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Common Slaves

Common Men; Uncommon Master

Author

Joe Reed

Follower of Jesus, husband of Michele, father of the greatest kids, associate pastor at Lewis Lake.

(Almost) Too Hot to Handle, and Another Thing Not as Hot as You Might Think.

My family and I spent a very casual and relaxed Christmas dinner with my sister and her family, and somewhere in the mealtime conversation she asked me, “So what are you going to write about next?”

I said something like, “I don’t really know. Something other than suffering, for a change.” Granted, for us it’s been a year that has had a lot of suffering in it, and unlike the inimitable 17th century theologian/writer John Owen who was able to endure the death of ten children and hardly pen a public word about it, I’ve hardly been able to think or write about anything else. It’s probably getting old to hear the same thing over and over. So it’s time for a change. Continue reading “(Almost) Too Hot to Handle, and Another Thing Not as Hot as You Might Think.”

Merry Grown-Up Christmas!

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:3-4

Some of my fondest Christmas memories involve lying stretched out beside my siblings in the back of our ’79 Caprice Estate wagon, seats laid down to make a bed, Mom lying across the bench seat, asleep with her head on Dad’s lap while he drove all night through yet another Upper Michigan snowstorm. He promised to wake us up to see the Mackinac Bridge, and if we begged him, he’d drive on the grating in the middle lane so we could pop a door open and stare down at the water hundreds of feet below. Mom never really understood the joy of that gift. Never for a moment did I consider even it a possibility we wouldn’t arrived at Gramma’s safely. There’s not a blizzard in the world Dad couldn’t drive through, so when we hit one that was so bad he pulled off in Marquette to spend the night at the Super8, I still think it was probably more because he wanted to let us swim in the pool. Of course, we didn’t pack swim trunks, and ShopKo in Marquette doesn’t sell them in December, so as I recall we bought boxer shorts, swam in them. Good memories, happy days. Continue reading “Merry Grown-Up Christmas!”

How Alice Entered Wonderland, or What Happens to Kids when They Die?

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10:13-15

I wasn’t sure I’d ever get this written, but it really is the only additional thing I wanted to write concerning Alice, so after a few attempts, here goes…

I believe Alice is in the Palace, or if you like, she is truly Alice in Wonderland. What I want to do is attempt to explain why I think she’s there. And in doing so, I want to be an encouragement to the many other parents who have lost little ones. One thing this ordeal has taught us: we are not alone in our sorrow. If I have wondered about Alice’s whereabouts, perhaps others have too. Hopefully this helps, it’s helped me. At Christmastime, we need something to be cheerful about, because there seems to be more tears than smiles in our house this year…
Continue reading “How Alice Entered Wonderland, or What Happens to Kids when They Die?”

The pastors, elders, and churches comprising the Common Slaves would like to extend an invitation for you to join together with us for an evening of praise and worship rooted in the tradition of the Reformation this coming Sunday evening, November 25th, 4:30 PM, at Quamba Baptist Church, located in the heart of the metropolis of Quamba, Minnesota.

Pastor Joe Reed from Lewis Lake Covenant Church will be preaching Christ in You, the Hope of Glory from Colossians 1:27.

The ladies at Quamba are preparing a meal to follow, so stick around and enjoy a rollicking good time of food and fellowship with saints from across the rural communities and churches of Central Minnesota.

The Gospel’s Hope for Fallen Minds

God created this world and all that is in it. He rules and reigns still. He declared his creation “good.”

Since Adam and Eve rebelled against God and came to know by experience the fruits of sin, life in this world has been fallen and cursed by God. From the moment we are born we are dying. Our physical death may lie in our future, but in respect to favor and life before God, we are already dead. This is true of each and every one of the 7-8 billion people on this planet bearing the image of God. Nothing works as it should. Plans fail, interpersonal conflicts arise, nations rage, and even the best inventions are often weaponized to cause pain and destruction.

Even our minds are enslaved to the corruption of a sin-filled world. Continue reading “The Gospel’s Hope for Fallen Minds”

The Common Slaves fall conference will be held on October 26, 2018 at Lifespring Church in Crosby MN. This year’s theme is “Sound Minds and Soul Care,” and will address matters of the mind, including the necessity of clear thinking in a confused culture, the powerful mental medicine found in the “ordinary means of grace,” ministering to those in crisis or tragedy, and an in depth look at John Newton’s pastoral ministry to the chronically, disablingly depressed poet William Cowper. We hope you’re able to join us as we hear from pastors in our network who have been ministering the ointment of the word to wounded hearts and minds for decades. More information can be found on our conference page here

Alice: Missing

On the seventh day the child died… David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 2 Sam. 12:19b-20

The record of King David losing his infant son was never too far from my mind during Alice’s final weeks. The passionate prayers and sorrows before death, followed by a seemingly immediate return to “normal” life sort of laid out a simple pattern for me that I hoped to follow.

The night Alice died, after I’d lifted her lifeless, already stiffening body off our bed, carried her through the kitchen, out the front door, and set her in the back of that shiny black minivan, laid her on a cot that was far too big for her little body, kissed her cool forehead one last time, pulled up the zipper of that adult size bag – after all, this ride wasn’t designed for kids – I walked back into the house where my Dad was seated at the table, and with reference to David that I knew he’d understand, I said to him, “Time to take a shower and eat something.” Continue reading “Alice: Missing”

A Special Event for Pastors and Elders

A Special Event for Pastors and Elders (and all aspiring pastors and elders)

With Dr. Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Monday, July 9, 9 am-3 pm

The Landing Church, Duluth, 214 2nd St. Proctor, MN, (218)729-2950

Schedule:

Session 1: The Almost Inevitable Ruin of Every Minister and How to Avoid It

Q&A

Lunch

Session 2: The Preparation of the Preacher

Q&A

Suggested Contribution/person: $25

RSVP suggested: email office@TheLanding.church

Don Whitney has been Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, since 2005. Before that, he held a similar position (the first such position in the six Southern Baptist seminaries) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO, for 10 years. He is the founder and president of The Center for Biblical Spirituality. Don is a frequent speaker in churches, retreats, and conferences in the U.S. and abroad.

Don’s books include:

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian life

Spiritual Disciplines for the church (with James M. Boice)

How can I be Sure I’m a Christian (with John MacArthur)

Praying the Bible

Family Worship

 

Alice and the Vault of Unanswered Prayer

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
– David on a really, really bad day, Psalm 56:8

Statistically speaking, children who develop Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, have a 0% chance of surviving for five years after diagnosis. On average, the time between diagnosis and death is nine months. Continue reading “Alice and the Vault of Unanswered Prayer”

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