28 March 2014

This 'n' That

photo credit: S1ON via photopin cc
I pretty much live with a red pen in my hand.

When I first wrote that sentence, I meant it quite literally. Due to the nature of every component of my life, I find myself doing a lot of editing: editing of my own things, editing of the work of others, or editing of documents written by others but compiled by me. I'm not complaining. I love editing. Next to writing, I'm happiest with a red pen in my hand. I love 'Track Changes' in Microsoft Word, but nothing beats a crisp, white sheet of paper filled with all that black printing . . . it just begs to be decorated in red. At this point in time I'm not partial to any particular brand or type of red pen, though I usually can be found with a tried-and-true Bic Cristal (yes, it's supposed to be spelled that way) ballpoint. I suppose the years may bring more discretion surrounding my pen choices, though I hesitate ever to hold a really nice pen, for fear that I will condemn myself to a lifetime of purchasing expensive ink refills. So for now I'll stick with what works (and is cheap) as I live with a red pen in my hand.

The more I pondered this thought, though, the more I realized that I also live with a figurative red pen in my hand. With every step, thought, word, and action of the day, I often find myself wondering, "What could I have done or said differently?" "How could I have handled that differently so that God would have been better glorified?" "How can I be more bold in a similar situation next time?" We all, as children saved by a forgiving, merciful and thrice-holy God, should be living with our metaphorical red pens poised, should we not? By God's grace and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, shouldn't we be seeking to grow in holiness and Christlikeness by taking a red pen to the sins and shortcomings of our lives? Yes, it is God who sanctifies but does that give us an excuse to act as spiritual sluggards? How can spiritual laziness lead to an active pursuit of righteousness? Sanctification is a pen that will never run out of ink until we are taken to glory. Don't put down your pen.

And, as you've no doubt noticed over the years, I occasionally fail to use my red blogging pen here at Do Not Be Surprised. But that's why I have keen-eyed readers. With that, and in the hope that you won't discover any glaring errors in today's post, take a few moments to relax and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Hey, look! Liberty University screened the movie 'Heaven Is for Real' for their students! (Yes, you may shake your head.)
  • Can you spot the difference?
  • Hecklers should break our hearts. I encourage you to watch this video of Justin Edwards (airō) as he open air preaches at UCLA.
  • The ad for this book on Facebook said that it would change my life. Um, no thanks.
  • Should a Christian bake a cake for a gay wedding?
  • Patricia King has had an Ox Anointing experience. I'm serious. Would I lie about something that ridiculous?
  • At what point are Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald disqualified from teaching other men how to 'act like men'?
  • Fred Butler reviews chapter 8 of Authentic Fire
  • Sometimes I turn on the news in the morning just to see what the weather will be that day. I hadn't done so all week, though, until yesterday. What are the chances that I'd turn it on just as the live coverage of the meeting between President Obama and Pope Francis was beginning?
  • I'm trying to figure out why these parents are surprised. Did they not know they were sending their children to a Catholic school?
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Sigh. More from Mars Hill Church.
  • Speaking of Driscoll, as a professing Christian leader, shouldn't he seek to muzzle false teachers like T.D. Jakes?
  • Just the other day I was thinking to myself, "You know, we haven't heard much from Rob Bell lately." Well, so much for that. It was nice while it lasted.
  • At least $2.1 million a year, huh? I truly hope that had nothing to with it.
  • This actually makes me ill.
  • John MacArthur's continued response to John Piper.
  • I don't know what scares me more: this tweet, or the number of retweets it's received.
  • Time Magazine thinks the new movie, 'Noah,' is "better than the book." Really? I bet when Time reporter Richard Corliss meets the Author one day, he won't be saying that.
  • The glorious gospel invitation:


  1. On the issue of the cake - John MacArthur was this close -->||<-- ! He was right when he said you can't question every customer on the morality of their business but when he said that world was our mission field he could have mentioned that a Christian baker would have used the opportunity of the gay couple entering his/her cake shop to spread the gospel.

  2. Sergius Martin-GeorgeMarch 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    •At what point are Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald disqualified from teaching other men how to 'act like men'?

    With those two, this may be one instance where the KJV captures it best: "Quit ye like men."

  3. You know I appreciate your blog and read it most faithfully minus the "adorable" and "cute." Believe me I have tried to check out those sections, but my manliness is at stake here...Yes, I would bake a cake for a gay couple and they would be hearing the gospel if they want the cake. Of course I would not celebrate with them...

    Just me, but on the issue of taking others to task, (John MacArthur on John Piper) for correction and reproof, I think much too often it is overkill. Many of us are very close on most issues, not including extreme Pentecostals an and Prosperity ministries.

    I cannot take sides on any form of systematic theology to nail down every precept, term, or doctrine and divide and separate myself from others by constantly correcting on the other side. I cannot call myself by another man's name for my identity. I am not at all saying that ignorance is bliss, just that too often systematic theology is often the enemy of the truth...

    I m sure someone will be upset with me if you post this,

    in Christ and determined to know one thing...mike

  4. "At what point are Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald disqualified from teaching other men how to 'act like men'?"

    At the same point when they were disqualified from being pastors/elders... long ago.

    - Deborah

  5. In reference to the wedding cake for same sex couples:

    Where I work, I make pizzas and if a same sex couple walks in that was just married and they want to order a pizza to celebrate, then I will make them a pizza. NOT because I agree with their lifestyle but because what I am doing is not sinful. God only knows how many people I have made pizzas for that are living in such egregious sin.

    Same would be if I were baking a cake whether it be for a same sex couple or a man marrying his dog or whatnot. I'm making the product to the glory of God. What they do with what I have made I have no control over. They will be held accountable to God.

    Now if I were to go and buy the same sex "couple" a wedding cake and take it to them, then I would be in the wrong. I don't agree that we should be encouraging and celebrating their sinful lifestyle anymore than I agree that we should buy a cake and take it to a pedophile, murderer, thief or drug addict and celebrate their SIN.

  6. I am disappointed with with John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Al Mohler answers; they came across to me as a politician two step answer in order dodge the issue.
    ether one of them should had open scripture and answered the question in light of 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13
    1 Corinthians 5:9-13
    9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    This fist more with Linda's post.


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