The audio from the August BIG Meeting on “God’s Design For Marriage” is now online.
Click HERE to download Braden’s message.
Isaac sent this email to the pastors before they left yesterday:
Happy New Year my friends!
Drew & I and 20 of our finest are off for Uganda this afternoon. We would much appreciate your prayers throughout our time away. As before this trip looks to be a great time preaching God’s Word, proclaiming the gospel, and encouraging these new start up churches. The people there are hungry for God and we are blessed with experiencing many conversions every year. May God do this again and more this year!
This trip also promises to be as physically & spiritually taxing as years past. Please pray for me & Drew as we each will be preaching about 2x a day in various contexts. I’ll be meeting with a group of pastors and future pastors & along with Pastor Moses will be teaching them for a 2 day “conference”. My messages for these men will be focused on the book of Titus and specifically: knowing the gospel, gospel-centered sanctification, gospel-centered leadership, and gospel-centered preaching. Can’t wait to serve these guys!
Please pray for all of us…health was a major factor last year (almost all got sick). I’m leaving sick like I did last year and am trusting God’s grace to get me through and even heal me. Also, if you can pray for my wife and boys. I’m leaving a sick family behind as well! Thanks my friends!!!
For the gospel,
Just wanted to take a moment to honor someone in the singles ministry who is a great person. It’s not because of some extraordinary skill or talent—he does something most any of us could; he gives his time to help the youth of Emory Grove.
For two years Olu Edegbai has been going to the Emory Grove Resource Center on average four days a week for three hours a day and at times during the summer for 40 hours a week. Olu is great because he is like our Savior in the way he seeks to humbly give his life away for others. The best way to honor Olu would be to let you read the words of the workers and kids that he has affected.
“He has been consistent, reliable and hardworking through out his tenure with us. His willingness to help in any way has enhanced our program and the lives of the youth he works with. Olu is patient, understanding and considerate to everyone he comes in contact with. His thoughtful and accepting nature has allowed our youth to feel comfortable and to approach him for advice and/or helping in almost any capacity.” —Stephanie Semones, director with Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) who nominated Olu for the 2009 Community Action Award
“He has developed great relationships with the children who attend the Family Resource Center. The children truly look forward to his arrival in the afternoon, as does the staff. It is such a relief to see Olu walk through the door of the Center each day, and it always amazes me that he shows up with as much energy and excitement as he did his first day.” —Kelly Keegan, Director Emory Grove FRC
“Mr. Olu is nice and helpful. He is very smart so no matter what grade you are in, he can help you with your homework…even if it means staying past closing time. If it’s dark after we’re done, Mr. Olu would walk my sisters and I home. We are very blessed to have him here. I thank God for sending us such a wonderful helper.” —Belinda A., youth at Emory Grove
A few quotes and Scriptures and comments forthcoming regarding hope for change that come from my journal at a time when I was discouraged about sin that remained. Here’s installment #1:
a bruised reed shall he not break,
and the smoking flax shall he not quench; Isaiah 42:3 KJV
“Truly I am also fit to be likened to ‘the smoking flax’ whose light is gone and only its smoke remains. I fear I am rather a nuisance than a benefit…Jesus will not quench me; therefore, I am hopeful.”
CH Spurgeon from Chequebook of the Bank of Faith September 8th entry
I saw this on Tony Reinke’s blog. Tony is CJ Mahaney’s editorial and research assistant—what a cool job!
“Work in your hearts a hatred of sin… If a man had killed your friend, or father, or mother, how would you hate him! You would not endure the sight of him, but follow the law upon him. Send out the avenger of blood with a hue and cry after thy sin; bring it afore God’s judgment seat, arraign it, accuse it, spit on it, condemn it and thyself for it, have it to the cross, nail it there, if it cry I thirst, give it vinegar, stretch the body of sins upon his cross, stretch every vein of it, make the heart strings crack; and then when it hangs there, triumph over the dying of it, show it no pity, laugh at its destruction, say, Thou hast been a bloody sin to me and my husband, hang there and rot. And when thou art tempted to it [sin], and art very thirsty after the pleasure of it, say of that opportunity to enjoy it, It is the price of Christ’s blood, and pour it upon the ground. … Shall I live upon that which was Christ’s death? Shall I please myself in that which was his pain? Shall I be so dishonest, so unkind, as to enjoy the pleasure for which he endured the smart?”
—Thomas Goodwin (1600—1679), Christ the Mediator in The Works of Thomas Goodwin (RHB), 5:294.
“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.” Psalm 50:23
So often we are seeking our own glory. And do you know something? We hardly ever give thanks to God when we are seeking our own glory. They are contrary to one another.
The person that gives thanks to God is one that has a heart that overflows with a gratefulness for all that God has done. They want God to receive the glory he deserves.
The person who withholds thanks to God is one that has a heart that overflows with a desire to see their self glorified.
The Bible calls us to read Christian biography. You’re like, “what are you talking about?” I’m talking about Hebrews 13:7, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Reading, studying, and applying truth discovered in Christian biographies is a way of applying Hebrews 13:7.
Over the past few months I have been deeply provoked and consistently entertained by reading “George Whitefield: The Life and Times”, by Arnold Dallimore http://tinyurl.com/qoeyrw. You can also listen to a biographical sermon given by John Piper on Whitefield here: http://tinyurl.com/cnwn28.
John Foster wrote, “…if a list could be made from the experience of all nations and ages, of the twenty men that have produced the greatest effects, by means of their single personal influence, it is highly probable that the name of Whitefield must there hold a place.”
D. M. Lloyd-Jones has said, “…wherever he went he moved others to greater zeal and activity. His whole personality conveyed the impression of a man who knew his God and at the same time had a loving concern for the souls of men.”
Whitefield has left me with a deeper zeal and love for God every time I have read about him. I trust that God will do the same for you as you read of this giant in the faith.
...believe that there is no God.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1
Now I don’t have explicit biblical testimony to back this up, but consider all the evil ways that come from not believing that there is a God who is holy and who will call each of us to give account on the last day. The awareness of the fierce love and fierce wrath of God drives out foolishness like nothing else.
Now for those of us who do believe in the God of the Bible, let that permeate every facet of your life—let the reality of God and his future return drive out foolishness from your life. Live as if God exists and that he is holy and loving and that he will one day return to judge and to rescue.
Reformed Theological Seminary offers a very full list of courses online for free through iTunesU. I’ve listened to several of the Biblical studies courses and some of the various lectures. I particularly enjoyed the seminar (under ‘RTS Seminars and Lecture Series’) entitled ‘The Calvin I Never Knew’ by Dr. Frank James. He completely undermines the false claim that John Calvin has done more to hurt missions than anyone else. Apparently Calvin trained and deployed so many church-planting pastors that something like 2000 churches were planted in 7 years under his discipleship and at least two of them had attendance in the thousands and had to go to multiple services!