Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Law No President Can Escape


Here is a thoughtful and insightful editorial by Mindy Belz from the November 1st issue of World Magazine. A few quotes here:

Unintended Consequences: It’s a law no president can escape
by Mindy Belz

I know of a woman from Iraq who cried so much when her husband was kidnapped that her right eye no longer tracks. It came loose, unhinged itself with grief. A lot of Iraqis like her feel to their very joint and marrow that their world came unglued when the United States went to war in Iraq. Her family is together again—mother, father, and four children—but they can never go back home. . . .

Tens of thousands of Muslim families have suffered kidnappings, bombings, death, and destruction. But for minority Christians the demographics of war have been crippling: Since 2003 their numbers in Iraq have been halved by violence and persecution. Before the war most church leaders say the Christian population was 750,000 to 800,000. Now it is at or below 400,000. . . .

This is one of the most glaring examples of the law of unintended consequences, the plague of presidential politics no one wants to talk about. Who knew that a war in Iraq by a president globally known for his personal faith would fall so heavy on his fellow believers? Who knew that the financial heyday launched by banking deregulation would be mortgaged on the backs of those designed to benefit most from it? Who knew that one administration making little of a truck bomb driven into the bowels of the World Trade Center in 1993 would leave open a door for a future strike that would consume the next presidency? . . .

All historians will agree that the single most important event of the Bush administration—and perhaps many more—is 9/11. It was the largest attack on U.S. soil in a century. It was unprecedented in nature. It forced the largest reorganization of the U.S. government in history. It led to the federal takeover of airport security. It sent our army and many others to war. . . .

McCain has pointed out that there is no economic security without military security. In hindsight we know some warned of homeland terror and financial doom. The big question now is, will the next president be listening?
If you want to read the whole editorial online, Click Here.

The Idol of the Nations: The Economy

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears,
but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths.
Those who make them become like them,
so do all who trust in them!
(Psalm 135:15-18)

"One of the issues at centre stage in Canada’s 2008 election campaign is the economy.".
September 14, 2008
2008 Canadian Election Issues and Events
Mapleleafweb (mapleleafweb.com)

"The collapse of Wall Street has reinforced voters' concerns about the economy ahead of the Nov. 4 vote."
October 29, 2008 ·
McCain, Obama Offer Two Paths To Save Economy
National Public Radio (npr.org)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? . . . For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:25-27, 32-34)

12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child

Abraham Piper is the son of Dr. John Piper, the preaching pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Abraham lived far from the Lord (drugs, alcohol, sex) until when he was 23 years old, he surrendered his heart and life to Jesus Christ. Last year he wrote this article to encourage those who are struggling with wayward children. It was recently reprinted in the BGC World magazine. I am just quoting a small part of his opening and the points that he made.

12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child
by Abraham Piper

The best way I know to describe what happened to me that morning is that God made it possible for me to love Jesus. When he makes this possible and at the same time gives you a glimpse of the true wonder of Jesus, it is impossible to resist his call. Looking back on my years of rejecting Christ, I offer these suggestions to help you reach out to your wayward child so that he or she, too, would wake up to Christ’s amazing power to save even the worst of us.

1. Point them to Christ.
2. Pray.
3. Acknowledge that something is wrong.
4. Don’t expect them to be Christ-like.
5. Welcome them home.
6. Plead with them more than you rebuke them.
7. Connect them to believers who have better access to them.
8. Respect their friends.
9. Email them.
10. Take them to lunch.
11. Take an interest in their pursuits.
12. Point them to Christ.


To read the entire article and his explanation of each point, Click Here.

What’s God Got to Do With It?

In the October 20, 2008 issue of Newsweek Magazine society editor Lisa Miller wrote an article about Joel and Victoria Osteen. The following is a quote:

Prosperity preachers are neither new nor unique in America, but the Osteens' version seems especially self-serving. Victoria's book betrays her interest in the kind of small gratifications that rarely extend to other people, let alone to the larger world. She recommends that women take "me time" every day, and indulge occasionally in a (fat-free!) ice cream. She writes repeatedly about her love for the gym. Her relationship advice is retrograde dross: submit to your man, or at least pretend you're submitting, and then do what you want anyway. "I know if I just wait long enough," she writes, "eventually my idea will become Joel's idea, and it will come to pass." When I asked her how she kept her two children interested in church, she answered that even though they were a broccoli and lean-meats household, she gave them doughnuts as a special treat on Sundays. All this is fine, in the pages of a women's magazine or a self-help book. But what has God got to do with it?

J.T.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Down in the River to Pray - Alison Krauss



Chorus
As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol' way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord show me the way!

O sisters let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
O sisters let's go down
Down in the river to pray

O brothers let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
Come on brothers, let's go down
Down in the river to pray

O fathers let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
O fathers let's go down
Down in the river to pray

O mothers let's go down
Come on down, don't you wanna go down?
Come on mothers, let's go down
Down in the river to pray

O sinners, let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
O sinners, let's go down
Down in the river to pray

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fishing with the Bears

Today Doug Faust and I went fishing for salmon. We began on the Somass River and it was one of most picturesque and idyllic mornings imaginable: the sun was shining, the rushing of the rapids, trees in full fall color, a blue heron on a rock nearby watching fish, and a bald eagle soaring high overhead. Yet in spite of our peaceful setting, we were somewhat unnerved by the constant presence of bears – bear prints everywhere, numerous piles of fresh bear scat on the trail, the strong smell of bears in the air, and a black bear across the river from where we were fishing, looking for a place to join us on our side. The entire time we fished there, we were on constant alert.

As I reflected on the duality of my feelings (peace and apprehension) I thought about how we are so often lulled into spiritual numbness by the good things in life without being aware of the evil that is also all around us. The apostle Peter writes: "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world" (1 Peter 5:8-9).

My constant prayer is that God, in the midst of the goodness of life, would continuously make me aware of both the depth the sin that is within me and also of the constant evil that is all around me, who “prowls around . . . to devour.” In the words of the old Puritan prayer:

Wean me from all evil, mortify me to the world,
and make me ready for my departure hence
animated by the humiliations of penitential love.
My soul is often a chariot without wheels,
clogged and hindered in sin’s miry clay;
Mount it on eagle’s wings,
and cause it to soar upward to thyself.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 5:10-11).

How Important is Church Membership?

At the end of my sermon last week I spoke about, among other things, membership in the church. Since then I have had a few questions then asking about where in the Bible it speaks about membership. As a help to those who have asked – and for those who haven’t – a few quotes from a sermon John Piper preached this past summer on membership.

How Important is Church Membership?
by Dr. John Piper

I will point to five strands in the New Testament of evidence for church membership. Each of these reveals something in the New Testament which would be minimized or denied if there were no definable local church membership.

1) The Church Is to Discipline Its Members
Church membership is implied by the way the church is supposed to discipline its members. Consider the implication of Matthew 18:15-17 where “the church” appears to be the final court of appeal in matters of church authority as it relates to membership: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

2) Excommunication Exists
Church membership is implied by the simple fact that excommunication even exists. Paul implies this in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 where he deals with the necessity of putting someone out of the church. He says, “What have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.’”

3) Christians Required to Submit to Their Leaders
Church membership is implied in the biblical requirement of Christians to be submitted to a group of church leaders, elders, or pastors. . . . Consider the way the New Testament talks about the relationship of the church to her leaders: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account” (Hebrews 13:17); “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).

4) Shepherds Required to Care for Their Flock
Church membership is implied in the way the New Testament requires elders to care for the flock in their charge. . . . Consider Acts 20:28 where Paul tells the elders how to care for their flock: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

5) The Metaphor of the Body
Church membership is implied in the metaphor of the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. The original meaning of the word member is member of a body, like hand and foot and eye and ear. That’s the imagery behind the word "member" in the text. Verse 12: “Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”

I close by urging you to pray and to think this through for your own life. The New Testament knows of no Christians who are not accountable members of local churches in the sense that we have just seen. “Lone-Ranger Christians” are a contradiction because becoming a Christian means being united to Christ, and union with Christ expresses itself in union with a local body of believers. It seems to us that in the New Testament, to be excluded from the local church was to be excluded from Christ. This is why the issue of membership is so important.

Church membership is a blood-bought gift of God’s grace. More than most of us realize, it is a life-sustaining, faith-strengthening, joy-preserving means of God’s mercy to us. I urge you not to cut yourself off from this blessing.

To read/hear my sermon from 2008-10-19, Click Here.
To read/hear/watch Dr. Piper’s sermon from 2008-07-13, Click Here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Muslims Defending Christians in Iraq

From World Magazine online:

It's the Muslim day of prayer, and not surprisingly the clerics in Baghdad led prayer services with political rhetoric. But at least one cleric has come to the defense of Christians in the northern city of Mosul.

Shiite cleric Sadralddin al-Qubanji told followers Friday that the recent killings of Christians in Mosul are a "malicious scheme against Christians and all Iraqis," and he said he disapproved of the attacks in "letter and spirit."

Contacts in Mosul have told WORLD that anywhere from 25 to 40 Christians have been killed at gunpoint in the city since Oct. 4, and that approximately 3,750 Iraqi Christians have fled the city. “We left everything behind us. We took only our souls,” said Nima Noail, 50, a civil servant who left his home in Mosul and is now living in a church, according to Barnabas Fund. On Oct. 16 WORLD received a list of nine Christians confirmed dead in Mosul, including a 15-year-old boy gunned down in the street while playing with Muslim friends on Oct. 4, and a man in a wheelchair killed while working in the shop where he sold spare parts on Oct. 6.

To read the full story Click Here.

Fishers of Men - Rhonda Vincent



Chorus
Rise and follow me
I'll make you worthy
Rise and follow me
I'll make you fishers of men.

Peter, John, and James
Could never be the same
After they heard him say
I'll make you fishers of men.

Cast your nets aside
And join the battle tide
He will be your guide
To make you fishers of men.

Jesus bore the cross
To gather in the lost
Oh what a mighty cost
To set us free from sin.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Update on Nancy – and Thank You!

Just a quick note to let you know that Nancy is home from the hospital and doing well after her surgery. Dr. Umran has ordered her to “lay low” for a week or two, and she will need to visit him the first week of November for follow up and to discuss test results. God has been so good to us; we can see His sovereign hand at work throughout this whole process.

We are deeply grateful to those in our family of God at Arrowsmith for their love and concern, and for their prayers, flowers, and meals. We are truly blessed to know you as brothers and sisters, and blessed to partner with you in serving the Kingdom of our most gloriouis God of all grace and mercy.

A special thanks to Hermann, Lienkie, and Owen for their guidance; to Daniel for his smile and humble service to Nancy at the hospital, and to Jack for taking time from his day to visit Nancy and have coffee with me.

Thank you Arrowsmith Baptist Church - We love you!

E. M. Bounds on Prayer and Trust

From The Necessity of Prayer by E. M. Bounds:

Faith gives prayer color and tone, shapes its character, and secures its results. Trust is faith that has become absolute, confirmed and completed. . . . Trust is firm belief, it is faith in full flower.

Trust sees God doing things here and now. . . . Trust brings eternity into history and happenings of time, transforms substance of hope into realization, and changes promise into present possession.

Quite often faith is too weak to immediately obtain God’s greatest good. So it has to wait in loving, strong, prayerful, earnest obedience, until it grows in strength, and is able to bring the eternal down into the realms of experience and time. To this purpose, trust masses all its forces. Then here it holds. And in the struggle, trust’s grasp becomes mightier and embraces for itself all that God has done for it in His eternal wisdom and abundance of grace.

Our Lord puts trust at the very foundation of praying. . . . The center of trust is God. . . . When trust is perfect and without doubt, prayer is simply the outstretched hand of expecting to receive. . . . Trust is not belief that God can bless, that He will bless, but that He does bless, here and now. Trust always operates in the present tense. Hope expects. Trust possesses. Trust receives what prayer acquires.

Salmon Run at Stamp Falls


Last week Nancy, Micah and I went to Stamp Falls to watch the salmon run up the ladder. The water was running heavier than normal, causing a mist to rise up in the upper falls as we observed the bright red shadows of the fish as they made their way up stream. This all reminded me of a picture I recently saw, which I have posted below.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Arrowsmith Sermons are Back!

After experiencing problems uploading sermon notes and audios over the past month onto the Arrowsmith Baptist Church website - we now have them uploaded for reading/listening, downloading. You can reach the sermon website simply by clicking on the picture that says "Pastor Leland's Sermons" on the right hand side of this page.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Spirit of God in Morning Devotions and Prayer

During my time with God this morning I saw a theme emerge throughout the varying verses in the Scriptures and prayersI was reading for devotions. I assume this happens to everyone at different times. When this happens to me, I always feel truly blessed that the Holy Spirit is intimately and directly speaking to my heart. To me this is proof that "the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). Here are the words that jumped out at me:

Matthew 26

“You will all fall away because of me this night.”

“This very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!”

And he said to Peter . . . "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Psalm 119

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

My eyes shed streams of tears.


Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision

I have been greatly distressed of soul
because I did not suitably come to the fountain
that purges away all sin.

I have laboured too much for spiritual life,
peace of conscience, progressive holiness,
in my own strength.

Draw me back to thee with everlasting cords . . .

. . . that thou canst cause me to walk with him
by the rivers of waters in a straight way,
wherein I shall not stumble.

Numbers 14

Let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression.”

John 6

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”


John 11

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”

Friday, October 10, 2008

This is the Messiah?

Nation of Islam’s Luis Farrakhan has proclaimed Barack Obama the Messiah.

From World Net Daily:

Addressing a large crowd behind a podium Feb. 24 with a Nation of Islam Saviour’s Day 2008 sign, Farrakhan proclaims:

“You are the instruments that God is going to use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn’t care anything about. That’s a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”




from ER

John Piper: The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood

A few quotes from Dr. Piper’s message last night at the True Woman conference in Chicago, Illinois.

The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood
by John Piper

God’s ultimate purpose for the universe and for all of history and for your life is to display the glory of Christ in its highest expression, namely, in his dying to make a rebellious people his everlasting and supremely happy bride. To say it another way, God’s ultimate purpose in creating the world and choosing to let it become the sin-wracked world that it is, is so that the greatness of the glory of Christ could be put on display at Calvary where he bought his rebellious bride at the cost of his life. . . .

Now where does this take us in regard to the ultimate meaning of true womanhood? It does not take us to wimpy theology or wimpy women. It is not wimpy to say that God created the universe and governs all things to magnify his own grace in the death of his Son for the salvation of his bride. That’s not wimpy. And it doesn’t lead to wimpy womanhood.

But it does lead to womanhood. True womanhood. In fact, it leads to the mind-boggling truth that womanhood and manhood—masculinity and femininity—belong at the center of God’s ultimate purpose. Womanhood and manhood were not an afterthought or a peripheral thought in God’s plan. God designed them precisely so that they would serve to display the glory of his Son dying to have his happy, admiring bride. . . .

In other words, the ultimate meaning of true womanhood is this: It is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of his Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood. If there were only generic persons and not male and female, the glory of Christ would be diminished in the world. When God described the glorious work of his Son as the sacrifice of a husband for his bride, he was telling us why he made us male and female. He made us this way so that our maleness and femaleness would display more fully the glory of his Son in relation to his blood-bought bride.

This means that if you try to reduce womanhood to physical features and biological functions, and then determine your role in the world merely on the basis of competencies, you don’t just miss the point of womanhood, you diminish the glory of Christ in your own life. True womanhood is indispensable in God’s purpose to display the fullness of the glory of his Son. Your distinctive female personhood is not incidental. It exists because of its God-designed relationship to the central event of history, the death of the Son of God.

