Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Solar System Without a Sun

We can never attach too much importance to the atoning death of Christ: it is the leading fact in the Word of God, on which the eyes of our soul ought to be ever fixed. Without the shedding of His blood, there is no remission of sin. It is the cardinal truth on which the whole system of Christianity hinges.

Without it the Gospel is an arch without a keystone, a fair building without a foundation, a solar system without a sun. Let us make much of our Lord’s incarnation and example, His miracles and His parables, His works and His words, but above all let us make much of His death.

~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thinking Lightly of Sin

Too many think lightly of sin, and therefore think lightly of the Saviour. He who has stood before God, convicted and condemned, with the rope about his neck, is the man to weep for joy when he is pardoned, to hate the evil which has been forgiven him, and to live to the honour of the Redeemer by whose blood he has been cleansed.


Monday, October 19, 2009

He Recognized No Limit

“Christ turned his back, voluntarily, deliberately, and decisively, upon all that belonged to personal glory, and all that conduced to personal gain. He recognized no limit to the extent to which His obedience to God in self-humbling must go. Whatever he found in himself to be expendable, he spent. While anything was left which could be poured forth, he poured it forth. Nothing was too small to give, or too great. This is the mind and the life which is commended to us by the example of Christ and approved by signal acts of God.

~ Alec Motyer, The Message of Philippians

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Didn’t want to forget the youngest ….

Lydia is growing up fast too.  She is a lot of fun and puts a lot of smiles on our faces.


First Day of School Pics

I’m a little behind, but I thought I would post our annual pics that I take on the first day of school.  Hard to believe how fast time goes by and how fast they grow.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Attraction that Repels

"... the offense of the cross..." Galatians 5:11

"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all people to myself." John 12:32

To the Greek mind, the cross was merely incomprehensible. That men should be "saved" by it was preposterous; that men should preach it, sheer foolishness. "The world by wisdom knew not God" and had found no way of world salvation. The message of the cross underlined that failure; it called for simplicity of faith, not intellectual cleverness; and it perpetually recalled what human "wisdom" did with such a One as Christ. To the Greek therefore the whole idea of redemptive suffering was manifold folly.

To the Jew, a crucified Messiah was scandalous; a given, free and universal salvation, an attack upon his privileged security. Proudly the Jew proclaimed the divine election of his race and the sufficiency of the Law; the cross of Jesus, as the only hope for all mankind, was double blasphemy. Many things can alienate men from God, but if humility find the way to penitence all can be overcome--but pride. "God resisteth the proud" and giveth His grace to contrite hearts humble enough to rest their hope wholly upon Christ's doing for us what we could never hope to have done for themselves.

The offence of the cross is therefore not surprising. To seek to change a man is to imply something unsatisfactory in his present mode of life. You cannot convert him by admiring what he is already; you have to disturb him, challenge, convict and undermine him. It is impossible to save a man without humbling him, to save him from his pride; and subduing him, to save him from his folly. The preaching of the cross pays sinful man no compliments, except indeed the supreme compliment that God thinks he is worth saving.

~From Beneath the Cross of Jesus by Reginald E.O. White (thanks for the book loan, Dad!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Praise of Men

That same spirit which makes us love the praise of men makes us dread the threats of men. You cannot be pleased with the adulation of mankind without becoming fearful of their censure. It is a perilous thing to taste of human honor: if it makes you sick, it is the best thing it can do for you. If you despise it utterly, it is the only way of bearing it without being injured by it; for I say again, delight in the praises of others saps the foundations of a man's manhood: delight in the praise of men takes a man off from following after the glory of God, and makes him afraid of following the truth if it cost him ridicule.

~ Spurgeon via Pyromaniacs

Monday, October 12, 2009

His Robes For Mine

We started learning a new hymn entitled His Robes For Mine at the chapel yesterday. I found it while browsing the Church Works Media site.

If you'd like to try the hymn out, here is the sheet music. [For what it's worth, I think we may take it down a half or maybe a whole step the next time we sing it.]

Also, here is an audio recording of three of the verses sung beautifully by five sisters.

I'm still wrapping my hands around the bulk of theology packed into these four short verses. When was the last time you sang vicarious and propitiation in the same hymn! In particular, I'm meditating on the line "God estranged from God" in the chorus and the last two lines of the fourth verse.

His Robes For Mine
His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Run to Obey

"I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!
Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it."
~ Psalm 119:32-35

Obeying God is a phenomenal thing.

You know you're talking to a baby Christian when you hear things like, "The Bible says to do . . . what? That just doesn't make sense to me," and "Isn't that a little crazy?" When someone new to Christ hears a call that demands him or her to go against the natural human tendency to protect or promote self, the person will sometimes react.

Not so for someone who has walked with God for a long time. We know that every step forward is a step of faith. Obedience to God is not a burden. And once you've done it a few times, you realize how awesome God's program is.

Every time I do what God wants me to do - I get blessed. Every time I humble myself and ask for forgiveness or reach out in relationship or deny my flesh or give to the Lord's work or make the choice to serve or open my mouth and speak for God - I get blessed! Every time! Obeying God always makes things better, even when it's hard. Even when the good outcome takes a while.

The more you get to know the Lord, the more you realize that everything He asks of you is for your good. I'm thinking right now of that amazing pronouncement in Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." When you get that panorama perspective of life, then obeying God today is not a burden; it's a joy.

Things will always work out for good when I obey God. If I could live my life over again, I wouldn't go back on any of my obedience choices, but I'd go back to some disobedience choices and change them in a hurry.

Today I purpose to obey the first time, every time. Let’s be like David who said, "I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!"

Friday, October 2, 2009

More Summer Pics

My sister and her family came up over the 4th of July and we had so much fun.  It’s the first time in awhile our visit hasn’t been around a wedding or a new baby.  The cousins had a blast (of course) and they had some fun moments on the bunk bed.



The kids also had their first experience horse back riding.  Bryan was kind enough to offer to take the kids. It’s kind of weird for me because I grew up around all sorts of animals and my kids just aren’t around them much.  Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed watching the kids.  I did actually have to get up and ride with Lydia because she just couldn’t hold on—thankfully there are no pictures of it.  :-)

Sam Horse

girls horse