Tuesday, 27 October 2009

He tells me everything

As the son grows older, and if mother has a hard time maintaining a good relationship with her son through parental discipline, she may attempt to compensate for it through developing an emotional closeness with him. ‘I know he can be a real pill, but we have had some really good talks. I think he is really opening up to me.’ What may actually be happening is the son is learning how to manipulate his mother. In other words, if he tells her how his day at school went and talks with her just a little bit, a great deal of disobedience and disrespect will be overlooked.

Emotional closeness or intimacy which ignores sin is not a sign of better things to come; it is an unmarked package ticking ominously.

(Ch 10 - Future Men)
I think this is a challenge for Dads. We need to back up our wives, to love them and and to work at discipline so that our sons respect Mum and obey her, gladly, first time (knowing as we do first hand the way that guys sin or are tempted to sin in this way from our own sin as young men towards our mums!).

But more than that, it is a huge challenge for single mums who don't have that back up.

Do you know of anything written (book or blog) or any mp3 resouce that is helpful on this one?

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Thought for Half-Term

So do you think we live in a 'Christian' nation?
Should we?  Yes! Jesus is Lord of all.
But do we?

I hope this is a very isolated incident.
The police round us are excellent in all the dealings I have had with them.

But this 'state' who write & enact this kind of clumsy legislation also recruit and pay the teachers too.
Something to think about over half-term!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Luke 1:26-38

Below is a highlight that is wonderful.
Here is a summary: single men - do not overlook a wonderful life marrying a single mother and adopting her child / chidlren.
But only the best men need apply!

This makes me wonder about my ambitions for Simeon.
I wonder what Joseph's Dad was like.
Was he thrilled to be a Grandad THIS WAY?
But he had raised a young man who courageously took on this role the Lord called him to. That is quite something.
I long for Simeon to be a grace filled man of courage. But what 'shape' does that take in my mind?
'Lord may it be to me as you will'

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

And the rest...

Gary North describes the 4th Commandment as 'one of the most difficult of all exegetical and application problems in the Bible'. On a par with tithing!

Several questions must be considered he says:
1. What is the meaning of 'rest'?
2. What is the meaning of 'sabbath'?

3. Is the Lord's Day the same as the sabbath?
4. What was the focus of the sabbath in the Old Testament times: rest or worship, or both?
5. How extensive were the restrictions against working in Old Testament times?
6. Are these same restrictions still required by God in New Testament times?
7. Who or what agency is to enforce (any) sabbath requirements in New Testament times (if there are any)?
8. If the Old Testament's prohibitions had been enforced throughout the history of the West, could the mordern, industrialized West ever have come into existence?

These seem sensible questions to ask. Certainly a good start. Though there are tons more in application. I'd love to see a list of those.

 Almost a nice touch to have seven! And 8. is an interesting one. Though I am not sure why he asks it (I haven't read a lot of his work as yet). Is he presupposing that industrialization is a 'good thing' which should shape our interpretation {that would be strange} or is he suggesting that those who want to maintain the OT prohibitions also want to have instant hot water and light ... but that they can't have both? In which case where does he come down on that?]

I am still am 'at work' on this whole 'rest' business!

Monday, 19 October 2009

How not to have smelly feet

25 of us got together on Saturday for a fine breakfast.
It was superb to see the men from St Lukes and we were very glad to have Colin Tamplin with us speaking.

The title for the event came from Romans (10:9-15):
9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
So the topic was our witness to unbelievers.
Colin spoke from Acts 11:19-21
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
I found myself taking notes on a post-it note that I had already written on (oops!). So this may not be a brilliant recollection of Colin's excellet talk! But he had five points & I can only make out 4!! Anyway...

Assuming that we depend on God's Spirit in prayer living grace filled lives then we need these other 5/4 things to be effective (by this I mean faithful) witnesses:
1. Be Ordinary Men [these men in v19 were not 'professional' which after all the focus in Acts on Philip (8), Paul (9) and Peter (10) is significant. God has to do a lot to get the professionals going, yet these guys got on with witnessing to Jews in v19 and then Gentiles in v20. In the great story of the gospel Colin suggested that it will be the witness of ordinary people more than the 'great' evangelists and pastors, which will be seen to be the 'majority' of the work under God]
2. Willing to Pay the Price [they had been scattered by persecution that had arised to the gospel in the wake of Stephen's murder...end of ch7... Colin reminded us that sometimes, though we are patient, loving and kind, our 'feet' will smell. Some people hate the gospel and so will hate us.]
3. Willing to Take a Risk [it is tempting to keep your head down when you see the cost and even when you have paid it too ... once burnt, twice shy ... But they didn't]
4. Speaking about Jesus Christ [many people lives have been changed by many things. AA, Boxing, giving up smoking, drying out, 'anger management' course, a change in diet, Islam, Buddism, 'green living' etc. Why is Jesus different to any other transforming 'power'? We need to speak of his uniqueness. He is Lord. Of the cross, of eternity, of our sin, of judgment, of wrath and mercy, of God's Spirit.  Without speech (the whole 'preach the gospel and use words if necessary') people will think 'nice bloke...that is nice for him' but they will not understand the good news. v20 'the good news about the Lord Jesus' has to be spoken].

In the course of the talk Colin gave a nice short Trinitarian apology for speaking the good news:
The World began with Speech.
The eternal Son came into the world speaking. In fact he was called the Word.
The Spirit 'exhales' God's Word (Old and New Testament), and equips a speaking church.
God's work has always been done by speech.

Thanks to Pauline, Yvonne and Liz for a superb breakfast (the works!) and a special mention to Ann who was injured in the line of duty. We wish her a speedy recovery!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Carol of the Week - No More Disgrace!

no-one on youtube does the full version. And my 'Mission Praise' only has 5 verses.
Perhaps lung capacities have to be taken into account?

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might,
Who to your tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times gave holy law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come O Rod of Jesse's stem,
From ev'ry foe deliver them
That trust your mighty pow'r to save;
Bring them in vict'ry through the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, O Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav'nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by your drawing nigh,
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Tune: Veni Emmanuel
1st Published in: 1854
Translated: John Neal, 1818-66

Luke 1:5-25

Thursday, 15 October 2009



Bit by bit we are getting ready for our eXcel weekend away.
Bookings have opened! John Young will be joining us and speaking on the incarnation.
We'll be having a Christmas theme and quite frankly, I can't wait!

More gentle, mild, debate!

COLLISION outtake: King's College from LEVEL4 on Vimeo.
Outtake from the movie COLLISION featuring Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson debating at King's College in NYC. collisionmovie.com

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

This makes me happy!

Andy Sach is on the 'big' screen.
If you are in London on 2nd November check it out!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Would Jesus spank children?

John Piper talks about spanking children.
Not everything that could be said. Of course. But a good start.
And good that he addresses the 'naughty step/time out' alternative too.

Key idea: the relationship between love and discipline (which is painful for a time).

The heart of the matter

A woman told her husband, that of her three sons, one of them only was his: the father dying, desired the executors to find out which was the true natural son, and bequeath all his estate to him. The father being dead, the executors set up his corpse against a tree and delivered to every one of these three sons a bow and arrows, telling them, that he who could shoot nearest the father's heart should have the whole of the estate. Two sons shot as near as they could to his heart, but the third felt nature so to work in him, that he refused to shoot; whereupon the executors judged him to be the true son, and gave him all the estate. Such as are the true children of God, fear to shoot at him; but such as are bastards, and not sons, care not though they shoot at him in heaven with their oaths and curses.
Thomas Watson from his sermon on the 3rd Commandment

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Our JOYFUL 'carol of the week'

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

It is very hard to find decent versions on youtube! Sorry about this!

Impossible to find any that have verse 3. I wonder why?! But it is the best verse - don't you think?

Careful investigation

I am new to Mars Hill. And am enjoying it so far!
Here is the start of a series on Luke. Exciting stuff.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Delight in the Lord and ....

John Piper answers the question:

'How can I long to be married without obsessing about it?'

Not enough hands

At last! Photographic evidence of Malcolm's summer of victories (here & here).
Nice one!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

3 days to go...

Christmas Unwrapped - this Sunday at eXcel!

No Deal or Big Deal!

'The devil has two false glasses, which he sets before men's eyes; the one is a little glass, in which the sin appears so small that it can hardly be seen, which the devil sets before men's eyes when they are going to commit sin; the other is a great magnifying glass, wherein sin appears so big that it cannot be forgiven, which the devil sets before men's eyes when they have sinned.'

Thomas Watson from his sermon on the 3rd Commanment

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Keep Families Free

See here for more details.

A rare glimpse inside North Korea

More on North Korea here.

A Gentle Collision

COLLISION: Doug Wilson outtake from LEVEL4 on Vimeo.

That's not my name

Wondering if (and how) to use this to illustrate Exodus 20:7!

The Name of the LORD

This is really an experiment post. My first attempt at using 'knol'.
If there is no display above click on the 'open this content in a new window' and it will pop up (I think).
In trying to get to grips with the 3rd commandment I've been looking at the Biblical Data on 'the Name of the Lord'. What a huge, mainline 'theme' this is!


Just wondering if this might work better?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

North Korea

Some recent photos and news from North Korea via BBC Website.

Below is what the BBC site has to say about the country:

After the Korean War, Kim Il-sung introduced the personal philosophy of Juche, or self-reliance, which became a guiding light for North Korea's development.

Kim Il-sung's son, Kim Jong-il, is now head of state, but the post of president has been assigned "eternally" to his late father.

Decades of this rigid state-controlled system have led to stagnation and a leadership dependent on the cult of personality.

Aid agencies have estimated that up to two million people have died since the mid-1990s because of acute food shortages caused by natural disasters and economic mismanagement. The country relies on foreign aid to feed millions of its people.

The totalitarian state also stands accused of systematic human rights abuses. Reports of torture, public executions, slave labour, and forced abortions and infanticides in prison camps have emerged. A US-based rights group has estimated that there are up to 200,000 political prisoners in North Korea.

Pyongyang has accused successive South Korean governments of being US "puppets", but South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's visit in 2000 signalled a thaw in relations. Seoul's "sunshine policy" towards the north aimed to encourage change through dialogue and aid.
But this tentative reaching-out to the world was dealt a blow in 2002 by Pyongyang's decision to reactivate a nuclear reactor and to expel international inspectors.

In October 2006 North Korea said it had successfully tested a nuclear weapon, spreading alarm throughout the region. Since then, intensive diplomatic efforts have aimed to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions. After years of on-and-off talks, a deal was thrashed out in February 2007 under which Pyongyang agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor in return for aid and diplomatic concessions. But negotiations stalled as North Korea accused its negotiating partners - the US, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia - of failing to meet agreed obligations.
Tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world increased steadily again from late 2008 onwards, and in April 2009 North Korea walked out of international talks aimed at ending its nuclear activities. The following month, the country carried out its second ever underground nuclear test and announced that it no longer considered itself bound by the terms of the 1953 truce that ended the war between the two Koreas.

North Korea maintains one of the world's largest standing armies and militarism pervades everyday life. But standards of training, discipline and equipment in the force are said to be low.

Videos from linkglobal:

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Devout hatred

Of them that hate me.

Another reason against image-worship is, that it is hating God. Image-worship is a pretended love to God, but God interprets it as hating him.
[1] God says, you shall not set up any statue, image, nor picture, to represent me; these things I hate. 'Neither shalt thou set up any image; which the Lord thy God hateth.' Deut 16: 22. Yet the idolater sets up images, and worships them.
[2] The idolater shuts the truth out of doors; he blots out the second commandment; he makes an image of the invisible God; he brings a lie into God's worship; which are clear proofs that he hates God.
[3] Though idolaters love the false image of God in a picture, they hate his true image in a believer. They pretend to honour Christ in a crucifix, and yet persecute him in his members. Such hate God.

1st Application
This confutes those who plead for image-worshippers. They are very devout people; they adore images; they set up the crucifix; kiss it; light candles to it; therefore they love God. Nay, but who shall be judge of their love? God says they hate him, and give religious adoration to a creature. They hate God, and God hates them; and they shall never live with God whom he hates; he will never lay such vipers in his bosom.

2nd Application
Let us not be among God-haters. 'Little children, keep yourselves from idols.' 1 John 5: 21. As you would keep your bodies from adultery, keep your souls from idolatry. Take heed of images, they are images of jealousy to provoke God to anger; they are damnable. You may perish by false devotions as much as by real scandal; by image-worship, as by drunkenness and whoredom. A man may die by poison as much as a pistol. We may go to hell by drinking poison in the cup of fornication, as much as by being pistoled with gross and scandalous sins.