Muslim Christian News Picks for August 25-August 31, 2012

Links to the most interesting/significant Muslim Christian news of the week (August 4-August 10, 2012).

Muslim Christian News Picks for August 25-August 31, 2012 is a post from Is the Quran the Word of God?

A La Carte (8/31)

When To Be Suspicious – There is some wise counsel in this article. “Once in a while you will stumble across a sentence that goes something like ‘theology says…’, ‘philosophy says..’, or ‘economics says..&#8217…

Hope for Your How-to Sermons

I was taught by many that good preaching must be practical, focusing on action. I was even told in a couple seminary classes that every point in a sermon should be a command. I appreciate the emphasis on practicality and the desire to see people moved…

Reading Scripture Publicly

One of the most underestimated and neglected portions of Christian worship services is the reading of God’s Word.  In many places it has simply been set aside, replaced with other activities such as music and drama.  Where the reading of Scripture is still practiced, people struggle devoting attention to it on both sides of the […]

If We Have Died to Sin, Why Do We Still Sin?

I have read Jerry Bridges’ books all out of order, undoubtedly not the best way to read an author’s works. However, doing this has shown me something I find interesting: Throughout his writing career, he has remained on a single trajectory …

A La Carte (8/30)

The Porn Gateways – Here’s a helpful word for those who struggle with pornography: “While taking a deeper look into the heart of the sin, I noticed that people were battling their sins (of pornography and lust) at a shallow surface level, a…

Has Anyone Seen God?

Has anyone ever seen God? This is a question that arises naturally when reading through Scripture. You’re making your way through Exodus and then you read in 24:9-10,Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel…

Where Did the New Calvinism Come From?

Justin Taylor recently revived Mark Dever’s 2007 series of articles titled “Where’d All These New Calvinists Come From?” This was a ten-part series that looked to the rise of New Calvinism and sought to discover the sources of a…

A La Carte (8/29)

Solid Joys – Solid Joys is a new, free application available from Desiring God for iPhone and iPad which provides a short daily devotional excerpt from the ministry of John Piper.A Stark Contrast – I enjoyed reading this blogger’s experience…

Psalm 84 and Me



Howdy! My name is Abigail Parnell. To start I thought I would tell you a little bit of my history with the Psalms.

My History with the Psalms

 I am a daughter of a pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church which means I have grown up singing the Psalms. This has been a great blessing but it has definitely had its challenges. It has made me very comfortable with the Psalms; I am very familiar with them, and I have learned many Psalms by heart because of my upbringing. In fact, I never really thought about how different and strange this was to other people. I definitely was too comfortable. I was singing Psalms because that was what my Church did. I had never really thought about it personally; I didn’t appreciate them or hear God’s voice in them.

I was rudely awakened when I attended an amazing/awesome theological program for youth. While I was there I met many Christians with many different levels of understanding and maturity. Many young believers who were there hadn’t sung the Psalms all their lives and weren’t comfortable with them. They were questioning the basis for something that I had accepted all my life as normal. This came as a bit of a shock to me. I almost felt like I had missed something.

Now I am not saying I regret growing up with the Psalms! However, I definitely needed to understand why I sang the Psalms. It needed to become my own conviction to sing the Psalms. While I know that I can’t simply accept something because it’s comfortable, I also am reminded of the verse in second Timothy:

2 Timothy 3:14-15

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you have learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.”

My life is summed up in Psalm 84

In a similar way, I have been going to church for all my life. I can become comfortable so easily. church was another one of those things I just did. It was more of a social gathering for my own pleasure. I was blind to the rich blessing set before me EVERY week. But God was good. He showed me my ignorance. He didn’t take away the gift, but He showed me its beauty. He took me out of my comfort zone.

As I said, church was a social thing. In fact, church was my social group. I didn’t really know anybody outside of my Church community. So God gave me something to compare his gift to. He placed me in a three year program at a Vo-tech school where I was surrounded by people who acted and spoke in way that showed that they didn’t care about God. 

Enter Psalm 84….

Verse 1-2: How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

  

Being surrounded by that selfish attitude I came to recognize my own selfishness. At the same time God caused to grow in me a longing for Him, His house, and His people. Being in the world drove me to my God.

Verses 3-5: Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

The world without God is a dry and dessert place. In contrast God offers a sweet dwelling place in Him! God strengthened me even in that place of spiritual barrenness where He had placed me. This was because HE was with me. God was my shield, my Sun. He is becoming more and more my joy.

Verses 6-9: As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed!

It is nothing short of a miracle when you stop and think about it. God changed my heart, using the world! He changed my heart and made it my soul’s delight to be in His presence!

Verses 10-11: For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.  For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

And now the last verse perfectly states the song of my soul!

Verse 12:  Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!