Dec 26, 2007
To try to win a soul to Christ by keeping that soul in ignorance of any truth, is contrary to the mind of the Spirit; and to endeavor to save men by mere claptrap, or excitement, or oratorical display, is as foolish as to hope to hold an angel with bird-line, or to lure a star with music. The best attraction is the gospel in its purity. The weapon with which the Lord conquers men is the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel will be found equal to every emergency; an arrow can pierce the hardest heart, a balm which would heal the deadliest wound. Preach it, and preach nothing else. Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel. You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough for the great fishes, and have meshes fine enough to hold the little ones. Spread those nets and no others, and you need not fear the fulfillment of His Word, "I will make you fishers of men."
Dec 25, 2007
Every year I am gifted with a Pudges video. It all started when I was expecting Zion...and craving Krispy Kremes....hence the extra padding on the boys. This year...I thought I'd share a glimpse into our wild and crazy, joy filled Christmas celebration.
Remember to PAUSE my music player before PLAYING video.
Dec 21, 2007
Sometimes when backs are turned...it has everything to do with me. And other times...it has everything to do with Jesus.
The babe in the Bethlehem manger is the same Lord who conquered death at Calvary's cross.
Dec 18, 2007
Dec 17, 2007
Dec 13, 2007
So this cute little book about a guy and a tomato has been used to bring deep conviction.
That little whisper- "You deserve it" - comes, I believe, from the worst part of our sinful natures, the part that always wants another cookie, a bigger house, a nicer TV. I'm pretty sure it's the same voice that told Hitler he "deserved" Poland.
What do I really deserve? Death. That's what I deserve. Death apart from God. I am a selfish dweeb standing before a holy, righteous God. Imagine me trying to explain to God why I "deserve" a nicer car than the guy next to me. "Well, I've worked so hard, and - as I'm sure you can see - I'm very successful." Ha. good one. Seeking your own comfort over the comfort of others is a pretty good definition of the word sin.
My ambition, my dreams, my misplaced sense of identity and value were dragged kicking and screaming up onto the altar. And now they were dead. I realized this when I heard myself say to my wife one night, "I don't want to write anything." I was ready to be done, if that's what God wanted. To just rest in him and let everything else fall away. At long last, after a lifetime of striving, God was enough. Not God and impact or God and ministry. Just God.
Dec 12, 2007
When we are disturbed by the chaos in our own personal life, when we are not ready to face it, when again and again every security fails us and there is no firm ground under our feet, when our life hangs between good intentions and shame, when it becomes inevitably clear that we are weak, when some unmanageable fate comes over us, a great sorrow or a great passion and we are horrified at the inevitable working out of this fate, when we can see only how faithless and hopeless we are caught in our errors or when friendships are finally broken, when with the best will in the world we cannot find reconciliation with the other, in short, when we take seriously the whole human chaos in which we are stuck- then it all comes over us and we say to God: Lord, I can bear no more. I can't take any more. No, I don't want any more. I am too deep in the mire. God, don't speak any more to me, for I will not hear you. God, we have nothing more to do with each other.
And then it happens that we want to hear something new and at that moment, we hear afresh: "Peace, courage." Courage, which God gives us like a mother taking hold of her child who is out of control with so many faults and failures, who is now very unhappy and begins to cry. She takes his hand and gives him a new chance: "Now, let's try that once more." Courage, courage- so God speaks to us when we are disgusted with ourselves.
Dec 10, 2007
"Perhaps we have thought so much of God as love eternal and we feel the warm pleasures of Christmas when he comes gently as a child. We have been shielded from the awful nature of Christmas and no longer feel afraid at the coming near of God Almighty. We have selected from the Christmas story only the pleasant bits, forgetting the awesome nature of an event in which the God of the universe, it's Creator and Sustainer, draws near to this little planet, and now speaks to us. The coming of God is not only a message of joy, but also fearful news for anyone who has a conscience."