May 2007 New Horizons

A Summer to Remember

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A Summer to Remember: Fellowship around God's Word

All too soon campers head for home, filled with memories of their time in the sun. Strangers have become lifelong buddies; some met future spouses; others claimed the faith of their fathers as their own. This summer a dozen camps with Orthodox Presbyterian ties will be geared for kids or families. Some focus on fun and fellowship, while others concentrate on teaching—but all are fueled by God's Word. Whether the camp has tents or air-conditioned cabins, somewhere in the OPC is a camp for you. Churches in the Presbytery of the Southwest have only a few young people in each congregation, so their OPC Youth Camp in Cleburne, Texas, is focused on fellowship. "The main goal (of the camp) would be fellowship above teaching," said Todd Bordow, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth, Texas. "Each church is fairly small and doesn't have a youth group, so every year seventy to eighty kids their own age get together. Deep friendships are forged here that last a long time." That fellowship ... Read more

Our Home in Glory Land

My wife, Anna Marie, passed away unexpectedly on August 12, 2005. I miss her dearly. Because of her death, I began meditating seriously on the life hereafter. This meditation shares some of the encouragements I received from my study. "I've Got a Home in Glory Land " The heaven we anticipate is so glorious that we can barely begin to picture it. But "'what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him'—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit" (1 Cor. 2:9–10). We need to diligently glean all we can from what God has revealed to us. Paul was granted a glimpse of heaven that was so wonderful he was forbidden to speak about it (2 Cor. 12:1–4). When we embrace our hope through faith, it produces inexpressible joy that is filled with glory (1 Pet. 1:8–9). If the mere anticipation of the fulfillment of God's salvation can produce such joy, the actual fulfillment of it will be all the more glorious. After each day ... Read more

Christians as Servants of Christ

No one wants to be a servant or a slave. However, none of us probably minds being called a servant of God or a servant of Christ. Indeed, we shouldn't even mind being called a slave of God or of Christ. After all, he owns us—and we should be glad that he does, because if he had not purchased us and made us his possession, we would still be slaves to sin (Rom. 6:16–19). But, while it sounds better to be a slave of God than a slave of sin, the very idea of being a slave probably rubs us the wrong way. After all, slavery has caused great pain in our nation's history and elsewhere in modern times—such as the enslavement of Christians in Sudan by Muslims. And even apart from such emotional issues, we love our freedom and we hate to be told what to do. Genesis 9:25–27 is the first passage in the Bible that uses the word servant, and it confirms our general feeling that the word carries negative connotations. When Noah said that Ham's son Canaan would be a servant to Shem and Japheth, he was ... Read more

Helps for Worship #18: Response of Praise

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord ... for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation." (Isaiah 61:l0) At no point in our worship should we do things thoughtlessly, simply "going through the motions." This is especially true in our singing. "Sing praises with understanding" (Ps. 47:7). "I will sing with the spirit [i.e., in the power of the Holy Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit, from a heart made new by the Holy Spirit], and I will also sing with the understanding" (1 Cor. 14:15). These are standing orders for the church in every age! It will help you to "sing with the understanding" when you consider the place and the purpose of each hymn (or psalm) in the liturgy, that is, the order of worship. In the first hymn, we approach God in praise for who he is and what he does or has done. In other hymns, we prepare for the ministry of the Word or respond to it. After our corporate confession of sin and the assurance of God's pardon, we respond with thanks for the amazing grace of God. God's ... Read more


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