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Reflections, Announcements, & Updates from the BCEC

Inside & Out

We recently got our boiler and our home’s heating system replaced. It’s been a revelation because the house is suddenly so much warmer. In fact, it often feels nearly Californian. The added insulation has also contributed to the warmth. It’s amazing what clearing out the heating system and adding insulation can do for an existing system. One of our radiators used to be cold at the bottom, but now it’s totally radiating heat perfectly!

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prayer & loving God

A dear friend of mine who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story:
‘Rising early one morning,’ he said, ‘I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds [deer hunting dogs] in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, moreover, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength.’
So is it, when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until, at last, I ran into the arms of Almighty God.” — A. C. DIXON.

E.M. Bounds uses that quote to start off his book The Necessity of Prayer. It’s a powerful image of us and our own dependancy on God. When I first knew God’s love, it was that moment of desperation, realising that there was no other God, there was no where else to turn, but sanctuary and refuge can only be found in Him.

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God Help Us

God help them.

Help those people who are lost. Those who are wayward in their lives of sin. Help this broken and corrupt city. This land who has turned its back on you. God forgive the heathens and sinners who waste their lives pursuing the wrong things. God help those drug dealers turn from their wicked ways. Save the children whose parents are neglectful and ignorant. God help them.

It’s the prayer of a pharisee. One who stands at a distance and watches the crumbling world around them. Somehow imagining that they are somehow different, somehow better. It’s the prayer that causes the world to wonder why Christians act like they’re so much better. God help them.

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OnSong

I’ve been meaning to write an app review of OnSong for a few months now. It’s one of those apps for musicians that pretty much changes everything. And for limited time (til 4th feb) it’s free! It’s usually $4.99 which is a real bargain actually. But for free it’s almost wrong!

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Thomas Constable’s Notes on the Bible

A lot of times when we read the Bible, there are passages that are confusing or we want to understand better.  The first impulse is to send Bert an email and ask him about the text.  While Bert is often the Bible answer man, we sometimes have these questions when it is not convenient to ask him.  Hence, we turn to a Bible commentary.  While there is a huge range of them and many free ones online, one that I have turned to from time to time (but forgot about until recently) is by Dr. Thomas Constable from Dallas Theological Seminary in the US.

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21st Century Evangelicals

There is a common question asked about what “Evangelical” means.  It is confused by the fact that in many parts of the continent, to be “Evangelical” means to be part of the Lutheran denomination.  For a Chinese church that has it in their name, it is confusing because the translation often really means either “gospel” (fuyin) or, sometimes, “Protestant” (xinjiaotu). Then, there are the theologians that often go to the so-called Bebbington quadrilateral to explain things; but, again, what in the world does that mean anyhow and do Evangelicals today (or those who call themselves Evangelicals) really do those things?

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Our God

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (emphasis mine)

Unrequited love. It’s when you love someone, but that love is not shared in return. It’s the stuff of tragedies. Eponine and Marius. Quasimodo and Esmerelda. Jacob and Bella.

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