Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tovia Ann & Friends

Tovia Ann is officially 1 week old today for which we are very grateful.
There's some hair under there.
Here she is lounging in the climate controlled crib she's got in the NICU.
Who could resist a Sabbath table with flowers like this?
That's one proud brother.
Here you can see the cool eye gear Tovia has been sporting.
That's Felicity posing for Dad.
What kind of tree is that? It's just mind blowing that it does that.
Tovia Ann Sumpter


In the Presence of our Enemies

Ps. 23 is a well known psalm, but we do not often stop to think what it is actually saying. The Lord who is our Shepherd prepares a table for us in the midst of our enemies. It does not say that this Shepherd immediately dashes all of our enemies to pieces or that he immediately removes all obstacles from our path. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, the promise is that the Shepherd will be with us. The Shepherd does not promise to completely remove us from all threat, from all danger, out of all of harm’s way. Rather, the promise is that the Shepherd will be with us. The promise is that he prepares a table for us even in the midst of our enemies. This is the kind of people God is making us into. In the midst of the storms of life, in the midst of the ups and down and fears and trials and dangers of life, God invites us back here, week after week. This is the table that our Shepherd, our King, has prepared for us, in the midst of our lives, in the midst of our enemies, in the midst of our trials and tribulations. The Lord is our Shepherd, and therefore we shall not want. If God is our Shepherd, what else do we need? If we have Jesus, or rather, if Jesus has us, what shall we fear? What shall we want? Therefore, come: eat, drink, and rejoice.


Second Sunday in Easter: 1 Cor. 15:20-28: How Our King Puts Enemies Beneath His Feet

Opening Prayer: Almighty and Gracious Lord, You raised your Son from the dead almost 2,000 years ago, and you have unalterably changed the course of history. We thank you that in Jesus you have begun to remake the world and that because Jesus is King he is overseeing this process according to your perfect counsel. We ask that you would bestow greater faith and fuller obedience upon us now. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!

Introduction: The Text and the Question
Paul says that the resurrection of Jesus is just the beginning (15:20). It is the firstfruits, the proof of what the harvest will be like. He explains that Christ is raised first as the firstfruits and afterwards everyone will be raised at his coming at the end (15:23-24). The end will be marked by Christ handing over the kingdom to God the Father (15:24). This will also mark the final end to all rule, authority, and power; which will be his to end because it has been put beneath his feet (15:25). The last enemy is death, and therefore all will be raised (cf. Rev. 20:12-15). Therefore, to the question, ‘What is Jesus doing now?’ we must answer unambiguously, Jesus is ruling the world and destroying all his enemies (15:25-26). But that leads to the next obvious question, ‘why is it taking so long?’

The Resurrection means Jesus is King
Because there are still problems and evil in the world, the constant temptation of Christians has been to downplay the reign of King Jesus. But Paul begins Romans declaring that Jesus is the seed of David that he was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection of the dead (Rom. 1:3-4). The promise of the Davidic covenant was a son of David who would also be God’s Son who would be King forever (2 Sam. 7:12-14). This is what Peter declares to be true in his Pentecost sermon: Because Jesus is raised from the dead, he has been exalted to the right hand of God until his enemies are his footstool (Act 2:32-35). Later, Peter says that all authorities and powers have been made subject to him following his resurrection (1 Pet. 3:21-22). This also explains why the resurrection was so offensive and threatening to the authorities (e.g. Acts 4:1-2, 17:31-32). If Christ’s resurrection was just a weird phenomenon then there’s really no reason to get worried. But if the resurrection means that Jesus is King of the World, then every rule, authority, and power has cause to be threatened (cf. 1 Cor. 15:24).

The Wisdom of the Cross
And so we ask, ‘if Jesus is King of the world, why does my car still break down?’ What don’t my children obey? Why does my husband talk to me that way? Why is my boss such a jerk? Why is there cancer and AIDS? Why do children die of starvation? Why do tsunamis wipe out whole communities? Why do stupid people keep getting elected to office? Why have more Christians died for being Christians in the last hundred years than all other years combined? If Jesus is reigning until all of his enemies have become his footstool, why is it taking so long? And why is it so hard? Part of the answer is seen in the wisdom of the cross: God conquered death by taking death upon himself. God conquered sin by taking sin upon himself. Therefore it should come as no surprise that God calls upon us to participate in the conquest of his enemies, the conquest of suffering, sickness, and hardships by taking them upon ourselves. And in this, he is making us the people he wants us to be.

For Communion: Paul says that he considers all of his accomplishments rubbish that through faith he may know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings and death (Phil. 3:10). For Christians, hardships ought to draw us closer to Christ. And if closer, surely we are made more like Him.

For Character and Hope: Paul says that tribulations produce perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope (Rom. 5:3-4). James says something similar when he insists that the testing of our faith produces patience and perfection (Js. 1:2-4). Paul says that for this reason, we are called upon to glory in tribulations. If we are convinced that God is it at work, how can we not glory? How can we not rejoice (cf. Js. 1:2).

For Ministry: Paul says that we suffer some tribulations so that we will be able to comfort others who are in any trouble (2 Cor. 1:4). Whatever the burden is that causes us to despair even to the point of death, the point is that God would have us place our trust in Him who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:8-10).

For Prayer: James says that if anyone is suffering, he should pray (Js. 5:13). Pain and hardship have a wonderful way of concentrating the mind. Hardships should make us know and feel our dependence upon God (e.g. Ps. 123:2).

For Thanksgiving: God gives tribulations and hardships to some so that when others bear their burdens with them, particularly in prayer, there may be even greater rejoicing in the deliverance that God grants (2 Cor. 1:11).

The resurrection is not merely ‘a good idea’. (e.g. the Gravity bumper sticker). The resurrection is not something that we hope will ‘catch on.’ The resurrection is not a fad. The resurrection is a fact, and therefore Jesus is King. This means that history is unfolding according to his perfect wisdom and counsel. This means that Jesus wants his people to grow up into a certain kind of holiness, a certain kind of faithfulness, a certain kind of joy. Jesus will reign until every enemy is beneath his feet; you have been called to become part of that story: therefore, rejoice.

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen!

Closing Prayer: Gracious Father, we take this opportunity now to publicly rejoice in all of the trials you have given to us. We do this not in a glib or superficial manner, but with the simple faith of children. Very often we do not have the slightest idea of what you are doing in our lives, but we trust you. You have raised Jesus from the dead, and this means that he is most certainly King of the world. Therefore, we give you thanks for the countless ways you are conforming us to his image.


Unholy Wretchedness

The Book of Acts says that after the resurrection, Jesus was seen by the apostles for forty days before ascending into heaven and ten days later on Pentecost, he poured out his Spirit on the Christian Church. And for this reason, the Christian church not only celebrates Easter on Resurrection Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection throughout the following number of weeks. Therefore, I want to encourage you to celebrate this festive season. It simply will not do to celebrate Lent by fasting and giving up various blessings and then not celebrate Easter. It will not do to dwell on the sufferings of Christ for several weeks and only give one day to the victory of the empty tomb. Christ surely humbled himself in the incarnation and bore our sorrows on the cross for a number of hours. But Jesus has been alive and well and reigning for nearly 2000 years. One of the great disasters of medieval theology was this very lopsidedness, ascribing so much energy to penitence and morbid introspection. And there is a certain kind of pharisaical pietism that delights in certain forms of abstinence and self-loathing. Certain people think they are more holy because they know they are so wretched. But Christ is risen. Therefore, if you gave up chocolate for Lent, make sure there are extra pieces on the dinner table throughout the Easter season. If you fasted from particular meals or on particular days, take extra helpings and rejoice before the Lord. Remember too that feasting was never meant to be some kind of self-centered gluttony. The feasts were always opportunities for Israel to share with those in need, to take portions to the sick and the poor. Therefore, use this festive season of Easter to bestow gifts upon one another, care for the sick, and give to those in need. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Tovia Ann: Easter Babe

We are so thankful to report that Tovia Ann was born yesterday evening, on Resurrection Sunday, just after 7pm. She weighed in at 2lbs 2oz, but she was breathing on her own and all of her vitals were good. She's got a long road ahead of her, and she still needs much prayer. But we are so thankful for her and that she looks so healthy thus far. Please also keep mom in your prayers as she has a good deal of recovery ahead of her.

'Tovia' means God is good, and 'Ann' is after a couple of great-grandmothers, an aunt, and a great-aunt. 'Ann' also means grace, and she is.

Christ is Risen! Alleluia!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Miss Sumpter & Mrs. Sumpter

We just wanted to let you all know that we had another doctor's appointment with the maternal fetal specialist this morning. We are very pleased and thankful to report that our little girl continues to grow and develop. She is still on the small side, but she is keeping up a regular pace and looks great. God is very good.

However, Jenny's blood pressure has continued to rise, and the doctors have now advised complete bed rest. Everyone wants all of Jenny's energy put into "baby baking."

We thank you all for your prayers and encouragement to us. We are all in good spirits and enjoying some enforced family time! It's looking like Jenny's mom will be able to come out in the next few weeks to help with the kids and other household chores, and we are very thankful for this. God is good.

Please continue to pray for the little girl that she would continue to grow and develop, and for Jenny's blood pressure to stabilize (and go down!). In particular, we are praying that she be able to make it to 36 or 37 weeks where the doctors say there is much less concern for the baby's safety and health. Jenny is 30 weeks this week. Our little girl is also breech, so we're praying that she is compliant does some gymnastics in the next few weeks.

Please rejoice with us at God's kindness and join us in prayer for all these matters.


Performing the Judgments of God in Prayer

We noted this morning that the word for “judges” is actually the word “gods” several times throughout the Book of the Covenant. It is very interesting to find “judges” only used one other time in 21:22, and there it is a less common word for judge. The root of the word means to intercede or interpose. Sometimes it means to judge or arbitrate, but quite often it is the root for the word “pray.” In Exodus 21, the woman and/or the unborn child who have been harmed are to be defended by the ‘intercessors’, by those who intercede. The intercessors are those who determine justice and defend the oppressed.

Exodus 19-24 is basically a worship service. God calls his people to the mountain and tells them that they are to be his holy people (19:1-6). In order to do this they must be washed and sanctified to be in God’s presence (19:10-14). Moses ascends the mountain as their representative and God draws near to his people and speaks to them and teaches them (19:17 – 23:33). Finally, God invites the people up into his presence to display the blood of the covenant, to eat a meal with him, and receive his blessing (24:8-11).

The reason for pointing this entire context out is to recognize where the “judgments” come in the service. The judgments come as a result of the teaching and the Words. God speaks the Words and explains his judgments so that the people may perform the judgments of God. This is precisely what we have done. We have been taught by the reading of God’s word and the preaching of God’s word how to perform God’s judgments, and this we did by offering up our prayers. When the people of God intercede for the nations, for rulers, the poor, the sick, the erring, and all others, we are performing the judgments of God. Our prayers are the declarations of justice in presence of God, and we sit down here at this table on thrones judging the nations. We are the judges of the nations, and we sit here as God’s family, the sons of God renewing covenant on behalf of the world.


Fifth Sunday in Lent: Exodus XXI: Ex. 20:22 – 22:15

Opening Prayer: Almighty God, we thank you for your covenant with us. We thank you that you have brought us near by the blood of Jesus, and that his faith and obedience have become our faith and obedience. We ask therefore that you would renew that covenant with us now, give us your judgments that we might be your faithful sons. Through Jesus, your faithful Son, Amen!

We now continue our study of the book of Exodus after our study of the Ten Commandments. Ex. 21:1 through 23:19 (or 33) begins the “judgments” of God following the “words” of God (Ex. 20:1, cf. 24:3). This Book of the Covenant (24:7) is Moses’ initial sermon on the Ten Words. Since we have looked at some of these details previously in our study, we will focus on several broad principles established here.

An Altar of Earth
Immediately preceding the Book of the Covenant, Yahweh instructs Moses concerning the altar that he may be worshipped at (20:22-24). It must not be made of carved stones; it must be made of unhewn stones or raw earth. The altar must be a picture of the Mt. Sinai, and its significance is based upon God’s promised blessing not the work of man’s hands. Yahweh also prohibits exposing of nakedness on his altar (20:26). It is important to remember that the Garden of Eden was itself also on a mountain (Ez. 28:13-14), and it was there that the shame of nakedness was first exposed. Later, the priests are given coverings just as Adam and Eve were (Ex. 28:42, Gen. 3:21). But this introduction to the Book of the Covenant sets the thematic tone for the “judgments” that are set before Israel.

The Gods
The instructions for building the altar include the prohibition against making gods of sliver and gold, and this is at least in part because God has spoken directly to them from heaven (20:22-23). The word “elohim” is a common designation for God/gods through the Old Testament, but it is used several times in the Book of the Covenant to describe the judges (Ex. 21:6, 22:8, 9, 22:28(?)). This should not seem that strange since people are made in the image and likeness of God. This goes back to the garden where the serpent said that Eve would become “like God” if she ate from the fruit (Gen. 3:5) and apparently this was true (Gen. 3:22). The early chapters following the Fall trace the story of the “sons of God” (Gen. 5:1-3ff, 6:2), and Israel is explicitly called the “son of God” (Ex. 4:22). Likewise, Psalm 82 refers to judges and rulers as “gods” (Ps. 82:1-8, cf. Ps. 58:1-3). Therefore, God making covenant with Israel is bringing them back into an Eden-like relationship with him. He speaks to his people on the mountain as he did in Eden, and gives them tasks to guard and keep.

The Judgments
The judgments begin with instructions concerning slaves and giving freedom and then work from the most serious crimes against other humans (premeditated murder – 21:12) to less serious crimes (accidental property damage – 22:17). The word “judgment” is used three other times in the Book of the Covenant (21:9, 21:31, 23:6). These “judgments” are not merely more rules or laws; they are descriptions of how people are to be protected and delivered. In the garden, Adam and Eve were required to guard the garden, in Israel, God is required to guard their neighbors, families, and friends. God is teaching his son, Israel, how to distinguish between good and evil. This is what God began in the Exodus (Ex. 6:6, 7:4, 12:12), and now he is teaching his Son, Israel, how to do it too. Adam and Eve had seized this knowledge and lost it, but now in the kindness of God, it is being given to the new Adam, the new rulers, the new gods. God is renewing his image in his people; he is making them like him, teaching them to deliver the oppressed, protect the defenseless, and execute justice.

Conclusions & Applications
The primary sin of Adam and Eve was refusing to trust God and being impatient for God’s blessing. God’s plan was always to make Adam and Eve more and more like himself, but they seized for this likeness and lost it. Like Adam and Eve, you are called to patient faithfulness in the tasks in front of you, trust that God will bless you with greater glory in his good timing.

In Christ, the covenant has grown up to maturity. These “judgments” have become flesh and blood in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the final Word and the last Judgment of God who came to set captives free, proclaim liberty to the oppressed, and to defend those in distress. Of course Jesus is the natural Son of God, but because we have been given his Spirit, we are also sons who call God ‘Father.’ This means that you are called upon to be gods, images of the true and living God. What kind of gods are you? Are your judgments acts of deliverance? Or have you erected false gods of gold and silver, lifeless and impersonal images to substitute for real love and protection? The great danger of false gods is the curse of becoming like them. You can tell if you are worshipping the state if you are just as ineffective.

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen!

Closing Prayer: Gracious Father, we thank you that you have adopted us into your family, that you have made all of us sons in your Son. We thank you that you are transforming us more and more into the image of your Son. Give us wisdom that we might issue judgments to truly defend the orphans and widows, deliver the strangers and the oppressed, and set free the captives and slaves of every sort in our community.


Listen and Obey

When God speaks, God acts. The words of God do not come back empty and void. The words of God are performative; they enact and perform what they say. The word of God is the sword of the Spirit; it is sharper than any other two edged sword and it is able even to divide between the soul and the spirit and it discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. When God says, ‘Let there be light,’ his words enact what they say, and light shines in the darkness. Likewise, when God heals, he says rise up and walk, and a paralyzed man is suddenly able to take up his bed and walk. The commands of God include the strength to obey them. There was nothing in the darkness waiting to become light. There was nothing in the paralytic just waiting to get up and walk. Lazarus had been dead for four days. There was nothing in the corpse of Lazarus waiting for Jesus’ words. When Jesus gives the command, life erupts in the corpse of Lazarus. When the word ‘light’ is spoken, light explodes from the black nothingness. When Christ bids the lame man walk, severed nerves and weak tendons and muscles bow before their Maker. Therefore, you are called upon to let the word of God dwell in you richly. Read the word of God in faith believing that God will teach you. Sing the word of God, sing the psalms with joy and thanksgiving, believing that the Spirit is reshaping you, remaking you. Listen to the word read and declared as though God is giving you light and life; because he is. And do not think that you need to prepare yourself to obey before listening to the word; rather listen to the word in order that you may obey. When God speaks, every atom in the universe obeys.


Monday, March 10, 2008


6. The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels
7. On Christian Doctrine by Augustine
8. The Lord's Service by Jeff Meyers


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Forgiveness for Sinners

Jesus said some very radical things when he instructed his disciples to celebrate this meal. One of those radical things is that this cup is “the covenant” in his blood for the “remission of sins.” This cup is the covenant in the blood of Jesus so that we can be forgiven. While it is good and right that we confess our sins and be declared forgiven at the beginning of the worship service, this table is a further declaration that your sins are forgiven in Jesus. This bread is Christ’s body broken for your sins; this cup is his blood shed for your sins and the sins of many. But one of the conclusions we ought to draw from this is that this table is for sinners. The Lord’s Supper is not for those who have it all together. The Lord’s Supper is not for those who are doing pretty well, thank you very much. The Lord’s Supper is for sinners in need of forgiveness. This table is for people who don’t have it all together. It’s for people who have made mistakes; it is for people who have guilt and who need pardon. It is for those who struggle with sin and know that they need strength. This table is for those who need the remission of sins, for those who need the blood of Christ to cleanse them from every stain. Therefore do not think that being worthy to partake means that you are not sinner; do not think that being worthy means you have put to death every sin in your flesh and you’re just whistling and waiting for the resurrection. Christ said that eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood was necessary that you might have life within you. Do you need life? Do see the remnants of death and decay still your members? Are you a sinner? Then this meal is for you. God has sent his Son into the world that you may have life, and after Jesus died and rose and ascended into heaven, he poured out his Spirit on the church. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus gives you his life here at this table with bread and wine. So come, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and Jesus will give you rest.


Fourth Sunday in Lent: Exodus XX.20: Dt. 26:12-19

Opening Prayer: Almighty and gracious Lord, we love your law. We rejoice in your commands. They are better than much money; they are more satisfying than the most satisfying dinner. Therefore we come to you to be taught; teach us that we might live. Teach us that we might have life abundantly. Through Jesus Christ who is our Life, Amen!

We come at last to the conclusion of our series on the Ten Commandments. We considered last week the fact that the tenth commandment is fundamentally concerned with gratitude and rejoicing in the gifts of God. It is concerned with our heart: God requires us to believe that he is giving us the world in Jesus Christ, and we are the firstfruits of this new creation.

The Holy Tithe
In Moses’ closing comments on the tenth commandment, he reminds Israel about their duty of tithing (Dt. 26:12). It is necessary to point out that the tithe is something which God still requires of his people in the New Covenant. This is the case because Jesus did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Mt. 5:17), and he explicitly requires our righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (Mt. 5:20) which includes tithing (Mt. 23:23). The tithe is also part of Hebrews’ argument that Melchizedek was the original type of Christ (Heb. 7:1-10). Finally, Paul assumes that Christian ministers ought to be supported by offerings of the congregation (1 Cor. 16:1, 1 Tim. 5:18). The biblical standard for such offerings was always at least ten percent. And incidentally, this principle is one of the reasons why taxation equal to or beyond 10% should normally be considered tyranny (1 Sam. 8:15-17, but cf. Gen. 41:46ff). Moses says that the Israelite is required to confess that the tithe is “holy” (Dt. 26:13, cf. Lev. 27:30-32). Removing the holy tithe was to be a sign that the Israelite has kept all the commands of God and not forgotten them (Dt. 26:13). This tithe also included the confession that it is in fact a full tithe; nothing has been kept back (26:14). The tithe is also a prayer that God would look down and bless Israel and the land he has given (26:15). Here, Moses pays particular attention to the tithe that is most likely to be neglected. While it appears that normally the tithe had to be taken down to the central sanctuary (Dt. 12:17, 14:22-25) for the support of the priests and Levites (Num. 18:22), in the third year, the tithe was supposed to support local needs (Dt. 14:28-29). Moses addresses the particular as a principle for the general. He says that refusing to tithe is coveting that which is holy, and that is not only idolatry, it can bring judgment on God’s people (e.g. Josh. 6-7).

