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Welcome to the West Campus C4 blog. This is our online bulletin board to post articles, missions projects, prayer requests, socials, etc. Be sure to check back often or subscribe to the RSS feed to get updates!

Men’s Pancake Breakfast

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[Update]

We had a great time of fellowship at the Men’s Breakfast yesterday morning. Scott Ogle brought us a word of caution and encouragement from 1 Cor. 6:12-20. Here’s an outline of his talk and then a link to download the audio if you would like to check it out!

Our Bodies Matter
Sometimes we’re asking the wrong questions relating to sexual purity.
Here are the questions we should be asking.

  • 1. Will it Help?
  • 2. Does it have the potential to enslave me?
  • 3. Is it holy?

Scott spent the most time on #3 and did a great job of showing us why our bodies matter. I would encourage you to check it out.

Our Bodies Matter [Click to Download]

It’s that time of year again for the men of West Campus to meet over a nice warm breakfast and listen to some good teaching from God’s word. This year we’ve invited Scott Ogle from Abner Creek Baptist to be the speaker.

Event Details:
March 2, 2012
8:00 am
West Campus Fellowship Hall

Phone:

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The Parents’ Duty to Teach their Children

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From John Calvin’s sermon on 1 Timothy 5:7-12, here is a great quote on the important parental duty of teaching God’s truth to our children:

When God has given a man children, it is not only that he should have charge to give them bread to eat, but good instruction is the main thing. And this is what we should bestow most pains in. But we see nowadays the exact opposite. It is true that fathers still have some care to bring up their children, but not all. For how many drunkards do we see, who will go and spend in one day at the tavern all that they have gotten in half the week, who waste and devour everything? And their poor children must die for hunger in the meantime. … But yet the most part take care to nourish their children, but where is instruction? …few men think upon it, to dedicate their children to God, to see that they live well, and that God is honored by them, and that they serve their neighbors. How many are there who see to this? It is true that they will seek fast enough to advance their children, to bring them to credit, to make them rich. But they always lack the most important thing, and the cart is set before the horse.

(HT: RVN)

Neighbors

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It’s been a little quiet here lately. Having a baby tends to take up a lot of time. I found the following post and thought it might be beneficial and challenging. How much are we engaging our neighbors?

5 Ways for Building Loving Relationships with Your Neighbors

1. Meet Your Neighbors

2. Refocus Attention on Your Neighbors

3. Make Notes about Your Neighbors

4. Plan to Follow Up with Your Neighbors

5. Step into Service of Your Neighbors

The author goes into detail over each point, so be sure to head to the original post on the Ligonier blog to hear his ideas.

Hymnody

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How much we are missing in the church today with the reduction in the ancient hymnody. Check out this classic. Be reminded of the truths that these taught. The truths that are engrained in them. The truths that are in danger of being lost in future generations. Take a minute and just slowly read through the following stanzas. Praise the Lord.

There is a Fountain Filled with Blood

by William Cowper

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
I’ll sing Thy power to save,I’ll sing Thy power to save,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

Parents: Principles in Disciplining Your Children Without Provoking Them

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Lloyd-Jones give some excellent practical parenting applications in his commentary on Ephesians. We’ll eventually get to this verse in our series, but go ahead and read the 7 principles he draws out of Ephesians 6:4.

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1. “We are incapable of exercising true discipline unless we are first able to exercise self-control, and discipline our own tempers” (Life in the Spirit, 278).

2. “If a parent is to exercise this discipline in the right way he must never be capricious. There is nothing more irritating to the one who is undergoing discipline than a feeling that the person who is administering it is capricious and uncertain. There is nothing more annoying to a child than the kind of parent whose moods and actions you can never predict, who is changeable, whose condition is always uncertain. There is no worse type of parent than he who one day, in a kindly mood, is indulgent and allows the child to do almost anything it likes, but who the next day flares up in a rage if the child does scarcely anything at all” (279).

