A Church that Waits for No One

church on the moveGod has organized His people so that their sanctification can move forward regardless of what everyone else is doing. This is facilitated by how He has made local churches free to obey the Lord, regardless of what other churches might be doing.

"Every congregation, however little or great it may be, should see for itself that it acts properly and well and waits for no one."

-  Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, The European Reformations, Carter Lindberg, second edition, p 87

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Are You Neglecting a Treasure?

As our church gathered for prayer last evening, I brought some reminders to help us prepare for it. We always want our times of prayer together to be a mixture of praise toward God, thanksgiving, confession of sin and prayer for one another. But we also want to see that some of our time is taken up in offering prayers for others – friends, enemies and those we know are facing challenges. God has been so clear in His communication with us that He desires that we offer our requests to Him. It is a good thing to bring them to Him and we are deprived of something very wonderful when we go through seasons of neglecting to ask.

It is interesting to notice that John Calvin’s Institutes longest section is on the subject of prayer. It is in this section that he makes it sure we know God’s desire for us is that we bring our requests:

"Otherwise, to know God as the master and bestower of all good things, who invites us to request them of him, and still not go to him and not ask of him-this would be of as little profit as for a man to neglect a treasure, buried and hidden in the earth, after it had been pointed out to him." (Book 3, Chapter 20, Section 1)

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Canadian Judge Imposes Age-segregated “Socialization Plan” for Children in Home School Family

HSLDA is reporting here that a Canadian judge has ordered that a family with four children ages 9, 7, 5 and 3 submit to a governmental plan of age segregated “socialization.” Part of that plan involves the Judge’s mandate that the youngest in the family (ages 5 and 3) who are not of compulsory school age be placed into day care for socialization – until a new plan for "socialization" is imposed upon them. What this Judge calls socialization I call corruption. An irrational shuffling of children by age based on failed public school segmentation and socialization principles that they might do what? Learn how to be kids from other kids? The 3-year-old will walk with 3-year-olds and somehow, that properly socializes? Compare and contrast this with God’s plan and path for socialization! A walk along and talk along discipleship approach of parents instructing their entire families that they each might learn and be “socialized” under the supervision of parents integrating the ages with one another all throughout each and every day.

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Ruled far more by love than fear – A Principle of Child Discipline

Here is the testimony of John G. Paton of the spiritually sensitive manner in which his father disciplined his children:

"The very discipline through which our father passed us was a kind of religion in itself. If anything really serious required to be punished, he retired first to his closet for prayer, and we boys got to understand that he was laying the whole matter before God ; and that was the severest part of the punishment for me to bear! I could have defied any amount of mere penalty, but this spoke to my conscience as a message from God. We loved him all the more, when we saw how much it cost him to punish us; and, in truth, he had never very much of that kind of work to do upon any one of all the eleven—we were ruled by love far more than by fear."

Missionary Patriarch: The True Story of John G. Paton, pg. 25-26.

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What Do the Graves of Osama and Jezebel Have in Common?

This morning, our family was reading 2 Kings 9:37 which gives the answer to the question, What do Osama and Jezebel’s graves have in common? Both those who killed Jezebel and Osama did not want them to have graves. Imagine if Jezebel’s grave was identifiable. Imagine how Osama’s grave would be used.

And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel;
so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

- 2 Kings 9:37

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Give Us a Seed Right with Thee!

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, give us such a seed! Give
us a seed right with Thee! Smite us and our house with ever
lasting barrenness rather than that our seed should not be right
with Thee. O God, give us our children. Give us our children.
A second time, and by a far better birth, give us our children to be
beside us in Thy holy covenant. For it had been better we had
never been born; it had been better we had never been betrothed;
it had been better we had sat all our days solitary unless our
children are to be right with Thee. …But thou, O God, art Thyself
a Father, and thus hast in Thyself a Father’s heart. Hear us, then,
for our children, O our Father…. In season and out of season; we
shall not go up into our bed; we shall not give sleep to our eyes
nor slumber to our eyelids till we and all our seed are right with Thee.

A. Whyte, Bunyan Characters, vol. 3, London, 1902, pp. 289-290

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Should We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper Weekly?

Our church celebrates the Lord’s supper every Sunday. We are thrilled to be able to reflect on the power of the gospel in this way. Jim Hamilton has written this brief explanation of why he believes this was the practice. He takes the direct approach, " Let’s cut straight to the chase: I think the New Testament indicates that the early church took the Lord’s supper every Lord’s day, that is, every Sunday… So here’s my reconstruction: in the earliest days after Pentecost, the church celebrated the Lord’s supper daily, in conjunction (probably) with their evening meal. And who wouldn’t want to celebrate it every day! Imagine the enthusiasm of the wonder of the resurrection, the rushing wind, and the thousands converted. . . As the days and years passed, things stabilized and the church began to take the Lord’s supper in conjunction with the meal they shared together in the evening on the Lord’s day." Read the whole article here, and scroll down to read Richard Barcellos comment.

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Did You Know That Murder Is Now Officially Legal For Mothers?

Abortion still legalOur NC governor, Beverly Perdue signed a law assuring that "Suspects accused of causing a fetus to die or injuring one inside the womb at any stage of development would face separate criminal charges." This fetal homicide bill, that was passed in the NC Senate in a 45-4 vote makes it a felony to injure a fetus "at any stage of development." The law takes effect Dec. 1.

