Monday, January 31, 2011

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

Read about 18 common work email mistakes.

Check out the truth about Facebook. (HT Tim Challies)

Check out the Fifty Fruits of Pride: A Self-Diagnostic. (HT Tim Challies)

Learn how to deal with pride in your life.

Read about Alveda King's plea for Planned Parenthood to stop lying about her uncle, Martin Luther the King.

Read about training your pet cat.

Read William Shedd on the divine decrees.

Read about the Houston store owner who killed 3 would-be robbers.

Read about the sexuality in Twilight, despite the abstinence.

Read about how different cultures handle credit cards.

Watch D.A. Carson give the central message of the Bible in 6.5 minutes.

Check out this collection of links honoring the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Check out John Piper's comments on nomenclature: Saying What You Believe Is Clearer Than Saying “Calvinist.”

Read about the woman who defended her home with a handgun after her husband had already been beaten and shot by two violent assailants.

Check out 20 things that became obsolete during the past decade.

Check out 20 Things That You Should Not Read If You Do Not Want To Become Very Angry.

Read about why Russell Moore thinks Facebook (and your church) could be making you sad.

Read Vern Poythress' free online commentary on Revelation entitled, The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation.

Read 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People.

Read Jerry Rankin (President Emeritus of International Mission Board) on the Sovereignty of God and the Gospel Mission.

Read Tim Keller on how to receive criticism.

Check out John Piper's great message on Race & the Cross.

Read Ron Paul on Gun Control and Violence.

Check out Christianity Today's 2011 book award winners.

Read Bob Kauflin's response to the question, "Should worship be fun?"

Read about the controversial Muslim cleric caught being smuggled into the US via Mexico.

Read Tullian Tchividjian's collection of "Gospel tweets."

Read about the felon lamenting he can't vote for gun control.

Read about the study revealing that 89% of networking is nonconsensual. (N.B. satire from The Onion)

Check out this call for an American Christian Reformation.

Read an argument that firearms rights are a gender equality issue too.

Read about 6 expenses you should never put on a credit card.

Read John Newton's thoughts on criticizing others in public.

Check out 40 celebrities who are Republican.

Read Topics for Conversation When a Man and a Woman Are Considering Marriage by John Piper.

Check out 15 gut check questions for leaders.

Read about Email Addiction: 5 Signs You Need Help.

Read about the woman who shot & killed the rapist who came back to rape her a second time.

Read about developing a theology of pastoral compensation.

Read this silly plea to never use 2 spaces after a period.
“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: which is: Try to please everybody.” -Herbert B. Swope

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Friday, January 28, 2011

You're breaking up with me, because I'm too ... blonde?

A brunette goes to the doctor and says, "Doctor, I'm hurting all over my body."

"That's odd," replied the doctor. "Show me what you mean."

So, the girl takes her finger, pokes her elbow, and screams in pain. She touches her knee and cries in agony, and so on.

The doctor says, "You're not a natural brunette are you?"

"No, I'm a blonde," she replies.

"I thought so. Your finger is broken," replied the doctor.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things.

Contrary to the idea that somehow Christ is again re-sacrificed in the Lord's Supper ceremony, I share this Erwin Lutzer tidbit:
However, the New Testament Book of Hebrews explicitly states that Christ's sacrifice was sufficient for God,* thus it was offered once for all. Four contrasts are made between Christ's sacrifice and those of the Old Testament (Heb 10:10-14):
  1. In the Old Testament many priests offered sacrifices; in fact, they worked in shifts. But now there is only one High Priest who lives forever.
  2. Many sacrifices were offered, day after day, whenever sin was committed. But Christ offered "one sacrifice for sins for all time." His work ended the sacrificial system forever.
  3. The Old Testament sacrifices could only take care of past sins--which was the reason they had to be reoffered. But of Christ we read, "For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified" (v.14).
  4. The former priests were not allowed to sit down while working their shift. But Christ sat down on the right hand of God the Father because his work was finished. (The Doctrines that Divide, 109)
10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14, ESV)
*N.B. In addition to these contrasts, key to an understanding of the atonement is that Christ's sacrifice was sufficient for God. Plus, nothing else could appease His wrath or justice, so anything else being offered in its place, or in addition to Christ's sacrifice, is an insult to God who accepted it and to the Christ who offered it.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Give in to your anger. With each passing moment, you make yourself more my servant.

A solicitation of volunteers at the Providence Church members meeting last night brought to mind the following quote:
"It is bothersome to me when people claim they 'want to go deep' but have splinters in their rear ends from sitting around all day and doing nothing. Spiritual maturity is not only measured by knowledge; if that were the case, then the devil would be more spiritually mature than anoy pastor on the planet, because he knows way more than all of us! But maturity is developed when people do what Jesus did by serving others." (Perry Noble)
Of course, he's right. In fact, that's the measure of greatness in the kingdom, being the greatest servant of all ... according to Jesus.
  • Mark 9:34-35 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
  • Mark 10:42-45 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Then there's also that great Christological passage from Paul in Philippians 2:5-11, but often forgot is that the impetus is to be like Jesus ... with regard to His example of one who serves others to the detriment of Himself.

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:5-11 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Remember as well ... a call to "ministry" or a call to be a "minister" is a call to service or being a servant. That's what the word means. (cf. Mark 10:43-45 KJV)

Being a slacker is not congruent with spiritual maturity.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

You're breaking up with me, because I'm too ... blonde?

A blonde with two red ears went to her doctor. The doctor asked her what had had happened to her ears?

"I was ironing a shirt and the phone rang, but instead of picking up the phone I accidentally picked up the iron and stuck it to my ear."

"Oh Dear!" the doctor exclaimed in disbelief. "But ... what happened to your other ear?"

"The jerk called back!"

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To him, all good things, trout as well as eternal salvation, came by grace and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy.

As I cited in Sunday's sermon, a solid and succinct quote from Johnny Mac regarding the "grace of Christ" (e.g., Gal 1:6):
“The grace of Christ is God’s free and sovereign act of love and mercy in granting salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus, apart from anything men are or can do, and of His sustaining that salvation to glorification.”

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Here's a good idea: Have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!

I had a big bag of nuthin', so ... nuthin' on the blog last week. But they say, "A picture's worth a thousand words."

(HT Cody Dixon for the pictorial good bull.)

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek.

For my pastoral colleagues who have given up and/or rusted up where their Greek is concerned, I recommend Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People, by Constantine R. Campbell.

Here's a snippet for the utilitarian:
"Sometimes students ask me whether or not it is good to talk about Greek in their sermons. I usually caution against talking about it unnecessarily, though I think it is fine to do so if your hearers will really benefit. So then the inevitable question is: If Greek doesn't make it into my sermon, then what's the point? To which I will answer: If you think that way, you've missed the point. The usefulness of Greek is not so that you can tell people about what the Greek says in your sermon. The usefulness of Greek is that it will give you understanding of the text, which will shape what you do say in the sermon. It's for your preparation, and it usually remains behind the scenes. Sure, sometimes it might need to come out from behind the curtains, but generally speaking it will do its work unseen by everyone but you. But to you, the Bible teacher, Greek will make a huge difference."
Preview Keep Your Greek here.

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Monday, January 03, 2011

Just because you are a character doesn't mean that you have character.

I grew up hearing this and just assumed Grandma Hartman made it up. However, I didn't realize until now that Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was stealing her material.
Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!
-from Marmion, Canto VI. Stanza 17.

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