Monthly Archives: March 2011

are you rich?

Kevin and Alyssa Walker are CEO partners preparing to go to teach in Croatia. Over on their blog, they’ve posted a moving story… are you rich? READ IT

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Hungarian food

Joanna said I would love this… she was right…

time for your Hungarian culture lesson kids… CLICK here

This is a valuable resource…

…an especially good example of how NOT to pronounce Hungarian, DO NOT learn from this guy, but you can learn a ton about the Heartland!

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Husbands

A few weeks ago I posted a link from an Irish lady who spoke about the Christian wife… I mentioned that I was going to link to the husband talk too… here it is… its worth your time…

CLICK HERE

 

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a prayer for spring

O living God – Father, Son and Spirit, I do pray for you to strengthen your saints, your children, who have been bought and paid for and rest secure in your great love.
O loving Lord, on this first day full of spring, all around us there is news of war, rebellion, earthquakes and great waves which bring death by the tens of thousands. Let us look to you with hope in your great love and know that you have promised us never to leave us or forsake us.
Awesome Provider, help us to face fear with thanksgiving.
O sweet Saviour, do not let us forget that you have paid the price for us. Help us never to forget that we are to build up our treasure in Heaven and not on this earth.
Almighty God, when the earth rocks and the sea opens up, the markets crash and our income shrinks, help us, we pray, to remember that you are with always with us and help us trust in you.
Maker of Heaven and Earth, please remind us that now is the moment we have and that we need to live for you today and leave tomorrow for then, for as you said, tomorrow has enough worries of its own. Teach us to face worry with faith.
God of kindness and justice who leads us to repentance, let us look to our neighbor who has yet to meet you and help us learn his name that we may be able to introduce him to you.
Oh God, help us not fear earthly calamities, but use us instead as bringers of hope so that they may ask us why we can have such hope in you when destruction is all around us.
LORD, on this first full day of spring, where you are showing new life in your creation, give us great faith to trust in you in all things at all times.
In the name of He who came and defeated death and has given us everlasting life.
Amen

Posted from my smartphone with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Saving Leonardo

“What is today a matter of academic speculation begins tomorrow to move armies and pull down empires.” Pearcey quotes Machen on p. 251 of her mammoth rethinking of How Shall We Then Live what she failed to predict that updates and Tweets would replace the philosophies of professors.

As Schaeffer took us through history until his time to consider where we had come from the Roman age, Pearcey takes us through a more systematic philosophical approach. It is rich with examples and analysis, sometimes too rich. It is like reading a textbook but goes a bit deeper, at times just as wearisome.

It is analytical, to a fault. Indeed, dare I use a system she borrows from Schaeffer?

MIND
______

HEART

Yet, this is an important work that should be used widely, indeed it is evangelicalism at its best. But perhaps that is its biggest letdown. The second biggest let down is, in my thinking, a failure to discuss social networking other than as anecdote. No, Egypt had not yet happened, but this is, in such a work, by such an esteemed author, a discussion that needed to happen. Perhaps in a later edition, oh and an index.

I’m looking forward to a discussion this Tuesday with the Bible faculty of Covenant School to see what I missed that they caught.

Posted from my smartphone with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Thinking about fear

I was having coffee with a friend a few of days ago and the subject of fear came up, it came up again yesterday with another friend and then last night. Fear. What can we do about it? As a follower of Jesus, I know that I fear when I ease my embrace of Him who gives strength… that’s when I fear, when I look at circumstances instead of trusting God. When I discover fear in my own heart, I run to the same place, the Scriptures (because they really are profitable and able to cut between my thoughts and intentions). Consider these the next time you fear:

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 ESV)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV)

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.  [14] For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:13-14 ESV)

but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:33 ESV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 ESV)

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  [8] He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV)

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  [23] they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,  [18] yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.  [19] GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19a ESV)

[34] “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34 ESV)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7 ESV)

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 ESV)

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. [17] For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, [18] as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)

Fear can be a window into areas of unbelief in our life. If, as you have read through these Scriptures, you have allowed God to bring you faith, ask Him to show you which areas of your life you need greater faith: money, your family, success, possessions, relationships, your image, etc. as Jesus said: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

NOW… Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [14] Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. [16] In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,… (Ephesians 6:13-18 ESV)

TAKE UP THE ARMOUR DAILY!

