06 March 2015

This 'n' That

photo: Get Plugged In
photopin (license) 
If I'm not mistaken, I think I may have set a personal record over the past 12 months for self-inflicted injuries. I'm always stubbing toes or hitting knees. This year I also managed to perform one of those banana peel-esque falls (those aren't just for cartoons, in case you were wondering), landing squarely on my back. A few months later I gave myself an apparent concussion with the car door (don't ask). And earlier this week I somehow managed to electrocute myself. Only mildly though. As far as I know, no major damage was sustained, and it provided some fairly entertaining Twitter conversations.

So, what is the moral of the story? God has designed us as really incredible, sturdy creatures, and that is amazing. It's also amazing that He not only puts up with those of us who are physical and sometimes emotional klutzes, but that He actually uses us to work out His purposes here on Earth. What a good and gracious God we serve, amen? We are so undeserving.

I hope you've all stayed safe and pain-free this week. It's Friday now, so sit back, relax, and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Some interesting facts about the yawn.
  • Nature is weird and fascinating.
  • More on Andy Stanley.
  • I haven't yet watched this debate between J.D. Hall and theonomist Joel McDurmon, but I'm anxious to see it.
  • This made me think of this. Yep, that's going to be in your head the rest of the weekend. You're welcome.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • To Christine Caine, I would say: It takes a very brash woman to teach men at all, considering it's expressly forbidden in the Bible. Repent, trust in and obey the Christ you claim to serve.
  • Um, wow. This is just a really bad idea. 
  • Yeah, I have to agree with the court on this one.
  • Here's a great sermon by Phil Johnson from Psalm 19 on the superiority of Scripture.
  • "Does an unregenerate man bear a spark of the divine that draws him to a relationship with God, or is he utterly lost in the total depravity of his sin nature?"
  • Spelling skills are not required to protest the Shepherd's Conference.
  • Thanks to Stephen M. for sharing this with me. Kevin DeYoung explains why Christians do not love the world:

03 March 2015

Shepherds' Conference 2015

Today marks the beginning of the 2015 Shepherds' Conference, hosted by Grace Community Church. This year's conference serves as a summit on the inerrancy of the Word of God.

I encourage you to pray for the speakers and attendees. I also encourage you to take advantage of the free live stream that is being offered. May God and His Word be highly exalted.

27 February 2015

This 'n' That

Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (Matthew 6:1-2)

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (Matthew 6:5)

Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (Matthew 6:16)
This photo has nothing to do with the
discussion, I just thought it was fun.
I think about these warnings often, though surely not often enough. Though they are here found in the context of giving, prayer, and fasting, they nevertheless can be applied across other actions as well. Boasting and bragging proceed naturally out of our fallen nature. All of us, at one time or another, have desired that others would notice our good deeds, wise words, or "humble" behavior. As we are sanctified, we recoil from these sinful desires (think Romans 7), yet that does not mean they cease to tempt us.

Everyone likes to be acknowledged, and while it is not wrong to praise someone for a job well done, should such praise be something we seek, or should we simply be content in knowing that we have served God well by doing something with the motivation of honoring Him?
But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-4)

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; ​and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:17-18)
There, nestled firmly in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, is the answer. Christian, let us be quick to encourage one another, but let us not selfishly seek the praise of men, for it is far better to hear, "Well done," from our heavenly Master, than to hear the same from men whose influence is temporary.

Of course, this does not mean I don't appreciate each encouraging comment that is left here on the blog, or is communicated via some other means, so I thank you again for those! And I hope that you are challenged and blessed by some of these links as you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

20 February 2015

This 'n' That

photo: Blueberries
photopin (license) 
Well, I originally thought I might use a little Lent-themed sarcasm for this post. It always amuses me how the fast food chains capitalize on this time of year with their fish sandwich promotions.  But, I didn't have enough witty comments on that subject, so that idea fell by the wayside.

Then I thought about sharing with you the tale of the man in the office kitchen who was carefully counting his blueberries one morning this week. But...that's really all there is to that story.

So here is something that may interest you. I visited a different church last Sunday. Not in lieu of my regular service (perish the thought!) but in addition to and in partial fulfillment of a homework assignment. One of the most interesting aspects of that service was the choice of music that was played during communion. Are you ready? It was a rendition of this:

Yes. I am serious. And, curiously, this was a mainline denomination that followed a strict liturgy throughout the service. The fact that a church would think this is okay kind of makes you want to weep, doesn't it? Well, that's the effect it had on me. Anyway, that's all I have for today. Time to sit back and enjoy your somewhat skinny week in review (kind of):

17 February 2015

Practicing Righteousness

If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. (1 John 2:29)
Photo: Wikimedia
The man who is born again, or regenerated, is a holy man. He endeavors to live according to God’s will, to do the things that please God and to avoid the things that God hates. He wishes to continually look to Christ as his example as well as his Saviour and to prove himself to be Christ’s friend by doing whatever He commands. He knows he is not perfect. He is painfully aware of his indwelling corruption. He finds an evil principle within himself that is constantly warring against grace and trying to draw him away from God. But he does not consent to it, though he cannot prevent its presence.

Though he may sometimes feel so low that he questions whether or not he is a Christian at all, he will be able to say with John Newton, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

A.W. Pink, The Attributes of God, (Kindle Locations 1948-1955), Chapel Library, Kindle Edition.

Further Reading
Shattering the Idol of 'Free Will'
The Comfort and Conviction of the Word
Garage Sale God Whispers, Twice Dead, and the Name of Jesus Ignored