person's address and send him a book on the subject. It's OK not to know everything. Nonetheless, it is part of our improvement in evangelism to have some understanding of apologetics.
I've been evangelistically-driven for most of my life, talking with scores of people personally all over the world about the good news. I've thought this through a lot. Even though I began with a block plan for evangelism, I soon found out its serious limitations. I believe what I'm proposing is a much improved way to make viable, life-long disciple-makers. I think I can prove this with the people God has placed under my care. There is nothing novel or exceptional about what I've said, I realize, but I believe these concepts offer some significant help to those who care about rising above guilt to action.

Contact for evangelistic tools.
Copyright © 2005 Christian Communicators Worldwide, Inc.201 Main, Parkville, MO 64152 USAPermission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright.Other uses require written permission. Write for additional materials.

New Retreat Photos Added 10-5-05

Kinda late, I know, but about 20 new pictures from the Fall Retreat have been added to the Flickr page. Just click on the photos on the right side of the page. Thanks to Hannah Johnson (her flattering shot on the left) for taking these shots. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

J.C. Ryle - Pastor, Preacher, and Pamphleteer

"My chief desire in all my writings, is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of men; and to promote the increase of repentance, faith, and holiness upon earth." ~J.C. Ryle

This summer the men of 222mission read through J.C. Ryle's "Thoughts For Young Men". They were exposed to this great man of God and his though provoking and conscience stirring writings. He was converted around the same age many of you are (20), and he spoke of his conversion experience in his memoirs to his children,

“…Nothing I can remember to this day appeared to me so clear and distinct as my own sinfulness, Christ’s preciousness, the value of the Bible, the absolute necessity of coming out of the world, the need of being born again and the enormous folly of the whole doctrine of baptismal regeneration. All these things…seemed to flash upon me like a sunbeam in the winter of 1837” (Packer, Holiness intro p. ix).

Pastor Jeff has written and extensive outline of the life of J.C. Ryle, CLICK HERE to read it. Many of Ryle's books are available online for free! (Including the classic, Holiness) CLICK HERE to read them. There are also sermon manuscrips and audio sermons (read by others, of course) available here. You will want to familiarize yourself with this great pastor, preacher, and pamphleteer.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ministry Opportunity

Saw this announcement (below) in Sunday's bulletin, and wanted to bring it to your attention. This is an easy, yet tremendously vital ministry role at BCLR that's ideal for singles your age. Why not get a bunch of 222er's to sign up, and have a church cleaning party once a week?! :o) We do hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to serve. You can complete your janitorial duties basically anytime during the week that fits your schedule.

MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY: It is time to rotate the Janitorial Ministry Teams. If you are interested in a six or twelve month commitment for approximately 1-2 hours per week, please contact Gary Bass at 224-2732.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I Am Salty!

After a worship service on Sunday, a little girl was heard singing loudly in the back seat of the car "I am saaaalty!! I am saaaalty!". The parents, wondering what their child was singing, soon remembered what they had sung during the worship service that morning, the worship chorus, "I Exalt Thee!". What was sung and what the little girl heard was two different things. Although in her case, she was singing about another biblical concept - being salt and light in the world.

Or what about the guy who was singing "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing", and when he got to the line "God and sinners reconciled...", he sang, "gold and silver make me smile". Again, misunderstood lyrics.

Alright, what's the point of all this, anyway? Well, as in the examples of these songs, there is only one correct interpretation of the song, yet different people hear it and "translate" it in many different ways - very different. This is often the case with God's Word. It only means one thing (i.e., there is only ONE correct interpretation), and yet people come up with the craziest ideas! This fun illustration helps introduce the first of three topics for this weeks' Bible Doctrine lesson.

Can the Bible be rightly understood? Is it even necessary? And is it really ALL we need in life?

Any quotes are taken from "Bible Doctrine" by Wayne Grudem, Edited by Jeff Purswell
Remember, this is only a skeletal outline.

The Clarity, Necessity, and Sufficiency of the Bible
Can I understand it? Why do I need it? Is it all I need?

A. The Clarity of Scripture

The clarity of Scripture means that the Bible is written in such a way that its teaching are able to be understood by all who will read it seeking God’s help and being willing to follow it. ~Grudem, pg. 52

1. The Bible is clear about the Bible being clear.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7— for children
Psalm 19:7; 119:130—for the simple
2 Corinthians 1:13-14 - early church & new believers

So what’s the problem? The problem lies not in the Scripture, but in the reader!

2. The Bible is clear about who can understand it.

It’s not an intellectual problem, it’s spiritual.
The simple answer: sin
  • Mark 4:11-12 (cf. Matt 13:11ff)—parables
  • John 6:60—offensive
  • John 8:31-47—cannot bear to hear
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-3:4—wise & foolish
3. Why don’t we get it?

  • Mark 4:10-13; 6:52; 8:14-21; 9:32
  • Luke 24:25
  • John 8:27
  • Psalm 119 - cf. passages asking for God's help in understanding, "open my eyes..." "give me understanding"
We fail to exercise two basic study disciplines:
Hermeneutics “to interpret” - study of correct methods of interpretation
Exegesis—process of interpreting a text (to draw out)

4. Don’t be discouraged!

Only 2 possible causes for disagreements over Scripture:

a. We’re being dogmatic where Scripture is silent
b. Somebody is wrong (or all are wrong)

5. Sit under studied men.
A good book is like a good pastor...sit and let him preach to you.

B. The Necessity of Scripture

1. The Bible is unnecessary for some things:
a. Knowing God exists—Ps 19:1 & Rom 1:19
b. Knowing moral laws—Rom 1:20-21, 32, 2:12-16

2. The Bible is necessary for the knowledge of the gospel
a. Romans 10:13-17
b. Psalm 19:7ff

3. It is necessary for living out the gospel
a. Matthew 4:4
b. Psalm 119

C. The Sufficiency of Scripture (Sola Scripture)

Scripture contained all the words of God he intended his people to have at each stage of redemptive history, and that it now contains everything we need God to tell us for salvation, for trusting him perfectly, and for obeying him perfectly. ~Grudem, Pg 58

1. Solely Sufficient Self Supporting Scriptures:

a. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
b. Luke 16:19-31
c. Psalm 119:1 (other selected verses)
d. 2 Peter 1:3
e. Psalm 19:7ff
f. Revelation 22:18-19
g. Hebrews 4:12-13

2. What about areas to which it doesn’t speak?

a. 1 Corinthians 8-10
b. Romans 12:10; 14

Application Questions:

  1. What are some Bible passages/verses that you have never really understood? After studying the “Clarity of Scripture”, what might be your attitude toward these passages now?
  2. Are you guilty of judging others who might not understand or believe the way you do about certain doctrines? (I.e., doctrines of grace) How should you respond to others who disagree with you on different issues? Which are “hills worth dying on”?
  3. How much time and effort to you put into Bible study? Do you read solid books/articles/web sites/blogs about doctrinal issues to further your understanding? Do you own any study tools (commentaries, lexicons, etc.)? What can you do differently to assist you in understanding the Scriptures rightly?
  4. Though we believe the Bible to be sufficient, we also see the value in other solid, biblical literature. How would you respond to someone who says “The Bible is the only book I need.”
  5. Explain the difference in “general revelation” and “special revelation”. What can each do and/or not do?
  6. How does the doctrine of sufficiency encourage you as a believer? List from memory any “sufficiency” passages you know. Refer to your notes, if necessary.
  7. How should the doctrine of “necessity” and “sufficiency” influence your evangelism?
A extensive list was handed out Sunday, of suggested reading
material in several areas of theology.
CLICK HERE to see that list
(you're welcome to print it out) or CLICK
HERE for a condensed version
compiled by Pastor Tim Senn.