This Thanksgiving Holiday was a wonderful one for my family. We had the opportunity to visit on various occasions with almost all of our family. I am thankful for my family.
The saddest moment of Thanksgiving occurred on the drive home on Thursday night from dinner. The kids were quiet (it was the movie, not the Turkey induced coma, which came later). The route that I travel home is mostly rural, and mostly without street lights, so it was difficult to miss the flashing arrow sign pointing to a local “beer joint” in the middle of nowhere. As bad as it bothers me that such a place exists, what was on the sign bothered me even more. The message on the sign read, “Thanksgiving Potluck, 11/27/14.” I was almost moved to tears. My thoughts immediately turned to the body of Christ.
How far have we fallen, that those who are down and out, those who are hopeless and alone must find their sense of community and belonging underneath a neon sign rather than in the homes of those who name the name of “Christ”? I was broken-hearted and convicted. It is my prayer that the body of Christ(including myself) will do a better job of being the hands and feet of Christ in the coming months and years of offering God’s hope, mercy, grace, and forgiveness to everyone. That way they will find their comfort, home and community in the the Gospel, and not the bottle.
Millsappian Disclaimer: I realize that not all of these links are “fun” per se. Some are challenging. Yet the title for the post sounded good.
Love Finds A Way This is a great story of a small gift and a great big love.
7 Marks of a Deep Deadly Sin A Sobering call to self examination by Tim Challies
Omaha, Omaha! Can Peyton Manning teach Pastors a thing or two?
A Great Perspective on Ferguson This was written by an African American pastor, Voddie Baucham
To the King of the Ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen 1 Timothy 1:17
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have had a few moments to exhale that have allowed me to try to catch up on a few tasks that have gone lacking. For some time the files in my desk have been out of control. This morning I couldn’t find the particular file I needed so I set about the task of straightening out my files. During this time I ran across several illustrations and quotes that I had filed away for future use. One particular folder was a file on stories of profound forgiveness. I was moved by thinking about these accounts. It reminds me of what D. Martyn Lloyd Jones once wrote:
“…Whenever I see myself before God and realize even something of what my blessed Lord has done for me, I am ready to forgive anybody anything.”
May this be where we find ourselves before God and with men.
The last few months I have found myself immersed in my Doctor of Ministry dissertation. At the present I am currently awaiting feedback on my first draft before I begin a series of revisions ahead of my February 1, 2015, deadline. Typing the final period on my first draft, has given me a much needed time to breathe. Over the course of the last few days, I have begun the painstaking process of catching up on much of what has gone neglected, including some long desired recreational reading and the dusting off of an abandoned blog. I am currently rereading one of the most underrated, and arguably my favorite series of books from my juvenile reading days, The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. I plan to blog a bit about the series in the future. I am also reading H.B. Charles’ new book On Preaching. I hope to publish a review in the coming days, and there will most certainly be some quotes that will be published here in the coming days as well. Thanks for stopping by. Here is a quote to whet your appetite for what is to come.
There are three kinds of preachers: the ones you can listen to, the ones you cannot listen to, and the ones you must listen to. I desire to be the kind of preacher you must listen to. But that requires more than desire. It requires hard work. And that hard work never ends, if you take your preaching seriously. H.B. Charles, On Preaching, 10.
In my sermon prep this week, I came across a sobering and heartbreaking thought by D.A. Carson:
Cheap grace preaches forgiveness without repentance, church membership without rigorous church discipline, discipleship without obedience. In the history of the church, has their ever been another generation with so many nominal Christians and so few real ones
Lord help me to be obedient to the will of your Father in heaven! (Matthew 7:21-23.
“The closer we get to our heavenly home, the growing Christian will—for the right reasons—think more about what awaits him in Heaven. And he will yearn.” Don Whitney
“The hope of a Holy Heaven, to be enjoyed in the company without holy Savior, is a potent motive to holiness now.” J.I. Packer