Wednesday, December 22, 2010

John MacArthur on the 'late, great' Billy Graham.



speaking in the name of God, she denies God's sovereignty.  unspeakable.

"it has not been designated who will win", and "it has not been determined"?  who exactly is she speaking for, then?  is there anything whatsoever that happens that God has not predetermined should come to pass?  no.  then she is not speaking under the inspiration of God, but another spirit.

it's easy to do.  the last - very last - time i 'prophesied', God convicted me that i was speaking under the 'inspiration' of another spirit.  so i'm not judging a person here.  we need to realize that any one of us can become deceived and believe we are speaking inspired of God or not.

which is why it must must MUST be weighed.  and why we must not be offended when someone weighs our words, and most especially if they are found wanting.


Monday, December 20, 2010

safe in my Daddy's big hand...


the parable of the beaten man

Jesus was asked, how can i be saved?

He told a story...

a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and left him for dead.

a priest came down the road. to touch the man would make him ceremonially unclean and unable to do his priestly duties. so he passed him by on the other side. the law was unable to save.

a levite came and looked. to touch the man would make him ceremonially unclean. so he passed him by on the other side as well. the law was unable to save.

but an outcast came along, rejected and despised, and so identified with the broken Man, that he had mercy on Him and took Him unto himself, and loved Him as his own. he bound up His wounds, anointing them with oil and wine, and carrying Him on his own animal, took Him to an inn to tend to Him.

the next day when he left, he gave the innkeeper two denarii, and said whatever else the Man's wounds require, i will give all.  for this left-for-dead Man's life i take as mine own.

who was a neighbor to the Man who fell among robbers?

Jesus said, "Go and do likewise".

(ref. Luke 10:30-37.)


Sunday, December 19, 2010

baptism as adoption

this sermon by Sinclair Ferguson on baptism speaks of baptism in a way that relates to our adoption.  beautiful.


just for fun!

i thought of a quiz i took a year or two ago, and thought, i wonder if i would still come out as presbyterian.  he he he.

Which Christian denomination do you belong to?
Your Result: Calvinist
You adhere to the reformed theologies that stemmed from John Calvin in the sixteenth century. The idea of predestination is central to your beliefs. You believe that not only is salvation predestined by God, this election is unconditional, and cannot be either resisted or lost. As opposed to the Arminian belief in free will, Calvinists stress that men are born as sinners (total depravity), and that they do not have the ability to turn from sin by themselves (sovereign grace).

As far as church organisation is concerned, you do not believe in authority resting sololely within an elite, but instead rely on a presbyterian polity to maintain a degree of unity between congregations.
Which Christian denomination do you belong to?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

no suprise there.

What Christian Denomination are you?
Your Result: Baptist
Baptists share orthodox Christian beliefs with most other moderate or conservative Christian denominations. These would include beliefs about one God; the virgin birth; miracles; atonement through the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus; the Trinity (the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, together with God the Father); the need for salvation (through belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God, his death and resurrection, and confession of Christ as Lord); grace; the Kingdom of God; last things (Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth, the dead will be raised, and Christ will judge everyone in righteousness); and evangelism and missions.
What Christian Denomination are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

this one i'm suprised, cuz i chose infant baptism lol (it didn't have an option for both.  i mean, adults who come to the faith can't have infant baptism, LOL!).  i thought baptists came from anabaptists (ie NO infant baptism, covenant or no)?  anyhoo, i just showed some of my igorance there....

THIS QUIZ told me i was ANGLICAN (say whot?) (how the heck would they get that answer?!?)

but THIS QUIZ said presbyterian (orthodox) or reformed. .... which is MY guess as to what i am closest to.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

law and gospel 4; opening the Book

from the lecture on thesis IV:
"Turning the leaves of the Holy Scriptures while still ignorant of the distinction between the Law and the Gospel, a person receives the impression that a great number of contradictions are contained in the Scriptures; in fact, the entire Scripture seem to be made up of contradictions, worse than the Koran of the Turks. Now the Scriptures pronounce one blessed, now they condemn him. When the rich youth asked the Lord: “What good things shall I do that I may have eternal life?” the Lord replied: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” When the jailer at Philippi addressed the identical question to Paul and Silas, he received this answer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house.” On the one hand, we read in Hab. 2, 4: “The just shall live by his faith”; on the other hand, we note that John in his First Epistle, chap. 3, 7, says: “He that doeth righteousness is righteous. ..... Another remarkable passage is 1 Cor. 6, 9–11, where the apostles first makes this statement: “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God,” and then adds: “And such were some of you. But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Must not a person who knows nothing of the distinction between the Law and the Gospel be swallowed up in utter darkness when reading all this? Must he not indignantly cry out: “What? That is to be God’s Word? A book full of such contradictions?”"
i wrangle over those things, though i do know think of them as contradictions (cuz i know there is no real contradictions in scripture, only seeming ones). i get very confused as to where the line is, and what side of the line am i on.
"For the situation is not this, that the Old Testament reveals a wrathful, the New Testament a gracious God, or that the Old Testament teaches salvation by a person’s own works, the New Testament, by faith. No; we find both teachings in the Old as well as in the New Testament. But the moment we learn to know the distinction between the Law and the Gospel, it is as if the sun were rising upon the Scriptures, and we behold all the contents of the Scriptures in the most beautiful harmony. We see that the Law was not revealed to us to put that notion into our heads that we can become righteous by it, but to teach us that we are utterly unable to fulfil the Law. When we have learned this, we shall know what a sweet message, what a glorious doctrine, the Gospel is and shall receive it with exuberant joy."

"Following the course of history to the time when the Papacy had become dominant, we find that the knowledge of this distinction became utterly extinct; a truly abysmal darkness settled upon the Church, and sheer paganism and idolatry gained their way into it.
Remember the agonies of our dear Luther! Considering the darkness which reigned in his day, we must say that, compared with others he had acquired a great deal of knowledge at the beginning of his career, but he did not know how to distinguish the Law from the Gospel. Oh, the toil and torments he had to undergo! His self-castigation and fasting brought him to the point of death. The most crushing, the most appalling statement in his estimation at that time was this, that the righteousness which is valid in the sight of God is revealed in the Gospel. “Alas!” he mused, “what a woeful state of affairs! First we are approached by the Law, which demands of us that we fulfil it; and now, in addition, we are to be made righteous by obeying the Gospel!” Luther confesses that there were times in his life when he was harassed with blasphemous thoughts. Suddenly a new light shone in upon him, showing him of what kind of righteousness the Gospel is speaking. He relates that from that moment he began to run through the whole Scriptures in an endeavor to obtain a clear understanding as to which portions of the Scriptures are Law and which Gospel. He says that he pried into every book in the Bible, and now all its parts became clear to him. The birth of the Reformer dates from the moment when Luther understood this distinction. The tremendous success of his public activity, moreover, is due to the same cause. By his new knowledge Luther liberated the poor people from the misery into which they had been driven by the Law-preaching of their priests."

"Some one who is in anguish and distress will come to you. In every instance the cause of such anguish of soul will be that the Law has taken effect in your parishioner, and it does not occur to him that he can be saved by the Gospel. He does not think of that while he wails: “Alas! I am a poor sinner; I am worthy of damnation,” etc. To such a person you must say: “You are indeed a lost and condemned creature. But the passage of Scripture which has told you that is Law. There is, however, another teaching in Scripture. The Law has done its work in you; by the Law is to come the knowledge of sin. You must now quit Sinai and go to Golgotha. See yonder your Savior, bleeding and dying for you!” Not until you enter the ministry, will you realize the great importance of the distinction between Law and Gospel and the fact that only the knowledge of this distinction, and nothing else, will make you capable to discharge the office that is to save the world. The matter of paramount importance, of course, will always be this, that you have experienced this distinction upon yourself. I am not referring to those among you who have never been in anguish over your sins, who consider themselves orthodox because they have been reared in Christian homes. I am referring to those who are concerned about their salvation. There will be moments when such of you will imagine that you are God’s children. Again, there will be times when you think that your sins have not been forgiven you. If on such occasions you desire genuine peace, it can come to you only through the knowledge of the distinction between Law and Gospel."

" the Declaration of Art. V (Mueller, p. 633; Triglot Concordia, p. 951) as follows: “As the distinction between the Law and the Gospel is a special brilliant light, which serves to the end that God’s Word may be rightly divided and the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles may be properly explained and understood, we must guard it with especial care in order that these two doctrines may not be mingled with on eanother or a Law be made out of the Gospel, whereby the merit of Christ isobscured and troubled consciences are robbed of their comfort which they otherwise have in the golp Gospel when it is preached genuinely and in its purity, and by which they can support themselves in their most grevious trials against the terrors of the Law.” If these two doctrines are not kept separate, the merit of Christ is obscured; for when I am afraid of the threatening of the Law, I have forgotten Christ, who says to me: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. All ye that labor and are heavy laden, do but come, and you shall find rest unto yours souls.”"

"The devile may whisper all manner of insinuations to him, but he will say to him: “Your charges against me are quite correct; but I have another doctrine, which tells me something altogether different. I am glad that the Law has put me in such a woeful plight; for now I can relish the Gospel all the more.”"

"However, the preacher must also be careful not to say that the Law has been abolished; for that is not true. The Law remains in force; it is not abrogated. But we have another message besides that of the Law. God does not say: “By the Law is righteousness,” but: “By the Law is the knowledge of sin.” Yea, we read in the Epistle to the Romans: “To him that … believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Hence we are on the right way to salvation the moment we are convinced that we are ungodly."

"The principal passage of Scripture establishing our thesis is Rom. 10, 2–4: For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth. To what ignorance of the Jews does the apostle refer in this passage when he says “not according to knowledge”? This: “They do not recognize the righteousness that is valid in the sight of God.”"

i'm glad the edition i'm quoting from is public domain.  why re-state it when i can just quote it?  :)


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

days of "P R A Y E R"...

i need a bit more structure in my life...i tend to go full tilt into whatever i'm doing for hours and hours... i need balance!!  i am not able to work, so i have a lot of time (if not much energy) on my hands...

i've had a scheme in mind for a while.... structuring my day around "P R A Y E R":
  • P = Prep and Plan = preparing for the day, devo/pray, plan the day (morning)
  • R = Renovate and Renew = care of home, care of self, body mind and soul, lunch (late morning)
  • A = Afternoon Activities = get out and about, do something, walk, shopping, visit (early afternoon)
  • Y = Yeast for You = daily bread: bible study/devotions and meal prep (late afternoon)
  • E = Evening Extracurricular = home group! visiting! projects! (early evening)
  • R = Rest and Review = relax, ready for bed, review the day, read, repent!  (late evening)
  • S = Sleep!!!!!!!  to finish things off! :D

when i was seeking God a few months ago about structure, this is what came to mind.  and i think it's really a God-thing for me.  ...and best of all, easy to remember!  if i ever think, hmm, what should i do now, i can think of this and just step into the swing of things.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

law and gospel 3; the Spirit teaches us

details of this study in law and gospel 1.

this is an incredibly equipping study..... we all should learn this principle...

the big idea: it's the indwelling Spirit in a Christian that teaches us the difference between law and gospel.

from thesis III (emphases mine):
It is a characteristic of Christians to regard the Scriptures as the true, infallible Word of God. But when they are in need of comfort, they find none; they cry for mercy; they supplicate God on their knees. God made David taste the bitterness of sin. In general, we behold David after his fall more frequently in sadness than in joyful spirits, and we see that one misfortune after the other befalls him. God did not permit these misfortunes to afflict David because He had not forgiven his sin, but in order to keep him from falling into another sin. It was nothing but love and mercy that prompted God to act thus. Naturally, a person still dead in sin thinks: “Why was David so foolish as to torment his mind with a sin that had been forgiven by God?” A person reasoning thus makes of the Gospel a pillow for his carnal mind to rest on; he continues his sinful life and imagines that he will, after all, land in heaven. His Gospel is a gospel for the flesh.
1 John 3, 19. 20 we read: Hereby we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things. When our heart does not condemn us, it is easy to distinguish Law and Gospel. That is the state of a Christian. But he may get into a condition where his heart condemns him. Do what he will, he cannot silence the accusing voice within. It calls to him again and again, reminding him of former sins. The recollection of some long-forgotten sin may suddenly start up in him, and he is seized with a terrible fright. Now, if in that moment a person can rightly divide Law and Gospel, he will fall at Jesus’ feet and take comfort in Jesus’ merit. That, however, is not easy. One who is spiritually dead regards it as foolish to torment himself with former sins. Ho becomes increasingly indifferent towards all sins. A Christian, however, feels his sin and also the witness of his conscience against him.

But in the end, after Christians have learned to make the proper practical use of the distinction between the Law and the Gospel, they join St. John in saying: “God is greater than my heart; He has rendered a different verdict on men’s sinning, and that applies also to me.” Blessed are you if you have learned this difficult art. If you have learned it, do not imagine yourselves perfect. You will always be more than beginners in this art. Remember this: When the Law condemns you, then immediately lay hold upon the Gospel.
Again, Luther writes (St. L. Ed. IX, 808f.): “This distinction must be observed all the more when the Law wants to force me to abandon Christ and His Gospel boon. In that emergency I must abandon the Law and say: Dear Law, if I have not done the works I should have done, do them yourself. I will not, for your sake, allow myself to be plagued to death, taken captive, and kept under your thraldom and thus forget the Gospel. Whether I have sinned, done wrong, or failed in any duty, let that be your concern, O Law. Away with you and let my heart alone; I have no room for you in my heart. But if you require me to lead a godly life here on earth, that I shall gladly do. If, however, like a house-breaker, you want to climb in where you do not belong, causing me to lose what has been given me, I would rather not know you at all than abandon my gift.”

Like two hostile forces, Law and Gospel sometimes clash with each other in a person’s conscience. The Gospel says to him: “You have been received into God’s grace.” The Law says to him: “Do not believe it; for look at your past life. How many and grievous are your sins! Examine the thoughts and desires that you have harbored in your mind.” On an occasion like this it is difficult to divide Law and Gospel. When this happens to a person, he must say to the Law: “Away with you! Your demands have all been fully met, and you have nothing to demand of me. There is One who has paid my debt.” This difficulty does not occur to a person dead in his trespasses and sins; he is soon through with the Law. But the difficulty is quite real to a person who has been converted. He may run to the opposite extreme and come nigh to despair.
In his commentary on Ps. 131 (St. L. Ed. IV, 2077) Luther writes: “There are some who imagine that they understand these matters quite well; but I warn you to beware of such a presumptuous thought and to remember that you must remain pupils of the Word. Satan is such an accomplished juggler that he can easily abolish the difference and make the Law force itself into the place of the Gospel, and vice versa. We often meet with people in their last agony who with a stricken conscience seize a few sayings which they suppose to be Gospel, while in reality they are Law, and thus forfeit the consolation of the Gospel; for instance, the statement in Matt. 19, 17: ‘If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments’; likewise this one in Matt. 7, 21: ‘Not every one that says unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ ” The devil approaches men who are in anguish of death and in their last hour seeks to pluck them away from the Gospel. When Christians are departing into eternity, they reflect whether they are worthy. They may review a multitude of texts and hit upon one like this: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then their heart tells them: “You are not fit; you cannot be saved.” You see, they cannot distinguish between Law and Gospel.
Now, any one who fails to attain the knowledge of, and the practical ability to apply, this distinction is still a heathen or a Jew. The forma of a Christian, — that which makes a person a Christian — is that he knows how to seek salvation in Christ and thus to escape the Law.
Accordingly, when you are called upon to do what is right in public, that is not the time to hear the Gospel, but the Law, and to remember your calling or profession. Whenever your relation to God is not under review, you must act in accordance with the Law, yet not like a slave, but like a child.


law and gospel 2; rightly dividing

continuing in my study (details in law and gospel 1).....

just notes today, the things that stood out to me as i read.

from the intro to the lecture re: thesis II:
When a theologian is asked to yield and make concessions in order that peace may at last be established in the Church, but refuses to do so even in a single point of doctrine, such an action looks to human reason like intolerable stubbornness, yea, like downright malice. That is the reason why such theologians are loved and praised by few men during their lifetime. Most men rather revile them as disturbers of the peace, yea, as destroyers of the kingdom of God . They are regarded as men worthy of contempt. But in the end it becomes manifest that this very determined, inexorable tenacity in clinging to the pure teaching of the divine Word by no means tears down the Church; on the contrary, it is just this which, in the midst of greatest dissension, builds up the Church and ultimately brings about genuine peace.

from thesis II:
The Word of God tells us in a passage where the Lord is introduced as speaking, Jer. 23, 28: He that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Our sermons, then, are to contain only wheat and no chaff.
The Apostle Paul warns the Galatians, chap. 5, 9: A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. He means to say: A single false teaching vitiates the entire doctrine.
The warning with which John concludes the last book of the Bible is sounded as far back as in the days of Moses, who says, Deut. 4, 2: Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it.
It is, then, a diabolical teaching to say: “You will never achieve the ability to give a Scriptural presentation of the articles of faith.” Especially when students hear a statement like this, it is as if some hellish poison were injected into their hearts; for after that they will no longer show any zeal to get to the bottom of the truth, to have clear conceptions of the truth.
The value of a sermon depends not only on this, that every statement in it be taken from the Word of God and be in agreement with the same, but also on this, whether Law and Gospel have been rightly divided. Of the same building materials furnished two architects one will construct a magnificent building, while the other, using the same materials, makes a botch of of it. Crack-brained man that he is, he may want to begin at the roof or place all windows in one room or pile up layers of stone or brick in such a fashion that a crooked wall will be the result. The one house will be out of plumb and such a bungling piece of work that it will collapse while the other stands firm and is a habitable and pleasant abode. In like manner all doctrines may be treated by sermons by two preachers: the one sermon may be a glorious and precious piece of work, while the other is wrong throughout. Note this well. When you hear some sectarian preach, you may say, “What he said was the truth,” and yet you do not feel satisfied. Here is the key for unlocking this mystery: the preacher did not rightly divide Law and Gospel, and hence everything went wrong. He preached Law where he should have preached Gospel, and he offered Gospel truth where he should have presented the Law.
and also:
Zechariah relates the following, chap. 11, 7: I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. A real, spiritual shepherd has two staves, or rods. The rod Beauty is the Gospel, and the rod Bands is the Law. He must be well informed as to the persons to whom he is to apply either the one or the other of these staves. The Messiah — who is the Speaker in this passage — says that He used the rod Bands against the flock of slaughter, that is, against sheep which were to be slaughtered and not to be led to the pasture. The “poor of the flock” represent poor sinners. Among them He uses the comforting staff and rod of the Gospel. Most preachers make the mistake of hurling the rod Bands among the sheep and using the rod Beauty for wicked knaves.
and finally:
....Luther says: “This is the meaning of St. Paul: Among Christians both preachers and hearers must adopt and teach a definite distinction between the Law and the Gospel, between works and faith. Accordingly, Paul enjoins this distinction upon Timothy when he exhorts him, 2 Tim. 2, 15, rightly to divide the Word of Truth, etc. This distinction between the Law and the Gospel is the supreme art among Christians. Each and all of those who glory in the name of Christian or have adopted it may and should understand this art. For wherever there is a deficiency in this respect, it is impossible to distinguish a Christian from a Gentile or Jew. So important is this distinction. For this reason Paul so strenuously insists that these two doctrines the Law and the Gospel be well and properly distinguished among Christians. Both the Law, or the Ten Commandments, and the Gospel are indeed God’s Word; the latter was given by God at the beginning, in Paradise, the former on Mount Sinai. But the matter of decisive importance is this, that these two words be properly distinguished and not commingled; otherwise the true meaning of neither will be known nor retained; yea, imagining that we have both, we shall find that we possess neither.”

Saturday, December 11, 2010

law and gospel 1; DO vs DONE

i've started following along with the God Whisperers as they go through the theses of "The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel" by C.F.W. Walther.

its kinda blowing me away.  makes the confusion of  the whole law vs gospel thing a lot clearer...

from the intro to the first lecture (emphasis mine):
Comparing Holy Scripture with other writings, we observe that no book is apparently so full of contradictions as the Bible, and that, not only in minor points, but in the principal matter, in the doctrine how we may come to God and be saved. In one place the Bible offers forgiveness to all sinners; in another place forgiveness of sins is withheld from all sinners. In one passage a free offer of life everlasting is made to all men; in another, men are directed to do something themselves towards being saved. This riddle is solved when we reflect that there are in the Scriptures two entirely different doctrines, the doctrine of the Law and the doctrine of the Gospel!
from thesis I (emphases mine):
The point of difference between the Law and the Gospel is not this, that the Gospel is a divine and the Law a human doctrine, resting on the reason of man. Not at all; whatever of either doctrine is contained in the Scriptures is the Word of the living God Himself.
Nor is the difference, that only the Gospel is necessary, not the Law, as if the latter were a mere addition that could be dispensed with in a strait. No, both are equally necessary. Without the Law the Gospel is not understood; without the Gospel the Law benefits us nothing.
Nor can this naïve, yet quite current, distinction be admitted, that the Law is the teaching of the Old while the Gospel is the teaching of the New Testament. By no means; there are Gospel contents in the Old and Law contents in the New Testament. Moreover, in the New Testament the Lord has broken the seal of the Law by purging it from Jewish ordinances.
Nor do the Law and the Gospel differ as regards their final aim, as though the Gospel aimed at men’s salvation, the Law at men’s condemnation. No, both have for their final aim man’s salvation; only the Law, ever since the Fall, cannot lead us to salvation; it can only prepare us for the Gospel. Furthermore, it is through the Gospel that we obtain the ability to fulfil the Law to a certain extent.
Nor can we establish a difference by claiming that the Law and the Gospel contradict each other. There are no contradictions in Scripture. Each is distinct from the other, but both are in the most perfect harmony with one another.
Finally, the difference is not this, that only one of these doctrines is meant for Christians. Even for the Christian the Law still retains its significance. Indeed, when a person ceases to employ either of these two doctrines, he is no longer a true Christian.
i've heard many of these used to explain what the difference is between the law and the gospel.  but through listening to mass quantities of Fighting for the Faith, and now the God Whisperers, and some past Tim Keller insights thrown in for good measure, i'm seeing that:

the law says "do";
the gospel says "done".


the law tells us the works we need to do for God;
the gospel tells us the works Christ did for us.

i get such a heavy when i hear preaching like, "Jesus did this for you, SO, now you must do this (a shopping list of life application points)."  in other words, the final word is "DO".  ...which is really a reversal of order.  it's really, "this is what God expects of you, but guess what, you are a sinner and can't do it and are therefore condemned to hell; BUT, Jesus did this for you"... the final word being "DONE".
The Law tells us what we are to do. No such instruction is contained in the Gospel. On the contrary, the Gospel reveals to us only what God is doing. The Law is speaking concerning our works; the Gospel, concerning the great works of God. In the Law we hear the tenfold summons, “Thou shalt.” Beyond that the Law has nothing to say to us. The Gospel, on the other hand, makes no demands whatever. 
But does not the Gospel demand faith? Yes; that, however, is just the same kind of command as when you say to a hungry person, “Come, sit down at my table and eat.” the hungry person will not reply: “Bosh! I will not take orders from you.” No, he will understand and accept your words as a kind invitation. That is what the Gospel is — a kind invitation to partake of heavenly blessings.
a starving man needs no command to eat when food is placed in front of him.

What the Law promises is just as great a boon as what the Gospel promises, namely, everlasting life and salvation. But at this point we are confronted with a mighty difference: all promises of the Law are made on certain conditions, namely, on the condition that we fulfill the Law perfectly. Accordingly, the promises of the Law are the more disheartening, the greater they are. The Law offers us food, but does not hand it down to us where we can reach it. It offers us salvation in about the same manner as refreshments were offered to Tantalus in the hell of the pagan Greeks. It says to us indeed: “I will quench the thirst of your soul and appease your hunger.” But it is not able to accomplish this because it always adds: “All this you shall have if you do what I command.”
Over and against this note the lovely, sweet, and comforting language of the Gospel. It promises us the grace of God and salvation without any condition whatsoever. It is a promise of free grace. It asks nothing of us but this, “Take what I give, and you have it.” That is not a condition, but a kind invitation.
so often i hear about the promises of God being conditional.  under the law, yes.  which feels like hopelessness.  but under the gospel of grace, no.  completely unconditional.  WOW.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

dug down deep



character does not hide and deny.
character does not sweep things under the carpet.
character thinks twice before speaking.
character owns what they've spoken -- or misspoken.
character keeps things in the open.
character can disagree without attacking.
character can speak the truth in love.

one part of my past that most people don't know about is that i grew up in a very cultic, covert, controlled, and manipulative background.

cults hide and deny.
cults sweep things under the carpet.
cults speak harsh words.
cults then say it never happened.
cults keep things hidden.
cults don't allow for disagreement, and will attack anyone that disagrees with them.
cults speak lies as truths, and keep the truth out of the picture.


i will also love those i disagree with, not take offense at their words, and consider their cautions.
i will think with the brain God gave me, i will not cater to man at the expense of God's truth, and i will walk by my convictions before God, answering to God above all.
and i will continuously endeavor to do all these things in the right heart attitude.

i will not lash back at harsh words, i will not knee jerk against manipulative (ahem, sent in private) phone calls and emails (and i have gotten some), and i will not deny God my mouth to call for truth, transparency, and character.

AND, i do invite input, from people personally involved in my life, into my own error and hypocrisy.  because humility only comes via humiliation.


the official word

diagnosically speaking, from the surgeon's mouth, that is. lol

colonoscopy was normal.  which means, he thinks, that i have 'irritable bowel syndrome'

how he described it is like this:

it's a 'motility' issue: how the bowels move things along.

by having people swallow these little electric doodads, they have shown two things:
1. they doodads measure the pressure in the bowels, which, when moving stuff along, the bowels squeeze up much tighter, 'contents under more pressure', than normal bowels.;
2. by x-raying the doodads, they show things get from beginning to end eventually, but it's irregular.

ergo the pain and cramping.

and it can affect everything from the stomach to the end of the line.

so i'll start a new medication tomorrow, to help empty the stomach, to be taken before every meal, and before bed.  4x a day.  *sighs*

hopefully soon i'll be able to tolerate solid food again.


Sunday, December 05, 2010




my thoughts on baptism has been challenged in the last few months.

first i watched or listened to a debate between RCSproul (infant baptism) and John MacArthur (believer's baptism).... in which i found Sprouls argument more convincing.  which was ENTIRELY unexpected.

infant baptism? pffft....before.  now, not so much.

then today i listened to an interview on infant baptism on F4F:



Saturday, December 04, 2010


from Critical Issues Commentary:
Another passage where prophecy is followed by judging is this one: “Do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1Thessalonians 5:20, 21). It is fair to assume that the “prophetic utterances” that Paul mentions here are of the same sort that he addresses in 1Corinthians. Members of the congregation were speaking forth what they believed to be from God. To despise here means “to make absolutely nothing of” or to “hold in contempt.”5 Rather than automatically disregarding anything that was purported to be from God, the Thessalonians were to “examine” what was said and distinguish the good from the bad. The word “examine” here is dokimazo_ which has to do with putting something to the test to determine its nature. It means, “to test, examine, or scrutinize.” The same Greek word is used in this passage: “that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 1:7), where it is translated “tested.” Prophecy is to be carefully put to the test to see if it is from God.
when someone puts for a quote or statement on facebook or twitter, purporting to be wisdom from or about God, then it is open - by God's own mandate to test everything - to be tested, examined, and SCRUTINIZED by the hearer, which, in my case, would be me.
"...Romans 12:6, “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith.” There is an issue of translation from the Greek here. The passage says literally, “according to the analogy of the faith.” Though some have argued that “his faith” (in the subjective sense) is in view, I do not think this interpretation fits the grammar or the larger Biblical context. Opinion on this matter is divided. Some scholars see a subjective understanding of “faith” (as the NASB translates it). Others see the literal translation “the faith” as being the objective content of the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). If, however, one considers both the literal Greek6 and the fact that elsewhere in the New Testament prophecy is to be judged, the objective understanding makes the most sense."
the content of prophecy has to be analogous to THE FAITH delivered to us.... it has to be alike, in line, side by side, in the same color family, so to speak. (analogous colors are side by side on the color wheel).  in other words, it cannot differ from what is revealed in the Word.
"Holy Spirit inspired speech will always confess the person and work of Christ. True prophecy does not add to the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3), but expounds, exhorts, encourages, and comforts by directly applying Biblical teaching to the lives of hearers (1Corinthians 14:3). If a person claims to speak for God but the person’s message content does not agree with Scripture and is outside of the sphere of material that God has revealed in the Bible, the spiritual source of the message is not God’s Spirit."
purely objective, and pretty simple, actually...!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010


right now i'm feeling like a bit of a cheater, or a scam artist. those aren't the right words, really, but those are the only ones i can think of at the moment.

see, i have huuuggee hunks of time in my life that i have few to no memories of. there is good reason for that, i know. but it means that things like, whatever happened to one of my best friends in high school? i don't know. i've met up with her again as an adult; but i feel like a fake or a fraud because there is so much i have NO CLUE as to what went on. and i haven't asked, either, because i don't know what it might bring up, for either of us. so for now, it's a mystery.

so i'm sad and wistful that i can't connect that time to my friend now.

and, though i know it's not a logical feeling, i feel like a fraud.


just a snippet

courtesy my bud in the pink/red blouse.  i'm in the bandanner. :)


Sunday, November 28, 2010

this is about where i stand

andrew strom has a very balanced view of the supernatural; he holds the truth in tension here quite well, i think.

cheezy theatrical music at the start, lol, but otherwise solid and informative stuff.

what i don't understand is why more people don't just say outright, that is NOT God.

i think it may be lingering fear from that whole wave of 'touch not mine anointed' teaching that ran its way through the church at large.... fizzled out in some places (like my church, thankfully) but is in full influence in others.... and in individuals in various places and ways.

one thing i strive to keep in mind constantly, is that our battle is not against flesh and blood.  many people who are in this movement sincerely love God... and i do believe He will bring them out, in His timing.

because i've been to close to the fire myself, i hate that whole realm of deceptive supernatural evil, and i tend to instinctively lash out against anything -- and anyone -- that has even a whiff of this.  my very definite, fleshly, carnal BAD.  there you go, my confession for the day... uh, hour.  no, minute.   ....God, keep working in me on this.

and in the meantime, i need to remember that for myself, what ever is not of faith is sin.  and that i can not allow myself to compromise and come down on myself for my conviction in this area.

Romans 14:2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

and this is one 'bread' i cannot, in good conscience, partake of.


too much information

whine, whine, moan, and lament.

it seems i'm always in pain in some way shape or form!

i've had a few people ask me why i'm always so tired and stuff, so i thought i'd post a little update on my blog.

the thing is, it's still a big unknown.

the intestinal issues started, i think, a couple years ago... i had some kind of infection (undetermined) that, after multiple rounds of antibiotics, needed an anti-parasitic drug to clear up.

last summer (09) i had pain and diarrhea for so long i wound up in the hospital for 5 days on IV.

the last year or so i've been taking an anti-spasmodic drug to reduce the pain in  my intestines.

the last few months i've been having more and more problems with pain, digestion, and end-of-digestive-tract  issues (hows that for a euphamism?), and this summer my doc referred me for a colonoscopy.

i had that a week and a half ago, and in a week and a half i see the surgeon again for follow-up.

i'm hoping for news. :)

i'm also trying not to draw inferences from things like, the doctor did not speak to me after the colonoscopy, the nurse just told me to call for a follow up (so what does that mean? do i have a clean colonic bill of health? huh!? then why am i so sick? now what?~!) .... but, the nurses also didn't say to me 'everything went great' as they did to the 2 or 3 other people who had the same procedure earlier in the afternoon while i was waiting for mine (conspicuously silent?  what does that mean? there's no good news? no immediate treatment? do i have stage 4 inoperable cancer and they just wanted me to live out the next three weeks of my life without anxiety, and then when i finally see the doc, he'll tell me there's nothing they can do?)  LOL see where inferences get you? NOWHERE!!!!

i'm guessing it's going to fall somewhere between those two extremes, lol.

but actually, of those two extremes, the first one is more worrisome for me.  continuing pain, lack of answers, no end in sight? *sigh*  ...however i do know that God is gracious, and as my day is, so my strength shall be.  that no 'ill' can befall me except that which He has ordained.  which brings great peace even within the turmoil.  (i feel sad for those who believe satan is a wild card and ruins health etc on his whim outside of the ordinance of God.  it is such an insecure place to be.)

and frankly, my life has had much pain, and while i have many great gifts from God in my life, i feel very old, and ready to go home.  my 'stress age' according to one quiz had me over 60 years old (or was it 70? i forget), not the 36 of my physical body... if that tells you anything about my stressful life.  this body has endured much.  i'm physically and emotionally worn out.  to be present in the body is to be absent from the Lord.... so in a sense, this body is 'keeping me from' Him... and oh, how i long to be present with Him.  indeed, i don't have a lot of 'investment' in this world; it is a vapor, vanity, and a chasing after the wind, aside from what God purposes.

and when God's purposes for me are done (none left incomplete) then and only then will i go home, at God's appointed time.  joy.

i do so look forward to that...!


Friday, November 26, 2010

revelling in the revelation of God's truth

someone who grew up believing they were worthless... REVELS in the revelation that Christ gives them worth.
someone who grew up believing they were better than everyone else REVELS in the revelation that they are nothing special (what a relief).

someone who grew up believing they were incapable REVELS in the revelation that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them.
someone who grew up believing they were supremely capable of being perfect in and of themselves REVELS in the revelation that they are naked, poor, blind, and weak without Christ.

my point is that we need to be sensitive to what other peoples big revelation is, because it can be hard to understand why something is BIG to them, especially if its 'opposite' to our big revelations.  and we try to be helpful and encouraging, and 'balance' them out. and in so doing, we can diminish or unwittingly undermine their revelling in that truth.... make that BIG truth seem smaller, and take some of the joy of it away from them.

what's your big revelation of God's truth that you REVEL in? and why? and how to people try to 'temper' your revelling? and how does it affect you?

i REVEL in the truths that i am naked, poor, blind, weak.... that my righteousnesses are filthy rags... that without God i can do nothing. the reason? i grew up in a very elitest, 'more capable than thou' environment. and now? in Christ, i can REST, and don't have to strive. yeah. ....people try and temper what they see as 'defeatist' by saying, 'but Lynnie, you CAN do all things in Christ who strengthens you!!!!!' (which i hear as 'do do do, pull up your bootstraps, get on with it -- strive!!!', which echoes my childhood messages. and diminishes my joy and rest.)

i would be interesting in your thoughts/stories... please feel free to comment!!! :)




Tuesday, November 16, 2010


this is WHACK theology.

NO.  its BY grace (the means)  THROUGH faith (the channel that brings it to us) which is a GIFT not of ourselves lest we boast.

saved BY grace, and grace alone.  not grace + faith.  not a mixture.

the deciding factor in my salvation is not my faith.  nope.  it's a gift.  the FAITH is provided for me.

what this guy is preaching is works.  if i was in a church preaching this, i'd walk out.

this is so entrapping it makes me angry.


Monday, November 15, 2010

imputed love

i've long understood that God took my sin and gave me Christ's righteousness.

but i always felt like, so He 'has' to accept me... but why would He love me?

there's nothing in me to love.  not one iota.

so this has blown me away....

He exchanged the hatred that i deserve, for unending love that i don't.

no, i don't deserve it.  not in the least.

but He imputed it to me.... so it's mine.



Saturday, November 06, 2010

i can't.... He can.

i needed to hear this today... thank You, Lord.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Christ ALONE

because i'm a boring single childless stay-at-home do nothing (not really, but that's how i feel sometimes) i listen to a TON of online sermons, and find a LOT of really good ones. this, i'm sure, is in the top 5 i've heard. al mohler jr at capitol hill baptist on reformation day... on Christ ALONE. amazing.


Sunday, October 31, 2010


this is an amazing testimony of a lady who got out of the new age, and she tells of how it's leaking into the church unawares.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


i took an asperger's test, it said, 

Your Aspie score: 134 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 68 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


also took this aspergers quiz, which said, "Likely to be Autistic"



just read this article about facebook and aspergers.... that about sums up what i love about facebook!  so useful and less confusing for me than real life!! LOL


Sunday, October 17, 2010

10 point plan of interpretation

from derek thomas at the ligonier 2010 conference.

rule #1.  what matters here is a hermeneutic for 'ordinary' christians.  the perspicuity of scripture.  that which is essential for salvation can be discerned by ordinary christians using the ordinary means of grace -- by going to church, reading the bible, asking teachers, dependable commentaries.  no gnosticism necessary.

rule #2.  scripture has ONE meaning.  many applications, but only one meaning.  NOT the middle ages idea of 4 meanings in every text.  'when the literal will stand, that which is furthest from the literal is the worst' -- Calvin. one meaning... because behind it is only One Mind.  many authors but behind them only One Author.  a rational, coherent Mind.

rule #3.  scripture is its own interpreter.  NO contradictions; somewhere in scripture is the explanation for the seeming contradiction that we have failed to comprehend.  Be careful therefore of building an entire doctrine on one text.

rule #4.  interpret obscure passages in the light of those that are clear.

rule #5.  pay attention to genre.  God does NOT have feathers, and does not cluck like a chicken.

rule #6.  remember, writers sometimes wrote more than they knew.  interpretation needs to be of the authorial intent of the ORIGINAL Author-- God.

rule #7.  differentiate between description and prescription.  read the narrative in light of the didactive and moral passages.

rule #8.  no interpretation can EVER contradict the gospel.  no interpretation can ever discount justification by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

rule #9.  be careful about word studies.  etymology.  sometimes the root words wonderfully illustrate the meaning; sometimes they do not.

rule #10.  beware of a false christo-centrism.  ie. 'finding Jesus in every passage'.  not every text of scripture speaks directly about Jesus.  instead of, 'where is Jesus in this text?', it should be 'what is Jesus saying in this text?'.  you can hear Jesus in every text, but you may not see Him in every text.

be prepared to die for primary truths.  justification by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is a doctrine we must be willing to die for.  but secondary and tertiary truths are not to be held with the same degree of closed-handedness.

true, valid, rock steady interpretation that passes the test of time CAN be attained.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

the lie

this is the height of irony.  here bill johnson is speaking about identifying the devil's lie, and i identify almost immediately the lie in what he is saying, and he (probably) has no clue.  and in saying what he is saying, or failing to say, he is (unwittingly?) teaching people to ignore some basics, like our utter inability to do ANYTHING, and exhalts our own abilities and responsibility for God's will to come to pass.

some thoughts...

1. he speaks slowly and thoughtfully, it brings about a mellow receptivity to whatever he has to say... because of my background, that sends up red flags immediately.

2. 1:35 or so, he says, "The Holy Spirit will lead you into a conflict, but only the ones you are equipped to win.  He intentionally leads you around conflicts you are not prepared to win."  at about 2:15, "He leads you into a conflict that you are not only prepared to win, you have the heart to win.  Now any person, any single believer, from the strongest one who walks the planet to the weakest one, every person is capable of turning in fear if they feed their heart on the wrong stuff.  If you dwell on the wrong things long enough, you will adopt a reaction, a fear reaction."

  • what about all the times God took His people into captivity to crush them and bring them to repentence? they didn't win those conflicts.  all the times Paul was shipwrecked and thrown in jail... he didn't win those conflicts.
  • our hearts are deceitfully wicked, and incapable of walking with God without His enablement... our hearts are not able to do anything BUT fear, unless He Himself makes us fearless....
  • he is stating even the weakest person has the ability to not turn in fear if they feed their hearts on the right stuff.... ergo, if you fail, it's because you didn't do it right, it's all your own fault.  it's up to you to manipulate things so that you win, every time.

3. at about 3:45 he says, "When a word comes to us, it must be tested.  Words must be tested for 2 reasons; you have to know that what was spoken over you was absolutely true." and i just showed that this word is highly flawed and is thus not absolutely true... by his own criteria.  "You won't know the strength of a word until you see the strength of it's opposition." but he later goes on to say the opposition doesn't have any power, except for the power that we give it.... (except we don't have power of our own!).  "Secondly, a promise is given that must be tested, because your reward for receiving the promise must be released to you based on you having an option."  but as far as i know, the ultimate promise is given not by our choice, but by Christ's choice to go to the cross on our behalf; because we do not have the power to make a choice in ourself. Christ died because of our INABILITY to choose right. how can it be any different for 'lesser' promises, whatever they might be? 

.... and then he talks about transferring power from yourself to satan, seemingly to validate his last statement.

this is where i stand:

manipulating and transferring power to something or away from something is controllling spiritual powers and is witchcraft.  we are to have nothing to do with it; we have no power of our own to transfer to satan...  and God will not allow the authority of Christ to be transferred to satan.  our only appropriate stance is to confess to Christ, we have no power, You have it all, we are at Your mercy, Your will be done.

all this magical manipulating of powers is witchcraft under a christian guise.

it's not : witchcraft is the manipulation of dark powers (a counterfeit), but 'wielding' God's power is ok (the "real thing")....

it is: witchcraft is the manipulation of spiritual powers in any way shape or form; only God is to manipulate, use, shape, govern the spiritual powers...  ANY form of spiritual manipulation on our part IS the counterfeit, it's us trying to be 'as God'.  

this is THE LIE in one of it's most insidious, dangerous, deceptive forms... because we think it's part of the real deal and honors God.... when it doesn't.


*edit* just had to add a link to this sermon that i just listened to that provides an entirely different view on 'winning' as it pertains to the christian life..... 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

this is not christianity

i can understand:

1) prophetically acting out something that illustrates what one hopes for in prayer;

2) prophetically performing something that illustrates a truth so that others may get new insight...

...but this has gone way beyond that.  this is trying to make something happen in the spiritual realm.... this is witchcraft.

might as well skip the first 4 minutes (redundant repetition... the remainder is tedious enough to get through!)


Friday, October 08, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

scripture is sufficient

"But what is the truth? There is the point. Is the truth that which I imagine to be revealed to me by some private communication? Am I to fancy that I enjoy some special revelation, and am I to order my life by voices, dreams, and impressions? Brethren, fall not into this common delusion. God's word to us is in Holy Scripture. All the truth that sanctifies men is in God's Word. If your imaginary revelation is not according to this Word, it has no weight with us; and if it is according to this Word, it is no new thing."
--Charles Spurgeon, Sermon 1890, March 7, 1886


ooooh!!! i haz a glitterz!!!

aye carumba.

this is another spirit.  praise God i can see that now.  show that to them, too, Lord. :'(


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

food for thought

in the first 10 minutes, john piper shares his initial thoughts on rick warren's message.  i think john piper sees, like a father, the person rick warren is 'in hope'; rather than so many seeing him in his faults.  that's a father's heart, and is beautiful.

i appreciate his commentary on what rick warren was trying to say; but i think it is telling that the one who supposedly has great gifts of communication had to be 'interpreted' to be understood.... something was lacking, somewhere.


*edit:  between the 20 and 25 minute mark, piper adds some more comments.  very.good.balance.

desiring wisdom

i don't know about you, but i want wisdom.
i want to understand God, and live my life in a way that glorifies Him.

i read lots of books when i first became a christian.
some of them i thought were good, but later i realized they were not the greatest of theology.
so i learned to 'eat the meat, and spit out the bones'.
i mean, i wouldn't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, would i?
there is lots to be learned from people's perspectives, even if they are fallable and prone to error.
God has a deposit in all His children that we can learn from.

i mean, we all miss it on one or another area of theology...
and even if authors miss it big time in one area,
they may have some pearls of wisdom i can glean from amongst the chaff.
i know the heart of God enough to recognize error when i see it.
and it pleases God when we diligently weed through the junk to find the gems,
faithful to His call to search out wisdom!!!
i'm so hungry for wisdom!!!

Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

i mean, it can't be all bad, right?
even when you eat food, you get chemicals that are toxic in large quantities,
but you wash off what you can, and trust that your body will filter out the rest.
our bodies can handle wee bits of poison, right?

it's obvious that God has truth in all of creation,
and can make Himself know through any source,
i mean, He even spoke through an donkey!
any wisdom i can glean is worth the effort of separating from the sludge.
i know what's error and what's true, i can always recognize it--
because i have the Holy Spirit indwelling me,
and He will always lead me away from wrong.

i'm desperate for wisdom.
i really want to know God!
i'm looking for it constantly,
in everything i read, in everything i hear.
truth is everywhere, if we just have ears to hear!!!

....strange, my ears are kinda itchy right now....


...lead us, Lord...
...may we search for wisdom in right places...
...give us discernment to recognize what tree the fruit is on...
...that we would feed on truth and not deception.


warren dgnc 2010

so... i just listened to the rick warren video sermon from the desiring god national conference 2010.

i feel exhausted. words coming at me at at medium high intensity that continued with no variation for an hour. i feel yelled at. i also feel like i had a ton of principles and ideas dumped on me to such an overwhelming degree all i can do is concede his intellectual victory over me.

but i will not do that.

needless to say, feeling so exhausted from hearing it, i can't do much arguing for or against.

pros: some pithy, useful statements and principles.

cons: over pragmatic. too much information to process (despite his own statement that we're preached at too much to process in a week!). too dependent on ones own apprehension of principles and convictions; no dependence on the Holy Spirit. do do do. and if you are a doer, you need to think more.... which is in itself an action word -- another 'do'. his perspective is that he knows, his ways and methods are right, and leaves no room open for other views.

his comments regarding mental illness are absolutely reprehensible. it diminishes the legitimacy of real mental illnesses by comparing it to the normal complexities of thought-life and the effects of sin nature. i'm sorry; his statements are so full of ignorance of real mental illness that i can say that he has NOT seen the face of mental illness; he has seen what he thinks is mental illness but is NOT. i'm too angry on that point to write anymore right now.

i also found it to be incredibly lacking in integrity to say 'he hates it when people promote their own books at conferences' then proceeds to do exactly that. he too often says one thing then does another..... or says one thing, then completely contradicts himself in the next breath.

end result: aggravated. is he a false teacher? i don't think so.... but he's got some stuff majorly out of whack, which can, while sincerely meaning good, nevertheless fails to do what his primary call as a pastor is: preach the gospel. not..... give an exhortation to pull up one's bootstraps, and get off yer duff.

but then, the greek word for 'false prophet' is transliterated 'pseudo-prophet'.... and warren's pretty pseudo.... something.


**edit:  aaah.  pelagianism.  here's a better review than i can do!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

arminian grace, how strange the sound

[To the tune of Amazing Grace.]

Arminian “grace!” How strange the sound,
Salvation hinged on me.
I once was lost then turned around,
Was blind then chose to see.

What “grace” is it that calls for choice,
Made from some good within?
That part that wills to heed God’s voice,
Proved stronger than my sin.

Thru many ardent gospel pleas,
I sat with heart of stone.
But then some hidden good in me,
Propelled me toward my home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Because of what we’ve done,
We’ve no less days to sing our praise,
Than when we first begun.

(With apologies to John Newton)
snagged from


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

white hankerchiefs

please watch this video before you read on. the story takes 10 minutes.




i know this story is allegorical of the way the Father God receives His wayward children back to Himself.

but what got me in the gut was the story of the son and the family itself, and.... being wanted.

some of us will never have an old home to return to, with parents who will love you as you are. with family to receive you, a lineage to find your roots and sense of belonging in.

but He sets the solitary in families.

i am so thankful at this moment for friends in the body of Christ who are family. who set out the white hankerchiefs in such abundance. who say, lynnie, you are wanted here. you are loved. not just tolerated, not just put up with. you are as much a part of our extended family as when God puts a child into any family.

i have brothers and sisters in the body who have put out no solitary little white hankerchief of acceptance, but great big sheets of acceptance strung up and proclaimed in a way that cannot be missed.

God is faithful to give us what we need.

what great gifts God has given me, in those who love me.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

a different side of stewardship

i've often said i'm a minimalist at heart, who learned how to be a hoarder.

in decorating/design/architecture magazines, the ones that call out to me are clean, clear, and sometimes almost spartan.

but i live like a hoarder. my mum was a hoarder. and getting rid of anything led/leads to a guilt fest. mum taught me to be responsible and take care of my things - a good steward. and i'm not blaming her for my current condition; but she had a LOT of fear and guilt regarding ownership of things, and it affects a child raised in that environment immensely.

and today's world is one that proclaims, 'take care of our world! reduce, reuse, recycle! if you fail to steward the planet perfectly, you have a mammoth carbon footprint and are contributing to the death of the planet... the you are evil! repent and recycle!' ...i heard mark driscoll once term it 'justification by recycling'.

of course it feeds every fear i inherited from mum of failing to be a good steward before God... which makes hoarding even more difficult a rut to get out of. when my mum died, she left a house full of garbage bags full of minutely collected and sorted 'valuables', which, sure it could all be sold, she planned to be part of the inheritance she left to provide for her one and only child. when the executors went through the house, almost all of it had to be thrown out.

please, Lord, break this fear of not being a good steward before You.... i do not want to end the race like that.

recently i heard an powerful teaching on Hebrews 12 that has impacted me in many ways in one day since hearing it. and part of that impact is how God used it to bring to bear a whole new perspective of stewardship to me.
Hebrews12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
let. us. lay. aside. every. weight.

and. run. the. race.

if it's a weight that hinders me in this race, it is *not* stewardship to hang on to it; in fact, just the opposite.


further on...
Hebrews 12:12-12 Therefore ... make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
i am definitely lame; i walk with a decided limp in this faith-walk. spiritually, mentally, emotionally lame, and in need of healing.

so that i may truly run, and not just hobble. spiritually arthritic.

walking through clutter, the stress of dealing with it, and the resultant 'spacing out' where i'm walking around and stepping over stuff without realizing it.... definitely puts me further out of joint, and interferes with the process of healing.

it *is* stewardship to make straight paths for my feet.... literally.

much to chew on and digest.

chewing my spiritual cud. moo.


death to life

...i can't get it to play on my blog.... if you have the same troubles, click on through to vimeo. :)


Thursday, September 23, 2010

statements that pack a theological punch

"People who need help often feel overwhelmed with their emotions, and part of being overwhelmed is that life feels like thousands of fragments. They have lost any coherence and don’t even know where to begin." --Ed Welch, in his article "I Can Help You in Six Words".
that is me. that is me, almost always. no, just always. always, always, always.

these are not necessarily 6 words, or suit the counselling situation... but they pack the punch he talks about in the article, they come to mind and paint such a big picture.... and i cling to them:

if God is not sovereign, God is not God. (rc sproul???)

"upon the solid Rock i stand..." (song)

"he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him." (galatians?)

there is not one random molecule in the universe. (first heard via my pastor -- from sproul?)

He works all things according to the counsel of His will. (bible)

cursed is the ground, for your sake. (genesis)

man falls as God's providence ordains, but he falls by is own fault. (calvin)

without Me, you can do nothing. (bible)

those who look to Him are radiant... (psalms)

more than oxygen, i need Your love... (song) the praise of the glory of His grace... (bible)

the heart is deceitfully wicked above all things... (bible)

all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. (bible)

in me dwells no good thing. (bible)

what satan meant for evil, God means for good. (bible)

the Lord gives, the Lord takes, blessed be the name of the Lord. (job)

my times are in Your hand... (bible)

"....have you considered My servant Job?" (job)

He became sin, who knew no sin; that we might become His righteousness. (bible)

He who sits in the heavens laughs. (psalms)

You make everything glorious.... and i am Yours.... what does that make me? (david crowder)

He works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (bible)

enoch walked with God.... and was not. (bible) ...(my hearts cry)

who is this coming out of the wilderness leaning on her Beloved's arm? (song of songs)

...if i have not love, i am nothing. (corinthians)

(sorry for the not-verbatim quotes, and the incomplete references, from this incomplete mind....... but enough to point you in the right direction if you're not already there, lol.)

and there are more.... this is just a sampling of nuggets that God uses in me to encourage me and help me focus on Him. memorizing scripture is so important; and so is being able to encapsulate great theological truths in simple, meaningful statements.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


well, i'm back, i think. two months? ish? huh.

i been keeping busy with other things, but keep thinking of this blog lately.

am currently sick (yah! hi! i'm back! i'm sick!...what a way to kick off eh? lol).... which is a blessing in disguise cuz it means getting to soak in all kinds of good teaching, and trusting in His strength and care.

goals for today? rest. go for a walk around the block, get some vitamin D and fresh air. eat light, drink lots of ginger tea. read a section from Institutes that was recommended to me. start doing a little more concurrent with the little better i'm feeling. (weird sentence there, lol.) would like to vacuum out my laundry area in preparation for a hoped for surprise call saying my "washer/dryer is fixed, can we bring it over ____?" that's mostly it, on the practical daily living side of things. try to not over do it physically, or under do it nutrition wise.

i recently read a post on gluttony that said, basically, the problem with diet schemes is that they try to solve the problem (lose weight; get fit) but will never tell you that you're fat because you have a sin. they also talked about the symptom of gluttony being, as the dictionary defines gluttony, 'habitual overeating'. so what if you are over weight but a habitual under-eater? and that's part of why you are fat? i strongly dislike blanket solutions to complex issues. arrgh. i'm not denying that the sin nature is at the core of almost all problems; but making a blanket statement that implies "all people are fat because they are a glutton" is unhelpful; and could push the person who already has trouble getting themselves to eat a little more over the edge. *sighs* the false diagnosis of one sin (gluttony) could push me further into another (lack of self care for reasons to complex to pigeon hole). hmmm.

i have an appointment to see a surgeon on friday morning; my doctor wants me to have the oft-dreaded colonoscopy. (colonoscopy isn't in the spell check, weird.) things ain't working right; its time to find out what's causing it. various thoughts float through my head... so far as my limited knowledge can tell, the possibilities are broad; anything from hemorrhoids to cancer. (hemorrhoids is a word i would definitely get wrong at a spelling bee.) but.... my God is big, my God is good, always, and my God will be glorified. nothing can happen to me that is outside of His good will.



Outcast, Adopted.

THIS BLOG IS IN NEED OF AN OVERHAUL. there are posts from years back i would not be able to post in good conscience now. i plan to overhaul the blog, and either delete or add a disclaimer to those posts. but that is gonna take time....

The Radical Summons: "
Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come." Hebrews 13:13.

"The Spirit never loosens where the Word binds; the Spirit never justifies where the Word condemns; the Spirit never approves where the Word disapproves; the Spirit never blesses where the Word curses." —Thomas Brooks

‎"God receives none but those who are forsaken, restores health to none but those who are sick, gives sight to none but the blind, and life to none but the dead. He does not give saintliness to any but sinners, nor wisdom to any but fools. In short: He has mercy on none but the wretched and gives grace to none but those who are in disgrace. Therefore no arrogant saint, or just or wise man can be material for God, neither can he do the work of God, but he remains confined within his own work and makes of himself a fictitious, ostensible, false, and deceitful saint, that is, a hypocrite." --Martin Luther (W.A. 1.183ff)

i will not let You go: "Jacob's sense of his total debility and utter defeat is now the secret of his power with his friendly Vanquisher. God can overthrow all the prowess of the self-reliant, but He cannot resist the earnest entreaty of the helpless." --Albert Barnes

i will not let You go: "Jacob's determination did not flow from his strength, it flowed from his weakness." --Charles Leiter