Archive for July, 2010

One of my favorite hymns–appropriate in preparing for the Lord’s Supper this Sunday

Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?
Elisha A. Hoffman (pub. 1878)

1. Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

* Refrain:
Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

2. Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

3. When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

4. Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

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Send for your advocate!

“We have sinned, great God, and we confess the sin. What preparation, then, can we make? Suppose we sit down and investigate our case. Can we plead extenuations? Can we urge excuses or mitigations, or hope to escape by promises of future improvement? Let us give up the attempt, my brethren. We have gone astray wilfully and wickedly, and we shall do it again, and it is of no use for us to set up any kind of defense that is grounded upon ourselves. How, then, can we be prepared to meet our God? Hearken. There is an Advocate, and it is written, “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” Let us send for him.”

Charles Spurgeon

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Online Christian Colleges lists 13 timeless finance tips from the Bible (along with reference verses) as follows:

1. Make a budget so that you can anticipate your expenses ahead of time. Luke 14:28-30

2. Be honest without fail in your financial dealings and never try to cheat others. Proverbs 13:11

3. Be content with the things that you have. Philippians 4:11-13

4. Don’t be afraid of having success in your life. Deuteronomy 30:9

5. Pay off your debt as soon as possible. Proverbs 22:7

6. Avoid co-signing for other people. Proverbs 6:1-2

7. Don’t fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes. Proverbs 13:11

8. Be a cheerful giver, remembering the blessings you have been given. Luke 6:38

9. Seek wise counsel when you prepare to invest your money. Proverbs 15:22

10. Freely lend your money to those who need it, without worry of being repaid. Luke 6:35

11. Do not place money in a place of importance above God and your family; do not treat money as an idol. 1 Timothy 6:9-11

12. Plan for the future by saving your money wisely. Proverbs 6:6-8

13. Pay your taxes. Romans 13:5-7

(HT: Free Money)

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One of my favorite childhood memories was a man named Jack Buck singing “Till the Storm Passes By.”  He was an Irish tenor and boy could he belt this song out for God’s glory!  I thought of this song as I scrolled through the link below and also as we have encountered quite a few storms (especially one a week ago) where two storm cells converged over our city.  Thankfully no injuries or significant damage were reported. Other places did not escape. The Big Picture has the story:

In the past several months, powerful storms have wreaked havoc in many places, torrential rains in central Europe and parts of China, tornadoes in Australia, Montana and the American Midwest, and strong thunderstorms across the northeast. Now, as Tropical Storm Bonnie makes landfall in Florida and heads into the Gulf of Mexico, oil cleanup is being suspended, and the final “kill” operation is delayed for at least one more week. These storms have been destructive and deadly, but beautiful and awe-inspiring at the same time. Collected here are a handful of photographs of stormy skies, lightning strikes and storm damage from the past several months.

.If you are interested in watching/hearing “Till the Storm Passes By”

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I have posted before my concerns with the best-selling book The Shack. You can read posts here and here.

But now there are other problems that the author, publishers, and others are running into over The Shack.

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Albert Mohler helps us understand the latest strategy in the move to make abortion more acceptable in America as he analyzes a “The New Abortion Providers,” in the NYT.

As reported by Emily Bazelon, a new movement seeks to move abortions from abortion clinics to your local hospital, medical school, and physician’s office. In other words, those behind this new movement intend to mainstream abortion as medical practice, and to hide it behind a facade of medical respectability.

If this movement is successful, abortion will become institutionalized within American medical practice.

Bazelon’s article offers a fascinating and important look at abortion in American today — past, present, and future. She points sympathetically to this new movement and its aims, but she seems to sense that the medical profession is still resistant to abortion, and may remain so.

This new movement, fueled by fervent abortion advocates and financed, in part, by Warren Buffett’s billions, may make real headway. We must pray that it does not. The normalization of abortion within the practice of medicine would be a tragedy beyond words — the embrace of death within a profession dedicated to life.

Take ten minutes, read the whole article, and be prepared for this new strategy.

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Great post by Terry Enns on anger.  Re-posting in full:

Human anger is almost always portrayed in Scripture to be something unwise, foolish and ungodly.  And even when men exhibit genuinely righteous anger, it is always prone to degrading into ungodly, unrighteous anger.  A few observations about anger from Scripture:

  1. Anger, like every sin, is the result of allowing the flesh to rule one’s mind and heart and refusing to use restraint and self-control (Js. 1:14).
  2. Anger is in part the result of not listening — and not being willing to listen (Js. 1:18).
  3. Anger is in part the result of talking too quickly — not taking time to reflect on what has been heard before responding (Js. 1:18).
  4. Anger can be controlled by being humble in response to the conviction of the Scriptures; ultimately, all anger is against God and His providence in our lives (Js. 1:21).
  5. Uncontrolled anger is a result of being unwilling to deal with the sin fully and immediately (Eph. 4:26).
  6. Anger is a God-given emotion used for Satan’s purposes (Eph. 4:27).
  7. Anger is closely related to bitterness, wrath, slander, revenge and malice (Eph. 4:31).
  8. Anger may stem from refusing to forgive others or failing to accept the forgiveness of Christ (Eph. 4:31-32).
  9. Being angry is a demonstration that either the person has never fully grasped the significance of all that Christ did for him at the cross, or that he has become so hardened that he knows what Christ did, and willingly sins anyway (Eph. 4:32).
  10. Anger is progressive in nature.  It seems to go something like this (based upon the use of the different words used for anger in Scripture):
  • There is a refusal to listen to another person because of some offense or perceived offense
  • This refusal is followed by a quick response or retort without pausing to consider the effect of those words
  • A number of quick, heated words accumulate without seeking forgiveness
  • A grudge begins to settle in one’s heart, so he is frequently angry about a variety of circumstances without provocation
  • The sudden anger may disappear, but a sullen state of bitterness is present
  • The “satisfaction” of the momentary outburst is replaced by a quest for revenge
  • The revenge is driven from a heart of real malice — desire for deep, complete, retribution, that may even desire the death of another

The results of this anger are hardly happy:

  1. One who is perpetually angry is one who has allowed Satan to gain an advantage over him with the result that his testimony will be destroyed (Eph. 4:27).
  2. The one who is angry cannot claim to exhibit God’s righteousness (Js. 1:20).
  3. Anger, like every uncontrolled sin that is allowed to rule one’s life will ultimately result in spiritual failure and death (Js. 1:15).

So it is that the wise man is the one who is intentional and aggressive in putting off anger and putting on the righteous thinking and resolution of anger and  conflict that are found through Jesus Christ (more on that next week).

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Christ: With us still

At this day he is with us, and will be with us even to the end of the world. Christ’s existence is not a fact confined to antiquity or to remote distance. By his Spirit he is actually in his church; we have seen him, though not with eyes; we have heard him, though not with ears; we have grasped him, though not with hands; and we feed upon his flesh, which is meat indeed, and his blood, which is drink indeed. We have with us at this very day Jesus our friend, to whom we make known our secrets, and who beareth all our sorrows. We have Jesus our interpreting instructor, who still reveals his secrets to us, and leads us into the mind and name of God. We have Jesus still with us to supply us with strength, and in his power we still are mighty. We confess his reigning sovereignty in the church, and we receive his all-sufficient succours.
The church is not decapitated, her Head abides in vital union with her; Jesus is no myth to us, whatever he may be to others; he is no departed shade, he is no heroic personification: in very deed there is a Christ, and though others see him not, and even we with these eyes see him not, yet in him believing we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Oh, I trust it will never be so with us, that as we go about our life work our religion shall melt into fiction and become nothing but mere sentiment, nothing but thought, and dream, and vision; but may our religion be a matter of fact, a walking with the living and abiding Savior. Though Moses may be gone, and Elias may be gone, yet Jesus Christ abideth with us and in us, and we in him, and so shall it be evermore.

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“Meals can be very small indeed, very inexpensive, short times taken in the midst of a big push of work, but they should be always more than just food.  Relaxation, communication and a measure of beauty and pleasure should be part of even the shortest of meal breaks.  Of course you celebrate special occasions — successes of various members of the family, birthdays, good news, answered prayer, happy moments — with special attention to meal preparation and serving.  But we should be just as careful to make the meal interesting and appealing when the day is grey and the news is disappointing.  Children feel the difference in the home that takes this attitude.  Father comes home tired and discouraged after some sort of failure or disappointment to find, not the food he dislikes, nor burned soup and sloppy serving, but a beautifully set table, with his favorite food served artistically . . . with all the air of a special occasion.”

Edith Schaeffer, Hidden Art (Wheaton, 1971), page 123.

(HT: Ray Ortlund)

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Give and take

“It takes grace to give grace, takes hope to give hope, takes love to give love. I can give these to you because Christ gave them to me.”

– Paul David Tripp, Twitter post

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