Psalm 119:9

Psalm 119:9 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Sticky Seagull and a Song, or "Braving the Perils of Guitar Maintenence, Part 2"

You may recall my previous post of a similar nature, in which I sought to improve the playability of my ancient
Yamaha FG-160. Those improvements nonwithstanding, I've been playing a splendid Seagull S6 Spruce Top
which I purchased around the beginning of this year:


It has served me well, and I have been very happy with it. But I had a thought: What if I could take the pickguard
off? (You know, that red curvy thing by the big hole.) I don't need it, as I don't use picks, and besides, it would
look neat. B) Anyway, I did some research about proper removal methods, and pulled the trigger today.
  
First, I heated the pickguard with a hair dryer, just to start loosening the glue, and used a q-tip to apply Naphtha
around the edge. When it started to loosen, I pulled the edge up, and starting pulling slowly, applying more
Naphtha underneath.



I then got one of those fake plastic credit cards that you get in the mail, and used it to get more of the
pickguard up, occasionally applying more Naphtha and heat. Pretty soon, it was off!


(You can plainly see the amount of glue left behind)


So now, all that has to be done is to get all that sticky glue off! I accomplished this by dipping assorted rags
into the Naphtha, then pretty much scrubbing it off. This part took a little longer, but in the end, the sticky
Seagull succumbed.



And Voila! She is finished!


There is a tan line, but it will probably fade in time. I am very pleased with the look of the guitar, and of course it sounds as good as ever! B)


And now, our latest song:

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Song

Here is our newest song:



Hopefully, I will post tomorrow, so tune in!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Scripture Tuesday - Romans 12:21

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Our natural bent is to be overcome by evil. When someone does harm to us, we harm them back. Indeed, the
very idea of "turning the other cheek" is repulsive to our flesh. (Of course, there are many things in the Bible
that are offensive, perhaps the chiefest of which is the gospel itself. But I won't go down that rabbit trail.)
  Back to the point, haven't we all seen how effective this principle is? For example, when a small child doesn't
get his way, he usually throws a temper tantrum. Now, when you've got some red-faced little kid kicking and
screaming in your face, you tend to forget anything you ever learned about keeping your calm, and have the
overwhelming urge to let him have it. All joking aside, I have seen myself the power that a calm and loving,
albeit firm, response has to soothe the proverbial beast.
  Paul Washer has also talked about this before, referring, I believe, to 1 Peter 3:1-4. He described a situation in
which he arrives home from work worn out and finds the house in chaos. He then turns to his wife and protests
angrily. Now here is the important part. If she decides to reply in kind, they simply get into a verbal brawl. But if
she responds humbly and kindly, explaining why things are out of order, he picks himself up off the floor,
excuses himself politely, crawls out to the woodshed, and proceeds to whack himself upside the head with a
two-by-four before crawling inside and asking forgiveness!
  In any case, we can see that no matter what our flesh says, if we fight evil with evil, we will be overcome by it. So let us make it our goal to "strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see
the Lord" (Heb. 12:14), for in so doing, we will be able, by the grace of God, to overcome evil with good.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Update

Well, it seems I fell off the face of the earth sometime around last monday. But never fear, for I have returned!
Actually, what happened was that the Wretched Brothers were preparing for a weekend full of "gigs". Amazing,
is it not? Friday, we were able to play at Creatures Cafe, which is a Christian cafe in downtown Asheville.

We played for about forty minutes, but here is a short clip captured on a short camera...



But before that, we were invited to do a brief "interview" and play a few songs for their radio station, called 95.7 "The Choice". (Once again, short clip on short camera)



We were also asked to play a song for a celebration on Saturday that was given by the Fowler Family's (and
ours) adoption agency, Grandfather Home, to honor those who had adopted, and had been adopted, this past
year. It went very well, although no clips were taken. B)

Lastly, our church hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner yesterday evening, having invited people in the
surrounding neighborhoods the previous Sunday, and we were the entertainment! It was a grand time, with
plenty of pumpkin pie, and a gospel message into the bargain.

So, our weekend flurry of fame is ended, and we continue to pray that our music would be used by God to draw
people to Him.

(I will try to have my usual weekly exposition up tomorrow)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Scripture Monday - Psalm 119:11 (And Song)


"I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you."

God's word is the Christian's primary weapon in battle. Indeed, it is called "the sword of the Spirit, which is the
word of God" (Eph. 6:17). How can we expect to lead godly lives if we do not bother to meditate on, and
memorize, scripture? Jesus said that "temptations to sin are sure to come" (Luke 17:1), so we would be wise to
prepare for them; to have the truth in our minds and on our lips, so that when we are tempted, we may expose
it as a lie (and thereby spare ourselves a great deal of pain). Surely, we all know of the rationalization that
comes with temptation. Its purpose is to dull your senses, to lull you into thinking that sin will satisfy. Yet a well-aimed passage of scripture, being "sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12), will cut through this
dark cloud. Like cockroaches that scatter when you turn on the light, evil cannot stand in the face of God's
truth. Let us pray, while we study the Word, that the Holy Spirit will bring to our mind the scriptures that we
need at the right time, and that He would speak with such power that we would be unable to ignore it.
  But I return to the main point of this post, which is that we, as Christians, must be in the scriptures. They are
as food for our souls, a light for our path, and a deadly weapon in the fight against sin. So I challenge us all,
myself included, to search ourselves and discern our weaknesses, then search the scriptures for passages that
deal with those things, committing them to memory, so that the next time we are tempted, we may expose the
lie and put Satan to flight. 

(Now, here is a new song)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scripture Tuesday - Psalm 115:3


"Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases."

If we could truly comprehend the size and power of God, we would surely be different people. If we were
constantly aware of His presence, always considering the fact that He is a jealous and just God, would we not
tremble in awe and fear? Were it not for our finite minds, limited and stained by the fall, surely we would! Yet
praise God that He allows His people glimpses, flashes of recognition, although we are thus handicapped. No,
we cannot comprehend His magnitude in this lifetime, but when we enter our glorified state, we will finally be
able to learn with an unfettered mind. Of course, we will never know all there is to know about Him.       
  Nevertheless, until then we ought to strive after knowing Him as best we can, meditating on the scriptures,
seeking Him earnestly in prayer, not so we can have an emotional experience, but so we can carry this
conviction in our hearts; that our God is great, and He is in control. He will be swayed by no one, for His purpose stands firm. He does all that He pleases, and we can be sure that whatever He pleases is good and perfect. So let the Devil persecute us, let him come with his fiery darts! We will not be moved, for "Our God is
in the heavens; He does all that He pleases."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Another One

Today I turned seventeen. At 2:23 pm, to be precise. Sunny baked a carrot cake, we had ravioli, and all is well
with the world. B)
  Anyway, this year has been a good one. I feel like I have matured more not only as a young man and a
christian, but also as a musician. This month marks a year since the Wretched Brothers became the Wretched
Brothers, and next month, a year since we opened our youtube account. This was the year I started writing
songs and singing them. Because of these things, I now know more than ever that the music I make must
glorify God and point people to the truth if it is to be worth anything. My music has a purpose, and for that I am
thankful. I don't know what God has in store for me next, but what I witnessed firsthand this past year is His
faithfulness when I am unfaithful, and His blessings when I obey Him. One thing that was certainly a blessing
was being able to get my Learners' Permit (which also borders on miracle territory, if you ask me!). This is
definitely an important step to becoming a man, and again, I am thankful for for it. Of course, I am grateful for
my family and church family, who have continued to support, encourage, instruct, and love me. This has been a
full year, a gift from God. I can only imagine what He has planned for the next one!

(And now, just for fun)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scripture Monday - Psalm 40:1

"I waited patiently for the Lord;
He inclined to me and heard my cry."

It's hard to be patient, especially when waiting on God. Our flesh will usually say something like, "He's God!
Can't He just zap me and get rid of my problem?" Obviously, God doesn't work like that, which is just to say
that He is not a vending machine. When a problem comes up, we just want it to go away so we can get on with life. But what if there is a vital message in the problem, one that we would never learn if we just eased through life? I believe that God will send us problems, not to make our lives horrible, but to teach us something. He may teach us to "not lean on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5)", and to "Be still, and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10)". He may also be letting us know that we're getting off track. I ask, how can we expect to have a strong
faith if it is never tested? And how can we expect to be tested without going through some discomfort?
  Maybe God is teaching this very thing to some of you right now. If so, don't lose heart. Wait on the Lord, and you will soon say with the psalmist,

"I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord."
(Psalm 40:1-3)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Scripture Tuesday - Psalm 119:140


"Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it."

The Psalm are full of praise for God's laws and promises. Here, the Psalmist expresses his confidence in God's
promises and the delight that he finds in them. We can be sure that whatever God promises, He will bring to
pass, although it may not happen the way we think it should. God is outside of time; He is all-knowing and all-
powerful; He is loving and merciful, and does not lie; He is, for lack of a better term, God. We have no need of
fear or worry as regards the future, for the Lord provides for His own; and that is just one of the promises He
has made to His people. He also promises that "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:13), and that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins" (1 John. 1:9). There
are many more to be found, but that is a post for another day. Back to the main point, I am sure that we can all
look back to times in our lives when God's promises were proven trustworthy; situations where we were
tempted to go against His direction, but persevered, and found that, indeed, "The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul" (Ps. 19:7). King David, when he was in "a time of trouble", did this very thing. He called to
remembrance the many works that God had done, and His faithfulness to Israel. (The Psalms are filled with
examples of this, but chapter 77 is a good place to start.) In the end, he was filled with praise and hope in the
most trying circumstances. may we also do this, remembering that God's promises are well tried, and they will
always be found trustworthy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Read This Before You Vote!

You thought I had some miraculous morsel of wisdom-beyond-my-years, didn't you? Well, I don't, but here is
a great post over at Biblical Christianity that you should check out. Seriously.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Scripture Wednesday - 1 John 2:17

Okay, it's not Tuesday, but yesterday was busy, so here ya go:

"And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

This world is temporal. It's not meant to last forever, and we see evidence of this all the time. Things decay
and break, things die. Indeed, "the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until
now" (Rom. 8:22). Granted, these things are part of the natural order of creation, but they still serve as
reminders that nothing in this world lasts forever.
  Yet the meaning of this verse is deeper than just the physical creation, as we can see from the context:

"15 Do not love the world or the things in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of
the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires,
but whoever does the will of God abides forever."- I John 2:15-17

In light of this, we understand that John is speaking of the corrupted world system that we live in, and also the sinful desires and cravings that permeate it. As Christians, this should give us courage, because we know that
the corruption and injustice that we often encounter in this world will not last. It may prosper for an age, but it
will fall on the last day. Also, the desires of this world are fleeting and vain, promising happiness or fulfillment,
and although they may seem to make good on those promises, they don't last. If you devote your life to gaining riches, neglecting your soul, your family, and your health, what use are they then? Sure, you can buy whatever you want, you can have lots of toys to pass the time with, but it's just a pile of icing with no cake to go on.
  So, if this world and all the cool stuff it has to offer can't be depended on, what do we do? We strive for
things eternal, to be in right standing with our Creator. The one who does God's will builds up treasure for him-
self in heaven, "where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matt. 6:20).
And he does this not to fulfill his worldly desires, which pass away, but because he has been born of God's
Spirit, delighting in Him and in doing His will, and because God delights in blessing those who fear Him. This
individual also lives forever to enjoy these blessings, and God Himself, not because he worked so hard to please
God, but because he put his trust in Jesus Christ, who is the only way to the Father.
  Let us therefore seek to do God's will, because He is the rock of our salvation that will never pass away!

