Thursday, February 28, 2008
have overcome this or that lust so long, - that I have got into the
habit of the opposite grace, - so that there is no fear; I may venture
very near the temptation - nearer than other men.
This is a lie of Satan. One might as well speak of gunpowder getting by habit of
resisting fire, so as not to catch spark.
As long as powder is wet, it resists the spark; but when it becomes dry, it is ready to explode at the first touch.
As long as the Spirit dwells in my heart, He deadens me to sin, so that, if lawfully called through temptation, I may reckon upon God carrying me through. But when the Spirit leaves me, I am like dry gunpowder. Oh for a sense of this!
Robert Murray M'Cheyne
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Regardless, if you are at all intrigued, interested, and/or involved in youth ministry, I recommend as a tremendously convicting, convincing and (maybe) confirming read. Though easy to read, it is full of practical, timeless insights into what ministry is, and what it's purpose should be.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Okay, last one (maybe)...here's D C Talk covering Larry's I Wish We'd All Been Ready
"His influence outweighed his sales so much that it's comical," Willman said. "He certainly had a heart for evangelism — almost to his detriment, I might say. He really could've been a star if he were singing about something other than Jesus."
Monday, February 25, 2008
Even before "Jesus" music, before Maranatha Music...there was Larry Norman. Long-haired and in love with Jesus, he gave certain pastors a lot to preach against, and created, birthed, empowered "contemporary Christian music." Watch this video, and then google Larry and read more about this guy. A few hours before he died (Sunday morning) he said, "I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up."
You are aware, I trust, that more than three dozen Duke Lacrosse players are suing the school and the city because they "suffered emotional distress during the furor over the now-discredited rape case against three of their teammates." Julie Ponzi writes this great observation/opinion:
Great. I’m sure they probably have a case. Much has been made of the lack of ethics involved in their prosecution. Much has been made of the girl’s lies. And I agreed with all of it. But missing--sorely missing!--from almost all discussion of this case, was any serious condemnation of the boys for engaging in behavior that was so irresponsible as to put them in an awkward and compromising position. There was plenty of unjust condemnation directed at them--about their supposed racism and imagined proclivities for sexual assault--but admitting that these guys acted like a bunch of stupid jerks who didn’t deserve a lot of sympathy would not have implied support for those moronic attacks. Team sponsored (whether "official" or not) drunken parties with strippers? I’m not so naive as to be shocked by the occurrence of these things . . . but I am offended by a call for my sympathy to be attached to the idiots who get caught with their pants down--so to speak. Boys, if you don’t want to end up in this situation here’s an idea . . . don’t go to these kind of things. Don’t hang out with drunk sluts you don’t know and can’t trust. Exercise some judgment if you can’t exercise your virtue. If you don’t, it may go badly for you. And, when it does, perhaps you’ll have a legal case if you don’t end up in jail. But so what? You’re still an idiot. And we all end up having to watch your sad spectacle and foot the bill for this kind of absurd litigation? Thanks so much for that.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Jack the Adopted Child of God : “Okay, Lord, You’ve opened the door for this move; I’ll trust you to sell the house in Your timing.”
Jack the Human: “What if we have to reduce the price to the point we don’t have enough for a down-payment on a new home in Missouri?”
Jack the Adopted Child of God : “In one way or other, the Lord will provide; it may not be your way, it may not be my way; yet in His own way, the Lord will provide.”
Jack the Human: “But Jane had a perfect house picked out in Saint Joseph…and now it’s gone.”
Jack the Adopted Child of God : “I take you at Your Word, Lord, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Jack the Human: “Yikes! It’s already almost March, and I’m done here at Family Life at the end of April. We can’t move until we sell the house!”
Jack the Adopted Child of God : “Our times are in Your hands, Lord. Thanks for Job 5:8,9:
“As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause,
Who does great things and unsearchable,
marvelous things without number.”
Thursday, February 21, 2008
It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind that ‘Christ is made unto us righteousness,’ we shall be of good cheer.
There is nothing wanting in my Lord; Christ hath done it all. On the cross he said, ‘It is finished!’ and if it be finished, then am I complete in him, and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, ‘Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.’ ”- Charles Spurgeon
Monday, February 18, 2008
The patient is a doctor who did lethal injections at a prison. The woman is a prison chaplain. I don't watch much tv, but, wow, this is good, challenging, and a reminder that most people are a whole lot more willing to listen than most of us are willing to speak of the gospel.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I've no idea where Kristofferson is regarding salvation; but I've wondered for decades how someone could write this song without an awareness of salvation. The video is worth watching for the final image...
Saturday, February 16, 2008
There are no shortcuts to holiness. There is no easy way to conquer the flesh. Christian character is a matter of growth, not of secrets or formulas. Growth takes time. It also takes the discipline of prayer, of study, of heart searching, of sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's pleading, and of consistent obedience. It must always begin with a renewed thankfulness for the never-ending grace of God, and a sense of being set free repeatedly to a life of holiness.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Quick...how many school shootings have there been this week?
I won't type the answer, because it may not be accurate by the dawns early light.
"In the last days, difficult times will come..."
Why the surge in campus shootings? In some cases it's almost "suicide by cop," except the perpetrators blow themselves away after attempting...and all too often succeeding...in taking others with them.
Though I don't have too many initials after my name, and thus am assured that no one is going to call me to ask my opinion...I'll type it here anyway...
I think a major contributing factor to such things as campus shootings is Roe v Wade. If my government (and my peers, the actors/musicians I idolize, in too many cases the "reverends" I listen to at church, and, sadly, my parents) says it is okay to terminate a babies life; then it is not a leap to say it is certainly okay for me to end my life...and, if I feel like it, if it's convenient, if you are causing me a problem, it's got to be okay for me to take your life.
No, I don't think too many people consciously use the above "reasoning," but the ingrained "it's my body" argument of the prochoice folks translates to "it's my right" and becomes "I'm right, you're wrong" and can morph into, "I'm right, you're dead."
Think I'm crazy? Spend some time researching things like murder, suicide, random shootings etc. Try to find out how many such events happened in, say, 1972...and then chart the numbers from the horrific Supreme Court decision of 1973.
Oh, yes, abortion directly has slaughtered millions. But the indirect consequences add horrific numbers...
On this Valentines day I enjoy those great theologians John, Paul, George, and Ringo. In a sense, once you come (or, more scriptural, brought) to Christ, "love is all you need." As A. W. Tozer stated, "Our Lord told His disciples that love and obedience are organically united - the final test of love is obedience." As Jesus declared in John 14.21 "Whoever has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, adn I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
By the way, regarding human love, the best description I've heard is simple yet profound: "I want for you, what is best for you, for the longest period of time."
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
She thinks "it is easier to talk to (her) daughter about sex than about God. Perhaps that's because I have a pretty good idea where babies come from, but I'm still a little fuzzy on the details about God."
Well, since she is (again, by her own admission) picking-and-choosing tidbits here and there about her faith, it is no wonder she is "fuzzy on the details."
But the saddest part in her column occurs as she quotes a friend who has a nine-year-old daughter, "I kind of play down the religious aspect of church...At a recent meeting to discuss what we would like the Sunday school to teach, I got quite a few funny looks when I said I didn't want a lot of emphasis on the spiritual side of things."
Man, I sure am glad she got some "funny looks" instead of applause!
I was raised in a non-church-going family. Christ grabbed me when I was 26. These many years later I still can't understand why people (regardless of denomination) go to church if they don't believe. Obviously for some it is a cultural thing; some, I suppose, go for the "sake of the children."
But to verbalize one's belief that Sunday school should not teach spiritual things amazes me. That's not even "holding to a form of godliness..."
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I recall one of my drill sergeants screaming at a recruit who couldn't accomplish a task, "What do you want me to do, hold your hand?" Obviously this was not voiced in a pleasant or helpful way.
But look at Psalm 37.23,24: "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand."
What a promise of a "very present help." What a promise of security. Abba, Daddy, holds the hand of those who try to walk in His way...
Monday, February 4, 2008
Instead it turns into perhaps the best Superbowl I've watched. Manning getting away from the sack, that amazing catch-on-top-of-the-helmet; the chumpy way the Patriots coach wimped off the field of play...
Here's an appropriate quotation as the Hagers wait on the Lord to see to the details of our upcoming move to Missouri:
God has a time for everything, a perfect schedule. He is never too soon, never too late. The when of His will is as important as the what and the how.
Richard C. Halverson
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Paul David Tripp
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands
(Phillipsburg, Pa.: P & R publishing, 2002), 16.