Jesus, thank you!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Meditations on the good Law

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

My Heart
In order to keep this commandment I must guard my Heart. It must be guarded from the influences of the world. It must be influenced by exposure to the graces secured for me on the cross. This commandment requires not only actions that can be judged by external points of reference, but a longing to be conformed to my Savior who was and who is everything that I could not be. Nothing I do can be done in the strength of Christ if it's not done from a heart that loves God.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where ymoth and rust* destroy and where thieves zbreak in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

One way to Love the Lord with all of my heart is to give back to Him everything. If I place value on my possessions and hold them with a closed hand, my heart is guaranteed to be caught up in them. If I give more than ever, and my goal is to give everything back, my treasure is going to be in heaven. Sometimes I wonder why it's hard to keep focused on things above. I am sure it has to do with where I am putting my treasure. Help me Lord.

My Soul
In order for my soul to prosper my heart and mind must be guarded. As I take every thought captive, and guard against worldly influences that would steal my love for God, my soul prospers. My soul is prospering as it loves the Father more deeply.

"The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him."

"The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him."

May I learn not to act out of my flesh, but rather to be patient and wait to hear clearly from the Lord. May I continually seek the heart of the Lord on things, and not go by how things appear. May my soul love the Lord by waiting and seeking.

My Might
With all dilligence, with all strength, with all force, with all energy, with all care; everything within me must work toward loving God.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 2:34 PM :: 3 comments

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Walking In The Blessedness Of The Beatitudes

The beatitudes all have something in common. The "blessed" in each verse is rooted in faith. People whose lives are characterized by the beatitudes are happy and doing well only because they have hope in God to give them what most look to the world for. Both the lost and the saved are on a quest for satisfaction. The world continues to be deceived into thinking the things they can see and touch can satisfy them. We who are saved have had our eyes opened to see more than what our physical eyes allow. Our quest for satisfaction takes us to God's words, and we are satisfied again and again with the hope we find there. Now, if I am joining the lost in their method of finding satisfaction, how will I guide them to the truth? Furthermore, if I make claims to being born again, but am not living as if my eyes have seen the truth, the lost around me will only see me as hypocritical. Unless my well being has been grafted to the word, I will be useless in shining God's glory through my life. When I was lost, I remember being attracted to the few Christians my age who I saw as real. I could tell they were satisfied. The way God used Matt Lollar in my life was I could tell he was serious about God, and I almost immediately saw him as genuine. We cannot fool the lost. Our hearts must be truly changed.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 1:07 AM :: 6 comments

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hope By God Through The Holy Spirit

1Pet. 1:3 ¶ gBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,


Not only did our LORD make it possible for us to be born again, he caused it. His resurrection had a specific cause for a specific people. I am saved because God caused me to be saved. Peter says we are born again to a living hope. The lost of our world have hope, but it's a dead hope. Hope only lives as long as it's source, and our source never dies! When a person's hope is in something that perishes like money, and they lose their money, they also lose their hope. What happened through the resurrection, and how does living hope tie into the resurrection? What do we have because of the resurrection? The holy spirit. So God caused us to be born again to a living hope by the spirit. All because of the Mercy of God.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Sexuality

"This is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God."
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

"My conviction is that one of the main reasons the world and the church are awash in lust and pornography . . . is that our lives are intellectually and emotionally disconnected from infinite, soul-staggering grandeur for which we were made. Inside and outside the church western culture is drowning in a sea of triviality, pettiness, banality, and silliness. Television is trivial. Radio is trivial. Conversation is trivial. Education is trivial. Christian books are trivial. Worship styles are trivial. It is inevitable that the human heart, which was made to be staggered with the supremacy of Christ, but instead is drowning in a sea of banal entertainment, will reach for the best natural buzz that life can give: sex."

John Piper, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Part 2

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 11:22 PM :: 3 comments

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Matthew Twenty Five - Aaron Turner

I am not much of a note taker...



vs. 14

Q: Who is this man
A: Jesus Christ

He has traveled to a far country and is coming back. *We ourselves belong to Christ. We are called servants. Too many times we act like we belong to ourselves! We have NO right to pursue our own agenda! God send trials into our life to mess up our agenda in order that we might get on his agenda. Because we belong to him, we are his concern and his property, and he takes good care of what he owns.

vs 14
"who called his own servants"^

*What we have belongs to Him.

"delivered unto them his goods."

We have no business taking his goods, and pursuing our agenda. Our relationships are his. Every relationship God gives us has something to do with something God wants to do in our lives.

*He gives what he gives us because in his wisdom he knows what we have the ability and the capacity to take care of what we can handle.

The Lord wants us to use and invest what He gives us. To be in the will of God, you have to take risks. vs. 25 The issue is not what you have, but what you do with it.

*My concept of God has much to do with how I manage what he gives us. Two invested, and one was slothful.

"I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine."

*What we do with what we've been given will effect our eternity.
Matt. 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Our Leaders Are Highly Important


Click here to watch a video of C.J. Mahaney of Sovereign Grace Ministries speak on the importance of the Leadership within their local churches.
(I think this attitude should be seen in all churches)

Cultivating Biblical Relationships in Difficult Times (Sermon notes from Aaron Turner) 1 Th. 5

Four types of People:

1. Spiritual Leaders vs. 12
Spiritual Leaders labor (work hard to the point of exhaustion). They oversee & watch out for your souls. Spiritual Leaders are supposed to watch the lives of the flock. This kind of oversight is impossible without structure. It's almost unheard of in our day. There is such rugged individualism in our culture that it's "no one's business" what goes on in our life. It is a labor to over see the flock. The fear of man has to constantly be fought. This is, in essence, a biblical or "reforming" church. Spiritual leaders encourage the flock, when they are going in the right direction, and admonish when the are going in the wrong direction. Admonish means to put knowledge into one's mind.
How do we treat our Spiritual Leaders? We are to know or consider them. We are to respect and perceive them. We are to appreciate and esteem them. We are to esteem them because they labor to oversee us. This results in peace among the flock (quietness, unity, and prosperity). Unity is submission to leadership.

2. Unruly People (out of order-out of place.)
When people get out of line and are warned, and we buddy up to them, while looking over or excusing their fault, we are being ungodly. Warn means to alert someone in advance of something that's going to happen. Good warning begins with confession. We need to receive warning, because it's a sign of love.

3. Feeble-minded People
Comfort the feeble minded, those who are of low spirit, or faint hearted.

4. Weak People
Support the weak. This can be mental, emotional, or physical.

Side notes:
One size does not fit all:
Do not warn the weak
Do not comfort the unruly

Be patient with all of these people. Have control in dealing with things. Do not act out of the emotions.

Seek the good of those who seek to do us harm.

We can only do any of this with the Holy Spirit.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Super Tank Christianity

If Christians fought spiritual battles within a video game, thousands would flock to a huge, indestructible tank called "Eternal Security", and glide through the battle with little thought to what's going on outside, only to be put to death by poisonous gases inside the tank.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 8:32 PM :: 1 comments

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Question For Meditation

In my thought life do I find myself more focused on my disobedience as a result of giving in to the enemy, or on my obedience as a result of the work of Christ? Let's give glory to God in our thoughts today!

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 12:35 PM :: 1 comments

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Thankfulness Is Peace

Phil. 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Phil. 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.



There are 5 million things in my life that, if given some thought, would quickly drive me to anxiety. Life will always be full of things that try to cause me to stress. God doesn't give people His peace just by making their circumstances better for them. After all, if it took a problem solved for me to have peace, you would have to wonder what is really giving me peace, Christ or the circumstance. I think the key word in these two verses is thankfulness. Thankfulness and anxiety are like fighting roommates; they don't get along. One will not be in my heart for very long at all, before the other is making other arrangements. To have thankfulness in my heart, would require that I meditate on all God has done for me. When I am down about something, it is quite a discipline to make my mind meditate on anything besides what is causing my anxiety. When I do meditate on all the good God has brought about, and feel thankfulness rise up inside of me, it becomes hard to be stressed out. There is also something to praying with a thankful heart. If I am still sulking, it's doubtful that my prayers are going to be motivated righteously. When I pray with thankfulness, I pray contented prayers, and tend to be more focused on God's will rather than mine.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 6:59 AM :: 4 comments

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Monday, February 06, 2006

When The Word Of The Cross Becomes Trite

Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

Gal. 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which* the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

I must confess that I struggle in my exultation of the cross. I want the cross of Christ to shape my thinking, I want to have genuine gratitude for it, I want the pain and suffering that took place there vivid in my mind, I want the word of the cross to be fresh, not trite. Why then is the cross so hard to get my mind around? Why do I struggle with seeing it for more than just something that took place 2000 years ago? We have nothing more worthy of our boasting than Christ and his death for us, but why do those words become so dry and lifeless to us? John Piper said this about Paul's boasting:

Boasting in the cross happens when you are on the cross.


I believe this is true. The more I obey Christ and sacrifice my earthly desires for his sake, the more clear the gospel becomes to me! As I become more obedient, I become more thankful for the cross, because I am taking part in the cross by crucifying my flesh. The cross was so vivid to paul, because he suffered greatly for it's cause. People who are being tortured for the Lord in Sudan have no problem boasting in the cross. Why? Not because of their knowledge of it, not because they've psyched themselves up, not because their pastor is cross centered. They love the cross because they are on it! They love the cross because their life is characterized by sacrifice for the cause of Christ. If we never sacrifice our desires, even the morally neutral ones in order that we might take part in his cross, it will remain something that we say we're thankful for, but really have no affection for. So in conclusion, those who are thankful for the cross are those who are willingly experiencing it by the crucifixion of their flesh.

Rom. 12:1 ¶ zI appeal to you therefore, brothers,* by the mercies of God, ato present your bodies bas a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.*

I can already think of ways that I can take part in crucifying my flesh today. May Christ make the cross my boast!

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 9:17 AM :: 1 comments

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

How Majestic Is Your Name!


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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Purity Meditations & Television Rantings

Matt. 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

The greek word behind pure in this verse is katharos, which means clean and clear. To see God in all things, my heart must be clear of deceit, malice, envy, lust, pride, and everything else that isn't holy. How practically can I go about purifying my heart?

Matt. 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.

I believe this with all of my heart. The most effective tool of satan in american culture, and the greatest enemy of spiritual growth is television. Many people who profess Christ spend more time filling their minds with the garbage that comes from television than they do in the word; then they wonder why they do not have any hunger and desire for God. People simply can't imagine life without T.V. Satan can use what appears to be an innocent commercial to plant covetousness and all sorts of other types of evil in our hearts. It's scary to me how caught up people are in the media, and how naive those who profess Christ are. I believe the American church would experience a revival larger than anything we've ever seen if Christians would turn off the Television. Why? Because, if the eye is clear, the whole body is full of light. Since when do we use the world's rating system with the movies we watch? We hear, "well, it hardly had any language in it, and didn't have any sex scenes", but then we overlook the fact that whether or not the details were shown, Johnny and Suzy are in the sack after the first date, or some woman is having an affair with a man she isn't married to. This is what entertains us? This is what we find pleasure in? This is what we spend two hour period after two hour period putting into our minds? Many have the attitude that they are above being effected, after all they know what's right. That way of thinking is simply not biblical. What goes into my mind shapes my life "period".

Prov. 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

If my desire is to become pure, I must guard what comes into my mind. May my single passion, my single vision be the God who created me.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 8:54 AM :: 2 comments

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mercy

Matt. 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

I believe it to be impossible for a man, on one hand to remember his great offenses and the great mercy of the Lord, and on the other hand not be merciful toward others. Even a fairly good man, in the eyes of the world, has enough of the human depraved nature within him to merit his eternal punishment. It's not the amount of sins, but the presence of sin that makes us helpless before a holy God. To be sure, every person has done more wicked acts of unrighteousness then they could ever count. James says, all it takes is one small infraction, and you're guilty of the whole law. When a sufficient understanding of the mercy of God grips our hearts, we should certainly be able to have mercy on those who wrong us. How many times do we think that it's okay for the Lord to have mercy on me, but so and so is going to pay for what they did or said. Those who have faith in God to have mercy on them in the last day, will have mercy on people who wrong them this day.

Lord, may I have a greater understanding of the sin you pardoned and the wrath you took for me? Thank you for your Mercy!

In the name of Christ Jesus

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 8:11 AM :: 3 comments

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Sermon on the Mount: Hunger

There have been times that I've gone to restaurants, and arrived really hungry. The waitress takes the order and brings some bread. After 45 minutes or so, my food comes. When I first arrived I was pretty hungry, but instead of patiently waiting on my food, I spent my time eating the whole basket of bread. After filling myself with bread, it's all I can do to eat what I ordered. As Christians there are reasons for not being hungry for the Word. The bible speaks a lot about waiting on Him. How many times have I filled myself up with other things, while "waiting" so when it came time to meet with the Lord, there was no room left? In order to be hungry, we must deny ourselves the things that may not be bad in and of themselves, but soak up all of our affections. May I become someone who has a large appetite for righteousness; one who is willing to wait to be satisfied by only him.

Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 7:22 AM :: 7 comments

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sermon on the Mount: The Meek Brother

After the death of their father, three brothers discuss the dividing of his belongings. To all of them, the most sought after possession was the house he lived in. The youngest of the three was the only son who had actually read the will. Unaware, the other brothers argued and even fought over who was going to own the house. Although he was just as concerned as they were with securing the deed, the younger brother did not feel the need to take part in the dispute. In fact, he was able to stay calm and mild, while treating his brothers with gentleness. He rested in the fact that the house already belonged to him.

Matt. 5:5 ¶ “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 10:07 AM :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Walking in the Blessedness of the Beatitudes

The beatitudes all have something in common. The "blessed" in each verse is rooted in faith. People whose lives are characterized by the beatitudes are happy and doing well only because they have hope in God to give them what most look to the world for. Both the lost and the saved are on a quest for satisfaction. The world continues to be deceived into thinking the things they can see and touch can satisfy them. We who are saved have had our eyes opened to see more than what our physical eyes allow. Our quest for satisfaction takes us to God's words, and we are satisfied again and again with the hope we find there. Now, if I am joining the lost in their method of finding satisfaction, how will I guide them to the truth? Furthermore, if I make claims to being born again, but am not living as if my eyes have seen the truth, the lost around me will only see me as hypocritical. Unless my well being has been grafted to the word, I will be useless in shining God's glory through my life. When I was lost, I remember being attracted to the few Christians my age who I saw as real. I could tell they were satisfied. The way God used Matt Lollar in my life was I could tell he was serious about God, and I almost immediately saw him as genuine. We cannot fool the lost. Our hearts must be truly changed.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 7:13 AM :: 5 comments

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sermon On The Mount: Mourners

In vs. 4 Jesus speaks of people who mourn. The word mourn in this verse means to be grieved. Happy are those who are sad? Those who are grieved on earth are recipients of the comforting power of the holy spirit. Christians should be the most heavy hearted people. Not in the sense that we walk around down and depressed, but a heavy heartedness that is produced in us by seeing things the way they are. A heavy heartedness that will make us sober. Look at what peter says.

1Pet. 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

He doesn't give us certain times of the day or week to be sober-minded, he just says to be sober. What is the reason he gives for being sober? The end of all things is at hand. Life here is not for our enjoyment. If my purpose is primarily to enjoy life, I will neglect walking with God, because spiritual warfare is simply not enjoyable! I envy Paul's single-mindedness:

Gal. 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

God's gift of earthly life does not have an experimental nature. He has a purpose for those he calls. We must not be centered around finding pleasure in the things we can see. What are some things that I find myself putting the battle on hold to do? What are some things that I have to completely let my guard down to take part in? May I remember that the enemy never takes breaks. When I am at ease, I will surely be attacked. Lord keep my heart heavy for you glory.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 6:40 AM :: 4 comments

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Poor In Spirit: Digging Deeper

Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Sometimes we may refer to someone's demeanor by using the word spirit. For example, Someone might say of another that they have a quiet spirit, or a gentle spirit, or a contrary spirit. In verse 3 Jesus mentions people who are poor in spirit. The greek word translated spirit is pneuma, which by implication in this verse means mental disposition. Disposition has to do with moods, attitudes, and mindsets. So what does it mean to have a poor spirit? Wouldn't it have to do with how we view ourselves? Wouldn't it mean that we approach our lives, our jobs, our friends and our families with the realization that we have nothing? Wouldn't a poor spirit make us hold everything with an open hand, and cause us to be tied to nothing? Wouldn't it make us less quarrelsome, and ready to sacrifice anything? A man who is poor in spirit is happy, because he has absolutely nothing to worry about. He sees the worth of Christ, and the worthlessness of material things apart from Christ. This man is ready to give up anything and everything to follow Christ. Lord, reveal the truth to me and change my heart so I may have the faith to have a poor spirit. Without you we grow cold and complacent. We become satisfied with nothingness, because we are deceived into thinking it's something. Make real to us just how poor we really are. Cause us to despair unless our eyes are upon you. Draw near to me, and don't let me waist my life. May I become more meek and humble as I draw near to you. Please be faithful to me. Please reward me with the highest treasure, yourself.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world(nothingness), and lose his own soul?

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Contrition

James 4:9-10 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Oh that God would bring us to a healthy state of woe as we see ourselves for what we are apart from Christ. May it's realities grip us to the point of great sorrow! May we become more heavy hearted over the wickedness we harbor in our hearts. May we see our offenses as directed only toward God. May it cause us to be grieved to the point of reformation. May the Lord cause us to turn our eyes from our lives and toward Him. Lord, place within me a contrite spirit.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 8:31 AM :: 2 comments

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Friday, January 20, 2006

False Security

"There are many professing Christians who have a view of salvation that disconnects it from real life, and that nullifies the warnings of the Bible and puts the sinning person who claims to be a Christian beyond the reach of Biblical threats. And this doctrine is comforting thousands on the way to hell."

John Piper

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 6:36 AM :: 2 comments

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sermon On The Mount: Poor In Spirit

Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Does it mean depressed, or low on the Holy Spirit? I believe, and some of the men I've read on this topic believe, that being poor in spirit is simply the realization that I am very sinful, condemned, and helpless apart from Christ. People who are poor in spirit do not feel good about themselves or have high self esteem, but derive their worth from looking unto Christ. It isn't getting depressed because we are failures, it's finding hope in the fullness of God through our failure. And Jesus says that people who are poor and worthless apart from Him are happy people. I would say it takes a lot of faith to act upon that truth. Not only that, these people possess the kingdom of heaven. These beatitudes are in the context of evangelism in Matthew 5. Jesus goes directly into talking about salt and light. Why would a person who has no regard for himself be an effective witness?

When I am not poor in spirit:
I do not see the importance of God's word enough to be faithful to it
I get self-reliant, which causes me to worry. After all, it all depends on me
I become very leisure oriented, and waste a lot of time
I am not faithful to prayer, because I feel like things are going ok without it
I become the center of it all, my pride overtakes me and I only love myself

When I am poor in spirit:
He becomes my treasure, and I find Him in His word.
He becomes a rock to me, and a fortress
He replaces my leisure with things that fit into His calling
He attracts me to prayer
He becomes the center of my universe, therefore I can love others

When someone who isn't saved gets around someone who is poor in spirit, and happier than they are in their self-confidence, this sends a strong message --- It is very salty. The more of these beatitudes the grace of God plants in our hearts, the more salty we become, and the more Christ-light we exude. I believe this is the first beatitude listed for a reason. After all, will God do anything in a heart that sees itself as worthy?

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 7:55 AM :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In The World

Matthew 5:3-16
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons* of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 6:05 AM :: 2 comments

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Monday, January 16, 2006

The whole conforming thing

Rom. 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

...1Cor. 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some...

We are faced with a paradox: to conform, or not to conform? That's the question. The same Paul who in Romans 12 instructed us not to conform to the world, in 1Corinthians 9 told us he went to great lengths to conform to the world. Is this guy crazy; is he trying to confuse us? I don't believe he is. In Romans 12:2 Paul's instruction regarding conforming is in the context of mind transformation. In other words, God actually changes, as John Piper would say, our "want tos". He is telling us, "do not have a heart that wants to be like the world, and do what they do, and have what they have, and appear as they appear." He says, "Do not want this! Be transformed, so you want the will of God!" So when we get to 1 Corinthians 9, do we see Paul conforming to the world? Yes, it's quite obvious, he talks about doing anything he can to fit in with the people he is around. The difference here is that Paul's mind has been transformed to love the Gospel of Christ. This is what he actually wanted, this is what he wanted for the people around him. In his own mind, he did not want to have the life the people around him lived. So when he conformed, he was driven by an overwhelming desire to see Christ proclaimed through the gospel. Lord, actually change what we want!

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 7:03 AM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Are we sleeping?

1Th. 5:5-11 You belong to the day and the light not to the night and the dark. Therefore, we must not fall asleep like other people, but we must stay awake and be sober. People who sleep, sleep at night; people who get drunk, get drunk at night. Since we belong to the day, we must be sober. We must put on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet. It was not God’s intention that we experience his anger but that we obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake in this life or asleep in death, we will live together with him. Therefore, encourage each other and strengthen one another as you are doing.

Worldly churches are comfortable churches
Worldly friends are comfortable friends
Activities that do not provoke or require thought are comfortable
Failure to meditate on the Word is comfortable
Neglecting evangelism is comfortable
Keeping busy and using that as an excuse to neglect spiritual things is comfortable
Neglecting personal prayer is comfortable
Neglecting family prayer is comfortable
Neglecting prayer with friends is comfortable
A lack of true accountability is comfortable
Failing to hold your friends into account is comfortable
The whole effortless Christian existence is comfortable

Sleep is comfortable.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 3:18 PM :: 3 comments

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

"Art is never finished, only abandoned"

I have two main influences in my life, the influence of Christ, and the influence of the world. To be influenced by Christ, is to be intentional. To be influenced by the world is to be passive. I think too many people limit the idea of worldliness to appearance, but it's much more. I believe that at the center of worldliness is self. When I forget Christ, I start revolving my life around myself. The world is a buffet for self! I won't find anything in the bible to feed selfishness, so it becomes a dead, dry book that isn't life to me, because it doesn't build selfishness in any way. When I am focused on self, I no longer think in terms of eternity. Life becomes about me and the years I have on Earth. If I am not actively seeking Christ through His word, I am going to start making decisions for myself based upon what I see around me. I will make decisions based upon the time table of earthly life. After all, what else is there?

1Pet. 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

I believe Peter was speaking of ignorance of the gospel. He is saying do not go back to living as you did when you were ignorant of Christ. How do people live that don't see the gospel?

2Cor. 5:14-15 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

So a life ignorant of the gospel is self-centered - the characteristic of the lost world. So what are we to do?

Rom. 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I believe renewal here is not a focus on, but a constant awareness of our need for change as we see our lives through the truth of scripture. We don't change then stay, we stay changing. When we get out of transform mode, we revert back to conform mode. Neutral quickly becomes reverse. Leonardo DaVinci once said, "Art is never finished, only abandoned". Although this way of thinking didn't benefit DaVinci, I believe it does well to describe what I believe this verse is telling me. I believe to constantly be renewing my mind, means that I have to know that I will never be perfect in this life, so the fight must go on. I continually have to refocus on the gospel. I must constantly go from seeing the cross as a relic from the past, to seeing it alive in my life today. If I don't see the urgency of continual change, I will not change, but comfortably settle back into old ways. Lord, please continue to transform me as I behold you!

1Cor. 15:31 I protest, brothers, by umy pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, vI die every day!

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 9:29 AM :: 5 comments

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Monday, December 26, 2005

The Christ

Who crucified Jesus? God did.

Despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief ...
we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORDhas laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth....
He was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people. ...
There was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the LORDto crush him;
he has put him to grief.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 12:18 AM :: 6 comments

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Attitude of Christ

Phil. 2:5-11
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Even though Jesus was literally GOD in the flesh, He did not come down to earth in great power, and take a high position. With all of the power He had, he could have taken any position he desired, and lived absolutely any kind of lifestyle he wanted. But, what did he do? He emptied Himself. What did he empty himself of? He chose to put off His exalted position. Christ went from one extreme to the other. He went from powerful Creator, to servant of the poor. He chose to take on our human form, so that there was nothing in Him that would appeal to the world.

For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. Is. 53:2

To the eyes of the world Christ was a nobody, he had nothing that the people of the world would be envious of. It says he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death on the cross. Christ could not have been brought any lower than dying the death of a criminal. Because of this humility, God raised Him up above everyone and everything.

This is the attitude Paul tells us to have.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 7:01 AM :: 7 comments

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Thoughts and a Quote

1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

There is something in a man that yearns for accomplishment. When he is effective, and he realizes that hard work is paying off, he gets a sense of worth, confidence, and fulfillment. A man who doesn't put much effort into what he does, meanders about with little or no purpose for living. If he ever does have purpose, it quickly fades as he wonders into something new. May I, with Paul, feel as if I am working hard. And when that happens may I see it as the grace of God. Lord, help me to be purposeful!

God has appointed, I believe, that good things be hard work. Work is appointed for us. Prayer is not a replacement for work. It is the atmosphere of work. It is what gives to work it's supernatural effectiveness. -John Piper

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 8:33 AM :: 7 comments

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Country Music Christianity








When it comes to talkin' bout "Sunday Morning Christianity", Country Music artist, Craig Morgan says it best!


Raymond's in his Sunday best,
He's usually up to his chest in oil an' grease.
There's the Martin's walkin' in,
With that mean little freckle-faced kid,
Who broke a window last week.
Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me.

That's what I love about Sunday:
Sing along as the choir sways;
Every verse of Amazin' Grace,
An' then we shake the Preacher's hand.
Go home, into your blue jeans;
Have some chicken an' some baked beans.
Pick a back yard football team,
Nothin' much of anything:
That's what I love about Sunday.

There are a lot of people in our community who do not know God, but have a "moral goodness" of sorts. Some of these folks may be saved by the Gospel according to CMT, but do not know the God of the bible from George W. Bush. I find the town in which I live to be full of "saved" lost people. The bible says that the heart set on the flesh is hostile toward God, and cannot submit to His law. How do you convince one of these "God friendly" people that they are actually lost, let alone hostile toward God? One might argue, "you don't have to convince anyone of anything, that's God's job". Though that's true, I believe we are called to plead with people, and do our best to convince them of the truth (Acts 28:23-24). Last Sunday, people who reject God were warned in the message. This caused me to think back to the countless times I was warned when I was lost. Knowing these warnings had once went right over my head, I asked myself these questions: "What does Romans 8 Hostility look like in the hearts and lives of the "moral"? How can we confront "good" people with the truth? What can be said to someone who thinks they love God, but obviously lives for themselves? I think these are important questions, because this is what we are dealing with for the most part. Also, check out my dad's latest post, "The Great Controversy" and Josh's latest post, "Results of Preaching the Gospel"

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 8:37 AM :: 11 comments

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Friday, December 02, 2005

The Disciplined Minded Disciple (Intentionality)

Phi 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus...

In the Word, there are all sorts of ways we are told to alter our state of mind. In this chapter, I believe Paul is telling the Philippians to be intentional (or to have intentionality, Heather). Making an effort to renew their minds was something they could do immediately upon reading Paul’s instruction. In fact, change would have to take place in their minds, before their actions would be affected. In this chapter, “Have this mind”, to me is kind of like saying, “take all that I’ve said, and actually do something with it!”

Sometimes I ask the Lord if he will help me to stay on track and stay focused on Him throughout a particular day. Sometimes I even beg Him, but somewhere along the line a distraction, usually pretty small changes my state of mind. To do all that Paul is teaching here takes some heavy discipline, and it’s pretty obvious that a disciplined mind must precede disciplined behavior. A man who cannot exercise self control over his mind, should not be expected to in his actions. I think at times, we expect God to, “for his glory”, miraculously change the way we do things (sometimes I think my prayers are more effective if I use phrases such as “for your glory”, or a host of other things. It’s kind of silly if you think about it. Lord, please give me this new house...uh... for your glory!!). Anyway, God does mold us, but he has chosen to do it through our discipline. I could say, “God must put the desire in me to read his word”, and that would be a true statement, but if I expect him to make me want his word like a kid wants an ice cream cone, I will never read it! If I do, however, read the bible no matter how I “feel”, it was God all along giving me the desire to do so. Every biblical mindset is already ours in Christ Jesus. The battle is believing it. --All in light of the Cross.


Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 7:07 AM :: 6 comments

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Blogger Pictures



well, I've changed my picture again. I was completely content with the first one, but no one else liked it. The next pic was supposed to look like a "mug shot", turns out it looked like a "drug shot", so I've changed my pic for hopefully the last time. If you don't like this one, kindly keep me in ignorance!

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 10:22 PM :: 7 comments

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Sharing Our Attention with Others

Every one, to some extent, must look out for themselves. If you don’t pay attention to how you walk, you’re going to stumble, if you don’t eat you will starve, if you don’t get dressed, you’re going to get arrested :), if you don’t look in the mirror, you’re going to look sloppy, If you don’t take a shower your going to smell like Oscar the Grouch. If you don’t think before you speak, you’re going to make a fool out of yourself, if you don’t meditate upon scripture, you’re going to lose your grip on reality, if you don’t work, you’ll be poor (well, in our country, who knows?) We obviously have to pay close attention to ourselves.

Phi 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

While I must pay close attention to what goes on with me, I must also give attention to those I know. Some of the areas that I struggle in are as follows: I find it a hard to give equal attention to journals other than mine. It is truly a struggle to make sure I am examining what others are writing. In Care Group, I struggle with listening closely to what others offer in discussion. Often times I am too busy putting together the next thought I want to express. Too many times we are more concerned about being heard than hearing what others say. When it comes to walking with the Lord, do I care for others as I do myself? Am I concerned with their joy as much as I am my own? Ever heard this one? “So and So hurt my feelings!” This is most likely a sign of you putting your interest before the interests of others. We need to examine ourselves when we are easily offended. When this verse affects you, you will be on your way to having the strength to forgive anything. Of course, this all means nothing without the cross as its backdrop.

I want to give a quick example of someone in my life, whom I’ve noticed consistently putting others before themselves. Jay & Michelle Harrison have welcomed visitors on Thursday evenings for who knows how long now. It doesn't stop there either. From cooking, to cleaning & straightening up, to planning, to purchases both large and small for our enjoyment, they have put our interests before their own and it's just another evidence of grace at work in them. I can think of some others, but I will stop there.

If you want to practice this concept, look to the ultimate example, the Man who made this possible.

2Co 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

How did the Savior put our interests before His? The ultimate instance was obviously the cross, but this mentality was shown in absolutely everything he did. Because he was perfect, on His merits we have been made perfect in the sight of the father, and I have great hope that Christ inside of me will produce Philippians 2 humility!

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 9:05 AM :: 7 comments

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Today's Test Score: F

Well, the Lord issued a real life test in what he taught me this morning. I got caught up in a debate on my dad's blog and clearly displayed the attitudes of both rivalry and conceit. It's kind of funny to me, because after I posted my blog this morning, I was completely convinced that there would be a test, and there was! We must be on the alert at all times! With the debate,I was not wrong in all my comments; if you want to review them click here.

P.S. I also posted the last "anonymous" comment having to do with John having all of Aaron's accusations straight.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 5:46 PM :: 2 comments

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Rivalry and Conceit

Phi 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

A lot of people live their lives around one thing, selfishness. In fact, every person who has not been effected by the cross of Jesus Christ, is completely driven by selfishness. After all, what else is there? Some might say greed. Isn’t greed rooted in selfishness? There are two expressions of selfishness listed in this verse, Rivalry and Conceit.

What I think these two words mean in their context:
Rivalry
is seeing a lack of or a threat to something you value, so much so that a competitive attitude is developed toward the person who possesses what you lack, or threatens what you possess.

Conceit
Is finding pleasure in comparing what you possess, with what others lack.

A rivalrous attitude can come from perceiving another person’s conceit. This is often verbalized in statements such as, “I’ll show him!”, or “She thinks she…!”, or “Who do they think they are?”. Before we know it, we have a competitive attitude with those who are supposed to be on our same “team”. We are out to prove ourselves, even if it’s not clear to us what we are trying to prove.

Two conceited people can be in competition to prove who is more gifted, more witty, more knowledgeable, more spiritual, more attractive, more experienced, what ever the case may be.

Two people with absolutely no confidence in themselves; those the world would label as having low self esteem, can be in competition or rivalry to prove to themselves, eachother, and/or those around them that they are something they are not.

Sadly, these expressions of selfishness are seen not only among the lost, but among Christians. Evidently, Paul saw this problem when he wrote this letter, or he would not have given this instruction.

So, what attitude does Paul tell us to put on in lieu of rivalry and conceit? He tells us to be humble, or selfless. Humility throws cold water on selfishness. If humility is making others more important than myself, there’s no way I can, at the same time, take pleasure in perceiving what they lack. Also, if humility is producing these right attitudes in me, someone I perceive as conceited should not at all be a threat to me.

