Good evening brothers and sisters,
Thank you, brothers and sisters, for praying for Tim and process he is going through. Last Friday evening, his interview with the Presbytery went very well. There was no discussion on any of the motions. A motion was made, seconded and then the question was called and each motion was unanimously carried. It took about 30 minutes to accomplish everything. Tim still needs to meet with the Presbytery of the Southwest who currently hold his credentials. That meeting is set for July 14. Then all that is necessary is for this congregation to set a date and time for an Installation Service for Tim. A good deal that will depend upon Tim’s schedule. We were hoping to have him here by early August but it looks like it is going to stretch out to late August for a number of reasons.
This Lord’s Day, Patti and I will be out of town for our niece’s wedding in Chicago. Pastor Jim Strietlemeier
will be in pulpit for us. Please remember that immediately following the morning worship service you’ll be askd to be seated and we will have a very brief meeting congregational meeting. The singular item to be voted upon is the congregation’s concurring with my request to resign my position as Minister of CCOPC due to my declining health which is particularly observable in my speech….in my ability to effectively communicate. That special meeting should take about 10 minutes, max. The Order of Worship for this Lord’s Day is attached.
Our Fellowship Meal this Lord’s Day will have a “cookout” theme. Weather permitting, we will be outdoors. We will have a couple of grills going. The Deacons will provide the burgers and dogs then each family can bring a couple of side dishes to share with one another. To be on safe side, you might also bring whatever condiments your family prefers. As always, be sure to bring enough to feed your family. Also, be sure to bring chairs, blankets, etc. to sit on as we “picnic” together. If the weather does not cooperate, we will still plan on grilling outdoors but eating indoors. I’m not sure who the chefs are that will be doing the grilling, but we have several “grill masters” in our midst.
· July 7– Fellowship Meal…the theme for July’s pitch-in will be “cookout”
· July 14–Young Adults Fellowship Group
· July 21–Adults Fellowship Group (westsiders)
· July 28–Neighborhood Fellowship
Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty. —E.M. Bounds
To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. —Martin Luther
Grace breeds delight in God, and delight breeds meditation.– Thomas Watson
Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior. —Charles Spurgeon
By redeeming us, the Lord secured us in His hand, from which we cannot be snatched and from which we ourselves cannot escape, even on days when we feel like running away. —Burk Parsons
…the rulers sneered at him, shouting: “He saved others, but he can’t save himself!” Their words, spoken as an insult, were the literal truth. He could not save himself and others simultaneously.—John Stott
If the Christian Faith had a curriculum, the class called “Prayer Matters” wouldn’t be an elective for college; it would be a prerequisite for kindergarten. —Matt Smethurst
Messy Church History: Keepin’ Us Honest
King David brought Bathsheba into a home where there were other wives and concubines. Not only was she another woman—a competing woman—but she was with child, and unbeknown to David’s other wives, she was a widow because of murder. Sometimes I imagine the wedding ceremony. Can you imagine it? A pregnant wife-to-be in a white dress, probably not even wanting to be there. She was beckoned by the king afterall; not really a culture where the king asks permission. Other wives were standing with her as the bridal party. Maybe embarrassed, maybe confused. David with blood on his hands and a heart hardened against God.
Yet this man—this king—God’s king–points us to Jesus Christ and is a called “a man after God’s own heart.”
That’s messy. READ MORE…
An $8.2 Million Judgment, Over $8.2 Million in Royalties Given Away, and God’s Sovereign Grace in Your Life and Mine
Note from Randy: Many of my readers already know this story, but I wanted to share it for others who might not have yet heard it. It also sets up why the fact that our ministry has now given away over $8.2 million in book royalties is so significant!
In 1990, I was a pastor of a large church Nanci and I had helped start in 1977, making a good salary and earning book royalties. I had been a pastor for thirteen years, and I didn’t want to do anything else. Had you asked me what I expected to be doing in another thirty years I would have said, “Continuing to serve as a pastor at Good Shepherd Community Church.” Then our family’s life was turned upside down. READ MORE…
Amsterdam and Autonomy: The Good News of a Sovereign God
Only One Word
It was a Wednesday morning, just a quarter past 9AM. My wife and I were gearing up to take a private boat tour through the canals of Amsterdam. Our tour guide, who insisted we call him “Skipper,” was an animated and proud Dutchman who proved eager to explain all things Netherlands and Amsterdam; we discussed items ranging from pirates to prostitution.
As we floated down canals we had never seen, whose names we couldn’t pronounce, we fell in love with this historic city. We traversed the seven gorgeous bridges of Reguliersgracht and gazed at the marvelous canal houses of Spiegelgracht. As our tour came towards its conclusion, the Skipper answered questions and discussed the Dutch as a people. He conversed with us about caricatures and characters of Dutch history. As we pulled back into the dock, he turned to tell us the “one word” he would use to describe those who live in Amsterdam in particular and the Netherlands in general; he gave us an inside take into the self-perception of the Dutch and, in doing so, his “one-word” left me stunned. READ MORE…
The Most Politically Incorrect Bible Passage
The Bible is not known for being the authority modern culture consults for political commentary, practical living, or ethical advice. The Apostle Paul is especially derided. Even some professing Christians regard his sexual ethics as outdated. Instead of pulling the old let’s-reinterpret-this-Bible-text-to-be-gay-affirming approach, some believers simply say he’s wrong. Let’s just focus on Jesus, they suggest, who allegedly never said anything about homosexuality. That’s why it’s not surprising that one of Paul’s passages should rise to the top of “The Most Politically Incorrect Bible Passage” Hall of Fame.
Paul’s first epistle to the church in Corinth has many challenging admonitions. First Corinthians 6:9–11, however, seems to top them all, especially in light of our country’s ethos. Let’s look at Paul’s words. READ MORE…
John Stott’s Daily Prayer
Our church is about to go through the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). One resource I will use for this series is Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit by Christopher J.H. Wright. I’ve read and enjoyed multiple Wright books in the past so I’m eager to jump into this one. In the introduction of the book, I was struck by a prayer that Wright shares; he says John Stott used to pray it every day. READ MORE…
Daily Bread and Daily Pardon
The Lord’s Prayer is, without question, the best-known prayer of all time. Embedded at the very heart of the prayer life of God’s family, but also shared and treasured by those nations and empires through the ages that have espoused the Christian faith as their official faith – albeit nominally. Yet, for all its familiarity, there is a depth and richness to its wording that never ceases to both thrill and probe the souls of God’s people at one and the same time. The apparent simplicity of the words Jesus taught his disciples to feed and fuel their prayer life belies the depth of their meaning and relevance.
We see this not only in the individual requests or ‘petitions’ contained in the prayer, but also in its overall landscape and contours – how the prayer itself fits together. So, far from subliminally atomising its various parts, we need to see their unity and integrity. Each individual component is intimately bound up with all the others in a way that reflects the wholeness of what it means to be a Christian and to be in union and communion God as his people.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the juxtaposition of the request for ‘daily bread’ and the ensuing request for pardon. Although these are routinely treated as distinct and separate petitions, Jesus actually links them with an ‘and’ [kai in Greek] in his original wording (Mt 6.12). He joins these two requests together in a way we cannot afford to overlook.
When we note this detail it immediately flags up something that is obvious, but easily missed: namely, that we are as much in need of daily pardon from God as we are of his provision of daily bread. Yet we instinctively gravitate to the latter rather than the former. READ MORE…
What Is True Liberty?
Gene Edward Veith
America is mad for liberty. Ours is a free country. We enjoy freedom of speech and of religion, the freedom of the press, and the freedom to bear arms. And rightly so. But though Americans love freedom, many of them have forgotten what it means.
Today many of us assume that freedom means getting to do whatever we want. Any restrictions on our behavior — whether from the state, the church, or some other person — violate our freedom. And, for many of us, freedom above all means the liberty to sin.
But, according to the Bible, this is the opposite of freedom. Sin has nothing to do with liberty. Sin destroys freedom. Sin enslaves. READ MORE…
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
“In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” J. Gresham Machen
“When Christ calls a man – he bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer