Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Islamic Eschatology Overview

Below is a link to an online book which provides an overview of Islamic end times theology. What is so fascinating is that it matches Biblical eschatology like a matching key and lock. The Islamic eschatological plan is the exact evil counterpart to what the Bible reader sees unfolding in history. Of course the Muslims sees things differently, they are not the evil counterparts, but the good and true way.  For example, what we call the false prophet, they say is our Jesus assisting their great deliver (Mahdi), which ironically, we would call the Anti-Christ! 

 I highly recommend this to you for better understanding our enemies tactics and for the strengthening of your faith.  Pastor Ben. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity

A helpful article (cover story from Christianity Today, June 2012) that provides a brief introduction to a very real problem in the American church.  Is anybody listening?


Here is a great book on the topic of perpetual adolescence and the many dire implications for society and western civilization. The author provides amazing insight into the profound changes in American culture over the past few decades, namely: "the decline of adulthood and the rise of a permanent adolescent class in American life." A very helpful book for all, but especially for parents and educators.


Goodbye Jack

On Monday we dropped Jack off at the recruiting center in Scranton where he soon departed for Harrisburg.  There he underwent a physical, passed, and is now being transported by bus to a plane that will take him to flight school in Texas.  We will certainly miss Jack at Grace, he was faithful man who served the body with joy and humility. The kids in his Sunday School class will dearly miss him as well! We will be praying for Jack as he adjusts to the new demands of military life and all that the next few months hold for him. I praise the Lord for his abundant grace poured out into the life of this dear saint! 

Jack, we love you and look forward to having you visit us again in the near future. God be with you...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wednesday Night Notes: Shaping our thoughts in conformity with God's thoughts when we pray.

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” I John 5:14

1. The importance and confidence of knowing (v. 13, v. 15 twice, v. 18, v. 19, v. 20) the  things God is certain to answer when we pray, namely those things that are in accordance with God's revealed will found in the Scripture.

2. Our desire is for God's will to be done on earth. How can we know what God's will is for us on earth? He has disclosed Himself to us in a book, the Bible.

3. We are the people of the book, the Bible. We read it, sing it, preach it, and pray it. That means WE DESIRE TO SHAPE OUR THOUGHTS IN CONFORMITY WITH GOD'S THOUGHTS WHEN WE PRAY.   

4. "The more closely a prayer is framed according to the wording of the Lord himself, the more certain will be God's answer to that prayer. He has proven himself faithful to his word across the centuries. Not one word he has spoken has ever fallen to the ground. He delights in his own truth as it is 're-presented' to him in the form of the prayers of his people. He will hear and he will answer according to his Word . . . By continuing to shape your prayers in conformity with god's own words, your will find few disappointments in your fellowship with your heavenly Father. For he is more ready to give than you are to ask, if only your heart continues to conform to his." O. Palmer Robertson, Introduction to A Way to Pray: A Biblical Method for Enriching Your Prayer Life and Language by Shaping Your Words with Scripture by Matthew Henry (1710) Edited and Revised (2010)

5. "The main method of prayer in the fight for joy is to pray the Word of God, that is to read or recite the Word and turn it into prayer as you go. Most people (and Piper includes himself) do not have the power of mind to look at nothing and yet offer up to god significant spiritual desires for any length of time. I suspect this has always been the case. To pray for longer than a few minutes requires the help of God's Spirit, and the Spirit loves to help by the Word He inspired (Acts 4:24-26, 29)." John Piper, When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (2004)

6. When your words begin to be shaped by God words, something wonderful begins to happen! Reading and meditation and prayer become so intermingled that you can pray for long stretches of time, praying through books, praying with your Bibles open, praying with your eyes open--praying the Word or (the big idea) shaping our thoughts in conformity with God's thoughts when we pray.

Three resources, not to imitate but as sources of inspiration from other brothers and sisters who learned to pray the Word.

1. Matthew Henry, A Way To Pray: A Biblical Method for Enriching Your Prayer Life and Language by Shaping Your Words with Scripture (1710) Edited and Revised by O. Palmer Robertson (2010) Banner of Truth. I've ordered 7 copies for our book table.

2. Charles Spurgeon, The Pastor in Prayer: A Collection of the Sunday Morning Prayers of C.H. Spurgeon (1893) Banner of Truth (2004)

3. The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett, Banner of Truth (2009)

Thanks for the great blessing each of you all have been, are, and will be to the body at Grace. We love you guys!