Click Here to listen/read the entire message.


from DGM

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Puritan Prayer: The Broken Heart

O Lord,
No day of my life has passed
that has not proved me guilty in thy sight.
Prayers have been uttered from a prayerless heart;
Praise has been often praiseless sound;
My best services are filthy rags.
Blessed Jesus, let me find a covert in thy appeasing wounds.
Though my sins rise to heaven, thy merits soar above them;
Though unrighteousness weighs me down to hell,
thy righteousness exalts me to thy throne.
All things in me call for my rejection,
All things in thee plead my acceptance.
I appeal from the throne of perfect justice
to thy throne of boundless grace.
Grant me to hear thy voice assuring me:
that by thy stripes I am healed,
that thou was bruised for my iniquities,
that thou has been made sin for me
that I might be righteous in thee,
that my grevious sins, my manifold sins, are all forgiven,
buried in the ocean of thy concealing blood.
I am guilty, but pardoned,
lost, but saved,
wandering, but found,
sinning, but cleansed.
Give me perpetual broken-heartedness,
Keep me always clinging to thy cross,
Flood me every moment with descending grace,
Open to me the springs of divine knowledge,
sparkling like crystal,
flowing clear and unsullied
through my wilderness of life.
from the Valley of Vision

Monday, October 6, 2008

Paul Tripp: How Sin Affects Our Words

Here is a short interview clip and some words from the message Paul Tripp shared with us on Saturday evening of the 2008 Desiring God National Conference The Power of Words and the Wonder of God.



War of Words: Getting to the Heart for God's Sake
By Paul Trip

You don't define love through a set of abstract concepts. You define love according to what God did. Love is willing self-sacrifice for the redemptive good of another that doesn't demand reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving.

But as long as sin still lives in me I get lured into the desires of my claustrophobic little kingdom of one. I try to get satisfied with the little glories that will never really satisfy me, and I need the saving grace of Christ.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

If you are God's child the power to live according to love is already in your storehouse. This is not a future "will be." It's a redemptive present "is"! He has given us everything we need for life and godliness so that we have access to it today.

O that we would live out of that identity! Instead we live in the poverty of inability when we have been enabled by Christ.

What are the gifts of our redemption?

1) Forgiveness of our sins by the blood of Christ
2) Empowerment to do those things that he calls us to do, and
3) Ultimate deliverance from every ounce of sin in our hearts.

The glorious kingdom of transforming love is ours for the taking. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). Why would you enter once again the claustrophobic confines of your own little self-centered world?

What kingdom rules your words? Whose kingdom do you speak in service of? The claustrophobic kingdom of self or the big-sky glory-infused kingdom of God? For most of us this is mixed, and so we still need the redeeming grace of Christ.

Three ways to pray each morning:


1) God I am a man in desperate need of help this morning.
2) I pray that in your grace you would send your helpers my way.
3) I pray you would give me the humility to receive the help that comes.

Click here to read/listen/watch the whole message.

The Joy of the Lord!

Mark Driscoll: Using Words to Arrest Attention

Here is a short interview clip and some words from the message Mark Driscoll shared with us on Saturday morning of the 2008 Desiring God National Conference The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. Mark had a very difficult subject to preach on and in his own sharp-edged way he did a great job. The words I am quoting here are from the end of the message where Mark shared a very personal note about what it means to be a pastor, which deeply touched Nancy and I.



How Sharp the Edge?
Christ, Controversy, and Cutting Words
By Mark Driscoll

Pray for the shepherds. Pray for them more than you criticize, e-mail, gossip, or blog about them. Pray that they would have a discerning mind to know who is a sheep.

Pray that they would have a thick skin. Pray that they would have a humorous outlook. That they would laugh at themselves, that they would have a tender heart toward Jesus and the sheep. That they wouldn’t be hammered, that they would keep a tender heart, that they would have a humble disposition, that when criticisms are true, they would repent. That they would look at a criticism for a kernel of truth to be sanctified by.

Pray that shepherds would have encouraging families, that their wife would endure all the criticism, backbiting, people who would use her to get influence, that she would remain close to Jesus and be a place of refreshment for her husband, that her job is to keep her husband from despair, by not always agreeing with him but agreeing that she will always be for him.

Pray for his children as people take shots at his family. That his children would not go astray because critics love that.

Pray that one of the elders in the church is a good sniper. That he could spot people who are trying to take down the pastor. If the pastor tries to do it, it’s a lose-lose situation. Some of you elders here need to get in the middle.

That the shepherds would have evangelistic devotion, that they would not just feed the sheep, but that they would love the lost. That they would not waste their time checking their ratings and overlook Paul’s admonition to do the work of an evangelist. That they wouldn’t be so buried in firefights that they can’t see more people become sheep.

Pray for the shepherds, that they would learn selective hearing, that they would listen to their elders, that they would invite into their lives good counsel. Not everything that is said is worth a hearing. Shepherds can become so hard-hearted that their ears are closed and they spend time justifying themselves when they shouldn’t. They need to know who to listen to, who to heed, and who to not to.
Click here to read/listen/watch the whole message.

RefTagger is here!

I have added RefTagger to this blogsite. What this means is that whenever I quote/cite a Bible verse, all you will need to do is touch the verse with your mouse pointer and the verse will automatically come into view. Try it here on 1 Peter 1:8.

John Piper on Logos

For those of you who use Logos Bible Software for your studies, they are now offering The John Piper Collection (books) and John Piper Sermon Manuscripts. Check it out on http://www.logos.com/piper.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Touchdown Dance: Canadian Style


from JT

Bob Kauflin: The Importance of Singing Truth

Here is a short interview clip and some words from the message Bob Kauflin shared with us on Saturday morning of the 2008 Desiring God National Conference The Power of Words and the Wonder of God.



Words of Wonder: What Happens When We Sing?
By Bob Kauflin


We must be clear that it is the gospel and not music that unites us. We should guard against gathering together in churches based upon our musical preferences rather than according to our unity in the gospel. The gospel is what unites us. Ephesians 2:14 - Jesus has united us, not our music. I don't connect with people at my church because they have the same song selection on their iPod. I love them because Christ has enabled me to love them.

The host of heaven is not united in their style of music but in the words of their song (Revelation 5:9-10). What kind of music do people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation sing? We don't know! But the Bible tells us what the focus should be: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. The Lamb must always be central to our corporate singing. Why? Because Jesus is the one who makes it possible. God doesn't hear us on account of our skill in singing. He hears it because it is in his Son. We shouldn't look for music to move us to sing. God has already done something worthy of moving us. How can we then keep from singing?

Click here to read/listen/watch the whole message.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sinclair Ferguson: Where Do You Come From?

Here is a short clip and some words from the message Sinclair Ferguson shared with us on Friday evening of the 2008 Desiring God National Conference The Power of Words and the Wonder of God.

The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing:
An Exposition of James 3:1-12
by Sinclair Ferguson




When I was coming down the elevator, a person came in who had obviously been smoking. Each time this person opened his mouth, the air became more polluted. Why? Because this person could not but breathe out what was within. James says this is true of the tongue. And like smokers, we never notice the atmosphere we are breathing out. James says every time we open our mouths, we give ourselves away. . . .

One of the burden of my life living in the U.S. is that people keep telling me I have an accent. I can’t open my mouth without betraying my identity. It’s the apparent disproportion between this tiny, little instrument and the connectedness it has to my being that I can’t open my mouth with out showing whether or not I give myself away as someone who breathes depravity in the room. . . .

Wherever you are, it’s not so much what you say while you're in the room, it’s the questions people have when you leave the room. “Where do you come from?” This is someone who has been with Jesus. By God’s grace, James says that we may so grow to maturity that we may begin to speak like our blessed Lord Jesus.

Click here to read/listen/watch the whole message.

The Power of Words and The Wonder of God

Now that my family and I are back from our vacation/holiday, I will begin blogging again by sharing some of the more powerful quotes from the messages we heard at the 2008 Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota the last weekend in September. Here was the promotional video for the event.