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Dear IBC Family,

I hope you are having a wonderful, sunny weekend.

We’re getting closer to being able to worship together again on the Lord’s Day, but for tomorrow we will still have to have home worship.

We’ve selected an older sermon from Pastor Nathan for you to listen to as part of your home worship. Hopefully it will be helpful for us in thinking through current events from a biblical perspective. The title of the sermon is “Sexual Sins” and it is from Leviticus 18, so be aware in case you feel it would be better not to have your kids listen.

As always, the Spotify Playlist has been updated with new worship music to help you meditate upon the Lord and his goodness with your family, roommates, or by yourself. Sing along with the recordings of some of these songs or find and print the music to sing acapella or with accompaniment if you can.

The prayer for this week comes from Thomas Reade – “On the Blessedness of a New Heart.”

Oh! divine Redeemer,

out of whose inexhaustible fullness I would daily draw

a rich supply of grace into my needy soul,

be pleased to impart unto me an undivided heart;

that to please You, may be my greatest happiness,

and to promote Your glory my highest honor.

Preserve me from false motives, from a double mind, and a divided heart.

Keep me entirely to Yourself,

and enable me to crucify every lust,

which would tempt my heart from You.

Enable me by Your grace to walk

in one uniform path of holy, childlike obedience.

When tempted to turn aside to the right hand or to the left,

may I keep steadily Your way,

until brought before Your throne,

I see Your face, behold Your smile,

and fall in ecstasy at Your feet,

lost in wonder, love, and praise.

For the Memory Verse, try to recite all of Psalm 1 again without looking.

For Kids’ Corner…

Story: “Jars of Oil” (pages 222-225 of The Beginners’ Bible if that’s helpful)

Songs:

1. “My God Is So Big”

2. “The B-I-B-L-E”

Please remember that our online Town Hall for members will be at 11:15 AM.

And don’t forget that if you would like to meet with one or both of us for lunch or a walk, please email us at elders.

Praying for you all,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Family,

Praise the Lord for these past few days of sunshine and fair weather! We’re praying that even within the limitations of Phase 3 quarantine you are still able to enjoy and feed on the provisions of God’s grace throughout this season of life.

With that said, the highlighted ‘Sermon of the Week’ is from a less well-known pastor who has helpd me in the past named Alex Montoya. It’s entitled Under Grace, Not Law.He’s a little more old school in his approach, but I hope his sermon is still beneficial for your spiritual growth.

As always, the Spotify Playlist has been updated with fresh worship music for you to use to further meditate upon Christ and his Word.

Finally, the reading for this week comes from Ephesians 2:1-10.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,

following the course of this world,

following the prince of the power of the air,

the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience –

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,

carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,

and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses,

made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved –

and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace

in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.

And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

The Memory Verse is all of Psalm 1. When we can finally meet all together again, everyone should be able to recite Psalm 1 from memory!

Here’s the Kids’ Corner curriculum:

· Story: “Fire From Heaven” p. 209 (Lesson 12)

· Songs:

1. “What a Mighty God We Serve”

2. “My God is So Big”

· Children’s Bulletins attached that go along with the lesson.

Praying for you this week,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Family,

The recommended ‘Sermon of the Week’ is an older sermon by Pastor Nathan from our study of Deuteronomy entitled, “The King” (the manuscript can be found here.) As we are confronted with the blatant lack of justice in our world, we hope this sermon will provide the biblical categories necessary for thinking through how Christians can best be a people who seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with a new set of worship music for this week for you to draw from in your home worship.

The reading for the week comes from The Valley of Vision.It’s a prayer entitled “The King.”

O GOD,

Praise waiteth for thee,

and to render it is my noblest exercise;

This is thy due from all thy creatures,

for all thy works display thy attributes

and fulfil thy designs;

The sea, dry land, winter cold, summer heat,

morning light, evening shade are full of thee,

and thou givest me them richly to enjoy.

Thou art King of kings and Lord of lords;

At thy pleasure empires rise and fall;

All thy works praise thee and thy saints bless thee;

Let me be numbered with thy holy ones,

resemble them in character and condition,

sit with them at Jesus’ feet.

May my religion be always firmly rooted in thy Word,

my understanding divinely informed,

my affections holy and heavenly,

my motives simple and pure,

and my heart never wrong with thee.

Deliver me from the natural darkness of my own mind,

from the corruptions of my heart,

from the temptations to which I am exposed,

from the daily snares that attend me.

I am in constant danger while I am in this life;

Let thy watchful eye ever be upon me for my defence,

Save me from the power of my worldly and spiritual enemies

and from all painful evils to which I have exposed myself.

