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Fatherhood

When talking about fatherhood no one mentions traveling a long distance (twice) to see a play in the company of adult children (for the second time) affectionately based in the universe of a series of books and movies that you’ve never read or seen.

And that you’ll love the experience of sharing your children’s lives way beyond their childhood.

And the simple joy it is to be a character in their stories.

That’s fatherhood.

#puffstheplayau


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Storehouse by The Gray Havens

I don’t remember how I ended up listening to The Gray Havens (duo David and Licia Radford), but Storehouse is the first release from what I think is their third studio album, the forthcoming She Waits.
I’ve been listening to a prerelease of She Waits and the Radfords continue to mature their folk-pop style.

“I’m over my head and lost
And the ground feels unstable and I can’t make this stop
But this I call, this I call to mind
How the Father runs to the wayward son
Com’n back alive

So I’ll go to the storehouse I’ll go
To the storehouse of mercy I’ll go”


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Experiencing Reality Through A Filter Of Sadness And Sorrow (via John Starke)

John Starke writes about pastoring during a season of depression.
And a source of encouragement through that time.

I began to notice that I wasn’t just sad or discouraged about my circumstances. Something was different. There was a darkness that had set in. My sorrow and discouragement began to wrap around me and squeeze. It was hard to not experience my entire reality (my family, work, rest, prayers) through the filter of sadness and sorrow.
+++
But the more I had opened up and talked about it, the more I heard from other pastors and colleagues that they had never experienced depression until they went into pastoral ministry or engaged some significant conflict or discouragement in their work. I wasn’t alone. What was remarkable was that while words of truth and encouragement often felt as effective as cough syrup for throat cancer, the abiding presence of a fellow sufferer was like the hand of God over my wounds. It helped enlarge my scope of reality. Depression was like being in a confusing, blindingly dark cavern, but the presence of someone who could give witness to my pain was like a voice in the dark, awakening some hope that there may be some direction out.

Read Stark’s post at 9marks.


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Since Jesus Came Into My Heart – Sunday Songs

I get surprised by what hasn’t already been posted on Sunday Songs.
I searched up Since Jesus Came Into My Heart and it doesn’t seem to be here.
Even if it was it would be worth putting up again.
Rufus McDaniel’s words and music are infectiously joyful.

This Gaither video lets the song speak for itself.

This (Gaither sourced) rendition by the Statler Brothers is a bit more old timey.

The lyrics: (not all of these are included in the versions above)
1.
What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart;
I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart.
Chorus.
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.
2.
I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And my sins which were many are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart.
3.
I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart.
4.
There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart.
5.
I shall go there to dwell in that City I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And I’m happy, so happy as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 30

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 30

80.
Q. What difference is there between the Lord’s Supper and the papal Mass?
A. The Lord’s Supper testifies to us that we have compete forgiveness of all our sins through the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ which he himself has accomplished on the cross once for all; (and that through the Holy Spirit we are incorporated into Christ, who is now in heaven with his true body at the right hand of the Father and is there to be worshipped). But the Mass teaches that the living and the dead do not have forgiveness of sins through the sufferings of Christ unless is again offered for them daily by the priest (and that Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine and is therefore to be worshipped in them). Therefore the Mass is fundamentally a complete denial of the once for all sacrifice and passion of Jesus Christ (and as such an idolatry to be condemned).

81.
Q. Who ought to come to the table of the Lord?
A. Those who are displeased with themselves for their sins, and who nevertheless trust that these sins have been forgiven them and that their remaining weakness is covered by the passion and death of Christ, and who also desire more and more to strengthen their faith and improve their life. The impenitent and hypocrites, however, eat and drink judgment to themselves.

82.
Q. Should those who show themselves to be unbelievers and enemies of God by their confession and life be admitted to this Supper?
A. No, for then the covenant of God would be profaned and his wrath provoked against the whole congregation. According to the ordinance of Christ and his apostles, therefore, the Christian church is under obligation, by the office of the keys, to exclude such persons until they amend their lives.


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Allowing God To Set The Agenda (via Stephen Neale)

The bulk of sermons at MGPC follow an expository, systematic Bible teaching pattern. Sermon series follow books of the Bible, sometimes in sections. This year we’ve been through the book of James and we’ll finish with Ecclesiastes; we’ve also been through sections of 1 Kings (chapters 12-17) and Mark’s Gospel (chapters 9-11). We’ll return to those next year.
Sunday nights has been John’s Gospel, which I took up after finishing Psalms. Currently after John (whenever that finishes I think I’ll go through Isaiah).
Through summer and at various points of the year we have occasional sermons.
Our expository sermons focus on the passages at hand, not on themes drawn from them.
I believe this is the best way for people to hear God, and not the preacher’s themes and interests. We don’t ride hobby horses. We simply preach what the text is this week. And next week we preach the next text.

Stephen Neale points out that this is a balanced diet of God’s word, in contrast to the what might be understood as a dessert buffet version of preaching if the series reflect the preacher’s interests.

The regular diet of expository, systematic Bible teaching is like your meat and potatoes main meal. It will fill you up, it is good for you and it will build you up. I am convinced that the best diet for our churches is one that majors on teaching the scriptures faithfully, book-by-book and allowing the Lord to set the agenda for your church.

Read the whole post here.