"God be merciful to us & bless us, & cause His face to shine upon us.
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad & sing for joy!"
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"God is For Us!"
(I presented a version of this 9 July 2017 at Heritage Presbyterian Church; and again on 19 July 2017 at the Capitol Bible Forum, Oklahoma State Capitol)
have often used this passage and these thoughts when talking about Baptism. Now
that may startle you a bit since the only water mentioned are the tears of
David. But if you’ll hold on tight I think you may see how I get there.
Pressure is Constant (1, 2, and 5):
“all day long”.
Pressure is Fierce (1-2, 5-7):“tramples on me….an
attacker oppresses me” (1); “My
enemies trample on me….many attack me proudly” (2); “injure my cause….thoughts are against me for evil” (5); “stir up strife…lurk…watch my steps….waited
for my life” (6). Fierce Response (7).
Prayer in the Pressure (1a;
3-4, 8-11): “Faith
is seen here as a deliberate act, in defiance of one’s emotional state”
Derek Kidner; v. 8-11. ***v.9 “This I know that God is for me…” – and we have a more certain Word of
Promise. How do I know God is for me? Christ crucified! That’s exactly what the
New Testament is saying in many places, for example: Romans 5.8 and Romans 8.31-39.
defiant faith, what do you believe? “God is for me!” How do you know? “Christ
died for me!”
That’s one of the things your baptism preaches,
proclaims and pronounces to you, to those watching, to the world, the flesh and
the devil! Baptism is a portrayal and portrait of grace rather than faith.
Believe all that your baptism is preaching!
and Vow-keeping (12-13):
The vows were made in the thick of it; the vows were made because of God’s
promising word; and the vows will be kept in appreciation of God’s his rescuing
David (“for“ of v.13). We keep the
vows because “God is for me” (v.9c).
This principle applies to our wedding vows as well as the vows some of us make
when we baptize our children.
So in the end, if you get
nothing else out of this presentation today, get this: In defiant
faith, what do you believe? “God is for me!” How do you know? “Christ died for
me!” And your
baptism preaches it to you! Remember your baptism!
When I was 20 years old, I was stationed in a Muslim country for two years. During that time I read the Quran (in an English translation from Oxford), interacted with Muslim acquaintances, and saw Islam lived out in it's communal context. Therefore I was excited when my mother gave me a copy of "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus". With bazillions of reviews already plastered on the various sites and venues, mine will be short and succinct.
Nabeel Qureshi has woven together a very personal and personable volume written to give "an insider's perspective into a Muslim heart," as well as equip readers "with facts and knowledge, showing the strength of the case for the gospel contrasted with the case for Islam," while chronicling his own inner struggles, sacrifices and doubts when grappling with the Christian faith. The style of writing is autobi…
"When evil looms and darkness falls And tragedy is breaking When all that's good seems overturned By God I'm not forsaken For though I fall or wander far I'm not too far for saving And when my Shepherd seeks and finds How can I keep from singing" (229)?
So cantillates Jennifer Michelle Greenberg, mother, wife, writer, musician and abuse survivor, in her new 240 page hardback "Not Forsaken: A Story of Life After Abuse". This volume is the tale of her terrors and troubles at the hands of an abusive father, and it is far, far more. It is truly a story of life after abuse, abundant life found only in the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. An easy to read book, it is ideally suited for those who have been traumatized and those who long to help the trampled! "I am not my abuser. I have a choice. I aspire to heal and grow by God's grace" (82).
It's a memoir, a series of journal entries telling a very human set of stories in a very friendly, personable way. It's not fully polished, but it's real, sometimes raw, and always forthright and frank! Holly Rench, Executive Director and co-founder of The Welcome Mission, has penned a touching series of real-life exploits, escapades, agonies and adversities of the women she has been involved with for over twelve years in this 231 page softback "At Home: The Incredible Story of The Welcome Mission".
Rench unravels the tangled lives of several of her and Marcus's "adopted" adult children describing their destructive pasts and how many of them, through love and hospitality, have moved further up and further on. But the tales are also filled with pitfalls and potholes that will jar the reader's suspension system's and rattle any self-righteous lug-nuts s…