The Center for Biblical Spirituality
Christmas Newsletter 2014
from the Whitney Family
Christmas greetings from the Whitney family! Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
What a year 2014 has been! But before I update you on the Whitneys and The Center for Biblical Spirituality, I’ll mention the following 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 conversation in slow or difficult conversational settings in the next couple of days. I’m hopeful they’ll be especially useful in settings where you want to gradually bring the conversation around to the gospel.
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 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, the big news is that Laurelen is engaged. On March 28 she is to be married to Michael Müller. She met Mike at Castleview Baptist Church in Indianapolis where both are members. Laurelen graduated with her masters in music from Butler University in 2013, and has just completed a full year of teaching choral music at an inner city high school in Indy.
Caffy spends most of her days teaching private art lessons at her studio in the Mellwood Art Center in Louisville and teaching art & art history at a classical Christian school in town. Ever since we moved to Louisville in 2005 she has really enjoyed teaching a course for student wives one night a week each semester in the Seminary Wives Institute at Southern.
Personally, it was a once-in-a-lifetime year for publishing as providentially a number of projects came together within a few months of each other. Twenty-three years after the original appeared, the “Revised & Updated” edition of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life was released in July, along with the Revised & Updated companion Study Guide. Both are available on iBooks. Kindle editions of both the book and the study guide are also available.
In November my PhD thesis was published by Peter Lang international academic publishers. The title is Finding God in Solitude: The Personal Piety of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and Its Influence on His Pastoral Ministry.Because it comes from an academic publisher and thus is printed in small quantities, the cost is prohibitive (the cheapest price is $73 on Amazon!). But if you are a student or work in academia, I would be grateful if you’d ask your library to order it. Libraries are Peter Lang’s primary marketing target anyway. Incidentally, Caffy drew the portrait of Edwards that graces the cover of the book.
I’ve delivered the manuscript to Crossway for Praying the Bible, which is due in July. I’m really excited about this. I love the cover they’ve designed. What do you think?
We re-launched the website in August. If you’ve never visited, give it a look atwww.BiblicalSpirituality.org. You’ll find hundreds of pages of free materials there designed to help you grow in Christ.
In September I started a blog about biblical spirituality. I try to post twice a week most of the time. Here’s the latest post, a “Tribute to the most prayerful man I’ve known.”
Most of my books are now available digitally for Kindle or on iBooks. Perhaps you are using one in a small group study or as a textbook and would find it handy to have a digital copy, or you just enjoy reading books on your mobile device. Like to listen to books? Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (original edition) is available via iTunes and www.christianaudio.com. Family Worship is also ready for listening via www.christianaudio.com.
Remember that these digital editions can also be sent as gifts through the source where you buy them.
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 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 our family. Many of you would not have heard that Caffy’s mom, who had stayed with us for about eighteen months, died in the autumn of 2013. My mother recently began her fifth year with us and is in good health. Caffy and Laurelen are deep into preparations for the March 28 wedding. Please pray for Mike and Laurelen as they prepare to unite and to spend their lives together for Christ and His kingdom.
- Please pray for my preaching, teaching, and writing. This has taken me to 27 churches (in addition to denominational and pastors’ conferences) in 17 states and 3 countries outside the US via 84 airplanes and more than 61,000 miles in 2014.
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!
By His grace and for His glory,