Christmas and New Year’s greetings from the Whitney family. Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Before I give you an update on ministry of the CFBS and on the Whitney family, I’ll mention the following resources in hopes that they might serve you and/or your ministry.
Most immediately, these “Ten Questions to Ask at a Christmas Gathering” may be of service in stimulating discussion in slow or difficult conversational settings this week. I’m hopeful they’ll be especially useful in settings where you want to ultimately share the gospel.
Ready for 2016? Ready or not, it’s almost here. These “Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or on Your Birthday” may help you enter the new year more thoughtfully and deliberately. At the end is a bonus of 21 additional questions, for a total of one for every day in the month of January. This Sunday or the next would be the ideal time to print this document as a bulletin insert or handout for your church or small group.
Next, here’s a “Bible Reading Record” to assist you in reading through the Bible next year. Regardless of your pace or plan, this tool can keep you on track. Print a paper copy, put it in your Bible, and cross off chapters as you read them, or download it to your smartphone or tablet and delete or italicize the chapters you complete each day.
In terms of family, our daughter Laurelen and her husband Mike are expecting our first grandchild on Father’s Day. Caffy and I are so excited! Below is the captionless photo they posted on social media to announce the news. If you’re over 40, then like me, you may not get it.
The picture is intended to convey the title of a popular 1990 hip hop song by rapper Vanilla Ice. The song is “ice, Ice, Baby.” Everyone over 40 to whom I showed this picture didn’t get it. Like me, they tried to read the wording on the label of the ice bag, or find some other clue to figure out the meaning. Everyone under 40 immediately said, “Oh, ‘Ice, Ice, Baby’—they’re expecting a baby!”
Caffy just relocated her art studio to the Frankfort Crossings building on Frankfort Ave. in Louisville. She loves the new location, and so do her students and their parents. She’s only a couple of blocks from the great Comfy Cow ice cream parlor, the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen, as well as coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, and the other amenities on Frankfort Avenue.
You can see a bit of her work, as well as some of the work of her students and other photos from her former studio, by going to her “Caffy I. Whitney” Facebook page. (Note that this is not the same as her “Caffy Cox Whitney” personal Facebook page.) Below is a piece that one of her students is currently painting.
Here’s a sample of some of Caffy’s artwork this year. She painted several portraits in 2015, and this is one of Jonathan Edwards. This 3×4 oil portrait was done for the office of Dr. Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City.
Among Caffy’s other projects in 2015 were two life-size portraits of Charles Spurgeon. One was of Spurgeon as a young preacher, and the one below is of him as a mature pastor. These 4×8 oils hang on either side of the entrance to The Spurgeon Library which opened at Midwestern in October.
Personally, in May I completed ten years as professor of biblical spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Training the best and brightest from all 50 states and dozens of countries for gospel ministry around the globe as pastors, worship leaders, church staff members, missionaries, campus ministers, biblical counselors and more is incredibly rewarding.
In June my material on Praying the Bible was published by Crossway. Having taught this material in classrooms and churches about 500 times, I’m more and more convinced that, next to the Gospel, this is the message God put me on the planet to proclaim. I’m grateful He has allowed me to live to see it go into print. There’s also a Kindle edition, as well as audio editions via Audible and ChristianAudio.com.
Crossway produced a free, 5-part video series in which I teach an overview of how to pray the Bible. At this page you can sign up for a 3-minute video emailed to you daily for five days. At this page is a 15-minute interview Justin Taylor did with me about the book.
BIG NEWS! Crossway will now be publishing the book I previously self-published on Family Worship. It has a new cover, new layout, some revisions, and a small amount of new content.
As with the previous edition, we’ll be offering bulk discounts on 10-packs and cases of the book via www.BiblicalSpirituality.org.
For now, you can pre-order individual copies of the book for $7.99 here at Amazon. Kindle and audio editions of the book will be available as well.
The release date for the book is January 31.
I am very excited to announce that my two best-selling books will soon be available in Spanish editions! Please pass the word about this to Christian brothers and sisters you may know who speak Spanish, or to leaders of Spanish-speaking churches and ministries.
• Disciplinas Espirituales para la Vida Cristiana—the Spanish-language edition of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is scheduled for release in paperback and for Kindle on April 1 and is available for pre-order here.
• Orando la Biblia—the Spanish-language edition of Praying the Bible is scheduled for release March 1 and is available for pre-order here.
If you’re active on Twitter and/or Facebook, you can follow my Twitter posts via @DonWhitney and get my Facebook feed by “liking” my page there.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us” (2 Thess. 3:1).
• Pray for our family. On January 8 Caffy and I will celebrate 39 years of marriage. My mother recently began her sixth year with us. She fell in May and broke her pelvis. Since August she has been in an assisted living facility. Please pray for Laurelen and her pregnancy, and for Mike and Laurelen as they prepare for the delivery of the baby expected on Father’s Day.
• Pray for my ministry of teaching as professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. One out of five seminary students in America is in one of the six SBC seminaries, and the oldest and largest of these six is SBTS. We train students from all fifty states and dozens of countries, including more than half of the Master of Divinity students in the SBC seminaries. It is a solemn and joyful responsibility to prepare these students for a lifetime of service to Jesus and His kingdom.
• Pray for my preaching, teaching, and writing done in addition to my seminary ministry. In 2015 this has taken me to 36 churches, 8 denominational and pastors’ conferences, and 4 seminaries and colleges in 18 states via 114 airplanes and more than 52,000 miles.
At the close of this year, I want to express my thanks to all you who pray for us. Thanks also to those who send financial support to The Center for Biblical Spirituality. These are all gifts from Him “who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). Most of all, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift,” the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15). May the Lord greatly bless you this Christmas season and new year!
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By His grace and for His glory,
The Center for Biblical Spirituality
11113 Peppermint St.,
Prospect, Kentucky 40059