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The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, His death is shown forth; and they that worthily communicate feed upon His body and blood to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace; have their union and communion with Him confirmed; testify and renew their thankfulness, and engagement to God, and their mutual love and fellowship each with other, as members of the same mystical body.

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The Coconut Creek Police Department is comprised of 110 sworn law enforcement officers, 4 part-time officers and 9 Police service aides who are responsible for protecting the residents, business owners and visitors of the city. Coconut Creek has a population of 59,000, with 12 square miles of land.

The Police Department has specialized units, including:

Detective

K-9 Officer

School Resource Officer

Street Crimes Unit

SWAT

Traffic

Training

Crisis Negotiators

Crime Prevention

Bike Patrol

Community Services

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Probably one of the first hymns that Charles Wesley wrote, it was published in a collection of hymns in 1744 called, “Hymns on The Nativity of Our Lord.” Note how rich the stanzas are with scriptural truth.


First there are the words, “Come, Thou long-expected Jesus.” That asks us to look at the first coming of Christ from the perspective of an Old Testament saint. For the Old Testament saint, Jesus’ first coming has not yet occurred, and so we are asked to take the position of an Old Testament saint, and look at the coming of Christ with a longing expectation that the Messiah is coming into the world.

But there is a delightful irony in Charles Wesley's very first words. He says: “Come, Thou long-expected...Jesus.” That is a name that the Old Testament saint did not have the privilege of knowing. The Old Testament saint longed for the coming of the Messiah, but he didn't know that the Messiah would be Jesus, and as new covenant saints we have the privilege of calling upon the name of the person of the Messiah. We sing the name of the Messiah back to God, whereas the old covenant saint could only look forward to His coming. “Come, Thou long-expected Jesus....” 

- Ligon Duncan

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Charles Wesley wrote "Soldiers of Christ, Arise" in 1747, originally calling it "The Whole Armor of God, Ephesians VI." With its bold and stirring message, the hymn was designed to confirm new believers.


Given the threatening environment he faced at the time, Wesley no doubt thought of very real battles as he wrote "Soldiers of Christ, Arise." Yet the hymn refers to more than just physical warfare: Its more important theme refers to the spiritual warfare that all Christians face. 

Calling on Christians to fight these spiritual battles, the original version of "Soldiers of Christ, Arise" appeared in the 1749 publication Hymns and Sacred Poems. The lengthy hymn contained sixteen verses, each with eight lines.

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North Creek Presbyterian Church by Sarah Bolhofner - 9M ago

In Luther’s Day, vocatio, Latin for “calling,” only applied to church work. Monks, nuns, and priests all had a calling, a special task. Others simply worked. Luther applied vocation to all the professions and to all the various roles that we play. Being a husband, son, or father or wife or daughter or mother was a calling. So too was being a farmer or a miner or a stonemason. All of life could be and should be lived for the glory of God alone.

Later a German musician would subscribe to this teaching of Luther. So Johann Sebastian Bach would sign his pieces, both pieces commissioned for the church and his so-called secular works, SDG … SDG stands for Soli Deo Gloria. Luther and Bach, both significant figures from the pages of history, remind us that in our seemingly ordinary work and life we are doing something extraordinary. When we live life, all of it, for the glory of God, we are engaged in the most profound activities. We are doing something that matters truly and ultimately. In the service of the glory of God there is nothing little at all.

- Stephen J. Nichols

The Reformation

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In critical periods of the church, certain books of the Bible have played a pivotal role in shaping the spiritual direction of those history-altering eras. These key biblical books have been used by God to launch reformations and spark revivals. They have strategically defined epochs and birthed movements in the church. One such book is the New Testament epistle of Romans. Another is Israel’s ancient hymn book, the Old Testament book of Psalms. These two monumental books of Scripture — Romans and Psalms — uniquely came together in the life of one pivotal figure in church history. Such a man was Martin Luther.

It was these two strategic books — Psalms and Romans — that Luther was predominantly studying and teaching in the years preceding his posting of the Ninety-five Theses. It was these two books of Scripture that radically affected Luther and changed the course of human history. While Romans would principally formulate his doctrine, it was the Psalms that dramatically emboldened him to proclaim God’s message to the world. In other words, Romans gave Luther his theology, but it was the Psalms that gave him his thunder. The Psalms gave Luther a towering view of God, so much so that in preaching the gospel, he was ready to fight the devil himself. In so doing, these two biblical books laid the scriptural foundation for the Protestant Reformation.

- Steve Lawson  

Preaching The Psalms

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Carl Boberg, a 26 year old Swedish minister, wrote a poem in 1885 which he called “O Store Gud” - “O Mighty God.”  The words, literally translated to English, said:

When I the world consider 

Which Thou has made by Thine almighty Word

And how the webb of life Thou wisdom guideth

And all creation feedeth at Thy board.

Then doth my soul burst forth in song of praise

Oh, great God, Oh, great God!

His poem was published and “forgotten” - or so he thought. Several years later, Carl was surprised to hear it being sung to the tune of an old Swedish melody; but the poem and hymn did not achieve widespread fame.  

Hearing this hymn in Russia, English missionary, Stuart Hine, was so moved he modified and expanded the words and made his own arrangement of the Swedish melody. Some time later, Dr. J. Edwin Orr heard “How Great Thou Art” being sung by Naga Tribes people in Assam, in India and decided to bring it back to America for use in his own meetings. When he introduced it at a conference in California, it came to the attention of music publisher, Tim Spencer, who contacted Mr. Hine and had the song copyrighted. It was published and recorded.

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Elizabeth Prentiss wrote the hymn in 1856 when she was experiencing poor health. The inspiration came in a moment, and she quickly wrote the lines of the four stanzas, though she did not complete the final stanza. Thirteen years later she showed the poem to her husband, George L. Prentiss, professor of preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He encouraged her to publish the poem in a leaflet in 1869, to be distributed among friends. Before she sent the copy to the printer she completed the final stanza. The third stanza, often omitted, contains references to her own personal difficulties.

Let sorrow do its work

Come grief or pain;

Sweet are thy messengers,

Sweet their refrain

When they can sing with me,

More love, O Christ to Thee, 

More love to Thee.

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