Prayer of Thanksgiving…September 26. 2016

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:

“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”

Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

Revelation 11:15-19

 

Our Holy Father and our God, we give You thanks and praise that Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, possesses righteousness, salvation and power.

We give You thanks, O God, that in Him we have become to You children and to us You have become Father. And that, as Your children, Christ’s righteousness, salvation and power are exercised on behalf of us and His whole bride-church.

We give You thanks that You know the end from the beginning, and that in Your Word that is Truth You show us that end…Jesus wins. That He has taken His great power and now and ever reigns, that the kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ…and that He shall reign forever and ever.

In this time of turmoil round about us, Father, we are thankful for the certainty of that view of what is to come. With presidential candidates from bad to worse, with a societal elite and government that approves and encourages things that are an abomination before Your Holy Eyes…of which abortion and the homosexual agenda and the acronyms proceeding therefrom are only the start…we desperately need the solace and stability of the hope we have in Jesus Christ, a sure hope of a renewal of the whole of creation, the freeing of it and us from the curse.

We give You thanks, O God, for the work Christ is doing in and through this congregation, Valley Covenant Church, Trinity Reformed Church, the King’s Congregation in Boise and her pastor, Alan Burrow, the CREC, and His whole bride-church. We give thanks for Word faithfully preached, and for sacraments faithfully administered as windows through which we can see the work Christ has done on our behalf, especially for the windows just opened to us and about to be opened.

We thank You for the growth of Christ’s church and of this particular church… the joining of the Fountains and the Browns to this body and the baptisms of Elizabeth Hewitt and the Browns.

We thank you for the work Christ is doing in wombs, in homes, in schools, co-ops and homeschools. And we pray, O God, that torrential streams, mighty cataracts of covenant faithfulness might proceed from this congregation, and that our descendants might possess the gates of Christ’s enemies.

And we give You thanks for being our Father and our God, a choice that was clearly Yours and not ours.

All this in Christ’s Holy Name we pray.

Amen.

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Things they didn’t teach me in seminary…

Or Business School…

Copier repair.

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Things I never saw before…

Reading Exodus again, I note that Pharaoh’s army (Ex. 14) and the locusts from the eighth plague (Ex. 10:19) all end up in the Red Sea.

Fitting

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On the road again…

Someone pulled this out of archive today.

Livin' in the foothills

Help is on the road and will not fail to reach us in due time, for he who sends it to us was never known to be too late.

CHS

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Not to be missed…

Another from the archives.

Livin' in the foothills

Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”  Exodus 34:5-7

Not to be missed in Yahweh naming Himself before Moses is that the first attribute He names of Himself is “merciful.” Of note right behind that is that lots of mercy comes before judgment.

THB/BHS

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Dangerous precipice…

Some soul, I think in New Zealand, viewed this one today.

Livin' in the foothills

There is not a more dangerous precipice than self-righteousness.

Thomas Watson

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Singing the Praises of God…

It has now been two months in this new venture. And I admit with shame that I have neglected much of my attendance upon the things of God in this time. I have attended worship faithfully (usually twice a Lord’s Day), but have not spent the time I need in God’s Word.

In an attempt to correct that, I brought my old Bible (as opposed to the one I bought to preach from for the rest of my pastoral career…which appears to have been the case) to keep on the shelf in my office. Today I opened it and laid it upon my desk. [The picture is from my dumbphone…please forgive the lack of clarity.] It is a New Geneva Study Bible I bought when I lived in Houston (which makes it at least 13 years old), covered in book tape and marked up.

0303160752-00

But two things happened.

Some time ago (I don’t remember when), a friend and co-laborer in God’s field, Pastor Laurence Windham, wrote about the notes he had stuck in his books. When he received notes of appreciation from people he would tuck them in books on his shelf. Then, when he pulled down the book, he would be reminded of God’s goodness as he had experienced it in that relationship. [I am led to wonder if there were other notes he put in the books he didn’t like or was less likely to pull down…]

Over my time in my pulpit in New Mexico I did that…in this old Bible. So…as I laid it open on my desk…memories came…falling out. Notes of encouragement and appreciation from the past. Memories from family (the one in the picture) and parishioners…tangible representations of the goodness of God to me and through me.

The second thing was where it fell open. The note from my family was placed at Psalm 92…words I needed to hear to remind me of my neglect…of the sovereign majesty of Yahweh, the Lord God Almighty…and of the absolute victory of Jesus Christ.

As one former pastor once said to me…”I knew all that.” Nevertheless, something I needed to ‘hear.’

Rejoicing in the Lord…because we can.

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