12 Nov

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An Encouraging and Challenging Hymn

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John Newton wrote the hymn “I Asked the Lord” in 1779. Its powerful verses remind us that God, indeed, works all things for the good of those who love him. William Cowper once wrote, similarly, “Behind a frowning providence, he hides a smiling face.” And so he does. Consider Newton’s encouraging and challenging lyrics:

I asked the Lord that I might grow
in faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know,
and seek more earnestly his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
and he, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way
as almost drove me to despair.

I hope that in some favored hour,
at once he’d answer my request;
and by his love’s constraining power
subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
the hidden evils of my heart;
and let the angry powers of hell
assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seemed
intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
blasted my gourds [feelings], and laid me low.

“Lord, why is this?” I trembling cried.
“Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?”
“‘Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”

“These inward trials I employ,
from self and pride to set thee free;
and break thy schemes of earthly joy
that thou may’st find thy all in me.”

Filed under: Blog

24 Dec

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Christmas Story Unmasked

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There are some misunderstandings about the Christmas story, some of which are common in the church.  Was Jesus born on December 25?  What year was He born?  Did the Wise Men bring their gifts to the manger?  Matt and Micah help us clarify some of the common issues and questions surrounding the birth of our Savior.   

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16 Dec

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Why Would He Do This For Us?

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“Why Would He Do This For Us?”

A Christmas Poem
by Dr. Micah Carter

God the Son, eternally loved,
Content in the riches of heaven;
Perceived our need and poverty,
Set aside glory to become human.

Sovereign God without limitations
Took up our weakness and sorrow,
He emptied himself and united with flesh
So that our limitations he’d know.

Deserving much more at the time of his birth,
He settled for humble condition.
A manger his crib in the stench of the stable—
Where is this King’s recognition?

Yet all of his life, despised and rejected!
His own people refused his acclaim;
Humbly he lived, obedient he died,
That we might have life in his name!

We look upon him with pity and wonder,
Why would he do this for us?
To start in a manger and end on a cross;
The world has not ceased to discuss.

Now cross overcome and death put to death,
Eternal glory his, victorious!
Eternal life as a gift in the manger-laid Son;
Why would he do this for us?

Filed under: Blog, Poetry

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13 Nov

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Divine Child Abuse?

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Many critics of the Bible have accused God of being guilty of divine or cosmic child abuse.  He ordered Abraham to sacrifice his own son Isaac, and God even sacrifice his own Son.  Is this considered divine child abuse?  It is important to understand the context and the overarching story of Holy Scripture in order to answer this question.  Matt and Micah wade through some deeper water to help us understand what God was doing with Abraham and Isaac and His own son Jesus.

07 Nov

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Guest Preachers

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Join Matt and Micah as they discuss the responsibilities of a welcoming a guest preacher.  Is it fair to ask a guest preacher to tailor his message to a certain theme?  How do you handle the invitation at the end of the message?  What if the guest preaches something contrary to the scripture or contrary to what a pastor has been teaching his people?

30 Oct

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Clean and Unclean

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Join Matt and Micah as they give some helpful insight into the Old Testament laws concerning clean and unclean animals.  Many Christians struggle understanding why God would prohibit his people to eat certain kinds of animals.  On this podcast, you will hear that God’s intention was to give illustrations of purity to His people by using food and other common things like clothing and property.

23 Oct

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Jumping Back In

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Matt and Micah jump back into the podcast after a long break with a conversation about what God has been laying on their hearts to preach and teach.  They offer great insight on some subjects such as the book of Mark and Ephesians and how they plan their preaching.