Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Putting Down My Umbrella...

Sometimes I feel as though I like to stay in the shade of my umbrella, even when it's sunny out. I don't mean this literally, but in my life I have seen a tendency to hold on to the negative rather than taking joy in the good. I was reminded this morning that though I am the worst of sinners, that should not always be my primary focus. My primary focus should be that, though I am the chief of sinners, yet Christ died for me and declares me justified. Just as if I've never sinned. My attention should be on God’s new mercies every day to me not on my past failures. Always dwelling on my sinfulness is primarily ME focused. Instead I should be lifting my eyes to where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord. (Psalm 121:1-2) I’m not saying that considering our sin is never appropriate, because it is. All I’m saying is in my own life, I’ve realized that I can focus more on that than on what Christ has accomplished. God is honored and glorified when we praise His name and all He’s done for us. Here’s an excerpt on the subject from Spurgeon…

The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.-Psalm 126:3
Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them. But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, I will speak, not about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad. Such an abstract of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we have been through them safely and profitably; we have not remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who has brought us out into a wealthy place. The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life's song, He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.-C.H. Spurgeon

Pondering all the Lord has done in our lives will produce a heart of gratefulness in all of us. “Every day” we receive new mercies, so wouldn’t it only make sense to praise those mercies “every day”? My prayer and hope for myself as well as everyone, is that we will be a people who love to declare the goodness and mercy of the Lord. Being joyful because of what God has done is a very small thing considering what we’ve been given and it’s also a wonderful testimony to a watching world.

Mercies Anew
Every morning that breaks
There are mercies anew
Every breath that I take
Is Your faithfulness proved
And at the end of each day
When my labors are through
I will sing of Your mercies anew

When I've fallen and strayed
There were mercies anew
For you sought me in love
And my heart you pursued
In the face of my sin
Lord, You never withdrew
So I sing of Your mercies anew

And when the storms swirl and rage
There are mercies anew
In affliction and pain
You will carry me through
And at the end of my days
When Your throne fills my view
I will sing of Your mercies anew


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Without doubt, easter is not about bunnies, or eggs, or eggs and bunnies. It is about the life death and resurrection of Christ Jesus our Saviour. This is a great video depicting just that...


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I walked on the Moon!...

This clip is pretty funny, and how true it is. I can relate all to well, I sometimes wish amazing or just interesting things would happen to me, all for the fact that I would then be able to draw attention to myself. I would have that story that no matter how many times I told it I would leave the listeners in Shock and Awe. But then I starting thinking about it and I realized I already have that Amazing Story. A story about a sinner who was rebellious, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending my life in malice and envy, hated, hating others. But then a Loving Savior irresistibly drew me to himself and pour out immeasurable riches on my life. Now that sinner has been wash by the Blood of the Lamb, renewed by the Holy Spirit, and transformed by the grace of God.

The only thing more amazing then telling people "I walked on the moon", is telling them "Jesus Died For My Sins"

- Ryan

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Piper on Children in Sunday School

‘Something seems wrong when parents want to take their children in the formative years and put them with other children and other adults to form their attitude and behavior in worship. Parents should be jealous to model for their children the tremendous value they put on reverence in the presence of Almighty God. . .

‘Children can be taught in the first five years of life to obey their father and mother when they say, “Sit still and be quiet.” Parents’ helplessness to control their children should not be solved by alternative services but by a renewal of discipline in the home. . .

‘We do not believe that children who have been in children’s church for several years between the ages of 6 and 12 will be more inclined or better trained to enjoy worship than if they had spent those years at the side of their parents. In fact, the opposite is probably the case. . .

‘It will probably be harder to acclimate a 10– or 12-year-old to a new worship service than a 5– or 6-year-old. The cement is much less wet, and vast possibilities of shaping the impulses of the heart are gone. . .

‘By the time they are four years old, our children assume that they’ll be at all the regular weekly services with us.’

(HT: Denny Burk)


Monday, March 10, 2008


Happy St. Patricks's Day!

Kyle | Kevin | Jon | Nathan | Ryan

(Landon's birthday present to Jon)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Words

I have learned two new words this week that I thought to share with you.

Impenitent - "Not feeling regret about one's sin or sins"

This was our state before God softened our hearts and led us to repentance: Romans 2:5 "But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when god's righteous judgement will be revealed."

What concerns me is that there are many times when I allow my heart to grow "hard and impenitent" in regards to my sin. This is directly contrary to what state I should be in, in light of the gospel. God has freed me from hardness of heart and has imparted upon me sufficient grace to repent and be sanctified.

Pawky - "cunning; sly."

Thought this word may not have as much biblical implication as impenitent, it still does apply to my deviations from Gods Word.  Countless times I have rendered to the thinking that my sin goes unnoticed by God or that He doesn't really care about the state of His elect.  In my pawkiest of moments (just pretend thats really a word), I even try and outwit the Word of God or explain it away in a desperate attempt to justify my sinful lifestyle.
Romans 1:22 "Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling man and birds and animals and reptiles"

The truth of the matter, is that we only think we are pawky.  In fact, we are stupid.  Only fools who lay claim to the title of wise.
May God grant us the grace to soften or impenitent hearts, and eliminate our pawky thinking in regards to our sin.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Prosperity Gospel

Some of you may have seen this video before, but it is so good that I had to put it up. Piper at his best...