A Do-It-Yourself Education Better Than None

September 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Posted in A. W. Tozer | Leave a comment
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Insight from A. W. Tozer

I have been slowly reading through Tozer’s Man: The Dwelling Place of God as a part of my devotional reading/studying. I haven’t used every chapter that I have read. I find that Tozer usually challenges my thinking. Usually the posts from my Tozer readings are on Wednesdays. Right now I am considering which of his books to read and post from next. If you would like to listen to him preach go to: www.sermonindex.net. They have a great collection of sermons and it would be well worth the time to look them over and listen to a few.

Tozer has much to say about this subject and took to heart lifelong learning. Remember that this is only an excerpt from his chapter. But I do hope you are challenged to learn.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

This is written for those Christians who may have missed a formal education. Let no one despair. A do-it-yourself education is better than none. It can be acquired by the proper use of our mental powers.

Our intellectual activities in the order of their importance may be graded this way: first, cogitation; second, observation; third, reading………………..

I believe that pure thinking will do more to educate a man than any other activity he can engage in. To afford sympathetic entertainment to abstract ideas, to let one idea beget another, and that another, till the mind teems with them; to compare one idea with others, to weigh, to consider, evaluate, approve, reject, correct, refine; to join thought with thought like an architect till a noble edifice has been created within the mind; to travel back in imagination to the beginning of the creation and then to leap swiftly forward to the end of time; to bound upward through illimitable space and downward into the nucleus of an atom; and all this without so much as moving from our chair or opening the eyes – this is to soar above all the lower creation and to come near to the angels of God.

Of all earth’s creatures only man can think in this way. And while thinking is the mightiest act a man can perform, perhaps for the very reason that it is the mightiest, it is the one act he likes the least and avoids the most………………………….

After cogitation comes observation (in order of importance, not in order of time). Observation is, of course, simply a method of obtaining information. Without information the most powerful mind can produce nothing worthwhile………………………

While it is impossible to live even a short time without learning something, unfortunately it is possible to live a long time and not learn very much. Observation is a powerful tool, but its usefulness depends upon how well we use it……………

Lastly, reading. To think without a proper amount of good reading is to limit our thinking to our own tiny plot of ground. The crop cannot be large. To observe only and neglect reading is to deny ourselves the immense value of other people’s observations; and since the better books are written by trained observers the loss is sure to be enormous. Extensive reading without the discipline of practical observation will lead to bookishness and artificiality. Reading and observing without a great deal of meditating will fill the mind with learned lumber that will always remain alien to us. Knowledge to be our own must be digested by thinking. – from pages 144-147, Christian Publications, Inc. Copyright 1966.

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Never Be Ashamed of Christ!

September 29, 2010 at 8:13 am | Posted in Quotes | Leave a comment
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Here is another good quote from www.jcrylequotes.com. Think about it and if there are changes that you need to make in your life so that you give no hint of being ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve added a Scripture to think about too. I hope you have a great day living for the Lord.

Romans 1:16

(16)I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

Never Be Ashamed Of Christ!
“Whatever others around you think, don’t you ever be ashamed of being a Christian. Let them laugh, mock, jest, and scoff, if they will. They will not scoff in the hour of death and in the day of judgment. Hoist your flag; show your colors; nail them to the mast. You may certainly be ashamed of drinking, gambling, lying, swearing, idleness, pride, and failing to go to church on the Lord’s Day. But of reading the Bible, praying, and belonging to Christ, you have no cause to be ashamed at all. Let those laugh that will. A good soldier is never ashamed of the colors of his nation’s flag, and his uniform. Be careful that you are never ashamed of your Master.”
~ J.C. Ryle
Practical Religion, “Our Home”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1998], 401.

Suffering May Come Suddenly

September 28, 2010 at 9:12 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

Sometimes soldiers do not have as much as an hour’s warning before they must take the field. And so you, too, might be called out to suffer for God or from Him before you expect it. Abraham, for example, had very little time to deal with his heart and persuade it to obey God by offering his child. “Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest” – not in a year, not a month or week, but now (Genesis 22:2). This command came during the night and “early in the morning” he was on his way to the mountain (v. 3).

How could Abraham have handled such a shock had he not already wrestled with his own willingness or unwillingness to endeavor to be obedient to God in all things? Thus God had already had His servant’s whole heart and all Abraham was left to do was to obey. Sometimes God makes very sudden changes in our personal lives. For example, how would you receive a death bulletin like the one God gave Moses? He did not have the gradual preparation of a lingering illness but heard the message while he still enjoyed perfect health: “Get thee up… …..And die in the mount……” (Deuteronomy 32:49-50). Are we and our feet really ready for a journey like that?

But God can change the scene of public affairs as quickly as He can change personal situations. Maybe authority smiles on the church right now; yet it might frown again soon. “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea” (Acts 9:31) – it was a blessed time for the saints. But it did not last long: “About that time Herod the king stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the church” (Acts 12:1). In this persecution James the brother of John died by the sword and Peter was thrown into prison. The entire church was driven into a corner to pray in the night; and those who had had rest on every side now were threatened by violent death at every turn. – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, September 21. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers, 1994.

To me this devotional reading was something good to think about. What if the time is coming when our government takes away tax exempt status from the Church? What if our government should tell pastors who they must be willing to marry? What if there comes a time when what is right is called wrong and what is wrong is called right? What if there was no political party or political action group who wanted to be associated with Bible believing, conservative evangelicals? What if there is something much more personal coming that causes pain?

Would you still praise and worship God? Would you still believe He was in control and working His plan of redemption? Would you still have a practical faith in God? How would your life change? Or better yet, what changes do you need to make now to really live as an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ? Just something to think about.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 50:23; 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Take Courage That Christ Knows All

September 27, 2010 at 5:17 am | Posted in Quotes | Leave a comment
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When I read the title of this quote this morning I knew I had to post it. It comes from Eric at www.jcrylequotes.com. I would like to say thanks to Eric. If you are familiar with Ryle and like his writing you will like this site. I encourage you to check it out.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

Take Courage That Christ Knows All

Posted: 27 Sep 2010 12:00 AM PDT
“Oh, what a blessed and comfortable thing to be known by Christ, known and marked as His friends, His relations, His dear children, His beloved family, His purchased possession! Here we are often cast down, often discouraged, often persecuted, often spoken against, often misunderstood—but let us take courage, our Lord and Master knows all. A day shall come when we shall no longer see through a glass darkly—but face to face—a day when we shall know even as we are now known; for the union between us and our Redeemer, which we so often feel disposed to doubt, shall then be clearly seen, and we shall no more go out to battle.”
~ J.C. Ryle
The Christian Race & Other Sermons, “The Privileges of the True Christian”, [Moscow, ID: Charles Nolan Publishing, 2002], 107.

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

September 26, 2010 at 6:44 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Hymn – Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

This hymn is by Robert Robinson and is sung in 3/4 time.

1.      Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above;

Praise His name – I’m fixed upon it – Name of God’s redeeming love.

2.      Hither to Thy love has blest me; Thou has bro’t me to this place;

And I know Thy hand will bring me Safely home by Thy good grace.

Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wand’ring from the fold of God;

He, to rescue me from danger, Bo’t me with His precious blood.

3.      O to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be!

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it; Seal it for Thy courts above.

Here is an example of another good old hymn. I have good memories of the piano and organ playing together with the trumpet, french horn, flute and saxophone. It seems that as we came to the end of every verse people’s voices got louder and louder. There is almost something like a calm powerful confidence as you sing it. Think about yourself and Almighty God and what He has done to reach you and save you and secure you. How can you not sing humbly and yet confidently about our great God?

I hope you have a great day of worship and serving the Lord. I hope you understand that service is a part of worship. If you have any questions check out the Hebrew word for worship. We are to be participants in worship, not just spectators.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill

Romans 15:13

Romans 5:6-11

(6)You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (7)Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. (8)But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(9)Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! (10)For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled shall we be saved through His life! (11)Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received reconciliation.

Coffee Review: Community Coffee’s Evangeline Blend

September 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews, Coffee Travel Mug Reviews | 2 Comments
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We received this Evangeline Blend with a travel mug  from Community Coffee (www.communitycoffee.com)and we were looking forward to trying them out. Community Coffee is family owned and operated and has been doing business out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a little over ninety years.

The Evangeline Blend is described as an exclusive gourmet coffee blend created to honor Louisiana’s most enduring legend. In the tradition of the poet Longfellow, this selection was crafted in honor of the bittersweet romance of Evangeline and Gabriel. We combine 100% Arabica coffee beans and dark roast them to produce a deep, semi-sweet flavor with no sharp edges. It is a dark roast, with medium-high acidity and a full body.

