The Puritan pastors, writers, and theologians of the mid 1600’s have always been of help to me in times of difficulty and trial. The depth of soul, the biblical insights, and the God-centered worldview by which they lived life runs counter to the many misperceptions some have them as stuffy, unfeeling, and unsympathetic. During this time season of trouble and trial, we need to hear from the Shepherd of our souls as we walk through this valley (Ps. 23 and 1 Peter 2:25). Below is a Puritan prayer that has left me speechless, pondering, even in tears. May it minister to you today.
The Valley of Vision
Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
Where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
Hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
they glory in my valley.
March 30, 2020 UPDATE
On Sunday (3.29.30) the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, announced that the serious limitations he previously announced in March to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 Virus will continue until at least the end of April (the 30th ). As we have said before, IBC wants to be a good neighbor and do its part in this mitigation process. As a result, let me give you 10 Important Reminders:
1) Sadly, there will be NO in-person Worship or Study times in April. I realize that we’re missing each other. But in order to be wise and prudent, we must voluntarily limit our public gatherings. The last thing I want to do is to expose one of IBC’s precious members to this deadly disease. Very soon we’ll be back together and when we are it will be a celebration like no other.
2) Our Office Hours will continue to be adjusted to 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. as Kacy works both from the office and her home. In fact, the entire staff is working as hard as ever. Please pray for us as we lead, plan, and pray during this difficult season.
3) We will continue to “Live-stream” a service of some type each and every Sunday morning at 10:45 am. Let me encourage you to gather each Sunday morning with your family, a Bible, a hot cup of coffee (or your drink of choice) and sing, preach and pray with us on-line. To access the Livestream and Subscribe to our YouTube page, click here.
4)Join us each Wednesday night at 6:30 pm for our Facebook “Live” Bible Study and Prayer time. This is a wonderful time to share prayer requests and other important information. To access our Facebook Page, click here.
5) We will be sending out frequent, informative “Remind Me” texts with Scriptures verses that you can meditate on, along with a list of prayer requests and concerns.
6) In addition, we will be going “old school” by mailing out a periodic newsletter filled with all kinds of information. Each newsletter will contain an offering envelope and a self-addressed stamped envelope enabling you to easily return your tithes and offerings.
7) In addition, we will be posting frequent updates on IBC’s Facebook Page and Website. Visit our website at www.inglewoodbaptist.church.
8) Let me also encourage you to pray, to be wise, to ask God for patient endurance, to eat well, exercise and, of course, to be in the Word.
9) Stay in contact with others.
10) Give! You can give online at our website, drop off your tithes and offerings at the Church office, or you can mail your offering to 3901 Gallatin Rd. Nashville, TN 37216.
We will come through this. Ask God to use this season to bring many to faith in Christ.
Dr. Kevin Shrum, Pastor