Thursday, October 28, 2010

Me estás matando, vida mía

Me estás matando, vida mía August 11, 2010

The video below is done by a group called Funky. The song starts out as many Latin love songs to. The guy is begging the girl not to leave him. He says that she is killing him by her rejection; She is tearing him apart, piece by piece. He promises her that he will be different from other men. He promises to bring her joy if she will just give him a chance to prove himself.
As the song goes on, one begins to see that the person singing is really an unborn son, talking to his mother from inside her womb, begging her to let him live.
You have to watch to the end of the video to see what choice she made.

——
I like Funky and its Reggaeton. Of course, Reggaeton in general is pretty crude, they tell me.
Last month we had Lucho, a missionary colleague of ours from Colombia, staying with us. He had grown up in a very legalistic church, but had found the freedom of God’s grace in Christ. When I asked him if he’d like to see our Funky video, at first he rolled his eyes, telling me that he didn’t like that kind of music.
…until he heard Funky…I had to give him the video so the young people in the church he pastors in Colombia could see it!
Weird.

Jesus, the Man We Can Trust

Sunday, January 17, 2010
Jesus, the Man We Can Trust
Here is the Man we can believe. He is the only Bridge Builder that I am interested in. He never deceives me. He never lies to me. He never forsakes me. Please put your trust in this One who is altogether trustworthy and who never fails? He is not lying to you, dear one.


Matthew 11:28-30 (English Standard Version)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

The Only Thing that Matters

The Only Thing that Matters August 8, 2010


Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Galatians 6:15
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.
A good meditation for this Lord’s Day.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jesus, the Man We Can Trust

Here is the Man we can believe. He is the only Bridge Builder that I am interested in. He never deceives me. He never lies to me. He never forsakes me. Please put your trust in this One who is altogether trustworthy and who never fails? He is not lying to you, dear one.


Matthew 11:28-30 (English Standard Version)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, andyou will find rest for your souls.

30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

George Whitefield - God's Anointed Servant in the Great Revival of the 18th Century

George Whitefield
God's Anointed Servant in the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Century

by Arnold A. Dallimore

Dallimore wrote a 2 volume set about the life and times of George Whitefield. Thankfully, this work was condensed into a 201 page book. It is well researched, giving an accurate picture of this great man of God and what accomplished through him.

Here are some quotes from the condensed version.:

1. p. 69
"The doctrines of our election and free justification in Christ Jesus...fill my soul with a holy fire and afford me great confidence in God my Saviour."
- Whitefield

2. p. 117
Speaking about the preachers of the revivals: "They declared with new fervor the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man, the atonement of Christ, and the need of the new birth."

3. p. 154
Whitefield renounced his position as leader of the Calvinistic Methodists. This was an effort to bring unity to what at that time was a movement divided over the leadership of the Wesleys and Whitefield. Whitefield spent many hours and wrote many letters in an effort to bring unity to the Methodists. Here is what W. said about his own leadership.:

"Let the name of Whitefield perish, but Christ be glorified."
"I am content to wait till the judgment day for the clearing up of my reputation; and after I am dead I desire no other epitaph than this, 'Here lies G.W. What sort of man he was the great day will discover."

4. p. 194
"Lord Jesus, I am weary in thy work, but not weary of it. If I have not yet finished my course, let me go and speak for thee once more in the fields, seal they truth, and come home and die."

5. p. 194,195
Here is what G.W. did on the last day of his life.:

a. He preached for 2 hours to a large crowd. Many said that it was the best sermon they had ever heard from him. He said, "He then delivered, perhaps, one of his best sermons. 'I go,' he cried, 'I go to a rest prepared; my sun has arisen and by aid from Heaven has given light to many. It is now about to set - no, it is about to rise to the zenith of eternal glory. Many may outlive me on earth, but they cannot outlive me in Heaven.

'Oh thought divine! I shall soon be in a world where time, age, pain, and sorrow are unknown. My body fails, my spirit expands. How willingly would I live to preach Christ! But I die to be with Him!"

b. "Following this tremendous effort, W. went on to the home of the Rev. Jonathan Parsons..."

The biographer goes on to tell how there was a group outside the house that wanted to hear W. preach. So, "He paused, candle in hand, and preached Christ till the candle burned out in its socket and died away. That candle was symbolic of his life, which was also burned out and speedily dying away."

He passed away 7 AM, the morning of Sunday, September 30, 1770.

6. p. 201
"Among his accomplishments there must be recognized the host of men and women he led to Jesus Christ and the large part he played in this great work of revival on both sides of the Atlantic."

7. The one dark blot on W.'s record is the fact that he did not oppose slavery. Early on he wrote one tract against the evils of slavery. He also preached to the slaves, and many turned to Christ. He could have done more to actually help end the ownership of human beings by other human beings. Even so, the great revivals of the 18th century certainly played a part in the eventual cessation of this terrible evil of the trans Atlantic slave trade.

8. p. 199
Bishop Ryle said the following.:

"Whitefield never turned again to asceticism, legalism, mysticism or strange views of Christian Perfection...Of all the little band of Oxford Methodists, none seems to have got hold so soon of clear views of Christ's gospel and none kept them so unwaveringly to the end."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thanks

Ephesians 5:4
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.


How much filthy, foolish, or crude joking can a person engage in and not break this rule?


Ephesians 5:20
giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,


What does "everything" include? How often is "always"?


Philippians 4:6
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.


What is the breadth of meaning of the words "anything" and "everything"? How inclusive are these words meant to be?

It seems that God really wants us to be thankful. Contrariwise, he does not want us to misuse our mouths through filthiness. He does not want us to waste emotional energy on anxiety. The antidote is thankfulness and prayer.

Pretty simple. Now, go and do it, by the grace of God.

I said "simple", not "easy."

Does that mean that one can never tell a joke or laugh? Of course not! It means that a Christian is supposed to be careful about what is turned into a joke and what is said in order to get a laugh.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

God's Discipline

But Thou art making me, I thank Thee, sire.
What Thou hast done and doest Thou knows't well.
And I will help Thee; gently in Thy fire.
I will lie burning on Thy Potter's wheel
I will whirl patient, though my brain should reel.
Thy grace shall be enough the grief to quell,
And growing strength perfect through weakness dire.

- George McDonald
Diary of an Old Soul, October 2

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stretching Exercises



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mathetes On the Great Exchange

Mathetes on the Great Exchange -

Christ took our sin on Him and gave us His righteousness. Oh believe it! Oh receive it! Christ is for you if you will take Him as a free gift. What do you give Him in return? Your sins. Love like that provokes lifelong worship of and devotion to the One who gave His life for us. This is what Christians have always understood and banked on.

"But when our wickedness had reached its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward, punishment and death, was impending over us; and when the time had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, the one love of God, through exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatred, nor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but showed great long-suffering, and bore with us,* He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God?

O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!"

The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

* 313 In the ms. “saying” is here inserted, as if the words had been regarded as a quotation from Isa. liii. 11.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nativity Sermon



I am not of the Orthodox faith. In fact, I am REALLY not of the Orthodox faith.  I cannot accept any church which believes itself to be the one, true church.  There is one, true church made up of all who have believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Yes, I am sure that there are many in the Orthodox church who are also part of the one, true church in Christ, but it is the height of arrogance for one organization to claim sole proprietorship to "the one, true church" status.


However, I have a soft spot in my heart for Chrysostom's homilies. I love the way that he was very spiritually aware, yet also very down to earth and practical in his exhortations. He lived in God's presence and also with integrity here on this earth. He was not one of those mystics who are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good. He had a sense of beauty and poetry, too, and that is seen even in his homilies. If nothing more, enjoy his works as art and great literature. You will be enriched.
-------------
Nativity Sermon
By Saint John Chrysostom

I behold a new and wondrous mystery!
My ears resound to the shepherd’s song, piping no
soft melody, but loudly chanting a heavenly hymn!
The angels sing!
The archangels blend their voices in harmony!
The cherubim resound their joyful praise!
The seraphim exalt His glory!

All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead herein…on earth and man in heaven. He who is above now, for our salvation, dwells here below; and we, who were lowly, are exalted by divine mercy!
Today Bethlehem resembles heaven, hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices and, in place of the sun, witnessing the rising of the Sun of Justice!

Ask not how this is accomplished, for where God wills, the order of nature is overturned. For He willed. He had the powers. He descended. He saved. All things move in obedience to God.
Today He Who Is, is born! And He Who Is becomes what He was not! For when He was God, He became man – while not relinquishing the Godhead that is His…

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him angels, nor archangels, nor thrones, nor dominions, nor powers, nor principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.
Yet He has not forsaken His angels, nor left them deprived of His care, nor because of His incarnation has He ceased being God. And behold,

Kings have come, that they might serve the Leader of the Hosts of Heaven;
Women, that they might adore Him Who was born of a woman so that He might change the pains of childbirth into joy;
Virgins, to the Son of the Virgin…
Infants, that they may adore Him who became a little child, so that out of the mouths of infants He might perfect praise;
Children, to the Child who raised up martyrs through the rage of Herod;
Men, to Him who became man that He might heal the miseries of His servants;
Shepherds, to the Good Shepherd who has laid down His life for His sheep;
Priests, to Him who has become a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek;
Servants, to Him who took upon Himself the form of a servant, that He might bless our stewardship with the reward of freedom (Philippians 2:7);
Fishermen, to the Fisher of humanity;
Publicans, to Him who from among them named a chosen evangelist;
Sinful women, to Him who exposed His feet to the tears of the repentant woman;
And that I may embrace them all together, all sinners have come, that they may look upon the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

Since, therefore, all rejoice, I too desire to rejoice!
I too wish to share the choral dance, to celebrate the festival! But I take my part, not plucking the harp nor with the music of pipes nor holding a torch, but holding in my arms the cradle of Christ!
For this is all my hope!
This is my life!
This is my salvation!
This is my pipe, my harp!

And bearing it I come, and having from its power received the gift of speech, I too, with the angels and shepherds sing:
“Glory to God in the Highest! And on earth peace to men of good will!”