Feb 28, 2007

A hymn a day keeps satan away....? Day 3

Last night and this morning I read this same verse in 2 different places of the bible, " How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news!" (in Jeremiah and in Isaiah. And if I'm not mistaken, Paul quotes this same verse in Romans)

This morning I sat down and read my favorite chapter of the bible, Isaiah 53. I was thinking that it would be awesome to write a song from this chapter. And guess what? I opened my church hymnal to pick my, "hymn-a-day" and guess what? I opened to this song:

"Our God Reigns" by Lenny Smith

How lovely on the mountains
are the feet of him
Who bring good news, good news:
Announcing peace,
Proclaiming news of happiness.
Our God reigns, our God reigns!

Our God reigns! Our God reigns!
Our God reigns! Our God reigns!

He had no stately form, He had no majesty
That we should be drawn to Him.
He was despised and we took no account of Him,
Yet now He reigns with the Most High.

Our God reigns! Our God reigns!
Our God reigns! Our God reigns!

It was our sin and guilt
That bruised and wounded Him.
It was our sin that brought Him down.
When we like sheep had gone astray
Our Shepherd came
And on His shoulders bore our shame.

Our God reigns! Our God reigns!
Our God reigns! Our God reigns!

Meek as a lamb that's led out to the slaughterhouse,
Dumb as a sheep before its shearer,
His life ran down upon the ground like pouring rain
That we might be born again.

Our God reigns! Our God reigns!
Our God reigns! Our God reigns!

Out of the tomb He came with grace and majesty;
He is alive, He is alive.
God loves us so, see here His hands, His feet, His side.
Yes, we know He is alive.

Do you recognize these verses? They are from Isaiah 53! And the first verse is the verse that's been popping out everywhere I turn. I wonder what the LORD is trying to tell me? :D

Feb 27, 2007

A hymn a day keeps satan away....? Day 2

This past January, I felt the lowest of low. I lost interest in my favorite things, I was wishing I could end my life, and more seriously, I lost my hope in Christ. The difficult thing is when you know the Truth, and yet, even so, you don't believe that Truth. I didn't believe that Christ could take away my sins or wash away my guilt. I didn't believe He was sanctifying me. I lost my hope in Him; I lost my focus of the cross.

Praise God that my depression has lifted considerably. I'm feeling much more hopeful and have not entertained those sinful thoughts. But there are many, many lessons I learned from my depression. And I know God used that time for the benefit of my sanctification. After all, when we are in the lowest valleys, the power of Christ is seen even more clearly! Remember what the LORD told Paul about his thorn, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." And Paul rejoices, saying, "I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

This depression brought a fruitful of opportunities to cling closer to Christ, as it did in the life of William Cowper. William Cowper is the famous hymn writer of such wonderful hymns such as, "There is a fountain filled with blood" and "God moves in a mysterious way." Cowper spent most of his life suffering from depression. He tried to kill himself a number of times. Never once did he succeed:

"As the time drew nigh, his agony became more and more in­tense; he hoped and be­lieved that mad­ness would come to relieve him; he attempted also to make up his mind to commit su­i­cide, though his conscience bore stern testimony against it; he could not by any argument per­suade himself that it was right, but this des­per­a­tion pre­vailed, and he pro­cured from an apothecary the means of self-destruction. On the day before his public appearance was to be made, he happened to notice a letter in the newspaper, which to his dis­or­dered mind seemed like a ma­lig­nant li­bel on himself. He im­med­i­ate­ly threw down the pa­per and rushed into the fields, de­ter­mined to die in a ditch, but the thought struck him that he might es­cape from the count­ry. With the same vi­o­lence he pro­ceed­ed to make hasty prep­ar­a­tions for his flight; but while he was en­gaged in pack­ing his port­man­teau his mind changed, and he threw him­self into a coach, or­der­ing the man to drive to the Tower wharf, in­tend­ing to throw him­self in­to the ri­ver, and not re­flect­ing that it would be im­poss­i­ble to ac­comp­lish his pur­pose in that pub­lic spot. On ap­proach­ing the wa­ter, he found a por­ter seated upon some goods: he then re­turned to the coach and was con­veyed to his lodg­ings at the Temple
. On the way he at­tempt­ed to drink the laud­a­num, but as oft­en as he raised it, a con­vuls­ive agi­ta­tion of his frame pre­vent­ed it from reach­ing his lips; and thus, re­gret­ting the loss of the op­por­tun­i­ty, but un­a­ble to avail him­self of it, he ar­rived, half dead with an­guish, at his apart­ment. He then shut the doors and threw him­self upon the bed with the laud­a­num near him, try­ing to lash himself up to the deed; but a voice within seemed con­stant­ly to for­bid it, and as of­ten as he ex­tend­ed his hand to the poi­son, his fing­ers were con­tract­ed and held back by spasms.

At this time one of the in­mates of the place came in, but he con­cealed his ag­i­ta­tion, and as soon as he was left alone, a change came over him, and so de­test­a­ble did the deed ap­pear, that he threw away the laud­a­num and dashed the vial to pieces. The rest of the day was spent in heavy insensibility, and at night he slept as usual; but on waking at three in the morning, he took his penknife and lay with his weight upon it, the point toward his heart. It was brok­en and would not pen­e­trate. At day break he arose, and pas­sing a strong gar­ter around his neck, fast­ened it to the frame of his bed: this gave way with his weight, but on securing it to the door, he was more successful, and remained suspended till he had lost all consciousness of existence. After a time the garter broke and he fell to the floor, so that his life was saved.; but the conflict had been greater than his reason could endure. He felt for himself a contempt not to be expressed or imagined; whenever he went into the street, it seemed as if every eye flashed upon him with indignation and scorn; he felt as if he had offended God so deep­ly that his guilt could ne­ver be for­giv­en, and his whole heart was filled with tu­mult­u­ous pangs of despair. Mad­ness was not far off, or rather mad­ness was al­ready come."

It was after these incidents that Cowper wrote my most favorite hymn, "There is a fountain filled with blood:"

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God
be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God
be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

In the midst of depression, Cowper was able to see that Christ could remove his guilt; that Christ's death was sufficient to cleanse him from all of his sins.

I hope that for all of you that might be suffering from depression, that you can see God's Hand in your depression. Nothing in this world happens by chance. If the LORD permits you to have depression, than ask Him to show you what He's teaching you. Be patient, and wait for the LORD. He is sufficient. He is enough.

Feb 26, 2007

A hymn a day keeps satan away....? Day 1

I'm trying to eliminate the word "accident" from my vocabulary. Sure, I do things "accidentally" and sometimes things happen that cause "accidents" but knowing God's sovereignty and providence, I can no longer conclude that things happen "by accident." God is in control....nothing happens without His doing or permission.

Horatio Spafford understood that providence. His 4 daughters were killed when a ship collided with theirs while they were sailing on the Atlantic to Europe. This tragic "accident" inspired him to write the now famous hymn, "It is well with my soul:"

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Can you say these words during your trials? Can you see God's Hand during your sorrows? Praise be to God that there are no such things as accidents! This song has blessed me and has caused me to realize that the LORD sanctifies as He see's fit. And often, that sanctification causes a lot of pain. But God's mercy is new every morning. And because He loves us (believers) He trims the dead branches that hinder His face from view. Because of Spafford's loss, this hymn has comforted many in their losses. I pray that like Spafford, we can all say during our sorrows, "Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Oh my soul!" The LORD is enough! He alone is sufficient.

Feb 22, 2007

Not having a righteousness of my own

"When I speak of growth in grace, I do not for a moment mean that a believer's interest in Christ can grow. I do not mean that he can grow in safety, acceptance with God or security. I do not mean that he can ever be more justified, more pardoned, more forgiven, more at peace with God, than he is the first moment he believes. I hold firmly that the justification of a believer is a finished, perfect and complete work; and that the weakest saint, though he may not know and feel it, is as completely justified as the strongest. I hold firmly that our election, calling, and standing in Christ admit of no degrees, increase or diminution....I would go to the stake, God helping me, for the glorious truth, that in the matter of justification before God every believer is complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)........When I speak of a man growing in grace, I mean simply this -- that his sense of sin is becoming deeper, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, his love more extensive, his spiritual-mindedness more marked. He feels more of the power of godliness in his own heart. He manifests more of it in his life. He is going on from strength to strength, from faith to faith, and from grace to grace...." - J. C. Ryle, 'Holiness'

Amen to that!

You know what I am noticing? As I grow to know Christ each day, the more vile and wretched I see myself. I am convicted over and over again of how sinful I am and how badly I need a Savior. But like John Bunyan rejoiced, I can too, "My righteousness is in Christ!"

I just love that.

Feb 21, 2007

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying

"God told me to do it"

This is probably the most heretical line we could say...UNLESS IT LINES UP WITH SCRIPTURE.

There have been many, many, many people who claim that God told them to do something. "God told me to tell you ______" , "God told me that I shouldn't do ___________" or "God said_________"

It is SO dangerous, so, so, so, so, so, so dangerous to utter these words unless they match up entirely with scripture! And if scripture is silent on whatever it may be that you claim "God" has told you, I plead with you to not attribute it to God!

Great article on the subject: "God told me" by Mark Dever

Feb 20, 2007

Sanctified Tuesday

Since today is the day that most people try and cram in as much sin as they possibly can (uh, makes me sick) I was hoping to change the mood and remind us what we are living for: Jesus Christ. I cannot believe how many GREAT books I've read in the past month. I really hope you might consider some of these for the sake of your edification and sanctification!!

Living the Cross Centered Life: C.J. Mahaney
You can read an excerpt of it here

This is seriously an amazing book. I'm not quite finished with it, but thus far, it has changed me. Al Mohler does the forward in this book and he says, "This book you now hold in your hands is nothing less than a manifesto for turning your world upside down" and that it certainly has. I am convicted and even more appalled and disgusted with my sin. There is a whole new meaning for me when I sing, "I'll never kn
ow how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross." I'm not going to go into detail, because I cannot even explain how much I love it.

Please read the excerpt!!

Amazing Grace in the life of William Wilberforce: John Piper

Did yo
u know you can print out a bunch of Piper books for FREE? Amazing, isn't it? Well, let me recommend printing out "Amazing Grace in the life of William Wilberforce." It is such an awesome biography. William Wilberforce lived his life trying to abolish slavery. Piper does a phenomenal job of telling Wilberforce's story...and guess what? THEY ARE MAKING IT INTO A MOVIE! I cannot believe it! I'm so excited! And apparently Piper had something to do with it, so you know it'll be good.

Great quote
: "If we would....rejoice in [Christ] as triumphantly as the first Christians did; we must learn, like them to repose our entire trust in Him and to adopt the language of the apostle, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus Christ...Who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption" -Wilberforce

The Hidden Smile of God: John Piper
People often say how difficult it is to read Piper. I use to feel that way too, but since reading his biographies, I am beginning to understand him more. In "The Hidden Smile of God" Piper bio's John Bunyan, William Cowper and David Brainerd. This book, unfortunately, is not a free online book, but it's worth the $11.00 price tag. I believe Piper's ministry has a "whatever you can afford"
policy, so there is no excuse not to read this!!

John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd suffered in the midst of their kingdom labors. For Bunyan it was prison and danger for preaching the gospel. For Cowper it was life-long depression and suicidal darkness. For Brainerd it was tuberculosis and the "howling darkness" of American forests. In these three biographies, John Piper explains how their steadfastness through trial sweetened and intensified their song of faith. The stories of how they suffered, how they endured, and how their affliction bore fruit will ignite radical Christian living, God-centered worship, and Christ-exalting mission. Consider their stories and be encouraged that no labor and no suffering in the path of Christian obedience is ever in vain. As Cowper wrote, "Behind a frowning providence God hides a smiling face." -desiringgod.org

Valley of Vision: Arthur G. Bennett

Beautiful, beautiful collection of Puritan prayers! This is not a "prayer book" but a book that can help us learn how to pray. With authors such as Spurgeon and Newton, these prayers are jam packed with scriptural truth. Very humbling and so rich in wisdom. I love them.


Valley of Vision: Sovereign Grace Ministries

This, like the book of prayers, is just as beautiful. Bob Kauflin (as well as other composers) of Sovereign Grace Ministries has adapted the "Valley of Vision" prayers into music. You can hear song samples here.

"The Precious Blood"

Before the cross I kneel and see

The measure of my sin
Here You became a curse for me
Though You were innocent

The magnitude of Your great love

Was shown in full degree

When righteous blood, the crimson spill

Rained down from Calvary

Oh, the precious blood

That flowed from Mercy’s side

Washed away my sin

When Christ my Savior died
Oh, the precious blood
Of Christ the crucified
It speaks for me before Your throne

Where I stand justified

And who am I that I should know

This treasure of such worth

My Savior’s pure atoning blood

Shed for the wrath I’d earned

For sin has stained my every deed

My every word and thought

What wondrous love that makes me one

Your priceless blood has bought

A crown of thorns, pierced hands and feet

A body bruised, and Mercy’s plea

I pray that you all might be edified by these books and music! The LORD is magnificent! I pray we can all see that and say it in TRUTH!

Feb 19, 2007

Double Predestination

The Double-Predestination Distortion

The distortion of double predestination looks like this: There is a symmetry that exists between election and reprobation. God WORKS in the same way and same manner with respect to the elect and to the reprobate. That is to say, from all eternity God decreed some to election and by divine initiative works faith in their hearts and brings them actively to salvation. By the same token, from all eternity God decrees some to sin and damnation (destinare ad peccatum) and actively intervenes to work sin in their lives, bringing them to damnation by divine initiative. In the case of the elect, regeneration is the monergistic work of God. In the case of the reprobate, sin and degeneration are the monergistic work of God. Stated another way, we can establish a parallelism of foreordination and predestination by means of a positive symmetry. We can call this a positive-positive view of predestination. This is, God positively and actively intervenes in the lives of the elect to bring them to salvation. In the same way God positively and actively intervenes in the life of the reprobate to bring him to sin.
This distortion of positive-positive predestination clearly makes God the author of sin who punishes a person for doing what God monergistically and irresistibly coerces man to do. Such a view is indeed a monstrous assault on the integrity of God. This is not the Reformed view of predestination, but a gross and inexcusable caricature of the doctrine. Such a view may be identified with what is often loosely described as hyper-Calvinism and involves a radical form of supralapsarianism. Such a view of predestination has been virtually universally and monolithically rejected by Reformed thinkers.

The Reformed View of Predestination

In sharp contrast to the caricature of double predestination seen in the positive-positive schema is the classic position of Reformed theology on predestination. In this view predestination is double in that it involves both election and reprobation but is not symmetrical with respect to the mode of divine activity. A strict parallelism of operation is denied. Rather we view predestination in terms of a positive-negative relationship.
In the Reformed view God from all eternity decrees some to election and positively intervenes in their lives to work regeneration and faith by a monergistic work of grace. To the non-elect God withholds this monergistic work of grace, passing them by and leaving them to themselves. He does not monergistically work sin or unbelief in their lives. Even in the case of the "hardening" of the sinners' already recalcitrant hearts, God does not, as Luther stated, "work evil in us (for hardening is working evil) by creating fresh evil in us."2 Luther continued:

When men hear us say that God works both good and evil in us, and that we are subject to God's working by mere passive necessity, they seem to imagine a man who is in himself good, and not evil, having an evil work wrought in him by God; for they do not sufficiently bear in mind how incessantly active God is in all His creatures, allowing none of them to keep holiday. He who would understand these matters, however, should think thus: God works evil in us (that is, by means of us) not through God's own fault, but by reason of our own defect. We being evil by nature, and God being good, when He impels us to act by His own acting upon us according to the nature of His omnipotence, good though He is in Himself, He cannot but do evil by our evil instrumentality; although, according to His wisdom, He makes good use of this evil for His own glory and for our salvation.2

Thus, the mode of operation in the lives of the elect is not parallel with that operation in the lives of the reprobate. God works regeneration monergistically but never sin. Sin falls within the category of providential concurrence.

