It is a gift of God.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
It is a gift of God.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Jesus understands our suffering because He’s human.He can do something about our suffering because He’s God.
So we can put our complete trust in Him, and cling to Him as the Source of our help in times of trouble.
Hebrews 4:14-15 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
He is perfect, and He is sympathetic. There is no greater Saviour, and there is no greater Lord. Who else can we turn to in our suffering? No one else has both suffered as we have, and accomplished the work of atonement without the stain of sin. There is only Jesus, and He is enough.Praise God!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
We've studied Christian history, and that includes the early Christians who were burned at stakes, torn apart by lions, crucified upside down, and so on.
All through the ages people have done unspeakable things to other human beings.
Why study that?
Well, first of all, it's reality. Secondly, it shows the pervasiveness of the sin nature. It demonstrates that power corrupts, and that this world is a world that needs to be rescued. It shows us that there is nothing new under the sun. When we read of wars and rumours of wars, of corruption and genocide even in this modern era, we are forced to see that nothing much has changed in the heart of man.
My children have watched plenty of war movies with their dad. They've read about Hitler and the Holocaust. It's somewhat simple to remove themselves from those who imprisoned and tortured millions of people, because we aren't like that.
Or are we?
The question has been raised by a book and movie, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. We watched it recently, and concluded that it is a valuable movie. A quick search online brought up a Study Guide which we plan to use with our children.
I don't want to spoil the movie for those of you who haven't watched it. Let me say that it doesn't gloss over the nasty parts. What it does do very well is demonstrate clearly that life went on for ordinary Germans while ordinary Jews were being herded into cattle cars, imprisoned in camps, forced to labour for the Third Reich, then ultimately sent to their death in a gas chamber.
Ordinary Germans did not know. They didn't really want to know.
In my opinion, it is imperative that we know what is going on in the world today. Let's not gloss over the fact that although the number of abortions in North America fell in 2008, it rose in Spain, in the UK, in...(the list goes on...). Let's not forget that just a few years ago there was genocide in Rwanda and more recently in Sudan Christians were being targeted. In India and China people are persecuted for their beliefs.
What are we to do? Let's not bury our head in the sand and refuse to think about these tragedies. Instead, we need to remember that no matter how the nations rage, God is still in control. We have hope that He will "shake the nations" and restore this earth to its former glory. Eventually, we will have peace.
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
Haggai 2:5 My Spirit remains in your midst.Fear not. 6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. 7 And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. 9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
From Romans Verse by Verse by William R. Newell, published in 1938.
“A FEW WORDS ABOUT GRACE”
“III. The Proper Attitude of Man under Grace
1. To believe, and to consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret.
2. To refuse to make “resolutions” and “vows”; for that is to trust in the flesh.
3. To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth.
4. To testify of God’s goodness, at all times.
5. To be certain of God’s future favor; yet to be ever more tender in conscience toward Him.
6. To rely on God’s chastening hand as a mark of His kindness.
7. A man under grace, if like Paul, has no burdens regarding himself; but many about others.
IV. Things Which Gracious Souls Discover
1. To “hope to be better” is to fail to see yourself in Christ only.
2. To be disappointed with yourself, is to have believed in yourself.
3. To be discouraged is unbelief,-as to God’s purpose and plan of blessing for you.
4. To be proud, is to be blind! For we have no standing before God, in ourselves.
5. The lack of Divine blessing, therefore, comes from unbelief, and not from failure of devotion.
6. Real devotion to God arises, not from man’s will to show it; but from the discovery that blessing has been received from God while we were yet unworthy and undevoted.
7. To preach devotion first, and blessing second, is to reverse God’s order, and preach law, not grace. The Law made man’s blessing depend on devotion; Grace confers undeserved, unconditional blessing: our devotion may follow, but does not always do so,-in proper measure.”
~Romans Verse By Verse, pp. 246-247
Thursday, May 21, 2009
But I am getting older (approaching my middle fifties) and am increasingly appalled at my lack of wisdom.
Oh, I can be wise, from time to time. I can say the right thing, and do the right thing. I've learned a thing or two about raising children, about being a wife, about living a life before the face of God. I've had younger women thank me for the influence I've had on their lives, and sadly, all I can say is "you don't know me."
If you really knew me, you'd see that all too often I sin with my mouth. And if that's not bad enough, I act in a manner unbecoming a godly woman. Worse, still, I sin where only God sees it - my thoughts are selfish, proud, demanding.
It's not that I never have wisdom. Praise the Lord, I am His child, bought with the precious blood of Christ. He is working on me, and thankfully, there are evidences of grace in my life.
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
I have a few gray hairs. Just a few. Because I am blond, the gray looks like highlights. My husband, however, has a full crown of glory.
The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
I'm quite sure that the gray hair isn't the point. The life lived before the face of God, the minutes and hours and days and years spent walking in this world, learning the inevitability of sinful responses and being astounded at the certainty of God's forgiveness in spite of our sin is the point. The ones with gray hair have walked longer. They've stumbled more. They've fallen to their knees and cried out to God, (Romans 7:24) "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
John Piper said it best. Tim Challies wrote about John Piper discussing the topic of growing older. Tim wrote,
he spoke of growing older and his increasing knowledge of his own sin. "The longer I live the less optimistic I am that I will end without sin and the more grateful I become for the blood of Christ imputed to me. As I grow older I do not feel myself becoming gloriously holy but I find myself feeling great love for the gospel."
Psalm 71:18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Oh, Lord, this is my prayer.
Isaiah 46:4 even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
Oh, Lord, Your promises are sure and certain. They give me hope. You WILL carry me, You will save.
It's always and only about You, God. If we honour the elderly, it's because You have been gracious to them and have worked in their lives. With age comes wisdom, and You are to be praised.
“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Revelation 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw a the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
In the post, he outlines the origin of Mother's Day, decrying its sentimentalism. He writes,
The Christian vision of motherhood is more about courage and faithfulness than about sentimentalism. The mothers of the Bible are a tough lot. Jochebed put her baby in a floating ark of bulrushes, defying the order of Pharaoh that all Hebrew male children be put to death. Rachel, mother to Joseph and Benjamin, died giving birth to Benjamin. Hannah promised her son to God, and presented Samuel as a young boy for service in the House of the Lord. Mary, the mother of Jesus, risked shame and disgrace to bear the Savior, and to provide all Christians with a model of brave and unflinching obedience. She was there when Jesus Christ was crucified. As Simeon had told her just after the birth of Christ, "Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." [Luke 2:34-35]
The mothers of the Bible are a tough lot, and their courage comes from the same God who said, "Be strong and courageous." He is the One Who gives grace. He is the One Who gives faith.
Al Mohler goes on to say,
Mother's Day is a bad idea because it subverts the reality of faithful mothering and robs faithful mothers of their true glory. Mothers deserving of honor are handed cards and taken to lunch, when songs of praise should instead be offered to the glory of God. Undeserving mothers, who abdicate their true responsibility, are honored just because they are mothers. Children, young and old, who ignore and dishonor their mothers by word and by life throughout the year, assuage their guilt by making a big deal of Mother's Day.
I am not saying that you ought not to do anything on Mother's Day. By all means, honour your mother...but do it every day of the year! And remember to give praise to God for anything your mom does that is good, for it's all about HIM!
Monday, May 11, 2009
My friend Royal preached yesterday on a topic that is too often neglected - Heaven! It was an uplifting message, and it culminated with a poem that Royal wrote. He gave me permission to post it here:
Before me waits a darkened door,
And terror’s tentacles reach out to grip my heart,
Yet gazing more, golden wisps of misty light,
Stream from lintel,
Cascade under door,
Seep through cracks,
Caress, surround, enfold me,
Pry open terror’s talons, so that,
Black fear falls vanquished to the floor.
Beyond the door a loving King,
Waiting until I shall pass,
In golden wisps sends Spirit, life, and hope,
Eternal life begun, abundant life secured
What terrors now can there be?
For when that deathly door opes for me,
My soul shall float on trusted golden mist
Find refuge, endless delight, pleasure unspeakable,
In presence of nail-pierced triumphant King.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
To all of my daughters and my daughter-in-law, who have blessed our family with the most gorgeous grandchildren in the world, Happy Mother's Day. Praise the One Who blessed you with children and formed them in secret, in the depths of your wombs. Praise Him for giving you strength and courage to labour, not only to bear these little souls, but to raise them to know Him and serve Him all the days of their lives. May God continue to pour out blessings on you - love for your families, joy in the journey, wisdom to deal with their needs and desires, and peace as you remember that He Who called you is faithful, and will walk with you all of the days of your life.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
My righteous deeds are but a trap.
They never can erase
My sin; these filthy rags just slap
The sacred scars of grace.
Completely filled with pride and self
I strive to make sin less,
But what I count as gain is pelf*;
In bondage I regress.
On God alone I must depend;
All pride confess, forsake.
These hellish bonds my God must rend;
This legalism break.
Christ broke my bonds and set me free!
His work, not mine, I sing;
Whose pain and scars at Calvary
|money or wealth, esp. when regarded with contempt or acquired by reprehensible means.|
The problem is: ME. I do not acknowledge the Supremacy of Christ. I judge God based on how He carries out MY goals in this world. I want a God who is omnipotent, but not sovereign, so I can wield His power. Click below:
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
- Know how to serve
- Don't be addicted to debt
- Choose a product/skill/expertise to sell
- Find a market to sell to
- Keep a good contact manager
- Write proposals
- Write a business plan
- Make sure the work is done on time, and done well.
- Keep track of finances
- Know the tax laws
- Keep careful records
- Know how to income-split
From Tim Challies:
The poem, entitled "Afraid?" was written by Presbyterian missionary E.H. Hamilton following the recent martyrdom of one of his colleagues, J.W. Vinson, at the hands of rebel soldiers in northern China. A small Chinese girl who escaped from the bandits related the incident that provided the inspiration for Hamilton's poem.
"Are you afraid?" the bandits asked Vinson as they menacingly waved a gun in front of him.
"No," he replied with complete assurance. "If you shoot, I go straight to heaven."
His decapitated body was found later.
Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour's face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what?
A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;
Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven's art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven's rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?