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Common Slaves

Common Men; Uncommon Master

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Just a quick note:

This Sunday afternoon the Common Slaves are organizing an evening of worship by means of song and preaching, followed by gathering together around a meal. We are delighted to have Pastor Kevin Sorenson from Albion Evangelical Free Church in Albion, MN opening for us the Word of Life. We are always delighted when we are able to partake of the beauty of the facility and warmth of hospitality provided by Lifespring church, the sweetness of brotherly fellowship provided by the saints assembled, and awesome privilege of entering together as children of God into the presence of our Sovereign and Gracious Father and Glorious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the power and fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Here are the pertinent details, and we hope you can join us:

Time/Date: 4:30PM, January 26, 2020
Place: Lifespring Church, Crosby MN

Surprise!

The children of your bereavement
will yet say in your ears:
The place is too narrow for me;
make room for me to dwell in.’
Then you will say in your heart:
‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away,
but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
from where have these come?’”
Isaiah 49:20-21

We experience plenty of various and sundry heartaches in this world, and while I wouldn’t say hearts were made to be broken (because the opposite is almost certainly true), it’s hardly a risky proposition to say given enough time (usually not very much is needed), every heart gets broken. Continue reading “Surprise!”

Tell Me A Story

“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.”

Deuteronomy 6:20-23

“When I was a little boy of about six I used to drive the horses and rake hay, and a couple of times we hit a ground hornet’s nest and those horses would take off like a shot straight ahead, running as fast as they could until they couldn’t run anymore, and there I was just holding on for dear life trying not to fall off.”

My wife’s Grampa is eighty-eight years old, going on sixty. Tomorrow if it doesn’t rain like it’s supposed to he plans to put up some sixteen foot 1×12” shiplap on the roof deck of a pole barn he’s building. “Gotta get all my scaffolding under a roof,” he says.
Continue reading “Tell Me A Story”

Fighting the Sunrise with a Hatchet

I remember having one of those “light bulb” moments listening to one of R.C. Sproul’s lectures from his series The Consequences of Ideas, in which he made the simple but salient point that correlation does not necessarily prove causation. His example was vivid: Every morning a rooster crows. Shortly afterward, the sun comes up. We conclude that crowing causes sunrise. Of course, only a birdbrain blames a rooster for a sunrise that wakes him up too early. 

Continue reading “Fighting the Sunrise with a Hatchet”

Bulverism

“You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this, the only real issue, by busily explaining how he became so silly.”
– C.S. Lewis

I can scarcely imagine what Lewis would have thought of Twitter.
Enjoy the introduction to Ezekiel Bulver. Might sting a bit.
I did. It did.
jr

The Ugliness & Beauty of Forgetting

a funeral homily

Since I never met Jeff, and all of you gathered here knew him well, I find myself in the awkward position of being the only person in the room who didn’t know him, and also the one doing all the talking. What I do know about Jeff is that he died at the young age of fifty-seven of early-onset dementia, so I wanted to take a few minutes to direct our minds to the Word of God and ponder with you the subject of forgetting. Continue reading “The Ugliness & Beauty of Forgetting”

Alice in the Palace

At the urging of some very dear people I have compiled, edited, and formatted the “Alice blogs” into book form, and am happy to say that Alice in the Palace is, to the best of my abilities and with the help of a few good friends, done and ready to go. As many of you know because you walked the journey with us, this is the story of my four-year-old daughter Alice from the first mysterious symptoms until her death from a brain stem tumor 8-1/2 months later. Along the way, I recorded a fairly raw account of what we were experiencing and feeling, for better and for worse, along with my own reflections on Alice, wrestlings with God’s involvement, thoughts about the prayers of his people and the fate of children who die. I also wrote an epilogue on the anniversary of Alice’s funeral, which was just last week.

Thanks to everyone who followed Alice’s story and encouraged us along the way, and if you’d like a nicely organized pretty good looking (if I do say so myself) record of Alice’s story you can get one, or it might be an encouragement for a friend who’s going through “the stuff.” I don’t know why you might want to buy one, but if you do, now you can!

For what it’s worth, I bought a copy myself and I really like it. And (far) more importantly, Michele approves. By the way, Michele drew the cover picture for a card she sent to Alice’s best friend Kenzie, and I loved it so much that I took a picture of it before she dropped it in the mail.

The book is available at Amazon.com in paperback for $10, Kindle for $5. If you purchase a print copy you can get the kindle version for free.

jr

Suck It Up

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you…
Ephesians 4:1 ESV

Once, while reading through the book of Ephesians, it struck me as a bit odd that here smack dab in the center of his letter, Paul mentions the fact that he’s in prison. I’d expect maybe that he’d do that at the beginning, perhaps at the end, but to stick it here seems out of place. Continue reading “Suck It Up”

We have just posted the audio of the first four sessions of our Spring Conference held last Saturday at Lifespring Church in Crosby, MN. Thanks so much to Pastor Eric Anderson and the dear folks at Lifespring for their labors in Jesus’ name making this a wonderful day of sound biblical instruction, encouragement, and challenging thinking. It was an honor to get to meet the gracious Dr. Peter Jones, who was somehow schnookered into coming to the sticks of Northern Minnesota. We are so grateful.

I’ve also posted some new material on the What I’m Listening To page, including some fun kids stories I grew up with, audio Bible recommends, and some other good stuff including Psalm 23 in Hebrew and a wonderful piece on “The Disease of Melancholy.”

-jr

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