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Archive for January, 2010

Message on Children

We listened to a great message on Colossians 3:20 this morning during our time of family worship. I would recommend it whole-heartedly. It’s entitled, “Children Obey Your Parents”. It’s by Alistair Begg and is for the entire family. He even mentions that as a part of the context. Enjoy!

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Sermon Preparation

“A sermon is not made with an eye upon the sermon, but with both eyes upon the people and all the heart upon God.” – JOHN OWEN

Just in case you’ve ever wondered. . .here is an article that explains the tedious process of sermon preparation. The author wrote it for four audiences (seminary students, current pastors, lay elders, and congregation members). Here is what he says to non-preachers.

Lastly, I would like non-preachers to read the book. Given that the most important hours in a Christian’s week are the 1-2 hours they spend listening to their pastor’s sermons, I find it surprising how few Christians are interested in “how do they do that?”

Some people seem to think that pastors “receive” their messages direct from God. They imagine some mysterious process by which the pastor just “gets” a sermon. That is too high a view of preaching. It makes preaching more for angels than for ordinary mortals. I want to show that, just like any other work, there is a reasonable and logical method and system to follow.

Others think that a pastor just spends the week relaxing, gets up on a Sunday, and says the first thing that comes into his mind with little or no forethought or planning. That is too low a view of preaching. Anyone with a bit of verbal fluency could do it. I want to demonstrate that behind the 30-45 minutes you see and hear on a Sunday morning are many hours of mental, emotional, and spiritual labor.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it.

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Avatar is Boring!

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New Music for Sunday

Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon the Savior’s brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o’erflow.
Behold the beauties of His face
And on His glories dwell;
Regard the wonders of His grace
And all His triumphs tell.

He saw me plunged in deep distress
And flew to my relief;
For me He bore the shameful cross
And carried all my grief.
To Him I owe my life and breath
And all the joys I have;
He makes me triumph over death
And saves me from the grave.

No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men;
So fairer He than all the fair
Who fill the heav’nly train.
Oh may this sweet and joyful theme
Fill ev’ry heart and tongue
Till strangers love His precious name
And join our sacred song.

Since from his bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine,
Had I a thousand hearts to give,
Lord, they should all be thine

Songwriters: David L. Ward, Caffy Whitney, Connie Dover
Original Authors: Samuel Stennett & Anne Steele
Copyright © 2009 ReformedPraise.org

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Wow! You must watch

Michael Oh from Urbana 09 on Vimeo.

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The snow and freezing temperatures proved to be a unanticipated blessing as far as I am concerned. A lot of things crystallized during the week, and I’m not talking about my driveway or my daugher’s snowman in the backyard.

One of the things I was able to do was listen to this. You can also find it here.

If you have time, I encourage you to listen to it. Even better. . .listen to it as a family. Pause at the commercial breaks to discuss it. Then, once you are finished, listen to it again.

For those who frequent our blog and aren’t a part of our church, this will give you insight into why we do what we do and why we don’t do what we don’t do. I know some who stop by from time to time are frustrated with their local church. I know others aren’t a part of a local body anywhere. In both cases, I hope this will help you to be more diligent in your search for a church home.

For those who are a part of Legacy, may this reaffirm your/our committment to the gospel ministry. May this reaffirm our committment to refrain from the pragmatic, program-oriented structure that the culture says defines success. May this reaffirm our commitment to the teaching and preaching ministry of the church. May this reaffirm our committment to Scriptural discipleship.

Blessings.

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I said yesterday that a few things have crystallized for me this week and that I might share them later. Here’s one.

I’ve come to the point where I believe that when I have prayed, “Lord, change my heart.”, what I have really been saying is, “I am not feeling or doing something that I should be feeling or doing.” or “I am feeling or doing something that I shouldn’t be feeling or doing.” and I need help to change it. But the reality is, when I say “God, change my heart.” I am really communicating that I know what to do or not to do and I am simply choosing the opposite. In other words, saying, “God, change my heart.” is a way for me to attempt to ignore the real issue which is my disobedience. And if the problem is disobedience, I don’t need God to change my heart, I need to repent (which of course, as a friend reminded me yesterday, is in itself a byproduct of God’s grace, for it is His grace that is the catalyst that not only produced this realization, but sorrow over my sin, and my repentant petitions).

“For behold, what earnestness [for righteousness] this very thing, this godly sorrow has produced in you; what vindication [eagerness to demonstrate one’s trustworthiness] of yourselves, what indignation [anger/disappointment over one’s sin], what fear [contemplating the holiness of God], what longing [to see relationships restored] what zeal [for the visible application of righteousness], what avenging of wrong [correcting a wrong against someone]! In everything you demonstrated yourself innocent in the matter.” – II Cor. 10:11 [commentary by Jeremy Clarke].

Rather than pray or sing “Change my heart oh God, make it ever true. . .” I should pray or sing, regardless of my sin, the following (listen here while you read). . .

Woke up this morning too depressed and shamed to leave my bed
Can’t stand to see my own reflection so I hang my head
Feel like a disappointment like the scum of the earth
I’m so hurt I know you see I can’t cover my dirt
My souls dying hearts weak and I can’t even cry
I’m sposed to run to you but WHY I’m such an evil guy
The sun’s shining but for me it’s the darkest of days
Try to pretend it never happened but the guilt remains
I leave the house it feels like everybody knows I did it
Feels like they reading my mind and know the sin I committed
Through your blood I’m aquitted but my heart doesnt get it
Oh God I’m desperate for Help cause I’m grieving your Spirit
I couldn’t sing in the sunday service, Lord I felt fake
And when they started communion I just made an escape
I’m in need of your grace
Feels like you hid your face
Lead me back to cross and show me my sins erased

I’m so desperate, I can’t believe I’ve sinned against you
Create in me a clean heart (I’m so sorry)
Your mercy is what I need

I’m waste deep in my pity
Is Satan tryna trick me and tell me you won’t forgive me
Cause it’s startin to get me
Jesus help me quickly I hate wrong I’ve done
I know we all fall but I feel like the only one
Feels like I should be shunned
Should I punish myself
I know it’s dumb cause by your death all my sin has been dealt
But my sin is been felt
I didn’t want to do it
But what I want to do I don’t
I swear I’m gonna to lose it
Try to open my bible I need to read your pages
I need you Lord but my guilt has got me feeling so faithless
Help me see where your grace is
Take me back to the basics
Help me find my joy in you and not people and places
My sin is ever before me I turned my back on you
Oh father break and restore me to bring me back to you
My sin is ever before me I turned my back on you
God break and restore me to bring me back to you

I’m so desperate, I can’t believe I’ve sinned against you
Create in me a clean heart (I’m so sorry)
Your mercy is what I need

Have mercy on me God according to your steady love
Wipe away my transgression and wash me in your blood
Create in me a clean heart renew a right spirit
Don’t take your Spirit away your Presence keep me near it
I’m waiting patience on you Lord I know you hear my cry
Restore your Joy in me
For you alone I live and die
It’s you I Glorify cause you don’t want my sacrifice
You want me broken and contrite trusting in the Christ
I confess to you my sin and you show me mercy
I turn away from it demonstrating that you are worthy
Over lust, over pride, over all sin
Is my affection for Jesus is who died for all them
I was lost now I’m found I was toss to the ground
My sin weighed on me heavy but I am no longer bound
As sure as Christ wears the crown
I know that grace will abound
And even when I feel lost I know in You I am found

I’m so desperate, I can’t believe I’ve sinned against you
Create in me a clean heart (I’m so sorry)
Your mercy is what I need

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