Running and rowing goals.


  I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” Psalm 119:32.

This is speaking of spiritual running or hastening to do what we know is the will of God for us.

“I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” Psalm 119:59-60.

If there’s one thing we need to hurry to do it is to obey God’s commandments!

Physical running is the simplest and most natural pastime and sport and it is cheap and you can do it anywhere and in any weather!

Having goals means you won’t overindulge at this holiday season because weight needs to be kept down (and I need to be below 75kg for Lightweight Class at Irish Rowing Champs in January). Rowing is even tougher than running!


Pleased that I am the same weight I was 45 years ago! New Year’s day (Lord-willing) will see me return to Glenariff for the tough “Across the Glens” 6 mile race which includes a climb guaranteed to bring all to walking pace!


Beautiful Glenariff-Queen of the Antrim Glens


I have won M55 and M60 sections before-can I make it three! Praying my hip will stand up to the downhill section especially.


In a previous race.


All God’s people have a goal…it is the prize awaiting all of us at the last day. Hear Paul, “ Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” He is talking about pursuing a goal, persevering, keeping going, never giving up, making a big effort- all Christians are called to do spiritually what a runner must endure physically if he is to finish and finish well! Goals are good, they focus our habits and behaviour!

Xmas 2015

Well-presents galore-never seen so many! And the noise! Even the dog Spot got treats. And all the gifts were useful and almost all needed! My big surprises were a telescope to view the heavens and  a Yemeni chameleon in a tank fully set up. So grateful thanks to my family and especially my son Joseph. Here are some snaps. Thanks for a lovely dinner Marie and helpers.



Special wrapping art.


What could this be.


Pascal the chameleon.


Check the mug!



I can see a star!




The newlyweds-Kevin and Michelle


The Xmas jumper brigade.


Room in your heart for Christ?

Belong to a church like the one who would crucify him?

Aiming to merit with God?

Check out the sovereign power of God and glorious humility of his son in “And it came to pass” the first article in this week’s Standard Bearer.


SB 2015-12-15

Available and a very reasonable price from RFPA

Hosea (Kingship cont.)

Sung Psalm 90:1-7

Read   Hosea 8   especially referring to verses 4 and 5.


All the kings of Israel were placed by God’s providence, two by his command (by prophets) namely Jeroboam (I Kings 11:29-39) and Jehu (I Kings 19:15-17, II Kings 9)but none under his blessing or approval.

Is it ever justified to rebel against kings or rulers? Not according to Scripture. Even the wicked are in authority by God (Romans 13:1-7, I Peter 2:17-19, Rev.13:7-10). Hence the Covenanters, the Civil War under Cromwell, the American war of Independence and the French Revolution were all wrong. Christ told Peter to put up his sword in the garden (Matt.26:32).


The contrast between Biblical Christianity (propagated by the Sword of the Spirit) and Islam (propagated by the sword and violence) could not be greater.

Application: In the church world today we have much that is false church with illegitimate ministers who are not appointed under God’s approval, being liberal or women or worse. Our calling is to separate from them, just as the faithful Levites and other Jews headed south to Jerusalem after the rebellion of the ten tribes and setting up of the golden calves.




To see light two things are absolutely necessary: firstly, a light source bright enough to see, and second a mechanism in your body namely eyes and brain to perceive the light.

images untitled2

What is true physically is also true spiritually.

We are all born spiritually blind and in darkness. Satan has blinded us through the fall of Adam so we cannot perceive spiritual truth, we do not acknowledge our sin and we cannot recognise the glory of Christ, all our thoughts are earthly (II Cor.4:4, Matthew 15:14, John 9:39). We stumble around in the dark trying every way to find direction in life and satisfaction and always looking in the wrong places.

The only way to be made seeing is by regeneration by the Spirit of God (John 3:3, II Cor.4:6). The light source is Christ and the gospel and our spiritual eyes need to be opened. Hence the NECESSITY of the prayers of Christians for their nearest and dearest, their friends and colleagues that GOD WOULD WORK, if it be his will, to illuminate their hearts. Check the prayer of Elisha in II Kings 6:17. Simultaneously we need to be given ears to hear the effectual call of the gospel. Did dead Lazarus have the ability to hear Christ’s words to come out of his tomb? Of course not! Once life was given back to him, he could! Dead eyes don’t see and dead ears are deaf!

Respectable Sins Study 7 (Answers)

CPRC Men’s Bible Study

respectable sins

Study  7

Chapters 17 and 19

Judgmentalism and sins of the tongue

First of all regarding Bridges comments on worship we noted he failed to address the Regulative Principle when it comes to the content and means of worship (p142). He does not seem to understand the meaning in context of Matthew 7:1-5 which is about hypocritical judging (p144). His definition of one aspect of slander (p161) we thought very good.

  1. People generally quote Matthew 7:1 as it’s one of the few Bible verses they know and they do it when they feel judged or genuinely believe are being judged wrongfully. They think this verse prohibits all judging when in fact it was levelled particularly at the Pharisees who were judging Christ and others hypocritically and wrongly.
  2. We judge righteous judgment according to the standard of Scripture and the Creeds. We judge all that the Bible condemns. The Pharisees’ thoughts and actions were out of hypocrisy, hatred and wishing Christ’s destruction.
  3. We should judge sin in society, serious sin in family, friends and brethren and wisely, when appropriate sin in unbelievers. We must judge all teaching we hear preached or we read in written form.
  4. If we fail in this area false teaching and serious sin will enter our churches and divide and destroy them. This is why the believer, the consistory, the classis and the synod all have their place in church discipline.
  5. Personally we apply Matt.18 when sinned against and James 5:19-20 when we observe serious or public sin. If personal exhortation fails we take it to the consistory.
  6. Judgmentalism is based on pride and self-righteousness. It is externalism and denies human depravity. It seeks to exalt self in the eyes of others or God and issues in repeated criticism of things that are indifferent (adiaphora of Romans 14).
  7. Applying the NT exhortations regarding speech we will avoid blasphemy, gossip, slander, putting people down by name-calling, expletives and questionable jokes.

