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Showing posts from March, 2012

Got Zeal?

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"Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord" (Romans 12:11).
When the apostle Paul tells us "do not be slothful in zeal," he is encouraging us to be filled with zeal ... to be zealous in our faith and allegiance to Jesus Christ. But what is zeal? To answer this question, consider these words from  the pen of J. I. Packer who has a great insight into the nature of zeal:

"Are you clear what zeal is? It is not fanaticism; it is not wildness,; it is not irresponsible enthusiasm; it is not any form of posh egoism. It is, rather, a humble, reverent, businesslike, single-minded commitment to the hallowing of God's name and the doing of his will" (J. I. Packer, A Passion for Faithfulness). 
Thanks for stopping by . . .  pj

Thursday A La Carte

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Here are Thursday's a la carte offerings. Enjoy!

1. Just how big is our universe?  Check out this BBC infographic! (and to think, God spoke it all into existence!)

2. Here is an interesting article from the New York Times about Tim Tebow's trade to the NY Jets. 


3. A World Magazine article talks about how an affair begins. 


4. Check out PluggedIn's review of the new movie, October Babyand World Magazine's review of the new film, Hunger Games. 

5. An inspiring performance by Jonathan and Charlotte on Britian's Got Talent.

6. On a lighter note ....  

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Are You Ready?

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Yesterday I talked about being prepared to meet God. I did so because yesterday's paper's obituary reminded me that death could come knocking at my door at ANY time! That's true for me ... that's equally true for you. So we must be ready to meet God ... NOT on our terms ... but HIS! So again I ask you ... have you made a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, turning from your sin and rebellion and turning to HIM ... trusting Him as your savior? I hope you have!

 Now ... as promised ... a word to those who claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ: You must be ready to stand before Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5 ... the apostle Paul writes, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil" (verse 9). Note that at this judgment, it is not our eternal destiny that is at stake. For the believer in Christ, that was cared for at the cross. What IS in view here is how we…

Who Is That Knocking at My Door?

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If you are anything like me (and I believe many of you are), then you know what it's like to have visitors stop by your house. Usually these visitors are welcome. Often they are family. But sometimes a visitor shows up at your door and you secretly wish you weren't home (be honest ... I am sure you know what I am talking about!).

There is one visitor that will most definitely come knocking at our door. There will be no avoiding this. You could secretly change your address every day ... and he would still know where you live. Of whom am I referring? The Grim Reaper of Death, of course. The Bible puts it this way, "And just as it is appointed for man to die once . . . " (Hebrews 9:27). That's quite clear. All of us will one day die. Every single one of us. There is no avoiding the statistic that "one out of every one will die." But our "lives" don't end with death (profound thought!) ... for Hebrews 9:27 goes on to say ... "and after T…

Up, Up and Away!

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I hope you are enjoying this early spring time weather as much as I am!  The only down side is that I am going to have to cut my grass today!


Tomorrow morning I fly to Indiana. I will be quite busy while there, so I will not be offering any posts for this week. But I should be right back at it next week!  So until then ...




"May TheLordbless you andkeep you; 25 
the Lordmake his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 
the Lordlift up his countenanceupon you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)


Thanks for stopping by . . .  pj

Thursday A La Carte

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Today is THURSDAY!  Enjoy!

1. For those of you who would much rather read a book on paper vs. a book in digital form ... here is some foreboding news about the Encyclopedia Britannica. 


2. Want to know the impact of the "Kony 12" video that has gone viral? Check it out here. 


3. Redeemed Reader is a great place to go for book reviews, especially if you are wondering what is appropriate reading for your kids. So how about the Hunger Games books ... that have proven wildly popular and will soon come to the silver screen? Check out Redeemed Reader's review . . .

4. Ed Welch on Fighting Sin is Tiring. A brief but good read!

5. On a lighter note . . . 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Don't Got Joy? Embrace Jesus Christ!

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Jonathan Edwards was arguably the greatest theologian ever born in America. In one of his earlier sermons, he spoke these words: "It would be worth the while to be religious, if it were only for the pleasantness of it."  Of course, Edward's use of the word "religious" did not carry the baggage in his day that it often does in ours. But his point is well made. If we are truly living out our Christian faith as God intends us to do . . . we will experience his presence in our lives in a powerful way. And when we are living "in his presence" we will experience the fullness of joy (see Psalm 16:11).

Stephen Nicholls in his book, Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edward's Vision of Living in Between, elaborates on what Edwards (and the Scripture) is teaching us:

"When we come to Christ, he gives us man wonderful things. What's more, he enables us to enjoy all of them, both spiritual and physical things. But the greatest gift God gives us is hi…

Why? Daddy, Why?

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Recently I overhead a conversation between a preschooler and her grandfather. Almost every time Granddad answered a question, the little one would respond with the same question, "Why?" Now I am sure for those of you out there who have either raised little ones of your own or have had the privilege to invest in the lives of preschoolers in some other venue, you can relate to what this grandfather went through. Children tend to have an insatiable appetite for knowing why things are the way they are. Many a frustrated adult as finally answered the seeming endless parade of whys with a response such as "because ... just because!" or "Well, why not?"

