Category Archives: Christianity

Order of Service 08/02/20

Call to Worship     Psalm 100

After this, whoever is leading worship (regularly the father or grandfather of the family) should pray for himself and his family as they join together to worship the Lord, that their attention would be captivated by the glory of God, and that they would rejoice together in the Lord.

The Apostle’s Creed     recite together the essential tenets of our faith

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn     “Come, Let Us Worship and Bow Down”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMyCGbv2c8A

Confession of Sin

As is our custom, begin with a few moments of silent, personal confession, and then join together in our corporate confession:

Almighty, everlasting God and Father, we acknowledge and confess that we indeed were conceived and born in sin and, therefore, inclined to all evil and slow to all good; that we unceasingly transgress Your holy commandments, and corrupt ourselves more and more. But we are sorry for this and desire Your grace and help. Therefore, have mercy upon us, most gracious and merciful God and Father, through Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Grant to us and increase in us Your Holy Spirit, so that we may recognize our sin and unrighteousness from the depth of our heart, feel true contrition and grief for them, die to them completely, and please You wholly in a new, godly life. Amen.

At the end of this confession it is appropriate for the person leading to read 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The Gloria Patri     either spoken or sung

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Family or Personal Prayer

Please spend this time in prayer for one another, for the church; for our community, our county, our state, our nation, our world; pray for our leaders; pray for all those who are being impacted by this crisis, and for all those who have contracted the virus or have lost someone who has; pray through the prayer requests that are shared via our OneCall system; pray freely in the Spirit and lay your anxieties and concerns at the feet of our gracious Lord in full confidence that you are heard through Jesus Christ our Mediator.

The Lord’s Prayer     to be prayed together

Scripture    Psalm 95

Sermon    https://soundcloud.com/user-374933433/psalm-95

Hymn     “Holy, Holy, Holy!”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgHrNNM23p8

Closing Prayer

It is appropriate at this point for the father to bless his family, the husband to bless his wife, and all to bless each other. Afterward, as it is the Lord’s Day, I recommend that you spend the rest of the day in the Word, in prayer, worship, and rest. God bless you all!

Order of Service 07/26/20

Call to Worship     Psalm 90:1-2

After this, whoever is leading worship (regularly the father or grandfather of the family) should pray for himself and his family as they join together to worship the Lord, that their attention would be captivated by the glory of God, and that they would rejoice together in the Lord.

The Apostle’s Creed     recite together the essential tenets of our faith

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn     “Praise My Soul the King of Heaven”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCRCZMmnwZQ

Confession of Sin

As is our custom, begin with a few moments of silent, personal confession, and then join together in our corporate confession:

Almighty, everlasting God and Father, we acknowledge and confess that we indeed were conceived and born in sin and, therefore, inclined to all evil and slow to all good; that we unceasingly transgress Your holy commandments, and corrupt ourselves more and more. But we are sorry for this and desire Your grace and help. Therefore, have mercy upon us, most gracious and merciful God and Father, through Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Grant to us and increase in us Your Holy Spirit, so that we may recognize our sin and unrighteousness from the depth of our heart, feel true contrition and grief for them, die to them completely, and please You wholly in a new, godly life. Amen.

At the end of this confession it is appropriate for the person leading to read 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The Gloria Patri     either spoken or sung

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Family or Personal Prayer

Please spend this time in prayer for one another, for the church; for our community, our county, our state, our nation, our world; pray for our leaders; pray for all those who are being impacted by this crisis, and for all those who have contracted the virus or have lost someone who has; pray through the prayer requests that are shared via our OneCall system; pray freely in the Spirit and lay your anxieties and concerns at the feet of our gracious Lord in full confidence that you are heard through Jesus Christ our Mediator.

The Lord’s Prayer     to be prayed together

Scripture    1 John 2:15-27

As I am on vacation this week, I would like to introduce you to an excellent pastor and teacher – Dr. Sinclair Ferguson.

Sermon    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uicueXOqPo

Hymn     “In Christ Alone”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWiFYJMGas0

Closing Prayer

It is appropriate at this point for the father to bless his family, the husband to bless his wife, and all to bless each other. Afterward, as it is the Lord’s Day, I recommend that you spend the rest of the day in the Word, in prayer, worship, and rest. God bless you all!

In Memoriam: J.I. Packer (1926-2020)

Dr. J.I. Packer has gone to be with our Lord. He now beholds by sight the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that until this day He had only known by faith.

When I first came on a visit to the seminary I would attend, I came to hear Dr. Packer give a lecture on holiness. I remember shaking his hand and shyly muttering the words “Thank you”, wishing terribly I had thought of something more clever to say. He seemed so frail, as though a strong handshake might break him; how our Lord stores His treasure in jars of clay!

Over the years, I’ve gleaned a great deal from Dr. Packer’s writings. Perhaps his biggest influence on me, though, is to be found not so much in his own works (which are excellent, especially Knowing God and his Concise Theology – the closest he ever came to writing a systematic theology), but in his pointing me to the writers from whom he had himself so richly benefited. I owe him a great deal, for he was one of the first teachers to introduce me to the writings of the Puritans. He has written the forewords or introductions to many books in my library – not only to contemporary theological works, but also to several reprinted volumes of the Puritans (see also his excellent introduction to the Puritans, A Quest for Godliness). When I first read John Owen’s The Mortification of Sin when I was in my late teens, I was delighted to find that Dr. Packer was the one who ushered me into such a world-shaking work. Strangely, to this day, it’s hard to think of Owen (which I do often, as I have set myself the task to read all of his works over the next several years) without thinking of Packer. Reading his introduction, and then reading Owen himself, I found in Packer a friend of my heart; Dr. Packer’s experience was so similar to my own. He writes:

“Reaching across those three centuries, Owen showed me my inside – my heart – as no one had ever done before. Sin, he told me, is a blind, anti-God, egocentric energy in the fallen human spiritual system, ever fomenting self-centred and self-deceiving desires, ambitions, purposes, plans, attitudes, and behaviours. Now that I was a regenerate believer, born again, a new creation in Christ, sin that formerly dominated me had been de-throned but was not yet destroyed. It was marauding within me all the time, bringing back sinful desires that I hoped I had seen the last of, and twisting my new desires for God and godliness out of shape so that they became pride-perverted too. Lifelong conflict with the besetting sins that besetting sin generates was what I must expect.

What to do? Here was Owen’s answer, in essence: Have the holiness of God clear in your mind. Remember that sin desensitises you to itself. Watch – that is, prepare to recognise it, and search it out within you by disciplined, Bible-based, Spirit-led self- examination. Focus on the living Christ and his love for you on the cross. Pray, asking for strength to say ‘no’ to sin’s suggestions and to fortify yourself against bad habits by forming good ones contrary to them. And ask Christ to kill the sinful urge you are fighting, as the theophanic angel in C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce tells the man with the lizard to do.”

God truly blessed His church through this man, and helped me personally. I am thankful for his life and work; I am thankful that Dr. Packer is with the Lord he loves; and I am thankful that we will meet again at the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead! I pray that the Lord will raise up more leaders and thinkers like J.I. Packer: men who love the Lord, who love His Word, and Who boldly proclaim the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ!