Good evening brother and sisters…
I’m going to be very brief in this Post-it. I have been rather ill since this past Lord’s Day. Actually, I started feeling puny early Saturday afternoon. I was unable to sleep at all Saturday night (just dozed a few times) but then our kind Father strengthened me enough to make it through the morning worship service. However, I did preach the shortest sermon of my life…about 15 minutes…as I raced thru my notes at warp speed. The last four days have not markedly improved things. Still struggling to sleep at night, nauseous a portion of each day, no appetite, a stomach that, at times, sounds like a battlefield and extremely fatigued all day each day. Patti made an appointment with our PCP yesterday afternoon and he confirmed our own diagnosis…an intestinal bug of some sort. He did want me to have some blood work done to rule out other possibilities. That came back normal, the only flags being a potassium deficit and a slightly elevated white blood count. When I asked him how long this might go on he gave us this wonderfully “encouraging” response: “I’ve seen cases that lasted up to 28 days.”
Anyhooo, I’ve not been able to get much done these past four days. I’m quite behind in my sermon prep but, by God’s grace I will be ready to go this Lord’s Day. I will get the order of worship out to you in the next day or so.
I would certainly appreciate your prayers.
Our deacons are planning a major workday at our building on April 27. We will need all the help we can get. The list of projects is attached but there are copies of each project on the back table and a place you sign up for the project you prefer. A fair number of them can be done as your schedule permits.
· March 31 – Psalm/hymn sing
· April 1 – Adults Fellowship Group (townies)
· April 3 – Deacons meet
· April 7 – Fellowship Meal
· April 7 – Prayer service (immediately following Fellowship Meal)
· April 8 – Ladies Group
· April 10 – Session meets
· April 14 – Young Adults Fellowship Group
· April 15 – Adults Fellowship Group (townies)
· April 20 – Spring Feet ‘n Eat
· April 21 – Resurrection Day breakfast
· April 21 – Adults Fellowship Group (westsiders)
· April 22 – Ladies Group
· April 27 – Spring Workday (at the building)
· April 28 – Neighborhood Fellowship
If anything has been lost from our culture, it is the idea that human beings are privately, personally, individually, ultimately, inexorably accountable to God for their lives. —R.C. Sproul
Trials are intended to make us think—to wean us from the world—to send us to the Bible—to drive us to our knees. —J.C. Ryle
The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end it’s going to be a lot better and a lot bigger. —Elisabeth Elliot
In every evil work that we are tempted to, we always need delivering grace, as to every good work God’s assisting grace. —Richard Sibbes
We don’t just need answers for people’s difficult questions. We need questions for people’s easy answers. —Andrew Wilson
Rule #1: Trust the Means of Grace (8 Rules for Growing in Godliness)
The great goal of the Christian life is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. The Christian longs to be influenced by Christ to such an extent that every thought is one Jesus would think, that every action is one he would take. Such conformity depends upon a renewed mind, for it is only once our minds are renewed that our desires and actions can follow (Romans 12:2). The Christian life, then, is one of taking off the “old self with its practices” and putting on “the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:9-10). READ MORE…
Christians in the Cultural Closet
Our society celebrates the openness with which it accepts homosexuality and transgenderism. It contrasts our present enlightened times with past eras when what are now called “sexual minorities,” LGBTQers, were once consigned to the closets, forced to keep their “sexual identity” hidden. Now those who identify according to their sexual and gender preferences are “out of the closets” and have been mainstreamed. They have a place at the table. They have been normalized. Thus, the narrative is that we have a more just, fair, and open society. Except the closets remain. There always are closets. Every society ancient and modern has closets. What changes are those who inhabit the closets. Gradually we are witnessing traditional, orthodox Christians being forced into the closets even as the sexual minorities move out.
Let me explain. Why do people take to hiding in society’s closets? They are shamed into them. Once upon a time society strongly disapproved of sodomy and associated sexual sins. If one admitted one was homosexual, or was “outed” by another, one’s political future was over, or one’s career was ruined, and one was shunned by society. As recently as 1997 when Ellen DeGeneres “came out,” her show, “Ellen” was cancelled. Homosexual characters were not portrayed positively until the mid-1980’s and 1990’s and even then it happened infrequently. Gradually homosexuality came to be accepted in the mainstream media and normalized. Out of the closet they came, culminating in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision mandating the legalization of gay “marriage” in all 50 states. READ MORE…
The Early Symptoms of Spiritual Danger
I can still recall the conversation although it took place more than three decades ago. A shocked friend asked, “Have you heard that Sarah is no longer a Christian?” What was so alarming to my friend was that Sarah had been one of the most influential, and apparently fruitful, members of her Inter-Varsity group. What would those who had been influenced by her witness to Christ say, or do? Would they be shaken to the core and now doubt their own Christian faith? After all, the person who had pointed them to Christ no longer trusted Him.
On occasion, we wonder if an individual really has been converted. And sometimes we have an inexplicable, ill-defined sense that something is missing. But we cannot read the heart. Even so, we hear of friends—whose faith we never doubted—turning away from Christ. READ MORE…
Getting a Life
If someone works too much, we tell them to “get a life”. If we feel under the pump and can’t find time to see our friends or relax, we say we “don’t have a life.” More disturbingly, on a number of occasions in recent months, I’ve heard people counsel against having children on the grounds that parenthood stops you having “a life.”
On a number of occasions in recent months, I’ve heard people counsel against having children on the grounds that parenthood stops you having ‘a life.’
What do we mean by “life”? Obviously, we’re not talking about the medical condition of being alive. Medically, a doctor would conclude you are as much “alive” at work as at home—with children or without.
I put it to you that when we use the word “life” in this way, we are talking about a quality of life. Indeed, we are naming the modern West’s definition of the good life. Which is to say, life is about choice. No choice, no life; know choice, know life.
I’m working too much so I don’t have a life; I’ve got kids and now I don’t have a life; I’m busy and have no life. What do we mean? Answer—I have less choice; I have constraints and obligations and responsibilities; lLess of what I do is what I would choose to do in an unencumbered situation. “Life” (in the modern west) is choices.
I Love How He Humiliates Me
I don’t know anyone who builds shaming and liberating arguments the way the apostle Paul does. He builds with stones of insight — one on another, until the edifice stands before you with humiliating and liberating obviousness.
We are treated as rational people, not animals driven by instinct: “I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say” (1 Corinthians 10:15). If we should be ashamed, he will show us with arguments, not slurs. And he will show us the way out.
Twice in 1 Corinthians, Paul uses the noun for shame (Greek entropē). In both cases, the issue is similar. Believers are walking in the counsel of the godless. They are acting like the world has more wisdom than they do in matters of relationships and resurrection. READ MORE…
Secularism’s (Misplaced) Confidence
I wrote last week, in light of the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand, that the decision by the government to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer as part of its memorial was a display of secularism’s hegemony, rather than a kow-towing to Islam.
And I wrote that in light of a lot of huffing and puffing by those who considered this action to be the thin end of the wedge, and a sign that New Zealand – and the West in general – is headed towards becoming an Islamic theocracy.
The strangest reactions were from those who, although they constantly despise all that secularism espouses in our late modern West, are outraged that they do not get a seat at the table. I’m with Marx on this one (Groucho not Karl), who wryly stated: I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.
Well that’s how I feel about the secular frame, in its current iteration in the West at least. Join that club and you are virtually begging to be a domesticated version of what you once were. Perhaps not in the past, but definitely now, and increasingly more so in the future.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
“In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” J. Gresham Machen
“When Christ calls a man – he bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer