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Crossway is giving away the ESV Study Bible app for their online bible in celebration of 75 years of Gospel-centered publishing. Get get your copy today. They don’t say how long it’s going to be free so go get it today for free!

I said I would post the songs that were sung in the last post and I didn’t. So I’ll post them here. Please though read my actual recap in my last post where it actually is. Sorry I only inluded titles. I don’t have lots of time to search out where they are. The first few places to check would be the Enfield CDs, and Sovereign Grace Music.

Session 1: Rick Holland
1. Be Thou My Vision
2. Come People of the Risen King
Conference Introduction
3. The Solid Rock
4. The Glories of Calvary
5. No Other Savior
6. Revelation Song – Chorus
7. There is A Fountain
8. Rock of Ages
9. Man Of Sorrows

Session 2: John MacArthur
1. By Faith – we will stand as children of the promise
2. Jesus Shall Reign
3. O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
4. Psalm 62 Thankyou music
5. I Will Glory in My Redeemer

Session 3: Al Mohler
1. Crown Him with Many Crowns
2. Let Your Kingdom Come

Session 4: John MacArthur
1. The Church’s One Foundation
2. In Christ Alone
3. How Firm a Foundation
4. The Solid Rock
5. O Church Arise
6. The Church’s One Foundation (Last verse)

Session 5: Panel Q&A
1. Our Great God

Session 6: C. J. Mahaney
Guest Worship Leader: Bob Kauflin
1. Glorious And Mighty
2. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
3. You Have Been Raised
4. Crown Him with Many Crowns
5. O Great God
6. All I Have Is Christ
7. Before the Throne

Session 7: Steve Lawson
1. When Trials Come
2. Jesus is Lord
3. Jesus Shall Reign
4. And Can It Be?
5. Jesus, Thank You

Session 8: Rick Holland
1. Lead On, O King Eternal
2. Glorious and Mighty
3. all Hail the Power Of Jesus Name
4. Rock of Ages
5. the power of the cross
6. All I have is Christ
7. Mercy Awaits

Session 9: Steve Lawson
1. Blessed Be Your Name
2. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

Session 10: Al Mohler
1. Come Christians Join to sing
2. Eternal Praise
3. By faith
4. Psalm 62 Stuart Townsend
5. The Solid Rock
6. no other saviour
7. how marvelous

Session 11: C. J. Mahaney
1. Alive In Christ
2. There is a fountain
3. And Can It Be?
4. Jesus, Thank You
5. Amazing Grace
6. Finally Home

Check out and find any music you don’t have.

Shadow of the Almighty

“He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” This is the quote on the front of the book, one of Jim Elliot’s most well known sayings. It was written in one of his journals. This is what Jim Elliot accomplished in his life. He died at the age of 29, yet his life has impacted many.

One of the ways that Jim’s life helped mine was his resolve to give over everything for Christ, including wanting to get married to a specific young lady. He had great affections for this one young woman, Betty. They met in college, but it seemed that God was keeping them apart for some reason. They did eventually marry on the mission field, but the encouraging part about Jim’s life is that he continued to give her over to Christ. He struggled because he loved her. There were times that he wrote about how difficult is was and how he wanted her and that he, at times, just didn’t understand what God was doing.

What, for me, was encouraging is that I, too, have a desire to get married and a young lady has/had caught my attention. Seeing that Jim could give Betty up, shows me that by God’s grace I can give up the one who has caught mine attention. I’m not saying that God will give her to me if I give her up as God gave Jim and Elisabeth to one another. But I do know that God will sustain me, and will give me my wife in his timing, when I’m ready if He has decided to give me one.

The book consisted mostly of Jim’s own writing, his journals and letters to others. What I would have liked more is to have know more of what was going on around him. The context of the U.S. and the countries he was in for missionary work. It would have been nice to have been able to have placed him in the personal time line that I have in my head of history.

The Prodigal God

I just finished The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. I really enjoyed the book. I read most of it in a day or two and then was away from it for over a month. Some of the good aspects of the book is the correction of my understanding of prodigal. Based on the parable, I assumed it meant sinful. Keller adjusts that view and explains that prodigal means abundantly giving, which actually makes sense with the actions of the younger brother. He was abundantly giving with his resources when pursuing sin, but the point of the parable is the abundance given from God. Though the father had no relationship with either son because of the disinterest of the sons, the father gave and gave when his son returned, desiring to do the same for the older son.

What Keller tries to get at is that the two sons represent two different kinds of people in the world. The older brother represents the legalistic, self-righteous and religious people. The younger brother represents the outwardly sinful. Both are separated from God and have no relationship with him. The father though wants to have a relationship with his sons, so as the father is representing God, we see how God made that possible through Christ. The sin of both kinds of people separates them from God and God wants to bring us back to himself because we were created for fellowship with Him. He accomplished that by clearing the sin away through Christ’s death on the cross, making it so nothing stands in the way so we could have fellowship with Him, like we were created for.

Keller ends his story with the feast. Jesus talks about a feast. The Old Testament ends with a feast. Why a feast? “There is no better way to convey vividly what it means to live out a life based on [Christ’s] saving work.” (p. 106) The feast in the new Jerusalem on the new earth, depicted by the parable, is where we get to “taste” an understanding of the grace of God purchased through the gospel of Christ.

I commend this book to people. I’ve read another review saying the opposite because he believes that Keller gets the emphasis of the parable wrong. What do I commend then? I commend using discernment. Have your Bible open with you when you read this book, when you read any book. Paul commends that.

Lord of the Storm

Right now there is a huge storm where I live. The power has threatened to go out quite a few times by flickering as I sat in my house doing homework. I can hear the powerful wind blowing through the trees, and the spray of the rain against my window. I’ve been outside a few times tonight, and well, walking around isn’t very easy or fun to do right now.

All this power, all this might, made me think of the story of Jesus when He calmed the Sea of Galilee. This story is found in the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 8:18,23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25. I’m going to use the one from Mark though.

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

The issue of this story is a matter of faith. That is what Jesus confronts the disciples on in each of the Gospels. As the boat is filling up with water, the disciples start to fear. They get so fearful that they run to Jesus. In the gospel of Matthew they say, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” (v25) They clearly went to him to have him do something, though I don’t think they were expecting what they saw based on the way they responded. Mark said they were filled with great fear, while Matthew and Luke say they marveled. Those ways of describing the response are similar but different. Marvel implies Wow!, while fear implies Woah!

What caused that wow and woah? Jesus calming the storm. Mark’s gospel is the only one that records what he said to the storm. “Peace! Be still!” (v39) Another thing I find interesting is that Mark and Luke record Jesus confronting the storm first, then the disciples while Matthew records Jesus confronting the lack of faith of the disciples first. Does it matter which came first? Nope. I believe there was more words exchanged than are recorded, but the gospel writers gave us the essentials.

What’s the whole point of this story? I think it’s to show that Jesus has power over the wind and water. That is how the disciples response is recorded in Luke. “And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?'” (v25) Wind and water, like the storm I”m being sheltered from in my room in my house. I don’t have a sea, but there is rain. Jesus commanded the storm “And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” There was a great calm. Not just a calm, a great calm. Jesus has the power with mere words to command the storm I’m in. Just like the Father used words to bring about the existence of the universe, Jesus used words to control that universe. Both God as presented in Genesis and Jesus have power, with words, over the universe. My Jesus, my Savior, my King, my Lord has the power to stop any storm, and at times doesn’t. This makes me think of Japan, the earthquake and Tsunami that happened. Jesus could have stopped it, but didn’t. In His wisdom he knows why He didn’t. I just know that my Jesus is more powerful than His creation and I can rest in that.

Here is a video of what happened in Japan. It’s a silent video. A very powerful storm.

Another Video (of ground footage). Yet Another.

A Hymn on this Passage:
Master, the Tempest Is Raging (Peace Be Still)
Author: Mary A. Baker, 1831-1921
Musician: Horatio R. Palmer, 1834-1907

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threat’ning
A grave in the angry deep?

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
Peace be still!
Whether the wrath of the stormtossed sea,
Or demons, or men, or whatever it be,
No water can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will;
Peace, be still! Peace be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will;
Peace, peace, be still!

Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled;
O waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul!
And I perish! I perish, dear Master;
O hasten, and take control!

Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast.
Linger, O blessed Redeemer,
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

John MacArthur spoke at session 8. He spoke on how Jesus is involved with His church. John used Revelation 1. It’s the only image in the Bible of Jesus being involved with His church in his exalted state. He inhabits it. He is not a far off but intimately involved. There were five points that were drawn from Rev 1 that show how Jesus is involved with His church.

  1. He intercedes for his Church (v 13 – clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest)
  2. He purifies the church ( v 14,15 – Bronze feet, as refined)
  3. He commands his church (v15 – voice like roar of many waters)
  4. He controls his church (v16 – stars in his hand who are the messagers of the churches or pastors)
  5. He protects his church (v 16- two edged sword and v 2:16)
  6. He reflects his glory through the church/evangelism (v16 – sun shining face)

Lastly we covered the appropriate response to seeing the vision; exactly was John did, fell flat on his face, just like the other prophets did that saw God (Isa, Eze, etc.)

Now there are only three days left until Resolved. I’ve finished all of the CDs I wanted to make of last years conference to hand out to people who weren’t there last year. The thing is I haven’t even started packing yet or tried to figure out what I wanted to take.

The last speaker is Randy Alcorn. He is the newest speaker to the line up. All the other guys were there last year. Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM). Which has an emphasis on the eternal viewpoint. Alcorn has been studying Heaven for over 25 years. I mean the biblical Heaven. He has been studying the Bible to see what it says. I’m glad He has been studying that. The generations in the last few centuries have lost site of Heaven and what it is really like. You can read his bio page here from EPM.

Reading Update
I’ve been able to read more of Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish by Friday evening.
I did recieve my order so I got my other books. Maybe someone in my car could read Edward’s Heaven, A World of Love. That would be cool.

Only 4 Days left. I’m getting more excited everyday. I still need to figure out what I’m going to take and make sure it is all ready to be packed. That is going to be some work.

