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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"A worshiper can work with an eternal quality in his work, but a worker who doesn't worship is only piling up wood." A W Tozer



Saturday, December 24, 2011

CHRISTmas eve Prayer

Another great one from SCOTTY SMITH


But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.Gal. 4:4-7
Dear Lord Jesus, the details surrounding your birth seem quite happenstance, even tragic. It’s easy to criticize innkeepers for gross inhospitality, pity Mary for the birthing room she had to endure, and judge Jerusalem for missing their moment. Yet everything happened just as you, our Father, and the Holy Spirit planned.
“Doing all things well” (Mark 7:37) didn’t start happening after your resurrection. “Working all things after the counsel of your will” (Eph. 1:11) includes the delightful and the most difficult things in life. Just as you could have called down 12 legions of angels to rescue you at your arrest (Matt. 26:53), so you could have arranged a palatial circumstance for your birth. Lord, please give me greater grace and faith to accept this liberating, if complex truth. You reign… you rule over all things.

“When the time had fully come” you came, Lord Jesus, not a day early and not a day late. And as humbling as it was to be born under the ceiling of a stable, being born under the weight of the law was a far greater burden. Yet that’s exactly why you came into the world—to be born under God’s law to redeem us from our sin and rebellion… to rescue me from my unwillingness and inability to love God as he deserves
.
There’s no way I could have ever fulfilled the demands of God’s righteous, perfect, and holy law. Only you could do so and only you did so. I worship, praise, and adore you, Lord Jesus. I must not see the manger without seeing your cross.

Jesus, because you lived in my place and died in my place, I’m no longer a slave to sin but a son of God. This self-indulgent prodigal and self-righteous man, has been robed in your perfect righteousness. And as surely as he sent you into the world, so God has sent his Spirit to live in my heart—by whom I cry with glee, “Abba, Father!” My future looks quite amazing as well, for I will co-inherit the new heaven and new earth with you, Lord Jesus. How can I possibly keep from singing and shouting, “Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a salvation!” I will not judge innkeepers, but I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and matchless name.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stunning Sentences


In the original, this was all one paragraph. I broke it up to sentences, and thought/prayed/thanked about each one...perhaps a good exercise for you, also? Merry CHRISTmas!

The Word became flesh! 

God became human! 

The invisible became visible!

The untouchable became touchable! 

Eternal life experienced temporal death! 

The transcendent one descended and drew near! 

The unlimited became limited! 

The infinite became finite! 

The immutable became mutable! 

The unbreakable became fragile! 

Spirit became matter!

Eternity entered time! 

The independent became dependent! 

The almighty became weak! 

The loved became hated!

The exalted was humbled! 

Glory was subjected to shame! 

Fame turned into obscurity!

From inexpressible joy to tears of unimaginable grief! 

From a throne to a cross! 

From ruler to being ruled!

From power to weakness!

Sam Storms

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Staggering Mystery


“The supreme mystery with which the gospel confronts us 
lies not in the Good Friday message of atonement, nor in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of incarnation.  

The really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man – that the second person of the Godhead became the ‘second man’ (1 Cor. 15:47), determining human destiny, the second representative head of the race, and that He took humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as He was human.

Here are two mysteries for the price of one ­- the plurality of persons within the unity of God, and the union of Godhead and manhood in the person of Jesus.  It is here, the thing that happened at the first Christmas, that the profoundest and most unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie.  ’The Word was made flesh’ (John 1:14); God became man; the divine Son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child.  And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the Son of God was a reality.  The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets.”

J. I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, 1973), pages 45-46.

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"A Pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself." A W. Tozer


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Don't Forget This!



Important Reminder from J I Packer:

"Our business is to present the Christian faith clothed in modern terms, not to propagate modern thought clothed in Christian terms.

Our business is to interpret and criticize modern thought by the gospel, not vice versa.

Confusion here is fatal."

"Fundamentalism and the Word of God (Eerdmans, 1958), pg 136

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Cheer?

Longtime friend (and pastor) Johnny Williams directs God's Mountain Camp, where son Josiah works full-time, Janelle lifeguards summers, and Jane helps when she can...they had their staff get together, with obligatory, ah, unique clothing...Josiah won the prize for tackiest "sweater"

                                                         Janelle and Sarah Williams


                                                                 Janelle...


                                                  Josiah and his winning creation:

                                                           The Whole Gang

Friday, December 16, 2011

Only One!

