But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Gentle Reformation - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 26 February 2019 00:58

3GT Episode 122: The Lord's Presence in His Supper

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The Apostle Paul asked, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?" (I Cor. 10:16) Paul goes on to add that participation in the Lord's Supper is to show that the church is one....

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Monday, 25 February 2019 19:36

A Guide to (Un)Fruitful Ministry

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“We needed that loss more than a win.” When I played high school basketball, I often heard a message like that after an unacceptable loss. The idea seemed to be that a team was prepared for future success by losing important games they should’ve won.

Somehow, the message...

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Monday, 25 February 2019 02:46

Loving Reflections on Roy

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Yesterday afternoon I received the news of Dr. Roy Blackwood's passing into glory. I can only imagine the joy he had in joining his beloved Margie around Christ's throne. Last night after the evening service, I read out loud to my wife and daughter Russ' article that captures so well Roy's life,...

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Sunday, 24 February 2019 09:42

Dr. Roy Blackwood (1925-2019)

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The Lord took Dr. Roy Blackwood to be with himself on the Lord's Day, February 24, 2019. Fittingly, he entered the presence of God from his earthly home at 10:45 a.m., at the same time Second Reformed Presbyterian Church entered into corporate worship in the presence of God. Fellow elder Russ...

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Friday, 22 February 2019 19:37

The Long Night of Sorrow - Psalm 6

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In this first 'Penitential' psalm, through David's cry, we hear Christ's Spirit sigh. We could aptly name his lament: 'The Long Night of Sorrow'. Is God's face eclipsed? Are you passing through a trial? Is life a tearful vale? Are you mistreated, marginalized or mocked? Do you weep for Jesus' sake?...

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Thursday, 21 February 2019 02:38

Seeking Shortcuts to Virtue

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Yesterday, Jayme Metzgar wrote a fascinating piece in The Federalist,in which she drew parallels between the hate crime hoax perpetrated by actor, Jussie Smollett, and the sin of Ananias and Sapphira described in Acts 5 and pictured in the painting by Rafael above (see article here).  Metzgar...

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019 21:00

I Believe in [a Relevant] Church

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Sometimes I feel like an anomaly. I was born at the tip of the millennial generation and raised in broad evangelicalism. That puts me into a demographic that has statistically been defined by its disillusionment with organized religion, its discontent with an orthodoxy that lacks orthopraxy, its...

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019 18:00

Self-Care Sundays for a Self-Centered World

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Perhaps you’ve heard of Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays. I’ve just recently learned a new one – Self-Care Sundays. While reading an article in a popular women’s magazine, I saw a reference to this new-to-me idea. A quick internet search taking only .45 seconds returned...

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 21:00

Covenant Evangelism

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In the RPCNA, when parents bring their children for baptism, they take several vows, one of which regards our responsibility to bring the good news of Jesus to our children:

Do you promise to teach your children of their sinful nature, of the plan of salvation which centers in Jesus Christ, and...

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 00:00

Helping Your Officers

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Last Sunday, the officers of our church took some time to go over a book on Eldership. It was good to see new and older officers together discussing our ministry and sharing insights and ideas on how we can better lead the local church. As a minister, I know the work that I have been called to do....

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Monday, 18 February 2019 22:22

3GT Episode 121: Is ABC as Easy as 123?

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In an episode guaranteed to get some (if not all!) of their listeners mad at them, the guys tackle the subject of how to educate our children. With passions often running strong in congregations about education, is teaching our kids the ABC's as easy as 1) public, 2) private, or 3) home schooling?

Wi...

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Monday, 18 February 2019 06:43

The Ugly Lie of Self-Identity

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When Satan entered the Garden of Eden as a serpent, he used his craftiness to confuse Adam and Eve about their identity. After casting doubts about the Lord's Word, creating confusion over what God had actually said, and casting aspersions on the Lord's character, Satan then cut to the chase. Eat...

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Saturday, 16 February 2019 02:12

We Really Want to Thank-You LORD!

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Psalm 100 is one of earth’s best-known songs. For thousands of years, in many lands, it’s been church praise. The theme of Psalm 100 is: ‘Come to Worship God’. Use this praise to say ‘Thank-You LORD!’

Joyful worship commences the Psalm, verses 1-2. All round the...

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Friday, 15 February 2019 17:57

The Four Horsemen of Divorce

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They were the ideal couple: he, a successful businessman; she, beautiful and creative. We sat at their table after a lovely meal. More coffee was offered—then it happened. “You can’t do that! It’s been sitting far too long! It’ll have gone bitter by...

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Thursday, 14 February 2019 23:47

Opportunities in the Local Public School

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Every other Thursday morning I have the privilege of teaching the Bible to a class of 11 year-olds at our local public primary school. I have half an hour to use however I choose, and so each year I have taken them through an overview of the Bible, trying to get across as simply as I can what the...

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Thursday, 14 February 2019 20:00

The Blessings and Joys of Pastoral Ministry

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The other day I was reading what could probably be called a pastoral resume. It was filled with an honest assessment of what the ministry had cost this individual. There were notes about abuse he had experienced, exhaustion in both body and soul, the hardships and disappointments that had followed...

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Thursday, 14 February 2019 18:50

Despising the Day of Small Things?

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In Chapter 4, Zechariah awakes to an amazing vision of a lampstand: it reminds the prophet in times of meager ministry:

The church of the old covenant and of the new, purified by divine grace, should show forth God's glory throughout the nations.

In addition:

There is an advance in thought from the...

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Thursday, 14 February 2019 05:14

The Anatomy of Accountability

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The following guest article is written by Aaron Murray. Aaron serves as a pastoral intern atSecond Reformed Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. At a recent men's breakfast, he and his accountability group shared how the Lord has used their times together to strengthen their walk with...

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It's tough being a Reformed man these days. The Neo-Calvinist types tell us we need to be strong patriarchs who make sure our wives submit and daughters kiss our signet ring. The Young, Restless, & Reformed types tell us the key is to have bushy beards and drink good beer. And Gillette...

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019 19:39

Schoolmates in Car Parks

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Just back from a quick 20 minute run at the Gym - it was one of those lunchtimes when you feel you could run for Ireland!

I'd been hoping for an opportunity, for several years now, to speak to an old school acquaintance who I often bump into at the Gym - I've tried to open the conversation up...

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019 10:30

Good Grief

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One of the joys of my job as a college chaplain/professor is meeting peers from other institutions and fellow ministers from other denominations (in addition to getting to know a greater number of both within my own) and then introducing those new connections to the undergrads I minister to on...

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019 11:30

Water Heater Maintenance

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Last week our water heater broke down. I thought the pilot light went out because we have had some heavy rains and flooding lately. As it turns out, it was not the pilot light going out, but rather the tank breathing its last. Due to busy schedules, our plumber could not replace it for a couple of...

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Monday, 11 February 2019 19:35

Take it to the LORD in prayer!

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Here are some brief notes on Psalm 5 - they take the form of an answer to the question 'Why will God hear & help David?'

Context

No particular note is given - it may be linked to the rebellion of Absalom but also fits into to his trials of persecution experienced at the hands of Saul. Equally it...

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Monday, 11 February 2019 02:36

Being Schooled on Being a Neighbor

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We pastor-types should be teachers in Israel on how to love our neighbors as ourselves. However, every now and then the Lord takes me back to remedial school. He puts someone in my life to remind me I have a long way to go. Such is the case with Gail.

Gail is our seventy-six year old neighbor who...

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Sunday, 10 February 2019 18:32

God's Lost Property Office

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I've been reflecting briefly on the parable of the talents - for all those involved in ministry, in one way or another, this is a sobering text that should make us pause and think.

There are a few brief observations I have made this morning which I hope will be of benefit to all the disciples of...

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