T4A | Featured Bloggers - Everything


Here's my best shot at creating one post with links to everything from Together for Adoption featured bloggers. Not every blogger wrote on everything or was present for every main session. I expect more posts are still coming with reflections on T4A in the days to come. I know I have some unfinished posts on some talks and a handful of other reflections to share. If you see things I've missed, let me know. FYI: I know other bloggers/twitterers said a lot at T4A, but I'm focusing on the "featured bloggers." If you want to put a link to other helpful posts in the comments from non-featured bloggers, that would be a great addition to the list.

Check out tweets still coming out from #t4aCon attenders and others RTing good quotes. Also go back in the Twitter accounts (listed below) for a ton of great quotes. That may be the best way to get direct quotes, while the posts often contain interaction on the quotes and topics.

BLOGGERS - Name [link to Twitter account] (abbreviation)


Darrin Patrick | Session 1 - The Church & Social Justice


Tullian Tchividjian | Session 2 - Surprised by Adoption


Dan Cruver | Session 3 - Adoption & The God Who Cares


Bryan Loritts | Session 4 - The Church as the Theater of Transracial Adoption


Jeff Vanderstelt | Session 5 - Gospel-Motivation for Missional Living


Tim Chester | Session 6 - Relaxing in Trinitarian Love



  • A Mom at Rest by Dr. Donna Thoennes || DBJG | DP
  • Missional Church, Missional God, Missional Story by Tim Chester || AA: Sessions 1, 2, 3 | JR: Sessions 1, 2, 3
  • Attachment & Family Growth by Mark & Kristen Howerton || JG: Pt 1 | Pt 2
  • Gospel-Centered Parenting by Tim Chester || DPBT
  • Trans-Racial Adoption by Vermon Pierre || DP 
  • Missional Living & Orphan Care by Jason Kovacs || JR
  • Grief In Infertility || MLA


T4A | Songs

Here are all the songs from Friday/Saturday in order. At least that's what worship leader Jimmy McNeal told me. I'm pretty sure he repeated "Let Your Kingdom Come" on Saturday, but since I can't remember exactly where, I'll leave it off. If someone knows, let me know and I'll fix the list. Hope you enjoyed the corporate singing as much as I did.

Jimmy tells me he has an album coming next year. If I learn more, I'll let you know.

Friday Morning

"Your Great Name" - The People's Church
"From the Inside Out" - Hillsong
"You Alone Can Rescue" - Matt Redman
"How Great Thou Art" -hymn (Arron Ivey version)
"Let Your Kingdom Come" - Aaron Ivey

Friday Afternoon/Evening

"You Alone Can Rescue" - Matt Redman
"Hallelujah! What a Savior!" - hymn (Aaron Ivey band version)
"How Marvelous" - hymn

Saturday Morning

"The Wonderful Cross" - Chris Tomlin
"Your Great Name" - Hillsong
"Hallelujah! What a Savior!" - Aaron Ivey version

Saturday Afternoon/Evening

"How Marvelous"
"Hallelujah! What a Savior!" - Aaron Ivey version
"Forever Reign" - Hillsong
"How He Loves" - David Crowder version

Chicks 4 Orphans

Chicks4Orphans Men

One of the exhibitors here at the Together for Adoption 2011 Conference that has caught my eye is Chicks 4 Orphans: Buy a Chick. Help an Orphan. My first question was, "Was this created by a college fraternaty?" I've heard a similar buzz among other conference-goers and even the speakers. It's a fun bit of viral marketing. It enticed my wife to seek out one of their t-shirts, and then they wanted me to wear one because they wanted guys to not be afraid to wear "Chicks 4 Orphans" shirts. I'm proud to be wearing one today and want to share this interesting and viral kind of ministry with you.

From the Chicks 4 Orphans Facebook page...

Chicks help orphans. You can help orphans too!

Chicks 4 Orphans is both a sustainable poultry farming business in Zambia and a fundraising campaign for Every Orphan’s Hope, a ministry dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus Christ with children left orphaned and vulnerable because of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

What impact can Chicks 4 Orphans make? As you give and encourage others to give to Chicks 4 Orphans, you’re helping to create sustainable poultry farming projects that will help feed and care for orphans. Chicken farming also provides an income generating business to support the many other needs of these children, such as education, clothes, housing, healthcare and more. 

The goal is to create sustainable poultry farming businesses that employ villagers, sustain ministry operations and care for orphans in Zambia.

"LIKE" Chicks 4 Orphans on Facebook and take the 100 Chick Challenge. Follow on Twitter. We are excited to get home tomorrow and discuss this ministry with our kids, especially our daughter, Sarah. It's something you can do online, in your church, in a small group. It's a simple and beautiful way to help orphans. 

Chicks4Orphans Molly

T4A | Tullian Tchividjian - Session 2


Tullian delievered a great message on Law & Gospel at Together for Adoption 2011 Conference. Rather than redo work others have done, I commend to you the notes of a new friend of mine, Aaron Armstrong (author of Awaiting a Savior). Here are a couple of my favorite quotes I took on Twitter from Tullian's talk...

"It's a lie that grace is dangerous and needs to be kept in check."

"It's silly that we have to put the word 'radical' before Grace, as if there's some other kind."

"There is nothing more radically unbalanced than grace."

I'm excited about Tullian's new book coming out October 31st, Jesus + Nothing = Everything. Order it now.

T4A | Friday Morning Song Set

I very much enjoyed the song choice this morning, so I asked th worship leader, Jimmy McNeal, for the set list. Here you go...

"Your Great Name" - The People's Church
"From the Inside Out" - Hillsong
"You Alone Can Rescue" - Matt Redman
"How Great Thou Art" -hymn (Arron Ivey version)
"Let Your Kingdom Come" - Aaron Ivey

T4A | Darrin Patrick - Session 1

Darrin's definition of the Gospel...

The gospel is the good news that the Eternal God entered our sinful world as the Eternal Son of God, Jesus, and lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father

(Jesus) died as a sacrifice in the place of sinners, rose triumphantly from death as a sign of sin’s defeat and the Father’s acceptance of his Son’s atoning sacrifice, establishing righteousness for those who had no righteousness of their own.  

Other quotes...

If you don't nail the gospel definition, social justice will distract you from the gospel.

If you don't do justice in your neighborhood, don't do it in your city. 

Darrin makes four main point to help frame our discussion about the church’s role in social justice.

1. The church is called, first and foremost, to proclaim the gospel.

2. You must not use social justice to avoid the offense of the cross.

3. Churches should plant other churches.

The best thing you can do to encourage social justice is plant other churches.

4. The “institutional” church must equip individuals who will become the “organic” church. 

Together for Adoption | Main Sessions & Giveaway


Molly and I are flying to Phoenix for the 2011 Together for Adoption Conference tomorrow morning, Lord-willing and the winds die down. I know many of you can't go but are interested in following along. So I encourage you to stick around for live-blogging here at Reformissionary. Follow me on Twitter for a lot of instant updates and pics and who knows what else. I also encourage you to follow other featured bloggers at T4A for a wide variety of experiences of and discussions about the conference. The official hashtag for all the stuff on Twitter is #t4aCon and official conference twitter account is @t4aCon.

You'll hear about a ton of different breakout sessions from different bloggers as well as these top-notch general sessions. You won't want to miss what these guys are saying...
Darrin Patrick: The Church and Social Justice
Tullian Tchividjian: Surprised by Adoption
Dan Cruver: Adoption and the God Who Gives
Bryan Loritts: The Church as the Theater of Transracial Adoption
Jeff Vanderstelt: Gospel-Motivation for Missional Living
Tim Chester: Relaxing in Trinitarian Love


Ok, so for those of you who can't go, I'm doing another giveaway of 5 copies of Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovery of Abba Father (edited & written in part by Dan Cruver). I love the book, and I want to get it in your hands. So, here's how you can enter for a chance at one of the copies. All three steps are required, and easy.
1. "LIKE" the T4A Facebook page.
2. TWEET (and/or post on Facebook wall), without the quote marks: " Win a FREE copy of Reclaiming Adoption! RT this & comment at Reformissionary to win: #t4aCon "
3. COMMENT BELOW (so I can verify you did steps 1 & 2). Include your full name and real email address (kept private) so I can contact the winners.

