A Prayer about the New Year and the Gospel

I just got a book that was long on my Wish List from Amazon. I used a gift card and I am so happy to get it. I HIGHLY recommend it to all of you. It is Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith. I had found him on the web and have frequently included his biblically based devotional prayers on my site. His website and book are prized inspirations to me. They will be to  you, too. The day I post this I see the book is free on Amazon. If you read this post regularly and see it Dec 31, go quickly and get your copy.

Tullian Tchividjian in his introduction says:

Through these daily prayers, Scotty teaches frail, fallen, needy people like me how to preach the gospel to ourselves every day. These are prayers filled with heart and hope. They possess a rare combination of gravity and gladness, depth and delight, doctrine and devotion, precept and passion, truth and love. By God’s grace you will find yourself (as I did) weeping over your sin, celebrating your forgiveness, and exalting in God’s grace. These prayers are intended to make you feel your desperation, cry out for deliverance, and celebrate your pardon.

Scotty writes:

Though the gospel is personal, it is not private. God’s grace frees us to be quite specific with things going on in our lives, but it also compels us into deeper community with others. This individual and corporate prayer rhythm is most clearly seen in the book of Psalms. Praying the gospel involves engaging with all three offices of Christ: Jesus as prophet, priest, and king. Engaging him as our prophet, we listen to Jesus and we look for him in every part of the Scriptures (Luke 24:27). Engaging him as our priest, we honor Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, the righteousness we have by faith, and our loving Savior and High Priest who meets and greets us at the throne of his grace. Engaging him as our king, we submit to Jesus as the one who is making all things new—including us and the broken world all around us. Praying the gospel involves “redemptive redundancies.” I intentionally always come back to who we are in Christ and who he is in us. Like Luther said, we need the basics of the gospel every day because we forget the gospel every day.

~ Smith, Scotty, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith 

A Prayer about the New Year and the Gospel

by Scotty Smith in his book Everyday Prayers.

Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And ff it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the L4Drd. (Josh. 24:14‑15)

Gracious Father, as I sit here sipping fresh coffee and watching flames dance in the fireplace, it’s early into the first day of a new year. Tons of confetti cover the streets of Manhattan, and gratitude fills my heart.

I’m thankful I’m beginning this year with a little better understanding of the gospel than I had last year and the previous years. I’m already praying that I’ll be able to say the same thing this time next year. For the gospel is not just good news for people getting ready to die — it’s good news for people who are now ready to live.

In the gospel you lavish us with your love, liberate us by your grace, and launch us into your transforming story of redemption. What more could we possibly want or hope for, in life or in death?

Because the gospel is true, I don’t respond to Joshua’s bold charge with a list of New Year’s resolutions — promises of what I’m going to do for you. Rather, I begin this year resolving to abandon myself to everything Jesus has done for us. Jesus is the promise keeper, not us. He’s the one who has promised to make all things new, including me.

Father, that’s why serving you is much more than merely “desirable”; it’s the greatest privilege conceivable and the purest delight imaginable. For Jesus is our Joshua—the one who has saved us, is saving us, and one day will completely save us. Without any embarrassment or fear of cliché, I gladly affirm: Jesus saves! What other savior died for us that we might find life in him? What other god sacrificially serves us that we might gratefully serve him?

Because of the gospel, throwing away my idols feels less like a painful sacrifice and more like a liberating dance. For all my “empty nothings” have ever given me is momentary pleasure and lasting regrets. Remind me of this all year long when I’m tempted to think otherwise.

Father, may this be a year of considering our lives worth nothing to us, if only we may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given us — the task of testifying (by word and deed) to the gospel of your grace (ActS 20:24). In Jesus’ loving name we pray, with great anticipation and much thanksgiving. Amen.

