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Thursday
Jan292015

Thankful Thursday

Not the actual golden retriever puppy from the walk this morning, but close.

This week I’ve been thankful for 

  • noticeably longer days, especially in the evening. We’re gaining 5 minutes of daylight per day now and I’m thankful for every one of those minutes.
  • puppies. There are a couple of puppies I see regularly when I’m walking my son’s big, black German shepherd—and he loves them. He’s six years old, but he still loves running with puppies through the fresh snowy woods. I’m thankful that I can get my cute puppy fix with other peoples’ puppies, or I’d be tempted to get one of my own. And the last thing we need is another dog in the extended family.
  • for my grandchildren, all four of them. The baby is getting rolls of baby fat, and smiling and laughing. I’m thankful he is growing and developing. I’m thankful the older three are growing and learning, too.
  • for opportunities for my youngest son and a project that suits his talents. (And for the snow shovelling he’s doing right now as I write this.)
  • God’s promises, and Jesus Christ, in whom (and through whom) they all find their “Yes!”

Also thankful today:

What are you thankful for? 

Tuesday
Jan272015

Theological Term of the Week

theology proper
The branch of theology that studies what the Bible teaches about God, and includes the study of God’s existence, his attributes, his works, and the Trinity. 

  • Two scripture texts that teach something about God’s nature: 

    For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. (Deuteronomy 32:3-4 ESV)

    This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?— the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. (Psalm 18:30-32 ESV)

  • From the Westminster Confession of Faith:
  • CHAPTER II.

    Of God, and of the Holy Trinity.

    There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for, His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.

    II. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleaseth. In His sight all things are open and manifest, His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain. He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them.

    III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.

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Monday
Jan262015

Heidelberg Catechism

Question 72. Does this outward washing with water itself wash away sins? 

Answer: No, only Jesus Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins. 

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

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Monday
Jan262015

Getting More Than We Want

When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting on pretty well (in the sense that some of his bad habits are now corrected), he often feels that it would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly. When troubles come along—illnesses, money troubles, new kinds of temptation—he is disappointed. These things, he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days; but why now? Because God is forcing him on, or up, to a higher level: putting him into situations where he will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he ever dreamed of being before. It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us…

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. 

—C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity.

Related quotes:

Saturday
Jan242015

Sunday's Hymn: Man of Sorrows!

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;
Spotless Lamb of God was he;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Lifted up was he to die,
“It is finished!” was his cry:
Now in heav’n exalted high:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

When he comes, our glorious King,
All his ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

 Philip P. Bliss

Other hymns, worship songs, prayers, sermons excerpts, or quotes posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.