Monthly Archives: November 2014

21 posts

A Prayer for December

Dear Father, grant that I would be blown away by the gift of your son to me. Grant that this season of “gift-giving” would not blind the eyes of my heart from the one gift that matters. If not for the gospel, all gifts would be nothing more than bribes and tokens of appeasement. If not for the gospel, there would be no selflessness. If not for the gospel, I would only give to get. If not for the gospel, I would obsess on I what I think I deserve and despair over what I do not have. I pray that your Spirit would illumine the beauty of your word to my needy heart. In Christ, I truly have everything […]

The Duty of All Nations!

By today’s standards it appears that the first Congress and the first President didn’t understand the Constitution was against any mention of God, let alone proclaiming it is the duty of all nations to obey his will. Or is it possible that it is our modern judiciary that has misunderstood the intent of our Constitution? Thanksgiving Proclamation Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789 By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress […]

50 People and the Power of Thanksgiving

In 1623 William Bradford, at age 33, issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving for the remaining Pilgrims who had landed on Plymouth Rock. Because of winter storms their ship, the Mayflower, came ashore several hundred miles north of their planned destination. Half of the initial company that sailed from England died in the brutal first winter after their arrival. These Pilgrims endured because of a fierce desire to be free to worship the God of the Bible. They were a literal handful of people. Yet they survived, fueled by gratitude. Think of it, fifty or so people, faced with overwhelming odds, with only the mercy of God to sustain them, helped to change the course of human history. Fifty people. Do […]

God and Black Friday

Much planning goes into preparing for a successful Black Friday. Cash flow is carefully monitored. Credit limits are pushed to the max. Intricate strategies for timing and storage of products are worked and reworked. The stress levels are high. Did you think I am referring to the business plans of retailers? Ah, no. Actually, I am talking about the plans of the average American shopper. The Thanksgiving Dinner becomes a fading mirage as the execution of a successful Black Friday shopping trip takes center stage. Black Friday is about spending the least amount of money to gain the most amount of gifts. This is the strategy of “smart” shoppers. Just one question. How much is God involved in your planning? […]

Gratitude: The DNA of a Christian

When God made you a new creature in Christ, He also designed you to be a creature fueled by thanksgiving. Only a Christian has the ability to express thankfulness from an eternal perspective. Gratitude for someone who does not know Christ is limited to the here and now. Anyone can be thankful for temporal things, but eternal gratitude is for those whom God has made to be his people. When you lack thanksgiving you are being contrary to the person God has made you to be. The things of this earth have become more important than the gift of eternity that has been given to you in Christ. From the visible signs of the rainbow and the communion table to […]

Tedd Tripp On Answering Without Listening

Answering without Listening Tedd Tripp I had a conversation with my son near bedtime. I said what I thought needed to be said; he listened politely. “Well,” I said, after finishing my speech, “I am glad we had a chance to talk.” I prayed with him and went to bed. A few minutes later there was a knock at our bedroom door. “Dad, are you guys still awake?” “Yeah, come on in, what’s up?” “Well, Dad, I just wanted to say that when you left my room you said, ‘I’m glad we had this chance to talk’ and I just wanted to say that I didn’t say anything.” “Oh, I see, I had a good talk, you had a good […]

The Myth Of the Self-Reliant Parent

Sometimes we actually think we are smart enough to take care of ourselves. Really?!? If you are alive at the end of this day it will be because God has determined that you should still be breathing. Sound simplistic? This was the truth that Paul spoke in Athens to the intellectual giants of his day. This is not simplistic, but the most important reality that can be known. All men are totally dependent upon the mercy and plan of God, whether they acknowledge this truth or not. Humbly live this truth out before your children. Talk to God, acknowledge God, be thankful to God. Let them see your dependence upon God. If you don’t, they will believe you think too […]

Angry Parents, Angry Children

Human anger must not characterize your discipline. If it does, you have made discipline about satisfying your requirements. As a parent you are granted authority to enforce God’s commands, not your own preferences. Your authority is derived, not earned. Human anger and biblical discipline do not mix. Man’s anger will not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:20) The key phrase is the righteous life that God desires. God did not give you your children so that you could teach them to follow your desires and wishes. When you make parenting about your desires, then, in your mind, God exits to serve you, to support your agenda and standards. When this role reversal occurs, you attempt to […]

Sometimes at night

Sometimes at night I find myself awake, wide awake, hopelessly awake. In these moments I am confronted with piercing clarity about past sins. I remember the stupidity of thinking I had a good reason to trust my flesh and ignore my God. I remember the allure of self-justification, of the fog of self-pity. Why could I not have had this awareness of the deceitful awfulness of sin forty years ago, twenty years ago, twenty hours ago? In these moments I am also aware that I am the same pathetic creature of my past. The opening plea of Psalm 130 perfectly describes the state of my heart with eyes wide open in the bleakness of night. From the depths of despair, […]

Worship: The Dangerous Journey

Three times each year the Israelites would travel to Jerusalem for a special time of festival and worship. For those who lived close to Jerusalem this would be an afternoon hike in the mountains. But for many this was a journey that may have lasted several days. There were no interstates, motels, restaurants, or rest stops. As the mountains surrounding Jerusalem loomed larger with each step, so did the dangers that were hidden from view. There were wild animals, robbers and rough terrain. This journey was not a safe one. As the travelers looked up at the formidable landscape around them, they asked where will our help come from, who will protect us. Psalm 121 powerfully answers this question. You […]