Saturday, December 31, 2011

We Made It!

Despite Harold Camping we made it to the end of 2011. Despite the Mayan calendar, we'll probably make it through 2012 also.  But whatever happens in the new year, I know that Jesus Christ will be large and in charge!

May all my readers have a blessed and prosperous new year.

Infinite Passion

"Christ demands a response of infinite passion, either of hatred or of love."

- Soren Kierkegaard

Friday, December 30, 2011

4 Christian Principles For Making Resolutions

Ligonier's blog has an article by Nathan Bingham called 4 Christian Principles For Making New Year's Resolutions

His 4 principles are:

1. Resolve Sensibly.
2. Resolve Dependently.
3. Resolve Humbly.
4. Resolve for Christ's Sake.

Sound sensible and biblical to me. Full explanations at the link.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pray for Nigeria

Let us all pray for our Christian brethren in Nigeria.  From a report at CT Magazine:
Christmas Day was marred for Nigerian Christians after a series of church bombings killed at least 35 and wounded dozens more. In a suburb of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, more than 30 worshipers died at St. Theresa Catholic Church as they left Christmas mass.

Analysts largely agree that the bombings were an attempt by Boko Haram, a radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria, to stoke simmering tensions between Muslims and Christians, which evenly divide Africa's most populous nation of 160 million. Last year, dozens died in Christmas Eve bombings around Jos.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) warned that such attacks might provoke a "religious war."
"Enough is enough," said CAN secretary general Saidu Dogo. "We shall henceforth in the midst of these provocations and wanton destruction of innocent lives and property be compelled to make our own efforts and arrangements to protect the lives of innocent Christians and peace-loving citizens of this country."
CT reported on more Nigerian Christians abandoning the practice of "turning the other cheek" earlier this December, and has extensively covered Nigeria's long-standing religious conflict.

Idolatry: Worship Distorted

Is your Worship Distorted ? Per Bill Clem at it's a question worth asking. And the solution is to confront your idols with the gospel.
I was asked to teach an intensive course at a seminary, three eight-hour days of presentation. During the first hour my agenda was to introduce the idea that we are all idolaters. I began by saying, “One hundred percent of your pastoral counseling will involve identifying and confronting idols.” Immediately the push back began: “Idolatry is a primitive idea”; “People don’t have idols; they have issues.” As long as we ignore what the Bible says about the human heart and what God desires from his people, we will raise these same objections. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9)
He goes on to say that the root of idolatry is pride:
Pride is seen as detestable to God precisely because it steals from God’s glory and his preeminence. Pride is rebellion, but it is much more than rebellion against God’s authority. Pride is self-centeredness rather than God-centeredness. A proud heart sees itself as central and God as the one who must find his place of orbit in the proud heart’s universe. While few people who call themselves Christians would admit to such a self-centered worldview, I find my weeks filled with people with questions and comments such as these:

How can God be loving and let this bad thing happen to me?
I can’t believe in a God who let’s bad things happen.
I don’t care what the Bible says; this is what I want.
I have been praying for a Christian husband, and if God wanted me to marry one, then he would have provided one.
If God is against homosexuality, why did he create me this way?
If God wanted me to stay married, he should have told that to my cheating spouse.

Look beyond the content of those objections to the underlying conviction of those who are making them. The objectors believe they have rights and God has the responsibility to work within those rights. To their way of thinking, God can’t love and also do something the objector can’t understand, nor can God call for behavior that is inconvenient or politically incorrect. They believe that God has no right to ask them to opt for grace and forgive another when they have a “biblical” right to hurt someone who has hurt them.
 The whole thing is well worth the time to read.  Over the past two years I have really come to see the nature and power of idolatry in my life and in people in general. We need more emphasis on confronting idols with the power of the gospel.

And BTW, Clem's book Disciple: Getting Your Identity From Jesus is a good read.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bible Reading Plans for 2012

Are you making a resolution to read the Bible through in 2012?  Ligonier Ministries has published a list of Bible reading plans with links to printable PDF files for our use.
Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits, and then change or begin a Bible reading plan.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. — Psalm 119:105
For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Maybe this year you will read more of the Bible each day. Perhaps you’ll slow down your reading and instead spend more time considering what you read. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a reading plan, you should find it below.
Go to the link for the Ligonier lists.  Also, Justin Taylor has another list of Bible reading plans here.

