Thursday, December 17, 2009

Check It Out 12 17 09

Here are several links that I have found helpful this week.

Carl Trueman wrote a very sobering article on self promotion, particularly that which occurs on the internet. He tone is gentle, yet his message cuts to the heart of pride that lives deep in all of us (perhaps not as deep as we think). This is a thoughtful article, very convicting to me.

Dumb sheep. Who are we to talk?

Juan Sanchez posts another article in an on-going discussion on contextualization.

Many, many are facing unemployment. I have a brother that has been out of work for a year. I have church members that have been out of work for extended periods. It is difficult as you pray with them and talk with them and cry with them, yet it is also a time of growth and blessing. Greg Gilbert at Nine Marks Journal has posted part one of a two part series on unemployment that I found helpful and I believe would be helpful to any believer facing the loss of a job.

Jon Acuff has an essay on the corrosive effect of sin in our lives.

Of First Importance quote The Father’s Two Greatest Gifts.

Ed Stetzer posts a video with a light hearted look at selfishness at Christmastime.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler, Pastor at the Village Church in had a tumor removed from the frontal lobe of his brain last week. The pathology report is in and it states that the tumor was malignant. The Village Church has posted an update on their web page.
Here is an link to a video that Matt made before his surgery. Here is a video of Matt's sermon at this year's Desiring God conference.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Check It Out 12 14 09

Several links I gleaned over the weekend.

Here is a very interesting article from the Biblical Archeological Journal discussing why we celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25.
(HT TW)

My cousin, Dan Cruver, is now posting at the Gospel Coalition. Here is his article What Orphans Need: Christians Who Live in the Joy of Their Father’s Delight.

Also at the Gospel Coalition there is a thoughtful article on contextualization and the gospel.

John MacArthur’s take on the prosperity gospel. As usual he pulls no punches in dismantling this false teaching.

Tim Challies has a listing of daily devotionals. Look the list over, there are many helpful resources there.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Check It Out 12 10 09

John Piper posted good article today: Why Require Unregenerate Children to Act Like They’re Good. Noel Piper adds this article on Advent.

Here are a couple of helpful articles discussing the gospel and the Christian life: here and here.

Matt Perman discusses the common grace of the unparalleled food supply chain here in this country.

A thoughtful essay on Spurgeon and depression. This is a helpful look at a biblical response to periods of darkness.
[HT JS]

And finally for today there is an article over at the Gospel Coalition entitled The Dominion of Foot Washing.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Check It Out 12 09 09

Check It Out 12 09 09

Here are 4 gleanings from the blogoshere to bless your day.

Mark Driscoll has 16 Daddy Christmas Tips.

Pastor Colin Smith has a Christmas season devotional to help you reflect on Jesus’ glory by taking a broad look at all that God has promised and accomplished in Him. The readings follow the pattern of his current sermon series, “The Plan: God’s Design For the Universe and Your Place In It.” You can read, hear or watch these sermons as they are posted at Unlocking the Bible.] He is posting a new devotional each day.

Chris Braun has a quote from Cornelius Plantinga on the relationship between discipline and creativity.

Ray Ortlund has an article entitled Brothers Together in Christ that is a valuable read.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Check It Out 12 08 09

Here are some articles worth reading today:

Good reminder of how to live godly from Elyse Fitzpatrick quoted at Of First Importance.

Dan Cruver links to an article telling about the first Christmas for three adopted children from Rwanda.

Here is an article on hospitality. While many will do more get togethers during the holiday season, this virtue should extend throughout the year.
(HT Challies)

Tim Challies put up a thoughtful post today on Being a Diligent Listener. He is dealing with the individual responsibility of those in the congregation to prepare and engage with the sermon.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Check It Out 12 07 09

Some valuable links to look at for today.

Here is a video that Matt Chandler recorded this week before his surgery. It was played on Sunday at the Village Church. Also scroll down and read his list of ten things that he is thankful for.

I like Matt Perman’s post on Moral Clarity. He has some very helpful thoughts.

Max McLean has Ten Tips on the public reading of Scripture.

Trevin Wax with 9 Examples of the Internet Changing Our World.

Here is a very thoughtful article by John MacArthur dissecting the Prosperity Gospel. As usual he has a very clear, biblical perspective on the issue.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Check It Out 12 05 09

Here is some good reading and listening for a Sunday morning.

Pastor Chris Braun shares some beneficial ideas to implement as we prepare for the Lord’s Table.

I make Justin Taylor’s blog a regular stop because he always has great content. Here he posts a video of Bob Kauflin and Paul Tripp discussing worship and counseling. I commend it to you.

Justin Buzzard has a four question interview with D. A. Carson about the gospel and its impact for the believer on a daily basis. I highly recommend reading and thinking about this.
(HT JT)

Do you need ideas for Christmas? If there are kids on your list Nate Wright has a couple for you.
(HT JT)

If you are on facebook, our church just added a facebook page.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Check It Out 12 04 09

Dan Cruver has some good thoughts in his article Caring for Orphans While Soaked with the Sense of Exile. Thanks for the thoughts Dan.

Here are Pastor Matt Chandler’s thoughts as he heads into surgery to have a tumor removed from the frontal lobe of his brain. Pray for Matt.
(HT Zach Nielsen)

Here is an article that Albert Mohler wrote called Moralism vs. the Gospel. Some good thoughts to remind us of the vital nature of the gospel.

Here is some helpful thoughts on how Christians should respond to the furor surrounding Tiger Woods. C. J. Mahaney does a good job in discerning the true issues involved.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Check It Out 12 03 09

Here are three links that are worth looking at today:

Jon Acuff, of Stuff Christians Like, always puts up thoughtful content on Wednesdays. This week is no exception.

