Sunday, July 29, 2012

Today's Messages

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. - Psalm 84:10

I hope this is true for all of us, and that you had a blessed Lord's Day!

Today's sermon and message for the Lord's table were needed.

 The Lord's table message revolved around the leaven in the lump of bread....

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. - 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Our dear elder likened this to ink poured in pure water, tinting the whole glass of water. So leaven makes a lump of bread rise--not just part of it.  And so sin affects the whole of our being if we don't cast it out.  This is a scary thought, is it not?

We must continually remember what Jesus has done for us.

The main message was about the parable of the sower and ground. What kind of hearts do we have?  Mine tends to become anxious and excessively focused on things, which is a lot like the thorny ground.  May God be all our hope and stay and joy, not the things of this world, which choke out the Word of God.

Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. - Matthew 13:22

Instead, I pray we will be as this:

But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. - Matthew 13:23

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kevin Swanson Radio Message

There is a lot of food for thought, here. Oversimplified?  I'm not so sure. Tell me what you think.  I have watched Batman Begins, and found it somewhat entertaining (with caveats), but I don't know if I should or could stomach the second and third movies.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sermon Link

I listened to this Spurgeon sermon today, and I have to say it made me wonder about myself.  Why is there so little zeal for God in my life?  I needed the questioning, the rebuke, the refreshing.  Spurgeon does lay it on frankly and perhaps over-dogmatically, but in the end he confesses his sin, too, so I realize that though I sin, God is a great Savior, yet I dare not use that as an excuse for lethargy.  And it is also a message for the lost, those seeking God.  Please take a listen.  Holy Violence

Results of the Last Poll

Do you read just one book a time, or several?

Just one.
  3 (21%)
I switch around between two or three.
  9 (64%)
I have stacks of books around that I read at whim.
  4 (28%)
It depends on the book.
  4 (28%)

Votes: 14
Poll closed

The Courtship/Betrothal Debate

I've always kind of wondered whether courtship was the best route, or just betrothal. Betrothal seemed more biblical, but courtship seemed to work and be exciting and logical.  But there are dangers to it.  And is it biblical?  Can courtship and betrothal work together?  That's how one of my siblings did it.  I'm still left with a few questions, but I'm leaning more toward betrothal, without a courtship period, since courtship is not found in the Bible, and we are to go by that rather than our heart or what we think will work. I believe the fathers/mothers should have a deep discussion with the young man before deciding on going forward with betrothal, perhaps even a questionnaire for him to fill out (as my brother's in-laws had him fill out), but I can see this working.  Will it always work out perfectly?  Probably not, for man is sinful, and sometimes unexpected things do come up.  Is it more likely to work out than courtship?  Perhaps so.  But I'm no authority, having never gone through dating, courting, or betrothal.  Here is a link that discusses courtship and betrothal in more length:

Betrothal: Should We Kiss Courtship Goodbye?

Read it, then fill out my poll on the subject, if you would, please. I did forget engagement on some of the answers in the poll, so you'll have to assume that is meant along with "dating," "courting," and "just friendship." :\

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Review - Safely Home

Ben Fielding, former college roommate to Li Chuan, presses on in his busy life, forgetting his promise to pray for his roommate after he returns to China, forgetting the God he thought he followed.  Ben's goals are to be CEO of his company.  When the company gives him an assignment of living in China for a while with Li Chuan, things all begin to change. Things are not as he thought in successful China, or in the life of his old roommate.  Poverty and suffering seem to be the lot of Li Chuan.  Yet there is something that Chuan has that Ben has never tasted. Something strong and free and happy.

And from heaven, the Watchers see and await the perfect judgment of the King.

A terribly, wonderfully eye-opening book on the reality of martyrs in China, and the joy they find in Jesus.

The only things I didn't particularly like were the women preachers and the speculation on heaven.  And yet it is interesting and inspiring to think about what heaven may be like, and the joy awaiting us, whether everything is quite as the author imagines, or not. Also it inspires to press on toward the goal, fearing no fire.