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"Dwell with Us and Revive Us!" - 13 September 2020

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Mighty God, who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, who says “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15). O dwell with us and revive us!O Lord, our Lord, we pray for Heritage Presbyterian Church, for these churches around Oklahoma City, Frontline Church, Full Gospel Assembly, Gate Church, and harvest Church; and for your church in all places and your people being hammered and hounded and hunted down world over. We all profess our love and adoration for you, and we all confess that we are saved by your invasive and merciful love. Now, Lord, cause us to become what you have made us: Children of the Living, Holy God, who are no longer wooed by the father of lies, who are no longer caught in the snares of our own lusts and pride, but those who are thoroughly loyal to you. Give us aid and strength to be intentionally heal…

"The Silver Chair" by C.S. Lewis. Short Brief

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A search for a missing prince, a gloomy Marshwiggle, chatty owls, human-eating giants, an underground civilization, a witch, magic, and enchantments. It's all there, and more. Eustace and Jill set out with Puddleglum, the Marshwiggle, to find Prince Rillian, son of Caspian the Tenth. The story is packed subtleties and witticisms that will please younger readers, and cause adults to pause and ponder. I recorded myself reading each chapter, and uploaded them to my channel on YouTube at Michael Philliber. I happily recommend the book.

"We Come to Intercede" - 6 September 2020

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Lord God, we come to intercede for your Church and world. We ask you to strengthen this congregation that in doing all things without complaining and disputing, we may become increasingly blameless, pure in quality, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:14-15). Be pleased to make us even more harmonious and to become more clearly a sign of grace to our fractured and fragmented world. Be pleased to add to this church such as are being saved; and add to us in such a way as will mirror the new heavens and new earth, as will reflect that new Jerusalem in which will dwell people from every tribe, tongue, nationality, and economic strata, gathered around your throne exalting you and hearing you say, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5)!We ask for your ongoing help, strength, protection, deliverance and sustenance of your Church throughout the world, especially in places where she is being pummeled and persecuted; als…

"Is It Abuse" by Darby Strickland. A Review

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Is It Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping VictimsDarby StricklandP&R PublishingPrpbooks.comISBN: 9781629956947; 16 September 2020; $19.99Domestic abuse has been an important subject to me as a man, as a Christian, and as a Presbyterian minister, for several years. Therefore, I was delighted when Darby Strickland, a counselor and teacher at Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF), and Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing asked me to be part of a “launch team” for Strickland’s new 360-page paperback coming out in a few days: “Is It Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims”. As soon as I received the electronic galley copy, I jumped in with both feet and was not disappointed. It is written in a comfortable style easily digestible by anyone who will take it up and read. But it is written primarily for those who desire to stand beside and help victims of domestic abuse. Therefore, the author aims to pass on to …

"The End of the Christian Life" by J. Todd Billings. A Review

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The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly LiveJ. Todd BillingsBrazos PressISBN: 9781587434204; September 2020; $19.99Today, it came at me again. I was teaching a small group of people at our State Capitol and we were hunkered down examining James 4:13-17. James was correcting the brazen outlook that thinks we have control of our lives and our outcomes, while not having God anywhere in the equation (4:13). And part of James’s remedy was to point out that in light of our brevity (4:14) what we should say is, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (4:15). If the Lord – the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1 and 2:1) wills, we will live…and then engage in our activities. And that thought is what “The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live” occupies itself with in 240 softback pages. The author, J. Todd Billings, Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mi…

"Restore Us, O Lord God" - 23 August 2020

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Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth; stir up your might and come to save us (Psalm 80:1-2)!Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, as we pray on behalf of your Church wherever she gathers, including this congregation, along with Covenant Community Church, Covenant Life Church, Crossings Community Church and Eastpointe Community Church. May she have strength to endure the heat of day and the gloom of night. May she have courage to maintain her witness with honesty and integrity. May she be comforted in her tribulations and hold faithful in her good fortunes. Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved (Psalm 80:19)!Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, as we pray for those who are pursuing ordination in Gospel ministry (…). May they be shaped by the hands of the master artisan into good under-shepherds, compassionate pastors, diligent and resilient in Gospel proclamation and healthy doct…

"Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk" by Tosi and Warmke. A Review

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Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral TalkJustin Tosi and Brandon WarmkeOxford University PressISBN: 9780190900151; July 2020; $19.95It’s melting the internet and burning up several news outlets. It makes informed dialogue among people nearly impossible, cracking up the sense of and desire for the common good. It looks and feels like chest-thumping and cock-strutting, and is turning up, with greater intensity, in the Whitehouse, the publishing house, and at the alehouse. Recently, a well-documented 248-page hardback has arrived on the scene diagnosing this “more-heat-than-light” predicament, “Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk”. The authors, Justin Tosi - Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Texas Tech University, and Brandon Warmke - Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University, want to foster moral talk, but find huge obstacles. “People need to be able to talk about justice, freedom, equality, and the right thing to do. But we need to do so in …