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Providence

Providence is a great theological word and sometimes forgotten.  It reminds us of God's intervention in the world.  Put simply, it is the divine guidance or care displayed by the Almighty God.  We see clearly that there is a amazing narrative unfolding throughout the pages of Scripture.  It is true that God's plan for the world and every soul that he has created is guided by his will, or providence. You will be blessed to read the following blog entry by Kevin DeYoung that outlines God's providence in the Old Testament.

Providence in the Old Testament

 

You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;  none can compare with you!  I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told (Psalm 40:5).

Reading the Bible in 2013

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to a New Year as we see God's grace unfold in new ways in our lives.  I've read different Bible reading plans over the years but am really excited about this year's plan.  It leaves room for grace while also incorporating discipline along the way.  Check it out and see.

Bible Reading Plan 

I'm looking forward to reading the entire Bible in 2013.  Who would like to join me?  There are at least two of us are eager and ready.  You can join in today.  After all, it's only January 2nd.

Also, here is just a fun video of a 4 year old reciting all 66 books of the Bible.  Enjoy :)

The Books of the Bible 

Consider it Joy

John Piper has preached his last sermon as the Pastor for Preaching and Vision for Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.  His impact on my life and on many others is hard to estimate.  He has pointed me to the Cross repeatedly and continually helps me not to boast in anything that man can give but in only what God gives. He has preached tirelessly so that the gospel would be proclaimed in such a way whereby Jesus was exalted.  Here are a few timely notes from his last sermon.

"What the world needs from the church, from Bethlehem, from you, is your invincible joy in the midst of suffering and sorrow."… "I think Jesus was the happiest man who ever lived. And oh how sorrowful. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." … "Christ is more precious than sleep, health, money, and life. Wouldn't you want a Christ that precious?" … "It is no accident the greatest chapter in the Bible, Romans 8, ends with Paul doing everything in his truth-laden power to help our joy be indomitable in suffering." … "For the next 32 years, Bethlehem, let the world see your indomitable joy in Jesus, in sorrow."

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Honestly, today has been a struggle for me.  It's been a battle against my sinful nature and my desire to only gratify my flesh.  But the amazing truths of the gospel keep silencing my fears and lifting me up out of despair and into devotion to my LORD and SAVIOR!

Look to Christ!  Rejoice in Him today!

Movie Night -- October Baby

We will be showing October Baby on January 18th at 7PM. Invite your friends and family.  There will be plenty of popcorn and giveaways.

Here is a trailer of the movie.

The Lottery and Lottie Moon

A normal Wednesday morning includes going to eat Breakfast with some men from my church.  On the way there, the talk on the radio was all about the Powerball jackpot.  Later, I pulled up CNN on my computer and the main story was about the Powerball jackpot.  The Lottery gets a lot of attention because many are hoping for a golden ticket to riches and retirement.  However, it’s been noted that many who have won the lottery went on to live terrible lives or were even murdered afterwards.  Many dream of happiness and awake to misery.  CNN points out that the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are actually quite slim.  During college, statistics fascinated me.  So, here are a few to ponder during your week and perhaps reality will set in.  The chance of a ticket winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510.  By comparison, it is more likely to hit a deer while traveling in Hawaii (1 in 6,267) or to die from a bee sting (1 in 6.1 million) or to hit a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes (1 in about 156 million).  But besides the odds not being in your favor, why else should we       not play the Lottery?

Hershael York has described gambling well in saying, “Gambling wreaks havoc upon families and it is a desire to want something for nothing.”  Gambling is false entertainment that robs from the poor while offering a false hope for the hurting.  In an age of materialism, our desires are out of control and they reveal our hearts of greed and selfishness.  Henry Ford described money and men well when he said, “Money doesn’t change men, it merely unmasks them.”

While people are looking for temporary happiness and hope for the future, the Bible is clear in saying these can be found not in following our fleshly desires but in forsaking all by following Jesus Christ.  He alone can bring hope to our souls.  He might not bring fame and money but he can set us free from our greed while meeting our greatest need.  Jesus didn’t share a prosperity gospel but he did deliver a grace-filled gospel with clarity.  In the book of Matthew, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”

As Christians, we must examine our hearts and see where our treasure is.  As a church, we get to give generously this time of year to our annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.    As we give, be encouraged that 100% goes directly to the missionaries as they make disciples who follow Christ all around the world.  Instead of giving to a lottery that promotes greed, give to Lottie Moon that promotes the gospel.

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Secret Church

Our church will be hosting a secret church event on November 30th from 6-9pm.  This event is an intense Bible study centered on the purpose and role of the church.  It will be taught by David Platt. ***Why is it called Secret Church?

I'll let David Platt explain it to you through this video.  Here is another video clip that expresses what we will focus on as a priority during our time together on November 30th.

I hope to see you at Haven Baptist Church for our first night of Secret Church as we study the Bible, pray for the persecuted church, and fellowship together.

Church Pianist Needed

Haven Baptist Church is seeking a pianist to serve as outlined below: Under the direction of the Music Director, the church Pianist will be responsible for attending and providing musical accompaniment for all worship services and choir practices - an average of 6 hours per week.

The Pianist must also be willing to occasionally work with soloists, ensembles and other instrumentalists as needed. Applicant should be a Christian with a desire to use his or her talents to glorify God and serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. He or she should be reliable, and possess a cooperative attitude in promoting the music ministry of the church, with appropriate musical background and training as determined by the Music Director and the Personnel Committee. Monetary compensation will be weekly, based on services performed and level of experience.

Interested applicants, should submit inquiries and/or resumes (with references) to haven.pianist@gmail.com.

The Early Church

Here is a fascinating little blog post about an easy way to learn about Christian History.  Timothy Paul Jones is an instructor at Southern Seminary and he does us a great service by teaching about Christian History through videos.  If you have some spare time, you will enjoy these lessons that will guide our faith. Christian History (Part 1)