GTD and the Lord’s Day

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David Allen was interviewed by MSNBC regarding stress and job burnout. He went over some of his standard talking points: the increased number of inputs we face today, our inability to be conscious about our various projects and NA’s, and the need to keep these out of our head and organized. One of the hosts of MSNBC suggested the importance of a vacation. The David’s response? Weekly. People need to regroup and rest on a weekly basis rather than once a year.

Further evidence for natural law, the abiding principle of the moral law, and the importance of the one-in-seven pattern laid down in Creation, covenanted at Sinai, and re-stipulated at Zion.

Though he may not put it this way, even David Allen wants you to remember the Lord’s Day, forsake not the fellowship of the saints, and regulate your worship in Covenant Renewal. Tickle that for every first day of the week.

Sounds of Christmas

For those of you who are into cantatas, Zion Ev. & Reformed Church recently presented their 51st annual cantata, “Sounds of Christmas.” Perhaps the following may be of interest for any looking for structuring their own cantata presentation.

It seems like the Christmas season gets busier every year! More presents to buy, cookies to bake, decorations to be hung… in all the hustle and bustle, there is no time to wait – Christmas is coming! Where did the time go?! When we were children, Christmas couldn’t come fast enough; we couldn’t wait for it! So what has changed? What are we waiting for now?

We are all waiting… some are waiting for Christmas, some are waiting for their families to be healed; others are waiting for their health to be restored. We are all waiting for that angelic promise so long ago: “peace on earth, good will toward men.” But how long must we wait? And Who are we waiting for?

When Emmanuel Has Come

Emmanuel has come, and we will never be the same. So how did this King come to earth? When Heaven was opened, what glorious procession did Emmanuel take to display His regal majesty? All the heavenly host of God’s angels held their breath as they awaited the sudden appearance of the King of Glory.

But what’s this? Where are the heavenly trumpets, sounding forth their royal fanfare? Where are the angelic voices shouting as a roar of the ocean, that the King is coming? It is a silent night, with only the blue-white of stars twinkling over a quiet village in Israel. Here there is no shining palace, no golden throne; only a solitary man and pregnant wife who are plodding their way to a small dusty inn and cramped stable.

A Simple Stable

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord… you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

O, Tiny Babe of Bethlehem

And so, the Babe was born. In the quiet of that holy night, salvation was created. And all was still on earth.

High above that lowly manger, the heavens were not quiet. Though the earth lay wrapped in silence, all of Heaven was exploding for joy in the birth of the King. The heavens were telling the glory of God, and galaxies were spinning in their celestial orbits to the praise of the newborn King. Comets and meteors, stars and nebulae reverberated with angelic praise. But one star, one special, little star, was given an extraordinary assignment. As the starry hosts gave glory to God, this little star cast its heavenly light on little Bethlehem, the holy manger awash in its glow. Like a beacon of grace, this little star shone out in the darkness, proclaiming the Light of the World!

One Star

How Quietly, How Quietly

Narrator (Choir of Children reciting in unison)
Within a crib my Savior lay / a wooden manger filled with hay /
Come down for love on Christmas Day

Now Holy Babe rest in Your bed / But on the Cross His blood He’ll shed /
O Jesus, Jesus, rest your head

Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head

As shepherds watched their flocks by night, suddenly the glory of the Lord shone about them, and the heavenly host appeared to them, saying “Glory to God in the highest! The Savior is born in Bethlehem!”

Can it be true? Is this midnight vision to be believed? Is the King whom we have all been waiting for been born this silent night? Come, let us see Jesus! Come with the Magi – those kings of the East – see their royal array in a majestic procession. Come with the shepherds – fresh from the fields – still smelling of sheep and the goats and the grass – with the radiance of the heavenly host flickering on their faces. Come with the angels, and give glory to God – Hallelujah!

Hurry, Hurry to Bethlehem

“Let us, like these good shepherds, then employ
Our grateful voices to proclaim the joy
Look now! the Babe, who has retrieved our loss
From His poor manger to His bitter cross
Trusting His pow’r, assisted by His grace
Till man’s restored to His glorious place.
Then may we hope, the angelic thrones among
To sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song
He that was born upon this joyful day
Around us all His glory shall display
Saved by His grace, incessant we shall sing
Eternal praise to Christ, almighty King.”

A Christmas Proclamation

Christmas is here! And the Christ child is born! Salvation is created! Sin, death and darkness are conquered- so joy the world! And glory to God in the highest. May you and your loved ones have a happy – and holy – Christmas!

A Carol Festival

Merry Christmas!

