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VOV Trinity

The Trinity

THREE IN ONE, ONE IN THREE, GOD OF MY SALVATION,

Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit,

I adore thee as one Being, one Essence,

one God in three distinct Persons,

for bringing sinners to thy knowledge and to thy kingdom.

O Father, thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;

O Jesus, thou hast loved me and assumed my nature,

shed thine own blood to wash away my sins,

wrought righteousness to cover my unworthiness;

O Holy Spirit, thou hast loved me and entered my heart,

implanted there eternal life,

revealed to me the glories of Jesus.

Three Persons and one God, I bless and praise thee,

for love so unmerited, so unspeakable, so wondrous,

so mighty to save the lost and raise them to glory.

O Father, I thank thee that in fullness of grace

thou hast given me to Jesus,

to be his sheep, jewel, portion;

O Jesus, I thank thee that in fullness of grace

thou hast accepted, espoused,  bound me;

O Holy Spirit, I thank thee that in fullness of grace

thou hast exhibited Jesus as my salvation,

implanted faith within me,

subdued my stubborn heart,

made me one with him for ever.

O Father, thou art enthroned to hear my prayers,

O Jesus, thy hand is outstretched to take my petitions,

O Holy Spirit, thou art willing to help my infirmities,

to show me my need, to supply words, to pray within me,

to strengthen me that I faint not in supplication.

O Triune God, who commandeth the universe,

thou hast commanded me to ask for those things

that concern thy kingdom and my soul.

Let me live and pray as one baptized into the threefold Name.

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The Valley of Vision

LORD, HIGH AND HOLY, MEEK AND LOWLY,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
   where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
   hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
   that the way down is the way up,
   that to be low is to be high,
   that the broken  heart is the healed heart,
   that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
   that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
   that to have nothing is to possess all,
   that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
   that to give is to receive,
   that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
   and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
      thy life in my death,
      thy joy in my sorrow,
      thy grace in my sin,
      thy riches in my poverty
      thy glory in my valley.

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Prayer is an open door which none can shut. Devils may surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy’s hand. – Charles Spurgeon, Mornings and Evenings

 

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I’ve been following Propaganda for YEARS, back when he was the young buck with the Tunnel Ratz battle rapping in West Covina.  This brother has matured and grown in his craft, far surpassing his peers. I’ve really enjoyed his (and his label mates at humble beast) turn towards lyrical theology, and this video is a bright shining example of it.

You can download his stuff from Humble Beast and check out their other outstanding artists:

http://www.humblebeast.com

 

After reading Facebook posts and news articles about the whole “indulgences for tweets” thing, I thought I would take to Twitter to ask the smartest* Catholic in the known world what he thought:

Well there you have it.  The smartest* Catholic in the universe (and possibly at least a few other universes, or universi, I’m not entirely sure what the plural form of that is) believes that the indulgences for tweets business is ridiculous.  He remains the smartest* Catholic this side of the Reformation.

If you haven’t already, follow him on the Twitters @thomasewoods and if you are extremely desperate, follow me as well @kpfareal.

*I honestly believe that Tom Woods is one of the smartest men alive, and he just so happens to be Catholic, therefore (using my superior logic skills) Tom Woods is the smartest Catholic alive.

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Walter Block calls this video by Tom Woods “just about the best introduction to Austro libertarianism ever given.”

I will agree with him.

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Video’s like this frustrate me.

On one hand, it’s hilarious. Being a kid growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I loved playing video games, especially arcade games. I was more into Mortal Combat than Street Fighter personally, but I played my fair share of Street Fighter. This video drives home the silliness of some charismaniac (not charismatic, I think there is a difference, but that’s for another time…) preachers who are more interested in putting on a good show to line their pockets than do anything benificial for the gospel.

On the other hand, this video saddens me. I grew up in Pentecostal and Word of Faith type churches where this was the norm. Being “slain in the spirit” was just part of a good ‘ole church meetin’. It was mostly reserved to youth summer camps or Sunday night services though; you didn’t want to scare away any potential visiting tithers (ahem… I mean church members) on a Sunday morning service.

WARNING: This video contains outbursts of uncouth language.

Watch the video HERE.

This is what your children could grow up to be like if you don’t discipline them correctly.

Proverbs 23:13-15 “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.”

Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Hebrews 12:11 – “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. ”

Proverbs 22:15 – “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”

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“Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and reread them…Let them go into your very self. Little learning and much pride comes from hasty reading. Some men are disabled from thinking by their putting meditation away for the sake of much reading. In reading let your motto be ‘much not many.’”

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Charles Spurgeon, Letters to My Students

 

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SPOILER ALERT:

I suck at praying.

All aspects of it.

I had a pastor tell me one time that he could discern the spiritual maturity of any believer just by listening to them pray in public.  If that were true (and it very may well be) then I would be classified as a dunce.  I’ve never been good at praying, in public or in private.  My private prayers are muddied with “ums” and long awkward pauses as it is, my public prayers (few and far in between) must look like a train wreck.  I can imagine everyone with their heads bowed, wincing while I try and eek out anything that even resembles an actual prayer.  My voice and knees shake in unison. 

The one thing I have mastered is praying while I’m praying.  I can pray silently to myself “please God let me stop” while praying something else entirely out loud.  It’s sad, it’s frustrating, and it’s embarrassing. 

I don’t want to suck at praying.  I really don’t.  But at the same time, I don’t want to be pharisaical in my prayers either.

 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”  -Matthew 6:5

I need to find a spot somewhere in the middle of being absolutely horrible at something, and being too “good” that it’s not genuine. 

I want to be the Charlie Batch of praying.

Charlie-Batch

Charlie Batch is by no means a great quarterback.  He will not be in the NFL Hall of Fame.  He hasn’t been a team’s starting quarterback since he played for the Detroit Lions back in 2001.  He is just not good enough to be an NFL starting quarterback; but he’s great at being a back-up.  He’s been the number two or three or four quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2002; 11 years as a back-up quarterback with the SAME team is a long time.  I don’t know if it’s one of the longest times (I like football, but I don’t like football enough to dig through endless stat sheets to actually find out) but it’s pretty long.  A lot of starting quarterbacks don’t stay with the same team for 11 years, let alone a back-up.

Back to my point: Charlie Batch is not the greatest quarterback, but he’s also not the worst.  He’s got enough talent and will power to stay in the pros, but not enough to be the best.  That’s where I want to be when it comes to praying.  I want to be able to pray to God sincerely without trying to sound like I’m super smart or super holy (which would be a super lie).  I want to be able to pray for others, pray with my family and teach my kids to pray, without sounding like a complete ignoramus.  It’s not that I want to settle for mediocrity, I just want to find a spot where I’m comfortable and where praying comes easy, like it’s supposed to.

To help me on my journey, I’ve decided to read through “The Valley of Vision”.  The “Valley of Vision” is a book of Puritan prayers compiled by Arthur Bennett and published by The Banner of Truth.  I’m not only going to read through the book, I’m going to type out every single prayer in the book.  Sometimes when I read, my mind will wander to any and everything that’s not related to what I’m actually reading (“what did I have for lunch?”, “how many touchdown passes did Russell Wilson throw against the 49ers in 2012?”, “what kind of beard do I want to grow when I get out of the military?”).  Typing it out will force me to focus the entirety of my attention on the book and the words held within.

The back cover of “The Valley of Vision” says that “This book has been prepared not to ‘supply’ prayers but to prompt and encourage the Christian as he treads the path on which others have gone before”.  My goal is to complete a handful of posts a week (maybe like 3 or 4 would be a good place to start).  Each post would include the typed out prayer and any thoughts that I have as I “tread the path on which others have gone before” regarding the prayer. 

I hope and pray (badly) that I will finish this task.  If you would like to follow along with me, you can purchase the paperback (if you’re humble, like me), leather bound (if you’re a Pharisee) or on audio CD (if you’re blind and/or don’t like reading) from Amazon or WTS.

EXTRA CREDIT:

Joe Thorn (that Bearded Gospel Man) has devised a reading plan called “Walking Through the Valley of Vision” that you can find on his website HERE.  He describes it as “an organized approach to working through The Valley of Vision prayer book in 13 weeks using 3 daily “appointments” scheduled at 9am, 12pm, and 3pm Monday through Friday.”  I’ve got a copy of the plan printed out and stuffed in the back of my copy of TVOV (short for The Valley of Vision if you couldn’t figure that out… I didn’t want to type it out all over again because my fingers are getting tired, but now I realize that I’m typing WAAAY more trying to explain it then I would have had to type by just typing out The Valley of Vision in the first place).  I haven’t used it in a while, but it’s an awesome tool that hopefully and prayerfully (badly) I’ll use someday.

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