Friday, June 25, 2010

Arise and Build

The time has come for us to put our faith into action. It is time for us to open our mouths in song, to lift our hands and bless his name, to bow the knee and confess that Jesus is Lord. We must construct corporate worship which makes his praise glorious! Will you join together, giving all that is within you, to do so this Lord's Day?

Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (tune)
O Worship the King (#46)
Holy Savior, We Adore Thee (#73)
O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus (#249)
Amazing Grace (#247)
Glory Be to God the Father (#72)

Scripture Reading
1 Chronicles 16

Arise and Build: Constructing Our Corporate Worship
Psalm 66:1-2; Revelation 5

Friday, June 18, 2010

Theology and Worship

To be trained in theology is to be trained in worship; to be trained in worship is to be trained in theology.

Making Disciples of All Nations

This Lord's Day we will hear from Herb Taylor as he seeks to start a Hispanic church in Ohio. Pray with us that the Lord will continue to send out laborers into his harvest fields!

All Creatures of Our God and King (#59)
Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness (#400)
Jehovah Tsidkenu (#385)
From Depths of Woe (#337)
Salvation! O My Soul Rejoice! (#291)
Hark! the Gospel News Is Sounding (#293)

Scripture Reading
Luke 24

Herb Taylor

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Five Years - Praise Be to God

My wife and I were just talking today about the fact that we have lived in the Springs for five years now.

Most church plants don't last that long.

Most pastors don't last that long in one church.

By the grace of God, HCBC is still serving the Lord as a body, and we are still ministering here. It's a great privilege. We love all the folks at HCBC and are so thankful for your Spirit-wrought faithfulness!

Praise be to God!

Jesus Is Lord, so Go to Church

In our Sunday seminar, we are digging deep into the doctrine of the church. I thought you might like to read this blog post which says the same thing we have been saying, just in blogger talk.

"Why you need to be in a church this Sunday"

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who Is the Honest Man?

George Herbert

Who is the honest man?
He that doth still and strongly good pursue,
To God, his neighbor, and himself most true:
Whom neither force nor fawning can
Unpin, or wrench from giving all their due.

Whose honesty is not
So loose or easy, that a ruffling wind
Can blow away, or glittering look it blind:
Who rides his sure and even trot,
While the world now rides by, now lags behind.

Who, when great trials come,
Nor seeks, nor shuns them; but doth calmly stay,
Till he the thing and the example weigh:
All being brought into a sum,
What place or person calls for, he doth pay.

Whom none can work or woo
To use in any thing a trick or sleight,
For above all things he abhors deceit:
His words and works and fashion too
All of a piece, and all are clear and straight.

Who never melts or thaws
At close temptations: when the day is done,
His goodness sets not, but in dark can run:
The sun to others writeth laws,
And is their virtue; Virtue is his Sun.

Who, when he is to treat
With sick folks, women, those whom passions sway,
Allows for that, and keeps his constant way:
Whom others’ faults do not defeat;
But though men fail him, yet his part doth play.

Whom nothing can procure,
When the wide world runs bias from his will,
To writhe his limbs, and share, not mend the ill.
This is the Mark-man, safe and sure,
Who still is right, and prays to be so still.

Their Voice was Heard

Powerful restoration of the true worship of the Lord was a hallmark of Hezekiah's reign in Judah. 2 Chronicles 30 records how he re-instituted the Feast of Passover. The conclusion of this worship is exceptionally encouraging.

So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven (2 Chron 30:26-27).

Our worship, too, ought to be filled with great joy, blessing, and prayer. Most of all, we look for the Lord to hear in heaven. Join us this Lord's Day as we lift our voices to him!

I Sing the Mighty Power of God (#19)
O for a Heart to Praise My God (#70)
Hallelujah! What a Savior (#128)
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (#137)
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (#156)
Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove (#211)

Scripture Reading
2 Chronicles 30

The Architecture of Our Worship (Part 3): Rejoicing in Our New Covenant Relationship with God as 21st Century American Believers

Bible Study Tools

The Scriptures are our staff of spiritual life. We must study the Word voraciously. With that in mind, here is a page hosted by Tyndale House with more online Bible resources and Bible software than you could ever hope to use. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Word Meanings in the Bible

If you have ever wondered how we know what all those Greek and Hebrew words in the Bible mean, here is a good explanation.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

"The Makers"

In the course of my studies on corporate worship today, I came across this poem by Dorothy Sayers. It at once teaches and delights, as poetry can do, and without further ado I commend it for your edification.

The Architect stood forth and said: “I am the master of the art;
I have a thought within my head, I have a dream within my heart.

Come now, good craftsman, ply your trade with tool and stone obediently;
Behold the plan that I have made—I am the master; serve you me.”

The Craftsman answered: “Sir, I will, yet look to it that this your draft
Be of a sort to serve my skill—you are not the master of the craft.

It is by me the towers grow tall, I lay the course, I shape and hew;
You make a little inky scrawl, and that is all that you can do.

Account me, then, the master man, lay my rigid rule upon the plan,
and that which serves the plan—the uncomplaining, helpless stone.”

The Stone made answer: “Masters mine, know this: that I can bless or damn
The thing that both of you design by being but the thing I am;

For I am granite and not gold, for I am marble and not clay,
You may not hammer me or mould—I am the master of the way.

Yet once that mastery bestowed then I will suffer patiently
The cleaving steel, the crushing load, that make a calvary of me;

And you may carve me with your hand to arch and buttress, roof and wall,
Until the dream rise up and stand—serve but the stone, the stone serves all.

Let each do well what each knows best, nothing refuse and nothing shirk,
Since none is master of the rest, but all are servants of the work—

The work no master may subject save He to whom the whole is known,
Being Himself the Architect, the Craftsman and the Cornerstone.

Then when the greatest and the least have finished all their labouring
And sit together at the feast you shall behold a wonder thing:

The Maker of the men that make will stoop between the cherubim,
The towel and the basin take, and serve the servants who serve Him.”

The Architect and Craftsman, both, agreed the Stone had spoken well;
Bound them to service by an oath and each to his own labour fell.


Source: Toward a Renewed Culture of Building by Philip Bess

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Architecture of Our Worship

Now that we have assembled some of the stones with which to construct God-honoring worship, we intend to attempt to place some of them together when we meet this Lord's Day. We will seek the Lord's blessing from the heavenly Jerusalem.

Come Christians, Join to Sing (#67)
'Tis the Christ (#150)
Arise, My Soul, Arise (#174)
Before the Throne of God Above (#177)
Glory Be to God the Father (#72)
Crown Him with Many Crowns (#52)

Scripture Reading
Nehemiah 8

The Architecture of Our Worship: Rejoicing in our New Covenant Relationship (Part 2)
Many Scriptures

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Children and Their (Church) Fathers

Since I am on the topic of learning from history, I want to direct your attention to a very good post by Chuck Bumgardner on having children read the "church fathers" (early Christian leaders). Children aren't the only ones who would benefit from this reading!

Carrying on the Conversation

On this blog we have listened to the conversation of creeds and confessions echoing through the centuries of church history. In part, this attentive listening is to enable us to see ourselves better and to discern in our own day the weightier matters of the law. We do not want to be children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, chasing after passing and inconsequential fads, which seem to be buzzing through the blogosphere thicker than flies in a pig pen these days. We do not promote slavish adherence to these confessions as if they were inspired, but we also do not want to be slaves of the here and now, suffocating in the prison of popular opinion.

We have worked our way up to the middle of the seventeenth century with the London Baptist Confession of 1644. At the very time that the Baptists were attempting to prove their orthodoxy, England was in a civil war between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. The English parliament called an assembly of Puritan theologians to draw up a confession of faith which would reform the Church of England and would also secure the alliance of the Scots. The result was the Westminster Confession of Faith, one of the most influential Presbyterian confessions in the world to this day.

The WCF spread its influence to the Congregationalists and Baptists, who adopted revised versions of this confession in 1658 and 1677, respectively. The 1677 Baptist confession was later republished in 1689 after the Act of Toleration, and it has become a major confession of English-speaking Baptists on both sides of the Atlantic, known as the Second London Baptist Confession. Since I have already posted the 2LBC on this blog in the past (beginning here), I will not re-post the entire confession. Another good source for the entire confession can be found here, at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

On this blog, I plan to move on to more recent expressions of faith and their impact on Christianity in our nation. But allow me to mention here one important point. We do not exist in a vacuum. We cannot, nor should we, attempt to reinvent Christianity from scratch, as if it would be more pure because we did it instead of someone else. HCBC is a conservative church, which means that we intentionally strive to conserve the best of what has come before for the sake of those who will come after. We do not look at these confessions as if they were the end of the conversation, but we do not think that we can carry on the conversation intelligently and spiritually if we do not learn from those who have run the race before us.