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Showing posts from April, 2013

Never To Be Forgotten!

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On my post of the other day I mentioned that my wife and I visited the Fredericksburg battlefield during our vacation of last week. As part of our tour, we took a walk through the Fredericksburg National Cemetery which is adjacent to the battlefield. Approximately 15,000 Union dead are buried there, with only about 20% of them being identified at the time of their burial. As a result, most of the grave markers are nameless. All they carry is what you see in the adjacent photo ... a larger number (which is the plot number) above a smaller number (which indicates the number of soldiers buried in that plot). Many of the graves contain more than one set of remains.

After seeing row after row of these types of markers, we came across a grave marker that caught our attention. It was not so much because this particular marker had a name. Rather what caused us to pause was what we saw on the ground in front of the marker. As you can see in the photo below, there in front of this marker was a …

Back to Work ... Oh Yes!

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Last week my wife and I spent a wonderful week together. We traveled many miles south (as far as Williamsburg, Va) and many years past (in addition to "traveling" back to Colonial days at Williamsburg, we also visited the years of 1861 and 1862 at the Manassas and Fredericksburg battlefields). I heard some of you yawning as you read that, but Sharon and I love history as there are always interesting things to discover. For example, I learned that during the revolutionary war, it was considered dishonorable to shoot at the opposing army's fife and drum corps. These men and boys were used to issue commands to the army. To protect them, they would wear the colors of the opposing army. Therefore, colonial drummers and fifers wore red coats, while their British counterparts wore blue coats. All I can say about this is ... WOW! Have things changed since then. Now armies go after their enemies' communication centers - no matter what!

As I thought of that, I found it somewh…

Unplugged and Enjoying It!

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This week I will be unplugging from by blog (and a number of other things) while I enjoy some vacation time with my wife. I trust you will have a great week. I leave you with this quote for you to chew on . . .


“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” (A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy)

Until next week!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Here are some random thoughts for  you to enjoy with your coffee, no matter how you prefer it (I prefer mine with just a dash of milk or cream (and not the flavored stuff!).

1. One of the courses I teach at Lancaster Bible College is a course on the Pentateuch. Now apart from the opening chapters of Genesis, the first half of the book of Exodus, and some of the narrative sections of the book of Numbers, the average Christian would most likely prefer to be reading from other sections of the Bible. After all, who needs to read about all the laws and regulations God put before the people of Israel! But there is value even in them. Sam Storms, in his delightful devotional, More Precious Than Gold: 50 Daily Meditations on the Psalms, states the following about the commandments of the Bible: "Every commandment in Scripture, every precept, every prohibition or principle is lovingly designed to lead us away from what otherwise might spoil our appetite for God."  No wonder the Apost…

Thursday A La Carte

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This week's offerings ... enjoy!

1. John Ortberg writes on Seven Things I Hate about Spiritual Formation. A worthy read!

2. It's easy to criticize others ... yes? Here's a take on the fact that most of us find it far easier to criticize than to encourage in our relationships with others.

3. The suicide of mega church pastor Rick Warren's son has focused a lot of attention on this tragic reality of life. David Murray has done a great job in asking and answering Seven Questions about Suicide. 

4. Paul Tripp ...Somebody Else! 

5. Ray Ortland, Christinaity or Morality? 

6. On a lighter note . . . Kevin DeYoung posting some British humor!

Thanks for stopping by . . .

pj

Don't Be Bamboozled by the World!

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Imagine yourself crawling across the hot, burning sands of a desert.  Because you have no water, your tongue is cracked and swollen. You grow weaker with every step you are able to take. Finally – you collapse on the sand. As you watch your life pass before your eyes, you raise your head for one last look at the world – and there before you – you see two things about 50 yards in front of you. To the left are stacks of $100 bills! There must be thousands upon thousands of stacks! On the right is an oasis with a bubbling pool of clear sparkling water and all kinds of fruit trees offering both food and shade
WHICH  are you going to choose?  Obviously the water! The money (no matter how many millions of dollars are there) will do you no good if you don't survive! 
This world we live in offers quite a bit to us. But what we really need to live the abundant life that Jesus promises, is the spiritual water and food that will quench the thirst of our souls and satisfy the hunger of our hear…

God, Teach Me!

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Approximately 17 times in the book of Psalms, the writer asks God in so many words to teach him God's way (Psalm 27:11, 86:11; 119:12; 143:10). Now that is a prayer we would benefit all of us. Why? Paul Tripp, in his book,A Shelter in the Time of Storm: Meditations on God and Trouble, suggest there are two compelling reasons why this is a prayer we need to be praying.

First Tripp cites the depth of God's wisdom. In answer to the question, "Why would I pray over and over and over again to be taught by the Lord?" he writes, "Because his wisdom is just that deep and vast. His wisdom has no boundary. His wisdom has no bottom. His wisdom has no ceiling. If for ten million years I would sit for twenty-four hours a day at his feet and listen, I would scratch only the very surface of the wisdom that is his. If I gave every day of my life to study only the wisdom that is captured on the pages of Scripture, I could study until my very last day and not have mined all the t…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Thoughts from here and there for you to enjoy with your coffee . . .

1. I just read yesterday that tea consumption in the U.S. continues to climb while the intake of coffee is declining. Even with this drop, coffee is still by far the king among these two. In 2009, annual per-person coffee consumption came in at 23.3 gallons (Wow! I must drink that much in a month!), while tea came in at a per-person rate of 9 gallons. So although the gap between them is shrinking, it is still significant. What is driving the switch to tea? Apparently recent studies promoting the health benefits of drinking tea are fueling the increase. These studies suggest that drinking teahelps prevent cardiovascular disease, burn calories and ward off some types of cancer (That's good to know ... because I consume a lot of iced tea during the summer months!). But studies have also shown that there are benefits to drinking coffee (in moderation, of course) ... such as helping protect against diabetes, Parkinso…

Thursday A La Carte

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1. Did you ever listen to a recording of your voice and think, "What? Do I really sound like that?" Here's the explanation for that kind of reaction. 

2. We spend so much of our time online ... so how can we best use that time to the glory of God? Tim Challies gives some insight in an interview he did for Ligonier's Tabletalk Magazine. 

3. Here is a compelling article from CCEF .... Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery. 

4. Many have been talking about the History Channel's mini-series, The Bible. So does it live up to the hype? Is is biblically accurate? Here is one man's take. 

5. On a lighter note . . . (classic!)

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Who Do You Trust?

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A recent Gallup poll asked Americans to rate the "honesty and ethical standards" of 22 different professions. Nurses came out on top with 85% of respondents giving them a "very high/high" rating. Pharmacists came in second with a 75% rating. I can't say that I would disagree with those high marks for those two professions. But what bothered me is that my "profession" (and I put that in quotation marks because I do not believe God calls pastors to be "professionals!") came in #8 on the list with 52% of Americans saying members of the clergy were "highly honest."

Now this bothered me because I happen to believe pastors should be marked by a clear demonstration of honesty and integrity. But alas, we do often fall short (I said "we" because I am not beyond failure in this arena). Pastors have feet of clay and therefore, make unfortunate and often sinful choices and decisions. I also believe that pastors have a huge target o…