Monthly Archives: November 2009

O Sacred Head Now Wounded

bencropToday’s hymn, “O Sacred Head Now Wounded,” is so old that historians are not sure to whom to attribute the writing. Most people believe that an monk abbot by the name of Bernard (1091-1153) of Clairvaux, France was the man who put it together. It was first found in the Latin and the words can be found in a medieval poem which had seven parts. Each part of the poem would address a certain part of Christ’s body, (feet, knees, hands, side, breast, heart and face.) These words were from the 7th part and was first entitled, “To the Suffering Face of Jesus Christ.” Years later it was translated into English by James Alexander, and the music was written by a German composer during the Renaissance period. There are some people who do not care for hymns like this one which are written in a minor key and sound so sad. But read the words carefully; the message to us is very powerful.

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns Thy only crown,
How art Thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered was all for sinner’s gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Lord on me with Thy favor, vauch-safe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever! and, should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee!

from http://schaefer-family.com/hymns.htm

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Do You Desire God?

Longings after God

My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. How precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased with my spiritual experiences, and when I feel at ease after sweet communings, teach me it is far too little I know and do. Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to Thee, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle with Thee, and pant for deliverance from the body of sin, for my heart is wandering and lifeless, and my soul mourns to think it should ever lose sight of its beloved. Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring Thee, always humble and resigned to Thy will, more fixed on Thyself, that I may be more fitted for doing and-suffering. Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

Romans 11:33-36
Grace and Peace to you
in Him who saves -Lenny

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All things for the glory of God…even on Black Friday

Romans 11:33-36
Grace and Peace to you
in Him who saves -Lenny

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I can think of a lot of things to be thankful for

lenny25I can think of a lot of things to be thankful for…like my house , job, how the Lord has provided beyond measure. I can think of times that He has aloud me to suffer… to draw me to Himself. I can think of those times I have sinned against Him and He has given me the fruit of repentance… while He graciously and mercifully forgives me. I thank Him that He has given me a new relationship with His word and a boldness to contend for the Faith and for His Son. I thank Him everyday He has given me a beautiful wife to love and take care of and has saved her, I thank Him for my kids and especially my new grand daughter Hope…for friends.  I am thankful for all my brothers and sisters…I am thankful that my Mom has joined my Dad in glory, we will miss you today Mom.

All this is great and wonderful… but it doesn’t even scratch the surface in what He’s done for me and continues to do. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 says But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. He saved me before the foundation of the world… my name was written in the Lambs book of life before the foundation of the world. Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8 Look what Ephesians 1:4–5 says just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, He did this in spite of myself and my sin and He crushed my pride and washed my sins away Titus 3:5

There is so much to unravel in Thessalonians 2:13-14 including the continued sanctification and a hope of holiness and Christ likeness 1 Peter 1:14-16 and I love what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. If Paul is confident… then so should we the beloved… be confident in our future with Christ, so much more I want to say, but this is what I’m thankful for He called me by His sovereign choice and saved me and is sanctifying me… and He will bring me to glory Jesus Christ our Lord said this in John 15:16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

So our only response if you’re truly Christ disciple is to bear fruit and that fruit would remain until he takes us to glory. I am very thankful and I join the hymn writer without a doubt and sing…It is well with my soul.

Thank You Lord Jesus

Romans 11:33-36
Grace and Peace to you
in Him who saves -Lenny

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Rekindling the Gratitude

johnny-mac by John MacArthur

The Thanksgiving season is a wonderful time to heighten your sensitivity to the blessings bestowed by God. Thanksgiving grabs your attention, shakes the cobwebs loose, and reminds you of all God’s most precious gifts. That’s one reason Thanksgiving has always held such a special place in my heart. It rekindles in me the kind of God-centered gratitude that our Lord demands and deserves—the kind that should readily be on our lips year round.

To help stimulate that kind of deeper gratitude, my family has adopted a Thanksgiving tradition we’ve found extremely helpful. Each year after our Thanksgiving meal we gather in our living room and simply recite the blessings of God that have touched our lives. One by one we circle the room, each one of us expressing our gratitude to God for His many physical and spiritual blessings.

Allow me to share with you just five blessings that deeply touch me every year and prompt me to thank God. Perhaps it’ll catch and you’ll be able to rekindle your gratitude!

You’re Saved and You Know It
No work of God’s is more beyond my comprehension yet closer to my heart and more worthy of gratitude than salvation. Before coming to know Christ, each of us lived in a self-imposed prison. Guilty, condemned, spiritually blind, and with no means to pay our debt, our destiny was one of eternal separation from God.

