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Tim Challies

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March 2010

March 27, 2010

My friend Tim Kerr, pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Toronto has given me permission to post the manual for prayer he has titled Take Words With You. It is a small book that contains 1600+ scripture promises & prayers to help God’s people pray more effectively. The promises are arranged around the cross—it’s purposes & rewards.

It is ideal for printing and using during times of private or corporate prayer. In fact, you’ll see that you can easily print it in 8.5” x 6.5” format and spiral bind it if you so desire. Here is how Tim introduces this little book:

Many years ago I discovered a precious truth regarding prayer: God loves to hear his own words prayed back to him! When a small child crawls up on the lap of their father and says, “Daddy when are you going to take us to the zoo like you promised?” the father smiles and assures his child he has not forgotten and is very much looking forward to doing what he promised (when the time is right). In the same way, our heavenly Father delights to hear us remind him of his promises to us. The Bible is in fact a great big prayer manual that should fill and guide our prayers each and every day.

It is hoped that the many promises of God written here will be prayed back to God in prayer as we seek to enter into God’s purposes accomplished for us through Christ’s cross. Sometimes we remember the gist of a promise but cannot remember what was said or where it is found in Scripture. This manual has been written to make that process easier by organizing the promises of God by categories and themes.

Click below if you’d like to download it for your own use. Feel free to pass it around or print it as you see fit.

March 26, 2010

Free Stuff Fridays

Another Friday is upon us and by now you know what that means—another edition of Free Stuff Fridays. This week’s sponsor is Shepherd Press, a name well-known among us, I’m sure. They are giving away 10 copies of Jim Andrews’ great book Polishing God’s Monuments. This was my favorite book of 2007 and one that both moved and blessed me. It tells the story of a young woman and her devoted husband who have faced a lifetime of mysterious, devastating illness. Written by the young woman’s father, the book intersperses narrative with teaching, experience with theology.

As I wrapped up my review of the book I wrote:

As I closed the cover on this book, 294 pages (yet only one day) after beginning, it struck me that this is undoubtedly one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. I skimmed back through my files to see how many other books I’ve read in 2007 and can see that it is at least sixty or seventy. So it’s no small thing to realize that this is one of the best. I simply can’t recommend Polishing God’s Monuments too highly. I wholeheartedly agree with Bruce Ware who writes, “To enter into this theological reflection on suffering is to accept the challenge to grow deeply in Christ, and to cherish the sure and certain promise of the gospel.” This book gripped my heart and helped me cherish the promises of the gospel like few books I’ve read recently. I commend it to you, trusting you will benefit from it as I have. Perhaps the greatest tribute I can render Polishing God’s Monuments is this: I read almost 300 pages about suffering and pain, yet closed the book with tears of joy in my eyes, rejoicing at the greatness of our sovereign and gracious God.

It truly is an excellent book and one that will be a blessing to you.

Each of five winners will receive two copies of the book—one to read and one to give away or donate to the church library.

Rules: You may only enter the draw once. Simply fill out your name and email address to enter the draw. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon.

March 26, 2010

Wrestling with an Angel - Here’s a must-read blog post for this morning. It begins this way: “One busy Saturday afternoon I was patrolling the local mall parking lot in my police cruiser. It was warm, so I had my windows down enjoying the fall air. As I drove though the lot I heard a loud piercing cry echoing like a sound bite from a horror movie.” (HT: the kerux)

Deals of the Day - At Westminster Books you can get a two-pack of great new books for just $14.99 while at Reformation Heritage Books you can get a complete different two-pack of other good books.

The Tiger Woods Bubble - Here’s an interesting article from the New York Times. “As far as professional golf is concerned, Woods cannot come back fast enough. The PGA Tour is at a critical juncture. Next year it will begin negotiating new TV contracts with CBS and NBC. In the meantime, the tour is trying to secure sponsors for 10 events in 2011 while economic conditions are not exactly favorable.” And speaking of bubbles, you may also be interested in reading about the great baseball card bubble.

Kindle App for iPad - This app could potentially change a lot of the bad things I’ve said about the iPad. It looks that, unlike the PC and Mac versions of the Kindle app, this will allow you to take notes and add highlights to text. But we still need to see if Apple will permit it.

