Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb

March 31, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Easter songs, hymns, pray | Leave a comment
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This is one of my all time favorite hymns. I like both the words and the beat. I like to sing it and clap my hands and sway a little bit too. Not too much movement, because I don’t have a lot of rhythm, but I do have enough to get into this song. I love this song! So today I am starting five days of songs about the blood of the Lamb leading up to Easter Sunday.

Let me say this as clearly as I can; if you think you can have a bloodless Christianity, you do not have a Biblical Christianity. (18)For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, (19)but with the precious blood of the Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:18-19). I think some Christians need to get over their fear of not being accepted by unbelievers and begin to sing confidently, humbly and passionately about the blood of Lamb that was shed to purchase our redemption.

There are other Scriptures that speak about the blood of the Lamb and I will share some of them over the next few days as I share five of my favorite songs about the blood of the Lamb. I would also like to encourage you to begin to pray for your church’s Easter service and for unbelievers to come and fully understand the message and to experience the redeeming power of the blood of the Lamb. Pray for backslidden Christians to repent of sin and worldliness and to surrender their lives to the Lord. Pray for all of your church’s ministries to be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Washed in the Blood of the Lamb

by Elisha Hoffman (1839-1929)

1. Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus) Are you washed in the blood, in the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

2. Are you walking daily by the Saviour’s side? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Do you rest each moment in the Crucified? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus)

3. When the Bridegroom cometh, will your robes be white, Pure and white in the blood of the Lamb? Will your souls be ready for the mansions bright And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Chorus)

4. Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin And be washed in the blood of the Lamb; There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean; Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

(Chorus)

 God bless you and may you experience the presence and power of God in your church service this Sunday! Stay faithful and hopeful until Jesus returns in glory.

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Revelation 22:17, 20-21

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Your Church Is Too Small – book review

March 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a comment
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I’ve had some time away from blogging and am ready to get back to it. Today I’ve posted a new book review onJohn Armstrong’s book, your church is too small.

I recently attended the Southeast Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Missiological Society and presented a paper titled The Biblical Basis For Multigenerational Church Planting Teams In North America. It was the first time I have attended something like this and it was both enjoyable and educational.

God bless you,

Bill (a fellow laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 16:11

Lay Aside Every Distraction

March 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Book Giveaway, Quotes | Leave a comment
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I like the writing of J. C. Ryle and want to encourage you to look at the book giveaway post below. They will draw a winner for the book on Saturday March 13, 2010. Even if you don’t want to enter the contest for the book, “Meet the Puritans” consider learning about Ryle and his ministry. Most of the daily quotes encourage me and cause me to think about the Lord. I hope they do the same for you too.

“We must cast away everything which hinders us upon our road towards heaven – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life; the love of riches, pleasures and honors, the spirit of lukewarmness and carelessness and indifference about the things of God – all must be rooted out and forsaken if we are anxious for the prize. We must mortify the deeds of the body, we must crucify our affections for this world.”

~ J.C. Ryle

The Christian Race & Other Sermons, “The Christian Race”, [Moscow, ID: Charles Nolan Publishing, 2002], 129.

(1) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (2) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3) For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (4) You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. (Hebrews 12:1-4 NKJV)

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill  (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 16:11

Book Giveaway – “Meet the Puritans”

March 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Book Giveaway | Leave a comment
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To enter this contest go to this site: www.jcrylequotes.com . If you like Ryle’s writing you will like this site. If you are not familiar with Ryle, I put three quotes on my Quotes Page today. I got them off of this site. The book looks pretty good too. Check the site out, you may like it. While you are there you can enter the contest. They will draw a winner for the book on Saturday March 13, 2010.

Decaf? That’s Right, Decaf!

March 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews, Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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While out on a date with my wife I came across some really good decaf coffee. Now, I’m neither a coffee expert nor a coffee snob, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. One weekend in the fall, my wife wanted to go to Rainbow Blossom, a local organic food store because they were having a gluten-free food tasting event. So we go up to New Albany, Indiana and we are walking around the store trying food and getting what we wanted to buy. I turn a corner and there is a lady handing out coffee. Now I’m always up for trying some coffee.

