Issue Number Twenty-Five


Last month we announced that Don would speak on FamilyLife Today radio on August 29-30. That has been rescheduled for January 16-17. We'll send another reminder about that closer to the broadcast date.

Don's Schedule

Please pray for these ministry opportunities in September and October.

  • Camp-of-the-Woods
    Speculator, NY

  • Adirondack Bible Chapel
    Piseco, NY

  • Southside Baptist Church
    Live Oak, FL

  • Lakeside Bible Church
    Montgomery, TX

  • Muldraugh Baptist Church
    Muldraugh, KY

  • Reformation Day Conference
    Held at Reformed Bible Church (SBC)
    Clarendon, VT

  • 9 Marks of a Healthy Church Conference
    Cornerstone Baptist Church
    Roseville, MI

Current Holiday Inserts

Labor Day (September 5)
Recognize the Spirituality of Work

Patriot Day (September 11)
Think Much About Heaven

Reformation Day (October 31)
Take up Your Cross Daily and Follow Jesus

From the Article Archives

10 Ways To Improve Your Church's Worship Service

10 More Ways To Improve Your Church's Worship Service

A Third 10 Ways To Improve Your Church's Worship Service

Sample Chapters Written
by Don Whitney

Do You Thirst for God?
from Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health

Silence and Solitude
from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Why Join a Church?
from Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church

A Spiritual MindSet
from How Can I Be Sure I'm A Christian?

Rest for Your Souls
from Vanity & Meaning

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Featuring Don's Book

Simplify Your Spiritual Life

Below is one of the chapters
from Don's book

Simplify Your Spiritual Life.

with Discussion Guide included.

This chapter is available as a pre-formatted bulletin insert. Click the Bulletin Inserts button at

Think Much About Heaven

The most heavenly-minded man who ever lived—Jesus and other biblical characters excepted—may have been Richard Baxter. He was a remarkable Puritan pastor/writer who lived for seventy-six years (1615-1691), despite suffering with one physical malady or another almost constantly. During the winter of 1646, ill health forced him to spend several lonely months in a house far from his home and family. His condition was so grave that he was "sentenced to death by the physicians."1

With his life ebbing away, Baxter began thinking much about Heaven. As he put it, "I began to contemplate more seriously on the everlasting rest which I apprehended myself to be just on the borders of." 2 As he was able, and so "that [his] thoughts might not too much scatter in [his] meditation,"3 he wrote down his reflections that he might review and be comforted by them. These were the beginnings of perhaps the most important of his 140 books, The Saints' Everlasting Rest, published four years later.

Click here to finish reading this article.

For Which Heaven and Jesus Do You Yearn?

So the question is not merely, "Do you yearn for Heaven and to be with Jesus?", but also "For which Heaven and Jesus do you yearn?" Growing Christians increasingly long for a holy Heaven, not just a restful one. They look forward to holy relationships, not just nostalgic ones. They sigh to see a holy Jesus. They feel less and less at home in a sinful world because they are growing more and more homesick for a holy place, a holy people, and a God who is "holy, holy, holy" (Revelation 4:8). They ache to share in this holiness more than Heaven's rest, relief, or reunions. Jonathan Edwards put it this way: "But neither a . . . longing to be in Heaven, nor longing to die, are in any measure so distinguishing marks of true saints, as longing after a more holy heart."

[Taken from page 125 of Don's book, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. Find out more about this book here.]

Or order by phone: 800-405-3788

Vanity and Meaning

Discovering Purpose in Life
R. C. Sproul Jr. (Editor)

Contributors include Don Matzat, Ken Myers, R.C. Sproul, Mark Talbot, and Donald Whitney.

"Finding significance in the midst of meaninglessness—vanity—is the theme of Ecclesiastes and is today's ongoing dilemma. The writers of these articles on Solomon's insights write on those in quest of a life that is 'good.'" From the cover of "Vanity and Meaning".

Click here to read Don's chapter from this book.

Or order by phone: 800-405-3788

This Month's Book Recommendation

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim's Progress is reputedly the best-selling English-language book in the history of the world, next to the Bible. Many consider it the greatest allegory ever written. It's the story of a man named Christian who leaves the City of Destruction in hopes of reaching the Celestial City. What great characters! Giant Despair. Mr. GreatHeart. Mr. Facing-Both-Ways. Mr. Valiant-for-Truth. If you've never read it, you owe it to yourself to find out why Charles Spurgeon read this book at least once a year and over 100 times in his life and why Bunyan's classic still sells so well after 350 years. Pilgrim's Progress one of the books I require my students to read. Skip the long introductory poem if you want. Don't fear the "King James" language. You'll quickly get accustomed to it because it's telling a story. Because you can use every page of the story to teach the Bible and theology, it's also a great book for a group study or family reading.

Or order by phone: 800-405-3788

Family News and Notes

We've just finished our first week of classes at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. I'm teaching two sections of my primary class, a required class for nearly all students called "Personal Spiritual Disciplines." (If you are an SBTS alum, this used to be called "Formation for Christian Ministry.") I have about 135 students in the two classes, which is more than twice as many students as I've had before—even when teaching twice as many courses. It's an exciting time to be at Southern. Please join me in praying for the Lord's great blessing upon the school, and that no class would graduate without experiencing a powerful movement of the Spirit during their time on campus.

Caffy has been painting several murals in a model home in the Louisville area. She's very good at this, and we hope to have a website up soon with photos of her work. The photo here is one of wall she did in a little girl's bedroom. This week she begins teaching a class of Southern Seminary student wives in a weekly class on Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

Laurelen starts the seventh grade next week. She's getting her education at home three days per week, and attending Dorothy Sayers Cottage School the other two days. One of the highlights of the summer for her was a recent weeklong visit from a dear friend in Kansas City. She still loves to hear from her friends in KC, and exchanges letters and emails with all who will write. But has already made several good friends here, too. As I write this, she is playing dress-up and drinking tea with two friends who are here for a sleepover. Tomorrow is a big trip to the Kentucky State Fair with the horse show as the centerpiece of the excursion.

Please pray for us. The water problem I mentioned last month remains unsolved. Resolving it could be both stressful and costly. Please pray that it will be neither. Also, ask the Lord's blessing on my new ministry at Southern Seminary, as well as my itinerant preaching/teaching (see the "Speaking Schedule" button on the homepage), and all the work of the Center for Biblical Spirituality. Pray for the production of two or three new CFBS produced resources now in process. Finally, I need the Lord's help to resume and complete a major writing project.

The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
2 Timothy 4:22

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