• Friday, September 10, 2010

  • Just letting you know that there will probably be no postings for the next few weeks and that I am not planning on abandoning the webpage. Will be taking a few weeks away from the ministry work and do some Eastern Nebraska ranching. Deb and I still have lots of clean-up to do from last winter and need to set things up for this winter. Pasture fences to fix, trees to cut and clear, and wood to chop for firewood. We will spend considerable time on the horses and take advantage of the mornings for extended devotions. See you back in October ranch-hardened.
    P.S. I am also plannning on fishing on our farm pond and I will post lunker pictures as I catch them. :)

    Recommendations for Children's Bibles

  • Friday, September 3, 2010
  • This is a repeat of an earlier post but the question for buying Bibles for children has come up again with the Christmas season and here are my top 3 recommendations:
    1. For young children: The Big Picture Story Bible
    Here is what the publisher says: "No child is too young to begin learning about the greatest love story of all God's love for his people, as portrayed in the Bible. David R. Helm and Gail Schoonmaker collaborate to create a beautifully illustrated book of Bible stories especially for children, written with simplicity. Rather than simply retelling the most familiar short scenes from the Bible, this book presents the "big picture", the unified story running through the Old and New Testaments. This delightful book will help children learn the Bible's whole story and begin to appreciate the fulfillment of God's promise to his people. The Big Picture Bible Story Book is perfect for parents to read to their children, and eventually, for children to read on their own. It is an excellent way to introduce them to a book that will guide them through all of life."

    2. For preschool through early elementary: The Jesus Storybook Bible, Every Story Whispers His Name.Here is what the publisher says: "Containing forty-six Bible stories from creation to Revelation with beautiful, rich, and vibrant artwork, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures and discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation - and at the center of their story, too."

    3. For the reader and a full text Bible, I recommend the Children's ESV Bible (even though Pastor Tom teaches from the NASB). It reads easier and has over 200 illustrations that are well done.

    The Puritan Marriage Prayer

  • Wednesday, September 1, 2010
  • Last weekend I had the privilege of taking Jonathan and Juanita Trexel through a recommitment of their marriage vows as they celebrated their 27th anniversary. I closed the ceremony with what is known as the traditional Puritan Marriage Prayer which seemed to touch many who were in attendance. Here is the prayer as I stated it for Jonathan and Juanita, for you to be blessed by as well:

    Oh, God of love, you have established the marriage of Jonathan and Juanita for the sake of your glory and the gospel. Yours was the plan and only with You can they work it out with joy. You have said it is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helpmate for him. Their joys are doubled since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other. Their burdens halved as they have shared them.

    Dear Father, we would ask that you would bless Jonathan. Bless him as a provider of nourishment and raiment and sustain him in all the expectations and pressures of his battle for bread. May his strength be Juanita’s protection, his character be her boast and her pride and may he continue to live that she finds in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs.

    And dear Heavenly Father, we would ask that you bless Juanita. Continue to give her tenderness that will make her great, a deep sense of understanding and a great faith in You. Give her inner beauty of soul that never fades. That eternal youth that is found in holding fast the things that never age.

    Give both of them a continued great spiritual purpose in life as they seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness. Loving You best they shall love each other the more and faithful unto each other they will be. May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs to You alone. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other’s points of comeliness and strength and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes.

    Now make such assignments to them on the scroll of Your will as You bless them and develop their character as they walk together. Give them a little something to forgive every day that they may grow in the grace of longsuffering. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them human, enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours and enough success to make them sure they walk with You. May they never take each other’s love for granted but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims “out of this world, You have chosen me.”

    When life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, hand in hand thanking You for each other. May they serve You happily, faithfully together until at last one shall lay the other into the arms of Jesus.

    This we ask through Jesus Christ, the great Lover of our souls. Amen