Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Thursday, July 30, 2015

For Such a Time as This

For Such a Time as This – Identifying as a Christian can be tricky, especially when living and working in a culture with an anti-Christian bias. 

Your Sin Will Find You Out, But So Will His Righteousness

Your Sin Will Find You Out, But So Will His RighteousnessWhen it comes to sin there will be justice. When it comes to Christ, there will be grace.

Are Gay Rights Now Civil Rights?

Are Gay Rights Now Civil Rights? – Last week, by a 3-2 vote, it determined that allegations of discrimination based on sexual orientation are covered by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  According to The Atlantic, "This is a big deal."  Why?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 Misconceptions About Evangelism

5 Misconceptions About Evangelism - Rethinking how we share the Good News.

20 Quotes from Russell Moore’s New Book on Christian Cultural Engagement

20 Quotes from Russell Moore’s New Book on Christian Cultural Engagement – Here is one of my favorites, “To rail against the culture is to say to God that we are entitled to a better mission field than the one he has given us. At the same time, if we simply dissolve into the culture around us, or refuse to leave untroubled the questions the culture deems too sensitive to ask, we are not on mission at all.” (181)

3 Ways to Answer Your Christian-Critical Friends

3 Ways to Answer Your Christian-Critical Friends - Advice for meaningful conversations.

Pride Is Your Greatest Problem

Pride Is Your Greatest Problem - How does one move from the chains of prideful self-obsession to the freedom of humble self-service?

The Point of Hospitality

The Point of Hospitality“We forget the point of hospitality in the home: fellowship, not entertainment.”

The Calvary Option

The Calvary Option - Carl Trueman has some level-headed reflections on all of the cultural turbulence around us. “The tomb is still empty.   And my ministry will continue to be made up of the same elements as that of my of spiritual forefathers…the church will still gather week by week for services where Word and sacrament will point Christians to Christ and to the everlasting city, and thus equip them to live in this world as witnesses to Christian truth.”

Why We Fail at Family Devotions

Why We Fail at Family Devotions – Tim Challies shares some thoughts and encouragements on family devotional times.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Common But Mistaken Claims

The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Common But Mistaken Claims – Darrell Bock writes, “Paying serious attention the trajectory of Scripture—even if it aims to be monogamous and loving—doesn’t open the door to affirming same-sex marriage. In fact, it does the opposite.” 

Trump Believes in God, But Hasn't Sought Forgiveness

Trump Believes in God, But Hasn't Sought ForgivenessDonald Trump spoke about his faith last week.

We Will Not Bow

We Will Not Bow – John MacArthur spoke last week to our current cultural trends. “And I want to remind you that homosexuality, homosexual marriage, gender transition—these are not the real battlegrounds. The real battle ground is against God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and the Bible, and the church, and the gospel.”

10 Reasons Believers Should Take Care of Themselves Physically

10 Reasons Believers Should Take Care of Themselves PhysicallyWhile we give great attention to our spiritual side as believers, here are ten reasons to care for our physical health.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

For Evangelicalism, the Sky Is Not Falling but the Ground Is Shifting

For Evangelicalism, the Sky Is Not Falling but the Ground Is Shifting - “Facts are our friends and the facts for Evangelicalism are
somewhat of a mixed bag. Regardless, two truths should be held simultaneously:
Evangelicalism is not collapsing, but the future religious makeup of America
will continue to become more secular.”

A Joy Bigger Than the Issue of Our Day

A Joy Bigger Than the Issue of Our Day – Russell Moore says, “A Christian can focus so much on an issue that it becomes an idol. And that idolatry leads to despair, and despair leads to meanness, and meanness counters the mission.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

6 Costs of Real Friendships

6 Costs of Real Friendships“We tend to use the word friend quite carelessly.”

Message of the Broken Windows

Message of the Broken WindowsThis is a strong devotional thought on the church living in a real world. “A fresh round of rioting broke out last week after a controversial vote by the Greek Parliament on a list of austerity measures. Pastor Kantartzis wrote the following letter to encourage his congregation in the midst of the latest turmoil.”

5 Tips for Spotting Fake News

5 Tips for Spotting Fake NewsHow not to embarrass yourself or enable internet trolls. Christians damage testimony by sharing and ranting about things that aren't really true.

Why Join a Church

Why Join a Church – One of the most counter-cultural things you can do is become an engaged member of a faithful local church.

What’s Wrong with Designer Genes?

What’s Wrong with Designer Genes? - “We believe the church needs to become aware of this latest scientific development in genetic research, why it was attempted, the fallout and its consequences, and what specific ethical lines it crosses for us as Christians.”

10 Numbers You Should Know About Planned Parenthood

10 Numbers You Should Know About Planned Parenthood - Joe Carter gives you 10 important numbers related to Planned Parenthood. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

What is God Up to in our Times of Sickness?

I came across this list from J.C. Ryle some time ago. When we get sick or when someone we love gets sick what is God up to? It's hard to see sometimes. This list of nine things may help answer some of our questions.

Sickness is meant…

1. To make us think—to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body—an immortal soul—a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery—and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.
2. To teach us that there is a world beyond the grave—and that the world we now live in is only a training-place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.
3. To make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously. Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ’s blood? Am I prepared to meet God?
4. To make us see the emptiness of the world and its utter inability to satisfy the highest and deepest needs of the soul.
5. To send us to our Bibles. That blessed Book, in the days of health, is too often left on the shelf, becomes the safest place in which to put a bank-note, and is never opened from January to December. But sickness often brings it down from the shelf and throws new light on its pages.
6. To make us pray. Too many, I fear, never pray at all, or they only rattle over a few hurried words morning and evening without thinking what they do. But prayer often becomes a reality when the valley of the shadow of death is in sight.
7. To make us repent and break off our sins. If we will not hear the voice of mercies, God sometimes makes us “hear the rod.”
8. To draw us to Christ. Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men’s eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, “Simply to Your cross I cling,” as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many—they have found Christ in the sick room.
9. To make us feeling and sympathizing towards others. By nature we are all far below our blessed Master’s example, who had not only a hand to help all, but a heart to feel for all. None, I suspect, are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves—and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow.

Summary: Beware of fretting, murmuring, complaining, and giving way to an impatient spirit. Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise—a good and not an evil—a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a “need be” in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere.
~ J.C. Ryle


Unanswered Prayer

Unanswered Prayer – I shared this last year but felt it was needed again just now. Tim Challies shares a helpful word on a hot topic.

6 Things Christians Can Do About Same-Sex Marriage

6 Things Christians Can Do About Same-Sex MarriageThese are simple, realistic approaches to living in the new reality.

Move Beyond Tweetable Bible Reading

Move Beyond Tweetable Bible Reading - Cultivating spiritual disciplines in the Internet era.

3 Things Christians Should Consider in Light of Radical Islam

3 Things Christians Should Consider in Light of Radical Islam We must grieve for lives lost at the hands of radical Islam, but we must pray for the Islamists, too.


'Too Busy' for God's Word?

'Too Busy' for God's Word? - Here is an encouragement for moms and the rest of us.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle - “There are at least two errors in the unbiblical notion of “God will never give you more than you can handle.” First, it plays on the cultural virtue of fairness. Second, it points the sufferer inward instead of Godward.”

Why We Don’t Ask God for Things—and Why We Should

Why We Don’t Ask God for Things—and Why We ShouldDo you think there are things that don’t matter to God? It matters. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Prepare for Corporate Worship

Prepare for Corporate Worship – It’s almost time for Sunday worship. Are you prepared?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Esther and the Silent Sovereignty of God

Esther and the Silent Sovereignty of God“When you’re a religious minority living in a dominant culture with completely different views from you on almost everything, how do you relate to that culture? Do you withdraw, assimilate, protest, critique?”

7 Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage

7 Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage - What can a couple do to preserve the joyful loving intimacy of their marriage? Consider these seven gospel-centered principles…

Planned Parenthood, Abortion, and the Conscience of a Nation

Planned Parenthood, Abortion, and the Conscience of a Nation – Al Mohler writes, “A nation that will allow this, will allow anything.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Divorce Surge Is Over, but the Myth Lives On

The Divorce Surge Is Over, but the Myth Lives On“Despite hand-wringing about the institution of marriage, marriages in this country are stronger today than they have been in a long time. The divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s and has been declining for the three decades since.”

Love, Rights, and Marriage

Love, Rights, and Marriage - John Stonestreet at Breakpoint gives some guidance about how evangelicals should talk to their children about same-sex marriage.

Seven Subtle Symptoms of Pride

Seven Subtle Symptoms of Pride“Pride will kill you. Forever. Pride is the sin most likely to keep you from crying out for a Savior. Those who think they are well will not look for a doctor.”

Creations Groans Are Not Meaningless

Creations Groans Are Not Meaningless - Tim Keller writes truly that “Sooner or later, every believer wonders if being a Christian is worth it.”

Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse-Selling

Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse-Selling - I thought surely this was an internet hoax but it has been confirmed, Planned Parenthood is selling the body parts of aborted
children.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Getting Good at Prayer Isn't the Point

Getting Good at Prayer Isn't the PointHere’s a good word from John Ortberg on prayer.

Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian

Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian Here are some good words worth considering.

Embracing Humility: Why Our Gospel Witness Needs to Be Gracious and Kind

Embracing Humility: Why Our Gospel Witness Needs to Be Gracious and KindHere is a moving call to gracious evangelism.


