Thursday, November 10, 2011 – The Tragic Lessons of Penn State — A Call to Action – The Tragic Lessons of Penn State — A Call to Action: "A scandal reported and ended in 2002 would be horrible enough. A scandal that began there, was known by officials, and explodes almost a decade later is too horrible to contemplate."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

By This We Know Love

This song has been played over and over in my car the last few days. It's absolutely fantastic!

Here are the lyrics:

God of all Creation, Lord of heaven's light
Descended into evil's darkest night
Infinitely Holy, your perfections know no end
Selflessly You died my rightful death

By this we know love that He laid down His life
God's very own Son came from heaven to die
Suspended He hung as He shed His own blood
What grace in His pardon, by this we know love

Forsaken man of sorrows, hated by all men
You willingly surrendered for my sin
Scornfully derided, yet in silence stumbling on
Bearing wrath for all that I've done wrong

By This We Know Love from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

If Sinners be Damned

Charles Spurgeon:

"If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

We Need BOTH Elders and Deacons

I have really enjoyed reading Mark Dever's The Deliberate Church. I highly recommend this book to anyone serious about seeing a healthy church. With that being said, I like what is written about having both deacons and elders in each local church:
Deacons, then, serve to care for the physical and financial needs of the church, and they do so in a way that heals divisions, brings unity under the Word, and supports the leadership of the elders. Without this practical service of the deacons, the elders will not be freed to devote themselves to praying and serving the Word to people. Elders need deacons to serve practically, and deacons need elders to lead spiritually.

The Gospel and Worship

This past Sunday we continued through my sermon series on the gospel and implications from the gospel. This past Sunday's sermon was on worship from John 4. The link below will allow you to listen to it.

The Gospel and Worship - John 4:19-26

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pregnancy, the ER, and the Sovereignty of God

Some of you may recall that last September my wife had a miscarriage, which I blogged about here. After several months of prayer we decided we would see if the Lord would indeed bless us with another child, and I am happy to say that right now we are expecting another blessing into our lives. We rejoice in God's grace and sovereignty in this situation.

However, this past Friday night I had my wife in the ER. The feeling was all too familiar. I know that there are others who have faced miscarriages and other pregnancy complications more than we have, but the feeling was there and it's unexplainable in many ways. Friday evening, around 5:00, there were some signs that pointed to another possible miscarriage. Trying to be a good husband I had my wife rest for a while. However, it didn't take too long for me to convince her to go to the ER to have things checked out. While she got ready I took the kids and dropped them off at a friend's house so I could take my wife without them. During the short drive back home (only a mile or so) from dropping the kids off I called my deacon chairman and began to weep on the phone. My emotions were all over the place at this point. Just prior to this I had been angry in my heart. I had wondered why God would allow us to conceive again if He was only going to take the baby again. The truth is we wanted a child, but we didn't want a miscarriage!

After the anger came the grief. I was extremely sad that this was happening. I couldn't believe that we were about to face this again. This time we had already been to the doctor. We had already been able to see and hear the heart beating. Why, I wondered, would God do this? What was He teaching us?

After last year's miscarriage my wife and I spent several months praying about whether or not we would try to have another child. To give some quick history, my wife had surgery in 2004, and then two c-sections with our first two children. She had already been through quite a bit and it was hard on her body. She also dealt with gestational diabetes with our second child. So after the miscarriage I wondered if that was it. I also realized the emotional toil it takes on a body and heart to find out on a Thursday that you're expecting a child and realize Monday morning that you are no longer pregnant. After months of praying we felt the Lord leading us to try once more.

Now back to Friday. Something clicked in my heart and mind as I hung up the phone with my deacon chairman. I knew I was about to pick up my wife and take her to the ER, and I was fully expecting to hear that we were losing or had lost the baby. In that moment I remembered a truth about God that is foundational for me. In that moment I remembered that God is sovereign over all things, and that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). In that moment I shifted from listening to myself (causing much grief and sorrow) to talking to myself (causing much rejoicing in my Lord and King). In that moment the truthfulness of God's sovereignty became the hope for whatever we faced. This doesn't automatically mean that everything would work out the way I hoped. This doesn't mean that we will have a baby from this. This doesn't mean that I have any clue what will happen, but it does mean that I can trust that God is in control and that He will accomplish His perfect plan according to His sovereign will.

For us, as of right now, everything seems good. We were not having a miscarriage, at least not yet. We went to the doctor Monday morning and everything really looked as good as it could right now. We rejoice in this. However, what I am reminded of is that this isn't always the case. God's sovereignty doesn't mean our baby will be born and everything will be fine. God's sovereignty doesn't mean that my desire will be done, but that God, who knows all things and promises to accomplish good, will accomplish His plan (and no matter what that plan is God is still good). Resting in this sovereignty can be hard because I realize afresh that no matter what I may think, I am not in control. However, resting in this sovereignty is also sweet because I know that no matter what I think, the holy God of the universe, who loves and cares for His own, is in control.