Professed atheist Christopher Hitchens died yesterday. Did he die an atheist? I don't know, nor do you. He had heard the gospel from many; perhaps he came to Christ near deaths end.


Here are some sane comments on "death bed conversion":

"It cannot be too often, or too loudly, or too solemnly repeated that the Bible, which ranges over a period of four thousand years, records but one instance of a death-bed conversion - one that none may despair, and but one that none may presume."
                                           Thomas Guthrie (1803-1873), Scottish preacher



Thursday, December 15, 2011

God's Greatest Gifts

"When God planned the great work of saving sinners, he provided two gifts. 


He gave his Son and he gave his Spirit. 


In fact each person of the Trinity was involved in the great work of salvation. 


The love, grace and wisdom of the Father planned it; the love, grace and humility of 


the Son purchased it; and the love, grace and power of the Holy Spirit enabled 


sinners to believe and receive it.



The first great truth in this work of salvation is that God sent his Son to take our 
nature on him and to suffer for us in it. The second great truth is that God gave his 
Spirit to bring sinners to faith in Christ and so be saved."
John Owen

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"When men turn to Him, the same enemies that crucified Him will try to crucify them." A W Tozer


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Wish Holy Spirit was Named Herb

God the Father.

God the Son.

God the Spirit.

Blessed three-in-one.

Not gonna try to "explain" the trinity.

But I do sort-of wish Holy Spirit was named Herb...or Fred...or Tom.

We try to and should stress Spirit is a "person" just as the Father and the Son are...but it is sometimes difficult.

Holy Spirit is just hard to relate to...He seems like a "what" as opposed to a "who" or "whom" (all Bible quizzers grin).

I pray to the Father through the Son by the Spirit.

I am everlastingly glad the Father planned the gospel; the Son paid for the gospel, the Spirit proclaimed and applied the gospel.

But I still, sometimes, wish He was named Herb...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Near Demonic

Mike Mosiman, my overall boss at Midland Ministries, enjoys CHRISTmas and holiday decorations.

He has this inflatable snowman displayed in our auditorium.

I find it scary, near-satanic, and something-in-need-of-a-burger (as in cheesy).

But Mike likes it.

And thus he attached a note, just for me.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Favorite First Testament Passage

I try to reference the "Old Testament" as the First Testament, simply because too many, at least subconsciously, feel "Old" is unimportant...though we know that all Scripture is inspired by God..


Anyway, this is one of my favorite passages in the First Testament:

"Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand are power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank You, our God, and praise Your glorious Name." (1 Chronicles 29.11-13)

Go back through the passage and look at the context of the four "all"s, and be encouraged.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Legalism versus Licentiousness


“When we misunderstand the relationship between law and

gospel, it leads to two opposite but equally destructive errors:

legalism and license. Legalists continue to live under the law, 

believing that God’s approval is somehow dependent on their 

right conduct. 

Licentious people dismiss the law, believing that since they are

“under grace,” God’s rules don’t matter much. These two 

errors have been around since the days of the apostles. 

The book of Galatians is written to combat the error of 

legalism: “Are you so foolish? Afer beginning with the Spirit

are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Gal. 

3:3). 

The book of Romans addresses the error of license: “What

then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under 

grace?”(Rom. 6:15).


Both legalism and license are destructive to the gospel. To 

avoid these pitfalls, we must understand the biblical 

relationship between law and gospel. In a nutshell, here’s how

God designed it to work: the law drives us to the gospel and

the gospel frees us to obey the law. 

Realizing all that God expects of us should drive us in 

despair to Christ. And once we are united with Christ, the 

indwelling Holy Spirit causes us to delight in God’s law and 

gives us power to obey it.”

— Bob Thune and Will Walker, The Gospel Centered Life

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"The resurrection and the judgment will demonstrate before all worlds who won and who lost. We can wait." A. W. Tozer


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Losing Blessings?

"Let us not dictate to God. Many a blessing has been lost by Christians not believing it to be a blessing, because it did not come in the particular shape which they had conceived to be proper and right. To some the divine work is nothing, unless it assumes the form which their prejudice has selected."


Jeremiah Lanphier, Alone with Jesus (London, 1872)


Friday, December 2, 2011

Losing Heart? Read This

SCOTTY SMITH does such a phenomenal job. The following comes off his blog and ministered greatly to me...perhaps you also...



A Prayer of Hope for Those on the Verge of Losing Heart

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:16-18
Heavenly Father, once again we praise you for the relevance, realness and rawness of the Scriptures. For there are times when we feel exactly like Paul felt. We are tempted to lose heart. We know ourselves to be wasting away—emotionally, mentally, physically… not metaphorically, but in reality.
Broken people, complex stories, strained relationships, old hurts bearing current pain… these things are sometimes far more visible to us than anything else. We go through seasons when our troubles neither feel light nor momentary, but “too much” and always.
Father, thank you that we don’t have to pretend otherwise. Thank you that we don’t have to mute our emotions, window-dress our stories, or doing anything to get ready for grace. Grace is for sinners, not for the competent. Mercy is for messes, not for the manicured. Strength comes to the weak, not to the promising. Hope is for the heartless, not the hardy.
So we come… we come to you today, asking you to do what you did for Shepherds long ago. Simply show up, Father. We don’t need an angelic visitation. We don’t need another star. We don’t need another manger scene. We just need to be taken “farther up and farther in” into the once-and-for-all manger.
You promised the Messiah, and you delivered… not only in Bethlehem, but also at Calvary. You have never lied to us, Father, never. We can trust you in the midst of our heartaches and heartbreaks. We can trust you with our angst and anger, our fears and failures, our brokenness and our bitterness. We can trust you for things we can barely see with the eye of faith.
Send your Spirit and open the eyes of our hearts. Today and tomorrow and the next day… throughout this whole Advent season… give us a fresh vision of the hope to which you have called us, the inheritance you have secured for us and the power you have given us in Jesus (Eph. 1:15-23).
When our thinking runs awry, bring us back to gospel sanity. When our emotions run amuck, lasso them in with cords of your love. When we want to run away, run ahead of us, turn around and let us collide into your welcoming embrace. You are so very good, Father, and so very in control. Hallelujah several times over. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

Blessed Burden Bearer

“Jesus is the great Burden-Bearer of His people. No other arm, and no other heart, in heaven or upon earth, were strong enough, or loving enough, to bear these burdens but His! He who bore the weight of our sin and curse and shame in His obedience and death — bore it along all the avenues of His weary pilgrimage, from Bethlehem to Calvary — is He who now stretches forth His Divine arm, and makes bare a Brother’s heart to take your burden of care and of grief, dear saint of God, upon Himself.”
— Octavius Winslow

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Upon Further Review...

No, not talking about football. (I did watch most of the first two games, and was pulling for Miami....)

But I saw this posted on another blog. The blog just had the painting, and no copy other than "A Day for Thanksgiving."
My first thought was, "Hey, this is the ten lepers from Luke 17...but the one looking back looks like a woman...weren't they all men?"

So I grabbed the Word and looked it up...nope, not listed as men...but the one who did turn back is described not only as a Samaritan, but as a male.

Which does not make me any less impressed with the painting...

And, upon even further review...just looking back doesn't mean this was the leper that went back. Maybe this one had a temporary fixation on going back, but decides not to; while another does, in fact, decide to go back.

Don't know.

Interesting, though. I had always "assumed" they were all men.

Ah, the dangers of assumption...in so many areas of life...

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

“Salvation is from our side a choice, from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our “accepting” and “willing” are reactions rather than actions. The right of determination must always remain with God.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Does The Cross Reveal?

"The cross ultimately points not to the greatness of our worth but to the greatness of our sin...The cross sets us free from the misguided self-love to passionately love the One who redeemed us." Bob Kauflin


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reflections 48 years later

Forty-eight years ago I was in a classroom at William S. Hart High School in Newhall, California.

Can't remember what the class was...

But I do recall a fellow student, Lloyd, rushing in the classroom shouting, "The President's been shot!"

My response?

"What's the punchline?"

But it was not a joke...and we soon learned John F. Kennedy died.

We were soon dismissed, and I and thousands of others ended up on Hollywood Blvd trying to turn tragedy into a party.

I was not a believer at the time...not a believer in anything. I was shocked at his death, but didn't feel it was the end of the world.

But from this vantage point can't help but wonder...

Not wonder if there was a "conspiracy."

Not wonder if Oswald was the lone gunman.

But wonder what would have happened had the assassination not occurred?

What if Camelot had continued?

Where would America be...what would have happened in Vietnam?

And wonder about the "what ifs" of Martin Luther King, Jr and Bobby Kennedy a few years later...

But all the "what ifs" are of little, if any value.

God is sovereign in the affairs of man.

Nothing catches Him by surprise.

The biggest "what if"? What if the Spirit of God had not convicted me of my sin and of the reality of salvation in Christ in 1974?

So I blow off the "what if" in the assurance of God's salvation, planned by the Father, purchased by the Son,  applied by the Spirit...

And though I have no clue what will happen tomorrow...I know He is already there...and He is in control...and He is good...and He is wise.

And for that I am thankful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stormy Reminder

"Your trials may be many and great. Your cross may be very heavy. But the business of your soul is all conducted according to an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure. All things are working togethr for your good. Your sorrows are only purifying your soul for glory;; your bereavements are only fashioning you as a polished stone for the temple above, made without hands. From whatever quarter the storms blow, they only drive you nearer to heaven! Whatever weather you may go through it is only ripening you for the garner of God. Your best things are quite safe."
                                                            J. C. Ryle

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Goofy Bros

Was great to have the whole Hager clan together for a few days, but, alas, today Joel headed back; but should be home again just before CHRISTmas...after church we all ate at Chipoltes, and Jacob gave Joel a uniquely-adoring-sort-of-look:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cross Ignored?

"All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ; all hell terribly afraid of it; while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning."  Iowa Chambers


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. “No man can come to me,” said our Lord, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him,” and it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the out working of that impulse is our following hard after Him; and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand: “Thy right hand upholdeth me.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Knit

"...knit together in love..." (Col 2.2)

I have long been intrigued with those words. Paul wanted his readers "hearts to be encouraged, being knit together in love..."

In Colossians 3.14 Paul states, "And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."

Knitting and binding...

I couldn't sew to save my life, but when I think of knitting I think of threads going around and through each other, and thus forming a flexible strength...

And I recognize that I need to "go around" some things that I disagree with among brothers and sisters in Christ. These "things" are not worth fighting about, arguing about, debating about.

I need to go "around" lots of stuff while still holding hands with the family of God.

We who have been redeemed are brothers and sisters in Christ, but not identical twins. We may not always see eye-to-eye, but we can...and should..walk hand-in-hand...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Man Pondereth the Outside Appearance...

Only God knows the heart...as I chuckled at this cartoon I wondered how many people tell me "doing good" in response to my "How you doing?" and are, well, lying...for whatever reason...



Cowboy Jacob

Jane and Janelle headed south yesterday to board their birthday cruiseship (along with Pam and Sarah Williams)...Jacob and I headed to a restored cabin for a look back at Missouri history...here are a few pics:

                                                       Costumed Jacob taking care of corn


                           It was windy and chilly, so Jacob and I wondered about this guy:


                                                     A rope swing and a 9-year-old = fun

The Verse I Love to Quote - To Others

Scotty Smith writes (or rather prays) about Romans 8.28:


And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28 ESV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28 NIV
Heavenly Father, perhaps right after John 3:16, this is one of the first verses we, your children, were taught to memorize, cherish and claim. But in reality, we don’t claim this Scripture, it claims us—it completely reorders how we think about you, our circumstances, our struggles and our future. Today we return, once again, to the homeroom of Romans 8:28.

Let us see what you see and know what is knowable. Help us trust you in the hard places; wait for you in the stressful seasons; and love you—not to get something from you, but because of everything we’ve already received in Jesus.

Hallelujah! You are a God at work. You are presently working in all things for your glory and for our good. Nothing in our past has marked us as a “Plan B” people; nothing in our present contradicts the promise of your care or the pledge of your presence; nothing in our future will separate us from the wonders of your love or alter the completion of your plan.

Hallelujah! You are a God at work in all things for our good, not merely for our liking. We praise you for not giving us everything we want, because we often ask for things that will simply make life easier, rather than trust you for things that will make us like Jesus.

Father, our foolish hearts often call good things evil and evil things good. Thank you for your patience. Our demanding hearts often treat you like Sugar Daddy, rather than Abba, Father. Thank you for not giving into our whining and spirit of entitlement. Our impatient hearts would settle for the fool’s gold of immediate relief, rather than wait for the lasting treasure of eternal inheritance. Thank you for your wisdom and “big picture” Fathering.

By the truth of the gospel, help us love you today with everything we have and are. By the power of your Spirit, enable us to surrender to your purpose, rather than stress over our plans. For the glory of your name, free us to live as a called people, excited about our future; rather than as a driven people, fearful of this day. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Thoughts

I served four years in the Army. Enlisted right out of high school. Long before Jesus captured me.

Did a couple years in Korea...discovered kimchi! Was in Korea when the "Pueblo"  was snatched by the North Koreans. Never thought we'd sell those guys out. We did. Most reading this never heard of the incident...