Do Not Underestimate a Defeated Devil

Do Not Underestimate a Defeated Devil - Do you know what hunts you (1 Peter 5:8)?

Worship Is Our Weekly Detox

Worship Is Our Weekly DetoxHere are some good reasons not to miss it.

The Art of Discontentment

The Art of Discontentment - We need to be both content and discontent. “The world is discontent with less and says, ‘You will find contentment with more.’ God says, ‘Learn to be content with less, and learn to be discontent with more.’”

The Narrowest Religion in the World

The Narrowest Religion in the WorldHere’s a good word from Tim Challies.

Why I Love the Church

Why I Love the Church - John MacArthur explains why he loves the church so much.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Religions Are Not All Basically the Same

Religions Are Not All Basically the SameHistorian Rodney Stark explains why the theology of God in different religions produces very different religions. All religions cannot basically be the same because their gods are not the same; some religions don’t even have a deity.

Instead of Worrying

Instead of WorryingHere’s a good reminder for the times worry sweeps over us.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Father Rejoices That Daughter Died for Christ

Father Rejoices That Daughter Died for Christ - Here is a moving story regarding the persecuted church.

3 Lessons Natural Disasters Teach Us

3 Lessons Natural Disasters Teach UsDisasters happen in a fallen world.

Five Verses That Don't Mean What You Think

Five Verses That Don't Mean What You Think“Do not judge, or you too will be judged" and four other verses worth reexamining.

What about Those Who Have Never Heard of Jesus?

The Who, What, and How of Jesus’ Prayer

The Who, What, and How of Jesus’ Prayer: Praying through Matthew 6:9-13Here’s a pattern for praying through the Model Prayer of Jesus.

The Confederate Flag Controversy

The Confederate Flag Controversy - Joe Carter considers his “9 Things You Should Know” series with a look at the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Sexual Revolution’s Coming Refugee Crisis

The Sexual Revolution’s Coming Refugee Crisis - "The sexual revolution can't keep it's promises."

Membership Matters: 3 Reasons for Church Membership

Membership Matters: 3 Reasons for Church MembershipWhy does church membership matter? Why is church attendance not enough?

Cheering Costly Obedience

Cheering Costly Obedience – “Paul was a risk-taker; I’m a risk-list maker.” 

20 Quotes from Rosaria Butterfield’s New Book on Sexual Identity

20 Quotes from Rosaria Butterfield’s New Book on Sexual IdentityThere are some helpful expressions of truth in these quotes.

Christian Bakers Face $135K Fine

Christian Bakers Face $135K Fine - You’re probably already read about this story, but Joe Carter will get you caught up with the relevant information.

10 Resources To Help You Talk About Homosexuality and Transgender, Biblically

10 Resources To Help You Talk About Homosexuality and Transgender, BiblicallyWatermark Church in Dallas has produced resources that may be helpful in your conversations on these topics. Most are brief video discussions.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sing Something Fresh

Sing Something Fresh – “The hymnal of the church has no back cover. While the canon of Scripture is closed, our hymnal is an ever-expanding work. We ought to continue to sing the historic songs of our faith, but we should not blush to add new expressions of worship to God. We have many new songs that are helpful, richly theological, and thoroughly biblical.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015

50 Resources for Equipping the Church on Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage

50 Resources for Equipping the Church on Homosexuality and Same-Sex MarriageI’ve posted several of these individual articles over the last few months. Here is a large set of resources from The Gospel Coalition.

Dear Christian Friends: Remember You Are Not Home

Dear Christian Friends: Remember You Are Not Home“In talking with a number of Christians last week I was struck by how the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage brought such an unsettling clarity to their perspective.”

40 Questions For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags

40 Questions For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags“If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, here are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution.”  


50 Key Quotes from the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

50 Key Quotes from the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling - In the ruling and four dissents—which total 103 pages—there are dozens of interesting and important quotes. Here are 50 key passages you should know about.

When Jesus Hurried

When Jesus Hurried“No doubt I often need to slow down and relax in view of God’s sovereignty. But when it comes to the way of the cross, I want to learn, like Jesus, to hurry forward.”

What We Can Learn from the Civil Rights Movement

What We Can Learn from the Civil Rights MovementVodie Baucham writes, “I think the civil rights movement teaches us a great deal, both positively and negatively, about how to exercise influence [in a hostile culture].”

Revealing the Life of Jesus through Our Limits and Weakness: Praying through 2 Cor. 4:7-10

Revealing the Life of Jesus through Our Limits and Weakness: Praying through 2 Cor. 4:7-10“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”

Four Appeals to Christians

Four Appeals to Christians - Gavin Ortlund offers 4 appeals to Christians who are embracing gay marriage. Here’s a great line: “Panic and pessimism are out of order for a worldview anchored in belief in an omnipotent God, irresistible grace, and an eternal heaven.”