My daughter, Bethany, put up a new post at her blog.

Some good reminders in this article at the Gospel Coalition Blog. Three Truths that Change Your Life.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Check It Out 12 02 09

As usual the Big Picture has some spectacular pictures. This month they are adding a picture a day from the Hubble Space Telescope to make an Advent Calendar. This will require you to check back each day to see the new picture. If the quality of the rest is as good as the first one, it is worth the effort.

Russ Moore has written a profound and moving article Jesus Has Aids. Read this and ponder the truths that are laid in front of you.

My cousin Dan Cruver always has thoughtful, helpful articles on his website. Today is no exception. Let me commend this article, Adoption, Christian Identity, and the Global Orphan Crisis as worth reading, especially after reading Dr. Moore’s article.

Justin Taylor, the managing editor for the ESV Study Bible, has a very helpful post describing one of the best ways to study the Bible.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Check It Out 12 01 09

Here is some good content for the beginning of December.

Mike Pohlman, over at the Gospel Coalition Blog shares a good quote and some helpful commentary on the Pastor as “Life Coach” vs. Herald of the Good News.

The Gospel Provides the Questions is a new post by Trevin Wax that addresses the important idea of contextualization of the Gospel.

Over at First Things is an excellent article, Longing For King Jesus that helps put into perspective what advent is about.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Check It Out 11 30 09

Here are some resources worth checking out today.

Andy Naselli just pointed to an older post of his where he had compiled several links to a series that Kevin Bauder had written on The Christians and Fantasy Literature. This was good reading and well worthwhile for the believer in pondering how fantasy literature can be used.

My daughter Bethany wrote an article yesterday in which she talks about lessons in perseverance learned from a wilderness camping trip she took last summer.

John Piper posted a quote from Spurgeon about the a cure for discouragement in the ministry.

Justin Taylor links to a video of John MacArthur telling about the wonderful grace of God that led to him being able to share the Gospel with his old football coach.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Beyond the Manger

December is a favorite month for many because of the celebration of our Lord’s birth. It is always a blessing to be reminded of his rescue mission to this world. He came on a mission that would prove his lordship, but he came first as an obedient servant. Often we become enamored with the glory expressed by the angels, with the image of a star as a birth announcement, with the appealing idea of shepherds and lambs, with the honor of wise men coming to worship.

Yet our focus must move from the romanticism of the manger to the indignity of the cross. Without the completion of the mission, the start of the mission would mean nothing. The coming of the Son to the created world was not in order to receive honor for himself. It was a to accomplish the task that had been assigned by the Father.

John tells us, “he came to his own, but his own people did not receive him.” Many would have accepted a king coming to grasp power to himself and set up his rule, yet most were unwilling to accept a servant coming to redeem their deficiency. That is what he did, he came as a servant not for his own benefit, but to suffer and give his life as a ransom for those that are slaves to sin. It was the completion of that mission that gives meaning to the start of it.

This month remember cross is the reason for the manger.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Check It Out 11 25 09

Bethany posted a neat new article about teaching the English word ‘church’ to children who only have heard of ‘Church’s Chicken.’

A helpful list of things to remember when your child is disobedient.

Chris Brauns has a thought provoking quote on thankfulness being directed to a person.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Check It Out 11 24 09

Some helpful links for today.

CCEF has a short excerpt from an article entitled Thankfulness: Even When It Hurts. I found it to be a good reminder.

Chris Brauns reposts an article encouraging believers to make intentional efforts to reach out to unbelievers especially during times like the Christmas season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Check It Out 11 23 09

Bethany posted a new article, The God of the Impossible. She is chronicling her year teaching English in a Honduran school.

Rick Thomas of Counseling Solutions links to the book, This Great Salvation available for free download from Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Justin Taylor is posting excerpts from the Gospel Coalition’s Theological Vision for Ministry. He is excerpting the section that deals with gospel centered ministry.

Some beautiful pictures from the Boston Globe. These are from The National Geographic’s International Photography Contest.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Check It Out 11 20 09

Albert Mohler writes on the immorality of therapeutic evasion.


A very helpful article by Jim Eliff discussing the issue of childhood conversions. Those of you with children or grandchildren that you want to see walking with God would be very well served to read it.
(HT Kevin Pierpont)


The Manhattan Document was just published on line. It is a very thoughtful statement defending three foundational aspects of a biblical social order. These three are:
1. the sanctity of human life;
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife;
3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty. I encourage you to read this thoughtfully and add your signature to it.


Of First Importance includes a daily quote that highlights some aspect of the Gospel. Today’s quote, entitled Sin and the Resolve of God, is a good example of the quotes that are included.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Check It Out 11 19 09

Some helpful resources and links for today:

Lex Loizides continues his series on George Whitefield’s visit to Northhampton. In this post he focuses on God’s outpouring of his Spirit on that community before, during, and after the time of Whitefield’s visit there.

Here is a short quote from J. I. Packer on the Gospel.

Steve Altrogge at the Blazing Center has posted an article entitled Extreme Makeover – Heaven Edition.

Part two of Dan Cruver’s backstory of adoption. See part one here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Check It Out 11 18 09

Items worth reading today.

Paul Tripp talks about what is wrong with the world.

A helpful article on unpacking the meaning in some of the densely packed sentences in Paul’s epistles. Justin Taylor does it by asking simple questions.

A frightening article on the recommendation by U.N. Population fund to slow global warming by slowing population growth. Compare Albert Mohler’s thoughts on population growth.

Sometime back, Ray Ortland had this thought on the importance of the church over at the Gospel Coalition blog. I thought it was worth reposting and reminding ourselves of the place of the local church in God’s program.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Check It Out 11 17 09

Bethany posted some pictures of her school as she is ministering in Central America. Pray for her as God uses her in the lives of many of these children.

