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Archive for November, 2009

This will make you cry!

Even if you don’t like football or USC, this will inspire you and make your cry and very thankful that you could see this post!

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Charles Darwin (who believed man evolved) influenced Thomas Huxley (who developed and promoted agnosticism) who discipled H. G. Wells (who promoted social darwinism) who highly shaped the worldview of Margaret Sanger (she was the popular supporter of eugenics and founder of planned parenthood) who influenced Adolf Hitler.

Ideas have consequences.

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Don’t bet on it (part 3)

Here are the post in the series by Phil Johnson on the morality of gambling:

  1. Is Gambling OK? Don’t Bet on It
  2. Gambling: Some Definitions and Distinctions
  3. Answering a couple of objections
  4. Oh, and one more thing . . .
  5. Gambling vs. Faithful Stewardship
  6. Does ‘Mutual Consent’ Eliminate the Evil in Gambling?
  7. A good question
  8. The Sin of Putting God to the Test
  9. Gambling: The Moral Antithesis of Charity

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The answer is:  “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9). It may interest you that, according to those who have time to figure such things out, these verses are the middle verses of the Bible.  I am told that in the KJV there are 31,174 verses (though verse divisions were not part of the original manuscripts).  These verses are numbers 15,587 and 15,588.  Interesting yes, life-changing probably not.  But I can’t think of two better verses to remind us of our need for rescue than these.The verses are identical except for the last word–”man” and “princes.”

Why is it better to take refuge in the Lord than in man or princes?  Albert Barnes says it memorably,

1) because man is weak and God is Almighty 2) because man is selfish but God is benevolent 3) b/c man is often faithless and deceitful–God never 4) because there are emergencies, as death, in which man cannot aid us, however faithful, kind, and friendly he may be–but there are no circumstances in this life, and none in death, where God cannot assist us; and 5) because the ability of man to help us pertains at best only to the present life–the power of God will be there for all eternity.

I preached on Psalm 118 and Triumphant Thanksgiving this past Lord’s Day (audio and pdf here).

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Tulian, a pastor who has been through an incredibly stressful year, writes why he is thankful for his pain.  Here are two brief paragraphs:

As crazy as this might sound, I have finally come to the place where I am genuinely thankful for all of the pain and difficulty and loss I experienced this year. As much as my family and I suffered, I look back on the way God used our desperation to make us more dependent on him and I am deeply grateful. In fact, I told a friend the other day that I wouldn’t trade one desperate, difficult day for all the dollars in the world. Seriously!. . . .

To be thankful for our comforts only is to make an idol of this life. “God-sent afflictions”, says Maurice Roberts, “have a health-giving effect upon the soul” because they are the medicine used to purge the soul of self-centeredness and this world’s vanities. Pain, in other words, sharpens us, matures us, and gives us clear “eye-sight.” Pain transforms us like nothing else can. It turns us into “solid” people. Roberts continues, “Those who have been in the crucible have lost more of their scum.” All of this should cause us to be deeply thankful.

If you are in pain or stress, or know one who is, do yourself a favor. Read the whole post.

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The answer is Psalm 118, of which Luther wrote,

“This is my own beloved Psalm. Although the entire Psalter and all of Holy Scripture are dear to me as my only comfort and source of life, I fell in love with this psalm especially. Therefore I call it my own. When emperors and kings, the wise and the learned, and even the saints could not aid me, this psalm proved a friend and helped me out of many great troubles. As a result, it is dearer to me than all the wealth, honor, and power of the pope, the Turk, and the emperor. I would be most unwilling to trade this psalm for all of it.”

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Between shopping, eating leftovers, watching football, or whatever else you are doing, enjoy these incredible pics that have been entered into the National Geographic International Photography Contest (sorry the deadline for entry has passed for your entry)!  Wow!  How are they going to decide the winnter?

This is to whet your appetite!

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