Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions Ideas

While I have not yet formally written down my 2010 New Year's Resolutions, here are some areas I'm considering. Perhaps some will be helpful to you as well. So, here are some things I'd like to 'resolve' to do/do better next year (along with relevant links):

See you next year, Lord willing!

Let the Nations Be Glad! sermons

I've been encouraged, exhorted--even at times entertained--by these missions messages entitled Let the Nations be Glad. John Piper, like no one else, stirs the believer's heart toward missions. In these messages, Piper asks some big questions like 'What is missions?', 'Why and how ought we do missions?', 'Is missions necessary?', etc. He asks big questions about hell and Calvinism and prayer and suffering. This is classic Piper: quotable, passionate, full of Scripture, Christ-exalting, and even humorous at times when Piper does his 'voices'.

Watch or listen. Put 'em on your computer and/or your device of choice!
May your 2010 be unforgettable and full of wonder as you come to a fuller understanding of the incredible worth of Jesus Christ! Happy New Year!
HT: Jason

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Am I a true believer?

From Martyn Lloyd-Jones devotional.
Picture of a true believer
... he faces the whole of [the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount]. He does not pick and choose, he allows every part of the Bible to speak to him. He is not impatient. He takes time to read it, he does not rush to a few favourite Psalms and use them as a kind of hypnotic when he cannot sleep at night; he allows the whole Word to examine him and to search him. Far from resenting this searching, he welcomes it. He knows it is good for him, so he does not object to the pain ... the true Christian humbles himself under the Word. He agrees that what it says of him is true. Indeed, he says, 'it has not said enough about me'. He does not resent its criticism, nor that of other people, but rather he says to himself, 'They do not say the half, they do not know me' ... He immediately conforms to the Beatitudes because of the effect of the Word upon him, and then, because of that, he desires to conform to the type and pattern set before him. Here is a very good test. Would you like to live the Sermon on the Mount? Is that your true desire? Is that your ambition? If it is, it is a very good and healthy sign. Any man who desires to live this type and kind of life is a Christian. He hungers and thirsts after righteousness; that is the big thing in his life. He is not content with what he is. He says, 'O that I might be like the saints I have read about, like Hudson Taylor, or Brainerd, or Calvin. If only I were like the men who lived in caves and dens and sacrificed and suffered everything for His sake. If only I were like Paul. O that I were more like my blessed Lord Himself.' The man who can say that honestly is a man who is building on the rock. He is conforming to the Beatitudes. Observe the nature of the test. It is not asking whether you are sinless or perfect; it is asking what you would like to be, what you desire to be.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 312-13

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Still, still, still

I found someone who sings worse than me!

This video is hilarious, but the Chritmas Carol itself is actually quite beautiful. According to one web site, "The traditional Austrian carol "Still, Still, Still" is set to the "Salzburg Melody" dating from around 1819. "Silent Night," with words by Joseph Mohr and melody by Franz X. Gruber, is probably the most widely known and sung Christmas hymn in the world. It has been translated into 300+ languages."

Here is the Vienna Boys Choir doing it right!

Here are the English lyrics.

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

Warm Christmas greetings from the Bonhams. May the truth of the Incarnation lead us to the foot of the Cross!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Difference between mercy and grace?

Martin Lloyd Jones is helpful in this talk about mercy and grace:

What is mercy? I think perhaps the best way of approaching it is to compare it with grace ... The best definition of the two that I have ever encountered is this: 'Grace is especially associated with men in their sins: mercy is especially associated with men in their misery' ... while grace looks down upon sin as a whole, mercy looks especially upon the miserable consequences of sin. So that mercy really means a sense of pity plus a desire to relieve the suffering. That is the essential meaning of being merciful; it is pity plus the action. So the Christian has a feeling of pity. His concern about the misery of men and women leads to an anxiety to relieve it ... to have a merciful spirit means the spirit that is displayed when you suddenly find yourself in the
position of having in your power someone who has transgressed against you ... Are you going to say, 'Well now ... this person has transgressed against me; very well, here comes my opportunity'? That is the very antithesis of being merciful ... Or, again, we can describe it as inward sympathy and outward acts in relation to the sorrows and sufferings of others ... The great New Testament illustration of being merciful is the parable of the Good Samaritan. On his journey he sees this poor man who has been in the hands of robbers, stops, and goes across the road to where he is lying. The others have seen the man but have gone on. They may have felt compassion and pity yet they have not done anything about it. But here is a man who is merciful; he is sorry for the victim, goes across the road, dresses the wounds, takes the man with him and makes provision for him. That is being merciful. It does not mean only feeling pity; it means a great desire, and indeed an endeavour, to do something to relieve the situation.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, i, pp. 99-100 (quote taken from Daily Readings with Martin Lloyd-Jones)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snow Day 2009

Thought this should go on the blog for posterity. We will enjoy looking back on this in years to come.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Free Christian Rap download!

Enjoy Shai Linne, Hazakim, Stephen the Levite and others on Lamp Mode's latest FREE release. Pass it on!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Piper article about Mary

This article sets the record straight on the veneration of Mary.
The veneration given to Mary in the Roman Catholic church is beyond what is warranted by the New Testament. In fact, it is astonishing how little we see of Mary in the New Testament. Let us honor her unique motherhood. Let us count her blessed as the mother of our incarnate Lord. But let us not put her on a pedestal that neither she nor Jesus would have approved of.

After she turns up with the disciples praying in the upper room in Acts 1:14, she is never mentioned again in the New Testament. This is astonishing to anyone who thinks that the veneration of Mary was an essential part of early church life. It was not important enough to be mentioned in any of the New Testament books after Acts.

In fact, in the one place where Paul comes close to mentioning Mary, he chooses not to, and simply speaks of generic “woman”: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman” (Galatians 4:4).

And when she is mentioned in Acts 1:14, she is “Mary the mother of Jesus” and listed alongside “his brothers.” This inclusion of the brothers has the effect of minimizing any emerging elevation of Mary as having significance only in being the mother of Jesus, rather than the mother of his brothers as well.

Please read the entire article here.

About Me

Here is my testimony: mike