25 September 2015

This 'n' That

The pope is in town. Well, he's not actually in my town, but he is on US soil. Did you watch the mass earlier this week that was held in Washington, D.C.? What a sad and pitiable display of blasphemy and idolatry! I arrived home from work just in time to see the pope re-sacrifice Christ yet again. And then the hoards of people in attendance proceeded to receive what they believe is the actual body of the Lord Jesus Christ. I could only sigh.

This is just one of the many sad elements of Roman Catholic doctrine: the constant re-sacrificing of Christ. The crucifix that hangs in the Catholic Church, or around the neck of the faithful Catholic, is a sad commentary that declares that their Savior is no Savior at all, for if Christ has not been raised then our faith is in vain (1 Cor 15:14). The wonderful truth is, however, that the Lord Jesus Christ lives! He died and he rose (Matt 28:6; Rev 1:18). He died as the perfect, atoning sacrifice for the sins of all who would believe (Heb 10:12, 14), and He died once (Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 3:18). And He only had to die once because His sacrifice was sufficient to cover the sins of those who are His (Heb 10:12, 14).

I'm so thankful for the sufficient sacrifice of Christ, aren't you? On a far, far lesser scale, I'm also thankful that today is Friday. It's a beautiful autumn day and it seems the perfect time to grab a cookie (because who doesn't love cookies?) and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

20 September 2015

18 September 2015

This 'n' That

Interpreting talk-to-text is like trying to corral buffalo:
Possible, but laborious.
You probably aren't aware of this, but I actually wrote last week's This 'n' That during my commute. Don't worry, I wasn't typing while driving. I was using the talk-to-text function on my phone. Yeah…bad idea.

When I got home and sat down to transcribe my notes, this is what I saw, in part anyway:
already just messed Clinzo Staley...
We hate our soon...
if we have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and Shirley... 
Wait—who is Shirley?

So there you go. As you can see, I made the necessary edits for last week's post. But this week? Well, once you've appealed to Clinzo Staley, there just isn't much more to say, is there? So take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and take a few moments to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

12 September 2015

Equipping Eve: Counted Worthy to Suffer

These days, we hear many Christian leaders talking about the very real possibility of a rise in the persecution of Christians. What should be our reaction to this? Do we cower? Join the latest political rally? Form a picket line? What about rejoicing? What about thanking the Lord? In this episode of Equipping Eve, we turn to the book of Acts to observe how the earliest Christians reacted to persecution in their time.

Click here to listen to this latest episode of Equipping Eve.

Click here for a list of resources and Scripture verses referenced in this episode of Equipping Eve.

Further Listening
Equipping Eve: Don't Listen to the Voice
Equipping Eve: Thou Changest Not
Equipping Eve: Expect the World to Act Like the World

11 September 2015

This 'n' That

There really is no appropriate picture to post when
discussing infections, but this is usually how
I feel when I have a sinus infection.
Infections are gross and consuming, aren't they? Whether it is a sinus infection, an infected wound, or something more systemic, once an infection enters the body if it is not treated immediately it will be persistent, pervasive, and detrimental.

To view it from a more spiritual angle, we would do a disservice to mankind to describe sin as a mere infection or disease. Sin is, after all, innate in every man from the very beginning of life. Of course, those who have been saved are given new hearts and new minds and new natures but, even following regeneration, we are not perfect—we still sin. But do we love our sin, or hate it? Do we tolerate it, or mortify it? If we have been saved, then the answer to each of these questions must be the latter: we hate our sin and we mortify it when it is revealed to us.

If we allow an infection to fester and to grow, it will eventually cause death. As believers, we cannot experience spiritual death, but if we have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, then surely it is our inner desire to serve Him and to obey Him, and to do that by seeking to eliminate the sin that still plagues us. One day we will be glorified and we will stand before God cloaked in the righteousness of Christ. But until that day, let us not serve our Lord as dirty vessels. Let us repent daily, and seek to have the Lord cleanse us daily from our sin. May we serve Him well, may we serve Him purely, may we serve Him cleanly. May we be convicted daily, even hourly, of the ways in which we bring a tarnish upon our witness of Him. And may we thank Him daily for His forgiveness, grace, and mercy, and for the salvation that He purchased on our behalf.

Go ahead and spend some time before the Lord in humble repentance and thanksgiving. Then come back later and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

Repost: Sovereignty in Tragedy and Remembering 9/11

Goodbyes were spoken too quickly, too flippantly, too curtly that day.

"I love yous" were mumbled, barely detectable beneath the breath of busyness.

"I'm sorrys" and "I forgive yous" were neglected until an evening that never arrived.

photo credit: paulwoolrich via photopin cc 
"Jesus Christ lived the perfect life that you cannot and died that you may live. Repent of your sin and believe upon Him, the only true Lord and Savior"—utterance of these words was postponed until a more convenient day. But that day never came.

Fourteen years ago today, millions around the world stood in bewildered astonishment, mouths agape, tears silently rolling, as inconceivable terror and tragedy took aim at a seemingly impenetrable America. Shock could not begin to describe the first reaction of most. Shock, followed by grief, followed by fear.

But there is One who was not shocked that day. One who knew exactly when and where each plane would strike. One who knew each soul whose life would end. One who knew the unspoken words of the hearts of those souls. One who knew the eternal destination of each and every soul that perished. One who had long ago ordained the end from the beginning.

09 September 2015

The Gender Debate and Dress-Up's Expiration Date

Playing pretend and playing dress-up is a natural part of life for children.

This blogger went through a phase at a very young age when I desired to be a cat. A year or two later, I recall wanting to be the character Penny from Inspector Gadget. Let's face it, that computer book she carried was pretty fantastic, and she always managed to defeat Dr. Claw, even if everybody thought it was ultimately her Uncle Gadget who had saved the day. Later, I aspired to be a pop singer, and was certain I was destined to be a star.

Well…many, many years later, none of these whims have come to pass. Why? Because sometimes what you think you want to be reality, simply cannot be reality. I could not be a cat because I was a human. I could not be Penny because, well, she was a cartoon character. And I could not be a pop singer because I am tone deaf and uncoordinated. Nobody pays money to hear a wounded sparrow sing and trip her way across a stage.

It has been said that you cannot always have what you want. As it turns out, in spite of what public school may have told us growing up, we cannot always be what we want, either. The days of playing dress-up eventually come to an end when we realize our innate characteristics and our limitations. Eventually, we all grow up, and the days of playing pretend must end.

This is because some attributes are simply unchangeable. Recent days here in America have challenged this notion. Men have decided that they are really women; whites have decided that they are actually black. But are these notions reality, or are they mere delusions that society is ignorant enough to celebrate?

04 September 2015

This 'n' That

Well, I owe each and every one of you an apology. Here it is, September 4, and I never told you about this:

I know, I am really sorry. All this time, I knew that the Holy Spirit had been scheduled for revival at this tiny church and yet I never shared it with you. Can you please forgive me? I promise that the next time I am offered a peek into the Holy Spirit's calendar, I will let you know.

Oy. I don't know what's more ridiculous—the people who schedule revivals, or the people who are gullible enough to think that a revival has been scheduled. Both are silly, so ignore the scheduled revivals and instead sit back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):