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An Ash Wednesday Prayer

This morning I wrote a prayer for the city. Which city? Your city. I humbly submit it to you and ask God to speak to us…

Father, I want to thank you for this morning, I thank you for the Lord Jesus. I praise you for the Holy Spirit. O my Lord, on this day that begins the Lenten season for so many, I ask you to speak to my heart afresh. I ask you to deepen my heart as I consider your blessings. Teach me from the Gospels I pray, Lord help me. Father, as I read about the new wineskins, I think of Isaiah 43.19 “Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? 

Oh Father, I think of all the Christians who are doing different things in this city with a lack of unity. Oh Lord, help them. Draw them together to be part of YOUR efforts. They can maintain their distinctives, just call them to yourself. Have them work together. Oh God, may this happen in this city and that city too. Oh God may unity be the order of the day. May Christian cooperation be the “new wineskin” – please “make a way in the the wilderness” of disunity and the hiding of gifts… may “rivers” of repentance, unity and cooperation be water to the “desert” of pride and self and self protection.

Oh Father, raise up a chorus of voices who will be dedicated to you and your body and work together as Paul told the Corinthians, Oh God, speak to us that we may understand his “appeal to you brothers by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement.” Oh my God may your church unite. May they come together to follow you and live such lives and speak such words that they are magnets to bring people to discipleship. Oh God that churches would be centers of worship of many kinds and of people mentoring and being mentored as disciples of Jesus so that these disciples would have heart and life changing relationships that would cause them to naturally begin to speak love and mercy.

Oh God, help me to understand, show me that the need is for me and all believers to repent of our practices of exclusion over differences and then once we have turned from these attitudes, to face and love and embrace fellow believers. Oh God use this as a sweet aroma which will draw people to know and follow Jesus in His embrace. Oh God may we embrace one anther’s hearts. Oh God, may that message be proclaimed. Help us oh God, as churches with distinctness, to be willing to see the hearts beneath the distinctives and look beyond the skin tone and other language of difference and see that inside our hearts are broken and we need the gospel. Oh God, I know you own heart yearns for there to be loving unity that would show love and bring more of the lost citizens of this place to you. Oh God, win this city for yourself and for your Glory. Oh God, sanctify my heart in this prayer and change me so that I would follow you and embrace your children who need you so much. Oh God, may your body embrace its city.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour have mercy on me, the sinner.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, have mercy on us, your church.

Oh God, may we live and breathe the Gospel so that people really do see that we are different and so that they actually do ask us… so that we really do use our heart and voice “to give the reason for the hope that is within us.” Oh God remove far away from us the complaining spirit that prevails when we do not get what we want. Help us to have a new countenance of joy and may our steps and our words be seasoned with “gentleness and respect.”

Oh God, help us not hide behind our fears. Forgive us for lacking the faith to act and speak with love and kindness, yet with boldness. Oh God forgive us, we fear being discovered that we are Christians because we do not trust you to care for us or we want to keep excusing our behavior which does not align with our proclamation. Oh God, forgive us for being paralyzed by fear so that we are mired in inaction and silence and allow the enemy to prevail. Oh God forgive us for hiding our light under a basket with our attitudes toward our neighbor who intrudes on us and make us uncomfortable. Let us love our neighbors as the Lord Jesus taught us. Oh God forgive us for hiding our fish and loaves. Help us bring these gifts out into the open that you may bless what we have and multiply them. Give us faith to overcome our fears oh God.

Guide us oh Lord, into following you. Help us Holy Spirit cry out to you. We can’t, so you must, Oh Father. Oh God, may your Holy Spirit be freed in us that we may proclaim the risen Christ and bring Him Glory through our life, our actions and our words, may we boldly proclaim His name and be a sweet aroma that draws people to YOU!

In the name of the Risen One.

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