Monday, December 27, 2010

Bitterness as Idolatry

Helpful quote from the ESV Study Bible on Hebrews 12:15.
The author warns against “bitterness” by alluding to Deut. 29:18, which describes one who turns away from God and pursues other gods. A bitter and resentful person is like a contagious poison, spreading his resentment to others.

Oh, God, may we never be such a poison to others.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kauflin on Retiring Old Worship Songs

Fascinating thoughts from Bob Kauflin on when to retire worship songs. Here are the questions he gets at:
Is it wrong to retire old songs?
If so, how do you know the right time?
Do we even need to be singing new songs?
What makes a song “old?”
Once a song is retired, should we ever bring it back?
Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

D.A. Carson is the Man

So we really should just read whatever he writes. JT links to a great sale on one of his newest books. This post counts as my monthly post (haha!), and I'm really doing it for my friend Will Brannon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Overpractice

Practicing "too much" is something I have never done. My failed golf career is evidence of this. Over at the CCEF blog Ed Welch tells us of our need to overpractice the gospel. "Over-practice. Use any excuse to get back to the cross itself and then—do it again." I especially like this quote:
It is supposed to work this way: we practice saying no to sexual sin everyday. We care for and enjoy those things and people that God gives us and don’t covet what he doesn’t give us. So, when drawn to an alluring advertisement, a sexual fantasy or flirtatious though seemingly harmless banter, we say no. We practice on the smaller steps, and practice some more. Then we are prepared if we ever have to face bigger ones.
Here are the main points:
1. Never give thanks for blessings you can see without remembering the blessings you can’t see.
2. Confess sin, often. Again…over-practice.
3. Take advantage of fellowship.

And the conclusion:
So… when in doubt….over-practice. Musicians, athletes (and better calculus students) know it helps them when the pressure comes. Over-practice your faith and the same will be true there as well. The means of spiritual growth aren’t always flashy, but they are effective.
Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Meditation on God's Judgment

Paul Tripp recently posted a poem where he meditates on God's judgment of sin and unrighteousness. It's a reflection particularly on Psalm 73. Here's how it starts:
To transgressing of your boundaries
You will put an end.
To human thoughts of autonomy
You will put an end.
To delusions of self-sufficiency
You will put an end.
Grace forbids these going on forever.
This is the basic structure, and it concludes like this:
Grace has drawn me near to you.
Grace has paid for my unfaithfulness.
Grace has made me clean in Your eyes.
Grace put my stripes on Jesus
so I would not face them
when you put what is now
to an end.

Great stuff to help us remember the gospel in the face of our sins.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Frame Fans

There are lots of fans of John Frame out there. I know some who've had the privilege to study with him, and they speak very highly of his life and doctrine.

He and NT scholar Vern Poythress (that's a fun name to say out loud; go ahead and try it!) have a joint website with tons of their articles on all kinds of topics.

I aspire to read Frame's book on Christian ethics in the near future, but life is a bit busy at the moment. We'll see...I read his The Doctrine of God for a class, and it is simply outstanding. Like amazingly outstanding.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Running the Race

In a sermon on James 5:1-11 recently, Tom Schreiner gave this helpful word about running the race of faith, commenting on verse 7:
Don't confuse perfection with perseverance
In other words, running the race of the Christian life requires us to persevere in the faith, and not grow weary. But it is not a race of perfection. So when we see ourselves fail in the race, we do not grow weary, rather we entrust ourselves to the Father's care. He will ultimately carry us through to the end.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Open Your Eyes!

Bob Kauflin has an interesting post about worship leaders needing to open their eyes more when they're leading. His thoughts are interesting and worth reading. But they're not just for leaders. He ends up offering some helpful reminders for what's going on when we're in a corporate worship setting. To whet your appetite, here are some of the possible (bad) reasons for leaders closing their eyes:
* we want to look spiritual
* we think the Holy Spirit likes closed eyes more than opened eyes
* we don’t want to look at the faces of people who seem apathetic, concerned, confused, or angry about what we’re doing
* we’re battling fear of man and the easiest thing to do is just pretend that no one else is around
* we don’t want to see who walks out of the room
* we’re discouraged by the dwindling number of people showing up on Sundays
* we’re imagining that this is our own personal encounter with God
* we don’t remember the words to the next verse
* we can’t think of anything better to do

Not to mention that worship leaders who shut their eyes sometimes look more like they’re in pain than in God’s presence.

I especially like the last one! Also, don't forget about his book.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

If You Don't Want to be Sanctified...

then don't read the biography of Adoniram Judson called To the Golden Shore. If, however, you do want to grow as a Christian, then do not waste another minute. First, buy or borrow this book. Second, read it: for 10 minutes during your quiet time, for 30 minutes instead of Jeopardy, or for the last few minutes of the day as you lay in bed (although this will prove difficult as you get wrapped up into this amazing story of God's faithfulness in sending his gospel from shore to shore!). John Piper also has a short biography of Judson alongside that of William Tyndale and John Paton. Why are you still reading my blog? Go! Buy it!