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

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    Descriptive info: Be the Smile of God to Your Children.. November 7, 2013.. Joe Rigney.. He’s a squirmy one, he is.. If I don’t watch him, he’ll wriggle off the bed.. But he doesn’t want to.. He’s enjoying the tickle fight too much.. I can’t blame him.. Those giggles make this father’s heart want to leap out of my chest.. I wonder how long this laugh will last.. Reflect on the tickle fight with me.. See the layers of reality at work.. Triune Joy in Our Little Home.. On the surface: an adult male and a one-year-old of the species, smiles, laughter, darting fingers, kicking legs, squeals, deep breaths, rapid kisses on the neck, raspberries on the belly, and did I mention the laughter?.. Beneath the surface: emotional bonding, fatherly affection, wide-eyed childhood delight.. A contribution to the child’s sense of safety and security in the world.. Perhaps he’ll be “well-adjusted” (or at least better adjusted).. This will, no doubt, help him on his standardized tests.. Beneath and in and through it all, Trinitarian fullness is being extended.. The Joy that made the mountains is concentrated in my home.. Fatherly delight is at the heart of reality.. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.. ” It plays on a looping tape in the back of my mind.. Thus sayeth the Lord to his Son.. Thus sayeth the Lord to all of his sons that are in the Son.. Tickle Fights Are High Theology.. This is the pitch of fatherhood.. This is the melody line of motherhood.. This ought to be the dominant note in the familial symphony.. Delight, Pleasure, Joy.. This tickle fight is high theology.. This scene is a picture, a parable of a glory that existed before the world did.. It’s a display and an invitation.. Father and son are being beckoned into the divine life and joy.. Only I will remember it distinctly.. The scene will pass through my son’s mind and out of his memory.. And yet, in a sense, it’s the most spiritual thing I  ...   “good jobs.. ” Find the good and the glory in everything they do.. When they pull out the pots and pans, and turn them into drums, there is imagination and creativity to rejoice in.. 2) Recognize that an atmosphere of joy and delight is the only environment in which discipline is safe and good.. Sin poisons the gladness of a godly home and breaks the fellowship of the family.. Wise discipline quickly sets things right — clear explanations, swift discipline (whether spanking or otherwise), sincere repentance, prayerful repentance, and then restoration of the sweet gladness of fellowship.. 3) Remember that the main way they experience joy is through laughter and play.. Fun is joy in kid form.. There are more complex joys that come with increasing maturity.. But the only way that they will grow into them is if they are well-acquainted with the simple pleasures of play.. So be a good missionary and contextualize.. Translate joy into their language.. This doesn’t mean that you should stay shallow or trivial.. It does mean that family devotions ought to be marked by gladness and delight, by bright eyes, loud singing, and manifest affection.. And if a tickle fight should happen to break out every now and then, count yourself blessed and see it as success.. 4) Make the most of temporary separations and reunions.. Communicate your pleasure in them as you leave and your excitement when you return.. Leave with laughter and come home happy.. Let the exuberance in your voice and the warmth of your smile and the brightness of your eyes reveal to them the God who joyously sings over his people, the father who runs to his son when he sees him on the horizon.. And so again, to all moms and dads, embrace the joy of your calling.. Your Father is smiling on you.. So be the smile of God to your children.. More from Joe Rigney:.. Recovering the Lost Art of Chivalry.. Envy Hunts in a Pack.. Why Envy Is a Danger for the YRR.. Topic.. Parenting.. Categories:..

