Happy Valentine's Day Mel. I couldn't do what I do and I couldn't be who I am without you.
Feb 13, 2013
Happy Valentine's Day Mel. I couldn't do what I do and I couldn't be who I am without you.
Aug 18, 2012
I thought it'd be helpful to include a list of the commentaries I have read or used specifically throughout this series:
- Twelve Challenges Churches Face by Mark Dever - very accessible and helpful in pastoral considerations from 1 Corinthians.
- Pillar New Testament Commentary Series: The First Letter to the Corinthians by Roy Ciampa & Brian Rosner (General Editor: D.A. Carson) - excellent exegetical commentary that espouses the text with a good grasp of Corinth's socio-political context including a balance between Jewish & Gentile context in Paul's writing, and comprehensive exposition of the text without losing the reader. This is probably my favorite commentary I've read on correctly interpreting the book of 1 Corinthians. The theological language will likely need to be adapted for sermons in most local churches.
- NIV Application Commentary Series: 1 Corinthians by Craig L. Blomberg - superior interpretation even on difficult passages but still very engaging and practical. Helpful for application points in sermon preparation but probably most beneficial to believers in small group discussion or for individual personal study.
- Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians by N.T. Wright - not a particularly helpful commentary but a good challenge to press me on my interpretation. I tend to be impressed with the manner in which Wright approaches the text--particularly his socio-political knowledge of the New Testament--but I am repeatedly disappointed with his conclusions. Because this commentary is marketed to the masses I also fear that individual believers may be misled by this brief and insufficient work.
- Showing the Spirit by D.A. Carson - absolutely unparalleled exposition of chapters 12-14 in 1 Corinthians. This is the best commentary on understanding the sign gifts and the use of tongues in the local church. He is generous to both the cessationist position and charismatic experience and is concerned with utter faithfulness to the text. The work is technical and thorough yet accessible to the common student or pastor.
- New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICOT) Series: The First Epistle to the Corinthians by Gordon Fee - a beneficial defense of the Holiness-Pentecostal (charismatic) position. I personally feel he is more devoted to his tradition than the Word, particularly in chapters 11-14 where he offers no textual evidence for baptism in/with/by the Holy Spirit as a subsequent experience. Some of his insights throughout the commentary are helpful but I perceive his verbiage as often pretentious and therefore unhelpful.
- New Interpreter's Bible Commentary Series: Volume X - Acts-1 Corinthians (Edited by Leander Keck) [note: 1 Corinthians Commentary Author: J. Paul Sampley] - an academic work seemingly targeting undergrad students. Helpful in recognizing themes within the book of 1 Corinthians, the cultural context of the city, and the church in Corinth (though I feel the author pushes a bit too far in his interpretation of the Corinthian church as representative of early Christian tradition. The body was certainly an example but probably not entirely representative).
Jun 30, 2010
Over the weekend my buddy, Josh Super, got married. I had the privilege of ushering at the wedding which also allowed me to attend rehearsal, dinner, and bachelor party on Friday night before the wedding.
The week had been a frenzy as I joined many from our church at a local trailer court every evening for outreach ministry. Many people showed up to help lead a VBS for kids, a women's Bible study, car repairs, home repairs, and painting in order to proclaim Jesus through our words and deeds. I ended up spending a few days working in the home of a single mom of 3 kids: tearing out a water-damaged closet, replacing joists, insulation, and subfloor, and putting in a new water heater with new plumbing and gas lines. B&B Plumbing here in Sioux Center generously donated parts and labor to carve some new iron pipe for the gas line but I couldn't pick up the correct sized pipe until 2:00 p.m. Friday afternoon and the city office (which closes by 4:00 on Fridays) had to inspect the line before they could turn on the gas. All this meant that I needed to pick up the pipe at 2:00 and have the plumbing and gas lines fully assembled within an hour with zero margin for error in order for the family to have water for the weekend. (Hang with me...this is going somewhere, I promise)! Long story short, after a lot of sweat, elbow grease, prayers, and my dad's handyman instructions the city came and there were no leaks in any lines and the family had hot water again!
So I was telling Josh about my day when Rachel (his fiance, now wife) overheard some of our conversation and interrupted saying, "Tyler, I thought you worked for the church....what are you doing now?" I grinned and explained what our church had been up to throughout the week. But Rachel's question penetrated my mind. It forced me to consider, "What is church work?"
Why is the work of church so rarely associated with things like plumbing, painting, or repairs? What pictures pop into your mind when you think of what a pastor's week looks like? Certainly we should be studying and teaching the Bible, we should be praying, preaching, organizing, counseling, and visiting with people--shepherding and overseeing. Yet, should we who are the church not also be laboring, caring, and repairing our communities? How would you answer the question, "What is Church work?"
