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Archive for April, 2012

This is put out by Free Market America.

We actually observed the twisting of the traditional laws of supply and demand in my high school daughter’s Economics textbook.  What’s being propagated to our youth is not your grandfather’s economics lessons.

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Charles Spurgeon’s wife, Susannah, claimed that he could not have delivered a more suitable discourse for his own funeral sermon than the one he gave for the funeral of a Mr. William Olney in 1890.  It was Susannah who distributed the message she called “His Own Funeral Sermon” in hopes that others would still be blessed by the teaching of her since-deceased husband.

By his sermon Spurgeon would urge us to continue to serve all our lives.  He urges us to prepare for those who will come after us, but also to serve those of our own generation–the “part that is rising,” the “part that is shining,” and the “part that is setting.”  Of the part that is setting he wrote:

“Some are like the sun going down in the west; they will be gone soon. Serve them, dear brethren. You that are in health and vigour, comfort them, strengthen them, and help them all you can. Be a joy to that dear old man, who has been spared to you even beyond the allotted threescore years and ten, and praise God for the grace that has upheld him through his long pilgrimage. Look on his grey hairs as a crown of glory; make his descent to the grave as easy as you can. He once was as young as you are; he once had the vigour that you have. Console him, cheer him, give him the respect that is due to his many years. Do not let him feel that you consider him an old fogey who lingers, superfluous, on the stage; but learn from his experience, imitate his perseverance, and ask God to be with you in your old age, as he is with him.”

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This is a symphonic sermon jam beautifully assembled by Brent Fischer. I keep it on my desktop to periodically re-play and powerfully remind me that “there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!'” (Abraham Kuyper)

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C.S. Lewis:

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

 

[Photo: Josef.Stuefer]

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My oldest daughter, Ashley, recently posted a piece on her husband Andrew’s blog that stands in opposition to the “you are to die for” message often used in reference to Christ’s motivation for the cross.

The “you are to die for” message more than implies some glint of personal value in me that was worth all the “trouble” Christ went through on the cross.  It minimizes the fact that there is nothing good in me to recommend myself and it makes me the focus of the cross; not the Trinity.

Jacobson reminds us:

Though the cross is the only place I can go for hope; though the cross is the only thing I can cling to in the courtroom of God; though the cross is the only thing that can bring me ultimate joy and freedom; though the cross is the thing that stands between me and eternal condemnation; though the cross is the only option for my redemption; though the cross is my ultimate hope…

The cross is NOT ultimately about me.

The ultimate aim of Christ on the cross was to display definitively, absolutely, undoubtedly, irrevocably the GLORY of God!

The ultimate aim of Christ on the cross was to show the totality of the supremacy of God over sin, death, and the devil.

The ultimate aim of Christ on the cross was to end, without question, the eternal battle with Satan.

The ultimate aim of Christ on the Cross was to witness to the holiness and justice of God who cannot tolerate sin.

The ultimate aim of Christ on the cross was to display the massive, undeniable righteousness of God who is Just and the Justifier of those who trust in Jesus…

Ah, but here is the glorious mystery that should make my heart stop: in the cross, Christ is pleased and glorified in my justification from sin. I benefit eternally for him conquering sin. When he conquered sin, my sin, he made himself both just and my justifier. The victory that brought him ultimate glory has brought me life.

So, even though I am not the ultimate aim of the cross, there is nothing else but the cross that can be my aim.

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Rick Gamache has created a wonderfully readable narrative combining the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday based on the Gospel accounts, The Father’s Cup.
The excerpt below is a dramatized scenario of Christ’s hours on the cross as he drank the Cup of his Father.
 
 
 
 
 “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39).
 

…[Jesus] sags back into silence, back into countless hours of limitless pain.

Then Jesus is startled by a foul odor. It isn’t the stench of open wounds. It’s something else. And it crawls inside him. He looks up to his Father. His Father looks back, but Jesus doesn’t recognize these eyes. They pierce the invisible world with fire and darken the visible sky. And Jesus feels dirty. He hangs between earth and heaven filthy with human discharge on the outside and, now, filthy with human wickedness on the inside.

The Father speaks:

Son of Man! Why have you sinned against me and heaped scorn on my great glory?

You are self-sufficient and self-righteous — consumed with yourself and puffed up and selfishly ambitious.

You rob me of my glory and worship what’s inside of you instead of looking out to the One who created you.

You are a greedy, lazy, gluttonous slanderer and gossip.

You are a lying, conceited, ungrateful, cruel adulterer.

You practice sexual immorality; you make pornography, and fill you mind with vulgarity.

You exchange my truth for a lie and worship the creature instead of the Creator. And so you are given up to your homosexual passions, dressing immodestly, and lusting after what is forbidden.

With all your heart you love perverse pleasure.

You hate your brother and murder him with the bullets of anger fired from your own heart.

You kill babies for your convenience.

You oppress the poor and deal slaves and ignore the needy.

You persecute my people.

You love money and prestige and honor.

You put on a cloak of outward piety, but inside you are filled with dead men’s bones — you hypocrite!

You are lukewarm and easily enticed by the world.

You covet and can’t have so you murder.

You are filled with envy and rage and bitterness and unforgiveness.

You blame others for your sin and are too proud to even call it sin.

You are never slow to speak.

And you have a razor tongue that lashes and cuts with its criticism and sinful judgment.

Your words do not impart grace. Instead your mouth is a fountain of condemnation and guilt and obscene talk.

You are a false prophet leading people astray.

You mock your parents.

You have no self-control.

You are a betrayer who stirs up division and factions.

You’re a drunkard and a thief.

You’re an anxious coward.

You do not trust me.

You blaspheme against me.

You are an un-submissive wife.

And you are a lazy, disengaged husband.

You file for divorce and crush the parable of my love for the church.

You’re a pimp and a drug dealer.

You practice divination and worship demons.

The list of your sins goes on and on and on and on. And I hate these things inside of you. I’m filled with disgust, and indignation for your sin consumes me.

Now, drink my cup!

And Jesus does. He drinks for hours. He downs every drop of the scalding liquid of God’s own hatred of sin mingled with his white-hot wrath against that sin. This is the Father’s cup: omnipotent hatred and anger for the sins of every generation past, present, and future — omnipotent wrath directed at one naked man hanging on a cross.

The Father can no longer look at his beloved Son, his heart’s treasure, the mirror-image of himself. He looks away.

Jesus pushes himself upward and howls to heaven, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Silence.

Separation.

Jesus whispers, “I’m thirsty,” and he sags.

The merciful centurion soaks a sponge in sour wine and lifts it on a reed to Jesus’ lips. And the sour wine is the sweetest drink he ever tasted.

Jesus pushes himself up again and cries, “It is finished.” And it is. Every sin of every child of God has been laid on Jesus and he drank the cup of God’s wrath dry.

It’s three o’clock, Friday afternoon, and Jesus finds one more surge of strength. He presses his torn feet against the spikes, straightens his legs, and with one last gasp of air cries out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”

And he dies…


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God-willing, within the span of a year, I will have gone from being a mom of four high school and college-aged children…to a mother-in-law…to a grandmother.

Last June my oldest daughter, Ashley, married Andrew, a wonderful, godly man and conscientious husband.  In early September Ashley and Andrew discovered they were going to be parents!  Life is highly valued in our family and mentally we recognized God’s all-good sovereignty in bringing about this new soul.  Still, it is a great plan of God to give parents (and soon-to-be grandparents) nine months to prepare their hearts and homes for such a life change.

Now, just one month from the due date, we are ALL excitedly anticipating the arrival of little Calvin Taylor. Being still in my 40’s (o.k. I’m 49…but still), I can not say “Grandma Kim” yet without chuckling, so I hope to go by “Nana.”  Dana will be “Granddad” as a nod to his own dear Granddad.

God has really been impressing upon Dana and I lately the gravity of our “job” ahead.  I’m sorry that Ashley and Andrew live five hours away and hope that God will give us creative ways to be close to our grandson (and all of our grandchildren should God continue to bless us).

Like most Christian grandparents, Dana and I desire to see the “baton” securely passed on to our future generations.  We long to see God’s Word and true faith securely planted in the hearts of our descendents.  Dana and I pray that God will give us opportunity to “shoot over the horizon”; to affect a future we will never see…to his great glory!

[Photo by Deflam on Flickr.com]

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