Trevin Wax has an excellent interview with Justin Taylor of Crossway regarding the ESV Study Bible. I have a copy and I am very pleased with it. And I learned something more about it just from reading this interview.

A good article about how God dealt with the darkest time in history and what that says about our dark times.
(HT Trevin Wax)

Rick Thomas has some helpful thoughts on the danger of being right in an argument.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Check It Out 11 16 09

A few articles worth reading today.

Bethany posted a new article about her time in Honduras teaching school. This week she had to be at school on Saturday and God gave her a wonderful opportunity.

Lex Loizides has a four part series on the friendship that grew up between Jonathon Edwards and George Whitfield. Here are the links: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.
(HT Adrian Warnock)

A new issue of Themelios is now available. Themelios is the theological journal that is operated by the Gospel Coalition. The articles in this edition look like they will be very helpful.

A good reminder from John Piper on the difference between ought to and want to and how to change the ought to into want to.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Check It Out 11 15 09

Three things today:

Ray Ortland posted a quote from Jonathon Edwards that is worth reading today.
(HT Thabiti Anyabwile)

Good quote from Counsel From the Cross.

An interview with J. I. Packer looking back to his conversion and ahead to his ”non-retirement.”
(HT Bob Kellemen)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Check It Out 11 14 09

Here are a few things I have read lately.

The Boston Globe has a picture essay for Veterans Day.

Molly Piper has an article talking about the opportunity that she had this week to meet the child in El Salvador that she and her family sponsor. A very moving essay.
HT Abraham Piper

Justin Taylor has a video of Shai Linne rapping the story of the Bible in four minutes.

Kevin Bauder of Central Baptist Seminary is in the middle of a discussion of the history of Fundamentalism which I am finding quite interesting. Kevin is very thoughtful and thorough in his treatment. Though he calls himself a fundamentalist and is president of a fundamentalist school, he is willing to point out the absurdities of many of the assumptions that get made by most fundamentalists. I commend the entire series to you.

David Head at Ponder Anew has a helpful post thinking through some issues of cultural engagement. In particular he is addressing the firestorm surrounding the former Miss America contestant, Carrie Prejean.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Check It Out 11 13 09

Here is some of my reading for today.

A Christian Janitor gave his life to save Muslim girls. Read about it here.
(HT Tom Ascol)

Funny Story: Deer Loses Fight With Lawn Ornament.
(HT Phil Johnson)

Second laugh for today: Tim Hawkins video on using a GPS.

Rick Thomas of Counseling Solutions always has good content, many practical helps. Here is an article that deals with the issue of what constitutes saving faith in a child.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Check it out 11 12 09

As usual Albert Mohler has some good thoughts on a current issue of national importance. See his thoughtful comments about Muslims serving in the military in the light of the Fort Hood shooting.

Some thoughts from Jon Bloom of Desiring God, on disciplining ourselves for spiritual growth.

A great article on the goal of biblical parenting from Juan Sanchez on the Gospel Coalition Blog.

Anthony Carter, pastor of East Point Church in East Point, GA, speaks on Christian unity on Moody Radio.
(HT Thabiti Anyabwile)

A video of returning soldiers surprising their children at school. Remember to pray for our men and women who are in harm’s way.
(HT Chris Brauns)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Check It Out 11 11 09

Articles that are worth reading today.

Thank you to all our veterans. Here is a video tribute. (Thanks Dad, Uncle Jerry, Uncle Don, Don, Nick, Steve, Matt, Tyler, Mike)

Justin Taylor has a short article with a video about Michael Oher, the subject of the upcoming movie The Blind Side. There is also a link to an article about Michael in World Magazine that is very worthwhile reading.

Here are a couple of older articles that are well worth the time to read.

Tim Keller on heart idolatry and how it impacted his ministry.

Don Carson wrote an editorial for Themelios regarding how the speed of the internet encourages too much communication with too little thought.
(HT Mike Pohlman)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Have to Earn It

I just had the opportunity to spend some time with a young teen that had some questions about the existence and goodness of God. We talked for some time about the existence of God, then discussed the reason for evil in this world. I then told him how God had sent his Son, Jesus, to die in our place and take our punishment upon himself.

At that point he asked me why, if Jesus had paid for our sins, God would still punish people. I sensed that this was not an opportunity to expound upon the doctrine of particular redemption and decided that I would approach it from a different angle.

I pulled a dollar out of my pocket and offered it to him, intending to use this as an illustration that God offers us the gift of salvation by his grace and that we need to receive it. The illustration worked far better than I expected. As I held out the bill, a look of horror came over his face and when I told him he could take it he shook his head and said, “No! I can’t!” I was surprised, because I had never experienced a 12 year old that would refuse a dollar bill. I asked him why and his first response was, “Because it doesn’t belong to me.” I told him it belonged to me and I wanted to give it to him. He said that he couldn’t take it. When I pressed him further for a reason, he said, “I didn’t earn it!”

For a moment I was speechless, then I told him, that is why people are punished even though Jesus died. They still face God’s wrath because they don’t receive his gift. I talked with him about how something is not a gift if you earn it.

He never took the dollar, and he hasn’t yet trusted Christ, but I am praying for him.

This was just a reminder to me of the power that self-sufficiency has in our lives. We feel that we have to earn something, even when it is offered as a gift. Not only is this too often a roadblock to salvation, it is also a roadblock to our sanctification. May God grant us to recognize that though this grace cost God the death of his Son, he offers it to us as grace, no payment necessary, no earning possible.

Check It Out 11 10 09

Some links to some things I found worth reading.

A video celebrating the 234th birthday of the United States Marine Corp.
(HT Kevin Pierpont)

Here is an update on the fundraising effort I linked to yesterday.

The Boston Globe has a picture essay celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Our God Is Amazing

This morning I pointed to a blog post where Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like was attempting to raise $30,000 to build a kindergarten building in a poor city in Northwest Vietnam. His goal was to have the amount raised by the end of the year. I checked at 9:30 on the donation site and found that within 18 hours there has been over $30,000 donated. Praise God for his generosity through his people. Jon posted an update in the early evening when the total was at $24,000.

Check It Out 11 09 09

Things I found interesting today.

Jon Acuff writes about a project he just started to raise money to build a kindergarten in Vietnam. I am looking forward to getting his book.
(HT Abraham Piper)

Scott Anderson reviews Steven Curtis Chapman’s new album Beauty Will Rise. I have listened to portions of it and enjoyed it greatly. (HT Dan)

Justin Taylor posted the interview that Mike Huckaby did with Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood director in Texas that became a pro-life advocate after seeing an abortion procedure by means of ultrasound. This is worth the time to watch.

Remember Christian Audio is offering a free download of John Piper’s book Desiring God throughout this month.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Check It Out 11 08 09

Here are some recent items that I have read and found helpful.

Voice of the Martyrs prayer request for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

At Between Two Worlds, Justin Taylor posts an article about God’s love and how that relates to suffering.

My daughter, Bethany is teaching in Honduras for this school year. She continues to write about her experiences there. Yesterday she wrote about little boys and frogs.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Check It Out 11 06 09

Here are a couple links worth looking at.

Rules for youth groups. (HT Jason Taylor)


imonk has a thoughtful post on gospel living daily even when tragedy enters our lives. (HT Timmy Brister)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Check It Out 11 05 09

Links of interest for today.

Noel Piper has written a series of articles chronicling their adoption story.

Justin Taylor has posted a thoughtful essay about B. B. Warfield.

Thabiti Anyabwile has a post on the vital need of prayer for preaching.

Thom Rainer has a good reminder on one of the important metrics for understanding church attendance.

The director of planned parenthood in Texas that reversed her course.

Deal of the Day??? (thanks @Davecruver)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Check It Out 11 04 09

Here are a couple of recent web pages worth looking at.


Rod Decker gives notice about a new commentary series in the works. The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary looks like it could be a worthy set. But it also looks like it will be quite a while before any are seen.

Interview with Steven Curtis Chapman on the sorrow and pain of grief and the grace of God in the midst of that grief.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Check It Out 11 03 09

Naked and Alone Hung the Son of Man This is a poem by Kevin Hartnett that is a thoughtful, instructive look at the cross. He writes with a gospel perspective. Explore his site. (HT Of First Importance )

Video of John Piper commenting on the devastating nature of the prosperity gospel.

Christianaudio is offering Desiring God as a free audio book for the month of November. Apparently some have had trouble downloading because of overwhelming demand, but keep trying. They are encouraging people to try again later in the month if they have trouble now.

Life size Noah’s Arks have been built as replicas in several places. Here are some neat photographs and commentaries.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thanksgiving

We set aside the fourth Thursday in November to give thanks for the blessings that we enjoy. Abraham Lincoln made this proclamation in 1863:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. . . . I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States. . . [to] set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers . . .


The principle of thankfulness certainly ought to be a year round thing, yet it is good to be reminded of it especially on occasion. I appreciate that President Lincoln connected thankfulness for God’s blessing with intercession for the weak and powerless. Remember that all we have is a blessing of God.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Excitement in Honduras

I was pleased this week to talk to Bethany and listen to her excitement about her time in Honduras. She had the opportunity to experience two exciting events.

The first was when a fellow teacher called her and told her that she wanted to meet with her. Last week Bethany had shared the Gospel with this teacher. Now she was calling Bethany and wanted to talk. So Beth told her that she was at Burger King doing lesson plans. The young lady said she’d be right there. When she got there she told Bethany that she had ask Jesus to be her Savior. Beth was very excited about that.

Then second exciting event was when Bethany and several fellow teachers were able to attend the USA vs. Honduras soccer game. The excitement of being packed into a stadium with thousands of Honduran fans was something that she had never experienced before.

Reading about her experience in Honduras is worth your time.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Review: The Jesus Storybook Bible

I recently received a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I had heard some good things about it so decided to see what all the hype was about.

On immediate perception it is a very worthy entry into the genre of children’s Bible storybooks. As I looked through it I was more and more impressed. The author does a wonderful job of drawing the lines of redemptive history all the way through the entire Bible. The subtitle, “Every Story Whispers His Name,” is apt. The various stories are all connected as part of the larger story of Jesus coming to redeem man.

The book is valuable well beyond its nominal audience of children. As a pastor I am intrigued and instructed by her story telling and the wonderful way that she draws us into God’s plan for a redeemer to come. I believe that this book is a good addition to anyone’s library as it is very instructive and compelling in the storyline.

In October they will be releasing the deluxe edition that includes the complete book on audio CD read by award-winning British actor, David Suchet. I commend this to anyone in order to better understand how the story of redemption is told in all the stories of Scripture.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Delight in the Lord

Trust in the Lord and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the Lord

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

(Psalm 37:3-6)

I have been meditating on what it means to delight in the Lord. The call that the Psalmist gives here is key to living the way God desires.

To delight in the Lord means to love the things he loves, to desire the things he desires, to be enamored with knowing him more. It means we look at the Savior and see him as glorious, as someone that we desire to be close to. It means that we seek any means possible to get to know him better. It means that when we realize that other priorities in our lives are crowding him out, we repent of them and turn to him.

To delight in the Lord means to trust him, to take him at his word. When he says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” he means just that. He doesn’t qualify that statement with saying “I will be with you as long as you follow me.” There is tremendous delight in having the confidence that his love for us is not dependent upon us.

When we delight in him we will act the way he wants us to. That is the natural response to his goodness, his love for us.

The basis for our delight is the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. Throughout the Old Testament we read much about fearing God. When we consider our sin, to approach God is a fearful thing. I think of the response of Isaiah when he saw the holiness of God. He responded in abject fear, saying, “Woe is me.” It is truly only through the death of Christ on our behalf that we can have any other response to the holy God than Isaiah’s. We have had our sins paid for, our destinies changed, our inner man transformed by the the work on Calvary. This is greater delight than we can ever hope for.

When we consider the cross, the sacrifice of Jesus, then we can begin to delight in God. Meditate on him, delight yourself in his word, enjoy his presence.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Glories of Christ

The best advertisement is a satisfied customer. We all realize that. When we are looking to make a large purchase we frequently ask others what their experience has been. Their testimony is a major factor in helping us decide about who to buy from.

While certainly salvation is not a purchase we make, the principle still holds true. When we are joyful and enthused about Jesus, that is attractive to others and gives them good reason to consider the Gospel.

The greatest thing that we can do as believers is to truly worship the Lord Jesus. When we do that we honor him and we become the best testimonies of his grace. Consider who he is:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Col. 1:15-16)

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Heb. 1:3)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8)

Consider what he did:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:6-8)

Consider where he is today:

Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Rom. 8:34b)

Meditate on the glories of God the Son. Rejoice in his person. Stand in awe of his being. Wonder at his love. Tell him how much you love him.

As you worship Christ constantly and consistently you will be the best testimony that the world can see. As Paul told Titus, you will “adorn the Gospel. . “ (Titus 2:10)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blessings by the Minute!

This morning I am sitting with a cup of coffee thinking back through this past week. As I contemplate the last 168 hours I am overwhelmed with the sense of God’s goodness.

Last Saturday the team from Evangel Baptist arrived and we got them situated. Sunday Morning was a blessing as they shared in our service, then in the evening service they ministered greatly to our hearts.

That was just the appetizer to what God had in store for us for the week.

These teens threw themselves into the work of ministering to the children we had come for VBS. Our adults had prepared and were just as enthusiastic. That combination achieved one of the most energetic and effective VBS’ that I have ever had the privilege to be a part of.

The numbers grew each day except the last. The enthusiasm was contagious and the love of God was evident. Our Bible teacher did a wonderful job of conveying the truth of God’s Word. The crafts were well thought out. The game time was exciting yet under control. The individual teachers were able to reinforce the truths that had been taught during the lesson time. I am so grateful for our director and how all of this was pulled together.

In the afternoons the team from Evangel dug in (literally) and accomplished some work projects we had. They cleaned out an old brush pile from the back corner, dug out an overgrown bush, scraped and painted an outdoor staircase, then dug out to the foundation of the building so we could waterproof it. That project alone would have occupied the men of the church for most of the summer, but praise God it was done in 4 days.

Thursday evening was special as we hosted a teen rally. The title for it was “Knights of the Burnt Marshmallow.” Our teen leader had games planned, food prepared and we had a marvelous time. At the end of the evening the Gospel was clearly presented by Pastor Pierpont. Praise God for His grace.

The week ended well as our closing program on Friday afternoon was attended by many of the parents. We presented the Gospel and are praying for God’s Spirit to be working in hearts.

The team from Evangel left on Friday afternoon and we are praying for God’s blessing to be upon them as He directs in these teens lives.

I am grateful for the vision of leadership at Evangel Baptist that is behind mission’s trips like these. The parents’ prayers and training is very evident. The commitment of the church to developing a heart for ministry is also evident.

God is always blessing us, it is extra special when he gives us such a week like this when his hand of blessing is even more evident.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Teen Servants

A wonderful group of young people from Evangel Baptist Church in Taylor Michigan are with us this week. They have come to help out with our Vacation Bible School and a large Teen Outreach.

Yesterday they participated in our morning service, leading our singing. Then in the evening service they led they entire service. It was a blessing to have them minister in this way. Watching some young people that we watched grow up serve in such mature ways warmed Renee and my hearts. One of the young men preached in the evening service. His message was very pertinent and it was well done.

I am also humbled by the four adults who have taken a week of their lives and come along to help make this event happen. They truly are showing a servant’s heart.

We all are encouraged by the willingness of these young people to do whatever we need them to do. Their spirit is willing and eager to serve. God will greatly use that type of willingness. I am looking forward to watching how he chooses to use these young people over the next few years. I praise God for the vision that the leadership at Evangel Baptist has. Their commitment to raise up a new generation of Christian leaders has born much fruit. I am thankful that we at First Baptist can benefit from that vision.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Book Review: Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl

Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl focuses one’s attention on the important questions of creation as the snapshot impressions taken during a year on the vast cosmic tilt-a-whirl are recorded. The amusement park ride is the metaphor for the globe spinning in multiple circles as it races through the universe. The various pictures are melded together and form a larger composition that distinctly shows the hand of a designer. Some of these observations are quick, drive by snapshots; others are examined in greater depth.

As I read the book there were times that I felt as if I were on an amusement park ride. The pictures flew by so fast that I had a hard time focusing. Then there are the times when Wilson stops the ride and lets us take a few deep breaths and examine a particular picture. His descriptions are thorough and he writes with good clarity. You truly are given a fresh glimpse of "wide-eyed wonder" as you consider the intricacies of even the most mundane of things. I appreciated the book as a good introduction to building a worldview. Nate Wilson does more than make observations; he draws lines to help us connect the dots so that the larger picture begins to emerge.