For fun, and since the World Series begins tonight, share your World Series winner in your comment. Texas Rangers or the St. Louis Cardinals? Also feel free to give your predictions on how many games it will take to win (sports SINthusiast Joe Thorn, just tell us your favorite color). I'm calling it for the Rangers in 5.
I will randomly choose 5 winners on Saturday, the last day of the Together for Adoption 2011 Conference. 

Lots-o-Links 9.22.11

Been a while since I did a links post. Some you need to check out...

T4A: Pre-Conference with Tim Chester

I've been very blessed by the ministry & writing of Tim Chester. I've read Total Church twice & I've reviewed the excellent Delighting in the Trinity. You should also check out his book From Creation to New Creation among others. At the Together for Adoption Conference Tim and Dan Cruver (author of Reclaiming Adoption) are delivering a pre-conference event called "Missional Church, Missional God, Missional Story." Here's more from the website...

Missional Church, Missional God, Missional Story

Tim Chester and Dan Cruver

Missional church is not simply the latest fad. It’s rooted in the trinitarian character of God and the story of the Bible. Explore the foundations for shaping life around gospel, community and mission along with practical application for church life and the implications for orphan care.

Registration: $75 Per Person

Learn more about this pre-conference event with Tim Chester.

Together for Adoption Conference | Early Bird

148 Email from the T4A folks on how you can save by registering this week for the conference. I'll be there with my beautiful wife. Hope to see you there!

You can save $30 by registering for Together for Adoption's October 21-22 orphan care/adoption conference this week (read full-details here). You may now register for just $75 today, July 25th, through Saturday, July 30th. This limited-time discount is over $30 less than our current early bird special. Take advantage of this super early bird price and help us spread the word about it this week. This sale ends on Saturday, July 30th at 11:59pm. Check here for details and to register at this super early bird rate.

If you take advantage of this early bird special and would like to sign up for conference childcare or reserve a room at one of our partner hotels, you will need to do so at our regular online registration site. You may also register there for one of our two pre-conference events as well.

NOTE: If you are coming with a group from your church, this would be a perfect opportunity for your group's members to register.

We hope to see you in Phoenix this October 21-22nd.

Together for Adoption 2011 Conference


Registration is now open for the 2011 Together for Adoption Conference. Come to Phoenix on October 21-22 and join me and Joe Thorn and our wives and a bunch of other good folks for what is sure to be informative, insightful, fun and, uh, hot. From the website...

Join us October 21-22 in Phoenix for Together for Adoption Conference 2011. Over 1,200 people will gather together at Redemption Church (Gilbert Campus) to explore the theme Missional Living, the Gospel and Orphan Care. One of our primary objectives for this year’s conference is to create a forum to consider the good news of the Gospel, explore its implications for how we think about and implement orphan care strategies, and discuss how we can move toward greater collaboration as the people of God for the sake of orphans worldwide.

General session speakers include: Darrin PatrickTullian TchividjianTim Chester (coming to us from England), Bryan LorittsJuan Sanchez, and Jeff Vanderstelt.


  • Early Bird: $109 Per Person (good through August 31st)
  • Regular: $149 Per Person (price from September 1 until October 21)

*Registration price includes two onsite lunches and afternoon snacks.

Worship Leaders: Shaun GrovesAaron Ivey, and Jimmy McNeal

General Session Hosts: Shaun Groves and Johnny Carr (National Director of Church Partnerships at Bethany Christian Services)

Note: Childcare is available.

Pre-Conference Event (Thursday, October 20):

Missional Church, Missional God, Missional Story
Tim Chester and Dan Cruver

Missional church is not simply the latest fad. It’s rooted in the trinitarian character of God and the story of the Bible. Explore the foundations for shaping life around gospel, community and mission along with practical application for church life and the implications for orphan care.

Registration: $75 Per Person

Pre-Conference information.

Current list of our Featured Bloggers: MegMillerLindsey NoblesReformissionary (Steve McCoy), JoeThorn.netJulie GummZach NielsenMissional Thoughts (Josh Reich), and Michael Robinson. More will be added.

There will be 60+ breakouts to equip you and provide you with opportunities to meet others who share your same passion for orphaned and vulnerable children. Over 60 organizations involved in orphan care, adoption, and foster care will also be there to serve you as you seek to live out James 1:27.

Notice on the list of featured bloggers, my real name is secondary to my blog name. That can't be good! ;)

I hope many of you will join us. So go register for the conference. Also check out and "Like" the Together for Adoption page

Those Who Face the Death of a Child


At The Gospel Coalition this week I was able to talk with David and Nancy Guthrie. Nancy Guthrie is the author of many books, including Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus and Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross.

Nancy and David told me about Respite, a ministry to parents who have suffered the death of a child. I want to encourage those who have lost a child or have friends who have suffered in this way to check it out. Pastors, this could be a very valuable resource to keep in mind.

Gospel Coalition | Day 1

Me band bloggers

I have absolutely no time to recap my days here at the Gospel Coalition 2011 in Chicago, but I figured I'd put up something. 

I'm really impressed with the new location, McCormick Place. Huge facility. The bookstore is outstanding, and now has Joe Thorn's new book, Note to Self.

What preaching I saw was great. Maybe better than that, Joe Thorn and I talked just before bed about how amazing our conversations have been. Gospel-focused, encouraging, God-glorifying. I've seen new friends and old ones. I told Michael Horton I'm one of those missional guys and got Rod Rosenbladt to laugh. I met Ray Ortlund, Jr. and Dane Ortlund for the first time and talked to Sam Storms yet again. I got coffee with Greg Thornbury and tried to convert Tim Ellsworth's 7 year old son to being a Cubs fan (FAIL, for good reason). I told Josh Harris he looks a bit like Russ Moore. Josh is always a joy to talk to. Matt Schmucker gave me a sticker. Al Mohler, as always, asked about my wife's health. Several guys actually did. I heard Tim Keller preach. Nuff said. I talked to a bunch of bloggers about, well, blogging. I saw my pastor from Kentucky, my old friend from a Methodist church in my hometown, and several local friends. I met Jared Wilson and his lovely wife, Becky, who is probably a better conversationalist than he is. And he's a great conversationist. I got to discuss and strategize about open-air preaching with guys from cities, suburbs, and small towns. I talked about "synagogue evangelism" with some Twitter friends I got to meet for the first time. It was one of the best days of conversations I've ever experienced, and it's just the first day. Because of all the above I'm even more optimistic about the Church, the mission, and our great God. 

It's been a very good but long day and I think I've dropped enough names, though the list goes on. These are real guys, serious guys, and it's a blessing to know them. More tomorrow. It's late and I'm punchy. Let me close with this: The Gospel Coalition is probably my favorite all-around conference for a superb mix of content & opportunity to make connections with Gospel-saturated guys. I wish even more friends were here. God has been good to me.

Giveaway: Reclaiming Adoption



I recently read and endorsed Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through Rediscovery of Abba Father (Kindle version only $5.99). Check out my endorsement & many others. Love this book by Dan Cruver, also with John Piper, Richard D. Phillips, Scotty Smith, and Jason Kovacs. There's a PDF study guide and sample of the book available.

By the way, Dan Cruver is also leading a breakout session at the Desiring God Pastor's Conference at 3:15-4:15pm this coming Tuesday


So, to the point. I've been given the chance to host a GIVEAWAY of 5 COPIES of Reclaiming Adoption. Here's your chance to pick up one of the best books I've read in the last year.

