Monday, December 29, 2008

He Heals the Brokenhearted

"Time heals all wounds," so the old saying goes, but it's not exactly true...only God heals! He created time and uses it for good, but he alone is the One who "heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3.) So how does God work to heal our broken hearts?

He does it by words of comfort that show us there is still hope, and that one day he will make all things right. He does this through his Holy Spirit, the promised Comforter, who takes his words found in the pages of Scripture and presses them close to our hearts. If we are looking for healing and binding up of wounds apart from his words of grace and hope we will not find it! There is no true hope of healing and restoration apart from him.

If his promises of heaven to come, of his sustaining strength and power for the trials we face now, and his unfailing love for us are of no comfort to us in our sorrow and loss, then we will look in vain for true healing for our broken hearts. The comforts and consolations of this world are empty and will not satisfy. Only the truth will do--the truth found in the promises of Christ.

"But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall" (Malachi 4:2.) The comforting, healing, life-giving promises of God are for those who love him, who "fear his name" and who look to him with patient trust. One day, all those who do will find themselves healed, whole and full of joy unspeakable... as little calves set free go leaping, out into the bright sunshine.

(Photo by Niebrugge Images)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jesus' Ferocious Plan

I've tried to track down the author of this essay but haven't been able to (yet.) I read it some years ago on the blog of a wonderful Christian man, a Bible professor as I recall, who was dying from cancer. I remember that this entry was written by his wife after they'd attended a chapel service and heard their friend Elliot speak. Their online journal was very touching and inspiring, and this particular entry stood out to me as exceptionally grand, so I copied it and saved it to a folder. Going through some things today I found it again, so thought I'd share it with you.

"I can't possibly tell about all the things Elliot reminded us of, about how incredibly glorious Jesus is and what an unspeakable privilege it is to belong to him and be part of his kingdom, but I'll pick this one image he painted for us. He reminded us that Jesus' death on the cross was not a passive thing that he simply endured, but rather a ferocious attack on the enemy--sin and death--in which that enemy was defeated and destroyed by Jesus' obedience to the Father that flowed from his passionate love for him.

Elliot said he pictures it like shark hunting, in which Jesus gets ready to jump into the water to take on the shark. Jesus explains to his disciples that his plan is to get swallowed by the shark, rip out the shark's insides, and then jump back into the boat. When the skeptical disciples ask, 'Don't you think that will smart a bit, mate?' he says, 'Yes. But the shark will be dead.'

"Jesus took on human flesh, immersed himself in this messed-up world and chose to undergo a horrific execution in order to take on sin and death and rip out their guts. Crucifixion smarted plenty, but it worked. His resurrection--his startling jump back into the boat--destroyed the enemy. Hallelujah!

"That was a great reminder, both of what it cost Jesus to redeem us and of the triumph of his resurrection that broke the power of death over him, and also over us as we are united to him."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Half A Christian

I heard a great line from Alistair Begg on the radio the other morning: "Half a gospel makes half a Christian." It resonated with me as so true. I was a half-Christian for many years. Having missed the part about God's wrath against sin, and my very real guilt, I had no real appreciation for the grace of God and for what a debtor to mercy I really was. This left me, in the end, arrogant and self-sufficient.

Of course there's really no such thing as "half a Christian;" that's the scary part, because it means that many who have heard only half the message of the gospel, and responded to it, now believe themselves to be converted, and they may not be. May God raise up many more pastors, like our own, who will preach the full message of the good news boldly and faithfully.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Big Thoughts For Little Thinkers

How in the world do you speak about the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity to a 5-year-old?

These little books, Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers, look like an excellent resource for parents and other teachers of young children ages 4-8 (the author, Joey Allen, is also planning a book on doctrine for older children.)

There are 4 books in the Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers series: The Gospel, The Scriptures, The Trinity, and The Mission.

