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this week 6/4

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."  (Matthew 28:19 ESV)

"As the Father is God, so is the Son, 
And as the Son is God, so is the Holy Spirit; 
And the Three are likewise One God when seen together. 
Each is God because they are of the same essence, 
And they are One God because of the single principle of Deity.
And when I see the Three together, I see only one torch, 
And I cannot divide or share out the Undivided Light."

~ Gregory of Nazianzus (AD 329--390) 
[Cited by Nick Needham in Daily Readings – The Early Church Fathers]

Image above: an icon of the three Cappadocians -- Gregory of Nyssa, Basil of Caesarea, and Gregory of Nazianzus.  

Continuing this Sunday: "Highlights in Church History", a summer adult class, meeting first hour (9:45 am) in the fellowship hall.  Topics include Council of Nicaea, Chalcedon, the great Schism, a Reformation overview, the church in Europe, Christianity in China, and the rise of modern missions.

A time for civility?  "A story commonly told these days on both the left and the right says that American Christians, and especially evangelicals, are solidly behind President Donald Trump. The real story is far more complex, and has led many Christians to some fairly serious soul-searching, and others to ask hard questions about whether we even know what an 'evangelical' is." (Alan Jacobs)  Read more here.   

A flash back. "To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil."  (Charles Krauthammer, in The Washington Post, July 26, 2002)  Seventeen years ago this Jewish psychiatrist-turned-political-columnist (and a liberal moving toward conservatism) put his finger on the lack of respect between American political parties.  Since his death a year ago, the Washington Post has provided links to many of his popular articles here.  

Book note.  Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts, by Jerry Bridges  (NavPress, 1988), is a classic.  There are chapters on each of three key biblical truths: the complete sovereignty of God in all of life, the infinite wisdom of God in ordering our lives, and the perfect love and goodness of God toward us even in the midst of trials and suffering.  Bridges writes, “God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.”  This book is well supported by Scripture, and is practically applied for believers in all circumstances of life.  He underscores that faith is not mere resignation to suffering but active engagement with the Lord:  “Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelms us.”  Highly recommended.  

Beautiful eulogy.  "Obscurity is not failure and simplicity is not tragic when they reflect the worth of the world to come."  ~ Samuel D. James, in a eulogy for his grandmother.  

Do we need to be saturated and up-to-the-minute with global news?  C. S. Lewis once wrote of the danger of being continually aware of the sorrows of the world and yet disconnected from the joys and sorrows of our own communities:  "It is one of the evils of rapid diffusion of news that the sorrows of all the world come to us every morning. ... I think each village was meant to feel pity for its own sick and poor whom it can help and I doubt if it is the duty of any private person to fix his mind on ills which he cannot help. (This may even become an escape from the works of charity we really can do to those we know). ... A great many now seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don't think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we're doing it, I think we're meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds song and the frosty sunrise."  (C. S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. 2 )  Read more in "Breaking from Breaking News."  

Currently I'm readingSacrifice of Praise, by Herman Bavinck (Crossway, 2019).  This is a new translation of a series of messages by a great theologian given to younger believers as they prepare to publicly confess their faith and begin attending the Lord's Supper.  
Writing with:  Parker VS + Monteverde Canyon Rust.  Just recently re-sacced this pen from 1947-49 [below]. 

In other fountain pen news, the Aurora Pen Company of Turin, Italy, is celebrating its 100th year of pen-making.   But, of course, you knew this already.

Final quote. "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me."  (Psalm 138:8)  "It is the Lord who has begun the good work within us; it is He who has carried it on; and if He does not finish it, it never will be completed. If there is one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness that we must insert ourselves, then we are lost; but this is our confidence--what the Lord begins, He completes. He has done it all, must do it all, and will do it all. Our confidence must not be in what we have done, nor in what we have resolved to do, but entirely in what the Lord will do."  (C. H. Spurgeon)  

Read more: He Begins and He Completes  We receive these daily emailed devotionals from Charles Spurgeon via Alistair Begg.  Begg has edited and updated the language of Spurgeon's Morning and Evening.  Very rich!  My wife and I often read this to each other in the morning, at dinner, or when we're on the road together.  Try it!


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