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this week 7/18



"And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  (Joshua 24:15 ESV)

These are among the last spoken words of Joshua as recorded in Scripture.  

According to mentalfloss.com here are some last words that people uttered before dying: 
-- Blues singer Bessie Smith died saying, “I’m going, but I’m going in the name of the Lord.”
-- Frank Sinatra died after saying, “I’m losing it.”  [Previously, he sung about doing life "his way."]
--When Harriet Tubman was dying in 1913, she gathered her family around and they sang together. Her last words were, “Swing low, sweet chariot.”
-- Murderer James W. Rodgers was put in front of a firing squad in Utah and asked if he had a last request. He replied, “Bring me a bullet-proof vest.”  
-- Sir Winston Churchill’s last words were, “I’m bored with it all.”

Read more here.  

Here are two moreJonathan Edwards spoke to his children as he lay dying from smallpox infection:  "As to my children, you are now to be left fatherless, which I hope will be an inducement to you all to seek a Father who will never fail you."  

And Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, after being shot, having his arm amputated, and contracting pneumonia, said, “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”  (He died, as he had wished, on the Sabbath. It was May 10, 1863.)

Wisdom [see graphic above] is the proper application of true (biblical) knowledge to our lives. Life is like an hourglass, our hours and days yet future are like grains of sand in the top of the glass, and those that fall through to the bottom cannot be recaptured. To avoid regrets ("what was I thinking") we apply wisdom in the present moment (middle of the hourglass). Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge now, before it's too late.

Articles.  This week I'm featuring some historical articles and sermons that deserve consideration today:   

Thomas Chalmers:  "A new affection is more successful in replacing an old affection than simply trying to end it without supplanting it with something better. ... It is not enough to understand the worthlessness of the world; one must value the worth of the things of God. ... We know of no other way by which to keep the love of the world out of our heart than to keep in our hearts the love of God—and no other way by which to keep our hearts in the love of God, than by building ourselves on our most holy faith."  (Thomas Chalmers, "The Expulsive Power of a New Affection")

T. S. Eliot:  "And here is the perpetual message of the Church: to affirm, to teach and to apply, true theology. We cannot be satisfied to be Christians at our devotions and merely secular reformers all the rest of the week, for there is one question that we need to ask ourselves every day and about whatever business. The Church has perpetually to answer this question: to what purpose were we born? What is the end of Man?"   -- From the Appendix to the first part of Christianity and Culture, after "The Idea of a Christian Society."  It was a broadcast talk that was delivered in February 1937.

Sermons on Romans:  "First and foremost, I would emphasize that it [the Friday night meeting] is a service. It is an occasion for worship. I am one of those who doesn't recognize any consideration of the word of God which is not accompanied by worship. The Bible is not an ordinary book -- it is God's book.  And it is a book about God and about man's relationship to him.  And therefore every time we consider or study the Bible we should of necessity be worshiping. In other words, I do not propose to consider this great epistle in a merely intellectual or academic manner.  It was written as a letter by a great pastor.  It isn't a theological treatise written to experts and to professors.  It's a letter written to a church.  And like all other New Testament literature it had a very practical aim and end in view.  This Apostle was concerned to help these people and to build them up and to establish them in their most holy faith." (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, 1955) 
The famous series of Friday night sermons on the Letter to the Romans at Westminster Chapel (London) from 1955 to 1968, which eventually were published in fourteen printed volumes, are now available free for our listening




Photography.  I'm enjoying using the PlantSnap app.  It's not infallible, but very helpful for identifying trees, flowers, and even mushrooms.  Finally identified the oak tree in our front yard as a Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea), which is also the official tree of Washington, D.C

On being seeker-friendly...




In "this week" I post some of the things I'm reading and stuff I'm thinking about.  To receive my posts by email you may subscribe above, just below my profile.

Final quotes.  

"We human beings have both a unique dignity as creatures made in God's image and a unique depravity as sinners under his judgment."  (John R. W. Stott)

"It is only by the doctrine of the cross that a person can thus delight himself in God, and at the same time, be free from delusion."  (William Romaine, The Life of Faith, 1764)




  

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