Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

icebreaker_you_can_only_ask_one_question

There is only one question that matters when it comes to abortion: “What is it?” Is what is in the mother’s womb a human being or not?

If what is in the mother’s womb is not a human being, then no justification is needed for abortion.

If what is in the mother’s womb is a human being, then no justification is possible for abortion.

Robert George makes the point well this article. It’s worth your time.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Quercus_rubra-Jean-Pol-Grandmont

Every Friday, I post what I call a “Friday Fun Fact” on my Facebook page. In my Bible classes, I give out ten or eleven “Friday Fun Facts” every week. I classify them as interesting trivia and something to have fun with. Most of the time, I present them without much comment, either in class or online.

But I got thinking about last week’s fun fact – It takes a normal oak tree fifty years to produce its first acorn. There’s a lot to be learned from this little factoid.

If we think about our walk with God, the point is clear: Fruitfulness, although expected, may take time. I’m convinced that those whom God has justified will be sanctified. In other words, those who have been given spiritual life by God through faith in Christ will inevitably grow in holiness and godliness. However, growth and sanctification don’t happen in a uniform fashion. We don’t all grow at the same rate and there are undeniable ups and downs in the process.

I’m sure people have looked at oak trees and thought something was wrong – “Where are the acorns? Nothing’s happening!” Some may even think the tree needs to be cut down. We might even look at other Christians, or ourselves, and think the same kinds of things –  “Where’s the fruit? What’s wrong? It doesn’t look like anything’s happening?”

Yes, spiritual growth follows spiritual birth, but the oak-to-acorn truth is a good reminder. It may take some Christians a long time to bear any fruit at all. We shouldn’t want to drop them because the fruit they’re bearing (or not bearing yet) doesn’t look like we think it should. Some are fruitful almost immediately, but others aren’t – they will be, but it will take some time. Sometimes an “acorn” in someone’s else’s life might not be discernible to us.

All of this to say that we need to be patient, kind, and encouraging with each other. We need to encourage each other to press on to maturity with the full realization that it’s a process, not a one-time event. We need to remember that there is coming a day when that oak tree will producing acorns for the glory of God!

Read Full Post »

Good Point!

pickle_cartoon

 

Read Full Post »

LaraOrganized-1024x751

Some things I’ve been thinking about lately. (The notes above are not mine, but the person who wrote them did a good job!)

“Privilege”

There’s been a lot written and said about the subject of “privilege” lately. We’ve heard about white privilege and even Christian privilege, and the need to recognize it and renounce it. This comes almost entirely from the political and religious Left with a handful of conservatives foolishly joining the chorus.

Here are Doug Wilson’s thoughts about privilege (from his podcast called “The Plodcast”).  Privilege, or the emphasis on it, comes from egalitarianism – the belief that everything and everyone should be equal. Egalitarianism is based on envy – if someone has more than me, there’s something wrong with the universe). Therefore if someone, or a group of people, has more money, intelligence, beauty, or power, they should feel guilty for what they have. Biblically speaking, we should be grateful for what God has given us, which includes money, possessions, a good family, health, or beauty (to name only a few), and not feel guilty. We shouldn’t be jealous or envious of what God has given to others (remember the tenth commandment: “You shall not covet”) because He doesn’t give His gifts equally. Our gratitude for God’s gifts will motivate us to be like Him and give generously to others. Guilt motivates us to give small amounts to assuage our guilt.

Wilson has hit the nail squarely on the head.

Complementarianism

David Prince tweets, “Biblical complementariansm is no more to be blamed for the scandal surrounding Paige Patterson than egalitarianism is to be blamed for the scandal surrounding Bill Hybels. The cultural mood to leverage every sinful crisis to score personal argument points is repulsive.” Amen!

Patterson’s recorded comments from years past were wrong and sinful, but they don’t invalidate the truth or falsehood of complementariansm (men and women are equal in value and dignity, but have different roles in the family and the church). The same is true for Hybels and egalitarianism (men and women are equal and there should be no restrictions upon roles in the family or the church).

I’m firmly in the camp of complementarianism. I’m convinced the Bible teaches it and that we must submit to it, whether the world likes it or not, because the Word of God is our final authority. I’m concerned because I’ve heard some brothers and sisters in Christ from the egalitarian side of things claim that Patterson’s views and the actions of others are “proof” that complementarianism is a misinterpretation of Scripture. No, they aren’t. They’re a misapplication of Scripture. None of us completely live out the truths of Scripture, even though we’re absolutely committed to them.

A New/Used Book

Books are part of a good life as far as I’m concerned. Earlier this week, I picked up a used copy of Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose at the Salvation Army thrift store. Ambrose is a first-rate historian and writer. I can’t wait to dive in!

 

Read Full Post »

How can I pray for you? We should ask that question to our brothers and sisters in Christ more often than we do. We may be surprised at the answers we get.

But we should also be thinking about what we can pray for others. There are times when we’re at a loss as to specifically what we can ask God on their behalf. One answer comes from the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:9-11. He says, And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

We can pray for ourselves, our family, our church, our pastors, elders, and deacons, our Bible study group, our teachers, our classmates, our parents, our friends, our co-workers, and anyone else we can think of, and ask God:

  • Would give them a love of God and others that will abound still more.
  • That their love would abound and grow in real knowledge.
  • That their love would grow in all discernment.
  • That they may approve what is excellent.
  • That they would be sincere and blameless all the way up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
  • That they would give glory and praise to God.
  • What better things could we ask God to give and develop in the lives of our fellow believers (as well as our own life)? That’s what we can pray for each other coram Deo (before the face of God).

Read Full Post »

71263978-1080x675

Reading from Deuteronomy chapters 27 through 32, the words of R.C. Sproul were prominent in my thinking: “God plays for keeps.”

God takes His law and word very seriously. It reveals His character, nature, and will – indeed, it is a reflection of Him. In those chapters, those who obey God’s law are blessed, while those who disobey are cursed. The detail of this larger passage shows us that not only does God take His law and word seriously, He also takes our response to it seriously.

In other words, God plays for keeps. He’s serious about His children obeying (or, conversely, disobeying) His law and word. In fact, in 32:45-46, it says, When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” (Emphasis added)

God’s Word and Law are not idle for us – they’re not meaningless or inconsequential; they are our life. Through His Word and Spirit, God saves us, sustains us, transforms us, and conforms us to the image of Christ. It really is our life, and there’s nothing idle about that!

God plays for keeps. Shouldn’t we be serious, too?

Read Full Post »

pile-of-clothes

I love Christmas. I love the music, the decorations, the food, the celebrations, the gatherings, the gift-giving, the trees, the movies and television programs, and just about everything else involved with Christmas.

But there’s a danger in all of it, and if we’re not careful we’ll succumb to it. The danger is that we forget what (and Who) the season and the holiday is all about – the Lord Jesus Christ.

A story is told (and I have no idea if it’s true or not, but it makes a good point) of the christening of a baby by a wealthy European family. A large number of guests was invited to the family’s home. As the guests arrived, their coats and wraps were taken to a bedroom and placed on one of the beds. After the usual amount of visiting and catching-up, they were ready for the christening ceremony, and someone asked, “Where’s the baby?” The nurse went upstairs, found nothing, and returned in a panic. She couldn’t find the baby! After several more minutes of searching, someone remembered that the baby was put on one of the beds before anyone arrived, and there they found it – smothered under the coats and wraps. The entire reason they had come – the baby – had been neglected, forgotten, and now destroyed.

In our involvement in all of the trappings of Christmas, let’s not neglect, forget, or even destroy the reason we celebrate Christmas at all – Jesus Christ, the baby born in a manger who would save His people from their sins and is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Don’t forget the Baby!

As Isaiah the prophet said,  

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »