6.25.2012

Susan Creek


Susan CreekSusan Creek by Douglas Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good read for youngsters. Mixes history of George Whitefield and other preachers, English and French politics and espionage, when it's right to fight (even kill) and when it is wrong.

Second in a series, but stands alone fine, too.


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Sap, to bear fruit


Jesus tells His disciples in the upper room, as he passes the cup around the table, that He will not drink of this fruit of the vine again until he drinks it anew with them in His father’s kingdom. The sacrifice of Jesus was itself fruit taken from the vine of Christ, well-pleasing to the Father. We as branches are to bear similar fruit. This is why we commune with Christ’s flesh and blood, by the Spirit. His blood is real drink. By this communion His life-giving Spirit gives us sap that brings forth fruit on our branches, in our lives. This isn’t a physical transformation of our bodies, or this bread or wine. But it is certainly a real and spiritual transformation and renewing and feeding that is happening to those with faith. Faith leads to receiving Christ’s Word, His bread and wine, where we take in Christ’s fruit. So it’s no surprise that we then bear the fruit of His Spirit in our lives.

11/6/11

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An urgent plea


Notice the book of Proverbs is an urgent plea from father to son to listen to wisdom. There is great value in such entreaties to our children. Ask God for a heart pursuing wisdom, and then show your children that heart, wehn you have it. Sons, daughters, you are called to treasure your parents’ commands, to incline your ear, apply your heart, cry out, lift up your voice, to seek and search for understanding. This is not like deciding to go buy a candy bar at the corner gas station. No. Instead, is your life marked and permeated with this quest? Now, none of us seeks out wisdom with the earnestness we should have. But God is kind to reward even a little faith with moving great mountains. Ask, and it will be given to you.

11/6/11

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6.21.2012

Weekly Wedding rehearsal


Heavenly Father, You have called us to Yourself through Your Son. You have given Him to us for a savior, a king, and a good husband. Your Spirit is preparing us as a bride for her wedding day. At this wedding rehearsal that we call Lord’s Day worship, we pray for understanding and insight to see what is going on. The same Spirit you sent to turn on the lights in us, and perform a heart transplant to make us live again, that same Spirit unites us to You, gives us a desire for you, brings us into Your presence in the heavens where Christ sits. We stand before you now, and You are holy, holy, holy. The angels sing this without ceasing and without tiring of Your infinite majesty. You are the almighty king. Help us see your sovereign majesty, truth and grace today. Help us to anticipate the wedding to come with joy and earnest preparation.

Worship Invocation
10/30/11

Reform your calendar


We need to be re-formed in God’s presence, not removed FROM His presence. So it is with our holidays. While the reformation rightly removed many saints’ days, several of our holidays need to be reformed, not removed. Halloween is one of these.

The church began to celebrate All saints day in the 300s, celebrating the victorious saints at rest with Christ. Over time, superstition and error came in. All Saints, or all Hallow’s Eve turned into Halloween. Like Mardi Gras revelry before Lent’s piety, Halloween became the devil’s last stand before the celebration of the holy ones in glory.


So let’s get the big picture here. The Christian calendar year begins around December 1, after death of autumn has come to the world's grass and trees. With Advent and Christmas we celebrate the coming of the light of the world at our coldest and darkest hour. We then celebrate His ministry, death and resurrection in the spring, the time of new life. We celebrate Pentecost at the beginning of summer, when God cultivates our new life in the Spirit. Summer is the time of growth. Fall is when the harvest comes in, and we have All Saints Day to remember those who have entered their rest. We give thanks for the harvest of crops and souls. Meanwhile Satan makes one last grab at the end of history. This is Halloween. All of history is dramatized in the church year, and it is all pointing to the vindication of Christ’s saints, as they appear with Christ, when He comes again. We can give thanks for loved ones and great ones who have gone before us to glory.



10/30/11

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6.19.2012

Believe and Live


We live by the promise. This is why I’ve taken to saying right before we eat and drink, something like, “Believe and live.” Not that the physical bread and wine we consume gives us spiritual life. But by faith we claim the promise, we do what our Lord Jesus told us to do, and He does really bless us in it. Life is communicated from the Jerusalem above, our mother. We are in the womb, needing nourishment. Consider your baptism the setting up of that connection, this table the food itself. Without faith, there’s a blockage and we aren’t fed. But with faith, our claiming the promise week by week at this table and hearing the Word gives us strength and growth.

10/23/11

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Caught, and Going Down


Proverbs 1:24-31

Wisdom warns us, if we refuse to heed her, destruction will come; calamity, terror, a whirlwind, distress and anguish. Slaughter and destruction. When these come, wisdom will not deliver the fool from them. She laughs, like the Lord laughs in Psalm 2 at those who fight against Him. When we despise the Lord and turn from His wisdom, we reap what we sow. We have to eat the rotten fruit from the rotten seeds we planted. If we turn again to wisdom and listen to her, we will live in safety with God in His house, in wisdom’s house.


It’s important to note, when wisdom says that the caught will call and she won’t answer in vs 28, she speaks of the call of the caught and afraid, not the repentant. Wisdom rejects the still-rebellious, the caught in consequences. Turn back to wisdom now, for God’s sake, and for your own.



10/23/11

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Sin and Communion


Question: should I keep communion from my child if he has unrepentant sin from that morning?

The short answer is: no.

Why? Two quick reasons:
1. Lack of repentance should usually be given time to harden into stubbornness (hopefully it turns into repentance, instead!) before withholding communion.
2. It is the elders' role to keep communion from a church member, not the parents.

The longer answer:
It is your job as a parent to lead your child to repentance and reconciliation with the Lord before (or even during) the worship service, before the bread and wine are given him. If you are unable to do this for some reason, talk with an elder that Sunday morning and ask them what to do. The elders may let your child commune or may ask them not to. This is a difficult decision, so respect and follow what they tell you.

Theologically, on the one hand keeping your children (or yourself) from the Table because you don't feel him (or you) repentant enough takes the keys of the kingdom from the elders and shuts yourself out of the Kingdom of God as a form of self-flagellation. On the other hand, letting unrepentant sinners partake of the Lord's Supper defiles the person, and they eat and drink judgment on themselves.

In the abstract, I come down on the first hand above. One thing communion "does" is fight against low-grade defiance. When you are in a funk for a few days, God often hands you circumstances to draw you out of it, and one of those is communion. If you think you need to withhold yourself from the Table in that funk, you are pursuing a perfectionism that is not attainable. Why not let the Supper lift you out of the sin, as it is partly meant to do? Do you hold back if you find one waft of sinful desire within? Is there a time limit on that - no sin in the last 30 minutes, since you woke up, last 4 days? God is patient with us while we cling to sin for a while. Consider how He dealt with Israel. We MUST drop it, and the either/or choice between the sin and the Lord’s Table is made clear every time your church celebrates communion. But we also cannot expect complete repentance and perfection in ourselves or our children at the moment of receiving the bread and wine.

Pastorally, it helps alleviate tension and pressure to "do it right," to remember that the Supper is a MEANS of Christ's grace, not the source. Doing it wrong does not endanger your soul. The decision should hinge on the message you and the elders are sending to your child by having them partake or not. Will it help her more to be warned that she is outside of God's grace the way she is behaving, or to be comforted that even sin cannot separate her from God's love? Practically, as I administer communion every week and observe the congregation partaking, my thoughts are on God's goodness to us in Christ generally, not checking to see if anyone is not partaking, and wondering why.

Whatever is decided about your son or daughter, it's probably a good idea to meet with your pastor or elders later to lay out the situation, and seek their input in how to disciple your child in the future.

6.15.2012

Loving the Church

Loving the Church: God's People Flourishing in God's FamilyLoving the Church: God's People Flourishing in God's Family by John Crotts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up at Shepherd Press' booth at a home school convention. I highly recommend it.

From a practical and down-to-earth angle, Crotts persuades the normal Christian of the need to participate in the Body of Christ. The strength of the book is how it speaks to those tempted to drop out of church, or those who already have. He calls them back graciously and firmly, with good teaching about the church along the way. He shows HOW the church is good for Christians and an important part of our walk with the Lord. One example is that we encounter Christians at church who think differently than us, and we need that challenge. We need to see how other families live so we have a greater pool to draw from in making decisions.

Being involved in the church takes time and effort, and it is outside our comfort zone. We Americans crave our time and our comfort. More participation often means more bruises from dealing with other sinful Christians. This is an uphill battle! Crotts addresses this with realism and grace.

The cheesy coffee shop scenes and a more Baptist view of the sacraments and children were a minor hindrance to this Reformed, infant-baptist, Calvinist. But he is careful not to offend on this point. Instead, he stakes his claim in a closing punch (strong exhortation!) to return to the church.



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On Christian Brotherhood

"You will not find the warrior, the poet, the philosopher or the Christian by staring in his eyes as if he were your mistress: better fight beside him, read with him, argue with him, pray with him." - C.S. Lewis

Wanted: Gracious Clarity

There is a tension and paradox between needing a clear structure, and extending lots of grace. I think it's a key to wise living in many areas. If you're all structure you'll be too rigid and wind up with tears and battles. If you're all grace and just defer to what others want, you lose the structure and boundaries you should provide.

Give It Up


This is a table of reconciliation. It not only shows us what restored fellowship looks like, it also shows us how to get there. Restored fellowship looks like a famished body that finally gets fed. Our bones waste away in grief when we are separated from God and from each other in unconfessed sin. We need the nutrition of Christ to give us strength to live for Him.
And how do we get to reconciliation? By doing what Jesus did. He didn’t think it a big thing to remain equal in glory with God. He gave it up, humbled himself with many sacrifices, culminating in the cross. This is the source of our strength to reconcile with each other, and to bring the gospel of reconciliation to the world. Don’t think your reputation a big thing. Lay aside your preference. Sacrifice for the good of the body of Christ. But before you do, receive grace and remember you are a forgiven and loved child of God.

10/16/11

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Who Do You Listen To?

Proverbs 1:22-23
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

It can be hard to listen to wisdom. We are simple, and the word means gullible, naïve. We listen too quickly to the world’s call to sin. "What’s that? Wreck my marriage and family and career for a night or two of pleasure? Okay, sure." Or we think that scorning the wicked, scoffing at sin is all it takes to be wise. It is one thing to critique worldliness, but it’s a whole 'nother animal to live faithfully before God. Fools hate knowledge. They turn away from maturity because it might mean – gasp - reading a Book. We need to listen to lady wisdom’s rebuke, heed it, and turn. Learn to be suspicious of the siren song of the serpent; but be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, who makes His words known to you.

10/16/11

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6.14.2012

He Has Done It

Father God in heaven, Creator of all worlds, maker of grass blades and stars, blue skies and daddy long legs, trees and dirt hills, we praise You for filing the earth with Your goodness. For establishing the world by Your powerful Word, for framing the waters, the land and the sky by Your Son. We fear You and stand in awe of You, for You spoke and it was done. When we ruined Your good image in us, You spoke again, promising redemption and conquest of evil, and You have done it, and You will do it. So we have gathered on the day You raised Your son from death, to praise and thank You for undoing death, destroying the devil, and restoring fellowship with You. We gather in the joy of this good news, praying for Your Spirit to anoint us with reverence and joy to worship You rightly now.
We come to you through Jesus Christ, by the power of Your Holy Spirit who lives and reigns with You, one God without beginning or end. Amen.

Opening prayer
10/9/11

Sit and Eat, says Love

Going through airport on the way home I saw a young man wearing a t-shirt that said, “Take me home and feed me.” This is what God has done for us. He has taken us home and fed us. Everything has been done for us: the Son was sent, the price is paid, the Spirit is sent, there is water to wash up, the dinner table is set. So come and sit.

George Herbert:
“Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.”

10/9/11

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A Church, A Communion

We have had two name changes recently, one of our church to the word church instead of fellowship. We did this mainly to emphasize our appreciation for the visible church and her outward means of grace, the Word, Sacraments and prayer. The other change came at our denomination just a couple days ago, from the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches to the Communion REC. This was to avoid people assuming our churches all support the Southern Confederacy, which has been a significant obstacle to ministering the Gospel with some places and people. And the word communion better emphasizes our spiritual unity together in Christ. We do believe in the communion of saints, we say in the creed, and we are called to share together in the common life and mission of the church.

10/9/11

Enemy in the Fort

Enemy in the FortEnemy in the Fort by Sarah Masters Buckey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Decent historical fiction of French Indian war, depicting life in a frontier fort.
Does well showing Indian-English tensions, without being politically correct.
Explores themes of trust, kindness, and taking initiative.
Back cover says 10 and up, and that's about right. The story begins with a family's parents and baby brother kidnapped while the two sisters are hidden in the cellar. Rather mature content, but manageable, not graphic, and the rest is much tamer.



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A Lion to Guard Us

A Lion to Guard UsA Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Decent historical fiction for kids, on Jamestown.
Not as well written as "Sword in the Tree" by the same author.



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6.13.2012

To Train Up a Child

To Train Up a ChildTo Train Up a Child by Michael Pearl
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

To Train Up a Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl

I’ve finally gotten around to reading something by the Pearls who have quite a following in the homeschool movement as I’ve been given to understand. Overall this book is a mix of some really good counsel and some poor assumptions.

The first three chapters are heavy on training and consistency. They emphasize proactive training before discipline. Sinful anger in parents while disciplining poorly causes angry children. Really good stuff.

But bad assumptions lurk. Most foundationally, there is a messed up view of accountability in children. “The child is not a morally viable soul.” The idea being that you condition them behaviorally until they can make moral judgments. This is not helpful. We can and should talk about moral choices with our young children, to help them learn from an early age why certain actions are wrong. Their over-reliance on behavioral conditioning seems to come from other bad assumptions: that young kids are no different than animals in the training needed; that the technique of training, the outward method, will guarantee a good result; that correct and consistent discipline does not prevent all sin.

The Pearls wax eloquent about the power of the rod to restore and comfort, and overdo the positive effect of a spanking. (I write this having seen firsthand the positive effect of a spanking.) In reality spankings often are ineffective, because some other part of the correction and restoration process is gummed up, or because it is not fitting for the situation or the child’s makeup. But Pearl actually calls the rod a “magic wand” at one point. They counsel parents to constrain (physically) and discipline the child until they surrender with anecdotes of up to 10 spankings of 10 switches each. There are usually better ways to not let the child “win” a battle of wills than these prolonged sessions. This counsel assumes that external, physical force is going to correct the child on the inside, or that external conformity now is better than dealing with the heart. Bad assumptions. Ironically, given the Pearls’ anti-modern outlook, their child-rearing outlook is the modern, technique-based, approach. Five steps to your best life now, and only 3 steps to a perfectly behaved child. It just is not that simple. If you think it is, and you have well-trained children, I would re-consider if you have children with trained hearts, or just trained behavior. Good training can lead into good heart shepherding, but they should not be seen as the same thing. There is a lot of potential pride in being a good disciplinarian reflected in the anecdotes: “I just do this, and my kids snap to it.”

Mixed in with these problems, they offer excellent (inconsistent!) counsel, too. Here’s a sample.
Outward correction doesn’t help if there isn’t mutual respect between parent and child. A child’s repentance needs to register with and be respected by the parent, or it drives the child away. “If you will cultivate fellowship with your child, you will have such cooperation and compliance that you will forget where you last left the rod” (34). Your child comes to see God as they see their parents, whether permissive or severe or balanced. Reproof is not ranting. Parents need to use the rod and reproof, both (Proverbs 29:15). If a parent doesn’t respect his own rules and enforce them with the kids, the kid gets a negative view of law and of God as permissive. Don’t let a child obey one parent but not another; be on the same page in discipline. The chapter on training children to work and do household chores was very good. “If it isn’t fun for all, it isn’t fun;” when one sibling is offending another, point out to the offender that the offended wasn’t having fun. Training them to see the sin for what it is. Great stuff.


Conclusion
This is a book of extremes. The good stuff is really good. Discipline out of anger is not discipline. The bad stuff is really bad. “If you have to sit on him to spank him, do not hesitate.” Because of this it’s hard to give a 1-5 star rating. I would NOT recommend looking here for your primary guidance in parenting. But I was helped by it at points, by way of reminder.

My difference is partly one of emphasis. They say, “You have secret weapons: a plan, love, patience, reproof, THE ROD OF CORRECTION, endurance, and, the hope of reward promised in the Scriptures.” (Emphasis added by the author). I’d write it, “You have secret weapons: A PLAN, LOVE, PATIENCE, REPROOF, the rod of correction, endurance, and, the hope of reward promised in the Scriptures.” So this is partly an emphasis difference. Will complete consistency produce complete obedience? No, and they finally admit it in just a sentence or two, after several chapters of implying that it will, that weeds of sin do continue.

But my biggest critique is that forgiveness and grace are totally left out of the picture. Only about one-fourth of one page in the whole book addresses grace or forgiveness, and the gist is that “Strict enforcement gives the opportunity for demonstrating grace.”  But how is this so? In the middle of a great description of the Gospel, he says that children can’t understand Jesus dying for them, but they can understand the rod. This is atrocious! The rod is not given to purge guilt, as is implied, but to teach the awfulness of the sin. Regardless of the few qualifications offered, and the otherwise good counsel, the assumptions of the book are functionally Pelagian: If you work hard enough at being a consistently disciplining parent, then your children will behave, give you no grief, and turn out well. There is no foundation of the grace of Jesus Christ here. In a chaotic and licentious age, it is easy to train moral behavior and define ourselves against the immoral world. But our higher calling is to draw our children to walk in the righteousness and grace of Jesus.


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Communion as enthronement to rule

Musing on how the Lord's Supper shows us the suffering and glory of Christ, English minister Arthur Kay says,

"The whole sacrificial system teaches us that, for the sinner, ascension to glory can only be reached through blade and flame.

"Without Christ as our Substitute we would not get beyond the blade. For the church on earth suffering and glory, while distinct, are part of the same complex (e.g. Rom 8:17-18). In heaven the two are conflated and the marks of suffering are made glorious (compare the "Lamb as it had been slain" of Rev 5)....

"From this I think we can see that suffering and glory begin to be brought together in the earthly church not outside of us (by intinction of the elements) but in us (i.e. in the Body of Christ) when we have ingested both broken bread and poured-out wine and go out into the world as His witnesses. (Of course there’s a sense in which wine alone speaks of both suffering and glory too).

"The point I’m labouring to get to is that the table celebrates Christ's resurrection, ascension and enthronement (and ours in Him) as well as His substitutionary death. Wine is given to kings to judge by. The enthroned king's swirling and smelling, sipping and savouring, tasting and evaluating of the wine in his cup of divination speaks of the wisdom, discernment and judgement he brings to his judicial role. (See Matt 26:29; Luke 22:20,30). In doing this “till He come” we celebrate His present reign and the certainty of all creation being filled with His glory."

The Love of God Worldwide


Many branches of the church celebrate today as worldwide communion Sunday. This means they make a point of all celebrating the Lord’s Supper today. Since we partake of the meal every week, we might be tempted to shrug at this, but consider first. The church in Kazakhstan worshiped the Lord today, about 8 hours ago. They lifted a cup and proclaimed the Lord’s death, as we do. We sometimes get the idea that we are one of the few truly faithful, but it seems there are millions around the globe placing their faith Christ. We are all busy working in our own cubicle at our own desk. We need to stay diligent to our own calling, but we don’t want to have blinders on to what else is going on. It’s helpful to stand up and look around every now and then, and see the big picture of what God is doing. The love of God in Christ, which we have known and felt in our own hearts, has also gone to Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and to St Petersburg, and Belarus, and Romania, Hungary, Israel, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, France, Ireland, Canada, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Mongolia, and China.

And Christ’s prayer will certainly not be denied – we will all be one, because the source of our unity is the love God the Father has for His Son, the glory God has given Him. Jesus has made this possible for us by His death on the cross, which we remember here.

