Thursday, May 31, 2007
What a privledge it was to be able to hear men like Josh Harris, Eric Simmons, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, C.J Mahaney, and John Piper speak with one particular topic in focus. Discernment.
The messages can all be downloaded for free here at Sovereign Grace Ministries online book store. Use this wealth of knowledge and sound Biblical teaching to grow in God and apply truth to your life.
Here are the top 20 Highlights of the Trip for me:
1. My horrible failure to anoint the group with prayer at the beginning of the trip. (God's way of humbling me I think)
2. Writing on the cars.
3. Getting to ride in the front seat the entire way there and back. (Big-bird needs to spread his wings)
4. Having great biblical fellowship and discussion almost the entire way up and back. (Thank You ladies)
5. Taking way too many pictures.
6. The occasional head-butt of too many hunters. (catching my drift?)
7. Jonathan and Nathan's "Showdown in the Shower". (I died laughing and I wasn't even there)
8. "birrrr, birrrr, birrrr" (guys only)
9. Observing and unfortunately participating in "The Game". (I'm so sorry Kevin)
10. Meeting new people.
11. Finding out what God is doing in other peoples lives. (isn't it amazing to see that God is working with as much care in others life as your own?)
12. Hearing all of the wonderful preaching.
13. Getting not one but TWO hugs from Josh Harris. (Kaleb was a close second)
14. Worship. (never fails does it?)
15. Cramming all seven guys into one hotel room to save money. (thank you for the negotiating skills Kevin)
16. Saving Seats. (I almost lost my life twice)
17. Not Junk food. (we are never doing "Wal-Mart" again)
18. The foot stomping thing in the bleachers. (I wonder if you can hear it on the audio?)
19. Ryan and Kaleb getting Al Mohlers cell-phone number.
20. Being served so wonderfuly by the humble ladies in our group. Your humble servant-hood and never ending patience made leading you and serving you, a joy and a blessing.
-Kyle (but the last one is from all of the Men)-
Thursday, May 17, 2007
–verb (used with object)
1. to recall to the mind by an act or effort of memory; think of again:
2. to retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of:
3. to have (something) come into the mind again:
Remember, is a verb. It’s an action. Not a passive pursuit. But day after day, hour by hour, minute by minute I forget to remember God. If God’s anointed kings in the Old Testament are plagued with forgetting God, how then is someone like me to survive this snare? Even King David, a man after God’s own heart, was fully aware of the temptations to forget and the importance of remembering.
Psalm 88:12Are your wonders known in the darkness,or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
Psalm 102:4My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;I forget to eat my bread.
Psalm 137:5If I forget you, O Jerusalem,let my right hand forget its skill!
Psalm 106:21They forgot God, their Savior,who had done great things in Egypt,
Psalm 22:27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD,and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
Psalm 77:11I will remember the deeds of the LORD;yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
God instructs His people continually to remember Him. And there are no little consequences in failing to obey this commandment. But there are indeed great rewards for obeying it. How patient and merciful a God we serve that puts up with us, even though we forget about Him more times than not.
Numbers 15:39And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after.
Deuteronomy 4:9"Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.
Sometimes, when life gets busy, I can put God on the back burner. I will rush through my devotions and reading His word, or worse, not do them at all. But God has been impressing on my heart the question, “Are you willing to take the risk of forgetting?” Everyday I let pass that I don’t study the Bible or let my thoughts dwell on the Lord, I forget a little bit more. But my thoughts aren’t just ebbing away to the point where there will be nothing left, they’re being replaced by something. The lies of the world and cravings of our own heart. If we aren’t purposeful to fill our thoughts with the truths of God, then sin is sure to be close behind. Forgetfulness is no small phenomenon as seen in the Old Testament passages. It is at the heart of disobedience, idolatry, pride, and destruction. Why would anyone forget God? The writer of Deuteronomy suggests that pride is the key to comprehending why we forget the one who is unforgettable (8:14). Yet is the matter as simple as this one word? It is both simple and wildly complex. Pride is a word that implies we wish to see ourselves as self-sufficient, needing no one and nothing outside of ourselves for our existence. We forget God because to remember him is to be stripped of our presumption of independence, control, and self-centeredness. So, in order to help fight against forgetfulness, we must humble ourselves, knowing that we will never be able to succeed without His help. I am thankful that God has presently given me a passion to read His word and spend time with Him and I hope that if I even detect the slightest hesitancy to read His word or follow Him, that I will quickly recount the works and wonders of the Lord, “lest I forget”.
“Lord, thank you for Your mercies that are new every morning and Your patience with a forgetful people. May I keep Your works ever before me and be inclined to remember You rather than forget You. Amen”
- Imitate God
- Distrust your heart
- Think biblically
- Involve others
- Decide to worship
Hebrews 5:14 says, "Solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.""Notice something in this passage: There's no mention of gray. There's good, and there's evil. And how do you tell the difference? Discernment. Just because something is fuzzy or unclear to us doesn't mean it's fuzzy or unclear to God.
If we're honest we'll all admit we need to grow in discernment. But how? "
These messages and articles are a great tool to learn how to live, in the power of the grace given to us, discerning and God glorifying lives.
Monday, May 14, 2007
C.S. Lewis on why we enjoy reading:
The nearest I have yet got to answer is that we seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves. Each of us by nature sees the whole world from one point of view with a perspective and a selectiveness peculiar to himself. And even when we build disinterested fantasies, they are saturated with, and limited by, our own psychology. To acquiesce in this particularity on the sensuous level—in other words, not to discount perspective—would be lunacy. We should then believe that the railway line really grew narrower as it receded into the distance. But we want to escape the illusions of perspective on higher levels too. We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own. We demand windows. Literature as Logos is a series of windows, even of doors. One of the things we feel after reading a great work is “I have got out.” Or from another point of view, “I have got in”; pierced the shell of some other monad and discovered what it is like inside.
Literature enlarges our being by admitting us to experiences not our own. They may be beautiful, terrible, awe-inspiring, exhilarating, pathetic, comic, or merely piquant. Literature gives the entree to them all. Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom realize the enormous extension of our being that we owe to authors. We realize it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense, but he inhabits a tiny word. In it, we should be suffocated. My own eyes are not enough for me. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. Very gladly would I learn what face things present to a mouse or bee. In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in a Greek poem, I see with a thousand eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
C. S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965), 137–141. Cited in Jerram Barrs's essay, Christianity and the Arts.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Thumping, bumping from nowhere—louder, deeper, unmistakable,
Now from everywhere—pounding, roaring, bursting into my
unprotected being, uninvited, unstoppable.
A rolling, prowling object
radiating meanness, rudeness, crudeness, lewdness.
Sonic stench of thick machine noise
Putrid pulsations penetrating the unwary sensorium.
Nowhere to hide
No shield to wield
No escape from the quake.
Vibrations vitiating body and soul
No cover for the ears
It roars in through the pores,
the spores of sonic death,
At last, the beastly roar retreats
from the scene of the cultural crime.
The wounded remain
dazed, angry, helpless
On it thunders, to terrorize, victimize all in its audio wake
More sensoria to scuttle
down the wretched road
plundering peace, ravaging reason,
ear by ear, soul by soul.
profitable, popular, poisonous
Nowhere to be seen or heard or feared or hated
inthe Kingdom that is to come!