A People of the App? - Jared Bridges: “This past Sunday, I did something generally considered verboten  in conservative evangelical circles.I went to church without my Bible.”

Endtimes Timeline Animation - David Murray has released three helpful animations of different eschatalogical systems: Amillennial Timeline, Postmillennial Timeline and Premillennial Timeline.

March 25, 2010

This morning I’ve got Whitefield and Wesley on my mind. This morning I was thinking about John Wesley’s infamous and divisive sermon called Free Grace and went looking for what I had written on it in the past. This was the sermon that began a significant rift between Whitefield and the Wesleys, for not only did it set them at theological odds, but it also betrayed Whitefield’s trust in Wesley. Though the men continued to love one other, this sermon was a very significant force in the eventual separation between them. Wesley’s sermon, though still highly regarded by some, is hardly a fair, biblical or thorough treatment of the subject of free will, free grace or predestination. It relies far more on shock, bold claims, and outrageous exaggerations than it does on Scripture.

One of Wesley’s biographers, Julia Wedgwood, was harsh but fair when considering this sermon. She says,

March 25, 2010

Facebook Measures Happiness - Here is some interesting analysis from the folks at Facebook. “Facebook  is a friendly distraction  for most of us, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be a tool: Facebook’s been exploring those billions of status updates as a social data source for example. The data on happiness indices around the world are fascinating.”

The Story of Zac Smith - A video worth watching.

Adopted in Christ - And another one. This one discusses adoption.

Dirty Hands - Thirsty Theologian looks at R.C. Sproul’s discussion of Uzzah, the man who reached out and touched the Ark of the Covenant in order to keep it from falling.

March 24, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the music of Christa Wells and told you how much I’ve enjoyed her song “Weightless.” Christa came across that post and was kind enough to offer the song to all of you as a free download.

You can download it by clicking here. (You may want to right-click on the link and choose “Save File.”)

Also, I’ve got 5 copies of her album Frame the Clouds to give away. Leave a comment or retweet this post and I’ll randomly choose 5 winners. Each of the winners will be mailed a copy of the CD.

Here again are the lyrics to “Weightless,” a song about the freedom of forgiveness.

Nothing scalds
like the memory of wrongs I did when I was young
how could I, how could I
I’m sorry

I see the eyes
of the ones that I so carelessly abused
how could I, how could I
I’m sorry

Well, I’ve carried this a long time
in a well hidden bundle on my back
but I’ve realized repentance is weightless
so I’ll leave my burden on the tracks

And then I face
the yesterdays that disappointed
misunderstood by a cruel world
and I’m angry

You might suppose
the years would close the curtains on a scene
from such a time, but this was mine to harbor

Well, I’ve carried this a long time
in a well-hidden bundle on my back
but I’ve realized forgiveness is weightless
so I’ll leave my burden on the tracks

It’s gonna be like delivery that’s overdue and getting too heavy
Then suddenly, I’m weightless

If you’d like to buy the rest of her album, you can do so through her web site, through iTunes or through Amazon.

March 24, 2010

This Sunday evening I will be driving out to Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge and will be talking to a group of young men. I’ve been asked to share with them some of what I discussed in my book Sexual Detox (which will eventually be available as a printed book, honest). Yesterday I began to think about what I would tell them, what I would challenge them with.

When discussing sexuality with young men, I feel a real burden to share with them the consequences of sexual sin and to compare that to the joy and freedom of obedience. And this, I think, is what I need to tell them on Sunday. Though their hearts and bodies are crying out for some kind of sexual fulfillment, some kind of false intimacy, they will ultimately find freedom in obedience to God.

This is a difficult concept to get our minds around. All around us we hear messages that we will find the greatest freedom in pursuing our deepest desires, whatever those desires may be. Recently I read the bestselling book Anticancer, written by David Servan-Schreiber. In this book he talks about the importance of a healthy immune system for battling against disease. He lists several factors that may cause an immune system to decrease rather than strengthen. And one of those factors is denying or ignoring one’s natural homosexuality. If you are homosexual, the best thing for your body and soul is to pursue your homosexuality. True freedom, he implies, freedom of both body and spirit, will be found in pursuing homosexuality; captivity will come by ignoring what he believes to be natural and good.