Author Archives: Lenny

Honoring my Dad

dadI have been thinking about my father lately, and being Father’s Day this past Sunday, I would like to share the greatest gift my earthy father gave me. You might think it was a strong manly presence in the home, not that, though he did have that, my dad was a big strong man and I always felt safe with him. You might think it was his work ethic, he was a hard-working man with callused hands, yup he taught me a few lessons on hard work that I’ll never forget, but no, not that either.

The greatest gift he gave me was that he loved his wife, my mom, more than he loved me. That showed throughout my time living at home and beyond. He loved his wife more than he loved his kids. Don’t get me wrong, he loved us very much, but not like he loved his wife and it showed. My dad was not a perfect husband or for that matter a perfect father, but who reading this can say that their dad was perfect?

My older sister Joanne recently reminded me if you were upset with mom and told dad, it would go on deaf ears. Dad would often tell us boys to pick a woman like mom and he would tell the girls to aspire to be like her. I always felt that love that he had for my mom. When I would get into trouble or talk back to my mom or disrespect her in any way, he didn’t say “Don’t talk to your mom like that” No, he said “Don’t talk to my wife like that, she’s my wife!” as he firmly stated to me. You might be thinking to yourself, really! But you know what, he’d be right!

My dad didn’t marry any of his kids, my dad didn’t say “I DO” to any of his kids and by the way there were 7 of us! He didn’t say until death do us apart to any of us, but he did say all of that to his wife and my mom.

“Next to your God and Savior Jesus Christ,
your wife should be the centerpiece of your life”.

Kissing Couple

Kissing Couple

I hear this all the time “My kids are my life”. No, your wife (spouse) should be the love of your life, and the love that flows from that, you pour onto your children.

My dad probably didn’t have Ephesians 5 in mind but Paul sure says a lot.

Paul said in Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, and Paul goes onto say in Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; Paul tells the husband, his responsibility is to love his wife self-sacrificing, because it’s compared to Christ self-sacrificing love for the church, as He gave Himself up for the Church. This isn’t by oppression, but by love and the wife will follow the husbands lead willfully with submission because she sees Christ like love.

Mom and Dad in their early 20’s

Mom and Dad in their early 20’s

Paul says “He who loves his own wife loves himself; 

Why?

Because they’re ONE!

Ephesians 5:31 says. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. Genesis 2:24.

What this is saying is the relationship between the husband and wife is an intimate relationship, it’s stronger than any other relationship, stronger than parent and children and my dad knew that some how. When we all left the house, it was just my dad and mom, just like God intended it to be, one flesh until death indeed did set them apart.

My dad died of cancer on March 29, 1994 at the age of 55. Before he died, God called him and saved him. My mom wrote this poem for her husband.

God's Love

The greatest gift my dad gave me was showing me how to love my wife and make her my centerpiece and for that I’m eternally grateful.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Happy Resurrection Sunday!

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Anxiety and Worry

We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realize His own ideas; He was “out” to realize God’s ideas.

despairFretting is wicked if you are a child of God. Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.

(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, 1935, Devotion for July 4)

Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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This Trial is Sent For My Good

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

My graceThere may be circumstances in your earthly lot which at this moment are peculiarly trying. You look around and wonder how this or that circumstance will terminate. At present it looks very dark – clouds and mists hang over it, and you fear lest these clouds may break, not in showers upon your head, but burst forth in the lightning flash and the thunder stroke! But all things are put in subjection under Christ’s feet! That which you dread cannot take place except by His sovereign will – nor can it move any further except by His supreme disposal.

Then make yourself quiet. He will not allow you to be harmed. That frowning providence shall only execute His sovereign purposes, and it shall be among those all things which, according to His promise, shall work together for your good. None of our trials come upon us by chance! They are all appointed in weight and measure – are all designed to fulfill a certain end. And however painful they may at present be, yet they are intended for your good. When the trial comes upon you, what a help it would be for you if you could view it thus, “This trial is sent for my good. It does not spring out of the dust.

The Lord Himself is the supreme disposer of it. It is very painful to bear; but let me believe that He has appointed me this peculiar trial, along with every other circumstance. He will bring about His own will therein, and either remove the trial, or give me patience under it, and submission to it.”

(J.C. Philpot- The Subjection of All Things Under the Feet of Jesus.)

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What Can a Dead Man Do?

NothingSo I’m sitting one cold night watching tv with my wife and a commercial comes on for a new season of a very popular show called The Walking Dead.

I have heard of this show before, but never have I seen scenes about it like I did that night. What I saw was vicious, ugly, rotten looking dead zombie corps’s that are ALIVE!

Literally walking dead people.

My mind immediately went to Ephesians 2 for a very vivid analogy. I couldn’t help but to think to myself, I was once a walking dead corps too! Spiritually dead, walking according to the course of this world.

Paul writes And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3

I don’t want to talk anymore about The Waking Dead show, but about the walking spiritually dead and Who saved me from the wrath to come.

Remember I’m dead! What can a dead man do? The answer is nothing, I’m dead! Dead means dead. I’m spiritual dead. A dead man can’t make himself alive, someone needs to make him alive. But Who? But God!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Ephesians 2:4-5

savedA great illustration was the story of Lazarus, he was dead, and as dead as they come. Lazarus had no power to help God save him, he was DEAD! Someone had to breathe life into him and make him alive. It was Jesus who spoke life into Him, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” John 11:43. The man who had died (dead) came forth” John 11:44

Just like us who are spiritually dead in our trespasses and sin need to be made alive. Ephesians 2:5 2 Corinthians 5:17.

How does a spiritual dead corpse Ephesians 2:1, 2 seek God?

The Bible tells us that God looked down from heaven to see if there were any that were seeking after him. The Lord concluded that there was not one Psalm 14:2-3. It tells us that we are incapable of doing good on our own Jeremiah 13:23

A dead man is not capable of changing his own heart or seeking after God. A dead man suffers from total inability to save himself or coöperate in his own regeneration.

We don’t think that way do we? We’re told that..

God loves us, Jesus died for us and now it’s up to us!

That way of thinking is a real problem!

Paul explains that unbelievers are not even able to understand the things of God 1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

You my be asking, how does one get saved then? Well that is a great question!

electing grace

I couldn’t help but to think of the words Jesus said in John 6: 37 and 44 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. Then in John 6:45 it says, It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD (Isaiah 54:13).’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

I think from these verses we can conclude that everyone that hears and learns from God, will be drawn to God and come willingly, ultimately bringing conversion to that person.

Look at John 6:65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

The word draw in John 6:37 is an interesting word. Except the Father draws him (hélkō) God’s drawing power. The basic meaning is “to draw,” “tug,” or, in the case of persons, “compel.”

Luther says on this passage: “The drawing is not like that of the executioner, who draws the thief up the ladder to the gallows; but it is a gracious allurement, such as that of the man whom everybody loves, and to whom everybody willingly goes.”

Paul say For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

God’s sovereign, efficacious and irresistible grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. It’s a gift from God, nothing that you have done, except that you come willingly!

That is how you get saved from being a walking dead spiritual zombie!

It was Thomas Watson who said “Grace alters a mans life”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

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The Scripture

thomas-watson1The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture.

(From A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson)

 

nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Sin is Bad

“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
unrege1

Sin is bad in the eye, worse in the tongue, worse still in the heart, but worst of all in the life!

Sin and punishment are linked together with chains of adamant!

The first step to mercy — is to see our own misery.
The first step toward Heaven — is to see ourselves near Hell.

(Thomas Brooks)

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

HT: Grace Gems

 

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Boldly Dare all Things by the Word of God

johncalvin_full“Let the pastors boldly dare all things by the word of God… Let them constrain all the power, glory, and excellence of the world to give place to and to obey the divine majesty of this word. Let them enjoin everyone by it, from the highest to the lowest. Let them edify the body of Christ. Let them devastate Satan’s reign. Let them pasture the sheep, kill the wolves, instruct and exhort the rebellious. Let them bind and loose thunder and lightning, if necessary, but let them do all according to the word of God”

(John Calvin, Sermons on the Epistle to the Ephesians).

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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A little of this and a little of that

Lets get right to it.

Dear friends of ours lost their long time dog (16 years) yesterday, he was an awesome dog, the most gentle big black dog there ever was!

Here’s Maxx and I enjoying a meal together.

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Speaking of our friends, Today is Lisa Vallee’s Birthday!

Say CHEEEEEEES Lisa!

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92-year-old robbed and gives the gospel.

Pauline Jacobi 92-year-old grandmother shows no fear when she tells the man, “As quick as you hurt me, I’ll go to heaven and you’ll go to hell.” As he listens to her witness God’s forgiveness to him, tears begin to roll down his face. Her story is an amazing message on the power of your faith.

HT: David Murray

One of the best sermons I listened to in 2014. In this sermon, primarily from the Gospel of John, Kevin DeYoung argues that Scripture’s inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency provides a foundation for both the truth of the gospel and our confidence in evangelism.

Never Spoke a Man Like This Before | Kevin DeYoung T4G 2014 Sermon

John MacArthur on studying and preaching the Word of God. “We are waiters, not chefs. We don’t cook the meal. We get it to the table without messing it up.”

Christians and Social Media

“Studies have shown that overuse or wrong motives in social media participation can breed narcissism. When we rely on social media sites primarily to promote ourselves or draw attention to ourselves, it is time to take a step back. On the other hand, there are definitely positive aspects of social networking. For the Christian, social media sites can be an enormously productive mission field. Reconnecting with old friends and increasing our sphere of influence can lead to evangelistic opportunities unavailable elsewhere. Social media allows us to reenter the daily lives of people we may have lost contact with and open up new avenues for sharing Christ. As such, we can influence the views of others by what we post, bringing encouragement and spiritual guidance to others and using friends lists or Facebook status updates to pray regularly for friends and their needs”.

~Author Unknown

 

Finally this from Don Fortner.

“Faith in Christ is not the cause of the new birth, but the result”. 

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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The Work of Grace

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

200604_120_art_ryleThe workings of grace in the heart are utterly mysterious and unsearchable.

We cannot explain why the Word produces effects on one person in a congregation, and not upon another.

We cannot explain why, in some cases; with every possible advantage, and in spite of every entreaty; people reject the Word, and continue dead in trespasses and sins.

We cannot explain why in other cases; with every possible difficulty, and with no encouragement;people are born again, and become decided Christians.

electing graceWe cannot define the manner in which the Spirit of God conveys life to a soul, and the exact process by which a believer receives a new nature.

All these are hidden things to us.

We see certain results, but we can go no further.

This is deeply instructive. It is humbling no doubt to ministers, and teachers of others. The highest abilities, the most powerful preaching, the most diligent working, cannot command success.

God alone can give spiritual life.

But it is a truth at the same time, which supplies an admirable antidote to excessive anxiety and despondency. Our principal work is to sow the seed. That done, we may wait with faith and patience for
the result. We may leave our work with the Lord. He alone can, if He thinks fit, give success. (The workings of grace in the heart by J. C. Ryle) HT: Grace Gems

God alone can give spiritual life.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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