Monday Musings & Miscellany

I attended one of the most interesting weddings ever. So uniquely done, it was a wedding in the round, if you will, and the meal afterwards was decorated so creatively that I thought I would share it.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The true Christian sees much cause of humiliation in himself. Though he cannot but take sorrowful notice of what passes around him, he is more ready to scrutinize and blame his own misconduct, than that of other men. He confesses that his best is defective and defiled.” John Newton

The simplicity of biblical Christianity has been severely tainted by trying to fit Jesus into a culture that at it’s core rejects the biblical teachings of Jesus. It grieves me that we have to make the distinction “true Christian.” Apparently it was not much different in Newton’s day (19th Century). However, I love what Newton says here about the importance of humility in the midst of the sorrow. I am finally learning that as I consistently consider the wretchedness of my own heart the more equipped I am to share the gospel with those who are not true Christians.

VERSE FOR THE WEEK

Psalm 73:25–26 (ESV) — Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

As a Christian it can be discouraging at times watching those who have no regard for the God of the Bible prosper. You can begin to tell yourself, “What am I doing trying to live for Christ when all I seem to do is struggle and others who reject him seem to be the ones who are blessed?” The reality is, the only way we will understand is when we go into our prayer closet and ask for such understanding.

“…when I thought to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.”

When I do this, I am reminded that I wouldn’t trade anything for the peace and joy and assurance of heaven that I have in Jesus Christ. As I ponder the riches we have in Christ, I am compelled to pray for the lost rather than complain about them. Take some time and read Psalm 73 and things will become clear.

WHY YOU WILL JOIN THE WRONG CHURCH

“After an initial “honeymoon stage,” we begin to see our church’s problems with greater clarity than we see its strengths…Without even realizing it’s happening, we begin to wonder whether our local assembly is the ‘right’ place for us.”

If you know anything about me, you know that I love the “biblical” church. Why do I make that distinction? Because when it comes to churches today you have more flavors to choose from than ice cream at Baskin & Robbins. Much of my life is committed to being a part of building a healthy biblical church, and being a part of one as well. Healthy churches make for healthy Christians.

This is an excellent article which speaks to the reality that no church is perfect, but there are distinctions in a church that help to determine whether it is healthy or not.

THINKING ABOUT GETTING MARRIED…OR WISH YOU HADN’T?

“Some people get married too soon. After love at first sight and a whirlwind romance, they quickly plan a wedding, exchange rings, and settle into a marriage that soon turns sour.”

I got married when I was 19 and had no clue what marriage was even all about, but I was in love and was certain that this was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Tragically, I had no idea what I was doing and 24 years and 5 children later, she filed for divorce and left me for another man. As a result, I was left with the overwhelming task of trying to figure out what happened,  seeking to take responsibility for my part in the failed marriage, and how to move forward as a single dad with five children ages 13 to 22.

That happened 21 years ago and though many scars still remain, since then God has done much healing and restoration since. In 1999 God graciously redeemed me from my own foolishness and gave me a most beautiful treasure in my wife Jenny, with the added bonus of another daughter.

Here is the question. Could this have been prevented? Absolutely! And wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of marriage, this article “10 Issues to Work Through Before You Get Married” by Tim Challies, is a must read, single or married. The article was taken from the book “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers” by Jim Newheiser. While I have not read Newheiser’s book, it certainly has been put on my reading list.

NO MORE GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS

“When you have no purpose for what you’re doing, all you have left is the routine of what you’re doing. Many men trudge to work every day and trudge home every night with little or no sense of why they do what they do.”

Years ago I had the privilege of hearing Tony Evans speak at a pastor’s breakfast in Seattle. It was one of the best messages I had ever heard in which he explained the fall of Satan and when it took place.

This article taken from Evan’s book, “No More Excuses,” seems to be directed at men, it applied to both men and women. I was reminded yet again, and challenged to redeem my time well. A constant battle between flesh and spirit to prevail in using our time for the glory of God and the good of others.

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