Weekend Reading: June 20, 2014

Summer is finally here (officially)!  So grab a towel and the kids and head to the pool – and keep your ipad or smartphone with you for some weekend reading.  Here are my top stories, videos, and things to check out as you kick back, or gear up for a busy weekend:

Amazon Fulfillment Center Insider’s Look – this was just a fascinating look inside Amazon’s gigantic warehouses – highly recommend you skim through this one.

HGTV cancels show due to Christian overtones – this is pretty much standard fair these days, but in case you missed it, two brothers who were stars in a brand new HGTV show titled ‘Flip it Forward’ have had their show canceled because **shockingly** they oppose muslim terrorists, abortion, and gay rights.

Disease is on the Border – if you’ve been watching the news at all lately, you’ve noticed that a flood of illegal immigrants has been amassing in Texas and Arizona. Many have come from South America via Mexico and are bringing contagious diseases with them.

Is Success Dangerous? – Jared Wilson says so, and has some good things for Christians to keep in mind.

America in a Spiritual Crisis – potential Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul said Friday that America needs revival more than it needs political leadership…I agree with him there!

Great Music from Keith and Kristyn Getty – If you attend our Thursday Lifegroup here in Dublin Ohio you’ll know we sang a new song last night from this more recent release of the Getty’s.  Check it out!

Travel by Drone! – This is a neat website where you can check out videos from cameras strapped to drones in top cities all over the world. A fun little diversion if you’re curious what Berlin or Kiev looks like from a few thousand feet above the ground.

Seeking the Face of God – this 2009 article by John Piper was helpful to me this week as I did a personal study on what it means to “seek the face” of the Lord.  One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Chron. 16:11 because it was Katie’s signature verse used to sign her love letters to me in college and reflected her desire for me to put God first – even before her.  Preview: “This setting of the mind is the opposite of mental coasting. It is a conscious choice to direct the heart toward God.”  Along similar lines, check out David Mathis’ article on ‘Bringing the Bible Home to Your Heart’ – h/t Parris Payden

My dog ate my emails – Former IRS Chief Lois Lerner’s emails seem to have disappeared, yet White House officials are unapologetic.  Go figure.

What do you do when you’re stuck in the Vegas Airport overnight? Why, shoot a music video using your iphone of course! – pretty funny stuff here! h/t Parris Payden

Pornolescence – Timely article by Tim Challies this week on the nature of Porn and its affect on Christian homes across America. – h/t Parris Payden

Hollywood Hearts Abortion and PCUSA Gay Marriage Update – Al Mohler gives a rundown on the vote of the Presbyterian Church USA (the more liberal of the two mainline Presbyterian denominations) to allow their ministers to marry same-sex couples.  He also discusses a new movie out of Hollywood’s sewers which seeks to make an abortion plot-line into a romantic comedy. Discretion advised if you’re listening with kids around.

How Suffering Leads to Joy and Hope – Two weeks ago I preached a message from Romans 5:1-5 on how suffering brings endurance, character and hope which ultimately yields joy.  The audio from that sermon is now posted if you have a desire to check it out.

In the Aftermath of Disappointing Elections – Tim Challies writes about his disappointment in the aftermath of the Ontario Elections the other day and how his faith, like Abraham’s, must be grounded in God’s character.  I wrote a similar piece just after the 2012 elections – find that little piece of archive goodness HERE. 

Resources, Resources!

Pray like a Puritan! – Looking for help in your prayer life? Check out the Valley of Vision.  These puritan prayers will inspire, deepen, and lift your heart as you prepare to spend time with the Lord.  Really enjoy this book!

Spurgeon at 180 – This week would have been C.H. Spurgeon’s 180th Birthday, and to celebrate the Confessing Baptists are giving away a complete sermon series – enter to win at the link above! h/t Parris Payden

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Continual Repentance – Valley of Vision

One of my favorite devotionals is The Valley of Vision.  It is a prayer book composed by Arthur Bennett of many prayers from famous puritan preachers.  You never know which prayer belonged to which man, which is probably best, but each is a deep reflection on God’s character and our life’s circumstances.  They are fantastic.

If you don’t have a copy of this, I would advise you to go here or you can get an audio version read by Max McLean here.  You can read them for free at Banner of Truth Trust.

In the meantime, I am posting a few of my favorites here for your edification in the coming days until you can go purchase the book yourself.  (:

Here is a devotion that has greatly impacted me…

Continual Repentance 

O GOD OF GRACE,

Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute,
and hast imputed his righteousness
to my soul,
clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe,
decking me with jewels of holiness.
But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;
my best prayers are stained with sin;
my penitential tears are so much impurity;
my confessions of wrong are so many
aggravations of sin;
my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with
selfishness.

I need to repent of my repentance;
I need my tears to be washed;
I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
no loom to weave my own righteousness;
I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,
and by grace am always receiving change of
raiment,
for thou dost always justify the ungodly;
I am always going into the far country,
and always returning home as a prodigal,
always saying, Father, forgive me,
and thou art always bringing forth
the best robe.
Every morning let me wear it,
every evening return in it,
go out to the day’s work in it,
be married in it,
be wound in death in it,
stand before the great white throne in it,
enter heaven in it shining as the sun.
Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.

Assurance – Valley of Vision

Recently, I’ve been posting several of my favorite devotionals from The Valley of Vision.  It is a prayer book composed by Arthur Bennett of many prayers from famous puritan preachers.  You never know which prayer belonged to which man, which is probably best, but each is a deep reflection on God’s character and our life’s circumstances.  They are fantastic.

If you don’t have a copy of this, I would advise you to go here or you can get an audio version read by Max McLean here.  You can read them for free at Banner of Truth Trust.

Here is a devotion that has greatly impacted me…

Assurance

ALMIGHTY GOD,

I am loved with everlasting love,
clothed in eternal righteousness,
my peace flowing like a river,
my comforts many and large,
my joy and triumph unutterable,
my soul lively with a knowledge of salvation,
my sense of justification unclouded.
I have scarce anything to pray for;
Jesus smiles upon my soul as a ray of heaven
and my supplications are swallowed up in praise.
How sweet is the glorious doctrine of election
when based upon thy Word
and wrought inwardly within the soul!
I bless thee that thou wilt keep the sinner
thou hast loved,
and hast engaged that he will not forsake thee,
else I would never get to heaven.
I wrong the work of grace in my heart
if I deny my new nature and my eternal life.
If Jesus were not my righteousness and redemption,
I would sink into nethermost hell
by my misdoings, shortcomings, unbelief, unlove;
If Jesus were not by the power of his Spirit
my sanctification,
there is no sin I should not commit.
O when shall I have his mind!
when shall I be conformed to his image?
All the good things of life are less than nothing
when compared with his love,
and with one glimpse of thy electing favour.
All the treasures of a million worlds could not
make me richer, happier, more contented,
for his unsearchable riches are mine.
One moment of communion with him, one view
of his grace,
is ineffable, inestimable.
But O God, I could not long after thy presence
if I did not know the sweetness of it;
And such I could not know except by thy Spirit
in my heart, nor love thee at all unless thou didst
elect me,
call me,
adopt me,
save me.
I bless thee for the covenant of grace.

The All Good – Valley of Vision

One of my favorite devotionals is The Valley of Vision.  It is a prayer book composed by Arthur Bennett of many prayers from famous puritan preachers.  You never know which prayer belonged to which man, which is probably best, but each is a deep reflection on God’s character and our life’s circumstances.  They are fantastic.

If you don’t have a copy of this, I would advise you to go here or you can get an audio version read by Max McLean here.  You can read them for free at Banner of Truth Trust.

In the meantime, I wanted to post a few of my favorites here for your edification in the coming days.  The first one is called ‘The All Good’…

MY GOD,

Thou hast helped me to see,
that whatever good be in honour and
rejoicing, how good is he who gives them,
and can withdraw them;
that blessedness does not lie so much
in receiving good from and in thee,
but in holding forth thy glory and virtue;
that it is an amazing thing to see Deity
in a creature, speaking, acting,
filling, shining through it;
that nothing is good but thee,
that I am near good when I am near thee,
that to be like thee is a glorious thing:
This is my magnet, my attraction.

Thou art all my good in times of peace,
my only support in days of trouble,
my one sufficiency when life shall end.
Help me to see how good thy will is in all,
and even when it crosses mine
teach me to be pleased with it.
Grant me to feel thee in fire, and food and
every providence,
and to see that thy many gifts and creatures
are but thy hands and fingers taking hold of me.
Thou bottomless fountain of all good,
I give myself to thee out of love,
for all I have or own is thine,
my goods, family, church, self,
to do with as thou wilt,
to honour thyself by me, and by all mine.
If it be consistent with thy eternal counsels,
the purpose of thy grace,
and the great ends of thy glory,
then bestow upon me the blessings of
thy comforts;
If not, let me resign myself to
thy wiser determinations.