From the Word
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:1-5)
“Learning never exhausts the mind.” (Leonardo da Vinci)
“Having an open mind is not to be confused with having a hole in the head.” (Gene Mora)
“Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” (G. K. Chesterton)
“My students are unlikely to learn all that I teach them; they are most likely to learn that about which I am most excited.” (D. A. Carson)
“Without any access to moral knowledge, you are just left with political correctness.” (Dallas Willard)
Around the Net
Have you ever felt like giving up? Just throwing in the towel? Have you ever said something like, “I’m tired of praying and not seeing an answer. I’ve been asking God to change this situation for 15 years and nothing ever changes.” Or, “I’m just so tired of all this conflict. I’m just so tired of trying to be a peacemaker. I’m out of here.” Or, “I’m just tired of living. I wish the Lord would just take me home.” The Bible says every believer will be tempted to give up. What can we do when we feel like quitting?
One of C. S. Lewis’ letters touches upon a hot button issue today—and with much hope and grace. “This short letter from C.S. Lewis reminds me of something I heard a Christian leader once say to young men, ‘The struggle is the victory.’ His point was that we cannot allow defeat to keep us from trying to please Christ. We might fall down but we are expected to get back up and press on. He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it, Scripture tells us.”
“Adding members to a worship team, a choir, or really any volunteer team is one of the most important and consequential jobs of a worship leader. It requires patience (when no one is stepping forward), discernment (whether or not someone is gifted), wisdom (is this person suited for a leadership position in the church?), and leadership (am I building a team or expecting it to fall into place?) Here are some red flags to be looking for (in no particular order of importance).”
“I am a pastor in New England, and let me tell you—there is a reason people come from all over the country to see the Fall foliage. There are bright bursts of brilliant crimson and orange on certain trees. When a leaf falls to the ground, it is dead. The beauty of Fall foliage is death. The beauty in Christian death is hard to see sometimes. Winter can be long and bleak. After the leaves fall, our trees will be barren here for over 6 months. But lift your heads, brothers and sisters, because Spring follows Winter. It may be Fall now, but Spring time–and Resurrection Morning–is coming.”
With a few notable exceptions, real journalism is dead in this country, so I’m with Challies on this. “It’s gotten so I almost hate the news. I want to know what’s going on in the world, but I’ve lost confidence that there’s as much as a single organization out there communicating it in a trustworthy way. We hear lots of talk today about fake news, but I’m convinced this is less of a concern than what passes as real news. It takes little more than a brief visit to [insert your favorite, then least-favorite news outlet here], to see how the news is far more (and far less) than the news. If I could dream up the news outlet I want, it would be defined by characteristics like these.
Something to Ponder
The Church, Individually and Together
“We want always to avoid the twin errors of individualism and ecclesiastical collectivism. The former neglects the importance of the Church, and the latter neglects the importance of individual faith and devotion. The former thinks that Jesus is a bachelor and has no bride. The latter forgets that we go to heaven or to hell by ones.
“What is the balance? First, keep the worship of God central in your lives. Look forward to the Lord’s Day. Prepare for it throughout the week, and look back on our worship services with gratitude and affection. Second, cultivate the disciplines of personal holiness. Read your Bible faithfully; pray to God without ceasing; confess your sins regularly; obey God in your individual station.
“The faithful body is made up of faithful members. Faithful members cannot survive outside the faithful body. God balances the demands of individual piety and corporate devotion as we follow Him individually, and as we worship Him together. Both are necessary; do not privilege one over the other.”
– Doug Wilson
The Glory of Creation
The Plotting Bandits
Image Credit: @AmazedByAnimals
Into All the World
“The future is as bright as the promises of God.” (Adoniram Judson)