Saturday, December 15, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sixth Place Goes To...
Third Place goes to...
And the grand prize goes to... a dude and his bike...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
"Susanna got in the way of my having a perfect life. It's nothing she did; it's something that was done to her. Worse than that, it's something that God did to her.
Five and a half years ago, Susanna's three sons, hale men in their 20s, died in a boating mishap on the same day. Her husband and she were already divorced. Her Christian daughter subsequently renounced her faith—and her mother.
I happened to be in the home of a friend of a friend of Susanna's when the news of the accident came that spring. But I didn't know the woman. Didn't want to know her. Our paths finally crossed last month at a retreat.
A retreat, imagine. She asked to come to my room and chat. Just before that, a woman in the last session had raised her hand and asked how we can be joyful when we're always "waiting for the other shoe to drop."
I offered sound theology: "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise" (James 5:13). Someone else did better: "Life is like a fairy tale where a lot of bad things happen in the middle, but the ending is happy. Think about the ending."
Sitting in my room with Susanna, I gave up all thought of saying a helpful word, though that's why she had come. I was scandalized myself. I felt like David when God struck Uzzah because he touched the ark. "David was angry because the Lord had burst forth against Uzzah. . . . And David was afraid of the Lord that day" (2 Samuel 6:8-9). God had killed the hapless cart man in the middle of a worship dance to the accompaniment of "songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals."
Susanna does not fit in my theology. She is like Psalm 88, a chapter of the Bible that you always hope won't be there next time you open it. Some other Psalms start poorly but have soaring endings. Psalm 88 has no ray of hope.
At one point in the retreat I had read selections from Children's Letters to God:
"Dear God, In school they told us what you do. Who does it when you're on vacation? Erin"
"Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones why don't you just keep the ones you got now? Jane"
"Dear God, If you let the dinosaur not extinct we would not have a country. You did the right thing. Jonathan"
"Dear God, If you give me a genie lamp like Alladin, I will give you anything you want except my money or my chess set. Raphel"
What makes the letters cute is that the kids are clueless and yet they're giving God advice.
I went home and read all of Job.
God gave Job no answers. Nor did He apologize. He is God, He does as He pleases. We are all clueless, like children, and yet would give Him advice. He tells us that He is good. There is nothing to do with that but accept it or reject it. Job's wife rejected it, as did Susanna's daughter: "Curse God and die," they said. That's a choice.
I told two of my friends, independently of each other, the story of Susanna, thinking I would rattle their faith too, thinking I was presenting them with a theological Gordian Knot. I thought we would do a little hand-wringing together and flirting with doubts. They surprised me and said, in effect, "It all comes down to trusting Him."
Writer Anne Lamott tells the story of a little boy locked in his room and afraid. But his mother reaches under the door and finds his fingers, and he is consoled enough to wait for the locksmith who's coming in a while. This is the best we will do with Susanna: God's presence and His promise.
"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2). That would be me, Lord.
"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know" (Job 42:2-3).
Click here for a link to the actual article: Copyright © 2007 WORLD MagazineDecember 15, 2007, Vol. 22, No. 46
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I just received this great quote from Mr. Kettler by Mr. Octavius Winslow, and it is outstanding. Read it slowly...
"It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer, the glory and attraction of every other object. What is the weapon by which faith combats with and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus! Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment, by its overpowering effulgence, to all other objects—so to the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of grace and love and truth meeting in the, cross—the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse. Are not Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and its love? "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." -Octavius Winslow
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Here is a picture of my Mama's house. Christian, Vivian and I decorated her house for Christmas. Every time I go there I can't help but think of Psalm 23:2, 3 "He makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul." It was such a refreshing time!
Here is where we spend a lot of time, especially Christian and I. This is what we have now unofficially called "Lake Happy" which is behind my grandma's home.
