June 30, 2022July 1, 2022
Dear Pine Glen Church Family,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I trust you have been enjoying the summer and growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18) and finding your joy in the Lord (Philippians 4:4).
I wanted to say a special word of thanks to our church family for your prayers for my recent trip to Canada. My itinerary was a little crazy but on the whole, my trip went very well and I had some rich times catching up with my family, after not seeing them for almost 5 years. Thank you again for covering me in prayer.
Speaking of prayer, I am nearing the end of a “40 days of prayer” journey. My aim has simply been to spend at least 1 hour a day in prayer to draw near to God and seek His face. I have also sought to fast on occasion. I have missed a few days, particularly during my travel time, but I should finish up August 27th. My desire is that August 27th would not serve as an “end date” but as a continuation of what has been started. It has also been neat to see how this time has taken me deeper into the Word of God.
Some of the verses that I have meditated on during this time include:
Ephesians 1:16, 6:18, Luke 18:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Psalm 63:1, Psalm 84, Colossians 4:2, Mark 1:35, Matthew 6:6, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, 1 John 5:14, and John 15:7. I trust that those verses will be of blessing to you.
Here is a good quote from brother A.W. Tozer on prayer: “The true success of any church is going to be prayer. We can easily deceive ourselves, but our purity and our power and our spirituality and our holiness will parallel our prayer.” Amen!
One of the worship bands that I constantly listened to on my Canada trip was an Australian group called “CityAlight.” We are spoiled in the 21st century because not only do we have the old classic hymns that are contained in our hymnbooks, but we have modern hymn-writers that are gifted by God and are blessing the global church, and this includes CityAlight. I have only just recently discovered them, but their lyrics are biblical, powerful, singable, and Christ-centered. We have even started to sing a couple of them during our Sunday services. Here is a sampling of their songs:
Yet Not I, But Through Christ in Me
God is For Us
It Was Finished Upon That Cross
The Goodness of Jesus
As it says in Psalm 32:11, “Be glad in the Lord, O righteous, and shout for joy all you upright in heart!” The next verse is similar, “Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright” (Psalm 33:1). Of all people, the people of God have something to sing about. Let us enter into the chorus of heaven and the chorus of all the redeemed, and give glory to our great God and Savior!
Just a quick reminder to pray for Ross and Elaine as they tour our district and beyond. We had a great visit with them Thursday evening and they shared about the dire situation in Mali. There is much political unrest and instability as it becomes more and more Muslim dominated. Please lift up Ross and Elaine, but also the church as a whole in Mali.
Church family, it is a true blessing to serve as your pastor and you are never far from my heart. I leave you with a devotional I read the other day that helped orient my heart toward heaven.
Love in Christ,
“Morning and Evening” By Charles Spurgeon – August 9th “The city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it.” Revelation 21:23
Yonder in the better world, the inhabitants are independent of all creature comforts. They have no need of raiment; their white robes never wear out, neither shall they ever be defiled. They need no medicine to heal diseases, “for the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.” They need no sleep to recruit their frames–they rest not day nor night, but unweariedly praise him in his temple. They need no social relationship to minister comfort, and whatever happiness they may derive from association with their fellows is not essential to their bliss, for their Lord’s society is enough for their largest desires. They need no teachers there; they doubtless commune with one another concerning the things of God, but they do not require this by way of instruction; they shall all be taught of the Lord. Ours are the alms at the king’s gate, but they feast at the table itself. Here we lean upon the friendly arm, but there they lean upon their Beloved and upon him alone. Here we must have the help of our companions, but there they find all they want in Christ Jesus. Here we look to the meat which perisheth, and to the raiment which decays before the moth, but there they find everything in God. We use the bucket to fetch us water from the well, but there they drink from the fountain head, and put their lips down to the living water. Here the angels bring us blessings, but we shall want no messengers from heaven then. They shall need no Gabriels there to bring their love-notes from God, for there they shall see him face to face. Oh! what a blessed time shall that be when we shall have mounted above every second cause and shall rest upon the bare arm of God! What a glorious hour when God, and not his creatures; the Lord, and not his works, shall be our daily joy! Our souls shall then have attained the perfection of bliss.