Issue Number Thirty-nine

Don's Schedule
Please pray for these
ministry opportunities
in June, July and August

  • Grace Bible Church
    East Bridgewater, MA

  • NorthRidge Fellowship
    Jerome, ID

  • Henderson Hills Baptist Church
    Edmond, OK

  • Hermitage Hills Baptist Church
    Hermitage, TN 37076

  • St. Louis Family Camp
    Roach, MO

  • Faith Community Church
    Kansas City, MO

  • WorshipGod09 Conference
    Covenant Life Church
    Gaithersburg, MD

  • Living Hope Baptist Church
    Bowling Green, KY

  • Fox Valley Bible Church
    St. Charles, IL

  • First Southern Baptist Church
    Guthrie, OK

Twitter Updates

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Things Well Said

In the same engaging and accessible style in which he preaches, Russell D. Moore has written Adopted for Life. It's profound relevance to all Christians—not just to those considering adopting a child—will surprise you. Check out two good reviews here and here.

Recommended in Audio

Dr. Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, recently interviewed Don on “Christian Discipleship and Growth.” This 9Marks Audio recording is sixty-six minutes long and available for listening or downloading here.

Featured Bulletin Inserts

Use a Bible Reading Plan- .doc .pdf A4

Don't Always Pray the Same Prayer - .doc .pdf A4

Read and Meditate - .doc .pdf A4

Practice Spiritual Multi-tasking - .doc .pdf A4

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New bulletin insert


Occasionally I am asked, "Does a Christian have to keep a journal in order grow more like Jesus Christ?" Of course not. There is no command in Scripture—explicit or implied—requiring the followers of Jesus to keep a journal. And while I've written and spoken of the benefits of keeping a spiritual journal, I've never written or said that the Bible anywhere obligates Christians to keep a journal. In fact, I have never read or heard anyone making such a claim. Moreover, there is absolutely no evidence—biblical or otherwise—that Jesus kept anything like a spiritual journal. While we credit the Lord Jesus Christ (since He is a member of the Triune Godhead) with the ultimate inspiration of all the written Word of God, the only account of Jesus physically writing anything during the days of His humanity is when He stooped to write on the ground in John 8:6. That is not to imply that the omniscient Son of God was illiterate in His incarnation. For the New Testament refers to Jesus reading Scripture aloud (Luke 4:16), and it is hard to imagine Him receiving an education where one is taught to read but not to write.

So if the Bible does not require a Christian to keep a journal (indeed, a person can be both a devoted Christian and yet completely illiterate), and if Jesus did not keep a journal, why do I encourage followers of Jesus to consider journaling and why did I include entire chapters about this practice in some of my books?

Click here to finish reading this article, or to download it as a free pdf-formatted bulletin insert.

Father's Day is June 21. Encourage the men in your church—from singles to senior adults—with a gift of Don Whitney's book or CD on Family Worship. A Discussion Guide is included in this 64-page book. Generous discounts are available for bulk purchases. Click here for more information or to order.

An enhanced audio CD of Don's book Family Worship is available now. Click here to read more or to order.

Read endorsements of this book.


Keep in mind that the spiritual disciplines are biblical, that is, God-given and found in His written Word. Whatever else might be said about them, those practices originating from ourselves, derived from the culture, or discovered in other religions may not properly be considered Christian spiritual disciplines.

Remember also that the spiritual disciplines found in Christian Scripture are sufficient. God has revealed in the pages of the Bible every devotional and transformational practice necessary. No other ceremony, rite, ritual, religious habit, or spiritual exercise is needed for progress in Christlikeness.

[Taken from page 93 of Don's book, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. Find out more about this book here.]

Family News & Notes

Don is enjoying the change of pace that comes about after the seminary's graduation. The outdoor work, the reduction in travel, and the additional time with family are all welcome.

We've been telling you about the Ph.D. and Doctor of Ministry degrees in Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where Don teaches. These new programs have gained national attention in places like USAToday, Terry Mattingly's "On Religion" column in the 900 Scripps-Howard newspapers, and Baptist Press. These degree programs are considered newsworthy because the Ph.D. is the first in the nation in an evangelical school and the D.Min. is the first in spirituality any of the six SBC seminaries. Now we can tell you that beginning in January this fully-accredited Ph.D. will be open to non-resident students. The on-campus times for these students will be concentrated in short periods spread throughout the year. For more information on the Ph.D., contact the Doctoral Studies office at 800-626-5525 x4119 or by email thmphd@sbts.edu. Contact the D.Min. office at 800-626-5525 x4113 or by email at dmin@sbts.edu.

Caffy has finished the art history class she teaches and the class at the Seminary Wives' Institute. Her summer art work projects so far range from some mural and faux finishing in a home to a sketch requested by the county Cooperative Extension Service about a possible quilt mural on their barn.

Laurelen is delighted for the deliverance from the routines of the school year. Still, she spends big chunks of most days preparing for the CLEP tests she intends to take this summer. She entered a local singing contest, coming in second at her qualifying event. This promotes her to the semifinals at the Kentucky State Fair in August. The finals will also be at the state fair, and the winners earn scholarship money. Along with other youth from our church, she plans to help serve food at a rescue mission one morning per week and is schedule for a mission trip to Chicago next month.

She asked her dad to help her develop a summer reading list of ten Christian books. She already had some books in mind, and wanted to read Bob Kauflin's book first. But after that, there's no particular order. Others have asked us to publish the list, so here it is:

  • Worship Matters, Bob Kauflin
  • Don't Waste Your Life, John Piper
  • Knowing God, J. I. Packer
  • Joni Eareckson Tada's autobiography
  • Delighted in God, Roger Steer
  • Desiring God, John Piper
  • Humility, C. J. Mahaney
  • Passion & Purity, Elisabeth Elliot
  • Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald S. Whitney

Farm & Garden Report

It makes a grown man want to cry to see the tree damage in the area from the winter ice storm. We didn't lose any entire trees (yet), but a lot of major limbs. This was our first year to have a few strawberries. They were great, but are almost all gone now. This is also our first year for raspberries, and they are very promising. Our other brambles—the wild and cultivated blackberries—seem to be progressing well. The wild blackberries flowered like never before. The wet spring has resulted in overwhelming waves of honeysuckle and attacks of Virginia Creeper everywhere. And our favorite—the blueberries—well, we don't know what to think yet. We have some five-year-old Bluecrops and Jerseys that look perfectly healthy except for one problem—no fruit and no new canes. They even have a horticulturalist friend mystified. The Chandlers are going gangbusters. In late May we planted two Blue Rays and a Northsky that already have fruit on them.

Caffy has seven colonies of bees this year, including one hive a quarter mile from us at the home of some fellow church members who requested it. She's watching her most productive hive very closely, concerned that it may swarm. If so, she'd lose about 70% of that hive. She's been told that the first day they swarm they go only about fifty feet away. So we're watching for that so Caffy can catch the swarm and install it in a new hive. Don has promised not to interfere if that happens. Her garden is planted—mostly tomatoes and purple hull peas—and a few new Knock Out Roses have been installed around the place.


As Father's Day approaches, please pray for wisdom and grace in my leadership of our family.

Pray for the Lord's blessing upon Caffy both in the home and in the artwork opportunities presented to her.

Pray for the Lord to bless Laurelen especially through the books she's reading this summer and the short-term ministry projects she's involved in.

Please continue to pray for the major writing project about which I have often requested prayer, but hope to complete later this year.

And as always, please ask the Lord for His blessing upon my teaching at Southern Seminary and upon the ministry I discharge in my travels.

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

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