The Newsletter of IBTM

Good evening from rainy, windy Lancashire. Windy enough that you have to hold on to your hat when you go outside. The wind is forceful, bracing, refreshing…

… As was the 2024 Broken to Beloved Summit. We have a chance to grow when we're real—when we acknowledge the bad not just the good—when we talk about it. Dozens of practical books were recommended throughout the four-day summit. I bought McKnight and Barringer’s Pivot and Bluhm’s Prey Tell.  For further thoughts—praise, as well as some reservations—please click here.

In this week’s bulletin:

  • Prey Tell—Tiffany Bluhm’s powerful book on abuse and silence (Amazon promo)
  • Scripture Memory—memorization (Andrew David)
  • Ancient Coins—impressive collection highlights ancient world
  • Truth—cool quotations for your consideration

Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up
(Tiffany Bluhm)

Tiffany Bluhm was a Broken to Beloved Summit speaker whose message really resonated with me, especially as more and more instances of abuse and cover-up have surfaced in our own denomination.

Her book is Prey [as in predator / prey] Tell. A copy arrived last night—I finished it today. Prey Tell should be helpful not only to women, but also to men, as we are often in a position to take a stand against bullies and abusers. The following text is from the ordering page.

Tiffany Bluhm wishes this wasn't her story to tell. Yet like many women today who are taking action against sexual harassment and sexual assault, it is. Bluhm explores the complex dynamics of power and abuse in systems we all find ourselves in. With honesty and strength, she tells stories of how women have overcome silence to expose the truth about their ministry and professional leaders—and the backlash they so often face. In so doing, she empowers others to speak up against abuses of power.

Addressing men and women in all work settings—within the church and beyond—popular author and podcast host Tiffany Bluhm sets out to understand the cultural and spiritual narratives that silence women and to illuminate the devastating emotional, financial, and social impact of silence in the face of injustice. [from Amazon]


An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture
(Andrew Davis)

We thought many would appreciate Andrew Davis’s thoughts on scripture memory.

Davis isn’t urging us to memorize a verse of scripture here, a verse there, but whole blocks of material. Actors do it. Most of us had to memorize during our school days. And nearly everyone knows song lyrics. Scripture memory is a healthy habit and easier to do than you might think. Check out his approach HERE.

Note: While “writing God’s Word on our heart” doesn’t necessarily mean learning it by heart, there is still much to be said for memorizing verses and chunks of the Bible. (The clearest verse I’ve found enjoining memory work is Proverbs 22:17-18, which refers to “the sayings of the wise.”)

Digital Coin Exhibit Illuminates the Biblical World

As youths, my brother and I had very nice US coin collections—thanks to a family friend who bequeathed us more than a thousand 19th- and 20th-century coins, especially Indian Head pennies. Sadly, during college days, in a moment of (financial) weakness, I sold them all. (My coins, not my brother’s!) Yet in the last few of decades I’ve become a collector again: of ancient coins, minted between the 5th century BC and the 4th century AD. Because these aren’t cheap, I rarely add more than a coin a year to the collection (which now totals 20).

I love coins for the stories they tell. Ancient coins, especially those from the biblical period, are fascinating. They connect us to a world of kings and emperors; commerce, bribery, and taxes; parables and everyday life—and the biblical characters who held these coins in their hands.

The largest private collection I've ever seen—and this may the most extensive in the United States—is that of my friend John Wilson. As an archaeologist, he and his colleague Tzaferis Vasillios excavated Caesarea Philippi. John also worked at Capernaum. During his time in Israel he acquired hundreds (thousands?) of coins. (Not on the black market—strictly by the book.)

If this interests you, take a take a peek at the digital collection. From the Pepperdine website: “The coins in this digital exhibit come from the collection of Dr. John Wilson, professor emeritus of religion and dean emeritus at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College. The collection of over 1200 coins is intended to provide scholars, students and numismatists [coin collectors] access to artifacts illustrating and illuminating the ‘Holy Land’—the world in which the three ‘Abrahamic Faiths’ (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) find their roots. These coins date from the Persian period (c. 5th century BC) to the time of the Crusaders (c. 14th century AD). The coins align with Dr. Wilson’s decades of archeological research in Israel, particularly his participation in excavations at Capernaum and Caesarea Philippi.”



More food for thought:

  1. When new light breaks forth from the Word, the systematizer is faced with the painful dilemma of either adapting his system to absorb the freshly perceived truth or of trimming the truth to fit his system. The latter is the temptation of tidy minds. — John R. W. Stott
  2. Nothing is more harmful to a new truth than an old error. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  3. From cowardice that shrinks from new truth  /  From laziness that is content with half truth  /  From arrogance that thinks it knows all truth  /  Dear Lord, deliver me. – Anon.

Until Next Week

Vicki got back from a productive trip to the States last night. Darcy (our mountain dog) and I are both thrilled! It’s good to all be together again. This weekend Joey Harris (Augusta) and I will host a special AIM Q&A on family. Vicki and I will join a group in Manchester for house church. (Thanks for the invitation, Andy.) Last weekend I led a house church meeting, also in the greater Manchester area. These small groups are great!

In our first February bulletin, expect some practical ministry ideas, along with an inspiring praise song. God bless!

Yours in Him,