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Music

Here is a new song that we recorded yesterday: (I just about wore raw spots on my fingers playing this one, so
enjoy it!)



Expositional post tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Scripture Monday - 1 John 2:3

"And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments."

Lots of the time, people like to stress the grace of God in salvation to such an extent that they obscure the
imperative that we must obey His commands. It truly boggles the mind. Jesus is our Savior, but He is also our
Lord. And what good is it, calling Him Lord, if we disregard His laws? It is preposterous! Just read all of 1 John,
read James. Read the Gospels, for cryin' out loud!  You can't get around it. God does not deliver us from the
judgment our sins deserve, only to give us the "freedom" to pursue those same sins. I mean, see here:

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know
that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
we too might walk in newness of life." - Romans 6:1-4

We clearly see throughout the bible that there is an expectation that christians will obey the law of God! Once
again, read the Psalms, the Proverbs... It's all over the place. One specific thing I would draw your attention to
is this: Jesus never said that all we have to do is "ask Him into our heart", and then we'd be good to go. He said,
"Follow Me". He also said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". And what does one repent of but sin?
 At the same time, I must have at least one disclaimer here, to avoid a misunderstanding. All this is not to say
that if you sin, you are not really a christian. Christians sin. That is reality. What this does mean is that a true
christian, i.e., a person that has repented of his sin and depends entirely on Christ for his hope and salvation,
also has a desire for, and a growing inclination towards, righteousness. This person knows that there is nothing
good in his old nature, and that he must obey the One who is his only source of life, for He says, "Follow Me"! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For Guitarist's Eyes Only!

One fellow whose music I have come to love is Jeff Beck, and I have been somewhat inspired by him, especially
since he plays completely sans plectrum, like me. If you can ignore the lack of sleeves, and that strange thing
around his neck, he really makes some beautiful music. These performances are from a live concert in London,
which I have the recording from.

This is just a classic:



Blues with a twist:
(The actual title is "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues")



Amazing use of harmonics and vibrato bar:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Scripture Tuesday - Ephesians 2:13

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."


Under the old covenant, the Israelite people were God's people; His chosen race that was shown the way of
salvation. Us gentiles were pretty much left on our own! Yet through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross,
we "who once were far off have been brought near". I believe that this is spoken of in Isaiah 43:18-21:

'"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise."'

Jackals and ostriches are mentioned throughout the bible in relation to despair and cruelty, yet here they
honor God! Were there was once death and corruption, there shall be life. And His people shall declare
His praise. Let us never forget that we were once far off, far from the promise of life, far from God. Christ's
blood was the only sufficient sacrifice that could atone for our sins and make us upright in God's eyes. By His grace have we been grafted in, made one people in Christ. Again I say, let us never forget what mercy He has
shown by offering us this salvation; we who were by our nature alien to the things of God, and who were
rightfully condemned to Hell. This is our God, the One whom we serve!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hip Hip Hooray

Just a quick post to say that I am now a "Limited Learner's Permit"-driver-person! Yes, we went to the local
DMV office at two o'clock, waited until four fifteen (sheesh!), and I finally got to take the test. It was actually
quite easy, and was completed within fifteen minutes. And now I get to zoom around the countryside (with a
licensed adult, between 5 and 9), so take this as a warning, all ye who travel in the Asheville area!

(Expositional post shall be deposited into the numeric data mass that is the internet on the morrow.)

Zoom zoom.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Try-Again Tuesday - Romans 13:14 (And Song)

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires."

I have always loved the phrase, "make no provision for the flesh". It brings to my mind the idea of gaining the
higher ground in a battle, keeping your enemy at a disadvantage. Another example would be mice. If you
don't want an infestation, you don't keep your food out uncovered, and you keep your house clean. If you fail
to do those kinds of things in your spiritual life, the "mice" will move in and start claiming more and more
space, and you will lose ground fast. That is the way the devil works. He gets you to start making tiny
compromises, things that seem of little consequence, but it always escalates. One thing leads to another, and
before you know it, you've done things that you would have never imagined doing before.
  I have deliberately focused on the latter part of this verse in order to now say that we cannot accomplish this
unless we first "put on the Lord Jesus Christ". We must trust in Christ for our strength, for we are weak, and our
flesh is bent toward sin. We must go to Christ in prayer, confessing our sins and embracing Him as savior. We
must meditate on His word with fear and trembling, and we must keep this in the forefront of our minds every
day:

"Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know
how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles
who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter,
because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards
not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you." - 1 Thess. 4:1-8

FYI, starting next week, I will be moving my weekly expository post to Monday. Why, you ask? Sundays are
usually pretty demanding anyway, but especially so when we record, and I think I'll be able to post more
promptly if I wait 'till Monday. I know, it doesn't make an aliteration, but it rhymes with Sunday, so there
ya go.

Here is our latest song:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Scripture Sunday On Wednesday - Proverbs 4:23

Yes, I got home pretty late last night, so here it is today...

