The Spring

5981072921_85f00f6334_zHere is the spring where waters flow, 

To quench our heart of sin:

Here is the tree where truth doth grow,

To lead our lives therein:

Here is the judge that stints the strife,

When men’s devices fail:

Here is the bread that feeds the life

That death cannot assail.

The tidings of salvation dear,

Comes to our ears from hence:

The fortress of our faith is here,

And shield of our defense.

Then be not like the swine that hath

A pearl at his desire,

And takes more pleasure from the trough

And wallowing in the mire.

Read not this book in any case,

But with a single eye:

Read not but first desire God’s grace,

To understand thereby.

Pray still in faith with this respect,

To bear good fruit therein,

That knowledge may bring this effect,

To mortify thy sin.

Then happy you shall be in all your life,

What so to you befalls:

Yes, double happy you shall be,

When God by death you calls.

~ From the first Bible printed in Scotland, 1576~

Advertisements

Children are a heritage from the Lord.

[Not sure why this did not post a couple weeks ago … oh well … here it is!]

10366279_835880976424152_1132417065547290305_n

God has greatly blessed us with SEVEN wonderful, interesting, gifted and curious children.  Each one of them is a joy and each one of them is an adventure.

We take great delight in God’s blessings to us – even when His blessings come in the form of a very unexpected surprise …

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them…” Psalm 127:3:5a

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.” Psalm 128:3-4

Praying for Pastors tonight…

pulpit_frontPraying tonight for those men who stand in the pulpit to give faithful exposition of the word of God… most of us will spend our lives in earthly anonymity.

That’s OK!

Tomorrow is Sunday. The Lord’s Day. The gathering of the brethren in order to feed on the word, to hear from the Lord, and to commune with one another. Most important of all they will gather in order to engage the heart, ready the mind, and prostrate the soul in worship of the living God.

Brothers: Preach so as to please God, not men!

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves.” (Matt. 10:16)

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober- minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:1-2

Additional Food For Thought:

Isaiah 6:1-8; 2 Timothy 2:1-7; 15; Revelation 4:10-11; 5:8-10; 7:11

For the time has come indeed…

“Ten Indictments Against the American Church,” by Paul Washer, is a long sermon that was preached on October 22, 2008 at a Conference in Atlanta, GA.  It is  a message that preachers and churches today desperately need to hear. . . again and again.

The Ten Indictments:

1. A practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture.

2. An ignorance of God.

4. An ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.3. A failure to address man’s malady.

5. An ignorance of the doctrine of regeneration.

6. An unbiblical gospel invitation.

7. Ignorance regarding the nature of the Church.

8. A lack of loving and compassionate Church discipline.

9. A silence on separation.

10. Lack of children being taught in the home.

May God stir His people with His Word, by His Spirit, because of His Son, for the glory of His name . . .

For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17

You can download the free ebook here:

9781300462651_p0_v1_s260x420

Elevate Your Christmas Focus

Christmas%20cross%20Wallpaper__yvt2Let the chaos begin. Do you remember the good-ole-days when we used to spend Thanksgiving Day together with our family? Everyone would gather at grandma’s house, we would share in a turkey feast, watch a little football, take a nap, and then completely lose our minds. The sun would go down and normal people would be transformed into shopping monsters to be unleashed at midnight.

For the record, I only did that once. I will never do that again. The so called “black Friday” shopping part that is. As for turkey and football – who am I to mess with tradition?!

The times have changed though. The shopping monsters couldn’t wait until midnight this year. They were loosed, restrained, re-loosed, and re-restrained on Thursday and then re-re-loosed at midnight for Friday’s blackness. Honestly, just thinking about it is making me tired and dizzy.

I want to make a radical suggestion. Take a few moments and stop the Christmas chaos in your life. Breathe. Now elevate your focus and yield your attention in worship and adoration as you consider this:

“He (Jesus Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:15-20)

“Though he (Jesus Christ) was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11).

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (Romans 8:31-34).

Merry Christmas!

