Christ The Sure And Steady Anchor


I have been listening to this song nonstop. I need to remember that in the storms of life I have a sure and steady anchor. Though I am moved I waver and am tossed by the wind, He is never moved. If there is one thing I want my kids to remember when they have families of their own and I am gone is that Christ was my Anchor in every season of life. That the stability of my hope is founded in Christ alone.

Verse 1:
Christ the sure and steady anchor,
In the fury of the storm;
When the winds of doubt blow through me,
When my sails have all been torn.
In the suffering, in the sorrow,
When my sinking hopes are few;
I will hold fast to the anchor,
It will never be removed.

Verse 2:
Christ the sure and steady anchor,
While the tempest rages on;
When temptation claims the battle,
And it seems the night has won.
Deeper still then goes the anchor,
Though I justly stand accused;
I will hold fast to the anchor,
It shall never be removed.

Verse 3:
Christ the sure and steady anchor,
Through the floods of unbelief;
Hopeless somehow, O my soul, now,
Lift your eyes to Calvary.
This my ballast of assurance,
See his love forever proved.
I will hold fast to the anchor,
It will never be removed.

Verse 4.
Christ the sure and steady anchor,
As we face the wave of death;
When these trials give way to glory,
As we draw our final breath.
We will cross that great horizon,
Clouds behind and life secure;
And the calm will be the better,
For the storms that we endure.

Christ the sure of our salvation,
Ever faithful, ever true!
We will hold fast to the anchor,
It shall never be removed.

Words & Music: Matt Boswell & Matt Papa
(C) 2015 Matt Boswell & Matt Papa

Looking to keep kids safe online? Check out Circle


Today is the launch of a brand new product on the market that will have every family rejoice. Circle is managed through a companion iOS app, Circle with Disney is a tool that helps parents stay informed about their kids’ online activities and limit screen time on every device in the home, including smart phones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles. Circle with Disney pairs with home Wi-Fi and gives parents the ability to filter content, set a bedtime for devices, and even completely pause the Internet. Each user’s profile and settings can be completely customized based on age and parents’ preferences.

If you are a parent with kids under the age of 18 you are struggling with the blessing and the curse of technology. There are many solutions out there the problem is many of them require a double-digit monthly fee. Here is where circle comes in. Not only is Circle feature rich but you pay for the unit set it up and instantly you have control over the internet in your home. You have the ability to set time limits, filter content and block ads. This happens all with a small attractive unit called circle.

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Key features of Circle with Disney include:

TIME LIMITS: Families can set daily Time Limits on any app or content
category they want. With Time Limits, families can customize how much
time their kids spend on each platform and set a total online time for the

FILTER: Families can set individual filter levels for each family member.
Circle with Disney has four preset age-levels and allows for further
customization by platform, app, website, and content category. Families
can choose a filter that matches each user’s age and interests, filtering out
inappropriate content.

INSIGHTS: Families can stay informed about where their kids spend their
online time―by platform, category and website. Circle with Disney allows
families to see a member’s total time spent online and the sites visited.

PAUSE THE INTERNET: With the press of a button, families can pause
the Internet, disabling access to a specific device, individual, or the entire

BEDTIME™: Families can create a BedTime™ for each family member
and their devices. Simply set a sleep time, when the devices will
disconnect from the Internet, and an awake time, for the morning when the
devices will reconnect.

GUEST DEVICES: Circle with Disney recognizes when a guest joins the
home’s Wi-Fi and can apply a family’s home settings to visitors’ devices.

BLOCK ADS: Circle with Disney can block ads for any user’s devices.

EVERY DEVICE: Circle with Disney knows every single device connected
to a family’s network (smart phones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles)
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Convinced? I am

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Halloween and Pseudo-Transformation.


I have been thinking a lot about the whole Halloween debate. The difficulty with these types of debates is the Bible doesn’t address them so we pick sides and dig in. I know he did a lot of things that angered the “evil” Pharisees. It is easy to point to the Pharisees and say how they represent all the things we disagree with and our position is represented by Christ. But you know what, sometimes I find myself being a Pharisee. I find that I often seek my value in myself by rule keeping alone, actually one of the more scary realities is that it’s generally when I feel I am not a Pharisee that I am most in danger of being one.

A Pharisee to me is someone who has the outward appearance of the values that Jesus came to model with none of the inward convictions he lived out.

I think we need to take a hard look at what is meant when the Bible calls Jesus a friend of sinners.

In his book The Life You’ve Always Wanted John Ortberg talks about Pseudo-Transformation. It is powerful. I think to some people Halloween has become a “boundary marker of salvation.” Here is a short excerpt from his book, powerful stuff.

The great danger that arises when we don’t experience authentic transformation is that we settle for what might be called pseudo-transformation. We know that as Christians we are called to “come out and be separate,” that our faith and spiritual commitment should make us different somehow. But if we are not marked by greater and greater amounts of love and joy, we will inevitably look for substitute ways of distinguishing ourselves from those who are not Christians. This deep pattern is almost inescapable for religious people: If we do not become changed from the inside-out – if we don’t morph- we will be tempted to look to external methods to satisfy our need to feel that we’re different from those outside the faith. If we cannot be transformed, we will settle for being informed or conformed.

Here is where the gospel meets our messy reality.

Is your life primary marked by Love and Joy or by what you do or do not do? When we understand that Jesus kept the law perfectly for us, something we could never do and is not doing, it changes us. We move from law-keeping to be righteous to a thankfulness that Jesus paid it all on our behalf. That gratitude pushes us to live a life of devotion and holiness not because we are better than everyone but because we are painfully aware of our deep need for daily grace. It’s the gospel that frees us not to be absorbed into what Paul calls “meaningless debates.” My advice as someone who has been a kids pastor for nearly two decades, a parent for over a decade, and a sinner saved by grace for four decades, is this go: trick-or-treating or stay home. Do what you feel that you should do for your family. If you feel, you should go then do that. If you feel you should stay home, do that. Neither is wrong, but both can be. How is that? By treating those who don’t participate as weird or thinking you are better because you don’t participate. Both show a failure to live in humility.

What do I tell my kids when bad things happen?


Question One of the Heidelberg Catechism

Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?

A. That I am not my own,
but belong—body and soul,
in life and in death—

to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.

Starr Meade in her devotional based on the Heidelberg Catechism called, “Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds,” she rightly points to the place we must go in the midst of tragedy.  How do we deal with the pains and heartbreaks of life? In her devotional she says the following.

Do you ever imagine “what if-?” What if things went horribly wrong? What if you were seriously ill and were not going to get better? What if something happened to your home or to your parents? Because of sin, all kinds of bad things can happen in our world. Is there anythings that is big enough to comfort us if the worst “what if’s” should happen?

The psalmist imagined “what if” in Psalm 46. He imagined: what if the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the sea? The psalmist comforted himself by remembering that, even then, God would still be our refuge, the place where we can go to be safe. God would still be our strength, and our “very present help,’ even in the greatest trouble.

We aren’t ready to face life unafraid and live it fully until we know we have something big enough to comfort us in any “what if.”

So true thank you Starr for putting into words what my heart needed to hear today.

Psalm 46:1-3English Standard Version (ESV)

God Is Our Fortress

46 God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present[b] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling.     Selah

How God Sees Our Future.


One of the things that I find most comforting in life is know how God sees our future. We tend to limit God based on how we think he works or how we think he should work. This is why the second commandment is such a big deal. When we make a physical representation of God, we remove him from being a God that is limitless to a one-dimensional caricature. We form Him in our image by assuming that he should look and act like us. He doesn’t work that way.

Here is one of the most freeing things that I have come to understand and appreciate in my relationship with God. When I stress over what the future holds I fail to see my future in the way God does. The way that God sees our future is exactly how we see our past. That understanding transforms our trust. When we look to our past, we see a vast array of unconnected dots that somehow worked together to bring us to the job that we have the person we married and the school we attend. Steve Jobs was a self-proclaimed Buddhist but as a result of common grace he understood this. He attributed the beauty of his products to an obscure class on calligraphy he took in college.

What God’s word tells us is that every seemingly unconnected dots that have been linked sovereignly and are how God see our future. We see disconnected dots God see our beginning from our end. It is that simple understanding that help us trust him in every season of life.