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Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Blog location

For those interested, below is the link to my new blog location. As far as I can tell you can follow me without signing up for Wordpress.

http://cbell1956.wordpress.com/

Saturday, August 17, 2013

True Light or your light?

Isaiah 50:10-11
Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God. 
Look, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with sparks: walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled-this you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.
Here the prophet spoke a word in season, to the weary. He addressed those who fear God but found themselves overwhelmed with afflictions, walking in darkness. Maybe they struggled with error, perhaps sorrow and possibly even death. Isaiah pointed the children of God of his day away from themselves and exhorted them to trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God!
He also had a word for the hypocrite, for the self-righteous and the self-reliant. It was a warning to those who lit their own fire, made their own light and looked to themselves for salvation. Thus says the Lord, “this you shall have from My hand: you shall lie down in torment”.
When the Servant, our Lord Jesus Christ, walked in this world he said; “come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.
May we be found looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Narrow Way

He is the image of the invisible God.  Col. 1:15

The sum is this - that God in himself, that is, in his naked majesty, is invisible, and that not to the eyes of the body merely, but also to the understandings of men, and that he is revealed to us in Christ alone, that we may behold him as in a mirror. For in Christ he shows us his righteousness, goodness, wisdom, power, in short, his entire self. We must, therefore, beware of seeking him (God) elsewhere, for everything that would set itself off as a representation of God, apart from Christ, will be an idol.
                                    ---from Calvin's commentary










Saturday, July 27, 2013

from The Belgic Confession, 1618

Article 1: The Only God
  • We all believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that there is a single and simple spiritual being, whom we call God -- eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What is necessary?



It is not necessary for me to be rich, but it is necessary for me to make my peace with God;  it is not necessary that I should live a pleasurable life in this world, but it is absolutely necessary that I should have pardon of my sin;  it is not necessary that I should have honor and preferment, but it is necessary that I should have God as my portion, and have my part in Jesus Christ, it is necessary that my soul should be saved in the day of Jesus Christ.  The other things are pretty fine indeed, and I should be glad if God would give me them, a fine house, and income, and clothes, and advancement for my wife and children:  these are comfortable things, but they are not the necessary things;  I may have these and yet perish forever, but the other is absolutely necessary".
n  Jeremiah Burrough,, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

Saturday, June 29, 2013

White Robe

White Robe

See here this robe of purest white;
one hand did weave it all.
I dare not add one thread to it;
I've none unstained by gall.
It's made with intricate design;
it needs no ornament.
And He that wove it to my soul
this garment did present.
It's made to cover scar and sin,
and guilt and grievous shame.
The One who made it bought it dear,
and Holy is His name.
I wear it now; I'll wear it too
upon the coming Day
in which the elements shall melt,
the heavens pass away.
This is my cov'ring, bright and good,
this is my wedding-dress,
all pure and washed in sacred blood:
Jesus, Your righteousness.

By D.E. Young



Revelation 7:9-17

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. "They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; "for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Singing the Psalms...continued...

This psalm may be sung to the tune When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.


Repentance

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.   Ps. 51:10



O thou that hear'st when sinners cry,
Though all my crimes before thee lie,
Behold them not with angry look,
But blot their mem'ry from thy book.

Create my nature pure within,
And form my soul averse to sin;
Let thy good Spirit ne'er depart,
Not hide thy presence from my heart.

I cannot live without thy light,
Cast out and banished from thy sight;
Thy holy joys, my God, restore,
And guard me, that I fall no more.

A broken heart, my God, my King,
Is all the sacrifice I bring;
The God of grace will ne'er despise
A broken heart for sacrifice.

My soul lies humbled in the dust,
And owns thy dreadful sentence just:
Look down, O Lord, with pitying eye,
And save the soul condemned to die.

Then will I teach the world thy ways;
Sinners shall learn thy sov'reign grace;
I'll lead them to my Saviour's blood,
And they shall praise a pard'ning God.

Singing Psalm 50:1-6

This psalm may be sung to the tune of Crown Him With Many Crowns.

                                                   

The Lord Jesus Christ

The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken....Ps. 50:1

Psalm 50:1-6

The mighty God, the Lord, Hath spoken unto all;
From rising to the setting sun, He unto earth doth call.
From Zion, his own hill, Where perfect beauty dwells,
Jehovah hath his glory shown, In brightness that excels.

Our God shall surely come, And silence shall not keep;
Before him fire shall waste, and storms Tempestuous round him sweep.
He to the heavens above Shall then send forth his call,
And likewise to the earth, that he May judge his people all.

"Together let my saints Unto me gathered be,
Those that by sacrifice have made A covenant with me."
Then shall the heavens declare His righteousness abroad;
Because the Lord himself is judge, Yea, none is judge, but God. Amen.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hymn of the Month


This was our hymn of the month for April.


I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES — BRADFORD


I know that my Redeemer lives,
And ever prays for me;
A token of his love he gives,
A pledge of liberty.

I find him lifting up my head;
He brings salvation near;
His presence makes me free indeed
And he will soon appear.

He wills that I should holy be:
Who can withstand his will?
The counsel of his grace in me
He surely shall fulfil.

Jesus, I hang upon thy Word:
I steadfastly believe
Thou wilt return and claim me, Lord,
And to thyself receive.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Poem based on 1 Cor 15:49


I Corinthians 15:49


I look just like my father,
The first rebellious man,
But thanks to grace and mercy
According to His plan,
I shall be like my Savior,
His image bear at last,
When death has worked me over
And this sad world is past.
Or when He comes in glory
In twinkling of an eye,
Made like unto my Savior
No more to sin or die.
When death is dead forever,
and there is no more grave.
Blest be the Second Adam
Who died my soul to save.

