24 December 2007

Abouts:
It’s Christmas season, everyone’s on break, spend time with friends and family

Articles:
I highly encourage everyone who comes here to read this short article on “How to Spend a Day with God (Pure Church),” in a world where we are rushed to get busy/look busy every second or every minute, we need to constantly be in a state of worship to God

Can you imagine when asking for the father’s permission to marry his daughter you get a no, twice: “You can’t marry my daughter (Prodigal Jon)”

3 Reasons to Memorize Scripture (The Blazing Center)

Interview with John MacArthur, a nice insight into the life of MacArthur (Pulpit Magazine)

Straight Answers to Fox’s 21 Questions about the Mormon Church (Parchment and Pen) “FOXNews.com today (18 Dec) published 21 questions that it says represent ‘some widely held beliefs and misconceptions about Mormonism’ and answers provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since some (not all) of the Church’s answers were less than forthright, I will offer straight answers to the same questions.”

Readings:
2007 TSS Books of the Year Award (The Shepherd’s Scrapbook)

Videos:

Verses:
Ephesians 4:5
“One Lord”

“The Lord Jesus is the one Head, as He is the one Foundation, of the Church. All believers are chosen in Christ, blessed in Christ, saved in Christ, preserved in Christ, and in Christ will be glorified. The work of Christ is the one resting-place of their souls. They rely for pardon upon the same blood, for acceptance upon the same righteousness, and for sanctification upon the same grace. One in Christ, all other differences and distinctions are merged and forgotten: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’

What a uniting truth is this! Jesus is the one Head of life, light, and love, to all His saints. He carried the transgression of all, He bore the curse of all, He endured the hell of all, He pardons the sin of all, He supplies the need of all, He soothes the sorrows of all, and He lives and intercedes for all. To Him all alike repair, it is true, with different degrees of knowledge and of faith, and from different points; yet, to Jesus, as to one Savior, one Brother, one Lord, they all alike come.

Oh! what a cementing principle is this! The body of Christ- the purchase of the same blood, loved with the same affection, and in heaven represented by the same Advocate, and soon, oh, how soon, to be ‘gloried together’ with Him. What love, then, ought I to bear towards him whom Jesus has so loved! (Of First Importance)”

– Octavius Winslow, Morning Thoughts (March 23)

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17 December 2007

Abouts:
It’s sad but you can kind of tell how much I didn’t want to study from this post

Articles/Thoughts:
Talking to People Rather than About Them (Desiring God), reading Respectful Sins has truly opened my eyes more to the world of sin I live in and has helped me recognize those sins in my life that I “tolerate.” It really goes back to the old repeated saying where how big your view of God is, is reflected through your life dealing with sin, and it’s so true. How holy of a God you have in mind, is reflected on how you think about sin. Is your God holy enough to say gossiping is not acceptable? Is your God holy enough to say that that pride you feel is evil? Is your God holy enough to say that calling someone fat is totally and utterly unacceptable? Do we repent when we talk behind someone’s back, do we repent when we think angry thoughts? How holy is your God?

Audios:
I think I should say a little bit more to entice you to listen to the music, to continue with the indie trend: Ingrid Michaelson, she has somewhat of an playful tone, a rockish edge sometimes shows up, but she has a nice smooth voice (keep in mind I am not a music reviewerer)

Crazy thing is all of them (Meiko, Priscilla Ahn, and Ingrid Michaelson) play regularly at The Hotel Cafe in LA, which is not where I discovered them, but when I turn 21 I will definitely head over there

Randoms:
Alarm clocks to lust after but to get angry over, if you actually owned them, my favorite would probably be the Rug Alarm, worst would be the decorating one

Rejected Star Wars toys, my favorite is the Force

25 Skills Every Man Should Know, not really, but interesting for what it is

This week’s Desiring God sale is on there Don’t Waste your Life Group Study Kit

Readings:
Her is an updated list of books Monergism suggests are Top Ten Books on Piety, Sanctification, Spiritual Growth

Videos:

Verses/Thoughts:
Philippians 3:18-21
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Looking through photos and notes and what-not on facebook, distracting myself from my studies, I found myself looking at friends who have once, maybe still do, consider themselves Christian seeing what they are doing now and how far they have gone in life. I found myself not so surprised but saddened, seeing them loving the world and everything that comes with it, playing Beer Pong, relaxing with a nice cigarette while proudly making out with their friend. (Even as it is only through facebook I see this, sometimes the subtle areas of life show the most change in someone’s life, as it is usually not a 180 turn at one specific moment, but a gradual change by change) I kept digging deeper and still more friends down that same hole, but then I looked at myself didn’t see anything too different. I am a wretched sinner that needs Christ as much as my friends do. You know the only difference I see that this passage clearly states is that we (Christians), “await a Savior.” We are looking forwards to the end, where God will be glorified through us. We need to live a life that isn’t of this world, we need to act knowing this is not our home, we need to speak as if Christ is coming in the next second, we need to “await” for our Savior, because He is the only one able to “transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body.” Sola Deo Gloria, because we sure shouldn’t have any.


