30 June 2017

This 'n' That

Have you ever felt absolutely parched? Sure you have. We've all been dehydrated to some extent, even if we feel that we have been drinking our fair share of fluids. For instance, today I have consumed ridiculous amounts of water, tea, and coffee and yet, I still can't get enough to drink. I am still drinking water like, well...like someone who is really thirsty. Whether it's due to too much salty food or some other reason, my body is telling me that, in spite of the quantity of liquid I've consumed, it still isn't enough.

A similar thing can happen to us spiritually, too, can't it? We can consume mass quantities of theology: sermons, books, blogs, journals, and yet we can still feel spiritually parched. Interestingly, God, in His goodness, alerts us to this parched state the same way that He's designed our bodies to tell us we are thirsty when we need to drink more water. We might find ourselves in a "spiritual funk," feeling a bit lifeless and uncertain why. "I listen to four sermons a day, what's wrong with me?!" Well, what's in those sermons? Is it true biblical exposition, opening the Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work? Or is it man's ideas, lists, and principles?

"I read only the best, most doctrinally-sound blogs!" Well, good for you. Blogs are good; I like blogs. You should keep reading blogs (especially this one), but blogs should not be a primary source of your spiritual nourishment. Nor should podcasts (said the podcaster) or journals.

These are all good things and are helpful resources to help us grow in our understanding of God and His Word. Yet, at the end of the day, the only thing that will quench our spiritual thirst is to drink deeply from that Word. Beyond that, we must act on that Word, by desiring and seeking to live in pursuit of Christ's righteousness, yes, but also by using the gifts He has given us to serve His body. This is where the analogy breaks down, because if we are seeking to quench our spiritual thirst, doing so requires more than just consumption.

Are we busy in the Word and about His work? I know I certainly am not as busy with these things as I should be or want to be. Life gets in the way quickly (work, family, work, home maintenance,  work, oh my!), but without quenching our thirst with the Word, we find we are walking through that life too spiritually dehydrated to do much of anything well.

Remember, though, I did say you should still read blogs. So if it fits appropriately into your list of priorities, why not settle in to enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • I haven't read this yet, but I always appreciate Michael Haykin's work. 
  • Once again, I guess I just can't identify with the humor of the Babylon Bee. At first I thought the headline was funny, then I read this and pondered and realized the implications. Have some celebrity pastors reached such a status that we might actually be more fearful of them then we are of God? If we're joking about it, then there must be an element of truth, and that's not good.
  • Big news! I mean, this is almost as big as when women leaders in Bible Study Fellowship (a group about which I have significant concerns, but that's for another day) were allowed to wear pants!
  • I love so much about this article, like this quote: "Women are incredibly smart. Women excel in all walks of life because we are capable and intelligent. And yet, often we do not provide opportunities for women to use our great minds in the church. This is not only unfortunate, it is wrong. Women can and should use their intelligence to know the Bible. And we should teach one another using skillful exposition."
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable (thanks, Paula!).
  • I pray they find this girl.
  • Aw, poor little things!
  • If you can stomach it, this article exposing the ongoing sexual abuse within the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism is an important read (warning: some content is graphic). We are quick to condemn the Roman Catholic Church for its scandals, yet the Protestant church has plenty of its own sin with which to deal.
  • I don't know that we need to take time to be bored, so much as we need to be deliberate about being disconnected from a virtual world.
  • I'll just leave this here.
  • A sobering story and some biblical thoughts from Pastor Gabe Hughes.
  • Well, apparently chocolate Twinkies were announced a couple months ago. I just found them recently. What I find interesting, though, is that they are being treated as something new, when I know they made these when I was a kid! They used to only be available during the summer months. Does anybody else remember that?
  • Midwestern Seminary has launched a brand new Spurgeon website (i.e., treasure trove).
  • An extraordinary calling for ordinary men:

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