Until the day of life dawns above

let there be unrestrained fellowship with Jesus;

Until fruition comes,

may I enjoy the earnest of my inheritance

and the firstfruits of the Spirit;

Until I finish my course with joy

may I pursue it with diligence,

in every part display the resources of the Christian,

and adorn the doctrine of thee my God in all things.

Praying for you this week. If you would like to meet with one of the pastors for lunch please email elders at immanuel dash baptist dot net.

ADDENDUM (Sunday Morning):

Please watch these two short videos from Pastor Nathan before beginning your home worship: 

Part 1

Part 2

Hello IBC Fam,

The state is slowly moving out of quarantine, but larger corporate gatherings are still not advised and so we have to spend another Sunday apart, worshipping at home. You can find ‘The Immanuel Plan for Gathering Again’ here.

This week we have an old sermon from the IBC archives based on Joel 3 entitled, “The Face of God in Justice and Love.” I hope it is an encouragement to you this week.

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with new worship music for this week.

It was a week of deeply sad news (i.e. 100,000+ COVID-19 deaths and the death of George Floyd…). In case you missed Prayer Meeting, we dedicated it to the practice of lament and you can see what we did here. Our reading for this week comes from one of the ‘Psalms of Lament’:

PSALM 77

I cry aloud to God,

aloud to God, and he will hear me.

In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;

in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;

my soul refuses to be comforted.

When I remember God, I moan;

when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah

You hold my eyelids open;

I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

I consider the days of old,

the years long ago.

I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;

let me meditate in my heart.”

Then my spirit made a diligent search:

“Will the Lord spurn forever,

and never again be favorable?

Has his steadfast love forever ceased?

Are his promises at an end for all time?

Has God forgotten to be gracious?

Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

Then I said, “I will appeal to this,

to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;

yes, I will remember your wonders of old.

I will ponder all your work,

and meditate on your mighty deeds.

Your way, O God, is holy.

What god is great like our God?

You are the God who works wonders;

you have made known your might among the peoples.

You with your arm redeemed your people,

the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

When the waters saw you, O God,

when the waters saw you, they were afraid;

indeed, the deep trembled.

The clouds poured out water;

the skies gave forth thunder;

your arrows flashed on every side.

The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;

your lightnings lighted up the world;

the earth trembled and shook.

Your way was through the sea,

your path through the great waters;

yet your footprints were unseen.

You led your people like a flock

by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Our Memory Verse for this week is still Psalm 1:6 – “…for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

The Kid’s Corner story is “The Wise King” p.194 (Lesson 194). Coloring sheets are attached. And the songs are:

1. “The B-I-B-L-E”

2. “This Little Light of Mine”

As always, we are praying for you during this turbulent time. We love you and eagerly long for the day when we can come together again in full fellowship. If you would like to talk/walk/meet with us, please email us.

Sincerely,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC,

This is our 10th Sunday not meeting together as a church. We pray that you still are setting aside the Lord’s Day as special in your home, utilizing the guide that we provide, and longing for the assembly of the saints again.

Recently, Nathan recorded a talk on Philippians 1:18b-30 for another church here in the city entitled, “Death, Life, and Life Together.” We thought it would be applicable and an encouragement for IBC too.

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with new worship music.

And our prayer for this week comes again from The Valley of Vision:

NEED OF JESUS

LORD JESUS,

I am blind, be thou my light,

ignorant, be thou my wisdom,

self-willed, be thou my mind.

Open my ear to grasp quickly thy Spirit’s voice,

and delightfully run after his beckoning hand;

Melt my conscience that no hardness remain,

make it alive to evil’s slightest touch;

When Satan approaches may I flee to thy wounds,

and there cease to tremble at all alarms.

Be my good shepherd to lead me into

the green pastures of thy Word,

and cause me to lie down beside the rivers of its comforts.

Fill me with peace, that no disquieting worldly gales

may ruffle the calm surface of my soul.

Thy cross was upraised to be my refuge,

Thy blood streamed forth to wash me clean,

Thy death occurred to give me a surety,

Thy name is my property to save me,

By thee all heaven is poured into my heart,

but it is too narrow to comprehend thy love.

I was a stranger, an outcast, a slave, a rebel,

but thy cross has brought me near,

has softened my heart,

has made me thy Father’s child,

has admitted me to thy family,

has made me joint-heir with thyself.

O that I may love thee as thou lovest me,

that I may walk worthy of thee, my Lord,

that I may reflect the image of heaven’s first-born.

May I always see thy beauty with the clear eye of faith,

and feel the power of thy Spirit in my heart,

for unless he move mightily in me

no inward fire will be kindled.

The church Memory Verse is Psalm 1:6 – “…for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

The Kids’ Corner Story is “The Lord is My Shepherd” p. 190 (Lesson 11). And the Songs from our YouTube Playlist are “Peace Like a River” and “How Good Is the Lord.” Corresponding coloring sheets/games are attached.

As always please let us know if you are in need of anything throughout the week. Nathan and/or I are available to take a socially distant walk with you or buy you lunch during your lunch hour and eat safely at The Meeting Place. Just email elders at immanuel dash baptist dot net to schedule something!

Praying for you,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Fam!

Here is our guide for Sunday morning home worship tomorrow.

Due to the news of his terminal illness, we are listening to a sermon by the apologist Ravi Zacharias this week entitled “Is Truth Dead?

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with new music for this week. Pick at least a couple, print out the words, and sing with your family or roommates before/after the sermon.

We also have a reading for this week from Isaiah 55:

Come, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters;

and he who has no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,

and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me;

hear, that your soul may live;

and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

my steadfast, sure love for David.

Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,

a leader and commander for the peoples.

Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,

and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,

because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,

for he has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while he may be found;

call upon him while he is near;

let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts;

let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and the hills before you

shall break forth into singing,

and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;

instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;

and it shall make a name for the Lord,

an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Memory verse: This week see if you can recite Psalm 1:1-5.

And here’s what would have been happening in Kids’ Corner, but you can still do it with your kids:

Story: “David and Goliath” p. 173

(Lesson 11)


Songs:

1. “What a Mighty God We Serve”

2. “My God Is So Big”

Praying for you this week,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Family,

Pastor Theo here. This Sunday, I hope you all can rest in the everlasting mercy and love of our Savior, Christ Jesus.

This week we have a talk from Michael Horton entitled, “What Is the Gospel?

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with new worship music for this week.

The prayer for this week comes again from The Valley of Vision:

THE GOSPEL WAY

BLESSED LORD JESUS,

No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.

Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message,

lived out on earth through infinite compassion,

applying thy life to insult, injury, death,

that I might be redeemed, ransomed, freed.

Blessed be thou, O Father, for contriving this way,

Eternal thanks to thee, O Lamb of God,

for opening this way,

Praise everlasting to thee, O Holy Spirit,

for applying this way to my heart.

Glorious Trinity, impress the gospel on my soul,

until its virtue diffuses every faculty;

Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.

Teach me to secure this mighty blessing;

Help me to give up every darling lust,

to submit heart and life to its command,

to have it in my will,

controlling my affections,

moulding my understanding;

to adhere strictly to the rules of true religion,

not departing from them in any instance,

nor for any advantage in order to escape evil,

inconvenience or danger.

Take me to the cross to seek glory from its infamy;

Strip me of every pleasing pretence of righteousness by my own doings.
O gracious Redeemer,

I have neglected thee too long,

often crucified thee,

crucified thee afresh by my impenitence,

put thee to open shame.

Thank thee for the patience that has borne with me so long,

and for the grace that now makes me willing to be thine.

O unite me to thyself with inseparable bonds,

that nothing may ever draw me back from thee,

my Lord, my Saviour.

May we find rest in the finished work of Christ this week.

Dear IBC Fam,

Here’s the guide for this week’s Lord’s Day at home.

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with a new set of worship music.

And the ‘Sermon of the Week’ is from H.B. Charles – “God Will Give You Strength.”

Finally, we have another prayer from The Valley of Vision entitled “True Religion.”

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY,

I ask not to be enrolled amongst the earthly
great and rich,
but to be numbered with the spiritually blessed.
Make it my present, supreme, persevering concern
to obtain those blessings which are
spiritual in their nature,
eternal in their continuance,
satisfying in their possession.
Preserve me from a false estimate of the whole
or a part of my character;
May I pay regard to
my principles as well as my conduct,
my motives as well as my actions.
Help me
never to mistake the excitement of my passions
for the renewing of the Holy Spirit,
never to judge my religion by occasional
impressions and impulses, but by my
constant and prevailing disposition.
May my heart be right with thee,
and my life as becometh the gospel.
May I maintain a supreme regard to another
and better world,
and feel and confess myself a stranger
and a pilgrim here.
Afford me all the direction, defence, support,
and consolation my journey hence requires,
and grant me a mind stayed upon thee.
Give me large abundance of the supply of
the Spirit of Jesus,
that I may be prepared for every duty,
love thee in all my mercies,
submit to thee in every trial,
trust thee when walking in darkness,
have peace in thee amidst life’s changes.
Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief
and uncertainties.

Praying that the Lord will continue to build our faith this Sunday.

THE MEMORY VERSE FOR NEXT WEEK REMAINS PSALM 1:5 – “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”

Sincerely,

Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Family,

We are once again prepping for another Sunday quarantined away. I’m sure we are all feeling the drain of social distancing at this point. As tiring and discouraging as these days can be, it is important for us to persevere in well-doing, knowing that the Lord is still pleased by the daily faithfulness of his children (Rom. 15:5-6).

As we patiently wait upon the Lord, we still need to set aside time to remember him and his good mercies towards us.

Our ‘Sermon of the Week’ is entitled, “Worry and Anxiety.” It comes from a British preacher that God used mightily in the 20th Century – Dr. David Martin Lloyd-Jones. Lloyd-Jones preached at Westminster Chapel even during WWII when many people had evacuated London. On one Sunday a bomb fell only a few yards from the building while Lloyd-Jones was praying. Plaster fell from the roof on the heads of the congregation. He paused for a moment… and then continued to pray and went on to preach the sermon. We need to hear from experienced voices like this.

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with familiar songs for us to listen to this week.

Finally, here is a prayer from Calvin’s Catechism, which he used to pray over the day.

Prayer Before the Day

My God—my Father and Preserver—who of your goodness has watched over me during the past night, and brought me to this day, grant also that I may spend it wholly in the worship and service of your most holy deity.

Let me not think, or say, or do a single thing which tends not to your service and submission to your will, that thus all my actions may aim at your glory and the salvation of my brethren, while they are taught by my example to serve you.

And as you are giving light to this world for the purposes of external life by the rays of the sun, so enlighten my mind by the effulgence of your Spirit, that he may guide me in the way of your righteousness.

To whatever purpose I apply my mind, may the end which I ever propose to myself be your honor and service.

May I expect all happiness from your grace and goodness only.

Let me not attempt anything whatever that is not pleasing to you.

Grant also, that while I labor for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which you have promised to your children.

Be pleased also, in manifesting yourself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life.

But seeing it is a small thing to have begun, unless I also persevere, I therefore entreat of you, O Lord, not only to be my guide and director for this day, but to keep me under your protection to the very end of life, that thus my whole course may be performed under your superintendence.

As I ought to make progress, do you add daily more and more to the gifts of your grace until I wholly adhere to your Son Jesus Christ, whom we justly regard as the true Sun, shining constantly in our minds.

In order to my obtaining of you these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of your infinite mercy, forgive my offenses, as you have promised that you will do to those who call upon you in sincerity.

Grant that I may hear your voice in the morning since I have hoped in you.

Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto you.

Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto you.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.

Let your good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.

Sincerely,

Theodore Siu

Tomorrow is Easter! A reminder that our Lord is indeed Risen!

There’s a parade at 8:45 AM tomorrow for those who can make it.

We’re also continuing with our Sunday home worship guides. To celebrate the greatest moment of our faith, we have a list of Easter-themed resources for you to take advantage of with your household.*

Here is a Scripture Reading about the very first Resurrection Sunday:

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.

And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain,

one at the head and one at the feet.

They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord,

and I do not know where they have laid him.”

Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing,

but she did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him,

“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him,

and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father;

but go to my brothers and say to them,

‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,

“I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

John 20:11-18

The Spotify Playlist is updated with songs to commemorate the Resurrection of our Lord Christ Jesus.

We have a ‘Sermon of the Week’ by Tim Keller entitled, “Encountering the Risen King.

Finally, another prayer from the Valley of Vision for us to meditate upon and pray through together:

Resurrection

O GOD OF MY EXODUS,

Great was the joy of Israel’s sons,
when Egypt died upon the shore,
Far greater the joy
when the Redeemer’s foe lay crushed
in the dust.
Jesus strides forth as the victor,
conqueror of death, hell, and all opposing
might;
He bursts the bands of death,
tramples the powers of darkness down,
and lives for ever.
He, my gracious surety,
apprehended for payment of my debt,
comes forth from the prison house of the grave
free, and triumphant over sin, Satan, and death.
Show me herein the proof that his vicarious offering
is accepted,
that the claims of justice are satisfied,
that the devil’s sceptre is shivered,
that his wrongful throne is levelled.
Give me the assurance that in Christ I died,
in him I rose,
in his life I live, in his victory I triumph,
in his ascension I shall be glorified.
Adorable Redeemer,
thou who wast lifted up upon a cross
art ascended to highest heaven.
Thou, who as Man of sorrows
wast crowned with thorns,
art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.
Once, no shame more deep than thine,
no agony more bitter,
no death more cruel.
Now, no exaltation more high,
no life more glorious,
no advocate more effective.
Thou art in the triumph car leading captive
thine enemies behind thee.
What more could be done than thou hast done!
Thy death is my life,
thy resurrection my peace,
thy ascension my hope,
thy prayers my comfort.

Happy Easter! Praying that Christ will reign supreme in our hearts and minds this day.

~ Pastor Theo

* Our latest Immanuel Pastors Podcast is on the topic of worshipping at home and may be an encouragement to you especially during this time of absence from corporate worship.

And he is before all things,

and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church.

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,

that in everything he might be preeminent.

Colossians 1:17-18

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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