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Monday, June 26

"Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?"

PSALM 24:3

We've arrived at Psalm 24, an image of God's triumphant entry into heaven with the people he saves. It starts with God's claim to kingship: he owns the earth because he founded it out of chaos. Then, it asks who will attend him (who will ascend to his hill), and answers that those who are pure and clean in hands, heart, soul, and tongue will be given God's blessing and righteousness. Or, to put it another way, those who seek God's face (which seems to imply purity of hands, heart, soul, and tongue), will find him and be blessed and transformed by him. Finally, we hear the song of God's attendants as they approach heaven with their King, crying out to the gates to open for the God of their salvation, the mighty warrior who brought them out of the evils of earth. 

It's beautiful. When we read it, we're encouraged toward earnest seeking, knowing that the conquering, all-ruling God will answer honest seeking by bringing us to where he is.

Question

How could you reignite your earnest seeking of God? How could you uproot complacencies in the way you relate to him?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update

 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Sponsorship Campaign - We still need to raise about $8000 in sponsorships for students with financial need before the end of enrollment season. Giving hasn't really budged for the past week or two. Please pray that God provides everything we need to help students with financial need attend summer camp!

Final Events Preparation - Praise God for smooth bookings and completed event prep!

Materials Prep - Pray for Peter, Lisa, and the volunteers who are putting together all the staging and supplies for summer camp.

Office Volunteers - Pray that God would send enough help in the last month before summer camp. 

Summer Camp Registration - Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends! Please pray specifically that God would send more Leaders to attend the Leaders Track. We'd still like to see about a dozen more attendees.

OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - We continue to run Wheatstone while understaffed. Pray for energy, health, and wisdom for the two full-timers as we work hard to stay faithful to our mission and fruitful in our goals.

Website Overhaul - Our current website is rapidly becoming obsolete due to old technology, and we're working to transfer to a new base of code.  Pray that we'd get the update done in time for summer camp!

Rebrand - As a side effect of the website change, we're tweaking our branding for better mobile compatibility and a clearer representation of our current structure. Pray that we'd be able to execute all the changes, even with our smaller staff.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Entering Culture Courageously - Peter is rushing to finish planning and design for our last Training event in time for the Closing Ceremony of summer camp. Pray for clarity of mind and quickness of execution.

Trainings Advertising - Pray for Peter as he puts together the advertising package for all five trainings, ideally to be completed by the Closing Ceremony of summer camp.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 24

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,
    the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
    and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty,
    the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And lift them up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory! Selah

Comment

Comment

Monday, June 19

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

PSALM 23:4

We've arrived at Psalm 23, one of the best-known and best-loved passages of scripture. Discussing it this morning felt a little bit like a homecoming. We spent most of our time discussing the fourth verse, in which the psalmist praises God for his comforting presence and leadership through dying and death. A couple of things stood out to us.

First, we reflected on the fact that, in an experience like death, which renders us so vulnerable and helpless, the knowledge of God as someone who is ready to defend and guide us (through his rod and staff) is indeed very comforting. We may not understand death and dying, but we have one who sees better than we do, who actively defends us and keeps us in the way we need to go. He knows the way.

Second, we thought about the psalmist's response to that comfort: deliverance from fear. Because God is ready to guide and defend him even through the time of greatest human vulnerability, he isn't afraid of whatever may come. Nothing is too strong for God's wisdom, guidance, and defense. We all agreed that we strongly desire to be freed from our fear of evil, and began to ask how our understanding of God could really, truly deliver us from it in daily practice. What do you think? Can you overcome fear through your knowledge of God?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update

 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Sponsorship Campaign - We would still like to raise about $8000 in sponsorships for students with financial need before the end of enrollment season. Please pray that God provides everything we need to help students with financial need attend summer camp!

Final Events Preparation - Pray for Peter as he finishes nailing down concert, gallery, film, and theater contracts.

Office Volunteers - Pray that God would send enough help in the last month before summer camp. 

Summer Camp Registration - Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends! Please pray specifically that God would send more Leaders to attend the Leaders Track

OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - We continue to run Wheatstone while understaffed. Pray for energy, health, and wisdom for the two full-timers as we work hard to stay faithful to our mission and fruitful in our goals.

Website Overhaul - Our current website is rapidly becoming obsolete due to old technology, and we're working to transfer to a new base of code.  Pray that we'd get the update done in time for summer camp!

Rebrand - As a side effect of the website change, we're tweaking our branding for better mobile compatibility and a clearer representation of our current structure. Pray that we'd be able to execute all the changes, even with our smaller staff.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Christian Adulthood 101 - Praise God for an awesome first training! Pray for many more in the Fall and Spring.

Entering Culture Courageously - Peter is rushing to finish planning and design for our last Training event in time for the Closing Ceremony of summer camp. Pray for clarity of mind and quickness of execution.

Trainings Advertising - Pray for Peter as he puts together the advertising package for all five trainings, ideally to be completed by the Closing Ceremony of summer camp.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Comment

Comment

Monday, June 12

"The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord!"

PSALM 21:26

We've arrived at Psalm 22, the source for some of Jesus' last words and one of the most moving anticipations of Jesus' suffering and triumph in the Old Testament.

The psalm has three sections of four stanzas each. The first section alternates twice between lament and retrospective, trusting praise. The second describes the psalmist's pain in great, evocative detail. The third arrives at a crescendo of hopeful, anticipatory, eschatological praise. These alternations give the psalm a comprehensive feeling: it gathers the past, present and future together; it gathers the whole range of human emotions; and it gathers all parts of human society, from the rich and the rulers to the afflicted and even the dead.

The psalmist saw that, somehow, out of his king's incredible suffering and abandonment, God would create a salvation that included rich and poor, near and far, living and dead. After entering the affliction of the afflicted, the king would draw those who suffer up into satisfaction and joy. It's a gospel psalm: another sweet proof that God's been at his plan to redeem the world much longer than we've known or seen, and that he can be counted on to bring all his promises to their conclusion. 

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update

 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Sponsorship Campaign - We would still like to raise about $8000 in sponsorships for students with financial need before the end of enrollment season. Please pray that God provides everything we need to help students with financial need attend summer camp!

Summer Camp Registration - Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends! Please pray specifically that God would send more Leaders to attend the Leaders Track

OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - We continue to run Wheatstone while understaffed. Pray for energy, health, and wisdom for the two full-timers as we work hard to stay faithful to our mission and fruitful in our goals.

Website Overhaul - Our current website is rapidly becoming obsolete due to old technology, and we're working to transfer to a new base of code.  Pray that we'd get the update done in time for summer camp!

Rebrand - As a side effect of the website change, we're tweaking our branding for better mobile compatibility and a clearer representation of our current structure. Pray that we'd be able to execute all the changes, even with our smaller staff.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Christian Adulthood 101 - Pray that God would fill our first Public event for our newest Training, Christian Adulthood 101, with youth pastors and leaders who need to hear the message. We'd like to see 12-20 people at our June 10th event.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
    and by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
    they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
    let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother's womb you have been my God.
Be not far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is none to help.

