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“I Was Far Too Easily Pleased”

From Desiring God and John Piper — “…These felt like competing motives. I could aim to make God look great, or I could aim at my own satisfaction. I did not have a framework of thought where these two motives fit together. They seemed like alternatives….” https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/i-was-far-too-easily-pleased

When the Future You Planned for Never Comes

Here is a mature Christian perspective, dealing with Real People having to deal with the brokenness of our Real World, in utter dependence upon the Real Jesus.  No pablum here… https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/when-the-future-you-planned-for-never-comes  

The Doctrines of Graciousness

It is a great shame when good theology has a bad reputation because of poor conduct. Yet however we’ve failed, we can take heart that the sovereign God in whom we trust is at work in us (Philippians 1:6; 2:13) by the power of his sovereign Spirit. With him in view, Paul prays that we would be “strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:11). This is the kind of…

Improving Upon Your Baptism

Baptism is a wonderful sacrament given to us by God. Before a child is baptized, a minister asks the child’s parents several questions. If the person is old enough to answer for themselves, then they are asked directly: Do you acknowledge your child’s need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit? Do you claim God’s covenant promises in her behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for…

The Psalms: Real Feelings About The Real World…

“The Psalms keep us from being naïve, from having a naïve optimism about the emotional possibilities of fallen people. And they help us navigate the seas of embattled emotions…  The Psalms, more than any other book in the Bible, illustrate the sobering fact that our vision of God is often obscured. The psalmists’ joy in God is often conflicted and embattled….” https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/your-emotions-matter-to-god/excerpts/the-bible-never-ignores-our-feelings  

3 Things American Citizens Could Learn from Christian Missionaries

A Christian missionary typically moves overseas to minister among a group of people who differ from him or her linguistically, religiously, socially, culturally, and politically. …But in spite of—even because of—these deep differences, good missionaries are known for refusing to caricature the people’s religion, mock their culture, or impugn their motives. Instead, missionaries generally do three things that we—everyday Americans—ought to imitate in our coffee shop conversations… 3 Things American Citizens Could Learn from Christian Missionaries  

How a Christian Relates to the State

Our blood-bought rights and freedoms as citizens of heaven are not the same as American freedom of religion, freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly. Christ did not die to guarantee these rights for this age. All these freedoms — precious as they are — can be taken away without any essential loss of our Christian freedom! Therefore, when we seek to use the power of the state to secure these civic freedoms, as if their loss would…

Shrewd Living

We’ve come a long way since that primordial moment when God saw that this world was, six times over, good, and then finally, very(!) good. We’ve come a long way, and a long way from paradise isn’t a good thing. Chuck described this world in which we now find ourselves as an “alloyed world.” Even the things we might assume are neutral – like money or technology – actually have their own formative influences. Everything from credit cards to ventilators…

Budgeting Together for the Gospel

This past spring, Chuck preached a sermon series on money. In one of the sermons, “Gospeling One Another Every day,” Chuck posed a challenge: we’re too private with our money. One should be careful, of course, in using one’s finances to brag (Matthew 6:1-4), but one can also use their giving to encourage others. Take the example of the poor widow from Mark 12:42. Jesus praised her for what she gave, and how many people through history would have seen…

Yes and…!

Have you ever played the improv game “Yes and?” It can be pretty silly and illustrates an important conversational point. Someone might start by saying, “My car is red!” Then another person says, “Yes and the sky is blue!” Then the first replies, “Yes and Mandolin Orange is a great band!” Simply by use of the word “and,” each subsequent sentence builds on the previous even if they’re unrelated. It’s collaborative. The alternative to this little game is, “Yes but.”…

The Promise Is For You and Your Children

Baptism is an act of faith in the promises of God. If baptism is your testimony that you chose God, then of course it makes no sense to baptize children. They have no clue what is happening to them, no more than Isaac understood why he was being circumcised. But if baptism is God’s promise that through Christ he is willing and able to accept your child, then it is a precious reminder to you and to your children of…

If You Hate Jews, You Hate Jesus

“As Christians, we should have a clear message of rejection of every kind of bigotry and hatred, but we should especially note what anti-Semitism means for people who are followers of Jesus Christ.”…  Below is a link to an article this morning from Russell Moore: https://www.russellmoore.com/2018/10/28/if-you-hate-jews-you-hate-jesus/

A People of Signs, Seals, and Salves

In our modern world, medications—and indeed all medical interventions—compete with the sacraments of the church by means of imposing symbolic authority over how we conceive of our health, life, suffering, and dying. By ingesting a medication, we can be unified with what it symbolizes. Medications can act as both a sign of the working of this empty promise and as a seal, setting apart this person as one who faithfully awaits the fulfillment of this promise. Read more at Fathom…

What Does God Require?

Q39. What is the duty which God requireth of man? The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will. (Mic. 6:8, 1 Sam. 15:22) We pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I admit, I confess, I’ve found myself scanning over the words without praying them. My mouth forms sounds without meaning as my sleepy mind drifts amidst thought. In my more cogent moments, though, I struggle with not knowing God’s…

Reforming the Healer’s Vocation

All work in one’s daily life is done for the glory of God. Being a priest, monk, or nun does not get one any closer to God, and in fact, may draw one further from God. The consecration of one’s work is not a little comfort to ingest along with some chamomile tea at the end of a long day in the clinic or hospital. There are at least three practical ramifications of Luther’s reclamation and reformation of “vocation.” Read…

Useful Approaches to Reading Through the Bible (Reprinted from TGC)

The link below is to a TGC article which first appeared in December of 2015.  If you are interested in reading through the Bible on a consistent basis and at a pace that is appropriate for your daily life, this article provides a choice of reading plans, some of which  may prove particularly well adapted to your rhythms: . . Reading the Whole Bible in 2016: An FAQ

Memento Mori (Reprinted from TGC)

On some of the stones you’d probably find two Latin words etched among the images: memento mori. Roughly translated, the phrase means “remember death.” As we experience its sting everywhere, we’re also experiencing the relevance of Jesus’s promise of victory. In other words, recognizing the relevance of death every day is how we recognize the relevance of Jesus every day, too. Memento Mori: What It Means and Why It Should Matter to You    

What Netflix Cannot Give — and Death Cannot Take. (Reprinted from “Desiring God”)

The article below, published on John Piper’s Desiring God website, convicted me on several levels.  Perhaps you may find it valuable as well… “…the struggle in our souls is not the struggle to want to be happy. We are born with that desire, and we die with it. The struggle is to see the true worth of everything, and in seeing, to give ourselves headlong to what is supremely worthy and satisfying:  God…” https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-netflix-cannot-give-and-death-cannot-take Blog Table of Contents What Netflix…