Can We Talk About That?

August 4, 2010

Spurgeon ~ With blasting, With Mildew & With Hail

 

“I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands.” ~Haggai 2:17
How destructive is the hail to the standing crops, beating out the precious grain upon the ground! How grateful ought we to be when the corn is spared so terrible a ruin! Let us offer unto the Lord thanksgiving.
Even more to be dreaded are those mysterious destroyers-smut, bunt, rust, and mildew.

These turn the ear into a mass of soot, or render it putrid, or dry up the grain, and all in a manner so beyond all human control that the farmer is compelled to cry, “This is the finger of God.”

Innumerable minute fungi cause the mischief, and were it not for the goodness of God, the rider on the black horse would soon scatter famine over the land. Infinite mercy spares the food of men, but in view of the the-lords-prayer-collage-ruth-palmer active agents which are ready to destroy the harvest, right wisely are we taught to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

The curse is abroad; we have constant need of the blessing. When blight and mildew come they are chastisements from heaven, and men must learn to hear the rod, and him that hath appointed it.

Spiritually, mildew is no uncommon evil. When our work is most promising this blight appears. We hoped for many conversions, and lo! a general apathy, an abounding worldliness, or a cruel hardness of heart!

There may be no open sin in those for whom we are labouring, but there is a deficiency of sincerity and decision sadly disappointing our desires. We learn from this our dependence upon the Lord, and the need of prayer that no blight may fall upon our work.

Spiritual pride or sloth will soon bring upon us the dreadful evil, and only the Lord of the harvest can remove it. Mildew may even attack our own hearts, and shrivel our prayers and religious exercises. May it please the great Husbandman to avert so serious a calamity.

Shine, blessed Sun of Righteousness, and drive the blights away.

August 2, 2010

Spurgeon ~ So She Gleaned

Filed under: Blogroll,Christ,Community,Faith,Life with God,Love,Promise and Blessing — canwetalkaboutthat @ 2:48 PM

“So she gleaned in the field until even.”
~Ruth 2:17

Let me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to gather the ears of corn, so must I go forth into the fields of prayer, meditation, the ordinances, and hearing the word to gather spiritual food. The gleaner gathers her portion ear by ear; her gains are little by little: so must I be content to search for single truths, if there be no greater plenty of them.

Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson assists in making us wise unto salvation. The gleaner keeps her eyes open: if she stumbled among the stubble in a dream, she would have no load to carry home rejoicingly at eventide.

I must be watchful in religious exercises lest they become unprofitable to me; I fear I have lost much already-O that I may rightly estimate my opportunities, and glean with greater diligence.Ruth in the Field of Boaz

The gleaner stoops for all she finds, and so must I.

High spirits criticize and object, but lowly minds glean and receive benefit. A humble heart is a great help towards profitably hearing the gospel. The engrafted soul-saving word is not received except with meekness.

A stiff back makes a bad gleaner; down, master pride, thou art a vile robber, not to be endured for a moment.

What the gleaner gathers she holds:  if she dropped one ear to find another, the result of her day’s work would be but scant; she is as careful to retain as to obtain, and so at last her gains are great. How often do I forget all that I hear; the second truth pushes the first out of my head, and so my reading and hearing end in much ado about nothing!

Do I feel duly the importance of storing up the truth? A hungry belly makes the gleaner wise; if there be no corn in her hand, there will be no bread on her table; she labours under the sense of necessity, and hence her tread is nimble and her grasp is firm; I have even a greater necessity, Lord, help me to feel it, that it may urge me onward to glean in fields which yield so plenteous a reward to diligence.

July 30, 2010

Timeless Promise

Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.[1]

This promise decree’s to all – no matter who they may be, Israelites, Gentiles, Pharisees, Scoffers, Harlots, or even the very Castaways of the devil – a promise of unparalleled proportion.

red letters, Christ,Community,Faith,Family,Father,Letters from Father God,Life with God,Love,Promise and Blessing

Timeless Promise

There are no limits to its duration – it is a timeless promise. It does not merely say, “I will not cast out a sinner only upon the first time he comes to me,”  but “I will in no wise cast out.” The original Greek reads οὐ μή (oo may).  This is a double negative strengthening His denial of ever responding with rejection; “I will not, not cast out,” or “I will never, never cast out.”  It means, that Christ will not at first reject a new believer; and that as He will not do it at the first, so He will not in the latter.

But suppose the believer sins after coming to Christ?  “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” But suppose that believers backslide? “I will heal their backsliding,   I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” But believers may fall under temptation! “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” But the believer may fall into sin as David did! Yes, but he will “Purge them with hyssop, and they shall be clean; he will wash them and they shall be whiter than snow”; “From all their iniquities will I cleanse them.” Not from some sins, not from a few iniquities but all of them!

“Once in Christ, in Christ forever,
Nothing from his love can sever.”

I give unto my sheep,” saith He, “eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” What have you to say to this, O trembling feeble mind? Is not this the most precious mercy, that coming to Christ, you do not come to One who will treat you well for a little while, and then send you about your business, but He will receive you and make you His bride, and you will be His forever?

Then receive no longer the spirit of bondage to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby you shall cry, Abba, Father! Oh! the grace of these words: “I will in no wise cast out.”

Sources:
[1] John 6:37 (KJV)
Daily Devotions by Charles Spurgeon

July 29, 2010

The Hope, Tucked Away, Within You and Me…

Filed under: Blogroll,Christ,Community,Family,Father,Life with God,Love,Nashville — canwetalkaboutthat @ 7:00 AM

To all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Christ Jesus: Please don’t tuck the Hope within you away…

There are lost and lonely people — children, women and men — who are hurting and searching for the Hope within us; only some don’t realize that their emptiness, their pain is really an ache, a longing for a “personal relationship” with the One true God found only through Christ Jesus.

Please, do Not let anyone “go down” on your watch unnoticed — Be a part of the web, every chance you get saints.

Does Anybody Hear Her

She is running a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying; But the canyon’s ever widening in the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She’s another two years older and she’s three more steps behind
Does  anybody  hear  her? Can  anybody  see?
Or  does  anybody  even  knows  she’s  going  down  today
Under  the  shadow  of  our  steeple;  with  all  the  lost  and  lonely  people
Searching  for  the  hope  that’s  tucked  away  in  you  and  me
Does  anybody  hear  her?  Can  anybody  see?
She is yearning for shelter and affection that she never found at home
She is searching for a hero to ride in, to ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming and he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason and she gives herself away
If  judgement  looms  under  every  steeple;  If  lofty  glances  from  lofty  people;
Can’t  see  past  her  scarlet  letter;  And  we  never  even  met  her!
He  is  running  a  hundred  miles  an  hour  in  the  wrong  direction……

May 2, 2010

Message from Pastor Dan Scott

Filed under: Blogroll,Christ,Community,Community Service,Faith,Family,Life with God,Love,Nashville — canwetalkaboutthat @ 6:27 PM

Most of you have heard that Christ Church canceled all services today. Since I  am sitting in my office until the normal time of our second morning service, I thought I would write to the folks on my sermon distribution list.  Feel free to pass this along to anyone connected to our church since I do not have the ability today to do an all-church email blast.

I greeted about fifteen people who showed up for our first morning service today. Now I am waiting for any who may show up for our second service.

(Our music band was here ready for service, along with the illustrious Regi Stone – with a tie, today of all weeks! You should have seen that. Daniel Bell was here too but asking fifteen people for an offering seemed over the top. Several ushers and the camera people – that’s why I was able to stream a message and post it on the internet.)

The entire Middle Tennessee area is suffering massive floods and storms today. Yesterday, several people lost their lives when they were caught in floods. So, our mayor and police have asked us to stay home. We have responded as citizens should.

This situation illustrates in a way the sermon I prepared for today and which I will send out tomorrow. We like to say things like “the church is not a building or an organization; it’s the people: the Body of Christ.” And it’s true, of course. However, we forget that in the day practicality of things. The attention of a church leader is often more directed toward practical issues in the institution than toward shepherding a flock.

This week was terribly difficult for our entire staff because of an institutional decision that had to be made about money. The government has imposed a tax on a portion of our buildings that has reached $375,000. We still owe a mortgage of $12,000,000.00. Our giving has remained strong, even during this severe economic down turn – we are only receiving 5% less in tithes than last year. Nonetheless, with the building and the tax, we have no place more to go to cut than salaries. So we had to inform some of our colleagues that their employment with the church as an institution was coming to an end.

That is hard news to give and hard news to receive. The amazing thing is the love and trust that they have extended toward me as a pastor. It has deeply moved me.

With the spiritual renewal we have been experiencing, it makes me think that God may want us to discover another way of organizing and experiencing church.

Small churches just roll with the tide. If there is no money to pay the preacher, he gets another job. He doesn’t quit serving. That forces the people to serve as well. Its messy and imperfect from a standpoint of presentation. However, the spiritual family of God keeps doing its work: serving the flock, loving the people, learning the word. In larger churches, we set up a system where a professional church staff runs everything. Volunteers become grunt workers. They may be needed for small and menial tasks, but hardly for pastoring, teaching and so forth.

That is what grows the intuition to a place where it begins require the most attention and the most money. We all dislike it; but what do we do about it?

A storm hitting like this makes us think: what would we do if there were no building?  How can we help those churches whose buildings may be unfit for service next week? Is everyone safe?

Those are kingdom questions. Answering them – even ineffectively – is kingdom work.

Well, why can’t we think like that all the time?

Our church has been experiencing a spiritual awakening. The Lord obviously intends to do something with us and to us. If the institution is experiencing a bit of stress right now, why would we allow that to hinder our fellowship, love for one another or service to God?

More on this tomorrow in my sermon. I hope you get to read it because I need to hear from our people. The congregation has within it the Spirit of God. He promises to lead us “Here a little; there a little; line upon line; precept upon precept.” In other words, God’s voice is discerned as we pay attention to the words, warnings, visions, dreams, and research of the people of God. I believe God will move mighty through this church if the people will share their insights and time with one another. Community is the only way forward.

Speak Lord: we are listening.

Pastor Dan Scott
Christ Church Nashville
http://www.ChristChurchNashville.org

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