Indoor rowing

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The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul (Proverbs 13:19). God-enabling after weeks trying I dipped below 75Kg and so entered the lightweight indoor rowing category. I have not been this weight (11st 11lb) since I was 17! Anyhow posted a couple of good times on Concept 2 world rankings (Rankings ) and I hope more will come. If you can’t access go to Concept 2 Rankings on web or see item below.Eventual aim is a medal at both Scottish and Irish Indoor Rowing Champs in November and January 2016 respectively (DV).

Here is what the machines look like.black-d-male-finish gray-d-female

Here’s what a race looks like on big screen:

2015 world champs 2000m!!!!!!

RANKING RESULTS 2016

Indoor Rower | 1 minute | Men’s | Lightweight | Ages 60-69 | Current 2016 Season /World

Average Meters: 294

PERCENTILES
90th 75th 50th 25th
328 314 301 278

Place [?] Name Age City State Country Distance Source [?] Type [?]
1 Photo Email this rower Steve Roedde 61 St. Joseph Island ONTARIO CAN 344 C2Log I
Photo Email this rower julian kennedy 63 Ballymena IRL 328 IND I
1 Photo Email this rower Tom Phillips 60 Bronxville NY USA 328 C2Log I
1 Photo Email this rower Stan Shatenstein 61 Montreal QC CAN 328 IND_V I
4 Photo Email this rower alain mangin 66 langueux FRA 325 C2Log I

Gold

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Ark                                              Altar of incense                        Candlestick

The ark of the covenant, the incense altar and the lampstand, the first two gold leafed and the latter pure gold along with all the utensils were made of a talent of gold (about 50Kg). They all typify Jesus Christ and access to God through him (Hebrews 9). Our faith is like Gold (I Peter 1:7) except it never perishes and likewise grants us access to the Most High through his great High Priest (Hebrews 4:16).

Hosea (History 8)-Israel’s sins in the wilderness.

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Read   Psalm 106:6-33

Sung   Psalm 16:1-7

Key text   Hosea 9:10

Israel’s sins after they left Egypt were many:

Before the Red Sea crossing wishing to go back (Ex.14)

Complaining about water at Maasah and Meribah (Ex.17)

Golden calf (Ex.32)

Complaining at Taberah (Num.11)

Lusting for meat at Kibroth hataavah (Num.11)

Murmuring and wanting to go back at Kadesh Barnea (Num.13-14)

Rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Num.16-17)

Lack of water at Meribah (Num.20)

Idolatry and fornication at Baalpeor (Num.25)

It is this latter incident that Hosea uses in his preaching and writing because he wrote in a time of Baal worship. The Israelites had to leave Shittim and go to Peor and there the Midianites under the goading of Balaam and Balak fell to fornicating and Baal worship in which they bowed down to Baal and ate sacrifices offered to the pagan deity, the whole episode being shameful as Hosea points out. God was fiercely angry and jealous and punished the people several ways: many leaders were hanged accursedly, many were slain by the judges, a brazen couple were speared to death by Phinehas and in the plague 24,000 died. Also as a result the Midianites were decimated in war (Num.31:1-16) and this is mentioned in Deut 4:3, I Cor.10:6-8 and Revelation 2:14.

For Israel in Hosea’s day the punishment was the destruction of their offspring by the Assyrians in 722BC. Some sobering lessons for God’s people in all ages! Note as well that in the Pentateuch God’s anger was assuaged in one of two ways; first by judgment like Phinehas and second by priestly intercession like Moses. In the ultimate example of the cross of Christ we have judgment and priestly intercession combined for the salvation of God’s people.

Faith and the Lord’s Supper

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“Therefore we justly say with Paul, that we are justified by faith alone, or by faith without works. However, to speak more clearly, we do not mean, that faith itself justifies us, for it is only  an instrument with which we embrace Christ our Righteousness. But Jesus Christ, imputing to us all his merits and so many holy works which he has done for us, and in our stead, is our Righteousness. And faith is an instrument that keeps us in communion with him in all his benefits, which, when become ours, are more than sufficient to acquit us of our sins. “(Belgic Confession  Art.22)

“…without presuming to trust in any thing in ourselves, or in any merit of ours, relying and resting upon the obedience of Christ crucified alone, which becomes ours, when we believe in him.” (B.C. Art.23)

“For as out of many grains one meal is ground, and one bread baked, and out of many berries being pressed together, one wine floweth, and mixeth itself together; so shall we all, who by a true faith are ingrafted into Christ,” (Form for admin. Lord’s Supper).