The next speaker is Steve Lawson. The message I remember most by Steve Lawson from last years conference was the cost of Discipleship. I need to listen to the conference again. I probably won’t be able to do it before this years conference but I do need to listen to it again. Steve Lawson is the president of New Reformation Ministries. I don’t remember what it is about and I couldn’t tell you because the site is down at the moment I’m writing this blog. Oh Well. You can find some of his books on the Ligonier Ministries Website. He is one of the Reformation Trust Authors. You can find his page of that here
He is working a on series of book called A Long Line of Godly Men. The first book which is published is called Foundations of Grace. You don’t have to buy it there. You can buy it at Amazon, Grace Books International, Monergism, Reformation Heritage Books, Westminster Books and Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service. You can find his little info page on the Resolved site.

Reading Update
I was able to read a little more in Heaven. But not very much more. I’m going to be able to finish the first part of the book (Theology of Heaven) before the conference.
The other book I’m waiting for which is supposed to be coming by UPS. It is out for delivery so I hope it comes before I have to go to work. The book is Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards’s Vision of Living in Between by Stephen Nichols. I also ordered Heaven, A World of Love (Pocket Puritan Series) by Jonathan Edwards also because I said, “Hey, that is the kind of thing I was looking for.” Come to find out Banner of Truth Trust just published it in a new series that they are planning to expand called Pocket Puritans. You should go check it out. As I am writing this, they are on the front page in the new releases section. They are the first four. I hope to be able to look at all three of these books before Resolved.

I apologize for so many links. Click carefully.

On Sunday, John Piper preached his third sermon in the Psalm series. He preached from Psalm 51 about sin and guilt. I pray that you folks would listen to it as well as the rest of the series. Next week while I’m at resolved, he’ll preach the next one then fly to Resolved to preach to us there.

Here are the three sermons so far:

Songs That Shape the Heart and Mind
Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God, Part 1
Psalm 1
May 25, 2008

Spiritual Depression in the Psalms
Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God, Part 2
Psalm 42
June 1, 2008

A Broken and Contrite Heart God Will Not Despise
Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God, Part 3
Psalm 51
June 8, 2008

John Piper uses the English Standard Version (ESV).

Hey readers.
It’s really been a while since I’ve posted. If this blog represents the spiritual disciple in my life, it’s doing a pretty good Job. As I have prayed that God would draw me closer to Him, I’ve been seeing it happen but I would like continued prayer as I am still struggling. Pray that the world would have less and less of a grip on me. I was able to witness to a couple of people, Alisha and some others. Pray for Alisha though. She is in love with her sin so much that she is blinded.
On to the subject of this post:

I was reading my email and I saw an article on the front page of my email about the aftershocks and fear of the Chinese people. As I was skimming it, I thought about the fact that God uses Natural disasters as both punishments of wrath against their sin but also to serve as a warning.

My personal opinion is that this earthquake and it’s after shocks are because God is angry with the Chinese for the crackdown on Christians because of the up coming Olympics. I started going through my email and I was finding emails about that all the way back to October. They might go back even further but I didn’t check.

The emails I receive are from the Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors and other ministries serving the persecuted. I thought I might quote some of the emails.

These arrests are the latest in the Chinese communist government’s crackdown on Christians prior to the Olympics this summer.”

As China prepares to host the 2008 Olympic Games, a recent debate of whether athletes will have personal access to Bibles during their stay in Beijing sparked international controversy.

An announcement stated that the country intended to ban Bibles for security reasons, as well as all religious symbols in the Olympic Village — a report that came on the heels of China’s official pledge to encourage religion during the 2008 Games.”

Pray for Christians in China who face increased persecution ahead of the 2008 Olympics.”

Here is the last quote I’m going to include. I have decided to include the whole email I recieved from Christian Freedom International back in October of last year. I hope you see what I’m saying through all these quotes. I’m trying to show you whats happening and why I’m thinking the recent earthquake was a warning and a punishment on China. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not turning my back on China. Continue to pray for them. Send relief. But don’t forget to pray against the persecution and mistreatment of Christians. So I end with the email from October.

With the Olympics less than a year away, Beijing is set to achieve a major propaganda victory.

Yet the so-called People’s Republic of China just launched another church crackdown, arresting at least 15 Christian leaders in six provinces.

Fortunately, you and I can do something. We don’t have to purchase Chinese toys or products.

I urge you to call, write, or email the Chinese embassy in Washington and the following companies to explain why.

Walmart | Toys R Us | Mattel | Hasbro | Target

Here is the email address for the Chinese embassy in Washington:, or call (202) 328-2500.

You can simply say, “Unless China allows religious freedom and stops the persecution of Christians I will not buy products made in China.”

We can–we must–shame the Chinese government for denying its citizens the freedom to worship God.

I know such a strategy might not bear immediate fruit, but in following the Gospel pattern we would be planting seeds for the future.

We must never forget the plight of our brothers and sisters abroad–whether in China or elsewhere.

Please forward this alert to others.
Jim Jacobson
Christian Freedom International

If you would like updates on Persecuted Christian see the following Ministries’ websites and maybe even sign up for their e-newsletters.

Please continue to pray for Burma and China.