Hymns of the Past – When Once I Mourned a Load of Sin

When once I mourned a load of sin,

When conscience felt a wound within,

When all my works were thrown away,

When on my knees I knelt to pray,

Then, blissful hour, remembered well,

I learned Thy love, Immanuel !

When storms of sorrow toss my soul,

When waves of care around me roll,

When comforts sink, when joys shall flee,

When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,

One word the tempest’s rage shall quell,

That word, Thy name, Immanuel !

When for the truth I suffer shame,

When foes pour scandal on my name,

When cruel taunts and jeers abound,

When “bulls of Bashan” gird me round,

Secure within my tower I’ll dwell,

That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel !

When hell, enraged, lifts up her roar,

When Satan stops my path before,

When fiends rejoice, and wait my end,

When legion’d hosts their arrows send,

Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell

Thy battle-cry, Immanuel !

When down the hill of life I go,

When o’er my feet death’s waters flow,

When in the deep’ning flood I sink,

When friends stand weeping on the brink,

I’ll mingle with my last farewell,

Thy lovely name, Immanuel !

When tears are banished from mine eye,

When fairer worlds than these are nigh,

When Heaven shall fill my ravish’d sight,

When I shall bathe in sweet delight,

One joy all joys shall far excel,

To see Thy face, Immanuel !

Series on Feminism in the Church – Part II

Beloved, last Friday we started a very serious series on a touchy topic, feminism in the church. Today I want to give you a quick review of the roots of this movement as it relates to the church. It’s important to know where these types of movements come from, to help understand what their goal truly is.

Most feminists claim their roots go as far back as the ancient pagan Greek civilization, while acknowledging three ‘waves’ in modern western culture. Some postulate that we’re in the fourth wave now, each ‘wave’ bringing a new generation into the feminist movement beginning in the early 20th century, late 19th century. On the surface spokeswomen have always said that their only goal is equality to men, currently in pay although previously in voting. Underneath the popular rhetoric is a stream of other goals, none of which hold to equality. Rather, what we often see is the desire for the woman to be over the man, not by his side. This puts feminism in direct objection to Christianity, which states women and men are equal, though they hold different roles within the church.

Many of the goals of the feminist movement oppose Biblical principles, such as the push for abortion. Women in this movement consider the murder of the unborn as a right, while denying the right of the father to keep his child alive. Often ignored are laws of double homicide in the case of a pregnant woman being murdered. The issue of children in the womb having a right to life is ignored, and the debate focusing on a woman’s right to her own body. We’ll discuss more of the underlining goals of feminism in further parts of this series.

The main thing I hope to show in this post is that feminism is not compatible with Christianity. In fact, it’s roots are in opposition to Biblical truths. As born again believers we must stand on the full counsel of Gods Word, and refute falsehoods whenever they creep in unawares. Pastors, elders, and leaders should warn their flock about these movements and their anti-Christian roots. Sisters in Christ should warn other sisters not to attach themselves to this movement. Next week we’ll dig a little deeper into just how opposed to Christianity feminism is by addressing their attack on the family. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review – The Art of Divine Contentment

Beloved brethren after getting such joy, edification, and enlargement from Puritan Thomas Watson’s The Ten Commandments I quickly devoured another of his works, The Art of Divine Contentment. This wonderful book, though much shorter than the Ten Commandments, is chalk full of Scripture. Essentially this is a wonderfully extended exegesis of Philippians 4:11.

This book follows a similar pattern as the previous one I reviewed, lending itself to note taking. Again, for someone with a horrible memory such as myself, this is very helpful. It hasn’t touched the top ten list, but I would still recommend this book to any believers who struggle in the area of contentment. This is a very convicting topic that Watson addresses so well, using the full counsel of Gods Word. One thing I’ve noticed repeatedly when reading Puritan writings is that they were able to pierce the reader through with truth, without great offense being caused. It’s as if the love they had for the brethren so weighs on their writing that the conviction is all the more of a blessing.

The paperback version can be purchased here, a free audio book can be read here, pdf here, and the kindle version here.

Wednesday Testimony – Joy, Excitement, and Hospitality

We need a birthday song for the day we were born again, brethren! For now, I’m going to use Amazing Grace to celebrate. What am I celebrating today, you ask? My third second birthday! Everyone else in America is baking, grilling, and popping fireworks to celebrate our freedom. Today I celebrate the freedom from sin and death I received three years ago today! What love is this, that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us? Absolutely amazing grace, oh how sweet the sound!

To celebrate freedom, as is her custom, my very own Naomi is flying up tomorrow afternoon. Yes, that’s right, by mother-in-law is coming to stay for a full two weeks! The best part is the fellowship, the second best part is practicing hospitality, the third is that she is an UNBELIEVABLE cook. Kk and her Meme have a very special relationship, I think partly because I worked the for a year and a half after she was born and Meme retired just to be able to stay home with her. The two of them FaceTime everyday, sometimes multiple times! So, while my husband and I are overjoyed to welcome her into our house, no one is more joyful than our little Kk. It’s also wonderful to have company when celebrating the grace of God that saved a wretch like me, a little before midnight in a hotel room in Bismarck, ND.