Christ is the fount of all spiritual blessings-faith, hope , love, and all the fruit namely  joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control and these are imparted to us.

Christ truly becomes ours when we partake of him, he is spiritually assimilated into our beings and becomes one with us just as bread and wine do physically at the supper. Faith in its aspects is similar to Christ and the supper-while it is absolutely a gift from God and brings with it imputed righteousness, it also becomes part of us by the Spirit and we believe into him. Both the gift and the personal expression of the gift are essential.

Mode of baptism

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There is no question that sprinkling or pouring is the Biblical means of baptizing.

Proof:

  1. The water represents the blood of Christ that cleanses us I Peter 1:2 “ Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” His sprinkled blood was typified by the Old Testament washings/baptisms and they are juxtaposed in Hebrews 9:13, 14 “ For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? How was the sanctifying element applied to the Old Testament people and to us-by sprinkling.
      2. Water baptism represents Spirit baptism. How is the Spirit applied? “Unless a man is born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). The Spirit was poured out at      Pentecost and on subsequent gentile groups.

Friendship with God.

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David and Jonathan.

God is a covenant-making God. He unconditionally, without our say so, covenants with us to make us his friends. He does not need us but we need him. He enters into covenant with us by sending our elder brother to die for our sins and then comes to indwell us by his Spirit, thus enabling the loving bond of perfection and of friendship between  himself and us, a friendship he already enjoys within the Trinity. John 15:13 -15 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Moses experienced this: Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.”

Solomon wrote of it typically in the mouth of his spouse in Song of Songs 5:16 “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

Abraham is the archetypal friend of God Genesis 15:7 and 17:7 with whom God unilaterally established his covenant as Isaiah tells us in 41:8, “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.” James mentions it as well, James 2:23, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”

Jesus himself is called the friend of tax-collectors and sinners, Matthew 11:19, “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”

What a privilege to have God almighty as your friend.

The faith OF Christ.

Renat Ilyasov, an avowed hypercalvinist alleges that we true Reformed people believe our faith saves us because we say it is ours, even though we admit it clearly is a gift from God. He bases his belief on articles like this one:

The faith of Christ

Renat believes that Christ’s faith is what justifies us. It is true that every spiritual blessing from justification to glorification is in Christ but Christ’s faith preceded his death and resurrection and it is that which the apostles major on as our objective justification before God.

Hear Heidelberg Cat. LD 23 Q. 61.  Why sayest thou that thou art righteous by faith only? A.  Not that I am acceptable to God on account of the worthiness of my faith, but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ is my righteousness before God; and that I cannot receive and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only. Objectively God justifies me by the cross and resurrection of Christ but what about the subjective element of faith?–this is what Renat forgets. Subjective faith is vital to our spiritual comfort and well-being.

Renat interprets Romans 3:22 and Galatians 2:16 as meaning it is Christ’s faith and faithfulness that saves us. He believes he is justified in this interpretation because in the Galatians passage the faith “of Christ” is alongside faith “in Christ.” It seems clear to me that all of our salvation lies outside ourselves in Christ but yet Christ himself and the apostle call the faith we have “ ours” (e.g. woman with issue of blood and centurion for starters) and how can the faithfulness of Christ assure us inwardly? Faith is a certain knowledge and an assured confidence.

H.C.LD 7 Q. 21.  What is true faith? A.  True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel in my heart; that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness, and salvation are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits. The believer NEEDS this throughout life and through death. I concede that our faith is a gift that comes by the Spirit from Christ who was the epitome of faith and merited every spiritual blessing for us but we also must state that faith is union with Christ and an assurance that we possess and nothing to boast about. Renat’s definition goes beyond these creedal truths that are based on Scripture.

The genitive “faith of Christ” could (of itself) mean several things because there are many different types of genitive, so the context and general theological considerations must be taken into account. Renat holds to his interpretation because in the Galatians passage “the faith of Christ” is alongside “faith in Christ.” By this means he argues that the two are different. It is just as easy to argue that the two say the same thing for the force of repetition which is very prominent in Gal. 2:16. We also argue from the many commands in Scripture to believe for pardon and justification. This points to the faith of Christ being an objective genitive i.e. Christ is the object of faith, the one in whom we believe. There is also the argument from repentance which is the other gospel command. We are not saved by Christ’s vicariously repenting for us. We are saved through receiving Christ (who merited for our salvation), and we receive him by believing in him which is accompanied by repenting, our turning from our sins with grief and loathing, by God’s grace. But note, they go hand in glove and we are responsible to do them both, which we do through Christ being the author and finisher of our faith and repentance (Heb.11:6, II Tim.2:25).
Renat’s insistence on our faith being in Christ’s faith /faithfulness coincides as you would expect, with his hypercalvinist denial of duty faith and repentance and all these must be rejected.

Hear Canons of Dort Heads III/IV Article 14. Faith is therefore to be considered as the gift of God, not on account of its being offered by God to man, to be accepted or rejected at his pleasure; but because it is in reality conferred, breathed, and infused into him; or even because God bestows the power or ability to believe, and then expects that man should by the exercise of his own free will, consent to the terms of that salvation, and actually believe in Christ; but because he who works in man both to will and to do, and indeed all things in all, produces both the will to believe, and the act of believing also.

As Scripture indicates in crucial passages on Justification, it is NOT by our faith or act of believing that we are justified. Let us be clear, the Reformed believe that we are justified by Christ. He is the basis (object) and not our faith. But faith alone is the channel by which we look out of ourselves to Christ and lay hold on and receive him and his righteousness. See H. C. Q. 61. So faith is the infused means by which sinners look to Christ, just as the smitten, bitten and dying Israelites looked at the brazen serpent and lived!

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I John 5:10 “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

So in summary:

  1. Christ is the true object of our faith.
  2. We are commanded to repent and believe.
  3. Faith is an assured confidence in Christ.
The faith “of” Christ means the same as faith “in” Christ.
Finally John Gill is good on Romans 1:17…”The manner in which the just lives, is “by faith”. In the prophet Habakkuk, the words are, “the just shall live by his faith” (( Habakkuk 2:4 ) ); which the Septuagint render, “by my faith”: and the apostle only reads, “by faith”, omitting the affix, as well known, and easy to be supplied: for faith, when given by God, and exercised by the believer, is his own, and by it he lives; not upon it, but by it upon Christ the object of it; from whom, in a way of believing, he derives his spiritual life, and all the comforts of it. “

 

 

Christians at Work

This recent post by Brian Allenby focussing on Nehemiah I felt worth sharing:

Christians at Work

E-Bulletin

Saturday 26th September 2015

 

(Sent from Bricket Wood, Herts)

 

WORD ON WORK

WORKERS AND WARRIORS 5…

‘The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.’ Napoleon Bonaparte

Fear (Nehemiah 4:11-23)

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The Jews who lived in the outlying villages kept bringing a report to the city that the enemy was planning another surprise attack. Whether these Jews were merely spreading rumours or helping to promote a conspiracy we don’t know; but they told the story repeatedly. Nehemiah didn’t respond immediately and probably was praying for God’s guidance. He himself was not afraid of the enemy; but when he saw that his people were starting to become afraid, he began to act.

Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.” Why? Because fear paralyzes you, and fear is contagious and paralyzes others. Fear and faith cannot live together in the same heart.  The Lord himself said, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26) Frightened people discourage others and help bring about defeat.

Nehemiah’s first step was to post guards at the most conspicuous and vulnerable places on the wall. The enemy could then see that the Jews were prepared to fight. He armed entire families, knowing that they would stand together and encourage one another. The Jews not only repaired the walls near their own houses (Nehemiah 3:28-30), but they stood with their families to protect their homes and their city.

After looking the situation over, Nehemiah then encouraged the people not to be afraid but to look to the Lord for help. If we fear the Lord, we need not fear the enemy. Nehemiah’s heart was captivated by the “great and terrible” God of Israel (4:14; see 1:5), and he knew that God was strong enough to meet the challenge. He also reminded the people that they were fighting for their nation, their city, and their families. If the nation was destroyed, what would become of God’s great promises to Israel and His plan of redemption?

When we face a situation that creates fear in our hearts, we must remind ourselves of the greatness of God. If we walk by sight and view God through the problems, we will fail, as did the Jews at Kadesh-Barnea (Numbers 13:26-33). But if we look at the problem through the greatness of God, we will have confidence and succeed. That was the approach David took when he faced Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45-47).

When the enemy learned that Jerusalem was armed and ready, they backed off (Nehemiah 4:15). God had frustrated their plot. “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:10-11, NKJV). It is good to remind ourselves that the will of God comes from the heart of God and that we need not be afraid.

Nehemiah knew that he couldn’t interrupt the work every time he heard a new rumour, so he set up a defence plan that solved the problem: half of the men worked on the wall while the other half stood guard. He saw to it that the people carrying materials also carried weapons and that the workers on the walls carried swords. In this way, the work would not be interrupted, and the workers would be ready in case of an alarm. The man with the trumpet stayed close to Nehemiah so the alarm could be given immediately. The people were prepared to fight, but they realized that it was God who fought with them and He alone could give the victory.

When Charles Spurgeon started his church magazine in 1865, he borrowed the title from Nehemiah and called the publication The Sword and Trowel. He said it was “a record of combat with sin and labour for the Lord.” It is not enough to build the wall; we must also be on guard lest the enemy take it from us. Building and battling are both a normal part of the Christian life if we are faithful disciples.

Again, Nehemiah spoke words of encouragement to the people (Nehemiah 4:19-20, NKJV)  “Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, ‘The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.'” He reminded them that they were involved in a great work. After all, they were serving a great God and rebuilding the walls of a great city. He also reminded them that they were not working alone, even though they couldn’t see all of their fellow workers on the wall. God was with all of them and would come to their defence.

No matter what the workers were doing, or where they laboured on the wall, they all kept an ear open for the sound of the trumpet. What an example for us to follow as we await the return of the Lord! “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Nehemiah also instituted a “second shift” and required the workers from the other towns to stay in Jerusalem at night and help guard the city. It is often while we sleep that the enemy does his most insidious work, and we must be on guard.

Nehemiah not only organized the workers and guards and encouraged them to trust the Lord, but he also set the right kind of example before them. He was a leader who served and a servant who led. He stayed on the job and was alert at all times. He inspected the city’s defences every night and made sure that the guards were on duty.

The late Alan Redpath explained why the Jews succeeded in getting their work done and keeping the enemy at bay: The people had a mind to work (v. 6), a heart to pray (v. 9), an eye to watch (v. 9), and an ear to hear (v. 20); and this gave them the victory

They also had a godly leader with the faith to stand.

I conclude again with the same verse from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 58…

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord’

NKJV.

 

Brian Allenby (With acknowledgement to Warren W Weirsbe & H A Ironside)

Hosea (History 7).

Red Sea

 

Sung Psalm 114

Read Amos 2:1-12, Hosea 2:14-15.

Hosea remembers the Red Sea crossing and the singing after Pharaoh and his host were drowned (Ex.15:1-2, 20-21, Ps.106:11-12 and Rev.15:3-4)

Hosea is exhorting the people not to trust Egypt, not to go back to idolatrous bondage and prophesying they will again live in tents as a judgment upon them (9:10, 12:9). They ought to listen to the prophet as they did to Moses (12:13). Hosea is not unique among the prophets in basing his message on history e.g. the Exodus.

See Amos 2:9-10 (Numbers 13) referring  to the conquest of Canaan. The N.T equivalent is I Cor.6:18-20—you have been redeemed, live like redeemed people! v11 refers to the institution of prophets to speak for God (Deut.5:27ff and Nazarites (Numbers 6), which the people ignored or tempted to sin respectively.

Amos 3:1-2 speaks of the privilege of God’s people, 4:10 the plagues then and now, 5:25-26 idolatry in the wilderness even under Moses’ nose, 8:8, 9:5, 7 annual Nile flooding. The prophets knew and believed their Biblical history and often based their messages on it!

Why do we hunger and thirst after righteousness?

imagesSin is missing the mark!
Excellent Quote to Consider from CPRC Bulletin:
J. C. Ryle: “But you will ask me, ‘Why do they hunger and thirst so much after holiness, since all their debt has been paid?’ I answer, They work for love’s sake—for gratitude; they do not work and strive after holiness in order that they may be forgiven—but because they are forgiven already, chosen and sealed and saved and redeemed and bought with a price, and they cannot help desiring to glorify Him with their bodies and spirits—who loved them and gave Himself for them. They thirst after holiness because their Father loves holiness; they thirst after purity because their Master loves purity; they strive to be like Jesus because they hope to be one day forever with Him.”