Thursday, September 22, 2016

"For Our Good, For His Glory" Sunday's Message, Romans 8:28

“For Our Good, For His Glory”
There are many joyful moments in life where we easily see the evidence of God at work. We experience the beauty of his creation, we see the evidence of his handiwork and we know God is at work creating and sustaining his creation. We experience the joy of love and we experience his goodness and blessings in the daily care and favor he shows towards us. Creation, love, daily blessings, the birth of a child, fulfillment in life, his presence with us, all “things” for which we see God’s hand.

But life also has its rainy seasons where God is clouded from our view, when the sun doesn’t seem to be shining. Maybe it’s the loss of a family member, the loss of a job, the pain of a family breakup, heartache over a struggling child, a debilitating illness, or caring for a family member. All “things” for which we struggle to see God at work. And yet, the great affirmation of Romans 8:28 is that “in all things,” the good and the bad, the joyful and the unpleasant, God is at work for our good and for his glory.

I hope that you will join us this Sunday as we spend some time unpacking this tremendously encouraging verse of Scripture. If you’ve ever wondered what God is up to during your difficult trials (and who among us hasn’t wondered), I believe this message will speak to you. Worship at Carrollwood Baptist Church where all are welcomed begins at 10:30 a.m. and Bible study for all ages is offered at 9:15 a.m. CBC is conveniently located at 5395 Ehrlich Road, 1 mile east of the Veterans Expressway and 2.5 miles west of Dale Mabry Hwy. For more information, check out our website at

Looking forward to sharing the Word of life with the family of God this Sunday.

Pastor Joe

I thank my God every time I remember you.”

Philippians 1:3


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Be Transformed! (Bible Reading Helps)

This Sunday, September 18, 2016 I will be preaching from one of my favorite verses, Romans 12:2. "Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will." I hope you will join us as we explore how God powerfully renews our mind through His Word of truth.

Below are some helps on getting started in God's Word.

Getting Started in God’s Word

Choosing a Bible Translation
Why do translations read so differently from one another? The challenge for Bible translators is that they are working with texts that are tied to ancient cultures that are vastly different from that of today. Each translator or team of translators must make a choice concerning how they will bridge the gap between the original language of the Bible (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) and the language that they are translating into (for us, English). The act of translation means that the translator will make judgments based on his or her understanding of the original languages and the language they are translating into. 

Three Theories of translation have been generally followed in bridging the gap between the original languages and the receptor language, in our case English.

Literal or Formal Equivalency (“Word Correspondence”). Following this process, the translator attempts to translate by keeping as close as possible to the exact words (Word Correspondence) and phrasing in the original language, yet still make sense in the receptor language (English). This makes for a very good translation but sometimes it is disjointed sounding and awkward because of the differences between the two languages.
            Literal/Formal Examples

Dynamic Equivalency (“Functional”). Following this process, the translator attempts to translate words, idioms, and grammatical constructions from the original language into precise equivalents in the receptive language (English). This is considered a thought-for-thought translation. Such a translation keeps historical distance on all historical and most factual matters, but “updates” matters of language, grammar, and style. Meaning takes precedence over matters of structure and style.
           Dynamic Equivalent Examples

Free (Paraphrases). Following this process, the translator attempts to translate the ideas from one language to another, with less concern about using the exact words of the original. Free translations, also called paraphrases, are not technically translations and should not be treated as such.
            Free Examples
            The Message, The Living Bible                                                               

Practical Considerations
*For general use in daily devotional reading and worship, I would recommend a literal/formal equivalency such as the English Standard Version (ESV) or a dynamic equivalency Bible such as the New International Version (NIV) which I commonly preach from in worship.

*For in-depth Bible study, a literal/formal equivalency Bible with the focus on biblical words is indispensible. Supplement your study with a dynamic equivalent translation like the NIV or NLT.

*Use translations that contain helpful notes in the margin that reflect modern scholarship.

*Paraphrases may be helpful for devotional reading and for clarifying difficult passages.

*Once you decide on the translation that you like, there are many different types of Bibles to choose from. You will have to decide if you want just the biblical text or if you would like the text plus study helps. A “Study” Bible will often contain articles, book introductions and other useful commentary and notes on the biblical text. I have several very good study Bibles; however, the downside is that some can be quite heavy to lug around. Some popular “Study” Bibles include: The ESV Study Bible, Thompson Chain Reference Bible, and Life Application Study Bible. Many other “Specialty” study Bibles and study Bibles that include commentary and notes from well-known Christian Pastors are available too.

Regardless of the Bible you choose, with so many excellent translations available today, and a variety of helpful study Bibles, the Christian has a variety of great choices for both devotional reading and serious study.

Where Do I Start Reading?
There are many helpful plans for reading the Bible and an array of resources to help you. Shown below are just a few web sites that will help you get started off right.

A great resource, includes fifteen (15) different reading plans that you can download and print.

Thirteen (13) different Bible reading plans to choose from.

This is the premier site to read the Bible online in the Bible translation of your choice. Includes a link to a one year Bible Blog. This excellent resource includes historical background of the day’s passages and elaborates on the Scriptures that you are reading.

Other Great Bible Reading Resources
Indispensable for Bible study! Access over fifty (50) complete English versions of the Bible. Search the Bible, print Scripture, and find links to other resources.

Five complete reading plans (Chronological, Historical, Old and New Testament Together, Beginning to End, and Blended). Includes other Bible study resources too.
A favorite devotional, now online! Listen or read “Our Daily Bread” daily devotionals.



Thursday, September 8, 2016

"Given Over but Not Given Up" Romans 1:24-32 (Sunday's Message)

“Given Over but Not Given Up”
In Romans 1:24-32 we find a troubling phrase repeated three times, “God gave them over” (vv.24, 26, 28). Does God give up on people? In what sense does God ever abandon people? The truth of this expression is that we abandon God who in turn leaves us to our determined course of action. Even so, while there are times when God gives people over to their decisions, it doesn’t mean that he’s giving up!

Another way of expressing this truth is, sometimes God will give you what you want but when you get it, you may not want it. “Absolute” freedom is not freedom at all.  C. S. Lewis said about the end of this chosen course of living without God. “The lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved.”

This Sunday we will conclude our series on Romans chapter one by digging deeper into the truth of Romans 1:24-32 and how it applies to our lives. Come join us this Sunday at Carrollwood Baptist Church where all are welcomed! Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. and Bible study for all ages is offered at 9:15 a.m. CBC is conveniently located at 5395 Ehrlich Road, 1 mile east of the Veterans Expressway and 2.5 miles west of Dale Mabry Hwy. For more information, check out our website at

Looking forward to sharing the Word of life with the family of God this Sunday.

Pastor Joe

I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3