Thursday, May 30, 2013

Signs of True Repentance

My pastor, Richard Caldwell, concluded last night's sermon by listing five signs of true repentance, as seen in 2 Corinthians 7:5-11.
  1. True repentance is grieved by godly admonition. It doesn't get angry about being confronted.
  2. True repentance doesn't stop at the point of grief. It leads to a change of course. It goes from grief to decision.
  3. True repentance leads to salvation, not to death nor to depression nor to destruction. It lead to Jesus, to freedom from sin.
  4. True repentance longs for holiness. It doesn't long for a return to sin. 
  5. True repentance is ready to demonstrate a new course. It understands why can't instantly forget about what was done wrong to them.
I needed to hear those things. My repentance has often been merely external.

What does your repentance look like?

You may want to listen to the whole sermon, which was an introduction to Zephaniah, in English or Spanish

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Praise to the Maker

Holy, holy, Lord Almighty,
Maker of the earth and sky,
All Thy creatures bow before Thee
As their praise ascends on high.
All your glory yet will flow, and
Where you are, it's never night.
All our glory's just a shadow
Next to your unending light.

Praise the LORD from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
    stormy wind fulfilling his word!

          --Psalm 147:7-8

Sunday, May 19, 2013

God Gave Some as Teachers

Thank God for those who teach God’s word
With courage, skill and patient love—
Who don’t abuse the truth they’ve heard,
But take their orders from above. 

Thank God for those whose lives display
Christ’s saving work at any length
To build His church on earth today—
To save by His almighty strength.

Then give such teachers honor due
To those who faithfully just serve
With motives that are clean and true.
Yes, give the honor they deserve.

Rewards for them, rewards for you,
Are never seen on earth today.
Those come when Jesus makes things new
And all His servants get their pay.

And he gave...teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ...  (Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Mother's Beauty

        My mother, Hilda M. Swindle, in 1964

My mother's beauty wasn't gold and paint
Nor sexy moves and winks.
Her beauty was a simpler, cleaner, rural sort
From clean living
   and clean thinking
      and self-control
         and duty done by day, by night.

She loved the Lord's creation--
   The beauty of a robin or an oriole,
   But also of a chicken or a toad.

She didn't need much luxury.
The place she loved, where she grew up,
Was plain indeed--
A wood-fired cookstove.
An outdoor toilet.
No telephone.
But it meant home for her
And for her children,
Though we didn't know it at the time.

She raised her boys to read and think.
She fed our hunger, nursed our sickness,
And cleaned us up and brought us all to church.

My mother died in May
Now fourteen years ago.
No big foundation bears her name.
No streets, no schools, no obelisks.
Those she wouldn't need.
Her monument is duty done
And children loved
And just one man
And half a gravestone.

I miss her this May day.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12 ESV)

For a related post about family, click here.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

I Chose God; He Chose Me

     Lye soap at Wunderlich Farm. Photo credit: Gail Swindle

By your grace, I've chosen you.
Now confirm it. make me new--
Dead to all the devil's lies,
By your Spirit, clean and wise.
Keep me in the tempting hour
By your Holy Spirit's power.
As you wash and fresh and fill,
Conquer me to do your will.
Then a glory not my own
Will flow from and to your throne
As my life in each small thing
Glorifies my matchless king.
Speak your truth from north to south,
East to west through my saved mouth.
All I am, Lord, comes from you.
Sanctify me through and through.

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
(Psalm 32:1-2 ESV)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Sluggard

The sluggard “does not commit himself to a refusal, but deceives himself by the smallness of his surrenders. So, by inches and minutes, his opportunity slips away.” 
--Derek Kidner, as quoted in Bible study material from Capitol Hill Baptist Church of Washington, DC.

     Lazy? Me? Not at all.
     Wait a bit, and you'll see.

     Yes, I'll work like a bee.
     I'll get busy this fall.

     Lazy? Me? Lying thing!
     Just you wait, and you'll see.
     I will work like a bee.
     I'll get busy next spring.

     The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
         while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
                                 (Proverbs 13:14 ESV)