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00019767The following is a list, though not exhaustive, of Reformed & Presbyterian bodies who either have observed a day of fasting & prayer during the COVID-19 crisis or who have appointed and/or commended one. If we cannot coordinate our days, perhaps we may be encouraged that we are not alone when we take our part “on the wall.”

“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God” (Joel 2:12-14)?

 

[Updated 3/31 @ 11:11 a.m. EDT]

Wednesday, March 25. ARP Canadian Presbytery.

Wednesday, March 25. RPCNA Pacific Coast Presbytery.

Lord’s day, March 29. Free Church of Scotland (Cont.). [Statement from the Public Questions, Religion and Morals Committee.]

Wednesday, April 1. Various Heritage Reformed Congregations (HRC) & Free Reformed Congregations (FRC). [Prayer and Fasting Outline, with help from Th. Boston.]

Saturday, April 4. The Midwest Presbytery (RPCNA). [Full communication & helpful suggestions.]

Thursday, April 2 or 9. RPCNA Synod.

Monday, April 6. Calvary Presbytery (PCA). [Days of Fastings RPCNA]

 

I’ve also heard from / about some OPC congregations who have observed fasts.

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[Image above, “Nineveh Repents“]

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To reduce cluttering your inboxes, I’m posting several memes I’ve finished recently:

Murray, Essence of Sin

Boston, Beautiful Fabric

Willison, Wit's End

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“In a word, being to bring Christ and the church together, our [preachers’] aim must be, to persuade people to come out of their estate they are in, to come and take Christ. Whatsoever makes for this, that course we must use, though it be with never so much abasing of ourselves. Therefore the gospel is promulgated in a sweet manner. ‘I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God,’ etc. The law comes with ‘Cursed, cursed;’ but now in the gospel Christ is preached with sweet alluring. ‘I beseech you, brethren,’ and ‘We as ambassadors beseech you, as if Christ by us did beseech you,’ etc., 2 Cor. 5:20. This is the manner of the dispensation in the gospel, even to beg of people that they would be good to their own souls. Christ, as it were, became a beggar himself, and the great God of heaven and earth begs our love, that we would so care for our own souls that we would be reconciled unto Him. It was fitter, indeed, that we should beg of him. It was fit we should seek to be reconciled to him, but God so stoops in the dispensation and ministry of the gospel, that He becomes a beggar and suitor to us to be good to our souls. As if he had offended us, He desires us to be reconciled. The wrong is done on our part, yet He so far transcends the doubtings of man’s nature, that He would have nothing to cause man’s heart to misgive, no doubts or scruples to arise. He Himself becomes a beseecher of reconciliation, as if He were the party that had offended. This is the manner of the publication of the gospel.”

-Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)

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Another addition to the Chalmers Audio Library. A tremendous address! Little wonder that Wilberforce once wrote of him, “All the world is wild about Chalmers.” If this sermon doesn’t drive you to your prayer closet, what will?

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IMG_3797Yesterday I finished the last round through my parishes for the season. As the air gets chillier, my hands and ears get colder, so doorstep conversations turn less pleasant for all involved. For the winter, I turn to revisit folks who will likely have me in, reach out to other contacts outside the district, and resume and start up one-on-one Bible studies.

A few highlights from the last couple of outings. In my Warwick parish, I returned to a house where last year where I had a very interesting, long talk.  But it wasn’t ‘John.’ Instead, ‘Jake’ answered the door with his 10 year old daughter, ‘Emily.’ I asked about John and found out that he had moved and was renting the place out to them. But clearly they were friends and had been cut out of the same cultural cloth. Jake was a skeptic, a self-styled pagan. Since I had recently finished a book that addressed the case for the resurrection, I made a brief case for it as well as the reliability of the NT. What a privilege it is to communicate the witness of those who witnessed glory. “We have not followed cunningly devised fables.” Emily was pretty precocious. Clearly, she had been religiously catechized. A rather outspoken atheist, Emily was a believer in ‘science.’ Heartbreaking. O Jesus, make them as Saul of Tarsus. Arrest them by your grace! (more…)

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IMG_4754Last year we held our first evangelistic outreach meeting within walking distance of my S. Providence parish, right on Broad Street in Providence. Last Saturday evening we had our second. As before, we recruited Pr. Luis Morales to translate for me. We sang Psalm 1 in Spanish and English, and we read and preached from Matthew 21:1-11 on the Triumphal Entry.

In addition to many of our own folks, as well as the Morales family, several African contacts in the parish and the larger community came out. These are all professing Christians, but definitely not Reformed. While evangelism is my top concern, close behind is the pressing need to raise the profile of biblical, Reformational theology and worship within urban evangelicalism. Please pray that God may own these efforts as well.

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Another addition to the ‘Chalmers Audio Library.’ A fascinating defense of religious establishments, arguing for them on the ground that they serve as a great, national Home Mission. In my opinion, he counters some of the standard objections well.

 

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