Sunday, February 28, 2010

What's Your Alibi?

Sleeper arise from the dead
You're wasting your life in the bed
The world is weeping
You're still sleeping
Somehow it's just isn't right
To sleep day and night

It's a sleep paradise à la mode
When you wake up, you'll explode
The world is screamin'
You're still dreamin'
Somehow it's seems like a crime
Sleep all the time

Tell me now sleeper don't lie
What's your alibi?

(Sleeper, DeGarmo and Key)

Evangelistic Lethargy

Any true healing begins with deep repentance, and the first duty of repentance is contrite prayer. If you haven't recently confessed your lack of evangelistic zeal, then the following prayer might be a good place to start. Pray it carefully, and as you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to help you mean what you are praying.

"Father and God, we confess that we have accommodated ourselves to the idea of most people not knowing You. We confess that we have believed what nonbelievers say about themselves, which is that they have a right to remain in their unbelief.

Father, we confess that we live in a nation that believes that it has the right to not come to You, and we confess this sin on their behalf.

We know, Father, that if we in the Church regard iniquity in our own midst, or in our own hearts, this prayer will be ineffectual. Father, we confess that we in the Church have been lethargic in our evangelism. We ask that You would forgive us for this, and that You would stir us up with a zeal for others to come to know You.

And Father, we also confess our own sins to You now—Selah . . . We do this in the majestic name of Jesus our Savior, and amen."

(Pastor Douglas Wilson, Christ Church, Moscow, ID)

The Left-Handed Power of Hospitality

Martin Luther dubbed the power of love and service "left-handed power" compared to the "right-handed power" of physical strength and military might. Below is a recent exhortation from Pastor Douglas Wilson that I encourage you read, heed and apply.

"We gather here as a result of the gospel, and we gather as a means of proclaiming the gospel. The ordained evangelist proclaims the gospel to those outside, and the informal evangelist shares the faith with others as it comes up. But all of us together are evangelical Christians, and we are all to be radiating the gospel (that has gathered us here) in an ongoing way. So we are all evangelists in some sense.

And so here is a two-fold exhortation. And it is just that—an exhortation. Nothing here to bind the conscience, but it is an exhortation to take to heart. Between now and Paschal Sunday, the day of resurrection, I would urge you to share a meal with unbelievers. Whether you take a co-worker to lunch, or have a neighboring family over for your first barbeque of the spring, the task is a simple one. Before Easter, break bread with some unbelievers. The second task is to simply pray that God would use it for their good, and His glory.

Don’t have them over, and then get into a sweat about how will you ever bring up the gospel? Don’t worry about that. Give it to God. You are not selling insurance, and you are not in multi-level marketing. You don’t have to close any deals. We are loving individuals, not dealing with quotas or timelines.

So there it is, a simple exhortation. Invite a non-Christian over. See what happens."

(Pastor Douglas Wilson, Christ Church, Moscow, ID)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rich and Impure or Chaste and Poor?

Here is a question: What does scripture forbid more strongly, pre-marital sex or marrying while poor?

Here is a second question: Do we evangelicals encourage the biblical priority (see above) with our standards for marriage?

For some intriguing thoughts on this subject please read this.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Two Helmets, One Day

Two helmets, one beautiful day in the Wenatchee Valley. Man, I love this place!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lewis on Loving Your Spouse Well

"When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.

Insofar as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all.

When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased."

—C. S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis (8 November, 1952) HT: Justin Taylor

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

To Hell With Hell

Toby Sumpter has "hit another one out of the park" here. All praise to the God who interrupts! (HT: Corey McEachran)

Don't Run With Scissors

"Police in Indiana are searching for a man who robbed a tobacco store with a pair of scissors. They said the guy could be a real danger — unless you have a rock." (Jimmy Fallon)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Thorn

The Thorn
by Martha Snell Nicholson

I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.

(HT: Justin Taylor)