Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bumper Fish? No thanks, I'll keep it on my dash

Bumper Fish? I'm not a person who likes the idea of putting the Fish sign on the bumper of my car. Actually, I've had the "Ichthus" (Fish) symbol on my dashboard for years, in hope that the symbol will work to spur me on to better driving, with the result of a somewhat improved witness out on the streets. Bill at Provocative Church posted Five Reasons To Pry Off The Fish Symbol saying that the symbol itself is not necessarily a helpful witnessing tool when displayed on one's bumper. I'll stick with my dashboard!
Thanks, Bill.

Of reading many books...

Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books by Albert Mohler

His parting thought: Tolle Lege! (a link to Augustine's conversion: "Having Prayed to God, He Pours Forth a Shower of Tears, And, Admonished by a Voice, He Opens the Book and Reads the Words in Rom. xiii. 13; By Which, Being Changed in His Whole Soul, He Discloses the Divine Favour to His Friend and His Mother.")

Monday, September 24, 2007

Innocent is not naive

In Sunday School, we're going thru the workbook titled "Under His Smile: Breaking Free From the Need to Perform" by Sue Cortese (available from CEP Bookstore). Yesterday we were looking at Adam and how God created man in His image. In our discussion, we seemed to have all had some kind of allusion that because Adam was innocent before the fall, that somehow he was also very simple and naive with regard to the rest of creation. Upon further examination, this could not be further from the truth.

Gen. 2:19-20 "Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of
the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what
he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was
its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and
all the beasts of the field."

We totally forget that, as the first man, Adam was also the first botanist, biologist, chemist, zoologist, anthropologist ... you name it. Author Donald Miller writes in his book "Searching For God Knows What:" that "if it took John Muir the better portion of his life to realize his Glacier Theory about the landscape in small Yosemite" just imagine how much more intelligent and capable Adam would have been. And as the first human, Adam also was the purest form of human until Christ came. His DNA was unblemished. No mutations, no corruption or disease -- until the fall.

It's so easy to think of innocence somehow being synomous with naivity - isn't that in fact one of the ways in which the majority of the Gentile world viewed those early Christians as depicted in Acts and in the Pauline Espistles? And isn't that sort of how our modern/postmodern society views people like the Duggars and the Amish?

But wait... Is that also how we sometimes view Christ? The perfect God-man? Because He was the innocent lamb who made atonement for us, is He somehow more naive to the world and its ways than we? NO! He was tempted in everyway, right? Isn't it a mark of true maturity - and not naivity - when we endure temptation without giving in to its lure?

And Jesus was also fully God. Adam, made in God's image, knew God intimately and was given every gift, talent, and skill needed to act on God's behalf as a steward over His creation. But Adam was not in his very nature God. Jesus was with God and was God when He spoke Adam into existence at the very beginning. He is fully knowledgeable and intimate with all of His creation.
Heb. 4:14 "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (emphasis added)

He is the Soveriegn Lord and is by no means naive when it comes to the ways of the world. We can trust Him! Let us approach His great throne in awe, but with confidence that we too are made in His image.

We are always, always loved by Him as His very own children!! Even when we say that the world is too much for us, we have One who has gone ahead and Who has prepared a way for us to resist temptation and to bask in the glory of His love and care at all times and through all seasons of life. To God be all the glory. Amen.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Postmodernism, Morality, Culture & Christianity

This week's lecture was by far my favorite so far. Prof. Barrs discusses the entanglements of American culture with Chrisitianity, the interpretation of morality outside of God's Word, and finding common ground (bridges) within our postmodern world.

Again, he has presented great challenges for me personally beginning at about the halfway point when he begins speaking about relationships. He also shows how deeply our church life has been influenced by the taint of modernism and postmodernism, even though most evangelicals have yet to or have only recently begun to recognize it. I'll betcha one cup of home-brewed coffee, redeemable at your leisure (you'll get that if you listen to the second half of the audio or start reading at about page 5), that most of our popular evangelical moralists would be surprised and challenged by Dr. Barrs' teaching on biblical relationships.

DSU shooting is no VA Tech

DSU shootings yesterday are being compared to the shootings that occured at VA Tech. However, here is what officials are saying:

Beverly Williams, interim mayor of Dover, said Capt. Ray Taraila, Dover's deputy police chief, told her in a brief conversation early Friday that the shootings were the result of a "turf war" between "factions from outside our city."

"Things have really notched up, and it can't be stopped by outside forces, whether it be the college administration, the police, the Legislature. ... it's got to be stopped by the people involved," Williams said.

And here is the lead from our local paper, with a link to many additional/related stories.

"The shootings of two DSU students Friday cast the school in a harsh national light for the second time in six weeks.

It was just over a month ago that the school was rocked by the news from Newark, N.J., of the execution-style slayings of two Delaware State University students and a third who planned to enroll there for the current term."

I've got a dozen or so of my students enrolled there who I spoke with individually yesterday. I continue to hope and pray that they will remain safe over the coming days and months.

Friday, September 21, 2007

hypostatic union

An outstanding article on one of the great mysteries of eternal truth - hypostatic union

When Paul wrote that Jesus emptied himself and became a
servant and yet he was God, in what ways did he retain or not retain his powers
of being God?
by R. C. Sproul

One option, but

... still waiting on the Lord.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Salt and Light - from 09/09

What an awesome God we have! Here is P.B.'s incredible sermon from Sept. 9th. If you haven't listened yet, I'd recommend it. Wow!, >>>

Monday, September 17, 2007

Reaching "Post Everythings"

Post-everthings by Dr. Tim Keller, adjunct professor at Westminster and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City
How do we, as a denomination, do renewal and outreach in the emerging post-everything United States culture? “Post-everything” people are those who are now in their teens and twenties – and they are our future.
Read more here >>>

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I'd rather be married than...

I'd rather be happily married to a Godly Christian man than...
  • - taking a seminary class
  • - getting to go on vacation nearly whenever or where ever I want
    (ie, missions trip or similar trip)
  • - only needing to prepare enough dinner for one person every night
  • - being responsible for a lot people and stuff at work
  • - going to monergism.com, reformationtheology.com, and greenbaggins.wordpress.com for answers to all of my theological questions
  • - visiting neighbors or family almost anytime they are available
  • - watching my favorite show ("The Office") every week
  • - helping to teach Bible Study or Sunday School
  • - listening to my favorite music whenever I want
  • - watching my favorite DVD movies any time of the day
  • - reading like 150 books per year
  • - being able to come home at the end of the work day, drop whatever's in my hands, collapse on the couch, and visit my favorite blogs/websites/devotionals for some good spiritual refreshment and renewal....
So, even though I would rather be married than any of these things, the truth of the matter is that God has me single right now. And most (not all) of those things listed above are gifts from God, that He uses to redeem some of my "singleness" and especially to redeem those years of unbelief that the locusts had eaten.

I'd trade any of it in heartbeat for a loving, Godly Christian husband, but I'm seriously content that God has given me the opportunity to chose to be a good steward of the copious free time that comes with being an older single Christian woman. The greater promise is that one day, we will all be joined with our eternal Husband, who is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Praise Him for our particular and present station in life! He has uniquely positioned us to serve Him and to be about His business where ever we are planted, right now - today!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Homework - And Can it Be

And Can It Be (click to listen) - This was our homework from two Sundays ago - to look up the words to this hymn and to meditate on them. This was from PB's sermon called: ""The Hopeless Meet Hope" Part II which was even better the second time.

And Can It Be

1. And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me who caused His pain!
For me who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be That
Thou, my God, should die for me?

Chorus: Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

2. He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

4. No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own

Be, Know, Do - historically

I'm so grateful for the post over at Considerable Grace called: Grace Under Fire .
A few of us had a discussion earlier at church about how so many different backgrounds come together at church - from the corporate sector, factory supervisors, school administrators, and military folks, just to name a few.

Invariably, when people start talking about leadership and management, the majority of them will make a statement like: Oh, people in the military have a completely different type of leadership. You just give a command to tell people what to do. They don't have any choice but to do what you say. I guess this goes to show that a lot people really don't know much about the military leadership. They think that the whole thing is run like scenes from the movie Patton or Hollywood's stereotypical drill sergeants.

However, the Army Field Manual, which provides the "Be, Know, Do" framework for leadership, offers many vignettes of heroic leadership examples that are pretty different than the hollywood standard that most people imagine. Here they are, in case you might want to see how they compare to your pre-conceptions:

COL Chamberlain at Gettysburg
Small Unit Leader's Initiative in Normandy
GEN Washington at Newburgh Duty in Korea
GA Marshall Continues to Serve
MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart in Somalia
WO1 Thompson at My Lai
The Will to Persevere
The Quick Reaction Platoon
GA Eisenhower Forms SHAEF
Self-Control in Combat
BG Jackson at First Bull Run
Character and Prisoners
The Battle of the Bulge
GA Eisenhower's Message
The Qualification Report
Soldiers Are Our Credentials
The 96th Division on Leyte
The K Company Visit
Task Force Ranger in Somalia, 1993
Mix-Up at the Crossroads
"Superior Technology"
Changing a Unit Climate—The New Squad Leader
The Checking Account
The Rusty Rifles Incident
Finding the Real Problem
Pulling Dragons' Teeth
The EFMB Test
Technical Skill into Combat Power
Task Force Kingston
Solving a Training Problem
An Implied Mission and Leader Plan of Action
Brief Solutions, Not Problems
Trust Earned
Replacements in the ETO
Reception on Christmas Eve
SGT York
Knowing Your People
GEN Grant and the End of the Civil War
DA Civilian Support to Desert Shield
Innovative Reorganization
GEN Grant at Vicksburg
The Commander's Notebook
The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Normandy
The "Paperwork Purge"
Allied Command During the Battle of the Bulge
Strategic Flexibility in Haiti
Show of Force in the Philippines
Combat Power from a Good Idea
The D-Day Decision
Multinational Resource Allocation
World War II Strategic Assessment
Change After Vietnam

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Full of Song

"The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12
When sin is pardoned, our greatest sorrow is ended, and our truest pleasure begins. Such is the joy which the LORD bestows upon His reconciled ones, that it overflows and fills all nature with delight. The material world has latent music in it, and a renewed heart knows how to bring it out and make it vocal. Creation is the organ, and a gracious man finds out its keys, lays his hand thereon, and wakes the whole system of the universe to the harmony of praise. Mountains and hills, and other great objects, are, as it were, the bass of the chorus; while the trees of the wood, and all things that have life, take up the air of the melodious song.When God's Word is made to prosper among us and souls are saved, then everything seems full of song. When we hear the confessions of young believers and the testimonies of well-instructed saints, we are made so happy that we must praise the LORD, and then it seems as if rocks and hills and woods and fields echo our joy-notes and turn the world into an orchestra. LORD, on this happy day, lead me out into thy tuneful world as rich in praise as a lark in full song. -- C.H. SPURGEON

Preparing to Celebrate our Great and Glorious Lord on the coming blessed Sabbath Day!

Would Jesus Facebook?

HT: http://www.esv.org/blog


Before the creation of the world, God had perfect unity, fellowship, and communion with himself in the trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Why in the world did He need to go and create all of this? Well, He didn't need to. We know that. But because of the overflowing, superabundance of His joy, His love, and His good pleasure, He created us. To display His Glory and His Splendor.

Before the creation of the world He chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. (Eph 1:4-5)

Before we set out to create something or serve someone, somewhere, we should start with the very beginning, reflecting on the fact of His glory and His good pleasure toward us and toward mankind, all created in His image. Otherwise, we are attempting to circumvent the divine purpose (which of course is impossible, but can lead to much misery).

"whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor 10:31b

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, [a] and to enjoy him for ever. [b]
[a]. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11
[b]. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4
(Westminster Shorter Cathecism)

Before the throne of God, we will all fall on our faces and lay down any of our crowns, saying in unison with all of heaven:

Rev 4:11"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."