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Some Favourite Tunes

19 Mar

I love music. I love all kinds of music.

I especially love the way song writers are able to capture profound truths in a very concise way. I thought it might be fun to share some of those amazing lines with you in this post. I will give you a link so you can listen to a few of them that you may not know that well. Enjoy!

“Well might the sun in darkness hide, and shut his glories in. When Christ, the mighty Maker died for man the creature’s sin.”(Alas and did my Savior Bleed, Isaac Watts)

“Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,which wonders to feel its own hardness depart. Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground. And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.”(Thy Mercy, My God, John Stocker)

“Oh Perfect Love come near to me from hatred help me part. So I may bless my enemies with glimpses of Thy heart.” (Perfect Love Come Near to meWesley Randolph Eader)

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved’s mine. So you bring all your history and I’ll bring the bread and wine.”(Lover, Derek Webb)

“He knew who his betrayer was, He washed his feet, He washed his feet. He knew who his betrayer was, He washed his feet, He washed his feet. Oh, He loved them so.”(He Loves Them SoWesley Randolph Eader)

What are some of your favourites? I would love to hear from you.

I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy

7 Mar

The reality of God’s sovereignty has caused many sleepless nights in my 9 years as a Christian. I don’t loose sleep over wrestling with the complexities of how this works itself out in time and space with real human beings who make real decisions. Rather, it is the sometimes painful reality that God rules over each human being’s eternal destiny. He has mercy on who He will have mercy.

I go through a range of emotional responses during these long nights. But what I find myself coming back to is this: He is God and I am not. As we are told by Him in Exodus 34:6-7, He is “The Lord, The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty….” this same Lord chooses whom he will shower that mercy upon. He says this of himself, just a few verses before, when Moses asked to see His glory: “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” (Exodus 33:19)

So he is, as He tells us, gracious and merciful and in control of how that grace and mercy is shown. Imagine he wasn’t? Imagine it was me who was in charge of pursuing people to show them mercy and grace. It would probably look something like this: “You, the one whose personality I mesh with and have deep conversations with, I will show you mercy. And you, the one who is well dressed and good looking, I will show you mercy too. And now you, I am feeling pretty good today, so I will show you mercy too….but just make sure you stay on my good side and keep speaking to me in my love language or else I may decide to show you another side of my character.”

God is not like me. He does not show mercy because of what we provide him nor is he partial to the well dressed and pretty. He is not governed by his feelings, rather he binds his mercy to us with a promise that it will never leave us. His mercy and grace is beautiful. It calls out to those who don’t get along with him. In fact, His calls on his enemies to receive his mercy. He calls on those whose sins are like scarlet. He call on those who have been brutal and unloving to others. He calls on those who have lived with bitterness their whole lives. He calls on those who are weary and heavy laden. He calls them all to come and receive his mercy and grace because he wants them to know his mercy and grace.

So, the next time I lie awake at night and think about the profound reality of God’s sovereignty, I pray that he helps me remember that there is not one else like him. There is not one person on this earth whose mercy is as extensive as his. He is God and we are not. I pray that my soul would rest there and go forth into the world with that amazing message, for his names sake and for the good of all people.

God Tells Her…

21 Nov

I was directed to this video through one of Paul Martin’s tweets and I am so very thankful for it. Please have a listen to what this woman has to say about her hope in living with disability:

Living in Tension

2 Oct

I came across a short but excellent Q and A with John MacArthur on how we are to live with some of the more difficult doctrines of the Christian faith. In particular he address our need to live with the tension caused by certain aspects of the Atonement. Have a listen, it will be well worth your time.

Book List

20 Sep

So to kick off September, I decided to write myself a list of books I would like to get through by next year. Here is my list which as of yesterday became one book shorter!!

Loving The Little Years: Motherhood In The Trenches by Rachel Jankovic (this is the one I just finished…it’s a great book and should/must be read by all mothers of young children)

The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise

Let The Nations Be Glad by John Piper

Instruments In The Redeemer’s Hands: People In Need Of Change Helping People In Need Of Change by Paul David Tripp

This Momentary Marriage by John Piper

What do you think of my list? Any suggestions? Any takers for reading one of the books along with me?

My Peace I Give To You; Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

6 Sep

As a Christian, there is a kind of peace I experience that is far above and beyond what this world can offer. It is “a peace that passes understanding,” as the apostle Paul would say…and it is mine in Christ. It is the kind of peace that remains even when things aren’t going my way. Ironically, it’s the kind of peace that holds up in the most chaotic of circumstances. It’s a personal peace with God and others that I enjoy because of the Gospel, and I am eternally indebted to God for that.

But what bearing does my personal peace have for your life? Does it matter that I enjoy this very intimate and personal peace? Are there any consequences to not having this person peace?

Piper wrestled with this question in a sermon he recently preached on John 14: 25-31 entitled “My Peace I Give To You; Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled,” and touched on it again in this sermon. Essentially the answer is this, my personal peace with God affects your life. And so it follows that your personal peace with God affects my life and the lives of those around you.

We see numerous examples of this in Scripture. Think of the Thessalonians. News of their faith in Christ (which subsequently means peace with God) sounded forth and was an encouragement to an entire region of believers. Imagine that. An entire region of Christians simply heard about the faith these other Christians had, and they were encouraged. Even the apostle Paul himself was encouraged by the faith of these believers. And think about young Timothy and how the sincere faith of his mother and grandmother affected his life. Little did these two women know that their personal peace with God would affect generations of Christians to come!

Now, this means that the opposite must be true as well. If we lack personal peace with God we are still going to have an effect on the world around us, only it won’t encourage – rather it will tear down and destroy. You see this clearly in the world around us – terrorism, mass murders, broken families, immorality. All of it is rooted in hearts that do not know the peace of God. People like to pretend that what goes on in a person’s heart really doesn’t matter. But it does. Remember what Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matt. 15:19).

Our personal peace matters, and I would challenge you in particular Christian to strive to enjoy that personal peace with God on a daily basis. Think of how the Lord used the faith of the Thessalonians and of Timothy’s mother and grandmother and be encouraged. Be encouraged to think that God uses us in ways that we can’t even imagine. And at the same time be sobered by the reality of what our lack of peace can accomplish in the lives of those around us.

Sexual By Design

7 Jul

I recently watched a video about Doug Wilson’s visit to India. He was conducting lectures on sexuality, you can find them here At the end of those lectures he opened up the floor to any questions people might have…and they had many. A large crowd of people opposed to what Doug Wilson was teaching gathered at the lectures and seemed to dominate the question and answer period…not to mention the opportunity they took to heckle him from their seats.

I found the whole thing hard to watch (which is why I didn’t watch much of it). People were, at large, rude, irrational and didn’t really listen to what Doug Wilson was actually saying. But, I was reminded that these are the waters we swim in right now. People hate what the Bible says about sexuality and gender. People hate that Christians would even dare turn this discussion into a moral one. People hate that the Bible even has a moral standard. People hate God.

I would encourage you to watch some the Q and A I have linked above…and also take a look at the other articles I have linked below (the first I got off Paul Martin’s blog and the second off Tim Challies blog).  I for one am really disturbed by it all…but it’s making me want to read my Bible more so that I can be ready to give a defence for the hope that I have.

Living Sacrifice (Part 5)

28 Jun

The last two chapters of this book (chapter 4 and the epilogue) are full of lessons I am really wanting to share on this blog…but my mind is just not capable of condensing them all (the way I would like to). So, rather than try to say things in my own words, I am going to let Dr. Roseveare speak for herself as I end these blog posts on her book:

(The context for the following quote is when rebel soldiers were threatening to brutally kill her and a young student flung his body in front of her to keep them from harming her). I was no longer praying. I was beyond praying. I held on to the name of Jesus. Someone back home must have been praying earnestly for me….Then, quietly, God met with me. He had reminded me that twenty years before I had asked for the privilege of being a missionary. ‘This is it. Don’t you want it?’ He seemed to say to me. The fantastic privilege of being identified with out Saviour dawned afresh in my heart….Together we learned why God has given us His name as ‘I AM’ (Exod. 3:14). His grace always proved itself sufficient in the moment of need, but never before the necessary time, and rarely afterwards.(105-106)

