From Passage to Pulpit – Diagramming for Pastors


Irving Jensen wrote a book called Inductive Bible Study in which he promoted a diagramming technique. It’s a methodological process to assist a student of God’s Word to interact with the text on a very systematic level.

I love God’s Word and have found this process very rewarding over the years. I put this booklet together in order to transfer the skill in a limited time to group of students who have already had some exposure to homiletics and hermeneutics but not necessarily diagraming, outlining or arcing. I have sat down with one group so far and the time was productive.

It’s Jensen’s technique but modified somewhat and simplified a lot in order to transfer the skill in a limited timeframe.

the pics below show the progression of the chart for Galatians 6:6 – 10 as one works towards a sermon.

The eBook can be downloaded here.

Who can I turn to? (Part 5)


Have you picked up this series of posts from Part 1 of Who can I turn to when things come crashing down around me? If not you might appreciate the context.

I love God’s Word and I wish to faithfully preach it. Nothing has aided me more in that process than reading it, praying it and living it. However to ensure that I’m as faithful to God’s intent during my preparation for a sermon, before I turn to a commentary or any other tool, I diagram the text in question.

Over the last few posts I’ve jotted my ideas on Psalms 121. In truth I didn’t spend too long on this “sermon” as it was intended as an assignment rather than a sermon for Crystal Park Baptist Church. I got to start the preparation at 18:00 on a Sunday night after services and evangelism and fathering and husbanding [sic] and finished at about 24:00. Below is the diagram I put together for the work. It took about an hour to do (I usually spend 4 hours diagramming and include language study in the process).

Psalm 121, Outline, Sermon

Click the image to enlarge.

Below is the handout that the congregation would receive for keeping track and note taking. The idea is that the sermon that is preached follows the same structure as the text which is used. God’s intent is explained to the people.

Psalm 121, Handout, Sermon

Click the image to enlarge.

Why did I use the KJV? No particular reason other than I like the way that the thees and the thous roll off the tongue when reading poetic books like Psalms.

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.”

Want to hear the verse in context? Psalm 107 – 121
What is this about?

Who can I turn to when things come crashing down around me? (Part 1)


the self made man, Bobbie Carlyle

Self Made Man is a sculpture of a man carving himself our of stone, carving his character, carving his future. The artist is Bobbie Carlyle. Truely this sculpture captures the whole ideology in it’s fullness. Click image to enlarge.

We live in the age of the self-made man. We cut our own way through this world; not needing anyone or anything to aid us because we can do it all ourselves. We protect ourselves by building high walls and installing burglar alarms with outside beams. We safeguard our future by storing up riches in retirement investments that we hope will see us well into our twilight years. We try to cheat death by spending our hard earned Shekels on medical aids, wheat free diets and the latest in wrinkle free creams. We are the masters of our health, our wealth and our happiness.

And yet for all the safeguards we put in place we’re as frail today as ever before. Thugs hijack our cars. We’re murdered in our homes. The world markets are like a hungry beast swallowing up our investments; gobbling down our savings. Our medical aids don’t stave away heart attacks and accidents and cancers. Calamity, catastrophe and collapse are our constant bedfellows.

Times of trail and tribulation fall upon all men; paupers and kings alike. When doom visits you, and it will, where will you turn? Reflect upon the words of Psalm 121 as we consider 3 compelling reasons why we’re to trust in God rather than ourselves during times of trial over the next few posts,

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the LORD,
which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is thy keeper:
the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

Want to hear the verse in context? Psalm 107 – 121
What is this about?

Sunday’s Point to Ponder


Today’s sermon at Midrand Chapel broadly outlined the Doctrines of Sovereign Grace as laid out by Paul in Romans. Chris didn’t spare a punch as he covered depravity (1:18 – 23; 3:9 – 22), election (8:28 – 30; 9:9 – 18), atonement (2:23 – 26; 4:24 – 25; 5:18 – 21), grace (19:25 – 32) and perseverance (8:1 – 11).

The quotable quote of the day had to be, “Man’s depravity is not a great obstacle to the Gospel, it’s an insurmountable one.”

Chris Woolley Midrand Chapel

Chris Woolley has been an elder employed at Midrand Chapel since 2005. He is married with six children, three of whom have been adopted. Chris studied mechanical Engineering at WITS University during which time he became a Christian and developed a desire be involved in missions and church planting. After initially working as a Maintenance Engineer he resigned to further his theological studies. He is a graduate of the Baptist Theological College in Randburg (DipTh) and the Masters Seminary in California (MDiv).

God’s will yesterday, today and tomorrow


John 21:6 - 7 John 21:12 John 21:19

John 21, illistrated, in lego, seriously. Click any image to link to the source.

This is a short note to say: My favorite chapter of the Bible is John 21. It illicits an emotional response from me every time I read or hear it. Now I’m really looking forward to preaching it on Sunday, 8 November, 10:00 am, at Mountain View Bible Church on the southwest side of Alberton.

There are so many great verses in chapter 21 but verse 7 always stands out,

7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved *said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped {for work),} and threw himself into the sea.

Want to hear the verse in context? John 21
What is this about?

Peter is such a character. He’s so… real. I love that a real God saves real people, people with warts and flaws and problems just like me. What’s your favorite section of Scripture?