Looking Ahead for 2011

Dear Zion,

It seems like the New Year has snuck up on us again, and with 2011 comes all sorts of new experiences: new hopes and new fears for what the new year may bring, new possibilities, as well as the feelings of regret and loss that can come as time marches on. Many people spend the New Year thinking about new resolutions to make and ways to change. But how should Christians think about the inauguration of 2011? How are we to “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16)? While there are surely many ways to think about these issues, here are some especially pertinent, biblical concepts to consider.

The Sovereignty of God in 2011
No matter what the new year brings, we can be sure of this: God is in control of 2011. All times are in His hand, and since He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (Revelation 1:8), we know that He makes the ends known from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Every day that we live in 2011 has already been written in His book (Psalm 139:16), and nothing that happens to us can happen apart from His will. Life and death, health and sickness are in His hands (Deuteronomy 32:39). Neither a sparrow (Matthew 10:39 – 31) nor a hair from your head (Luke 21:16 – 18) can fall apart from God’s will. So for those who love God and are called according to His purpose, the future of the new year doesn’t need to be a scary thing, because He has promised that all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:28). As we make our plans for 2011, we should recognize God’s absolute power and control over all the decisions we make, and ultimately entrust ourselves and our plans to Him (James 4:13 – 17).

The Second Coming and Missions
It could be that 2011 is the year in which Jesus Christ returns “to judge the quick and the dead,” and to bring His people home to God. I can’t think of a more glorious idea! We pray with the saints down through the ages, “Come quickly, O Lord!” (I Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22:20). When the date is written out 2011 A.D., that stands for anno domini, or “the year of our Lord,” and it reminds us that time is waiting for Christ to return. The Second Coming of Jesus is the blessed hope for all Christians, and one we eagerly await. As we wait, we are to strive to live in a manner worthy of His calling.

But we are also to spread the Good News of God. If Jesus doesn’t return in 2011, may the Lord use this season for the advancement of His Kingdom! Jesus reminds us that in every age “the fields are white for the harvest,” and so we should “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2; John 4:35). How may God be calling you to support missionaries and evangelistic efforts through prayer, finances, and your own time?

Personal Holiness and Spiritual Growth
No matter what God’s will for 2011 may include, you can be sure of this, that part of God’s will for you is for you to grow in holiness (I Thessalonians 4:3). That is true in all times and all places. Many New Year’s Resolutions include weight loss and stopping bad habits, but how many of us take time to plan how to grow in our faith? How many of us purposefully seek deeper discipleship and richer communion with the Triune God? If it would help you, notice the Bible reading plan included in this newsletter[1]. Perhaps you would like to join or start a prayer meeting. May God grant us all a zeal to be holy, even as He is holy, in 2011 (I Peter 1:16).

Praying with you for faithfulness in 2011,
Pastor Brian
[1] This is referring to M’Cheyne’s Bible Reading Plan.

Some Annotated Links

A site constructed by several PCA ministers who are liturgically friendly. This doesn’t follow a strict understanding of the Regulative Principle of Worship, but even those who hold carefully to the RPW may find much to benefit their conducting of liturgy.

Iain Duguid Resources
Dr. Iain Duguid, one my OT and Hebrew professors at WSC, has many of his sermons and resources compiled (by an admiring student?) as well as links to many of his books. Dr. Duguid is a rare and talented exegete and preacher.

DMLJ Trust
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the good Welsh doctor, has many of his greatest sermons recorded here. An invaluable site.

What should I do when my children say they don’t want to go to church?
R.C. Sproul @Ligonier Ministries weighs in.

an incarnation of one of my earliest blogs

Headline | Ames on Chastity


William Ames (1576 – 1633) was one of the important figures of the Reformation both in England and on the Continent. His Medulla Theologica (Marrow of Theology) was an important work for training ministers both in Puritan Britain as well as the Nadere Continent, and in this way his teaching connects early lights such as William Perkins with successive generations.

Ames is noted for his employment of Ramist divisions, which is a methodology that carefully considers a dialectic logic (though this claim should be carefully qualified as not embracing all accents which are associated with Ramism). Its especially helpful to see this when Ames considers “chastity.”

By carefully considering chastity in Scripture, Ames brings many qualities to light that seem all but forgotten by Christians (not to mention the world) today. Continue reading

Twitter Clients

What clients do you use for Twitter? is great for shortening links and Twitter tools. PockeTwit is my favorite mobile client for Windows Mobile. Digsby is my desktop client, great for handling email, chat, Facebook, and all of your social media. Tumblr isn’t actually a Twitter client, but works great with your tumblog.

What other clients are “must have’s” for Twitter and blogging? Have you run into any security measures with any clients?