Sunday, October 31, 2010

You make me want to be a better man.

Happy Reformation Day!

Critical of church corruption, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, sparking the world changing phenomenon known as the Protestant Reformation.

My heart today is expressed in a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer (1662):
"And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom: Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen."
Thanks be to God for the Reformers, because of whom we are able to have and read the Scriptures in our own languages. May we appreciate and emulate their courage and passion for proclaiming the God of the Scriptures.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I don't care about the money...it's all the stuuufff.

Sunday at Providence Church I preached on the 10th Commandment, the prohibition against coveting. The following are some notes & quotes, the latter of which were particularly complimented.

(Click to Listen)

Alistair Begg ~ “The 10th commandment forbids wrong attitudes towards the possessions and position which other people hold. The 10th commandment teaches us to be content with what God has given us.”

Q: Why is coveting so bad?
  1. Coveting is the engine that drives many of our conflicts and sins. (cf. James 4:1-3)
  2. Coveting leads to discontent. Contentment and coveting are enemies.

Q: How do you keep from coveting?The secret is contentment in Christ.
  1. Contentment comes through a relationship with Christ, not circumstances. (cf. Phil 4:10-13)
  2. Contentment comes through an eternal perspective. (cf. Matt 6:19-21)
  3. Contentment comes through trust in our heavenly Father. (cf. Matt 6:25-34)

Unknown ~ “I had no shoes and complained until I met a man who had no feet.”

Augustine ~ "You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they can find rest in you."

John Piper ~ “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

Jeremiah Burroughs~ “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

Oswald Chambers ~ “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”

Phillips Brooks ~ “I hear men praying everywhere for more faith, but when I listen to them carefully, and get to the real heart of their prayer, very often it is not more faith at all that they are wanting, but a change from faith to sight. Faith says not, "I see that it is good for me, so God must have sent it," but, "God sent it, and so it must be good for me." Faith, walking in the dark with God, only prays Him to clasp its hand more closely.”

Gunny ~ "Contentment and coveting are enemies."

Gunny ~ "Christianity is contrary to Marxism, but Christianity is also contrary to the dark side of Capitalism, namely greed/materialism."

Hartman Family et al ~ "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

Gunny ~ "God doesn't want me to have that? I'm okay with that, because I trust Him, knowing He has my good in mind." (cf. Rom 8:28)

The Rolling Stones ~ "You can't always get what you want. But, if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."

Louis CK ~ “Everything is amazing right now and nobody’s happy.”

Edwin Starr ~ "War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again."

Pink Floyd ~ "With. Without. And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?"

Edmund Clowney ~ “Sin starts in our hearts before it slips merchandise into our pockets, with or without a credit card.”

Recommended Reading:

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Read about the misprint that put "Rich Whitey" on the ballot for Illinois governor in some precincts.

Read about the Trinitarian Theology of Keith Green.

Check out 30 Ways to Save 30 Minutes a Day.

Read "Why I am a black Tea Party patriot opposed to Barack Obama" by Lloyd Marcus.

Check out 10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly.

Read about how Plano, Texas, is the safest among the big cities in the US, according to Forbes.

Read about the peril in the Utopian plan of [only] "Taxing the Rich."

Read 7 Gun Control Myths & Facts.

Check out Christless Christianity: Getting in Christ's Way, an article by Michael Horton in Modern Reformation magazine.

Check out how you can be involved in Orphan Sunday.

Read Lionel Woods', "Why We Don't Homeschool."

Check out a smile inducing cartoon along with the proper approach to dealing with someone you've offended.

Read about how 38 black Republicans running for national office is the "most under reported story of the 2010 political season."

Read about Germany's Chancellor calling for immigrants to learn German and adopt Christians values in light of a "failed" attempt at a multi-cultural society.

Check out some Resources for Reformation Day.

Read "Is the Reformation Over?" by R.C. Sproul.

Read about Awesome Women of the Reformation.

Read about How the Reformation Changed the World.

Check out the series of articles on Luther & Marriage at The Resurgence.

Check out Luther on Sermon Length.

Check out a few of Luther's uncensored Table Talk thoughts of Jesus Christ courtesy of Chaplain Galyon.

Watch these 2 PBS documentaries on Martin Luther, "Driven to Defiance" and "Reluctant Revoluntionary."

Watch R.C. Sproul's great lecture, "The Insanity of Luther," part of the "Holiness of God" video series.

Read about the Saudi official who married a 12 year old girl and consummated the marriage a few months later. (N.B. This is sadly NOT an isolated event in the Muslim world.)

Read about the Colleyville Heritage girls who give up makeup for beauty's sake.

Check out a video clip about the "Triple Bypass Burger" at a Bellevue, Washington restaurant. (HT Jade)

Check out Top 10 Christian Biographies by Guy Davies.

Read about the court decision rendering no immunity to state troopers who arrested pro-life advocates.

Watch as Juan Williams explains his firing from NPR.

Read JC Watts' thoughts on why the Tea Party is on a roll.

Read Dr. Al Mohler's article, "Divorce--The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience."

Read about the woman who used a crowbar to destroy the sexualized artwork of Jesus.

Check out these Outrages to Remember when voting on November 2nd.

Read about the phenomenon of those leading worship becoming tired of a song long before the congregation does.

Check out the story of an abducted 8 year old girl free because of a "Good Samaritan" getting involved, after providentially not going to work that day.

Read about what Charles Krauthammer calls "Obama Underappreciation Syndrome."

Read about the abortionist who brandished a handgun on pro-lifers.

Read Ryan Kelly's thoughts on being "missional," including 3 quality suggestions. (As an aside, I got to know Ryan at Oxford, where we shared the same adviser as we studied John Owen.)

Read about how Firearms Rights are a Gender Equality Issue too (i.e., handgun bans in particular are particularly sexist).

Read an attempt to change people's minds about Halloween, irrespective of the pagan roots of the holiday.

Watch the entirety of the 6 part God in America PBS series online. (HT Jade)

Read Haddon Robinson's answer to the question, "Should 'peace' be criteria for decision making?" courtesy of Chris Brauns.
"Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes."
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

You know what the first thing they teach in women's self defense is? Yell FIRE. People don't respond to HELP anymore.

I often hear women categorized as a "minority group," which I find ironic since they make up the majority in this country. That is, there are more females than males, more women than men in colleges, etc.

I think I understand what those who like to label things are trying to communicate, but perhaps they could devise a more appropriate term to better make their case.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yeah, well that's just like ... your opinion, man.

In the past, I've shared my negative thoughts regarding Halloween. So, I'll share a few links on the subject.

Read Dr. Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the reality of evil spirits.
"The coming of Halloween is a good time for Christians to remember that evil spirits are real and that the Devil will seize every opportunity to trumpet his own celebrity. Perhaps the best response to the Devil at Halloween is that offered by Martin Luther, the great Reformer: 'The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn.'"

Read Randy Alcorn's perspective.
"We’ve mutated this holiday into an effective introduction to the dark side"

Read Dan Edelen's thoughts.
"Even now my son is missing his preschool Halloween party. That was a tough decision, but it’s a decision we made. We may not go to our church’s Halloween-alternative party, either, because I’ve never been a fan of Christians trying to redeem every worldly activity."

Read John MacArthur's answer to the following question:
"Is there anything wrong with children going out ‘Trick or Treating,’ like Halloween, and if so, what specifically is bad in it, and what do the MacArthur kids do? And, should Grace get involved in any alternatives?"

Read John MacArthur's response to the following:
"I have a little boy who is going to Christian School--he's in Kindergarten. It has come to my attention that they are going to be making 'Jack 'O Lanterns,' for Halloween and 'Black Cats.' I talked to his teacher and she said that "at Christmas they make Santa Clauses, and Easter Bunnies on Easter.' I told her, I said that, 'This is why my son is in Christian School--I want him to be separated from this. I teach him at home that we are not supposed to be a part of Halloween or this and that, but yet you are compromising, or contrary to me, to what I am saying and it is confusing him.' 'Mommy, why can't I do this; they are doing it?' And he understands he is in a Christian School. I have an appointment to talk with the principle of the school tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock--can you give me some advice?"

Read as Mr. Hyde gives some history and, though he advocates alternatives, he criticizes many of them.
"However, I think many churches fail to demonstrate and offer Christ to those who attend these events. The population simply sees it as an endorsement by churches of the holiday. In other words, people often see this as the church in essence saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, might as well join ‘em.”"

Read Adrian Warnock's rejection of the American export, but appreciation of alternatives.
"I know some Christians think differently about whether we should partake of this activity but I am very much in the 'we don’t celebrate evil' camp."

P.S. My thoughts on Halloween alternatives? If all you've done is moved the trick or treating to another location, I don't think it's much of a Christian alternative.
The pictures used were the first 5 to appear in my Google safe search for "Halloween."

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Friday, October 15, 2010

I don't shut up, I grow up, and when I look at you, I throw up.

"John Quincy Adams was an ambassador by the age of fourteen. Today we consider men adolescents for whom living at home and being taken care of by their parents is acceptable well into their twenties. Men used to marry in their teens; now they wonder if they are ready in their thirties. We have an epidemic of immature men in our culture. We are simply taking too long to turn boys into men. Our forefathers may have died younger, but they lived longer in the process."
~ Voddie Baucham, Jr, What He Must Be ... if he wants to marry my daughter, 203. (emphasis mine)
Part of the problem is a lack of intentionality on training boys to become men. Let's try to make some more of them.

Part of the problem is a lack of quality roles models for men. So, we ask ...

cf. Voddie's characteristics of an eligible man.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Snowman, you got your ears on?

A few weeks back I preached on the 4th Commandment and mentioned that "Sunday morning starts Saturday night," with the implication being an impetus to prepare for the Lord's Day/Sabbath.

Along those lines, I share the following from John Piper.

10 things you can do Saturday evening and Sunday morning in preparation for hearing the Word of God preached:
  1. Pray that God would give you a good and honest heart. (Lk 8:15; Ezek 36:26; Jer 24:7)
  2. Meditate on the Word of God. Read portions of your Bible with a view to stirring up hunger for God.
  3. Purify your mind by turning away from worldly entertainment. (James 1:21)
  4. Trust in the truth that you already have. (Jer 17:7-8)
  5. Get a good night’s rest on Saturday night.
  6. Forebear one another [before the service] without grumbling and criticism.
  7. Come in a spirit of meek teachability. (James 1:21)
  8. Be still as you enter the room and focus your mind’s attention and heart’s affection on God. (Ps 46:10)
  9. When the worship service begins, think earnestly about what is sung and prayed and preached. (1 Cor 14:20; 2 Tim. 2:7)
  10. Desire the truth of God’s Word more than you desire riches or food. (Ps 19:10-11; Pr 2:3-5)
~From the Sermon, "Take Care How You Listen" – Part 2 on Luke 8:4-18 (February 22, 1998).

Any other suggestions?

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

The people should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

This day in 1835, the Texas revolution began in Gonzales after Texans refused to surrender the cannon. The American revolution began as a tax protest, the Texas revolution began as a gun control protest.

That should explain a great deal of unrest in our state & country.

The people should not be afraid of their government. The government should be afraid of its people. But, as dictators in the past have shown, an unarmed people are a controllable people.
"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth." ~George Washington

The 2nd Amendment is not about the right to hunt, but about the right to protect and defend ourselves ... even and especially from the government. Somewhat tongue in cheek, it has been pointed out that the right to bear arms is the one right that ensures the government is faithful to honor all the others as well.

The mocking questions about hunters needing automatic weapons to shoot squirrels miss the point. The citizens need those weapons because the bad guys have those weapons ... and so does the government. I'm not advocating treason or militant rebellion, but that is how our country began and the ability to do that again, if ever necessary, was the motivation for the right to keep and bear arms, which should not be infringed.

In fact, a historical glance at the 2nd Amendment's genesis and that era shows that it was almost an obligation to bear arms in case needed for an uprising. Hence, an exception was in the early drafts that freed from obligation those with religious convictions from military service.

Let me speak frankly, you cannot count on the police to protect you. You might be able to depend on the justice system to prosecute those who commit violent crimes to your person, but you're tragically naive if you think the police, as awesome and as needed as they are, can protect you with (a) limited resources and (b) very defined constraints on what they may do.

"Today burglars fear the homeowner much more than the police. They know the police cannot shoot them for crimes against property and cannot chase them if they flee in a vehicle."
Read About It: The Knoxville News Sentinel (Tenn.)

"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."
~ James Earl Jones

"Never Forget, even for an instant, that the one and only reason anybody has for taking your gun away is to make you weaker than he is, so he can do something to you that you wouldn't allow him to do if you were equipped to prevent it. This... goes for burglars, muggers, and rapists, and even more so for policemen, bureaucrats, and politicians."
~ Alexander Hope

"If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of criminal acts reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying -- that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 -- establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime."
~ Senator Orrin G. Hatch

"To ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow... For society does not control crime, ever, by forcing the law-abiding to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of criminals. Society controls crime by forcing the criminals to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of the law-abiding."
~ Jeff Snyder, author American Handgunner, Second Amendment Foundation Officer

"The biggest hypocrites on gun control are those who live in upscale developments with armed security guards -- and who want to keep other people from having guns to defend themselves. But what about lower-income people living in high-crime, inner city neighborhoods? Should such people be kept unarmed and helpless, so that limousine liberals can 'make a statement' by adding to the thousands of gun laws already on the books?"
~ Thomas Sowell

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