All in all, when meditated upon, the truth about the cross fights selfishness to the death. How foolish we are if we minimize it’s importance in daily living!

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;
2Co 5:15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.


Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 9:21 AM :: 4 comments

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Slow Fires

Psa 39:7 "And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.

I gathered with a few close friends last evening around a bonfire. This "fire" was rather lame at first, but eventually grew larger, no thanks to me! Anyway, as I was impatiently waiting for the fire to get started, I was suddenly reminded of an attitude I've had toward God in the past.

There have been times that I have sought the Lord, and expected him to suddenly come in all of his glory, and bring me rapid deliverance from my trouble. Wait? Lord! What are you talking about?

The world seems to be obsessed with the word instant. Human beings are constantly seeking after more comfortable, more quick ways to get things done. We have developed things like computers, convenience stores, fast food, credit, cell phones, freeways, airplanes, etc... As things around us become more and more convenient, the battle to exude patience becomes more difficult.

In the verse, David basically says:

"Why do I wait?"
He answers himself:
"Because I have hope!".
Hope in what?

I believe he had hope in the nature of God's faithfulness, and this sustained him through what, at times, seemed like the complete absence of God's presence.

If last night, I had not been confident in the nature of fire to progressively get hotter, and soon produce heat; the last thing I would've done is endured those few moments of cold weather.

CJ Mahaney once said, "There is enough certainty in Scripture to sustain us through mystery."

Life is full of mystery, but scripture truly offers enough certainty, enough hope, to get us through.

May we never give up on earnestly seeking after the manifested presence of God. As we do he will intensify our passion for Him. May we have hope in His faithfulness that has been proven time and time again!

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 12:59 PM :: 3 comments

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Hope for change

Lately, I have been very aware of every little problem, short coming, and weakness that exist in my life, and there are many! This unbiblical way of thinking only constructs a prison of doubt, constant discouragement and defeat. If all I ever focus on is my many faults, so much so that it keeps me pinned down, I will be in a state of discouragement until the day I die, because I will never be faultless. I don't have to be though, because Christ was and is perfect.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

The Lord has shown me that lasting change is an effect of being solely focused upon the Word of God. This focus leaves no room for trying to figure out my problems. I disagree with people who refer to the bible as a "road map". The bible isn't a compilation of cold facts that help us assemble life's pieces. The bible is alive; it is itself life. It is referred to as the bread of life. All we have to do is eat for our bodies to become nourished by our food. Physical nourishment is simply the effect of eating food, like spiritual nourishment is the effect of consuming spiritual food. When I am driven to consume as much of the word as possible, the change that I once was worried about, and was focused upon will take place without me even realizing it. One who has an immovable concentration on the word becomes the man that God wants him to be without trying to change. I don't believe we should even have the attitude, "what in the world is God's will for my life?!". I believe we simply do the will of God as long as we're focused on him. God's will is something we find ourselves doing as our minds meditate on His word, not go out of minds trying to make happen. I think back to the greatest times of spiritual victory in my life, and remember nothing about even being aware of my problems, yet positive change was taking place!

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 5:28 PM :: 4 comments

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Five Elements of the Universe

Time, Space, Matter, Power, and Motion

Genesis 1:1,3 (written 3,450 years ago): "In the beginning God created the
Heaven and the earth . . . And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the
waters."

Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power and
motion. "In the beginning (time) God created (power) the Heaven (space) and the
earth (matter) . . . And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the
waters."

-Ray Comfort

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 1:57 PM :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Their Lives

Phi 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
Phi 2:2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

The lives of those to whom Paul ministered consumed Him. I am reminded of our series in Thessalonians where we learned about Christian love. There are many ways that we can have an unhealthy focus on our friends. I do believe we are to be in a passionate pursuit of the hearts of those we love, but the correct mindset and motives are demonstrated here, just as we've seen in 1thess 2.

What does it take to ease our minds? What does it take to put us in a "good mood"? Does our peace of mind come from having some extra money after the bills are paid, the arrival of the weekend, resolved conflicts? What really does it for me? Is it something centered around me, that only affects me, or is my passion seeing those I know growing in their knowledge of Christ, and their love for one another. Can my whole world be falling apart, and yet be full of joy, because those who I love with the love of Christ are growing? I have a long way to go.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 7:10 AM :: 6 comments

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Jesus, thank you!

Well, all of my buddies in ministry have a blog, so I figured I would put one together. I am truly thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have many friends who love me and accept me. I am thankful for the evidences of grace I see in my friends. May we continue to pursue God, and encourage eachother to do the same!

I am also thankful to God for blessing me with a family who is driven by their love for Christ, and have come to the knowledge of the truth. God loves me, and the family he has put me in is one of the ways he shows that love. My parents have loved me even when I was wayward, and have patiently labored, and hurt, and wept, and prayed on my behalf.

Posted by Jeremy Turner :: 2:47 PM :: 2 comments

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