But Christ not only rescued us from the power and penalty of our sins, He also lifted us to a place of blessing. He delivered us from punishment and brought glory. He took away the threat of hell and gave us the hope of heaven. He dismissed us from divine wrath and brought us a divine benediction. One hymn writer put that unfathomable transaction like this:

In wonder lost, with trembling joy, We take the pardon of our God; Pardon for crimes of deepest dye, A pardon bought with Jesus’ blood, Who is a pard’ning God like Thee? Or who has grace so rich and free?

We sing of salvation. We talk of salvation. Salvation is the essence of Christianity. Thanking God for saving us should be the unceasing occupation of our lips—only a stone-cold heart could offer anything less.

The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth
Watch a half hour of news and tell me if the word chaos doesn’t come to mind. The world is gripped by it. Conflict abounds as religious, philosophical, and political systems collide. Moral, social, and economic problems proliferate but solutions are scarce. The political process is drifting rudderless on a sea of confusion. Life is all questions and no answers. There is no concrete guideline or standard by which to judge good and bad, right and wrong. The suppression of truth exacts a tremendous price.

But thanks to God, you and I have an eternal, objective, incontestable, irrevocable standard we can depend on for all matters of life. From the truth of Scripture we can understand the ebb and flow of life better than all the educators, philosophers, politicians, and social pundits combined. God’s Word offers us a window on the real issues people battle. We know how to be good employees, to love our spouses, to raise our families, to truly love our neighbors. Meaning in life is not a question, it’s a fact. I thank God for revealing His truth to us and for allowing me the privilege of studying and teaching it.

Life’s Storms
Perhaps the most difficult time to be thankful is when we’re in the midst of a setback, a challenge, or a trial. When the storm comes, giving thanks is rarely our first reaction. Being thankful for adversity is never easy, but it is always right. From experience I know the difficult times are the ones in which God seems to be most at work in our lives, strengthening our weak spots, comforting our hurts, and drawing us to greater dependence. Businessman John Marriott offered this perspective: “Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.” Let’s not neglect to thank God for the strong winds He allows to blow our direction.

Faithful Churches
I’m sad to say there are some congregations today that seem to be wrestling with who they are and what their mission is—a spiritual identity crisis of sorts. Relentlessly assaulted by doctrinal fads, scandals, divisions, internal and external criticism, and worldly thinking, they’ve buckled under the pressure. The chain reaction that creates is heartbreaking. Doctrine is compromised, effectiveness is forfeited, biblical ministry is abandoned, and God’s blessing is withdrawn. That grieves me, and I know it grieves you as well.

However, we can thank the Lord for the many churches that have stayed the course in spite of pressure, and the many others that struggle but have not given up the fight. Large or small, the congregations that remain faithful to God’s Word are the ones that are alive, vital, flourishing, reaching their communities with great effectiveness, and advancing the kingdom of God. They’ve resisted the fads, remained true to God’s calling, and are now seeing His blessing. I’m grateful to Him for those churches, and for the encouragement they are to me and to the Body of Christ.

The People Who Make a Difference
Someone once made this wise observation: “Friends in your life are like pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up, and sometimes they lean on you. Sometimes it’s just enough to know they’re standing by.”

That’s certainly been true in my life. I thank God daily for the many people who add so much color and warmth to my life. My best friend and wife, Patricia. Loving children and grandchildren. All who labor with me for the sake of the gospel. Each one enriches me greatly and is a very personal gift directly from the hand of God. I’m grateful for the friends—seen and unseen—whom I’ve been able to lean on, and who, to some small degree, have been able to lean on me.

Let me encourage you not to allow this Thanksgiving to come and go without taking inventory. Biblical gratitude isn’t something that should pass from our minds with the passing of a season. It’s an attitude, a God-focused response to circumstances that should pervade each moment of each day of each year.

May you, your family, and friends enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving season…all year!

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A236
COPYRIGHT ©2009 Grace to You

You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commerical purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/Meet/Copyright).

Romans 11:33-36
Grace and Peace to you
in Him who saves -Lenny

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The Providence of God

(by Don Fortner)

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Divine providence is the daily, constant, sovereign rule of our God over all things for the accomplishment of his eternal purpose of grace in predestination.

Predestination is the sovereign, eternal, immutable, unalterable purpose of God almighty, by which he ordained and ordered, according to his own will and good pleasure, all things that come to pass in time.

Divine providence is the accomplishment of God’s sovereign will and purpose. Providence is God bringing to pass in time (sovereignly, absolutely, and perfectly) what he purposed in eternity. Predestination is God’s purpose. Providence is God’s execution of his purpose.

Nothing in the universe happens by luck, chance, fortune, or accident, or by blind fate. Everything that comes to pass in time was purposed by our God in eternity, and is brought to pass by his wise, adorable, good Providence. Nothing comes to pass in time that God did not purpose in eternity, in sovereign predestination. Nothing comes to pass in time except that which God sovereignly brings to pass in his Providence. And that which God predestinated in eternity and brings to pass in his Providence is for the good of his elect, and the glory of his name. This is clearly and incontrovertibly the teaching of Holy Scripture (Ps. 76:10; Proverbs 16:4, 9, 33; 21:1; Dan. 4:34, 35, 37; Isa. 46:9-11; Rom. 11:33-36).

Providence is God’s government of the universe. If we have a proper view of God’s Providence, we will see the hand of God and the heart of God in everything, in all the experiences of our lives. Believers ascribe their sorrows, the judgments of God, and even the cursing of their enemies to the hand of their heavenly Father’s wise and good Providence (Job 1:21; 1 Sam. 3:18; 2 Sam. 16:11-12).

God is not idle. He never needs to rest, recuperate, or regroup! God almighty, our God and heavenly Father, is always at work, governing the world. I have frequently heard preachers and religious leaders speak of sickness, poverty and war, sin, crime and cruelty, famine, earthquakes and death, as things over which God has no control. Nonsense!

God’s Providence is as ‘minute’ as it is ‘mysterious’ (Matt. 10:30). Our God has ordained the number of hairs on the heads of all. Not even a worthless sparrow falls to the ground without his decree. God’s Providence is ‘all inclusive’. God rules everything, great and small, everywhere, and at all times. Our God is in control of all inanimate matter. He who created all things rules all things.

Nothing in God’s universe breathes or wiggles contrary to God’s decree (Isa. 46:9-13).

As a wise, skilled pharmacist mixes medicine, our heavenly Father wisely mixes exactly the right measure of bitter things and sweet, to do us good. Too much joy would intoxicate us. Too much misery would drive us to despair. Too much sorrow would crush us. Too much suffering would break our spirits. Too much pleasure would ruin us. Too much defeat would discourage us. Too much success would puff us up. Too much failure would keep us from doing anything. Too much criticism would harden us. Too much praise would exalt us. Our great God knows exactly what we need. His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good! Let him therefore send and do what he will. By his grace, if we are his, we will face it, bow to it, accept it, and give thanks for it.

God’s Providence is always executed in the ‘wisest manner’ possible. We are often unable to see and understand the reasons and causes for specific events in our lives, in the lives of others, or in the history of the world. But our lack of understanding does not prevent us from believing God. We bow to his will, which is evident in his works of Providence, and say, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”

The God of Providence rules all things well. How we ought to trust him! Ever remember, our heavenly Father is God all wise, good, and omnipotent. He is too wise to err, too good to do wrong, and too strong to fail.

HT: Grace Gems

Romans 11:33-36
Grace and Peace to you
in Him who saves -Lenny

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Be Still My Soul

bencropEach revival is also remember for a famous hymn. During the 16th century Reformation, it was “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” But after a time, the churches of the Reformation became stale and ritualistic again. In the latter half of the 17th century we hear of a new hymn and a new revival breaking out in Germany. Our new hymn is “Be Still, My Soul.” And the themes of our new revival were: “Life versus doctrine,” “Reality versus the appearance of godliness.” This was the revival of Pietism.

“Be Still, My Soul” really had three person who put it together as the hymn we sing today. Katharina von Schlegel, a notable woman of the Pietism Revival , wrote the words, originally in German. One hundred years later the hymn was translated into English, fortunately for us, by Jane Borthwick. And our last contributor was Finland’s greatest-composer, Jean Sibelius. One movement from his “Finlandia” is used as the tune for our hymn. God used three people from three countries to put together a hymn that teaches us that God is in control and to wait on Him.

Be still, my soul–
The Lord is on thy side!
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide.
In ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul–
Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul! thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul! when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

from http://schaefer-family.com/hymns.htm

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A little of this and a little of that

lenny25Articles, Sermons, web-sites and thoughts from other people I’ve read through out the week. To help edify you in your walk with Christ. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification…. Romans 15:2 and most of all for His glory…For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen Romans 11:36

Is Gambling OK? Don’t Bet on It by Phil Johnson.  Four part series over at Pyromaniacs

Prosperity gospel: When Christianity and capitalism go together From Canada’s The National Post

What would your church do with $130,000,000.00? over at Defending. Contending.

How To Know If You Are A Real Christian by Jonathan Edwards

COLLECTION OF A.W. PINK’S WRITINGS

Death is not Dying

GOD CREATED US FOR HIS GLORY By John Piper

Finally this quote

“Man lost himself at first by self-exaltation, and he must recover himself by self-denial.” —Thomas Watson

Romans 11:33-36
Grace and Peace to you
in Him who saves -Lenny

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Power Over Sin is the Fruit of Repentance

Romans 11:33-36
Grace and Peace to you
in Him who saves -Lenny

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BE A MAN! Get off of Facebook – Paul Washer

Romans 11:33-36
Grace and Peace to you
in Him who saves -Lenny

Get off facebook, BE A MAN – Paul Washer from I’ll Be Honest on Vimeo.

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