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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”.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Guidance from "The African Queen"

Confession..I have never seen the movie


.


But I read a while ago that it contains this brief conversation:


Rose: "Don't be worried, Mr. Alnut."


Alnut: "Oh, I ain't worried, miss. I gave myself up for dead back when we started."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tim's Request to Worship Leaders

Pretty hilarious stuff...bearing in mind that jest often contains kernels of truth:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Letter to Steve Jobs

Good thoughts from MIKE ANDERSON


Dear Steve,
Some of my earliest memories are drawing pictures on a Mac. In fact, as a young boy my dad was a consultant for Apple. You probably didn’t know him, but he was pushing your ideas. I remember taking road trips with him and watching him teach rooms full of people about how Macintosh computers can revolutionize education. Schools all over adopted them.
It revolutionized my education.
I probably would not have had the skills to work on the Resurgence if you hadn’t built the Apple.

Common Grace

God allowed you to build machines that have been used for tremendous good. Through Mars HillActs29, and the Resurgence, God has used Macs to help compile and share gospel-centered theology to literally millions of people around the world. Without the tools you built, I don’t know how the team could have done all that work. God used what you did for good. Here’s a photo of three pastors and three seminary presidents that have preached to and trained millions of people together about Jesus—they are all benefiting from the tool you made:

God gave you a lot of grace to do the amazing things you did in this life.


The Tragedy of Death

Steve, your death is sad to me because I’ve read everything you’ve written and watched as many interviews as I could—this quote really broke my heart:
    No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.— Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech
Steve, you were wrong. So wrong. 
Death isn’t natural. It wasn’t meant to be that way. Death is the worst thing that happened, not the best. Paul tells us in Romans 6:23 that death is the result of sin.
Death isn’t the end. You’re not “cleared away” as you say. You’re still around—you’re a soul that God created.

Hope

In that same chapter in Romans, Paul tells the people who believed in Christ:
    We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
    For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. - Romans 6:4-6
Steve, I genuinely hope that Jesus grabbed you out of the path you’d been walking down all of these years. I hope that he softened your heart and made you his son.


Faith

God is a good God. I trust him more than anything in the whole world. Steve, I hope that your death will embolden many not to sit on their hands and wait to tell those whom they love and respect about the great and glorious gospel of Jesus.


Sincerely,
Mike Anderson

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"Faith is not a conclusion you reach..it's a journey you live." A. W. Tozer

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Let Scripture Speak

There are still a lot of ding-a-ling "thoughts" going on about the subject of hell.   JUSTIN TAYLOR                shares important scriptures concerning the subject:


Ten Foundational Verses for Eternal Punishment in Hell

In his contribution to the book in Two Views of Hell, Robert Peterson sets forth ten passages that as part of the “overwhelming evidence” to support the historical interpretation of hell as everlasting punishment. I agree with Peterson’s citation of Augustine, “who cautions us against following the example of those who, ‘while not slighting the authority of the sacred Scriptures, . . . nevertheless interpret them wrongly and suppose that what is to happen will not be what the Scriptures speak of, but what they themselves would like to happen” (City of God 21.27). I find myself facing the same temptation, so it is helpful to keep God’s Word front and center when constructing our theology.
1. Undying Worm and Unquenchable Fire (OT)
For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the LORD,
so shall your offspring and your name remain.
From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the LORD.
And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
2. Everlasting Life/Everlasting Contempt
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some toeverlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3. Eternal Fire/The Fire of Hell
Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
4. Eternal Punishment/Eternal Life
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” . . . Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . .  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
5. Undying Worm and Unquenchable Fire (NT)
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”
6. Everlasting Destruction
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction,away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
7. The Punishment of Eternal Fire
Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing apunishment of eternal fire.
8. Blackest Darkness Reserved Forever
[These people are] wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
9. The Smoke of Their Torment Rises for Ever and Ever
If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.
10. The Lake of Fire
And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. . . . Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reminder - Be Still


I needed and need this reminder from PETE WILSON

I’m a doer, an activator, a leader. Like many of you it’s in my blood to be as productive as I possibly can. It’s why I need to lean into this verse more than ever before.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The Hebrew word for “Be still” literally means “let go of your grip.”
Cease striving at the level of human effort.
Be still and let go of your own understanding.
Be still and let go of your own human effort.
Be still and let go of your desire to control what others think of you.
Be still and let go of your need to control outcomes.
Be still.
Be still and be reminded that you are finite. God is infinite.
Be still and let God be God in the most intimate places of your life which, in the end, is the only thing that will change anything.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Slow Start Better Than No-Start

I begin five days of special meetings at the First Baptist Church of Stanberry, Mo this morning. These are not designed as "evangelistic" meetings, but as exhortations and encouragements to Christians to cooperate with the Spirit as we "continue to become what we already are." (if you don't grasp those last seven words; think/pray about them for a while).

Many of us beat ourselves up because our growth in the "grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3.18) is slow. Though many factors may well be involved and are worthy of examination (self-examination; not examining others); slow growth is spectacularly better than no growth...

Those thoughts ran through my head as I read this: