Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Free Hymns!

From this blog, and you can buy albums here.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Averil and I saw our first 3D movie tonight, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and it was great. The 3D was cool I guess but I think I could take it or leave it...certainly cool though. And I thought the movie was great: great story and adaptation and interesting and enjoyable. I don't really like all those movie critics who say it wasn't people are too critical...I'm only critical of the critics...haha...the movie was excellent and highly recommended! I hope lots of people see it and enjoy it and that it does well with the box office numbers and all that!


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Getting the most of out of it...

I am sure enjoying studying Galatians in order to prepare for my Sunday School class. What a joy to get to take time to carefully read through and understand each verse. It seems that sometimes when I read the Bible each day, that I sort of skim over the verses that are slightly confusing and not worry about them but that is not a good practice and I'm glad that needing to study well and explain to others is helping me to get out of that bad habit and to take time to think about and look up help in order to understand each and every verse and get the most out of God's Word.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Make Sin Visible

I do a lot of reading to prepare for my Sunday School class with my primary sources, outside of simply reading the passage over and making sense of it myself, are the notes in my Study Bible, my Bible College notes on Galatians, Precept-Austin and the commentaries it leads me to on Galatians, and John Piper's sermons on Galatians.

This conclusion to a Piper sermon really struck me this afternoon. After explaining one primary purpose of the law throughout the Bible was to expose sin and make it visible he says:

Finally, if God thought it wise and helpful not to let the sediment of pride and rebellion and distrust lie quietly at the bottom of the human heart, but instead, stirred it up and made it visible by demanding the obedience which comes from faith, then that's what my preaching should aim to do. More than ever I see the need for pastors to preach and Sunday School teachers to teach and members to admonish each other in such a way that the sediment of sin in the lives of so-called "carnal Christians" be stirred up and come to a crisis. Could it be that one of the reasons we see raindrops of blessing at Bethlehem instead of showers is that week after week several dozen people sit in these services with a layer of sinful muck at the bottom of their lives with no intention of doing anything about it? If so, let's pray that God use the Word to stir it up, so it can be seen for what it is, so there can be repentance and forgiveness and cleansing and renewal.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Jesus Heals Lots

I loved scanning through the Gospel of Mark and reading about Jesus healing people while at the prayer time on Sunday Night. Much like when we scanned through Matthew reading of Jesus healing it amazed us all again at how Jesus, while going around doing his big teaching circuit, was healing tons of people "left, right, and center" everywhere he went. My favourite little passage that stuck out to me was Mark 6:53-56

53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

I can just imagine people hearing that Jesus was near by and then taking off running all over the place finding all their sick family and friends and strangers and quickly getting them on to beds and hauling them down to where Jesus was. I bet people ran the fasted they had ever run in their lives!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What I Thought of Rick Warren's Message

I watched Rick Warren's message from the Desiring God National Conference on Sunday and thought it was really good. I was interested to watch it both because I wanted to learn from him and because I was curious what his message would be like in the light of the criticism John Piper took for inviting him to be a speaker. I thought the primary teaching content of the message was really good, especially his very first point which was "Don't believe everything you think" which he expanded on with some Scriptures about how we can deceive ourselves and some other points such as the fact that we all have blind spots.

I thought the sidebars to his message were interesting too when he sort of defended himself a little bit to some of the critical people watching him by pointing out Jesus talking about "felt needs" and mentioning how his church is not just about being huge but is about sending out lots of missionaries.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

How To Pray For Half-An-Hour

..............Some have wondered: How do you spend a half-an-hour in prayer, not to mention two or three hours? Here is my three-fold answer:

1. Resolve to do it. Don’t purpose to pray until you run dry. Purpose to pray the full half-hour. Prayer is work. It is not always a “sweet hour.” Jesus did many works with ease, but he prayed with “loud crying and tears” (Hebrews 5:7).

2. Think about what you want to see change in your heart and life and family and neighborhood and church and world. Make a list if necessary. Then pray through it, giving God reasons from Scripture why this is something that he would surely do.

3. Put the Bible in front of you and simply read a line and turn it into a prayer. Paraphrase it, expand on it, apply it to yourself and others. This works best with the ethical portions of Scripture like Matthew 5-7; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5, 6; Ephesians 4-6; Colossians 3, 4; 1 Thessalonians 5; 1 John, etc. You can pray all day once you catch on. And you will be surprised how many insights come as you really take Scripture seriously and try to pray it into your life. If you run into theological or interpretational problems, tell the Lord you will work on that later and move on. If we seek hard to obey what we do understand, more light will come on the hard parts.

I am praying for your praying. What depth and power we will have as a church if hundreds of us learn to pray over the Word of the Almighty God!

By John Piper

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