Food For Thought:

Here are a few links to stir you to think and laugh!

Summer Road Trips: We are going on a Family Trip in two weeks and found this post to be helpful as it suggests good audio books to listen to while on the road.

One Ministry, Two Kingdoms: “The biggest protection against the kingdom of self is not a set of reformative defensive strategies. It’s a heart so blown away by the right-here, right-now glories of the grace of Jesus Christ that you’re not easily seduced by the lesser temporary glories of that claustrophobic kingdom of one, the kingdom of self. The problem is that no matter how committed I am to the big kingdom, I am always grappling with the dynamic of shifting treasure.” Paul Tripp

5 Things Mentors Should Model: I have been blessed with some wonderful mentors in my life and I seek to be one to others as well. This is some good advise for those seeking a mentor or seeking to be a mentor.

Colosse: Fun, Creative and Inspiring

Classical School Reading List: This is a great list of reading books for parents seeking to educate their children.

I hope that these encourage and edify you today.

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The Voice of Jesus: Introduction and Opening Thoughts

“Every Christian should be able to answer two questions. First, what do you think Jesus is saying to you at this point in your life, in the context of the challenges and opportunities you are facing? Second (and just as critical), what indicators give you some measure of confidence that it is indeed Jesus speaking to you rather than someone or something else. This book addresses these questions through an examination of the inner witness of the Spirit, with the conviction that the Spirit is present to each person and that each of us has the capacity to respond intentionally to this witness.” p. 9 The Voice of Jesus: Discernment, Prayer and the Witness of the Spirit by Gordon T. Smith

I am excited about this book and very intrigued by this topic. Discernment is greatly lacking  in the Christian church today and we would do well to seek after it. Discernment includes the concepts of insight, discretion and judgment.

We need to cultivate the capacity to see clearly, to distinguish between good and evil and to make good assessments based on knowledge and understanding. To many Christians merely go with the flow, and ascribe to those things which seem good to them based on their own acceptance of what they deem to be good.

This book makes an effort to correct this problem by equipping Christians to exercise discernment and to hear the inner witness of the Spirit.

Stay tuned for further updates and buy this book and read it along with me. It would be great to dialogue about it.

Food For Thought:

Here are a few links to stir you to think and laugh!

Fake Love, Fake War: You know the guy I’m talking about. He spends hours into the night playing video games and surfing for pornography. He fears he’s a loser. And he has no idea just how much of a loser he is. For some time now, studies have shown us that porn and gaming can become compulsive and addicting. What we too often don’t recognize, though, is why.

Fighting Spiritually: We fight against sin and temptation. We wage a spiritual war against everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. But it wasn’t until I found myself in my weakest condition that I had to fight the most intense battles of my Christian life.

Six Ways of Minimizing Sin: I found these six ways of minimizing sin to be very instructive regarding gospel-centered sanctification/mortification of sin. Take a moment and examine your fight against sin, the ways you are prone to minimize sin, and develop an intentional strategy to renounce them.

Today Was Supposed to Be My Wedding Day: May 26, 2012. It was supposed to be a momentous occasion—the day I would walk down the aisle in my mother’s lace wedding gown, peonies in hand, best friend at my side, family and friends looking on with joy. It was supposed to be the day I started a new chapter, the day my dreams would be fulfilled. Little did I know, God had other plans.

What it Means That Only 41% of Americans Are Pro Choice: The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as “pro-choice” is at the lowest point ever measured by Gallup, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

 

Chew on these for a while and think it through!

 

In the Night

The LORD awakened me tonight to do business with me. As I sought to hear his voice this song by Andrew Peterson came to mind.

 

I am weary with the pain of Jacob’s wrestling
In the darkness with the Fear, in the darkness with the Fear
But he met the morning wounded with a blessing
So in the night my hope lives on

When Elisha woke surrounded by the forces
Of the enemies of God, the enemies of God
He saw the hills aflame with angels on their horses
So in the night my hope lives on

I see the slave that toils beneath the yoke unyielding
And I can hear the captive groan, hear the captive groan
For some hand to stay the whip his foe is wielding
Still in the night my hope lives on

I see the armies of the enemy approaching
And the people driven, trembling, to the shore
But a doorway through the waters now is opening
So in the night my hope lives on

Like the son who thought he’d gone beyond forgiveness,
Too ashamed to lift his head–but if he could lift his head
He would see his father running from a distance
In the night my hope lives on

I can see the crowd of men retreating
As he stands between the woman and their stones
And if mercy in his holy heart is beating
Then in the night my hope lives on

I remember how they scorned the son of Mary
He was gentle as a lamb, gentle as a lamb
He was beaten, he was crucified, and buried
And in the night, my hope was gone

But the rulers of earth could not control Him
They did not take his life–he laid it down
All the chains of death could never hope to hold Him
So in the night my hope lives on

I can see the Son of Man descending
And the sword He swings is brighter than the dawn
And the gates of Hell will never stand against Him
So in the night my hope lives on

Food For Thought:

Here are a few links to stir you to think and laugh!

