Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Just a reminder:
"The good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in His image to know Him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from Him.
In His great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust in Him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ's sacrifice and that God's wrath against us had been exhausted.
He now calls us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness.
If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God."
Mark Dever, "The Gospel & Personal Evangelism"
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
10 Things To Remember When Your Child Is Disobedient
Here are 10 Things I had to remind myself today when the job of correcting my children felt especially difficult…
1. You disobey the Lord…and He is the perfect Father.
2. His kindness leads us to repentance.
3. God disciplines those He loves.
4. Your child’s disobedience does not measure your value any more than his obedience showcases your achievement.
5. Your child’s disobedience teaches you dependence on God.
6. And sometimes it’s more than dependence He’s after, it’s complete desperation for Him.
7. Your child is clearly a sinner, and needs to hear the truth of the Gospel, and see it lived out through you.
8. Times of correction serve to remind, or establish within your child, his own sense of need for a Savior.
9. It’s not good behavior you really desire…you want his heart.
10. Your child is a person, not a project.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Carl Trueman’s thoughts on how Christian’s should respond if they are criticized or defamed (specifically on the web):
The answer is simple: for myself, I do not believe that it is appropriate that I spend my time defending my name. My name is nothing—who really cares about it? And I am not called to waste precious hours and energy in fighting off every person with a laptop who wants to have a pop at me. As a Christian, I am not meant to engage in self-justification any more than self-promotion; I am called rather to defend the name of Christ; and, to be honest, I have yet to see a criticism of me, true or untrue, to which I could justifiably respond on the grounds that it was Christ’s honour, and not simply my ego, which was being damaged. I am called to spend my time in being a husband, a father, a minister in my denomination, a member of my church, a good friend to those around me, and a conscientious employee. These things, these people, these locations and contexts, are to shape my priorities and my allocation of time. Hitting back in anger at those who, justly or unjustly, do not like me and for some reason think the world needs to know what they think of me is no part of my God-given vocation. God will look after my reputation if needs be; He has given me other work to do.
Pictured is a transparent sea cucumber captured 1.7 miles beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Yikes?
Jesus created this? Yup. Why? Beats me. But I wonder if He had a grin as He molded this together....
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Is there a real need for youth ministry? Duh. Not picking on the stores represented, but the verbal message of this combines the worst of "political correctness" with the encouragement to "do whatever feels good". Gaggeth a self-respecting maggot.
—J.I. Packer, Knowing God
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
A classic, though not kind answer, "That's okay, there is plenty of room for another one."
But a while ago someone played that excuse on me, and I responded, "Don't you like the NFL?"
"Of course you know there are a lot of scum bags in the National Football League?"
"But you still like the NFL, right?"
Not sure if I made my point, but it works for me!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"I have yet to come across a student who struggled with, or even abandoned, the faith, who did not, at some early point in their struggle, abandon the mundane routines of the Christian life: regular attendance at the preaching of the word, prayer, etc. etc. Boring they may be, but they are God’s means of preventing amnesia; and we forget them at our peril."- Carl Truman
Most of us have never really understood that Christianity is not a self-help religion meant to enable moral people to become more moral. We don’t need a self-help book; we need a Savior. We don’t need to get our collective act together; we need death and resurrection and the life-transforming truths of the gospel. And we don’t need them just once, at the beginning of our Christian life; we need them every moment of every day.”
- Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson, "Counsel from the Cross" (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2009), 30
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
1) When you’re tempted to fear, lean into faith.
2) When you want to control, you must let go.
3) When comfort lures you, choose sacrifice.
But this, by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, (The Love of God, pp. 49-50) elaborates in a way I needed to read:
"The more I study the New Testament and live the Christian life, the more convinced I am that our fundamental difficulty, our fundamental lack, is the lack of seeing the love of God. It is not so much our knowledge that is defective but our vision of the love of God. Thus our greatest object and endeavor should be to know Him better, and thus we will love Him more truly."
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
“Happy is the Christian who keeps these two points continually before his eyes! The brightest saint is the man who has the most heart-searching sense of his own sinfulness, and the liveliest sense of his own complete acceptance in Christ.”
~ J.C. Ryle
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I was in Pasadena, California watching tv in a bar when Jeremiah Denton made the incredible statement that appears as part of this video. It made an impact in my life then, but later it would mean incredibly more.
At the end of that year I was arrested in Texas that resulted in a prison sentence in Oregon. While in Texas I was introduced to the Lord and the gospel via reading a paperback book someone had donated.
The Spirit of God did His convicting work, and at the age of 26, from a stereotypical child of the sixties Nam vet, alcoholic, drug dealing thief I was set free.
I use Denton's statement frequently as an illustration that following Christ is NOT about "your best life now," but is about sacrifice, inconvenience, and great joy.
And, by His grace, I challenge me as I challenge others to live in such a way that maybe...maybe...we will one day bow at His feet and state, "Lord Jesus, it has not been easy, I got close to giving up, but by Your power I've come to realize that it has been an honor to serve You under difficult circumstances.:
Thanks to all other veterans, and "welcome home."
(and if there is someone tempted to yell because of the person singing the song, I am aware of the situation; but his sin does not negate the words of the song)
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
His definition of ministry is worth several times the price of the book: "Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God."
As I restarted the book this morning here at Crescent Lake Bible Camp in Rhinelander, Wi I reflected that I first spoke at this camp for a winter retreat probably in 1979. Yikes! And I again reflect on what a slow learner I am...and a book like this challenges, comforts, and kicks-in-the-butt in just the right way to bring about not simply conviction, but change.
If you are satisfied with your life and ministry, ignore the book. If you are open to a sanctified mixture of challenge, conviction, and confirmation, get the book!
And, yeah, you can provide me a few cents for my deputation account if you order off the link below:
Thursday, November 5, 2009
"Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial."
Your future is found in I Corinthians 10:23. It reveals two options: permissible or beneficial. And your destiny will be determined by which option you choose.
Who we become is determined by whether we settle for what is permissible or strive for what is beneficial. It's so tempting to live down to what is required. It's so tempting to live in our comfort zone. It's so tempting to take the path of least resistance, but the path of least resistance never takes you where you really want to go!
What am I getting at? Well, are you setting for what is permissible? Or are you striving for what is beneficial? Are you giving God leftovers? Or are you seeking first the kingdom of God? Where are you compromising? Where have you become comfortable with what is permissible?
Don't let short-term comfort short-circuit God's long-terms plans for your life. Spiritual short-cuts always turn into detours! Take the hard way. Take the high road. Strive for what is beneficial.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
"To be entirely safe from the devil's snares the man of God must be completely obedient to the
Word of the Lord.
The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs
That Incredible Christian, 51.
Monday, November 2, 2009
This was written by good friend Denny Brownlee for the Morning Show at Family Life Network (the ministry with which I served for over 20 years before moving to Missouri a year ago)
"And now, when I fall into sin, I have not sinned against the law, I have sinned against love. Like the prodigal, I will go back to my Father and I will tell Him, “Father, I am not worthy to be called your son.” But He will embrace me, and He will say, “Do not talk nonsense, you are My child,” and He will shower his love upon me! That is the meaning of putting on the breastplate of righteousness! Never allow the devil to get you into a state of condemnation. Never allow a particular sin to call into question your standing before God. That question has been settled.”
Martyn Lloyd Jones, The Christian Soldier, p. 255