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Showing posts from April, 2013

sometimes it's good to be a man

There are some advantages to being a male of the species. Quoted by Robert Lewis in The Great Adventure (Men's Fraternity): Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. You can be showered and ready in 10 minutes. Wedding plans take care of themselves. If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend. Your underwear is $10 for a three pack. You don't have to shave below your neck. You don't care if someone notices your new haircut. You can watch a game in silence with your buddy for hours without even thinking, "He must be mad at me." One mood, all the time. You never have to drive to another gas station because this one's just too icky. Gray hair and wrinkles add character

satisfied, not satisfied

I was listening recently to a sermon by Dick Lucas and was struck by the contrast in these two statements by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians.   Paul is not definitely not self-satisfied as to his spiritual progress (3:12-13), and yet he is definitely content with his physical circumstances (4:11-12)...    Philippians 3:12-14 "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.   Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:11-12   " Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.   I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty a

thinking about the process

Have enjoyed reading Randy Pope's new book, Insourcing: Bringing Discipleship Back to the Local Church (Zondervan, 2013), part of their Leadership Network Innovation Series. This book, along with Rainer and Geiger's Simple Church , is calling the church back to the process of actually making disciples , rather than merely running programs, maintaining growth, and producing worship services.  Both books are reminiscent of Robert Coleman's classic, The Master Plan of Evangelism .  Randy Pope interviewed Ken Blanchard, who shared the diagram below.  In business it is important to follow this process in training new leaders: first, you tell them what to do (directives), then you coach them on how to do these (coaching), then back off a bit and be available for advice and encouragement (support), and finally to release them to do it on their own (delegation).  Blanchard said, never, never, never try to go from directives to delegation.  This produces disillusioned leaders and

this one thing

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do : forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV) Philippians 3:12-16 ... having the right mindset (mental attitude) for the Christian life : 1.  Recognizing that you’re not there yet. (3:12, 13a) 2.  Knowing what to neglect, to forget, and to leave behind. (3:13 ) 3.  Directing your mind ( and life ) hard in one direction.  (3:12b-14) 4.  Trusting the guidance of the Lord to show you the way.  (3:15) 5.  Staying faithful to the gospel and its community. (3:16) Summary : the right mindset for the Christian life is:   “A single-minded pursuit to become  what God has already declared me to be  and what I actually one day will be.”  “Any choice involves the use of time in a way that cannot be used over again. … Among other misconceptions about ‘choice’

an individuality that is irreducible

"The figure of Jesus in the Gospels possesses an individuality that is irreducible, a shining, startling vividness against which criticism ultimately will fail. Yet criticism has had its beneficent results; it has shown with increasing plainness that the picture of Jesus in the New Testament is essentially one.  "Gone is the day when a few miracles could he removed in order to leave a supposed historical account of an instituter of a new religious life or a preacher of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Recent criticism has carried us far beyond all such easy solutions of the problem as that.  "The Jesus of the New Testament is an organic whole; the New Testament writers are dominated one and all by the conviction that Jesus was a supernatural Redeemer come into this world for the salvation of men.  "Increasingly the great alternative is becoming clear: give Jesus up, confess that his portrait is forever hidden in the mists of pragmatic legend;

who is Thomas Nagel?

Thomas Nagel is professor at NYU and author of Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False .  He has the gall (or courage, as it were) to break with the philosophical naturalism (materialism) held by many modern evolutionists...     Excerpts below are from "The Heretic: Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him?" by Andrew Ferguson in The Weekly Standard. "...when it comes to cosmology, scientists are just as likely to make an error of philosophy as philosophers are to make an error of science."  "As a philosophy of everything [ naturalism ] is an undeniable drag. As a way of life it would be even worse. Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in

what about the children?

In the marriage debate, we do need to ask the question, what about the children?  This is not a red herring or irrelevant question. Marriage is ultimately more than just two people romantically in love.  Here are some recent articles... " Marriage, Procreation, and Historical Amnesia ."  Ross Douthat shows that having, raising, and safeguarding children has been the relevant governmental interest in marriage from time past until just a few years ago.  Remarkable quote from Bertrand Russell:  “ is through children alone that sexual relations become important to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution." "Growing Up With Two Moms: The Untold Children’s View. "   A man raised with same-sex parents explains the confusion of growing up bi-sexual. "A Social Experiment Without Science Behind It."  "A significant number of organizations representing social and behavioral scientists have filed briefs promis

faith and sanctification

"Faith is the one great work Christians have to do in sanctification according to the principles of the gospel (John 6:29); it is the means of sanctification par excellence. . . .  Faith breaks all self-reliance and fastens on to God's promise. It allows the law to stand in all its grandeur and refuses to lower the moral ideal, but also refrains from any attempt, by observing it, to find life and peace; it seizes upon God's mercy and relies on the righteousness and holiness accomplished in Christ on behalf of humans. It fosters humility, dependence, and trust and grants comfort, peace, and joy through the Holy Spirit."  (--Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics 4:257) “Because sanctification, like the whole of salvation, is the work of God, we are admonished, obliged, to a new obedience, and we are also qualified for it. He grants abundant grace not that we should instantly or suddenly be holy and continue to rest in this holiness, but that we should persevere in