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Showing posts from April, 2012

Oh Boy! It's My Day for My Annual Physical!

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This morning I head to see my doctor for my annual physical exam. Just want I want to do!  I hate all the prodding, the blood drawing, and those downright personal questions he asks! But I put up with it. In fact, the doctor doesn't force me to come in. Nope! No phone calls or postcard reminders. I just go. Why? Well apart from the fact that my wife insists on it ... I go because I know it is in my best interest to do so. A lot can go wrong with our bodies (and the older I get the more I realize the truth of that statement!). So once a year is not too often to have an expert check my body out.

What is needed in the physical realm is also needed in the spiritual realm. Our souls can get weary. Our hearts distracted. Our minds out of focus. So from time to time it's a good idea for us to pause and examine ourselves. And I think we need to do this more than merely once a year!

A helpful tool that is quite helpful in this process of self examination is Donald Whitney's book,…

Famous Last Words

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I got to thinking the other day about famous last words ... you know ... the last words (dying words?) of a usually famous person. They can give quite an insight into the person who speaks them. Here are a few:


"Thomas Jefferson still lives!" - President John Adams, the second president of the United States (July 4, 1826 - the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence - Jefferson died the same day!) 
"Is it the Fourth?" - Thomas Jefferson, 1826
"Nothing but death" - Author Jane Austen, 1817 (When asked by her sister Cassandra if there was anything she wanted.)
"That was a great game of golf, fellers!" - Bing Crosby, 1977
"Go on, get out. Last words are for fools who haven't said enough." - Karl Marx, "founder of communism," 1883
"I'm not the least afraid to die" - Charles Darwin, 1882
"Put out the light" - President Theodore Roosevelt, 1919

The gospel accounts record for us the la…

Some More Thoughts on Prayer

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In the recent past, I have posted a few times about this vital spiritual discipline called prayer. Today I want to post again on prayer. Why? This morning as I was doing some reading in one of E.M. Bounds' works on prayer, I ran across a section that really got me pumped to pray. Not wanting to be selfish with this gem, I shared it at our weekly church staff meeting this morning. I thought you might also be challenged by this man who not only wrote about prayer - he prayed!

"Prayer is no petty invention of man, a fancied relief for fancied ills. Prayer is no dreary performance, dead and death-dealing, but is God's enabling act for man, living and life-giving, joy and joy-giving. Prayer is the contact of a living soul with God. In prayer, God stoops to kiss man, to bless man, and to aid man in everything that God can devise or man can need. Prayer fills man's emptiness with God's fullness. It fills man's poverty with God's riches. It puts away man's we…

Asking for an Open Door!

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There have been times (just a few) that I have found myself locked out of my own house. How so? Well, there was the time I took off for a walk and did not take my keys (since my wife was at home). However, her plan to head out to run some errands was totally unknown to me. So when she left the house, she locked the front door (as is our habit) and left. So when I returned and found the front door locked (and with her car not in the driveway) I realized she had gone out. At that point I proceeded to check the back door and the patio door ... hoping (and silently praying) that I would find an open door. On that occasion I did not. So I just sat around until she returned - glad that it was a nice day! 
The Apostle Paul also found himself hoping to find an open door. To the church in Colossae he wrote, "At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ . . ." (see Colossians 4:2-4). Just as Paul asked for an open door, I…

A La Carte Thursday

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Here are this week's a la carte offerings ... enjoy!

1. All of struggle when it comes to life-change. From Counseling One Another's blog .... 6 Unbiblical Methods for Change.

2. A good note for dads and what they take home each day ....

3. With all the Titanic hype of the past week ... here is a Titanic story that you really do need to read! Also ... here is a Titanic infographic you might find of interest.

4. R. C. Sproul, Jr with some insights on What Should I Do When Feeling Completely Overwhelmed? 

5. And finally ... on a lighter note ... (I thought I would post this since we just had a granddaughter born recently ... this is a cute exchange about how babies are born)

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Guide Me O, Thou Great Jehovah!

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The topic of God's guidance is of great interest to most Christians. After all, we are called upon to make choices every single day ... and every single hour of the day. The majority of these choices are small (decaff or regular coffee? eggs or oatmeal for breakfast? to post or not to post on Facebook before leaving for work or school? etc. etc. etc.)  But sometimes the choices before us are much larger (choice of college, marriage partner, vocation ... just to name a few). So for those of us who want to follow God's leading, the question becomes ... how will God lead us?  What about those inward leadings we sense? Are they truly the result of the Holy Spirit prompting us?

J. I. Packer is one of the Evangelical Church's leading theologians. I first "met" Packer through his classic work, Knowing God. I read it as a relatively young Christian. His insights into the nature of God and the implications of those insights for daily living have stuck with me for some 3…

A Bowling Outing Gone Bad ...

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This past Sunday I went bowling.  Our men's ministry sponsored an evening of pizza and bowling. I was having a blast. The pizza was good. The fellowship was better. And by the time I hit the seventh frame of the first game ... I was beginning to hit a groove (a strike and two splits at that point). But the seventh frame did not prove to be a "lucky" frame (many consider the number seven a lucky number). A nanosecond after releasing my ball ... I felt a twang in my lower back. This was followed by a sharp pain that shouted, "You hurt me, buddy!"  I slowly and awkwardly walked back to find a seat. I sat down for a few moments ... the pain stayed with me. I tried to stand and could not. So I asked for a helping hand. Upon standing I knew that my bowling was done for the evening. So I changed my shoes (as best as I could from a standing position) ... and meandered out to the car.

Two days later I am glad to report my lower back is on the mend. The pain, though sti…

Thursday A La Carte

Here are Thursday's offerings. I hope you find something of encouragement!

1. R.C. Sproul Jr. talks about missing his wife (who died at the age of 46 back on December 18th). Powerful!

2. What impact is the Internet having on our minds? Here is an interesting infographic that suggests our Internet usage is actually ruining our brains!

3. On the lighter side from Kevin DeYoung ... the first video will be appreciated by any Downton Abby fans.

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Talk About a Stupid Dog Trick!

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The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction is often proven in the stories that you can run across in the newspaper or on the Internet. Take for example the story of a Chinese woman who actually gave her dog (that’s right, her D-O-G) a driving lesson!  She claimed that Fido (probably not the dog’s name – I mean do you know any Chinese dogs by that name?) liked to sit in the front seat with his paws on the wheel.  So she decided to give him a go at driving her car. While she operated the accelerator and brake, she allowed Fido to operate the steering wheel.  It did not take very long before she, Fido and her car collided with an oncoming vehicle.  Fortunately there were no serious injuries or damage done. 
Now, that is quite the tale. It’s a good thing that her car did not spin out of control and land on its woof.  And it is also good that it happened before it got bark.  (OK – I’ll quit with the puns and get back to my thoughts!)  How could anyone think that a dog could safel…

One Hundred Years Ago Today!

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It was on April 10, 1912 that the unsinkable ocean liner, the Titanic cruised out of the port of Southampton, England. A mere five days later, the ship struck an iceberg ... and the unsinkable ship did the unthinkable - it sunk. In doing so, over 1500 people lost their lives in the dark, frigid waters of the North Atlantic.

I am sure you will be hearing a lot about the Titanic in the coming days as the one hundredth anniversary of its tragic voyage is now upon us. As you do, allow it to remind you that for those of us who are following Jesus, we are on a truly "unsinkable ship" as we sail the waters (often stormy) of this present earthly life. With Jesus Christ at the helm of both this world and our own individual lives, we can be assured that HIS plan will be brought to its pre-planned conclusion. And just what is this "pre-planned conclusion?"  If you want to know, take a moment and read the following passages: 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 19:11-21; Revela…

Do YOU Struggle to Pray?

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If you are anything like me ... you will have to admit that you are not satisfied with your "prayer life." I am not. So often when I set aside time to pray, something comes up that demands my attention. And since that "something" keeps screaming until I do something about it .... I reluctantly take action and leave my good intention of praying more and praying better behind (for an excellent treatment of this regular happening of life, check out the booklet, The Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel.

Because I struggle to pray as I know I should, I made a commitment this year to read the Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer.  I knew that this man was a man who knew how to pray ... and prayed! Therefore, I figured in reading his works, I would find encouragement to pray. I have not been disappointed.

Here are two quotes that I encountered today, both of which have challenged me! I hope you find encouragement in them as well!


"If men would pray as they…

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

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On Thursday evening, we showed a music video that communicates a powerful message about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I invite you to take the approximately five minutes required to watch this video ... and as you do .... WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST!  Praise God that He lives!





Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

A Prayer for Good Friday

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A Good Friday Prayer

Gracious and Merciful Savior, we rejoice today in You!
To think you were willing to be forsaken by the Father,
As you hung suspended between earth and heaven,
Alone, bleeding and broken, mocked by the very creatures
Whom you made, abandoned by the disciples you had chosen.

To think that you suffered in unimaginable ways in order to
Propitiate God's wrath, redeem us from sin,
Reconcile us to the Father, and justify us forever more!

O Lord of lords ..... O King of kings, we praise you that
You did not regard equality with God something
To be grasped with an iron fist. Rather you let go
And you entered this sinful world as one of us!
Yet your deity was never diminished, you remained fully God.

Indeed this mystery is great! Yet greater still is
The blessing that is ours because of your sacrifice!

Thank you for becoming our substitute ... for dying in our place ...
For paying the penalty for our sin and rebellion that we had
Absolutely NO hope of paying on our own…

Thursday A La Carte

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Enjoy today's offerings:

1. Do the "ends justify the means" when it comes to proclaiming the gospel? If a method results in the salvation of souls ... does that justify the use of that method? Here's a compelling answer to this fundamental question. 

2.  Russel Moore on the topic, Is Easter too Violent for Kids?

3. Paul Tripp on why we need one another in his insightful article, Blind to our Blindness. 


4. Kathleen Nielson on Never Retreat .... a good read!

5. On a lighter note ... talk about quadruplets! 


Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

A Prayer for Wednesday of Easter Week

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Most Gracious Father God,

How I thank you today for your great love and mercy!
For loving this sinful world of humanity in such a way
That you sent your Son to pay the penalty for our sin.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, fully God and fully man
For being willing to face the wrath of God in death
So that I would never have to!

Thank you Holy Spirit, for your work of convicting my heart
Of opening my eyes ... of awakening my soul so that
I who was once dead in my sin could place my faith in Christ.

Thank you O Almighty God, the Three-in-One.
Thank you for the new life that I have, the forgiveness of sin
That I enjoy, the fact that my name is written on the walls of heaven.
ONLY because you first loved me!

Thank you that you accomplished this miracle of salvation in my life . . .
ALL by YOUR grace and for YOUR glory!

Amen.

God at Work on the Campus of Bangui University!

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Just this morning I received an email from Dr. Augustin Hibaile (Dr. Hibaile is the founder of the Center International for the Development of Ethical Leadership .... or known simply as CIDEL). He began this ministry approximately 7 years ago in the Central African Republic. Since that time, God has blessed his ministry in an Ephesians 3:20-21 way!  For his latest update about what God did this past week on the campus of Bangui University .... please take a moment and visit the friends of Cidel website.  and read his APRIL 3 update. Praise God for what HE is doing through Dr. Hibaile and his ministry in the very heart of Africa!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj