• Pollination and Insuppressible Glory

    The spectacular footage in this clip from 3.16 on led me to marvel, and to worship God: “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1) Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg  honors a blend of evolutionary thought mingled with the neo-pagan mysticism of the Gaia hypothesis, suppressing the truth by not giving honour to God as God, nor giving thanks to Him (Rom. 1:18-21). But the footage reveals tremendous intricacy and mystery declaring God’s glory all around us, even in a groaning, fallen creation (Rom. 8:22). How incredibly beautiful heavenly glory must be. How incredibly beautiful and marvelous the new creation will be!

    –from the archives

  • A Peaceful Home

    800px-Rzhevskaya_Antonina_A_Marry_MomentMy husband likes peace and quiet, especially after a day of work. Just before he came home last week, I realized how things at home would strike him. Lots of lights were on, the washer and dryer were both going, I had water running as I did dishes, the kids were shouting (happy shouting) back and forth about something, running up and down the stairs, and Cantata 140 was blaring so that I could hear it wherever I went in the house.

    Peace and quiet are so connected to each other in our vocabulary and our thinking that it is difficult to think about them separately. In our home that afternoon, we had peace – there was no strife, no fighting, no anger, no crying! (It’s not like that all the time…) People were at peace with each other; we were just loud and active. Peace? Yes. Quiet? No. Continue reading

  • Eyelashes and Morals

    BB-BeaIt doesn’t take much life experience to know that, given a choice, a young man will choose a young woman with a beautiful face and gorgeous figure over an average woman with weak eyes. Even biblical patriarchs were susceptible to an attractive external. “Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel” (Genesis 29:16–18a). He picked the pretty girl. And in a time before Maybelline, she was probably born with it. She didn’t beat Leah at the win-the-man game because she was better at application and had contacts. God made Rachel more beautiful than her sister, and it won her the love of the husband. Continue reading

  • The Greatest Promotion

    latimer-ridley-woodcut-detailThe English Reformer Hugh Latimer (c.1487-1555) wrote the following to his friend and fellow minister, Nicholas Ridley, as they sat imprisoned awaiting a likely death penalty by burning during the reign of Queen Mary:

    “Be of good cheer in the Lord, remember what he requires of you, and what he promises you. Our common enemy will do no more than God will permit him. “God is faithful, which will not suffer us to be tempted above our strength,” &c. They can but kill the body, which must die regardless. They cannot even do that when they want, but when God wills, when the appointed time has come… Give a reasonable account of your faith, if they will quietly hear you; if not, you know, in a wicked place of judgment a man may keep silence following the example of Christ. Don’t let them deceive you… with their fallacies. As Paul says, “Let no man deceive you.” Continue reading

  • Facebook, Privacy, and Marital Oneness

    IMG_4614Maybe it’s me, but there seem to be an awful lot of couples posting things on their facebook accounts to each other about their relationship. From “you’re the best boyfriend ever” to “he said ______ when he proposed” to “I’m pregnant, Honey”.

    Now, the emotional side of a relationship is just as real as the sexual one. Making out in public is unacceptable, but the emotional equivalent is almost expected online. Nobody minds if a couple holds hands, or gives each other a peck on the cheek, but even unbelievers keep public displays of affection under control when there are other people around. But so often, Christian couples are “over the top” in their emotional interaction online. Continue reading

  • A Good Elder

    The Ordination of Elders in a Scottish Kirk, 1891 “At the meetings of Session, his genial temper, his strong good sense, his business habits, and his familiarity with the law and practice of the church made him a model clerk.

    But, it was in his relations to the congregation generally, and to the members residing in his own district in particular, that his value as an elder most strikingly appeared. He was always ready with a warm welcome to every new member, and had a kind word even for the stranger who might turn aside to worship in the New North for a single day. His presence at both services on Sabbath could be confidently reckoned on; and those who attended the prayer meeting will not soon forget the simplicity, the directness, and the fervor of his prayers. Continue reading

  • Mentoring 101

    1024px-Pieter_de_Hooch_-_At_the_Linen_Closet“Mentoring is so American,” a friend from another country told me. We were talking about older women mentoring younger women, and she had a different take on it than most people around me. “Where I’m from, people would never do it. They just take part in the life of the church and try to be faithful in their personal lives.” What she meant was that the early 21st century American version of mentoring—more of a Evangelical, programmatic Titus 2 system—was something unique to this culture. And she is probably right: the one-on-one coffee dates, note taking, and arranged, lay shepherding isn’t exactly something that has a timeless or universal feel. Not that this “American” version of mentoring is wrong, it’s just a cultural expression of Protestant America trying to help the older women teach the younger women. Continue reading

  • Thinking About Jesus

    Open Bible“Brothers and sisters, we ought to think of Jesus Christ as we do of God, as judge of the living and the dead. And we ought not to belittle the one who is our salvation, for when we belittle him, we also hope to receive but little. And those who listen as though these are small matters do wrong, and we also do wrong, when we fail to acknowledge from where and by whom and to what place we were called, and how much suffering Jesus Christ endured for our sake.

    What repayment, then shall we give to him, or what fruit worthy of what he has given to us? And how many holy acts do we owe him? For he has given us the light; as a father he has called us children; he saved us when we were perishing. What praise, then, shall we give to him, or what repayment in return for what we have received? Our minds were blinded, and we worshiped stones and wood and gold and silver and brass, things made by humans; indeed, our whole life was nothing but death. Continue reading