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  • Title: Five Truths About Christian Suffering - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: /.. Five Truths About Christian Suffering.. Joseph Scheumann.. November 6, 2013.. Subscribe to.. All Blog Posts.. All Christians suffer.. Either you have, you are, or you will — “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).. This reality is a stark reminder that we have not reached the new heavens and new earth.. The new Jerusalem of no tears and no pain, of no mourning and no death, hasn’t arrived yet (Revelation 21:1, 4).. But just because we experience suffering as we await the redemption of our bodies, it doesn’t mean that our suffering is random or without purpose.. And neither does it mean that Scripture doesn’t tell us how to think about our suffering now.. Here are five important biblical truths about suffering every Christian should have ready:.. 1.. Suffering is multifaceted.. Suffering has many faces.. The Bible doesn’t whitewash our experience of suffering by saying that it’s all of one stripe.. Rather, it recognizes the multifaceted ways that suffering can come upon us.. The apostle Paul wrote, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9).. In these two verses, Paul lists several types of suffering — mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.. Each of these are different ways that we can suffer, and when suffering comes, often several of these types of suffering are involved.. 2.. Suffering happens in community.. The church is not meant to be a loosely bound association of functional Lone Rangers.. Paul confronts that type of thinking when he writes, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).. The church is meant to be a refuge for those suffering.. When a member is hurting, the church applies the bandages; when a member is down, the church encourages; when a member is in need, the church comes alongside to help.. 3.. Suffering equips us for ministry.. Firsthand experience in suffering is essential in equipping us for ministry.. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:4 that God “comforts us in all afflictions, so that we may be able to  ...   of suffering (Job 2:9–10).. 5.. Suffering prepares us for more glory.. One of the counter-intuitive truths about suffering is that it prepares Christians for more glory.. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17–18, “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.. These verses are like sandpaper on our modern sentiments about suffering.. We naturally try to avoid suffering at all costs but God brings suffering in our lives for the sake of our eternal joy — yes, even glory.. More on suffering from Desiring God:.. Ten Aspects of God's Sovereignty Over Suffering and Satan's Hand in It.. (sermon).. 20 Quotes from Walking with God through Pain and Suffering.. How Christians Prepare for Suffering.. Topic:.. Suffering.. Joseph Scheumann (.. @JosephScheumann.. ) is a project manager for donor partnerships at Desiring God.. He is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Bethlehem College and Seminary.. 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.. From Radical Lesbian to Redeemed Christian.. 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: Desiring God Blog : Posts by Joseph Scheumann - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Desiring God Blog.. : Posts by Joseph Scheumann.. This Author.. Suffering is multifa.. ….. Five Encouragements for Everyday Work.. September 11, 2013.. Most Christian ministry is not vocational.. Far and away, those not getting paid to do ministry are collectively doing much more on the frontlines for gospel advance than those getting a paycheck.. According to Ephesians 4:12, the paid  ...   the saints for the work of ministry.. The Church, in all her glory, is vastly more lawyers, administrative assistants, doctors, construction workers, and mechanical engineers than she is vocational pastors and paid missionaries.. So we do well to think carefully and Christianly about our everyday work.. Here are five simple encouragements for the vast majority of Christians who labor voc…..

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  • Title: When God’s Promise Overcomes Our Problem - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: When God’s Promise Overcomes Our Problem.. Jason DeRouchie.. Paul said that the old covenant mediated by Moses bore a “ministry of condemnation” (2 Corinthians 3:9).. What does this mean, and would Moses have agreed?.. The Book of Deuteronomy clarifies three things: 1) Moses’s old covenant.. plea.. , 2) the people’s old covenant.. problem.. , and 3) God’s new covenant.. promise.. The Old Covenant Plea.. Moses called for the right things: “Love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God with.. all.. your heart and.. your soul and.. your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), and “love the sojourner” (Deuteronomy 10:19; see Leviticus 18:5).. Jesus said that these are the first and second most important commands (Mark 12:29–31).. Moses even urged, “These words that I command you today.. shall be on your heart.. ” (Deuteronomy 6:6).. This command sounds just like what is promised in the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:33).. The Old Covenant Problem.. Nevertheless, as loud or as long as Moses talked, the Israelites didn’t listen, for at the core of their being was hardness –– a spiritual disability in need of heart surgery (Deuteronomy 10:16).. The three words Moses uses throughout this book to describe Israel’s state are “stubborn” (Deuteronomy 9:6, 13; 10:16; 31:27), “unbelieving” (Deuteronomy 1:32; 9:23; 28:66), and “rebellious” (Deuteronomy 1:26, 43; 9:7, 23–24; 21:18, 20; 31:27).. They occur together in Deuteronomy 9:6, 23–24.. Moses’s old covenant plea was for love-saturated hearts filled with faith in God that overflowed in obedience.. But Israel would have none of it.. Indeed, they couldn’t, and Moses knew this.. Deuteronomy 29:2–4 reads,.. You have seen all that the Lᴏʀᴅ did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders.. But to this day the Lᴏʀᴅ has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.. Dull and Condemned.. Though Israel knew a lot about God, they didn’t really know him.. Though they had seen God at one level, at a deeper level they remained blind.. They had heard God’s voice, but in reality, they were deaf.. Their hearts were hard, their senses dull, resulting in no passion, no fire, no love.. They remained stubborn, unbelieving, and rebellious; they were undisciplined, impure,.. and condemned.. And they couldn’t change it.. The Gift of Seeing.. That is what’s amazing.. Deuteronomy 29:4 says that  ...   was temporary, bearing a ministry of condemnation.. Thus Paul, speaking of God’s ultimate, sovereign purpose for the old covenant, could say in Romans 5:20–21: “Now the law came in to increase the trespass.. ” That is why God gave the law –– to multiply sin.. But Paul continues, “But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death,.. grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.. The New Covenant Promise.. Moses was not only convinced of the death-dealing nature of the old covenant.. He also anticipated a life-giving new covenant that would replace the old –– a covenant that would include divine enablement, allowing the world to read the law in human lives.. Moses states that after the curse has been paid, “The Lᴏʀᴅ your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6).. In the age that we know of as the new covenant, God’s call for us to love him with our everything would be matched by his empowerment.. God would enable what he commands, so that the new covenant will not be broken.. We are now in the age of fulfillment.. The condemning role of the old covenant has been superseded by the righteousness-bringing new covenant.. God is inscribing his law on new hearts, and his own Spirit is empowering obedience (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26–27).. Moses himself knew that the old covenant bore a ministry of condemnation, and he anticipated the day when God’s mercy would bring fresh repentance and transformation in the latter days: “When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lᴏʀᴅ your God and obey his voice.. For the Lᴏʀᴅ your God is a merciful God” (Deuteronomy 4:30–31).. Thanks be to God for new-covenant grace.. Five Facts About Loving God.. Love God with Your Everything.. What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible.. Redemptive History.. is the Associate Professor of Old Testament at Bethlehem College and Seminary.. He has written and edited several books and articles, including a new Old Testament survey,.. What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus' Bible.. (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2013)..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts by Jason DeRouchie - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: : Posts by Jason DeRouchie.. shall be on your hea.. October 24, 2013.. What is the relationship between loving God and neighbor, and how can both Jesus and Paul say that loving our neighbor fulfills the law (Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:14)? Isn’t love for God an even higher priority?.. Moses helps us answer these questions in Deuteronomy 10:16–19, where he portrays a radical love of neighbor as the key test to measure whether we are loving God with all.. With an echo of the call to love God with all, Moses opens Deuteronomy 10 by calling Israel to maintain radical God-centeredness (Deuteronomy 10:12–13).. Yahweh is always to be the blazing center in his people’s solar system.. He then notes that such wholehearted, life-encompassing allegiance to God was….. October 10, 2013.. Love.. There are few things so universal and yet so challenging.. Love for God.. “The most important commandment,” says Jesus (Mark 12:29–30), and one that both the old and  ...   good” only for “.. those who love God.. who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).. Some have tagged the Supreme Command of Deuteronomy 6:5 the “all-command,”….. Psalm 121: What It Means That Yahweh Is Your Guardian.. January 26, 2012.. Psalm 121 is a treasure of promise for the suffering believer, whose “help comes from the.. Lord.. ” (verse 2).. After personally celebrating Yahweh’s guardianship in verses 1–2, the psalmist turns to give assurance to others in verses 3–8.. He declares the nature of God’s guarding role in verse 3–4: “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.. ”.. The Perseverance of the Saints.. I was surprised to find that the word combination depicting the stumbling step in verse 3 is never used in Scripture of physical falling.. Rather, all four of its other occurrences employ it figuratively for someone who is (or anticipat…..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts on Commentary - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: : Posts on Commentary.. This Category.. The Idols of a Mother’s Heart.. Christina Fox.. November 5, 2013.. When you are upset because you can’t do something you’ve wanted to do, it might be because that thing has become an idol in your heart.. I said these words one afternoon in response to one of my kids who was frustrated because I had taken away his highly valued time on the computer.. We then talked about how idols are not always easy to recognize and that our emotional responses can sometimes be an indicator of what’s going on in our heart.. Idols Specific to Motherhood.. John Piper says that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.. ” We were made to love and worship God.. When he isn’t the longing of our heart and the source of our satisfaction, we seek to fill our bellie….. Why It Took Me 34 Years to Get ‘Peoples’.. God created the world so that he would receive glad-hearted worship from the entire panorama of peoples that he himself brought into being for this purpose.. Therefore, for the glory of God, and for the gladness of the peoples, we should join him in the aggressive missionary enterprise of reaching all the peoples of the world.. Summoning the Peoples.. That is what the.. this December is about.. Over 3,000 students are registered so far.. I am praying for twice that.. It is only one small part of God’s movement in the world today to reach the nations.. But it is an important part.. I am thrilled to be a part of it.. I hope the students of your church will come.. If it’s true that God ….. When the Vine Really Became Precious.. November 4, 2013.. I am the vine; you are the branches.. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.. (John 15:5).. It was a July morning in Manila in 1985 when union with Jesus really became precious to me.. I know right where I was sitting having devotions in the courtyard of the YWAM outpost.. I was a twenty-year-old struggling to understand how Christ’s work and mine worked together.. What really made me acceptable to God? Something taught in the Discipleship Training School class I was taking that week had confused me, and I had been praying earnestly about it.. In my devotions, I had been slowly making my way through John’s Gospel, and chapter 15 wa….. A Better Country for Old Men.. This is a plea from the younger generation to the older.. We desperately need you.. Please don’t phone it in just when the King’s about to call.. Don’t retire on the world’s terms and abandon your long-time local church.. As the tsunami of the Baby Boom begins to flood the shores of retirement, please don’t leave us Millennials to fend for ourselves and make the same mistakes all over again.. Join John Piper in.. rethinking retirement.. , and complete the course, all the way to the finish line, proclaiming Jesus’s might to another generation (Psalm 71:18).. Your Wisdom.. For your joy, and for our good, we need you in this  ...   in electing children for re….. Lay Aside the Weight of Discontentment.. November 1, 2013.. I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.. (Philippians 4:11–13).. In the race of faith, it is crucial to remember that our contentment is not determined by our circumstances.. We often want to blame circumstances for our discontent, but that’s barking up the wrong tree.. Contentment is determined by what we believe.. And our belief is fueled by what we’re seeing.. So if you need to lay aside the weight (Hebrews 12:1) of discontentment today—the sinful kind that stems fro….. The Reformation: Trick or Treat?.. October 31, 2013.. It’s no accident that October 31 is both Halloween and the day remembered for the start of the Reformation.. Both key off November 1, All Saints’ Day — or All Hallows’ Day (Hallows from the Latin for saints or holy ones).. On All Hallows’ Eve, October 31, 1517, the Roman Church received the world’s most memorable trick-or-treater at its door — though barely noticed at the time — when a lowly priest named Martin Luther approached the threshold of the Wittenberg branch in Germany and posted his 95 measly theses (they aren’t nearly as impressive as you would expect).. The coming All Saints’ Day seemed like an excuse for sparring about the Church’s deplorable sanctioning of indulgences, and Luther….. Jesus Saves.. October 30, 2013.. The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.. (Luke 19:10).. Christianity is summed up in these words:.. Jesus came to seek and save the lost.. If we were asked to describe in a sentence the heart of the gospel, there it is.. There is no other news like this.. Every other religion says it backwards.. Every other religion tells.. us.. to seek.. We are advised to climb trees like Zacchaeus, to depend upon our own exertion for any hope of ascending to the divine.. We are told to bridge the gulf by our effort.. If you want salvation.. , they say,.. then seek it.. In a sense, that is the world — we live in a planet full of seekers.. We are, in one way or another, tree-climbers, maneuvering ourselves to gain som….. God’s Glory Wins.. October 29, 2013.. Not everyone will believe the gospel.. Why?.. “God desires all people to be saved,” 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us.. “God does not take pleasure in the death of anyone,” Ezekiel 18:32 says.. Then why are there some who refuse to trust in Jesus and therefore die lost in their sins?.. There are two different answers to this question.. But we should understand that these two answers go beyond making sense of God’s will of decree and will of command.. Those “two wills” in God describe a biblical distinction that’s been expressed various ways in the Scriptures and throughout the centuries.. God’s “two ways of willing,” writes John Piper, “implies that God decrees one state of affair while also willing and teach….. Newest.. Newer.. 2.. 6.. Older.. Oldest..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts on Commentary - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: 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 th….. The Undaunted Message of Freedom.. Brandon Smith.. October 28, 2013.. “I think, therefore I am.. ” René Descartes penned this popular line in his 1637 treatise,.. Discourse on the Method.. , and it’s a good summary of the book itself.. Heralding the importance of scientific discoveries and the necessity of doubting one’s own view of the world, Descartes’ work is often considered the first domino to fall in what is now called the Enlightenment.. The Enlightenment, with its explosion of scientific discoveries and philosophical arguments, had one task:.. to replace authority and tradition with reason and self-sufficiency.. For centuries, the existence of a divine being beyond our realm was largely assumed.. When people talked of events in their lives such as miracles, disast….. Three Prayers for Facing Monday (Or Any Tomorrow).. October 27, 2013.. This is one of those really deep, common truths — one which Jonathan Edwards.. expounds.. with the intellectual horsepower of a genius, and to which our most common experience testifies:.. Essential to our present joy is the anticipation of greater joy to come.. This is why, for example, the best part of going on vacation is often the day before we start it.. The glad anticipation of.. what will be.. compounds in the present and gives us a good feeling.. But the closer we get to the last day of vacation, the more the joy diminishes.. Sound familiar?.. In American culture, the weekend can be a miniature version of this experience.. After five days of work, many of us.. look forward.. to two days off on Saturda….. What to Neglect to Have a Rich Life.. October 25, 2013.. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.. (Colossians 3:16).. This verse from Colossians is so full of nourishment that there is no way to put the whole thing in our mouths at one time.. It’s going to take a few blog bites to chew on it.. Today, all I want to do is chew on the first word: “let.. Let.. the word of Christ dwell in you  ...   