26 Nov

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Baptist Faith & Message Pt. 1

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Matt and Micah begin a new series discussing the Baptist Faith & Message. The BF&M is the confessional document of the Southern Baptist Convention of churches which serves to unify those who cooperate together within the denomination. In this introductory episode, Matt and Micah discuss some of the background of the formation of the document. http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp

20 Nov

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Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul

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This beautiful hymn by Anne Steele (1717-1778) was originally published as a poem in 1760. Since then, it was been set to music and published in nearly 350 hymnals. Anne Steele was the daughter of a Baptist pastor, and she lived a difficult life (for more, click here). This hymn captures both the reality of suffering and the hope we have in the Lord. May its truths bring comfort to our weary souls!

Dear refuge of my weary soul,
on Thee when sorrows rise;
on Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
my fainting hope relies.

While hope revives, though pressed with fears,
and I can say, “My God”;
beneath Thy feet I spread my cares
and pour my woes abroad.

To Thee I tell each rising grief,
for Thou alone cans’t heal;
Thy word can bring a sweet relief
for every pain I feel.

But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine;
The springs of comfort seem to fail
and all my hopes decline.

Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust;
and still my soul would cleave to Thee,
though prostrate in the dust.

Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face?
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace
be deaf when I complain?

No, still the ear of sovereign grace
attends the mourner’s prayer;
O may I ever find access
to breathe my sorrows there.

Thy mercy seat is open still;
here let my soul retreat
with humble hope attend Thy will,
and wait beneath Thy feet.

Indelible Grace has a wonderful rendition of this hymn. Enjoy!

Filed under: Blog

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?