I completed reading the Bible in 2011 using my church's reading plan. and I intend to do it again in 2012. How about you?

Resolution Dangers

Making any 2012 resolutions?  As you do, it's good to remember The Tyranny of Advice Christianity
I saw a commercial once (at 2 a.m.) that said I have to do whatever it takes to “actualize my best me.” Jargon aside, it makes sense, really. Doing results in being. Cause and effect. Want six-pack abs? Just buy the right product and give your new, healthy lifestyle 110% for 10 weeks and maybe you’ll see results. (Phew, I guess it’s time to get to work on those resolutions …)  It makes sense to assume that doing something will produce some change. But a personal makeover obsession won’t do one bit of good when it comes to fixing the human condition.

When you feel defeated by sin, burnt out by expectations, and discouraged by your inability to get it together, the last thing you need is “good advice.” So I don’t have any new advice for you. But I do have a bit of helpful hyperbole: Advice is tyranny. Okay, that’s a little over the top. But there’s a reason for the overstatement.

Much more at the link.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's Always Christmas

In Narnia it was said that the White Witch made it always winter and never Christmas.

For all who are in Christ it is always Christmas, no matter the season. May the spirit of the season stay with us all year.

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

To All of You On the Good Earth

Forty three years ago tonight, Christmas Eve 1968, I was a 12 year old boy with a Christmas television dilemma. On one channel the annual Red Skelton Christmas special was on. Our family really loved Red Skelton, and we all wanted to watch it. But on another channel was one of the most exciting events in human history - a live television broadcast from the Moon!

I was a space fanatic who wanted to grow up to be an astronaut. I knew all the astronauts by name. I cried in January 1967 when three men died in the Apollo 1 fire. They were my heroes. I had models of the various spacecraft and wanted to explain to anyone who would listen what was happening out at the moon.

Therefore, I chose both. Sitting inches from our black and white TV, I manually switched channels back and forth to see both the Skelton show and the moon broadcast.

Thus I was able to hear these words: "And for all the people back on earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send to you. 'In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..'" The You Tube clip above is a recording of what I saw and heard that night.

The Apollo 8 astronaut crew of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders took turns reading Genesis 1 from the King James Version of the Bible. As they read the ancient words, the on board TV camera showed the lunar landscape passing underneath the small and lonely spacecraft. The memory of hearing and watching that broadcast, and experiencing it live, is still awe inspiring even after 40 years.

Commander Frank Borman closed the broadcast with "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, and a Merry Christmas to all of you, all of you on the good Earth." Here's wishing a Merry Christmas this night, forty three years later, to all of you on the good earth.

Among the Animals in the Stable

The Nativity
by C.S. Lewis

Among the oxen (like an ox I’m slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox’s dullness might at length
Give me an ox’s strength.

Among the asses (stubborn I as they)
I see my Saviour where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.

Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed),
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would win thence
Some woolly innocence!

Hat Tip:  Gospel Driven Church

Friday, December 23, 2011

Let All Christians Rejoice

Let the just rejoice,
for their Justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
for their Savior is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
for their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free people rejoice,
for their Liberator is born.
Let all Christians rejoice,
for Jesus Christ is born.
- Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-440)
Hat Tip:  Jason Clark

Invited Into His Life

Insightful comments from "Chaplain Mike" at Internet Monk on the theological contant of Mary's song (The Magnificant) in Luke 1:46-51. 
Another way to put this is that the Gospel calls me to take my part in God’s Story, not merely to say that God has come to be an actor in my own personal narrative. He has not only “done great things for me,” but “his mercy extends to those who fear him from generation to generation.” The Divine Author has written me into his grand narrative! I am now a member of that great communion of saints that is living out “His-Story” in the world. The Bible and church history is the record of my family heritage. I share in its successes and shortcomings, its accounts of God’s faithfulness and human failure. Now God calls me to link my life, my sense of meaning, purpose, and significance, and the living out of my vocations to that Story. Because Jesus is the Ultimate Actor and his work the climactic, decisive movement of the Story, he calls me to center my life in Christ. He comes to me as my “Savior,” putting to death the old, sinful, self-centered me and resurrecting me to walk in newness of life in Christ. I do not invite him to come into my life, he invites me into his. He transfers me from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his beloved Son. In Christ, I enter and become part of his New Creation!
Much more good stuff at the link. It's life changing to realize that even more than we invite Jesus into our lives, He invites us into His!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Don't Miss the Words This Christmas #6

Then let us all with one accord
sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
that hath made heaven and earth of nought,
and with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
born is the King of Israe

Many of our most beloved Christmas carols and songs are full of good Biblical and theological content. However, it is easy to miss the truth we are hearing or singing due to long familiarity. I encourage you to take some time to really listen this Christmas season. Don't let the music just wash over you without hearing the words!

Bible Study Diagram

How to study the Bible in a nutshell.  the diagram is explained at the link.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gospel Wakefulness: Author Interview

Video: Jared Wilson on Gospel Wakefulness | Crossway:

The above video is an interview with Jared Wilson bout his new book Gospel Wakefulness, which I am reading now. It's a great book, and I commend the interview for your edification.

Beware Dead Orthodoxy

"Put no confidence in the mere fact that you hold to an orthodox faith, for a dead orthodoxy soon corrupts."

         —C.H. Spurgeon

Dangerous Places

"There is no more dangerous place to be than where the direct, straightforward teaching of the Word of God confronts dead religion. As long as dead religion is allowed to sleep the sleep of death, all continues placidly and peaceably. But when the truth of Scripture challenges empty religion, a cataclysmic collision is sure to result. This is because whenever the Word is taught in houses of worship that are devoid of gospel truth, hell is aggravated. As soon as the light of holiness and truth shines into the kingdom of darkness, sin is exposed, unclean spirits are angered, and Satan is provoked. Satan has no greater strongholds than houses of worship where the truth is suppressed. Nowhere is he more deeply entrenched in the lives of people than among those who are religious but who have no supernatural light of holiness and truth. But there is no greater threat to Satan's kingdom than the penetrating light of holiness and truth as it invades these fortresses of demons."
From Steven Lawson at Ligonier

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pray for North Korea

The horrible dictator of North Korea is dead. Let us all now pray for the people of North Korea, that their nation will open up to the gospel, that churches will be allowed to operate and that God will be worshiped and glorified in that very dark land.

Don't Miss Jesus Because of Jesus

A wise Christmas season warning from Jared Wilson :
There is a great danger this Christmas season of missing the point. And I’m not referring simply to idolatrous consumption and materialism. I’m talking about Christmas religiosity. It is very easy around this time to set up our Nativity scenes, host our Christmas pageants and cantatas, read the Christmas story with our families, attend church every time the door is open, and insist to ourselves and others that Jesus is the reason for the season, and yet not see Jesus. With the eyes of our heart, I mean.

I suppose there is something about indulging in the religious Christmas routine that lulls us into thinking we are dwelling in Christ when we are really just set to seasonal autopilot, going through the festive and sentimental motions. Meanwhile the real person Jesus the Christ goes neglected in favor of his plastic, paper, and video representations. Don’t get distracted from Jesus by “Jesus.” This year, plead with the Spirit to interrupt your nice Christmas with the power of Jesus’ gospel.
 Hat Tip:  Already Not Yet

The Real War on Christmas

Despite all the talk about a "War on Christmas" in America, we are all still free to celebrate the birth of Jesus in our homes and churches.  However, many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world do not have that freedom.  From Charismatica comes this remeinder:
This is a good time to remember our Iranian brothers and sisters in Christ. Iranian authorities are threatening to arrest any Christians that outwardly celebrate Christmas this year. We have posted in the past about the continuing revival going on in Iran. Like China, it is a house church movement that is increasing through dreams, visions, and healings.

We should also remember Christians in Egypt. The recent election indicates that radical Islamists will soon be running the country. Over 60% of the vote went to Muslim Brotherhood and the more radical Nour Party. Last year during the Coptic Christmas (Celebrated in January) celebration there were several attacks on the Christian community. This year more attacks are expected since the central government no longer even tries to protect the Christians.

Again this year, we should remember Christians in Iraq. The last several years there have been incidences of Churches, Christian businesses, and homes being attacked by radical Muslims during the Christmas season.

Also, the violence continues to rage against Christian communities in northern Nigeria. There seems to be no end in sight as Muslim mullahs continually incite Muslim ‘worshippers’ to attack Christians following Friday services. Literally there is at least one violent incident a week in that country.
Lord, we pray for the day when there truly will be "peace on earth" when Christ is King of all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Million Gleaming Facets

 “Why do angels long to look into the good news (1 Pet. 1:12)? Because it is fascinating! It is eternally interesting. It is thrilling. It is simple, yet complex. It is a diamond: one brilliant treasure with a million gleaming facets, each offering a million vantage points alight and gleaming with the majesty of its architect.”
— Jared C. Wilson, Gospel Wakefulness (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2011), 203
Hat Tip: Of First Importance

I've just started this book, and so far it's a good one!

Don't Miss the Words This Christmas #5

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim! 

Many of our most beloved Christmas carols and songs are full of good Biblical and theological content. However, it is easy to miss the truth we are hearing or singing due to long familiarity. I encourage you to take some time to really listen this Christmas season. Don't let the music just wash over you without hearing the words!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Original GPS

Bringing Religion into Everything

"Just a hurried tell a story which puts the contrast between our feast of the Nativity and all this ghastly "Xmas" racket at its lowest. My brother heard a woman on a bus say, as the bus passed a church with a Crib outside it, "Oh Lor'! They bring religion into everything. Look - they're dragging it even into Christmas now!""

        ~ C.S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady, Dec. 29, 1958, p80

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Opening Doors of Hope

"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…

     It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."

-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) , Seek That Which Is Above,1986

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One Verse for Christmas

Can the The Entire Christmas Story Be Told in One Verse? Ray Pennover says Galatians 4:4-5 will do the job.. Yeah, that's actually two verses, but who wants to be legalistic, especially when interpreting Galatians!

Check it out at the link.

Waiting for the Door to Be Opened

"A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes... and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent."

              - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

(Written while he was a prisoner of Hitler and the Nazis, awaiting execution)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Heaven Draws Up Earth

In the Incarnation God the Son takes the body and human soul of Jesus, and, through that, the whole environment of Nature, all the creaturely predicament, into his own being.

So that ‘he came down from Heaven’ can almost be transposed into ‘Heaven drew earth up into it,’ and locality, limitation, sleep, sweat, footsore weariness, frustration, pain, doubt, and death, are, from before all worlds, known by God from within.

The pure light walks the earth; the darkness, received into the heart of Deity, is there swallowed up. Where, except in uncreated light, can the darkness be drowned?”
C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, (San Diego: Harvest, 1964), 70ff.

Hat Tip: Desiring God:

Feel the Shiver

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Watch For The Light: Readings For Advent And Christmas:
We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us. The coming of God is truly not only glad tidings, but first of all frightening news for everyone who has a conscience.

Monday, December 12, 2011

On Fire

HT: Rick Ianniello

What Do You Have to Reject to “Accept Jesus”?

This is good - Ray Ortlund Writes:
“You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9

You and I are not integrated, unified, whole persons. Our hearts are multi-divided. There is something like a board room in every heart. Big table. Leather chairs. Coffee. Bottled water. Whiteboard. A committee sits around the table. There is the social self, the private self, the work self, the sexual self, the recreational self, the religious self, and others. The committee is arguing and debating and voting. Constantly agitated and upset. Rarely can they come to a unanimous, wholehearted decision.

We are like that. We tell ourselves it’s because we are so busy, with so many responsibilities. The truth is, we are indecisive, held back by small thoughts of Jesus.

Such a person can “accept Jesus” in either of two ways. One way is to invite him onto the committee. Give Jesus a vote too. But then he becomes just one more complication. The other way to “accept Jesus” is to say to him, “My life isn’t working. Please come in and fire my committee, every last one of them. I hand myself over to you now. Please run my whole life for me.” That is not complication; that is salvation.

“Accepting Jesus” is not just adding Jesus. It is also subtracting the idols.
I've never really licked the common "christianeze" phrase "accepting Jesus."  But I am totally amazed that He accepted me!

