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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Impactful Poetry

Don't give up on may not be your "style," you may even feel a tad "uncomfortable," but make the time to give this a listen...don't "almost" decide to listen:

Friday, April 29, 2011


You will be blessed if you invest six minutes to watch's a sort of promo for a new album from Sojourn Music..."modernizing," if you will, hymns of Isaaac Watts...not only are the music samples good, but the commentary is outstanding:

Sojourn Music: "The Water And The Blood" album preview from Sojourn Community Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"If Jesus Christ is not the central figure in our lives and in our churches, we are only fooling ourselves." AW Tozer

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Family Hike

We took a good, long hike Saturday near Westin, Mo...Janelle, as almost always, brought her camera, and here are a few shots:
                                             Water works like a Jacob-magnet!!!!!

                                        Jacob said this looked like a rhinocerous!!!!!!!

                                   I don't know what it is; I found it, Janelle took the pic.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amazing Woman of God

I've read her stuff, but never heard her...she is a missionary, was in the Congo during rebellion; suffered torture/rape...this interview is forty minutes...but I urge you to make the time (and a cup of coffee or tea...or mountain dew?) and will be blessed, challenged, and convicted.

Monday, April 25, 2011

All of Creation Trumpets His Majesty!

A marvelous, beautiful, almost-haunting video...make the time to watch:

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Rebuttal to the Tintintabulation of the "Bell"

All roads lead to heaven: Acts 4.12  "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Even if the roads don't all lead to heaven, you get a second chance to take a detour after you die: Hebrews 9.27 "...just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment."

Besides, there is no everlasting hell: Matthew 25.46 "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The -ations of the Cross

Good stuff to contemplate this Easter morning from JARED WILSON

No, not the stations. The -ations.

Mediation -- There is a gulf between us and God, held in tension by his justified wrath owed to us for our sin. At the cross, the sinless Christ does the work of mediation both necessary and ordinarily impossible.

Condemnation -- The mediator must accept the place of the guilty in order to exchange his innocence. Therefore he goes to the cross willingly, because it is the foreordained place of condemnation where we all belong. He becomes the substitute condemned and takes on the condemnation.

Propitiation -- A blood debt is owed, legally speaking, because without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins. But we cannot make this payment because we have no currency with which to do so. We are morally bankrupt, every last one of us. So at the cross, Christ makes this payment with the riches of himself, supplying his life to take the debt upon himself and thereby satisfying the law's demands. God's wrath is thereby appeased.

Imputation -- By propitiating the debt of sin, he takes it off of the condemned onto himself as he becomes the condemned on the cross, but in doing that, he conveys his innocence to those actually guilty. He who knew no sin became sin that we might become the righteousness of God. His righteousness is imputed to us; this means that we are counted righteous despite our sin.

Expiation -- But Jesus doesn't stop there. With his life given sacrificially on the cross, he doesn't just take on our debt, he eradicates it completely. He takes it upon himself like the scapegoat to carry our sins into the void. Another way to say this is that Jesus' work on the cross doesn't just reckon us righteous, it actually makes us righteous.

-- An ongoing work of the Spirit, to be sure, but thanks to Christ's expiating work on the cross, we are also declared sanctified on the cross, which is to say, cleansed by his blood. (1 Corinthians 6:11)

Justification -- Nearly all of Christ's crosswork put together merits what we receive through faith: right standing before God. Because of the cross, we for whom there was no justification are now justified.

-- And since we are justified before God, we are reconciled to him. The gulf is bridged, the wrath appeased, the debt canceled and cast into the void, the soul cleansed. Christ's wide-open arms at the cross reveal to us the means of the Father embracing his once-lost children. Through the cross, Christ reconciles us to God. (Colossians 1:20)

-- Who is Christ's crosswork for, exactly? (1 John 2:2)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Think About This...Often

As we hold-our-breath between Good Friday and Easter, ponder this, from Mark Driscoll:

"It is good to remind yourself of who you would be and what your life would be like had Jesus not saved you."

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Friday..but Sunday's Coming

A good way to close out "good Friday"...

It Should Have Been Me

“Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you.  It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’  Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross.  All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary.  It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”
John R. W. Stott, The Message of Galatians (London, 1968), page 179.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

True before time began, true in 1900, true today...and true forever:

“Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.” ~ A. W. Tozer

In Christ ALONE!

My favorite song written in my lifetime; timely as we anticipate Good Friday:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Heart of the Gospel

The Cross of Christ is the heart of the Gospel. It takes the entire Bible to explain it. All our teaching must relate to that like all the spokes and rim and tires of a wheel relate to the axis. Jesus is the center, the pivot. Everything else will fit into place around Jesus. Indeed the entire word of God revolves around Him. If Christ is not the hub the wheel will wobble and break.

Reinhard Bonnke

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beauty of the Cross

How could something so horrific as crucifixion at the same time be inexplicably beautiful?

As we anticipate Good Friday and Easter, bathe in this:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Question of the Week

Yup, I'm asking you to make the time to answer the question by commenting. For some the answer will be instant, for others it may call for reflection...and that's okay...

Who is the person, other than God, most responsible for your salvation? (after answering, if it's been a while, maybe you ought to send them a thank you?)

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Perks of Sickness

A good friend's sister was just diagnosed with cancer...several other friends battling various diseases...Timely reflection follows:

"Sickness, in the very nature of things, can never be anything but trying to our flesh. Our bodies and souls are strangely linked together, and that which vexes and weakens the body can hardly fail to vex the mind and soul.

"But sickness, we must always remember, is no sign that God is displeased with us; no, more, it is generally sent for the good of our souls.

"It tends to draw our affections away from this world, and to direct them to things above. It sends us to our Bibles, and teaches us to pray better. It helps to prove our faith and patience, and shows us the real value of our hope in Christ.

"It reminds us that we are not to live always, and tunes and trains our hearts for our great change. Then let us be patient and cheerful when we are laid aside by illness. Let us believe that the Lord Jesus loves us when we are sick no less than when we are well.
~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"Sinners talk about God, appeal to God, use God's name; but don't obey God. That's why they are sinners." AW Tozer

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

He took the hit for us...

“A Substitute has appeared in space and time, appointed by God Himself, to bear the weight and the burden of our transgressions, to make expiation for our guilt, and to propitiate the wrath of God on our behalf. This is the gospel.”
— R. C. Sproul

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jacob's Ninth!

Hard to fathom that tomorrow (April 10) marks Jacob's ninth he is our fourth child (and second adopted-at-birth) we are painfully aware how quickly time zooms...but it is still incredible that our little guy is not so little anymore...How grateful we are that his birth mom, who made several mistakes prior, gave life to him...and for our Sovereign God orchestrating the adoption...

Here's a few random pics by his sister:

                                                  Not usually too shy...this is a pose:

                                           As mentioned, not too shy........................

                                              And Janelle frames a pic:

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Judge Judged

“The passion of Jesus Christ is the judgment of God, in which the Judge himself was the judged.”
- John Stott

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"No one need fear to listen to the voice of God unless he has already made up his mind to resist it." AW Tozer

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Brief Rant

As the hell discussion continues...

Many don't "like" the idea of hell...

Many don't "understand" it....

Many say it isn't "just," nor "sensible," nor "loving," nor "fair."

Do they "understand" the Cross? the Gospel? the Atonement?

Does "it" (whatever "it" is) have to make "sense" to be true?

Summary of the Bible:  God is God, I am not.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Where In Hell is the Devil?

Sort-of-sorry for the title, but these words from J. C. Ryle, a century or so old, have never been more contemporary:

Does anyone foolishly suppose that the devil is asleep, or dead, or less mischievous now than in the past? Nothing of the kind! He is still “walking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He is still “going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it” (1 Peter 5:8; Job 1:7).
  • It is he who goes among heathen nations and persuades them to shed oceans of blood in the worship of idols or murderous wars.
  • It is he who goes to and fro among fallen Churches, persuading them to throw aside­ the Bible, and satisfy people with ‘formal worship’ or groveling superstitions.
  • It is he who walks up and down in Protestant countries, and stirs up party spirit and bitter political strife, setting class against class, and subjects against rulers, in order to distract people’s minds from better things.
  • It is he who is continually going to the ears of intellectual and highly educated people, persuading them that the old Bible is not true, and advising them to be content with Atheism, Agnosticism, Secularism, and a general contempt for the world to come.
  • It is he, above all, who persuades foolish people that there is no such person as a devil, no future judgment after death, and no hell.
In all this fearful list of things I firmly believe that the devil lies at the bottom, and is the true root, reason, and cause. Can we suppose for a moment that he will let true Christians go quietly to heaven, and not tempt them along the way?
Away with the silly thought! We have need to pray against the devil, as well as against the world and the flesh. In the great trinity of enemies which the believer should daily remember, the devil perhaps is the greatest because he is the least seen.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How You Living?

“. . . not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the priceless blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”  1 Peter 1:18-19

“How do you mean to live?  With these precious things about you, do you intend to live like a beggar?  I mean, will you be sinful, low, groveling, worldly?  Oh, rise to your rank, and as you are so ennobled, walk as becomes saints!  Is Jesus Christ precious to you?  Then serve Him with your best, give Him your precious things, give Him your lives, give Him your substance, give Him all that you have.  Do not give the Redeemer your odds and ends, such as you can afford to give without knowing it.  Say, ‘He died to give me Himself.  I will give Him myself in return.’ . . . Go and live like those who are rich to all the intents of bliss, and let your cheerful, your godly, your self-denying example be a protest to the unbelieving sons of men that you know the preciousness of Christ.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, 1950), IV:393.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"I'll Be Watching You!"

Depending on what you are doing, this will be either a huge slap or a gentle hug:

Christ forever sees us! Christ always knows us! Christ daily reads and observes our acts, words and thoughts! The recollection of this should alarm the wicked and drive them from their sins! Their wickedness is not hidden, and will one day be fearfully exposed, except they repent. It should frighten hypocrites out of their hypocrisy. They may deceive man, but they are not deceiving Christ. It should quicken and comfort all sincere believers. They should remember that a loving Master is looking at them, and should do all as in His sight. Above all, they should feel that, however mocked and slandered by the world, they are fairly and justly measured by their Savior’s eye. They can say, “You, Lord, who know all things, know that I love You.” (John 21:17)
~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, April 1, 2011

One Month From Today...

Immediately after hosting the Bible Quiz Fellowship National  Tournament in Kansas City, the Hager clan plans on driving to North Carolina to spend a couple weeks on Bald Head Island...we've been there before over the years...really, really REALLY looking forward to some well-earned rest-and-recreation:

Bible Quiz Regional Photos

Last weekend Midland hosted a Regional Bible Quiz are some shots:

I was privileged to challenge the students Friday night ad Saturday morning:

 Quizzers glue to the quizmaster's mouth...hoping to "see" the question before they hear it:

 After more than three decades, it is still an honor and a joy to quizmaster and watch the teens compete

 Seated on electronic pads, quizzers are poised to jump to their feet, causing (hopefully) the quizmaster to stop instantly and acknowledge the quizzer, who then has 20 seconds to provide the right question and this level of competition it is rare to get the first word out before they jump

Though a bit stressful, the quizmaster and other table officials have the "easy" job; the intense focus of the quizzers reveal who has the tougher duty!