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Status Report: July

Sitting…in my living room, watching Bill O’Reilly. That is, I’m fast-forwarding through it because it’s all about Casey Anthony and I’m completely sick of the story, so I refuse to watch anything more on it. I will say this: There’s something to be said for publication bans on news about high profile cases until after the case is over.It preserves a pool of unbiased possible jurors who are more representative of the general population, and by that I mean potential jurors who haven’t just crawled out from under a rock yesterday.

Ready…for a couple of quiet days without visitors or appointments or dogs with digestive problems and special diets.

Choosing…to just go with the flow and enjoy whatever the days bring. Except for the doggy digestive problems. There’s no way to enjoy those.

Looking forward…to a road trip. The first really big road trip in several years. I can’t wait. 

Anticipating…being a Grandma. 

Planning…to make a batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam with the rhubarb I just picked. 

Reading…How to Write a Sentence by Stanley Fish. My opinion? It’s a book that starts with a bang and fizzles as it moves forward. Yep, the first chapter was the best. I am going to finish it, though; I am going to finish…

Also reading40 Questions About the Law by Tom Schreiner. It’s slow going because it requires concentration while reading. In other words, it’s not bedtime reading and bedtime reading is about all the reading I’ve been able to do lately. 

Enjoyed…a few hours of work the backyard and garden this afternoon. It was sunny, but not too hot, and the dogs were content to just rest on the grass and watch me. Perfect…except for the mosquitoes.

Thinking…about music in the church. The music in my church is changing and it’s making it less enjoyable for me to participate. There are so many songs I don’t know and quite a few songs that are, frankly, not singable for a congregation. And sometimes the music is so loud that it’s actually painful for me and I’ve caught myself involuntarily cringing. I love the people in my church—I love my church—but the first half of the service is often an endurance session. How can I stop dreading the first half of the service? And how important is this, anyway?

Reflecting…on time. History. Life. Generations growing old, new ones coming after. Old roles given up and new roles taken on. And God who is sovereign over it all, carrying things along according to his plan, giving and taking away, always faithful, with mercies that never come to an end.



Round the Sphere Again: Three Points x 2

On Redemptive History
from Jonathan Edwards.  

  1. All of history is redemptive history.
  2. This great work is carried on through the application of redemption to individuals throughout history.
  3. God has been steadily saving a people through one great plan worked out in successive eras of history.

Read the whole piece by Joe Rigney at Desiring God Blog.

On OT Sacrifices
from Hebrews 10. 

  1. The OT sacrifices shadowed good things to come.
  2. The OT sacrifices never saved anyone.
  3. The OT sacrifices reminded of sin.

Read the whole piece by David Murray at Head Heart Hand.


A Catechism for Girls and Boys

Part II: Questions about The Ten Commandments

41. Q. Is God pleased with those who do not love and obey him?
       A. No. ‘God is angry with the wicked every day’ 1 Cor 16:22).

(Click through to read scriptural proof.)

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Sunday Hymn: Join All the Glorious Names

Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too mean to speak His worth,
To poor to set my Savior forth.

But O what gentle terms,
What condescending ways,
Doth our Redeemer use
To teach his heav’nly grace!
Mine eyes with joy and wonder see
What forms of love He bears for me.

Arrayed in mortal flesh,
He like an angel stands,
And holds the promises
And pardons in His hands;
Commissioned from His Father’s throne
To make His grace to mortals known.

Great prophet of my God,
My tongue would bless Thy name,
By Thee the joyful news
Of our salvation came,
The joyful news of sin forgiv’n
Of hell subdued, and peace with Heav’n.

Be Thou my counselor,
My pattern, and my guide,
And through this desert land
Still keep me near thy side:
Nor let my feet e’er run astray
Nor rove nor seek the crooked way.

I love my Shepherd’s voice,
His watchful eyes shall keep
My wand’ring soul among
The thousands of His sheep:
He feeds His flock, He calls their names,
His bosom bears the tender lambs.

To this dear surety’s hand
Will I commit my cause;
He answers and fulfils
His Father’s broken laws:
Behold my soul at freedom set!
My surety paid the dreadful debt.

Jesus, my great high priest,
Offered His blood, and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside:
His powerful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the throne.

My advocate appears
For my defense on high;
The Father bows His ears,
And lays His thunder by:
Not all that hell or sin can say
Shall turn His heart, His love away.

My dear almighty Lord,
My conqueror and my King,
Thy scepter and Thy sword,
Thy reigning grace I sing:
Thine is the power; behold I sit
In willing bonds beneath Thy feet.

Now let my soul arise,
And tread the tempter down;
My captain leads me forth
To conquest and a crown:
A feeble saint shall win the day,
Though death and hell obstruct the way.

Should all the hosts of death,
And powers of hell unknown,
Put their most dreadful forms
Of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe, for Christ displays
Superior power, and guardian grace.

—Isaac Watts

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. 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.


Round the Sphere Again: Terminology

Today was Canada Day, Canada’s holiday that’s the equivalent to (sort of) American Independence Day. We celebrate in much the same way, but there’ll be no fireworks where I live. It’s too light at any decent hour for that.

Here are a couple of interesting links dealing with one of my favorite subjects—words and word meaning.

This is one of my pet peeve words, at least when it’s used to describe the human condition since the fall. And I’ve been hearing it used that way a lot lately. The trouble with brokenness is that it downplays our problem; it’s true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. 

Randy Newman of The Gospel Coalition Blog writes: 

God describes our sin many ways—almost all of which are far worse than “broken.” We’re rebellious, idolatrous, lost, enslaved, disobedient, adulterous, and—in case the point wasn’t pressed far enough—dead. If we see our sin as mere brokenness, our repentance and abhorrence at sin won’t push us in the opposite direction hard enough. And our appreciation of the cross as the only cure will be replaced with self-effort and legalism.

You really must read the whole piece—and the discussion in the comments, too.

I first heard this term a few years ago. I’ve never seen it defined and it isn’t one of God’s attributes in any of the systematic theologies I have. When I first heard it, it was used to mean something like this: to only, always, and ever wish good things, and only good things, for everyone.

Brandon Watson at Siris discusses the history of this word, its possible meanings, and its use for stating the problem of evil.