I am grateful to serve in a gospel-centered community that is seeking to be the church without walls here at CCC!
If you are a follower of Jesus check out this video about living missionally as the Church. CCC is not an Acts 29 church but Jeff Vanderstelt's words are a call for all followers of Jesus!
Please pray for Sofia (the single mother) and her three kids. I had the privilege of clearly sharing the gospel with her on Thursday evening and though she was not yet ready to surrender her life to Jesus as Lord and accept him as Savior she was very emotional. She said she had never before heard of a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. After hearing the gospel she said she feels humble and thankful. Please pray that God would draw her to himself.
May 12, 2009
It is astounding how many people are happy with the birth of our son, this was obvious on Sunday as we went to church. Our church is great and the people there are loving...and not the type that act that way but the type that really are. Silas slept through the entire service (don't tell Pastor Randy). We spent a good part of Sunday afternoon enjoying one of Mel & I's favorite hobbies, watching movies. We rented Run Fatboy Run from the local Red Box (amazing $1 video rental machine). Click HERE to find one by you. Anyways, the movie was hilarious but very meaningful, especially to me since the birth of Silas.
I've discovered that deep inside every man is a longing to be a dependable, responsible, courageous, and confident leader. I think God made us this way so women will want to make babies with us...because men don't really have much to offer if we can't offer leadership (let's face it, women are much more attractive than men). Well here's the point : when the opportunity comes for us guys to step up and be men (it may be something dumb like when the guy at the post office gave me one too many two cent stamps today or it may be something HUGE, like being a dad) we have a choice. And here's a little secret--every guy is scared out of his mind.
It's hard to believe we're only two weeks in and I think I've messed up more that George W. and Obama combined (don't vote for me). But I think the thing that's most important isn't not messing up but how to respond when we do. That's the true measure of a man. My prayer for myself, for Silas, and for all the young men I shepherd at Christ Community is that we would find our life and our manliness in Jesus. That we wouldn't try to prove ourselves but rest in the promise of God through life in Jesus. That's my hope for Silas and me. So when Silas asks me, "dad, what's it mean to be a man?" I'll have an answer.
Also...I wanted to make one thing very clear:
May 6, 2009
the crib is especially perfect for sleeping through the night (but he's currently using a bassinet). if you look close you can see the spin-a-rims...:)
May 5, 2009
Apr 29, 2009
on Tuesday, 4/28/09 at 4:51 a.m. Silas Randy Parson entered the world. We named him Silas after a man who was an assistant missionary to St. Paul in the Bible (Acts 15-17). In Acts 16 Silas & Paul were beaten and thrown into prison for telling others about salvation in Jesus Christ. Acts 16:25 says, "about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them." Not only is Silas a pretty stinkin' sweet name but we want our son to be the type of guy who, amidst severe opposition, finds his hope in God through faith in Jesus. we hope he'll be the type of little dude that starts the midnight party in the prison because of God's goodness, like Silas did in Acts 16. Read the rest of the story in Acts 16, God did some crazy sweet stuff.
Randy was in memory of Mel's dad Randy Thies. Mel gave her life to Jesus when she was 17 and God used her to do an amazing work in her entire family. Her dad gave his life to Jesus about a year later. God did a truly astounding transformation in his life in which his faith led him to repentance where he turned from his sin and embrace Jesus. He never stopped talking about God and what he'd done in his life through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Our hope is that Silas Randy will find freedom from sin in Jesus and never stop talking about him, like Mel's dad. That hundreds will say, "something was really different about him after he became a Christian" like they did for Silas' grandpa who he'll never know.
Parson is obviously my family name. I was privileged be raised in a Christian home. My parents were church-junkies, but more than that they showed me every day what it meant to live a life of surrender to Jesus. My dad was awake early every morning since I can remember reading his Bible. He taught me that truth and life (for all of life) dwelled in God's words. My mom and he were constantly inviting people into our home and into their lives (at great personal cost to themselves, and to me) in order to care for those in need and tell them that in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them. They are an example to me of telling people how to leave a dead life of sin but also an example of doing all they can to carry these burdens for them in love and faithfulness to show in their actions the goodness, forgiveness, and love of God found in Jesus Christ.
My prayer for Silas every day while in the womb was Ephesians 3:14-21. Yesterday Mel and I prayed this prayer together with and over Silas, "that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heart (Silas) through faith--that you, being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the saints may know how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
Now, what you all really came here for...
Silas's first faux-hawk.
First Family Picture: Daddy, Mom, & Silas
Grandma Thies, Grandma & Grandpa Parson, Auntie Kara (w/ Silas)
Drs. Cindy & David Wolff - Cindy delivered Silas, Mel works with Dr. David.
Silas Randy Parson- 7lbs. 7 oz. 22 inches long, dark hair, born at 4:51 a.m. on April 28, 2009.