Thursday, 29 September 2011

one day at a time

I only dread one day at a time. 
I got this quote from p27 of this book: Running Scared: Fear, Worry and the God of Rest

God willing, I will be preaching on 'worry' this coming Sunday evening. Well, I hope to be preaching more about who God is in the face of our worries.
It will be our Harvest Service. Matthew 6 & Exodus 16 make the link between worry and food. So I hope it 'fits' in an interesting way. [I'm tempted to say, I am worried it won't! But I will resist that temptation.]

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Passive Aggressive Sins

“So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins, such as violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects, that too little attention is paid to the passive sins, such as apathy and laziness, which in the long run can have a more devastating effect.” Elizabeth Franklin

Monday, 26 September 2011

establish the work of our hands

this week's memory verse

Mark - the action movie

Matthew's gospel moves in a leisurely fashion from a genealogy to the beginning of Jesus' ministry in four chapters; Mark has Jesus born, baptised, tempted, and calling disciples before he is halfway through the first chapter.

If Matthew presents Jesus as a new Moses, as a Rabbi or Teacher, Mark presents Him as a man of action, always on the move, a new David, the Warrior.

The Four: A Survey of the Gospels

Friday, 23 September 2011

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin.

The possibility that the evangelists wrote their books to be read as wholes (probably out loud in the congregation), and that they designed them in such a way that the hearer would be led effectively from theme to theme, building up the total picture in the manner of a good novelist, seldom occurs to us. 

Divine Government: God's Kingship in the Gospel of Mark (p6)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Where's your head at?

In the sand? 
In the clouds?
Screwed on? 
Keeping it while all around are losing theirs?

To get the context read this article in The Briefing.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

60 million at least

It is impossible to say how many Christians there are in China today, but no-one denies the numbers are exploding.

The government says 25 million, 18 million Protestants and six million Catholics. Independent estimates all agree this is a vast underestimate. A conservative figure is 60 million. There are already more Chinese at church on a Sunday than in the whole of Europe.

Corporal Punishment in the Bible

William Webb has just written a book about smacking. Thomas Schreiner summarises: 
If we truly followed what the OT teaches about corporal punishment, according to Webb, our “discipline” would be much more severe. He insists, for example, that those who spank can’t (if they truly follow the OT) apply age limitations or limit the number of “smacks.” Webb appeals to the overlap between corporal punishment texts and cases in which slaves or those who violated the law were punished (Exod. 21:20-21; Deut. 25:1-3). It is clear from these comparative texts, Webb argues, that punishment of children was much more severe than those who advocate spanking today would tolerate. Nor can we apply spankings to the buttocks alone, for we see in Proverbs (e.g.,Prov. 10:13; 19:29; 26:3) that fools were struck on the back. Furthermore, bruises and welts were inflicted on slaves and criminals, and hence those who favor spanking today are inconsistent when they claim spanking should not leave marks on children.
To read Schreiner's evaluation of this argument click here.

HT: Justin Taylor

Every square inch

He has authority over Satan and all demons, over all angels -good and evil - over the natural universe, natural objects and laws and forces: stars, galaxies, planets, meteorites; authority over all weather systems: winds, rains, lightning, thunder, hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, typhoons, cyclones; authority over all their effects: tidal waves, floods, fires; authority over all molecular and atomic reality: atoms, electrons, protons, neutrons, undiscovered subatomic particles, quantum physics, genetic structures, DNA, chromosomes; authority over all plants and animals great and small: whales and redwoods, giant squid and giant oaks, all fish, all wild beasts, all invisible animals and plants: bacteria, viruses, parasites, germs; authority over all the parts and functions of the human body: every beat of the heart, every breath of the diaphragm, every electrical jump across a million synapses in our brains; authority over all nations and governments: congresses and legislatures and presidents and kings and premiers and courts; authority over all armies and weapons and bombs and terrorists; authority over all industry and business and finance and currency; authority over all entertainment and amusement and leisure and media; over all education and research and science and discovery; authority over all crime and violence; over all families and neighborhoods; and over the church, and over every soul and every moment of every life that has been or ever will be lived.
John Piper here

all authority

Jesus does not just have the authority of moral persuasion among individuals and in the inter-personal realm. He also has authority in the ecclesiastical and familial, as well as in the societal, political, economical, and all other realms. 
p227, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology - Kenneth Gentry

Monday, 12 September 2011

Against the run of play

In Scripture and history, the church has had the strongest, most lasting influence on society, not when it has accommodated itself to the world, but when it has been most true to its own confession against overwhelming odds. Consider Noah and Abraham, believing God's promises against all the apparent evidence to the contrary. Consider Moses, standing boldly before Pharaoh to proclaim God's word, demonstrating God's power against the most powerful totalitarian dictator of the time. Consider Elijah, challenging King Ahab and the 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah. Consider Peter, preaching to the murderers of Jesus on the day of Pentecost; Paul, taking the gospel through the world; the Christian martyrs of the first centuries; Athanasius of Alexandria, standing against the world for the doctrine of the Trinity; Luther and Calvin, protesting that salvation is entirely by God's grace without human works; the Puritans, seeking to bring all of human life and society under the rule of God's word.
John Frame here.

Friday, 9 September 2011

artificial original sin!

Artificial intelligence seems to have an inner bent to destructive behaviour according to this video!
How very human. 

your desire will be for you avatar but he will rule over you

Truly in their makers' image. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Anti-Sectarianism in Family Life!

So long as you have groups of men chosen rationally, you have some special or sectarian atmosphere. It is when you have groups of men chosen irrationally that you have men.
[p 142,  On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family, in Heretics, The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton: 1]

Monday, 5 September 2011

with feeling!

We say the first bit quietly or normally AND THEN WE GO LOUD FOR THE 'DO NOT GIVE INTO THEM'!
All with lots of giggles. But deadly serious intent.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


Teach me that if I do not live a life that satisfies you,
I shall not live a life that will satisfy myself.

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, p 304

Friday, 2 September 2011

A word for cave-men

... to make a man comfortable is to make him the opposite of sociable.
Sociability, like all good things, is full of discomforts, dangers, and renunciations. 

[p 137,  On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family, in Heretics, The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton: 1]

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The big society, gang culture and the monastic life

It is not fashionable to say much nowadays* of the advantages of the small community. We are told that we must go in for large empires and large ideas. There is one advantage, however, in the small state, the city, or the village, which only the wilfully blind can overlook. The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce varieties and uncompromising divergences of men. The reason is obvious. In a large community we can choose our companions. In a small community our companions are chosen for us. Thus in all extensive and highly civilised societies groups come into existence founded upon what is called sympathy, and shut out the real world more sharply than the gates of a monastery.
There is nothing really narrow about the clan; the thing which is really narrow is the clique. The men of the clan live together because they all wear the same tartan or are all descended from the same sacred cow; but in their souls, by the divine luck of things, there will always be more colours than in any tartan. But the men of the clique live together because they have the same kind of soul, and their narrowness is a narrowness of spiritual coherence and contentment, like that which exists in hell. A big society exists in order to form cliques. A big society is a society for the promotion of narrowness. It is a machinery for the purpose of guarding the solitary and sensitive individual from all experience of the bitter and bracing human compromises. It is, in the most literal sense of the words, a society for the prevention of Christian knowledge. 
[p 136-137,  On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family, in Heretics, The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton: 1]

* Heretics was published in 1905!