Archive for the 'Other Blog' Category

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The Christian Struggle with Mental Illness | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer

Part of the struggle is discerning the extent of the spiritual issue with mental health. How much is physiological and how much is spiritual ? Is mental illness a punishment for sin or a natural illness?

We all have spiritual struggles: struggling with our identity in Christ, receiving forgiveness, living with joy. With mental illness, the struggle becomes much more complicated.

Is it something that can only be resolved with a deeper understanding of the gospel and closer relationship with Christ and others, or can it be impacted by some external influence—medication, counseling, etc.?

Capitalizing Pronouns Referring to Deity

Meditate on the Word of the Lord Day and Night | Desiring God – This is longer than most blog posts, but it’s very good. It’s based on Psalm 1. One interesting thing it addresses is the word ‘prosper’.

The Word of God informs prayer. This means that the Word tells us what to pray and becomes itself the content of our prayer. When you know the mind of God in his Word, you pray the mind of God in your prayers.

Let’s think about the blessing that comes from delighting in and meditating on the Word day and night.

Man With Jeremiah 29:11 Tattoo Recounts His Time In Babylonian Captivity | The Babylon Bee – I should tell you that this is humor, since some might not get that.

I was very surprised to see a photo of my bookshelf on another article at Babylon Bee. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

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Book Tribalism | CCW – Christian Communicators Worldwide – I’m not exactly sure what they’re trying to say here. But I do know that it’s good, of course; and it’s bad. It has caused me to think about what and who I read. The video they link to is amazing. I’ve seen in at least a couple of times and may have posted it before.

Reformed Theology & John 3:16 by Burk Parsons

Visual Theology on Pinterest – Infographics

I guess I might have been wrong about the premise of the Daniel Diet mistreating Scripture.
Archaeologists Discover Prophet Daniel's Weight Loss Diary | The Babylon Bee

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5 Reasons Not to Waste Your Leisure Time

Where Do the Prayers Come from in “The Valley of Vision”? And Sundry Questions | TGC

Does God Talk to Us? A Post by Michael Horton

You Were Made to Meditate

Also see:
Owen and Watson on Meditating on Scripture | Scripture Zealot blog
Book Review: God's Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation | Scripture Zealot blog

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I finally found a way of articulating why, among other reasons, I’m not a fan of Christian movies:

Computers generate more details than the eye can process. Contrast that with the way the Bible tells stories, where there are typically gaps for the reader to fill in. Less is more: The Bible’s reticence to color in the details actually makes it more liable to be understood in a variety of different times and places. If we let an artist or filmmaker supply all the details, our imaginations begin to atrophy.

Discipleship in the Age of the Spectacle | Desiring God

I’m not saying I think Christian movies are wrong, or it’s wrong to watch them. The few good ones are certainly better than most of the other stuff that’s out there. That’s only my opinon.

I admit that I liked the movie The Nativity. It had no depictions of Jesus, as an adult anyway, which I also try to stay away from. John Owen, among many others, writes about that pretty extensively and forcefully. I’m not as dogmatic as he is though.

Exercise Makes Our Muscles Work Better With Age – The New York Times

Wisely Handling the Book of Proverbs

“Answer not a fool according to his folly” (26:4a). Then, in the very next verse, we read, “Answer a fool according to his folly” (26:5a)

I love the refutation of myths and false sayings. I believed one of these, so I’m guilty too.
Urban Legends: The Preacher’s Edition | TGC

HT: Links I Like | Blogging Theologically

(HT stands for Hat Tip–giving credit where a link is found. I don’t do this enough, especially since I get a lot of links from him.)

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Here is a post I found in my Drafts that I apparently didn’t put up.

John Calvin's 4 Rules of Prayer by Joel Beeke | Ligonier Ministries Blog

The Christian Reader's Resource Guide | Gospel Relevance

Why We Should Read Books | MOS – Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

The Bible Is Not an Instruction Manual

“But what will really save the lost world? Let me tell you: none of our complaints against it.”

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Read Better with Baxter

What Your Complaining Says about God

The Secrets of God in Our Suffering | Desiring God

Book Review: Stop Loving the World – Meet the Puritans

Does God’s Love For Us Change?

The author, Mark Jones, is quoting the Puritan Stephen Charnock (the inner quote).

“The more likeness we have to [God], the more love we shall have from him….If God loves holiness in a lower measure, much more will he love it in a higher degree, because then his image is more illustrious and beautiful, and comes nearer to the lively lineaments of his own infinite purity….(Jn. 14:21)….he loves a holy man for some resemblance to him in his nature; but when there is an abounding in sanctified dispositions suitable to it, there is an increase of favor; the more we resemble the original, the more shall we enjoy the blessedness of that original: as any partake more of the Divine likeness, they partake more of the Divine happiness.”
This is a remarkable quote [from Charnock] in today’s context where one frequently hears the very opposite of what Charnock affirms. These words from Charnock can even be applied to Christ during his earthly life, where “Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Lk. 2:52) (emphasis mine).

I always believed (as far as I can remember) that just as we can grieve and quench the Spirit (along with rejecting Him), we can please God. These days we are so careful to make it clear that we can’t change our standing with God by our behavior. Our righteousness and general favorableness before God is on the basis of what Christ has done for us. Our minuscule good deeds aren’t going to change that. But that doesn’t mean we can’t please God, or that he sees everyone exactly equal to the next. Scripture shows us this over and over. See everything from how Jesus treated some of the disciples, to Paul exhorting us to please God, and the record in Revelation of how Jesus spoke to the various churches. Read the whole article below.

Can God’s Love for Us (and Christ) Increase? – Reformation21 Blog

For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done.
Matthew 16:27 HCSB

Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more.
Luke 12:48b HCSB

This is no cause for pride for those who feel they have been given a lot if they are to realize that everything is from God (1 Corinthians 4:7) and if we compare ourselves to God (Isaiah 55:8-9) and not to others. Also see 1 Corinthians 1:26 and all of the others I didn’t think of. (That was kind of a joke.)

For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 HCSB

so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him as you bear fruit in every good work, and as you grow in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:10 NRSV

It’s only natural to want to please our heavenly Father out of our love for him, and it’s good for us (Romans 12:2). If we are lacking in any of this, we need to remember to pray in faith because these things are God’s will for us (1 John 5:14-15).

Of course, what Christ has done equally for all of the elect still stands. I would also like to state that I don’t think there will be various ‘levels’ in heaven, only various rewards of praise from God according to what we have done, which would be for another post.

Also see:
Knowing Christ by Mark Jones

What Is Zeal?

I don’t usually just post one link and leave it at that, but given the title of this blog and my lifelong (Christian life) desire for zeal as a Christian and for Scripture, along with always being aware of God’s presence, this one is worth posting by itself.

What Is Zeal? by Joel Beeke

Although, I’m a little disappointed with it. Which means I should write about it more myself. My reading has been going very well lately, and it’s hard to take time out of it for blog writing/posting. I’m not tiring of blogging necessarily. I could use prayer for continued consistency in reading outside of spiritual discipline type stuff. Then if I use my time even better, to be able to start doing some more study, and possibly more blogging.

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Here is one I started and never really finished, so I’ll put it up as an abbreviated holiday link post.

How To Lose Your Zeal for Christ | Challies Dot Com

20 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Exegesis | HeadHeartHand Blog

Carl Trueman on How John Owen Speaks to the Most Pressing Pastoral Issue of Our Day | TGC

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Of the reading of many books… – Reformation21 Blog – more on this balanced view later…

Reflections on the Top 25 Christian Classics by Keith Mathison | Ligonier Ministries Blog

A Modest Proposal: Don’t Tell Everyone about Every Shooting | TGC

Credo Magazine » A very cool John Owen chronology by Lee Comings

More than a Game: A Theology of Sport | Themelios from The Gospel Coalition – This has been mentioned on Twitter about 100 times, but in case any of you missed it, this is a great article on sports. I’ve read about people who say watching sports is bad, like it’s a god, and other people never give it a second thought. This is about sports from a Biblical view.

The Paradox of Chronic Pain

Too often, when I’ve mentioned my chronic pain to fellow believers, they’ve responded with a possible cure or treatment. “You should see a chiropractor.” “How much magnesium are you getting?” “Are you familiar with essential oils?” Certainly these responses mean well, but they aren’t the most loving. Instead, we can offer each other a listening ear, offer sincere encouragement, and pray for the sufferer. I’ve probably received more than 100 potential cures and pieces of advice in the past year, and almost every suggestion has been unique. In other words, what works for one person’s experience of pain most likely won’t work for another’s.

In dealing with various chronic conditions, including pain and mental health issues, I’ve gotten this from all angles, although I’ve had it much less worse than many other people. I could write half a book about this. But that’s not really what the article is about. I just thought I’d post my ‘favorite’ part.

