Monday Morning Musings

Like many of my minister friends, my Sabbath Day was full as I taught a class and preached morning and evening yesterday.  And certainly having a good number of visitors who appear to be seeking Christ in the morning  service as we observed communion and looked at Christ in Isaiah 53 was exciting.

Yet a highlight for me was preaching at the dementia unit yesterday afternoon where my mother lives and my daughter works.  Seeing people, whose minds struggle with even remembering their own names in the present, still being able to quote Psalm 23 memorized in the past is incredibly humbling.  As we discussed being ready to travel through the valley of death, the comfort is knowing we have a Shepherd who has gone before us, will be with us, and is taking us home.  Thus, it is only the valley of the shadow of death for us, for as one dear old saint kept repeating enthusiastically, “Thou art with me!  Thou art with me!”

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One other encouragement ministering there was singing Psalm 23 to them with my daughter.  It was great to receive applause and thanks for my good singing…from people whose hearing ain’t what it used to be.

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I had never thought of the thief on the cross as being a prodigal son brought to his senses at the last moment.  Carl Trueman’s article “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over” is thought-provoking and encouraging.

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Rejoiced Friday evening as my friend and fellow blogger James Faris was installed again at Second Reformed Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, having spent four years between assignments there pastoring in Michigan.  The sermon for the service was excellent.  Yet despite the preacher’s disclaimer and assurance that the message was definitely not directed at James, the irony still remains.  He spoke on the Prodigal Son and the sermon title was “Lost and Found.”

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Funny thing about women.  Their harmonious relationships can quickly turn into hormonious ones.

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Spurgeon has a humorous little book called Eccentric Preachers.  He shows how God delights in using men who appear odd to most, even those in the church, and gives brief biographies of some.  Using the definition of eccentric, he says that the circle in which an eccentric man moves is not quite coincident with that which is followed by the majority.”    However, Spurgeon is also quick to distinguish a sanctified eccentricity from showmanship and buffoonery:

Natural humor may possibly be consecrated and made to wear the yoke of Christ, but he who apes it is no true man…If one man casts a sprinkling of the salt of wit into his sermon straightway some half idiotic brother must set the people grinning all the sermon through. If one, to whom it is natural, is so carried away by his earnestness that his action becomes at times highly dramatic, instantly a certain crew fall to mouthing and posturing as if these things were the great power of God.

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Speaking of preaching, Sinclair Ferguson recently said in an interview that good preaching “involves getting yourself out of the way so you can be in the way of Christ.”

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Since I poked fun at the women, I’ll return the favor.  This post title reminds me of what my wife used to say about bringing treats to an early morning Greek class we used to have in my study.  Coming into the closed door sessions in that small room, she later told me at home we should call our time together the “Monday Morning Musky Men’s Meeting.”

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