                                                April 2013

by D. E. Young



And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 1 Cor. 15:49




Dorothy is a friend and member of Covenant Presbyterian Church here in St Johns county. She is the author of In Sorrow and In Joy, a collection of her poetry published in 2012.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Psalm 96


PSALM 96

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously."

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth.

Friday, April 5, 2013

a Will Wilimon article

I do not embrace all of Mr. Willimon's theology but I sure am in agreement with him on this subject.

That God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.  2 Cor. 5:19a



God in Motion


Most people in our society appear to want God to be generic,
abstract, vague, distant, and arcane. “God? Oh, can’t say
anything too definite about God. God is large and indistinct.”
For many of us God is this big, blurry concept that we can
make to mean about anything we like, something spiritual,
someone (if we have any distinct notions about God)
whom we can make over so that God looks strikingly like
us.Ruin’d nature now restore, Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.
In Jesus of Nazareth, God got physical, explicit, and peculiar,
and God came close—too close for comfort for many.Jesus
Christ is God in action, God refusing to remain a general
idea or a high-sounding principle. Jesus Christ is God in
motion toward us, God refusing to stay enclosed in God’s
own divinity. Many people think of God as a vaguely
benevolent being—who never actually gets around to
doing  anything.
It is as if we are threatened by the possibility that God
might truly be an active, intervening God who shows
up where we live. We’ve designed this modern world,
controlled by us, functioning rather nicely on its own,
thank you, everything clicking along in accord with
natural laws, served on command by technological
wonders of our creation.So who needs a God who
relishes actually showing up and doing something?
We modern people are loath to conceive of a God
who is beyond our control or a world other than the
one that is here solely for our personal benefit.
This is the deistic God of the philosophers, a
minimalist, inactive, unobtrusive, noninvasive, detached
God who is just about as much of a God as we moderns
can take. There’s a reason why many thoughtful modern
people seem so determined to sever Jesus from the
Trinity, to render Jesus into a wonderful moral teacher
who was a really nice person, someone who enjoyed
lilies and was kind to children and people with disabilities.
To point to a peripatetic Jew from Nazareth who
wouldn’t stay confined within our boundaries for God
and say, “Jesus is not only a human being but also God,
” well, it’s just too unnerving for us enlightened modern
people to handle. Note how frequently many people refer
to “God” and how seldom they refer to “Christ,” and you
will know why the statement “in Christ God was
reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor.5:19) is a
threatening disruption to many people’s idea of a God
who stays put.
From The Best of Will Willimon (Abingdon, 2012.  
Check out Will’s novel,Incorporation, a wild ride through
 the contemporary church – satire and slapstick with 
serious theological intent.  Available from Cascade 
Press https://wipfandstock.com/store/incorporation.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Reminder


Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor (mist) that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
James 4:13-16

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How Sweet and Awful Is The Place


HOW SWEET AND AWFUL IS THE PLACE — ST. COLUMBA

Original Trinity Hymnal, #271

How sweet and awful is the place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
"Lord, why was I a guest?

"Why was I made to hear thy voice,
And enter while there's room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?"

'Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God,
Constrain the earth to come;
Send thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

We long to see thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May, with one voice and heart and soul,
Sing thy redeeming grace.

[Note: The word "awful" in first line of this hymn is indeed correct; it was changed to "awesome" in the revised Trinity Hymnal (1990).]

Issac Watts 1707                                                 Old Irish hymn melody
A certain man made a great supper, and bade many...Luke 14:16

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 27, 2013


from the Heidelberg Catechism

Question 52. What comfort is it to you that "Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead"?

Answer: That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head I look for the very same person, who before offered himself for my sake, to the tribunal(judgment) of God, and has removed all curse from me, to come as judge from heaven: who shall cast all his and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but shall translate me with all his chosen ones to himself, into heavenly joys and glory.


There are several scriptures that support this Q&A but as I read #52 this scripture came to mind.

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb 9:24-28


Pardon the invitation if you received one - Blogger (my blog site) has made changes that I'm still trying to figure out. Some of you may be connected already and if so great, however, the invite may allow you a different or ?better? access to the blog. I hope it's not to confusing.

May you have a blessed Lord's day.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Angie and I saw the movie Les Miserables today. Yes, it is a good musical and a good historical fiction full of emotional performances by very good actors. But more than any of those things it is a powerful story full of images of redemption. It pulls no punches, in this movie you can see the law and condemnation, sinners and the need for forgiveness and finally grace and redemption. My favorite line is when the Bishop says to Valjean “Remember this my brother.…by the passion and the blood, God has raised you from the darkness…”. . I would highly recommend it and I would see it again if given the opportunity.

I would add that Russell Crowe’s character is the law and his pursuit is relentless, constantly turning up in Valjean’s (Hugh Jackman’s character) life. He is not only relentless but strict and always condemning. I found myself feeling some of the emotions demonstrated in Jackman’s character as he struggled with his own sin and failures.

Here is a trailer link(if it works);   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkHHHUk8RCw

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Texts from Sunday Dec 30


Texts from Sunday's sermon preached by Eric Watkins


These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.  But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.                                      Gen 2:4-7

But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sow is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sow, thou sow not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God gives it a body as it has pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory.
 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.            1 Cor. 15:35-49