And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I learned on my prayer retreat

Here is a bit of what I have written to my prayer supporters when I returned from my prayer retreat.

Wow what a week its been. First off I was battling moments of pain that were keeping me from functioning well. The long story is that I may have Celiac disease just as Levi does. So if I avoid all gluten (wheat, oats, etc.) then I should be fine. Maybe I will trim up a bit too?

As for the prayer retreat, it was located at a great bed and breakfast called The Green Tree Inn.
Thankfully many of you were praying for me to not be distracted. Praise God that prayer was answered. For the entire study time my digestive ailments were minimal. Mind you early Wednesday morning became problematic and I left early. But Mr. Coffman, my host had the remote to the TV and God provided me discipline from checking the news.

Much of what God revealed to me covered a variety of things. Here area few bullet points
The village of Elsa, where it is located is much like a step back in time into the 18th and 19th centuries. It is in a very small valley that you can pretty much walk through. So it alone was a distraction.
  • On a issue of pointing out someone's sin I need to wait for God to open an opportunity, rather than create one myself.
  • Our church needs to celebrate salvation, and I am praying for whom to ask in a list of people to ask them to give their testimony on Sunday mornings.
  • I have come away with a greater appreciation for what I have and a lessened desire for worldly trivialities.
  • My heart is longing for our youth to know God, not by gimmicks or tricks. I sense I need to spend time with them talking directly to them about Christ working in them
  • There is so much more I need to roll off onto God and just let it be. I also need to teach this to others seeing that often we have lost the gospel message. We have become so program centered that worship is losing its majesty for trivialities. Included in this is a deep understanding that ...
  • We must return to having a Sabbath. All we do needs to be centered every week on worshiping God. Get our chores done early to worship God. Refuse parties and outing that interfere with God's worship. The Sabbath is made for man, for the purpose of being with his God. I haven't enough hard drive space to write upon this truth.
  • Truth Matters, let us not be afraid to go to the scriptures and show people what God has said. If they still reject it their blood is not on our hands and we have glorified God rather than fain to popularity contests.
  • We need reformation. What I mean by that is seen in the above bullet point. We tend to assume the gospel, and loose our moorings. Paul preached Christ and Him crucified, not how to sermons. Peter did the same as well as the others. Yes they gave direction and church discipline, but all coming back to the cross. We need reformation before we will see revival. We often quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 but do not do it. We fail to search the scriptures for correction. I for one found this to be liberating.
So that is about it. I definately had moments of being homesick and God uses that to always work a greater love for my family. If anything I also saw where I don't need hobbies, but can make parenting and husbandry quite the fulfillment in Christ it is meant to be. This removes so many other false values and distractions for accomplishment.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Provokings from John Piper

I just read these questions from the Desiring God blog, well worth a read.

Desiring God Blog

Job Conference Q&A

Posted: 18 Oct 2008 12:45 PM CDT

(Author: Abraham Piper)

You can now listen to the Q & A session of our conference on Job. (Update: The video is also posted now.)

John Piper addressed the following questions:

  • What language should we use to talk about God's sovereignty over sin?
  • How much did the Holy Spirit have to do with Job's ability to suffer well?
  • As an ancient believer, how was Job's faith different than ours?
  • How could Satan come into God's presence? Does he still?
  • Did God initiate the meeting with Satan?
  • How should we view Satan's involvement in our lives?
  • What is involved in the worship that comes in the moments of deepest suffering?
  • Would it be wrong to express anger and frustration in these moments?
  • How do you lovingly speak the truth of God's sovereignty to sufferers?
  • What does it mean to be righteous?
  • What does it mean for the righteous to suffer when there is none righteous before God?
  • How do we make sure our kids are prepared for suffering when our family has undergone so little?
  • What do you say to a couple who lost their infant and now God seems so far away?
  • How do I help my disabled child understand God's sovereignty when she faces not just physical suffering, but emotional suffering because of continual ridicule?
  • What do you do for an unbelieving friend whose suffering is pushing her away from God?
  • What do you do when you can't see God's good purposes in suffering?

Monday, October 13, 2008


My wife just returned from the True Woman 08 conference in Chicago. ( It has been a long time since she has been this refreshed. Now mind you, she wasn't exhausted to begin with. But when we get away to take time with God, and He reveals Himself to us, we are always encouraged and changed. We most definitely need these times to get alone with God and gain a proper perspective.

Thus with great enthusiasm, I am looking forward to a retreat I am to take in the next several days. I long to just get away with God and meditate His hand is several areas. So as this blog is often personally revealing ,I hope to come back with several entries of what it was like over this time.

Keep watching this space for more news.