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Posts from March 2011

An Area Of Neglect ~ Fasting

Jonathan Edwards provided some very good instruction to preachers. Among that advice was a reminder not to neglect is secret fasting.

One thing more I would mention concerning fasting and prayer, wherein I think there has been a neglect in ministers; and that is, that although they recommend and much insist on the duty of secret prayer, in their preaching; so little is said about secret fasting. It is a duty recommended by our Saviour to his followers, just in the like manner as secret prayer is; as may be seen by comparing the 5th and 6th vss. of the 6th chapter of Matthew with vss. 16-18. Though I don't suppose that secret fasting is to be practiced in a stated manner and steady course as secret prayer, yet it seems to me 'tis a duty that all professing Christians should practice, and frequently practice. ~ Jonathan Edwards

Even The Trees

Don't Miss Her Loveliness, originally uploaded by Calpastor.

Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! ~ Psalm 148:7–9 (ESV)

Our little farm community is amazingly beautiful this time of year. The snow crowned Sierras tower high above the valley floor and appear close enough to reach out and touch. The fruit trees seem to be working overtime to scream out their praises to to the LORD from the earth. In reality, they are just doing what God designed them to do.

We are part of God's creation and should be just as active in praising the LORD from the earth. Are we living our lives in such a way the the world will stop and notice how "fearfully and wonderfully made" we are? Do we really need to do the spectacular to praise the LORD? Or do we just live the life God created us to live?

"I Would Like To Be One Someday"

I ran across the following paragraphs in a message by John Piper and have been captivated by these words. I think it must be true that the older and wiser we become the more we realize how much more we have to learn and just how much more we have to grow.

"It seems to me that we are always falling off the horse on one side or the other in this matter of being tough and tender—wimping out on truth when we ought to be lion-hearted, or wrangling with anger when we ought to be weeping. Oh how rare are the pastors who speak with a tender heart and have a theological backbone of steel.

I dream of such pastors. I would like to be one someday.

  • A pastor whose might in the truth is matched by his meekness.
  • Whose theological acumen is matched by his manifest contrition.
  • Whose heights of intellect are matched by his depths of humility. Yes, and the other way around!
  • A pastor whose relational warmth is matched by his rigor of study.
  • Whose bent toward mercy is matched by the vigilance of his biblical discernment.
  • Whose sense of humor is exceeded by the seriousness of his calling.

I dream of great defenders of true doctrine who are mainly known for the delight they have in God and the joy in God that they bring to the people of God—who enter controversy, when necessary, not because they love ideas and arguments, but because they love Christ and the church." ~ John Piper, January 30, 2001

I fear that many in the church, including at times pastors, forget "the seriousness" of the pastor's calling. A calling that destines us to failure apart from the grace of God, love of Christ, and power of the Holy Spirit.