Many bulls encompass me;
    strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
    like a ravening and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
    it is melted within my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
    you lay me in the dust of death.

For dogs encompass me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.

But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
    O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dog!
    Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

I will tell of your name to my brothers;
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
    and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred
    the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
    but has heard, when he cried to him.

From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
    my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
    May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord,
    and he rules over the nations.

All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
    before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
    even the one who could not keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that he has done it.

Comment

Comment

Monday, June 4

"Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power."

PSALM 21:13

We've arrived at Psalm 21, a royal psalm. It has two mirrored sections. In the first, we hear how God strengthens and glorifies his king. In the second, we hear how God saves and supports his king in the face of his enemies. The psalm's mirroring has some incredible thematic precision, as when, "He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever,"  in the first section mirrors, "You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man," in the second.

In the first verse we just quoted, the king is described as having "length of days forever and ever." It might just be a bit of royal hyperbole, since all the Old Testament kings died, just like anyone. But we at Wheatstone were inclined to think that it signals that the psalmist is considering not David or Solomon or any other Old Testament king, but the Messiah. When we read this psalm, we think of Jesus. It led us to pray that God would quickly send his Son in power and glory to rule and save the world.

 

Questions:

- Are you eager for Jesus' return?
- How could you learn to join the psalmist in celebrating God's conquest and destruction of the wicked?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update

 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Sponsorship Campaign - We would still like to raise about $8000 in sponsorships for students with financial need before the end of enrollment season. Please pray that God provides everything we need to help students with financial need attend summer camp!

Summer Camp Registration - Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends! Please pray specifically that God would send more Leaders to attend the Leaders Track

OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - We continue to run Wheatstone while understaffed. Pray for energy, health, and wisdom for the two full-timers as we work hard to stay faithful to our mission and fruitful in our goals.

Website Overhaul - Our current website is rapidly becoming obsolete due to old technology, and we're working to transfer to a new base of code.  Pray that we'd get the update done in time for summer camp!

Rebrand - As a side effect of the website change, we're tweaking our branding for better mobile compatibility and a clearer representation of our current structure. Pray that we'd be able to execute all the changes, even with our smaller staff.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Christian Adulthood 101 - Pray that God would fill our first Public event for our newest Training, Christian Adulthood 101, with youth pastors and leaders who need to hear the message. We'd like to see 12-20 people at our June 10th event.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 21

O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices,
    and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart's desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
    you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
    length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation;
    splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever;
    you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord,
    and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

Your hand will find out all your enemies;
    your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a blazing oven
    when you appear.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    and their offspring from among the children of man.
Though they plan evil against you,
    though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
For you will put them to flight;
    you will aim at their faces with your bows.

Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
    We will sing and praise your power.

Comment

Comment

Monday, May 29

Monday, May 29

"Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand."

PSALM 20:6

We've arrived at Psalm 20, a short prayer of blessing by the people of Israel on behalf of their king. Its first and last lines are parallel: "May the LORD answer you (the king) in the day of trouble," and "May he (the king) answer us when we call." In this parallel, the king is to the LORD as the people are to the king. In this way, we see both the incredible importance of the king of Israel to his people, and the magnificent degree to which God exceeds the king in power and authority. The king is God's agent on earth, whose responses to his people's petitions carry the weight and mission of God. He acts in the name of God on earth. For this reason, in order to seek their own security and joy, his people pray for God to bless him. 

One might think that this psalm minimizes the power and importance of the people by elevating the authority and Godlikeness of the king. If that's a concern of yours, consider: God has as much authority over the king as the king has over his people, and the people have a direct line to God. They are those who offer the blessing directly, and their prayer has weight with the one who rules their ruler. The real kingly hierarchy represented by this psalm exists within a greater world of equality because of the love and liberation of God for every individual who follows him.
 

Questions:

- How do you pray for your civic and religious authorities?
- What would you pray to bless Jesus as your king?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update

 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Sponsorship Campaign - We would still like to raise about $8000 in sponsorships for students with financial need before the end of enrollment season. Please pray that God provides everything we need to help students with financial need attend summer camp!

Summer Camp Registration - Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends! Please pray specifically that God would send more Leaders to attend the Leaders Track

OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - We continue to run Wheatstone while understaffed. Pray for energy, health, and wisdom for the two full-timers as we work hard to stay faithful to our mission and fruitful in our goals.

Website Overhaul - Our current website is rapidly becoming obsolete due to old technology, and we're working to transfer to a new base of code.  Pray that we'd get the update done in time for summer camp!

Rebrand - As a side effect of the website change, we're tweaking our branding for better mobile compatibility and a clearer representation of our current structure. Pray that we'd be able to execute all the changes, even with our smaller staff.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Christian Adulthood 101 - Pray that God would fill our first Public event for our newest Training, Christian Adulthood 101, with youth pastors and leaders who need to hear the message. We'd like to see 12-20 people at our June 10th event.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 20

May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! 

May he grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.

 O LORD, save the king!
May he answer us when we call.

Comment

Comment

Monday, May 8

"Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults."

PSALM 19:12
 

We've arrived at Psalm 19, in which the psalmist offers an extended comparison of the sun in the heavens to the law of the Lord in the soul of man. Just as the sun reveals what is hidden, the psalmist asks God to reveal and remove his hidden faults. Just as the heavens and sun "proclaim his handiwork" and "pour forth speech," the law of the Lord offers to be God's everlasting speech in the soul of man, warning him and rewarding him through its enlightenment.

One ancillary insight was particularly interesting to me: that without its "sun," the soul of man is dark, even to itself. It cannot see even its sins properly, as they make war on it and injure it. This darkness is fearful to me, because it suggests that I'm even worse off than I think I am, but it's also incredibly hopeful, insofar as it brings God's grace even into the parts of my life that feel dirtiest. He is gracious to see my sin and teach me about it in just the same way that he is gracious to forgive my sin and cleanse me. God wants to be with me in every part of my shame and guilt, and the heat of his love will bring me into the light.

 

Questions:

- Is God's revelation the sun of your soul? What would it mean to treasure it like you treasure the sun?
- Are you willing to let God reveal your sins to you, so that you can be healed?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Sponsorship Campaign - This week, we are going to try to raise $4000 to gain some exciting matching pledges. Please pray for favor with our community, and therefore for a successful gain of $8000 in the next seven days for students with financial need.

Summer Camp Registration - We're a little behind on our registration goals. Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends! Please pray specifically that God would send more Leaders to attend the Leaders Track.

Event Confirmations - We're having some difficulty nailing down two key performances during the camp week. Pray for wisdom as we decide whether to see a specific play, and favor with the bands we're courting for our mid-week concert.

OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - We continue to run Wheatstone while understaffed. Pray for energy, health, and wisdom for the two full-timers as we work hard to stay faithful to our mission and fruitful in our goals.

