Saturday, July 14, 2007



Exod 33:14 - And He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest."

Job 11:18 - "Then you would trust, because there is hope; and you would look around and rest securely.

Ps 37:7 - Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

Isa 14:7 - "The whole earth is at rest {and} is quiet; they break forth into shouts of joy.

Matt 11:28 - "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Mrs. Blogotional and I leave this morning for the Sierra Nevada highlands for a week of rest, relaxation, and recovery. We shall be in the midst of some of God's most visually pleasing creation. Rather than the usual fare this coming week, we will try and post a daily picture from our prior day's travel and activity - Something that causes us to reflect on the glory of our Creator, and hopefully you as well.

Our journey begins today by crossing the Mohave desert, nothing could set the table better to remind us that God created ex nihilo, for given this approach such it appears that the mountains arise.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Business, Media, and Discipleship

Dan over at Cerulean Sanctum is wrting about a lack of disciple making in the church today. Any regular reader knows that I agree with Dan 100% about the lack of disciple making, but I wonder about the symptomology Dan uses in this particular post.
Yet we now…

…spend more time away from home performing our jobs.

…spend record amounts of time commuting or shuttling our kids here and there.

…have more time-pressed, dual-income families than ever before.

…work harder for less money, often necessitating multiple jobs.

…have no time for social groups that help maintain the fabric of our society.

…feel more guilty than ever that we can’t mirror the perfect family that well-meaning Christians tell us we must be.

Why should any of this matter, though? Why should Christians address the underlying causes for these problems?

As someone keenly aware of the state of disciplemaking in this country, I believe it matters because all these things work to undermine the Great Commission.
It's funny, but the first scripture that ran through my mind when I read that post was
1 Tim 6:1 - Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and {our} doctrine may not be spoken against.
I did not think this because I think the people Dan is discussing are slaves, but because I think the passage says the idea of being a Christian is to be Christ's person in whatever circumstances you find yourself. Thus if being a part of American culture demands two jobs, then the idea is to learn how to be a good Christian while holding two jobs.

Or maybe, just maybe there is a deeper underlying discsipleship question. Just because society "demands" something does not mean we have to answer the demand. I mean after all, wouldn't discipleship mandate a different path? Longer commutes come from living in better homes farther out when often there are sufficient homes for less money in town. You see my point?

The underlying casue for a lack of discipleship is not a society that creates these expections, but a church that succumbs to them. Why aren't we teaching a really different path? Rather than demand discipleship be mantainable with a certain standard of living, why aren't we teaching people that discipleship comes first and we must adjust our standard of living accordingly?

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Friday Humor

  1. Open a new file in your computer.
  2. Name it "Hillary Rodham Clinton"
  3. Send it to the trash.
  4. Empty the trash.
  5. Your computer will ask, "Do you really want to get rid of 'Hillary Rodham Clinton?'"
  6. Firmly and decisively click "Yes".

Feel better!

Next week we'll do Nancy Pelosi!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007


The Rules

A while back, Joe Carter asked "What Would Jesus Drink?" His point was a cautionary tale against two things really. The first, legalism. That may be the oldest saw in faith. After all were not the legalistic Pharisees Jesus' primary protagonists?

The second point though is much more subtle, and that is the grafting of personal agendas onto sacred missions.

As Joe points out, alcoholic abstinence has become a hallmark of faith for many, many people, and yet, Christ Himself imbibed. Most people do not realize it, but alcohol allowed mankind to flourish for many centuries. before we understood germs and water purification, we understood that alcoholic beverages did not induce the gastronomical symptomology that water from the fetid lake often did. Brewing and fermenting were in fact the earliest forms of water purification. (Never mess with a chemist on this stuff! :-))

Yes, alcohol can be probelmatic for some people and it is certainly better to take it in moderation and avoid it altogether in some circumstances, but that is very different for making it a hallmark of the faith.

I can think of so many examples of advancing to the status of hallmark something that is decidedly less. "True worship involves contemporary music" (or classical music for that matter) "If you are ill, you must have displeased God."

We are very good at "majoring in the minors." But what I find most insidious is that the minors we usually try to advance are our personal pet peeves. In other words, majoring in the minors is not just an act of misprioritization, but an act of selfishness. Instead of listening to God and His priorities, we insert ourselves and lay our priorities on Him.

That's not just a mistake, that is the anti-thesis of genuine faith! Which is why, in the end, the Pharisees were Christ's primary antagonists.

Something to think about.

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Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Being Lighthearted

Jollyblogger is wondering, based on a quote from Chesterton, is lightheartedness is a Christian virtue. My answer is an unequivical - absolutely. I have actually written about this before. In that post I referenced a book by Dennis Prager, Happiness is a Serious Problem. In that previous post I quoted from the book, and I shall do so here as well.

The first chapter begins
We tend to think we owe to ourselves to be as happy as we can be. But happiness is far more than a personal concern. It is a moral obligation.

After one of my talks on happiness, a woman in the audience, stood up and said, "I only wish my husband had come to this talk." (He had chosen to attend a talk on buiness instead.) She explained that he was the unhappy one in their relationship and that as much as she loved him, i was not easy being married to an unhappy person.

The women enabled me to put into words what I had been searching for -- the alturistic, in addition to the obvious personal reasons to take happiness seriously. I told the woman and the audience that she was right; her husband should have attended the talk because he had a moral obligation to his daily partner in life to be as happy as he could be.
There it is in a nutshell. Of course lightheartedness is a virtue, and a Christian virtue to boot.
Phil 2:3-4 - Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Heaviness, unhappiness, is indeed a burden to those around us, and therfore certainly representa a lack of virtue because of that burden. By contrast, lightheartedness, happiness is a measure of faith:
Heb 10:34 - For you showed sympathy to the prisoners, and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one.
Of course, many of us so doggedly pursue faith as to take all the joy out of it. But that is the beauty of being Reformed - even our faith is supplied, we do not pursue, we accept.

And in accepting, we gain happiness.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Can A Christian Be A Pessimist?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "pessimism" as:
A tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view
Contarily, the same source defines "hope":
the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
Seems to me then that a pessimist is marked strongly by an absence of hope.

Most pessimists I know do not acknowledge their pessimism, rather they talk about "realism." That would be a fair assessment were it not for the source of Christian hope. Consider:
Ps 71:14-15 - But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise Thee yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Thy righteousness, and of Thy salvation all day long; for I do not know the sum of them.

Prov 23:17-18 - Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the LORD always. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Eccl 9:4 - For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.

Lam 3:21-23 - This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesss indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.

Zech 9:12 - Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; this very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.

Rom 5:1-2 - Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

II Th 2:16-17 - Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
The source of our hope is He who created and defined reality - it is He who can bend and shape reality to His will. I have no hope in this world, but I have a source of infinite hope. To express pessimism is to look somewhere else for hope.

Regular readers know the bleakness of my life in recent weeks, but I hold to my Lord and therefore I HAVE HOPE. If my hopes are not realized in accordance with my expectations, still I will have hope for my hope is not in my expectations, but in my Lord.

I hoped for my father's recovery until his death. I now hope for his eternal joy and rest. I hope for my mother's recovery, and will do so until her death. I deny not the reality of her circumstances, but I KNOW I worship a God not restrained by those circumstances. A broken memory today can be a restored memory tomorrow.

I choose to see the areas where my mother has healed, not those where she has not, for her healing is not yet complete. I choose to expect the best for my mother, because I choose to worship my Lord.

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, July 09, 2007


Religion and Science

Via Instapundit I learned of this book, The Physics of Christianity by Frank Tipler out of Tulane. Haven't read it, but the blurb contained this rather astounding claim:
He proposes that Christianity can be studied as a science, and its claims, if true, can be empirically proven....Tipler embarks on a crusade to prove that God exists, that miracles are physically possible and the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Jesus do not defy scientific laws.
I have a real problem with this. It absolutely puts the wrong thing on the throne. here is another quote.
"I believe that we have to accept the implications of physical law, whatever these implications are. If they imply the existence of God, well then, God exists."
Admirable as it may be to attempt to prove the existence of God, whatever God is being discussed here is less of a God that the one I believe in! How can a creator God, a God that devised the laws of physics, be entirely subject to them? That just makes no sense.

In an attempt to close the gap between science and religion, this man has apparently turned the relationship between the two on it's head, making the master slave and the slave, master. Philosophy and apologetics aside, that last sentence strikes to the heart of the matter. Making God subject to the laws of physics makes Him subject to us, understandable, predictable, controllable. Where does soteriology land in such a circumstance? How do we hold any moral value in such a circumstance? How do we become better people in such a circumstance?

This is a dangerous game and it is a reflection in this arena of one we play all too often. We are subject to God, He is not subject to us or our understanding. God is not our to conceive, He is ours to worship and to submit to.

That may be the most important message of Christianity, certainly of our time.

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