image When it comes to joy, we oft time settle for mediocrity…or less. The reality, or the result, or both, of the lack thereof, may appear in the inner person, or often in public performance to exhibit frustration. Like the wail for vanished car keys, “Where’s my joy for cry in’out loud!”

Ed Welsh, counselor and faculty member at CCEF, has an interesting take as follows:

We settle for too little.

It is so easy to set the bar at mere obedience. Do right. Do right in the midst of temptations. Do right in suffering. These are certainly good, but when we know Jesus, we know there is more—we know there is joy.

Joy lives in public

Joy is our animated response to the breakthrough of heaven into earth, and heaven breaks through a lot. I was at a conference where a female singer led us in worship. She sang by herself, without accompaniment, and she had one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. The lyrics she sang were her voice’s equal. Heaven broke through. I responded immediately: I cried, and I turned to the person next to me, who I didn’t know, and said, “Have you ever heard anything so beautiful?!”

Joy, it seems, cannot be contained. It prefers being shared, and it leans toward the boisterous.

For its secular expression, think about a sports team that wins a championship. The joy is public and communal. Teammates raise their hands in fist pumps, yell and scream, run around hug each other, and sometimes form a human pileup. It may look a little silly to a bystander who doesn’t know what all the commotion is about, but that is joy’s usual signature throughout the world.

Here is the psalmist’s way:

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. (Ps. 5:11)

Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore,“Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” (Ps. 35:7)

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on
the strings, with loud shouts. (Ps. 33:3)

Godly joy is singing, shouting and gladness. It’s similar to the secular expression, but a championship is fleeting, the Lord is not. If the psalmists expressed joy long before the Lord more fully revealed himself in Jesus Christ, then we can be certain that every follower of Christ will be able to tell some personal stories of joy on this side of heaven.

Public expression of joy is hard for some people

At this point, it gets challenging for me. I like the idea of joy, but I don’t quite do it like the psalms. I have been on winning sports teams and I never raised my hands in victory, even though many of my teammates did. Occasionally I will, when Iwin a game of Scrabble from my wife, but trash-talk is not really joy. I am more subdued by nature, so I lower the bar for joy and reduce it to a passing smile or the occasional tears. No doubt, those who struggle with depression or anxiety lower the bar too.

Let’s raise the bar
This is my prayer to raise the bar on joy:

Lord, I don’t really know what my more sanctified version of joy will look like, but it will look like more than it does right now. I want to grow. I want to approach heaven’s joy before I enter heaven. I see the potential for joy in so many details of daily life. (I see the potential for tears too, but that is another story). Please sanctify me in joy in such a way that I honor you.”

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Posted: 18th September 2014 by Rob in Uncategorized

Click for Video – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United – with Lyrics

Be Holy

Posted: 5th June 2014 by Rob in Uncategorized

200604_120_art_RyleJ.C. Ryle on Holiness

“A life of daily self-consecration and daily communion with God should be aimed at by everyone who professes to be a believer…we should strive to attain the habit of going to the Lord Jesus Christ with everything we find a burden, whether great or small, and casting it upon Him.
The New Testament teaches us that we want something more than generalities about holy living, which often prick no conscience and give no offence. (“We want” as in we desire or better understood as “we are want of” is in something lacking)
True holiness does not consist merely of believing and feeling, but of doing and bearing, and a practical exhibition of active and passive grace.

“Our tongues, our tempers, our natural passions and inclinations – our conduct as parents and children, masters and servants, husbands and wives, rulers and subjects – our dress, our employment of time, our behavior in business, our demeanor in sickness and health, in riches and in poverty – (all, all of these matter).

Ryle was a 19th-century Anglican pastor. He was born in 1816. When he died in 1900, he was relatively unknown outside the Anglican Church in Britain. Ryle’s most popular works — Holiness, Five English Reformers, or Great Leaders of the Eighteenth Century. “A hundred years later,” wrote his biographer, “we can see that there were few more influential evangelicals in the Victorian era than Bishop Ryle.”2 Ryle was a contemporary of Charles H. Spurgeon, Dwight L. Moody, George Mueller, and Hudson Taylor. When Ryle was 15, Charles Darwin graduated from Cambridge. His was the age of Dickens, the American Civil War, and a British Empire on which the sun never set.

Holiness – Ryle pdf   – Click for PDF Book

Train Up Your Kids

Posted: 21st May 2014 by Rob in Uncategorized

For those who have boys, (or girls with older brothers) this title, (Train Up Your Kids) may take on multiple applications. One application has to do with the successful marketing techniques of Fisher Price. It is a rare occasion nowadays for a young child of the male type (or a younger sister) from ages 2-7 that are not somewhat or intimately familiar with Thomas, James, Percy, Gordon, Annie and Clara belle, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc… With the segmented pieces of interlocking tracks loaded with bridges, tunnels and other amenites, (translated dollars) these kids are transported to Sodor for an delightful and extensive (and expensive) experience. To another world they go zipping along happily in interpersonal communication with their favorite engine.

Actually, for the most part, it is well worth the cost. These bairns, in their relative innocence, are safe under Sir Topham Hatt ‘s watchful eye. All issues seems in some way or another to work its way out for good.

However there is another more serious application of training in magnanimous proportion that has a much greater and longlasting (translated eternal) impact on kids, 1 to 80+. It is within the framework of, not the make believe world of Sodor, but a real world ready, willing and in active pursuit for the hearts of mom’s, dad’s and their children. In this the Bible is not at all silent. Proverbs 22:6 scratches the surface, Ephesians 5 turns over the spade.

A recent broadcast from, Truth For Life, aired a series from these texts referencing several others passages on the topic of  training children for God’s glory and not their own. Alistair Begg nails it. This is well worth the investment of thirty minutes of listening and a lifetime of reflection and putting into practice. This is one of the messages from a four part series called “Wise Words.” (As a matter of fact why not two hours of in investment!)

Here is the link to part three. Once again this topic is urgent. It affects YOUR kid!

Did I mention that there will be a test?

Perfectly Imperfect!

Posted: 7th May 2014 by Rob in Uncategorized

When it comes to perfection, there are two kinds of people…those who are and those who are not. The matter is weighted heavily in one direction. A zillion who are not and one who is. Now that doesn’t mean that there are some from the majority side who think they are, just ask them. Yet, In one sense they are. Here me out.

To be perfect means that you are flawless, without spot or blemish etc.
And that is true, in their imperfection. Perfectly imperfect. That just about describes the zillion. But the One, He’s perfectly perfect. Is that hard for him to do? Nothing is to hard for God. Jesus is distinctively different, perfectly holy, perfectly righteous, in all character, thought, word and deed.

And what’s more, when you trust Him, some of the zillion get to share in His perfect perfection. Perfect!!

Click Link Below 

Final Week – Friday – Click the Pic

Posted: 18th April 2014 by Rob in Uncategorized

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Final Week – Thursday- Click the Pic

Posted: 17th April 2014 by Rob in Uncategorized

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Final Week – Wednesday – Click the Pic

Posted: 17th April 2014 by Rob in Uncategorized

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Final Week – Tuesday – Click the Pic

Posted: 15th April 2014 by Rob in Uncategorized

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