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Archive for July 27th, 2012

he world, it is obvious, has fallen into this primary and fundamental error, an error which one could illustrate in many different ways. Think of a man who is suffering from some painful disease. Generally the one desire of such a patient is to be relieved of his pain, and one can understand that very well. No-one likes suffering pain. The one idea of this patient, therefore, is to do anything which will relieve him of it. Yes; but if the doctor who is attending this patient is also only concerned about relieving this man’s pain he is a very bad doctor. His primary duty is to discover the cause of the pain and to treat that.

Pain is a wonderful symptom which is provided by nature to call attention to disease, and the ultimate treatment for pain is to treat the disease, not the pain. So if a doctor merely treats the pain without discovering the cause of the pain, he is not only acting contrary to nature, he is doing something that is extremely dangerous to the life of the patient. The patient may be out of pain, and seems to be well; but the cause of the trouble is still there. Now that is the folly of which the world is guilty. It says, `I want to get rid of my pain, so I will run to the pictures, or drink, or do anything to help me forget my pain.’ But the question is, What is the cause of the pain and the unhappiness and the wretchedness? They are not happy who hunger and thirst after happiness and blessedness. No. `Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness : for they shall be filled.’

Adapted by Aaron Armstrong from Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

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Pray like this:

O Lord,
Your Word is full of promises,
flowers of sweet fragrance,
fruit of refreshing flavor,
when culled by faith.

May I be made rich in its riches,
be strong in its power,
be happy in its joy,
abide in its sweetness,
feast on its preciousness,
draw vigor from its manna.

Lord, increase my faith.

– The Valley of Vision, adapted by Trevin Wax

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Carolyn McCulley shares a few thoughts on how Christians need to think Christianly about time management–because we believe in eternity.  Among the several ideas she states briefly is this one:

Productivity is not the same as fruitfulness. Fruitfulness is the eternal measurement—the multiplication of the work the Holy Spirit is doing in and through us. Productivity is task-oriented but those tasks aren’t necessarily fruitful when measured through eternal impact. I find I can get a lot done, but nothing that will be meaningful even next year much less in light of eternity. We will always have tasks like these to do, but are they crowding out what’s important?

Her other observations are very helpful as well and can be found here where she asks this question: As a follower of Christ, how do you think about and manage your time?

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Albert Mohler reviews a book by Richard Louv who argues that today’s children are suffering from NDD–nature deficit disorder:

Author Richard Louv believes that America’s children are now suffering from a syndrome he identifies as “nature-deficit disorder.” In his recent book, Last Child in the Woods, Louv suggests that the current generation of American children knows the Discovery Channel better than their own backyards–and that this loss of contact with nature leads to impoverished lives and stunted imagination.

Louv begins by recounting an anecdote involving his son, Matthew. When the boy was about ten years of age, he asked his father: “Dad, how come it was more fun when you were a kid?” The boy was honestly reflecting on his knowledge of his father’s boyhood. Richard Louv, like most of us who came of age in his generation, spent most of our playing time outdoors, building forts in the woods, exploring every nook and cranny of our yards, and participating in activities that centered in child-organized outdoor fun. Louv reflects, “Americans around my age, baby boomers or older, enjoyed a kind of free, natural play that seems, in the era of kid pagers, instant messaging, and Nintendo, like a quaint artifact.”

Louv argues that this represents nothing less than a sudden shift in the way Americans live, raise their children, and engage the natural world. “Within the space of a few decades, the way children understand and experience nature has changed radically. The polarity of the relationship has reversed. Today, kids are aware of the global threats to the environment–but their physical contact, their intimacy with nature, is fading. That’s exactly the opposite of how it was when I was a child.”

I think Louv is on to something here. I remember my mom telling us on summer days, “Go outside and play.” Though we lived in the city, we still spent a lot of time outside and going to parks, etc. We have sought to pass the love of nature on to our children.

Keep reading Mohler’s essay “Have Our Children Forgotten How To Play Outdoors?”.

 

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I have benefitted from the writing of Dr. Joel Beeke in the past and was happy to hear that he is now blogging here.

Joel’s emphasis is on doctrine for life. He has recently been traveling in Africa and he has been blogging about his interaction with the church in Mozambique, so if you want to catch a flavor of his writing try reading “The Church’s Suffering in Mozambique.” It’s an amazing story of great suffering followed by great growth in the advancement of Christ’s church.

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None like Jesus!

“If I never write any more, let these be my last words:

There is none like Christ, none like Christ, none like Christ! Nothing like redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

There is no learning or knowledge like the knowledge of Christ. No life like Christ living in the heart by faith. No work like the spiritual service of Christ. No riches or wealth like the unsearchable riches of Christ. No rest or comfort like the rest and consolations of Christ. No pleasure like the pleasure of fellowship with Christ.

Little as I know of Christ, I would not exchange the learning of one hour’s fellowship with Christ for all the learning of ten thousand universities during ten thousand ages, even if angels were my teachers.”

~ John Brown of Haddington, Scotland

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