Good afternoon brothers and sisters,
For a number of years now, Patti and I have been using the devotional magazine Tabletalk, published monthly by Ligonier Ministries, as part of our family worship. The theme of the magazine changes each month and there are generally 4 to 8 Feature Articles as well as 4 or 5 Columns and then the devotional articles as well. It is one of only two magazines to which I still subscribe…the other being World.
The theme for the June is very intriguing: Biblical Metaphors for the Christian Life. The editor of Tabletalk, Burk Parsons, introduces this month’s theme with these words. Dr. Steven J. Lawson once compared the Bible to a diamond whose beauty, when it is held up to the light, is refracted in many different ways: “No one symbol of the Bible can communicate the whole. So, it requires many different metaphors, many different analogies, to even begin to try to understand the totality of the invincible power of the inerrant Word.” The Bible is full of images, symbols, and metaphors that God uses to help us know Him and relate to Him– and to help us know ourselves. He uses metaphors to help us understand truths about this present life and about eternal life and eternal condemnation.
There are then eight feature articles that focus on a various type metaphor. There are agricultural metaphors, animal metaphors, architectural metaphors, athletic metaphors, bodily metaphors, kingdom metaphors, family metaphors and religious metaphors. If you would like a challenge, see if you can find an example of each these eight metaphors. It is a fascinating study.
Earlier today I forwarded Rev. Mike McCabe’s latest newsletter which is full of insights into what is happening in China and how many believers are facing serious opposition and persecution for their faith. It is our privilege this coming Tuesday to hear directly from Mike. Please make this a priority for your family to be in attendance so that we will have a better understanding of what is confronting the body of Christ in China and thus will be able to pray more specifically. Come prepared with your questions for him. Start tine is 7:oo p.m.
This Lord’s Day Pastor Jim Streitlemier will be in the pulpit as I take advantage of the kind offer of the session to reduce my preaching responsibilities to every other week as my date of retirement (July 31) creeps ever closer. Jim always does a wonderful job for us. The Order of Worship is attached.
Please be sure to pray for Pastor Tim over the course of next week. On Friday of next week, he will be interviewed and examined by members of the Candidates and Credentials Committee of POH…Presbytery of Ohio. This is a crucial piece of the puzzle in finalizing our call to him to be the next pastor of CCOPC. That interview and examination will take place in Columbus, OH at Grace OPC. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. If any of you want to make the trek over, you are more than welcome to do so. Our Presbytery meetings are always open to anyone unless sensitive material is to be discussed.
Each year the Lebanon public library comes out two times (once in June and again in July) to use our building for a story time for any children in the area. They always leave a good number of books for various age groups. This year they (apparently) were not cleared to do the story time but they were permitted to bring out books to our building. Soo0, on the pew sitting in the middle entrance, you will find a goodly number of books that are free for the taking…first come, first served. I cannot vouch for the quality or content of any of those books so, parents, you will need to exercise due diligence in making sure the content is appropriate.
Please remember that next Lord’s Day (June 30) is Feet ‘n Eat at Turkey Run State Park. Brian has secured the Newby Gulch Shelter for us. Pray for good weather…that is pray for the rain to go away for a while.
The following Lords Day (July 7) our Fellowship Meal will have a “cookout” theme. Yes, that means exactly what you think it means. Weather permitting, we will be outdoors. The Deacons will provide the burgers and dogs then each family can bring a couple of side dishes to share with one another. As always, be sure to bring enough to feed your family. 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.
· June 23– Neighborhood Fellowship
· June 25– Mike and Lili McCabe (missionaries to China)
· June 30–Feet ‘n Eat at Turkey Run State Park
· 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
The fact that we have died to the dominion of sin is not a truth to be put on a shelf and admired. It is a truth we must put to use every day. —Jerry Bridges
The truth is that there are such things as Christian tears, and too few of us ever weep them. —John Stott
The words we should long to hear are not, “Well done, good and successful servant,” but “Well done, good and faithful servant.”–Anonymous
Even when we’re wave-tossed and lost at sea, Jesus remains the captain of the ship and the commander of the storm. —Elliot Clark
We’re not growing in love when we have time for projects but not for people. —Donald Whitney
When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. . . . When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.–C.S. Lewis
No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like the scene on Calvary. —Charles Spurgeon
If the gaze of man awakens fear to us, how much more so the gaze of God. If we feel exposed by people, we will feel devastated before God. —Ed Welch
Is an Unborn Child a Parasite, Living off Another Person’s Body without Permission?
Some abortion advocates argue that even if a “fetus” is actually a person, that doesn’t change the fact that one person does not have the right to use the body of another person against their will (in this case, against the mother’s will). Therefore, she should have the right to “evict” the fetus from her body.
In his book Abortion Practice, Warren Hern, one of the world’s most prominent abortionists, wrote that “the relationship between the [mother] and the [baby] can be understood best as one of host and parasite.”  He’s not alone in this view. One woman, referring to the twins she was pregnant with and later aborted, wrote, “Right now it’s just a parasite only living off of me. I would survive in this world without a host. The definition of a parasite.”  READ MORE…
We Will Sneer at Death
Two years ago, our family found ourselves in the middle of an intense trial. My mother-in-law, just 64, was diagnosed with cancer already in advanced stages, leading to a summer in which my wife, Corina, spent (in total) three months in Romania as her primary caregiver during those last days. I wrote about the shock of the diagnosis as well as the truths that sustained us during that season. At Thanksgiving of that year, I said it felt like we were struggling up the sides of a crater left in the wake of an asteroid of suffering.
Since that time, I have found solace in God’s promise of resurrection and the New Testament’s description of the final victory of God over sin and death. Oh, there are still tears. There is still heartache and pain. Trusting in the promises of God does not turn us into unfeeling people who demonstrate faithfulness by keeping a stiff upper lip.
But even in the tears, the promise of resurrection remains solid—a foundation for our lives that will not be shaken, something that can help our hearts remain steady and firm no matter how much we grieve. We can take comfort in knowing that no matter what happens, no matter how much death haunts our life, the day is coming when we will sneer at death as a pitiful, shriveled up, old defeated enemy when seen in the everlasting light of resurrection life. READ MORE…
When Old They’ll Still Bear Fruit
Last month, my extended family and I sat with my dying grandmother over her final days. In the waning hours of her life, we reflected on the various blessings the Lord gives by allowing saints to live long lives. Growing old is really hard, but there are unique benefits that come to the friends and family of those who age well in Jesus Christ. Here are a few of the blessings we counted together: READ MORE…
STOP PRAYING “BE WITH” PRAYERS
The time-bound and fallen creature that I naturally am, I often forget the spiritual and eternal element of reality. That’s why the things that fill my prayers are so regularly absent from Paul’s—and why the things that fill his prayers are so regularly absent from mine. He has his eyes fixed on eternity. His prayers are spiritual. We need to make ours so, too. READ MORE…
5 Reasons to Treasure the Trinity
Many Christians today quietly (and somewhat ashamedly) believe the doctrine of the Trinity to be a monstrosity of sorts—an awkward theological deformity that is to be practically tucked behind more logical orthodoxy. To many, the Trinity is merely a conundrum of mathematics, filled with philosophical jargon intended for the abstract tinkering of men in sophisticated seminaries and ivory towers.
The problem with this manner of thinking is that the biblical authors were utterly captivated by the Trinity.
John spent the first 18 verses of his Gospel expounding the Trinity. Mere hours before His crucifixion, Christ spent His last meal explaining it (cf. John 13-17). The parting words of Jesus before ascending into heaven were, “Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” READ MORE…
‘Sing hallelujah to the Lord’
Christians are a highly visible presence in Hong Kong protests
June Cheng & Erica Kwong
Tides of protesters dressed in black flooded the streets of Hong Kong for the second consecutive Sunday to protest the controversial extradition bill that could see residents sent to mainland China to stand trial.
According to organizers’ estimates, nearly two million people attended the march, making it the biggest protest in the city’s history with more than a quarter of the population participating. The police estimate a much lower turnout of 338,000.
Although Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Saturday that she would indefinitely suspend the bill, protesters nearly doubled in number from the previous Sunday’s protest. Many were infuriated after police used excessive force on young protesters on Wednesday. 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