Jun 112010
 

It looks like Abby is ok.

The 16 year old adventurer was feared lost at sea yesterday on her attempt to sail around the world by herself.

That sets off two waves…one of prayer requests for her safety and another, larger, one condemning her parents for allowing her to take such a great risk at such a young age.

Her parents have been called everything from idiots to child abusers and worse.

I think this kid is wonderful…simply wonderful.

She spent her life acquiring skills and developing a passion for something…then wanted to test those skills doing what she was passionate about.

She’s lived more in 16 years than some will in their entire lifetimes.

She is living her life taking calculated risks, experiencing the joys of success and the lessons of failure, and refusing to be a prisoner of fear or the opinions of others who live their lives out in scheduled banality.

Would that we had more people with such life and passion in the church…and “parents” in the faith to support them.

I’m still praying for Abby…that she not only survives, but tries all over again.

I’m also praying that God keeps the “Abby” in me alive, and ignites that spark in others.

Without that spark, we’re already dead anyway.

Jun 102010
 

Speaking today are Sandy Adams, Lloyd Pulley, and Ken Graves.

My speaking invitation was lost again this year… 🙂

With most of the speaking done I have to ask the question…why after all these years of public exposure is there still no discussion of accountability?

Jun 102010
 

Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home, may my life be steeped in prayer, filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood.

Help me, defend me, until from praying ground I pass to the realm of unceasing praise. Urged by my need, invited by Thy promises, called by Thy Spirit, I enter Thy presence, worshipping Thee with godly fear, awed by Thy majesty, greatness, glory, but encouraged by Thy love.

I am all poverty as well as all guilt, having nothing of my own with which to repay Thee, but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith, pleading His righteousness to offset my iniquities, rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me, and satisfy thy justice.

I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace, that, although the lest sin deserves infinite punishment because done against an infinite God, yet there is mercy for me, for where guilt is most terrible, there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep.

Bless me by revealing to me more of His saving merits, by causing Thy goodness to pass before me, by speaking peace to my contrite heart; strengthen me to give Thee no rest untiI Christ shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed, in a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the cross.

Jun 082010
 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-OCPWaRWkI[/youtube]

Matt Chandler believes he has been healed, and talks about it in his latest video blog post (HT: Christianity Today)

CCM magazine’s story on the passing of Christian rock legend Dana Key (including comments from his DeGarmo and Key bandmate, Eddie DeGarmo). DeGarmo was also quoted in a Memphis Commercial Appeal story on Key. Clay Crosse remembers Key, as does HM magazine’s Doug Van Pelt.

One of my favorite Dana Key songs, The Outlaw (which was a cover of a Larry Norman song):

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ6hDUoDI3E[/youtube]

More D&K songs on YouTube can be found here.

Bill Kinnon on Jesus and megachurch pastors.

David Wayne’s tribute to Michael Spencer.

Mark Roberts and Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton on the Albert and Tipper Gore divorce.

Bob Kellemen on the brilliance and foolishness of Stephen Hawking.

Adrian Warnock’s notes on Ed Stetzer’s sermon on how to do church.

Ray Ortlund on being truly Reformed.

Bryon Mondok: Use it or lose it.

Steve McCoy reviews Adam McHugh’s book Introverts in the Church.

Christianity Today’s Timothy C. Morgan talks with Mosab Hassan Yousef, author of Son of Hamas.

Dan Edelen reviews The Jesus Manifesto. Which you can download from christianaudio.com for $2.95 through Thursday.

David Murray with suggestions for helping people figure out if they are called to the ministry.

Michael Patton on how theologically diverse one’s church should be.

Matthew Paul Turner on the scarlet app.

Ben Witherington’s final commentary on Lost.

Doug Wolter says prayer is all about relationship.

Shaun King on marriage.

Mark Lauterbach on books.

Jeff Robinson talks with Bryan Chapell about Christ-centered preaching.

The most helpful thing Justin Buzzard ever read about finding God’s will.

Jason Boyett on Ted Haggard.

Buzzard on how to leave a church well (mainly applicable to pastors and ministry leaders).

It’s a tough job market right now for Protestant pastors, according to this Ministry Today report.

New audio interviews by the Gospel Coalition with Eric Metaxas, Mark Driscoll and Dave Harvey, as well as the latest book reviews from TGC.


Jun 082010
 

Today on the CCSPC docket will be Bob Coy and Dave Rolph.

Shout out to Mike Macon for our first mention on a CC blog. 🙂

As interesting to me as who is speaking at the SPC is who is not.

No workshops for Bryson or any ODM.

This could be a really positive week…keep praying.

The esteemed Pastor Macon tweeted yesterday that he had entered an iPad giveaway…which leads me to my subject for the day.

Covetousness.

Am I the only person here that Apple leads into sin?

Yesterday, Apple announced the newest version of it’s phenomenal iPhone.

I want.

Badly.

This of course on the heels of the launch of the equally phenomenal iPad.

Boy, do I want.

I want them to the degree that I think about how to acquire them on a constant basis, then feel guilty because such toys should be on the bottom of the priority list of an unemployed guy who supports a bunch of people.

I can make very good cases as to why I need them… and while I’m pleased with my ability to do so, I also know that my reasons are as thin as that new phone.

We live in a culture that breeds discontent and covetousness as a means of economic growth…and I think it’s affected us more than we know.

We apply these same market principles to holy things…and to people.

There is always something newer and better and it will be even newer and better next year.

We…I…need to repent.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
(Philippians 4:11 ESV)

“But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
(1 Timothy 6:8 ESV)

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.””
(Hebrews 13:5 ESV)

I’m praying that Mike wins one of those iPads…but I need to learn to be content before God will send one my way.

Jun 072010
 

Today is the first day of the annual Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors Conference.

We used to write out long articles about the gathering and follow it through every day.

Don’t expect that this year.

My focus this year will be on praying for our friends Tom Stipe and Dave Rolph as they will be bringing the messages today and tomorrow.

I do think that this is a critical juncture in the history of Calvary Chapel and I do believe that God may choose to speak prophetically to the men gathered…and if he does it may be through those we call friends.

There is much contention over secondary matters…lets pray that God moves them all back to the primary matter, their first love.

Thomas Kinkade strikes again...I know one of the gallery owners that was forced into bankruptcy by this creep.

“After duping gallery owners into buying his artwork as part of a scheme to lower the value of his company for a corporate buyout, Thomas Kinkade, the painter of light, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just one day before the company was due to pay back their next $1 million installment. Here’s how it went down: In the early 2000s Kinkade sold his paintings without telling the gallery owners that “they would have to sell [his] works at minimum retail prices while the artist undercut them with discount sales, some of which he made himself on cable television. It was all part of a plan, they claimed, to lower the value of the publicly traded company before Kinkade bought it in 2004 at steep losses to many investors.”

The painter of light is a man who walks in darkness.

As Ken Silva has chosen to continue referencing me without speaking to me, I’m going to create a page where we invite him and his brethren to actually come sit and talk about the issues in a manner befitting Christian brethren.

Over the last couple of months I’ve emailed both Silva and George Bryson to come and reason together as brothers, yet they both continue to refuse dialog while ripping me on their own sites and others.

I’ll build it…will they come?


Jun 062010
 

What did you teach?

What did you learn?

Did you hear the Gospel?

The Canons of Dordt

The First Main Point of Doctrine

Divine Election and Reprobation
The Judgment Concerning Divine Predestination
Which the Synod Declares to Be in Agreement with the Word of God
and Accepted Till Now in the Reformed Churches,
Set Forth in Several Articles

Article 1: God’s Right to Condemn All People

Since all people have sinned in Adam and have come under the sentence of the curse and eternal death, God would have done no one an injustice if it had been his will to leave the entire human race in sin and under the curse, and to condemn them on account of their sin. As the apostle says: The whole world is liable to the condemnation of God (Rom. 3:19), All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).*

–*All quotations from Scripture are translations of the original Latin manuscript.–

Article 2: The Manifestation of God’s Love

But this is how God showed his love: he sent his only begotten Son into the world, so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Article 3: The Preaching of the Gospel

In order that people may be brought to faith, God mercifully sends proclaimers of this very joyful message to the people he wishes and at the time he wishes. By this ministry people are called to repentance and faith in Christ crucified. For how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without someone preaching? And how shall they preach unless they have been sent? (Rom. 10:14-15).

Article 4: A Twofold Response to the Gospel

God’s anger remains on those who do not believe this gospel. But those who do accept it and embrace Jesus the Savior with a true and living faith are delivered through him from God’s anger and from destruction, and receive the gift of eternal life.

Article 5: The Sources of Unbelief and of Faith

The cause or blame for this unbelief, as well as for all other sins, is not at all in God, but in man. Faith in Jesus Christ, however, and salvation through him is a free gift of God. As Scripture says, It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). Likewise: It has been freely given to you to believe in Christ (Phil. 1:29).

Article 6: God’s Eternal Decision

The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For all his works are known to God from eternity (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act–unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just–of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God’s Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.

Article 7: Election

Election [or choosing] is God’s unchangeable purpose by which he did the following:

Before the foundation of the world, by sheer grace, according to the free good pleasure of his will, he chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race, which had fallen by its own fault from its original innocence into sin and ruin. Those chosen were neither better nor more deserving than the others, but lay with them in the common misery. He did this in Christ, whom he also appointed from eternity to be the mediator, the head of all those chosen, and the foundation of their salvation. And so he decided to give the chosen ones to Christ to be saved, and to call and draw them effectively into Christ’s fellowship through his Word and Spirit. In other words, he decided to grant them true faith in Christ, to justify them, to sanctify them, and finally, after powerfully preserving them in the fellowship of his Son, to glorify them.

God did all this in order to demonstrate his mercy, to the praise of the riches of his glorious grace.

As Scripture says, God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, so that we should be holy and blameless before him with love; he predestined us whom he adopted as his children through Jesus Christ, in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, by which he freely made us pleasing to himself in his beloved (Eph. 1:4-6). And elsewhere, Those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified, he also glorified (Rom. 8:30).

Article 8: A Single Decision of Election

This election is not of many kinds; it is one and the same election for all who were to be saved in the Old and the New Testament. For Scripture declares that there is a single good pleasure, purpose, and plan of God’s will, by which he chose us from eternity both to grace and to glory, both to salvation and to the way of salvation, which he prepared in advance for us to walk in.

Article 9: Election Not Based on Foreseen Faith

This same election took place, not on the basis of foreseen faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, or of any other good quality and disposition, as though it were based on a prerequisite cause or condition in the person to be chosen, but rather for the purpose of faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, and so on. Accordingly, election is the source of each of the benefits of salvation. Faith, holiness, and the other saving gifts, and at last eternal life itself, flow forth from election as its fruits and effects. As the apostle says, He chose us (not because we were, but) so that we should be holy and blameless before him in love (Eph. 1:4).

Article 10: Election Based on God’s Good Pleasure

But the cause of this undeserved election is exclusively the good pleasure of God. This does not involve his choosing certain human qualities or actions from among all those possible as a condition of salvation, but rather involves his adopting certain particular persons from among the common mass of sinners as his own possession. As Scripture says, When the children were not yet born, and had done nothing either good or bad…, she (Rebecca) was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” (Rom. 9:11-13). Also, All who were appointed for eternal life believed (Acts 13:48).

Article 11: Election Unchangeable

Just as God himself is most wise, unchangeable, all-knowing, and almighty, so the election made by him can neither be suspended nor altered, revoked, or annulled; neither can his chosen ones be cast off, nor their number reduced.

Article 12: The Assurance of Election

Assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election to salvation is given to the chosen in due time, though by various stages and in differing measure. Such assurance comes not by inquisitive searching into the hidden and deep things of God, but by noticing within themselves, with spiritual joy and holy delight, the unmistakable fruits of election pointed out in God’s Word– such as a true faith in Christ, a childlike fear of God, a godly sorrow for their sins, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, and so on.

Article 13: The Fruit of This Assurance

In their awareness and assurance of this election God’s children daily find greater cause to humble themselves before God, to adore the fathomless depth of his mercies, to cleanse themselves, and to give fervent love in return to him who first so greatly loved them. This is far from saying that this teaching concerning election, and reflection upon it, make God’s children lax in observing his commandments or carnally self-assured. By God’s just judgment this does usually happen to those who casually take for granted the grace of election or engage in idle and brazen talk about it but are unwilling to walk in the ways of the chosen.

Article 14: Teaching Election Properly

Just as, by God’s wise plan, this teaching concerning divine election has been proclaimed through the prophets, Christ himself, and the apostles, in Old and New Testament times, and has subsequently been committed to writing in the Holy Scriptures, so also today in God’s church, for which it was specifically intended, this teaching must be set forth–with a spirit of discretion, in a godly and holy manner, at the appropriate time and place, without inquisitive searching into the ways of the Most High. This must be done for the glory of God’s most holy name, and for the lively comfort of his people.

Article 15: Reprobation

Moreover, Holy Scripture most especially highlights this eternal and undeserved grace of our election and brings it out more clearly for us, in that it further bears witness that not all people have been chosen but that some have not been chosen or have been passed by in God’s eternal election– those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of his entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decision: to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but finally to condemn and eternally punish them (having been left in their own ways and under his just judgment), not only for their unbelief but also for all their other sins, in order to display his justice. And this is the decision of reprobation, which does not at all make God the author of sin (a blasphemous thought!) but rather its fearful, irreproachable, just judge and avenger.

Article 16: Responses to the Teaching of Reprobation

Those who do not yet actively experience within themselves a living faith in Christ or an assured confidence of heart, peace of conscience, a zeal for childlike obedience, and a glorying in God through Christ, but who nevertheless use the means by which God has promised to work these things in us–such people ought not to be alarmed at the mention of reprobation, nor to count themselves among the reprobate; rather they ought to continue diligently in the use of the means, to desire fervently a time of more abundant grace, and to wait for it in reverence and humility. On the other hand, those who seriously desire to turn to God, to be pleasing to him alone, and to be delivered from the body of death, but are not yet able to make such progress along the way of godliness and faith as they would like–such people ought much less to stand in fear of the teaching concerning reprobation, since our merciful God has promised that he will not snuff out a smoldering wick and that he will not break a bruised reed. However, those who have forgotten God and their Savior Jesus Christ and have abandoned themselves wholly to the cares of the world and the pleasures of the flesh–such people have every reason to stand in fear of this teaching, as long as they do not seriously turn to God.

Article 17: The Salvation of the Infants of Believers

Since we must make judgments about God’s will from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature but by virtue of the gracious covenant in which they together with their parents are included, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy.

Article 18: The Proper Attitude Toward Election and Reprobation

To those who complain about this grace of an undeserved election and about the severity of a just reprobation, we reply with the words of the apostle, Who are you, O man, to talk back to God? (Rom. 9:20), and with the words of our Savior, Have I no right to do what I want with my own? (Matt. 20:15). We, however, with reverent adoration of these secret things, cry out with the apostle: Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways beyond tracing out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has first given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen (Rom. 11:33-36).

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