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What I Read Online – 06/17/2011 (a.m.)

17 Jun
    • The Simeon Trust website is really helpful. For example, there is a great page called “Principles of Exposition.” Whether you need to re-sharpen your tools or learn the basics of being a workman, there is much material that you will find useful.
    • A third list comes from the Reformed churches of the Protestant Reformation. The marks of the visible church include the Word rightly proclaimed, the sacraments properly observed, scriptural discipline faithfully practiced, and loving fellowship joyfully maintained.
    • It’s true that we are sanctified by faith–both by believing in Christ’s complete work on our behalf and by trusting in future grace. Faith continues to play a crucial role in sanctification, but not in the exact way it does for justification.
    • So we must never separate justification and sanctification. The former can’t help but produce the latter, and the latter must flow from the former. And yet we should not be afraid to talk about justification in a different way than we talk about sanctification. One calls us to rest; the other to fight. One reckons us righteous; the other makes us righteous. One allows for no increase or degrees; the other expects progress and growth. One is a declaration of God about us, the other a work of God in us.
    • So, a God-centered biblical theology and world history, integrated by Christ’s work of redemption, and written by one of the greatest theologians in the history of the church. Don’t you wonder what would have been in it?
    • This same principle certainly applies to mission fields too. The closer you get to home, the less intriguing the work of sacrifice seems. As someone once said, “Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help Mom with the dishes.” When you are a mother at home with your children, the church is not clamoring for monthly ministry updates. When you talk to other believers, there is not any kind of awe about what you are sacrificing for the gospel. People are not pressing you for needs you might have, how they can pray for you. It does not feel intriguing, or glamorous. Your work is normal, because it is as close to home as you can possibly be. You have actually gone so far as to become home.
    • At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood.
    • Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.
    • Look at your children in faith, and see how many people will be ministered to by your ministering to them. How many people will your children know in their lives? How many grandchildren are represented in the faces around your table now?
    • Christians often feel like the right thing to do is to be ashamed about what we have. We hear that quote of Jim Elliot’s and think that we ought to sell our homes and move to some place where they need the gospel.
    • But I’d like to challenge you to look at it differently. Giving up what you cannot keep does not mean giving up your home, or your job so you can go serve somewhere else. It is giving up yourself. Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now. Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fiftieth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like the green beans. Laugh when your plans are thwarted by a vomiting child. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them.
    • n his book Bowling Alone, Robert Putman reveals that there’s been a 33 percent decrease in families eating together over the last three decades. And more than half of those families are watching television as they eat together. Over the same period there’s been a 45 percent decline in entertaining friends. Growing up I would ask each Sunday, “Who’s coming for dinner today?” Not whether but who, because I knew my parents always would have invited someone. “In the typical American household, the average number of dinners eaten together is three per week, with the average length of dinner being 20 minutes.” Many homes no longer even have a dining room. We protect ourselves from outsiders, but our security systems and garden gates are our prisons, cutting us off from community. Instead we get our community vicariously through soap operas. Friends is a television program or a Facebook number, not people with whom we eat and laugh and cry.
    • Rev. Dave Clancey has been the minister at All Saints Anglican Church in Methven since 2008. Methven is a small town in mid-Canterbury, which in winter months transforms from an agricultural centre to the service town for Mt Hutt ski field . Dave moved to All Saints in 2008 as curate-in-charge and last year they initiated a seasonal church called ‘feed’ reaching out to those in Methven for the winter season. Latimer caught up with Dave to ask him the background to feed.
       

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

 
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Posted by on 17/06/2011 in Current Issues

 

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