Some might object that this approach detracts from the self-reliance we should have, and places us at the mercy of uncontrollable forces in our lives. That might be true if there were no God who cares. That would be blind abandonment to irrational forces. Our whole approach to spirituality, however, is based on the premise that there is a God, and that He is a God who cares. Now that I am older I can see the orderly way God works in people’s lives. Our early years, while they may seem rife with turmoil and pain and so many loose ends, when viewed from the distance of later life and our personal development, we can see as being the foundation and the training process for the rewarding work God has planned for our future. I don’t mean the job we may have for our subsistence. I mean the thrust of our personal life with all its encounters and relationships and the various ways we affect people as well as the influence we have on the world around us in our family and in our social as well as our business life.—Never Alone, 35–36
Friday, January 29, 2021
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
They didn’t reveal your sin so as to prevent your captivity.
Instead, they showed you worthless and incorrect prophecies.
Lamentations 2:14 (CEB)
Let those who have ears to hear, hear!
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Why, then, we might wonder, do Jesus’ followers not stand out for their peacefulness? The answer is simple. His disciples through all time are not familiar with the message as Jesus delivered it. We are brought up to follow unquestioningly the practices of our religion, whatever our denomination. But obedience to customs and dictates of religion does not make a follower of Jesus. Though many talk about accepting the Lord Jesus and about commitment to Him, frequently that acceptance has little to do with Jesus Himself. It is acceptance of the teacher who has delivered the message and the way of life laid out by the teacher that people follow. It is not the message of Jesus that is being followed, but the guidance and interpretation of the teacher. He or she becomes the way of life. This is not an immediate personal relationship with Jesus.— Never Alone, 24
Friday, January 22, 2021
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Real spirituality begins by ﬁnding God, feebly, perhaps, in the beginning, but then more confidently as we travel along the way. At first, we may be driven to Him out of desperation. But that’s all right. God uses all kinds of circumstances to lead us to Himself. Or we may just feel a need to draw closer to God. Whatever the reason, God is calling us to a deeper intimacy with Himself. Jesus teaches us the attitudes we should have when we establish contact with His Father. We must have a childliketrust. This isn’t a command, but His attempt to teach us how to establish a healthy relationship with His Father whom He knows so well.— Never Alone, 14
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
We of the evangelical persuasion want God to do all the work and we get an easy ride to glory. Certainly, Christ has paid the full price for our redemption, but our walk with God on a daily basis will cost us much. Are we willing, cheerfully, to pay the cost?.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 207
Monday, January 18, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Remember that without prayer, you cannot win; and with it, you cannot lose. Granted, of course, that it is true prayer, and not just the saying of words; and granted that your life is in harmony with your prayer. If you fail to pray, you cannot win. For the Lord gave us the example of anticipatory prayer—getting ready for any event by seeking the face of God in watchful prayer at regular times.—A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, 202
Exactly! I love theology, but only because I love the God who is the object and source of theology. I find that theology deepens my love for him.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
I used to think I was odd. As I grew older, though, and saw so much of others’ pain, I began to realize that the whole world is ﬁlled with pain. I was not unique in feeling alone on a planet way out in the middle of space. Everyone eventually has the same experience in life. Friends come and go, passing in and out of your life. Strangers establish a friendship when they need you, then when their need is resolved, they drift. If you are sincere in your friendship this is hard to understand. People you love remain for a time, then they too leave when they outgrow their need for you. If at the twilight of your life you have one dear friend who has endured the ﬁckleness of existence and remained in your life you are blessed. But, for the most part, you walk alone, very much alone. 4— Never Alone, 4
Monday, January 11, 2021
Sounds an aweful lot like social gospel, doesn't it? Might be because Jesus didn't just teach a "spriritual" gospel of go to heaven when you die but do what you want now version that is popular in the US. His was a whole-orbed gospel that includes the whole person. Systemic evil and individual evil. Wesley had it right, as does the Salvation Army, to name just a couple. The Gospel Coalition people miss it by keeping it cerebral and individual.
That's the final excerpt from this book. Tomorrow I'll start a new one, well actually an old one that I recently picked up at a thrift store. It's a bit off the normal for me to excerpt, but I think (hope?) you'll enjoy it. I am.
Friday, January 08, 2021
Thursday, January 07, 2021
So now what about the senators and representatives who knowingly fanned the flames of nonexistent voter fraud? I'm going to propose an idea that has absolutely no chance of passing, but should.
Everyone of them who objected to the Electoral College vote should be impeached, convicted, and not allowed to hold a public office again—ever. No, not ever. They have shown that they are more interested in their power and playing to worst side of humanity than they are in governing justly. They are traitors to the constitution, pure and simple. Special elections should be held to replace them.
And, I would even go so far as to say that the 100+ representatives who spinelessly signed on to the buffoonery of election fraud that the president pushed around a week or so ago should also be impeached and convicted. They should not be allowed to hold office higher than the state level.
If you argue that they didn't see that what they were doing would end as it did, then I would say they are unfit for office. If they don't see the consequences of their actions, they shouldn't be passing laws!
And, to curb some of this nonsense, the fairness doctrine needs to be in place once again. That would at least require some sanity on the Fox News and company networks. In an ideal world, I would shutter them, but I fear that such an action would be used incorrectly in the future against any network that the party in charge didn't like. Selfishness isn't limited to the far right! It is equally present in every single person. Only God, through the power of the Holy Spirit can remove it.
Wednesday, January 06, 2021
I would go further and say it isn't "well-nigh idolatrous"—it is idolatrous!
Tuesday, January 05, 2021
Think that attitude has a chance? Me neither. It requires death to self, absolutely taboo in today's culture—both Christian and non-Christian. Self and self glorification are the absolute gods of our culture; to put someone else first? Nope, ain't gonna happen. I wish it would, and pray that it might. But outside of a mighty move of God? Not a chance. Sadly.
Monday, January 04, 2021
Wow, that's progress, isn't it? We've managed to gut the gospel and do the exact opposite of what Jesus commanded and still claim to be christians. Reminds me of the cigarette commercial in the late 1960s for Virginia Slims, "You've come a long way, baby!" But to where? If smoking a cancer stick is progress, I'm against it! Same here, if gutting the gospel is progress, then I'm opting out!
What does James say? "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27)
Sadly, that kind of religion seems to be as unpopular now as it was back then. Something to think about… Just an