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Archive for December, 2012

Robert Shelby’s boys saved his life. On July 3 Shelby, a pastor in Baton Rouge, was teaching them how to swim when he dove a little too deep and slammed his head into the bottom of the pool, breaking his C-5 vertebra. Unable to move, unable to swim, he was helpless to save himself. For a few moments he hovered between life and death until his young sons realized that something was amiss. They dragged him from the pool, performed CPR and saved his life.

Listen to Tim and David’s podcast where they talk to to Robert about how he and his family have adjusted to his paralysis and how he hopes to return to preaching soon.

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Here’s a roundup of some pertinent posts on resolutions as you ponder what you might set out to do in the coming year.

Tim Challies recommends just 2 or 3 resources that he has found helpful in the 6 areas of life that people are most often resolving to see change.

Nathan Busenitz discusses what Jonathan Edwards can teach us about broken resolutions.

Carolyn Mahaney wants us to think about “sitting in” the new year.

And Terry Enns has compiled a list of posts that deal with the worst resolution you can make, the top ten kinds of resolutions to make and six questions you should ask when you make your resolutions.

 

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Painful but worth it

John Knight writes about a message that Jason Meyer (new pastor following John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church) gave recently:

In the same way, you might go through crosses and losses and cancer and sickness and family trouble and you might be treated unfairly and you might have your name smeared, but the good news is that you are going to go through all of that, get to Heaven and say, “It was WORTH IT!” No one will ever say, “I went through that for THIS? The message of the Christian life is not you become a believer and then it’s champagne and roses after that. The message is, you become a believer, and you will have to swim upstream against the current of the world. It will be hard, it will be painful, but it is worth it!

Pastor Jason Meyer, He Will Be a Risen King! Victorious Over the Last Enemy, delivered December 15, 2012.

His entire sermon was very helpful.  But if you only have ten minutes, go to 36:36 on this sermon, and let his closing remarks on interpreting pain make your heart soar at the incredible goodness and mercy – and future hope we have – in Jesus Christ, including these final words:

If you are justified, you are as good as glorified because there is no fall out in this “golden chain” of God’s grace. No one can snatch you out of your Father’s hand. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how strong your grip is on your father’s hand. It matters how strong your Father’s grip is on your hand. We rest in the glorious knowledge of his resurrection.

I call you to remember the Resurrection. Look at the pain, the shame, and the injustice in the face and say, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death. Come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave. O death where is your sting. O grave where is your victory. O church, come stand in the light the glory of God has defeated the night! The cross gives you a place to take the pain—the Resurrection points to a time when God will take all the pain and injustice and make it stop because he will make it right.

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A New Years Eve song

[Sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne]

Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done
His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere his people be
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

–Author unknown

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Did you know Charles Spurgeon, the great English Baptist preacher, battled with depression during his ministry?  Who would have thought.  From his own writings you can learn how he viewed such a trial here.

Most everyone at times has to battle discouragement and some are more prone to darkness and depression.  Some even battle with what one biblical counselor calls “situational depression” and offers some counsel for ministering to a soul like this:

Situational depression is a type of depression triggered by adverse circumstances and differs from ordinary sadness in three ways.

First, situational depression has a greater duration than sadness. Whereas someone experiencing sadness usually rebounds within a few days, situational depression tends to last longer than two weeks at a time.

Second, situational depression has a greater depth than sadness. While sad people can generally function in their daily lives, situationally depressed individuals have a difficult time performing simple cognitive tasks and struggle to make what we might call “if/then” connections between behaviors and consequences.

Third, situational depression has a grimmer disposition than sadness. Sad people often maintain a fairly coherent view of themselves, others, and the future. In contrast, situationally depressed people examine their lives, relationships, and futures and see nothing but hopelessness. The biblical counselor who recognizes these signs would do well to minister Psalm 42-43 to the heart of the depressed person.

Read more of Todd Hardin’s “The A-B-C’s of Ministering to the Situationally Depressed Person.”  It may help you or someone you love at this time of the year when many are prone to discouragement after the holiday season.

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Prone to wander

From 52home:

MayWeb

 

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I love the way John Piper turns this question on its head:

As this year ends, the question I am asking is: Where was God when so many good things happened this past year?

How can God be a God of justice, yet allow so much good to happen to people who dishonor him by disbelieving in him, or giving lip service to his existence, or paying no more attention to him than the carpet in their den, or rejecting the kingship of his Son, or scorning his word, or preferring a hundred pleasures before him?

How can God be righteous and do so much good to us who are so unrighteous?

Where was God in 2012?

Please keep reading here.

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