Thomas Sowell once said that there are three questions that have the ability to devastate and dismantle almost every argument that liberals mount against conservatives.
1) Compared to what? Why is your proposal substantively better than others?
2) At what cost? Have you even considered the cost of what you are proposing and the impact on the broader society?
3) What hard evidence do you have? This is more than a request for experts who agree with their positions, but what direct / empirical evidence supports your case?
There are very few ideas on the left that can pass all three of these tests?
January 18 2017 | Comments Off on Three Questions that Devastate Liberal Arguments
First, the pastor must know Christ, really know Him, and live his life as sifted by His all-searching holiness all the time.
Second, you must know that God has called you with a heavenly compulsion.
Third, you must find out His will for your life, and, His place for you…You must remember, of course, that God is the most sweetly reasonable and considerate Person in the world when we give Him His place.
Fourth, having been called to a local congregation, begin to minister the Word of God to them at once, depending for all you are worth on the Holy Spirit, and believing that this is the biggest thing you can do for them in all the world.
– William Stills, The Work of the Pastor (p. 32-33)
January 16 2017 | Comments Off on Four Non-Negotiable Steps for Pastoral Ministry
Today we wrapped up our series on Effective Prayer from Daniel 9. Specifically, we learned that Effective Prayer is 1) Explicitly Gospel Centered, 2) Passionately Direct.
You can listen online here.
You can listen in iTunes here.
January 15 2017 | Comments Off on Effective Prayer (part 3)
I think that 2016 was the best year ever for our family :-). I know that I say that almost every year, but I am so thankful that God has brought us together as a family and that we get to travel through this journey together.
2016 started off with a new sport for you and Cody, Basketball. You both had such a good time going to practice, learning the basics of the game and competing against other teams. I can’t say that you were the strongest players, but you gave it everything you had and I was always proud of you.
Speaking of sports, you and your brothers have become much more interested in watching football, baseball, even golf if it’s on :-). It’s fun to sit together as a family and cheer for our favorite teams (for you it’s definitely the Giants and the 49ers).
Because you finished up 4th Grade this last year, we took you on dozens of field trips to study California History. We went to the Calaveras Big Trees, to a few Missions, to the site of the Bear Flag Revolt along with lots of gold rush sites. I had so much fun learning with you and driving all over Northern California together.
I’ve also enjoyed reading to you. This year we read “The Hobbit”, “A Christmas Carol”, “Stone Fox” and a whole bunch of other books that I can’t remember.
You have also been an outstanding student at Awana. I can’t believe how many Bible verse you’ve already learned!
We were able to put a bigger pool up this summer, which you and your brothers swam in every day. We also went camping at Lake Tahoe together. You spent a week with your grandparents and we went to the Folsom Aquatic Center a lot!
In the Fall you began 5th Grade with Mommy as your teacher again. The Fall was filled with learning new things, lots of fun activities like going to the pumpkin farm, apple hill, and lots more. Christmas was wonderful as well. You got a special Lego 3-in-1 creator set that you spent all of Christmas day putting together :-).
After Christmas we went to Cayucos with mommy’ family. You went boogey boarding every day and stayed up way too late every night. After Cayucos we went to my family’s in Bakersfield and got to celebrate Christmas with them. You also got to meet your new cousin Maryanne for the first time :-).
Like I said, this has been a wonderful year for all of us, but the best part of this year was when I got to baptize you in the river at Lotus. You had been asking about baptism for quite some time and mommy and I felt like you were finally ready for it this summer. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of having watched you be born, having the privilege of leading you to faith in Christ and seeing you be born again and than to live that new birth out in baptism. It was something that I will never forget and I hope that you won’t either because baptism is a symbol of the gospel. It’s a reminder that while I am a great sinner that Christ is a great savior and that through faith, we have been given a new kind of life in Him.
Micah, I am so proud of you and I love with you with all of my heart.
January 13 2017 | Comments Off on Happy Eleventh Birthday Micah (2017)
Every pastor I know wants an effective ministry. We want to see more people coming to faith in Christ, we want to see more people growing in their love for Christ, we want to see more people deployed into ministry for the sake of Christ. But how do you achieve an effective ministry? Is there a “secret sauce” that can amplify our effectiveness as ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ?
There are lots of things that pastors can do to incrementally increase their effectivenes in ministry (i.e. work hard, pray hard, start a new program, etc.). These are worthy efforts and often times they will yield incremental results, but I believe that there is one thing that will not only increase the effectiveness of our ministry incrementally but will actually increase it exponentially!
That one thing is to stay.
I know that sounds simple and maybe even a little defeating if your sphere of influence seems small right now, but hear me out on this one. Here’s the big idea: Every year that a pastor stays at the same church, faithfully ministering to the same people (and hopefully new ones as the church grows incrementally), his effectiveness in ministry grows exponentially!
You see, it takes times to earn the right to be the pastor of the church and there is simply no substitute for that time. It takes hundreds of sermons, and dozens of funerals, and countless hours of marital counseling to really become the pastor of your church. But once those hours have been put in, your level of effectiveness grows at an exponential rate. Everything that you say means exponentially more because of the faithful foundation that you have laid.
So brother, if you want to have an effective ministry prepare yourself to stay and to reap the benefits of your faithfulness..
January 11 2017 | Comments Off on The Key to Effective Ministry
For the last year Cool Community Church has been systematically working our way through the book of Daniel and having a great time doing it.
At the end of December we finally came to Daniel 9. In launching into Daniel 9 we said that Daniel 9 is one of the most important chapters in the entire Bible for two reasons: 1) It contains what is known as the “backbone of biblical prophesy” in the prophesy of the 70 weeks, 2) It contains one of the most powerful examples of “Effective Prayer” in all of the Bible.
We should be getting to the prophetic portion of Daniel 9 in the next few weeks, but here are the links to the first two sermons that I preached on “Effective Prayer”.
In the first sermon we learned that “Effective Prayer is Comprehensively Biblical”.
In the second sermon we learned that “Effective Prayer Begins with Heartfelt Confession and that Effective Prayer is Profoundly God-Centered”.
January 08 2017 | Comments Off on Effective Prayer
I feel like I’ve fallen way behind on the videos that we’ve been putting out as a church. Here are two more from 2016 that were extra special for us. The first is of our Oaxaca Mission trip and the second is from our River Baptism Service this year:
2016 Oaxaca Mission Trip from DrewBuell on Vimeo.
2016 River Baptism Service from DrewBuell on Vimeo.
January 06 2017 | Comments Off on Two Cool Videos
2016 was a great year for our family. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Luke professed faith in Christ this year
- Micah got baptized and took communion for the first time
- After 5 years we finally sold our house in Washington
- I had a great mission trip to Oaxaca
- We finally got our pool setup properly, which gave the kids loads of entertainment this summer!
Here’s a quick video of some of the rest of our highlights:
The 2016 Buell Family Year Year in Review from DrewBuell on Vimeo.
January 05 2017 | Comments Off on 2016 Buell Family Year in Review
I think one of the best parts of our recent family vacation was the opportunity to use our new camera to take LOTS of pictures .
This gave me the chance to play around with many of the different settings, including the shutter speed which allowed me to get these shots:
I know that this is standard fair for most photographers, but I still think it’s REALLY COOL!
January 04 2017 | Comments Off on Shutter Speed & Cayucos
It’s good to be back after a week long family vacation. Here’s a video of where we’ve been and what we were up to:
Cayucos 2016 from DrewBuell on Vimeo.
January 03 2017 | Comments Off on 2016 Family Vacation