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Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year to all!

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David Powlison shares this one and only new year’s resolution (written a few years ago now so maybe he has made a few more):

I now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that I will endeavor to live as becomes a follower of Christ.

On why he doesn’t make resolutions, read more here.

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This is a very thought-provoking article by Thabiti Anyabwile that addresses a real issue in our Christian mindset:

A couple weeks back, my deacon of finance commented over lunch: “How different do you think things would be if Christians treated Sunday as the first day of the week rather than the last?”

it was a great question. The question puts its finger on our entire approach to the Lord’s Day. Far too often we approach Sunday as the day we rest from the week gone by rather than the day of first fruits, of beginning with the Lord and shaping our hearts and souls for the week ahead. When that happens, God gets the leftovers and the world gets the best part of us.

On Sunday nights, most of us will begin routines designed to help us get off to a good start for the week. We’ll select the children’s clothes for school. We’ll perhaps pack lunches. Spouses will coordinate schedules, being sure important meetings and outings are highlighted. Thoughts will turn to work: tasks to get done, meetings to attend, and so on. In short, we prepare for the week now that Sunday is over.

How would it affect our souls and our weeks to simply back the preparation up one day so that Sunday is the first day of the week and the Saturday the night of our preparation for all that’s ahead? What if we invested considerable energy planning to get off to a good start with the Lord and His people, and planning to give the leftovers to lesser lords? How would we benefit if we lived for the Lord’s Day rather than living for the weekend? I think the effect would be noticeable and almost immediate.

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What does learning to do long division in your math problem on your own (without a calculator) have to do with discernment? Tim Challies explains:

But like doing long division, it is far better to do the work ourselves and to ensure we understand how to discern. The theological equivalent of using a calculator may be just Googling what John Piper or John MacArthur says about a certain topic and taking that word as law. It may be asking a parent or pastor and accepting what they say without further thought. We are all prone to want to get to the final tally without going through the intervening steps.

But like the kid who cheats by using a calculator, we cheat ourselves if we do not do the difficult work of discernment. As we discern what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong, we train ourselves to think as Christians and we train ourselves to really understand what discernment is. We make sure that we understand the difficult business of discernment—not only the end result but the process of getting there.

To understand more, read the rest of this article here.

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Wintry pics

For the next week, the forecast in my city calls for Job 37:6 to be fulfilled.

As usual The Big Picture does a great job with this photo essay on snowy scenes. Here are three.  To see the rest click here!

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Need a Bible plan?

Here are 20 with a variety of translations available and it’s customizable!  You can use it on your mobile device, ask others to keep you accountable, tweet features, and RSS feeds.   I’m very excited about using Prof. Horner’s reading plan–no need for more paper bookmarks in my Bible.

You do have to sign up to use all the features, but its all free!  I hope many people will access this means to read their Bibles.  Looks like a great tool.

(HT: Bob Kauflin)

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A great prescription for contentment: something people are always searching for, especially this time of the year. Terry Enns tells us about it:

Nina Fry, in an insightful article about raising girls to be godly women, notes a set of principles for cultivating contentment.  These principles came from the diary of a woman who served as a missionary in the African bush for 52 years — in the most primitive of conditions and in extreme heat.  How would this woman keep from cultivating a bitter and angry heart over the sacrifices she daily had to make?  Her personal notes tell of her “prescription for contentment:”

  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything — not even the weather.
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
  • Never compare your lot with others.
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  • Never dwell on tomorrow — remember that tomorrow is God’s, not yours.

While not stated in her diary, all these principles are rooted in Biblical principles and thus served her well in all her years of ministry.

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