10 December 2007

Abouts:
Officially typing with one hand now, anesthesia is not fun

There is probably other stuff I wanted to write, but with everything happening around me right now there isn’t much time

Ready to go home, hope driving with one hand is not illegal

If you didn’t notice Prodigal Jon left a comment…

Articles:
Mark Dever on the Five Points of Criticism, we know how to be critics, we know how to tell people what they are doing wrong, but do we know how to do it in a God glorifying manner

Ask People How You Can Pray for Them

Another person’s interpretation of what the calling of a pastor should look like

Audios:
I guess I am in my folk/chick music phase right now, Priscilla Ahn

Randoms:
Resolved 2008, same speakers as last year plus… Randy Alcorn

Desiring God is having an advent sale, where they will have an item per week for sale, last week was the book Battling Unbelief, and this week is the DVD package, Brothers—Feel, Think, Preach God 

Readings:
Taken from Pure Church:

“What the world dismisses as sheer foolishness, the foolishness of God, proves ‘wiser than man’s wisdom’ (1 Cor. 1:25). What the world writes off as hopeless weakness, the weakness of God, proves ‘stronger than man’s strength’ (1:25). This is much more radical than saying that God has more wisdom than human beings, or that he is stronger than human beings–as if we are dealing with mere degrees of wisdom and power. Now, we are dealing with polar opposites. Human ‘wisdom’ and ‘strength’ are, from God’s perspective, rebellious folly and moral weakness. And the moment when God most dramatically discloses his own wisdom and strength, the moment when his own dear Son is crucified–although it is laughed out of court by the tawdry ‘wisdom’ of this rebellious world, by the pathetic ‘strength’ of the self-deceived–is nevertheless the moment of divine wisdom and divine power. ‘For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength’ (1:25).
“For those of us in any form of Christian ministry, this lesson must constantly be reappropriated. Western evangelicalism tends to run through cycles of fads. At the moment, books are pouring off the presses telling us how to plan for success, how ‘vision’ consists in clearly articulating ‘ministry goals,’ how the knowledge of detailed profiles of our communities constitutes the keys to successful outreach. I am not for a moment suggesting that there is nothing to be learned from such studies. But after a while one may perhaps be excused for marveling how many churches were planted by Paul and Whitefield and Wesley and Stanway and Judson without enjoying these advantages. Of course all of us need to understand the people to whom we minister, and all of us can benefit from small doses of such literature. But massive doses sooner or later dilute the gospel. Ever so subtly, we start to think that success more critically depends on thoughtful sociological analysis than on the gospel; Barna becomes more important than the Bible. We depend on plans, programs, vision statements–but somewhere along the way we have succumbed to the temptation to displace the foolishness of the cross with the wisdom of strategic planning. Again, I insist, my position is not a thinly veiled plea for obscurantism, for seat-of-the-pants ministry that plans nothing. Rather, I fear that the cross, without ever being disowned, is constantly in danger of being dismissed from the central place it must enjoy, by relatively peripheral insights that take on far too much weight. Whenever the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry.”

From D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, pp. 25-26).

Videos:

Verses:
Ecclesiastes 4:7-12
Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

This week is “meditate and come up with your own thought for the passage” week


4 December 2007

Abouts:
Alright trying to put this blog back up and running as smoothly as a man with 1 hand and 1 finger can, I will probably describe less though

Not late 11:48pm, still Monday…

Articles/Audios:
Book vs e-Document, personally I find that the book is the winner, but having the internet with it’s endless sources has pulled me away from books a little, but still there is something about physical ownership that gets me

Some more Prodigal Jon stuff, I think I will just put him in the links section now: “The power of e.” and “I speak. I detox. I cut my arm off with a Swiss army knife.

A very interesting article with a title that I don’t even need to describe, “What Would Jesus Bomb,” I put a link to link of the article because I think that Justin Taylor has highlighted the section I was going to anyways

Boasting in Lesser Loves

Continuing on the topic here is an interview with C.J. Mahaney on Biblical Masculinity, sort of long, but worth it, here is the audio

Messages:
Good thing this doesn’t need much of a description, “‘Month of Man’ address” by Dr. Ray Van Neste, for boys who need to be men and need a little guidance, it is a transcript of a message, so if you rather hear it you have that option

Readings:
A section from Francis Turretin’s “Institutes of Elenctic Theology” on a reading outline for the Holy Scriptures, guess what was just added to my book list

Another addition I must add to the list, “The Works of Andrew Fuller

Videos:

Verses:
Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake

What comes to mind when someone says “grant?” Being in college and poor I think of California grant, it’s that state funding for those who had some score on some test and then they give them $2 to give the state an excuse to say they help their students, but I’m going off on a tangent. The important thing is that that $2 is considered a grant is because it is  something wanted that is offered and something needed that is given. The Greek root for the word used for “grant” here comes from the word for “grace.” Which we usually associate with forgiveness, the ultimate gift, the ultimate grant. But in this verse what is granted to us is not only the gift of knowledge but to also suffer. It’s not you have to suffer for His sake, it’s you can suffer for His sake. You, as a believer, are given the opportunity to suffer for Christ. But what kind of reward is that? What kind of privilege is that? Sounds totally idiotic but “now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:24)