10/2/11

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Wisdom is available

Prov 1:20-21
Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words: 


Wisdom is out in the open. She is not hidden away, or hard to find. Wisdom does not take rocket science to calculate or discern. One of our ruses to rationalize away our sin is to think that it’s just so complicated to obey God. It really is very simple. We hear her voice all the time in our conscience, in our Bibles, in our parents, our friends. God has made Himself and His ways plain. But still, we protest: “Lord, I didn’t know what you wanted of me.” Even though, deep in our hearts, we did know, but we didn’t want to listen. Let us heed lady wisdom’s call, without dissembling or protesting.


10/2/11

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6.07.2012

God's Family Acts


1 John 3: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”

It’s no accident that the sacraments the Lord gives us are homely actions. They are actions that only happen in families, with rare exceptions. Think of baptism: Only your parent gives you a bath when you are too young to wash yourself. Think of the Lord’s Supper: Only your mother feeds you from day to day. Being baptized and being given this bread and wine is a declaration that you belong to this family. And it is the family of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are His.

9/25/11

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Companion of Fools


Proverbs 1:10-19

God warns young people to avoid those running after their own gain by hurting others. Sharing a common purse with the greedy is foolish – you’ll wind up with nothing. The prodigal son found this out. So maintain proper boundaries, even with good friends, and stay distant from Mr. Worldly wise. Bad company corrupts good character, so be discerning. Think not just about when you get to be with your friends again. Think about how you can pursue godliness WITH them. Do your friends generally pursue the Lord, or a laugh? Lasting things or fleeting things? Do you, do they, pursue service of others or the limelight for themselves? How are you seeking the good of your companions?

9/25/11

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6.05.2012

Don't Just Do It


The Nike slogan is Just Do It. But we learned in the sermon that that isn’t enough. Actions do speak louder than words. But if your heart isn’t in your works done for the Lord or for others, actions are just as empty. When we come to the Lord’s Table the pattern is the same. Just doing it, just partaking isn’t the point. We eat and drink in faith, remembering Jesus Christ and His redemption of us from the curse. Direct your heart, your thoughts, your affection to Him as you hold that wonderful cup.

9/18/11

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Listen Up!


Prov 1:8-9
We need to listen to wisdom. Part of our sinful nature is to kick vs this, to just want to go our own way and not listen to otters. We want far more to be understood by others, than we want to understand others. Not only does this fail to love others, it gets us in trouble. We need to take heed, especially children to parents, but everyone to wisdom wherever we might find it. As children grow, the way we parent should change. Law and rules become counsel. But we all, children and adults need to be receptive to counsel, whether we are 12 or 20 or 50. Doing this brings beauty of obedience. Do you treasure wisdom from your parents or from others like you do your best things, like jewelry, a garland, a wedding tiara?

9/18/11

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Grace

Toby J. Sumpter

One of the greatest dangers conservative parents face is giving our children the impression that obeying is the most important thing.

#grace

Heading for Rome, or stopping at Geneva?

Peter Leithart was recently put on trial in his PCA presbytery for not conforming doctrinally to the Reformed Confessions. He was exonerated on all counts.

Now, apparently the main prosecutor has left the PCA and is headed for Rome.

Weird. Sad.

Peter Leithart and Steven Wedgeworth have good things to say. The summary:
There are some similarities between Roman Catholicism and a certain way of thinking as a Reformed Protestant:
1. The search for absolute earthly authority, whether in a pope or in a confessional document.
2. Too strong a distinction into "two kingdoms" (church and civil) looks and feels a lot like Rome's nature/grace duality.
Are there systemic connections here? Probably not. But people with an imbalanced need for things God doesn't give us on earth can do strange things.

Leithart is intriguing:
"Along with many friends and colleagues, I have long advocated a sacramental, liturgical form of Protestantism. We talk a lot about the Eucharist, and actually use the word “Eucharist,” which can send shivers up the spines of some Reformed Confessionalists. We emphasize the efficacy of baptism, and many of us wear a white robe when leading worship. When I use the word “catholic,” I usually mean it positively. Schmemann, de Lubac, Congar are among my favorite theologians. At first taste, all that can seem a gateway drug to something stronger that is found only in Rome or Constantinople. But all the basic components of what we offer come from Wittenberg and Geneva. What I and my friends offer is the antidote to and not the cause of Roman fever."

Stories to teach our history


Monroe Family Kit

Great summer reading for kids!

Get 'em here.