Thursday, April 6, 2017

Twenty One Theologians

a little fun Nathan & I had with the
Twenty One Pilots fans in the youth group

1. “And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves...but by that faith.” – Clement of Rome (?-99, Rome)

2. “Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips and the world in your hearts.” – Ignatius of Antioch (35-108, Syria)

3. “Daily, every moment, prayer is necessary to men.” – Tertullian (155-240, North Africa)

4. “Death has become like a tyrant who has been completely conquered by the legitimate monarch.” – Athanasius (c.296-373, Egypt)

5. “For what am I to myself without You but a guide to my own downfall?” – Augustine (354-430, Hippo)

6. “But man turned his back on the face of God, when in his pride he despised His commands. Yet still God deserted him not in his pride, in that He...appeared in the flesh of our mortality.” – Gregory the Great (540-604, Rome)

7. “What we love we shall grow to resemble.” – Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153, France)

8. “If you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, for He Himself is the way.” – Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274, Italy)

9. “Rejoice, that the immortal God is born, so that mortal men may live in eternity.” – Jan Hus (1369-1415, Czech Republic)

10. “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘repent,’ He intended that the entire life of the believer should be repentance.” – Martin Luther (1483-1546, Germany)

11. “There is not one blade of grass, there is not one color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” – John Calvin (1509-1564, France)

12. “I sought neither preeminence, glory, or riches; my honor was that Jesus Christ should reign.” – John Knox (1513-1572, Scotland)

13. “But he lacks nothing who possesses God; for God alone suffices.” – Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582, Spain)

14. “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” – John Owen (1616-1683, England)

15. “Nothing that we are and nothing that we can do enters in the slightest measure into the ground of our acceptance with God. Jesus did it all.” – B.B. Warfield (1851-1921, America)

16. “None of us feels the true love of God until we realize how wicked we are.” – Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957, England)

17. “It is not the strength of your faith, but the object of your faith that actually saves you.” – Tim Keller (1950, America)

18. “God does not protect us from things that harm us. He protects us as we go through them, to the other side of the resurrection, where our real hopes and happiness lie. Now there’s a thought I can cling to.” – Kathy Keller (1950, America)

19. “When Christ is not at the center, all of our good intentions are swallowed up by selfishness.” – Rosaria Butterfield (1962, America)

20. “Death has died in the death of Christ.” – Conrad Mbewe (Present day, Zambia)

21. “I don’t go anywhere. I am sent. All of your moves are guided by the Father for the sake of redemptive history.” – Elias Medeiros (Present day, Brazil)

Friday, March 24, 2017

How The Mighty Have Fallen

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
         Percy Shelley, 1792-1822

come join us
Sunday Morning, 10:45
Decatur Presbyterian Church

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Lorica

As the world celebrates St. Patrick's Day today (or... as my youngest daughter called it, "Green Day"), take a moment to revel in his great hymn, The Lorica (translation: the breastplate).

HERE is a recording of it being sung by the choir at Providence Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

I bind unto myself today, the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three.
I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river; his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb; his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom: I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power, of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour; the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word, the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord, and purity of ransomed souls.

I bind unto myself today, the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea, around the old undying rocks.

I bind unto myself today, the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach, his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the Word of God to give me speech, his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord.

              ~St. Patrick (385-461, AD)

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Question

Oftentimes critics of the Christian faith will try to make a case that the Bible has been adapted over the centuries.  It's changed; it's been altered.  You can't trust that what you read in your ESV is what Isaiah or Moses actually wrote.

This has been disproven time and time again.  Take, for example, the witness of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  When they were discovered, they bridged a gap of an entire millennium in textual transmission.  And what did they show?  That there had been no changes to the text.

Our Bibles today are faithful and accurate to what our forefathers/mothers in the faith were studying in Hebrew thousands of years ago.

As we at DPC are currently in the midst of a part of the Scriptures written by Moses, this is a good time to revisit this story you might have seen from this past September.  It's an incredible discovery, with a really cool video, showing off some astounding science & technology:

Did you read this line: "the passages are identical, right down to paragraph breaks"

The question is not whether or not we have accurate texts, copied faithfully from the pens of the inspired prophets and apostles.

The question is: will we believe what these texts tell us?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Amazing Presentation

I may make a brief mention of this presentation in this week's sermon, but allow me to use this venue as well to encourage you to set aside some time, make yourself a cup of coffee, tell the kids to go read a book, and then enjoy this 53 minute presentation:

It's a fascinating and rich demonstration of how the Scripture is very much rooted in real history.

If the Bible is just someone's literary invention for private religious experiences, let's not waste too much time with it.  But if it's an eyewitness account of God's invasion of space and time, revealing himself to his people... then let us honor it above all.  (Psalm 138.2)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dr. Sylvia Martinez

She's one of the most amazing servants of the Lord Christ you'll ever meet, and she'll be joining us for dinner & a presentation tonight, at DPC, at 5:30.  

Come join us!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Muche Ukegbu

Come join us this weekend for PART I of the 2017 DPC MISSIONS CONFERENCE!

Our first special speaker will be Muche Ukegbu, pictured above with his beautiful family.  I met Muche and his wife and heard them both speak back in the summer.  They are wonderful, and I'm so thankful they're coming to DPC.

The first few words of Muche's bio... "Muche was born dead in every sense of the word.  The doctors frantically rushed to resuscitate him as his family begged God to spare his life.  God in His mercy restored his life, thus he was named Onyemauchechukwu (imagine how kindergarten was for him!).  Translated this name means "no one knows God's mind."  Though he ran from the God that gave life to his body, Jesus wouldn't let him get away...".


  • Church Dinner, presentation by Muche
  • 9:30 AM, presentation by Much
  • 10:45 AM, Worship Service, sermon by Muche

Thursday, February 9, 2017

the mere struggle to exist

C.H. Spurgeon, the great British preacher from the 1800's, who lived and ministered in a society strewn with suffering, once said this:

"Some cannot receive Christ because they are so full of anguish, and are so crushed in spirit that they cannot find strength enough of mind to entertain a hope that by any possibility salvation can come to them.... the mere struggle to exist exhausted all their energy, and destroyed all their hope.... I do not wonder that a great many are unable to receive the gospel in this city of ours, because their struggle for existence is awful.  I am afraid that it gets more and more intense, though even now it passes all bounds.  If any of you can do anything to help the toil-worn workers, I pray you, do it.... And yet, dear friend—if such a one has come in here tonight—I pray you do not throw away the next world because you have so little of this.  This is sheer folly.  If I have little here, I would make sure of the more hereafter."

Isn't this the same kind of choking darkness that kept the Israelites from hearing the good news from Moses?

"Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery."  Exodus 6:9

We'll see what the Word of God has to say to this situation on Sunday morning at DPC.  Come join us.

The Lord has not left us at the mercy of broken, crushed hearts.

He has spoken.

Friday, February 3, 2017

More Precious Than Gold, Tested By Fire

There is no such thing as an untested faith.

A few words from the Scriptures about the place and purpose of suffering & unmet expectations in the life of the Christian...

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed."  ~The Apostle Peter

  • do not think of suffering as something strange and foreign

"What credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." ~The Apostle Peter

  • your calling is to be made like your Savior, in his sufferings

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." ~The Apostle Peter

  • suffering has a purpose: that your faith may be proved genuine, to result in praise and glory and honor when Christ is revealed

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." ~The Apostle James

  • this is part of growing into maturity

"It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?" ~ The Epistle to the Hebrews, quoting Deuteronomy 8.5

  • this growing into maturity is inseparable from being a beloved child of the Father

"Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face. ~Satan to God, in the book of Job

  • Satan, with mockery and scorn, told God the only reason Job loved God is because God took it so easy on him

"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." ~ Job

  • but Satan was wrong
  • Job's faith proved true

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." ~Jesus

  • don't despair
  • Jesus will conquer all

"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake." ~The Apostle Paul

  • this is somehow at the heart of what it means to be a Christian, living in between the coming of his kingdom and the full revelation of his kingdom.  To share in his sufferings, his stripes, his rejections, his afflictions is a sure sign that we belong to him.  And if we belong to him, we'll also share in his glory.  (See the first verse again, at the top.)

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." ~The Apostle Peter

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The New Self

The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call.”     

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer~

Tomorrow Morning
Decatur Presbyterian Church
Come Join Us!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Sower

The Sower will be sowing His Word 
this Sunday
at Decatur Presbyterian Church
10:45 am
2306 Modaus Rd, SW
Decatur, AL

Come join us!

And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.”

As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”