>Better Than Good!

>Drove from Bath, NY to Hannibal, Mo yesterday…then had a hard time falling asleep.

So dove into the Word for a little while, got to thinking about one of my favorite verses:

Psalm 119.165 Great peace have those who love Your law; nothing can make them stumble.

Wondered about other references to “great”…didn’t do an exhaustive study, but did find these quickly:

Nehemiah 12.43 “…God had made them rejoice with great joy.

Eph 2.4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us…”

Daniel 9.18 “…For we do not present our pleas before You because of our righteousness, but because of Your great mercy”

James 5.16 “…The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

And here is my for-now favorite:

Jude 24 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy.”

Now, the way Jude 24 reads, I wonder if the “great joy” is ours or His?

>On The Road, Again

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Early summer Jane and I talked about an invitation I had to speak for a week in a church in Troy, Ks. The pastor, Jerry, and I went to Bible school together and have remained close. We decided that I should accept the assignment, and laughed that we’d probably be moving right around that time…

Thursday morning I begin the drive to the Midwest to, first, help with Midland Ministries’ Bible quizzing on Saturday, and on Sunday morning begin the week in the church.

And, yeah, we could be loading the truck while I am gone! Or, perhaps more likely, that will transpire as soon as I return to New York, probably November 11.

Everything is still a bit in limbo as we don’t have final word from Saint Joseph nor an “etched in stone” closing date here.

So I drive off to preach, and Jane, Janelle, and Jacob stay in New York. On Wednesday Joel will fly from Chicago to Buffalo to help with the move.

So I use the blog to simply invite you to pray with us for safety for all the traveling, for power in ministering the Word, and for all the details of this move to…finally…be revealed to us. We are already and still thanking the Lord for working it all out…just waiting to see how He does it!

>Yancey on Forgiveness

>”Forgiveness is the only way to break the cycle of blame–and pain–in a
relationship…It does not settle all questions of blame and justice and
fairness…But it does allow relationships to start over. In that way,
said Solzhenitsyn, we differ from all animals. It is not our capacity to
think that makes us different, but our capacity to repent, and to forgive.”

Philip Yancey

>Can You Define the Gospel in 60 Seconds (or so)?

>Here’s a great definition of that which is “of first importance” worthy of contemplation, meditation, and, perhaps, memorization:

“The first order of business is to know the gospel . . .

The gospel or good news of Jesus Christ is that God the Father, who is holy and righteous in all his ways, is angry with sinners and will punish sin. Man, who disobeys the rule of God, is alienated from the love of God and is in danger of an eternal and agonizing condemnation at the hands of God. But God, who is also rich in mercy, because of his great love, sent his eternal Son born by the Virgin Mary, to die as a ransom and a substitute for the sins of rebellious people. And now, through the perfect obedience of the Son of God and his willing death on the cross as a payment for our sins, all who repent and believe in Jesus Christ, following him as Savior and Lord, will be saved from the wrath of God to come, be declared just in his sight, have eternal life, and receive the Spirit of God as a foretaste of the glories of heaven with God himself.”

– Thabiti Anyabwile, What Is a Healthy Church Member? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), 40-41

>Yeah, God’s Word is Relative and Contemporary

>Reading in Jeremiah, and again amazed at how relevant the Word of God is…even without the “help” of speakers/preachers/communicators. Does not the following remind you of a certain country that is having an election in less than two weeks?

Jeremiah 5.30, 31 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

Jeremiah 6.10 …behold, the Word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.

Jeremiah 7.8 Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. (Don’t know about you, but when I read that I think of many “Christian” bestsellers…)

Jeremiah 7.28 …This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

>Repentance – Critical to Think About

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Since repentance is a key missing-ingredient of contemporary churchianity, this observation of Tim Keller is vital:

“In the religious approach, repentance separates you from the source of your power and your hope and your confidence – because that’s a good record.

But in the gospel, repentance reconnects you to the source of your power and your confidence and your joy. Why? Because the source of your self image, the source of your power, the source of your confidence is not your record, but His record. Not what you have done, but what He has done.”

– Tim Keller, “He came to himself” (message given at Redeemer Presbyterian Church)