Hat Tip: Already Not Yet:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Don't Miss the Words This Christmas #4

"Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy"
Many of our most beloved Christmas carols and songs are full of good Biblical and theological content. However, it is easy to miss the truth we are hearing or singing due to long familiarity. I encourage you to take some time to really listen this Christmas season. Don't let the music just wash over you without hearing the words!

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Kind of Men

“God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.”

                  - C.S. Lewis
God came from heaven to earth to make earthly men and women into heavenly creatures. Something to remember this wonderful season.

Does Writing 'Xmas' Take Christ out of Christmas?

Are you one of those Christians who gets upset over the use of "Xmas" as an abbreviation for Christmas? Heree's R. C. Sproul's explanation on the historical context for that practice - Does Writing 'Xmas' Take Christ out of Christmas?
The X in Christmas is used like the R in R.C. My given name at birth was Robert Charles, although before I was even taken home from the hospital my parents called me by my initials, R.C., and nobody seems to be too scandalized by that.

X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ's name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, "Put Christ back into Christmas" as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.

There's no X in Christmas
First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.
We don't see people protesting the use of the Greek letter theta, which is an O with a line across the middle. We use that as a shorthand abbreviation for God because it is the first letter of the word Theos, the Greek word for God.

X has a long and sacred history
The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus. The church has used the symbol of the fish historically because it is an acronym. Fish in Greek (ichthus) involved the use of the first letters for the Greek phrase "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior." So the early Christians would take the first letter of those words and put those letters together to spell the Greek word for fish. That's how the symbol of the fish became the universal symbol of Christendom. There's a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stable Influence

Don't Miss the Words This Christmas #3

"God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay.
For Jesus Christ our Savior,
Was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satans power,
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy!"
From "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen "
Many of our most beloved Christmas carols and songs are full of good Biblical and theological content. However, it is easy to miss the truth we are hearing or singing due to long familiarity.  I encourage you to take some time to really listen this Christmas season.  Don't let the music just wash over you without hearing the words!

Church History in 5 Hours

Here's an interesting condensed audio summary of All of Church History in 5 Hours! via MP3 files with PDF Handouts at Parchment and Pen.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

"I preach as though Christ was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today and was coming back tomorrow."
                            —Martin Luther

Maybe we should live that way also.

All I Want for Christmas....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh Come, Emmanuel!

More beautiful and uplifting Christmas music from the Annie Moses Band. Enjoy!

Deceptive DNA

"You'll never understand sin's sleight of hand until you acknowledge that a significant part of the DNA of sin is deception. As sinners we are all very committed and gifted self-swindlers. No one is more influential in your life than you, because you talk to yourself more than anyone else does. What you say to yourself is profoundly important. Your words either aid God's work of conviction and confession or they assist sin's system of deception. So it's important to humbly admit that we're all too skilled at looking at our own wrong and seeing good. We're all much better at seeing the sin, weakness, and failure of others than we are our own. We're all very good at being intolerant in others the very things that we willingly tolerate in ourselves. The bottom line is that sin causes us not to hear or see ourselves with accuracy. And we not only tend to be blind, but, to compound matters, we also tend to be blind to our blindness."
From Paul Tripp at As You Are – The Gospel Coalition Blog. Much more at the link

Don't Miss the Words This Christmas #2

"Yea, Lord we greet Thee,
born this happy morning,
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;
Oh come, Let us adore Him!"

-Adeste Fidelis / Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Many of our most beloved Christmas carols and songs are full of good Biblical and theological content. However, it is easy to miss the truth we are hearing or singing due to long familiarity.  I encourage you to take some time to really listen this Christmas season.  Don't let the music just wash over you without hearing the words!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tim Keller's Google Talk On Marriage

Tim Keller made an hour long talk on the meaning of Marriage from a Christian perspective to Google employees at their headquarters. This event took place on November 14, 2011, as part of the Authors@Google series. I can't think of anyone else who could do this, certainly not as well as he did. It's worth a listen!

Hat Tip: Reformissionary: Tim Keller | Google Talk On Marriage

Of course, his book The Meaning of Marriage is great too!

Man's Maker Made Man

Man’s Maker was made man
that the Bread might be hungry,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired from the journey;
that Strength might be made weak,
that Life might die.

