Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Part II: What Wisdom Is

Once again, Packer's thoughts on the matter:

Realism Needed
We ask again: what does it mean for God to give us wisdom? What kind of gift is it?

If another transportation illustration may be permitted, it is like being taught to drive. What matters in driving is the speed and appropriateness of your reactions to things and the soundness of your judgment as to what scope a situation gives you. You do not ask yourself why the road should narrow or screw itself into a dogleg wiggle just where it does, nor why that van should be parked where it is, nor why the driver in front should hug the crown of the road so lovingly; you simply try to see and do the right thing in the actual situation that presents itself. The effect of divine wisdom is to enable you and me to do just that in the actual situation of everyday life.

To drive well, you have to keep your eyes skinned to notice exactly whats in front of you. To live wisely, you have to be clear-sighted and realistic -- ruthlessly so -- in looking at life as it is. Wisdom will not go with comforting illusions, false sentiment, or the use of rose-colored glasses. Most of us live in a dream world, with out heads in the clouds and our feet off the ground; we never see the world, and our lives in it, as they really are. This deep-seated, sin-bred unrealism is one of the reason why there is so little wisdom among us -- even the soundest and most orthodox of us...

But what... is wisdom? "Fear God and keep His commandments" (eccl. 12:13); trust and obey him, reverence him, worship him, be humble before him, and never say more than you mean and will stand to when you pray to him (5:17); do good (3:12); remember that God will some day take account of you (11:9, 12:14), so eschew, even in secret, things of which you will be ashamed when they come to light at God's assizes (12:14). Live in the present, and enjoy it thoroughly (7:14, 9:7-10, 11:9-10); present pleasures are God's good gifts. Though Ecclesiastes condemns flippancy (7:4-6), he clearly has no time for the super spirituality which is too proud or too pious ever to laugh and have fun. Seek grace to work hard at whatever life calls you to do (9:10), and enjoy your work as you do it (2:24, 3:12-13, 5:18-20, 8:15). Leave to God its issues; let him measure its ultimate worth; your part is to use all the good sense and enterprise at your command in exploiting the opportunities that lie before you (11:1-6).

This is the way of wisdom. Clearly, it is just one facet of the life of faith. For what underlies and sustains it? Why, the conviction that the inscrutable God of providence is the wise and gracious God of creation and redemption. We can be sure that the God who made this marvelously complex world order, and who compassed the great redemption from Egypt, and who later compassed the even greater redemption from sin and Satan, knows what he is doing, and "doeth all things well," even if for the moment he hides his hand. We can trust him and rejoice in him, even when we cannot discern his path. Thus the preacher's way of wisdom boils down to what was expressed by Richard Baxter:

Ye saints, who toil below,
Adore your heavenly King,
And onward as ye go
Some joyful anthem sing.
Take what He gives,
And praise Him still
Through good and ill
Who ever lives.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cinderalla Man

For all you naysayers out there. I think you know who you are...


Part I: What Wisdom is Not

The Following is an excerpt from J.I. Packer's book "Knowing God."

What Wisdom is Not
But what sort of thing is God's gift of wisdom? What effect does it have on a person? Here many go wrong. We can make clear the nature of their mistake by an illustration.

If you stand at the end of a platform at York Station, you can watch a constant succession of engine and train movements which, if you are a railway enthusiast, will greatly fascinate you. But you will only be able to form a very rough and general idea of the overall plan in terms of which all these movements are being determined.

If, however, you are privileged enough to be taken by one of the higher-ups into the magnificent electrical signal box that lies athwart platforms 7 and 8, you will see on the longest wall a diagram of the entire track layout for five miles on either side of the station, with little glowing worm lights moving or stationary on the different tracks to show the signalmen at a glance where every engine and train is. At once you will be able to look at the whole situation through the eyes of those who control it: you will see from the diagram why it was that this train had to be signaled to a halt, and that one diverted from its normal running line, and that one parked temporarily in a siding. The why and the wherefore of all these movements becomes plain once you can see the overall position.

Now, the mistake that is commonly made is to suppose that this is an illustration of what God does when he bestows wisdom: to suppose, in other words, that the gift of wisdom consists in a deepened insight into the providential meaning and purpose of events going on around us, an ability to see why God has done what he has done in a particular case, and what he is going to do next. People feel that if they were really walking close to God, so that he could impart wisdom to them freely, then they would, so to speak, find themselves in the signal-box; they would discern the real purpose of everything that happened to them and it would be clear to them every moment how God was making all things work together for the good. Such people spend much time poring over the book of providence, wondering why God should have allowed this or that to take place, whether they should take it as a sign to stop doing one thing and start doing another, or what they should deduce from it. If they end up baffled, they put it down to their own lack of spirituality.

Christians suffering from depression, physical, mental or spiritual may drive themselves almost crazy with this kind of futile inquiry. For it is futile. Make no mistake about that.

I definitely found myself relating to the illustration above. Too often I think that I am specially privileged by God to make sense of His plan. This is extreme pride on my part and this type of thought process must be mortified quickly.

Tomorrow I will post what Dr. Packer has to say about what wisdom is.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Trust in Him at ALL Times

Psalm 62:8-“Trust in him at ALL times, O people; pour out you heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

This is one of my favorite verses on trusting God. Charles Spurgeon has broken this verse down and shown me the real meaning of it….

“Trust in Him”- To trust in God is to cast our burden on the Lord, when it is too heavy for our own shoulder. In a word, trust in God is that high act of exercise of faith whereby the should, looking upon God is lifted up above carnal fears and discouragements. The holy duty is indeed never out of season.

“At all times”- I might mention many times in which we might trust in the Lord, but they are comprised in this little word “all,” and a precious word it is. When you are full of fears, then you shall bring the little word “all” unto him, and say, I have nothing to encourage me to come to thee but that precious little word, “all.”

“Pour out your heart”- The word “pour” plainly signifies that the heart is full of grief, and almost afraid to empty itself before the Lord. What does he say to you? “Come and pour out all your trouble before me.” He is never weary with hearing the complaints of his people; therefore you should go and keep nothing back; tell him everything that hurts you, and pour “all you complaints into his merciful bosom.” Make him your counselor and friend; you cannot please him better then when your hearts rely wholly upon him.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Make sure you watch this video all the way to the end.


Giving Thanks

"Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks unto the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son"

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I thought it would be a perfect time to write about thankfulness and contentment. It's an original idea I know! I realize that I can far too often complain about what I don't have, instead of focusing on all that I have been given by our gracious God. In one of her books, Elisabeth Elliot said that, "Thanksgiving brings contentment." It's true that gratefulness is a great way to foster contentment! And the number one thing I should be grateful for is my salvation.

"My heart is never satisfied. I always want more. I've learned good gifts alone don't bring contentment. Well, maybe for a while, but not for a lifetime. Not even gifts from God. They alone don't satisfy. Plus, gifts can be taken away. What then?
Although it's right for me to be thankful for all the gifts God has given me in good health, a loving family, food, and so on, there is something more that I must be most thankful for. Christ Himself. Nothing satisfies like the ultimate gift of Christ, given through His work of salvation. There is nothing else I should be more grateful for, and nothing else that can bring about soul-deep contentment, no matter what the circumstances of life may hurl at me." - Danielle Ayers Jones

If I woke up on Thanksgiving morning to the worst circumstances possible, could I still be thankful? Like Job, who lost everything, could I still praise God? I hope so! I hope that my contentment lies in the arms of my heavenly Father and not in the things of this world. Tomorrow when I wake up I hope my first thoughts are not how excited I am about the impending feast a few hours away, but how grateful I am in knowing that I have been saved from eternal wrath, judgment and separation from God. Without that truth, nothing else matters.

"If I should suffer need,
and go unclothed, and be in poverty,
make my heart prize thy love,
know it, be constrained by it,
though I be denied all blessings."
- A Puritan Prayer -


Monday, November 19, 2007

A Good Wife...

Ryan sent this to me by email the other day. I laughed for the entire read. I think you girls will really appreciate this ;) It comes from the 1955 Housekeeping Monthly on what makes a good Housewife. Interested already? Read and weep:

The Good Wife's Guide:

1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. this is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people!

3. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives

5. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper ect. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.

6. Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

7. Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet

8. Be happy to see him.

9. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

10. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first -- remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

11. Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

12. Your goal: try and make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

13. Don't greet him with complaints and problems

14. Don't complain if he is home late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

15. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

16. Arrange his pillow and offer to take of his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

17. Don't ask him about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

18. A good wife always knows her place.

Now thats my kind of woman ;) On a more serious note, though some of this is excessive, I think (very tentatively) that this article does offer some good pointers on how wifes can serve their husbands. Most likely this article would offend many women in today's world, but I believe their is some scriptural support for it.
If you examine the structure of such passages as Proverbs 31 or Titus 2, the language very much falls into place with the concept of this article. Please don't misunderstand me, I am not advocating some of the lines such as "his topics of conversation are more important than yours", all I am saying is that if both husband and wife alike have servant oriented dispositions toward each other it establishes a foundation of Christ-like love that will lead to a God glorifying marriage.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Wedgie-Proof Underwear... Oh Yes

I would so wear these

(HT:Denny Burk)


Thursday, November 15, 2007


(*Clearing Throat)

I was shackeld, chained, content there to be,
But by your will you chose that I should go free,
It is by the blood of your only begotten,
That you have reminded me, and I have not forgotten,
Of the price that has indebted me so,
That has raised me, saved me, and allowed me to know,
The one and true God in all His majesty,
It is by His grace that now I am redeemed.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stored Up Protection

"The Word of God is one of the most vital agents of sanctification in the life of a believer. Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17) God's word has the power to protect us from sin and to purify us when we do sin. David understood the necessity and value of the scripture in his pursuit of godliness. "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word...I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (Psalm 119:9,11)" - Holiness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

If I am serious about growing in godliness, I should be serious about storing God's word in my heart. I am sometimes scared of myself, because I know how prone my flesh is to sin. How prone my heart is to wander. But God has provided me with something to help guard myself! He says that His word has the power to protect us. The power to help keep my way pure. The power to help me not sin against a Holy God. How kind of the Lord to provide His children with such a means of grace! I am painfully aware of my need to steep myself in the scriptures in a deeper way. The following quote convicted me greatly and also encouraged my to step up my pursuit of God through His word in order to grow in holiness and bring Him glory.

"Mark it down - your progress in holiness will never exceed your relationship with the Word of God." Holiness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss


"I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, 'You are mine and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself.' My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not the freedom of the will."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Grace of God and the Merit of Christ

“Though the grace of God and the merit of Christ are not the same, they always go together in our relationship with God. We cannot experience one without the other. In terms of order, God’s grace comes first. It was because of His grace that God the Father sent His only Son to die in our place. To say it another way, Christ’s death was the result of God’s grace; grace is not the result of Christ’s death. But it is also true that our experience of God’s grace is made possible only by the death of Christ. God is gracious, but He is also just in an absolute sense; that is, His justice cannot overlook the least infraction of His holy law. Because Christ completely satisfied the justice of God, we can now experience the grace of God. Yeas ago I heard a simple acronym of grace expressing this relationship: Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s expense.” -Jerry Bridges-

Ephesians 2:4-7-“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved and raised us up with his and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

"God’s grace shall never be wanting to those who sincerely desire to know and do their duty… The increase of gold lowers the value of it, but the increase of grace advances its price. The more men have of that, the more they value it." -Matthew Henry-

Heavenly Father, As another day has gone by I am once again astonished by your kindness and faithfulness to me. I pray that I would value Your great grace above ALL else. May I be someone that is satisfied and touched by Your grace ALL the days of my life.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Hey How Are You?

When you write a letter, how do you normally begin? "hey whats up guys!", "I hope your doing well", "Life is good here." Something along those lines right? Well, Paul took a slightly different approach to his greetings in letters. As a matter of fact, In his letter to the Romans, the last thing he does in his greeting is greet the Romans!

Paul uses his opening statements to pack in more theology and doctrine than we do in all our letters combined. Within the first seven verses, 132 words and 18 lines of Romans Paul establishes numerous thesis that he later goes on to explain in greater detail. Oh ya, he did it all in one sentence :) (in case you didn't know it, Paul is the king of run-on-sentences).

Here is a list of just some of the content in his greeting:

1. He acknowledges himself to be a servant of Christ
2. The doctrine of election
3. His particular calling to preach the gospel
4. The faithfulness of God
5. The fulfillment of prophecies concerning Jesus Christ
6. The incarnate deity of Christ
7. Faith in future grace
8. The purpose of Christs sacrifice
9. The Glory of God
10. The majesty of God
11. Adoption
12. The proof of Christ's existence through the scriptures
13. Salvation
14. His greeting to the Romans

Did I mention Paul did it in one sentence?


"New Look, Same Great Taste"

Ok, the reason that I have not voiced my opinion on the new template is because I wanted to have substantial time to pray and seek God about this new look. Just Kidding. It is because I have been too lazy. But, with that said I would like to give my opinion on the new look. I think that a change in the blog could not have come at a better time. I believe God controls all things, even blog templates. In light of the recent changes to the Singles Homegroup I could not think of a more appropriate time for a fresh start to the blog also. Although the change to the template probably won't have quite as big of an effect as changing homegroups will, you never know what might happen. I am sure that although there is a new look to the blog, the same great content will stay the same. And also, although the homegroup has changed we all will give ourselves as fully to our new homes as we did to the old one. Here's to change in look and location but not to beliefs or passion.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What do you think??

What does EVERYONE think of the new look? Good or bad? comment below on if you like it or not.

Make No Distinction

Inherent within ourselves (due to sin) is the natural tendency to compare ourselves to others either by looks, character or even spirituality. Don't deny it, it happens every day. Your at work and you make a mental note as to how annoying "he" is. Your driving in your car and you subtly glance to your right and left at a stop light to check for any signs of good-looking girls. Once you realize that she is a 4 on your 1-10 scale you quickly shrink back into your seat and hope she didn't think you were checking her out. Its easy for me to describe this scenario because it is personal for me. I have done it many times before. Everyday I make judgments and distinctions on how people look and the way they act. However, this doesn't make it right.

Our standard of judgment should be that which God commands us to in Scripture:

"Make no distinction." (Acts 11:12)
"Judge not, that you be not Judged" (Matthew 7:1)

Clearly, when we judge others we are in outright sin and rebellion toward God. In His grace, when he called us, Paul says that "he made no distinction". there was nothing inherent in us that caused God to choose us or to not choose others. It was based solely on His will and His glory. If God makes "no distinction" then how can we? (I understand that there may be differences here but we can still draw some conclusions to this parallel).

In the book of Acts, when for the first time Peter shares the Gospel with the Gentiles, he is severely rebuked by his fellow Jews for associating with the uncircumcised. Peter's response was examplery to say the least:

"As I began to speak (to the Gentiles), the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, 'John baptized with water, but you will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?"

The Spirit had told Peter to go with the Gentiles because he was to "make no distinction." Once the apostles heard this they followed suit by saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life." The real question that I had to ask myself after I read this was, "have I made the same mistake as the Jews initially did? have I made some people out to be Gentiles in my life?"

God forbid that this would happen often, but unfortunately it does. Many times, by just the simple smallest judgments I make a distinction between someone. This is an immense roadblock for sharing the gospel with others and being that incarnate love to them that Christ was to us. This is what we call a "bridge burner." What could have been an opportunity to share, has now become an obstacle to evangelism.

Every time I make a distinction I am telling God that his plan for salvation is flawed. "Clearly he is not chosen Lord", "Obviously she is not included in your redeeming love." how stupid does this sound?! Yet it happens every day by Christians everywhere, including myself.

I pray that we have the same attitude as Peter did 2000 years ago. It is vitally important that we see everyone as sinners who are in desperate need of a Saviour. When we say that "maybe he needs it more than she does" or vice versa, we are playing the fool. Pray to God for grace that we may treat everyone as He has so mercifully treated us. Pray that God will grant us opportunities to share the abundance of wealth that has been so graciously given to us without distinction.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Haven’t You Been Good

The Lord has recently answered many prayers that I’ve needed answered for quite some time now and all I can think of is, LORD YOU HAVE BEEN SO GOOD TO ME!!! The song below has been on my mind a lot…..

Thank You for the Cross
Thank You Lord for drawing me
Out of millions lost
Thank You Lord for saving me
Haven't You been good
Haven't You been so good

Glory to Your name, glory to
Your holy name
Thankfulness and praise
For grace and mercy never changing
Haven't You been good
Haven't You been so good to me

Favor on my life
Always watching over me
My darkness turned to light
And heaven's arms enfolding me
Haven't You been good
Haven't You been so good

Out of millions lost
Thank You Lord for saving me!

I can’t imagine where I would be today without a savior. He has once again been SO faithful to me!

Exodus 34:6-7 “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love for thousands.’”


Saturday, November 3, 2007

J.I Packer on the Bewildering Moments in Life

"We may be frankly bewildered at things that happen to us, but God knows exactly what he is doing, and what he is after, in his handling of our affairs. Always, and in everything, he is wise: we shall see that hereafter, even where we never saw it here (Job in heaven knows the full reason why he was afflicted, though he never knew it in this life). Meanwhile, we ought not to hesitate to trust his wisdom, even when he leaves us in the dark.

But how are we to meet these baffling and trying situations, if we cannot for the moment see God's purpose in them? First, by taking them as from God, and asking ourselves what reactions to them, and in them, the gospel of God requires of us; second, by seeking God's face specifically about them.

If we do these two things, we shall never find ourselves wholly in the dark as to God's purpose in our troubles. We shall always be able to see at least as much purpose in them as Paul was enabled to see in his thorn in the flesh (whatever it was). It came to him, he tells us, as a "messenger of Satan," tempting him to hard thoughts of God. He resisted this temptation and sought Christ's face three times, asking that it might be removed. The only answer he had was this, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." On reflection, he perceived a reason why he should have been thus afflicted: it was to keep him humble, "to keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations." This thought, and Christ's word, were enough for him. He looked no further. Here is his final attitude: "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Cor 12:7-9)."

J.I Packer "Knowing God"