The Valley of Vision: The Teacher

O God,
We bless thee,
our Creator, Preserver, Benefactor, Teacher,
for opening to us the volume of nature
where we may read and consider thy works.
Thou hast this day spread before us the fuller pages
of revelation,
and in them we see what thou wouldest
have us do,
what thou requirest of us,
what thou hast done for us,
what thou hast promised to us,
what thou hast given us in Jesus.
We pray thee for a conscious experience
of his salvation,
in our deliverance from sin,
in our bearing his image,
in our enjoying his presence,
in our being upheld by his free Spirit.
Let us not live uncertain of what we are,
of where we are going.
Bear witness with our spirit that we are thy children;
And enable each one to say, ‘I know my Redeemer.’
Bless us with a growing sense of this salvation.
If already enlightened in Christ, may we see
greater things;
If quickened, may we have more abundant life;
If renewed, let us go on from strength to strength.
Give us closer abiding in Jesus
that we may
bring forth more fruit,
have a deeper sense of our obligations to him,
that we may surrender all,
have a fuller joy,
that we may serve him more completely.
And may our faith work by love
towards him who died,
towards our fellow-believers,
towards our fellow-men.

-Excerpt from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers

Summer Snacks: A Memory

When I was in high school, I used to cut my great Aunt's grass for her during the summer. (She is legally blind, so she couldn't do it herself). Usually, she would bring me some type of drink and snack while I was outside. I could never be sure what she was going to bring me. Sometimes she would give me something healthy like water and fruit. Other times she would serve me something good and tasty like a Pepsi and potato chips. Yet, on a number of occasions she served me the worst snack possible: a diet, caffeine-free soda with peanut butter and raisin crackers. I know that many people like diet soda....and there may be a few people who like peanut butter and raisin crackers, but that is certainly not the type of snack that I want when I am hot and sweaty. Don't get me wrong, I was always thankful for her kindness, but I could never bring myself to tell her that the soda and crackers made me want to vomit. Instead, I ate a few bites of the peanut butter/raisin crackers and managed to drink a few (small) sips of that no-name-diet-caffeine-free-soda. Then, I used the rest of it to feed the birds and water the grass.


Reformission is...

"Reformission is a radical call to reform the church's traditionally flawed view of missions as something carried out in foreign lands and to focus instead on the urgent need in our own neighborhoods, which are filled with diverse cultures of Americans who desperately need the gospel of Jesus and life in his Church. Most significant, they need a gospel and a church who are faithful both to the scriptural texts and to the cultural contexts of America....What I am advocating is not an abandonment of missions across the globe but rather an emphasis on missions that begins across the street, like Jesus commanded (Acts 1:8)" -Mark Driscoll, The Radical Reformission


The Landscape

"Now the Lord said to Abram, 'Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so taht you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed' So Abram went, as the LORD had told him..." (Genesis 12:1-4).

"In hope he believed against hope, that he should be the father of many nations, as he had been told, 'So shall your offspring be'" (Romans 4:18).

The landscape is new and vibrant today.
I find it to be beautiful and aluring as it sprouts with hope and promise.
Yet, the sun will soon settle below the horizon,
And the landscape will fade into the darkness.
Then, the moon will take its place in the sky
And cautiously shine down upon the earth.
And I must confess--
The night is frightening, and I do not know the way.
But I do not despair because I remember Your promise,
And I know that Your word is true.


Cecil, Welcome to Honea Path!

The wait is over...Cecil will be at our house in less than an hour! It is hard to believe that it has been two years since I've been able to sit face to face with him. I can hardly wait until he gets here. I know that we have so much to talk about. This will also be the first time that he has ever met Alora. Today is certainly a grand day. Cecil, welcome to Honea Path!


Catechism Corner

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,[1] and to enjoy him forever.[2]

[1] Psalm 86. Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me. Isaiah 60:21. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. Romans 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 1 Corinthians 6:20, 31. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.... Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Revelation 4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

[2] Psalm 16:5-11. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 144:15. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. Isaiah 12:2. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Luke 2:10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Philippians 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Revelation 21:3-4. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

God at Work, at Work

Tonight, while at work, I had a wonderful opportunity to talk about faith, the gospel, etc. with one of my co-workers. Although this wasn't the first time we have talked about Chrisianity, it was the first time that we've been able to have a really in-depth discussion. Please pray that I will continue to speak the truth in love to those that I come in contact with at work. Also, please pray for Shawn as he wrestles with the truth.

As I was driving home this morning, I praised God for giving me an opportunity to serve Him and His kingdom. We are so priviledged to be able to serve the crucified, risen God! I pray that the Lord will continue to give each of us opportunites to live out 1 Peter 3:15: "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope taht is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

Free Seminary Classes...for You!

While looking at the Covenant Seminary website, I found out that they have 20 seminary classes (lectures and course notes) available for free! I am currently going through God and His Word with Dr. Michael Williams. All the courses are available for download here. I hope that many of you will be able to use these great resources.


A Lull in the Action, and Now...Updates!

Well, it's been a while since my last post (and I really don't have a lot of time to post right now). So, here are a few updates to hold you over until I can put forth something more substantial:

*In case you have noticed, good discussion is taking place in regard to this post. So...join in!

*Unfortunately, I was defeated by Amy in Scrabble last night for the second time in a row. I hope that the tides will change tonight. Let's just wait and see.

*Amy, Alora, my parents, and I spent the day at Riverbanks Zoo today. We had a wonderful time. I'll try to post pictures soon.

*I know that it's a little late, but...Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful moms out there! You deserve much more recognition than one day...so guys, step up and give all moms a lot of love.

*I am still praying about what seminary to attend. There are three that I'm currently considering: Erskine, Greenville Presbyterian, and Reformed. Prayers would be appreciated.


100 Post and Beyond.

Drumroll please...this is my 100th post! I just wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for taking time to read and interact with my random posts. I know that you could use your time to do so many other things, so I am grateful that you've decided to spend some time with me and my thoughts. Keep coming back, and I'll keeping posting away! Until next time....have a great day!