"To live happily the evils of false ambition and self-love must be plucked from our hearts by the roots." John Calvin, The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2005, page 33.
Father of my hope: in life and in death I belong to you; in righteousness and sin, in the light and in the darkness, in all times and in all places, I am yours. I want the fullness of your Spirit. I want to be filled to overflowing. I want to know you, not as … Continue reading Prayer Note #58–Burnishing my Clay
I am utterly and in every way dependent on your mercy and grace. My life my salvation, my well-being all of it hangs by the thread of your merciful, kind, gracious disposition toward me. Your love and desire for my well-being is the only bulwark for me against catastrophe of every sort in my life. … Continue reading Prayer Note #57 — Relying on God vs. Presuming upon God: A Prayer
Death is all around us. It is woven into the fabric of our world. It's not supposed to be like that. But it is like that. The Bible has a lot to say about death, because we need to understand death--its origins, its meaning, its consequences for us, and its remedy. This message is the … Continue reading Sermon #64–Death Defeated, Part 1: What is Death?
Lord, you are all glorious, and the light of your presence pierces the deepest darkness of sin, sorrow, evil, despair. There is no darkness so thick, so impenetrable, so oily that the Light, Life, Love of your Being cannot invade and evaporate it. That is the truth of who you are. And so I ask … Continue reading Prayer Note #52 — To the God of Light
O my Lord and Father, I long for you. Year after year I have wandered after other food for my soul. But it was no food. It was poison. I could see that very clearly. I could see how it always diminished me. I withered. Yet, I persisted. But so did you. You persisted with … Continue reading Prayer Note #50 — Wandering
Without your mercy, I will die. Apart from your forgiveness, you will consume me in the fires of your holy judgment. How can I live apart from you? I would be lost entirely! Yet, how can I live in your presence? I should be devoured by your holy wrath! I will hide in Jesus. In … Continue reading Prayer Note #49 — A Prayer for Those Who Know Their Sins Well
[Although I have called this a "Pastor's Prayer," with a slight adjustment of the language, this prayer might well work as a prayer for any Christian who wants to be a channel of blessing to the people in their lives. And what Christian wouldn't want to be a channel of God's blessing in the lives … Continue reading Prayer Note #46 — A Channel of Blessing: a Pastor’s Prayer
“So, without love, there can be no hearty submission to the will of God, and there can be no real and heartfelt trust and confidence in him.” Jonathan Edwards In Christ, God has victoriously asserted this redeeming power over the fallen world to set it right, a work into which he calls us to be … Continue reading Sermon #48 — “Words from the Beloved Apostle: Love, Obedience, and Power” — 1 John 5:1-5
Lord Jesus, I'm scared. I'm far from you in my heart, and I persist in the things that will keep me far away from you. And yet, I feel you pursuing me. Your pursuit both comforts me and scares me. I know that because you still pursue me, you have not given up on me. … Continue reading Prayer Note #43 — Fleeing My Pursuing God in the Dark Before Dawn