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    Archived pages: 1135 . Archive date: 2013-11.

  • Title: From Radical Lesbian to Redeemed Christian - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: /.. From Radical Lesbian to Redeemed Christian.. February 19, 2013.. Subscribe to.. All Blog Posts.. In 1999, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield was a tenured English professor at Syracuse University, a skeptic of all things Christianity, and in a committed lesbian relationship.. Her academic specialty was Queer Theory, a postmodern form of gay and lesbian studies.. Today Butterfield is a mother of four, a homemaker, and wife of a Presbyterian pastor named Kent.. They live in Durham, North Carolina.. She is an unlikely convert.. And in this episode of the.. Authors on the Line.. podcast, Butterfield shares the story of her conversion from a radical lesbian to a redeemed Christian.. It's a story involving a pastor, a pretty ordinary local church, and a Bible.. “I tried to toss the Bible and all of its teachings in the trash — I really tried,” she says.. “But I kept reading it, reading it not just for pleasure, but reading it because I was engaged in a research program trying to refute the religious right from a lesbian feminist perspective.. After my second or third, maybe fourth, pass through the entire Bible something started to happen.. The Bible got to be bigger inside me than I.. And it absolutely overflowed into my world.. I really fought against it.. And then one Sunday morning, no different from any other Sunday morning, I rose from the bed of my lesbian lover, and an hour later I sat in a church pew.. I went there very conspicuous of the  ...   questions, and challenges that face a person in the gay and lesbian community.. To listen, you can subscribe to the.. podcast in iTunes.. here.. Download the mp3.. (21.. 8 MB).. Or listen from the resource page through the following link:.. From Radical Lesbian to Redeemed Christian: An Autobiographical Interview with Rosaria Champagne Butterfield.. (23 minutes).. Related episodes:.. Same-Sex Temptations in the Church: An Interview with Robert Gagnon.. The Church in a Homosexual Culture: An Interview with Robert Gagnon.. Topic:.. Homosexuality.. Edit.. Best of the Blog.. Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage.. 10 Resolutions for Mental Health.. Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank).. John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on Doctrine.. Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager.. How to Glorify God at Work.. Beware: The Bible Is About to Threaten Your Smartphone Focus.. What to Do If You Wake Up Feeling Fragile.. Sexual Sin in the Ministry.. The Mega Millions Lottery Is a Suicidal Craze.. Don’t Give Up.. The Story of Ian & Larissa.. We Know They Are Killing Children—All of Us Know.. Ten Big, Daily Reminders.. Single, Satisfied, and Sent: Mission for the Not-Yet Married.. Seven Things to Pray for Your Children.. The Truth (About Abortion) Will Set You Free.. When the Not-Yet Married Meet: Dating to Display Jesus.. 14 Free eBooks for You.. A Song for the Suffering (with John Piper).. Drafted: Why Chris Norman Said No to the NFL.. Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children.. Browse by Year.. 2013.. 2012.. 2011.. 2010.. 2009.. 2008.. 2007.. 2006..

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  • Title: The Truth (About Abortion) Will Set You Free - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: February 16, 2013.. Facts help us grasp abortion in our communities.. With the internet no one is innocently ignorant.. Here are some facts from the Twin Cities to San Antonio.. There are no grizzly pictures here.. But there are some miracles.. I won't show you what the babies look like after they are killed, but before.. Start with the on-the-ground facts.. There are five places to get elective abortions in the Twin Cities, Planned Parenthood (671 Vandalia St.. , St.. Paul), Robbinsdale Clinic (3819 West Broadway, Minneapolis), Mildred Hanson (710 East 24th St.. , Minneapolis) and two locations of the Whole Woman's Health (33 South 5th St, Minneapolis, and 825 S.. 8th St.. #1018 Minneapolis).. I encourage you to visit them and pray, or perhaps see if any of the workers will talk with you.. All of them do abortions up to 13 weeks gestation.. Here is what the baby looks like at 13 weeks.. Mildred Hanson advertises that she does abortions to twenty weeks.. Two pictures show the babies she is willing to dismember.. Whole Woman’s Health advertises that they do abortions to 22 weeks.. This little fellow, at 22 weeks, is ready to fight for his life.. In  ...   age when they are being legally killed.. The irrationality of our legal system is that we are expected to believe that a seven inch movement down the birth canal transforms a child from one with no right to life into a person under law with full rights of protection.. This is the kind of reasoning that creates Gulags and death camps.. Whatever else may be said of these children, if they had been dismembered and evacuated one hour before they were born at 24 weeks, it would not have been tissue that was lost.. I encourage you to do your part by putting the facts before as many people as you can.. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.. Related resources from John Piper:.. (article).. Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion.. (ebook).. When Is Abortion Racism?.. (sermon).. Abortion: The Innocent Blood of Our Sons and Daughters.. A Poem for the Crying, Coming Children (Video).. Abortion.. John Piper (.. @JohnPiper.. ) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.. org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.. He is author of more than 50 books..

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  • Title: When the Not-Yet Married Meet: Dating to Display Jesus - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Marshall Segal.. June 6, 2013.. Dating is dead.. So says the media.. Girls, stop expecting guys to make any formal attempt at winning your affections.. Don’t sit around waiting for a boy to make you a priority, communicate his intentions, or even call you on the phone.. Exclusivity and intentionality are ancient rituals, things of the past, and misplaced hopes.. I beg to differ.. It’s not that this new line of thinking is necessarily untrue today, or that it’s not the current and corrupt trend of our culture.. It’s wrong.. One of our most precious pursuits, that of a life-long partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and Facebook pokes, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around.. Dating That Preserves Marriage.. There is a God.. And this God created and rules his world, including men, women, the biological compulsions that bind them together, and the institution that declares their union and keeps it sacred and safe.. Therefore, only he can prescribe the purpose, parameters, and means of our marriages.. If fullness of life could be found in sexual stimulation, or if it was just a matter of making babies, the “forget formality and just have sex” approach might temporarily satisfy cravings and cause enough conception.. But God had much more in mind with romance than orgasms or even procreation, and so should we.. So must we.. When people in the world are expecting less and less of each other in dating, God isn’t — so among the single we have to work harder in our not-yet married relationships to preserve what marriage ought to picture and provide.. Mom, Where Do Weddings Come From?.. Nothing in my life and faith has been more confusing and spiritually hazardous than my pursuit of marriage.. From far too young, I longed for the affection, safety, and intimacy I anticipated with a wife.. Sadly, my immature and unhealthy desires predictably did much more harm than good.. I started dating too early.. I stayed in relationships too long.. I experimented too much with our hearts and allowed things to go too far.. I said, “I love you,” too soon.. And now my singleness is a regular reminder that I messed up, missed opportunities, or did it wrong.. Maybe dating has been hard for you, too, for these reasons or others.. Maybe Mr.. (or Mrs.. ) Right has started to look like Mr.. ) Myth.. Maybe you’ve wanted the relationship or liked the guy or girl, and you’ve never had the chance.. Maybe all the suggestions and advice you’ve collected has become a confusing mess of good-intentioned contradictions and ambiguity.. It’s enough to leave you like an 8-year-old, asking, “Mom, where do weddings come from?”.. Expecting More from Marriage.. The vision of marriage we see in God’s word –– the beautiful, radical display of God’s infinite, persevering love for sinners –– makes it worth it to date, and date well.. The world’s approach can provide fun and sex and children and eventually even some level of commitment, but it cannot lead to the life-giving Jesus after whom our marriages are to take their cues.. Friends who enjoy sex with “no strings attached” will find pleasure, but not the peaks waiting on the other side of mutual promises.. The happiness of marriage is not only or even mainly physical.. With the sex, there ought to be a deep sense of safety, a sense of being loved and accepted for who you are, a desire to please without the need to impress.. When God engineered the sexual bond between a man and a woman, he made something much more satisfying than the act itself.. Those who recklessly give themselves to a love-life of dating without really dating, of romantic rendezvouses without Christ and commitment, are settling.. They’re settling for less than God intended and less than he made possible by sending his Son to rescue and repurpose our lives, including our love-lives, for something more.. More happiness.. More security.. More purpose.. And the more is found in a mutual faith in and following of Jesus.. With this “more,” we can say to the watching world, don’t settle for artificial and thin loyalty, affection, security, and sexual experimentation when God intends and promises so much more through a Christian union.. And a Christian union can only be found through Christian dating.. If Christian dating, the intentional, selfless, and prayerful process of pursuing marriage, sounds like slavery, we don’t get it.. If low-commitment sexual promiscuity sounds like freedom, we don’t get it.. Jesus may ask more of us, but he does so to secure and increase our greatest and longest-lasting (sexual) happiness.. How Then Shall We Date?.. For those whose roads are marked more by mistakes than selflessness, patience, and sound judgment, take hope in the God who truly and mysteriously blesses your broken road and redeems you from it, and who can begin in you a new, pure, wise, godly pursuit of marriage today.. Here are (some) principles for your not-yet marriages.. It’s not nearly a comprehensive or exhaustive list.. They’re simply lessons I’ve learned and hope can be a blessing for you, your boyfriend or girlfriend, and your future spouse.. 1.. It really is as simple as they say.. In a day when people are marrying later and later and more and more are resorting to online matchmaking, we probably need to be reminded that marriage really is less about compatibility than commitment.. After all, there has never been a less compatible relationship than a holy God and his sinful bride, and that’s the mold we’re aiming for in our marriages.. There is a reason the Bible doesn’t have a book devoted to how to choose a spouse.. It was not an oversight on the part of the God of all history, as if he couldn’t see into the 21st century.. The qualifications are wonderfully clear and simple: 1) they must believe your God (2 Corinthians 6:14) and 2) they must be of the opposite sex (Genesis 2:23–24; Matthew 19:4–6; Ephesians 5:24–32).. Now undeniably there will be more involved in your discernment while dating.. Apart from questions of attraction  ...   It simply isn’t that hard to imagine what your children would look like or where you would vacation together or how family holidays would work or what kind of house you might buy.. And just like sex, all these things could be really good and safe and beautiful, but in the context of your covenant.. Satan wants to subtly help you build marriage and family idols that are too fragile for your not-yet married relationship.. “He told me he loved me.. ” “She said she would never leave.. ” They’re the seemingly priceless sentences that don’t always cash.. They’re often said with good intentions, but without the ring — and without a ring, the results can be devastating.. Guard your heart and imagination from running out ahead of your current commitment.. 6.. Boundaries make for the best of friends.. The most oft-asked dating question among Christians might be, “How far is too far before marriage?” The fact that we keep asking that question suggests we all agree we need to draw some lines, and that the lines seem pretty blurry to most.. If you’re pursuing marriage and it’s going well, you’re going to experience temptation, a lot of temptation.. Sexual sin may be the devil’s weapon of choice in corrupting Christian relationships.. If you don’t acknowledge your enemy and engage him, you’ll find yourselves wondering how you lost so easily.. Some of our best friends in the battle will be the boundaries we set to keep us pure.. While spontaneous plunges into intimacy look great in chick-flicks and feel great in the moment, they breed shame, regret, and distrust.. Let’s try talking about touching before touching.. Trade some titillation for trust, surprise for clarity and confidence.. Make decisions prayerfully and intentionally before diving in.. Boundaries are necessary because on the road to marriage and its consummation, the appetite for intimacy only grows as you feed it.. You are biologically built that way.. Touching leads to more touching.. Being alone together in certain situations will welcome fierce temptation.. Even praying together or talking for hours upon hours on the phone can create unhealthy overdoses of intimacy with not-yet spouses.. If we’re honest, we much more often like to error by wading into love too far rather than waiting too long to take the next step.. You will be hard-pressed, though, to find a couple regretting the boundaries they made in dating, while you will very easily find those that wish they would have made more.. As followers of Christ, we really ought to be the most careful and vigilant.. Boundaries protect, and boundaries provide the trenches of trust-building.. As we establish some mutual boundaries, small and large, and commit to keeping them together, we develop depths and patterns of trust that will serve our intimacy, covenant-keeping, and decision-making should God lead us to marry each other.. 7.. Consistently include your community.. Dating is a matter of doing your best to discern a person’s ability to fulfill God’s vision and purpose for marriage with you.. While you might be the one with the final say, you might not be the best person to assess at every point.. Just as in every other area of your Christian life, you need the body of Christ as you think about who to date, how to date, and when to wed.. While it’s rarely quick or convenient, gaining the perspective of people who know you, love you, and have great hope for your future will always pay dividends.. It may lead to hard conversations or deep disagreement, but it will force you to deal with things you did not or could not have seen on your own.. You’ll find safety with an abundance of counselors (Proverbs 11:14).. Invite other people to look into your relationship.. Spend time together with other people, couples and singles, who are willing to point out the good, the bad, and the ugly.. 8.. Let all your dating be missionary dating.. No, I am not encouraging you to date not-yet believing men or women.. When I say missionary dating, I mean dating that displays and promotes faith in Jesus and his good news, a dating that is in step with the gospel before the watching world.. I want us to win disciples by dating radically, by confronting the world’s paradigms and pleasure-seeking with sacrifice, selflessness, and intentionality.. Men and women in the world want many of the same things you want: affection, commitment, conversation, stability, sex, etc.. And eventually they will see that the ground under your lives and relationship is firmer than the flimsy flings they know.. They’ll see something deeper, stronger, and more meaningful between you and your significant other.. Do the people in each of your lives know and love Jesus more because you’re together? Do they see God’s grace and truth working in you and your relationship as you walk through life together? Are the two of you thinking proactively about how to bless your friends and family and point them to Christ? More and more, as the world is watering down dating, your relationship can be a provocative picture of your fidelity to Christ and a call to follow him.. Pursuing Marriage the Right Way.. Is this dating perfectly safe? No.. Will it keep you from being hurt or disappointed? No.. Will it guarantee you never go through another break up? No.. But, by God’s grace, it may guard us from deeper heartache and more devastating failure.. My prayer is that these principles would prepare you to love your spouse in a way that more beautifully and dramatically displays the truth and power of the gospel.. If you are like me, you may have blown it on multiple fronts already.. Maybe you’re blowing it right now in a relationship.. Be willing to make the hard decisions, large and small, to pursue marriage the right way today.. Whether you’re ultimately married to one another or not (or married at all, for that matter), you will thank each other later.. Dating Singleness.. Marshall Segal (.. @MarshallSegal.. ) is executive assistant to John Piper, a recent graduate of.. Bethlehem Seminary.. in Minneapolis, and author of..

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  • Title: 14 Free eBooks for You - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Jonathan Parnell.. June 17, 2013.. Twenty percent of all the books sold last year were electronic, says the latest report from Bookstats.. This simply means that ebooks are still on the rise.. More and more users like to carry their libraries in their hands.. And this matters for the mission of Desiring God.. Though it won’t replace good old-fashioned books, the upward trend of ebooks has created a new platform for us to spread our message — that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.. Over the past year we’ve created 14 new titles exclusively released as ebooks, all free, available in three different file formats to fit whichever mobile device you use.. They have included specially curated content from John Piper on particular topics, reformatted single messages, combined articles from leading pastors, and foundational teaching from Piper’s corpus, along with introductory sections written entirely new.. The topics range from how to listen to sermons to advice on marriage to the influence of C.. S.. Lewis.. The Current List.. Below is the full list of our ebook exclusives over the past year.. More are in the works.. Here’s a chance to download the ones you may have missed, and a chance to help us get the word out if you’d like.. Thank you for your reading and partnership!.. Adoniram Judson: How Few There Are Who Die So Hard!.. “Are you sure that God wants you to continue your life in this comparatively church-saturated land? Or might he be calling you to fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, to fall like a grain of wheat into some distant ground and die, to hate your life in this world and so to keep it forever and bear much fruit?”.. Alive to Wonder: Celebrating the Influence of C.. S.. “In this fiftieth year since he died, I offer this little book as a celebration of the influence of C.. Lewis in my life.. I hope I do so in humility.. I know I do so with profound thankfulness.. Andrew Fuller: I Will Go Down If You Will Hold the Rope!.. “The Bible was always paramount: 'Lord, thou hast given me a determination  ...   I want most for Christmas this year is to join you (and many others) in seeing Christ in all his fullness and that we together be able to love what we see with a love far beyond our own half-hearted human capacities.. John G.. Paton: You Will Be Eaten By Cannibals!.. “I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms.. Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week.. “This Holy Week fix your gaze steadily on Christ as he loves you to the uttermost.. Martin Luther: Lessons from His Life and Labor.. “We are beggars — pray-ers.. That is how we live, and that is how we study, so that God gets the glory and we get the grace.. Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples.. “Preparing well for marriage means asking each other all the hard questions.. Sanctification in the Everyday: Three Sermons by John Piper.. “When Charles Wesley taught us to sing, ‘He breaks the power of cancelled sin,’ he was teaching the fundamental truth about how the cross and our battle with sin are related.. The cross cancels sins for all who believe on Jesus.. Then on the basis of that cancellation of our sins, the power of our actual sinning is broken.. It’s not the other way around.. Take Care How You Listen: Sermons by John Piper on Receiving the Word.. “So take heed how you hear! Hear with spiritual ears, not just the ears on your head.. And hear with an honest and good heart, not a deceptive and evil heart.. A Tribute to My Father: With Other Writings.. “This is a fragment of the legacy of truth imparted to me by my father.. The word imparted was no mere transmission of information.. It involved a whole life of proclamation and demonstration.. Jonathan Parnell (.. @jonathanparnell.. ) is a content strategist at Desiring God.. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children: Elizabeth, Hannah, Micah, and John Owen.. He is the co-author of.. How to Stay Christian in Seminary.. (Crossway: January 2014)..

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  • Title: A Song for the Suffering (with John Piper) - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: August 13, 2013.. A Christian’s suffering is never meaningless.. Shane Barnard understands this truth.. After the untimely death of his father, he and his family desperately looked to God for comfort.. They clung to God’s word, and in the deepest moments of grief, they were led to worship.. The song below, “Though You Slay Me,” was born in that experience.. Job lived this song.. The Psalms plead this song.. And John Piper has preached the message of this song throughout his ministry.. Because of God’s sovereign care for you, every pain in this life is producing a glory for you that will last forever.. The audio excerpt comes from John Piper’s message, “.. Do Not Lose Heart.. ” (2013), which is available for streaming and download.. Also, Shane Shane will be leading a “Night of Worship” at our upcoming National Conference September 27–29 in Minneapolis.. Learn more information.. I come, God, I come.. I return to the Lord.. The one who’s broken.. The one who’s torn me apart.. You strike down to bind me up.. You say you do it all in love.. That I might know you in your suffering.. Though you slay me.. Yet I will praise you.. Though you take from me.. I  ...   pass from me now.. You’re still more than I need.. You’re enough for me.. [Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there.. But all of it is.. totally.. meaningful.. Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that.. I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism.. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness.. It wasn’t meaningless.. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless.. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing.. Don’t look to what is seen.. When your mom dies, when your kid dies, when you’ve got cancer at 40, when a car careens into the sidewalk and takes her out, don’t say, “That’s meaningless!” It’s not.. It’s working for you an eternal weight of glory.. Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart.. But take these truths and day by day focus on them.. Preach them to yourself every morning.. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart.. sings.. with confidence that you are new and cared for.. ].. Suffering..

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  • Title: Drafted: Why Chris Norman Said No to the NFL - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: August 30, 2013.. I invite you to watch this moving 11-minute story of Michigan State linebacker Chris Norman.. Desiring God commissioned the video because God is at the center of the story, and because at one key point, God used.. Don’t Waste Your Life.. as part of his surprising plan for Chris’s life.. Special thanks to hip-hop artists Flame and Shai Linne for their contributions to the soundtrack, and to Michigan State University and ESPN for the game footage.. Why would a promising All-American turn from options in the NFL toward theological education and the pastoral ministry? The decisive reason came in 2011 at a Christian camp for athletes.. He saw something different: People.. enjoying.. Jesus.. I didn’t know that Jesus could be enjoyed.. So once I figured that out — it was the night of May 24, 2011 — Christ got a hold of my life, captivated my heart, and changed me from the inside out.. As it has happened  ...   to be last loves.. Joy in Jesus is captivating.. At key points in our lives direction from God will be followed by opposition and obstacles.. Surprising, unexpected help comes along the path of obedience.. Drop your pebbles of Christ-exalting truth in every pond you can.. You have no idea where the ripples might go.. This surely has been the story of my life.. Share the gospel.. Preach a sermon.. Give a devotional.. Write a book.. For example, Don’t Waste Your Life.. And seven years later it falls into the hands of a Michigan State linebacker.. Now Chris has dropped his pebble into this video.. Where will the ripples go? When you watch, you will become part of that story.. And it will become part of yours.. Would you help us share Chris’s story with more and more athletes and sports fans? It will begin with your friends, family, classmates, and co-workers.. You can send them to.. www.. desiringGod.. org/drafted.. The Unwasted Life..

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  • Title: Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: October 29, 2013.. I am writing this to plead with Christian parents to require obedience of their children.. I am moved to write this by watching young children pay no attention to their parents’ requests, with no consequences.. Parents tell a child two or three times to sit or stop and come or go, and after the third disobedience, they laughingly bribe the child.. This may or may not get the behavior desired.. Last week, I saw two things that prompted this article.. One was the killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, California, by police who thought he was about to shoot them with an assault rifle.. It was a toy gun.. What made this relevant was that the police said they told the boy two times to drop the gun.. Instead he turned it on them.. They fired.. I do not know the details of that situation or if Andy even heard the commands.. So I can’t say for sure he was insubordinate.. So my point here is not about young Lopez himself.. It’s about a “what if.. ” What if he heard the police, and simply defied what they said? If that is true, it cost him his life.. Such would be the price of disobeying proper authority.. A Tragedy in the Making.. I witnessed such a scenario in the making on a plane last week.. I watched a mother preparing her son to be shot.. I was sitting behind her and her son, who may have been seven years old.. He was playing on his digital tablet.. The flight attendant announced that all electronic devices should be turned off for take off.. He didn’t turn it off.. The mother didn’t require it.. As the flight attendant walked by, she said he needed to turn it off and kept moving.. He didn’t do it.. One last time, the flight attendant stood over them and said that the boy would need to give the device to his mother.. He turned it off.. When the flight attendant took her seat, the boy turned his device back on, and kept it on through the take off.. The mother did nothing.. I thought to myself,.. she is training him to be shot by police.. Rescue from Foolish Parenting.. The defiance and laziness of unbelieving parents I can understand.. I have biblical categories of the behavior of the spiritually blind.. But the neglect of Christian parents perplexes me.. What is behind the failure to require and receive obedience? I’m not sure.. But it may be that these nine observations will help rescue some parents from the folly of laissez-faire parenting.. Requiring obedience of children is implicit in the biblical requirement that children obey their parents.. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).. It makes no sense that God would require children to obey parents and yet not require parents to require obedience from the children.. It is part of our job — to teach children the glory of a happy, submissive spirit to authorities that God has put in place.. Parents represent God to small children, and it is deadly to train children to ignore the commands of God.. Obedience is a new-covenant, gospel category.. Obedience is not merely a “legal” category.. It is a gospel category.. Paul said that his gospel aim was “to bring about the.. obedience.. of faith” (Romans 1:5).. He said, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished  ...   to do it.. But this simply trains children that obedience anywhere is optional.. Consistency in requiring obedience at home will help your children be enjoyable in public.. It takes effort to require obedience, and it is worth it.. If you tell a child to stay in bed and he gets up anyway, it is simply easier to say, go back to bed, than to get up and deal with the disobedience.. Parents are tired.. I sympathize.. For more than 40 years, I’ve had children under eighteen.. Requiring obedience takes energy, both physically and emotionally.. It is easier simply to let the children have their way.. The result? Uncontrollable children when it matters.. They have learned how to work the angles.. Mommy is powerless, and daddy is a patsy.. They can read when you are about to explode.. So they defy your words just short of that.. This bears sour fruit for everyone.. But the work it takes to be immediately consistent with every disobedience bears sweet fruit for parents, children, and others.. You can break the multi-generational dysfunction.. One reason parents don’t require discipline is they have never seen it done.. They come from homes that had two modes: passivity and anger.. They know they don’t want to parent in anger.. The only alternative they know is passivity.. There is good news: this can change.. Parents can learn from the Bible and from wise people what is possible, what is commanded, what is wise, and how to do it in a spirit that is patient, firm, loving, and grounded in the gospel.. Gracious parenting leads children from external compliance to joyful willingness.. Children need to obey before they can process obedience through faith.. When faith comes, the obedience which they have learned from fear and reward and respect will become the natural expression of faith.. Not to require obedience before faith is folly.. It’s not loving in the long run.. It cuts deep furrows of disobedient habits that faith must then not infuse, but overcome.. Children whose parents require obedience are happier.. Laissez-faire parenting does not produce gracious, humble children.. It produces brats.. They are neither fun to be around, nor happy themselves.. They are demanding and insolent.. Their “freedom” is not a blessing to them or others.. They are free the way a boat without a rudder is free.. They are the victims of their whims.. Sooner or later, these whims will be crossed.. That spells misery.. Or, even a deadly encounter with the police.. 9.. Requiring obedience is not the same as requiring perfection.. Since parents represent God to children — especially before they can know God through faith in the gospel — we show them both justice and mercy.. Not every disobedience is punished.. Some are noted, reproved, and passed over.. There is no precise manual for this mixture.. Children should learn from our parenting that the God of the gospel is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:7, 29) and that he is patient and slow to anger (1 Timothy 1:16).. In both cases — discipline and patience — the aim is quick, happy, thorough obedience.. That’s what knowing God in Christ produces.. Parents, you can do this.. It is a hard season.. I’ve spent more than sixty percent of my life in it.. But there is divine grace for this, and you will be richly rewarded.. More from John Piper:.. Why Require Unregenerate Children to Act Like They’re Good.. Hijacking Back Your Brain from Porn.. Pornography: The New Narcotic.. Parenting..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts from 2013 - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Desiring God Blog.. : Posts from 2013.. This Year.. Church, Make Room for Young Leaders.. What some aging Christians need from the younger generation is.. an invitation to lean into the local church.. , and not retreat or retire.. But others from the older generation need a different challenge — a summons to lay aside suspicion of everyone young enough to be your child, a charge to dispose of a derogatory view of the real-live specimen of the next generation.. And, in particular, some older leaders need to hear a plea not to get off the bus, but to aggressively make room for young leaders at the front.. Do Not Despise the Young.. It was a two-part charge the aging apostle gave to his younger-generation protégé in 1 Timothy 4:12: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believ….. You Were Created to Sing.. November 10, 2013.. God created you in his own image to dream, and work, and laugh, and love, and labor, and hope, and eat, and enjoy the good gifts in this world.. “A man is such a noble work of God,” said nineteenth century preacher Charles Spurgeon, “he cannot have been intended merely to measure off yards of silk, or to weigh pounds of sugar, or to sweep street crossings, or to put on crowns, and robes, and diamonds.. There is something grander than that for man to do.. Yes, and most grand of all: God created you to worship, praise, and sing.. The beauty of Christ is the.. cause.. of our songs.. His glory draws worship from our hearts to our lips (Revelation 5:6–14, 7:9–12).. This Christ-centered, thank-filled  ...   Five Ways to Refresh the Saints in Your Life.. November 8, 2013.. When reading Paul’s letter to Philemon this week I saw a theme I hadn’t really seen before.. This letter is an instruction on how to refresh the saints.. Philemon was a refreshing person.. When Paul thought about Philemon he thought about the joy and comfort Philemon had given him and others:.. I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.. (Philemon 1:7).. Doesn’t that make you want to be like Philemon? Don’t you want to be a joy and a comfort to others? In this “dry and weary land” (Psalm 63:1) don’t you want to be an oasis of living water (John 7:38) for parched saints?.. That’s what Jesus wants us to be.. He say….. Jesus and Cerebal Palsy.. Stefan Green.. November 7, 2013.. Jesus means everything to me.. My life is worship.. Often we Christians throw around phrases like these, once full of meaning, but now uttered with too much flippancy and routine.. But Rodger Frournoy, Jr.. talks like this because he means it with all of his body and soul.. When I hear Rodger talk about what it’s like to live with cerebral palsy, and what Jesus means to him in the midst of his disability, I am brought to worship.. It’s a wonderful thing for the church to tell stories like these.. May God strengthen your faith as you.. meet Rodger.. Rodger’s story is produced by the.. Austin Stone Story Team.. and featured at the Storyframes Collective — a collaborative effort between The Gospel Coal.. 1.. Older.. Oldest..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts from 2012 - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: : Posts from 2012.. Birthday, Last Day, Good Day.. December 31, 2012.. Noël’s birthday was on December 27.. My last day as Lead Pastor for Preaching is today, December 31.. I’ve been in this role at Bethlehem for thirty-two and a half years today.. Remarkably, Noël turned 65 and has thus spent exactly half her life at Bethlehem (32.. 5 years).. This prompted a poem for her birthday.. It is part of the overflow of thankfulness I am feeling these days.. God has been good to me.. In my wife.. In my church.. Very good.. Not Halves.. The happy day that you were born, was I.. In some real way born too? Since we would mesh.. One day in marriage, was I already you? Was my.. Life yours and your life mine? Was our one flesh.. Already made, if only in ….. This Week’s Sermon: “Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing”.. Indomitable joy in Jesus in the very midst of suffering and sorrow.. — this is what the world needs from the church.. As tempting as it may be to figure things differently, what the world does not need from the services of the gathered church is chipper, frisky, high-spirited chatter designed to make people feel lighthearted and playful and bouncy.. And the world does not need believers who are morose, gloomy, sullen, and dark, bringing with them a heavy atmosphere of solemnity.. No, what the world needs from the church, in her gathered services and in key moments of her scattered life, is the flavor of “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing,” as the apostle Paul says it in 2 Corinthians 6:10.. Make a Fresh Covenant with Me: We Will Finish in Faith.. Treat this year-end like the end of your life.. Then be ecstatic that you get to start a new life tomorrow.. For some of us, not only is the year ending, but so is a life-ministry.. When the clock tolls midnight I will hand off the senior leadership of Bethlehem to Jason Meyer (with overwhelming gratefulness for God’s goodness).. I’ll be on staff until March 31, 2013, but effectively, this season of leadership is over.. So not only do I get to start a new life tomorrow (as it were), I get to start a new era of life (as it is).. Here is what I am preaching to myself, and to you too, if you want to listen in: Long, effective ministries and lives can end very badly.. Don’t let it happen.. Finish in ….. From Closet to Coastlands: Bible Reading and Prayer in 2013.. December 30, 2012.. 'Tis now the season to get strategic.. With the New Year on the horizon, many of us are beginning to consider the logistics of our devotional lives for 2013.. Bible-reading plans, book lists, prayer guides — these are tactical means of grace that we strive to set in order.. It is like we look across the foggy battlefield of the coming year and pencil down our plan, our steps.. Remember faith is a fight.. And reading and praying are essentials, not trends.. But for all this planning, let us remember the battle isn't only in our hearts.. Bible reading and prayer aren't merely about personal piety..  ...   nook and cranny of our existence — including sports and athletics.. The Cardinals and LinSanity.. After doing some digging, i….. What Difference Has Looking Made?.. December 28, 2012.. The holiday season is notoriously busy.. But there are often quiet moments at Christmas to slow our lives down for worship.. The classic Nativity figurines and all the classic Nativity paintings capture this divine silence.. In the presence of the infant God-man, our response is speechless adoration.. As quickly as the Christmas season arrives, however, the quiet moment passes away for another year.. Trees and decorations and lights are taken down, and the silent night is exchanged for the hectic new year.. It was during those post-holiday transitions that Francis Schaeffer began wondering about the shepherds who ran to see the Christ child (Luke 2:8–21).. What did they go back to? How were they ….. When the Perfect Comes.. “…when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:10).. Another year is passing away.. Thank God.. Not only for the massive amounts of unquantifiable grace we have received from him, but also because we are one year closer to the passing away of this partial age and all of its incumbent sorrow and weariness.. “When the perfect comes.. ” Those inspired words stir up deep longings for a time we have never known and yet desperately want.. Paul may have been talking about spiritual gifts when he used that phrase in 1 Corinthians 13, but we know because of Romans Eight that “the partial” means so much more.. Right now even the best things are not what they should be.. And….. An Invitation to Give.. Scott Anderson.. December 27, 2012.. Dear Friends,.. I want to share with you this request from John Piper.. If you've been helped by our message and want to support our work, would you please consider.. making a donation.. before December 31? To date (12/30), we have received $493,635 of the $745,000 that we need in order to meet our end-of-year financial goal.. We love the work that God has called us to, and it's your partnership that enables it to happen.. Please join us in earnest and expectant prayer that God would continue to powerfully change lives for His glory through the ministry of Desiring God.. Executive Director.. (Watch the.. full-length video.. about the small beginnings of desiringGod.. org).. Where Was God in All the Goodness of 2012?.. As this year ends, the question I am asking is: Where was God when so many good things happened this past year?.. How can God be a God of justice, yet allow so much good to happen to people who dishonor him by disbelieving in him, or giving lip service to his existence, or paying no more attention to him than the carpet in their den, or rejecting the kingship of his Son, or scorning his word, or preferring a hundred pleasures before him?.. How can God be righteous and do so much good to us who are so unrighteous?.. Where was God in 2012?.. Where was God when nine million planes landed safely in the United States?.. Where was God when the world revolved around the sun so accurately that it …..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts from 2011 - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: : Posts from 2011.. A Comforting Message for the Closing Year.. December 31, 2011.. Charles Spurgeon:.. But here is the joy, here is the peace of Christians, that our salvation is a finished one! We have not a farthing to pay to complete the ransom of our souls.. We have not a stitch to set to finish the robe of our salvation.. We have not an act to perform, a prayer to offer, a tear to weep, a thought to think in order to finish the work of our redemption! I know that all these things shall be worked in us and, that by the Spirit of God we shall be made to do them — but all that shall not be with any view to the completion of our salvation — that was finished in the Person of the bleeding Lamb of Calvary!.. Either Christ completed all that was necessary for your ….. The Sobering Effect of Another Year-End.. Josh Etter.. Pastor John talks about an end-of-year practice that's helped him take a step back to assess his life and ministry:.. Watch the entire.. End-of-Year Video Update.. A Word for Those Who Have Forsaken Jesus.. How eager Jesus was to restore broken fellowship with his apostles after the resurrection! Surely this is a sign of how eager he is to restore us when we have drifted (or bolted) away.. All the apostles had forsaken him.. In the garden, at his most sorrowful hour, "They all left him and fled” (Mark 14:50).. Now he was raised.. What would he say to those who had abandoned him? Three healing things:.. To Mary at the tomb: “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.. ’” (John 20:17).. “Brothers!” “Your Father!” “Your God!” I am going now.. You will come later.. We are, and we will be,.. together.. I forgive you.. Our Father forgives you.. Maximally Satisfied—Forever.. December 30, 2011.. Pastor John on the heart of Christian Hedonism, from Psalm 16:11:.. A Year-End Prayer for Weary Waiters.. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son”.. (Galatians 4:4).. Jesus, you came in "the fullness of time.. ".. But how many of your children living during the ripening years wondered at your tarrying? A thousand years stretched between Abraham and David.. Then another thousand passed between David’s golden age and the moment when time was full.. How many were the wars, rumors of wars, slaughters, disasters, diseases, and famines? How  ...   about the need to move beyond mere "physical engagement equals manliness" to emotional strength and spiritual fortitude:.. Darrin's topic at the 2012 Conference for Pastors is on how to build men for the mission of the local church.. Register before 11:59pm (CST) tomorrow night, December 30, for the early-bird rate of $130.. We also have a group discount of $100 (per person) when you bring five or mo….. Not by Bread Alone: Let’s Live on God’s Word in 2012.. At Bethlehem we close prayer week with a focus on the value of reading and memorizing Scripture in the new year.. I preach on the value of God’s word and the importance of reading and memorizing the Scripture every day.. Justin Taylor has pulled together a list of.. possible ways to read the Bible.. in this new year.. I encourage everyone to take the closing days of the year to.. plan.. how you are going to read the Bible in the new year.. Don’t leave it to chance.. One of the main reasons we don’t read God’s word is that we don’t plan to.. This past year I used the.. McCheyne reading plan.. , reading it with the.. Olive Tree Software.. on the iPad.. McCheyne takes you through the whole Bible once, a….. Gathering to Address a Cultural Crisis.. December 27, 2011.. Darrin Patrick invites you to make an investment in your ministry by joining us in Minneapolis from January 30 to February 1 for our 2012 Conference for Pastors:.. Darrin's topic at the conference is on how to be and build men for the mission of the local church.. Register before December 30 for the early-bird rate of just $130.. We also have a group discount of $100 (per person) when you bring five or more guys from your church.. Edwards's Resolutions in Seven Categories.. Back in 1723 Jonathan Edwards chartered a list of.. resolutions.. for his life.. 70 of them.. And he read them once a week.. Matt Perman writes:.. [Edwards] shows us that a well lived life doesn't just happen; it requires intentionality.. And intentionality manifests itself in certain "mechanisms" that help us maintain our intentionality.. Edwards' resolutions are one example of such a "mechanism.. ".. So Edwards is a good example not just of a life that is lived well, but also of the "practical side" of how to actually build that intentionality into our lives, rather than just letting it remain a vague wish that never takes deep root and makes a real difference.. Refusing to be vague, Matt has.. org..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts from 2010 - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: : Posts from 2010.. 2011 Bible Reading Plans.. Tyler Kenney.. December 31, 2010.. Last year David Mathis outlined several good plans for people wanting to read through the Bible in a year.. They're worth mentioning again, so I have reproduced the list (with minor updates) below.. Of course, there are tons of other plans out there.. Just google ".. Bible reading plan.. " and you'll get pages of results of all different kinds, for personalities and lifestyles and needs of all different kinds.. [Update:.. Justin Taylor's post today.. brings together some great content on Bible reading plans and offers more detail on a few of them in particular.. Bible Reading Plans.. Discipleship Journal.. NavPress’s Discipleship Journal plan has been the most used at Bethlehem for years.. There are ….. Trading One Dramatic Resolution for 10,000 Little Ones.. Paul Tripp.. I've told the story many times of talking impatiently with my wife one Sunday morning and having my nine year old son interject—.. Daddy, is this the way a Christian man should be talking to his wife?.. Rather sarcastically I said,.. What do you think?.. and he replied,.. It doesn't make any difference what I think, what does God think?.. I went to my bedroom and two thoughts immediately hit me.. First, my pride reared up.. I want to be a hero to my son and I was embarrassed that he had been troubled by my attitude and words.. But that didn't last very long.. I soon thought, "How could it be that God could love me so much that he would give a twit of care about this mundane little moment i….. Joel Beeke on Busyness and Prayer.. This is the second question we put to Joel Beeke, upcoming speaker at our 2011 Conference for Pastors.. (Read his answer to our.. first question.. You wear many hats: seminary president, publisher, author, pastor, husband, father, etc.. Such a heavy load must make prayer a difficult thing to fit into your schedule.. What has been your experience? And what counsel would you give to those who feel too busy to pray?.. Like every other Christian, I suppose, my experience has been that the more I am given to truly pray in my prayers the more keenly I feel how little I truly pray.. My mother is the greatest prayer warrior I know; for decades, she has regularly spent two or more hours per day in earne….. Next Year In Jerusalem!.. At the end of every.. Passover Seder.. , the Jewish diaspora pronounce the wistful prayer: “Next year in Jerusalem.. ” It is the deep longing for the promised, peaceful Messianic Jerusalem with a restored Temple—a profound wish that the next year be a happy one.. It seems to me that Christians ought also to say, “Next year in Jerusalem!” rather than wishing one another a “Happy New Year.. ” For we have come to know the Messiah and he has  ...   Beeke.. You have written much on the lives and thoughts of the Puritans.. Which Puritan do you think has the most to teach us about prayer? What would he teach us?.. His response:.. I’m sending a book to the printer this week,.. Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer.. , which should be available in time for the conference.. Three chapters are devoted to the Reformers: Luther, Calvin, and Knox.. Help Us End the Year Strong.. December 28, 2010.. Like most non-profits in the U.. , December is a crucial month of financial support for us at DG.. Historically, we receive about 30% of our annual gifts in December.. This year we’re praying for $823,000 to help us meet budget.. To date we have received $327,000 toward that goal.. Historically, the last day of the year is our largest receipting day.. The Lord provided $226,500 on December 31, 2009.. The Lord seems to like to supply in this way, since he does it so often.. We know the Lord will provide what we need.. Our confidence is in him.. We’re simply letting the need be known to those who care about our outreach.. Would you prayerfully consider.. helping us meet our year-end budget goal.. ?.. How Did You Do in 2010?.. December 27, 2010.. The last week of the year is a good time—with God's help—to reflect on the past 12 months, do a little self-assessment, and decide what things to repent of and reach for in the next lap around the sun.. At the end of his first year as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper led his people in doing this through his sermon ".. I Have Kept the Faith.. Below is the conclusion of that sermon.. Just plug in "2010" and "2011" where you read "1980" and "1981," and the content is still relevant 30 years later.. So, how did we do in 1980? If 1980 were the whole of our life, could we say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.. Henceforth ther….. Three Features of Free Grace.. In.. Miscellanies #191.. , Jonathan Edwards defines.. free grace.. as the kind of grace in which "the abundance of the benevolence of the giver is expressed, and gratitude in the receiver is obliged.. " Then he outlines three ways through which this kind of grace—which he also calls.. gospel grace.. —is realized (spacing and italics added):.. Now I think these three things do constitute the freedom of grace.. (1) When the gift is to an offender,.. without satisfaction paid by him.. (2) When 'tis given without retribution by way of condition, or.. without the receiver's profiting or pleasuring the giver.. (3) When 'tis given.. without our worthiness.. ; I mean without that excellency in our persons or ….. How to Grow in Grace in General and in Particular.. December 26, 2010..

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