An Invitation to an Hour With God During These Times

An Hour of Impacting Prayer and Worship

During this one-hour online prayer time, various brothers and sisters, pastors and ministry leaders, as well as special musicians join together in a unifying moment of corporate prayer and worship.

The schedule for this one-hour livestream prayer event is as follows:

  • Song: “In Christ Alone,” led by Austin Stone Worship
  • Welcome and introduction (Julius Kim)
  • Prayers for the sick and suffering (Ligon Duncan, Jen Wilkin)
  • Prayers for medical workers (Joni Eareckson Tada, Stephen Um)
  • Prayers for provision/economy (Nancy Guthrie, John Onwuchekwa)
  • Song: “He Will Hold Me Fast,” led by Shane and Shane
  • Prayers for local, national, and global government officials (Kevin DeYoung, Jeany Jun)
  • Prayers for church leaders and missionaries (Darryl Williamson, Quina Aragon)
  • Prayers for families (John Piper, Melissa Kruger)
  • Prayers for the lost (David Platt, Jeremy Treat)
  • Next steps: #JesusChangedMyLife (Jeremy Treat)
  • Closing thoughts (Julius Kim)
  • Song: “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death,” led by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Hey TD!

My soul feels humbled, my heart strengthened, my mind sharper, my faith deepened, my longings focused, my perspective clearer.  I just spent an hour in prayer to God with Joni Eareckson Tada, John Piper, David Platt, Ligon Duncan, and many others.  I sang with Keith and Kristyn Getty and Shane and Shane.

Via the video of a livestream gathering today hosted by The Gospel Coalition, I came away humbled and sharper, as I now better understand how to specifically think of and pray for others during this coronavirus pandemic.  By the end, I found a greater energy and a softer heart than when the hour began.  I felt more connected with God’s Church universal and nearer in my soul to God.

I must say that in the 528 hours (and counting) since we’ve gone to strict social distancing, though I’ve spent many hours video conferencing, reading, memorizing, learning, studying, posting, playing Nerts and Rummikub, walking Joy, watching videos, singing, etc., this is the longest and most focused I’ve gone just praying in one sitting.

During these weeks, my prayer time has drifted to praying before meals, before sleeping, after Bible study, with short intermittent prayers throughout the day, but it hasn’t yet been protracted and concerted in this way.  It was enriching to do so.  My soul is in a better place.

So, TD, I wanted to share the opportunity with you as well in hopes that you will join me in trying to do whatever it takes to draw nearer to God, to His Church, and to love our world better during these times.

I hope you’ll invest an hour of your time.  I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad you did.

– Arthur

Remembering RC Sproul (MUST reading)

Short video of clips of RC proclaiming the gospel through the years

Hi TD Family,

I’ve thought about, gave thanks for, and ached for RC everyday since I first learned of his hospitalization and then ensuing Homecoming.  I’ve reminisced fondly over our times spent together, enjoying not only fine food, but hearing him explain to us the finer details of our Real Food, our faith in Christ.

My family will remember his gentleness and frivolity with our kids over the decades.  He loved kids, knew how to make them feel comfortable, and knew how to make them laugh.  He’s the one who taught us the unique “Give me five … up high … down low … ” ritual that I use with young ones today.

RC was also sincerely humble, not taking himself too seriously, often making fun of himself.  He once was excited to tell us, “As I came out of the shower this morning, do you know what Vesta (his wife) said to me? She said, ‘When I married you, I knew I was marrying an athlete, I just didn’t know it was going to be a sumo wrestler!'” We howled in laughter together.

I have often had people address me as Pastor or Pastor Arthur, have assumed I went to seminary, or comment that they couldn’t believe that I didn’t go to seminary.  More than anyone, I owe that to RC Sproul, whose calling and vision was to bring the seminary to the layman, to bridge the gap between seminary and Sunday School.  I am the fruit of what RC envisioned, a lay theologian on the street or in the field, as it were.

I commuted for work from South Pasadena to Orange County from 1990 – 1997, before opening up my Pasadena office.  I have often called my little blue Honda Civic my seminary, for it was there that I had stacks of theological courses taught by RC Sproul sitting in my passenger seat.  Each day, for nearly an hour’s drive each way, I would listen to the audio cassette tapes over and over again, hanging on RC’s teaching and being increasingly blown away with each listen … of the same lesson!  For hundreds of hours, I listened and learned from RC, meeting ultimately with … God.

It was RC that alerted me to the fact that in order to really maximize what you get out of a lecture, you need to listen to it about a dozen times.  I have found that to be true and lament when I see Christians think they know what a passage in the Bible says because they have read that passage before or have heard a message on that passage already.

In the absence of any older spiritual mentors at church for me, RC was like a surrogate spiritual father to me; not directly, but certainly indirectly.  Thus, it was a distinct privilege and joy to interview RC for you at TD a few years ago when we did the “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” series.

It is a great interview that is personal, honest, real, and very candid.  There are things that will surprise you.  We typically receive about 20 – 25 views a day on the TD blog.  In the last few days, we have received well over 2,200 views, primarily driven by these interviews.  Some have linked them to their blogs.

I am also giving you the links to some extraordinary tributes from extraordinary people that are MUST READS.  They will not only give you more depth to understanding RC, but will also help you grow in living out your Christian life. – Arthur

Arthur’s Interview With RC

A Personal Conversation With RC Sproul, Pt. 1

A Personal Conversation With RC Sproul, Pt. 2

A Personal Conversation With RC Sproul, Pt. 3

MUST READ Tributes to RC

Steven Lawson’s Tribute to RC (this one is especially good)

John Piper’s Tribute to RC 

Joni Eareckson Tada’s Tribute to RC

Sinclair Ferguson’s Tribute to RC

John MacArthur’s Tribute to RC

Al Mohler’s Tribute to RC

RC’s Biography

Stephen Nichols

 

Loving Jesus More Than Life This Thanksgiving

Hey TD,

During this Thanksgiving week, I would like to ask … no … I would like to urge and plea with you to take your normal Thanksgiving routine and up it, deepen it, transform it,  … whatever you want to call it; but in some way, shape, or form, I would like to challenge you to make a concerted effort to give your thanks to our Lord with more than words.  Let Him receive your effusive words of thanks, for sure, but let Him receive thanks that are so thankful, that it results in some action that you joyfully and whole-heartedly do that honors Him and helps Him feel closer to YOU.

“… have we ever given thought as to how close God feels to us?”

 

I know that we always gauge the level of our relationship with God by how close we feel to the Lord, but have we ever given thought as to how close He feels to us?  Let’s spend some extra effort this Thanksgiving drawing nearer to the Lord and giving Him the gift of time.

Some suggestions for this include:

  • Planning a time for a more special time with the Lord during your personal devotions/Bible study, preparing for and treating your time with Him like you do when you meet with someone special.  Perhaps dress up for the occasion or meet with Him at a special place.  Special things often happen at special places and events!
  • Write Him a letter of gratitude and appreciation (not the same as journaling)
  • Serve someone in a way you normally wouldn’t/don’t in Jesus’ Name – on His behalf, with His flavor, essence, generosity, and warmth.
  • Share of His goodness and beauty to friends/people who haven’t yet seen or beheld Him as good and beautiful yet.
  • Create something for Him that highlights and honors Him – poetry, music, art, crafts, etc.
  • Commit to extra diligent study and understanding of Him and His things – i.e. review TD material (messages, studies, blog essays/videos/podcasts), review SS material, read a book, listen to a message or teaching series, etc.

In this spirit, I offer you the 12-minute video above from one of my favorite Bible teachers, John Piper,  on “Loving Jesus More Than Life.”  Enjoy.

Arthur

TD This Friday – Christian Hedonism?

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he·don·ism

noun

1. the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good.
2. devotion to pleasure as a way of life: The later Roman emperors were notorious for their hedonism.
Is it legitimately possible for Christians to practice hedonism and truly honor God?  The That is the subject we will explore this Friday as we conclude our Summer series, “Sitting at the Feet of Giants” by sitting at the feet of John Piper.  The answer to this question, one way or the other, ought to change the way we approach and live the Christian life.  Come join us on Friday! – Arthur