29 October 2011

There is a problem?

...There is a problem with pastors who make videos which ape the aesthetics of the mainstream media and focus on the pastor, not the pastor's God; there is a problem with churches of thousands of people, few of whom ever get to meet an elder, let alone the pastor; there is a problem with church planting strategy that is so wedded to the cult of the one man that he has to be skyped in to the community; there is a problem when a man has to phone the librarian at Westminster Seminary with a pastoral issue because nobody at his home church of thousands has the time to speak to an ordinary church member about his crisis of faith. - Carl Trueman

For some very thoughtful insight on the hot topic of "celebrity" pastors check out Trueman's post here.

28 October 2011

Yeah, we all do...

Yeah, we all underestimate the Gospel....

Evangelicals Underestimate the Gospel - Al Mohler from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

God’s Decree: The Divide

    You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
(Romans 9:19-24 ESV)

27 October 2011

Getting to Know the Bible Personally

An amazing and distinguished panel of speakers...

Getting to Know the Bible Personally as One Grand Narrative from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Psalm 36 from the Scottish Psalter

Psalm 36


To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.

1The wicked man’s transgression
within my heart thus says,
Undoubtedly the fear of God
is not before his eyes.
2Because himself he flattereth
in his own blinded eye,
Until the hatefulness be found
of his iniquity.
3Words from his mouth proceeding are,
fraud and iniquity:
He to be wise, and to do good,
hath left off utterly.
4He mischief, lying on his bed,
most cunningly doth plot:
He sets himself in ways not good,
ill he abhorreth not.
5Thy mercy, Lord, is in the heav’ns;
thy truth doth reach the clouds:
6Thy justice is like mountains great;
thy judgments deep as floods:
Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
7How precious is thy grace!
Therefore in shadow of thy wings
men’s sons their trust shall place.
8They with the fatness of thy house
shall be well satisfy’d;
From rivers of thy pleasures thou
wilt drink to them provide.
9Because of life the fountain pure
remains alone with thee;
And in that purest light of thine
we clearly light shall see.
10Thy loving-kindness unto them
continue that thee know;
And still on men upright in heart
thy righteousness bestow.
11Let not the foot of cruel pride
come, and against me stand;
And let me not removed be,
Lord, by the wicked’s hand.
12There fallen are they, and ruined,
that work iniquities:
Cast down they are, and never shall
be able to arise.

26 October 2011

Sermon on the Mount Week 7

    “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
    “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
(Matthew 5:31-37 ESV)

Piety and Confessionalism

Really excellent discussion...

Piety and Confessionalism: Friends or Enemies? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

25 October 2011

Scottish Psalter - Psalm 32

Psalm 32

A Psalm of David, Maschil.

1O blessed is the man to whom
is freely pardoned
All the transgression he hath done,
whose sin is covered.
2Bless’d is the man to whom the Lord
imputeth not his sin,
And in whose sp’rit there is no guile,
nor fraud is found therein.
3When as I did refrain my speech,
and silent was my tongue,
My bones then waxed old, because
I roared all day long.
4For upon me both day and night
thine hand did heavy lie,
So that my moisture turned is
in summer’s drought thereby.
5I thereupon have unto thee
my sin acknowledged,
And likewise mine iniquity
I have not covered:
I will confess unto the Lord
my trespasses, said I;
And of my sin thou freely didst
forgive th’ iniquity.
6For this shall ev’ry godly one
his prayer make to thee;
In such a time he shall thee seek,
as found thou mayest be.
Surely, when floods of waters great
do swell up to the brim,
They shall not overwhelm his soul,
nor once come near to him.
7Thou art my hiding-place, thou shalt
from trouble keep me free:
Thou with songs of deliverance
about shalt compass me.
8I will instruct thee, and thee teach
the way that thou shalt go;
And, with mine eye upon thee set,
I will direction show.
9Then be not like the horse or mule,
which do not understand;
Whose mouth, lest they come near to thee,
a bridle must command.
10Unto the man that wicked is
his sorrows shall abound;
But him that trusteth in the Lord
mercy shall compass round.
11Ye righteous, in the Lord be glad,
in him do ye rejoice:
All ye that upright are in heart,
for joy lift up your voice.

24 October 2011

Weddings, Rips & Wineskins

    Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
(Mark 2:18-22 ESV)

21 October 2011

God's Decree: The Plan Proverbs 19:21

We begin a new study on God's Decree this week. Be blessed.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
(Proverbs 19:21 ESV)

20 October 2011

Kindle our Lamps...

O Lord, give us, we beseech Thee, in the name of Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, that love which can never cease, that will kindle our lamps but not extinguish them, that they may burn in us and enlighten others.

Do Thou, O Christ, our dearest Savior, Thyself  kindle our lamps that they may evermore shine in Thy Temple and receive unquenchable light from Thee, that will enlighten our darkness and lessen the darkness of the world. - Columba, 521-597

18 October 2011

Shine from the cross to me...

Shine from the cross to me, then all is peace;
Shine from the throne, then all my troubles cease;
Speak the word, and sadness quits my soul;
Touch my hand with thine, and I am whole.
- Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar

17 October 2011

The Tax Collector Mark 2:13-17

Mark 2:13-17
He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
(Mark 2:13-17 ESV)

15 October 2011

Just Pray...

Bernard of Clairvaux
Wherever you are, pray secretly within yourself. If you are far from a house of prayer, give not yourself  trouble to seek for one, for you yourself are a sanctuary designed for prayer. If you are in bed, or any other place, pray there; your temple is there. - Bernard of Clairvaux

14 October 2011

Paul's Stirring Appeal

Philippians 2:1-4

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

(Philippians 2:1-4 ESV)

Apostle Paul

12 October 2011

Sermon on the Mount Week 5

Matthew 5:17-20

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

(Matthew 5:17-20 ESV)

Click here for Matthew Henry's Commentary on Matthew 5.

10 October 2011

The Paralytic Pardon Mark 2:1-12

And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
(Mark 2:1-12 ESV)

For Matthew Henry's Commentary on Mark 2 click here.

09 October 2011

Beware of Murmuring

Let us beware of murmuring under affliction. We may be sure there is a needs-be for every cross, and a wise reason for every trial. Every sickness and sorrow is a gracious message from God, and is meant to call us nearer to Him. Let us pray that we may learn the lesson that each affliction is appointed to convey. Let us see that we "refuse not Him that speaks." (Taken from Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: The Book of Mark, by J.C. Ryle.)

08 October 2011

Mohler on Driscoll - A Fair Assessment

Al Mohler
David Murray shares an audio clip here from the recent Expositor's Conference in which Al Mohler shares his opinion on Mark Driscoll during a Q&A session. I believe Mohler's thoughts were fair, full of wisdom and Biblical. I've distanced myself from Driscoll recently as I have found, what I believe to be, some disturbing facts about him and his ministry. Rather than delve into that here, Mohler's comments are sufficient. Thanks for posting, David.

The Underestimated Gospel?

05 October 2011

Hymns: Immortal, Invisible

To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 1:17 ESV

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most bless├Ęd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
But of all Thy rich graces this grace, Lord, impart
Take the veil from our faces, the vile from our heart.

All laud we would render; O help us to see
’Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee,
And so let Thy glory, Almighty, impart,
Through Christ in His story, Thy Christ to the heart.

Walter C. Smith

03 October 2011

A Life that Pleases God 1 Timothy 1:9-14

Rev. Michael Harvey is the executive director of Seneca Hills Bible Camp and Retreat Center in Polk, PA. Rev. Harvey is an ordained teaching elder in the PCA, and he and his wife Elizabeth have three children. We are thankful to God for His servant!

01 October 2011

The Meaning of "Reformed"

San Diego Conference on Theology 2011 - Part I from Oceanside URC on Vimeo.

(HT:Meet The Puritans)

Reformation Conference

Northern Ohio Reformed Fellowship
Reformation Conference
October 28, 29, 2011

Held at:

24430 Nobottom Rd.
Olmsted Twp., OH 44138

Friday night
7:00pm, arrive, light refreshments, book table.
7:15pm, brief intro, Song, and Message # 1, “How the Reformation Came to England.”
8:15pm Conclude

Saturday morning
9:00am arrive and book table
9:30am, Intro, sing, Message # 2, “Two Steps Forward; One Step Back; Somewhere in the Middle (Early Puritanism under Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth)
10:30-11:00 break, book table
11:00 to 12:00 Song, Message # 3. “The Genius of Puritanism: Why Should We Care?

James M. Renihan
Preregister by emailing Ms. Kate Tasseff at faith.pca.akron@gmail.com with your name (and the names of others who are attending with you) and which days you will be attending. You may pay upon arrival at the conference ($5 per person, $10 per family).

Speaker, James M. Renihan is Dean and Professor of Historical Theology at the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies at Westminster Seminary California, Escondido, CA. He is also a pastor of Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Vista, CA. He has been married to Lynne for 33 years and they have five children and 6 grandchildren.