Inviting You to Build a God Centered Family in Australia and New Zealand

Next week, Kevin Swanson, Anthony Courter, and I will be traveling to Australia and New Zealand to preach about what God says about the family. In a series of conferences called “Building a God-Centered Family,” we will focus on delivering the biblical vision of hope for the family by explaining from the Scriptures about how family life is designed to operate in the midst of church life and economic life.

Please join me and learn more about this visit to the southern continent and the conferences in Australia and New Zealand.

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A Memorial to Honor

Please join me at the Brown Family Farm in Wake Forest, NC for the annual Old Fashioned Memorial Day Picnic. Bring the whole family on Monday, May 27! There will be activities for people young and old, including rides in restored military vehicles, hay rides, fun and games, a pie contest, and a special demonstration by Dan the Animal Man. The delicious Carolina Barbecue lunch is free to all who attend.

Veterans Bill Brown, the Price Brothers, and Bill Henderson, and Carlton McCleod, Joshua Harris, and Phil Cochran will be speaking.

Throughout the day, there will be music groups preforming bluegrass music and toe-tapping Gospel hymns. We will conclude the day with a special parade march to honor the veterans, with military vehicles, classic cars, children and adults in period clothing, representing various American wars, and war veterans in uniform.

At 3:00 PM sharp, we will observe “The National Moment of Silence,” where we will be silent after Dr. David Lanier, professor at Southeastern Seminary, and Civil War re-enactor reads a portion of  the casualty list for 2013.

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The Most Pro-Woman Text in Scripture

Last weekend, I was glad to participate in another wedding and to have the joy of giving a message. It was the wedding of Jordan Muela and Sarah Mendenhall in Indiana. As I was meditating on Ephesians 5:22-33 before the wedding, it struck me again that this passage is the most pro-female document ever drafted.

This text is so powerfully one sided that it is hard to understand why it has been so roundly criticized and rejected by feminist thinkers. On the contrary, I have always thought that the biblical teaching that describes the role of a husband towards his wife is the most pro-female writing ever published.

Scripture is unparalleled in tenderness towards women, for it calls a man to first of all give up his life, and then to follow the example of Christ and even die for his bride. God must so very highly value his daughters, because he calls their husbands to such a high standard – the sacrificial love of Christ. If you searched the libraries of the world, I doubt that you would find any that would contain writings which call men to such heights of passion and devotion and self sacrifice.

The teaching here highlights the importance of order and authority in all relationships, and particularly the way that love works through God’s human authority structure in the family. But there is nothing more prominent in this text than the high bar God that husbands are to clear in their love for their wives.

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Neglecting to Ask

We always want our times of prayer together to be a mixture of praise towards 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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Two Great Scams of the Kermit Gosnell Case

Note: This video shows abortion clinic workers reporting on what was happening in their clinic – not the Gosnell clinic, but in another state. Please use discretion in viewing this video, as it contains graphic explanations of what was happening in the clinic.

There are two ways in which the murder conviction of Kermit Gosnell is one of the great legal and public relations scams of the century.

First of all, it was a legal scam because the he murdered thousands but was only prosecuted for three murders. Every single baby he aborted, whether it was six weeks or thirty weeks was a brutal killing since it is no secret that life begins at conception. It is a scam to pretend that only some abortions are murder.

Second, it is a public relations scam because what he was doing is happening everyday in abortion clinics and the press makes it seem that what was happening was an isolated case. See the evidence here that Kermit Gosnell is not an Outlier. The conviction gives the perception that somehow there are abortion clinics practicing murder and then there are those which are not; some are horrific and some are not; some are grisly and some are not, when in fact, all abortion clinics kill babies and the problem is not that a clinic is dirty and unkempt, and some of the babies were older, but that babies were being killed.

These scams, both legal and public relations, are the kinds of scams that dull the consciences of the American public, while pleasing the abortion rights crowd and the Obama administration.

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The Father Who Helped His Children Cast Away Their Idols

In Genesis 35:2-4, we see a father (Jacob) appealing to his children to abandon their idols, change their garments, and make a new start. Every morning, God gives us a new day, to identify our idols and sins and begin afresh.

And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

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A Wife As an Influencer of Her Husband

Here is J.R. Miller writing on the amazing role of a wife as an influencer of her husband:

Again let me say that no wife can over-estimate the influence she wields over her husband, or the measure in which his character, his career and his every destiny are laid in her hands for shaping. The sway which she holds over him is the sway of love, but it is mighty and resistless. If she retains her power, if she holds her place as queen of his life, she can do with him as she will. Even unconsciously to her herself, without any thought of her responsibility, she will exert over him an influence that will go far toward making or marring all his future.

If she is vain and frivolous, she will only chill his ardor, weaken his resolution and draw him aside from any earnest endeavor. But if she has in her soul noble womanly qualities, if she has true thoughts of life, if she has purpose, strength of character and fidelity to principle, she will be to him an unfailing inspiration toward all that is noble, manly and Christ-like. The high conceptions of life in her mind will elevate his conceptions. Her firm, strong purpose will put vigor and determination into every resolve and act of his.

Her purity of soul will cleanse and refine his spirit. Her warm interest in all his affairs and her wise counsel at every point will make him strong for every duty and valiant in every struggle. Her bright, orderly, happy homemaking will be a perpetual source of joy and peace, and an incentive to nobler living. Her unwavering faithfulness, her tender affection, her womanly sympathy, her beauty of soul, will make her to him God’s angel indeed, sheltering, guarding, keeping, guiding and blessing him. Just in the measure in which she realizes this lofty ideal of wifehood will she fulfill her mission and reap the rich harvest of her hopes. (more…)

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Longing for the Glory of God?

Do you long to see the glory of God? Moses is one example of a man who did see the glory of God. This phrase, “Thus did Moses; just as the Lord had commanded him” is recorded 8 times when Moses was erecting the tabernacle…. then “the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Often we think of the glory of God as a result of some emotional experience. Here it results from obedience.

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How to Give Worry a Death Stroke

“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:27

So it is useless to worry! A short person cannot, by any amount of anxiety, make himself an inch taller. Why, therefore, should he waste his energy and fret his life away–in wishing he were taller?

One worries because he is too short–another because he is too tall; one worries because he too lean–another because he is too heavy; one worries because he has a lame foot–another because he has a mole on his face. No amount of fretting will change any of these things!

People worry, too, over their circumstances. (more…)

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The Weight of Your Afflictions

I preached on Matthew 8:14-27.

These are some of the statements that I made during the application portion of the sermon:

The presence of your afflictions are not according to chance.

The timing of your afflictions are all part of God’s pre-ordained plan to sum up all things in Christ.

The weight of your afflictions are carefully measured, to bring you forth as gold.

The number of your afflictions are strategically appointed to buffet you enough to change you.

The length of your afflictions will be no shorter or longer than what pleases God, in order to enlarge your patience.

The outcome of your afflictions are designed to address a God-glorifying end.

The arms which brought the afflictions will hold you through them.

You listen to the message here.

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Finishing Well… “I Again Dedicate My Whole Self to Thee”

It is always a blessing to find examples of men who finished well. David Livingstone is one of those men. The year before he died, his heart was still burning to obey Christ. On his 59th birthday, this great missionary to Africa made this entry in his journal:

19th March, 1872. Birthday. Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever any ties save the tie that binds me to Thy heart. My Jesus, my King, my life, my all, I again dedicate my whole self to Thee.

– from DAVID LIVINGSTONE (1813-1873)

Inscription: “This Engraving, for which I supplied the materials, represents my meeting with Dr. Livingstone at Ujiji, Lake Tanganyika; and is as correct as if the scene had been photographed.” – Henry Morton Stanley

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Missionary Martyr on Revealed Patterns for Church Life

The pivot point hangs on whether or not God has revealed a universal pattern for the church in the New Testament. If He has not, then anything will do so long as it works. But I am convinced that nothing so dear to the heart of Christ as His Bride should be left without explicit instructions as to her corporate conduct. I am further convinced that the 20th century has in no way simulated this pattern in its method of ‘churching’ a community… it is incumbent upon me, if God has a pattern for the church, to find and establish that pattern, at all costs.
– Jim Elliot

Elizabeth Elliot, Shadow of the Almighty: Life and Testimony of Jim Elliot (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1989), 138-139.

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The Sweetest Words Known to Man: “But I say to You”

In Matthew 5, Jesus contrasts two voices, “You have heard that it was said” vs. “But, I say to you.” When Jesus says, “You have heard it said” (Matt 5:27-32), He is referring to those vain add-ons and short sighted simplifications to the law. These sayings had made the Old Testament law a concoction of human imagination and invention rather than the revealed nature and character of God. Jesus gives the remedy with the statement, “But, I say to you.” With this statement, the Son of God offers an accurate exposition on the law. He offers the true antithesis to false teaching and exposes how a proper understanding of the law regarding adultery is actually a focus on the desires of the heart and not on the works of man. This true understanding shows how every law of God unleashes and promotes love and reveals that it is a true treasure profitable for our soul. Listen here.

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Scott Brown in Youth Ministry Debate

Julie Roys, I want to thank you for including me in the interview with Doug Brown and Luke MacDonald. My appeal in this interview was essentially to acknowledge that the modern, age-segregated discipleship methodology is not a creature of Scripture, but rather of the philosophy of public education and the influence of a new phenomenon – youth culture. Now is the time to sound the alarm and go back to Scripture alone, rather than trying to salvage broken patterns of a youth culture. That always has been, and will continue to be the greatest place of blessing.

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Another Blast from the Culture of Death

Albert Mohler speaks up for the unborn, as he has so many times, in this article, Thrown Over the Fence — Infanticide, Canadian Style. He ends the piece with these chilling words:

Mark this well — the horrific logic of this judge’s decision will not remain in Canada. Indeed, it did not even start in Canada. Those arguments are already in place in the United States. If we will not defend life in the womb, eventually the dignity of every single human life is thrown over the fence.

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