Friday, January 29, 2010

Looking at fruit or roots?

Picking fruit or pulling up roots?
I really enjoyed Mike R.'s article. He speaks not only from experience, but also from many years of study and research. Thanks, Possessing the Treasure!!
Mike traces the current trend back to a root of 'unbelief,' which is certainly true. I think its roots can also be found in a wisdom and discernment deficit. And I'll leave it at that.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Forgiveness goes before sanctification

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, on Luke 7:36-50“A sense of having our sins forgiven is the mainspring and life-blood of love to Christ. . . . Would the Pharisee know why this woman showed so much love? It was because she felt much forgiven. Would he know why he himself had shown his guest so little love? It was because he felt under no obligation, had no consciousness of having obtained forgiveness, had no sense of debt to Christ. . . . The only way to make men holy is to teach and preach free and full forgiveness through Jesus Christ. The secret of being holy ourselves is to know and feel that Christ has pardoned our sins. Peace with God is the only root that will bear the fruit of holiness. Forgiveness must go before sanctification.”

via Ray Ortlund's blog Christ is Deeper Still.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Devastation in Haiti

Video and images from the Resurgence, accompanied by an updated version of a beautiful classic hymn.

Coco on Cynicism

"All I ask of you is one thing: Please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere." - Conan O'Brien in his parting comments to the studio audience in his last broadcast on The Tonight Show.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Candles on a birthday cake or a city on a hill?

Mr. Frank Turk has an excellent post over at Pyromaniacs on the church. I especially love this section of his post:

Candles on a birthday cake vs. a city on a hill


"When Christ talks about who we are in him, he doesn’t say, “you are the light of the world, like little birthday cake candles which people will encounter here and there and I hope that’s enough to get the message across.”

Christ says instead this: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” You know: You-Plural. Y’all. The city on the hill and the light on the lamp stand is the church and not the individual believer. So our light shines before men when we are together being the people Jesus died to make us."



and...

"So how do we carry that over into the real world 2000 years later? Should we then embrace whatever institution has risen up – should we not have had a reformation? Should we never-ever leave the local church?

The truth is that the Bible gives us a lot of liberty for the local church – with some guidelines. We should have elders who teach us the faith, reprove us when we are wrong, guard the word of God, love people, and train up new elders; we should follow them. We should bear one another’s burdens. We should stand against error but seek to reconcile brothers who are turning away from the faith. We should love one another. We should worship in spirit and in truth (and in good order).

After that, it’s sort of open as to how we administrate that.

But factually the church has to be a local body – full of real people. It has to be visible and distinct from Kiwanis, the Lion’s Club, and the temple of Athena. It should be calling people into Christ and therefore into itself."

What can we say? Say it to God -- Pray!!!

An awesome primer on postmodernism that succinctly describes the development of and implications of this form of thought in today's culture:
http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/01/primer-on-postmodernism.html

The tic tac toe timeline was excellent, as are these quotes:
"Postmodernism might be defined in a nutshell as, the belief that no single world view offers a universally and objectively true perspective on all of life and reality."

"Postmodernism is hostile to every world view that makes a universal truth claim"
That these developments are happening in churches we love -- with people we love -- is truly sad! For some people it is already happening in their traditionally Biblical churches, and they are not even aware of it.

"It's often been suggested that the doctrinally aberrant Emergent (postmodern) church is a reaction to fundamentalism. This may be true for some individuals, but could it be that the Emergent (postmodern) church's doctrinal aberrations are more the result of an entire generation who grew up in doctrinally anemic seeker-sensitive churches?" asks Greg Gilbert, editor of the 9Marks E-Journal.

Find out by checking out the current issue:
http://www.9marks.org/cc/ejournal/2010v7-1/

Praying, praying, praying for the church in the USA!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Responsibility to Listen (ht: Challies.com)

In preparation for the Sabbath, I am convicted by this excerpt from The Responsibility to Listen at challies.com:

"Remember that all these…sermons must be reviewed, and you must answer for all that you have heard, whether you heard it…with diligent attention or with carelessness; and the word which you hear shall judge you at the last day. Hear therefore as those that are going to judgment to give account of their hearing and obeying." - Richard Baxter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Minute Man: Responding to the Devastation in Haiti

The PCA's "Minute Man" Response is reacting to the situation. This ministry is part of the PCA's Mission to the World and it provides a way for members to help out in just these kinds of events.

They offer a place where people can donate directly for the relief of pain and suffering in Haiti. Continuing to pray for the people impacted by this event!!


Here is the link.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How can we endure to live at such a distance from our Beloved?

"The condition of glorified spirits in heaven is that of nearness to Christ, clear vision of His glory, constant access to His court, and familiar fellowship with His person: nor is there any difference in this respect between one saint and another, but all the people of God, apostles, martyrs, ministers, or private and obscure Christians, shall all be seated near the throne, where they shall for ever gaze upon their exalted Lord, and be satisfied with His love. They shall all be near to Christ, all ravished with His love, all eating and drinking at the same table with Him, all equally beloved as His favourites and friends even if not all equally rewarded as servants.Let believers on earth imitate the saints in heaven in their nearness to Christ.

"Let us on earth be as the elders are in heaven, sitting around the throne. May Christ be the object of our thoughts, the centre of our lives. How can we endure to live at such a distance from our Beloved? Lord Jesu, draw us nearer to Thyself. Say unto us, "Abide in Me, and I in you"; and permit us to sing, "His left hand is under my head, and His right hand doth embrace me." - C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening Devotional.

Sunday School Class: Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy

We've started on a new study at church on the topic of worldview from the book entitled Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity.
Key excerpt: "Probably most of us had not linked together the idea of Christian worldview with finding joy in life. Yet Sealy is right. It is only when we offer up everything we do in worship to God that we finally experience His power coursing through every fiber of our being. The God of the Bible is not only the God of the human spirit but also the God of nature and history. We serve Him not only in worship but also in obedience to the Cultural Mandate. If Christian churches are serious about discipleship, they must teach believers how to keep living for God after they walk out the church doors on Sunday." from Chapter 2 'Rediscovering Joy.'

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bach and Japan: How Beauty Serves the Truth of the Gospel

Inspiring article on Bach and the Gospel in Japan at First Things

Here is an excerpt of a Japanese entrepreneur's view of Bach:
“Bach gives us hope when we are afraid; he gives us courage when we despair; he comforts us when we are tired; he makes us pray when we are sad; and he makes us sing when we are full of joy.”

It sounds like this music is being used an amazing conduit for the gospel!! Praise God!

Monday, January 4, 2010

"A Sacred Ambition for the Glory of Christ Where He is Not Yet Named"

This afternoon John Piper led a breakout session at Passion 2010 with an audience of thousands, titled "A Sacred Ambition for the Glory of Christ Where He Is Not Yet Named." I was not present, but according to the Desiring God blog, the blurb for the session reads,


Do you share the apostle Paul's sacred ambition to bring the gospel to peoples who otherwise have no access to it? If you are ready to leverage your life for those among the world's hardest and most unreached peoples then this breakout is for you.


During the session, John read a blog post to the audience of thousands of young people that was written by Brother Eugene called "My Burden for the Truly Unreached." Brother Eugene is a long-time missionary in China.

This is facinating to me, as I had stumbled upon his blog back on December 15th after following a discussion on Challies.com about a silly board game called Rich Daddy God that was made in Taiwan.

What is so amazing to me though is that this particular post was actually more than a year and a half old (May 7, 2008), so obviously, I had spent a considerable amount of time reading his blog and was just delighted when I found this gem. After writing just a tiny comment to be an encouragement, I was also pleased to see that he published an updated version on December 17th.

Wow!! Praise God, because that little gem of a post straight from the front lines in China has now been shared with thousands of young, up-and-comers, who may very well be considering a call to the mission field. (And even possibly one rather older one, as well, yours truly; who knows?) Maybe the breakout session will be posted up with the main sessions too -- check them out here>>>

Friday, January 1, 2010

Another year, another chance, a new day

Happy New Year!

"But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul,
'therefore I will hope in him'" (Lamentations 3:21-24).

A reminder from RZIM Slice of Infinity