Evangelist drowns trying to walk on water as reported on World Net Daily may be a hoax or one of those emerging apocryphal stories. The lesson is obvious.
Monthly Archives: August 2006
Just taking a moment to brag about the newest Grandchild. Elaine Victoria arrived on August 26, 2006 and already the little beauty has daddy wrapped around her little fingers. While there will be debate, we believe that EV might be the cutest of all grandbabies!
There has been much talk in my circle about effectively dealing with sin. Oswald Sanders in Problems of Christian Discipleship provides insight as he sees God’s call to Ephraim in Hosea 14:2-4.
First the prophet (God) calls for repentance – “not a vague and general confession but a specific and personal outpouring of a contrite heart.” Individually naming and confessing sin … calling our behavior what it is. He then invites a return to the Lord. Come back! Move away from where you have been. Leave the sin behind. Stop acting the way you have been. Come, be with God. But there also must be a renunciation of entanglements – in Hosea it is alliances with the Assyrians. For us it may mean repudiation of the sinful things we hold to – our pride, our self-righteousness, our “being right,” our image. We must specifically deny the what we hold to instead of God and his Word. Sanders points out that following these actions, then God promises blessings of restored communion with him (in this case, a millennial promise).
Sanders begins the discussion by pointing out that we are often marked by superficiality (a spirit of the age even in 1958) especially in our response to God’s message. “Even when we experience conviction of failure and sin, we do not allow the Holy Spirit to work in us so strongly that we are brought to hate the sin.” So we tend to lightly assent to our sinfulness without seriously dealing with it. We act as if merely making new resolves of our will can take the place of heart repentance and renunciation. Sanders understands that it is not that we don’t want to do the best, the highest, to be obedient. He grants that we usually do mean it when we resolve to do better. Its just that our “resolves are fleeting.”
He also points to a common problem in believers – unconscious deterioration. “It is possible that we are merely keeping up appearances while spiritual atrophy is already far advanced.” In other words, our image is far more important to us that our hearts and without times of serious reflection in the mirror of the Word we might not see it. A good warning to us all – especially in an age where “looking good” has become seemingly all important.
Armor of God PJs … it’s probably just my mood today, but I’m wondering if we couldn’t spend our dollars on something more important. And maybe it trivializes the real nature of spiritual warfare. Watch the first 15 minutes of the Gladiator and let me know if you think these jammies would really protect against the fiery darts of the enemy! Then again, they are flame retardant.
Writely, refurbished and re-launched by Google – it’s new owner might offer some nice offers for collaboration on the cheap. So far it looks like a pretty robust word processor with some great tools – especially for group editing. How long until the gorilla in Redmond adds something to its “live” initiative? And will it be free?
This quote posted at Theopedia has a lot to do with my previous post … among other things.
Recently I’ve been around a lot of discussion about men. How to help them become real men of God who, if married, love their wives well. Almost everyone has an idea of what the church needs to do … almost always they “need to start some kind of program.” Or, we need to learn to be nicer men, or more wild, or more honest, or ….
I think I like what Larry Crabb suggests better.
The only way to be manly is first to be Godly.
The path to authentic manhood is entered through the narrow gate of a single-minded passion to abandon oneself completely to God.
May I suggest that in this Godly, passionate, abandonment that we truly put into practice that words of Scripture that speak to us all. Godliness is “God-likeness” and if the Scriptures are truly the Word of God, then we know that to obey them will lead to Godlikeness. For example, what would it mean to our families if we truly lived out Paul’s words in Philippians:
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2:3-5, ESV).
Or, how would it change us as fathers if we practiced the following with our wives?
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32, ESV)
Of course, that means we need to be truly learning, studying, and reflecting upon the Scriptures. It means that our churches need make the Word central, superseding even the best programs. It means going deep into the word, trusting that God will use it to bring to light who we are so we can be who we want to be.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. ” (Hebrews 4:12-13, ESV)
Christian brothers! Let’s pursue godliness before pursuing “manliness”.