Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our Sovereign God of the Cross

"Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well." (Acts 4:10)



You are God of the heavens
And God of the earth
You are God of our Savior's virgin birth
You were God on the cross
And God over hell
You were God before man
And God when he fell

You
You are
You are God
You are God God God

You are God in what seems like happenstance
You are God in every circumstance
You are God when we fall
And God when we stand
You are God Who holds us in Your hand

Scott Underwood, 1997 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

God Without Jesus is Dangerous

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)

The Gift of Cancer and the Goodness of God

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11)

The Story of Zac Smith from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

Saved by God’s Grace and Living by God’s Grace

For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8)

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. (Romans 5:2)
Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need for God’s grace. Every day of our Christian experience should be a day of relating to God on the basis of His grace. We are not only saved by grace, but we also live by grace every day.

Quote from Jerry Bridges in his book “The Discipline of Grace”

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Singing for Joy!

. . . my heart and flesh sing for joy . . . (Psalm 84:2)

My daughter Jennifer told me she heard something the other day that struck her so funny that she ended up with the kind of giggles that are almost impossible to stop. It brought to mind one of my favorite YouTube videos.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

There is a Fountain Filled with Blood



There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I'll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
'Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father's ears no other name but Thine.

William Cowper, 1772

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Prayer

“The work of the Spirit can be compared to mining. The Spirit’s work is to blast to pieces the sinner’s hardness of heart and his frivolous opposition to God.” Ole Kristian Hallesby, Prayer

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." (Romans 8:26)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Christians flee after Nigeria's massacre

"You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." (Mark 13:13)

Tuesday March 9, 2010
JOS, Nigeria (AFP) – Christian villagers in Nigeria fled their homes fearing new attacks Tuesday even as a senior official accused the country's military chiefs of ignoring warnings about last weekend's massacre.

Jonah Jang, governor of central Plateau state, said the carnage that claimed hundreds of lives of mainly Christian villagers could have been avoided had there not been security lapses.

Jang told reporters he alerted the Nigeria's army commander about reports of movement around the area and was told troops would be heading there.

But while he saw a military tank rumble by his home, located a few kilometres (miles) away from one of the affected villages, "three hours or so later, I was woken by a call that they (armed gangs) have started burning the village and people were being hacked to death.

"I tried to locate the commanders, (but) I couldn?t get any of them on the telephone," Jang told journalists in the capital Abuja.

Near the central city of Jos, mass burials were held for some of the hundreds of victims of a three-hour orgy of violence, while survivors nursed wounds in hospitals.

Troops patrolled the three villages where members of the mainly Muslim Fulani ethnic group embarked on their killing spree. But residents of neighbouring villages said they had already received new threats. . . .

Officials said more than 500 people from the mainly Christian Berom ethnic group were hacked to death with machetes, axes and daggers in three villages of Dogo Nahawa, Ratsat and Zot on Sunday morning.

To read the whole article, click here.

The Servant in Battle

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ” (Matthew 4:10)

O Lord,
I bless thee that the issue of the battle
between thyself and Satan
has never been uncertain,
and will end in victory.
Calvary broke the dragon’s head,
and I contend with a vanquished foe,
who with all his subtlety and strength
has already been overcome.
When I feel the serpent at my heel
may I remember him whose heel was bruised, but who, when bruised, broke the devil’s head.

My soul with inward joy extols the mighty conqueror.

Heal me of any wounds received
in the great conflict;
if I have gathered defilement,
if my faith has suffered damage,
if my hope is less than bright,
if my love is not fervent,
if some creature-comfort occupies my heart,
if my soul sinks under pressure of the fight.


O thou whose every promise is balm, every touch life,
draw near to thy weary warrior,
refresh me, that I may rise again
to wage the strife,
and never tire until my enemy is trodden down.

Give me such fellowship with thee
that I may defy Satan,
unbelief, the flesh, the world,
with delight that comes not from a creature,
and which a creature cannot mar.

Give me a draught of the eternal fountain
that lieth in thy immutable, everlasting love and decree.
Then shall my hand never weaken,
my feet never stumble,
my sword never rest,
my shield never rust,
my helmet never shatter,
my breastplate never fall,
as my strength rests in the power of thy might.


From "The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotion" edited by Arthur Bennett

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Antoine Goetschel, the Fish Lawyer from Switzerland

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:24-25)

The Wall Street Journal ran an article yesterday about a national bill that is being voted on today in Switzerland regarding appointing public defenders for animals. If Sunday’s referendum passes, animals will have the right to be represented by lawyers in court. If they cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed at government expense. Below is a quote from the posting; to read the whole article, click here.

Last month, Antoine Goetschel went to court here in defense of an unusual client: a 22-pound pike that had fought a fisherman for 10 minutes before surrendering. Mr. Goetschel is the official animal lawyer for the Swiss canton of Zurich, a sort of public defender who represents the interests of pets, farm animals and wildlife. He wound up with the pike as a client when animal-welfare groups filed a complaint alleging animal cruelty in the fish’s epic battle with an amateur angler.

The case emerged after a local newspaper photo showed the fisherman proudly showing off the four-foot-long fish—a scene that, to Mr. Goetschel, was reminiscent of a safari hunter with his foot perched on the head of a dead lion. “It is this Hemingway thinking,” he says. “Why should this be legal when other animals have to be slaughtered in a humane way?”

The case revolved around the idea that the pike suffered excessively because of how long it took for the angler to reel it in. Mr. Goetschel lost the case last month, but is considering an appeal. Any further court action would come too late for the pike, which has been eaten. . . .
In 2008, Switzerland enacted one of the most stringent animal welfare laws in the world. Some examples of the rules include:

- Pet owners may not crop the tails of dogs or use sandpaper to line the bottom of a birdcage.

- Puppies may not be separated from their mothers before they are 56 days old.

- Birdcages must have horizontal bars so that the birds can climb.

- Horses must not be tied up and must be kept in close enough proximity to other horses to be able to see, hear and smell them.

- Hamsters must be kept in groups; ideally, owners should keep two or more females with one neutered male. Keeping only female hamsters is discouraged as they tend to fight without the presence of a male.

- Similarly, owners of parakeets must keep at least two of them. It is preferable to have even numbers of the birds, as they tend to fight if kept in odd numbers.

- Using choke collars on dogs is forbidden.

- Cats must have contact with humans each day. If that is not possible, they must have contact with other cats.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fear of the Lord or Fear of Man?

For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear. (Ecclesiastes 5:7)

How ironic (or revealing) that Associated Press posted the picture below with the title “Obama turns up the heat for health care overhaul” on a website article today.



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Living for Jesus is Not Boring

Audiences experience 'Avatar' blues
By Jo Piazza, CNN, January 11, 2010

James Cameron's completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.

On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

"I wasn't depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ," Baghdassarian said. "But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don't have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed."

To read the whole article, click here.