I recommend this book for any that are willing to look at the world with that "wide-eyed wonder" and then draw honest conclusions.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending this for me to review as a member of their book review blogger program.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Review of Religion Saves & Nine Other Misconceptions

In Religion Saves & Nine Other Misconceptions, Mark Driscoll tackles some of the thornier questions facing believers in the twenty-first Century. He takes a page from Paul’s answers to the questions the Corinthian Church asked and does a similar thing with questions that were posted on the Mars Hill website. The nine questions that he answers range from questions about birth control, sexual sin and dating to questions regarding style both in the preaching and in the worship, to theological questions on topics like predestination, grace, faith and works, and the doctrinal position (or lack of) of the Emerging Church.

Driscoll uses a blunt, bold style in answering, and he communicates well. He breaks difficult truths down so that they can be easily understood. While one may quibble with some of Mark’s style, his conclusions are well thought out and solid in substance.

I heartily recommend this as a book that cuts through a lot of the rhetoric that passes for Christianity.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Adopted for Life -- Review

Adopted for Life is a compelling, thought provoking book that looks at a theology of adoption. Moore is the dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

This is a very readable book that links adoption and the gospel in persuasive way. Moore has thought deeply about the doctrine of adoption and its intrinsic relationship to the gospel. He has also thought very deeply about adoption as a reality in today’s world. He and his wife have adopted two boys and are walking through the process of raising their family. His insights are moving; his style is gripping. As a pastor with families that have adopted, it has given me a fresh understanding of how to apply the gospel in that context.

The first part of the book is densely packed with parallels between the gospel message and adoption. The final chapters deal with some of the issues that adoptive parents face during the adoption process and after, as they raise their families.

Dr. Moore is passionate about this topic and he is very thoughtful of his exposition of pertinent Scriptures. That makes for a credible read. My eyes filled with tears more than once as I considered this vital topic.

I highly recommend this book for potential adoptive parents, for grandparents, for pastors, and for thoughtful Christians who want to be biblically informed regarding this topic.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Case for Life -- Review

In The Case for Life Scott Klusendorf has written a very readable guide to what is truly at stake in the debate regarding the lives of the unborn. The subtitle is Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. This should be required reading for all church leaders. It should be on the recommended list in church libraries and every believer should be familiar with the approach to the abortion debate that is recommended.

His book is divided into four parts that address different needs for Christians: clarifying the debate, establishing a foundation for the debate, answering questions persuasively, and teaching and equipping.

In his preface and throughout the book Klusendorf strongly advocates graciousness in any debate regarding life issues. When pro-life people answer questions regarding abortion policies they should do it in a “winsome and attractive matter.” We must remember that as Christians we are ambassadors for Christ, we are his representatives in this world. That lays a deep responsibility on us to be gracious and polite even as we refute deadly arguments.

In part one, Klusendorf urges pro-lifers to clarify what is being debated. While often the popular debate centers on choice or privacy issues, Klusendorf persuasively makes the point that the rhetoric needs be stripped away and the debate focused on the issue of whether a human being is killed or not. He marshals the scientific and medical communities testimonies concerning the fact that at conception a human embryo is distinctly a human being. Once that is established he advocates some strategies to demonstrate what is truly at stake in the abortion discussion.

He suggests a very simple yet powerful strategy that he calls “trot out the toddler.” That is substitute a toddler for the unborn in any argument that advocates abortion. This puts the debate on the different plane than most abortion advocates want to be. Throughout the book Klusendorf gives examples of using these strategies in a gracious, kind, yet determined way.

The second part is devoted to deciphering what is truly being said in the debate, cutting through obscuring language. He deals with many relativistic presuppositions, subjecting them to logical analysis to see haw valid they truly are.

In part three he answers many of the objections that are raised about involvement in the Pro-life movement. Most of the answers go right back to the clarified debate, the issue is the taking of a human life. When that is clearly seen as the issue at stake it keeps the debate on moral grounds.

The final part of the book deals with broader strategies to equip churches and believers to deal wisely and persuasively with abortion advocates. He urges a strong biblical foundation on how life is viewed. He also advocates compassionate care for those that have had abortions.

I highly recommend this book for all Christians to read and evaluate so that they can understand and engage the culture

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Gospel and Idolatry

I just listened to Tim Keller's message from the Gospel Coalition again. What an important reminder for us to be identifying idols and then exposing and destroying them. I highly recommend listening to this.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Great Exchange

Today we think about the death of our Savior. I am overwhelmed as I meditate on his willing sacrifice. He went to the cross in my place.

I am currently reading The Great Exchange by Bob Bevington and Jerry Bridges. I highly recommend this book. The topic is the exchange of Christ’s righteousness for my sin.

That is what the cross is all about, that is the Gospel, the good news. When we think about the cross, we have to see it for what it truly is. Sure, it was a diabolical instrument of torture, certainly it was an horrendous death for Christ to suffer, but it is so much more than that. It is Christ, the God-man dying in my place, taking my sin upon himself, and placing his righteousness on me. It is the great exchange.

Praise God for his mercy and grace. May he be glorified as we meditate on the Gospel.




Added: Read the prayer from Valley of Vision that Justin Taylor posted this morning.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Extravagant Worship

Meditate on the extravagant gift that Mary of Bethany poured out on the Savior just two days before his death. She brought the most valuable item she owned and poured it out on his head. The perfume symbolized her devotion. (Read Mark 14:2-9)
She came in and just lavished her love on the one who was soon to pour out his life in an extravagant display of love for the world.

Of course there were those present who criticized her display of devotion. They said: “This is poor stewardship of the what God has given you. You should have sold this and used it to help multitudes of people. Just think what a waste this was to pour it out on one person!”

Jesus rebuked such indignant murmuring. He said that the devotion to him was of greater worth than anything else she could do. He commended her love, saying that she did all she could do. He said it would be talked about wherever the Gospel was preached.

As I meditate on this, I think about the way I worship the Savior. There are times when I am more concerned with being a good steward of my time than I am with worshiping the one who gave his life for me. I need to lavish in my devotion to him, I need to be extravagant as I worship.

Mary’s worship is spoken of wherever the Gospel is preached, is my worship in the same class? Even a hundred years from now, would anyone speak of my devotion? The best stewardship of my time is to devote it to Christ. May we all be as extravagant as Mary of Bethany.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How Great Is Our God

One theme repeated throughout the Old Testament is the condemnation of graven images. The second commandment explicitly forbids the making and the worship of images. The prophets preach against it and condemn it in no uncertain terms. Yet Israel constantly succumbed to this temptation during the centuries of living in the land, from the time of the Judges until the time of the Babylonian exile.

It is not just Israel that had this problem. Throughout the world religion after religion makes images to bow down to and worship. From simplistic animistic religions of tribal people, to the complexity of a religion like Hinduism; even some forms of Christianity produce images to be ‘venerated.” Why is there such an attraction to images?

While many postulate that man simply needs a physical object to fasten upon, and that most are not truly worshipping that object, I believe that there is a much deeper thing going on here.

Creating an image to represent God is an attempt to reduce God to a manageable level; to “cut God down to size;” to put God on a plane where man can understand him; to control the deity.

Most Christians do not worship images. That is one of the commandments that seems to be a moot point in our modern and now postmodern era. Yet I think that we often violate the principle behind this command. We, in our attitudes and too often in our practice limit the infinite immensity of God. We limit the time that we ascribe to him, worshipping at only certain specified times, Sunday mornings or our devotional time in the morning. We limit the places we worship him, only in a church building. We limit our concept of him, thinking of him as a problem solver and only calling on him when we are in distress; or we think of him as a lawgiver, one to be obeyed or we face consequences.

He is all this and so much more.

We must meditate on the immensity of God, on his infinite being. We must marvel at the freedom of God, no one can rule him. We must bow before the majesty of God, he is more glorious than all creation. We must wonder at the might of God, the sovereign over all rulers. We must bask in the love of God, he sent his Son as the Savior. We must continually seek to know him, the unknowable, in a deeper and more intimate way.

C. S. Lewis reminded us that he is “not a tame lion.” We cannot contain nor control God, we can only worship him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Recommendation

I am currently reading and reviewing The Case for Life (Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture) by Scott Klusendorf.

Scott has written a very readable guide to what is truly at stake in the debate regarding the lives of the unborn. His book is divided into four parts that address different needs for Christians: clarifying the debate, establishing a foundation for the debate, answering questions persuasively, and teaching and equipping.

I am about halfway through the book and will post a complete review after I finish it.

In his preface and throughout the book Klusendorf strongly advocates graciousness in any debate regarding life issues. When pro-life people answer questions regarding abortion policies they should do it in a “winsome and attractive matter.” We must remember that as Christians we are ambassadors for Christ, we are his representatives in this world. That lays a deep responsibility on us to be gracious and polite even as we refute deadly arguments.

Klusendorf suggests a very simple strategy in debating with both abortion advocates and with those who are unwilling to take a definitive position. He calls it “trot out the toddler.” That is substitute a toddler for the unborn in any argument that advocates abortion. This puts the debate on the different plane than most abortion advocates want to be.

He then marshals the evidence that life begins at conception. This is a key point for the debate as it helps us see what is truly at stake.

Throughout the book Klusendorf gives examples of using these strategies in a gracious, kind, yet determined way. I highly recommend this book for all Christians to read and evaluate so that they can understand and respond to the culture that we are part of.

I will post a full review of this book later.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Compassion

This Sunday we were reminded of the compassion and love and mercy that God has for us.  It is only right for us to show compassion and love and mercy to others.  Here is a ministry that is doing that in Ghana, West Africa.  




Pray for the Volta Home for Children.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pray for Glory

We must ask to see God’s glory each day.

Consider the account of the golden calf at Sinai.

The children of Israel grew impatient as Moses was on the mountain. In their arrogant impatience they decided to make their own god and so fashioned a golden calf.

Moses went to God to plead for mercy for the people. After God promised mercy Moses had some other requests that culminated in his request to be shown God’s glory.

God’s reply was to tell Moses that no one could see God’s glory and live. However, he would place Moses in a hole and cover him with his hand and then pass by. After he had made his glory to pass by, God would remove his hand and Moses would then see the remnants of God’s glory.

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

The glory of God is compassion and grace and patience and love and faithfulness and forgiveness and justice. The glory of God was nailed to the cross, providing man with grace and love and forgiveness as God’s justice was poured out on his son.

Reading this moves me to meditate on these attributes of God and to consider how I can demonstrate them in the fallen world we live in.

When we ask God for compassion and grace, or patience, or forgiveness, or for justice we are asking to see his glory.  It is God's glory to love us.

Pray for his glory in your life, both because you need it and because everyone you come in contact with needs it as well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Put Your Hope in God

This morning for my devotions I read Psalm 42 and 43. These psalms fit together. Three times in these two psalms the psalmist asks this question, “Why am I so depressed, Why this turmoil within me?” This must have been dark days for him. There are times in all of our lives when we go through the darkness, the pain of doubting that things will ever get better.

At that time, when our souls are asking that questions, we have a choice in how we will answer. The psalmist answered it the same way every time, “Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,my Savior and my God.”

After I read in Psalms, I read Genesis 39, the account of Joseph in Egypt. In that difficult place Joseph kept his hope fixed on God. Despite temptation to follow the path of fleshly indulgence he kept his hope fixed on God. When lied about and unfairly punished he kept his hope fixed on God. In the typically terse language of Genesis, Moses assures us that God continued to bless Joseph, even in those dark circumstances.

After I read and meditated on that, I read 2 Chronicles 16. This chapter tells us of the last days of Asa, king of Judah, one of the good kings. Asa had instituted massive reforms in Judah, had turned the hearts of the people back to God, had seen God’s blessing throughout his long reign. We are told how Asa continually sought God until we get to chapter 16. Here, near the end of his life, Asa is confronted with an attack from his northern neighbor, Israel. Asa’s response this time is to seek help from Syria, instead of going to God. It is interesting how the Chronicler records the story. Asa is apparently successful, the King of Israel retreats and the immediate crisis is resolved. Then these verses are inserted: “At that time Hanani the prophet visited King Asa of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Syria and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. . . ” The prophet goes on to remind Asa of how God has protected him in the past, how he would have had an even greater victory if he had just put his hope in God instead of the king of Syria. Instead of repenting, Asa gets angry and puts the prophet in prison.

The end of the chapter shows that the Chronicler understood completely the issue that was involved here. He says that after reigning for 39 years, Asa had a disease of his feet. Here is how it is put: “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a foot disease. Though his disease was severe, he did not seek the LORD, but only the doctors. Asa passed away in the forty-first year of his reign.” For three years Asa suffered with this and did not put his hope in God, only in man’s wisdom.

As I meditate on the Psalmist’s words and these two godly men and their very different responses to dark trials, I am encouraged and I am admonished. I am encouraged that even in the deepest, darkest of times I can and I should put my hope in the Lord. He is accomplishing his purposes in my life and in the wider world around me. I am admonished that so often I forget this principle and blithely seek men’s wisdom instead of going to the Lord and trusting him.

Oh, that I might regularly remind my soul that I must hope in God first, that his mercies are great, that his concern is more than any man’s, that his way is perfect and that he will accomplish his purposes.

I am encouraged by the words of William Cowper’s poem, God Moves in a Mysterious Way.

God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform;

He plants His footsteps in the sea

And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs

And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy and shall break

In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

But trust Him for His grace;

Behind a frowning providence

He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding every hour;

The bud may have a bitter taste,

But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err

And scan His work in vain;

God is His own interpreter,

And He will make it plain.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

That's My King

I shared this with our people today after our lunch. This is a marvelous reminder of who Jesus is. A soul stirring presentation of the attributes of Christ.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Life Is Tough; God Is Good

My Brother was laid off yesterday after 23 years with his company. My cousin was laid off last week after 8 years with his company. I just received an email from one of our church members that he was just given 2 weeks notice.

It is easy to despair during times like this. I understand the fear, the uncertainty, the shock, the anger that can come during a sudden, unexpected reordering of your life. We just lived through nearly four years of that uncertainty. My heart is burdened for these dear ones.

But my heart is encouraged as well because I know that this is in the vast, good plan of our loving Father.

When I talked with my brother yesterday I told him that he had an awesome opportunity to demonstrate the reality of his faith to his teenage children. Sure there are difficult emotions, there are all of the decisions that must be made, the efforts to update the resume, the networking that must be done. But first of all there is the time to praise God for his multiplied blessings. As I shoveled snow this morning I kept remembering the old Gospel Song: Count Your Blessings:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

I was meditating on the truth in that short verse and the good advice.

I also began meditating on the Psalms and the times that the Psalmist said to just think back on the blessings of God. Over and over again the great things that God had done for Israel are reflected on. God’s graciousness is extolled.

One particular Psalm is slightly different. It is Psalm 73. In that Psalm Asaph is discouraged because it seems as if the wicked prosper and the righteous are always suffering. But when he reflects on the glory of God and on the big picture, i.e the judgment of the wicked, then he remembers that God is in control and that what we take for suffering is in the final result, God’s blessing.

As we face uncertain days may we continue to meditate on God’s character, his love, his sovereignty, his glory. That is the best thing that we can do to encourage our souls.

(Edited to add Psalm 103)

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,
and his righteousness unto children’s children;
To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion:
Bless the LORD, O my soul.”

(Psalms 103:0-22 KJV)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Praying for Our President

Ligon Duncan has an excellent article on an appropriate way to pray for our new president. I am linking it here. I shared this with our church people tonight. I also referenced Psalm 20 in regard to praying for our leaders.

This Psalm is a coronation Psalm, given as a new king was crowned.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.    Selah
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

O Lord, save the king! Answer us when we call!”
(Psalms 20:1-9 NIV)

Monday, January 05, 2009

God of the Ages

This song sums up my sermon yesterday.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Creator-Redeemer


I am preaching on Colossians 1 tomorrow.  As I have prepared this sermon I am in awe of the Redeemer.  

He created and sustains this world.  He is above all.  He rules over all.  He is the before all and the greatest of all. He is the image of God, revealing the Father to his creation.  Yet the crown of his creation has chosen to rebel against him.  Still he cares about his creation.  He rules over it, he cares for it, ultimately he died to redeem it.  I am reminded that Paul said in Romans 8 that all creation is groaning awaiting the time that all will be set free.  We join in that groaning, looking for the day when we will be free from the effects of sin.  Yet in a real sense when we know Christ as Saviour we are currently free, having already been redeemed by his death on the cross.

We rejoice in that redemption, living our lives for the sake of that Gospel.  That impacts every area of our lives.  All that we do, every activity that we engage in, should be done in the light of redemption. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV) 

Quite a testimony

This is a video compiled about Tim Tebow. A friend of mine had it posted on Facebook and I thought it was worth posting here.

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