And last but not least...an 11x14 picture of my big head hanging in my grandma's home. Vivian couldn't resist, she wanted to take a picture to post it on her blog...but I beat her to it! Check out that jean vest!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
I wanted to pass along to you an update on our sister church in San Diego regarding all of the fires from this last week. Please lift them up in prayer during this time. -Matthew
In the aftermath of this week's wildfires, Mark Lauterbach, senior pastor of Grace Church in San Diego, reports that about 40% of church members were evacuated from their homes, but all are safe. Many have been staying with others from their church whose homes were in safer areas. At least ten homes of Grace Church members were in "high risk" areas. The status of two of these is unconfirmed, but eight are confirmed virtually untouched by the fire. (In one case, the fire stopped within ten inches of the house.) No damage is reported to the facility the church has been preparing to move into next month. Mark says, "We do not feel alone at all." Regional Sovereign Grace churches including Sovereign Grace Church (Pasadena) and Comunidad Cristiana de Otay (Tijuana, Mexico) have been quick to offer assistance. Steve Shank has been in touch with the church daily. Mark jokes, "Steve knows more about what's going on than I do." Grace Church is deeply grateful to the Sovereign Grace family of churches for their love, affection, and desire to help. This Sunday, members of Grace Church will meet together in their small groups since the high school building where they are currently meeting is closed. There are still many prayer requests from Grace Church:
- Pray for church leaders: wisdom to care for members who are scattered geographically and discernment for many upcoming decisions
- Pray for Grace Church: grace to guard against temptations to fear and anxiety
- Pray for opportunities to serve the community and to have gospel conversations
- Pray for the new church facility: that its final inspection will be completed by next week
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
This morning as I was reading Mr. Spurgeon and as we are preparing for the 5th year anniversary of our church together, I could not help but think of you and seek to encourage you. This last week, I was in a dialog with someone in our church and they were there telling me about a recent opportunity they had in witnessing to someone they had just met. Then another individual from our church was sharing how another story of how they had witnessing to another person about Christ. I think in this last week, I have had at least 3 different conversations with 3 different members of our church in how they have been witnessing to others about Christ and how they have been seeking to build bridges with the non-believers in their lives. Then as I read this morning's devotion I could not help but think about how through your lives and through your personal witness of Christ how others have been effected as you have attempted to just walk out what Spurgeon calls here the seemingly "insignificant" duties of our daily lives. Thank you for how you love one another and how you seek to "shower" others with the "dew of heaven." Enjoy and be encouraged.
Then the remnant of Jacob shall bein the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord,like showers on the grass,which delay not for a mannor wait for the children of man. (Micah 5:7)
If this be true of the literal Israel, much more is it true of the spiritual Israel, the believing people of God. When saints are what they should be, they are an incalculable blessing to those among whom they are scattered.
They are as the dew; for in a quiet, unobtrusive manner they refresh those around them. Silently but effectually they minister to the life, growth, and joy of those who dwell with them. Coming fresh from heaven, glistening like diamonds in the sun, gracious men and women attend to the feeble and insignificant till each blade of grass has its own drop of dew. Little as individuals, they are, when united, all-sufficient for the purposes of love which the Lord fulfills through them. Dew drops accomplish the refreshing of broad acres. Lord, make us like the dew!
Godly people are as showers which come at God's bidding without man's leave and license. They work for God whether men desire it or not; they no more ask human permission than the rain does. Lord, make us thus boldly prompt and free in Thy service wherever our lot is cast.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brotherhas something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
If you learn that someone has something against you, God wants you to take the initiative in seeking peace - even if you do not believe you have done anything wrong.
Q: What if I had no idea that I had offended Jim?
A: If you had no idea, then you're not responsible. But if you learn or overhear or even get a vague sense that things aren't quite right between you and Jim, then you are responsible.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
O Lord, water me this day and cause me to yield Thee a full reward for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Here is a great deal! All the messages that Sovereign Grace Ministries has on its website are now available for FREE on their website! Messages by CJ, Carolyn, Joshua, Bob and many many more! Click here for more details! http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/default.aspx Enjoy!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
THE NINETY AND NINE
Words: by Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1868.
There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?”
But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine
Has wandered away from Me;
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep.”
But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry,
Sick and helpless and ready to die;
Sick and helpless and ready to die.
“Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way
That mark out the mountain’s track?”
“They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They are pierced tonight by many a thorn;
They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.”
And all through the mountains, thunder riven
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of Heaven,
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”
Oh friends rejoice in the Good Shepherd who brings back His own!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
He shall sustain you." Psalm 55:22.
It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord. Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the soldier's spear! But you doubtingly ask, "Is the Lord able to do this thing for me?" And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to the dust. And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, "Cast your burden upon Me and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty. I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary, and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then, is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me!" "Child of My Love! Lean hard! Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden, child! I shaped it- I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the circling arms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My breast. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!"
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Being a pastor, I am often times the recipient of a host of emails and direct-mail advertising by
"church marketing" firms that claim that if we use their services, etc. then we can really do "great things" for God's kingdom. Several years ago, I received one advertisement almost (almost is the key word) claiming that if we used their bulletins then people would be coming back again and again to our church, and that it would grow exponentially. "Wow" I thought, "I never thought about building a church on the style of the bulletin." There are many other "church marketing" groups out there seem to promote a variety strategies to pastors to help make their church grow numerically or to give more, etc. As a pastor reading such material and the thought of actually employing such methods to motivate (or manipulate) God's people to give financially makes one's stomach turn.
As we come to Matthew 20:28, we see a motivation to give and live self-sacrificial lives that are not motivated by compulsion, nor by human manipulation, but instead are motivated by and rooted in the grace of the Gospel, from the very Nature and Heart of God, that produces true, worshipful, grateful, gracious and joyful hearts.
That passage states, "even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Here in this passage, we are shown not only the uniqueness of our precious Savior, but we are also given an example to follow. I say, an example to follow, because in this context, Jesus is contrasting the disciples desire for a type of "worldly" greatness (using the Gentile rulers manipulation and lording of authority over the people they are to lead), and then saying to them, "It is not to be so among yourselves" and then points them to Himself in verse 28.
Here we see that the very notion of giving our lives away for the cause of Christ, is not motivated by "successful stories" by others who have done this and then come out on top. Nor, was it because of some natural wisdom or antidote that someone acquired through their own life experience, saying that sacrifice for good or moral causes is a good thing to do. No. The reason why the "Christian" life is to be a life of sacrifice for Christ, is because this is Who God Himself is.
The goal of the Christian life is that we will be made like Him. And one by, by Grace Alone, we will be made like Him, we will be transformed into His image. And one of the characteristics of this God Who saved us, is that He, Himself is a "Self-Sacrificing, Generous God." This is the God Who has GIVEN TO US. We who deserve His just wrath and judgement, He instead, gave us what we didn't deserve and that was grace, which was purchased through the GIVING of His one and only Son for us.
John 3:16 For God so loves the world that He gave His Son
Matthew 6:11 He gives us our daily bread
Luke 11:13 He gave us the Holy Spirit
Luke 12:32 He gladly gives us His Kingdom
Matthew 7:10 He gives us good gifts
We give our lives for Christ...why? Is it because we heard a good motivational speaker who shared a lot of great anecdotal stories? No. We give because we worship God. We give because we adore Him and desire Him. We give our lives because this is the very nature of the God who so graciously "gave His life as a random for many." In light of what we have truly earned through our own sinfulness, aren't you glad the Father gave the Son? Aren't you glad that the Son, in submission and love for the Father, He gave His life as a ransom for you?
How and why do we give? Is it out of a sense of manipulation or out of a sense of legalism? No, we give of our time, finances and talents, because this is a reflection of our redemption. This is a reflection of the gospel itself. This is a reflection of the very God we serve. Our lives are no longer our own, we were bought with a price! We are His! And we give of our lives not grumbling or complaining, but instead out of joy that is motivated by the Gospel. As Hebrews 12:2 shows us the root of where our motivation is to come from by pointing us to the glad, generous sacrifice of our Savior,
"Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
We give so in true, free grace motivated joy! And so in closing to this blog entry, I want to end by just commending the people of Providence Community Church. You excel in this! You excel not just in the grace of giving (time, possessions, finances and resources), but you excel in your keeping of the gospel central to your motivations. The Gospel is to be central to all of our motivations and especially so in how we give our lives in service to one another as unto the Lord in gladness! This you do so, so very, very well. You are a joy to lead! Take care...and have a great day giving yourself increasingly so to the God Who gave Himself to us.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
"It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within.
But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument-it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by "looking unto Jesus." Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee."
"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name."
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
"What Forgiveness is Not"
To understand what forgiveness is, we must first see what it is not. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act of the will. Forgiveness involves a series of decisions, the first of which is to call on God to change our hearts. As he gives us grace, we must then decide (with our will) not to think or talk about what someone has done to hurt us. God calls us to make these decisions regardless of our feelings--but these decisions can lead to remarkable changes in our feelings.
Second, forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgetting is a passive process in which a matter fades from memory merely with the passing of time. Forgiving is an active process; it involves a conscious choice and a deliberate course of action. To put it another way, when God says that he "remembers your sins no more" (Isa. 43:25), he is not saying that he cannot remember our sins. Rather, he is promising that he will not remember them. When he forgives us, he chooses not to mention, recount, or think about our sins ever again. Similarly, when we forgive, we must draw on God's grace and consciously decide not to think or talk about what others have done to hurt us. This may require a lot of effort, especially when an offense is still fresh in mind. Fortunately, when we decide to forgive someone and stop dwelling on an offense, painful memories usually begin to fade.
Finally, forgiveness is not excusing. Excusing says, "That's okay," and implies, "What you did wasn't really wrong," or "You couldn't help it." Forgiveness is the opposite of excusing. The very fact that forgiveness is needed and granted indicates that what someone did was wrong and inexcusable. Forgiveness says, "We both know that what you did was wrong and without excuse. But since God has forgiven me, I forgive you." Because forgiveness deals honestly with sin, it brings a freedom that no amount of excusing could ever hope to provide.
((Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 206-207))
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
"Let us never doubt for a moment, that the preaching of
Christ crucified--the old story of His blood, and righteousness, and substitution--is enough for all the spiritual necessities of all mankind. It is not worn out. It is not obsolete. It has not lost its power. We need nothing new--nothing more broad and kind--nothing more intellectual--nothing more effectual. We need nothing but the true bread
of life, distributed faithfully among starving souls. Let men sneer or ridicule as they will. Nothing else can do good in this sinful world. No other teaching can fill hungry consciences, and give them peace. We are all in a wilderness. We must
feed on Christ crucified, and the atonement made by His death, or we shall die in our sins." -J.C. Ryle
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Right now, one of the books I am presently reading is Dr. Sam Storms' book, "Chosen For Life." Friends, this is an outstanding introductory book on the controversial topic of election and predestination. If this topic is new to you, you need to read this book! If you feel like you know a lot about this topic and are firm in your convictions about it...you still need to read this book! There are many things that are impressive about it, but here are just a few:
1. Dr. Storms, does not set up "straw men" of Arminianism and then knock them down. He deals honestly and respectfully with the many nuanences that Arminian thinkers believe.
2. His demeanor is not only commendable and an example to follow, but necessary when dealing with this subject. He deals with those who hold an Arminian postion respectfully and pastorally, while unapologetically cherishing God's sovereign grace in election. As a pastor, I have looked for several years to find a book on election that would respectfully and humbly explain this topic for someone who is new to it...this is that book!
3. It is sound biblically and it will drive you back into the text of Holy Scripture, causing one to love God's word more deeply.
Listen to some of these endorsements:
"This extraordianarily clear and courteous book makes its case without stooping to caricature...It is a fine model of exactly how theological disagreements should be resolved: with respectful listening, careful distinctions, historical awareness, deep reverence for Scripture, and patient exegesis." - D.A. Carson
"This new edition of Chosen for Life has everything one could want on the topic of election. Those who agree will be heartily encouraged; those who disagree will be respectfully challenged; the hearts of all will marvel at the glorious grace of God in the gospel." - C. J. Mahaney
Highly recommend it! It will be on our resource table soon!
Friday, April 6, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
((Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflictby Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 144.))
Living out Matthew 18
When Christians think about talking to someone else about a conflict, one of the first verses that comes to mind is Matthew 18:15: "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you." If this verse is read in isolation, it seems to teach that we must always use direct confrontation to force others to admit they have sinned. If the verse is read in context, however, we see that Jesus had something much more flexible and beneficial in mind than simply standing toe to toe with others and describing their sins.
Just before this passage, we find Jesus' wonderful metaphor of a loving shepherd who goes to look for a wandering sheep and then rejoices when it is found (Matt. 18:12-14). Thus, Matthew 18:15 is introduced with a theme of restoration, not condemnation. Jesus repeats this theme just after telling us to "go and show him his fault" by adding, "If he listens to you, you have won your brother over." And then he hits the restoration theme a third time in verses 21-35, where he uses the parable of the unmerciful servant to remind us to be as merciful and forgiving to others as God is to us (Matt. 18:21-35).
Food for Thought
Jesus is clearly calling for something much more loving and redemptive than simply confronting others with a list of their wrongs. He wants us to remember and imitate his shepherd love for us--seeking after others, helping them turn from sin, and helping them be restored to God and those they have offended. Have you ever heard others in a conflict say, "We followed the Matthew 18 process"? Have you said it yourself? Read all of Matthew 18 and ask the Lord to give you the heart of a shepherd who seeks and gently restores the lost sheep.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
"Meditations For One That Is Recovered From Sickness" - Lewis Bayly
"If God has of his mercy heard thy prayers, and restored thee to thy health again, consider with thyself:
1. That thou hast now received from God, as it were, another life. Spend it therefore to the honor of God, in newness of life. Let thy sin die with thy sickness; but live thou by grace to holiness.
2. Be not more secure, that thou art restored to health, neither exult in thyself, that thou escaped death; but rather think, that God seeing how unprepared thou wast, hath of his mercy heard thy prayer, spared thee, and given thee some little longer time of respite; that thou mayest both amend thy life, and put thyself in a better readiness against the time that he shall call for thee, without further delay, out of this world. For though thou hast escaped this, it may be, thou shalt not escape the next sickness.
3. [Hold fast to Christ because] thou knowest not how near [the end] is at hand [for you]. [Use this sickness and] be so fairly warned, be wiser.
4. [If sin was the cause of your sickness...] Return not now, with the dog, to thine own vomit, nor like the washed sow, to wallow again in the mire of they former sins and uncleanness; lest being entangled and overcome again with the filthiness of sin, which thou has escape, [and] thy latter end prove worse than the first beginning. Twice, does our Lord give the same cautionary warning to healed sinners, First, to the man cured of thirty-eight years' disease - "Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing fall upon thee." Secondly, to the woman taken in adultery - "Neither do I condemn thee; go thy way and sin no more." Teaching us, how dangerous a thing it is to relapse and fall again into the former excess of roit. Take heed, therefore, unto thy ways, and pray for grace, that thou mayest appy thy heart unto wisdom, during that small number of days which yet remain behind; and for thy present mercy and health recieved, imitate the thankful leper, and return to God in thanksgiving."
Now, with Mr. Bayly's words, I would like to add another meditation for when you recover:
5. Let your former fervor and crying out to God be your present fervor and desire. I would encourage you to think about your desparation in times of sickness and pain and how you were crying out to God then...use that, as a living parable for how desparately we always need His active saving presence in our lives. Let this preach to yourself of how greatly we need Christ in doing battle against the "cancer" of our souls - sin. As you laid down in your sickness hating the illness that came over you, let that preach to you of the distain we are to have, and need to have for our present levels of tempting sins.
6. Give yourself sometime of thanking God for your healing. Make this an active aspect of your worship and meditation to God, thinking upon His goodness.
7. Testify to others what God has done! This takes humility on our parts as well, which is good for our souls, to stop and engage with others concerning what God Himself in His undeserving kindness and mercies has done for you!
I am sure there are many more, but *cough* *cough* until next time.