To love the Lord my God with all my strength might, paradoxically, mean to love Him wholly in my weakness. By giving Him what I thought of as my strength, realizing my actual weakness, He could then demonstrate His real strength. ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) took on new meaning. (113)

 I long to be kept by God in an attitude of willing surrender so that He con go on to perfect that which concerns me; so that He can go on stripping and whittling and sandpapering until He is content with the new arrow He is creating. Crucifixion, the death-to-self life, must surely be seen by us all as costly, but the abundant life that He wishes to bestow on each can only be seen as unutterable privilege. (117)

Today it would appear that we Christian prefer to talk of a measure of commitment, the length to which we are willing to become involved, rather than the depths of God’s immeasurable love in which we long to become immersed. There is abroad an atmosphere of careful calculation, “thus far and no further,” maintaining certain reasonable limits. The carefree abandonment of love that marks the sacrifices of Paul, of second-century Christians, of nineteenth-century missionaries, seems sadly lacking. Today we weigh up what we can afford to give Him: in those days, they knew that they could not afford to give Him less than all! (125)

 I will end with these words from our sister; a refrain which we have heard time and time again throughout this book. May God help us take these words to heart:

As He loved us, so we should love Him, that He may love through us all whom He would reach. Christ so loved us that He gave Himself to be the propitiation for our sins, a willing substitute, the one perfect, sufficient sacrifice. He left the glory of heaven to come to earth to pay the penalty of our sin, taking our place on the cross of Calvary, and dying for us, the just for the unjust, that He might redeem us and bring us to God. In a response of overwhelming gratitude and love, let us count no cost too great to give to the Lord the service of our lives: through every moment of every day, rendering to Him those ‘spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God.’ (137-138)

Living Sacrifice (Part 4)

24 May

We are in chapter 3 which Dr. Roseveare entitles With all my mind. I am not going to share any particular story this week but I will note one common thread in all of the stories she shares – the battle to submit herself to God’s ways and not her own.

The battle goes something like this – She wants to use her abilities as a doctor, God wants her to learn how build hospitals. She wants to spend more time sharing the gospel, God wants her to treat sick patients. She wants to interact more with students and patients, God wants her in her office doing administrative work. It’s not that the things she wanted to do were ever sinful in themselves, it was just that she was discontent if she wasn’t doing those things when she wanted to do them. She had a role to play in what God was doing but was consistently discontent with his choice of what that role would be. What she was learning throughout all of this was that true contentment came when she gave God what she had and allowed him to do with it whatever he wanted. It was a lesson that she had to learn over and over and over again. Sound familiar? In principle I am sure that battle sounds familiar to all of us.

Perhaps what contributes to our discontentment – whether we are missionary doctors in Africa or housewives in Toronto – is that we don’t often think of the ultimate purpose in why God has gifted up with certain abilities. First, my mind goes to 1 Corinthians 12-14. God has gifted us all differently for the purpose of building up the church. It is not so that we can glory  in our own gifts and use them as we see fit. We are given gifts (specifically spiritual gifts here, but I think – correct me if I am wrong – that would also mean natural gifts as well) for the common good of the church (12:7). There should be no complaining about what gifts we have been given and how we get to use them, because we are all working together for the same goal, namely, to live in such a way that our Father in heaven receives all the glory.

This shouldn’t discourage us from enjoying the gifts God has given us simply because they are good and enjoyable, but I do think that lasting contentment in using these gifts comes from placing them in the the context of God’s sovereign purposes. That way, when we don’t get to use our abilities the way we want or do the things that we want, we can learn to be content. We can remind ourselves that it is not ultimately about us, and then enjoy the glorious freedom that comes with believing that reality.

Nothing to Say

17 May

Lately I find I don’t have much to say. Writing blog posts has been particularly challenging in light of this. So, I am not going to force a blog post out of myself this morning, but I will post a clip of one of my son’s favourite video right now – he’s so weird!

Have a great Thursday!!