Do this...

STEP 1: Copy & share the following without the quote marks on Twitter (if you aren't on Twitter, use Facebook, or do BOTH!): "Get a FREE copy of Reclaiming Adoption! RT this & comment at Reformissionary to win: "

STEP 2: Leave a comment below (so I can verify you did step 1). Include your full name and real email address (kept private) so I can contact the winners. For fun, also comment on your Super Bowl winner & score. 

I will randomly choose 5 winners in the late afternoon/early evening on Friday (28th).


If God Is Against Us...


Until we come to grips with the fact that there is one unchanging God who has always hated sin and deals with it with the utmost severity, we're not anywhere close to revival. We're going to have to accept the fact that when God is grieved He turns himself and becomes his peoples' greatest enemy.

I still hear people saying, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" But that's not the issue right now. The issue is, "If God is against us, what does it matter who's for us."

Richard Owen Roberts, 2010 Forum on Revival at SBC (original source)

Ligonier Ministries $5 Friday | 1.14.11

$5 Friday deals at Ligonier this week...

Books: Living by God's Promises by Joel Beeke | Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow by RC Sproul

Teaching Series: Truth (CD) | Classic Collection (download, 10 best known messages) | Oaths & Vows (download)

DVD: War on the Word (2002 Natl Conf)

AudioScenes from the Life of Christ by Tom Howard (CD w/ narrations by Begg, Mohler, Piper, Sproul, several others)

Check out all the books & resources at and the Ligonier Store.


Bifrost Arts: Liturgy, Music, & Space


I heard about the new Bifrost Arts worship conference at Covenant Seminary a few weeks back. It's called "Liturgy, Music, & Space." If you don't know Bifrost Arts, you should. I very much enjoy their two albums: Salvation Is Created (Christmas) and Come, O Spirit (worship). More about the conference...

Each week we tell our congregations a story with how we use liturgy, how we use music, and how we use space in worship. Bifrost Arts has developed a curriculum for small groups and Sunday School classes entitled “Liturgy, Music, & Space” to help churches walk through a coherent, biblical view of how these elements of worship are forming us.

Join us from March 29-31 as we present this curriculum at a conference with lectures, workshops, and times of worship in St. Louis, Missouri with:

  • Nicholas Wolterstorff
  • Bryan Chapell
  • Greg Thompson
  • John Hodges
  • Kevin Twit (Indelible Grace)
  • Betsy Steele Halstead
  • Isaac Wardell
  • The Welcome Wagon (great album)

Conference fee is $150. Discounts are available for students, campus ministers, and church employees from small congregations.

This conference is made possible through a worship renewal grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, MI, with funds provided by Lilly Endowement Inc.

I'm not a worship leader, but this sounds amazing for worship leaders, pastors (especially of smaller churches), etc. 

Bifrost Arts from josh franer on Vimeo.


PLANT! Conference | March 24-26, 2011

Plant_promo_screen final, web addressPLANT! Conference is looking pretty awesome. Love stuff like this, where like-minded guys from various backgrounds and networks come together. Here's some info. It's not expensive. You should go.

PLANT! | March 24-26, 2011

Location | Covenant Fellowship Church, Glen Mills, PA

Cost | $99 bucks

Who Should Go | Church planters, pastors, pastors who desire to see their church plant churches, members of churches who desire to be a part of planting a church some day

Why Go To PLANT! | Sovereign Grace is gathering church planting thinkers and doers from different denominations and church planting movements for three days of teaching and dialogue about planting and building churches on the gospel.

Learn from a group of men from Acts 29, Sovereign Grace, the PCA, and 9 Marks who have planted, replanted and are in the midst of leading planting movements. Men like Darrin Patrick and Daniel Montgomery from Acts 29, Mark Dever and Mike McKinley from 9 Marks and the SBC, Tim Witmer from the PCA, CJ Mahaney, Dave Harvey, Pete Greasley, Craig Cabaniss from Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Get more info & register at PLANT! Conference website. Connect on Facebook.