It smells really good and she asks me if I want regular or decaf. It’s in the afternoon so I take decaf. I like to try new coffees black, nothing in them at all. I take a sip and my first thought is, “man this coffee is good!” I call to my wife and tell her, “you have to try this coffee, it’s really good.” She liked it too. So we bought some.

The decaf is from Red Hot Roasters and you can find them here: www.redhotroasters.com . The owner and roaster is Sondra Powell and she is a really nice and friendly lady. Her coffee shop is located at 1402 Payne Street, Louisville, KY 40206. It is a little shop and it’s only a drive-thru. Red Hot is the smallest roaster in the city and the coffee is organic. She believes in accountability and sustainability. It comes in recyclable tins or you can bring them back to fill up with coffee again. Sondra only roasts seven pounds at a time. It’s a Peruvian coffee in a light French roast and a water process decaf.

So I went back and bought some decaf the other day and my wife and decided to brew it in the auto drip and the Chemex www.chemexcoffeemaker.com . The auto drip was first. The coffee beans have a good aroma and they are a little bit oily. It is a strong coffee but not overpowering and slightly acidic. The next day we made it in the Chemex. The taste is very clean and strong. There was the lingering taste of coffee in our mouths, but no bitterness. My wife and I thought the Chemex coffee maker could spoil us. It always makes the coffee taste better, even when you drink it black.

We are always looking for a good decaf. After lunch we don’t usually drink coffee or tea with caffeine. Both of us like the taste and smell of coffee, but sometimes not the caffeine.  We have tried a lot of different decafs. We think this Peruvian light French roast decaf from Red Hot Roasters www.redhotroasters.com  is one of the best we have tried so far. If you are looking for a good decaf you can’t go wrong here. Oh, and you can get it whole bean or ground.

I was thinking I have another reason to go out on a date with my wife; we have to try her regular coffee. I’m guessing it’s as good as the decaf. I’m looking forward to it!

Grace and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13

Offering the Sacrifice of Praise

March 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Posted in hymns, Praise | Leave a comment
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Sometimes I like to imagine myself having a great voice. You know, one of those voices that just booms. One of those voices that just sounds good. When I sing I have to imagine I have one of the those voices because I don’t. I have one of those voices that can change key in the middle of a song and I couldn’t tell you what key we started in. But you see I like to sing and praise the Lord who saved me.

I’m not usually too shy so I will sing out when I’m in church. I know what it is like to make a joyful noise to the Lord. I also know what it is to sing while I’m alone worshipping God. Which got me thinking about songs we usually only sing around Easter. These songs could be sung any day, but usually they are reserved for special days.

One of my favorite Scriptures that helps me sing praises to God even when I don’t feel like it is Psalm 50:23. He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God. (NIV). I don’t pretend to have a great singing voice, but I can sing praises to the One who redeemed me. I know He does not get tired of hearing me make a joyful noise to Him.

Sometimes when it is difficult for us to sing praises to Him is when we should make ourselves sing. Somehow, the sacrifice of my praise honors the Lord who redeemed me. Somehow it prepares the way for the salvation of God. I don’t pretend to have the greatest singing voice. That doesn’t matter to God. More importantly, I don’t have to pretend that I am redeemed and my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, I am assured of that truth.

I can gladly offer the sacrifice of praise any day including Easter Sunday. There are a lot of good Easter songs, so I’ll share five with you that I am glad were written. I look forward to singing them and I hope you do too.

  1. Man of Sorrows by Philip Bliss
  2. Christ Arose by Robert Lowry
  3. The Easter Song by Keith Green
  4. He’s Alive by Don Francisco
  5. Rejoice, the Lord is King by Charles Wesley

 

Christ Arose

By Robert Lowry

1.      Low in the grave He lay – Jesus my Savior! Waiting the coming day – Jesus, my Lord!

(chorus) Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes; He arose a victor from the dark domain, And He live forever with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

2.      Vainly they watch His bed – Jesus, my Savior! Vainly they seal the dead – Jesus, my Lord!

(chorus)

3.      Death cannot keep his prey – Jesus, my Savior! He tore the bars away – Jesus, my Lord!

(chorus)

Go ahead, sing Christ Arose, offer the sacrifice of praise. You’ll be glad you did. Jesus has triumphed over death and the devil. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us who believe. Hallelujah! I’ll say it again; the power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us who believe! (18)I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, (19)and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, (20)which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, (Ephesians 1:18-20 NIV).

Give praise a chance,

Bill

Romans 15:13

Pray To Be Disturbed

March 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Posted in pray, Quotes, revival | Leave a comment
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Before I begin to read a book in-depth, I skim through it and read parts of it. Recently I received your church is too small by John Armstrong to both read and review. On a quick glance one of the things I like about it is the quotes. I’m a lifelong collector of quotes. In about a week and a half I’ll post a review of it. But for now, here’s a good quote.

“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity; and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes, and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.”

–         Attributed to Sir Francis Drake, 1577 (p. 190)

Did that quote speak to you? It spoke to me. I have been trying to give Friday as a day to be reminded to pray for something in particular. Today’s prayer may be a little difficult for some. Let’s pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would disturb us in ways we need. For those of us who say we know Him through grace and faith, let’s ask ourselves the following questions and pray:

  1. Do we still love Him more than anyone or anything else? (Rev. 2:1-7)
  2. Do we live and pray with faith? (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6)
  3. Do we still love attending and serving through one of His churches? (Eph. 3:10-11; Heb. 10:19-25)
  4. Do we share our knowledge of this personal relationship in both word and deed? (2 Cor. 5:14-21)
  5. Do we still come boldly, humbly, confidently and consistently to the throne of grace? (Heb. 4:16; Phil. 4:4-7)
  6. Do we honestly redeem the time He has given us with Spirit filled lives? (Eph. 5:13-18)
  7. Do we walk in step with the Holy Spirit? (Gal. 5:16-26)

I’ll try to stop here even though I could go on. Specifically, I’m thinking of Romans 12:1-2.

(1)Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. (2)Do not comform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then yopu will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.  (NIV)

Maybe we don’t understand “surrender.” Maybe the battle between the flesh and the spirit never stops. Maybe we have discounted the resources and power of Almighty God like we have to so many things and people around us. Maybe we need a personal revival. Maybe our family’s, our churches, and our community’s need us to have a personal revival. Maybe we are too comfortable or afraid to be disturbed. Only we and the LORD really know the answer to that! Please disturb us Lord.

Much grace and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 138

“The only reason we don’t have revival is because we are willing to live without it.”

“There is a deeper life. It is as deep as a personal Gethsemane and as costly as a personal Calvary.”

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”

“Whatever else we say about revival we have to recognize this, that revival is an act of mercy in the sovereignty of God.”

–          All quotes by Leonard Ravenhill

_______________________

“You have longed for sweet peace and for faith to increase,

And have earnestly, fervently, prayed;

But you cannot have rest or be perfectly blest

Until all on the altar is laid.”

–         Hoffman

The Masculine Mandate

March 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Book Reviews, poetry | Leave a comment
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I have added a book review of The Masculine Mandate.

 

I would like to leave you with one of my favorite poems. I don’t think I could tell you another poem that Robert Frost has written. I have liked this since I first read it when I was in junior high school (I think that is when it was!). It reminds me of how important our choices are and of just being able to calmly decide to take a chance. I liked it when I was unsaved, I like it even more now that I am saved. I can risk everything for God. I can choose to follow even when I don’t know where He is leading! I can trust Him! Praise the Lord!

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

Coffee Brewed the Chemex Way

March 1, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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A couple of weeks ago my wife and I began to test two coffee makers. We thought the Chemex coffee was a little better tasting brew than the French Press. We now we have a Chemex coffee maker. We have compared it with our auto drip and can say that the Chemex brewed coffee tastes better.

You can see the Chemex here: www.chemexcoffeemaker.com . We were looking forward to trying the Chemex at home. We were also looking forward to brewing the same coffee in both the Chemex and our auto drip and tasting any differences. The coffee we chose to try is Community Coffee’s French Quarter Fusion. It is a medium roast whole bean coffee.

We first brewed the coffee in the auto drip to have in the morning. I usually drink dark roasts and was surprised at the good taste of the coffee. It doesn’t really have a strong aroma, but it is good. My wife knew it was different than our normal morning coffee and she liked it too.

The next day we tried it in the Chemex. We ground it in a similar fashion and followed the brewing directions. The coffee tasted much cleaner and better. After swallowing the coffee I felt a slight tingling on the roof of my mouth and tip of my tongue. It also had a slight spicy taste to it. My wife liked it better in the Chemex too. She definitely thought it had a slight spicy flavor. She also thought we should get this coffee again. We had it in the early afternoon and she thought it was a light, fresh tasting coffee that was really good for the afternoon. She plans on taking some to work for the people in her office to try. I guess that proves she really liked it.

So if you want to brew the cleanest tasting cup of coffee, we suggest you get a Chemex Coffee maker. It easier to use than I thought it was going to be. The only drawback is that it does not hold the heat of the coffee too long. But you can keep the coffee warm on a stove. I don’t like all of the coffees we have purchased from Community Coffee, but I like the French Quarter Fusion and we will get more from them. You can find them here: www.communitycoffee.com .

Being a guy, I tried to get this to qualify as a date. It didn’t work, but it does count as doing something together and having fun. Hey, I’ve got to try. I’m looking forward to brewing and tasting other coffees together. Next week we’ll compare a decaf coffee. It should be fun.

GRACE and Peace to you,

Bill

(Romans 15:13; Isaiah 26:3-4)

Learn To Tell Jesus

March 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Posted in cross-cultural, hymns, ordination | Leave a comment
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Yesterday evening my wife and were able to attend the ordination service of a young man preparing to go into a Chaplain’s ministry. We were invited by the pastor’s wife. My wife and she are friends. This was a cross-cultural experience because the church is a Korean church. The entire service is in Korean. My wife and I know very little Korean beyond a few simple phrases. The good thing is that the people like us and we like them. It makes crossing cultures so much easier.

The ordination service was different from most American ordination services that I have either attended or been a part of. It was not that long and I would say it was very traditional. There are great musicians and singers in that church so the music is always very good. One song that was played by the pianist during prayer was, “I Know Whom I Have Believed”. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite songs and always reminds me of her when I hear it.  In my mind I can see her with her hand up in the air singing to Jesus. Another one I really enjoyed singing was, “I Must Tell Jesus.”

There was a great quote on the cover of the bulletin also. It was called the Pastor’s Creed:

“I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me!”

– Martyred Pastor

I hope that quote is as encouraging and motivating to you as it is to me. Ask yourself, like I asked myself, “does that quote describe me and my life?” I ask myself regularly if I am totally surrendered to Jesus. Is He increasing and am I decreasing? What gain or accomplishment here can honestly compare with knowing Jesus and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings? – Philippians 3:10.

Some of my advice to any man preparing to be a pastor would simply be this: know the Word, study the Word, preach the Word, teach the Word, trust the Word, pray the Word and live the Word! You can know yourself, your community, your church, your culture, and you must, but you had better know the Word! Fight the good fight! Even when you are tired, discouraged, hungry or wounded, press on anyway! Others have fought the good fight before our time has come and others will fight the good fight after our time is over.

My other advice to any man preparing to pastor would be this: learn to pray and get someone to pray with you and get someone to pray for you. We cannot get too much prayer cover. We must learn to pray when we are healthy or sick, happy or sad, up or down, clear or confused, even when our hearts are full of joy or when they are broken and we’re sick to our stomach. We must practice consistently “casting all our cares on the Lord because He cares for us” – 1 Peter 5:7. Learn to tell Jesus, because He really does care.

God bless you as you serve Him,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 21:6

“I Must Tell Jesus”

by Elisha Hoffman

Verse 1:
I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
in my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own.

Chorus:
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

Verse 2:
I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
He is a kind, compassionate friend;
if I but ask Him, He will deliver,
make of my troubles quickly an end.

Chorus

Verse 3:
Tempted and tried, I need a great Savior,
One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus;
He all my cares and sorrows will share.

Chorus

Verse 4:
O how the world to evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
over the world the victory to win.

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