From Korea to Germany. Was there when the Russians invaded Czechlosvakia. Sent my unit out to the Czech border several days before it happened. Did we have a hunch? Duh.

Then went to Vietnam (with the 11th Armored Cavalry) for the remainder of my enlistment. 

Army was a lot like prison. Learned a lot there; don't wanna go back.

But the dumb decisions I made after the military were not Vietnams fault...or the Armys fault...or even the devils fault.

The decisions were influenced by all those things, and more; but the decisions were not dictated by those things.

I made my choices, my choices made me. It's called personal responsibility.

The most disgusting phrase in English? "It's not my fault." Well, yeah, it is.

We may have a lot of "excuses," but to paraphrase a military saying, "Excuses are like elbows; everyone has a couple."

And our God did not send His Son to die for excuses, but for sins. "There is a way that seems right to a man..."

I'm thankful the Lord sent His Spirit to invade my life in a Texas jail cell in 1974...and that His mercies are new every morning.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gospel or Discipleship?

What do you think about this:


“Contrary to what some might think, discipleship is not the engine of the church. The gospel is. Without the gospel, both discipleship and church fail. Without the driving force of the gospel, discipleship devolves into self-help religiosity motivated by conservative pietism. The church is reduced to a glorified non-profit in which people lose interest. But the gospel reactivates both church and discipleship!
The good news that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us, changes everything! In the gospel, God in Christ welcomes sinners and sends out disciples. The gospel, not discipleship, is central to the church. If we make discipleship the engine of the church, we’ll run quickly out of gas. But when the gospel is central, the church gets traction and disciples get depth.”
— Jonathan Dobson

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

“God works in you to will, but you are to work with God in working it out. God works in you – that is, God is always previous. God is the aggressor. God saw you in the rut and wanted you to get out it. He thought of it first, not you. The impuse to know God came from Him and not from you. God works first, and because God works we are to work with Him.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Such A Vital Message for Girls and Women

Yeah, the song has been around for a while; but the message is so, so important...watch/pray/share:

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Little Girl is 17?

Seventeen years ago November 4 my daughter, Janelle, was born to a young girl we met at a camp a year before.

After camp the girl stayed in touch, made some mistakes, found herself pregnant, contacted us; after prayer and consideration we started the proceedings to adopt Janelle at birth.

The birthmom was 13 when she got pregnant; 14 when she delivered. There were tense moments of wondering if the adoption would go through, but on that miraculous morning our daughter was born.

Seventeen years have, as all parents know, flown by. As she is my only daughter, of course Janelle frequently refers to herself as "Dad's favorite daughter." Which is, of course, true.

Adoption teaches us so much...and will teach us more. We are so thankful our Heavenly Father did not "have" to adopt us as His children; but He did...and though the financial cost to us for Janelle was enormous; the price God the Father paid as Jesus Christ became our substitute is unfathomable.

Janelle has brought far more warmth into our lives than this picture portrays:

And this photo depicts her utilizing one of her giftings...loving on little kids:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Don't Slam Me!

Yes, I know the world will never be "as one" as long as there is sin, Satan, and the kingdom of self...I know the UN is problematic in so many ways; but I still love this ongoing concept of recording street musicians from all over the world...reminding me how big the world is, how small that I am...and that causes me to reflect on the gospel....how it has and does effect me, and my responsibility to pass it on...

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth


“We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only we can do – flee it or die upon it. And if we should be so foolhardy as to flee we shall by that act put away the faith of our fathers and make of Christianity something other than it is …
“If we are wise we will do what Jesus did: endure the cross and despise its shame for the joy that is set before us … The cross will cut into our lives where it hurts worst, sparing neither us nor our carefully cultivated reputations. It will defeat us and bring our selfish lives to an end. Only then can we rise in fullness of life to establish a pattern of living wholly new and free and full of good works.
“The changed attitude toward the cross that we see … proves not that God has changed, nor that Christ has eased up on His demand that we carry the cross; it means rather that current Christianity has moved away from the standards of the New Testament. So far have we moved indeed that it may take nothing short of a new reformation to restore the cross to its right place in the theology and life of the Church.”
- A.W. Tozer, The Root of The Righteous

Monday, October 31, 2011

Joyous Janelle

So hard for me to fathom that my daughter, Janelle, will be 17 Friday...she helped watch youngsters while adults watched a movie at church last night...here's a shot:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Linus Example

Hmmm...wish I more consistently lived like I needed Jesus and the gospel as much as Linus needs his blanket:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Deaf Group

I've more than a casual interest in the deaf since Jane's Mom is deaf and thus Jane (and my kids to varying degrees) know sign language. Here's a brief video featuring a Mars Hill (Mark Driscoll) deaf small group with some staggering statistics included:

Living Out the Gospel without Words: The Story of a Deaf Community Group from Mars Hill Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

4 Word Gospel...


“‘Come unto me,’ he says, ‘and I will give you.’  You say, ‘Lord, I cannot give you anything.’  He does not want anything.  Come to Jesus, and he says, ‘I will give you.’  Not what you give to God, but what he gives to you, will be your salvation.  ‘I will give you‘ — that is the gospel in four words.
Will you come and have it?  It lies open before you.”
C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, 1950), I:175.  Italics original.

(THANKS TO RAY ORTLUND FOR THIS)

Great Verse - To Quote to Others!

Romans 8.28 is, of course, a great verse; because all of the Word is great. Yet it is far easier, for me at least, to quote "all things work together for good" to someone else; a tad tougher to take when it is a timely reminder to me.


R C Sproul offers this, "If God is able to make everything that happens to us work together for our good, then ultimately everything that happens to us is good.  We must be careful to use the word ultimately. On the earthly plane things that happen to us may indeed be evil… Yet God in His goodness transcends all these things and works them out to our good.  For the Christian, ultimately, there are no tragedies." 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jacob Attacked!

Poor son Jacob....after Wednesday church he was attacked by a group of young women!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

 "How many Christians really harbor within their own spirit the daily expectation of God's presence?



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kermit Learns Truth

Thanks for JOSHUA HARRIS for pointing this out:

God Loves The Sinner?

Important insights into what is to some a sacred cow from D. A. Carson:

"One evangelical cliché has it that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. There is a small element of truth in these words: God has nothing but hate for the sin, but it would be wrong to conclude that God has nothing but hate for the sinner. A difference must be maintained between God’s view of sin and his view of the sinner. Nevertheless the cliché (God hates the sin but loves the sinner) is false on the face of it and should be abandoned. Fourteen times in the first fifty psalms alone, we are told that God hates the sinner, his wrath is on the liar, and so forth. In the Bible, the wrath of God rests both on the sin (Rom. 1:18ff.) and on the sinner (John 3:36).

Our problem, in part, is that in human experience wrath and love normally abide in mutually exclusive compartments. Love drives wrath out, or wrath drives love out. We come closest to bringing them together, perhaps, in our responses to a wayward act by one of our children, but normally we do not think that a wrathful person is loving.

But this is not the way it is with God. God’s wrath is not an implacable, blind rage. However emotional it may be, it is an entirely reasonable and willed response to offenses against his holiness. But his love, as we saw in the last chapter, wells up amidst his perfections and is not generated by the loveliness of the loved. Thus there is nothing intrinsically impossible about wrath and love being directed toward the same individual or people at the same time. God in his perfections must be wrathful against his rebel image-bearers, for they have offended him; God in his perfections must be loving toward his rebel image-bearers, for he is that kind of God."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"Christians often try to put God in a box. The God who fits in a box isn't the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If I do say so myself...

I took this photo near summer's end in New York. Used my phone with no frills and no editing...and I just rather like it and thus share it:

Power of "No"

Good stuff from RON EDMONDSON


The more experience I get in life the more I learn the importance of personal development. And, one of the most important aspects of personal development I have learned is the unique and rare skill of being able to say “No”.
In fact, learning to say no may be the most important personal, professional or leadership development tool one can have.
We have lots of opportunities to say yes. The old saying, whether it’s doctrinally true or not is fully practically true. “If Satan can’t make you bad he’ll make you busy”. I’ve seen throughout my life, especially with my personality wiring for achievement, that if I’m not careful I will say yes to things God has never planned for me to do and often I’m not capable or the best person to do them. Does that ever happen to you?

Saying no, as hard as it is for some of us, comes with great reward:

  • Saying no is the power to help resist temptation…
  • Saying no keeps you from the stress of overcommitting…
  • Saying no protects family life…
  • Saying no provides adequate time for what matters most…
  • Saying no preserves energy levels for prioritized work…
  • Saying no allows others opportunities they wouldn’t have if you always say yes…
  • Saying no permits you to control your schedule for an ultimate good…
The value of learning when to say no, and actually practicing it, is immeasurable. (I’m sure you could add even more values to my list., but I’m kind of stuck on the number 7 :) )
I highly encourage learning the power of “No”.