Dangerous Prayer: “I don’t think you could say more dangerous words than those found in the Lord’s Prayer. I don’t think you could pray a more radical prayer. Probably most of us, even in ministry, would hesitate to say these words if we really understood what we were saying.”

Are you Teachable?: Entitlement attitudes are robbing us of true learning. A teachable spirit is crucial. I believe this is the number one reason why Christians are not growing in sanctification.

Love Your Wife Better!: Husbands, here is some very practical advice on ways to communicate love to your wife.

Dancing on the Edge of Finished: “Before, when your shift was done, you were finished. When the inbox was empty, when the forms were processed, you could stop.”

The Lost Art of Street Preaching: “You may have a particular view on street-preaching (for purposes here, street preaching and open air preaching are synonymous). This could be from a street preacher that you heard or from a YouTube video that you watched, or just the seemingly “weird” people that do it. I want to propose today that this art of public open-air preaching is an important way the gospel of Jesus Christ can effectively be proclaimed to the lost in our culture.”

Psalm 119:1-8 אַשְׁרֵי תְמִימֵי-דָרֶךְ

ALEPH

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,

who walk in the law of the Lord!

2. Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,

who seek him with their whole heart,

3 who also do no wrong,

but walk in his ways!

4 You have commanded your precepts

to be kept diligently.

5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast

in keeping your statutes!

6 Then I shall not be put to shame,

having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.

7 I will praise you with an upright heart,

when I learn your righteous rules.

8 I will keep your statutes;

do not utterly forsake me!

Psalm 119 celebrates the gift of God’s word to us. It is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses. Here we see a man who has been transformed by the truth and power of God’s word. I have made it a habit to pray through this Psalm regularly in an effort to delight in and long for God’s word as the Psalmist does.

There are wonderful consequences for those who give themselves to diligently study God’s word and live it out. ‘Walking in the Law of the LORD’ is the true path to happiness. Those ‘who seek him with their whole heart’ are those who are truly and eternally happy and blessed.

Question: What is it that you are truly seeking with all of your heart? Is there anything at all that you are seeking in this way or are you walking through this life apathetically just taking life as it comes?

Here we see that those whose ways are blameless; who walk in the ways of the LORD are those who are truly happy.

Verse 4 declares the LORD’s intention for the proper response to his word. God’s expectation for us is that we would be diligent in obeying his word. He does not speak because he likes the sound of his own voice. He speaks so that we will be happy through diligent obedience to all of his commands.

Verse 5 reveals the cry of the Psalmists heart and the goal of this Psalm is that we would share in this deep longing for the things of God. The cry is that we would be ‘steadfast’ in our obedience to God’s word. Without God’s word we are left to wander aimlessly throughout this life stumbling because of our foolish, sinful choices.

The result of obedience is that we will not be put to shame. There is a great lack of shame over our sins in our culture because there is a great ignorance of God’s Word. Furthermore, we will have a heart that longs to praise God as we experience his grace. We will do so with an upright heart.

The first step is learning the LORD’s righteous rules. Many of us sin in ignorance because we do not know what the LORD has said regarding the way we are to live our lives. This section of the Psalm ends with a pledge on the part of the author to keep the statutes of LORD and a request that the LORD not forsake him.

So what about you and I? Will be make the same pledge? Will we seek the LORD with our whole heart?

I know what I am going to do. I am going to engage in a passionate pursuit of intimacy with the Almighty. I am going to feast on his word and walk in the path of true happiness.

Are you with me? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about this Scripture.

Big Thought of the Day

I few years ago I was struck with a simple but profound thought. It came to me as I was driving. I was cruising along when I noticed a police car following behind me. Immediately I looked down to check my speed, and I straightened up and put both hands on the wheel.

The presence of that police officer driving behind me forced me to be more focused on how I was driving. Then I began to wonder how would I drive if I always had a police officer following me wherever I went.

Hebrews 4:13 says,

No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Zechariah 9:1 says,

For the Lord has an eye on mankind

So my simple yet profound thought is this. How would our lives change if we had a deep awareness of the LORD’s presence with us. What things would we stop doing? What things would we start doing?

The truth is that the LORD is intimately aware of every thought and action we engage in. My prayer is that I would live with a deeper awareness of the reality.


Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home, may my life be steeped in prayer, filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood. Help me, defend me, until from praying ground I pass to the realm of unceasing praise. Urged by my need, invited by Thy promises, called by Thy Spirit, I enter Thy presence, worshipping Thee with godly fear, awed by Thy majesty, greatness, glory, but encouraged by Thy love.

I am all poverty as well as all guilt, having nothing of my own with which to repay Thee, but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith, pleading His righteousness to offset my iniquities, rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me, and satisfy thy justice. I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace, that, although the lest sin deserves infinite punishment because done against an infinite God, yet there is mercy for me, for where guilt is most terrible, there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep. Bless me by revealing to me more of His saving merits, by causing Thy goodness to pass before me, by speaking peace to my contrite heart; strengthen me to give Thee no rest untiI Christ shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed, in a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the cross.

 

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett