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When the Lord is in Your Midst

At church we have been studying Isaiah. On Sunday, we were in chapter 12 which takes us into the world of the joyful praises of His people for their salvation. The anger of God has been propitiated and they are joyfully drawing water from the wells of salvation. This first section of Isaiah (chapter 1-12) ends with the joys of those who experience “The Holy one of Israel,” in their “midst.” One thing running through their lives, demonstrates the impact of true salvation among them – joy.  But it is not a groundless joy. It is not an empty joy. It is based on tangibles. It is based on the details of the facts of their deliverance, and the ongoing refreshment that He provides as they draw water from the wells of salvation.

What happens to individuals and churches when they truly embrace Christ?  Isaiah 12 tells us.

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Help Save Jonathan Park

Here is great news for Jonathan Park fans. Pat and Sandy Roy (the writers, creators and producers) have quickly assembled a talented team to save Jonathan Park, as a result of the closing of Vision Forum Ministries. But they need your help. To learn more about how you can be part of the team to save Jonathan Park, go to www.SaveJonathanPark.com.

A generous homeschooling family has also offered to match every donation to the “Save Jonathan Park” campaign over the next 7 days (up to a total of $10,000). This means that if everyone rallies together to raise $10,000, in the next week, it will instantly turn into $20,000!

Pat and Sandy have been such a blessing to so many thousands as a result of their faithful labors. Please consider helping them so that they have the resources to continue this wonderful ministry.

CLICK HERE to Save Jonathan Park!

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Can’t Wait to Sing This Song

Here is new song we will be learning at church that shows the wonderful power of the gospel – He makes us complete. It’s called,

Complete in Thee

Complete in Thee, no work of mine
Could take, dear Lord, the place of Thine,
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And I shall stand complete in Thee. (more…)

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Is He Repentant?

When someone falls into unusually serious sin, the first question people want answered is, “is he/she repentant?” This is an important question, of course. However, people are often fuzzy on the nature of true repentance because they are not well taught in the biblical doctrine of repentance. For many, repentance is secured by tearful declarations that what you did was wrong, saying that you are sorry for what you did, that you wish you had not done it, and then moving on. That’s the end of the matter. While these things are usually a part of true repentance, they better fit the definition of a confession, not of repentance. This is a result of misunderstanding the difference between confession and repentance. Confession is often taken for repentance, but it does not live up to the demands of the biblical description of repentance. Confession and repentance are related, but very different in their scope. This confusion has led to a view of repentance that is not consistent with the biblical testimony. Further, it is not the standard understanding of our spiritual fathers. Thomas Watson wrote extensively on the doctrine of repentance. He provides six elements of true repentance: (more…)

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Men’s Discipleship Opportunity

NCFIC Internship

As a ministry dedicated to biblical discipleship, we are excited to announce the 2014 NCFIC internship. Training young men in biblical leadership, theology, business, and foundational skills is something that we are very passionate about. Our prayer is that the deposits made in these young men will help launch a new generation of church leaders and elders.

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He Rules the Wind and the Waves

Here is a remarkable living map of the wind patterns in the United States… The Lord is the ruler of them all.

Click on the map below to see what the wind is doing across America.

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The Sovereignty of God Part 3 – Who is Your Assyrian?

Assyria was the reason for much fear in Judah. In this message Dan Horn asks the question, “Who is your Assyrian?” In other words, what do you fear? Do you fear your boss, your food, the economy, the government? Do you fear that if you obey God your children will hate you? He asks, “does fear drive your decision?” In this message Dan contends that every bit of fear is irrational except for fear of God.

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The Sovereignty of God Part 2 – Don’t Fear the Tool of the Lord

In this section of Isaiah, the prophet makes it clear that He and He alone is in control of the kings of the earth. They may think they are independently acting for their own strategic purposes, but they are not. Isaiah speaks – Recognize the tools of the Lord in your life.

God glorifies Himself through the use of various threats in your life. He has His tools. They are merely objects in His hands. He compares them to an “axe,” “rod and “staff.” They are used of the Lord to correct and instruct us.

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Marriage On Our Minds

Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary, and we are on the way to the wedding of Chad Roach and Becky Barnes in Colorado. I love to go to weddings and especially to sit there with Deborah as everything brings back the  memories of our wedding… and the joy we’ve had with 11,680 happy days together – thats 280,320 hours.

You can watch a live stream of Chad and Becky’s wedding by Clicking Here.

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The Sovereignty of God Part 1 – Don’t Waste Your Chastisement

As we have been working our way through the prophet Isaiah at our church, we have just completed a series of expositional messages on Isaiah 9 and 10. In these chapters, the prophet makes it clear that the people of Judah were terrified by the threat of the Assyrians. They were shaking like trees and Isaiah speaks directly to their situation. These chapters highlight the sovereignty of God and its implications for a people who fear. The first message in this series is titled “Don’t Waste Your Chastisement.”

One of the great lapses in understanding the sovereignty of God exists when you think that what is happening to you has nothing to do with God’s sanctifying ministry in your life. You think that natural causes are operating when in fact, God is speaking to you through them. For, example, when adversity strikes, there is often no reflection as to why various problems have surfaced in your life. Instead of learning lessons from the past, we simply press on to greater heights. This is exactly what the people of Judah were doing. Isaiah confronts Judah for this unthinking approach regarding their calamities. They had misused their discipline. Out of their pride and arrogance of heart that they were simply moving on quickly from their discipline without careful reflection. In effect, they were ignoring their discipline.  It is like saying, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade.” Move on. Don’t quit. Don’t stop. Don’t evaluate. Don’t repent. Not paying attention to their chastisements was simply a result of pride and arrogance. He says in effect, “don’t waste your chastisement.”

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Dealing With Disagreements Among Christians

Alexander Strauch wrote a very helpful book, If You Bite and Devour One Another,” explaining the dangers that exist in Christian community when love is challenged by controversy and other matters. We are all challenged to love especially when there are disagreements. Passions soar. Accusations fly. Misunderstandings multiply.  Misrepresentations abound. But, God assumes we will have these struggles, so he provides specific commands for us. Strauch’s book is full of these admonitions. All of them promote love.  In the same spirit, John Piper has written on this subject in one of his recent books. Justin Taylor posted this wonderful excerpt on his blog, on A Way to Pray in a Time of Controversy

Here it is,

(more…)

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Southwest Family Vision Conference in Phoenix, AZ

Today we’re down in Phoenix Arizona with Jason Young and Kevin Swanson at the Southwest Family Vision Conference. During his opening message at the conference, on establishing a multi-generational vision, Mr. Brown said this:

“You’re not just training your children, you’re training your children to teach their children. You are teaching teachers. What are we teaching? The gospel!. We need to have the right understanding of what a multi-generational family vision is. It’s not about creating an nice family for yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about establishing a kind of family life which casts a vision of the future to the next generation that is defined by preaching the true gospel. We’re praying that God, by His Word and as an act of the Holy Spirit would raise up a generation that would proclaim the gospel of His salvation, His strength and His works to their posterity.”

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A Common Tragedy in Family Life – The Gospel is Not Heard

I continue to be convinced that the revival of biblical family life is one of the most pressing needs of our era for the spread of the gospel. Why? God has designed the family to be the first place the gospel is preached and heard in a human being’s life. If the family is in spiritual disarray, then the communication of the gospel is compromised. In fact, the gospel may NEVER be heard until adulthood. This is such a tragedy – a living soul is deprived of the most wonderful and beneficial thing in human experience – the gospel. Every period of history has its crises and the breakdown of the family is one of the greatest crises that ever comes upon a people. It is almost impossible for people living in our era to recover biblical family life. The culture is structured against the most important things of family life.

That is why, this weekend I will be traveling for a conference in the Phoenix area – The Southwest Family Vision Conference. I will be meeting with a group of elders and deacons on Thursday night, then delivering five messages on Friday and Saturday, and preaching at Heritage Baptist Church on Sunday.

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John MacArthur on Should Fallen Pastors Be Restored?

This question, “Should fallen pastors be restored?” raises one of the important and yet debatable matters that must be considered when a leader is involved in egregious sin. One of the voices speaking on this question is John MacArthur. He registers his concern for the frequency of a quick “restoration” of leaders and “Restoration teams — equipped with manuals to instruct the church on how to reinstate their fallen pastor.” In contrast, he maintains that there are sins which permanently disqualify, and that there are sins against the body that cause irreparable damage to a man’s station as leader.

Should Fallen Pastors Be Restored?

John MacArthur

Over the years as I’ve watched church leaders bring a reproach on the church of Jesus Christ. What’s shocking to me is how frequently Christian leaders sin grossly, then step back into leadership almost as soon as the publicity dies away. (more…)

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Ever Cheerful at Age 91

My dad recently turned 91 years old. On his birthday, my son David and I, sons-in-law Taylor Tsantles and Peter Bradrick, and three of my grandsons took him out for lunch – FOUR GENERATIONS present.

It was a joy. My Dad is always cheerful, inquisitive, learning, reading, and questioning … all while being very funny, often coming up with remarkable one-liners.

He asked us science questions during the lunch like, “Is there more fresh water in the rivers and lakes or in the clouds?” After giving us the answer, he gave each of us some counsel on what we should do with the rest of our lives. He spoke about purity and setting our minds on only pure things. He concluded with another one-liner: “You need to get the Drano and pour it into the ‘Brain-O.’” I thank the God of heaven and earth and all that there is that He gave me a happy father.

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