Friday, January 16, 2009

Hip Hop and the Gospel

Doctrine, Reformed preaching - in Bethany Brooks article, we learn that Shai Linne thinks such elements make good material for hip hop music...more

Are We Jonah?

"To this day, the Jews gather in the synagogue each year on the Day of Atonement to read Jonah. After the reading, they reply, 'We are Jonah.' This truth is essential for rightly relating to Jonah. We are Jonah when, because we do not like them, we run from God's call on our lives to bring the gospel to lost people, whom he loves. We are Jonah because we too have been sent to proclaim repentance to great but wicked cities filled with people like the Ninevites—people whom God loves but we don't like.

And Jonah leaves us to ponder who we would be if God had stopped running after us and simply left us to ourselves. In what ways are we running from God's call to bring the gospel to others? What will repentance look like for us? What could happen if God captured the hearts of people in your town because you pointed them to him? What if the heart God's people had for their cities was like Jesus' heart for Jerusalem instead of like Jonah's heart for Nineveh?" (Mark Driscoll, The Radical Reformission, p. 106-7).

Urban Ministry Conference at Tenth Presbyterian Church.
March 6–8, 2009.

Chicken or Egg?

I again turned to the pastoral staff to answer another perplexing question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Phil – I don't know which came first, but whichever team I am on will finish first.

Paul Tripp – I usually prepare a special sauce with the egg before basting the chicken.

Carroll – I eat the egg first for breakfast, then chicken for lunch.

Bruce – It depends upon the traditions of the culture I am ministering in on my mission trip.

Cora – Whichever comes first, it must be fresh and containing no preservatives.

Jonathan – All I know is that the Mets laid an egg and the Cardinals turned chicken.

David – Do you need an egg for chicken soup?

Paul Jones – As long as neither one is placed in the Christmas tree, I don’t care.

Pat – Chicken? Egg? How did they get in the building? I’ll set traps.

Marion – This must be some kind of Gamecock joke. It’s not funny.

Cool Walk

Aaaah...the fresh air! Nothing like a brisk walk in the morning to clear out the stuffy building air.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


City Center Academy (9-12) and Spruce Hill Christian School (K-8) are now accepting applications for the 09-10 school year. Visit SHCS's Open House on January 22 at 9:30-11am or on March 5 at 6-7:30pm. CCA's next Open House is March 12 at 5-7:30pm. Students interested in admission to CCA are also welcome to "Spend a Day at CCA" with a student host. Anyone is welcome to visit the schools...just contact us through the website.

Our websites provide information on admissions, student activities and current news--visit and

CCA Seniors are receiving early acceptance letters from their top choice colleges and universities including the University of Pennsylvania, Wheaton College, Gordon College and Nyack College. Please pray for the seniors and for Melissa Clemens as she counsels and encourages them.

The Philadelphia Tribune recently published an article about Kayla Joyner, a CCA freshman who, in addition to her studies, is a successful entrepreneur. Kayla is the founder of "Kleen Girlz", a business creating and selling hand-crafted soaps, lotions, and other bath products for young girls and teenagers. You can visit the Kleen Girlz website at and find the Philadelphia Tribune article here.

Urban Ministry Conference-- Why It Matters...

According to Dr. Boice, participation is “one of the principles that should guide Christians in their concern for today’s world. For too long evangelicals in particular have been guilty of what is called ‘white flight.’ We have moved from the action, where we have been needed, to where it is nice! Because of our suburban/rural orientation, we have carried the same pattern over into our approach to world missions. We have focused on the remotest areas, while the people in those areas have been leaving them and streaming into the metropolitan environments. I would argue that the greatest challenge to a serious Christian witness today is to establish an evangelical presence in the world’s cities” (J. M. Boice, Foundations of God’s City, p. 166).

If you haven't done so already, please mark your calendar for the Urban Ministry Conference at Tenth— March 6-8, 2009. More details coming soon!

Stand up for Life! Rally

Now is the Time to Stand up for Life!

Date: Thursday January 22, 2009
(36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade)

Time: 12 Noon to 1 PM

Place: City Hall, Philadelphia
(Dilworth Plaza, NW Corner)

We need your presence more than ever to rally in support of unborn babies and their parents. Join in singing, praying, and encouraging Philadelphia to value life.

(Sponsored by Alpha Pregnancy Svcs, Bethany Christian Svcs, Family Life Ed Fndtn, Guiding Star Min, and Urban Family Council.)
This is an all weather event. Wear warm shoes.

Sermon Question

Phil has an intriguing verse to explain this Sunday: "Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise" Ecclesiastes 7:16. How can sinners be overly righteous or too wise?

Tending the Flock

Thank you for praying for the leadership retreat this past weekend. It proved to be a productive and encouraging time. I encourage you to listen to the message I gave Friday evening. You can listen by clicking here. I will also post the text at the DMC Messages blog (see righthand column link).

Teen Spirituality

New research shows that "spirituality" may help teens cope with chronic illness...more.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hagen on Poe

Tenth member Carrie Hagen is a new contributing writer for Phillyist. Check out her review of an Edgar Allen Poe performance.

BBQ is Not a Verb

In my neverending labors to edify Tenth Church members, I am posting this musical lesson that explains BBQ. For the most part, the instruction is accurate, though as is typical of North Carolinians, they stereotype South Carolinians. Northwest SC, where Rick Phillips now resides, has the red sauce; midlands SC, now the home of Sinclair Ferguson, is the only area with the mustard base sauce (check out Shealy's in Leesville; not bad); my area of east SC has the vinegar version that is appropriately praised in the instruction video.

Thanks to Jonathan Inman for sending The Barbeque Song.

Sparrows Have Arrived

Though it is winter, the Sparrows have arrived for the new year. Here is a picture from last Saturday's gathering.

Welcome, Luke!

John and Rebekah Blanda are delighted to announce the arrival of their second son, Luke Rendall, who was born yesterday, January 12, at 5:56 am. He was 20 ½ inches long and weighed 8’10oz.

This People. This Time. This Court.

Calling all Tenth women! There is a basketball league starting up in Philadelphia-- and they need more players! If you've played before and miss it or if you've never gotten to play on a team but would like to try, we'd love to have you. The season runs for ten weeks and starts next Monday (January 19). Games will be held on Monday nights from 8-9 pm at WDP Charter School at 6th and Poplar.

The registration fee is $100/person or $825/team (up to ten people). Please email Anne ( if you would like to register yourself or-- better yet-- a whole team. Please let us know by this Thursday, January 15. We'd love to have you join us!

Welcome, Judah!

Ezra and Alissa Church are pleased to announce the birth of Judah Dodd, born 1/10, 11:19pm, 8lbs 10oz.

Batzig Move

Nick Batzig has accepted a call to be a church planter for Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, GA. The family will be moving in a couple of weeks.

Herche Move

I just learned in the staff meeting that Luke Herche has accepted a call to pastor Faith Presbyterian Church in Grand Forks, ND.

Ortega Move

Victor, Pavla, and Sebastian Ortega are moving to Pavla's home country, the Czech Republic. They move this Sunday. Yes, this coming Sunday. Please pray for safe travels and smooth adjustments in their new country.

The Tribute and the Promise

Sylvia Duggan has made me aware of a book that Carroll Wynne made her aware of about honoring one's parents. Called The Tribute and the Promise, by Dennis Rainey, Sylvia will be making it available in the church library.


Simone Lehner sent these postings in to me:

How Did This Happen? A Frank Talk about Homelessness
When: Monday, January 26, 7:00PM
Where: Philadelphia City Institute, Locust & 19th Street

Angelo Sgro, Executive Director of Bethesda Project and long-time Philadelphia mental
health professional and activist, will discuss the perfect storm of social injustice,
mental illness, drugs, and economics that contributes to the ongoing homelessness crisis.

Being Family with Those Who Have None
When: Thursday, February 12, 12:00PM
Where: Bethesda Cafe, 740 Arch Street, 215-685-4610

Bring your lunch to the Bethesda Project Café and talk with long-time volunteers of one of the
city’s largest and oldest homeless services organizations about how they make positive
connections with homeless men and women. Bethesda Project Community Life Director
Tony Medwid will lead a discussion about the long-term personal and societal impact of these
relationships. Beverages will be provided.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Parenting the Heart

Fathers (and mothers), perhaps you can control behavior for awhile, but don't overlook your child's heart...more

Some People

No, Phil, I do not owe you $200. I don't care how many glasses of water you put on the pulpit. It was a sermon illustration!

Family Relations

Sunday's sermon on Family Relations is now posted at DMC Messages.