Often times we approach God with the "WHY" question. We do this especially when facing difficulty. We just want to know WHY this painful trial is happening to us! The Old Testament character Job found himself in this situation. He lost everyone and everything that meant anything to him ... with two ex…

In the Father's Hands!

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Jesus in his greatest recorded sermon (the Sermon on the Mount, Mathew 5-7), often refers to God as our Father. And right so, for he is! For example in Matthew 6:4 he says, "Your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Again in Matthew 6:8 he states, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." And in Matthew 7:11 he declares, "How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" There is no doubt, the Bible clearly teaches that for those who make a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, Almighty God becomes their heavenly Father! That's an incredible truth which brings with it an astonishing reality for us, his children. Consider the following insight into this reality from the pen of J.I. Packer:



"In light of all that the New Testament tells us about God's love for his children, we can pray with perfect confidence to the Father as one who will never fail us. Human fathers may (and will) let us down…

Family?

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Recently I ran across the following quote about Family Life by Edith Schaeffer. She along with her theologian-philosopher husband, Francis Schaeffer founded L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland.  Please take a moment and read and then reflect on what Edith writes about family life:


"Family life is a lost art in many places today. People may live in the same house, apartment, cottage, condominium, boat, or cabin, but they have no pattern for a growing life together."

In other words, what Edith is saying here is that just because a group of people live together under the same roof does not necessarily make it a family. We have to work at family. We must make the time to interact with one another in meaningful ways (the operative words here are "interact" and "meaningful"). So ... what does your "family life" look like? Are you growing together in your faith? In your appreciation for one another? In just doing life TOGETHER?

These are some question…

Thursday A La Carte

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Hard to believe it's already the SECOND Thursday of March .... here are today's offerings. Hope you find something of value!

1. Recently John Piper made some comments about the Christian and addiction to entertainment. Here is an interesting response to his comments.

2. Kirk Cameron was asked by Piers Morgan about gay marriage. Here is Kirk's response . . .

3. Here is an approach to lent you probably never thought of!

4. Confused about the country of China? You are not alone ... check out this article, 8 Myths about China Today. 


5. On a lighter note . . . 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Paralyzed by FEAR!!!

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Yesterday when I was home for lunch, I asked my one and half year old grandson, John, if he wanted to see "Mr. Monkey" (Mr. Monkey is a small hand puppet who lives in our hall closet). Little Jack (little John's unfortunate nickname) immediately took off toward the hall closet  (with me in fast pursuit). As he rounded the corner from the living room and into the hallway in which the closet is located, he stopped dead in his tracks (he stopped so quickly I almost fell over him). There standing on the floor ... bigger than life (well, definitely bigger than Jack) was THE VACUUM CLEANER!  As Jack stood quietly staring at the vacuum, I opened the closet door and encouraged him to come see Mr. Monkey. But alas, NO WAY was Jack going to take  another step toward that vacuum cleaner! He was paralyzed by his fear!

Hmm. I am guessing that many who might happen to read this post will be able to relate to Jack and his experience. You may not be afraid of a vacuum cleaner (most of …

The Shrinking of God!

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About a month ago, I stumbled across a book titled, The J.I. Packer Classic Collection: Daily Reading for Your Spiritual Journey. Given that J. I. is one of my favorite theologians, I figured I could not go wrong in buying and then reading the book. I was not wrong. Here is a portion of one of these readings, gleaned from his book, Rediscovering Holiness:

"Often in recent decades I have found myself publicly lamenting the way in which our Western culture has indulged unwarrantably great thoughts of humanity and scandalously small thoughts of God. Our time will surely go down in history as the age of the God-shrinkers. The result is that belief in God's sovereignty and omniscience, the majesty of his moral law and the terror of his judgments, the retributive consequences of the life we live here and the endlessness of the eternity in which we will experience them, along with the belief in the intrinsic triunity of God and the divinity and personal return of Jesus Christ, is no…

A Life Well Lived!

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Late last week, pastor John Snow died as a result of a skiing accident. I have known John for a number of years, during which he has served on the pastoral staffs of a number of Grace Brethren churches (including the GBC in Lititz, PA). John was an outstanding example of a godly man and pastor whom I looked up to. He wil be missed. My deepest sympathy to John's wife, Lucy. Here is a Vermont television report on the accident and John's life.

John, you will be missed by many ... but your legacy lives on! Until we meet again . . .

 Thanks for stopping by . . . Pj

For Me ... to Live Is Christ!

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As the Apostle Paul spent time in a Roman prison, he was unsure if he was going to live or die. In that context, he wrote these well known words to the church at Philippi:

"Yes, and I will rejoice,for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of m…

Thursday A La Carte

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Here are this week's a la carte offerings ....

1. Phil Ryken (former pastor of Tenth Church in Philadelphia and now president of Wheaton College) offers some advice on how to listen to a sermon. 


2. Here's an interesting article on the spiritual gift of discouragement. 


3. Chuck Swindoll offers up a brief dose of encouragement to trust God! 


4. Ray Ortland offers up some thoughts about when God seems unreal. 


5.And on a lighter note . . . The Wizard of Oz in a way you have not heard it before! 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj