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Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

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Driving down Old Frankfurt Pike today, through Midway, KY, after eating at Wallace Station Cafe … was captivated by God’s glory. Even found myself asking, “Is this what heaven will be like?” I thought of this poem by Gerald Manly Hopkins:

Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.
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I know this is a long song but it will pay for you to listen and focus on the lyrics. So many themes here. But just listen. No musical artist makes me give thanks for the goodness of God like Andrew Peterson.

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i, pencil

Check this out. It’s a good apologetic for capitalism and divine providence … and why we are at it, a good reason to be thankful.

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Here’s a convicting thought from the pen of John Piper:

Two guidelines for giving: 1) “Whenever we renounce anyone’s pleas or refuse to meet any need that we see, we must be able to say honestly: I am refusing because of the great love God has for me and because I delight so much in his mercy. 2) Of all our money and possessions we should be able to say: I retain possession of this because of how much worth God is to me.”

Let’s chew on that one for a while.

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In light of my recent sermons on the birth of Jesus and the good news of the gospel (hey there was a lot of singing going on during that time), here’s a copied post from Ray Ortlund, Jr.:

“Nothing is more characteristic of Reformation theology and few parts of Reformation Church activity have been so neglected as the congregational singing.  It was far from being a pleasant element introduced rather inconsistently into a service otherwise ruled by a sombre view of life.  We have already seen that in 1537 one of the four foundations for the reform of the Church was congregational singing. . . . We have seen in effect that Calvin placed singing at the heart of his theology of the Church.  The reason is not far to seek.  To put it with the utmost simplicity: The Church is the place where the Gospel is preached; Gospel is good news; good news makes people happy; happy people sing.  But then, too, unhappy people may sing to cheer themselves up.”

T. H. L. Parker, John Calvin (London, 1975), page 87.

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This quote seems like a good follow-up to my sermon from yesterday. Believer, when a dark night hits you, remember that it could always be darker, deservedly so.

There is one thing I am sure we can sing about, even in the darkest night, and that is, “It is because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail”   [Lamentations 3:22]. If we can’t sing very loud, still we can sing a little low tune, something like this—“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” [Psalm 103:10]. “O!” says one, “I don’t know where to get my dinner from tomorrow. I am a poor wretch.” So you may be, my dear friend; but you are not so poor as you deserve to be. Don’t be offended about that; if you are, you are no child of God; for the child of God acknowledges that he has no right to the least of God’s mercies, but that they come through the channel of grace alone. As long as I am still out of hell, I have no right to grumble; and if I were in hell I still would have no right to complain, for I feel, when convinced of sin, that no creature ever deserved to go there more than I do. We have no reason to murmur; we can lift up our hands, and say, “Night! you are dark, but you might have been darker. I am poor, and if I could not have been poorer, I might have been sick. I am poor and sick—well, I have some friends left, my situation in life is not so bad, but it might have been worse.” And therefore, Christian, you will always have one thing to sing about—”Lord, I thank you, it’s not all darkness!” Besides, Christian, however dark the night is, there is always a star or moon. There is hardly ever a night that we have, when there are only just one or two little lights burning in the sky. However dark it may be, I think you may find some little comfort, some little joy, some little mercy left, and some little promise to cheer your spirit. The stars are not forever extinguished, are they? No, even when you can’t see them, they are there; but I think one or two must be shining on you; therefore give God a song in the night. If you have only one star, bless God for that one, perhaps he will make it two; and if you have only two stars, bless God twice for the two stars, and perhaps he will make them four. Try, then, to see if you could sing a song in the night.

Charles Spurgeon, sermon Songs in the Night

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Mark 10:29-30 [29] Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, [30] who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

“I have heard of some good old woman in a cottage, who had nothing but a piece of bread and a little water; and lifting up her hands, she said, as a blessing, ‘What! All this, and Christ too?’ It is ‘all this’ compared with what we deserve.”

Charles Spurgeon, from the sermon “The Peculiar Sleep of the Beloved”

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