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Monday, November 26, 2012

In Ministry? Wanna Be? Read this...

"It really is true: the health and success of your ministry really are a matter of death and life.

If you are ever going to be an ambassador in the hands of a God of glorious and powerful grace, you must die.

You must die to your plans for your own life.

You must die to your self-focused dreams of success.

You must die to your demands for comfort and ease.

You must die to your individual definition of the good life.

You must die to your demands for pleasure, acclaim, prominence, and respect.

You must die to your desire to be in control.

You must die to your hope for independent righteousness.

You must die to your plans for others.

You must die to the pursuit of your own glory in order to take up the cause of the glory of Another.

You must die to your unfaltering confidence in you.

You must die."

Paul Tripp

Dangerous Calling

Friday, November 23, 2012

Don't Quit

The day after...


Still thanking?

Should be. "Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Rejoice...even though the line may be long, even though you're a Jets fan, even though a family argument may  have disrupted the holiday...

Pray without ceasing...not as a "last resort," but as a first...

In every situation, give thanks...not "just" on Turkey day, not "just" before meals, but "in every situation..."

But, wow, it is so tough today...

In the words of that great theologian Mark Lowry, "Sure beats hell, sure beats hell, no matter what you're going through you're doing pretty well..."

Give thanks...with a grateful heart...

Thursday, November 22, 2012


"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you..."

So much to be thankful for...everyday...

The gift of salvation purchased at such a horrific cost...That God came to me when I certainly wasn't seeking Him, convicted me of sin by His Spirit, brought me to repentance and faith in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus...

So grateful for my Proverbs 31 wife...celebrating 30 years next Tuesday...

Four children...answers to prayer, incentive to pray...

The opportunity to serve vocationally for over three decades...

The adventure of subsisting on missionary source of income save the gifts/investments of people who stand with us in prayer and finance...

The desire to finish well...

His unfailing love...

The opportunity to redeem the days...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In EVERYthing Give Thanks???

Doctor Helen Roseveare was a missionary to what was then known as the Belgian Congo in the mid-1960s.

It was a time of horrific war, killing many, to include dozens of missionaries.

Helen saw friends shot, dropped into mass graves, and more. She was a victim of terrible brutalization and abuse, but survived.

Decades later, in a letter to Alistair Begg, she wrote, "The phrase God gave me years ago, during the 1964 rebellion in the Congo, in the night of my own greatest need, was this: 'Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?'"

A Prayer for Overflowing with Thankfulness

     So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-7 
     Dear Lord Jesus, I want to be a man who gives you the quality and quantity of thanks of which you are so absolutely worthy. Not like a slow drip, a babbling brook, or a meandering stream, but like a geyser—a gospel geyser—spontaneously erupting with gratitude any and every moment. I want to overflow with thankfulness, to the praise of your glory and grace!
     I have every reason to be like the healed Samaritan leper, who with a stunned heart and irrepressible gratitude returned to give you heartfelt thanks (Luke 17:11-17). I return today, and I want to return every day, to express my profound thankfulness.
     From the first nanosecond I was given faith to receive you as Savior and Lord, I was fully and firmly rooted in your righteousness and love. Now, completely forgiven, I have no other righteousness than yours. Just as I cannot add one iota to your righteousness, I can never, ever be separated from your love, and your love, alone, is better than life. You have already set me free from the penalty of sin, you are continually setting me free from the power of sin, and one day you will set me free from the very presence of sin.
     Jesus, I want to live in you—reflecting upon your glory with an unveiled face and marinating in the riches of your unfailing grace. I want to be built up in you, maturing by the same grace that saved me, being liberated for the race that you’ve set before me. I want to be strengthened in you, forgiving others as you have forgiven me; forbearing with others as you forbear with me; accepting others as you accept me—loving as your beloved.
     Lord Jesus, how I would love to be already done with all of my carping and droning, all whining and complaining, all boohoo-ing and Eeyore-ing, and with every other expression of ingratitude. But until that Day, rise up in me this day, and set my heart, voice, hands and feet free to love you and serve those around me. Oh, Fountain of Grace, Oh, Artesian Spring of Life, set me free. So very Amen I pray, in your glorious and grace-filled name.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Punched in the Face?

“The amount which you understand the gospel is measured by your ability to be joyful in all circumstances. If you grasp what a treasure the presence and acceptance of God are, then even when life goes really wrong you will have a joy that sustains you, because you’ll recognize the value of what you have in Him. When life punches you in the face, you’ll say, ‘But I still have the love and acceptance of God, a treasure I don’t deserve.’ And the joy you find in that treasure can make you rejoice even when you have a bloody nose. You have a joy that death and depravation cannot touch.”
— J. D. Greear

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Billy's Anticipating

Billy Graham turned 94 yesterday...

And said this:

"I never expected I would live this long, outliving my beloved wife, Ruth, as well as many friends and loved ones. I believe God must still have a purpose for keeping me here, and I look forward to seeing what that might be."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Adversity's Aim

I am so prone to describe professing Christians who clip this, and many other verses, out of their Bibles in the manner of Thomas Jefferson..but I won't..

2 Corinthians 1.9, "Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead."

John Piper, "Adversity by its very nature is the removal of things on which our comfort and hope have rested and so it will either result in anger toward God or greater reliance on Him alone for our peace. And His purpose for us in adversity is not that we get angry or discouraged, but that our hope shift off earthly things onto God.

God's main purpose in all adversity is to make us stop trusting in ourselves or any man."