Friday, February 29, 2008

What are all your beloveds to this Beloved?

You that are yet in the flower of your days, full of health and strength, and, with all the vigor of your spirits, do pursue some one thing, some another, consider, I pray, what are all your beloveds to this Beloved? What have you gotten by them? Let us see the peace, quietness, assurance of everlasting blessedness that they have given you.

Pray study him a little; you love him not, because you know him not. Why does one of you spend his time in idleness and folly, and wasting of precious time, perhaps debauchedly? Merely because you know not our dear Lord Jesus. Why do you spend your 'money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfies not?'

John Owen, Communion with God

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If God's Word isn't saving you, what will?

Fear your own hardness of heart more than anything else. Beware of rigidity, ingratitude, a demanding spirit. Beware of an unmelted heart that is never satisfied. Beware of a mind that looks for excuses not to believe. Beware of the impulse that always finds a reason to delay a response. Beware of thinking how the sermon applies to someone else. God watches how you hear his Word.

Ray Ortlund, Jr in his commentary on Isaiah

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Inexhaustible Grace

If all the world should set themselves to drink free grace, mercy, and pardon, drawing water continually from the wells of salvation; if they should set themselves to draw from one single promise, an angel standing by and crying, 'Drink, O my friends, yea, drink abundantly, take so much grace and pardon as shall be abundantly sufficient for the world of sin which is in every one of you'--they would not be able to sink the grace of the promise one hair's breadth. There is enough for millions of worlds, if they were, because it flows into it from an infinite, bottomless fountain.

Show me the sinner that can spread his iniquities to the dimensions of this grace.

John Owen, Communion with God

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Isaiah hearts the Navy

Isaiah's reaction to the news today that the Navy shot down the failed satellite before it crash-landed on top of him, "YEAH! Where does it say that? [pointing at the computer] Read it to me." After Kristin read the opening lines of the article he was satisfied and said, "They blowed it up! That's what I said they should do a month ago. Can I go jump [on the trampoline] now?" The world outside is safe again for our little fella.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The "spy" is falling, or, how to terrify a 5 year old

A few weeks ago during lunch with my family I mentioned an article I read that morning about a bus-sized US spy satellite that malfunctioned and will tumble to earth in the coming weeks. This news entranced Isaiah who ever since lives his life in fear, ducking for cover when outside, and in general waiting for the inevitable moment of being crushed by a burning bus from space.

I've learned that a 5 year old has no concept of probabilities or how large the earth is. Kristin and I are repeatedly asked by him whether it has landed yet. What's more, sometimes when he hears the sound of a jet flying overhead (a common sound on an air force base) he quivers and braces for impact.

I had no intention of scaring my son and so this is all pretty funny to me, but Kristin (soft-heart that she is) has compassion upon the boy. I get the evil eye from her whenever he brings it up. I think maybe she secretly hopes it'll hit me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ski trip

Many thanks to our loving church family for taking Eli with them on the ski trip to Angel Fire this weekend without his parents. We worried some over whether this was a wise decision, and Eli even expressed doubts over whether this was too much for him, but it turned out to be a great experience. He's the first in our southern family to venture down a snow-covered mountain and now we'd all like to try it ourselves.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

439 words

In this space a couple of months ago I announced my intention to memorize the third chapter of Colossians (439 words) with help from a group of 7 friends. I later decided to finish this work before our pastor began preaching from the chapter, which occured today. Several of my friends finished on-time (or early) and helped me finish too.

As a result I was better prepared than usual for today's sermon. It was easier for me to understand and apply the passage as it was expounded and exhorted by our pastor. Since he typically covers a verse or two a week, it's likely that I'll reap the benefits of my group's labor for the next several month's worth of sermons!

Thanks friends for your help (and expect a small token of my appreciation soon). I plan to continue memorizing Scripture, and for the last several weeks have been learning Desiring God's Fighter verses via this free on-line program that sends me daily e-mail quizzes on a verse a week.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Valentine's Day Challenge

I need to take more seriously my responsibility to improve my marriage. To that end, I have the following plan and would like to know if other husbands will join me with their own?

Sometime this month I will arrange for a babysitter and take Kristin out for a date. Several days before the date I will provide her with the following list of questions* for us to discuss during dinner.

1. What circumstances are challenging or troubling you right now?
2. What decisions that need to be made are most weighing on you?
3. How are you currently experiencing temptation? This week? In this season?
4. Are you more aware of your sin or how Christ is at work in you?
5. In what ways do you most need my leadership?
6. Where do you need me to provide more spiritual direction/nurture?
7. What passage of scripture would you like us to meditate on together? As a family?
8. How can I help you set priorities?
9. In what area do we need to be more unified?
10. Do you know where I most need your help/input

That's the plan. Kinda simple, but I think it'll be good. So anybody else want to encourage me in this and possibly do something similar with your wife this month?

*questions taken from Family Room blog Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg Md.