Website Overhaul - Our current website is rapidly becoming obsolete due to old technology, and we're working to transfer to a new base of code.  Pray that we'd get the update done in time for summer camp!

Rebrand - As a side effect of the website change, we're tweaking our branding for better mobile compatibility and a clearer representation of our current structure. Pray that we'd be able to execute all the changes, even with our smaller staff.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Fall Trainings - Pray that God would continue to fill up our fall calendar with these vital events for new school and church partners!

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - We're behind our goal to cover all fixed costs with Monthly Gifts. Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 19

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Comment

Comment

Monday, May 1

"The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire."

PSALM 18:13
 

We've arrived at Psalm 18, a long, epic, triumphant, martial song. A version of it is first introduced in 2 Samuel 22, at the very end of David's reign, as he reflects on what God has done for him throughout his life and reign. In the psalm, God is portrayed with images and language that we're more likely to associate with the Revelation to John, or with some of the most ecstatic parts of Isaiah and Ezekiel's visions. God is volcanic and dark and thunderous, riding monstrous cherubim, and causing such devastation that the sea drains and the earth opens to its foundations. His arrows, mixed with flaming hail, fly across the world. This terrifying conqueror comes in response to David's prayers for help and deliverance. He comes as an invincible God of war to establish his king, David, and David's heirs forever.

If this description seems foreign to you, or incompatible with the meek and gentle Jesus whom you love, then you're missing the one true God. This warrior is the one who submitted himself to death. The one who gently died is also this terrible, fire-shouting conqueror. We'd do well to pay attention.

And the description of God in Psalm 18 isn't the only thing that should get us shaking in our boots. Toward the end of the psalm, David magnifies God precisely because when his enemies "cried for help... there was none to save; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them." Like the goats in Matthew 25, these enemies are people who call on God, but find themselves in the place of his enemies. God does not hear their prayers or know them as his own, though they call out to him. When we pray, are we on the Lord's side, or are we fighting his Anointed One? 

But for all our proper fear, this Psalm also provides incredible hope. Just as God is both Triumphant Warrior and Gentle Victim, our great fear and a massive hope should fit together. Like in Psalm 17, this psalm gives us access to a kind of confidence in our standing with God that might seem extreme. David –the same David who murdered Uriah– says, "The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness," and "I have kept the ways of the Lord," and "the Lord has rewarded me... according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight." He even says "I was blameless before [God]," using the exact same word to describe himself that he later uses when he says, "This God– his way is perfect." David has not forgotten his sins, nor has he erased the past. Instead, his past sins are compatible with present confidence in his righteousness and blamelessness. David fears God well, and hopes absolutely in God's forgiveness too. And we can be sure: God is not just big enough to fill the heights of David's hope and the depths of his fear; God remains greater by far. "Great salvation he brings."

 

Questions:

- How would you go about describing the power of God to save his people?
- Do you remember that our God is a God of war? What does it mean for you to love him?
- If you remembered that (as with the goats in Matthew 25) God does not hear the prayers of the enemies of his chosen king, how would it change the way you pray?
- What does it mean that David has "kept himself from his guilt"? How could you keep yourself from your guilt?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:


OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - We continue to run Wheatstone while understaffed. Pray for energy, health, and wisdom for the two full-timers as we work hard to stay faithful to our mission and fruitful in our goals.

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Summer Camp Registration - We're a little behind on our registration goals. Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends! Please pray specifically that God would send more Leaders to attend the Leaders Track.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Christian Adulthood 101 - Two weeks ago, we launched our newest, most foundational training! Pray that God would bless it as it goes out to help youth ministries all around the country, and pray for good attendance at our first public event in June. (www.wheatstoneministries.com/101)

Fall Trainings - Pray that God would continue to fill up our fall calendar with these vital events for new school and church partners!

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - We're behind our goal to cover all fixed costs with Monthly Gifts. Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 18

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
    the foundations also of the mountains trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
    thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
    thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
    hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
    and the Most High uttered his voice,
    hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
    he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
    and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
    at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all his rules were before me,
    and his statutes I did not put away from me.
I was blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from my guilt.
So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
with the purified you show yourself pure;
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
For you save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes you bring down.
For it is you who light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
    the word of the Lord proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

For who is God, but the Lord?
    And who is a rock, except our God?—
the God who equipped me with strength
    and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your right hand supported me,
    and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet did not slip.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
    and did not turn back till they were consumed.
I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
    they fell under my feet.
For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made those who rise against me sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
    and those who hated me I destroyed.
They cried for help, but there was none to save;
    they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
    I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

You delivered me from strife with the people;
    you made me the head of the nations;
    people whom I had not known served me.
As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
    foreigners came cringing to me.
Foreigners lost heart
    and came trembling out of their fortresses.

The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be the God of my salvation—
the God who gave me vengeance
    and subdued peoples under me,
who rescued me from my enemies;
    yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
    you delivered me from the man of violence.

For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
    and sing to your name.
Great salvation he brings to his king,
    and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
    to David and his offspring forever.

Comment

Comment

Monday, April 24

"As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness."

PSALM 17:15
 

We've arrived at Psalm 17, in which the psalmist aligns himself with God's righteousness, and begs for God to subdue the wicked. It's a pleasantly confusing psalm, so we could write about a number of things here, but today we'll just focus on one thing that got us thinking.

At the beginning of the psalm, he comes off as downright audacious, confident that God "will find nothing" in his heart that is transgressive. He says, "My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped." I don't know about you, but that's not usually how we in the Wheatstone office regard ourselves. We're well aware of the ways we have messed up and continue to mess up. How is it that the psalmist can speak with so much more confidence than we can? 

There are a couple possible responses: Either the psalmist is much holier than we are, or his confidence and his sense of purity are compatible with a sinful life. Both responses are possible, but we spent our time considering the second option. Maybe, if we found the psalmist's source of confidence, we could be as confident as he is. 

The psalmist seems to ground his confidence in three things: in God's past testing of his heart, in the psalmist's present purpose toward holiness, and in the reliability of "the word of [God's] lips." He believes that God has made him strong, that his will is pointed in the right direction right now, and that God's revelation will continue to be reliable in the future. Those three things are often true of us too. When we are presently purposing to live like God wants, we can agree with the psalmist in the three things above. Should that be enough to make us as confident as he is when he says, "my feet have not slipped?" Can a sinner (like both us and the psalmist) ever say such a thing?

Perhaps the psalmist says it because has a stronger sense of the power of God's heart-searching and the completeness of God's forgiveness. Maybe God's testing is so redemptive that it transforms our past sins from departures from the path of God into parts of the path of God. Maybe God's forgiveness is so complete that, after we repent, we can treat past sins as completely abolished, and live free in the awareness of our good standing with the word of the lips of God. If that is the case— that God's forgiveness completely abolishes our sins and his sanctification transforms our errors, reuniting them with his way— then, suddenly, by remembering his commitment to test us, by offering our present purposes to him, and by anticipating that his word will be reliable, we can gain the psalmist's confidence too: a confidence that's strong in spite of our weakness and past failures, because it's based in God's abundantly strong word, love, and work.

 

Questions:

- Do you live in and for God's righteousness confidently?
- What does it mean to be satisfied with God's likeness?
- How can we properly ask God for vengeance against the wicked?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:


OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - We continue to run Wheatstone while understaffed. Pray for energy, health, and wisdom for the two full-timers as we work hard to stay faithful to our mission and fruitful in our goals.

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Summer Camp Registration - We're a little behind on our registration goals. Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends! Please pray specifically that God would send more Leaders to attend the Leaders Track.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Discussion for Transformation - We held another DfT event in Centerville, UT this weekend. Pray that God would bless the youth leaders who attended as they begin to apply their new skills.

Christian Adulthood 101 - Last week, we launched our newest, most foundational training! Pray that God would bless it as it goes out to help youth ministries all around the country, and pray for good attendance at our first public event in June. (www.wheatstoneministries.com/101)

PARTNERS

New Church and School Relationships - Pray that God would open more great relationships with churches and schools who need the Christian adulthood message and methods.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - We're behind our goal to cover all fixed costs with Monthly Gifts. Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 17

Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry!
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
From your presence let my vindication come!
Let your eyes behold the right!

You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O Savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence,
my deadly enemies who surround me.

They close their hearts to pity;
with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
They have now surrounded our steps;
they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
He is like a lion eager to tear,
as a young lion lurking in ambush.

Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him!
Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
from men by your hand, O LORD,
from men of the world whose portion is in this life.
You fill their womb with treasure;
they are satisfied with children,
and they leave their abundance to their infants.

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

Comment

Comment

Monday, March 20

"I say to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.'"

PSALM 16:2
 

Today, we arrived at Psalm 16, a psalm devoted to the pleasure and security of following God.

I'm used to thinking of the books of Psalms as stuffed with these joy and pleasure-filled poems, but our experience reading and discussing the book has revealed how rare they really are. The number of psalms that could sensibly be illustrated by anything remotely like a Thomas Kinkaid painting is pretty low. Most psalms confront God, or confront injustice, or express unsatisfied longing. Here, we are given a pause, a green pasture, written by a poet who knew the depths of despair, but who finds himself in the pleasure and security of fellowship of God.

 

Questions:

- Are you prepared to rejoice when God leads you into pleasant, secure times?
- What has God shown you lately that reminds you of the beauty and pleasure that he'll inaugurate on the new earth through the work of his Messiah?
- What does it mean when the psalmist says that the Lord is his portion and cup?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:


OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - Now that Chad and Veronica have moved on, Peter and Lisa are juggling a lot more diverse tasks than usual. Pray for wisdom as they prioritize and simplify, and for a great team of new volunteers, interns, and staff members.

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Summer Camp Registration - Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends!

Summer Camp Facilities - Pray that we would confirm and secure all the locations and events we want in order to make this a truly spectacular event.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Discussion for Transformation - We have a Discussion for Transformation with Santa Margarita Community Church on Saturday. Pray that God would use it to advance Christian adulthood ministry for their youth.

From Duty to Discipleship - Our next From Duty to Discipleship event is a Public Training on April 8. Pray for the success of both events, and for broader awareness of this (our newest) training.

Christian Adulthood 101 - Peter is currently finishing our next training, Christian Adulthood 101. We think that this could become our most popular, important training event. Pray that Peter would have what he needs to launch the event within the next couple months!

PARTNERS

New Church and School Relationships - Pray that God would open more great relationships with churches and schools who need the Christian adulthood message and methods.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - We're behind our goal to cover all fixed costs with Monthly Gifts. Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 16

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
    in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
    or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Comment

Comment

Monday, February 13

"'Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,' says the Lord; 'I will place him in the safety for which he longs.'"

PSALM 12:5
 

Today, we arrived at Psalm 12. It continues a series that started with Psalm 9, in which the psalmists confront the injustices of human society and ask God to "arise" and act. Now, in Psalm 12, God himself speaks for the first time, and this is what he says:

"'Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,' says the Lord; 'I will place him in the safety for which he longs.'"

After so much time lamenting the hot injustices of human society, this verse is like cool water. Though God still places safety in the future tense, his voice and action refresh us and give us a taste of the complete security that's coming someday soon. As the psalmist turns away from this refreshing voice, he continues to see the world as it is. The last verse is, "On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man." He isn't an unrealistic positive thinker; he still sees what's broken. But when we remember the action of God, and his love for the poor and oppressed, our response to injustice can change. Like him, we can be patient, prayerful, and hopeful.

 

Questions:

- Do you believe in the present action, abiding concern, and future deliverance of the just God?
- How does remembering God's present action change how you relate to present injustice?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:


OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - Now that Chad and Veronica have moved on, Peter and Lisa are juggling a lot more diverse tasks than usual. Pray for wisdom as they prioritize and simplify, and for a great team of new volunteers, interns, and staff members.

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Summer Camp Registration - Registration opened today! Pray that God would fill the camp with students and leaders who need its ministry, and tell your friends!

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Discussion for Transformation - We have a Discussion for Transformation with Wilshire Avenue Church event on Sunday. Pray that God would use it to advance Christian adulthood ministry for their youth.

Teach Them to Pray - Our next Teach Them to Pray event is a Public Training on March 18. Pray that God would fill the event with leaders who need it.

From Duty to Discipleship - Our next From Duty to Discipleship event is a Private Training for a church partner on March 11, followed by a Public Training on March 18. Pray for the success of both events, and for broader awareness of this (our newest) training.

Christian Adulthood 101 - Peter is currently finishing our next training, Christian Adulthood 101. We think that this could become our most popular, important training event. Pray that Peter would have what he needs to launch the event within the next couple months!

PARTNERS

New Church and School Relationships - Pray that God would open more great relationships with churches and schools who need the Christian adulthood message and methods.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - We're behind our goal to cover all fixed costs with Monthly Gifts. Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 12

Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;
    for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
    with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
    the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
    our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the Lord;
    “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
The words of the Lord are pure words,
    like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
    purified seven times.

You, O Lord, will keep them;
    you will guard us from this generation forever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
    as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

Comment

Comment

Monday, February 6

"The Lord's throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man."

PSALM 11:4
 

We've arrived at Psalm 11. In it, the psalmist is confronted by a suggestion that he should fear the wicked, because the wicked are among the righteous with the power to injure. And who of us has not been advised to fear the wicked? They are frightening, violent, and proud, and they live among us. 

But the psalmist categorically rejects fear, replying that his refuge is not built on the foundation of this world, but on God, who sees everything, who tests everyone, and who will judge the wicked in power. He continues by meditating on two things: God's commitment to test the righteous because of his love for them, and his commitment to deliver justice to the wicked and violent.

It's kind of strange to think of God's tests as a condition of his love, but that's what this psalm suggests. He tests those he loves, and his love is inseparable from that testing. I think it makes sense, however, when you consider two things. First, consider that testing is necessarily implied in the gift of free will, since true freedom requires the power to reject. Second, consider that God is fundamentally committed to our growth. He wants us to receive more and more of his love, so he wants us to become more and more capable of receiving it. As with anything else, that capacity for divine love needs exercise, and God's tests provide that exercise. 

Finally, by remembering the judgment of God, the psalmist can have peace, even when he is surrounded by violence. The wicked may have power to injure now, but the righteous will see God's face, and the violent will receive back the violence they meted out. In just a little while, this vulnerable world will pass away, and for eternity, the righteous will be finally and completely safe from all harm. Praise the righteous God!

 

Questions:

- When you see how violent and powerful the wicked are, do you fear them, or do you remember the power, sight, and judgment of God? Is God your sufficient refuge?
- How are God's tests a sign of his love for us?
- How does God's judgment flow from his righteousness?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:


OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - Now that Chad and Veronica have moved on, Peter and Lisa are juggling a lot more diverse tasks than usual. Pray for wisdom as they prioritize and simplify, and for a great team of new volunteers, interns, and staff members.

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Opening Summer Camp Registration - We're still working on the last steps to open registration. Pray that it all be finished this week!

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Discussion for Transformation - On Saturday, we ran two awesome Discussion for Transformation events simultaneously, and each was a huge success. Thanks for your prayers! Now, please pray that God would help the participants apply what they learned for the good of the students he's given them.

Teach Them to Pray - Our next Teach Them to Pray event is a Public Training on March 18. Pray that God would fill the event with leaders who need it.

From Duty to Discipleship - Our next From Duty to Discipleship event is a Private Training for a church partner on March 11, followed by a Public Training on March 18. Pray for the success of both events, and for broader awareness of this (our newest) training.

Christian Adulthood 101 - Peter is currently finishing our next training, Christian Adulthood 101. We think that this could become our most popular, important training event. Pray that Peter would have what he needs to launch the event within the next couple months!

PARTNERS

New Church and School Relationships - Pray that God would open more great relationships with churches and schools who need the Christian adulthood message and methods.

FINANCES

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - We're behind our goal to cover all fixed costs with Monthly Gifts. Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 11

In the Lord I take refuge.
How can you say to my soul,
    “Flee like a bird to your mountain,
for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
    they have fitted their arrow to the string
    to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed,
    what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple;
    the Lord's throne is in heaven;
    his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
The Lord tests the righteous,
    but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
Let him rain coals on the wicked;
    fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
    the upright shall behold his face.

Comment

Comment

Monday, January 30

"Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted."

PSALM 10:12
 

We've arrived at Psalm 10, a pure, simple articulation of sadness at God's perceived slowness to act on behalf of the righteous and the oppressed. It gives a harrowing portrait of a wicked person, and asks God to rise and act in response, to "[catch them] in the schemes that they have devised." The psalmist wants to see God's salvation of the afflicted, and his vengeance on the wicked, too.

God's promised action for vengeance is made clear, but in the meantime, God is shown doing a few key things. He sees, hears, and notes affliction, making a complete account of it; he remembers the oppressors' wickedness. He also gives one remarkable grace to the needy: he "strengthen[s] their heart."

Someday, the God whose Word made the world will speak the full accounts of each person's wickedness, and their oppression will redound on their own heads. Someday, God will "do justice" for the poor and needy. Now, he gives inward strength, attends closely to the people whom he loves, and waits. Will we wait with him?

 

Questions:

- What will it mean for God to give his account of each person's wickedness?
- When God seems slow to act, how do you respond? How would you like to respond differently?
- How does this Psalm both acknowledge the distress of the psalmist and the sovereignty of God?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:


THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Opening Summer Camp Registration - We still hope to open summer camp registration by the end of this month, but we have a way to go yet. Pray that it all goes smoothly, and that God would be preparing the right group of students and leaders to attend.

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Discussion for Transformation - This Saturday we'll run two DfT events simultaneously for different homeschool groups. Pray that all the logistics come off for both events without a hitch!

Teach Them to Pray - Our next Teach Them to Pray event is a Public Training on March 18. Pray that God would fill the event with leaders who need it.

From Duty to Discipleship - Our next From Duty to Discipleship event is a Private Training for a church partner on March 11, followed by a Public Training on March 18. Pray for the success of both events, and for broader awareness of this (our newest) training.

Christian Adulthood 101 - Peter is currently finishing our next training, Christian Adulthood 101. We think that this could become our most popular, important training event. Pray that Peter would have what he needs to launch the event within the next couple months!

PARTNERS

New Church and School Relationships - Pray that God would open more great relationships with churches and schools who need the Christian adulthood message and methods.

OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - Now that Chad and Veronica have moved on, Peter and Lisa are juggling a lot more diverse tasks than usual. Pray for wisdom as they prioritize and simplify, and for a great team of new volunteers, interns, and staff members.

FINANCES

Wheatstone Strategy Meeting - Praise God for a great strategy meeting last Thursday! We're assembling a great team of Christian business leaders to help Wheatstone grow.

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

New 2017 Monthly Givers - We're behind our goal to cover all fixed costs with Monthly Gifts. Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 10

Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
    let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
    and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
    all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
His ways prosper at all times;
    your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
    as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
    throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
    under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
He sits in ambush in the villages;
    in hiding places he murders the innocent.
His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
    he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
he lurks that he may seize the poor;
    he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
The helpless are crushed, sink down,
    and fall by his might.
He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
    he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
    forget not the afflicted.
Why does the wicked renounce God
    and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
    that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
    you have been the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
    call his wickedness to account till you find none.

The Lord is king forever and ever;
    the nations perish from his land.
O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

Comment

Comment

Monday, January 23

"The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble."

PSALM 9:9
 

As we read Psalm 9 this morning, we imagined David offering the prayer after a discouraging session of hearing pleas, deciding cases, and fielding accusations from his throne. Perhaps he felt overwhelmed by an inability to sufficiently help the needy who came to him, and by the extent of human wickedness. Maybe he wondered how God could allow such injustice to exist in his holy city. 

In response, he does some very important things: he remembers God's character, he meditates on the transience of human societies, he contemplates the final victory of the righteous and oppressed and the final defeat of the wicked, and he expectantly asks God to quickly unite all kingdoms under his righteous judgment. For that reason (whether or not our imagined scenario was correct) this psalm serves as a good guide for our prayers when we're in a position of witnessing but not experiencing human injustice and suffering. Like David, we can remember the love of God for the needy, and the transience of this state of things. We can pray, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and rule the world justly." "Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men!"
 

Questions:

- How do you respond when you witness injustice and suffering? How can this prayer help you conform your response to Christ's more perfectly?
- How do you cling to your hope for God's coming perfect kingdom?

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 

Wheatstone's requests and praises:

FINANCES

Season of Hope - Praise God for a successful conclusion to our end-of-year fundraiser. We hit our $25,000 goal right on the nose! Now we're entering into 2017 with clarity and a nice breather.

New 2017 Benefactors - We need to find additional benefactors this year in order to grow. Pray that God would bring a few friends along who want to make Christian adulthood ministry part of their legacy.

Wheatstone Strategy/Pitch Meeting - Peter has a presentation to potential donors this Thursday. Pray for success and favor!

New 2017 Monthly Givers - We're behind our goal to cover all fixed costs with Monthly Gifts. Pray that God would bring a new community of friends to give a little bit to Wheatstone every month, forming a more secure foundation for Christian adulthood ministry.

THE ACADEMY CAMPS

Opening Summer Camp Registration - We hope to open summer camp registration by the end of this month. That requires a little more design work, coordination with Biola, and faculty confirmations. Pray that it all goes smoothly, and that God would be preparing the right group of students and leaders to attend.

 

CHRISTIAN ADULTHOOD TRAININGS

Discussion for Transformation - Our most recent DfT event was in Alpharetta, Georgia, at King's Ridge Christian School just two weeks ago. Praise God with us for its huge success! Next Saturday we'll run two DfT events simultaneously for different homeschool groups. Pray that all the logistics come off for both events without a hitch!

Teach Them to Pray - Our next Teach Them to Pray event is a Public Training on March 18. Pray that God would fill the event with leaders who need it.

From Duty to Discipleship - Our next From Duty to Discipleship event is a Private Training for a church partner on March 11, followed by a Public Training on March 18. Pray for the success of both events, and for broader awareness of this (our newest) training.

Christian Adulthood 101 - Peter is currently finishing our next training, Christian Adulthood 101. We think that this could become our most popular, important training event. Pray that Peter would have what he needs to launch the event within the next couple months!

PARTNERSHIPS

New Church and School Relationships - Pray that God would open more great relationships with churches and schools who need the Christian adulthood message and methods.

Partnerships Director Job Search - Now that Chad has moved on, we're looking for someone good enough to succeed him in his important work managing church and school relationships. Pray that God would bring the right person for the job!

OFFICE

Peter and Lisa - Now that Chad and Veronica have moved on, Peter and Lisa are juggling a lot more diverse tasks than usual. Pray for wisdom as they prioritize and simplify, and for a great team of new volunteers, interns, and staff members.

 

This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 9

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish before your presence.
For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.

You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
their cities you rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.

But the LORD sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with uprightness.

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!
For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

Be gracious to me, O LORD!
See my affliction from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
that I may recount all your praises,
that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in your salvation.

The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.
The LORD has made himself known; he has executed judgment;
the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.     Higgaion. Selah.

The wicked shall return to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.

Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail;
let the nations be judged before you!
Put them in fear, O LORD!
Let the nations know that they are but men!     Selah.

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Monday, December 12

"Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger."

PSALM 8:2
 

Psalm 8 defied our quick attempts to understand it as a single, interconnected thought project. As a result, part of our conversation this morning focused on whether we should assume that any given psalm is a single interconnected thought project. When you stumble on one that just seems like a bunch of pious ideas shoved next to each other, should you assume that there are more interconnections than you can see? Are some psalms more like stream of consciousness diary entries than like Petrarch's sonnets? 

We settled pretty solidly on that assumption of unified meaning. Since psalms were written for public singing, it's unlikely that they'd be an unorganized private stream of thoughts. And, based on our shared experiences at least, every time we've given a Bible passage the benefit of the doubt, it's paid off. There's always more unified meaning to discover. When we don't get it, the problem is probably with us, not with the psalm. 

But that assumption doesn't make the project any easier with this psalm. Here's one possible way to understand it that we came up with.

Maybe Psalm 8 is a story of how God used humans to baffle and oppose the fallen angels. It sets up two locations, both in reference to angels: the earth, which is a little lower than them, and the place of God's glory, which is higher than them. In both locations, God places his glory or his name. In particular, by placing his name in the "mouths of babies and infants," he "establishes strength because of [his] foes." Satan aspired to equality with God, so God went below Satan and placed his glory, honor, and name among men, giving glory liberally to the things that seemed beneath him. It's like a sandwich of God's glory on either side of "the avenger." In this reading, the psalm reveals man's vocation as bearers of the name of God, his representatives for dominion in the cosmos, baffling demons and glorifying the one who claimed them for himself.

We're not sure that's the right way to read this Psalm, but it sure was fun, and it makes us excited to go "in the name of the Lord" this week.

 

Questions:

- How do you behave when you encounter a Bible passage that doesn't make much sense to you, or one that just sounds like Christianese? How would you like to respond?
- What is the relationship between the name of God and humankind's place in the cosmos?
 

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 


Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

FINANCES

We're asking for earnest, focused prayer for Wheatstone's finances for the rest of this year.

We took some big risks in faith this year: moving to a bigger office, hiring new staff. We prayed and worked and assumed that donations would notch up in pace with the new ministry that these risks permitted, but instead we missed almost all of our fundraising goals, all year long (Student Sponsorships being a huge exception, thank God!). We need this year-end fundraising season to go well, or we will be forced to scale back some of the wonderful growth of the past year. We could keep growing if we caught up over the next few weeks, but we're at a pivot point, and we need your prayers.

Pray that God would abundantly provide for all our needs, and confirm our faith in expanding Wheatstone's ministry for his glory.
 


This Week's Psalm
 

PSALM 8

    O LORD, our Lord,
        how majestic is your name in all the earth!
    You have set your glory above the heavens.  

      Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
    you have established strength because of your foes,
        to still the enemy and the avenger.

    When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
        the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
    what is man that you are mindful of him,
        and the son of man that you care for him?
    Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
        and crowned him with glory and honor.
    You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
        you have put all things under his feet,
    all sheep and oxen,
        and also the beasts of the field,
    the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
        whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

    O LORD, our Lord,
        how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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Monday, December 5

My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.

PSALM 7:10

 

This week's Psalm continues last week's theme of deliverance. But rather than citing his own tears and distress, the Psalmist prays for deliverance because of God's justice and the psalmist's righteousness. In some ways, the Psalmist is presenting his case before the just judge, to weigh out all the evidence. 

But rather than think of God's judgment and justice as a hoped-for-future state, we discussed how God is actively working out his justice in the present. In fact, because God is working out justice, he constantly feels indignant and angered. He is troubled by injustice and the suffering of his people, and he is already at work to save. 

 

Questions:

- Why do you think the psalmist prays for deliverance in this way? 
- How is this Psalm presently, personally meaningful to you? 
 

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update


Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

FINANCES

We continue to ask for earnest, focused prayer for Wheatstone's finances.

December marks the beginning of Wheatstone's most focused fundraising season of the year. And straightaway we've had success with small gift campaigns, especially on Giving Tuesday. However, we are still in need of a few large benefactor gifts to end this year strong and for Wheatstone to continue its trajectory of hopeful growth.

Pray that God would abundantly provide for all our needs, and confirm our faith in expanding Wheatstone's ministry for his glory.


This Week's Psalm

 

PSALM 7

O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge;
Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,
Or he will tear my soul like a lion,
Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.

O Lord my God, if I have done this,
If there is injustice in my hands,
If I have rewarded evil to my friend,
Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary,
Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it;
And let him trample my life down to the ground
And lay my glory in the dust. Selah.

Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries,
And arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment.
Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You,
And over them return on high.
The Lord judges the peoples;
Vindicate me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me.
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous;
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.
My shield is with God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,
And a God who has indignation every day.

If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword;
He has bent His bow and made it ready.
He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons;
He makes His arrows fiery shafts.
Behold, he travails with wickedness,
And he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood.
He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the hole which he made.
His mischief will return upon his own head,
And his violence will descend upon his own pate.

I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

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Monday, November 28

Heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.

PSALM 6:2

 

 

We've arrived at Psalm 6 this week, a psalm of distress. Given our financial concerns, we all groaned when we realized which psalm it is. It just seemed too on-the-nose. Of course, we aren't fleeing from enemies that seek our lives, or carrying the burden of state, or in mortal peril, like the psalmist is. His difficulties were, at an objective level, worse than ours. But the psalm became a good companion in our stress, too, however much smaller our stress may be. I'll highlight two main insights.

One of the main ideas we pushed at Wheatstone's summer camp this year was, "You can't become good enough for prayer without praying." And right away, the psalmist demonstrates how. By asking the Lord not to rebuke him in anger or discipline him in wrath, the psalmist acknowledges that the trouble he's in fits with his sinfulness. God could justly lead him into troubles. Yet, even knowing that his sinfulness is part of what got him into trouble in the first place, the psalmist approaches God and boldly asks him to "turn" toward him with mercy and steadfast love. Rather than cleaning up for prayer, he knows that prayer is his way to get clean and find deliverance in his distress.

Here's another insight: The psalmist has been in distress for a long time. He's cried and prayed and hoped and been disappointed, and cried some more. And it's precisely that weeping that God hears, when he turns to answer the psalmist's plea and accept his prayer. Seeing this, we discussed why God loves our weeping. This isn't an idea that's unique to this psalm. Christ declared the poor in heart and those who mourn "blessed," and he joined us in our weeping. He also encouraged us to be persistent in our prayers, even through disappointment, trusting in the love of God the Father. 

So why does he love our weeping? Chad suggested that, when we face troubles, sorrow might be the holiest available response. One could become angry and vengeful, one could despair, one could ignore reality and seek distractions, or one could mourn. Only one of those responses clearly allows for both facing hard realities and trusting God: sorrow. And the psalmist's trust in God paid off. When he wept, God heard him, and after those long, long days of sorrow, sent a salvation that came "in a moment."

 

Questions:

- Do you endure in your griefs before God? Are you willing to let him hear the sound of your weeping for however long it takes, trusting in his deliverance?
- Do you acknowledge your role in your own misfortunes, without letting shame prevent you from petitioning God in faithful prayer?
- How has God used distress to shape you in the past?
 

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 


Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

FINANCES

We're asking for earnest, focused prayer for Wheatstone's finances for the rest of this year.

We took some big risks in faith this year: moving to a bigger office, hiring new staff. We prayed and worked and assumed that donations would notch up in pace with the new ministry that these risks permitted, but instead we missed almost all of our fundraising goals, all year long (Student Sponsorships being a huge exception, thank God!). We need this year-end fundraising season to go well, or we will be forced to scale back some of the wonderful growth of the past year. We could keep growing if we caught up over the next few weeks, but we're at a pivot point, and we need your prayers.

Pray that God would abundantly provide for all our needs, and confirm our faith in expanding Wheatstone's ministry for his glory.
 


This Week's Psalm

 

PSALM 6

    O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger,
        nor discipline me in your wrath.
    Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
        heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.
    My soul also is greatly troubled.
        But you, O LORD—how long?

    Turn, O LORD, deliver my life;
        save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
    For in death there is no remembrance of you;
        in Sheol who will give you praise?

    I am weary with my moaning;
        every night I flood my bed with tears;
        I drench my couch with my weeping.
    My eye wastes away because of grief;
        it grows weak because of all my foes.

    Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
        for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
    The LORD has heard my plea;
        the LORD accepts my prayer.
    All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
        they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

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Monday, November 21

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.

Psalm 5:7

 

 

At first, Psalm 5 struck us as a generic good guy/bad guy prayer without novel description or theological content. But the more we looked, the more we discovered its intricacy!

The psalmist sets up two generic-sounding groups, the righteous and the wicked, and talks about each in alternating stanzas. But the ways he describes them is very specific.

The wicked in this psalm are always wicked through speech: flattery, boasting, lying, deceit. "Their throat is an open grave." The result that the psalmist longs for is that these wicked talkers would "fall by their own counsels."

Apparently, their lies and flattery have left the psalmist confused, and unable to see the way forward. He writes, "Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me." Surrounded by their wicked talk, he needs a straight way.

And this leads us to the psalm's unique insight about this righteous man. Instead of describing his righteousness, the psalmist only describes himself praying, bowing down, offering sacrifices, and (crucially) watching for God's righteousness. It turns out that the righteousness in this psalm doesn't belong to the righteous man at all, except insofar as he receives it from God. It is in God's righteousness that the psalmist asks to be led. It is by God's steadfast love that the psalmist endures. And, just as the wicked man's words would lead him to just destruction, the righteous man becomes righteous through speaking and listening to God. Through prayer and God's righteousness, he is made safe from the confusion and falsehood of his enemies.

 

Questions:

Are you watching to perceive and receive the righteousness of God?
How do you respond to confusion or deception?
How will you submit your words to God today?
 

Read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this update
 


Wheatstone's requests and praises:

 

Finances

We're asking for earnest, focused prayer for Wheatstone's finances for the rest of this year.

We took some big risks in faith this year: moving to a bigger office, hiring new staff. We prayed and worked and assumed that donations would notch up in pace with the new ministry that these risks permitted, but instead we missed almost all of our fundraising goals, all year long (Student Sponsorships being a huge exception, thank God!). We need this year-end fundraising season to go well, or we will be forced to scale back some of the wonderful growth of the past year. We could keep growing if we caught up over the next few weeks, but we're at a pivot point, and we need your prayers.

Pray that God would abundantly provide for all our needs, and confirm our faith in expanding Wheatstone's ministry for his glory.

 

 


This Week's Psalm

 

PSALM 5

    Give ear to my words, O LORD;
        consider my groaning.
    Give attention to the sound of my cry,
        my King and my God,
        for to you do I pray.
    O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
        in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

    For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
        evil may not dwell with you.
    The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
        you hate all evildoers.
    You destroy those who speak lies;
        the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

    But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
        will enter your house.
    I will bow down toward your holy temple
        in the fear of you.
    Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
        because of my enemies;
        make your way straight before me.

    For there is no truth in their mouth;
        their inmost self is destruction;
    their throat is an open grave;
        they flatter with their tongue.
    Make them bear their guilt, O God;
        let them fall by their own counsels;
    because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
        for they have rebelled against you.

    But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
        let them ever sing for joy,
    and spread your protection over them,
        that those who love your name may exult in you.
    For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
        you cover him with favor as with a shield.

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Monday, November 7

Thanks for praying with us

We had a different prayer meeting than usual, because last night Lucy Willodean Glazener was born! Instead of discussing a Psalm and sharing requests, we went to meet her. Rachel and Chad are thrilled, and we're so excited to welcome Lucy to the world. Would you pray for the Glazeners as they get ready to take Lucy home?

 

Here are Wheatstone's requests and praises for this week:

OFFICE

Financial burdens - Our financial difficulties continue unabated. The longer we wait for God to resolve our financial crunch, the tougher they become to manage. He knows how to provide for our financial needs. Please pray that he acts quickly!
 

ADVANCEMENT

Grant Writing - Pray that God would give us favor with the foundations we approach.

Monthly Givers - Pray that God would increase monthly giving to cover all Wheatstone's recurring expenses by the end of 2016.

Thanksgiving Party - This Saturday is our first-ever Wheatstone Givers Thanksgiving Party. Pray for good attendance and God's blessing on the evening.
 

PARTNERSHIPS

Gathering Retreat - This Friday is our bi-annual free retreat for youth leaders. Pray that God would bring the right teachers and pastors and parents, who can use the refreshment of a retreat day focused on gratitude.

Paternity Leave - Chad's away on paternity leave this month. Pray for new baby Lucy, Rachel, big sister Madeleine, and Chad.
 

THE ACADEMY

Parents Small Group Guide - Pray for Peter as he finishes writing the curriculum that will form the foundation for Academy Families small groups. The curriculum is called "Peace That Passes Understanding."

Prayer Communities - Pray that God would bless both The Academy Alumni and Academy Families Prayer offerings, and give Veronica wisdom as she figures out how to get them functioning in a maximally spiritually helpful way.

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Monday, October 31

"Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him."

 

Thanks for praying with us

Psalm 4 is written from the perspective of one who is waiting to be saved. In his need, he returns to the things he can count on: that God hears him, that God sets apart the righteous, that God is his only safety. In light of those foundational insights, he can say, "You have put more joy in my heart than they [his prospering enemies] have when their grain and wine abound." He has incomparable joy even while he waits for his salvation, and he can sleep in peace. 

This model of response is key for us at Wheatstone now, as we wait and work for financial provision. Even when situations seem tough, we too can learn to return to God's peace and joy.

Questions:
How quickly do you return to the "bedrock" things you know about God when circumstances are difficult?
Have you experienced God-given joy during difficulty? Or God-given peace during stress? When did it happen? What does it teach you?
 

You can read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this email.
 

Here are Wheatstone's requests and praises for this week:

OFFICE

Financial burdens - The longer we wait for God to resolve our financial crunch, the tougher they become to manage. He knows how to provide for our financial needs. Please pray that he acts quickly!
 

ADVANCEMENT

Grant Writing - Pray that God would give us favor with the foundations we approach.

Monthly Givers - Pray that God would increase monthly giving to cover all Wheatstone's recurring expenses by the end of 2016.

Thanksgiving Party - Next Saturday is our first-ever Wheatstone Givers Thanksgiving Party. Pray for good attendance and God's blessing on the evening.
 

PARTNERSHIPS

Gathering Retreat - Next Friday is our bi-annual free retreat for youth leaders. Pray that God would bring the right teachers and pastors and parents, who can use the refreshment of a retreat day focused on gratitude.

Torrey Academy Parents Event - Pray for Peter as he leads Torrey Academy parents through a discussion of some poetry this Friday.

Biola Youth Academics Discussion Seminars - Pray for Chad as he leads BYA leaders through some of our Discussion for Transformation content this Saturday.

Paternity Leave - Chad's away on paternity leave this month. Pray for a healthy delivery of the new Glazener baby!
 

THE ACADEMY

Parents Small Group Guide - Pray for Peter as he finishes writing the curriculum that will form the foundation for Academy Families small groups. The curriculum is called "Peace That Passes Understanding."

Prayer Communities - Pray that God would bless both The Academy Alumni and Academy Families Prayer offerings, and give Veronica wisdom as she figures out how to get them functioning in a maximally spiritually helpful way.
 

 

This Week's Psalm

PSALM 4

    Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
        You have given me relief when I was in distress.
        Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

    O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
        How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
    But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
        the LORD hears when I call to him.

    Be angry, and do not sin;
        ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
    Offer right sacrifices,
        and put your trust in the LORD.

    There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
        Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”
    You have put more joy in my heart
        than they have when their grain and wine abound.

    In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
        for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

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Monday, October 24

"I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me."

 

Thanks for praying with us

Today, we discussed Psalm 3. At a relatively stressful time for many of us, when sleep can be tricky, it was good to read how David — during darker distress than any of us have experienced — found a refuge in God that allowed him to sleep trustingly. Even while friends were abandoning him and questioning God's faithfulness, and enemies were in pursuit of him, David's trust in God yielded invaluable fruit. His circumstances were dark, but his heart and mind were free.

Questions:
How can you disconnect your trust in God from circumstances, so that no matter what happens, you'll find your refuge in him?
What does it mean that God sustains us? How should that knowledge change the way we live?

You can read the whole Psalm at the bottom of this email.
 

Here are Wheatstone's requests and praises for this week:

OFFICE

Financial burdens - The longer we wait for God to resolve our financial crunch, the tougher they become to manage. He knows how to provide for our financial needs. Please pray that he acts quickly!
 

ADVANCEMENT

Grant Writing - Pray that God would give us favor with the foundations we approach.

Monthly Givers - Pray that God would increase monthly giving to cover all Wheatstone's recurring expenses by the end of 2016.
 

PARTNERSHIPS

Gathering - Praise God for a wonderful time of discussion and prayer with alumni families. And pray for next month's retreat, where we'll practice cultivating gratitude for all God has done this year. 

Torrey Academy Students Exploration - Pray for Peter as he leads Torrey Academy students through a viewing of The Tree of Life this Saturday.
 

THE ACADEMY

Parents Small Group Guide - Pray for Peter as he finishes writing the curriculum that will form the foundation for Academy Families small groups. The curriculum is called "Peace That Passes Understanding."

Prayer Communities - Pray that God would bless both The Academy Alumni and Academy Families Prayer offerings, and give Veronica wisdom as she figures out how to get them functioning in a maximally spiritually helpful way.
 

 

This Week's Psalm

PSALM 3

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

    O LORD, how many are my foes!
        Many are rising against me;
    many are saying of my soul,
        “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah

    But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,
        my glory, and the lifter of my head.
    I cried aloud to the LORD,
        and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

    I lay down and slept;
        I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
    I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
        who have set themselves against me all around.

    Arise, O LORD!
        Save me, O my God!
    For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
        you break the teeth of the wicked.

    Salvation belongs to the LORD;
        your blessing be on your people! Selah

 

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