Christians, be troublesome to the world! O house of Israel, be like a burdensome stone to the world! You are not sent here to be recognized as honorable citizens of this world, to be petted and well-treated.Even Christ himself, the peaceable One, said, "I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?"What I mean is this, we are not to be quiet about our religion. The world says to us, "Hold your tongue about religion, or at least talk about it at fit times; but do not introduce it at all seasons so as to become a pest and a nuisance."I say again, and you know in what sense I mean it, be a nuisance to the world; be such a man that worldlings will be compelled to feel that there is a Christian in their midst.An officer was walking out of the royal presence on one occasion, when he tripped over his sword. The king said to him, "Your sword is rather a nuisance." "Yes," was the officer's reply, "your majesty's enemies have often said so."May you be a nuisance to the world in that sense, troublesome to the enemies of the King of kings! While your conduct should be courteous, and everything that could be desired as between man and man, yet let your testimony for Christ be given without any flinching and without any mincing of the matter.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Just for fun, I thought we'd see what the readers have to say about a new tune. Lois and I picked out a few that fit the lyrics tonight. If you don't like any of ours--maybe you can think of a different one!
Most of us know that Francis Scott Key wrote our country’s national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner . However, I was completely unaware that he wrote something as theologically “loaded” as this hymn!
Lord, with glowing heart I'd praise thee
For the bliss thy love bestows,
For the pard'ning grace that saves me,
And the peace that from it flows;
Help, O God, my weak endeavor;
This dull soul to rapture raise;
Thou must light the flame, or never
Can my love be warmed to praise.
Praise, my soul, the God that sought thee,
Wretched wand'rer far astray;
Found thee lost, and kindly brought thee
From the paths of death away;
Praise, with love's devoutest feeling,
Him who saw thy guilt-born fear,
And, the light of hope revealing,
Bade the blood-stained cross appear.
Praise thy Saviour God that drew thee
To that cross, new life to give,
Held a blood-sealed pardon to thee,
Bade thee look to him and live;
Praise the grace whose threats alarmed thee,
Roused thee from thy fatal ease,
Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee,
Praise the grace that whispered peace.
Lord, this bosom's ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express;
Low before thy footstool kneeling,
Deign thy suppliant's prayer to bless:
Let thy love, my soul's chief treasure,
Love's pure flame within me raise,
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth thy praise.
I’m not all that excited about the tune that goes along with the hymn--but, I would like to sing it. Leave me a comment if you think of a hymn tune that fits these words.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Chloe’s birthday was the last Friday of Teen Camp, so we had a party for her when we got home. We had all the girl cousins over and had a “Princess Dress-Up” party and nail-painting party. After that we all went to Happy Joe’s to celebrate. It’s hard to believe she is 5 already. What a joy she is to us.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I thought I’d post a few of the things that have kept us busy over the last few months.
We recently just starting finishing our basement. I am so proud of Jeremy—he has learned so much about construction lately and I am very impressed. He used to not do house projects because he “wasn’t skilled and/or didn’t know how to do it”. Well….now I know better, dear, and I have BIG plans. (j/k) I took this picture of the 2 cutest guys I know—Jeremy was installing an electrical box.
We switched the kids’ rooms and then redecorated them with a Dinosaur Theme and a “Flower” theme, for lack of a better word. I also finally got my flower beds in this spring as well. It’s fun to look out and see my flowers.
Ok…I’m not sure what happened other than I got really busy and stopped blogging and then never started it back up. Thankfully my dear husband keeps posting so we don’t lose our faithful readers. (Well it’s actually just a few of you :-) Anyway, I have some pics to post to catch you up on our WHOLE summer. I will probably do it over the next few days.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Last night, a good hour after I put my daughter to bed, and as I settled into the couch to spend some time reading, I heard a cry of “Daddy!” I went to the bottom of the stairs and asked what she wanted. “Will you come and cuddle me?” she called out. I thought about it for a moment and eventually told her that she should already be asleep and that I was not going to come up and cuddle her. Thankfully she soon drifted off and slept well.As I thought about it a little bit more I realized that I did not want to cuddle her, at least in part, because I had to. I was looking at it as a “got to” situation: “I’ve got to cuddle her.” And I rebelled. It didn’t take me long to regret my decision. She is going to be with us for so few years and for many of those she will no doubt have no desire to cuddle me. And is it so bad for a six-year old to want a cuddle (or another cuddle) before bed? The more I thought about it, the more this seemed like a “get to” situation: “I get to cuddle her.”It’s funny the difference made by that one little letter. Throughout my life I’ve struggled with the got to’s and the get to’s. Church can seem like a “got to” obligation, but it is so much sweeter when I face it as if it is a “get to” privilege. My morning devotions can often feel like a “got to” but I enjoy them so much more when I treat them like a “get to.” Rather than having to face the Bible and prayer in the morning, I see them as an enjoyable privilege. It often makes all the difference in a mind as feeble and sinful as mine.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Love is not blind but it is fair. It is quick to see wrong, but it does not withdraw mercy for the wrongdoer. Love inspires automatic reaction against rumor and gossip. It will have no part in "spreading evil surmises injurious to the good name of others." Love thinketh no evil.The Christian in whose heart the love of God is shed abroad will base no conclusions upon his unfounded misgivings. He will argue against his mistrust until proof is established. He accepts the principle that all are innocent until proved guilty. When guilt is established, he grieves that he must admit the evidence is sufficient.Jesus knew well the long record of rejection of God and willful transgression of His law by the people of Jerusalem. But His pronouncement of judgment was spoken in a heartbreaking lament. Love rejoiceth not in iniquity. It forbids repeating a damaging story even if regrettably true, except to protect an innocent person from being misled.Can love render judgment upon the guilty? Yes, because justice administered in love can be redemptive. It leads to repentance. Love allows final condemnation only on the finally impenitent.Love rejoices in the truth. A mind enlightened by the Spirit, whose fruit is love, accepts the truth with its implications even if its sharp, cutting edge brings self-condemnation. Such a Spirit-guided person will not defend himself by clever rationalization. He will admit he is wrong and amend his ways. The truth makes men free and whole.
Monday, September 21, 2009
He was a man who gave authority its due respect. He did not go his own way. He went and talked with the leaders of the Church however much he might differ from them. It is a great and neglected law of life that however right we happen to be there is nothing to be gained by rudeness. There is never any reason why courtesy and determination should not go hand in hand.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
God is more committed to our good than we are. There are a thousand moments every day that should move us to both thankfulness and self-examination – thankfulness that as Christ-followers, we will never feel the brunt of the righteous judgment of God. Self-examination in that we never know which moment is going to be our last and that we aren’t promised tomorrow. In some cases we need to repent. In other cases we need to take hold of an opportunity in front of us. The point is that God is speaking in a myriad of ways. The question is whether we are listening. Few things remind us as much of our own mortality than natural disasters, and so few things present a great an opportunity for us to trust in Christ.