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Archive for May, 2009

Quotes to chew on

“Transformation of life will never happen without adoration of Christ!”–Bruce Ware

“The perseverance of the saints is based on the perseverance of God to make us like Christ.”–Bruce Ware

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“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—” (Ephesians 2:4-5, ESV).

Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For, Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Had Thou not chosen me.
Thou from sin that stained me
Has cleansed me and set me free;
Of old thou did ordain me,
That I should live for Thee.

–source unknown

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I would urge all my readers to read this WORLD article on the 2oth anniversary of a life-changing event in China!tanks tiananmen

Out of post-massacre despair, Chinese demonstrators learned not only that communism is crushing but that democracy alone cannot save.

The article reads in part,

“Though the world watched—with the image of a lone man staring down a column of tanks near Tiananmen Square becoming one of the iconic images of the 20th century—the Chinese government denies that it ­happened: Even 20 years later Chinese officials call the bloody crackdown of 1989 “a political disturbance” of “counter-revolutionary hooligans” and claim civilians incited the violence. They offer no official death count but claim that deaths were few, and they never released an official total of arrests. Human-rights groups estimate officials arrested tens of thousands of protesters and dissidents around the country in the massacre’s aftermath.

Chinese textbooks don’t mention the event. Chinese censors block internet access to much information on the massacre. Government officials forbid state-run media from reporting about it. And in recent weeks, Chinese officials have jailed at least one dissident for speaking out against the military’s actions at Tiananmen Square—a common fate for outspoken opponents of the government.

Despite modern technology and the benefit of time and research, it’s possible that today’s Chinese students know less about the historic event than those of 20 years ago, when word of mouth spread news of the massacre like wildfire.

But if Chinese officials hope that Tiananmen Square’s significance will dim with time, human-rights groups are reminding the world of the massacre and outspoken eyewitnesses remain.”

Read the rest here.

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Paul Miller in A Praying Life offers seven practical suggestions for making morning prayer a daily habit in your life:

  1. Get to bed. Don’t stay up late if you want to get up early to pray!
  2. Get up:  it’s wonderful to pray in bed, but you won’t develop a morning prayer life if you stay in bed.
  3. Get awake:  need a shower or coffee first?
  4. Get a quiet place
  5. Get comfortable
  6. Get going
  7. Keep going: consistency is more important than length

Again, praying in the morning isn’t the only time you can pray, but it’s a great time to pray before the day rushes at you!

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spelling bee winnerThe winning word for the 2009 National Spelling Bee was. . . . .

“Laodicean”.

Is there any significance to this for our country?  for the church?

Interesting at the very least.

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I think the answer to this question is, “It depends what we do with our freedom!”  We can turn any blessing from God into a curse!  And I think that is what Christianity has largely done with our freedoms in this great nation.  Now our freedoms are being dismantled slowly but surely.  We should stand for our freedoms and seek to keep them while we still have time.

Yet, God in His sovereignty may choose to take our freedoms from us. Will that be good or bad for the church?  Well, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the church of Jesus Christ is flourishing in lands where freedom is severely limited!  So democracy isn’t necessary for Christianity to flourish.

John MacArthur looks at this question more in-depth here.

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Looking for a basic outline of sound Bible doctrine. Curt Daniel has a good on-line source.  Basic, solid, accessible! Add this to your bookmarks.

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Last night was our midweek church meeting.  We have about 20 people attend this time, although there are other children and youth group meetings as well.  I am glad I went last night for the following reasons:

  • We sang together “How Great Thou Art” and some other hymns that stirred my soul to praise God for His unmerited favor to me
  • The observations that others shared from God’s Word were very helpful to me
  • One person particularly was overflowing with praise to God for His providence in her life the last week. Her joy stoked mine.
  • God’s people prayed unpretentious, simple prayers together–prayers based on Scripture but from the heart
  • I benefited from two specific conversations with some fellow believers after the meeting concluded!

I’m glad I went to prayer meeting last night!

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Here are two unrelated stories that reflect on God’s providence.

John Ensor begins his article this way, “Baby Jack, our 3-month-old grandson, was rocking away peacefully when terror struck. Our daughter-in-law thought a tornado was hitting them. What she really heard was a multi-ton, mighty tall oak tree cracking and crashing onto their old, wooden house, directly and immediately above baby Jack. . . .

Mary Beth Chapman reflects on God’s dealing in her family over the past year since their little girl died.  She begins her journal, “Most of my words will seem empty today because I’m kind of in a surreal place in my heart as I try and express this Journey that the Chapman family has been on this past year!  Here is what I FEEL as this day starts out. . . .”

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A website that serves us well as people are talking about the movie “Angels and Demons” based on Dan Brown’s novel.  If you know someone who has seen the movie and they are open to discussion, this will be a great tool for you.  It answers five questions:

  1. Does religion fear science?
  2. What is the future of religion?
  3. Can science answer ultimate questions?
  4. Is there evidence that God created the earth?
  5. Is the Bible true?

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