July 17, 2013
First here is “Kirsten Powers: How a Liberal Democrat and Former Atheist Came to Know Jesus Christ as her Savior.” I love conversion stories. This is a good one.
What is the longest book in the Bible? Here is a hint: the book of Psalms weighs in at number three.
Family devotions are always difficult. Parents, not the church, have the responsibility of raising children in the discipline and admonition of the Lord. Why not use the Heidelberg Catechism to disciple your children? Here is some help in using the catechism with your kids.
Here is a brief response to the George Zimmerman verdict (I know you are probably tired of hearing about it.) by H. B. Charles Jr. I think that most of us who hail from Europe have trouble resonating with the response from the African-American community. The difficulty with an event like this is that it is truly impossible to really know what happened that fateful night. Because of this I identify with people on both sides of the debate.
Church discipline is always difficult. Here is a reflection of how the excommunication of a father ended up being a positive thing.
When J.I. Packer speaks, we should attempt to hear what he is saying. In this article his concern is that too many churches in America are playing the numbers game. Whether a church is large or small, it is always tempting to gauge success and faithfulness based on the size of the congregation.
At Bowman, it always seems that there is some pushback when using the Apostles’ Creed. The word “catholic” trips us up. Here is a brief discussion of the word.
25 Common Phrases That You’re Saying Wrong. Don’t you hate it when you find out you’ve been revealing your ignorance? I do it all the time.
I enjoyed this piece about the difference between British and American humor (warning: there is some very minor crude allusions).
October 15, 2012
As you well know, the election is right around the proverbial corner. You still have a week to register if you haven’t already. Register here. I think that all believers should be good stewards and vote. That said, I have little hope that things will change in a big way. Here are “7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics.” Here are the last two:
6. Don’t be paranoid. The country is not going to be destroyed if your candidate loses. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Stand up and demonstrate what God has given you. America has functioned—albeit, at varying levels of success—for years under the direction of alternating Democrat and Republican control, and at every flip, the other side thought it was the end of the world. It’s not. And if we’re a Church that believes God is in control, we have to believe that He is the one in control of the end times—not Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney and not whoever succeeds them.
7. Stop saying, “This is the most important election in the history of our nation.” It’s not. The most important election in the history of our nation was when Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Before that, we thought it was okay to own people. Every generation thinks it’s living in the most important moment in history. We’re not, our parents were not and our children probably won’t be. And that’s OK.
We often sense that we don’t seek God like we should. The easy distraction of TV or some other activity woo us away from seeking him. Here is some encouragement for those of us with weak hearts.
So, dear friend, I hope this encourages you to seek God with your whole heart today, even if your heart feels small. I trust that God will increase our love for Him as we persevere to make much of Him and less of ourselves on this earth.
William Mounce tackles the divorce exception clauses in the book of Matthew. I recommend this article not because his take on those Matthew passages is novel, but because he offers us good advice when we hear someone say “The Greek says …” Here you go:
First of all, if someone claims that the Greek says something that none of the translations say, dismiss their idea and walk away.
Tim Keller’s book on marriage is $2.99 for Nook and Kindle. This is sure to be a helpful volume. Also Live Free: Eliminate the If Onlys and What Ifs of Life is free for Nook and Kindle. I don’t know if this book is any good. It is, however, published by Moody. So, it might be worth downloading.
September 21, 2012
God does on occasion take the lives of believers. Think Ananias and Sapphira. Why does God do this? Why doesn’t he merely change the heart of wayward believers so that they repent of their sin? John Piper grapples with this question.
We suffer. If you aren’t suffering right now, wait awhile. Suffering has been given to us by God. Philippians 1:29 says, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” J. D. Greear offers truth that helps us suffer well. Here is a quote:
For the believer, however, God has promised to use all of our suffering for our good and for his glory. He has taken the sting out of death and suffering and promised to use it all now for his glory and the good of our church. So in every seemingly “random” bad thing, believers can know that God is working redemptively for his purposes. This is why Paul can say that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom 8:28) and that “God works all things according to the counsel of his will” so that we would “resound to the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:11). This is why Joseph could say to those who committed grave injustices against him that “what you meant for evil, God re-purposed for good.” (Gen 50:20).
Here is an interesting conversation between Al Mohler and Tim Keller about morality. We often hear today that behaviors are wrong only when they hurt others. How should we think and respond to this thought? Mohler and Keller offer their wisdom.
July 20, 2012
Lots of great wisdom here.
July 17, 2012
In this piece Jim Hamilton tackles the issue of motherhood from the perspective of Biblical Theology. It should be an interesting read.
Along those same lines, Al Mohler interacts with Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods.” Louv in his book contends that children don’t play outside any more. They are only happy when there is an electrical socket nearby. I must confess I haven’t thought a great deal about this issue. I’ve observed it; I haven’t reflected much about it. My Mom during the summer would essentially kick my siblings and me out of the house on Saturdays and during the summer. “Don’t come back until it’s dinner time.” This to say I might be biased. I don’t understand the mindset of a child who would rather play in an artificial world than the real world. What do you think? Here’s a quote:
Is contact with nature necessary for healthy childhood? Louv is absolutely confident that children have a deep need for contact with the natural world and its wonders. “Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it,” Louv insists. In his view, “whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world separate from parents.” The natural world offers children an opportunity to think, dream, touch, and play out fantasies about how he or she imagines the world. Nature brings a capacity for wonder and a connection with something real that is endlessly fascinating and largely outside human control.
Here are Tim Keller’s 10 helpful ways to evangelize. I realize I’ve linked to these 10 suggestions before but I think they are worth thinking about again.
Finally, here one can find links to a free Piper book called “Sanctification in the Everyday.”