If you’ve never read my testimony you can find it here. For all my American readers, I pray you’re all enjoying your Independence Day. For everyone outside of the USA, I pray you are blessed by the Lord today. If any have a testimony they want to share, I’m always so edified by them, please feel free to leave them in the comments. As always, dear friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Understanding Slander

Beloved brethren today I have yet another very serious topic to discuss with you. I wanted to write about this some time ago and was prevented, it’s a shame it falls so close to celebrating, here in America, Independence Day. Before you light your grills, pop your pyrotechnics, and sing your Greenwood, let me make a solemn plea. Recently I’ve been very grieved by the open letter of Beth Moore, and the overarching criticism of the social gospel proponents. Both of these groups are openly accusing brothers in Christ of sinful behavior without providing evidence or proper church discipline. I’m not sure if this is a twisted verse, or if it’s just being ignored, either way today’s twisted Scripture is 1 Peter 2:1.

Honestly, slander is mentioned multiple times in Gods Word. Specifically in the New Testament, as you’ll see in my pictures, it’s listed with some truly heinous sins, things every born again believer would rightly recoil at. Repeatedly throughout Scripture God is showing how very seriously He takes this sin, yet Christians today are flippantly throwing slanderous accusations around as if Gods Word has nothing to say about it. Any sin should grieve the born again believer, why would we so enjoy the very sin that slashed the cattail into our Saviors back? The very sin that drove the nails into His precious hands and feet? Gods wrath was poured out on Christ, and make no mistake His was the victory that day, not defeat. This is a victory we can all rejoice in! Yet do we sin so that grace can abound? Let it never be!

I chose 1 Peter 2:1 as the verse for today because of the therefore. This is one of those times when the chapter breaks can cause confusion, just remember dear ones that chapter and verses are not inspired but we’re added much later as an aid for study. Therefore we always need to check what the therefore is there for. In the previous chapter Peter details that as born again believers we ought to sincerely love one another. How could malice, envy, and slander show love? It can’t, friends. In fact, in Thomas Watson The Ten Commandments he details all the pagan civilizations who had made slander illegal. Even the pagan knows how serious this sin is, and do those who claim Christ’s name blaspheme it by slandering His body?

This is why church discipline is so well detailed in the Bible. We have the perfect plan of God for how to handle sin within the body of Christ. Ignoring that perfect plan, Beth Moore decided to release an open letter accusing Christian men of sexism. Social gospel advocates have done the same, smearing believers all over social media. Sexism and racism are sinful, and need to be addressed, with names and evidence not broad sweeping claims that we all just need to be ‘woke’. Slander is sinful and needs to be addressed. Those who use social media as a way to mask this sin are going to be held accountable to God for every idle word spoken, and I pray they repent. Beloved, let us not fall into the pattern of slandering one another. If we see sinful behavior in a brother or sister, call them out specifically, rather than accusing whole groups of men. Let us do so in love, praying they repent, rather then with malice, envy, or strife.

Brothers and sisters, the great evidence to the world that Christ has truly saved us is that we love one another. Beth Moore, in an open letter essentially accusing all SBC men as sexist by listing anecdotes rather than names, is not loving. Not to mention the idea that she had to wear flats because she didn’t want to be taller than anyone has absolutely nothing to do with sexism, and wasn’t even something she was asked to do. That aside, accusing mass groups of believers of anything without evidence, whether it be sexism, racism, or any other type is ‘ism, is slander. I’ve gone all over this country from church to church, each corner of America, and have never heard a single brother in Christ make a racist or sexist comment. That’s not to say it isn’t happening, but where it is happening that particular person needs to be addressed. I know this was a lot longer than my usual posts, but I felt this subject was heavy enough to deserve more care. Please pray for those who are slandering the body of Christ that they would repent. Pray also for our brothers in Christ who have been hurt by these false accusations. As always, beloved friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Hymns from the Past – Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare

Beloved, this beautiful hymn was such a blessing to me. This week marks the third year since I was saved by Gods grace alone, July 4th 2015! With that burden I begin, and the Lord removed this load of sin. What an unbelievably amazing grace! I pray this blesses you as well, dear ones. As always, friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare,

Jesus loves to answer pray’r.

He Himself has bid thee pray,

rise and ask without delay.

Thou art coming to a King,

large petitions with thee bring,

for his grace and pow’r are such,

none can ever ask too much.

With my burden I begin,

Lord, remove this load of sin!

Let Thy blood, for sinners spilt,

set my conscience free from guilt.

Lord! I come to Thee for rest,

take possession of my breast;

there Thy blood-bought right maintain,

and without a rival reign.

While I am a pilgrim here,

let Thy love my spirit cheer;

as my Guide, my Guard, my Friend,

lead me to my journey’s end.

Show me what I have to do;

ev’ry hour my strength renew;

let me live a life of faith;

let me die Thy people’s death

John Newton