John Gill on Eph.5:4,”Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting”
The former of these may include all filthy gestures and behaviour, every indecent habit and attire, and all actions which have a tendency to excite lust; and also all impure words, these discover an impure heart, and are the means of corrupting men’s minds and manners; filthy speaking, is a verbal commission of the things that are spoken of; and it may include all impure songs and books, and the reading or hearing of them; this is what the Jews call (hp lwbn) , “filthiness of the mouth”, obscene words; which they say they do not use on feast days, as the Gentiles do F9: “foolish talking” does not so much design every imprudent thing that is said, as that which is wicked, corrupt, unsavoury, light, vain, idle, and unprofitable; and takes in all fabulous stories, and mimicking of fools in words and gestures: and “jesting”, when it is with wantonness, and excites unto it, and is inconsistent with truth, and when the Scriptures are abused by it, and not our neighbour’s edification, but hurt, is promoted by it, ought not to be used:

which are not convenient;
are disagreeable to the will of God, and unsuitable to the characters of the saints, and are very unbecoming them to practise:

Finally Gill on Matthew 5:22, ”

But I say unto you whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in
danger of judgment.
By “brother” is meant, in a large sense, any man, of whatsoever country or nation: for we are to be angry with no man; that is, as is rightly added,

without a cause:
for otherwise there is an anger which is not sinful, is in God, in Christ, in the holy angels; and is commendable in the people of God, when it arises from a true zeal for religion, the glory of God, and the interest of Christ; and is kindled against sin, their own, or others, all manner of vice, false doctrine, and false worship: but it is causeless anger which is here condemned by Christ, as a breach of the law, “thou shalt not kill”; and such persons are

in danger of judgment;
not of any of the courts of judicature among the Jews, but of the judgment of God, as in the preceding “verse”, it being distinguished from the sanhedrim, or council, in the next clause.

And whosoever shall say to his brother Raca, shall be in danger
of the council,
or “sanhedrim”. The word Raca is expressive of indignation and contempt; it was used as a term of reproach. The word signifies “empty” and “vain”, and denotes a worthless, empty headed man; a man of no brains; a foolish, witless, fellow:

but whosoever shall say thou fool, shall be danger of hell fire.
The word “fool” does not signify a man of weak parts, one that is very ignorant in things natural; this the word Raca imports; but a wicked reprobate man; in which sense Solomon often uses the word. There is a manifest gradation in the text from causeless anger in the breast, or reproachful words; and from thence to a censorious judging of a man’s spiritual and eternal estate, which is what is here condemned. “Thou fool”, is, thou wicked man, thou ungodly wretch, thou graceless creature, whose portion will be eternal damnation. Calling a man by such names was not allowed of by the Jews themselves (yet they attributed Jesus’ miracles to Beelzebub!-JK).


Respectable Sins Study 8

CPRC   Men’s Bible Study    Respectable Sins   Study 8      Chapters 13 and 18 

    Jan 9th 2016(DV)

respectable sins

Lack of Self Control, Envy and Jealousy

Key Verses Prov.25:28, Gal.5:19-21, I Peter 2:11.

Self-control is one of the fruit of the Spirit, it is the opposite of self-indulgence. It is moderation in all things.

  1. Recall how Solomon’s self-indulgence had serious consequences from I Kings 11:1-6, 29-33.

2. What do these verses teach about self-control.


Titus 2:2,5-6


II Tim.3:1-3

3. What is the difference between will-power and Christian self -control? (Titus 2:11-12)


What does this mean to you personally?

4. What is the battle against? (I Peter 2:11)


In what areas in people’s lives do they commonly fail in lack of self-control?





What are your weaknesses?


Is it true we cannot pick and choose in which areas to exercise self-control? (i.e. failure in one area leads to failure in more)

5. What means of grace help us manifest self-control?


Why is this important in our individualistic, goal-orientated culture?


6. What points does Paul make about envy and jealousy:


I Cor.13:4


7. Note from these verses what tempts people to envy and jealousy.

Acts 5:12-17, 13:44-45

I Sam.18:6-9

Gen.4:4-8, 37:4-11, 18-20

Esther 5:9-13

More examples?

Why sinful?


What’s the difference between envy and jealousy?


8. Is competitiveness sinful?


9. What difference is there between doing your best and being driven by envy and jealousy?


Check these verses on doing your best: Col.3:23, I Cor.9:24-27, II Tim.2:15


And these on envy and jealousy: Eccles 4:4, Song of songs 8:6, James 3:16.


10. What three facts, based on Scripture, ought we to remember when tempted to envy or jealousy? (I Sam.2:7, Rom.12:5, I Cor.12, Eph.5:21, I Cor.4:6-7)



11. Explore God’s jealousy and good jealousy.

Exodus 20:5

Psalm 78:58


I Cor.10:21-22






Mark 15:22

 “And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.”


Old photo of Gordon’s Calvary (General Gordon of Khartoum), note the skull feature in the rock face, the city walls in the background and the camel train on the public highway in the foreground.