The Family – a prayer from ‘The Valley of Vision’ (Pastor’s Desk)

The Valley of Vision is a wonderful collection puritan prayers. If you haven’t got it I highly commend it as a way of growing your prayer vocabulary. Here is the prayer ‘The Family’, with updated English, which, I think, focuses on our familial relationship in church.

—-

O Sovereign Lord,

You are the Creator-Father of all men,
for you have made and support them;

You are the special Father of those who know, love, and honour you,
who find your yoke easy, and your burden light,
your work honourable,
your commandments glorious.

But how little your undeserved goodness has affected me!
How imperfectly have I improved my religious privileges!
How negligent have I been in doing good to others!

I am before you in my trespass and sins,
have mercy on me,
and my your goodness bring me to repentance.

Help me hate and forsake every false way,
to be attentive to my condition and character,
to bridle my tongue,
to keep my heart with all diligence,
to watch and pray against temptation,
to kill sin,
to be concerned for the salvation of others.

O God, I cannot endure to see the destruction of my kindred.

Let those who are united to me in tender ties
be precious in your sight and devoted to your glory.

Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion,
instruction, discipline, example,
that my house may be a nursery for heaven,
my church the garden of the Lord,
enriched with the trees of righteousness of your planting,
for your glory;

Let not those of my family who are amiable, moral, attractive,
fall short of heaven at last;

Grant that the promising appearances of a tender conscience,
soft heart, the alarms and delights of your Word,
be not finally blotted out, but bring forth judgement to victory
in all whom I love.

Amen.

The True Gospel (1 Timothy)

 

With two services starting this weekend at our church, going through 1 Timothy promises to ‘start’ 2012, and two services, on the right foot. What is the foundation of our two services? What is it that compels us to grow? What is it that drives our church to plant new services? Come and find out how the Living Word dwells richly in Christians as we hear about the True Gospel from the New Testament book of 1 Timothy.

 

Sermon Titles and Dates:

The True Gospel vs. The False Gospel (1 Tim 1:1-7) – Feb 12
The True Gospel: Jesus Came to Saves Sinners (1 Tim 1:8-20) – Feb 19
The True Gospel in Saved Sinners (1 Tim 2:1-15) – Feb 26
The True Gospel in Godly Leadership (1 Tim 3:1-16) – Mar 4
The True Gospel at Work in Us (1 Tim 4:1-16) – Mar 11
The True Gospel in Relationships (1 Tim 5:1-6:2) – Mar 18
The True Gospel vs The False Gospel (II) (1 Tim 6:3-21) – Mar 25

A great blog

A Pastor-friend down in Sydney has one of the most well thought out blogs I’ve read in ages – particularly in regards to understanding and critiquing Asian church culture. His latest blog post regarding ‘Power Distance Index‘ is insightful for those of us who are young and ministering within churches. Power Distance Index (PDI) is an indicator of the distance certain cultures prefer to have between leaders and subordinates (ie Teacher and Student). The higher the number the higher the distance and hence the greater respect a subordinate has for their leader. The lower the number the closer the distance and subordinates view leaders on a more even playing field. He writes:

Conflicts can happen when people who are born overseas (say Hong Kong with a PDI of 68, or Malaysia with a PDI of 104), starts to interact with those who are born or raised in Australia (with a PDI of 36). After a short while, those who are used to a higher PDI will find those who are used to a lower PDI to be disrespectful, disobedient, and to take an overy casual and relaxed approach to important things. However those who are used to a lower PDI will find those who are used to a higher PDI to be controlling, talking down to them, distant, making decisions for them without really consulting them.

Which culture is ultimately right? The biblical answer is neither. Our calling is to serve each other as Jesus, the greatest of all, served us. That means for overseas born (and generally older) generations to serve graciously and for younger generations to serve humbly.