Friday, April 30, 2010

"Jesus is the divine curse-remover and creation-renewer. Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross broke the curse of sin and death brought on by Adam’s cosmic rebellion. His bodily resurrection from the dead three days later dealt death its final blow, guaranteeing the eventual renewal of all things ‘in Christ.’

The dimensions of Christ’s finished work are both individual and cosmic. They range from personal pardon for sin and individual forgiveness to the final resurrection of our bodies and the restoration of the whole world. Now that’s good news—gospel—isn’t it? If we place our trust in the finished work of Christ, sin’s curse will lose its grip on us individually and we will one day be given a renewed creation.

The gospel isn’t only about reestablishing a two-way relationship between God and us; it also restores a three-way relationship among God, his people, and the created order. Through Christ’s work, our relationship with God is restored while creation itself is renewed. This is what theologians mean when they talk about redemption. They’re describing this profound, far-reaching work by God."

--Tullian Tchividjian, Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In our weakness, Christ's strength is revealed.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our dispositions

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."

--Martha Washington
"[Sin] is an expression of hatred against God.  It is tantamount to wishing He were dead."

--John MacArthur, A Tale of Two Sons, pg. 78.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Someday, every thought, intention, and secret of our hearts will be revealed.  Nothing will be hidden or able to be dealt with another day.  Everything will be dealt with in total openness before King, the One who knows absolutely everything.  We judge our hearts now, with as much integrity and honesty as possible, so that that day will not be a fearful one.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Presence of Trees by Michael S. Glaser

I have always felt the living presence
of trees

the forest that calls to me as deeply
as I breathe,

as though the woods were marrow of my bone
as though

I myself were tree, a breathing, reaching
arc of the larger canopy

beside a brook bubbling to foam
like the one

deep in these woods,
that calls

that whispers home

"Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see."

--Corrie Ten Boom

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

--1 Peter 5:10

Friday, April 23, 2010

Strong in will

"We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

--from Ulysses by Alfred,Lord Tennyson.

"Let me learn that the lowly are lifted up
That the broken heart is the healed heart
That to have nothing is to possess everything
That to bear the cross is to wear a crown"

--The Spares, "Valley of Vision."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

After you have suffered a little while

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

--1 Peter 5:10
"We are the first ray of light breaking through into the darkness of a disordered and fractured universe. We are the first sign of a new dawn. The night of Satan’s reign is fading."

--Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church, 67.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sin And Its Cure by John Newton

The worst of all diseases
Is light compared with sin;
On every part it seizes,
But rages most within.
'Tis palsy, plague, and fever,
And madness all combined;
And none but a believer
The least relief can find.

From men great skill professing
I thought a cure to gain,
But this proved more distressing,
And added to my pain.
Some said that nothing ailed me,
Some gave me up for lost;
Thus every refuge failed me,
And all my hopes were crossed.

At length the great Physician--
How matchless is His grace--
Accepted my petition,
And undertook my case.
First gave me sight to view Him--
For sin my eyes had sealed;
Then bade me look unto Him!
I looked, and I was healed.

Don't Dream It's Over by Neil Finn

(The video can't be embedded so I'm just including the link.  This performance of the song is fantastic).

What we doubt

"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."

--C.S. Lewis
"We are called to take His light to a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost for sharing Life with one who's lost?"

--Keith Green

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A must-read article by Melissa Bartick about the two kinds of births in America

Birth number 1: Having a baby in the ideal, family-friendly United States: 
You give birth with the help of a birth doula. She helps you avoid a c-section or vacuum assisted birth, which is why your hospital hired her. Your baby is wiped off, then put directly onto your chest, skin to skin, with his head between your breasts. The nurse puts a blanket around you both, and then your partner cuts the cord. The nurse evaluates his initial transition to life outside the womb as he rests on your chest. As you lay semi-reclining, happy and exhausted, your baby uses his arms and legs to crawl over to your breast and he starts nursing. You and your partner are left undisturbed for an hour to enjoy your new baby, who has now imprinted the proper breastfeeding behaviors thanks to this initial breastfeeding. You are then transported to your post-partum room with your baby on your chest [to read the rest of this article, click here].

Valley of Vision

"Let me learn that the lowly are lifted up
That the broken heart is the healed heart
That to have nothing is to possess everything
That to bear the cross is to wear a crown"

--The Spares, "Valley of Vision."
"The disruption of our own plans is sometimes the very means of God's working out His own."

--Elisabeth Elliot

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We have confidence through Christ toward God.  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Agnus Dei (Adagio for strings) by Samuel Barber

It is the Lord alone who does the work of salvation.  He is the Great Shepherd who searches for His lost sheep, finds it, and carries it home.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"A refusal to educate your daughters is a refusal to educate your grandsons--and that grants dominion to God-haters."

--Douglas Wilson

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young."

--Is. 40:11

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Courage, you that prayerfully work and toil for Christ with smallest of success. It shall not always be this way. Better times are before you. Your eyes cannot see the blissfull future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of your doubts from the glass; look through it and behold the coming glory."

--Charles Spurgeon

Monday, April 12, 2010

God hates sin.  God is angry with the wicked every day.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Arise, My Love by Michael Card

What could be too great a cost?

"We are called to take His light to a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost for sharing Life with one who's lost?"

--Keith Green

Slow & Steady by Sleeping At Last

You carved our initials
Into these family trees.
But when the branches are bare and broken,
Love is so hard to reach.

We've learned to brace for the worst
And to read the last pages first,
Surrender feels safe.

Maybe the soul is the soil that holds the fallen seed,
Or the light pouring down in between the rain clouds,
Daring life to reach;
Or maybe it's the rings in the trunk of the tree,
A birthmark time will leave
To measure the past.

But we can't dream when we're wide awake
Or fall in love with a heart too strong to break.

Faith is expensive to taste,
And time is borrowed loose change
That's already been spent.

Maybe the soul is the tone of voice
That unearthed the words that we needed...

Maybe the soul is a suitcase that holds the backup plan -
A collection of keys and the patience we need
To start again.
Maybe it's the thresholds that swallow us whole
As we learn to let go,
In spite of the dirt on our clothes
The Lord has been very, very gracious to us--far more than we can ask or imagine, and while we deserved none of it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Everything that a man leans upon but God—will be a dart which will certainly pierce his heart through and through. He who leans only upon Christ—lives the highest, choicest, safest and sweetest life."

--Thomas Brooks

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Character cannot be summoned at the moment of crisis if it has been squandered by years of compromise and rationalization. The only testing ground for the heroic is the mundane. The only preparation for that one profound decision which can change a life, or even a nation, is those hundreds of half-conscious, self-defining, seemingly insignificant decisions made in private. Habit is the daily battleground of character."

--Senator Dan Coats

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"We believe the time has come for doing more fully what He has commanded us; and by His grace we intend to do it. Not to try, for we see no Scriptural authority for trying. Try is a word constantly in the mouth of unbelievers, ... far too often taken up by believers. In our experience, 'to try' has usually meant 'to fail.' [The Lord’s] command is not 'Do your best,' but 'DO IT.'"

--Hudson Taylor

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden."

--C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow."

--Martin Luther

Monday, April 5, 2010

"When I say that God is the Gospel I mean that the highest, best, final, decisive good of the gospel, without which no other gifts would be good, is the glory of God in the face of Christ revealed for our everlasting enjoyment. The saving love of God is God’s commitment to do everything necessary to enthrall us with what is most deeply and durably satisfying, namely himself. Since we are sinners and have no right and no desire to be enthralled with God, therefore God’s love enacted a plan of redemption to provide that right and that desire. The supreme demonstration of God’s love was the sending of his Son to die for our sins and to rise again so that sinners might have the right to approach God and might have the pleasure of his presence forever."

- John Piper, God is the Gospel, pg. 13-14.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"If we are to be kingdom-announcers, modeling the new way of being human, we are also to be cross bearers. This is a strange and dark theme that is also our birthright as followers of Jesus. Shaping our world is never for a Christian a matter of going out arrogantly thinking we can just get on with the job, reorganizing the world according to some model we have in mind. It is a matter of sharing and bearing the pain and puzzlement of the world so that the crucified love of God in Christ may be brought to bear healingly upon the world at exactly that point… Because, as he himself said, following him involves taking up the cross. We should expect, as the New Testament tells us repeatedly, that to build on his foundation will be to find the cross etched into the pattern of our life and work over and over again."

--N.T. Wright

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A whole awful lot

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not."

--Dr. Seuss

Friday, April 2, 2010

"The deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done."

--Elizabeth Elliot

Thursday, April 1, 2010


"God sets the lonely in families."

--Psalm 68:6
"God sets the lonely in families."

--Psalm 68:6