Thursday, 31 January 2008

Made for us....

I've just been reading the 2nd chapter of marks gospel and was struck by verse 27:

'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.'

Amazing! A whole day made for us so that we can delight in God, it was made for us! I reckon that too often Sunday becomes a day when we do more restricting than liberating. For example don't go to this place or don't watch that. If negative rules are the extent of the sabbath then it's going to be dull. There has to be a postive as well as a negative. We most seek our joy in God especially on Sunday. This comes from regulating what we don't do but more importantly what we DO do.

Matthew Henry says:

The sabbath is a sacred and divine institution; but we must receive and embrace it as a privilege and a benefit, not as a task and a drudgery. God never designed it to be an imposition upon us, and therefore we must not make it so to ourselves.

'If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your [worldly] pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own [worldly] pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord' (Isaiah 58v13)

'For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome' (1 John 5v3)

Saturday, 26 January 2008

The Resolves of Edwards (4/7)

Back to Ed:

31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6, 'A faithful man who can find?' may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.

34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord' s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.

39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723

Monday, 21 January 2008

Revolution 2008

It's done. The Revolution promotional vid is complete. Enjoy.

Revolution is a week of events organised by the CU to introduce people to Christ. All events are open to anyone regardless of belief.

Click here for more details.

Thanks to Mary Brien for her editing talent and Isla for her words of insight into this production. Also thanks to Anna Hopkins without whom this would never have happened...

....I think I'm gonna shed a tear.

The Resolves of Edwards (3/7)

21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, to when the internet comes into being, get a facebook account.

Number 31 was me messing around....

Friday, 18 January 2008

Children of a REVOLUTION

Four people, one computer, lots of Bono. Hoppers, Brien, Isle of Farley, and myself were editing the promo video for the Revolution Mission Week last night.

It started well mucho pizza, strong coffee and quaint conversation about the elusive hamster. I like being a brother around my sisters. After the social activity we decided to put our hands to the plough and walk the narrow path into Brien's not so warm room. Perched around the PC we all witnessed the amazing talent of Mary's editing skills. The biggest combat fought was the decision of the titles. Hopkins went for the scrolling Star Wars theme, to which I concluded that she was the geek I predicted.

Much fun was had. Hours passed, coffee was drunk, and the computer crashed. I felt particular awkward at various points throughout the evening when the girls thought it 'cool' to burst out in 'High School Musical' song. My wrath was propitiated by biting and grinding my teeth together. That last comment was a joke. I do actually enjoy people singing HSM especially when they close their eyes and sway frantically-Hopp's seemed to have mastered this art. I reckon she had been practising.

We all laughed at the amusing material. Kite man, the Carve's profound comment about how people in CU never see each other during the week(?!), and obviously the famous 'walking bum scene' brought much comedy.

It is now finally completed and if I can say myself looking good. God was with us, giving us Bible verses to use and generally blessing us with edifying conversation and love.

The video will be shown on Monday the 28th at CU: 7pm in The Meeting House. I'm also planning to post it on my blog, and no doubt it will be lurking around facebook and maybe even youtube.

The Resolves of Edwards (2/7)

The next installment:

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.

15 is a good one. I think Edwards is making the point that we have no reason to complain at anything if we trust in God being sovereign-that's that God has decreed all things for His glory using infinite wisdom. If we know this than being angry at 'irrational objects' is really being angry at God by telling Him that we could do things in a better way. We have to remember Romans 8:28.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

The Resolves of Edwards (1/7)

I had a good chat with a close brother from Church this evening about the Resolves of Johnathon Edwards. Edwards came up with a list of 70 guidelines for himself to follow in order to produce true holy living that depends on the help of the Holy Spirit.

I thought it would be good for me to post them gradually on my blog. Then we can be inspired by the godliness of this guy.

Edwards resolves don't act as a law. They're are not there to become a binding moral mark in order to please God. That's a road that leads to self-righteous religious pride ending in death.

They are there to help us live holy and righteous lives. We must live out what God has already done in us. Live out righteousness because we have been declared righteous.
Edwards resolves are to help us 'put to death the deeds of the body' (Rom 8v13), discipline our bodies bringing it into subjection (1 Cor 9v27), and to 'abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul' (1 Pet 2v11). If we are to take loving God seriously then we must take the war against sin seriously. We have to fight the battle against it with zeal and perseverance, expecting pain and hardship like any good soldier (2 Tim 2v3).

Here are the first 10:

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

Saturday, 12 January 2008


What would Jesus do? Maybe a better question is what did Jesus do?
How did Christ react when he was confronted with injustice? What did the Lord do about the religious darkness and deception that transported many souls into the Devils hands.
How strong a stand did Christ take against a perverted society? Yet how much love did he pour out unconditionally to the unworthy individual?
How much more should we contend for the faith and let the world know that we hate sin and would rather spend eternity in Hell than offend our Holy God. How much more should we show people grace and shower goodness onto them so that they undertand that we love because He first loved us.
Let's leave speculation to the interlectuals and study scripture so that we can be equipped for every good work, remembering that we will recieve our reward-glory for the Father.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Everyone loves a bit of Spurge

I have to admit, I'm a bit of a Spurgeon geek. This guy was a spiritual giant who God blessed so much that the effects of his ministry became unreal.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) started preaching at age seventeen in a Baptist Church near Cambridge then at nineteen began work as a Pastor for a Church in London. Buildings became too small for the people gathering to hear Spurgeon so congregations gathered in the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall having a capacity of 10,000 people.

In 1861 the Metropolitan Tabernacle was built this could hold 6,000 people and was always full. Spurgeon's sermons were published weekly in newspapers, and sold over 20,000 copies separately. Going to hear Spurgeon preach was considered an 'attraction of London'.

This is what Spurgeon's son said about his Dad's preaching:
"There was no one who could preach like my father. In inexhaustible variety, witty wisdom, vigorous proclamation, loving entreaty, and lucid teaching, with a multitude of other qualities, he must, at least in my opinion, ever be regarded as the prince of preachers"

Spurgeon wrote over 140 books, read six books a week, responded to an average of 500 letters a week, pastored a congregation which grew to nearly 6000, founded a Bible College, Orphanage and publications enterprise for his sermons and production of his monthly magazine titled: 'The Sword and Trowel'. To manage all of this he worked roughly 18 hours a day.

The missionary David Livingstone, asked him once, "How do you manage to do two men's work in a single day? Spurgeon replied, "You have forgotten there are two of us". "I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me." (Col 1v29)

Most of his work is still being published and sold today. There's also loads of his books on the net including his commentary on the Psalms, The Soul Winner (an amazing book on evangelism) and most of his sermons.

Check out The Spurgeon Archive for a ton of stuff.....(you can even download Spurgeon wall paper!!) I haven't by the way... I'm not that much of a geek.

A few quotes:

1) First a bit of humour:

'Do your best to make the [prayer] meeting interesting to all who are there; and do not hesitate to tell good Mr Snooks that, God helping you, he shall not pray for five and twenty minutes. Earnestly entreat him to cut it short, and if he does not, then stop him.'

2) Words written in the front cover of Spurgeon's Bible:

'The lamp of my study - C.H. Spurgeon, 1856.
'The light is as bright as ever - 1861
'Oh, that mine eyes were more opened! - 1864
'Being worn to pieces, rebound in 1870. The lantern mended, and the light as joyous to mine eyes as ever'.

3) Spurgeon being controversial:

'I smoke to the glory of God'

4) Spurgeon on doctrine:

"those who do away with Christian doctrine are, whether they are aware of it or not, the worst enemies of Christian living ... [because] the coals of orthodoxy are necessary to the fire of piety''

5) Spurgeon on work:

"If by excessive labour, we die before reaching the average age of man, worn out in the Master's service, then glory be to God, we shall have so much less of earth and so much more of Heaven!"

6) Spurgeon on Prayer:

"When I pray, I like to go to God just as I go to a bank clerk when I have cheque to be cashed. I walk in, put the cheque down on the counter, and the clerk gives me my money, I take it up, and go about my business. I do not know that I ever stopped in a bank five minutes to talk with the clerks; when I have received my change I go away and attend to other matters. That is how I like to pray; but there is a way of praying that seems like lounging near the mercy seat as though one had no particular reason for being found there"

7) Spurgeon on Evangelism:

"I remember, when I have preached at different times in the country, and sometimes here, that my whole soul has agonized over men, every nerve of my body has been strained and I could have wept my very being out of my eyes and carried my whole frame away in a flood of tears, if I could but win souls"

8) Spurgeon on Calvinism:

"To me, Calvinism means the placing of the eternal God at the head of all things. I look at everything through its relation to God's glory. I see God first, and man far down in the list ... Brethren, if we live in sympathy with God, we delight to hear Him say, 'I am God, and there is none else'"

9) Spurgeon on knowing Jesus:

"Above all, feed the flame with intimate fellowship with Christ. No man was ever cold in heart who lived with Jesus on such terms as John and Mary did of old ... I never met with a half-hearted preacher who was much in communion with the Lord Jesus"

10) Spurgeon on truth:

"These words are God's ... Thou book of vast authority, thou art a proclamation from the Emperor of Heaven; far be it from me to exercise my reason in contradicting thee ... This is the book untainted by any error; but it is pure unalloyed, perfect truth. Why? Because God wrote it"

God made him great!