3. “Another most important principle is that the parent must never be unreasonable or unwilling to hear the child’s case. There is nothing that so annoys the one who is being disciplined as the feeling that the whole procedure is utterly unreasonable. In other words, it is a thoroughly bad parent who will not take any circumstances into consideration at all, or who will not listen to any conceivable explanation. . . .Of course one realizes that advantage can be taken of this by the child. All I am saying is that we must never be unreasonable. Let the explanation be given by the child, and if it is not a true reason, then you can chastise for that also as well as for the particular act which constitutes the offence. But to refuse to listen, to prohibit any kind of reply, is inexcusable” (280).

4. “But there is another principle to be considered – the parent must never be selfish. . . .My charge applies to persons who do not recognize that the child has his own life and personality, and who seem to think that children are entirely for their pleasure, or for their use. They have an essentially wrong notion of parenthood and what it means. They do not realize that we are but guardians and custodians of these lives that are given to us, that we do not possess them, that they do not ‘belong’ to us, that they are not ‘goods’ or chattels, that we have no absolute right over them” (281).

5. “Punishment, discipline, must never be administered in a mechanical manner. There are people who believe in discipline for its own sake. That is not biblical teaching, but the philosophy of the Sergeant Major. . . .It must never be thought of in terms of pressing a button and expecting an inevitable result to follow. That is not true discipline; it is not even human. That belongs to the realm of mechanics. But true discipline is always based on understanding; it has something to say for itself; it has an explanation to give” (282).

6. Discipline must never be too severe. Here is perhaps the danger that confronts many good parents at the present time as they see the utter lawlessness about them, and as they rightly bemoan it and condemn it. Their danger is to be so deeply influenced by their revulsions as to go right over to this other extreme and to become much too severe. The opposite of no discipline at all is not cruelty, it is balanced discipline, it is controlled discipline” (283).

7. “We must never fail to recognize growth and development in the child. This is another alarming parental defect which, thank God, one does not see now so often as formerly. But there are still some parents who continue to regard their children all their lives as if they had never outgrown their childhood. The children may be twenty-five but they still treat them as if they were five. They do not recognize that this person, this individual, this child who God has given them in His grace, is one that is growing and developing and maturing” (284).

(via Kevin DeYoung)

A Cure for Lame Table Prayers

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Does this sound familiar?

I find it easy to slip into vague gratefulness, and vague gratefulness is as hollow as a light bulb. Mostly I notice this at the dinner table with my family. The vague verbiage I speak over our food is a reflection of my vague thoughts about God and his provisions spread across the table. (It’s certainly not a reflection of my wife’s cooking!)

If you find this vaguity in your prayers, Douglas Wilson offers us a remedy in his new book Father Hunger. In a section on vocation, Wilson points us to look deeper into the gracious provisions from God:

We have to understand that all Christians are called, and are called to labor self-consciously and faithfully in their calling, whether it is law, real estate, carpentry, medicine, brick-laying, shop-keeping, writing novels or songs, digging latrines, or planting trees. All of God is in all of it.

We must fix it in our minds that God is in everything, and works through everything. This means that Christ is hidden in the artisan, and Christ is hidden in the customer. Christ is hidden in the one behind the counter, and He is hidden in the one in front of the counter. He is hidden in the dentist, and hidden in the patient in the chair.

God provides for us through means. We benefit from the work of the farmer, the fertilizer salesman, the trucker, the grocery store clerk, and the dairyman; and when we bow our heads to thank God for the breakfast cereal, we are thanking Him for His work in all of these people, whether they know Him or not. We receive from God through the work of others. We acknowledge this when we pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11). We know that God is working in and through all things (Romans 8:28), and this includes countless daily kindnesses. When we thank the Lord for the cereal, we should know that we are thanking Him for the whole supply chain, and not just for the full bowl in front of us.

Reading that quote changed my next dinner time prayer.

(via DG)

A Great Men’s Breakfast

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The Men’s Breakfast yesterday was a great time of food and fellowship. The message that Brad brought to us was a wonderful look at the glory of God and how that relates to men in the local church. If you were unable to attend the breakfast, good news. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology we now have available a recording of the message that Brad Baughman shared with us.

Men’s Breakfast Audio

I would highly encourage you to download and listen to this message.

A few shots of the morning.

Stay tuned for more upcoming Men’s Ministry events.

God’s Word

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God’s Word, the Word of the Lord, &c. Are these descriptions of the Bible familiar to you? Have they maybe become too familiar? I came across a few passages today that speak to the danger of this familiarity. The first is from Lloyd-Jones’s Preaching & Preachers where he is giving counsel on personal Bible reading for the preacher. He begins, “Do not read the Bible to find texts for your sermon,

read it because it is the food that God has provided for your soul, because it is the Word of God, because it is the means whereby you can get to know God. Read it because it is the bread of life, the manna provided for your soul’s nourishment and well-being (184).

It seems we have lost sight of the reality that we hold the words of the eternal, creator God in our hands when we read our Bibles.  Gabe Fluhrer lamenting on this fact in a recent Reformed Forum on Inerrancy said,

“It was the opinion of our Puritan forefathers that it was one of the greatest and grossest sins to disavow the truthfulness of God’s word.” [read Jeremiah Burroughs wonderful book Gospel Fear]

When God speaks, I think it is just one of the unfortunate problems we have in the modern day, is that when God speaks we are so used to it, so to speak. We’re so used to having Bibles and going to hear preaching in this country that it’s just not wonderful to us anymore. It doesn’t cause us wonder, and it should. Every time you pick up your Bible God is speaking to you and I wonder how many Christians reflect on that, and I wonder how many Christians become dull to that, that God is speaking to us.

If God speaks, he speaks truth because he is the God of truth, it is impossible for Him to lie to us.

This is something that should shape us. It should define us. It should be all that we are as Christians. So, may we continually marvel that God chose to reveal himself to us through his Word, the Bible. And if we are Christians, we should not only marvel that we have his Word, but that he chose to open our eyes to it’s saving message, while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8).

(HT: PT)

How Do I Know?

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How do I know Christ has called me to  ________ ?  How can I be sure?

Do you ever have these kinds of questions? Here’s a helpful answer:

You can’t be sure. Not with the certainty for which you crave. (And if you think you can, you are probably self-deceived.)

Rather, God gives us wisdom by his Spirit to know his character and general will (Colossians 1:9). And he gives us freedom to exercise that wisdom in making our choices. It is a mark of immaturity to expect to be told what to do in some more immediate way. And so articles on guidance are always disappointing; because God is more concerned with our godliness than our guidance.

6 Duties of Baptists

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Baptist statesman J.L. Dagg finishes his Manual of Church Order with the “duty of Baptists.” Dagg lists 6 duties that all Baptists should uphold and then expounds on each duty.

Regarding the duties of Baptists, Dagg writes:

Although the truth of God does not need human authority, or the patronage of great names, it is nevertheless the Divine pleasure to make it known to the world by human instrumentality; and this instrumentality needs to be adapted to the purpose for which it is employed. If God has commissioned a sect everywhere spoken against, to make known truth which the wise and learned have overlooked, that sect ought to understand the service to which they have been appointed, and ought to fulfil the prescribed duty firmly, faithfully, and in the fear of the Lord. As men designed for a peculiar service, let us, by earnest and constant endeavor, seek to ascertain the will of him to whose supreme authority we yield all our powers, and let us diligently and perseveringly obey that will, whether men revile or praise.

I believe Dagg’s list is helpful for reflection on what God would have us to do and what it means to be a Baptist.

1. It is our duty to maintain the ordinances of Christ, and the church order which he has instituted, in strict and scrupulous conformity to the Holy Scriptures.

2. It is our duty, while rendering punctilious obedience to all the commands of God, to regard the forms and ceremonies of religion as of far less importance than its moral truths and precepts.

3. It is our duty to hold and exhibit the entire system of Christian doctrine in all its just proportions.

4. It is our duty to maintain lives of holy obedience in all things.

5. It is our duty to labor faithfully and perseveringly to bring all men to the knowledge of the truth.

6. It is our duty to promote the spiritual unity of the universal church, by the exercise of brotherly love to all who bear the image of Christ.

(HT:DB)