Associated press writer, Gary Robertson stated that "the measure Perdue signed on Friday doesn’t apply to legal abortions but does convey legal status upon fetuses unable to survive outside their mother’s womb."

North Carolina is not alone in the United States in passing a law like this. There are 35 other states that have added the unborn child as a possible victim of crime. These crimes can take place "at any time after conception."

The charges for the crime include first and second-degree murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter with punishments as stiff as life in prison without parole. The law allows that "A defendant also can be charged with assault if the mother gives birth after she’s attacked and the child is seriously injured, stays hospitalized or was born prematurely…There is no requirement that an attacker know the woman was pregnant at the time to face an additional charge for the fetus…"

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Fishers of Men

Today is the first official day in the office for the NCFIC 2011 Interns. We are very grateful for these men who have been set aside to serve in this way. We desire to make a deposit in their lives for the love of scripture, the church and for the restoration of biblical family life. We are most thankful for the help they have in the Lord Jesus who said, “I will make you fishers of men.” To learn more about the NCFIC Internship Program, click here.

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This week, David Wilkerson was killed in an automobile crash. Here is something he said that is very precious to me.

A Call to Anguish – David Wilkerson

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How Important are Church and Family Life in the Grand Scheme of Things?

church lifeAs we do the good work of prioritization in our lives we always have to face the issue of relative importance. This means that we make sure that the really big things in life are first in priority and the small things fall lower on the scale of importance. One of the propositions of the NCFIC is that church and family life stand tall among the most important priorities of life. The very existence of the NCFIC serves to state that your family and the family of God are of enormous importance. Not only do they serve great eschatological purposes for the glory of God, they also work together in a symbiotic relationship where each one is divinely designed (specifically) to bless the other. This point was illustrated during an interview with the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler by Tabletalk Magazine. Dr. Mohler is asked this question: “Although there are many, is there one lesson the Lord has taught you that you would care to share with us?” Albert Mohler replied,

“I think the one great lesson the Lord has taught me over these years is that the importance of the family and the local congregation supersedes every other relationship to which the Christian is called. Christians demonstrate the glory of God and the power of the gospel by the way we marry and stay married, by the way we raise our children, by the way we love each other, and by the way we live faithfully in the congregation of believers. In the end, I fear that far too much energy is devoted to and far too many hopes are invested in institutions, programs, and projects that will not last. The centrality of Christ’s purpose to glorify himself in His church and the blessings of God that are directed to the precious gift of the family — these far exceed our other allegiances.”

Click here for the interview.

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For Your Summer Travels

In his letters to his daughters, Legh Richardson, writing in the early 1800’s, gives his daughters advice for the times when they travel. He counsels them on "Journeyings":

Cultivate knowledge as you travel.

History, antiquities–in cities, towns, churches, castles, ruins, etc.

Natural history – in plants, earths, stones, minerals, animals, etc.

Picturesque taste–in landscape scenery and all its boundless combinations.

Cultivate good-humored contentment, in all the little inconveniences incident to inns, roads, weather, etc.

Cultivate a deep and grateful sense of power, wisdom, and goodness of God, in creation and providence, as successively presented to your notice from place to place.

Keep diaries and memoranda of daily events, places, persons, objects, conversations, sermons, public meetings, beauties, wonders, and mercies, as you travel. Be minute and faithful.

Ask many questions of such as can afford useful information as to what you see.

Write your diary daily; delays are very prejudicial. You owe a diary to yourself, to your friends left at home, and to your father, who gives you the pleasure and profit of the journey.

 ~Letters & Counsels by Legh Richmond, p.24-25

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A Church Repenting of Systematic Age Segregation

Check this from a pastor who is now leading his congregation to make major changes"

I move that Eastside Baptist Church repent and cease the practice of systematic age-segregation of all corporate gatherings; whether worship, small group (Sunday School), prayer meetings, or discipleship. We call all fathers and mothers to reclaim their God breathed jurisdiction of teaching their children the things of God. We submit ourselves to the patterns of Holy Scripture and reject secular methods opposed to this Holy Scripture that shows all ages gathering together for worship, teaching, evangelism, ministry, and prayer. We do so boldly knowing that few in our city, state, region, or nation may understand. A nursery will be provided for ages 3 years of age and younger for all parents wanting this provision for corporate Sunday worship we also welcome children of all ages at all times in all gatherings.

Here is the full story.

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What is at the Heart of Modesty?

One of my messages at our church father/daughter retreat this last weekend was on the subject of "Modesty." I gave six texts on modesty that every father and daughter need to understand. One of the men in our church sent me these helpful and powerful video clips on the subject. Part One and Part Two.

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Free Audio Download – Sufficiency of Scripture 2009 Conference

SOS Audio

We are now offering the entire collection of messages from the Sufficiency of Scripture 2009 NCFIC National Conference for FREE! This conference, which took place December 10-12, 2009, in Covington, KY, called Christians back to their foundation, affirming that the Scripture alone is sufficient to direct their lives and the life of their families, their churches, and their country in the 21st Century. 35 messages cover everything from the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture to Youth Ministry to personal evangelism.

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