So what’s his case? Pastor John explains in today’s podcast (episode #200):.. YouTube.. Also, this week we introduced.. podcast videos to YouTube — yes, videos.. But if you’re expecting video footage of Pastor John answering questions, you’ll be sorely disappointed.. We have taken the audio recording, set it to a photo, and m….. Simple Greatness: The Story of My Hmong Father.. Yia Vang.. How is the gospel real to you?.. This was a question that I was asked in college.. As part of a campus ministry, I heard the word “gospel” thrown around a lot, but as for how it was.. real to me.. , that wasn’t as easy to explain.. The short answer was that the gospel is real to me because it’s how God saved me.. The truth of the gospel is alive to me because by it God made me alive.. But as I looked closer at God’s work in my life, I began to notice a “tangible remnant” of Jesus’s love for me.. It’s embedded deep in my story as a Hmong-American.. Let me explain.. Meet the Hmong.. If you’re familiar with the Twin Cities of Minnesota, you’ve heard about a people group called the Hmong (the H is silent).. W….. A Whole World Hangs on a Word.. October 22, 2013.. Sometimes a whole world — a whole theology — hangs on a word.. Consider the word “this” in Ephesians 2:8.. Does it refer to “faith” or “grace” or both? Is faith a gift of God?.. For by.. grace.. you have been saved through.. faith.. And.. this.. is not from you; it is the.. gift.. of God.. What does “this” refer to? “And.. ” What is its antecedent? The question is not settled by the fact that in Greek “this” is singular and neuter, while “grace” and “faith” are both feminine.. “This” is just as ambiguous in Greek as it is in English.. Faith As a Gift.. But consider these four pointers to seeing faith as a gift in Ephesians 2:8.. When Paul says “this is not from you,….. Our Children for Our Joy.. Trillia Newbell.. October 21, 2013.. I dropped my son off at his school and yelled my usual through the rolled down window, “I love you.. Make good choices.. Obey your teacher.. ” As I began to roll up the window and drive away, my little first grader took his small hand to his mouth and blew me a kiss.. It was like everything stopped at that moment.. I realized how quickly this season would last.. Would he blow me a kiss when he’s 16 years old? I don’t know.. I blew him a kiss back and he waved to me, mouthing the words “Bye, Mom.. ” I was overwhelmed.. I wished I could freeze that point in time.. Sweet Ragamuffins.. I like to call my children sweet ragamuffins.. Motherhood is challenging.. My kids don’t obey me every time I ask them to ….. 3.. 7..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts on Commentary - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: What the Church Can Learn from Chick-fil-A.. The cows started writing on billboards in the Twin Cities metro earlier this year.. End of Burgerz — Koming Soon.. These bovines can’t spell, but we got the message — especially those of us Minnesotans who are transplants from the South.. Here comes Chick-fil-A, at long last.. Time to.. Eat Mor Chikin.. Christian Roots and Controversy.. It’s no secret the chain was founded by an unapologetic Christian from the Atlanta-area.. Now in his nineties, Truett Cathy has operated his restaurants on overtly Christian principles since the 1940s.. His son, Dan, the franchise president, is known for his support of Christian causes and his opposition to so-called same-sex marriage, which drew national attention l….. Jesus Doesn’t Love You Like That.. October 20, 2013.. Either Jesus died to save his church or he didn’t.. There isn’t a third option.. Either he gave himself up for his bride, as Ephesians 5:25 tells us, or he died to create the possibility of her salvation that depends upon the skills of human decision-making.. Are we dead in our sins, as Ephesians 2:1–3 says, or are we slightly impaired? Are we “far from the peaceful shore” or are we gone, sunken to the bottom of the ocean with no chance of resuscitation? Does God toss us a floatation device, or does he raise us from the dead?.. Was the cross of Christ a triumph over sin and evil, as Colossians 2:14–15 says, or was it just a nice first-move? Is Jesus victorious for the sake of his church, or di….. Four Keys to Satisfying Your Starving Soul.. October 19, 2013.. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.. –2 Peter 1:3–4.. If we’re honest, we’re all hungry.. We’re starving for something to sustain us, to preserve our hope, to strengthen us through trials, to help us conquer sin.. We’re starving for food that will fill us for the everyday fight of faith.. But what does the fight look like? And how do we find the food we need?.. O.. The Powerful Glory of Yielding Power.. October 18, 2013.. Perhaps the only thing harder for prideful humans than humbly.. wielding.. power is humbly.. yielding.. power.. And the most beautiful Old Testament example of this is the way Jonathan yielded Israel’s throne to David.. But as we see in 1 Samuel 23:15–18, he did far more than just yield.. Abinadab had watched his fugitive younger brother receive Jonathan like royalty.. Such an embrace.. Such intimate talk.. Such weeping in farewell.. What had David divulged to the enemy’s son?.. He stepped beside David at the cave’s entrance and they watched Jonathan depart — returning to serve beside his father whose homicidal paranoia was forcing them to run like foxes and live like badgers.. “David, you won’t like my a….. Lecrae  ...   Humans.. John Knight.. October 16, 2013.. My dearest Grubnat,.. I am glad to see you are finally learning to be subtler in manipulating your human.. As I had warned you, I was concerned that your boisterous assault on the unborn vermin with the rare chromosomal makeup (the “disabled,” as the other vermin call them) was going to expose all our plans to destroy them.. So I congratulate you on the recent article in.. The New York Times.. , “.. Breakthroughs in Prenatal Screening.. ” I can see your skills developing.. We must continue on this path as it does two important things for us: 1) it further blinds the humans to our real schemes; and 2) it rids us of having to deal with those foul, weak, “special” children that the Enemy calls “indispensabl….. I Hate Porn.. Eric Simmons.. October 15, 2013.. Pornography is a problem.. Porn is like a.. narcotic.. , it.. hijacks the brain.. , it redefines human sexuality, and in the meantime ruins lives, destroys families, and destabilizes ministries.. And honestly it’s a problem that makes me tired — tired of the devastation Satan is causing to children, women, families, pastors, churches, and the world with this tragic evil.. Porn became a problem for me when I was only six, and by the grace of God that problem ended when Jesus saved me at age seventeen.. But I know it rarely happens so cleanly.. It is still a temptation, yes; temptation abounds living in the city I do, and with the heart I have, but grace abounds all the more in Jesus Christ.. Friends, I ha….. Hijacking Back Your Brain from Porn.. Last week I wrote about.. the physiological dimension of addiction to pornography.. New brain research suggests it is as strong as addiction to cocaine and heroin because of its unique combination of stimulant and opiate.. Pornography lays down real physiological paths in the brain.. All sexual experience tends to migrate to these paths.. I concluded that none of this brain research takes God by surprise.. He designed the interplay between the brain and the soul.. Discoveries of the connections between physical and spiritual reality do not nullify either.. Don’t Be Part of Abolishing Man.. So don’t let this new brain research make you think of yourself as mere flesh and chemicals.. This is the great ….. A Reason to Be Really Offended.. October 14, 2013.. Our message is not.. you can do it.. It’s not.. you’re good enough, smart enough, and people like you.. What we preach is that you are a glorious creature gone tragically bad, that you have rebelled against the God who made you, but that he did the most difficult thing imaginable to win you back and lavish you with his eternal goodness.. It is wondrously good news.. But unavoidable is the offense, that insulting supposition, that bad news that sets up the good.. Did you catch it? You’ve gone tragically bad.. You’re a foolhardy rebel against the most powerful person in the universe.. There’s nothing you can do to save yourself, earn God’s favor, or get yourself out of the cosmic pit you’re in — the p….. 4.. 8..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts on Commentary - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Best Way to Start Your Everyday.. October 13, 2013.. Psalm 143:8 may capture it best:.. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,.. for in you I trust.. Make me know the way I should go,.. for to you I lift up my soul.. Two things make up everyone’s everyday: receptivity and productivity.. We are creatures who constantly take in and put out.. We absorb and we exude.. The question is.. what will it be?.. The psalmist tells us the best way to start.. The Battle Is On.. David writes as a man in turmoil.. The enemy has pursued his soul (Psalm 143:3).. His spirit is blacking out.. His heart is appalled (Psalm 143:4).. Don’t picture him waking up mid-morning at a cozy B B.. It’s more like a battle, and his enemy is in motion.. It’s more l….. The Thumbtack of Faith.. Toby J.. Sumpter.. October 12, 2013.. At bottom, the difference between faith in God and all other alternatives is a choice: to believe or not to believe.. But this is no blind leap of faith.. Faith is not irrational.. Faith is not insanity.. Faith is not stepping into the void.. Faith is sanity.. Faith is choosing to see what is actually there.. Faith is the choice to embrace life, the world, God.. Certainly, faith is not exhaustive knowledge or complete understanding.. Faith believes certain things that are unseen.. But we do not believe the unseen things based on nothing.. Faith is not a shot in the dark.. Faith is not a good guess.. Faith sees the stars and gapes in wonder.. Faith sees a little baby in her mother’s arms and blinks….. How to Humbly Give and Receive Correction.. October 11, 2013.. Because we struggle so much with pride, correction can be difficult to give graciously and difficult to receive graciously.. That’s one reason to be very thankful for Exodus 18.. God is so kind to have Jethro and Moses give us a clinic on what humble correction looks like on both sides.. The Context.. At this point in the story, Jethro, Moses’s father-in-law, had escorted Moses’s wife (his daughter) and two boys to rejoin the wild wilderness adventure and heard first hand all the amazing things that God had done for Israel through Moses.. Jethro burst into praise and proclaimed God’s supremacy (verses 10–11).. Then Jethro observed his son-in-law at work.. Moses was clearly an extraordinary proph….. Meet Grace’s Masterpiece.. Do you find theology intimidating? Does it sound distant, cold, academic?.. Maybe you’ve known people who are really into theology and don’t seem to love Jesus much, or don’t seem to go to the hard places where poverty, suffering, and unbelief live.. So you stopped calling after a lousy first date.. But what if your stereotype of theology really isn’t theology? After all, at its  ...   to bedtime each day.. I also find myself worried about paying bills, about my husband’s travel for work, and about that message from my doctor needing to discuss test results with me.. My to-do lists keep me awake at night because I fear I’ll forget to do something important.. Questions like “what if?” and “should I have?” swirl around my mind, holding me hostage and keeping me chained to my worries and fears.. Worry is a kind of “acceptable sin.. ” By that I mean worry i….. How to Be Interesting and Unhelpful.. The point of this little exhortation is that, in handling the Scriptures, sanctification and speculation rise and fall in inverse proportion.. As speculation increases, sanctification decreases.. The more guessing the less blessing.. Few people would give their life for a speculation.. Few will gouge out an eye or cut off a hand, because of a guess.. Suppositions make weak expositions.. Here’s the sort of thing I have in mind.. Preachers, teachers, and Bible study leaders are sometimes tempted to speculate because the “possibilities” are so interesting.. For example, what about possible appearances of Christ in the Old Testament? When it says God was walking in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8) c….. It’s Just Complicated — And Very Simple.. October 7, 2013.. The Christian life can be so complex — and oh so very simple.. That we would use such a fancy word as.. sanctification.. betrays the complexity.. But that defining such a big word could be so easy hints at the simplicity.. Big Word, Modest Meaning.. The word.. is built on the Latin.. sanctus.. , meaning “holy.. ” Sanctification is the theological term we Christians often use for the process of being made holy.. For the Christian, whose standard of perfect human holiness is Jesus, the God-man, sanctification is essentially becoming more like Jesus — being “conformed to the image of his Son,” as Romans 8:29 puts it.. Christian growth, or maturation, is another way to define sanctification.. It’s….. Does Success Start on Sunday?.. October 6, 2013.. In the outskirts of the city, on a road that’s walked as much as driven, a typical car brakes at a red light.. It is the kind of car so typical that the actual model stays blurry in memory.. It is the kind of braking so natural that the driver must know this block.. Everything in the scene fits: the worn road, the red light, the common car, but not the bumper sticker.. That.. is a different story, with its weathered corners and sunbaked background accenting a phrase in all-caps Comic Sans: “Success Starts on Sunday.. There is also a church name, one as typical as the car, listed below the slogan in smaller letters.. And now we get it.. Said straight, the shiny message on this tattered sticker goes….. 5.. 9..

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