I haven’t quite come to the point where I can say that pain, both physical and mental, is a gift, as is written in the article, or that I see it that way. But without it, I don’t think God would have brought me so much closer to him than otherwise, and I am grateful that God does work through suffering. I can now see the paucity of my commitment and zeal in the past, even though I thought I was so deadly serious about my relationship with God, and now long for much more.

I’ll be working on some posts for after Christmas.

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Seven Sentimental Lies You Might Believe | Desiring God – This is my big pet peeve area. It also mentions the movie The Princess Bride.

Saint Augustine on Prayer | Monergism – Excellent–I love what he says about suffering.

Praying the Bible vs. Interpreting the Bible

God Actually Spoke To Me – This is a rehash of a Piper devotional, which I read originally, but it’s just as great the 2nd time around.

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Luther on Book-Showers and Big, Long, Shaggy Donkey Ears – Reformation21 Blog – The first part of this is one of a few reasons that compelled me to use Professor Horner’s reading plan and spend more time reading the Bible.

[Carl Trueman] An Accidental Feminist? | MOS – Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals – I’ve always felt similarly. It’s also strange when men get to determine what women should and shouldn’t be able to do outside of what the Bible clearly states for the church. That’s why the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood always kind of creeped me out.

How Reading Can Transform Your Health | HeadHeartHand Blog

Baker Book House Church Connection | Frustrated with the Times We’re Living In? Some Advice from Chuck Colson

When you think you know the Bible but you don’t… | Cryptotheology – Why Bible trivia might be an enlightening thing if done well

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I’m still here and still have ideas for posts. The mojo should come back at some point, God willing.

Baker Book House Church Connection | How Well Do You Really Know Greek? – Can we even trust our commentaries?

8 Reasons We Need the Puritans | The Gospel Coalition

Jesus our Pilot « The Reformed Reader – God is not our “co-pilot”. If you hear somebody say this, in the most polite manner, tell them it’s idiotic.

How I Read, Take Notes, and Process Information from Books — Danny Zacharias – Not the typical methods that I’ve seen

You Should Care | Monergism – Monergism and Seinfeld?

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God: An Interview with R.C. Sproul Jr. on Vimeo

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I realize I haven’t been blogging much lately. Hopefully I’ll get back into it at some point.

Audio Bible Name Pronunciation Tool | The Bible Workshop

Does the Gospel Threaten? – Reformation21 Blog – Fear God; Fear the Gospel

Baker Book House Church Connection | John Frame’s Thoughts on Joel Osteen – He goes way easier on him than I would, and leaves out much of what I’ve seen of him, including interviews where he can’t bring himself to say that Jesus is the only way to the Father. But it somehow seems instructive to me, since he seems to have thought this out and tried to look at him objectively.

My Bible… My Idol? – It would be nice if this could be put to rest.

‘Yeah, well they all thought the earth was flat, too…’ | Cryptotheology – Not everybody thought the earth was flat; the Bible is silent on it. (So I wish some people would stop using it as an argument!)

How Memorization Feeds Your Imagination | The Gospel Coalition

When we have the entire Bible available as an app on our smartphones, it seems an unnecessary waste of time and effort to memorize specific verses or the grand narrative of the story. By relying on technology to do our remembering for us, we have forgotten the moral aspect of memorization. “A trained memory wasn’t just about gaining easy access to information,” says Jonathan Foer, referring to the ancient world, “it was about strengthening one’s personal ethics and becoming a more complete person.” Foer adds that the thinking of the ancients was that only through memorization could ideas truly be incorporated into one’s psyche and their values absorbed. “Indeed, the single most common theme in the lives of the saints—besides their superhuman goodness—is their often extraordinary memories,” Foer notes.

Albert Einstein reportedly said, “Never memorize something that you can look up.” That doesn’t apply to Scripture.

I memorize for many reasons. It’s obviously a gift from God because it’s not something I could normally do. One of the lesser reasons I memorize Scripture, which may be paranoid, is that if I ever become blind, I will have a lot of Scripture in my head. It’s the same reason I collect free Christian audio books when they’re offered. I can certainly confirm what’s written in this article, as can just about everyone else who has Scripture memorized. It’s a great angle to look at it from.

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Logic Proves Women Are Spiritual Leaders Over Men? | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another – Logic. It’s a good thing.

Thursday is for Thinkers: How to Love a Loved One with Mental Illness | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer

50 Micro-Book Reviews from 2014 | Scribblepreach

Until Someone Unsettles It | Blog and Mablog – My annual link defending young earth

Surveying the Text: Ecclesiastes | Blog and Mablog – Another from Doug Wilson – A good intro to Ecclesiastes