We still like to brew whole bean coffee at least three different ways for our reviews and first up was the auto-drip. The aroma from the both the bag and pot was mild. But it is the flavor that will get you. This coffee has a smooth balanced roast taste. It has a bright acidity and full body.

The next day we used the Chemex coffee maker and this brings out a little more of the tartness and brightness of the coffee. There is a fruitlike flavor too. Kim thought it went well with the orange marmalade on her toast. The aroma, though mild, is good. Kim and I both thought this brew had a pleasant aftertaste that seemed to stay on the tongue.

Lastly was the French Press and the flavor was a little stronger here. Since the aroma is mild you may be slightly surprised at the taste of the coffee. There is a little bit of a chocolate undertone and it seems to be naturally sweet. It is not too bold, but has a good, lingering aftertaste. It is simply a good cup of coffee.

If you have never tried Community Coffee and like dark roast coffees we suggest you try this one. We give it two thumbs up. We shared this coffee with a few friends and they all liked it. We like sharing coffee with friends and getting their feedback along with introducing them to coffee roasters they have not tried.

We also tried their travel mug and liked it. The rubber pad on the bottom is placed really well and helps keep the mug from sliding. The mug does a good job of keeping coffee hot too. It has gotten a lot of use. I haven’t taken it to a coffee shop yet to get filled up, but you never know! We received the coffee and mug for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time, remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

The Lordship of the Man Jesus Is Basic

September 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Posted in A. W. Tozer | Leave a comment
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Insight from A. W. Tozer

We are under constant temptation these days to substitute another Christ for the Christ of the New Testament. The whole drift of modern religion is toward such a substitution.

To avoid this we must hold steadfastly to the concept of Christ as set forth so clearly and plainly in the Scriptures of truth. Though an angel from heaven should preach anything less than the Christ of the apostles let him be forthrightly and fearlessly rejected.

The mighty, revolutionary message of the Early Church was that a man named Jesus who had been crucified was now raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of God. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Less than three hundred years after Pentecost the hard-pressed defenders of the faith drew up a manifesto condensing those teachings of the New Testament having to do with the nature of Christ. This manifesto declares that Christ is “God of the substance of His Father, begotten before all ages: Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world: perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting: Equal to His Father, as touching God His Godhead: less than the Father, as touching His manhood. Who, although He be God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by the taking of the manhood into God. One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by the unity of Person. For as reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ.”…..

The teaching of the New Testament is that now, at this very moment, there is a man in heaven appearing in the presence of God for us……………….

But more than this, He is heir of all things, Lord of all world, head of the church and the first-born of the new creation. He is the way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel and the high priest of every true worshiper. He holds the keys of death and hell and stands as advocate and surety for everyone who believes on Him in truth…………………….

Salvation comes not by “accepting the finished work” or “deciding for Christ.” It comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as His own and paid it, took our sins and died under them and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ, and nothing else will do…………– Taken from Man: The Dwelling Place of God, by A. W. Tozer, pages 140-144. Christian Publications, Inc. 1966.

    Rom 8:12-17 (NIV)

(12)Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation — but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. (13)For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, (14)because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (15)For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (16)The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (17)Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Coffee Tasting Party

September 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews, Coffee Shop Reviews | 5 Comments
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What do Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica, Haiti, Mexico, and Nicaragua all have in common? They are all countries where coffee beans are grown. Recently we had the privilege of sharing some coffee from each of these countries with some family and friends. We actually tried a couple more coffees too! It would be the first intentional coffee tasting party for us. Man did we have fun. We have already had another and have plans for more in the near future.

Before the party I asked the host if I could bring some different coffees and brew them a couple of different ways so we could try something new. You see I come by teaching naturally. I like to take opportunities to teach whenever I can. I am also a lifelong learner and I think that one of the best ways to continue to learn is to teach about what you are learning. My wife and I have been learning about the roasting, grinding, brewing and tasting of coffee. I wanted to share some of that knowledge and coffee with some family and friends. So I had a plan to share about grinding, brewing and tasting one specific roasters coffee.

Hemisphere Coffee Roasters (www.hemispherecoffees.com) provided us with coffee. Their motto is “coffee with a mission.” We’ve reviewed some of their other coffees before. They are involved with direct trade with the coffee farmers and this works out better than fair trade. They care about improving the lifestyles of the indigenous coffee farmers. They have also started a non-profit agency to assist the coffee growers in Latin America called Care Cup International (www.carecupinternational.com). I encourage you to check out both sites.

Well Kim and I stopped in Mechanicsburg at the Hemisphere Coffee Roasters shop to meet Paul and Grace who started this ministry/business. We had a good time talking with them and getting to know them. We tried some coffee and they gave us some samples to give away and to brew and little cups to use. We appreciate their helpfulness and generosity! We hope to get back up there again on one of our trips.

None of the people at the picnic own or use a grinder or French Press. They usually buy coffee that is on sale in the grocery store. That has changed now. First I showed them how easy it is to grind whole beans. Then I made the same coffee in an auto-drip and French Press. We tasted the auto-drip first and then the Press. A couple of people weren’t sure if they liked the Press, but they did like the coffee in auto-drip.

We were drinking coffee in little cups so I kept making coffee to taste. I would pass around the bag of whole beans and ask them how they liked the aroma. A few people actually ate a bean of each coffee. Then I would let them smell the aroma after the beans were ground and again after the coffee was poured into their cup. I would ask them to try to describe the aroma.

After we sipped some coffee I would ask them to try to describe what they tasted. It was a lot of fun listening to their descriptive words. Things like; I’m not sure, fruitiness, tingly, smooth, heavy, and full were used at different times. We even tried some Mexican decaf and one person who doesn’t like decaf liked it and thought it would be good in the French Press.

Overall the Papua New Guinea and Menno Blend were favorites. They are smooth, flavorful, and naturally sweet with a good earthy aroma. The Haitian coffee was liked too. Two people liked the dark roast Nicaraguan Maragojype the best. They thought it was a deeper, bolder flavor. All but one person liked the Mexican decaf.

We had a great time talking and tasting coffee. We gave away sample bags of coffee that we received from HCR. I also ground beans of each coffee we tried and put them in baggies for each taster to take home and enjoy. It was a lot of fun our pleasure to introduce people to the good coffees of Hemisphere Coffee Roasters. We truly hope it sends some business their way and helps their “coffee with a mission” grow. We received the coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversation!

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Christians Should Be Ready To Suffer

September 21, 2010 at 9:01 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

Genuine readiness to suffer thins out the number of true Christians from the ranks of professing believer; it eliminates those whose walk goes no further than a cheap profession. A person who looks into the crowded sanctuaries Christendom today and finds multitudes who flock after the Word might wonder why ministers say this company of Christians is such a small one, and he might think that they who say such things cannot see the forest for the trees. This very situation made one of the disciples question Christ: “Lord, are there few that be saved?”(Luke 13:23). At that time Christ “went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem” (v. 22). When His followers saw Christ preaching so freely in every town, and people thronging after Him with expressions of hope, it seemed almost incredible to think that only a few of the them would be saved.

Now mark how our Savior solved this riddle: “And He said unto them, Strive to enter in at the straight gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (v. 24). Christ said His disciples were measuring by a wrong rule. “If following after sermons and testimonies and excitement were enough to save, heaven would already be full,” He was saying. But do not sift the pure from the impure by such a coarse sieve. “Strive to enter – fight and wrestle, risk life and limb rather than fall short of heaven.” “For many shall seek, but shall not be able,” – that is, they are looking for a cheap religion through an easy profession.

Almost anyone is willing to walk through heaven’s door if he never has to risk his pride in public or hazard his everyday interests by any inconvenience or opposition of the world. But “they shall not be able” to enter because their hearts are not willing to strive unto blood. If we take the standard to be striving, not merely seeking, then the number of Christian soldiers will shrink, like Gideon’s army, to a little troop. – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, September 20. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers Edition, 1994.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

September 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

This is Sunday’s hymn a day early

The Lord’s compassions are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

This hymn is by Thomas O. Chisholm, copyright 1923 and sung in 3/4 time.

1.      Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father; There is no shadow of turning with Thee. Thou changest not; Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou as been Thou forever wilt be.

(Refrain) Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

2.      Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above, Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

(Refrain)

3.      Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow – Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!

(Refrain)

I hope this old hymn encourages you today. God is faithful even if we sometimes forget that. Cast your cares upon Him. Praise Him even when you don’t feel like it. Watch and wait for Him to move in your behalf. God bless you.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 50:23

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