Book Giveaway

December 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Book Giveaway | Leave a comment
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Jason at www.pastoralmusings.com is having a book giveaway this week sponsored by Intervarsity Press. The books he is giving away are: Worship and the Reality of God, The Passionate Intellect, and Getting the Reformation Wrong.

I hope you go to his site and check it out and enter the giveaway.

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The Wells of Salvation

December 28, 2010 at 10:51 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

There is forgiveness with the Lord Jesus. No matter what the trouble, this truth brings comfort to saints. You know how a cool spring is welcomed in a parched desert. And when you recall what sweet refreshment you have had from God’s wells of salvation you will cry out with David: “I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me” (Psalm 119:93). It is no surprise that Satan tries to stop your well of comfort; but it is more than tragic if he can persuade you to do it yourself.

AS the veins in the body have arteries to bring them life, so precepts in the Word have promises to encourage and empower Christians to perform their vows to God. Is there a command to pray? There is also a promise: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). Does God ask for your heart? The promise says, “A new heart also will I give you” (Ezekiel 36:26). Does He require us to crucify the flesh? Not without His promise: “Sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14). But to make this promise serve your need, you must humbly and boldly press it believingly at the throne of grace. What the precept commands, the prayer of faith begs and receives. In other words, first conquer heaven and then you do not need to fear overcoming hell.

Do not forget – you are warring at God’s expense, not your own. David was a military man who could handle one enemy as well as another, but he dared not promise himself success until he had heard from God: “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 119:133). But if you have decided to steal victory in your own strength, expect an overthrow. It will be a mercy, for defeat will bring humility with it but victory will only increase your pride in your own strength. – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, December 28. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers Edition, 1994

God’s Presence Among Your Enemies

December 21, 2010 at 11:35 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

If God des call you into fiery trials, His promise will take all responsibility out of your hands: “When they deliver you up, take no thought” – that is, do not worry – “how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you that same hour what ye shall speak” (Matthew 10:19). It is your Father which speaketh in you” (v. 20).

There is no mouth which God cannot make eloquent, no back so weak that He cannot strengthen it. And He has promised to go with you wherever your enemies might force you to go; neither fire nor flood can take you away from the Father. These promises make such a soft pillow for the saints’ heads that many have experienced marvelous rest when roughly handled by cruel enemies. One persecuted Christian, for example, dated his letter “from the delectable orchard his prison;” another signed herself “Your loving friend, as merry as one bound for heaven.” People like these have been far from pitying themselves in their sufferings; in fact, their main sorrow has been that they could not express more thankfulness for them. And where did their supernatural strength and joy come from? The Holy Spirit applied God’s promises to them in the time of distress!

Believers’ troubles are for Christ’s cause. The ark may shake but it cannot fall; the ship of the church may be tossed but it cannot sink, for Christ is in it and will awaken in plenty of time to keep it safe. Therefore we have no reason to disturb Him with screams of unbelief when storms beat angrily against the church. In times like these our faith is in more danger of sinking than Christ and His church. God’s promises hold them securely out of the reach of both men and devils.

Our source of security is an “everlasting gospel” (Revelation 14:6). Heaven and earth will pass away, but not one word of this Gospel will perish. “The word of the Lord endureth forever (1 Peter 1:25). Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, December 19. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers Edition, 1994.

Coffee Review: Stoney Creek Roasters Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

December 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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Stoney Creek Roasters (www.stoneycreekroasters.com) is located at 83 North Main Street in the town of Cedarville Ohio. They are a small local roaster in a small town. When we received this Yirgacheffe from them we were looking forward to trying it. It is both Organic and Fair Trade.

You may think we are crazy but when we opened the bag the aroma reminded us of sweet mustard. We both like different kinds of mustard so we were pleasantly surprised. The beans looked like a medium-dark roast. We changed up our order of brewing this time so we went with the French Press first.

When brewed the aroma is somewhat sweet and spicy, but not the mustard aroma we first smelled. The taste is complex; spicy and bright with a lingering bitter-sweetness. The flavor seems to hit the tip of the tongue and then spreads out over it. Kim thought it paired very well with lemon, cinnamon and almonds.

Next we used the auto-drip and there is a nice dark color in the pot. The flavors were somewhat milder but they linger giving a nice aftertaste. The spiciness is there and we found ourselves talking about what we tasted and trying to figure out the flavor profile. Kim thought it was good with peanut butter, chocolate and fruit.

Lastly we used the Chemex coffee maker for brewing. The taste is smooth and seems to fill the mouth. The taste is cleaner and we thought there was a touch of clove. The aftertaste lasted longer and was brighter. We both liked the complex taste of this coffee. It seemed to change somewhat with the different brewers.

We found ourselves talking about this coffee long after our cups were empty. It is a very intriguing cup of coffee. We looked forward to each brewing method and tasting. We are looking forward to sharing it with friends. I think we liked it best in the French Press, but we would give it two thumbs up with any brewing method.

If you like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee or want to try one, we encourage you to try this one from Stoney Creek Roasters; we think you will like it. You’ll also be supporting a local roaster trying to make a positive difference in the world. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

(Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10)

We Three Kings

December 19, 2010 at 9:36 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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This is one of my favorite songs of all time let alone one of my favorite Christmas songs. I can’t really explain why, maybe it’s because the theme of giving runs throughout it. I have carried a copy of the words in my briefcase for more years than I can remember. I’ve sung it alone as an offering of praise to God, I’ve sung it with my wife and sons and of course I have sung it in church. I just like this song.

I went online to you tube to look for a choir singing this song to post under it for your added enjoyment. Lo and behold what did I find? I found a posting of the Claymation version of this song. I remember watching that with my sons when they were little. I’ve posted that at the end of this song. I also found a rendition of another of my favorite songs from a Soulful Celebration. I hope you enjoy reading the words and watching the video.

More importantly if you don’t personally know the gift of salvation that only comes from God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ; that is what I hope you know. It is as close as sincerely calling out to God and acknowledging that you are a sinner (you have missed His mark of perfection) and asking Him to forgive you. Then receive from Him the gift of salvation which Jesus purchased on the cross. This salvation comes to you by grace through faith. Do this and believe it in your heart and you will be saved, adopted into God’s family, accepted in the beloved (Christ) and sealed with the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing your future redemption (Ephesians 1:1-14, 2:1-10). Then go out and let your changed life show the new hope you have deep within you.

Merry Christmas,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

(Romans 15:13; 3:10-12, 21-26, 10:9-10, 13)

We Three Kings

By John H. Hopkins, Jr.

1.      We three kings of Orient are; Bearing gifts we traverse afar – Field and fountain, moor and mountain – Following yonder star.

(Refrain) O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect light.

2.      Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain; Gold I bring to crown Him again, King forever, ceasing never Over us all to reign.

(Refrain)

3.      Frankincense to offer have I; Incense owns a Deity nigh. Prayer and praising, all men raising, Worship Him, God on high.

(Refrain)

4.      Myrrh is mine: its bitter perfume Breathes a life of gathering gloom – Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

(Refrain)

5.      Glorious now behold Him arise, King and God and Sacrifice; Al-le-lu-ia, al-le-lu-ia! Earth to heaven replies.

(Refrain) 

I hope you enjoy this clips. God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Claymation “We Three Kings” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87wGHfAi17Q (it leaves out verse 4).

This version is a chamber choir with all verses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJGwSzApdIA&feature=related

Soulful Celebration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V51aTh2c0Q

Book Review: Pause for Power by Warren W. Wiersbe

December 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a comment
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Wiersbe, Warren W. Pause for Power. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook; 2010. 368 pp.

I just added this review to my Book Review page.

Short Book Review: Stronger by Jim Daly

December 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a comment
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Daly, Jim. Stronger: (Trading Brokeness for Unbreakable Strength). Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook; 2010. 237 pp.

You can read the review on my Book Review page.

Coffee Review: Boston Stoker’s Costa Rican La Minita

December 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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This was one of the coffees that we cupped when we stopped at the Boston Stoker (www.bostonstoker.com) coffee shop in Troy Ohio. It is described as having a sweet aroma, full body, balanced acidity and a clean aftertaste. I can tell you we were impressed with the taste when we cupped it and we were looking forward to brewing it at home.

It has a good strong aroma from the bag that is somewhat sweet, with hints of chocolate. When it was brewing in the auto-drip Kim could smell the aroma upstairs. The taste is bright with a mild to medium acidity. The flavor seems to go over the front half of the tongue. It seemed to have a touch of citrus, with a medium to full body. Kim thought it paired very good with both chocolate and vanilla.

There seems to be a somewhat nutty aroma after grinding the beans. In the French Press the flavors and body were fuller and deeper. The taste of lemon is more pronounced. The coffee is little sweet and a little tart, but very balanced. Kim was eating oatmeal bread toast with peanut butter and cherry jelly and thought they paired well with the taste of the coffee.

After brewing with the Chemex coffee maker you get a clean smooth taste with a touch of citrus. There is a lingering tartness, not overly tart but there. It is almost as if the coffee is sweet and sour. I’ll bet it would make a good iced coffee. Here the flavor seems almost to the back of the mouth. All the flavors mixed well and taste very good. Kim thought it tasted good with almonds, figs, dates and apricots.

This La Minita from Boston Stoker is a very good tasting cup of coffee. We enjoyed drinking it and sharing it with friends. The reaction from our friends was very good too. If you would like to try a new coffee for the holiday’s we suggest you give this Costa Rican La Minita a try. We think you will like it.

We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. When you are travelling remember to look for local coffee roasters to visit. You might find an unexpected gem like we did. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Short Book Review: Jump by Efrem Smith

December 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a comment
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I’ve just posted a new review on my book review page.

Smith, Efrem. Jump: Into a Life of Further and Higher. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010. 183pp.

Knowledge of the Word of Christ

December 14, 2010 at 10:03 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

Do not be led away with the error of the wicked but “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Light is the chariot which carries the influence of the sun. So the knowledge of Christ brings with it the influences of His grace into the heart. And how did Peter expect people to grow in the knowledge of Christ unless they read Scripture, the only book where it can be found? How wrong for teachers to want the people to learn this knowledge solely from their preaching, and not from the Bible! How can a congregation be sure they are hearing truth unless they have Scripture, the only touchstone to try the purity of the doctrine? God Himself directs His Word not to any one honored group – not to a select few – but to every man (Romans 1:7; 2 Corinthians 1:1). Why are laws made if they cannot be declared? And why was Scripture ever written if not to be read and known of all men? By the same authority with which the apostle wrote his epistles, he commanded them to be read in the church. Did ministers of the early church hide God Word from the people instead of encouraging them to hide it in their own heart?

It is true that some men do wrest Scripture to their own destruction, just as occasionally somebody chokes on a piece of bread if he is not careful when he eats. But must everyone starve for fear of getting choked? Some hurt themselves with sharp weapons; must the whole army then be disarmed, and only a few officers be allowed to wear the sword? If this argument were enough to seal up the Bible, we must deny it to intellectuals as well as to common men; for it is a known fact that the grossest heresies have bred in the finest minds. Whenever proud men insist on being wiser than God, their foolish minds get darker and darker until they become so accustomed to the blackness that they can no longer see His sovereignty. – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, December 13. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers Edition, 1994.

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