Sunday, January 31, 2010

I love books!

I love books! I just put up these bookshelves. So far there is enough space for all the books ... but not for long!

Let go of what does not work. Christianity works not because it's a good philosophy or a good religion but because it's actual reality, that there is a real God who really has a Son who really created everything and who really died for us. Therefore following Christ has to work, and the Bible has to produce what it claims to. If we are living lives that somehow do not produce what the Bible claims, i.e., peace, joy, and glory, then something we're doing is wrong; we're somehow on the wrong track. The truth works, so if what we do doesn't work, we have error mixed in somewhere.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The struggles of life are about priorities of loyalty. We are committed to making sure our priorities are directed by God, not ourselves.

Friday, January 29, 2010

God is the source of everything good in my life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

God can and has and does and will bring His power to bear in the story of our lives. He is providentially working to make His glory shine in our lives, especially through our darkest hours.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our desire is that others have the opportunity to know Jesus, especially those who lives in the most darkness, where they have no Bible and no Gospel witness. I want to be a willing conduit so that Christ can rescue them from their sin, and shine in and through their lives, so that they, in turn, will stand up for His Kingdom. I want to see society get changed for the better through the love of Jesus Christ, and I believe that's ultimately the only way it will happen. I want to be part of that change. I want to make a difference in this world, in the U.S. and around the world. Everything in my life flows from my response to Christ's love and my desire to share it with others. My main goal in my life is to be the person He created me to be for His will and His kingdom. Above all else, I seek for the God of the Bible to be known and loved.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Because Christ is my Master, stewardship is not about asking "How much do I have to give?" (of myself, of my money) but instead, "How much can I give?" If He paid the ultimate price to rescue me, than no request from Him can be too great. Anything He asks me to do or give or give up is not a sacrifice; it is a privilege, even when it seems to hurt.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My right standing before God has nothing to do with my efforts. I am saved only because of what Christ did on the Cross, dying as my substitute. While found in my sin, I was infused with His righteousness. What saves a person is not being good, and is not even his or her faith; it is Christ's righteousness. Faith is essential, but it is only a conduit for receiving Christ's work on the Cross, and even that faith is a gift from God. His children are undeservingly loved. If we have any part of our thinking and theology that says we add anything to our salvation, we chip away at the glory of God.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sleeping to Dream by Jason Mraz

The closer and more committed we become to the Lord, the greater the freedom we find. Following Christ is the best exchange possible because I get to lay down my dirty, rotten, broken trophies and all my shame, and freely receive eternal life, which starts right now.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

God has called us to live extraordinary lives for Christ by testifying to the world what great things He has done for us.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I am Christ's slave. I am not saved so that God can fulfill all my dreams, or make my life whole--though He often does. I am called to follow and obey Him, no matter what. Christ is my master, and I am His slave. Being His slave is better than being free in any other sense. Having Him as my master is the most liberating state possible, because I am free to be what He created me to be. I am not saved so that God can fulfill all my dreams, or make my life whole--though He often does. I am called to follow and obey Him, no matter what. Being Christ's slave is better than being free in any other sense. Having Him as my master is the most liberating state possible, because I am free to be what He created me to be. My deepest desire is to give my life away for His glory--to be "wasted" for Christ--and in giving my life away, to truly gain it. He speaks, and we obey, and under no other conditions can we be happy and free.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We have been set apart for a special purpose. Everything in our lives is supposed to be seen that way. We are given our time and talents as means to offer praise and service back to God in appreciation for His salvation. I don't just write for myself; I write for God's sake. I don't just serve my family; I serve them for God's sake. God not only loved His children before time began, but He also designed each one of them for a special path, task, and calling. God puts His hand on our lives in ways that prepare us to display His glory to the world in a way that is unique to each of us. God knows the number of hairs of our heads, and can call the stars by name, and He certainly knows us, His highest creation, inside and out, and is sovereignly, providentially guiding our lives.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our being made in God's image drives us to the very best parts of life. Every human being is innately driven to discover and creativity because of God's imprint on our souls as our creator. We are all designed to be philosophers, theologians, scientists, artists, musicians, linguists, lovers, and reproducers, and if we neglect any one of those areas in life, it will feel like something is missing; I therefore pursue them all like there's no tomorrow. Every moment is a transcendent, theological, romantic, artistic, beautiful moment for me. I love life. I believe that we are made to enjoy the gift of creating beauty every day. I love the beauty of creation and the joy being able to be a partner with the Lord in redeeming people and things, restoring their beauty for His glory.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

The only way to be right with God is to accept Christ's sacrifice in our place as the sufficient penalty for our sins. There is no other way. His death alone pays for our sin.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My life purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. God calls us to do that primarily by believing in His provision for our forgiveness, and by inviting us to adore Him in response.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I am saved by God's grace alone. I could never earn my way to heaven based on my own merit. It is only through the redeeming blood of my Savior that I am at peace with God and will be able to one day join Him in glory. God's great mercy spared me from punishment, and His unearned grace granted me salvation.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."

