Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I'm happy to report success in what I've been waiting for too: a dose of sleep longer than 45 min. at a time!
So, I'm very thankful to God for allowing Paul's arrival to be as smooth and healthy as I hoped and prayed for! Thank you, everyone, for your love and prayers too!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
by Stephen Nichols on consumerism and the gospel. Here's some great parts. Read the whole thing if you have time. (Especially the part about Disney.)
Whether taking Jesus as everybody's favorite CEO for book titles or whether using the cross for advertising logos, the co opting of Christ for business hijacks the Gospels and Christ himself. Capitalist and consumerist culture becomes the context into which the gospel is made to fit, into which Christ conforms, rather than the reverse.
Christian retailing has accomplished its goal of getting the word out: enlisting consumers to wear T shirts and jewelry as fishers of people, and enlisting golfers to use witnessing golf balls. The message being heard, however, might not be the one intended. The true message of the cross, it seems, is getting lost in a sea of commerce. The commercials are too loud.
We need to drive our discipleship deep in the personal form of life, eschewing the commodity form of life. To embrace the commodity form, even in the name of evangelizing, exploits the faith and abdicates our calling. Most times it simply makes us look silly. A commodified gospel does not a good gospel make. So too, commodified disciples do not good disciples make.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
"In the interest of preserving our planet and our species, shouldn't religious organizations be encouraging smaller families?...Clergy should consider voicing the difficult truth that having more than two children during such a time is selfish,"
"In reality, population growth is already subsiding on a global basis. In any event, a couple deciding to have additional children will often reflect a rational approach to getting out of poverty -- not the cause of poverty in itself. Put bluntly, even in economic terms children usually bring greater economic benefits than costs over the long term.
For Christians, far more than economics is at stake. The far larger issue is the glory of God in the birth and maturation of godly progeny. Children are to be received -- and conceived -- as gifts, not as threats of environmental disaster."
A good reminder to live according to biblical principals, not the wisdom of the world!
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it..."
Psa 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. (4) Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. (5) Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
However, I do read things I agree with from time to time. Here's one:
T4G - Thabiti AnyabwileTim Challies is blogging from the "Together for the Gospel" conference in Louisville, KY. Here's some excerpts from Tim's report of Thabiti's teaching:
He began by saying that “Thabiti” is a Swahili name that, loosely translated, means “Sure, invite the black guy to talk about race.” He began by showing how Genesis does not support race. Solidarity in Adam is usually meant to refer to our sin. But there is more to it. We are all genealogical descendants of Adam. We are also all equally made in the image and likeness of God. The Christian adoption of race as a category was at least in part a response to a crisis in biblical authority...
Genesis 10 actually speaks to the rise of ethnicities, not the rise of races. Race, commonly speaking, posits that there is an essential biological difference between people groups. The difference is rooted in biology. But ethnicity is a fluid construct that includes language, nationality, citizenship, cultural patterns and perhaps religion. Race and ethnicity are different in that ethnicity is not rooted in biology. We can artificially impose categorization on people based on their color. The most fundamental recognition in Scripture is not our difference, labeled as race, but rather our similarity in Adam.
Our union with Christ gives us the basis for a great commonality with other Christians. How does your union with Christ shape you and shape how you see others? Christ’s blood creates a deeper lineage than our genes. Our doctrine of man must be informed by our union in Christ.
Well, was that an encouraging post? I guess Thabiti's talk was critical, but my opinion of it is not. I couldn't agree more. Blood is not thicker than water.
Rev 21:6 -- "And he said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.'"
Friday, April 11, 2008
This is my problem with modern hymns and praise songs: it's too easy to get caught up in the emotion of the music and ignore the message of the lyrics! Do you think any of the performers really meant it when they sang: "let every breath, all that I am, never cease to worship you?" Maybe there are genuine believers among the Idol crew, but all of them? Probably not. Anyway...I don't know which bothers me more, this or Oprah.
Monday, April 7, 2008
"The way we figure it, one day our children will be grateful for what we didn't give them."
That's our hope!
Excerpts from the article:
"For a couple's every conceivable wish or worry, the parenting industry knows the precise formula of guilt, fear, hope, love and desire that will empty the parental wallet. Rather than fret about spending too much money, most parents these days are consumed by the anxiety of underspending -- the fear that somewhere, some other parent is offering her baby an educational toy or child-development class that will propel the toddler ahead, and that if you skimp, your child risks losing out and falling behind.
Most families simply can't afford all this. And surely it can't all be necessary. Didn't Benjamin Franklin grow up to be a statesman, inventor, printer, author and political theorist without having his vision enhanced by a Stim-Mobile or his sense of spatial relations improved by Baby Einstein Numbers?
Far from inducing feelings of inadequacy, saying no to the parenting consumer culture should make parents feel all the wiser. And conversely, no one should have to feel that they should refrain from having a child for fear of being accused of snobbery."
Thursday, April 3, 2008
got the official "good to go" nod from the Dr. yesterday. Said he wouldn't try to stop labor if things got going anytime from here on out. I'll be 36 weeks on Saturday. 37 weeks is considered "ideal." Anyway...I'm definitely getting ready. I think Russell is ready too-- ready to stop hearing me complain and groan :-)
For those of you who are interested in labor and delivery details:
I'm going for a "VBAC" -- that's a vaginal birth after c-section. I had a pretty painful recovery after Ruth's birth which I'd definitely like to avoid this time. Specific prayer request items related to this include
- that labor would start (and continue) on it's own prior to mid-May.
- that there would be no compromise of my uterine scar.
- that I would not be bitter if for some reason a c-section becomes necessary :-)
- that no matter what, we can be a testimony of God's goodness to those we come in contact with!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
"...any church that fails to minister the merciful love of God is failing in its witness to the merciful heart of God. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Likewise, a church that is little interested in works of mercy is not pleasing to our Lord. The Christians that Jesus will commend on the Last Day are those to whom He will say, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.… Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt. 25:35–40).
So how do churches lead their members to recognize the necessity of merciful deeds? What causes Christians to act spontaneously in the kind of mercy Jesus commends?"
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
“Your greatest need is to understand deep truths from the Bible. Solid parenting skills are built on solid truth.”
I've got some application points in mind, how about you?
Read Tim Challies review here.