Tweets of the Day


Meditation: 10 Motives and 10 Step Method

Last night I had the privilege of addressing the Ministry Wives Institute at Puritan Reformed Seminary on the Motives and Method of meditation. Here’s the outline:

Ten Motives to Meditation

1. It stops sin: If we hide God’s Word in our heart it will stop sin at its roots (Ps. 119:11).

2. It starts good: Meditation on the Bible’s practical exhortations and commands reminds us of our Christian duties. What we think about is what we eventually do (Prov. 23:7).

3. It guides and refreshes prayer: Meditation on verses of Scripture opens up new topics and areas for prayer.

4. It turns sleeplessness into a blessing: The Psalmist turned the “wasted” hours of insomnia into a soul-enriching feast (Ps. 63:5-6).

5. It uses time well: It is a far more profitable than, say, watching the TV. It will also make you happier (Ps. 1:1-3)

6. It makes you ready to witness: By filling our hearts with God and His Word we will be much more ready to give an answer to every man that asks a reason for the hope that we have (1 Pet. 3:15).

7. It helps you in fellowship: You can edify others in fellowship because you can propose a verse for discussion and give some thoughts upon it.

8. It increases communion with God: God meets with His people through the Scriptures. A person who never thinks on Scripture will never meet and walk with God.

9. It revives spiritual life: To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom.8:6).

10. It has many scriptural precedents and examples (Ps. 19:14; 39:3; 77:12): My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD (Ps. 104:34).

Ten Step Method of Meditation

1. Limit: Set apart no more than 5-10 minutes to begin with, and start with one short verse or part of a verse.

2. Vary: Some days chose a theological verse, others a practical or devotional text.

3. Write: Write the text on a small index card, and put it in a place you will come across regularly (purse or pocket?).

4. Memorize: Memorize the text in 2-3 word blocks by saying it out loud. Set specific times in the day to recall verse (coffee/meal times).

5. Focus: Pick out the key words and look them up in a dictionary (English or Bible). Substitute some words with parallel meanings or even opposite meanings.

6. Question: Interrogate the verse (who, what, where, when, why, how?).

7. Explain: Think about how would you explain the verse to a child or someone with no Christian background.

8. Pray: Use the verse in prayer (worship, confession, thanks, petition).

9. Review: File the cards and every Sunday read them and test your memory of them.

10. Do: Not just an intellectual exercise but let it lead to practice (believe, repent, hope, love, etc.).


Check out

Does Homeschooling Deny the Missional Life?
The comments are better than the article. However, homeschoolers (like my own family) still have to hear and face the challenge.

Parents, do you know where your children are
One Youth Minister says that “one of his greatest challenges is dealing with parents who want him to talk to their teens regarding unChristian behavior. The challenge is not so much talking to the teen but to the parent who insists that their child is a Christian and therefore should be exhibiting Christian behavior. In other words, there is denial that the child may not actually be a Christian.” Needs to be said because I’m afraid that this is frighteningly widespread.

British Teachers could be Sacked for Opposing Gay Marriage
And British parents will have no right to withdraw their child from lessons they disapprove of, for reasons of conscience. Americans, welcome to your future!

A Possible Marriage Saver in Nine Steps
Your marriage may not need saved, but this could still improve it.

The Race-transcending Gospel
This is such a great story. Trillia also writes about the tragic side of life in Abortion and black women.


Tweets of the Day


Connected Kingdom: Delighting in the Trinity

Download here.

On this week’s episode of the Connected Kingdom podcast, Tim and I talk to Michael Reeves. Mike works on UK campuses with UCCF and is the author of  Delighting in the Trinity (you may want to check out Tim’s review). We talk to Mike about his work with students, but focus mainly on the Trinity—where Christians tend to go wrong, why illustrations don’t help, why Modalism (or is it Moodalism?) is such an egregious error, and how we can truly delight in the triune God. The Kindle version of Delighting in the Trinity will soon be available in the USA. Mike also runs Theology Network

If you would like to give us feedback or join in the discussion, go ahead and look up our Facebook Group or leave a comment right here. You will always be able to find the most recent episode here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe via iTunes, you can do that here or if you want to subscribe with another audio player, you can try this RSS link.


We will remember them

Eleven years ago we promised: “We will remember them.” Thousands of precious lives taken by vile murderers in just a few hours. Today we keep that promise, thankful for the public ceremonies and church services that revive our failing and fading memories.

We will remember them because if we forget we will be the poorer for it and the nation will be the weaker. Grave social, moral, emotional and even spiritual loss will follow.

We wish we could remember better. Not just the blood-soaked events in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. But also the blood-soaked events at Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha. In 1 Corinthians 15v1-2, the apostle Paul warns that the consequences of forgetting the Gospel are not just grave but fatal:

I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; by which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached to you, unless you have believed in vain.

In response, the Puritan Richard Steele preached a sermon on that text entitled: “What are the hindrances and helps to a good memory in spiritual things?”

Steele began by describing the double wound that sin inflicted upon our memories:

  1. We remember what we should forget: unprofitable things, hurtful things, sinful things.
  2. We forget what we should remember: our Creator and what He has done for us, our Redeemer and what He has done for us, the truths of religions, the duties of religion, our sins (to loathe them), our vows to God and promises to others, the church of God, our latter end.

He then lists some of the ways we can further injure and weaken our memories:

  1. Limited understanding: unless we clearly know something we will never remember it.
  2. A carnal, careless heart: which remembers useless songs better than edifying sermons.
  3. A darling sin: that monopolizes our thoughts and debauches our faculties.
  4. Excess of worldly cares: they stuff the memory and leave no room for spiritual matters.
  5. Gluttony and excess alcohol: both damage the brain and the body, though food works more slowly than drink.
  6. Violent emotions such as anger, grief, and fear: all such emotions change our body chemistry, with knock-on effects on the brain.
  7. A multitude of undigested notions: Puritan-speak for “information overload!”

Isn’t it amazing how ahead of scientific curve some of these old Puritans were! We see their beautiful holistic balance even in some of the memory repair treatments Steele proposed:

  1. A balanced climate: the brain thrives when the envornment is not too hot or too cold, not too dry or too damp.
  2. A sober diet: the heathens show up believers here by demonstrating that a sparing and temperate diet improves the mental faculties.
  3. A quiet mind: is like a clear still pool where you can see all the fish.
  4. Audible repetition of Gospel truths: especially to be done with the family at the end of each Lord’s Day.
  5. Writing out truth: Writing out the sermons you hear helps memory, prevents distraction, and stops drowsiness.
  6. Exercising the memory: just as a muscle can be made stronger by use, strengthen your memory with different challenges.
  7. Mourn over your forgetfulness: just as we would expect an employee to apologize for forgetting his duties, so we humbly confess our spiritual forgetfulness.
  8. Pray: Ask God for the promised Holy Spirit to keep the Gospel before your mind (Jn. 14:26)
  9. Diligent attention: if the mind wander in hearing, the memory will be weak in remembering (another way of saying, “don’t multi-task”)
  10. Value the Gospel: the more we love something, the more we will remember it.
  11. Serious meditation: read for a few minutes, shut the book, then think on what you read for a few minutes before going on and the precious truths will abide with us.

We will remember them. Precious truths and precious lives.

This sermon is not online, but you will find it in Volume 3 of Puritan Sermons (Amazon, Logos, Puritan Hard Drive). Steele’s best known work is online: A Remedy for Wandering Thoughts in the Worship of God