Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
She was just a rural teenager.
He was just a young carpenter.
Just in love.
Their situation was just like millions before it.
But an angelic announcement made it more than just a betrothal.
More than just a conception.
It was just a census.
And they would arrive to the City of David just a little late.
The crowd in this small town, just outside of Jerusalem, was overflowing.
There just wasn’t any room.
It was just a stable, but it would do.
It was just big enough, and it was out of the cold.
It was just about time, but where would he lay?
This feeding trough was just about right. Fill it with hay.
We’ll just lay him there.
Crying, just like any baby, he was now in the world he had made.
Just two people, alone with God.
It was just a star. But it marked where He lay.
They were just shepherds, but they were his first guests.
The gifts brought from afar, an expression of just how precious this Child is.
Just a silent night…but a night that would divide kingdoms, and families, and history.
They were just 12 ordinary men.
She was just a Samaritan woman.
It was just five barley loaves and two fish.
It was just a tree.
They were just nails.
It is just bread and wine.
Just the ordinary made extraordinary.
-Jay Risner (12.09)
Friday, December 18, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
George Marsden, in his Jonathan Edwards: A Life, refers to Edwards’ belief in “the great end of creation, God’s redemptive love” (page 479). He sums up Edwards’ thought this way:
“God’s trinitarian essence is love. God’s purpose in creating a universe in which sin is permitted must be to communicate that love to creatures. The highest or most beautiful love is sacrificial love for the undeserving” (page 505).
If Edwards is right, and he is, then sacrificial love for undeserving people is not a problem for pastoral ministry; it is even more than an opportunity for pastoral ministry. Sacrificial love for undeserving people is the reason why the universe exists.
“To the praise of the glory of his grace.”
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- Basketball is a sport. Two opposing sides, objective rules and scoring, a court, a time clock that declares that whoever is in the lead at its expiration is declared victor.
- Football is therefore a sport...as is soccer, hockey, tennis (though lack of crowd liberty almost gets tennis in trouble), volleyball, rugby, et al.
- Golf - Golf is a game. It's played against courses that are without fixed dimensions. Though it's scoring system is objective, scoring is not done against an opponent--nobody is allowed to guard the cup or tries to block the ball. Plus, golf's spectators are not allowed to cheer with any measure of freedom. (Bowling is also a game. Though bowling does have fixed dimensions and objective scoring, none of us would ever be comfortable calling it a sport. If bowling had a goalie I might consider it a sport.)
- Gymnastics, figure skating, diving, skateboarding, etc - These are not sports either. These are competitions. No doubt these activities require athleticism, but because of their subjective scoring systems they cannot qualify as a sport.
- NASCAR and Horse Racing - These are races. And since they are largely decided by something other than the human element (car and animal) they don't meet the criteria to be a sport.
- Swimming, Track and Field - These are timed events. There is no fixed scoring system. (except when determining team achievement), but even with that the athletes are not ever opposing one another. They could perform all their events individually and a winner could be determined with the exact same criteria (the clock). Not sports.
- Boxing - Boxing is often called a science, and for good reason. I am leery to call it a sport for the fact that most bouts are determined by a subjective scoring system. If every fight were determined by knockout or TKO it would be a sport. Therefore boxing is also a competition...but I'm not settled on this. Maybe we could call it a fight.
- Baseball - Baseball is a pastime. It defies category. I quote John Kruk, "I'm not an athlete...I'm a baseball player."
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Avery spent one whole day last week in this get up:
Jackie Boy was a monkey for halloween. He got the flu and didn't venture out, but we still tortured him by making him wear his costume:
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
O God of Grace,
You have imputed my sin to my substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom's robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much impurity; my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.
I need to repent of my repentance; I need my tears to be washed; I have no robe to bring to cover my sins, no loom to weave my own righteousness; I am always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace am always receiving change of raiment, for you always justify the ungodly; I am always going into the far country, and always returning home as a prodigal, always saying, "Father, forgive me," and you are always bringing forth the best robe.
Every morning let me wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day's work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun.
Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.
"Continual Repentance," in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, ed. Arthur Bennett (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust), 136-137.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
C. S. Lewis, "A Slip of the Tongue," in The Weight of Glory, page 187.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It’s lonely to lead
It’s dangerous to succeed
It’s hardest at home
It’s essential to be real
It’s painful to obey
Brokenness and failure are necessary
Attitude overshadows actions
Integrity eclipses image
God’s way is always better than my way
Christlikeness begins and ends with humility
Monday, October 12, 2009
"You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman."
This quotation is from our President who over the weekend spoke at a Dinner for the Human Right Campaign. Al Mohler offered his commentary below:
Those words represent a moral revolution that goes far beyond what any other President has ever promised or articulated. In the span of a single sentence, President Obama put his administration publicly on the line to press, not only for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, but for the recognition that same-sex relationships are "just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman."
It is virtually impossible to imagine a promise more breathtaking in its revolutionary character than this -- to normalize same-sex relationships to the extent that they are recognized as being as admirable as heterosexual marriage.
HT: Challies and Mohler
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
- Oklahoma has the highest rate of people who have been married three times or more.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
2It is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”b—
3“a voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”c
4And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I baptize you withd water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Western Xians are Christoplatonists, meaning they tend toward dualism. They bifurcate life between things physical and spiritual...material and immaterial, and like Plato exalt the immaterial. Xians shouldn't be dualists. It's a non-biblical worldview that fragments life and denies Christ's Lordship of all creation. This dualism impacts so many areas, but one important area of theology it has wreaked havoc on is the doctrine of the bodily resurrection (both of Jesus and his followers).
One way to think about the Platonic influence is many Christians would say our souls are just occupying these bodies for a short time, and like a snake shedding its skin will be rid of them one day. And so most Xians look forward to being disembodied. They even say at the death of a loved one…”that’s not really him lying there.” Which is slightly true, but it also slightly un-true.
If you looked back to the Creation account in Genesis 2. Adam was not a human being until Adam became what the Hebrew calls nephesh…until God joined his body (dust) and spirit (breath) together. Which is to say Adam was not alive until he had both materiel and immaterial components. Your body is a very real part of the real you…and it will join you, more alive than it’s ever been at the final resurrection. (which would be at the coming of the new heavens and new earth, following the millennial reign of Christ on the earth…if your keeping a timetable). So what I am saying is when we die, it isn’t that our real self goes to the intermediate Heaven and our fake self goes to the grave; it’s that part of us goes to the intermediate Heaven and part goes to the grave to await our bodily resurrection at the consummation of all things.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Lord, make my life a miracle!"
Raymond C. Ortlund, Lord, Make My Life A Miracle, page 151.