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The Rev. Alan Stibbs: “The healing way” (Exodus 15:23-26)

September 6, 2018

From The Australian Church Record, here is a meditation on Exodus 15:23-36 by the Rev. Alan Stibbs, first published in 1960, and titled The healing way.  This is an excellent reflection on our attitude during trials, among other things, using the Israelites under Moses’ leadership as our example.  Rev. Stibbs makes this point about trusting and praying as opposed to doubting and murmuring:

If God’s people are not sure of his purposeful providence, there is very real danger lest such trials become an offence. This happened to the Israelites. They murmured or complained; they resented and disbelieved; they even said Egypt would be better, and talked of going back—that is, the beginnings of apostasy. No wonder the Holy Ghost still says, “Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7-13). On the other hand, Moses “tried unto the Lord”. His action indicates that such trial presented an opportunity for believing prayer, for expecting God to work. Nor was such confidence misplaced. If God had redeemed them from Egypt, if God intended to bring them into the promised land, surely he could be trusted to see them through the intervening wilderness? So, in similar circumstances, we, too, can sing: “He cannot have, taught us to trust in His Name, and thus far have brought us to put us to shame.” The tried soul should trust and pray, not doubt and murmur.

He further goes on to point out that divine provision and divine revelation require human appropriation: we must respond in faith.

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This month’s free audiobook from christianaudio: “How to Battle Depression and Suicidal Thoughts” by Ray Comfort

September 5, 2018

This month’s free audiobook from christianaudio is How to Battle Depression and Suicidal Thoughts by Ray Comfort.  The notes on this book say:

“In this moving fictional account, a caring bystander tries to convince a suicidal young man that his life has value and he has much to live for. Through their conversation, you will discover why we all have great worth, everyone has a reason and purpose for living, no situation is ever hopeless, and suicide is never a good option. Whether you want to be able to share these truths with others, or you need to hear them yourself, this impactful book will offer a lasting cure for this growing epidemic.”

We are indeed faced with what appears to be a growing problem in this area of our society, and How to Battle Depression and Suicidal Thoughts by Ray Comfort would certainly be worth reading or hearing.

Another Anglican chant by Peter Hallock: Psalms 4 and 134

September 4, 2018

From a website titled Prayer as Night Falls, here is a rendition of Psalms 4 and 134, composed by Peter Hallock and recorded by the Compline Choir.

Psalm 134 (antiphon):

Behold now, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, *
you that stand by night in the house of the LORD.

Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD; *
the LORD who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.


Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

“You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols and run after false gods?”

Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful; *
when I call upon the LORD, he will hear me.

Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the LORD.

Many are saying, “Oh, that we might see better times!” *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.

You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

From Andrew Remillard: instrumental music for the 1940 Hymnal

September 3, 2018

If your church happens to use the 1940 Episcopal Hymnal in its worship services, you may find Andrew Remillard’s YouTube channel to be helpful, because he has recorded the entire 1940 Hymnal on piano.  The channel can be accessed here, and below you will see one example of his work.  This can be quite helpful if you are a choir member wanting to learn a particular hymn.

The Rev. Ian Garrett: “Dealing with Your Anger” (Matthew 5:21-26)

September 2, 2018

From the good people of Jesmond Parish Church in the United Kingdom, here is a message titled “Dealing with Your Anger” by the Rev. Ian Garrett. In this sermon, he deals with this question: “How does your righteousness compare to that of the Pharasees? In this sermon on anger and repentance, Ian Garret explores how the 6th Commandment didn’t just point to killing someone and exposes Jesus’ attitude to anger, forgiving it and how we our to be reconciling with one another.”

Dr. Albert Mohler: “If you can change the language, you can change the entire society”

September 1, 2018

In the latest edition of The Briefing podcast, Dr. Albert Mohler looks at several current stories illustrating the language wars over gender and sexuality.  You can listen to the entire podcast here or a portion specifically about what effect changing the language has on society, which can be found separately on that page.

This player will provide access to the entire podcast:

 

Hat tip: Anglican Church League

J.C. Ryle on true repentance

August 30, 2018

Here is an excerpt from Bishop Ryle on what I would call the process of true repentance, from his “Old Paths”:

(a) True repentance begins with knowledge of sin. The eyes of the penitent man are opened. He sees with dismay and confusion the length and breadth of God’s holy law, and the extent, the enormous extent, of his own transgressions. He discovers, to his surprise, that in thinking himself a “good sort of man,” and a man with a “good heart,” he has been under a huge delusion. He finds out that, in reality, he is wicked, and guilty, and corrupt, and evil in God’s sight. His pride breaks down. His high thoughts melt away. He sees that he is a great sinner. This is the first step in true repentance.

(b) True repentance goes on to work sorrow for sin. The heart of a penitent man is touched with deep remorse because of his past transgressions. He is cut to the heart to think that he should have lived so madly and so wickedly. He mourns over time wasted, over talents misspent, over God dishonored, over his own soul injured. The remembrance of these things is grievous to him. The burden of these things is sometimes almost intolerable, When a man so sorrows, you have the second step in true repentance.

(c) True repentance proceeds, further, to produce in a man confession of sin. The tongue of a penitent man is loosed. He feels he must speak to that God against whom he has sinned. Something within him tells him he must cry to God, and pray to God, and talk with God, about the state of his own soul. He must pour out his heart, and acknowledge his iniquities, at the throne of grace. They are a heavy burden within him, and he can no longer keep silence. He can keep nothing back. He will not hide anything. He goes before God, pleading nothing for himself, and willing to say, “I have sinned against heaven and before You—my iniquity is great. God be merciful to me, a sinner!” When a man goes thus to God in confession, you have the third step in true repentance.

(d) True repentance, furthermore, shows itself in a thorough breaking off from sin. The life of a penitent man is altered. The course of his daily conduct is entirely changed. A new King reigns within his heart. He puts off the old man. What God commands he now desires to practice; and what God forbids he now desires to avoid. He strives in all ways to keep clear of sin, to fight with sin, to war with sin, to get the victory over sin. He ceases to do evil. He learns to do well. He breaks off sharply from bad ways and bad companions. He labors, however feebly, to live a new life. When a man does this, you have the fourth step in true repentance.

(e) True repentance, in the last place, shows itself by producing in the heart a settled habit of deep hatred of all sin. The mind of a penitent man becomes a mind habitually holy. He abhors that which is evil, and cleaves to that which is good. He delights in the law of God. He comes short of his own desires not unfrequently. He finds in himself an evil principle warring against the spirit of God. He finds himself cold when he would be hot; backward when he would be forward; heavy when he would be lively in God’s service. He is deeply conscious of his own infirmities. He groans under a sense of indwelling corruption. But still, for all that, the general bias of his heart is towards God, and away from evil. He can say with David, “I count all Your precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way.” (Psa cxix.128.) When a man can say this, you have the fifth, or crowning step, of true repentance.

Bishop Ryle goes on to note that true repentance is always accompanied by true faith.  The two are never separated.

Fr. Chris Findley: “What is Confirmation?”

August 29, 2018

This is another in a series of videos by Fr. Chris Findley of St. Patrick’s Anglican Church near Nashville, with the topic here being “What is Confirmation?”.  See what you think about what he has to say on this subject.

From The Gospel Coalition: Christopher Ash on “7 Reasons You Should Pray the Psalms”

August 28, 2018

The Psalms are often called “the Prayer Book of the Bible” and deservedly so.  Here, from Christopher Ash, currently writer-in-residence at Tyndale House in Cambridge, England, is an excellent essay on 7 Reasons You Should Pray the Psalms.  This is one of the reasons he gives:

2. Praying the Psalms trains us to respond to the riches of Bible truth.

All the wonderful truth of the Bible is poured into the Psalms in such a way that we learn to delight in God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The church father Athanasius says that if we think of each Bible book as a garden with its particular fruit, the Psalter is a garden in which every kind of biblical fruit grows. Perhaps that’s why travelers in pre-digital days would sometimes carry a New Testament and Psalms where they couldn’t take a complete Bible.

It takes a while to learn from the Psalms how to respond to the whole of the Bible’s teaching. But it’s worth the effort. If we learn to pray the Psalms, we will have learned to respond in prayer to every facet of biblical truth.

There is a lot packed into a few words here, but I think you will find 7 Reasons You Should Pray the Psalms worth reading.

 

Dr. John Woodhouse: “Those Strange Christians” (1 Peter 3:13-22)

August 26, 2018

Recently I came across a series of sermons by Dr. John Woodhouse that were given while he was rector at Christ Church St. Ives in Sydney.  Here is the second one in a short series he did on the First Epistle of Peter, titled Those Strange Christians.