The premise of the books is that even young children are able to grasp big truths about God, and we should be telling them those truths! They are available at, as well as at other outlets, I would guess. Purchasing them through this link will help support Tony Kummer's helpful ministry. Click on the link, check the books out and read the customer reviews. This is the kind of resource every Christian family should have around.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Book Meme

My friend Laurie tagged me for a book meme. The rule is to "pick up the nearest book with at least 123 pages, turn to the 123rd page, find the 5th sentence, and then post the three sentences immediately after that. "

So in front of me on the coffeetable is my daughter's Biology textbook. Let's see, page 123...this will be a bit weird, since these are study guide questions, but a question is technically a sentence...there's the 5th question...and here are the next three. If you can answer these questions correctly, I'll award you a major prize.

6. Of the hyphae listed in question 5, which are aerial? (Sorry, according to the rules I cannot help you by posting question 5. You'll just have to make your best guess.)

7. What is the difference between a sporangiophore and a conidiophore?

8. Give the main characteristic associated with each of the phyla of kingdom Fungi: Basidiomycota, Ascomycota, Zygomycota, Chytridiomycota, Deuteromycota, and Myxomycota.

Did you know there was a kingdom of Fungi? I think I know where it's capital city is hidden. And Deuteromycota must be a biblical phyla (fella?)

Thanks Laurie, that was... fun. :)

I'm supposed to tag 5 bloggers;Missy, Missy and Jennie, you count as 5!

Delight Yourself in the Lord

I really need to follow up the last post with some more thoughts on the election...I've had them, I'm fairly certain. But for now I'll just say this, which is likely of much more eternal significance:

that when it says in Psalm 112:1, "Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments", those two things, fearing the LORD and delighting in his commandments, are the same thing.

Amazing that the fear of him and delight in what he commands are all of a piece.

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31, 1517

I'm glad there was a monk named Martin Luther who owned a mallet and some nails with which he nailed his 95 theses to the big wooden door of the church in Wittenburg, Germany on All Saints Eve in 1517. You should be, too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It Is Not Death to Die

One of my favorite new CD's, "Come Weary Saints" is from the wonderful folks at Sovereign Grace Music. It just doesn't get any better than the music they put out. Much of it is suitable for congregational singing, and all of it is very good for your soul.

"Come Weary Saints" is filled with songs specifically aimed at God's people who've grown weary in the race; that can be any one of us on any given day. You can order it and others here.

But the reason I mention it today is because of this post. Terry Stauffer is a pastor in Canada whose young daughter Emily was recently murdered as she was walking near their home. The next few entries following the first announcement are well worth reading.

"It Is Not Death to Die," a song from the "Come Weary Saints" cd, was played by the Stauffers at Emily's memorial service. Terry says this in his October 16th post: "I had a history professor in seminary that said, 'Young people today are not learning songs in church that they can sing at funerals.' That is often true. I'm glad that's not true at our church."

It will be good to read Terry Stauffer's thoughts and taste how strong and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is. For those who love Him, it is not death to die.

(Find a soundclip of "It Is Not Death to Die" here.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

52 and Thankful

Today is an anniversary of sorts, marking 52 years of life on this earth. There is a book to write now, as anyone who has arrived at the half century mark of living can tell you! A lot has happened; a lot more will. Looking back and gazing forward, I'm so thankful to be able to say on this day that...

1. God is sovereign. His purposes and His plans will stand; "for the earth will be filled with the
knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

2. He is good. I need have no fear of those plans and purposes, for He is the judge of all the earth
who will do what is right.

3. He will complete the good work that He has begun in all His people. Grace began it,
grace will finish it, and grace will lead us home.

4. He changes selfish, greedy people into thankful ones.

I'm grateful for mercy and grace, for discipline and forbearance. And for so many other things that include people, and churches, and families, and friends and blessings.

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on Earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy church that evermore,
Lifteth holy hands above;
Off'ring up on every shore,
Her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thyself, best Gift Divine,
To the world so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in heaven.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Work In Progress

Planning to have this blog up and running by the first week in October. Please do check back in then!