July 2007


I will not be posting until my laptop has been fixed. It is the only approved instrument for blog post making. Pray for her, she is a good machine.

Whatsoever we have over-loved, idolized, and leaned upon, God has from time to time broken it, and made us to see the vanity of it; so that we find the readiest course to be rid our comforts is to set our hearts inordinately or immoderately upon them.
—John Flavel
In the meantime, I will, continue the Memoirs of Thomas Boston. I will also finish a sermon that I have been working on. I will have to break out the Greek lexicons, since I rely on Bible Works 7 for my lexicons. Time to sharpen some pencils.

God is particularly pleased when His children praise Him in song. There where the Lord is sweetly praised in song–there the Lord will come with His blessings. “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Psa. 22:3). It is noteworthy to consider what transpired at the dedication of the temple. “It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD…that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God” (2 Chr. 5:13-14). When Jehoshaphat, together with his army, lifted up their voices in joyous exclamation and song (2 Chr. 20:22), the Lord defeated their enemies. When Paul and Silas sang praises unto God in the middle of the night, the doors of the prison were opened and the bands of all the prisoners were loosened (Acts 16:25-26). Therefore, if you are desirous to please the Lord, and delight in having the Lord visit your soul and experience His help, then accustom yourself to singing (IV: 36).

Starting yesterday, the Banner of Truth is offering some slightly damaged books at 50% off. This list will change every Friday.

This is a great way to build a library. I have never really understood why some people are so opposed to buying books that have a bent corner or a dirty spine. That is the way that they are going to look after reading them anyway! Check out this new offer and start building a great Reformed and Presbyterian library.

Make sure to check back every Friday. Set your bookmarks.

Last night at prayer meeting we sang through the Psalms that discuss the nations. It is amazing how many promises there are that will be fulfilled through the reign of King Jesus. I advertised a book there that I used in my undergraduate program. It is called Operation World and gives specs on each country in the world as well as information about how the Lord Jesus Christ has worked in the people as well as prayer requests. This book is quite helpful in our ongoing quest to become world Christians.

* One point about the book that I should mention is that it is not from a Reformed worldview. It is quite broad in its evangelicalism, either way, it is a very helpful tool that I would recommend to anyone who wants to expand their prayer life.

Part of my internship is leading the “prayer and praise” during summer Wednesday evenings. We gather at the home of one of our members and sing and pray. We use the United Presbyterian Psalter of 1912 in our congregation so the following numbers correspond with this book of praise. Last week we went through ‘the Church’ in the Psalter and looked at some of the ways that she is described as well as some of her duties. This discussion and Psalm sing led to some very good prayer for the church and her faithfulness. We will be looking at some other themes as the summer continues. If you would like to join us feel free to email me and I will give you further directions. I hope that the following copy of the handout can be helpful to your own family worship or private worship.

THE USE OF CHURCH IN THE PSALTER

50: Diverse, faithful, everlasting.

63: Redeemed from adversity.

69: Secure, peaceful, and happy.

125: Regal, loved, and wedded.

205: Christ’s inheritance, saved by grace.

224: Fought against by God’s enemies.

260: Rejoices over God’s work on earth.

368: Shouts with joy and is Christ’s glory.

373/374: Indwelt by God & sings His praise.

375: Praises and blesses God’s name.

403: Built, cared for, and blessed of God.

Self-denial is, first of all, a Christian virtue. Pagans have observed that their inner peace has been disturbed by their lusts. Some therefore sought to extinguish them by way of reason and appeared to practice self-denial in regard to some things. However, it did not issue forth from the right motive–love for the will of God. They did not have the right objective in view, but rather it was a seeking of self (be it in a different manner than others), resting in this as their peace and seeking to be honored by men. Their self-denial was thus a splendid sin which had a counterfeit luster, and was not accompanied by deeds (III: 397-398).

Mrs. Lanning, my pastor’s wife, has assigned a book for me to read as a part of my internship under her husband. I have been asked to read the Memoirs of Thomas Boston as a way to get a feel for what real ministry is like.

So far, I have seen pain and suffering as well as the occasional high point. Above all, I have seen the desire to please God above all things. I hope that in many ways, my ministry can reflect that of Mr. Boston’s. Thankfully though, my upcoming presbytery exams will not be like Boston’s- his were in Latin and Greek!

One quote that was helpful concerned how many Christians get caught up into things indifferent. Boston always fought against that and only tried to fight for that which was eternal and obvious revealed truth. We must always have the honor of Christ in mind when dealing with such things, and many Christians (including myself at times) are willing to go to war over ideas that are not worth dividing over according to the Scriptures.

I might not mix quarrels on my private interest with those I was engaged in for the honor of God. And this principle I have all along in the course of my ministry, aimed to walk by.
Memoirs, Thomas Boston, p.25

I am looking forward to finishing the book- as well as working through the rest of the works of Boston!

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