Another significant difference between the activity of God with respect to the elect and the reprobate concerns God's justice. The decree and fulfillment of election provide mercy for the elect while the efficacy of reprobation provides justice for the reprobate. God shows mercy sovereignly and unconditionally to some, and gives justice to those passed over in election. That is to say, God grants the mercy of election to some and justice to others. No one is the victim of injustice. To fail to receive mercy is not to be treated unjustly. God is under no obligation to grant mercy to all — in fact He is under no obligation to grant mercy to any. He says, "I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy" (Rom. 9). The divine prerogative to grant mercy voluntarily cannot be faulted. If God is required by some cosmic law apart from Himself to be merciful to all men, then we would have to conclude that justice demands mercy. If that is so, then mercy is no longer voluntary, but required. If mercy is required, it is no longer mercy, but justice. What God does not do is sin by visiting injustice upon the reprobate. Only by considering election and reprobation as being asymmetrical in terms of a positive-negative schema can God be exonerated from injustice.

Taken from "Double Predestination" by R.C. Sproul

Feb 14, 2007

He does whatever He pleases

"Ah, my reader, the God of Scripture is no make-believe monarch, no mere imaginary sovereign; but King of kings, and Lord of lords! To countless thousands, even among those professing to be Christians, the God of the Scriptures is quite unknown.

The god of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ, than does the dim flickering of a candle, the glory of the
midday sun! The god who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible conferences, is the figment of human imagination, an invention of mushy sentimentality!

The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form gods out of wood and stone; while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a god out of their own carnal mind! In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A god whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity; and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nothing but contempt!

"Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases." Psalm 115:3

"I know that You can do anything, and no plan of Yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2

"The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths." Psalm 135:6

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!" Revelation 19:6"

(Arthur Pink, "The Attributes of God")

Feb 12, 2007

Make your calling and election sure

People often tell me how Michael (my husband) and I are so much alike. And we are, in some respects. I find myself saying his little phrases and doing certain mannerisms that he often does. And I even see him mimicking me in so many different ways it's just hilarious! His laugh is starting to sound like mine! And I say the word "awesome" a lot more since I've met him. I suppose this is bound to happen when you've spent the last 5 years of your life with someone.

So what do you suppose would happen if you spent the last 5 years of your life walking with God?

Don't you think you'd start picking up some mannerisms that are indeed, godly traits? If you are in the Word everyday, wouldn't it be correct to say that you should be becoming more and more like Christ? If we are truly saved, then the answer would be a resounding "Yes!"

This is what baffles me when so-called believers don't think that studying scripture and being in constant communion with God is necessary for a godly life. If we want to be Christ-like, we have to know what He is like. We have to know what He says is godly, what He says is worldly, what He says is sinful, and what He says is pleasing.

Paul and Peter both exhort us to test our faith, making our "calling and election" sure. So if you've been walking with God for 1, 5, 12 or 50 years, there should be some sort of change! No, you will not be perfect or even close enough to equate yourself with equality to Christ. But you will notice certain character traits that are more like His. After all, if you are a true believer, He is living INSIDE of you! So we can have confidence that He will be sanctifying us, and molding our hearts to be more and more like Himself each day we walk with Him.

So I implore you to test your faith right now. Has there been a change? Are you becoming more and more like Him? Since your "conversion" do you see any growth?

If not, I pray that the LORD would show you your salvation, or your unregenerate state. For the sake of His glory, I pray everyone who reads this would know our LORD and be humbled knowing, "that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8.

Feb 9, 2007

The way down is the way up

I was talking to someone last night who was telling me how her employer was pretty bossy (in a snotty sort of way) and how she criticizes everything she does. She told me that she has to pray all day for strength to get through the day without acting out in an ungodly sort of way. I had a thought and said, "Hmm...did you ever think that maybe God put this person in your life to draw you closer to Him?" And she said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Well, maybe God put someone in your life like this so you would depend on Him more. You said you have to pray a lot more to get through the day....well maybe she is in your life so you cling even more closely to Christ."

I thought it was a really awesome idea.

She didn't.

Her exact words were (well, paraphrased) "No, truthfully, I don't agree with that Samantha. I go through so much turmoil in my life outside of work....financial problems, missing my kids, that I don't think I need to be drawn closer to Him because I already have a lot to deal with."

This is such a sad attitude, isn't it? God requires that we give ourselves to Him. Not just at our personal worship time, but at every moment of our day. When everything is going great, when we have successful jobs, lots of friends, a beautiful home, lots of money....well....where is God in all that? When things start going well in my life, I always, ALWAYS notice that I start to get lackadaisical in my prayer life. I don't seek Him like I do when I am feeling low. The believer should seek refuge in Him. When we are blinded by worldly riches, it's hard to see Him.

There is no such thing as "too many" trials. God gives us exactly what we need and enough grace to get us through each day. He never gives us more than we can handle. But God wants to get us to that point where we say, in truth, "Lord, you are sufficient! You are enough! It doesn't matter what happens to me." We can say with Paul, "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of Christ."

So when these little problems come into our lives, consider it a gift from God! He is drawing us closer to Himself.

Consider this:

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley. (Valley of Vision: Puritan Prayers)

Feb 7, 2007

She does him good, not harm

"[Sarah Edwards] uniformly paid a becoming deference to her husband [Jonathan Edwards] and treated him with entire respect, she spared no pains in conforming to his inclinations, and rendering everything in the family agreeable and pleasant: counting it her greatest glory, and that wherein she could best serve God and her generation, to be the means, in this way, of promoting his usefulness and happiness. (Edwards “Works” Banner, Vol 1: xlv)."

I don't know if you've been in a group where there are two people fighting for leadership. It doesn't work out, does it?

As women called by Christ, He's assigned us the task of being helpers. We are to be submissive to our husbands and to our leadership. Submission, however, does not mean inferiority. It's a delight to provide our husbands and leaders the help they need to prosper (when I say prosper, I do not mean in wealth, such as riches, but prosper as in following Christ).

We are not to desire glory for ourselves, but glory for the LORD. So glorify Him with the tasks He's assigned us. "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him" -John Piper

The following link is some of the best encouragement I've heard for women. I pray you are as encouraged as I was.

Sovereign Grace Church: Women's Ministry

And if you desire to learn more about our role as wives, I'd suggest you stop by Stan's blog: Birds of the air

The role of a wife: Part 1
The role of a wife: Part 2
The role of a wife: Part 3
The role of a wife: Summary

Feb 6, 2007

A Tuesday rant

I went to the gym last night. When I went into the locker room, I saw thousands of women just walking around naked. They were in the sauna, the whirlpool, brushing their hair....they were everywhere!

I couldn't get away from them!

All right. Maybe it wasn't thousands. Maybe it was more like 5 or 6. But I'm telling ya, seeing one is too many.

So I must ask, what happened to modesty?

I'm trying to think of a verse to defend my position...but I can't think of one. Maybe someone out there can help me? I know most people would say it's fine as long as it is with the same gender...but come on!

Am I alone in my rant?

Feb 5, 2007

Blog Rules: There are only TWO

1) No swearing

2) No "attacking". It is fine to disagree with someone else's beliefs, to correct and rebuke, to discuss and to edify. As a matter of fact, you can disagree with me all you want!! It's good for my sanctification and yours! However, I will erase any comments that lead to mindless arguments and unedifying discussions.

You might want to read this for more info on godly ways of discussing theology and doctrine.

This site is dedicated to glorifying God. That means glorifying Him with not only our actions and thoughts, but our words.

James 3:1-10

"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water."



The Look

I saw one hanging on a tree in agony and blood
Who fixed His loving eyes on me
As near His cross I stood
And never till my dying breath will I forget that look
It seemed to change me with His death
though not a word he spoke

My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair
I saw my sins His blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there
But with a second look He said
"I freely all forgive
This blood is for your ransom paid
I died that you might live."

Thus while His death my sin displays
For all the world to view
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed

Forever etched upon my mind
Is the look of Him who died
The Lamb I crucified
And now my life will sing the praise
Of pure atoning grace
That looked on me and
gladly took my place

-John Newton (additional lyrics by Bob Kauflin)

Feb 1, 2007

John Bunyan

One day as I was passing into the field . . . this sentence fell upon my soul. Thy righteousness is in heaven. And methought, withal, I saw with the eyes of my soul Jesus Christ at God's right hand; there, I say, was my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me, he wants [lacks] my righteousness, for that was just before [in front of] him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, "The same yesterday, today and, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed. I was loosed from my afflictions and irons; my temptations also fled away; so that from that time those dreadful scriptures of God left off to trouble me; now went I also home rejoicing for the grace and love of God.

-John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners