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Showing posts from March, 2022

Thoughts From Hannah Hurnard

Dear Friends, I’m always encouraged when a Christian (especially a well-known and well-respected Christian) is very honest and transparent about their personal flaws and struggles. Maybe it's because I’m so well-aware of my own that I find it comforting to know I’m not alone! After all, it strengthens one’s resolve to realize that others carry similar burdens. We find in the honest testimony of fellow-strugglers a friend in the fight. It gives us hope that change is possible. In fact, when we see that the Lord persevered with them – often for many years – and despite their flaws, it assures us of the Gospel promise that God is with us for the long-haul. He does not discard His people because we struggle with what the Puritans called “besetting” or long-standing sins. That’s why I share today’s “thought.” It is a very honest confession by a very well-known Christian missionary and author named Hannah Hurnard (1905-1990) who wrote a best-selling Christian allegorical n

Thoughts From Dane Ortlund

Dear Friends, Not long ago I picked up a new book by Dane Ortlund entitled, “Gentle and Lowly – The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers.” I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is one of the better books I have read in a long time – well-researched, well-written, Christ-focused, and much needed! It is Gospel-saturated. This particular selection comes from the opening chapter and simply gives you a taste for what follows. In reading his book I do have to say I feel like I’ve not only gotten to know the heart of Jesus better, but have drawn closer to Him as a result. Enjoy. “My dad pointed out to me something Charles Spurgeon pointed out to him. In the four Gospel accounts given to us in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – eighty-nine chapters of biblical text – there’s only one place where Jesus tells us about his own heart. We learn much in the four Gospels about Christ’s teaching. We read of his birth… ministry… disciples… travels… prayer habits… the way he understood himself

Thoughts From Luke LeFevre

Dear Friends, Today a friend unexpectedly stopped by the office. As we spoke, he told me how hard it is to consider following Jesus. “You understand that, right?” he asked. I had to agree that I did. I remember well just prior to my conversion thinking about all it would "cost me" in terms of the things I would have to do and stop doing. (Of course, at that time, I thought it was something I would need to do on my own, not realizing God changes our nature, gives us His Spirit and strength, and makes us want to!) He spoke about following Jesus as something you don’t simply try out for a while and then discard. It’s a call to lifelong commitment. It’s all or nothing. And as much as we might prefer otherwise, coming to Him does mean we must embrace things that are new to us, and say goodbye to things (or habits) we are used to. My friend is the one who suggested I post a thought for the week having to do with that topic. So, this thought is for him – and anyone like hi

Thoughts From Paul E. Miller

Dear Friends, This week’s “thought” speaks to an outlook on life that has become extremely prevalent in western society. It’s called cynicism. And despite attempts to keep it out, whatever is prevalent in society will eventually find its way into the church and affect the hearts and lives of the people in it. It often creeps into our lives so slowly that we fail to realize it has us in its clutches until we are captive to its inevitable fruits. Often people do not realize it until they notice their joy, hope, and ability to trust have weakened or seemingly disappeared. Or they wonder where their passion for life went, why they feel so emotionally numb, and why their prayer life has dwindled down to almost nothing. If you, or someone you know, has noticed this sad digression occurring, then I hope you find some helpful insights in this selection from Paul E. Miller’s book, “A Praying Life – Connecting With God in a Distracting World.” If you’ve lost your zest for life (or prayer), a

Thoughts From Martin Copenhaver

Dear Friends, This week’s “thought” expresses one of the repeated themes of the New Testament, even though the author uses an Old Testament verse as his starting point. Of course, since the entire Old Testament in some way points forward to Him, and the entire New Testament either points back to Him, or forward to His 2nd coming and eternal reign, it matters little! This selection captures a theme I have spoken on often – the importance of Jesus in our understanding of God. It is by Martin Copenhaver, and comes from his devotional book, “The Gospel in Miniature.” Enjoy. “For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night.” - from Exodus 40:34-38 “In this passage, the presence of God is described as a cloud. That image reminds me of a parishioner’s description of his concept of God as, “a sacred blur.” When we recognize God in Jesus, however, that sacred blur is brought into stark, startling foc