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Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian – Kindle Edition Free At Amazon For A Limited Time

Tullian Tchividjian’s Glorious Ruin is currently available for free at Amazon in its Kindle Edition.
(Probably because his latest book One Way Love is going to be released soon.)
Get in and grab it quick.
Thanks to Gospel eBooks.

Glorious-Ruin-199x300In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others.
This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.

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Something No One Tells You About Parenting…

… is that at least one of your children will have this reaction to tags on their clothes.
And, since they will attack any new clothes with scissors, it’s better for you to be the one to cut them off.


A Couple Of Feel-Good Music Videos

Tonight show host Jimmy Fallon and assorted Muppets sing the Sesame Street theme accompanied band The Roots who are playing school room instruments.
Sesame Street has been running 39 seasons.

I mentioned that I first heard Katie Perry’s Roar at a Hillsong Church service last month.
I showed it to my daughter and said it’s going to turn up at a lot of school concerts.
Here’s 2000 students at a US highschool doing a one-take lip sync version that must have taken a little bit of organising.
More than a catchy song of female empowerment, I simply like all these young people sharing their excitement and commitment together.

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To Be A Pilgrim by John Bunyan – Sunday Songs

The lyrics for To Be A Pilgrim usually begin He Who Would Valiant Be. The version we use begins All Who Would Valiant Be.
But otherwise most of the lyrics stay the same.
Attributed to Pilgrim’s Progress author John Bunyan, the hymn stands out among the author’s usual longer form works.
But even here Bunyan’s mastery of written imagery abounds, though most modern versions have dispensed with his ‘Hobgoblin’ and ‘Foul fiend’ in verse 3.
The tune Monks Gate is a bit tricky for a lot of contemporary congregations.
I’ve never used St. Dunstans, the other tune associated with the hymn.
The lyrics.
He who would valiant be
‘Gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy
Follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound–
His strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might,
Though he with giants fight;
He will make good his right
To be a pilgrim.
Since, Lord, thou dost defend
Us with thy Spirit
We know we at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then, fancies, flee away!
I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.

Here’s a rendition from Songs Of Praise.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 39

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 39

Chapter 23 – Of the Civil Magistrate
I. God, the Supreme Lord and King of all the world, has ordained civil magistrates to be under him over the people, for his own glory and the public good; and to this end, has armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil-doers.
II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called thereunto; in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth, so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions.
III. Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and Sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; yet he has authority, and it is his duty, to take order that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he has power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God.
IV. It is the duty of the people to pray for magistrates, to honour their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience’ sake. Infidelity, or difference in religion, does not make void the magistrate’s just and legal authority, nor free the people from their obedience to him: from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted; much less has the Pope any power or jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and least of all to deprive them of their dominions or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretense whatsoever.

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The Able, Willing, & Understanding Saviour (mgpc 29/9/2013)

When you need help you want someone who is capable of providing the help you need, who wants to able to give that help, and who knows what you’re going through in the situation you’re enduring.
The writer to the Hebrews reminds Christians of all eras that there is only one being who meets all (and for that matter, any) of these qualifications to bring us into lives of reconciliation with God.
That person is Jesus.

Preparing for worship we’ll start to learn a new song, All I Have Is Christ, and a much older hymn All Who Would Valiant Be.
After singing Jesus Is Lord, our prayer of adoration and confession will recall the blessing it is to draw close to God in worship through Christ. Our song of assurance will be Stop! Go! Watch!, followed by The Apostles’ Creed and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.
Jeremiah 40 will bring the account of Jeremiah’s remaining in Judah and not going into exile. In response we’ll sing This Earth Belongs To God.
After hearing Hebrews 2:5-18 we’ll focus on verses 10-18 where the all sufficiency and all supremacy of Jesus is held forth as we see he is the able, willing, and understanding Saviour.
We’ll be led in pastoral prayer, give our tithes and offerings, then conclude worship singing Your Glorious Cause, O God (Let Your Kingdom Come).

After morning tea everyone who’s still left in town is welcome to stay for a shared lunch.

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Google Hangout With Sinclair Ferguson

Ligonier Ministries have just hosted a ‘Google Hangout’ with Sinclair Ferguson.
Start listening and you’ll hear the dulcet Aussie tones of Nathan Bingham, then a forty-five minute open conversation with Sinclair on pastoral ministry, some of the concerns facing the evangelical church, and an update on what ministry looks like for him since his retirement.
Putting this on the blog for future viewing.