The Owner’s Manual

Spring arrived early this year and so did the strong desire to get out and ride!  Like many other people I found myself eager to get my motorcycle out of winter storage and back on to the road.  Unfortunately, the battery had gone down and there was no power.  I decided to phone the friend whom I had purchased the bike from and ask him about getting it charged up.  His advice “Read the owner’s manual!”   Smiling, I thought to myself… “Thanks a lot.”  Well, with no other options, I did something radical.  I read it!  I got my tools, charged the battery, got it running, and have been enjoying every sunny day that I can!  Mostly, I enjoy taking my sweet wife for a ride, even if it is just a short run out to the grocery store.

Did you know that the Creator of all things has given us an “Owner’s Manual”?  God has actually written out everything that we need to know!  His book includes an introduction to planet earth, chapters of history, poetry, practical instructions for the family, men, women, children, social and political order, Theology and lots of prophecy.  As God, we would expect that He knows history in advance; and He certainly does!  Indeed He has written down everything that we need to know (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3-4)!  The “Owner’s Manual” even explains why bad things happen (Genesis 3; Romans 3:23; 6:23a; 8:21-22).  It also explains what God has done about this insurmountable problem; He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to live a sinless life and die as the perfect sacrifice for sin (John 20:31; Romans 6:23b; 10:9-10).

One of the things I appreciate the most about this “Owner’s Manual” is that God has also included instructions that keep us running in tip-top condition – FOREVER.  You see, this “Owner’s Manual” is the exact and errorless guide to maintenance (how to have victory) and to our individual fuel needs (how to know and grow spiritually).  There is nothing more vital or practical than for us to consult the Owner’s Manual: God’s Word!

As much as I enjoy my motorcycle, my first passion is my wife and our six children.  Obviously, I am not all that mechanically inclined; I had to ask for help charging the battery.  What I’ve discovered though is that basic motorcycle maintenance is not nearly has complicated as my job as a husband and dad.  I am so thankful that God has spelled out His design and expectations for the Family, especially dads, in easy to understand terms!

Gentlemen:  Do you want to be a blessing to the ladies in your life this Mother’s Day?  Then resolve to consult the “Owner’s Manual” with the intent of understanding God’s design and desire for you as a husband and father.  A great place to start is in Ephesians 5:21-6:4 and Colossians 3:16-25.

 

Clegguart Mitchell

Life in Leon

Just over two years ago I moved my wife and six children, including a new born baby girl, to Leon. We were excited and nervous and looking forward to settling into our new home and new community. With the help of our church family, and so many new friends in the community, it only took a few short months to feel “right at home.”

Obviously with six children, life is never dull in our house. Our oldest is now 14 and our youngest is now two and half. They love golf with dad, baseball with friends, fishing as a family, hunting with Melvin & Annette, and they really enjoy visiting with the folks out at Westview (especially Mr. Dale Miller). Indeed, for our family, life in Leon is just an absolute joy!

When our twelve year old was three he had to use a stool in order to reach the sink in the bathroom. We always knew when Jordan was going to wash his hands because the little wooden stool doubled as a car which he enjoyed driving. He always made “vvv-rooom” and tire squealing sounds as he “drove” the little stool to the sink and back to the end of the counter.

On several occasions when Jordan would “park” the little stool, he would stand straight up and hit his little head on the corner of the hard counter. He would cry out, rub his head, and the tears would flow. On one such occasion I said, “Jordan, Jordan, Jordan, listen to Daddy.” Now pointing at the hard corner I said, “Buddy. This is always going to be here.” He wrinkled his face, sniffled, and kept rubbing his head.

A few days later I heard the little motor sound coming from the bathroom. I stopped in the hall and listened. Then I heard tire sounds, a little thud, and crying. When I looked into the bathroom Jordan was rubbing his little head again. He pointed to the corner of the counter and said, “Daddy. It’s always gonna be there.”

Friends, do you realize that God tells us in Psalm 119:89 that His Word (the Holy Bible) is forever settled in Heaven? In other words, God’s Word is “always going to be there.” Not only does God describe for us how to know Him personally (John 14:6; Romans 10:9-10) but He also explains life in easy to understand words! The Bible is our Source (2 Timothy 3:16-17), our Comfort (Romans 15:4), our Guide (Joshua 1:8; John 8:31-32), and our Strength (Psalm 119:28; Acts 20:32).

Just like a little boy who needed to accept the fact that the counter top would always be there, you and I need to accept the fact that the Bible is “forever settled in Heaven”.  Indeed, God’s Word is “always going to be there”!

 

Clegguart Mitchell