Archive for September, 2010

“If you are going to have a marriage that lives in unity, understanding, and love, you must have a little-moment approach to your marriage. God has crafted a life for us that does not careen from huge, consequential moment to huge, consequential moment. You can probably name only two or three life-changing situations you have lived through. Every day we lay little bricks on the foundation of what our life will be. The bricks of words said, actions taken, little decisions, little thoughts, and small-moment desires all work together to form the functional edifice that is your marriage.

So, you have to view yourself as a marital mason. You are daily on the job adding another layer of bricks that will determine the shape of your marriage for days, weeks, and years to come. Things in a marriage go bad progressively. Things become sweet and beautiful progressively. The problem is that we simply don’t pay attention, and because of this we allow ourselves to think, desire, say, and do things that we shouldn’t.”

–Crossway blog–Read more here (including some helpful self-evaluation questions).

Excerpt modified from What Did You Expect? Learn more here.

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That was random #21

“We can never be happy, restful, or spiritually healthy till we become holy” – Charles Spurgeon

“I have learned to kiss the wave that strikes me against the Rock of Ages.”–Charles Spurgeon

“It’s amazing how infrequently the one thing we need the most, God’s grace, doesn’t even make the list of things we say we need.”–Paul Tripp

“We have a greater need of the Word than we do food, and greater need of prayer than we do breath. Do not faint in these disciplines!”–Paul Washer

“At conversion we enroll in the school of Christ. There is no graduation this side of heaven. It’s a pilgrimage of lifelong education.”–R. C. Sproul

“Are the things you think about more on “self” and not Christ and His Kingdom? If so, do you see anything wrong with that?”–twitter.com/iamfeeble

“The only thing man contributes to his salvation is the sin from which he needs to be saved” –W. Temple

“No case is hopeless while Christ lives!”–C.H. Spurgeon

You’re dead, he is Life. You’re weak, he is Strong. You’re guilty, he is Forgiveness. You’re a sinner, he is Righteous. He is all you need.–Paul Tripp

Teamwork: It takes many individual raindrops to create a lake!

Christian, you are deeply loved. Run to God, think about God! Your life and your daily tasks are (or can be) a pleasing offering to Him.–Paul Washer

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many 2 so few”.–Winston Churchill on the RAF pilots during Battle of Britain. 70 years ago ths week Hitler called planned invasion off.

“The problem of the papacy is the entirety of the papacy”–Albert Mohler

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Ouch. This hurts but it’s true:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”(Matthew 9:35-38)

“Why do you think Jesus would look at the crowds around him, with all their deep needs, and then turn to his disciples and tell them to pray for themselves?  The answer is humbling.  When Jesus looked at the harassed and helpless multitudes, apparently his concern was not that the lost would not come to the Father.  Instead his concern was that his followers would not go to the lost.”

David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah, 2010), p. 187.

–via TA

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Happy Fall

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, thine own good Presence to cheer and to guide!

Scenes from fall to remind us of God’s goodness!  Praise Him as you look at these stunning photos from around the world from the Big Picture.

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Rick Holland does an excellent job of  evaluating the cry for “cultural engagement” in the church of our day:

I just read Phil Johnson’s post on Pyromanics about “cultural engagement” and it got me thinking. I agree in total with what Phil has written and want to take the argument a step farther (you should read his post before continuing).

First, there is no such thing as culture in a monolithic sense. Every culture—now and throughout history—is made up of a countless number of subcultures. Just talk to any student in high school. There are cultural norms for athletes, thespians, brainiacs, druggies, gamers, even Trekkies (yes, Star Trek is still alive and well). But the most sweeping categories are simply the cool and the not-so-cool.

It seems to me that those who are loudest about engaging the culture for the advancement of the gospel are selective about which part of the culture they are trying to engage. If you interpret what they are saying by what they are doing, these hip pastors and their cool churches are targeting cool people who wear cool cloths and have cool haircuts and speak cool language while worshipping to cool music. When have you ever heard a church who is trying to reach the not-so-cool culture? I’m afraid that the proponents of cultural engagement try to reach the segment of the culture with which they most want to personally identify.

Yes, there are some exemplary ministries reaching the not-so-cool culture. I have been deeply impacted by those who minister to the impoverished, those who make great sacrifices to go overseas in missions, even those who minister to our children in Sunday School. But you rarely hear them telling everyone to join them in “cultural engagement.”

As Phil points out, all ministries engage the culture at some level. But engaging the culture is very different than imitating it.

The church of the 19th century wanted to engage the academic culture. Evolutionary propaganda was poking its finger into the chest of Bible believers who had the audacity to believe the supernatural events of Scripture, especially of the Creation account.  So the church tried to become intellectually credible (e.g., theistic evolution). I think the truth is that many simply wanted to avoid the tag that Christians were not intellectual. The end result was a fast slide toward liberalism through accommodation. Today we see something very similar. Whereas the church of the mid-1800s did all it could to avoid being labeled un-intellectual, the church today seems to be doing all it can to avoid being labeled un-cool. That generation wanted intellectually credibility, ours is after the credibility of coolness. I suspect that the undertow toward liberalism is not far behind.

I’m looking for the day when one of these hip churches plants a church that targets the nerd culture with a nerdy pastor who wears nerdy clothes with nerdy music. Until then, I remain suspicious.

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Zooming in on the Lagoon Nebula

“Is not God high in the heavens? See the highest stars, how lofty they are! ” (Job 22:12, ESV)

Image release date September 22, 2010

Zooming on an image of the Lagoon Nebula taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This spectacular object is named after the wide lagoon-shaped dust lane that crosses the glowing gas of the nebula. The Lagoon Nebula is around four to five thousand light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.

Credit: NASA, ESA, ESO/Digitised Sky Survey 2, S. Brunier and S. Guisard. Music: John Dyson (from the album “Darklight”)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center contributes to NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s endeavors by providing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

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To learn more about the Hubble Space Telescope go here:www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html

(HT: Joe Thorn)

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Modern March states it simply:

I was reminded tonight by a local TV preacher (asking for money in exchange for prayers, of course) how badly the prosperity gospel distorts the actual Gospel. Here are three major things that I think the prosperity gospel does:

1. Cheapens Grace

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is built upon the fact that God’s wrath needed to be satisfied by the shedding of blood in order for sinners to be taken out from under this wrath. Jesus did not have your material wealth in mind when He died on the cross. No, Jesus had your eternal soul in mind. Your wealth on earth is judged by others, but your soul is judged by God. Grace is poured out because you are born in spiritual poverty with no hope, not because your 401k is lower than you’d like.

2. Glorifies Materialism

One of the grossest sins in America is the infatuation with money and reputation. I live in Dallas where everyone is in debt up to their eyeballs in order to be seen as one of the North Dallas elites. It doesn’t matter that you make $35,000 per year as long as people think you make $200,000. It’s a scary place to be to think that God wants your wealth because He is ultimately concerned with your renown and happiness. There is a reason that faithful believers in the Bible struggled at one point or another by earthly standards – God was teaching them to refocus their standards according to His.

3. Elevates Moralism

It is pretty clear in any prosperity sermon that you are blessed if you are wealthy. A key phrase for a prosperity preacher is, “Are you broke? Does your car need new tires? Did you only get peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch this week? It’s because you haven’t unlocked God’s ultimate plan for you!” He (or she) proceeds to tell you that if you do this and that, God will bless you. What is this blessing? MONEY. Duh. What more could you need to be happy? Forget reckless abandon for Christ and His Kingdom, as long as you got Chili’s instead of tuna salad this week. God’s blessing is Him. You get Him with no stipulations.

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