The Temple

Ryan Ferguson recites Hebrews 9-10!!

This is awesome…the way the Bible should be read!

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December 27, 2006 Posted by | Bible, Devotional | Leave a comment

Invisible Armies: The Military Mission of Christmas, Part 2

The message of the angel is “good news of great joy.” It is important to put this phrase into biblical context. The angel starts out by saying: “Fear not.” He tells them this for two reasons: first, his appearance is frightening and startling; second, in a greater sense he is speaking to generations of us who because of the sentence of death, live in fear. Is there any human alive who has not at some point thought of their own death, and fearfully pushed it aside. The older you get, every pain, new itch, discoloration or twitch becomes a Fred Sanford moment. “It’s the big one, Elizabeth.”

The message to the angels is a universal message of the gospel, not a message about temporal anxiety, the fears of life that God can help us cope with and overcome. It is about the certainty of the military campaign he wages in the coming of Christ, but won in the bowels of eternity past.

The good news is not…
sale at Walmart
You got the job!
Gas prices drop!
The boys are coming home from Iraq!

Fear not, the good news is… Continue reading

December 26, 2006 Posted by | Bible, Christian Living, Devotional | Leave a comment

Quote

Man’s mind is like a store of idolatry and superstition; so much so that if a man believes his own mind it is certain that he will forsake God and forge some idol in his own brain.

John Calvin

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December 26, 2006 Posted by | Quotes | Leave a comment

Invisible Armies: The Military Mission of Christmas

The Christmas story as recorded in Luke includes the following:

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14, KJV).

Our tendency at Christmas is to focus on the “niceness” of the event. And our Christmas celebration is “nice.” The verse above needs some adjusting to accurately reflect the Greek text underneath this English translation. We have traditionally “kept” the language of Luke 2:13-14 and other passages archaic, even though the result is misunderstanding or unnecessary clouding of the original meaning.

A more appropriate translation would be: Continue reading

December 19, 2006 Posted by | Bible, Christian Living, Devotional | Leave a comment

Batter My Heart

Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

-John Donne

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December 18, 2006 Posted by | Devotional | 1 Comment

Disturb us, Lord

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little,
when we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly to venture on wider seas
where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land,
we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes;
and to push in the future in strength, courage, hope and love.

-Sir Francis Drake

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December 16, 2006 Posted by | Devotional | Leave a comment

Isaac Watts: Hymn 8

Another post stolen from my sister Ellen

Hello all you busy people,

Here is an Isaac Watts (1674-1748) hymn to start your day…

Hymn 8, C.M.

Hosannah, with a cheerful sound,
To God’s upholding hand;
Ten thousand snares attend us round,
And yet secure we stand.

That was a most amazing power
That raised us with a word,
And every day and every hour
We lean upon the Lord.

The evening rests our weary head,
And angels guard the room
We wake, and we admire the bed
That was not made our tomb.

The rising morning can’t assure
That we shall end the day;
For death stands ready at the door
To seize our lives away.

Our breath is forfeited by sin
To God’s avenging law;
We own thy grace, immortal King,
In every gasp we draw.

God is our sun, whose daily light
Our joy and safety brings;’
Our feeble flesh lies safe at night
Beneath his shady wings.

From “The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book II: Composed on Divine Subjects..

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December 14, 2006 Posted by | Devotional | Leave a comment

Henry Vaughan: Christ’s Nativity

My sister Ellen sends me wonderful stuff from all over the place…

From the pen of Henry Vaughan (1621-95). Hope you can work through this classical piece and “awake” to the glory of our God and Savior!

Christ’s Nativity

AWAKE, glad heart! Get up, and sing!
It is the birthday of thy King.
Awake! Awake!
The sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.

Awake, awake! hark how th’ wood rings
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
A consort make;
Awake! awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn
And road of sin!
Then either star, or bird, should be
Shining, or singing still, to Thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for Thee! or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet if Thou wilt, Thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then; let no more
This leper haunt, and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him,
or release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be borne in Earth.

II.

How kind is Heav’n to man! If here
One sinner doth amend,
Straight there is joy, and ev’ry sphere
In music doth contend;
And shall we then no voices lift?
Are mercy, and salvation
Not worth our thanks? Is life a gift
Of no more acceptation?
Shall He that did come down from thence,
And here for us was slain,
Shall He be now cast off? no sense
Of all His woes remain?

Can neither love, nor suff’rings bind?
Are we all stone, and earth?
Neither His bloody passions mind,
Nor one day bless His birth?
Alas, my God! Thy birth now here
Must not be number’d in the year.

– Henry Vaughan

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December 14, 2006 Posted by | Devotional | Leave a comment

Home Stand

Home Stand
Peanut shells splay out
under trudging feet,
cupped upturning hands
catching sloshed beer fly balls.
The uniforms are still midday,
blaring, bright—not yet clay
sliding streaked.
Hot dogs roll
roast
sweat—
It is June.
There is an organ somewhere
hidden blaring.
All the balls were slathered
muddy in Mississippi—somehow
gleam again. The man in Black
we call Blue—
Play Ball
A pile of spittle-drenched sun-
flower seeds sits in my lap. Crack
Spit Crack Spit grows the pile. You
beside me—sun-glassed and blue-
capped and grinning—score-
book on your knee, pencil
in your fingers.
It is June. Father/Son day.

Poem written by Tim Bagdanov

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December 12, 2006 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment