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Deeper Roots + Wider Branches

Pursuing Sanctification, Community & Mission

“Come to Jesus, though your nature be dry, and your case hopeless.

Come, for there are rivers of grace in him.

Come, for they flow at your feet “in a dry place.”

Come, if you have come before, and are just now in a backsliding condition. The Lord Jesus is still the same; the rivers of mercy in him can never be dried up.”

-Charles Spurgeon

*For the rest of Spurgeon’s “Rivers in the Desert” sermon notes check out this post on The Resurgence: http://theresurgence.com/2011/02/27/spurgeon-sermon-notes-rivers-in-the-desert

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“Little Children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.” [1 John 3:18]

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For more details about how you can pray for Costa Rica, visit: http://www.operationworld.org/cost

 

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Every opportunity to lust is an opportunity to love.

 

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Thanks to The Resurgence Blog, I discovered the work of Isaac Wardell & Bifrost Arts, and what they have to say strikes me as very insightful. Wardell points out that “the church today generally takes its cues from the concert hall or the lecture hall” gravitating either toward a performance-driven mindset or an anti-emotional over-emphasis on “education and cognitive understanding” in an effort to become a “counter-cultural outpost”. He points out the need to rediscover the use of scriptures, the Psalms in particular as our framework for worship rather than “taking our cues from the larger media culture.” He also points out the strange phenomena that we listen to more music than ever before, yet we sing together much less then Christians did in the past. Perhaps we need to rediscover the simplicity of gathering together occasionally just to sing…no powerpoint, no microphones, no stage…just a few instruments (or none), a few brothers and sisters, and the beauty of voices raised to our creator and redeemer. I for one am longing to discover the hymns of our generation, and rediscover the hymns of generations past.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/14429217″>Bifrost Arts</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/joshfraner”>josh franer</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Here’s the interview with Isaac Wardell at The Resurgence: http://theresurgence.com/2011/02/25/is-a-worship-service-more-like-a-concert-hall-or-a-banquet-hall

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I am not a fan of everything published in Philadelphia Weekly, but I do tend to pick it up on a weekly basis mainly for their excellent “Arts & Culture” Calendar. I’ve attended several cool events that I found in PW. Lately, I’ve been picking up PW for more than just making my weekend plans. This month their “News and Opinions” section has featured some good writing on justice issues in our city. While I’ve got my beefs with PW, I definitely have to give props to the publication for talking about these issues and for reporting on tragic and hopeful local developments. Also want to give props to the writers: F.H. Rubino, Tara Murtha, and Aaron Case. Keep up the good work!

In Kensington, Renewed Hope for Troubled Souls” (2/23/11) – For my liberti church people, this is a great gospel story taking place in our own ‘hood. We should be praying for and networking with these people.  Check out Innercity Missions website.

In Philly, More Safe Places for Child-Abuse Victims” (2/16/11)- Helpful information and resources for those in our community serving children. Check out the Philadelphia Childrens Alliance for more info.

For Americans in the Sex Trade, Still Little Hope” (2/9/11)- Tragic story, but there are developments both in the city and the state to fight the injustices perpetrated against girls who have been manipulated and in some cases forced into prostitution. Also check out the documentary “Very Young Girls” and the work of Covenant House PA and Dawn’s Place.

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To you, O Lord I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.

Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

[Psalm 25:1-3]

Why do I lug around this soul so full of doubt, worry, fear, and rebellion when you invite me to come to you and find rest?

If your yoke is easy and your burden is light, why do I feel so lost tonight?

To you, O Lord I lift up my soul.

Enemies surround me from the outside, and I hate to say it, but they are inside me too.

Trust. I can’t trust myself. But you…My only hope. Trust in you. Though I sit in darkness, I do…

I’ve learned this much. That I can’t do this on my own.

Let me not be put to shame. Complete this work you’ve started in me.

I will wait. Wait for you.

Slowly but surely, you will lead.

Shame will crumble, piece by piece.

Joy has taken root.



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