With All Your Heart
Christians sometimes speak as though the Old Testament was only concerned about externals while the New Covenant is about the heart and God doesn’t care about externals. This is false. Throughout the giving of the law Moses exhorts Israel to serve God from the heart (Dt. 26:16, 4:9, 29, 5:29, 6:5, 10:12, 11:13, 18, 30:2, Josh. 22:5). Moses calls upon Israel to circumcise their hearts (Dt. 10:16, 30:6). Covetousness is a sin of the heart, and Jesus says that out of the heart come all kinds of wickedness (Mt. 15:19-20). Another element of this principle is that breaking one law is in fact breaking the entire law (Js. 2:10). This is true in principle (ie. we are lawbreakers), but this is also true in reality. For example, the one who covets commits idolatry, worships an image, profanes God holy name, does not remember and rest in God’s salvation, does not honor authorities, hates his brother in his heart, is not loyal to the gifts of God, and steals and lies in the process. Thus, all of the laws interconnect and are mutually dependent. Recognizing this fact reminds us of our need to confess our sins regularly, fully, and to recognize that we have many secret faults (Ps. 19:12). But God made covenant with Israel, a sinful people, and we have been given a far greater covenant. When we gather to renew covenant in worship, we are declaring that Yahweh is our God, and that we will walk in all of his ways (Dt. 26:17). Likewise, God proclaims that we are his special people and exhorts us to keep his law (26:18). Finally, he promises to give us glory and dominion over all nations as his holy ones, his saints (26:19).

Conclusions & Applications
First, since we are required to hate covetousness, we must begin by not coveting what belongs to God. The tithe is holy to God; it belongs to him. It is not optional, and we must not begrudge it. Giving grudgingly is covetousness. If you do not believe you can tithe because of your financial situation, you should talk to the elders and ask for counsel.

Second, covetousness is not only one single sin that plagues the heart, it reminds us that all of the law hangs together as one and we are guilty of it all. Thus, the law of God is either grace and blessing and joy to us; or it is ugly and overbearing and damning. The difference is whether or not you are under condemnation (Rom. 8:1). If there is no longer condemnation for you, then the law is your glory, your beauty, and your righteousness. If the law condemns you, then it and the gospel smell like death (2 Cor. 2:15-16). Therefore, as a minister of the gospel, I call upon you to circumcise your hearts. You cannot keep the law unless you are forgiven. Do you believe that God is giving us this world in Jesus Christ? Do you believe that there is no condemnation for those in Christ?

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen!

Closing Prayer: Gracious Father, we give you thanks for sending your Son in the likeness of sinful flesh in order that sin might be utterly condemned and that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in Him. We thank you for pouring out the Spirit of life in our hearts that the law might be for us freedom and righteousness and life.


Worshipping as though God is Giving us this City

Throughout the book of Revelation, John witnesses a worship service in heaven. As he watches, the saints and angels and elders fall down before the throne and worship, and each time judgments are sent down upon the earth: plagues, famines, floods, and wars fall on the earth as the Triune God is worshipped in heaven. Worship is warfare. We are here for battle. We serve the Lord of Hosts; hosts are armies. We are the armies of King Jesus. Therefore as we gather this morning, I call upon you to fight with all your might. As we confess our sins, do it heartily as though your confession were for the sake of the world. Because it is. As we sing out our praises to God, sing out at the top of your voice as though these Psalms might tear down strongholds and bring injustice to the ground. Because they do. As we declare the goodness of God to one another in our spoken responses, declare it like it like you are on the battle field, as though God is giving us this city, this county, this state. Because he is. At the close of the hymns and Psalms declare your ‘Amen!’ not with some kind of quiet, passiveness. Declare your ‘Amen!’ as though the God of heaven took your vows seriously, as though your shouts of affirmation might bring judgments on the earth. Because they do. As you hear the word of God read and declared listen intently, as though your King was giving you your commands, your marching orders. Because He is. And as you feast at the table of your Commander, do so as the friends of the Commander, rejoicing in the fact that as God’s people eat their bread and drink their wine with joyful hearts, God judges nations. He brings down kings and raises up beggars. He blesses the righteous and undoes the plans of the wicked. We are at the gate of heaven; we are here for battle. We serve King Jesus who will reign until all of his enemies have been made his footstool. Therefore, he cannot fail. And if He cannot fail, then neither can we.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Resurrection Ball 2008: Back with a Friend

You are cordially invited to Holy Trinity's second annual Resurrection Ball. This year the Ball is back and has brought a friend along. The friend's name is "Living the Trinity," a Saturday conference with Pastor Doug Jones of Moscow, Idaho fame whose most recent exploits center around Scribblative Agincourting and Sabbath House. This year's Ball is also a benefit for Piedmont Women's Center, Greenville's ministry to the unborn and crisis pregnancies. Come out and support this important work.

Click here for all the Ball and Conference details. Click here to view a slide show of last year's festivities.