Archive for the 'Contemplations on Sermons' Category


Warning: Four Ways to Exasperate Your Children

Pastor Doran preached his third sermon in the series on “Getting Your House in Order” from Colossians 3:20-21 this morning. It should be up on his sermonaudio page  Monday sometime.  If you weren’t here, you should definitely listen to it. 

Very helpful were his shepherding points of application: Four ways to exasperate or dishearten your children.

  1. Change the rules constantly and do it without any rhyme or reason. (Often changes are based on the mood of the parent)
  2. Set unrealistic expectations based on your dreams and out of touch with their reality. (every parent thinks their child is the next “it,” making them think they are only successful if they achieve “x.”
  3. Focus only or mainly on their failures. (This is particularly a problem for dad’s, who often only focus when there is a problem).
  4. Worry more about what people think of you than about what is going on in your child’s life. (This will lead to your children becoming people pleasers).

Also, from a postive standpoint:

  1. Set wise boundaries and maintain them with discernment. Pay attention to what really matters. Emphasize the one overriding expectation–to love and serve the Lord.  Success is about that, not about achieving something in this world.
  2. Correct your children–don’t criticize them.
  3. Commend them often.
  4. Remind yourself as a parent often that your final assessment is from the Lord. 
  5. Remember that if anything good happens it is of the grace of God. Don’t be a proud parent with all the answers for every child.

May God in His grace help us!


A Meditation to Complement Our Lesson

The following words from J.C. Ryle complement well the challenge we are hearing from Proverbs 4 on “Keeping our Family on Wisdom’s Way,” (which we hope to finish next week!):

“There is a widely-spread desire to make things pleasant in religion – to saw off the corners and edges of the cross, and to avoid, as far as possible, self-denial. On every side we hear professing Christians declaring loudly that we must not be “narrow and exclusive” and that there is no harm in many things which the holiest of saints of old thought bad for their souls.”

“That we may go anywhere, and do anything, and spend our time in anything, and read anything, and keep any company, and plunge into anything, and all the while may be very good Christians – this is the maxim of thousands. In a day like this I think it good to raise a warning voice, and invite attention to the teaching of God’s Word. It is written in that Word, ‘Come out and be separate.’

~ J.C. Ryle

Practical Religion, “The World”, 284, 285.



Great Challenge for Parents

PLJ SmallmouthParents,

Before you opt to be “deist parents” you need to listen to this message from Pastor Doran, titled “Pleasing God by Living Purely.”  He gives wise, Scriptural and pastoral advise about relationships, worldliness, modesty and other issues we must be concerned about.

Be wise parents, and exercise discernment for your children, while they develop theirs. Otherwise, we leave our children vulnerable to snares, sinful habits, and regrets. Love them enough to parent them!

Otherwise, get them interested in fishing. I figure if PL IV keeps catching Smallies like this one, he won’t be too interested in dating as a teen anyhow.


God’s Goal for Our Children

Though Pastor Doran preached the sermon with that title, seemingly, a short time ago this past summer, I think it would be fitting for each of us to listen again to his sermon on the goal of our parenting for the new year.

You can listen to it or download it from the following link: THey are growing up fast, so listen again to it soon!


Confession @ ICBC

Following is the outline from Pastor Doran’s sermon Sunday night on 1 John 1

Truth: True Believers are Sin-Confessing People 

I. The Content of Confession (v. 8,10)

  1. Our Sinfullness
  2. Our Sins

II. The Necessity of Confession (6,8,10)

  1. Failure to confess our sinfullness reveals deceipt and self-deception
  2. Habitual Failure to confess sin and sinfullness is a revelation of lostness
  3. Failure to confess our sins results in blasphemy

III. The Character of Confession- Our taking a stance with regard to our sin where we say the same thing about our sin that God says

  1. Acknowledging our sin before God for what it is
  2. Acknowledging that we love our sin more than we love God
  3. Ask God to do the work to forgive and cleanse us

IV. The Result of Confession

  1. A promise rooted in His character as faithful and righteous
  2. A promise resulting in His personal forgiveness
  3. A promise remedying our sin with His cleansing and purification

Do we "consider [our] life of any account as dear to myself" Acts 20:24?

Reading Cotton Mather Manuductio Ad Ministerium, which our Brother Matt G. is reviewing for Pastoral Leadership. A quote in light of what was preached last night:

“But the contemplation of DEATH shall be the FIRST point of the Wisdom that my Advice must lead you to . . . Do this, that you may do nothing like Living in Vain. Place yourself in the Circumstances of a Dying Person; your Breath failing, your Throat rattling, your Eyes with a dim Cloud, and your Hands with a damp Sweat upon them, and your Weeping Friends no longer able to retain you with them: And then entertain such Sentiments of this World, and of the Work to be done in this World, that such a View must inspire you withal.” (p.2)

I also greatly appreciated and was provoked to thinking about the comments by Pastor Doran concerning our worship of memories and sentiment. The “Glory Days,” far from past, are yet to come, Amen?!

Let’s look at the prospect of death not as a leaving behind of all we hold dear, but an entrance into a clearer view of a work well done and a Savior well served.