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Showing posts from December, 2009

Charles Wesley pens a "Calvinistic" hymn...

I laughed as I read Sinclair Ferguson this morning when he said: "John Duncan, professor of Hebrew at New College, Edinburgh, once read out the words of Charles Wesley's hymn And Can it Be that I Should Gain? : Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature's night Thine eye diffused a quickening ray I woke, the dungeon flamed with light My chains fell off my heart was free; I rose, went forth, and followed Thee My chains fell off my heart was free; I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. Duncan commented quizzically, "Where's your Arminianism now, friend?" The Wesley brothers were indeed Arminian in theology (despite their conviction that many of their views were 'within a hair's breath of Calvinism [and, I might add, many of the Arminians then are more Calvinistic than many Calvinists today ]). But at this point, Charles Wesley's expressions of praise are rooted in a theology borrowed from his Calvinist friend George Whitefield's

Cute Cat

Now, I post this not only cause it's cute, but because I think it's funny that all the guys in my youth group love this video and brought it to my attention last week!

Sex is NOT the problem--lust is

In preparation for our youth/college retreat to Big Bear next month focusing on the theme of God, Sex, and Purity , I read Josh Harris' book to prepare my mind and teach me helpful truths about pursuing purity and Christlikeness and resisting the poison of lust. Harris, Joshua. Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World . Colorado Springs : Multnomah Books, 2003. 185 pages “I’m against lust, but I’m also for God’s plan for sexual desire. Yes, lust is bad. But it’s bad because what it perverts is so good.” (11) “Some people have the mistaken notion that God is anti-sex. In fact, He’s outspokenly pro-sex ! He invented it. What an incredible thought! Passionate sex was God’s idea. He isn’t embarrassed by it. Song of Songs is an entire book in the Bible dedicated to celebrating pure sex in marriage. Part of the challenge Christians face in a lust-filled world is remembering that neither sex nor sexuality is our enemy. Sex is not the prob

Work Hard at Everything to the Glory of God

Work Hard at Everything to the Glory of God King Hezekiah of Judah was, according to the Scriptures, one of the godliest kings in ancient Israel . That he was a man who feared Yahweh, loved loud worship, preached bold messages of repentance and turning back to Yahweh, and affirmed the people of God’s compassion and forgiveness if they would repent is clearly shown in the biblical record—especially in 2 Chronicles! In reading this book, I am amazed at how many times the Chronicler goes out of his way to note that Hezekiah commanded the worshippers to sing, play, worship, and make jubilation. What a glorious time of ancient Israel . This period is, in fact, a glimpse of godliness in the glaring face of un godliness during that time period. Note what the Chronicler writes: 2 Chronicles 31:20-21 20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right and true before the LORD his God. 21 Every work which he began in the service of the house

Sexting--A New Way of Sexual Pleasure?

Sexting—the New and Immoral Fad of Youth Today John Sutter in a CNN article entitled, “Survey: 15% of Teens get sexual text messages,” wrote: Nearly one-sixth of teens who own cell phones have received nude or nearly nude images via text message from someone they know, according to a new survey on "sexting" from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The national telephone survey confirms parent and teacher worries that young people are using cell phones to send out and receive sexually explicit images of themselves and of romantic partners. He continues: This survey … found 15 percent of cell-phone-owning teens ages 12 to 17 had received nude or nearly nude photos by phone. Four percent of the teens said they had sent out sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves. Older teens were more likely to send sexual images through text messages than younger teens. Four percent of 12-year-olds reported sending sexually sugge

God's Word is Better Than Life--Preparing for Israel

I have had the immeasurable joy this week of busying myself with God and His Word. Preparing for our Israel trip has been a tremendous joy (and responsibility) these last few months as I’m about to lead my second trip to Israel . Though I’ve been free from PhD coursework, I’ve immersed myself in reading large portions of Scripture in one sitting. This week I’ve read Deuteronomy, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings and, Lord willing, I’ll finish 1 and 2 Chronicles by this weekend so I can have the four gospels read by the time our flight leaves on Christmas morning. The amazing truth that has hit me time and time again has been the sovereignty of God—over everything. God is in absolute control over everything. From the covenants, to the kings, to the battles, to the enemies God reigns supremely on His sovereign throne working out His already established purposes. I love God’s Word. I am getting ready go to Israel . After I read these next few books on my list, then

your life is a vapor.

James 4:13-17 13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away . 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Christian--You are Righteous. Perfectly Righteous.

Praise God for the righteousness of Christ credited to my account: “The sins of a believer are so effectually removed that even when or if they are sought for, they cannot be found. For Jesus has borne them away. Believers are complete in Him and clothed in His righteousness. They shall stand before God without spot or wrinkle. Who shall lay anything to their charge?” —John Newton

Finished with semester #1 of PhD program...

Praise the LORD! Yesterday was the completion of my first semester in my doctoral program. I turned in my two semester papers yesterday which in turn brought overflowing joy to my heart! I had two courses and two major papers that I’ll discuss briefly in turn. My first class was New Testament Greek studies. Essentially, this was a semester course on the intricate details of the Greek language—syntax. We dealt with issues such as the verb and if inherently expresses time and if so, how much. We dealt with the issues of linguistics, word studies, reading, reviewing, and critiquing the major grammars, and then we had to write a paper on a major grammar topic. Some guys had papers on infinitives, the middle voice, genitives, and correlative constructions, and I did my paper on word order in the Greek NT. Essentially I went in to the semester holding to the standard VSO (verb, subject, object) word order in the Greek NT (as similar to Hebrew). But this study changed

the sovereignty of God.

"Learn then this basic truth, that the Creator is absolute Sovereign, executing His own will, performing His own pleasure, and considering naught but His own glory. “The Lord hath made all things FOR HIMSELF. (Prov 16:4). And had He not a perfect right to do so? Since God is God, who dare challenge His prerogative? To murmur against Him is rank rebellion. To question His ways is to impugn His wisdom. To criticize Him is sin of the deepest dye. Have we forgotten who He is?" —AW Pink

my soul is anchored to Christ today.

This morning I comforted my soul with a prayer from The Valley of Vision (p.199). It says: “May the close of an earthly Sabbath remind me that the last of them will one day end. Animate me with joy that in heaven praise will never cease, That adoration will continue forever, That no flesh will grow weary no congregations disperse, no affections flag no thoughts wander, no will droop, but all will be adoring love! …Wing me through earthly forms to thy immediate presence; May my feeble prayers show me the emptiness and vanity of my sins; Deepen in me the conviction that my most fervent prayers, and most lowly confessions, need to be repented of. May my best services bring me nearer to the cross, and prompt me to cry, ‘None but Jesus!’ …Let all who see me take knowledge that I have been with thee That thou hast taught me my need as a sinner, hast revealed a finishe

Don't Muzzle Your Ox

1 Timothy 5:17-18 17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages." This gets the point across don't you think? HT: Todd Bolen

Ask tough questions of your pastor

Great advice from another blog : One of the new practices on our elder board is that we take 30 minutes at the beginning of every meeting to cross-examine one of the brothers. You hear a lot of expected questions (How is your prayer life and quiet time? How is your parenting?), but you also a wide range of unexpected questions. One question that I heard recently that I thought would be good for other pastors to consider: "If the devil were to ruin your ministry, what area of your life would he pursue?" And a follow-up question: "Whatever area of life is vulnerable, what are you doing right now to protect against the devil's work?" Brothers, don't let the devil get a foothold in your life. Pray and Fight. There is much work left to be done. HT: 9 marks