--2 Chron. 16:9

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains."

--Ps. 107:14

Old time math

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You don't give up

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don't give up."

--Anne Lamott
"However contrary it is our our Western cultural commitment to egalitarianism, to insist on a universal application of grace is to violate the character of grace. God’s redemptive grace is a gift, a completely unearned divine favor given out of love.

The giver is always sovereign in the giving of a gift. That is to say, the giver is free to give and free not to give, and he gives the gift to whomever he chooses. The words obligation and gift mutually exclude one another. The common rejection of the doctrine of election in favor of a universally dispensed grace not only denies God the divine prerogative to chose whom he will redemptively love but also makes God’s grace a necessary structure of the world. If grace is an obligation, a structure or an entitlement, it is no longer a gift, and no longer grace.

Redemptive grace is always unexpected, beyond the norm, and out of the ordinary. Grace can never be taken for granted, assumed, or presumed upon. God is never obligated to redeem."

--Michael D. Williams, Far as the Curse is Found, 105.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful."

--John Maeda

Monday, January 11, 2010

Those who hear not

"Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad."

--Source unknown.
"Men indeed ought to be taught that God’s loving-kindness is set forth to all who seek it, without exception. But since it is those on whom heavenly grace has breathed who at length begin to seek after it, they should not claim for themselves the slightest part of His praise. It is obviously the privilege of the elect that, regenerated through the Spirit of God, they are moved and governed by His leading."

--John Calvin

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"I have no hope except that I believe Christ died for my sins. I expect to swing out into eternity on that."

--Michael Card's grandfather

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mission Madagascar

"Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your name forever."

--Psalm 86:11-12

Friday, January 8, 2010

"The heart of most religions is good advice, good techniques, good programs, good ideas, and good support systems. These drive us deeper into ourselves, to find our inner light, inner goodness, inner voice, or inner resources.

Nothing new can be found inside of us. There is no inner rescuer deep in my soul; I just hear echoes of my own voice telling me all sorts of crazy things to numb my sense of fear, anxiety, and boredom, the origins of which I cannot truly identify.

But the heart of Christianity is Good News. It comes not as a task for us to fulfill, a mission for us to accomplish, a game plan for us to follow with the help of life coaches, but as a report that someone else has already fulfilled, accomplished, followed, and achieved everything for us."

--Michael Horton, The Gospel-Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker Books, 2009), 20

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Keep a quiet heart

"I think I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's work. Then one can feel that perhaps one's true work--one's work for God--consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one's day. It is not a waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it is the most important part of the work of the day--the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it."

--Annie Keary
The Lord visits His people and looks on their affliction.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wholesome recreations

"Our leisure, even our play, is a matter of serious concern. There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan. . . . It is a serious matter to choose wholesome recreations."

--C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections, 33-34.

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives."

--Psalms 37:23

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Thou that hast given so much to me give me one thing more, a grateful heart: not thankful when it pleaseth me, as if Thy blessings had spare days, but such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise."
--George Herbert

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tarry content

"And work in me to will and do Thy pleasure
Let all within me, peaceful, reconciled,
Tarry content my Well-Beloved's leisure,
At last, at last, even as a weaned child."

--Amy Carmichael
"Let us take comfort in the thought that the Lord Jesus does not cast off His believing people because of failures and imperfections. He knows what they are. He takes them, as the husband takes the wife, with all their blemishes and defects, and, once joined to Him by faith, will never leave them. He is a merciful and compassionate High priest. It is His glory to pass over the transgressions of His people, and to cover their many sins."

- J.C. Ryle, The Gospel of Mark, 1,857.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How are you righteous before God?

"Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. Although my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all God’s commandments, have never kept any of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of my own, out of mere grace, imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ. He grants these to me as if I had never had nor committed any sin, and as if I myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept this gift with a believing heart."

--The Heidelberg Catechism, question 60.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve Ballroom Dance Party at Perimeter Church

Yet another reason I love my church! I was mostly volunteering at this dance, but I am in the video for a minute at 4:23, on the left. What a delightful way to bring in the New Year!

A classic

Good things come to those who wait on the Lord.

Chatting with my family on Skype

Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

--Romans 12:10-11