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The planet of lost souls

By Dave Henning / February 12, 2015

“We are not lost because we are going to wind up in the wrong place.  We are going to wind up in the wrong place because we are lost.”- John Ortberg “Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.”- Psalm 51:6 In Chapter 4 (“Lost Souls”) of […]

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The Hardened Soul

By Dave Henning / February 9, 2015

“Listen!  A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path and the birds came and devoured it.”- Mark 4:3-4 Today John Ortberg (Soul Keeping) begins his discussion of three types of souls. 1.  The Hardened Soul.  Not only is that path the place where farmers walk, but it […]

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An unhealthy soul

By Dave Henning / February 6, 2015

“The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold, and it has overturned the order of the soul.”- Leonard Cohen “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul.”- Mark 8:36 (ESV) In Chapter 2 of Soul Keeping, John Ortberg follows his discussion of a healthy soul with a […]

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Soul language

By Dave Henning / February 1, 2015

Part I of Soul Keeping focuses on what the soul is.  In Chapter 1 (“The Soul Nobody Knows”), author John Ortberg asserts that soul is one of the most important words in the Bible.  Yet, if the average man or woman on the street is asked to explain exactly what the word soul means, Pastor […]

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Assertiveness and submissiveness

By Dave Henning / January 23, 2015

“I tell you, though, he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise up and give him what he needs.”- Luke 11:8 In Chapter 14 of Prayer, Timothy Keller states that there is a necessary balance between the two purposes of petitionary […]

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Christian meditation

By Dave Henning / January 10, 2015

“Praise the Lord, my soul; and all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”- Psalm 103:1-2 Timothy Keller continues Chapter 10 of Prayer by exploring the relationship between meditation and our mind/heart.  He notes that when Psalm 1 calls us to meditate, it uses […]

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Where prayer takes us

By Dave Henning / January 8, 2015

Today Timothy Keller concludes his discussion of the twelve touchstones of prayer with the final three touchstones, clustered under the heading “Where Prayer Takes Us”. 10.  Self knowledge: prayer requires and creates honesty and self-knowledge.  Pastor Keller notes that prayer must take us beyond humility into deep honesty with ourselves.  Although honesty in prayer before […]

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The rule of grace

By Dave Henning / December 28, 2014

Timothy Keller concludes his discussion of Calvin’s rules of prayer in Chapter 7 of Prayer with a fifth “rule” that actually is a major qualification of the word rule. 5.  The rule of grace.  Calvin urges us not to conclude that any set of rules could make our prayers worthy to be heard.  Only grace […]

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Spiritual humility

By Dave Henning / December 26, 2014

In today’s blog, Calvin’s second rule, or principle, of prayer is presented and discussed. 2.  Spiritual humility.  Calvin described his second rule for prayer as “the sense of need that excludes all unreality.”  This spiritual humility includes both (a) a strong sense of our dependence on God, in general, and (b) a readiness to recognize […]

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The fear of God

By Dave Henning / December 25, 2014

“If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?  But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.”- Psalm 130:3-4 In Chapter 7 (“Rules for Prayer”) of Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Timothy Keller discusses four rules of prayer in John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.  […]

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The Lord’s Prayer- making it personal

By Dave Henning / December 24, 2014

At the end of Chapter 6 of Prayer, Timothy Keller shares one final exercise Martin Luther advocates before we pray free-form about the things on our hearts.  Following meditation on Scripture, Luther suggests praying through each petition of the Lord’s Prayer.  As we do so, we are to paraphrase and personalize each petition using our […]

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Worrying in God’s direction

By Dave Henning / December 20, 2014

Part Three of Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God is entitled “Learning Prayer”.  Timothy Keller states that the rest of his book will address the practical questions regarding prayer.  In Chapter 6 (“Letters on Prayer”), the author turns to three of the greatest teachers (in his opinion) in the history of the Christian church- St. Augustine, […]

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