Here and There (May 4)

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Don’t Pitch Your Tent Next To A Pit  – “When we come upon sin—whether we know what’s coming or not—we have to be prepared. We can’t pitch a tent nearby to check it out or find an “acceptable” way in. We must prepare. We must guard. We must fight. We must flee.”

When Doubt Is More Than Just A Season  – “My doubt did not fade until I lifted my face up from a tear-soaked carpet and set it with a steely gaze toward the reality that it might not ever get better, that I would continue wrestle, like Jacob, until God blessed me. I stopped looking at my wrestling with doubt as if it were a passing season. While God promises good for his people, he doesn’t guarantee that he will fulfill his promises on our schedules or even in our lifetimes.”

Why God’s Will Isn’t Always Clear  – “But one reason why God usually doesn’t give us specific guidance in our sometimes-perplexing decisions is that he places a higher priority on our being transformed than our being informed in order that we will be conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29).”

5 Hindrances To Believing The Gospel Of Done  – A list taken from David Murray’s Book, The Happy Christian.  “Some of us are convinced that God let’s us in based on His Done, but we don’t believe we stay in by His Done.  Too many churches preach the Gospel to unbelievers and an anti-Gospel to believers.”

When The Church Hurts You  – “Every church has a lot of messy people: immature believers, self-centered believers, selfish believers, pride-filled and obnoxious believers, and yes, even some “professing believers” who are actually still spiritually dead—they aren’t even truly believers…But as messy as the Church is, God’s desire is not for you to walk away from His Bride. No, His desire is for you to benefit from, and contribute to, the Church—bringing Him glory.”

The Wisdom In Giving Your Friends Room To Sin  – “It is important that we give people broad borders to be who they really are. To trim grace down to what you want, expect, demand, or what you think you deserve will circumvent your role in what the Gospel can do through you for others. There is no sinner or sin outside of God’s ability to redeem. We must not restrict it by expecting people to not sin. Give them room to wobble.

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Here and There (May 3)

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The Emperor Of All Maladies  –  A comparison of Cancer and Sin.  Well worth the time to read.

It Is Insane To Kill Human Beings Because Of Their Cognitive Abilities  – “Every human being of every ability is made in the image of God.”

A God Greater Than Google  – “We have an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-wise God, but most of the time we’d rather entrust our questions to the internet. After all, the god at our fingertips is visible, controllable, instant, and seemingly omniscient, at least omniscient enough for us. But God didn’t invent the internet to replace himself.”

Good Things Come In Small Packages  – “Size isn’t the most important thing. What matters is what’s coming from the pulpit and the commitment of the people who congregate. And we can each make a difference wherever we are, to be a sincere disciple of Christ, no matter how big our church is.”

How Can I Get Better At Evangelism?  – (Hint: the answer is pretty much the same for Evangelism as it is for anything else: savoring Christ and slaying self.)

Discipline: Strict or Grace-Based? Somewhere In Between  – “The definition of self-government is the idea that a person learns to command himself, his impulses, his work habits, his emotions, His intellect and talents and rule over his will in a productive way. Children can begin this at a very early age, but it is also of utmost importance to adults–as one cannot be a mature believer unless one has mastered self-government and self-control and patience. The idea behind self-government is that all of us have a power and authority over life that comes from within that can help us to master problems, obstacles, and can use our self-will to achieve great things. Adults who make excuses for their lives or always blame others for their unhappiness or irresponsibility, find themselves like the little children, unruly, unhappy, and whining always about life.”

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Here & There (March 25)

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Impatience and the Abdication of My Throne  – “In my head, I know I will need to repent and trust Christ every day in this life, and I will not be perfected until I am glorified; until then, I must persevere in sanctification (1 John 3:1-3).  Still, I live sometimes as if I am surprised I sin and still need the cross and the LORD’s grace.  Do I want to be like Jesus, or do I want to hold onto my fig leaves? Every day, I must ask and answer this question.”

Too Much Skin, Girl  – “The clothes you wear reveal what is in your heart.  It is not right for a man to place all the blame on a woman.It is just as wrong for a woman to make this exclusively a man’s problem.”

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The Grace in Going to Church  – “We desperately need the weekly reminder that people need us to serve them and that we need God’s people to serve us.”

Come and Die  – “Have you ever seen a military recruitment poster or TV ad that showed wounded soldiers? Ever seen one that showed soldiers taking bullets, medics administering morphine to blood-gushing comrades, or an array of battle-hardened quadriplegics?”

When She Lashes Out at You  – “Hurt people…hurt people.”

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It Is Not Death To Die  

VERSE 1
It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high
Who’ve found their home with God
It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne
Delivered from our fears

CHORUS
O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

VERSE 2
It is not death to fling
Aside this earthly dust
And rise with strong and noble wing
To live among the just
It is not death to hear
The key unlock the door
That sets us free from mortal years
To praise You evermore

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Here & There (March 16 )

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The Comparison Trap  – “Our struggles with sin aren’t identical. You may be strong where I am weak and vice versa. The Holy Spirit may be focusing His lens on an area in your life that is different from mine. The means may be different and the day-to-day outworking as well. But this is His work. Not mine. Not yours. It’s His prerogative to prune and produce fruit as He pleases for which none of us can take the credit.”

The history behind The Most Misused Verse in the Bible  – Why do we twist God’s promises—and how can we stop doing so?

Heidi Jo Fulk brings encouragement writing about A Tumor, a Setback, and a Renewed Mind  – “When faced with the trials and pain God allows in our lives, we can choose to respond with gratitude, love, service, and obedience through the power of the Holy Spirit. We can choose to focus on what God is doing in and through us in the midst of the difficulties that may be happening to us. Suffering may just be the path to becoming newly fueled to love, serve, and obey your Savior and Sustainer. How will you respond to God in the midst of the difficulties you’re facing?”

Older Men, Younger Men Need You  – Paul Maxwell writes “Older men, the younger men in your life need you more than you might know.”

Note to self:  Don’t Follow Your Heart  – “No, our hearts will not save us. We need to be saved from our hearts.  Our hearts were never designed to be followed, but to be led. Our hearts were never designed to be gods in whom we believe; they were designed to believe in God.”

“Here are nine marks that your church–even one that believes the Bible, preaches the gospel, and embraces good ecclesiology–may be unhealthy”:  9 Marks of an Unhealthy Church.

Some thoughts on Running to God With Your Doubts  – “Nowhere in Scripture does God condemn His children as they run to Him with their questions. Our gracious God tells us we can indeed ask Him to remind us of what we knew before. He knows we need Him to tell us over and over again that He loves us and that He won’t ever leave us. He knows life and the circumstances we face will cause our sinful human hearts to despair and to question what He has told us before.”

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