A Prayer about “Blessing” God

by Scotty Smith from his book Everyday Prayers

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without faultand with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1 ‑25

Heavenly Father, while many clamor about and try to “claim” more blessings from you, may this be a year in which we come alive to the multiplied blessings you’ve already lavished upon us in the gospel Already you have mscued us from the dominion of darkness and have placed us in the kingdom of your beloved Son, Jesus (Col. 1: 13). Already you have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1: 3). Already we are completely loved by you because of Jesus’ completed work on our behalf. As the year progresses, open the eyes of our hearts to see all these glorious riches more clearly and enjoy them more fully (Eph. 1:18‑19).

All year long you’ll prove your covenant and capacity to keep us from falling. Though we may falter in the journey, the grasp of your grace is steady and secure When we waver in our adoration of you, you will remain constant in your affection for us. When we are faithless and disobedient, you will remain committed and fully engaged with us. Even when you must discipline us this year, it will be in love, never in disgust or regret that you have adopted us (Heb. 12:7‑12). We praise you for being the perfect Father to your daughters and sons.

All year long youm be at work preparing us for the day when we come into your glorious presence. We’re confident and grateful as we face that day, because you have promised to complete the good work of the gospel you’ve begun in us (Phil. 1: 6). Indeed, Father, ff this should be the year in which you call me “home,” herein Hes my humble confidence: I will stand before you without fault because you’ve placed me in the faultless Righteous One, Jesus.

Our hope is built on nothing less, nothing more, and nothing other than Jesus’blood and his righteousness. Jesus is the only reason we can be sure we will stand before you with great joy. Your joy is our strength (Neh. 8:10). Because of your great delight in us, we find great delight in you. Because you rejoice over us with singing, we will sing the new song of the gospel forever (Zeph. 3:14‑17).

Gracious Father, you are the only God, the only Savior‑to you “be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!” (Jude 25 ). In Jesus’ merciful and matchless name we pray. Amen.

Moving forward

A good New Year’s video, courtesy of Vanja Bule’s Facebook



Review: Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions about the World’s Fastest-Growing Faith

Review: Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions about the World’s Fastest-Growing Faith by Robert Spencer

December 29, 2012 by SLIMJIM from The Domain for Truth blog


This is no doubt a controversial book. The history of oppression by Islam and the author bringing up of Islamic terror from recent headlines is sobering. Maybe because it was all the negative reviews and attacks on the author might have influenced me, but this book was more balanced than I expected. Those who have spent some time studying Islam critically might find things covered elsewhere questioning whether Islam really is a religion of peace. I thought the author was nuanced enough in the work to make it clear this is not an attack on Muslims as it is a critique of Islam itself. Since much of Islamic apologetics has to attack Judism, Christianity and Catholicism, the author does have to compare these faiths with Islam and show their objection does not stand. Here is probably the weakness of the author, who is not really as strong in the Bible as he is with the Quran.

The author from what I understand is Catholic, though from the feel of the book his influence also include Western classical liberalism and a product of Modern Enlightment. As a result of his influence, the chapters in his book addresses the concern of Secular Western democracy such as whether Islam is compatiable with Liberal Democracy (chapter 5), whether it is compatible with Western pluralistic framework (chapter 6) and respect human rights (chapter 3), all three which the author answer in the negative.

Most fascinating for me was his chapter dealing with whether Science can florish under Islam, in which he dealt with the history of Islam’s golden period of scholars such as Avicenna (known best among Christians probably for the Kalam Cosmological Argument) were really those who sought learning and synthesizing knowledge from non-Muslims such as Classical Greek sources. However, eventually strong dogmatism with the Quran crushed scientific endeavors and brought about the end of the “Golden Age” of Islam. It makes me want to learn more about these Muslims scholars and their Muslim opponents.

The work also put historical perspective of the Crusades (which the author does not endorse) and also pointed out that if Muslims were to argue against the Crusades they also have to argue against Islamic Imperialism as well.

Perhaps the saddest part of the book is the chapter on Islam and woman, in which the charge of rape and honor killing was incredibly sad.

Has not God revealed himself unto them?

from a sermon by George Whitefield

How foolishly then do the disputing infidels of this generation act, who are continually either calling for signs from heaven, or seeking for outward evidence to prove the truth of divine revelation? Whereas, what they so earnestly seek for is nigh unto, nay, within them. For let them but consult their own hearts, they cannot but feel what they want. Let them but consult the lively oracles of God and they cannot but see a remedy revealed for all their wants and that the written word does as exactly answer the wants and desires of their hearts, as face answers to face in the water. Where then is the scribe, where is the wise, where is the solidity of the reasoning of the disputers of this world? Has not God revealed himself unto them, as plain as their own hearts could wish? And yet they require a sign. But there shall no other sign be given them. For if they believe not a revelation which is every way so suited to their wants, neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead.

~ “The Duty of Searching the Scriptures,” The Sermons of George Whitefield (Kindle Edition)

A prayer by John Wycliffe

A prayer by John Wycliffe

Wycliffe died on December 31, 1384.

Lord, give me grace to hold righteousness in all things
that I may lead a clean and blessed life and prudently flee evil
and that I may understand the treacherous and deceitful falseness of the devil.

Make me mild, peaceable, courteous, and temperate.
And make me steadfast and strong.

Also, Lord, give Thou to me that I be quiet in words
and that I speak what is appropriate.


The post A Prayer for Sunday (John Wycliffe) appeared first on Everyday Theology.

The Offense of Christ

A offensive blog by Kevin DeYoung to some of my readers, I suppose, but true nevertheless. From Already not Yet blog.

C. S. Lewis was right. Jesus cannot be just a good, moral teacher. He said so many audacious, outlandish things that he must either be a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. Jesus was not just one of many pointers; he was the point. Not just a prophet, but the fulfilment of all prophesy. Not just a lord, but the Lord of lords. Not just a godly man, but the God-man.

Our world suggests that there are any number of saviours  and they are not all religious or “spiritual.” The world says, “Here’s what will give you purpose. Here’s what will give you meaning. Here’s what will help you feel like a better person. Here’s what will deal with the guilt you have in your life. Here’s what will give you satisfaction.” The list of saviours is ever expanding: technology, art, diets, sex, entertainment, education, morality, humanitarianism, sincerity, hard work, patriotism, politics. But according to God’s Word, they do not save.

This has always been the offence of Christianity: that we are guilty of sin; we are all in need of a Saviour; and the only Saviour who can truly save is Jesus Christ the Lord.

This was the message that is proclaimed over and over again in the early church. It didn’t matter if the Apostles were talking to Jews or Gentiles, servants or masters, ordinary people or religious people or the highest ranking official in the Romans Empire. The message was the same. Still is. Repent. Believe. Look to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin. Submit yourself to him. Open your heart to him. Trust in him. Look to him for the hope, the healing, the new life that only he can give.

The scandal of Christianity is that there is only one way. The good news is that despite all of our selfishness and all of our stubbornness and all of our sin, there is still a way.

The glory of God

by AW Tozer


The glory of God always comes at the sacrifice of self.


~The Crucified Life


Setting Godly Priorities

by Joe Quatrone, Jr. on his blog

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).

What is really important to us?   People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for our priority.   Any of these can quickly bump God out of first place if we do not actively choose to give Him first place in every area of our lives.   To “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” means to turn to God first for help, to fill our thoughts with His desires, to take His character as our example, and to serve and obey Him in everything.

One of the biggest obstacles that all of us face is the gap between what we think should be done and what is actually done.   It is the pull between priorities and our ability to move the resources needed to attack the priorities.   We know what is important (or at least we think we do).

Yet, I must admit that on several occasions, what I thought was the right time to solve a problem or reach a goal was not God’s perfect timing.   Sometimes, He did make me wait. In turn, this caused me to spend much time thinking and praying for God’s will to be accomplished, especially if His will was different than mine.

Most of us do not like to wait.   In our world of instant answers, we try to move directly from bright idea to action plan with little time for contemplation, feedback, and prayer in between.

Although it is in our best interest to slow down, be patient, and wait for God’s perfect timing, we will only wait for Him if we have a clear basis on which to function.   For me, my main priority is my love and commitment to Jesus – knowing Him, becoming like Him, and worshiping Him.   My second priority is my love for people.   This rises directly from my commitment to Christ and includes loving my family, friends, neighbors, strangers, and even enemies.

Usually, if I appear to have a conflict, a clash between what I think should happen and what actually does happen (because of my limitations or the people involved), I need to examine my priorities to see if they are in order.   This forces me to put my love for God and other people before anything else.   If I ever find myself feeling frustrated, it is usually an indication that I have misplaced priorities.

To commit ourselves to the Lord means entrusting everything – our lives, families, jobs, possessions – to His control and guidance.   To commit ourselves to the Lord means to trust Him (Psalm 37:5), believing that he can care for us better than we can ourselves.

Let’s take a look at four tough questions to answer, but provide the basis for setting godly priorities:

Are our motives pure?  Why do we want to accomplish a particular task?   Will it make us look good?   Will it move us up a popularity ladder and give us more leverage?   We may frown at the idea that we could be less than sincere, but our motivations are complex.   We all struggle daily against the desire for recognition and power.   For example, the same program that will comfort the sick may also score points for the pastor.   This is where our human reasoning often fails us, so we need to ask God to search our hearts.

Does our activity fit in the Bible?   I once heard of a churchthat runs a bar in its parish hall.   I do not believe that fits into the teachings of the Bible, but the pastor thinks it brings people together in a social setting and contributes to the life of the church, so he is ok with it.   That is an extreme example and our issues may be subtle, but the point is that we need to examine our activity through the grid of the Bible.

Will our goals enhance the lives of other people?   The love we have naturally for ourselves—a constant tendency—should be directed equally toward others (Mark 12:31).

Are we seduced by our culture?   Has society’s worship of size, success, speed, production, promotion, and glamour influenced our evaluation of what God says is good and right?

When God is the center of our lives, we live to please Him!

The apologist’s Life of Worship

from the Apologeticalliance.com site



Our family has had an interesting year filled with joys, frustrations, and wonderful moments of ministry.  As one heavily entrenched with a passion to equip the body of Christ in the context of the defense of the faith, I have been reflecting upon the subject of worship in the life the apologist.

What sparked this reflection is a church change that has demonstrated what it means to put hands and feet to our message.  And I believe that worship is the catalyst to putting hands and feet to the truth of our Christian faith.

As apologists, we can really be headily enamored with the arguments we give in our polemical defenses of the faith.  We love facts that defend the existence of God.  You know facts like, nothing physical is able to explain its own existence; and the fact that we see intelligence all around us which improves that there is an intelligibility behind the intelligence.  These facts are true and wonderful.  But as true as they are, they only point us in the direction of a personal God and do not address personally that God.

In this piece, I wish to briefly discuss some thoughts on worship in the life of the apologist.  Though not exhaustively, I hope to engage two questions.  The first is, how do we define worship? The second is how is worship demonstrated in the life of one who claims to be a defender of the only true faith and worldview?  In this last question I will bring in the some passages that have really been written indelibly on my heart and mind over the years and share how they flesh themselves out in life.

Defining worship.

What is worship?  With all the differing “schools of thought” on worship, the answer to the question depends on who is answering the question.  With all the worship albums coming out, one would think that was all about music.[1]  Personally, as much as I like a lot (not all) of the worship music being put forth, I believe that music is a key ingredient that could prove the reflection of our worship; whether we are worshiping the music, the beat, or the object of the One in the song’s message.

Whether your church incorporates hymns, praise choruses, contemporary praises, or blend of any of these genres, the music only makes up a part of real worship.  But worship is not about stirring up the emotions and feelings into some existential sense of awe in preparation to hear the Word of God preached.  It is much more than that as we see from some of the words and their usage from the Old and New Testaments.

