Archive for April, 2009

Apr 29

Meditation Is a Meeting of Mind and Heart

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Clarus 09,Quote

What is meditation, according to the Bible (Psa. 119:15, 27, 48, 78, 148)? Sam Storms, one of the speakers at this weekend’s Clarus conference, answers the question like this:

Meditation begins, but by no means ends, with thinking on Scripture. To meditate properly our souls must reflect upon what our minds have ingested and our hearts must rejoice in what our souls have grasped. We have truly meditated when we slowly read, prayerfully imbibe, and humbly rely upon what God has revealed to us in His Word‚ all of this, of course, in conscious dependence on the internal, energizing work of the Spirit.

Later, Dr. Storms distinguishes Christian meditation from New Age or Eastern meditation:

  1. Unlike Eastern meditation, which advocates emptying the mind, Christian meditation call for is to fill our mind with God and His truth.
  2. Unlike Eastern meditation, which advocates mental passivity, Christian meditation call on us to actively exert our mental energy.
  3. Unlike Eastern meditation, which advocates detachment from the world, Christian meditation call for attachment to God.
  4. Unlike Eastern meditation, which advocates visualization in order to create one’s own reality, Christian meditation call for visualization of the reality already created by God.
  5. Unlike Eastern meditation, which advocates metaphysical union with god, Christian meditation calls for spiritual communion with God.
  6. Unlike Eastern meditation, which advocates mystical transport as the goal of one’s efforts, Christian meditation calls for moral transformation as the goal of one’s efforts.
  7. Unlike Eastern meditation, which advocates an inner journey to find the center of one’s being, Christian meditation calls for an outward focus on the objective revelation of God in Scripture and creation.

Apr 28

Clarus Write-Up in the ABQ Journal

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Gospel

It’s been a few days since, but in case you missed it, The Albuquerque Journal wrote a nice piece about our Clarus conference.

In it, Tom Lambelet, Pastor of Faith Church in Rio Rancho, gave us some props (or cred or … whatever the kids call it these days):

Pastor Tom Lambelet of Faith Church in Rio Rancho is bringing a group from his church for the second year in a row. The church provided tickets for those in leadership positions. “We see this as a real rich opportunity to hear deep teaching and theology,” he said. “It’s a real quality thing (Desert Springs) is doing.”

Thanks, Tom! Looking forward to seeing you and others from Faith.

The rest of the article is available online here if you’re interested (FYI: it’s free, but you have to click on “Trial Premium Pass” and watch a brief ad, then you can “Enter ABQ Journal” and read the article…if you’re not already an ABQ Journal online subscriber).

Apr 28

Audio and Video for The Gospel Coalition Conference

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Recommended Link,Sermons

Apr 24

Ray Ortlund, Jr. on The Gospel Coalition

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Clarus 09,Meditation,Quote

On his blog, Ray Ortlund, Jr. suggests that God may be doing something special these days, and The Gospel Coalition is one indication of that. After returning from the national conference, he wrote:

Clearly, the Lord is at work. He is creating new conditions for the future. In the 90s, we had nothing of the magnitude of The Gospel Coalition, Together For The Gospel, Acts 29 and other obvious indicators of a new movement of God. We did have, say, Promise Keepers, which helped many. But PK was not explicitly gospel-centered, not aggressively theological. Its impact was unsustainable. But now the Lord is giving us something new, something better. Let’s be thankful to him. This doesn’t come along every day. Let’s steward the blessing well. If we bungle this, I doubt we will see it again in our time. But if we are wise, not intruding our own self-centered complications but humbly keeping Christ first, the blessing will grow. And maybe, in the mercy of God, we will see awakening in our time.

I was privileged to be in a small meeting in Chicago this week where Ray said something very similar to this (and he said it with tears). I thought then, Ray is in such a unique position to make a comment like this: he has dozens of years of ministry experience in various ministries and denominations, and has been thinking about and praying for revival through it all. I certainly don’t have the length of experience or depth of thought that Ray has, but, for what it’s worth, this is absolutely consistent with what I’ve seen in just 13 years of being in the ministry. Things have indeed changed. There is a new inter-denominational cooperation in the gospel of the reformation and partnership in ministry and hope for revival that seems to be a special gift from the Lord.

Apr 22

Lord’s Supper Tonight

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Miscellaneous

Just a reminder that, though we normally have our Lord’s Supper on the last Wednesday of every month, this month it is one week earlier. We do this in April so as to avoid an overloaded week with our Clarus weekend.

So, that means that the next Lord’s Supper is tonight (at the usual time, 6:30 PM). Zach Nielsen will be switching hats,preaching on and leading in Communion. Hope you can make it!