Monday, March 23, 2009

Audio Downloads!

I love free stuff! Here are a couple of excellent resources to download for free.
  • Download Donald S. Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life here on HT: Jason
  • Download Pursuing God and Wasted Faith books here on WayToGod.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Songs I Want Played at My Funeral

I hope to live a long life on the earth, but when the Lord does call me home, let it be known that I want this song played at my funeral. Here are the lyrics (based on Psalm 96) which rightly exalt the Lord as He should be exalted!

Glorious and Mighty
(Psalm 96)
Words by Joel Sczebel, Todd Twining, and Bob Kauflin
Music by Joel Sczebel and Todd Twining

Verse 1
Majesty, Your glory is shining
Brighter than the moon and the stars
Marveling, we honor and fear You
Above all gods

Glorious and mighty, You’re awesome In beauty
Joyful songs we raise
Glorious and mighty, You’re awesome in beauty
Greatly to be praised

Verse 2
Majesty, You fashioned the heavens
Your decrees can never be changed
Over all the plans of the nations
Your judgments reign

Verse 3
Majesty, we’ll sing with creation
When You come again in the clouds
Every knee will bow down and worship
The one true God

Words by Joel Sczebel, Todd Twining, and Bob Kauflin, music by Joel Sczebel and Todd Twining.
© 2008 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).
Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
From Psalms. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
North American administration by Integrity Music. International administration by CopyCare International.
I love the Psalms CD that Sovereign Grace put out last year. You can hear clips of the CD and order it for yourself here. P.S. While I'm asking, it would be great if Melissa Farmer (who belts out this song on this CD) could sing it at my funeral, I'd be much obliged.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some things to get excited about

I've had this draft for weeks now, so I guess it's time to finish it up and get it out! Here are some things I've come across of late ...
  • A friend recently shared a sermon from Pastor Tim Juhnke of FCC up north. There is power in the Blood is the name of it, and it powerfully pulls out of the text in Hebrews 9:14-28 the significance and prominence of blood in the Old Testament sacrifices, and by extension the emphasis on the blood of Christ in the New Testament. This forgotten significance has been forgotten. The next time you eat fast food, remember, "Something died so that I can live." Says Juhnke, there is one reason the Bible emphasizes the blood of Christ the way it does: to graphically illustrate God's utter hatred of sin. (Ezekiel 18:20a) Also helpful was how he explains about how people before Christ got saved. They were saved 'retro-actively' by the blood of Christ (Heb 9:15). Check out this powerful message! Tim has agreed to bring this message to the Bible Study Group at work when we have our Easter celebration on April 9th.
  • You have never heard John MacArthur like this! You can find his personal testimony story here. Phil Johnson interviews and you'll hear some funny, interesting and edifying stories. Neat how he could have played wide reciever for the Cleveland Browns but wanted to preach instead! To whet your whistle here is an excerpt from the transcript where MacArthur talks about his childhood:
JOHN: I do have a great curiosity. And I love to see what things would do if I did this, or that to them. Or, I mean, I don’t know, one time my little sister little sister, Jeanette, was in her little playpen in the kitchen, it was really cold and she kept say, “I’m cold, I’m cold,” she was about three and I was about five or six. And so I took the pillows off the couch and put them in the stove, in the oven. I didn’t know, I just stuffed them in the oven and turned the oven on.

PHIL: (Laughing)

JOHN: And, of course, when I could smell them, I figured they were warm enough to put in her little playpen so she could get warm. And I took them out, and they were on fire on the back.

PHIL: Ooh.

JOHN: And when I pulled them out and realized that, I just kind of flipped them and they landed inside the playpen and so mother says I went in the bedroom and said, “You better get up,” it was early in the morning and they were in the bedroom, I said, “You better get up because Jeanette’s on fire.” And my Mom’s jaw dropped and my Dad says, “What are you talking about?” But having lived with me for six years, they realized there could be some truth to the statement. And they came bolting out to the kitchen and sure enough, these pillows are going up in smoldering flame and they grabbed her out of there. And I don’t know, I was really just trying to help, Phil...I...

PHIL: (More laughing) Pretty helpful.
  • We recently had a guest speaker at our Bible Study Group at work. Lucas Hannah, associate pastor at Shawnee RPC, came and talked about evangelism. If you work at State Street you can see the video on our intranet site. For everyone else, here is a summary of Lucas's message.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Was the Protestant Reformation Necessary?

Greg Bahnsen emphatically answers this question in this message. (Also recommended is the late Dr Bahnsen's book Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith.)
HT: Just For Catholics

Practical Evangelism by Lucas Hanna

Lucas sent me this summary of the message he gave at our Bible Study at work in February. He briefly outlined the Gospel itself doctrinally, but his message this time was intentionally practical in nature ...

We all need tools to accomplish the work we do. When it comes to sharing the gospel we need tools as well. Because without tools, tools that we know how to use and use well, we will find our selves ineffective. These are some of the tools that I teach people how to use at the Shawnee Reformed Presbyterian Church of Shawnee. If you have another tool to use that is great. If you don’t have any tools on your belt of truth, here are some suggestions.

Remember you have the opportunity to effect great advancement in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. The P.R.E.S.S. acronym begins with a commitment to pray, a commitment to choose a few people to pray for, and a commitment to make a little time in your week to spend time with them. A commitment to share the gospel with those you have been praying for, looking for opportunities to expose the non-believer to other Christians. Finally it is a commitment to sponsor the new believer into the kingdom. Your commitment to share the gospel results in a responsibility to teach that person. To see them rooted in truth, and reproducing the work in others that you accomplished in them.

* Pray
* Relate intentionally
* Expose
* Share
* Sponsor
Lucas also shares several resources (tools for your toolbelt) to learn, to help you to be more confident in sharing the Good News with your friends and family. He describes them below.
Share Jesus Without fear by Bill Fay

This is the tool that enables you to simply and clearly present the gospel of Jesus Christ quickly. It is not the whole gospel for the whole man. It is just the basics, just the elementary principles of God, sin, death, mercy, justice, Jesus, and faith. But when you need to share simply and quickly it is a great first step on the lifelong journey of following Jesus.

Life issues (4 Studies on the book of John) by Randy Pope

This is an evangelistic tool we train the people at our church with. It is an excellent resource for someone interested in exploring the claims of Jesus Christ. Very often when you have shared the gospel a person is interested, the Spirit of God is working in them, and they are under conviction but they want to know more. This is a great way to show them Jesus. Each book also gives a very short explanation for basic Christian beliefs.

i.e. ( Is the bible the word of God?, Do all non-Christians deserve eternal punishment?, Is Jesus the only way to God?, and What is required for eternal life?

How to Grow in Christ by Jack Kinneer

This is the absolutely necessary step of follow-up. The new believer must get into a good church where they can be cared for. You must also take the responsibility to make sure they are being trained to grow in Christ. This is an excellent “discipleship” tool. Good for both women and men, simple but very solid. The author was actually my Greek professor in Seminary.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The beast within

This quote came in my daily E-Word devotional:
An officer in India had tamed a leopard. From the time when it was a kitten he had brought it up, till it went about the house like a cat, and everybody played with it. But he was sitting in his chair one day asleep, and the leopard licked his hand. But as he licked, the skin was broken, and the taste of blood came to the leopard. It rushed forth to kill, and was no more at ease till it reached the jungle. That leopard, though tamed, was a leopard still. So a man, sobered by moral motives but unchanged in heart, is a fallen man still, and the taste of blood, I mean the taste of sin, will soon reveal the tiger in him.
I haven't seen the sermon this quote came from, but perhaps he was referring to Jeremiah 13:23. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil."

This points to the need for a radical heart transformation that only God can bring about. Even those who are great folks, heros even, are in need of a Savior. No matter how many good things a person does, there are still impure motives, thoughts, and attitudes that are high-handed treason against a perfectly holy God.

Praise the Lord for this awesome Work of salvation! I praise Christ for His perfect sacrifice that made me right with God! (Romans 5:8)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Rolf Family Website!

I've had little time to post of late, but had to get this one out there. What a treat the Rolf family is! You'll want to check out their new Rolf Family Music website!

About Me

Here is my testimony: mike