What about the meaning of the words for worship?

It is not my intent in this section to do a full blown word study on the usage of “worship” in the Old and New Testaments.  Our English dictionaries define “worship” etymologically as being derived from an Old English meaning worthiness or meritoriousness and thus giving God the recognition He deserves. There are some problems with this English translation, however, because the Greek and the Hebrew terms do not mean precisely the same thing.

Digging back into some of my seminary language studies, and for the sake of brevity, there are two common words translated as “worship” in the Old and New Testaments:  ‘aboda’ in the Hebrew (also seen as ‘abad’ or ‘asab’) and the word ‘latreia’ (or ‘latreuo’) in the Greek text.

When ‘aboda’ or a derivation of the word is used, it generally refers to the kind of service that is associated with work that is done in the temple.  The word ‘latreia‘ can refer back to the Old Testament temple, but it has also been used to refer to the false belief that killing the disciples would be regarded as service to God (John 16:12) or as an Old Testament allusion that Christians should offer their bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1,2).

There are two other words, ‘proskyneo’ (Grk) [2] and ‘shachac’ (Heb.)[3]), which are often found in passages that reference one, who is placing themselves in a posture of “bowing down and worshiping” in submission and thus acknowledging sovereignty in an attitude of obeisance.  Obeisance requires the attitude of reverential fear and is seen in the Scriptures where these postures are demonstrating such an attitude in petitioning God, gods, or a man.

A final word that is often associate with worship is the word sacrifice (thusia).  The reason for sacrifice being connected to worship is its connection to the thank offerings seen in the Old Testament.  Exodus 29:39-41 gives an example of a thank offering.  However, it isn’t until we get to Paul’s epistles where we see a personal application with this word in reference to the self-sacrifice in service to others in the body of Christ and outside the church.

Tying together the understanding of the usage of “worship” in the Old and New Testament, we can see that worship involves the subordination of our will and goals to God’s will by making service a priority toward the Kingdom of God.  Worship is not just all about music, but it is an expression of gratitude, self-sacrifice in action, and praise toward God.

So is worship just about being in a congregational setting church service?  Or does worship show itself in a lifestyle?  I believe that is not just in our polemics, but in the outward demonstration of our lives, as we we are persuading people to encounter the life of Christ in their lives and in a local church.

Demonstrations of Worship.

So often we are led to believe that worship is only in the context of the church service.  But I really believe that it is a lifestyle.  The very fact that we have been created to worship God is reinforced in the Westminster Catechism, where our chief end is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  Carrying this thought further, I believe that there are three key passages that have shaped my life and ministry, which reflect what worship entails.   I am sure that you have been impacted in some way by these same passages.

The first two passages are dovetailed together.  The first is from Deuteronomy 6:4,5, which says,

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

The second is shown in Jesus’s response a question from a teacher of the law, in Matthew 22, where He responds by quoting  Deuteronomy 6:4-5, but then adds the second commandment in  Matthew 22:37-40,

“And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

The last passage is that of Romans 12:1,2 which says,

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (latreian).  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

How do they “flesh” themselves out?

In Deuteronomy 6:4,5 and the Matthew 22 passage, I see the full summation of the Ten Commandments.  When God says, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”, He is talking about the first four of the Ten Commandments which detail loving and worshiping God with our whole being.  When Jesus said that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself”, He was referring to the last six of the Ten Commandments and the outward interaction that we have with our “fellow fallen creatures.”

As I look at Romans 12:1,2, I see that that I am to outwardly present myself as a living and holy sacrifice that is acceptable to God.  Tying together loving God with all our heart, soul and mind and loving our neighbor as ourselves puts us in the position, enabling us to present ourselves as living sacrifices that are acceptable to God in the marketplace of ideas and those specific arenas where we serve.

When we get among people who need to see Jesus, we live out the gospel in our life, our words, our actions.  We are in essence demonstrating the worship that we participate in on a Sunday morning worship service, or from reading the Word.  But that worship is not confined to one to two hours on a Sunday morning.  It is getting out among the people, inside the church and outside the faith, and living the life we defend with a heart of worship.  We live out worship, because we are subordinating of our will and our goals to God’s will by making a life of serving God a priority as we move forward the Kingdom of God.

As apologists we worship by reaching people inside the church as we participate in their equipping; we also worship when we share with the homeless as a local outreach of our church.  We worship when we assist a fellow saint struggling in their walk, or in a relationship with a loved one.  We worship when we give the reason for the hope within us to a skeptic pressing us for answers.  We even worship when we minister to the homeless person asking what life is all about and how can God allow all the problems of the world to continue on.

It is when we touch the heart and mind of the person, by holding a hand and praying for a person or just listening that we are also worshiping.  Because we are now bringing down another truth of God’s existence.  That truth is that God came down in the person of Jesus Christ to reach out to those in need of salvation. We are His ambassadors, being His hands and feet.

As we love our neighbor as ourselves, we demonstrate that He can change the heart and the mind of the skeptic and the one who is hurting and downtrodden.  When we bring the mind into our worship, we are more equipped to answer the questions of the heart and the mind from those who are hurting in life, not just with our words, but also with our actions.

In closing, I would be remiss if I did not include a famous quote that I think sums up worship.  It is from William Temple’s book, Readings in St. John’s Gospel, where he gives a wonderful descriptive of worship,

“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”


[1]  In his book, Putting an End to Worship Wars, Elmer Towns asked the questions: What do you do in worship? How do you worship? What motivates you to worship? and What are the results of worship? From the responses he identified six worship styles in America: Evangelistic – winning the lost; Expositional – teaching the word; Renewal – excitement, revival, ‘touching God’; Body-life – fellowship, relationships and small groups; Liturgical – serving & glorifying God through liturgy and Congregational – worship expressed by the laity.  But is worship just delegated to the worship services of our respective churches on a Sunday morning.

[2] Found in John 4:20ff; the meaning of this word is not entirely clear but is thought to be related to the word ‘kiss’ or ‘to kiss forward’ and is connected with the Greek practice of kissing the ground in deference to earth deities. Thus, the notion of prostration or obeisance is captured by the term. This term is never used outside of the gospels & Acts except once in reference to an unbeliever (1Cor.12:45). In the gospels obeisance is done to Christ repeatedly.

[3] This word means ‘bow down’ e.g. Genesis 22:5

[4] See Romans 12:17.

The original post can be found here

Disclaimer: IN NECESSARIIS UNITAS, IN DUBIIS LIBERTAS, IN OMNIBUS CARITAS. The Christian Apologetics Alliance (CAA) agrees with and holds to the Apostles’ Creed and rejects universalism. The CAA does not, as an organization, have positions on many of the doctrinal or theological debates that take place within the church. Our primary concern is to promote the gracious, rational defense of the central claims of Christianity and the critique of opposing systems of thought. The CAA community is a diverse one of many denominations. Blog entries made by individual authors reflect the views of the author and not necessarily the view of other CAA authors, or the official position of the group at large.

This entry was posted in Issues and MethodsWhat is apologetics? by RLundberg.

About RLundberg

As a speaker, writer, and advocate for Christian apologetics, Rob has a passion for strengthening the belief of Christians and interacting with non-Christians who are interested in matters of faith and understanding. Before moving to Virginia, Rob has appeared on radio and Christian television (Capital District of NY) as well has spoken in community college and university settings. Rob is available to speak for pulpit supply, open forum Q & A sessions, pastor Q & A sessions, panel discussion forums, conference break-out sessions, seminars, workshops, retreats, or any event focused upon subjects that are toward equipping the church for evangelism or apologetics. Settings can include churches, seminary classroom, undergrad or grad university clubs or groups, homeschool groups, local public or private junior high or high school assembly or chapel settings.