Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Christian Use Of Fiction

Chalcedon vice-president, and Christian novelist, Martin G. Selbrede, presents the reasons for the Chalcedon Foundation's publishing of fiction. If all areas are to be taken captive for Christ, then story-telling is a powerful arena for godly service.

Free $50 Gift Certificate

Quivering Daughters - Bitter Fruits of Bad Theology

With the ongoing breakdown of the family and faith, increasingly horrific reports surface detailing stories of children sexually abused in Christian boarding schools. Some adult children coming out of homeschools also complain of abuse, having been raised in what they call “legalistic” homes. As the evangelical faith wanders theologically and as family relationships suffer badly, these sorts of testimonies will only increase over the next few decades. What is the relationship of rules and relationships? How about faith and works? Heart and hands? Authority and humility? God's sovereignty and human responsibility? Tying in his current blog post on this broadcast, Kevin Swanson points out the wild swings Christians make from heterodoxy to heterodoxy, as the faith disappears generation by generation. The Christian family is on the edge of extinction. The apostasy in the west is finally reaching full force in our country (America). If you want to salvage faith and family, you better start with some half-way decent definitions. What you teach your children about the faith is important. As a pastor and a father, Kevin Swanson presents several important balances that are lost to the average evangelical today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Three Big Lies About Networking

Think about the most successful people you know. What's one thing they have in common? Probably this: They've built a network of contacts that provides support, information and business referrals. They have mastered the art and science of and business flows to them almost as a matter of course.

It took those successful networkers years of hard work to build their networks. But many people don’t understand networking basics.

Misconceptions about networking are widespread, even among business professionals. Before you can commit yourself to the task of building a healthy network, you probably need to overcome at least one of these three major networking misconceptions.

Find out three simple truths about networking here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reduced 50%!!! Entrepreneurial Bootcamp!

One of Ah, the Life's favorites!

Reduced to half the price, today only! We listened and learned from many very edifying lectures at the conference and have referenced them again and again since. It's always good to go back and evaluate biblical principles for business as you seek to grow your family entrepreneurial endeavor. Find new creative ideas and approaches as you grow.

A Course In Personal Holiness

Greg Bahnsen on Romans 8:4
Now in this day it's easy for people to get misled as to what 'walking in the spirit' means and what the manifestation of 'walking in the spirit' would be. I don't need to remind you I'm sure, there are plenty of people who feel that 'walking in the spirit' is manifest in certain charismatic expressions, or charismatic gifts. Walking in the spirit means [to them] that we are free from external compulsion and guidance [law], that we are just 'inner directed' people. Or walking in the spirit for some people means that we are so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. We don't ever pay attention to the things of this life. 'Walking in the spirit' is taken in many different ways but here Paul is clear that 'walking in the spirit' is manifest when the ordinance of the law is fulfilled in us. The spirit you see leads people to obey God. The very reason we need the holy spirit indwelling us and renewing us is because we have offended God; we've offended Him by spurning his requirements. He has told us to live in one particular way, a way He promises is for our blessing and we have gone our own way as wayward sheep we’ve wondered out of the paths and we’ve come under his judgement.

More than that we’ve also disabled ourselves with respect to moral matters. We’ve rendered ourselves incapable of doing what God wants us to do and so now the holy spirit indwelling his people changes that; He’s rectifying the situation and so Paul says when the holy spirit indwells you and you’re walking by the spirit now instead of spurning the law as you always did, and that’s what, if you will, got you into the mess you’re in morally in the first place, the spirit now leads you to honor the law and to do what the law says.

And so a course on personal ethics is important not simply that we’ll be true servants of Jesus Christ, but also that we will demonstrate that genuine inner life is ours and the spirit; that we are walking by the spirit. We must understand the commandments and do them if we are going to show that we are spirit indwelled people.

Recommended Resource

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Read It And Weep...

...because so few love the law.

But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. Joshua 22:5

Matthew Henry comments:

In general, to take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law. Those that have the commandment have it in vain unless theydo the commandment; and it will not be done aright (so apt are we to turn aside, and so industrious are our spiritual enemies to turn us aside) unless we take heed, diligent heed. 2. In particular, to love the Lord our God, as the best of beings, and the best of friends; and as far as this principle rules in the heart, and is the spring of its pulses, there will be a constant care and sincere endeavour to walk in his ways, in all his ways, even those that are narrow and up-hill, in every particular instance, in all manner of conversation to keep his commandments, at all times and in all conditions with purpose of heart to cleave unto him,and to serve him and his honour, and the interest of his kingdom among men, with all our heart and with all our soul. What good counsel was here given to them is given to us all. God give us grace to take it!

Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. Psalms 119:115

Matthew Henry comments:

Here is, 1. David’s firm and fixed resolution to live a holy life: I will keep the commandments of my God. Bravely resolved! like a saint, like a soldier; for true courage consists in a steady resolution against all sin and for all duty. Those that would keep God’s commandments must be often renewing their resolutions to do so: "I will keep them. Whatever others do, this I will do; though I be singular, though all about me be evil-doers, and desert me; whatever I have done hitherto, I will for the future walk closely with God. They are the commandments of God, of my God, and therefore I will keep them. He is God and may command me, my God and will command me nothing but what is for my good.’’ 2. His farewell to bad company, pursuant to this resolution: Depart from me, you evil-doers. Though David, as a good magistrate, was a terror to evil-doers, yet there were many such, even about court, intruding near his person; these he here abdicates, and resolves to have no conversation with them. Note, Those that resolve to keep the commandments of God must have no society with evil-doers; for bad company is a great hindrance to a holy life. We must not choose wicked people for our companions, nor be intimate with them; we must not do as they do nor do as they would have us do, Ps. 1:1; Eph. 5:11.

Highly, Seriously, Strongly, Intensely, Recommended Notable Resources:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Life is real

Life is real...
Life is earnest...
And the grave is not it's goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Let Faith & Life Be Put Together

"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." — Galatians 5:25

The two most important things in our holy religion are the life of faith and the walk of faith. He who shall rightly understand these is not far from being a master in experimental theology, for they are vital points to a Christian. You will never find true faith unattended by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life which has not for its root a living faith upon the righteousness of Christ. Woe unto those who seek after the one without the other! There are some who cultivate faith and forget holiness; these may be very high in orthodoxy, but they shall be very deep in condemnation, for they hold the truth in unrighteousness; and there are others who have strained after holiness of life, but have denied the faith, like the Pharisees of old, of whom the Master said, they were "whitewashed sepulchres." We must have faith, for this is the foundation; we must have holiness of life, for this is the superstructure. Of what service is the mere foundation of a building to a man in the day of tempest? Can he hide himself therein? He wants a house to cover him, as well as a foundation for that house. Even so we need the superstructure of spiritual life if we would have comfort in the day of doubt. But seek not a holy life without faith, for that would be to erect a house which can afford no permanent shelter, because it has no foundation on a rock. Let faith and life be put together, and, like the two abutments of an arch, they will make our piety enduring. Like light and heat streaming from the same sun, they are alike full of blessing. Like the two pillars of the temple, they are for glory and for beauty. They are two streams from the fountain of grace; two lamps lit with holy fire; two olive trees watered by heavenly care. O Lord, give us this day life within, and it will reveal itself without to Thy glory.

Morning & Evening - Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Faith Rests On A Foundation Of Law

To reduce the law, as some antinomians do, to merely a promise of death is to deny it's meaning, and finally it's judgment. The law is not a mere negation: it's purpose is to outlaw sin and to protect and nurture righteousness. In this respect alone, the law is a promise of life. A law against murder is a promise of death to the murderer, and a promise of life and protection in the life to the godly. To remove the promise of life to the godly means to remove at one and the same time the promise of death to the murderer. When thieves and murderers are removed from society, life and property are thereby protected and furthered. When the antinomians reduce the law to a merely negative function, death to sin, they implicitly remove that death penalty also and prepare the way for love to become the redeemer and life-giver rather than God. They remove it by making a new principle the life-giver, love, God's love for man and man's love for God; death then becomes the depravation of love, and love is the cure-all for deprivation. But the Biblical doctrine of atonement declares plainly that man's salvation is by Christ's works of law, his perfect obedience as our representative and federal head, and His substitutionary acceptance of our sentence of death. We are sentenced to death by the law, and we are made righteous before God by law, but we receive this fact by faith. Faith does not eliminate the legal transaction involved, nor the requirement that we now show forth the fruits of salvation, godly works. Faith rests in the foundation of law. The Institutes of Biblical Law pgs. 171-172

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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Admiral of The Sea

"There were also with Him other little ships." — Mark 4:36

Jesus was the Lord High Admiral of the sea that night, and His presence preserved the whole convoy. It is well to sail with Jesus, even though it be in a little ship. When we sail in Christ's company, we may not make sure of fair weather, for great storms may toss the vessel which carries the Lord Himself, and we must not expect to find the sea less boisterous around our little boat. If we go with Jesus we must be content to fare as He fares; and when the waves are rough to Him, they will be rough to us. It is by tempest and tossing that we shall come to land, as He did before us. When the storm swept over Galilee's dark lake all faces gathered blackness, and all hearts dreaded shipwreck.

When all creature help was useless, the slumbering Saviour arose, and with a word, transformed the riot of the tempest into the deep quiet of a calm; then were the little vessels at rest as well as that which carried the Lord. Jesus is the star of the sea; and though there be sorrow upon the sea, when Jesus is on it there is joy too. May our hearts make Jesus their anchor, their rudder, their lighthouse, their life-boat, and their harbour. His Church is the Admiral's flagship, let us attend her movements, and cheer her officers with our presence. He Himself is the great attraction; let us follow ever in His wake, mark His signals, steer by His chart, and never fear while He is within hail. Not one ship in the convoy shall suffer wreck; the great Commodore will steer every barque in safety to the desired haven. By faith we will slip our cable for another day's cruise, and sail forth with Jesus into a sea of tribulation. Winds and waves will not spare us, but they all obey Him; and, therefore, whatever squalls may occur without, faith shall feel a blessed calm within. He is ever in the centre of the weather-beaten company: let us rejoice in Him. His vessel has reached the haven, and so shall ours.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Millie Flood Update - It's A Dirty Job

Papa Johns stopped in and handed out pizzas to the residents working to clean out the flood soaked condos.
Clean up has been a hot, dirty and well, very smelly job as you can imagine. The sewage smell has been the worst part but spirits are high as always and we have made a huge amount of progress in just two days.

One of the trash heaps in the area.

Taking a breather.
With no electricity or clean running water we decided to set up a station outside to work from.

Inspections and deliberations amongst residents are taking place in order to decide what will be done. A collective decision has to be made before Millie can make future plans. It is slow going in a situation like this. We are still putting together a list of needs which is being delayed due to insurance. Her immediate needs are taken care of. I'll be organizing her donations. Please contact me via blog email.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Little Things, Big Meaning - He Stays The Course In Motion

And [if] thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness [be] as the noonday: Isaiah 58:10
When we invest ourselves in others, taking time to share with them God's wisdom for their circumstances, bringing them insight that will stretch them a bit further so they will seek maturity, settle their disquieted, anxious, or fearful souls, equip them to reign over the sin they've allowed to rule over themselves we have the privilege of watching Christ overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.

When the investment in them is nourished by God and flourishes after we've shared His wisdom, we see a course set in motion which reaches new heights of maturity, where sin is repented of, and hope and confidence soundly guide a soul. Christ witnesses to us through our investment. Though we are the ones who pour out ourselves He is the one who stays the course in motion. We watch Him reign in the new soil. He shows us victory.

Matthew Henry on Isaiah 58:10
We must abound in all acts of charity and beneficence. We must not only give alms according as the necessities of the poor require, but, (1.) We must give freely and cheerfully, and from a principle of charity. We must draw out our soul to the hungry(v. 10), not only draw out the money and reach forth the hand, but do this from the heart, heartily, and without grudging, from a principle of compassion and with a tender affection to such as we see to be in misery. Let the heart go along with the gift; for God loves a cheerful giver, and so does a poor man too. When our Lord Jesus healed and fed the multitude it was as having compassion on them. (2.) We must give plentifully and largely, so as not to tantalize, but to satisfy, the afflicted soul: "Do not only feed the hungry, but gratify the desire of the afflicted, and, if it lies in your power, make them easy.’’ What are we born for, and what have we our abilities of body, mind, and estate for, but to do all the good we can in this world with them? And the poor we have always with us.

Recommended Resources:

Editor's note: We presuppose that our readers are seeking wisdom for building a fruitful Christ honoring vision for the future which will encompass many works within a woman's role and jurisdiction. We never constrain our reading to 'unwed girls only' materials but have found wisdom in understanding the grand scope of things so that we know how to work wisely under and within other jurisdictions. This is why you'll see us recommend materials for fathers, brothers, mothers, church elders, magistrates, and the like...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Little Things, Big Meaning

We're often asked, "How are you all so hopeful and how do you hold on to your vision for the future?"

A flood of things come to mind, there are many practical things we do, but my first thought is, "What else would you like to hold on to?" Holding onto despair, uncertainty, or fear is something many people do but that does little to form a God glorifying future and shape our thinking for the dominion work we've been called to. Hope causes us to persevere and overcome some of the greatest obstacles.

I'm not intending to take away from the work of the Saviour or the sovereignty of our heavenly Father but we should understand that one of the principle graces of a Christian is hope.

Little things are often over looked but have big meaning to us in the maintaining of hope which we see as our responsibility.

Today we met with a new client and of course like always we're different. I'm sure many of you are used to that. She was intrigued and asked us questions and we gave answers. People love it when the unanswered questions which have had for some time rolling around in their heads finally come to a halt as we share insight that is edifying for their situation. People are hungry and truth puts a disquieted soul at ease. Inspiring people in small ways even like this gives us hope. Being in the service of others is one way we maintain hope. It is as simple as this sometimes.

After making her acquaintance and our brief exchange about my explanation of how God's word is a standard for us she shared part of her vision for her family with me. It started eighteen years ago with the adoption of a son and the fruit she'd longed to see for so many years was now coming to pass. She was delighted. We walked through her home and she shared with me what her years as a mother had wrought and how the next generation has carried on the ethic she's instilled. She was rejoicing in the fruit of her labors. She was unashamed to share her hope with us and for us, encouraging us. Noting things like this gives us hope because for us little things have big meaning.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Millie Flood Update

Clean up is starting tomorrow. We'll know in the next few days what is totally lost and what she'll be needing if anyone wants to donate. She'll be living with us for a while. :) Today someone blessed her with a new couch and love seat. The church is a beautiful thing.

He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. Psalm 102:17

Mrs. Morecraft's School of Elocution & Composition Webinar

Mrs. Morecraft’s School of Elocution & Composition for Young Ladies

Poor Polly couldn’t find her words.

She was a bright girl who had read her fair share of good literature, traipsing through Pemberley and Padua with pleasurable ease. Yet too much frolicking on Facebook and tweeting on Twitter had made an unhappy mangling of her vocabulary.

“Like totally!”

“Like, you know, seriously! Forsooth!”

And thereby hangs our tale.

Though Polly’s dear parents had desired for her to talk with fair speech and write with sound prose, alas, she had fraternized with unwise and daffy peers who deigned to say of careful writing, “How often is happiness destroyed by preparation? Foolish preparation!” followed by this ill-counseled refrain:

“Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow shall I put aside bad habits and form my words as I ought — j/k…LOL!!!”

So when Polly’s day came to dine with a fine lady of society — the very wife of her state’s governor, no less! — hers was not a rhapsody of words when she was asked of her dreams as a noble Christian woman, but rather a sad and painful muttering, “Uh, I don’t know! You know…

“Like ‘To be or not to be,’ or, uh, something…

“Yeah, that’s it — that’s what I’d like to do, your Highness-ship!!!”

For shame, O for shame! What shall become of Polly?

But sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more. Though vanity working on a foolish mind produces every kind of mischief, Mrs. Rebecca Morecraft’s School of Elocution & Composition is a sure-fire corrective for slips of the lips. This intimate 7-week online school will equip ladies to speak with grace, write with precision, and express themselves with nobility as women of God. The one-hour web classes will begin on September 16 and conclude on November 8, running from 8-9 p.m. EST each Thursday evening (excluding October 28).

Register with us today at www.visionforum.com

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Millie's Flood

Rescue efforts on the first unit which was hit worst.

Waiting it out

"Hi Millie I see you! Do you see us? We're here!" The fire dept has a boat coming. (It sank) Millie has been waiting it out watching everything in her home float around. The water rose 24" inside as the creek behind her home swelled from Hermine's rain.

"I have often walked down this street before...."

Have you seen my refrigerator anywhere?

Drying out

Cars have turned up missing only to be found a ways down "stream"

The fire department breaking out windows.
Water pressure against the doors wouldn't allow them to open.

"I have two inches of mud inside!"
Andrea talking to Millie after water recedes.

Hooray! Here she comes!

Well let's go over and get your things.

Mom is our 5' measuring stick

Rescuing Millie

Visit our facebook page for updates. Link on sidebar.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

What You Are Thinking About - Sept. 5, 2010

The old man and his works have been abolished; the new man, created by God in Christ, is constantly renewed in his original newness to fulfill his original task. As Lenski so ably analyzed it, St. Paul brings forward a very interesting aspect of man's renewal:
But, now, instead of saying renewed for good works (as in Eph. 2:10) and thus stating a direct opposite of the evil "practices" of the old man, Paul goes deeper and says: "constantly renewed for epignosis in accord with his Creator." For out of this true, spiritual knowledge arise all true spiritual good works.

"Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar." — Psalm 120:5

As a Christian you have to live in the midst of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry "Woe is me." Jesus did not pray O that you should be taken out of the world, and what He did not pray for you need not desire. Better far in the Lord's strength to meet the difficulty, and glorify Him in it. The enemy is ever on the watch to detect inconsistency in your conduct; be therefore very holy. Remember that the eyes of all are upon you, and that more is expected from you than from other men.

Matthew Henry on Psalm 37
1. We must make God our hope in the way of duty and then we shall have a comfortable subsistence in this world, v. 3. (1.) It is required that we trust in the Lord and do good, that we confide in God and conform to him. The life of religion lies much in a believing reliance on God, his favour, his providence, his promise, his grace, and a diligent care to serve him and our generation, according to his will. We must not think to trust in God and then live as we list. No; it is not trusting God, but tempting him, if we do not make conscience of our duty to him. Nor must we think to do good, and then to trust to ourselves, and our own righteousness and strength. No; we must both trust in the Lord and do good.

I. David’s profession of dependence upon God, and upon him only, for all good (v. 1): Truly my soul waiteth upon God. Nevertheless (so some) or "However it be, whatever difficulties or dangers I may meet with, though God frown upon me and I meet with discouragements in my attendance on him, yet still my soul waits upon God’’ (or is silent to God, as the word is), "Says nothing against what he does, but quietly expects what he will do.’’ We are in the way both of duty and comfort when our souls wait upon God, when we cheerfully refer ourselves, and the disposal of all our affairs, to his will and wisdom, when we acquiesce in and accommodate ourselves to all the dispensations of his providence, and patiently expect a doubtful event, with an entire satisfaction in his righteousness and goodness, however it be. Is not my soul subject go God? So the Septuagint. So it, certainly so it ought to be; our wills must be melted into his will. My soul has respect to God, for from him cometh my salvation. He doubts not but his salvation will come, though now he was threatened and in danger, and he expects it to come from God, and from him only; for in vain is it hoped for from hills and mountains,

I love this talk! In a world where fragmented families are the norm we find that the family dynamics which we've grown accustomed to, which we've accepted are in reality destroying the family are eroding our greatest potential in the age integrated biblical model. Scott Brown paints a vision for that which can be the foundation for fullness of blessing for generations to come.

Feminism is alive and well. It is an enemy every woman will face. It is an inescapable battle in which we're seeing a new generation not only hold the ground of our godly fore mothers but also take up the banner of biblical womanhood and move forward beyond we're women who were wholly sold out to the will of God have brought us. It will require of us fortitude. It will require of us creativity. I will require our humility and a holy reverence before the Lord. It will require being willing to be available for whatever the Lord calls us to in order to be innovative in our family lives, fearless in our callings, resolved to stand on the Word alone at times. We will reap precious rewards other women will cast aside. We'll see victories others will not understand. We'll see God glorified in our work. We'll need a keen awareness of the issues of our day. How will godly women of our generation shape their homes? Will we grasp hold of the riches we've been given by our mothers and multiply their efforts? What will your home look like? What needs will you shape into fruitful vineyards? These talks are excellent for building our vision for our future.

Incredibly moving. Anyone who hopes to adopt, who wants to clarify their vision for adoption, acquaint themselves with the journey of adoption, the unique needs, and the great cry of the orphans needs this symposium. Learn love here. Understand the witness of Christ here. Build a godly pro-life vision here.

As we are to mortify inordinate appetites, so we are to mortify inordinate passions (v. 8): But now you also put off all these, anger wrath, malice; for these are contrary to the design of the gospel, as well as grosser impurities; and, though they are more spiritual wickedness, have not less malignity in them. The gospel religion introduces a change of the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports the dominion of right reason and conscience over appetite and passion. Anger and wrath are bad, but malice is worse, because it is more rooted and deliberate; it is anger heightened and settled. And, as the corrupt principles in the heart must be cut off, so the product of them in the tongue; as blasphemy, which seems there to mean, not so much speaking ill of God as speaking ill of men, giving ill language to them, or raising ill reports of them, and injuring their good name by any evil arts,—filthy communication, that is, all lewd and wanton discourse, which comes from a polluted mind in the speaker and propagates the same defilements in the hearers,—and lying: Lie not one to another (v. 9), for it is contrary both to the law of truth and the law of love, it is both unjust and unkind, and naturally tends to destroy all faith and friendship among mankind. Lying makes us like the devil (who is the father of lies), and is a prime part of the devil’s image upon our souls; and therefore we are cautioned against this sin by this general reason: Seeing you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, v. 10. The consideration that we have by profession put away sin and espoused the cause and interest of Christ, that we have renounced all sin and stand engaged to Christ, should fortify us against this sin of lying. Those who have put off the old man have put it off with its deeds; and those who have put on the new man must put on all its deeds-not only espouse good principles but act them in a good conversation. The new man is said to be renewed in knowledge, because an ignorant soul cannot be a good soul. Without knowledge the heart cannot be good, Prov. 19:2. The grace of God works upon the will and affections by renewing the understanding.