Anderson Announcements!!

It’s an exciting time in the life of the Anderson’s! We are expecting a baby boy, Cohen Reid Anderson, in December. But that’s not all! I have currently accepted a full-time worship leader position at Fellowship Bible Church in NWA. Hannah and I are looking for our first house as well! It’s all a little frightening, but the excitement far outweighs the fear. This is a bittersweet time in our lives because we will be leaving our home church, Antioch Baptist Church, and moving away from our families. Hannah and I both thank our church family for all the support they have given us throughout the years. I have grown up there and had so many opportunities to gain ministry experience that has prepared me for my future in ministry. As of now our plans are not solidified. We are looking for a house and I could start my new job anywhere from Sept 15 to Oct 15. I will make another announcement when we know more…till then thank you for your support and prayers!

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Crippling Perfection

Hello! My name is Jared Pat Anderson and I’m a perfectionist. Continue reading

Restless by Switchfoot (Jon Foreman)

I am the sea on a moonless night
Calling falling, slipping tides
I am the leaky, dripping pipes
The endless, aching drops of lights

I am the raindrop falling down
Always longing for the deeper ground
I am the broken, breaking seas
Even my blood finds ways to bleed

Even the rivers ways to run
Even the rain to reach the sun
Even my thirsty streams
Even in my dreams

I am restless
I am restless
I am restless
I’m looking for you
I am restless
I run like the ocean to find your shore
I’m looking for you

I am the thorn stuck in your side
I am the one that you left behind
I am the dried up doubting eyes
Looking for the well that won’t run dry

Running for the other side
The world that I’ve always been denied
Running hard for the infinite
With the tears of saints and hypocrites

Oh, blood of black and white and grey
Oh, death in life and night in day
One by one by one
We let our rivers run

I am restless
I am restless
I’m looking for you
I am restless
I run like the ocean to find your shore
I’m looking for you

I can hear you breathing
I can feel you leading
More than just a feeling

I can feel you reaching
Pushing through the ceiling
Till the final healing
I’m looking for you

Until the sea of glass we meet
At last completed and complete
Where tide and tear and pain subside
And laughter drinks them dry

I’ll be waiting
Anticipating
All that I aim for
What I was made for

With every heartbeat
All of my blood bleeds
Running inside me
I’m looking for you

Here I Raise Mine Ebenezer?

The following is a by Kyle Butt from apologeticspress.org:

Many of us have grown up going to worship services where we sang age-old songs that were brought down to us from many years ago. In those songs, we often sing words or phrases that might not retain a popularly understood sentiment. Yet, even though we might not understand what we are singing, that has not stopped many of us from following the song leader through misunderstood stanzas of our old favorites.

One of the phrases that is of particular interest comes from the song O, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The lyrics of this song (which originally was titled Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing) were written by Robert Robinson in 1758. The second verse of the song begins with these words: “Here I raise my Ebenezer.” If you are like many who have sung this song, the word “Ebenezer” immediately brings to your mind visions of old Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ Christmas Carol, screaming at Bob Cratchet to conserve coal and get to work. Yet, we all know that is not the idea behind this song. Where, then, does the term Ebenezer originate, and what does it mean?

In 1 Samuel 7, the prophet Samuel and the Israelites found themselves under attack by the Philistines. Fearing for their lives, the Israelites begged Samuel to pray for them in their impending battle against the Philistines. Samuel offered a sacrifice to God and prayed for His protection. God listened to Samuel, causing the Philistines to lose the battle and retreat back to their own territory. After the Israelite victory, the Bible records: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’ ” (1 Samuel 7:12).

The word Ebenezer comes from the Hebrew words ’Eben hà-ezer (eh’-ben haw-e’-zer)which simply mean “stone of help” (see Enhanced…, 1995). When Robinson wrote his lyrics, he followed the word Ebenezer with the phrase, “Here by Thy great help I’ve come.” An Ebenezer, then, is simply a monumental stone set up to signify the great help that God granted the one raising the stone. In Robinson’s poem, it figuratively meant that the writer—and all who subsequently sing the song—acknowledge God’s bountiful blessings and help in their lives.

The next time you sing about raising your Ebenezer, you will be able to “sing with the understanding” that you are acknowledging God’s help in your life (1 Corinthians 14:15).

The Gospel in the Bible

“The Gospel is the heart of the Bible. Everything in Scripture is either preparation for the Gospel, presentation of the Gospel, or participation in the Gospel.” – Dave Harvey

Quote on Predestination

The following quote is taken from a commentary by Bob Utley titled: Luke the Historian: The Book of Acts. The note is explaining Acts 4:28 which says:

…to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

The context of this passage is Peter speaking to the Sanhedrin after being arrested with John for healing a lame man. Peter is saying that the ones who had a part in Christ’s death did exactly what God had predestined to take place. Here is the quote:

Even before creation God had His plan of redemption (cf. Matt. 25:34; John 17:24; Eph. 1:4; I Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8; Acts 2:13; 3:18; 13:29). These enemies of Christ only performed that which God wanted them to perform. Jesus came to die (cf. Mark 10:45). The term translated here “predestine” is a compound of the PREPOSITION “before” and “to set bounds” (cf. Rom. 8:29, 30; I Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11).

The definitive passages on predestination in the NT are Rom. 8:28–30; Rom. 9; and Eph. 1:3–14. These texts obviously stress that God is sovereign. He is in total control of all things, including human history. There is a preset divine redemption plan being worked out in time. However, this plan is not arbitrary or selective. It is based not only on God’s sovereignty and foreknowledge, but also on His unchanging character of love, mercy, and undeserved grace.

We must be careful of our western (American) individualism or our evangelical zeal coloring this wonderful truth. We must also guard against being polarized into the historical, theological conflicts between Augustine and Pelegius or Calvinism and Arminianism.

Predestination is not a doctrine meant to limit God’s love, grace, and mercy, nor to exclude some from the gospel. It is meant to strengthen believers by molding their world view. God’s love is for all mankind (cf. I Tim. 2:4; II Pet. 3:9). God is in control of all things. Who or what can separate us from Him (cf. Rom. 8:31–39)? Predestination forms one of two ways to view life. God views all history as present. Humans are time-bound. Our perspective and mental abilities are limited. There is no contradiction between God’s sovereignty and mankind’s free will. It is a covenantal structure. This is another example of biblical truth given in paradoxical, dialectical, tension-filled pairs. Biblical doctrines are presented from different perspectives. They often appear paradoxical. The truth is a balance between the seemingly opposite pairs. We must not remove the tension by picking one of the truths. We must not isolate any biblical truth into a compartment by itself.

It is also important to add that the goal of election is not only heaven when we die, but Christlikeness now (cf. Eph. 1:4; 2:10)! We were chosen to be “holy and blameless.” God chooses to change us so that others may see the change and respond by faith to God in Christ. Predestination is not a personal privilege, but a covenantal responsibility! We are saved to serve!

May we be bold like Peter and John and serve like we have been called to serve!

Amazing Words of Job

I’ve read the book of Job a few times before, but I don’t feel like I’ve really understood all of it before. I’m reading through it again and trying to follow along the with the conversations between Job and his so called “friends”. The testimony of Job is so strong and in the middle of chapter 19 Job says these words:

“Oh that my words were written!

Oh that they were inscribed in a book!

Oh that with an iron pen and lead

they were engraved in the rock forever!

For I know that my Redeemer lives,

and at the last he will stand upon the earth.

And after my skin has been thus destroyed,

yet in my flesh I shall see God,

whom I shall see for myself,

and my eyes shall behold, and not another.

My heart faints within me!”

-Job  19:23-27

It is amazing how Job can proclaim that his Redeemer lives in the midst of his suffering. Job understood the faithfulness and sovereignty of God. May we do the same.

We So Often Deceive Ourselves – Part II

In my last post I discussed how many of us Christians can deceive ourselves in our prayer life and since then I have been seeing how we can also deceive ourselves in many other areas of life. This post is going to be short and focus on our behavior. I’m going to share another C. S. Lewis quote that illustrates this point very well:

Every man, not very holy or very arrogant, has to “live up to” the outward appearance of other men: he knows there is that within him which falls far below even his most careless public behaviour, even his loosest talk. In an instant of time–while your friend hesitates for a word–what things pass through your mind? We have never told the whole truth. We man confess ugly facts–the meanest cowardice or the shabbiest and most prosaic impurity–but the tone is false. The very act of confessing–an infinitesimally hypocritical glance–a dash of humour–all this contrives to dissociate the facts from your very self. No one could guess how familiar and, in a sense, congenial to your soul these things were how much of a piece with all the rest: down there, in the dreaming inner warmth, they struck no such discordant note, were not nearly so odd and detachable from the rest of you, as they seem when they are turned into words. We imply, and often believe, that habitual vices are exceptional single acts, and make the opposite mistake about our virtues–like the bad tennis player who calls his normal form his “bad days” and mistakes his rare successes for his normal. I do not think it is our fault that we cannot tell the real truth about ourselves; the persistant, life-long, inner murmur of spite, jealousy, prurience, greed and self-complacence, simply will not got into words. But the important thing is that we should not mistake our inevitably limited utterances for a full account of the worst that is inside.

-for The Problem of Pain

As Christians I feel like we are often like the tennis player. When we are at our best we think that this is who we really are and when we are at our worst we think that it is just a fluke. But the sad truth is that oftentimes we are just lazy Christians. Playing basketball I saw this in many players; the typical high school basketball player was the one who though he was better than he really was. He would shoot 35 shots a game and make 7 of them. And he only remembered those 7, not the other 28. His attitude not only hinders his growth as a basketball player, but also the performance of the entire team. Many Christians take this approach in their service and ministry. And it is time that they acknowledge it and take action to truly grow in their relationship with Christ. This will bring them more joy to them as well as those around them. Our churches will benefit from this as well.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

– Luke 9:23-24

We So Often Deceive Ourselves

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not is us.

1 John 1: 8-10

As I was reading this passage it reminded me of a quote by C. S. Lewis that I would like to share with you:

It is no use to ask God with facetious earnestness for A when our whole mind is in reality fill with B. We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.

-from Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

As a Christian it is so easy to deceive ourselves because we know how we ought to live and so we often pray what ought to be in us, but God calls us to lay before him what is in us. He wants us to be honest with him because when we lay before him our faults in confession and ask for repentance that gets us closer to the things that ought to be in us.

I pray that you would let this convict you to start praying in a transparent way because God already knows what is in your heart (Matt. 6:8). If we always pray for the things that ought to be in us and ignore the things that are already in our heart then we are hindering our own spiritual growth by not letting God take the sin and shame that we are harboring. We can so often deceive ourselves.