Pursuing Beauty

Life_Pharmacy_Westfield_Albany_cosmetics_2013_In 2008, the American YWCA published a report titled “Beauty At Any Cost”: “Every woman in the United States participates in a daily beauty pageant, whether she likes it or not. Engulfed by a popular culture saturated with images of idealized, air-brushed and unattainable female physical beauty”, women are daily pressured to join in the idolatry, even as men, through coveting or lusting, propel the cycle. Continue reading

Post-Christianity, Spurgeon’s Psalm Notes, and the Resurrection

Jerusalem_Tomb_of_the_Garden_Utilisateur_DjampaMany Christians are feeling the erosion of freedoms under post-Christianity in Western nations, or the lack of them in non-Christian nations. As we do, Psalm 2 provides a marvelous reminder of reality, snapping our present contexts into the broader present context. Here are some of Charles Spurgeon’s reflective notes on the Psalm:

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-4) Continue reading

Searching for Adam?

What is the root of our existence? Was there an Adam and Eve? Is their world a lost world, just beginning to be recovered?

How we answer these questions has vast implications for our theology and practice of life. It defines who we are, what God has done, and who God is. The gospel is connected to Genesis: there is the first Adam and the second Adam. Christ, the Eternal Son was intimately involved in the creative origin of humanity: “for by him all things were created… all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) Continue reading

James Gilmour of Mongolia

Gilmour_in_Chinese_DressOriginally from outside of Glasgow, Gilmour (1843–1891) decided to dedicate his life to bringing the gospel to the people of Mongolia. His giftedness and zeal were evident to his friends in college, and some were surprised that he would choose to work in obscurity in a physically difficult place. From his base in Peking (Beijing), Gilmour repeatedly went into Mongolia with little equipment, encouragement, few or no companions, but strong conviction:

“I have been thinking lately over some of the inducements we have to live for Christ, and to confess Him and preach Him before men, not conferring with flesh and blood. Why should we be trammelled by the opinions and customs of men? Continue reading

Compassion without Compromise

The North American shift towards the expectation of the celebration of sexual sin and brokenness is continuing unabated. So what do you do, what will you do when you are asked to celebrate it? How do you respond, how will you respond to those who argue that the pursuit of sin can be reconciled with identification with Christ? How do you, and will you minister to your family members or friends who have been captivated and persuaded of the rightness of spiritually devastating “alternative” lifestyles? How do you deal with your own struggles with sexual sin? Continue reading

Change For Struggling Marriages

IMG_1141 This week’s post is a guest piece written by a couple who were both Christians when they were married, but who had significant relationship struggles in the first few years. They hope that their story encourages other Christian couples who are facing relational challenges, especially if they are hiding those struggles from those who could help.

We were all huddled around a game at the dining room table. The snow was deep and the temperatures frigid; there was no better place to be than together in a warm kitchen. My husband patiently explained the strategy of the game (again) only to be hit with another volley of questions from confused kids. Continue reading

The Love of Christ

Triumph_Name_Jesus_Baciccia“The love of Christ is eternal, because he is eternal. The love of Christ is like himself. The love of Christ, being the love of God, is infallibly effectual. It produces all the good things Christ desires to produce in his people. Christ loves life, grace and holiness into us. He loves us also into a covenant of love with himself. Christ loves us into heaven. How many millions of sins in every one of the elect, every sin sufficient to condemn them, has Christ’s love overcome! What mountains of unbelief has Christ’s love removed! Look at the behavior of any one saint. Consider his heart. See the many sinful stains and spots, the defilement and weakness with which his life is contaminated, and tell me whether the love that bears with all this is not to be admired? And is not Christ’s love the same to thousands every day? What streams of grace flow from Christ’s love every day!” John Owen, Communion With God

Giving Thanks Always, For Everything

pilgrim-thanksgiving-in-plymouth“…Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20)

God’s Word calls us to life that is marked by songs of thanksgiving shared with each other, and directed together to God. God desires this as the tenor of our lives; he wants us to see, and to delight in his goodness. Yet because of our small vision and sin we have far more than we realize to give thanks for, or perhaps more than we want to give thanks for! Two preachers from the past help us out here, as they encourage us to grow in holistic thanksgiving. Continue reading