December 31, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Packiams! Hi friends...we never got around to making a Christmas card this year, so please accept this as our best wishes to you and your families! A little update: The Lord added a fourth child to our family this year. On June 20, baby Jane Michael Packiam was born. We made the decision to homeschool Sophia (7 1/2) and Norah (6), and Holly found an excellent and rigorous curriculum that the girls are enjoying...mostly. One of the highlights of each day is the time spent reading rich and living books together. They also love their music classes, seasonal ballet lessons or theater classes, and swimming lessons. Jonas (3) is obsessed with cars and soccer, both of which keep him crashing often into the girls' games of dolls and house! He's loved his swimming lessons and soccer classes, necessary outlets for his boundless energy. I'm about half-way through a second Masters degree-- this one in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. I also recorded an album with Integrity Music called, 'The Mystery of Faith," that will release early next year along with an ebook. Both trace the journey of discovery that we've been on, rooting our faith in a Christ-centered worship that reaches its high point in the Eucharist. One of our great joys this year has been the launch of new life DOWNTOWN, an extension of New Life Church. We love the community that the Lord is forming in the heart of our city. Though we often find ourselves overwhelmed, we are reminded of all that we have to be grateful for. Much of the fullness in our lives is fruitfulness that is the result God's grace at work in our lives. And so, we praise Him. We are so thankful to have friends and family like you, to share in the...
Preaching Christ in Every Sermon This isn't a new resource, but it's one I recently discovered thanks to a friend in our congregation. Tim Keller and Ed Clowney co-taught a course (or series of seminars) at Reformed Theological Seminary called, "Preaching Christ in a Post-Modern Age" several years ago. It's available-- completely free!-- on iTunesU HERE. This morning, I listened to the 20-minute introduction to the course and was hooked! (And inspired to preach!) Here's a short synopsis of the introduction and premise for the course: Keller, who gives the introduction, suggests that there are at least three popular approaches to preaching: 1. Doctrinal This is more of a lecture, of sorts, based on a "systematic theology" approach to the Bible. Create the categories and pour the content of Scripture into these air-tight compartments. The problem, of couse, is that it is not true to life, and does not necessarily inspire worship. 2. Practical These are the "how-to" sermons focused only on "life issues"-- budgets, managing stress, raising kids, being productive, etc. These sermons are designed to be instructive and helpful, but can give people the false impression that if we only tried harder or had the correct tools, we could become better ________ (fill in the blank). The Gospel tells us that any journey that does not begin and end with Christ is bound to fail and fall short. 3. Devotional These sermons are aimed at inspiring people with stories. Often light on Biblical exegesis and choc full of stories, this approach is justified as being "narrative preaching." The trouble is it leaves the two biggest pieces out of the Story: our crisis of sin and fallenness and the glory of Christ's redemption and grace. People may leave feeling moved, but without a center that will sustain them through life. While each of these...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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