25 January 2013

This 'n' That

By God's grace, I am daily reminded of one of my favorite verses about the promises of God's provision:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matt. 6:25–26)
This reminder comes not just from the fact that my personal needs are met each day, but in that God has graciously allowed me to be one of the means by which He provides food for these seemingly insignificant birds.

I am the only one of my neighbors who is feeding the birds throughout the winter. This makes three groups of creatures happy: the birds, my cats, and me. It is amazing to me how relaxing it can be to just sit for a few moments and watch God's creation. In a fast-moving world filled with fanciful entertainment, it ought to come as no surprise to the Christian that nature is the most edifying and enjoyable "show" to watch. Though there are many genius filmmakers in the world, there is only one God, one Creator and one Sustainer. I fear I take His precious gift of nature for granted far too often.

Another passage that daily greets me as I watch the birds is Matthew 10:29–31:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matt. 10:29–31)
This verse is ever-present in my mind because the majority of my feathered diners are sparrows. Though they may not be as glamorous as the cardinal, they are my favorite bird. Viewed as plain and insignificant, God not only created them, He cares for them.

Even in the most seemingly trivial events of our lives, God is sovereign. Not only does God provide for even the smallest sparrow, but He, in His omniscience, knows all about that sparrow. Not one dies without our Father knowing. Just as He cares for their daily needs, so does He order each moment of their lives. How much more for His own children! How much more will God provide for those whom He has called? And if He has ordained even the days of the sparrow, has He not ordained every moment of our lives as well? And so whatever the trial or the triumph your day brings, your God knows. And though persecution will come for the Christian, do you not think that God knows what you are enduring or will endure? Rest in knowing that He will provide the strength you need in that day.

As you revel in God's sovereignty and perfectly designed providence, please enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • I'm so sorry, but I forgot to offer you your weekly dose of adorable in last week's post! Please accept my apologies, as well as this extra big helping of cuteness.
  • Some pastors seem to specialize in preaching about sex (*cough* Driscoll, Ed Young *cough*). Reformation 21 has a wonderful article demonstrating how the Apostle Paul dealt with the issue of sexual morality with both clarity and discretion.
  • John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul discuss abortion.
  • Anybody out there been considering in vitro fertilization? Because this scientist would like to find an 'adventurous woman' willing to give birth to a neanderthal baby. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.
  • Al Roker. He's not just for weather anymore. Kind of makes you wonder if he was forced to forfeit his dignity when he signed his contract with NBC.
  • Speaking of all this adorable cuteness, before you check out those links above, make sure you don't suffer from cute aggression.
  • Carl Trueman on reading Luther well. This article is definitely worth your time, if for no other reason than quotes like this: "Does it not seem only yesterday that Mel Gibson's film, The Passion, was being trumpeted by evangelicals as 'the greatest outreach opportunity of the century'? In retrospect, The Passion surely stands somewhere between A Muppet Christmas Carol and Dave and the Giant Pickle in the honour roll of celluloid contributions to world evangelisation."
  • Producer Mark Burnett (of Survivor fame) is making a new Bible miniseries. (His wife, Roma Downey, will be playing Mary. Nepotism, anyone?) He just finished promoting it at Joel Osteen's church, so I'm sure that it will stand as a beacon of theological accuracy.
  • They're planning to renovate Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field is a landmark. Alteration of said landmark should not be taken lightly. But then, I suppose if the Cubs are going to lose, they may as well lose in a shiny, new venue. We'll have to see how this goes. I have no further comment until I see the results. 
  • A transgender 11-year-old is proud of the president, but says there's still work to be done. Um, parents—if your kid wants to dress and behave like the opposite sex, here's something to try: say 'no'.
  • There's two things in this world that are beyond scary: Hello Kitty and bubbles. It makes perfect sense, then, to suspend a five-year-old from school for possessing both.
  • Steven Furtick's Elevation Church tried to summarize the New Testament in 60 seconds...and completely missed the gospel.
  • Fascinating. Now what about all the headaches I get when there's no lightning?
  • Here's another sermon recently delivered by John MacArthur that is not to be missed
  • When you're done listening to that, you may enjoy this Q&A with Dr. MacArthur.
  • Elizabeth Prata beat me to the punch in recommending a wonderful recent sermon delivered by Pastor Don Green on the topic of discernment. Here's the message in its entirety:
photo credit: Eric Bégin via photopin cc

12 comments:

  1. One can only hope that Carl Trueman is right and that is all the fall-out from Mel's roman catholic spectacle. Personally I can't help but think that it's much worse.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are also the only ones feeding the birds 365 days a year. The beauty and variety of birds always points to God. What we miss in the winter are the hummingbirds, but they are replaced by the sharp-shinned hawks. Our development was farmland until 11 years ago, and we were the third house built (other two were spec homes) and the first occupied. Because of that, we are still surrounded by farm fields, so the hawks come for food - they eat the sparrows at our feeder!

    The birds bless us daily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a hawk flying around here, too, Glenn. I've only seen him a couple of times, which is fine with me! I don't want to think about him eating my sparrows! :(

      Delete
  3. ahhahahaha, the cat was hilarious-loved it. I have 2 cats and enjoy them so much. Their personalities are so different. One of em thinks she has to have my undivided attention and will plop herself in my lap between me and my laptop to pet her. God has truly blessed us.

    One of my brothers is a Pastor. He used to live in Atlanta then he moved his family to Boston. Seeing that Boston is one of the "least minded Bible" cities" he has his work cut out for him. I will make it a point to pray for him more often than I have been.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought surely Washington D.C. would have topped the list of least Bible-minded cities.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Erin ~ Thank you for introducing me to Don Green in one of your previous This 'n That posts a few months ago. I've been listening to his archived sermons online and they are great! It's clear in his preaching that he has a real pastor's heart, and the skills and passion to handle God's word skillfully. One of my go-to pastors to listed to now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Anonymous! Pastor Green is a great blessing to the Church.

      Delete
  6. Hi Erin,

    Quickly - Least Bible-minded cities. I've lived in (or near) only 3 cities in my life, and all 3 are on that list. Oh yeah. I can attest wholeheartedly, they are definitely Gospel "resistant". And that is an understatement. Linda, yes, your brother needs a lot of prayer... a lot.

    A LOT.

    As for the rest of strange doctrines, strange fascinations with private marital matters, strange words (incarnational?), and strange goings-on in our country and world, etc that you link to... well, as your good posts show, the Bible is so very, very clear, timely, and true food for our souls.

    -carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  7. AAAaaaahhhhhhh!!!! Cuteness overload!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. "pastors" who specialize in preaching sex from the pulpit-i.e. potty mouth Driscoll- need to get out. He's very creepy.

    I agree with the article:

    Romans 1 is an excellent example of how to raise touchy subjects like sex in public teaching. Paul didn't have to spell things out in graphic terms to make his point.

    How many of us can read Genesis 38:9 and get the point? It's a great example of HOW God's word deals with delicate subjects.

    Prurient messages from the pulpit cause a brother or sister to fall into temptation by titillating their lusts. Driscoll will be held accountable- Matthew 18:6

    When Jesus said -"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matt 5:27-28

    BAM it's DONE. It's enough and it's easy to do without profaning Scripture



    ReplyDelete
  9. I believe we have the UN living in our backyard, at least if the feeders are full...they fight over the watering hole, otherwise known as the bird bath. The doves will gather for their morning meeting, and perch there for a while, all their feathers puffed up because of the cold. I just love watching all of them with their strange little ways....this is real entertainment which brings joy to the heart. We live in Central Oregon where we have the view of at least eight magnificent mountains of the Cascade Range, and some days we are so blessed to see the most breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. I never get tired of seeing God's handiwork on display...He truly does give us all these beautiful creations to enjoy.

    BTW, John MacArthur's Sunday Sermon was excellent, and the Q&A was informative as well. They will be continuing that session next Sunday evening also. Tune in at gracechurch.org/live at 10:30 AM and 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

    Thanks, Erin, I so enjoy these topics and am always learning something new from your blog. Have been passing them along as well. Have a great weekend....

    Lauren


    ReplyDelete

Please keep it pithy (in other words, if your comment is long enough to be its own blog post, don't bother), pertinent (please don't go off-topic), and respectful (to the author, to the other readers, and to the subject of the post). If you can't do that, your comment will not be posted.

If you haven't already, please read the Comment Policy in its entirety.