—St. Augustine

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”   (John 1:14)

Free Download of R. C. Sproul Classic

The Kindle edition of R.C. Sproul's classic book The Holiness of God is available for FREE download on Amazon.

This book is a life changer! I would list it with the top five books that have most affected my Christian life. If you use Kindle or another an e-reader, don't miss this opportunity.

Did I mention that it is FREE??!!!

Don't Miss the Words This Christmas!

Many of our most beloved Christmas carols and songs are full of good Biblical and theological content. However, it is easy to miss the truth we are hearing or singing due to long familiarity.  I encourage you to take some time to really listen this Christmas season.  Don't let the music just wash over you without hearing the words!  For example:
"Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as God with Man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel!"

From "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing": by Charles Wesley
There is A LOT of truth packed into those few brief lines!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Doubled By Wonder

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."

                    - G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tremble When You Are Told...

Have you ever heard of St. John Chrysotom?  Chrysostom Has Me Longing for Christmas : 

Do not think you are hearing of small things
when you hear of this birth,
but rouse up your mind,
and tremble when you are told
that God has come upon earth.
For so marvelous was this,
and beyond expectation,
that because of these things
the very angels formed a choir,
and in behalf of the world
offered up their praise for them,
and the prophets from the first were amazed at this,
that He was seen upon earth, and conversed with men.
For it is far beyond all thought
to hear that God the Unspeakable, the Unutterable,
the Incomprehensible, and He that is equal to the Father,
has passed through a virgin’s womb,
and has chosen to be born of a woman,
and to have Abraham and David for forefathers.
Hearing these things, arise, and think of nothing low!
And most of all you should marvel at this -
that being Son of the Unoriginate God, and His true Son,
He suffered Himself to be called also Son of David,
that He might make you son of God.
He suffered a slave to be father to Him,
that He might make the Lord Father to you a slave!
- Chrysostom, 347-407 A.D.

Hat Tip:  Kingdom People:

Let Nothing You Dismay

I've been preparing my heart for Christmas by listening to the lovely music of The Annie Moses Band, a family of Juilliard trained musicians who weave a spectacular blend of pop, classical, and jazz influences to create a new and exciting sound. This rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is both beautiful and uplifting - and just downright amazing!

Check out their website at!

Friday, December 2, 2011


St. Hilary of Poitiers (c. AD 315-67):

“All unbelief is foolishness, for
it takes such wisdom as its own finite perception can attain,
and measuring infinity by that petty scale,
concludes that what it cannot understand must be impossible.
Unbelief is the result of incapacity engaged in argument.”
De Trinitate, III.24, cited in Douglas Kelly, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, p. 19.

Hat Tip: What Is Unbelief? – Justin Taylor:

Bumper Sticker Wars

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

How Linus Got to Read from Luke's Gospel

Do you love "A Charlie Brown Christmas??  Even back in 1965, TV executives didn't think audiences would accept the reading of the Bible on national TV.  Here's some back ground on how it happen.
“We got a call from Coca-Cola,” remembered Melendez. “And they said, ‘Have you and Mr. Schulz ever considered doing a Christmas show with the characters?’ and I immediately said ‘Yes.’ And it was Wednesday and they said, ‘If you can send us an outline by Monday, we might be interested in it.’ So I called Sparky on the phone and told him I’d just sold ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ and he said, ‘What’s that?’ and I said, ‘It’s something you’ve got to write tomorrow.’” 

We learned in that American Masters series that Schulz had some ideas of his own for the Christmas special, ideas that didn’t make the network suits very happy. First and foremost, there was no laugh track, something unimaginable in that era of television. Schulz thought that the audience should be able to enjoy the show at its own pace, without being cued when to laugh. CBS created a version of the show with a laugh track added, just in case Schulz changed his mind. Luckily, he didn’t.

The second big battle was waged over voiceovers. The network executives were not happy that the Schulz’s team had chosen to use children to do the voice acting, rather than employing adults. Indeed, in this remarkable world created by Charles Schulz, we never hear the voice of an adult.

The executives also had a problem with the jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi. They thought the music would not work well for a children’s program, and that it distracted from the general tone. They wanted something more . . . well . . . young.

Last but not least, the executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke. The network orthodoxy of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Bible.