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." - Proverbs 4:23

The heart referred to here is, of course, not the organ that pumps blood; it is the center of our being, from
which comes our will and our emotions. The point here is that what we put in there matters.
  "From it (the heart/mind) flow the springs of life" - this statement echoes something that Jesus said in
Matthew 15:18-20, no?

"But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

  All through the gospels, we can see that where the religious leaders of the day emphasized the external,
Jesus taught that sin begins in the heart/mind. Even under the old covenant, we can plainly see that God's
ultimate concern was the heart/mind of His children: see Deut. 6:5, 1Sm. 16:7, 1 Chron. 28:9, Ps. 7:10; 51:17;
Ps. 66:18, Is. 26:3, Jer. 31:33. In the new testament, there are many references to the heart/mind: see Mt. 5:8,
Rom. 2:29; 8:7, Phil. 4:7, Col. 3:2, Heb. 4:12; 8:10; 10:22.
  As pertains to the fight against sin, we must guard our heart/mind, and "take every thought captive to obey
Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Otherwise, we will continue to fail. Make no mistake: what is on the inside will reveal itself.
Of course, this statement, while intended as a warning, should give us encouragement, because we know that
if we guard our heart/mind according to God's word, it will not be half as hard to obey Him on the outside.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hold On! (New Song)

No, I don't have my weekly exposition yet, but here is a new video to hold you over 'til tomorrow...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Make Up Monday - Psalm 119:52

"When I think of your rules from of old,
I take comfort, O Lord."

We ought to take comfort in knowing that God has shown us what pleases Him. He didn't have to give us this
Bible, or give us a savior, but His love for His creation is so great that He freely gives us this grace. Just think
about this for a minute; that we don't have to guess. He tells us what is good, and what is bad. We don't have
to feel our way through life, hoping that the scales will tip in our favor. Can you see what a blessing this is?
All we have to do is look in His word, and it will show us the right thing to do. What a gracious God we have! Yet, even greater than this, He has given us the way of salvation in His Son. Let us praise Him every day for His
mercy and provision!

(I know we haven't put up a new song in a while, but here's something to tide you over)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Done Driving!

Yes, I finished my last day of driving yesterday, and I now have my Driver Education Certificate, which I need to
be able to get a learner's permit. Monday went very well; we went over to Lake Lure and Chimney Rock where there are very curvy roads. I actually like curves far better than intersections and parking lots! B)
  Yesterday was good too, but more challenging, as I drove on I-40 over to Waynesville at high speed, with large
trucks aplenty! Once in Waynesville, I was charged with a task: go to Walmart and find (and park in) a parking
space at the "Outdoor Living" entrance. Well, I got in the parking lot alright, but getting in a space was another matter entirely. All in all, I had to pull in and out two times before, on the third try, I finally got it! I say again, I like curves far, far better than parking lots at this point. But of course I'll try and navigate whatever comes!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Scripture Sunday - Psalm 103:2

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits"

We bless God by speaking of His glory and His mercy, His power and strength. We bless Him by singing His
praises (even if your voice is not-so-angelic). We bless Him by recalling the many mercies He has shown us,
and the many blessings that He gives us daily. The very act of breathing is a testimony to His mercy and grace, because we do not deserve to breathe the air that He has made; we do not deserve to see the morning day
after day. And this is because of the guilt that we all, as descendants of Adam, are born with. Yet how richly
has He shown "His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us"!
  Therefore, let us remember all the benefits that He has given, and still gives, to us. Let us go to His Word
and see what He has done in times past, and look forward in faith, blessing His holy name. 

PS: Yesterday, I was able to drive with an instructor, and actually managed to drive on the interstate! That right
there is proof positive that God still works miracles! B) Anyway, I'll be going again tomorrow and Tuesday, so
I would covet everyone's prayers for safety, calm nerves, and especially that I don't make any stupid mistakes!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Try-Again Tuesday - Acts 4:12

"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven
given among men by which we must be saved."


There are lots of nice people out there. Lots of people who do good things. And lots of "Spiritual" people.
The (perhaps) inevitable question is, how can God send all of these nice people to hell? Even though I know
that's the wrong question to ask, it still pops up in my mind every now and then.
  The key in responding to this "dilemma" is to then ask the question:

What do they do with Jesus?

  What, indeed? Do they believe Him to be just a good moral teacher? Or better yet, a prophet? Do they believe
Him to be a created being, or Lucifer's half-brother? I will not attempt to refute any of these beliefs here, but
this I will say; that Jesus is God, He is the judge of all people, He has standards, and nobody can satisfy them
completely. And I mean nobody. So, in conclusion:

"But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you may have life in his name."

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We're Back

Yes, we survived the trip! And it was a good one, with lots of good food and fellowship. The memorial service
went very well, with an excellent sermon by our cousin Mark, who is a pastor up in St. Louis. The whole event
was a fitting tribute to a woman who loved and served God.
  This has been just a quick post to say that everything's peachy, God is good, and I am tired.  B)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Update And Songs

As some of you may have seen on Sunny's blog, our grandmother's health has been going downhill for the
past few weeks. I am sorry, but mostly glad to report that she left this world at 3:30 a.m. this morning, and is
now in the presence of her Savior. Praise the Lord, for He is good.
  We will be going down to Florida on Friday, and the funeral will be on Saturday. Please pray for all the
family involved, as it is still hard to see a loved one leave.

  The songs that Blane and I recorded this week are amazingly appropriate, I think, as they are about the
sufficiency of Jesus' blood to save, and the brevity of life. Enjoy.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Make-Up Monday - Proverbs 27:12

"The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple goes on and suffers for it."

We should strive to be prudent people. Much sorrow can be avoided by examining our situations through the
lens of God's word. If any situation requires, or tempts you to compromise on God's standards, you need to
get out.
  In scripture, it is clear that we are to guard our heart, to keep it and our ways pure and pleasing to God.
We have a responsibility before Him to stay away from things that are displeasing to Him and, by definition,
dangerous to us.
  As parents, and to a higher degree, as fathers, this responsibility extends to our families. By God's decree,
fathers are the leaders of the family, and He holds them accountable for how they lead their families.
Do they lead with wisdom and humility, teaching them the word of God? Do they discern danger and heed
warnings, so as to protect their families?
  This responsibility also extends to our brothers and sisters in Christ, our fellow believers. We are commanded
to build one another up in love, and one of the ways we do this is to, if necessary, refrain from doing certain
things or going certain places that would be a stumbling block for them. Another way is to look out for sinful
and destructive behaviors that they may fall into, and go to them, in love, showing them their error with scripture.
  Following this line of thought, I am reminded of the responsibility we Christians have to proclaim the gospel,
to shine the light of the truth, so that those whom God will save may hear and believe, and that all the rest may
be without excuse.
  This is our responsibility, our calling; to be a prudent and holy people in a foolish and fallen world.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Amazing Video

I just found this guy's YouTube channel and had to share this video! (there is a link to the channel on the video)


The "Chapman Stick", as it is called, is a very intriguing instrument. More about it at the manufacturer's site.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Scripture Sunday - Proverbs 19:27

"Cease to hear instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge."

It is the very nature of humans to forget instruction. We need to be almost constantly reminded of
the truth to walk in it. This is just one of the reasons that Christians need to find a good church in
order to truly grow, because we need to hear the word preached. Not just in personal study,
but examined and put forth rightly in the pulpit. We need the interaction, the encouragement, and
the accountability. But even in addition to that, we must still immerse ourselves in the Bible,
studying the truths therein, or we will be out-of-touch, ineffective, unable to properly discern or
defend with scripture. (2 Tim 3:16-17)
  I believe another way of looking at this passage is that "cease to hear instruction" can also mean
"Refuse to accept rebuke". Our flesh doesn't like rebuke, it wants to have its own way. And besides,
"Rebuke is a mean word. It's just not nice!" (said in a whiny voice) Well, about that...

"Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
but he who rejects reproof leads others astray." - Proverbs 10:17

"A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool." - Proverbs 17:10

"Better is open rebuke
than hidden love." - Proverbs 27:5

So, we need rebuke. It may not be pleasant, but it is an act of love, and one that is needed in the church.
  The lesson of this verse is that we must be in our Bibles, we must be studying the truth to walk in it.
And we must have an attitude of humility, so that if we must be rebuked, we may see our error,
repent of it, and seek to walk again in the truth. 

Sorry about the mess, Blogger is having some problems... it is at times like these when I wonder how
hard it would be to switch to WordPress... B)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Make-Up Monday - Ephesians 4:30

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

Just this evening, the power at our house went out for an hour or so, and as I began to write, a thought came to
Me: How often do we Christians ignore the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit that would have shown us the
right way to go, and instead pull back into the darkness of our old self, trying to get around by our own power,
and by our own plans? If my own life is any indication, too much.
  A very great gift has been given to us in God's Holy Spirit, a gift of new sight, of guidance, and of strength.
By Him we are sealed, we are pardoned and set apart. We are made His. Yet we can so often refuse to hear His
warnings, which are given so graciously, and we can so often refuse the light that He gives so freely. We
cannot expect to grieve His Holy Spirit again and again without consequences, and if we do not continually
repent of our sins and surrender to God, our hearts will surely end up cold and dark, estranged from God and
hardened towards Him.
  If nothing else, let us constantly call to remembrance what mercy God has shown to us, that we sinners
could be called His children. Let us remember the darkness that He delivered us from, and may He grant us
soft hearts to receive His word, and faith to walk by His Spirit!

Here is a new song from Blane Jr: (Lyrics are on the YouTube page)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Try-Again" Tuesday - Hebrews 10:23

(I failed to write Sunday and Monday, so I have "tried again", and succeeded, today)

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
 for He who promised is faithful."

There are a lot of pressures and cares in this world, the bulk of which I have not personally experienced yet,
being as young as I am. But now, especially after going through drivers-ed, I am starting to get real glimpses of
the responsibilities I will soon bear. Of owning and driving a vehicle. Of having a job. And yes, of having and
providing for a family. I have learned much in the past few years about these things, so I have come to this
point understanding that these are goals that I am to work toward. However, it is one thing to learn about and
accept these ideas, and another thing entirely for them to become realities that must be navigated with faith,
prayer, and perseverance.
  All this to say that sometimes, the idea of "growing up" just about scares me silly, but I am reminded that
God is in control, and that if I concentrate on pleasing Him, He will bless my feeble efforts and guide me in
the way I should go.
  My prayer for all of us is that we would indeed hold fast to Him who is the assurance of our hope, even when
we don't feel hopeful. That we would always remember that even though all else should seem a bleak, heavy
burden, He who promised to "never leave nor forsake" us is faithful and will never go back on His promises.

Now, on a not so different note, here is a new song we recorded Sunday:



We had done another, an excellent new song from Blane Jr, but after further review decided to do it over next Sunday. Until next time, Grace & Peace!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Make-Up Monday - 1 Samuel 15:22

"And Samuel said,
'Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams."

To obey is better than sacrifice. How many of us, when God tells us to do something that we don't like, seek to
do some work that is more "palatable" to us, under the false idea that God will overlook what we didn't do,
because we did something else that was "just as good" in our own eyes? Nothing can replace plain obedience to
God's word.
  In this chapter, King Saul is told by God to destroy the Amalekites completely, not even sparing the animals.
Yet Saul feared the people, and allowed them to spare some of the animals to use for sacrifices. God set up the
sacrificial system to point to Christ, and it was the appointed way of worshiping Him before Christ came, but
Saul used it, and the will of the people, as an excuse to disobey God's command.
  God rejected Saul as king because of this, because Saul rejected His word. Let us make no mistake, the Lord
is a jealous God, and He expects His people to give Him alone the praise He deserves, and to obey His voice.
All the more reason to fall on our faces and worship Him, because we do not do what we ought, and yet He
bears with us. Praise the Lord, for He is good!

(I have returned alive and well from a week of driver's-ed, thanks be to God, and am now an official person-
-who-knows-how-to-drive-but-can't-yet!)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Scripture-Less Sunday, and a Song

Well, I have no clever exegesis this afternoon, but I have a new song:



I am going to the first day of a weeklong drivers-ed class tomorrow, at Asheville Christian Academy-- So all
of you in the Asheville area may want to stay off the road for a while... ;D  Anyway, I would greatly appreciate
prayer as I'm going through this transition in my life.
  On a different note, go read Psalm 103, and really meditate on it. Pray over it. It does a body (and spirit) good.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Music

Here's a new song of mine that we recorded Sunday:



And a hymn by Ann Steele, with arrangement by Indelible Grace:



Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Scripture Sunday - Psalm 68:19

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up: God is our salvation. Selah"

This verse contains a "Selah", which indicates a pause in the psalm, to meditate on what was said. I intend to
do just that. The KJV renders this verse with the wonderful phrase, "who daily loadeth us with benefits", which
could be a sermon in itself, but I will stick with the ESV for now...
  "Blessed be the Lord," Let us give Him honor and praise, fame and glory. Let His name be held in reverence,
and magnified by all people!
  "Who daily bears us up;" Because He daily, without fail, gives us mercy upon mercy, forgiving our sins and
failings, and keeps us from calamity, guiding our very steps by His Word and Spirit.
  "God is our salvation." In Him only have we our life and breath, and He is our strong foundation that can
never be shaken!

I will end with a familiar hymn...

"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son & Holy Ghost!

Amen!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Scripture-Less Sunday

I would love to have some clever, pre-written, edifying post up here, but alas, my brain is pure mush. So don't,
I ask, judge me too harshly when I turn out nothing but a new website on my sidebar! (If you must know, I
completely wore myself out bike riding after supper, collapsed on my bed, and so have been in a foggy daze ever since.) As for the site, it happens to be The Daily Spurgeon. I have seen it before, but never thought
to put it on my list. It's a collection of excerpts from Spurgeon's sermons, in a daily devotional format. Well,
until next time, here's praying for Grace, Peace, and the Faith to serve our King!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scripture Sunday - John 8:44, Plus a Treat

Well, we're back! As hoped, we did have a very good time enjoying fun & relaxation with family. There is a
slideshow going up on the family blog soon, so I won't post any pictures. ;) Anyway, here is this week's
installation of Scripture Sunday:

"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

I believe it's safe to say that all of us have had, or will have, "epiphanies" relating to our Christian walk. Moments when God allows us to see something that we didn't see before. Well, this is one of mine. In 
temptations to sin, the battle is in the mind, and Satan will use every trick he's got in order to make the sin look
good. But then we remember that he is a liar!
  Does he whisper that you are too sinful for God? It is a lie - Jesus came "not to call the righteous, but sinners".
(Matt 9:13)
  Does he promise pleasure and fulfillment if you give in to the desires of your flesh? It is a lie - Sin's pleasures
are fleeting, and they bring only corruption and death, while "the pure in heart, they shall see God", who is our
ultimate fulfillment. (Heb 11:25; Jas 1:15; Matt 5:8; Col 1:16-18)
  Does he tell you that you need not seek God's will in all things, saying, "Surely, He will overlook such small,
innocent indulgences!"? Once again, this is a lie - Every facet of our lives is to be "a living sacrifice" to God,
and He will by no means overlook any disobedience. (Prov 3:6; Col 3:17; Eccl 12:14)
  The enemy is cunning, and he will not hesitate, if the opportunity is given, to try to deceive us. Yet we take heart, knowing that we have the truth, and the truth will set us free!

And now, the afore-mentioned treat, fresh out of editing. Thanks to Blane for handling all the technical stuff.
     

Sunday, May 20, 2012

To The Beach!

Yes, once again I have no Scripture Sunday... *Sniffle* ...I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.

Anyway, we are going to Isle of Palms tomorrow, along with two aunts and an uncle (on my mother's side).
It is sure to be a wondrous time, filled with game-playing, bike-riding, frisbee-throwing, and all sorts of
vacation-y stuff!

The Wretched Bros. recorded again today, and if this song makes it through editing, it'll be quite a treat.

That's all for now, I will have at least one SS ready when we get back on Friday, I promise.  B)


Grace & Peace!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Wretched Mothers Day

Today, for "Scripture Sunday", I will be talking about the consequences of laziness--Ha ha, just kidding, I really
have nothing today, but I give you what I have, two wretched songs:



And this one I wrote for Mothers Day:



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Song (Belated Post)

I pretty much forgot to put up our latest recording, a great original by Blane Jr:



We plan to have more songs up by next week. (And no, I am not trying to bore a hole through the computer.
I am simply very focused.)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Scripture Sunday - 2 Peter 1:9

"For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind,
having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins."

I do want to focus specifically on this verse, but for the sake of clarity and proper context, we need to take a
look at the main thought which contains it:

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control
with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with
brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours
and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities
is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed
from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm
your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall."
- 2 Peter 1:5-10

I think it's easy sometimes to get so wrapped up in our problems and failures that we effectively forget the freedom and forgiveness that we have through Christ. We may be able to outwardly affirm these truths, but at the same time be so fearful that we'll "go and sin some more" that we cannot step forward in faith. This is a lesson I've had to learn plenty of times, that I must constantly preach the gospel to myself. Otherwise, I'll begin to lose the proper perspective.
On a different note, a great resource that I got a lot from on this subject is in the Drive By Theology audio set put out by Todd Friel (From Wretched Radio) and Pastor R. W. Glenn (From Solid Food Media), both of whose sites I have links to on my blog sidebar. Anyway, what I'm referring to is "Session 36" in the said set, which is on progressive sanctification (the lifelong process that every christian goes through to put sin to death and become more conformed to Christ in character). This is a very excellent resource, each session being a very manageable 15 minutes long, but informative, and I highly recommend it.
Coming back to the main point, I will say this in closing. We Christians are marked people, if you haven't noticed, and our enemy will do everything he can to discourage us, make us unprofitable, or seduce us to go back to the bondage of sin. It is absolutely vital that we immerse ourselves in the gospel, reminding ourselves of the victory, forgiveness, and power we have through Jesus Christ. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Scripture Sunday - Proverbs 14:14


"The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways,
and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways."

All of us sinners know about this already, don't we? It's the simple, steadfast rule of the universe, put in place
by God, that conformity to His character brings life, and the lack thereof, death. This echoes my Prov. 21:21
post, but I want to concentrate further on this concept here.
  Randy Alcorn, in his book, The Purity Principle (which I highly recommend), Says this:

"A holy God made the universe in such a way that actions true to
His character, and the laws derived from His character, are always rewarded.
Actions that violate His character, however, are always punished.
He rewards every act of justice; He punishes every act of injustice.
That doesn't mean God always intervenes directly. This moral law is like the
law of gravity. God has set it in place. When a careless driver speeds on an icy
mountain pass, loses control, and plunges his car off a cliff,
God doesn't suddenly invent gravity to punish the driver's carelessness.
Gravity is already in place."

In this morning's sermon, Pastor Philip taught from Ephesians 2, which talks about the fact we, unregenerate,
are dead in our sins. He then went on to point out that this "death" is not physical, but spiritual. He went to the
account of the fall in Genesis 3, adding that the death that came from Adam and Eve's disobedience was, in
essence, the severing of their relationship with God.
  In picking this verse, I particularly noticed the use of the words "fruit" and "will" in each sentence. Fruit
implying something that comes out of another, that is inseparable from that thing. The fruit of a tree is part of
that tree, and a healthy tree will bear its fruit in season. This flows into the next word, "will". It is a promise,
that whenever actions, good or bad, are performed, the fruit comes, whether we like it or not. Of course, in
reference to this, a certain portion of scripture may come to mind...

"But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully
grown brings forth death." - James 1:14-15 

In addition to all this, though, we remember that, in spite of the residual effects of our sin, we have the ultimate
victory and assurance of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, who "redeemed us from the curse of the law by
becoming a curse for us (Gal 3:13)".  

Monday, April 23, 2012

"Make-Up Monday" - 2 Timothy 1:7 (Part 2)

And now, we come to part two of my attempted exegesis of, well, this verse. I will be focusing on the latter
part, namely, "...but of power and love and self-control."

We learn next that this is a Spirit of power (Acts 1:8; Is 40:28-31; Rom 15:13). This sort of ties in with the previous point I made, for if we fear the Lord and, having His Spirit in us, do His will, we have nothing to fear,
which is power indeed (Prov 16:7). Another facet of this is the power of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, and
then to enable us to walk in holiness (Gal 5:16).
  Thirdly, it is a Spirit of love. Through the Holy Spirit, God has given us the ability to love Him (1 Jhn 4:19), and
others (1 Jhn 4:7-8), with a true and selfless love. Remember that, apart from God, we humans are dead in our
sin, unable to love the One who made us (Eph 2:3). Though fallen man can and does love family, friends, and
others, Jesus showed us a different kind of love:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good,
and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you,
what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?
Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" - Matt 5:43-47

This is a completely foreign concept to our sin nature, one that goes against everything our self-obsessed flesh
demands. Another good portion of scripture pertaining to this is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

  Finally and fourthly, this Holy Spirit is a Spirit of self-control. As I mentioned in passing earlier, one of the 
core ministries of the Holy Spirit is to guide our steps, to show us the right way to go (Is 30:21), and to teach
us self-control, among other things (Titus 2:11-12). While we, as fallen creatures, have to learn, re-learn, and
keep learning self-control, I want to point something out here. This power of self-control is built into, it is one
of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). We do not work to acquire that power, only to apply it. In other words,
the tool is there for us to use. For any of us that struggle with sin, seeming to find victory far away, we need
not fear nor despair, for Christ has already won that battle. Through His death, all those who believe die to
sin (1 Pt 2:24), and by His resurrection, they are raised to new life, to that which is above (1 Pt 1:3-5). Satan
is defeated, but he still tries to deceive us into thinking that he's in control. Yet, "he who is in you is greater
than he who is in the world". This Holy Spirit is indeed God Himself, living in our hearts, and has this power
and these attributes because He is God, infinite and eternal (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Jhn 3:24; 1 Pt 4:14). Let us never
forget this, nor "neglect such a great salvation (Heb 2:3)" but "offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence
and awe, for our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:28-29)".  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Scripture Sunday - Whoops!

Well, I missed the deadline, but I'll be posting tomorrow, so keep yer shirts on, everybody! In the meantime,
here's a very edifying cartoon, and a not-as-edifying-but-funny video from Tim Hawkins, my favorite funny man.





Remember, people, "Love is patient and kind..." (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Scripture Sunday - 2 Timothy 1:7 (Part 1)

"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."

Notice the first several words in this text, "for God gave us a spirit". This is not any man's doing. It is a miracle
of God, for only He can take out the heart of stone and give a heart of flesh. Also, this spirit is a gift that is not
only free, but is given freely to all who repent and believe. God is merciful, "not wishing that any should perish,
but that all should reach repentance (2Pt 3:9)", and indeed He says, "whoever comes to Me I will never cast
out (Jn 6:37)".
  But what is this spirit which the father so freely gives? What does it look like? First of all, it is not a spirit of
fear. (Ps 27:1; Rom 8:31; Is 41:10,13-14) We must recognize, though, that there is a different sort of fear, one
that "is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10). A healthy fear of God does not mean that we dread Him, or run
away from Him because He is some horrible tyrant. Rather, it is like something C.S. Lewis wrote about Aslan,
the great lion. " 'Course He's not safe. But He's good". In much the same way, although "our God is a consuming
fire (Heb 12:29)", He is not like some terrible beast that knows only vengeance and wrath, but is, again, merciful
and willing to receive any that call out to Him. Therefore, we fear, or revere, Him because He is so holy, and we
are so unholy. Because He is so infinite, and we are so finite. Because He is God and we are not.
(Prov 19:23, 28:14; Josh 24:14; Eccl 12:13-14; Heb 12:28-29)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We're Back...With Puppies And Music

Yes, we have returned from Florida! And a belated happy Resurrection Sunday to all you internet people, too. (He Is Risen!) There will most likely be a post about our trip on the family blog sometime, but suffice it to say
that we had a very good visit, and a well-needed one at that, as my uncle and two aunts are scattered from
Florida to Washington! B) And of course, we picked up a new puppy on Monday, he's a Golden Retriever/White
English Retriever mix named Titus:




He's settled in quite well here, but he and my dog Adrian still have to get used to each other...


By the way, here are some more songs we recorded before I left:



And now, a special Resurrection Sunday song performed by Blane Jr.


Anyway, I'll be getting back into the swing of things by this Sunday, so tune in for the next Scripture Sunday!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Quick Update, Plus a Treat

I know, I have no "Scripture Sunday" today. Well, the reason is that we're leaving for Tampa in the morning for
a rare get-together with my Dad's family, and so we've been kind've busy today... We'll be getting back late on
Resurrection Sunday, and we don't have a laptop, so I probably won't get any posts up during the week.

And now for the treat: A new recording by your favorite band...



Thanks to Spencer for letting us record this great arrangement!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Regarding "The Hunger Games"

No doubt you've seen something of this new movie that has come out, I only heard about it in the last week
or so. There have been multiple articles in the Asheville Citizen-Times about it, and there is a great deal of
excitement about it, in part due to the fact that it was filmed in WNC, and just because it is exactly what today's
typical teenager (and adult, apparently) loves. I'm not going to attempt any kind of review or anything, but I do
want to to point you to an excellent review by Kevin Swanson and his daughter, Emily, on Generations Radio.
They went and saw the movie in the theater, and made a very compelling case as to why Christians should
avoid the movie. Mr. Swanson wrote a post about it on the Generations With Vision blog, along with a link to
the recording itself. Go and check it out here.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
 - Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simply Honest Prayer

This concept has been impressed in my mind for a good while now, the idea of praying both honestly and simply, as a child might. In my own life, I've experienced the fruits of praying both honestly and superficially. For an unspecific example, the Lord would tell me something I didn't want to hear, or show me an issue I
didn't want to deal with. I would then, in my prayer, attempt to skirt around it. And the result of that was a wall, it seemed, put between us. I think I cannot stress it enough: we must pray honestly, confessing our faults, no
matter how much it hurts. If there is something which the Holy Spirit has convicted you of, believe me, it must,
and will be, dealt with sooner or later. We can hide nothing from God, and it is folly to entertain or believe
otherwise (Heb 4:12-13)! We must also pray simply, at least for no other reason than this:

"And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do,
for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
- Matthew 6:7-8

This is not to say that beautiful words have no place in prayer, but a command to pray in a way that realizes
the omniscience of a living God, and that our prayers are not heard because we can make people cry with 'em,
or some nonsense like that. No, they are heard because that veil was torn, because the blood of Jesus cleanses
all who believe from sin, making them the children of God! May we all constantly realize that we are laid bare
before Him, all "the thoughts and intentions of the heart".

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Scripture Sunday - Proverbs 23:15-16

"My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My inmost being will exult when your lips speak what
is right."

The Lord isn't just sitting up there on His throne, barking out orders like some army officer. While He is the
supreme commander-in-chief, He knows us (Heb. 4:15). He knows us better than we know ourselves, yet He
loves us. He delights in our obedience, and He rejoices when we seek wisdom. It gives Him joy to see His
children walking in the truth, but His love is not based on our performance. If it was, none of us would get
very much of it, would we? On this, our Lord's day, and indeed on every day, let us praise Him for His free
love and grace, and seek to please Him by walking according to His ways.

Well, that's all I have for now, but fear not, for I have some ideas formulating inside my head, and plan to post during the week. By the way, please note the use of the word "plan" in that last sentence. B)