Friday, January 29, 2010

The Course Set In Motion

Some people choose self-pity, others choose repentance and the result of that seemingly small decision sets in motion courses so varying, the contrast is of the similitude of night and day.

Unfavorable circumstances arise and we do not attribute them to the fruit of sin but rather random occurrences. They are the fruit of sin nonetheless. Our sin, the sin of others, Adam’s sin, all have brought consequences we must bear this side of heaven. When it comes to our decision of how we will face unfavorable circumstances we have two choices, self-pity or repentance no matter who set the course in motion. It is a crossroad wherein we have the opportunity to choose greatness or depravity.

The young would ask, "But why should we have to repent of Adam’s sin when it is not ours?" The answer to that question is easy when we understand God's original design before the fall, the course of events set into motion by Adam’s sin and what repentance is and means for us.

We know from Adam’s sin that the whole of creation was cursed and now lies in a fallen state groaning for the day of restoration. Man’s commission from God is to take dominion over the earth. This was his commission even before Adam’s sin. He is called to dominion. Now man’s work also includes confronting the curse in his daily work. Confronting sin and righting it so that it reflects the original creation whether it is a weed in the soil of man's heart or a curse upon the flesh or ground or any part of creation. Dominion for Christ is our duty so that the whole world is righted to a state based on His wisdom, His order, His design.

Fallen man rejects this duty. He revolts against it. He wishes that he would not have it upon his shoulders. He doesn’t want to right creation to a state of godliness. He wants to do his own will. He wants to do what he wants and not put his hand to the plow that the Lord commissioned him to. Instead he lets the ground lie fallow, weedy, diseased. His field is overcome and because it is left so, his neighbors suffer due to his disobedience to the orders the Lord has laid upon him. “It’s not fair that I should have to plow!” he says in earshot of his neighbor. All the while his neighbor groans under the burden of his own labors and the additional burden he unjustly has to bear because of his neighbor's sloth.

How influential slothful men are! How they do curse their brother with that which will do him in! In the end his blood is on the slothful man's head, for surely he has failed him. God calls such sloth wickedness and rightly so.

Self-pity brings our own demise, though it tempts us to blame others for our circumstances. It causes God to resist us in our pride. Such indulgence does not change the expectation of the Lord that we repent and take dominion over the effects of sin. We are still required to change the circumstances, to repent, whether the circumstances arise from our own sin or the sin of others.

Run the race and do not indulge in such sin. Self-pity is so very addictive. Once the sinner has acquired a taste he cannot be satisfied unless he increasingly drinks more of it. It makes waste of those who would otherwise be great. The repentant pass him by while he lies drunken in his stupor. They tell him to repent, come along, be free, and be filled but he has still the taste in his mouth from his last drink, and drowsy he cannot even imagine anything other than that which intoxicates him now.

He is helpless. Or is he? He is not. He can still beg the Lord to grant him the repentance, which he cannot gain for himself. And he can obey as the Lord grants repentance. He can repent and he can start with the meager resources he has left hidden under the corrupted ground he’s not attended to. He finds a freshness of spirit incomparable to his experience. He drinks in a new air deeply and is revived. He sees the weeds of a corrupt creation and an invigorating challenge. A conqueror is birthed! How heroic is the man that repents on his own volition for he sets in motion the course of recreation of all things fallen! The ground sings his praises. His brethren rejoice beside him! The Lord blesses and aids him! His enemies fear his boldness! He is a model for his fellow man who follow and walk beside him. He brings great relief and lifts burdens of his neighbors. His legacy revels in the memory of his presence.

Recommended Resources
The Weed With An Ill Name
19th Century Classic Collection
The Essential Family Literature Collection

Is Capitalism Dead?

Calvin and Commerce: Transforming Power of Calvinism in Market Economies

by David Hall and Matthew Burton

Is capitalism dead? Beyond recovery? Our current economic climate is leading more and more people to think so. Hall and Burton ardently defend capitalism as consistent with biblical teaching and sensible as well. They draw on John Calvin's insights from Scripture and their own expertise in theology and finance to highlight a way out of our economic morass.

"The first time you read this book, you'll be amazed at is breadth and scope. Then on your second and third reading - and you'll find it that compelling - you'll be amazed at the awareness and application of Calvin's thinking on literally hundreds of details regarding business, commerce, and stewardship. Especially for a nation drifting rapidly toward socialistic assumptions, this is crucial reading." - Joel Belz, Founder, World Magazine

"What we really need now, more than any time in the last fifty years, is a thorough renewal of our understanding and commitment to a Reformed worldview on the markets. Carefully opening up Calvin's radically biblical, Christ-centered application of the creation, fall and redemption motif to the matter of market economics, this very readable book enables the reader to navigate the infamous criticism and frequent misunderstandings of free markets to discover a truly free market model." - Michael Milton, President and Professor of Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"I believe & I have to..." What Heroism is Made of

From Mr. Phillip's blog:

In less than 24 hours, I will be boarding a plane on an important mission bound for Haiti. I am writing because I need your help.

Here is the story.

My mission to Haiti is four-fold: First, I will be establishing one of the only distinctively Christian reporting operations to tell stories of both the present crisis and the work of Christians on behalf of the sick and the widows and the orphans in the midst of Haiti’s present horror. Second, I will be working to facilitate the rescue and delivery of orphans to Christian families in America. Third, I will be identifying specific families that need direct support from the people of God in America. Fourth, my team will be providing specific relief to people in distress.

My starting team is seven individuals, including an experienced medical doctor, a logistics crew, and a film production team for news reportage. I should be joined by additional team members in Haiti including a driver, translator, and possibly more physicians in the days to come.

I believe that I can play a special role in getting important stories out to the people of God in a timely and meaningful way. I also believe that I can be effective in helping some of the most important Christian ministries to get the attention they need. I believe that we can be successful, by God’s grace, in meeting urgent medical needs of the sick and wounded in the wake of the recent disaster, documenting the needs of orphans in crisis, and helping to facilitate a plan to connect orphans with the very best families who can care for them.

Our camera team will document the story, and I will be posting regular video updates and written commentary on our outreach to Haiti as it unfolds. You can follow these updates on my blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. My staff will also be making them available through YouTube to the general public. WorldNetDaily has agreed to publish articles I write on Haiti as exclusive commentary on their website to help maximize the reach of our message. Our goal is to reach a broad audience with the details of our ministry in Haiti, and the outlet through WND will help in accomplishing this.

As I’m sure you know, the devastation in Haiti has been overwhelming. More people have died as a result of this earthquake than died in either the Nagasaki or Hiroshima bombings at the close of WWII. Already, the death toll from the earthquake ranks it among the top five most deadly natural disasters in the last century and the top twenty in recorded history. And the death count only continues to climb.

Our goal is to be ministers of Christ in the wake of this enormous disaster — to help rescue Haiti’s children — and we would solicit your prayers and support for this enterprise.

Here’s where things stand: Our transportation to Haiti has been secured. A private jet has been made available for our use to the country. We have transportation and an interpreter who will be guiding us through the disaster zones. We have a clear plan in place to make the most of our mission.

But we need help with the expenses including our technical needs, satellite broadcast feeds (which are expensive), equipment, supplies, and air transportation back through the Dominican Republic to America, in the likely circumstance that we are unable to get out through Port-au-Prince.

I have had to move quickly: I have made the decision to go even before all the funds have been provided; but I would sincerely ask for your consideration in supporting us on this important project. I would appreciate your support, be it prayer or financial assistance, for our mission. Donations to help our effort can be made online. Click here to donate.

Please stay tuned for our broadcasts and articles. May the Lord be pleased to use our humble efforts at this time of intense crisis.

Your friend in Christ, Doug Phillips

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Truth Be Told...

I'm going to be completely honest here:

Some of us have a huge bias when it comes to arguments about education.

You know the kids I'm talking about.

They've been educated in an echo chamber, a place where the curriculum is a unified effort to teach them one way to think.

They learn to view the world through a single lens: the worldview that they're being taught.

They don't live in the real world.

They've told what to think and how to act from a young age; their responses to certain stimuli are deeply ingrained in them.

And because of all of this, they're biased. When they speak, they're often just parroting what they've been taught.

Those poor public schoolers.

Read the rest of Jasmine's excellent article here.

Build Your Library, Build The Future

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Monday, January 11, 2010

A Sharp Sword In The Hand Of A Madman

“Christianity must be a present element of all the training at all times, or else it is not a true and valuable education. The human spirit is a monad, a single unit, spiritual substance, having facilities and susceptibilities for different modifications, but no parts. Hence, when it is educated, it is educated as a unit. The moral judgments and acts of the soul all involve an exercise of reason; so that it is impossible to separate the ethical and intellectual functions. The nature of responsibility is such that there can be no neutrality… between duty and sin. It follows that any training which attempts to be non-Christian is therefore anti-Christian. God is the rightful, supreme master and owner of all reasonable creatures, and their nearest and highest duties are to him. Hence to train a soul away from him is robbery of God. He has not, indeed, committed to the State the duty of leading souls to him as its appropriate task. This is committed to the family and to His church. To educate the mind without purifying the heart is but `to place a sharp sword in the hand of a madman.’ Practically few do recognize and obey conscience except those who recognize the authority of the Bible. There can be, therefore, no true education without moral culture, and no true moral culture without Christianity.” ~ Robert L. Dabney

Recommended Resources
Homeschool Dropouts
Toxic: Seven Poisons that Threaten the Health of the Homeschool Movement - and Their Antidotes
Already Gone
Raising Godly Children

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

It's not a sacrifice, it's an investment

"It's not a sacrifice, it's an investment." ~Jenny Belle Crowe

The price of freedom. It is of the most ironic nature that in a woman's life, giving up egalitarianism and feminism seems like such a sacrifice, when really it is an investment in herself, her family, her church body, her country, her progeny. Faith and obedience to God's established role and duties for women is not only freedom in and of itself. But quite often holding onto that ground we christian women have fought for in building a culture of biblical womanhood in the face of feminists who would tell us to give it up, that it's easier to mother a man, to take care of things yourself, to be independent, etc. often means a greater investment is needed if we truly believe that God's Word is the ultimate authority in which we put our faith and by which we determine our duties. We hold to this with greater conviction, in spite of temptation, toil, and other mean circumstances because it's not a sacrifice, it's an investment. Our hope is that God will reap Glory by our faithfulness and obedience.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Original Trinity Hymnal, #53 Psalm 146

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises
Of my God through all my days.
Put no confidence in princes,
Nor for help on man depend;
He shall die, to dust returning,
And his purposes shall end.

Happy is the man that chooses
Israel's God to be his aid;
He is blessed whose hope of blessing
On the Lord his God is stayed.
Heaven and earth the Lord created,
Seas and all that they contain;
He delivers from oppression,
Righteousness he will maintain.

Food he daily gives the hungry,
Sets the mourning prisoner free,
Raises those bowed down with anguish,
Makes the sightless eyes to see.
Well Jehovah loves the righteous,
And the stranger he befriends,
Helps the fatherless and widow,
Judgment on the wicked sends.

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises
Of my God through all my days.
Over all God reigns for ever,
Through all ages he is king;
Unto him, thy God, O Zion,
Joyful hallelujahs sing.

Friday, January 01, 2010

We will be glad and rejoice in Thee

Charles Haddon Spurgeon January 1st, Evening Reading

"We will be glad and rejoice in Thee." — Song 1:4

We will be glad and rejoice in Thee. We will not open the gates of the year to the dolorous notes of the sackbut, but to the sweet strains of the harp of joy, and the high sounding cymbals of gladness. "O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise unto the rock of our salvation." We, the called and faithful and chosen, we will drive away our griefs, and set up our banners of confidence in the name of God. Let others lament over their troubles, we who have the sweetening tree to cast into Marah's bitter pool, with joy will magnify the Lord. Eternal Spirit, our effectual Comforter, we who are the temples in which Thou dwellest, will never cease from adoring and blessing the name of Jesus. We WILL, we are resolved about it, Jesus must have the crown of our heart's delight; we will not dishonour our Bridegroom by mourning in His presence. We are ordained to be the minstrels of the skies, let us rehearse our everlasting anthem before we sing it in the halls of the New Jerusalem. We will BE GLAD AND REJOICE: two words with one sense, double joy, blessedness upon blessedness. Need there be any limit to our rejoicing in the Lord even now? Do not men of grace find their Lord to be camphire and spikenard, calamus and cinnamon even now, and what better fragrance have they in heaven itself? We will be glad and rejoice IN THEE. That last word is the meat in the dish, the kernel of the nut, the soul of the text. What heavens are laid up in Jesus! What rivers of infinite bliss have their source, ay, and every drop of their fulness in Him! Since, O sweet Lord Jesus, Thou art the present portion of Thy people, favour us this year with such a sense of Thy preciousness, that from its first to its last day we may be glad and rejoice in Thee. Let January open with joy in the Lord, and December close with gladness in Jesus.