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Tidbits – December 2023

“You better watch out!”

It’s nearing that time of year again, when you might hear the chorus of a familiar Bing Crosby hit. I always thought it sounds a bit like he was talking about God (he’s not). My friend’s thinking went in a completely different direction, and he wrote his own ending…

He knows when you’ve been sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good,
We’re in a surveillance state!

Next issue for the Supreme Court?

Despite dying over a hundred years ago poet William Cosmo Monkhouse (1840-1901) has his finger on the pulse of today’s culture.

There once was an old man of Lyme
Who married three wives at a time.
When asked, “Why a third?”
He replied, “One’s absurd!
And bigamy, sir, is a crime.”

Lyrics o’ the month

In his song Screen Door, Rich Mullins seemed to be working through James 2:14-26, (and Matthew 7:15-20, Galatians 5:6, Hebrews 6:10, etc.).

It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine
Faith without works baby, it just ain’t happening
One is your left hand, one is your right
It’ll take two strong arms to hold on tight
Some folks cut off their nose, just to spite their face
I think you need some works to show for your alleged faith

Well there’s a difference you know
‘Tween having faith and playing make believe
One will make you grow, the other one just make you sleep
Talk about it but I really think you oughta
Take a leap off of the ship before you claim to walk on water
Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing
It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine

Faith comes from God and every word that He breathes
He lets you take it to your heart, so you can give it hands and feet
It’s gotta be active if it’s gonna be alive
You gotta put it into practice, otherwise…
Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing
It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine

T-shirt Christianity. the best kind

Abort73.com sells shirt to direct people to their website, which offers up compelling and comprehensive information on the evils of abortion. You can buy this shirt and many others at Abort73.com here.

And if you want to create your own t-shirt design, be sure to check out RP’s t-shirt contest.

Spurgeon spouting sense on…

  • EVANGELISM: “Every Christian here is either a missionary or an imposter.”
  • BEATING PROCRASTINATION: “The way to do a great deal is to keep on doing a little. The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything.”
  • FINDING A PERFECT CHURCH: “If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all; and the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.”
  • LOVING GOD’S WORD: “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”

Top 10 math jokes

• Counting in binary is as easy as 01, 10, 11…
• Do you hear about the mathematician who was afraid of negative numbers? He’d stop at nothing to avoid them.

This is either funny or educational

“There are just two kinds of people in this world: those who believe in false dichotomies, and penguins.”

SOURCE: Spotted on a t-shirt

 Laundry tips for guys

  • Shirts have to be changed daily; jeans can last forever.
  • No one sees it, and it doesn’t wrinkle anyway – don’t fold your underwear.
  • Stress relieving tip: when buying black socks, make sure all of them are exactly the same.
  • Pairing sports socks wastes time – make sure you’ve bought just one kind, then dump the mass of them straight into your sock drawer.
  • No one knows how to fold a fitted sheet – don’t try.
  • Washing your shirts in cold will keep your whites from becoming pinks. Only your underwear, towels, sheets, and workout clothes need to be washed in hot.

Nothing like a good (or gross) illustration to clear away the confusion

While it seems safe to say most Reformed Perspective readers didn’t see Fifty Shades of Grey, many professing Christians did. And one of the justifications they used might sound familiar: “I’m not watching it for the sex; I’m watching it for the story.” This is a line that many a Christian has used to justify watching many a film that wouldn’t meet with grandma’s approval. “But grandma,” we say, “we understand the sex scene is vile, but we’re enduring it to get to all the other good stuff in the film.”

However, WORLD magazine writer Emily Whitten says Christians are just lying to themselves with this type of justification. She makes use of a simple illustration to help us see through our self-deception.

“Here’s a quick reality check as to whether the [sex scenes] played a role in your enjoyment: If all the sex in the movie were replaced with [equally] long scenes of the characters’ experiencing recurring diarrhea, would you still find the story as endearing or entertaining? Would you be willing to sit through something so disgusting to get to the love story?  If not, then you are seeing it for the sex scenes at some level.”

SOURCE: Emily Whitten’s “Five myths about Fifty Shades of Grey”

I think I get it, therefore I am

Rene Decartes walks into a bar. The bartender asks, “Would you like a beer?” Descartes replies, “I think not,” and then promptly disappears.

SOURCE: Andy Simmon’s “25 Jokes that make you sound like a genius” in the Sept. 2014 issue of Reader’s Digest

The Bible is a miraculous whole

In my first-year English class our learned professor told the class that the Bible was most certainly the greatest book ever. He praised it for the excellence found in its many parts – I can still remember the quiet awe that came over him when speaking of the Bible’s poetry.

But despite that awe, he wasn’t a Christian. I don’t think he understood how all those excellent parts came together in a remarkable whole. As pastor R.A. Torrey once explained, the unity of the Bible gives evidence of the One Mind behind it all.

“The Bible consists of sixty-six books, written by more than thirty different men, extending in the period of its composition over more than fifteen hundred years; written in three different languages, in many different countries, and by men on every plane of social life, from the herdsman and fisherman and cheap politician up to the king upon his throne; written under all sorts of circumstances; yet in all this wonderful conglomeration, we find an absolute unity of thought.

“A wonderful thing about it is that this unity does not lie on the surface. On the surface there is oftentimes apparent contradiction, and the unity only comes out after deep and protracted study.

“More wonderful yet is the organic character of this unity, beginning in the first book and growing till you come to its culmination in the last book of the Bible. We have first the seed, then the plant, then the bud, then the blossom, then the ripened fruit.

“Suppose a vast building were to be erected, the stones for which were brought from the quarries in Rutland, Vermont; Berea, Ohio; Kasota, Minnesota, and Middletown, Connecticut. Each stone was hewn into final shape in the quarry from which it was brought. These stones were of all varieties of shape and size, cubical, rectangular, cylindrical, etc., but when they were brought together every stone fitted into its place, and when put together there rose before you a temple absolutely perfect in every outline, with its domes, sidewalls, buttresses, arches, transepts–not a gap or a flaw anywhere. How would you account for it? You would say:

‘Back of these individual workers in the quarries was the master-mind of the architect who planned it all, and gave to each individual worker his specifications for the work.’

“So in this marvelous temple of God’s truth which we call the Bible, whose stones have been quarried at periods of time and in places so remote from one another, but where every smallest part fits each other part, we are forced to say that back of the human hands that wrought was the Master-mind that thought.”

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In a Nutshell

Tidbits – November 2023

Practice makes better I had a friend who makes it a point of pride not to open doors for women because. “Women are just as capable of opening doors as men.” True, but he's missed the point of this little politeness. Gifted with greater strength, men could use their power (and some brutes do) to dominate women. Proper Christian chaps in times past took a stand against this misuse and instead put their strength at women’s disposal, doing so in many different ways: helping with chairs, giving up their seat on the bus, carrying packages, holding the song book at church and, yes, opening doors for the fairer sex. It wasn’t that women were incapable – men were just practicing using their strength to help. They were engraining a habit, and modeling it to others, showing how gentle men behave. And since brutes continue to abound it’s clear that many men still need to practice and model this gentlemanly behavior. Pop Quiz Put your biblical knowledge to the test. Order the following events as they occur in the Bible beginning with “1” for the earliest and “10” for the last. Answers are at the bottom of this page. Daniel in the lions’ den Noah’s ark The giving of the Ten Commandments Elijah and the prophets of Baal Solomon building the Temple Samson and Delilah Jesus feeding the 5,000 Saul’s vision on the Damascus road Joseph and his coat of many colors The martyring of Stephen Nellie: a life worth living (27 min) “I’ll play football in heaven,” says John “Nellie” Nelson (1965-2009) who was born with arthrogryposis and couldn’t move any of his joints from his neck down. He was, nevertheless, an assistant football coach for one of the best football programs in the country. What he did with the little he was given showed these young men what living to God’s glory really meant. I first saw this at a film festival a decade back, and was delighted to discover it is now available for free on YouTube. Marital advice from the unmarried I got married later in life, and in my single days I wrote down some advice for the married me that I hoped would be. It was a few things that I, and some other singles, noticed about the very happiest of our married friends. They make it a priority to hug or kiss their spouses hello and goodbye. That mushy stuff may make the kids groan but it sure seems to keep mom and dad happy. While Dutch folk do have a tendency to tease the ones we love, happy couples are also quick to compliment their spouses (men, see Prov. 31:10-31 for a little inspiration). "Dating” is common – they find ways to regularly spend time alone together. While tonight it may have been your wife’s job to make supper, that’s no reason not to thank her for the wonderful meal! The happiest couples regularly thank each other, even for the ordinary routine work they do for one another every day. And the happiest couples grow spiritually together, not just reading the Bible together, but really studying it and praying together. A punny pastor Pastor John Barach posted this bit to his blog some years back, on pulpit exchanges: TERRY: "So when you have a pulpit exchange, you come here and our pastor goes to another church and that pastor goes to another church... It's kind of a domino effect!" ME: "No, Terry. It's the dominee effect." Fly the silly skies WestJet is a Canadian airline known for its humorous flight attendants. The following are some quips attributed to these flying funsters: "Welcome aboard West Jet Flight 245 to Calgary. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised." "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite." "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. After a very hard landing in Edmonton, the flight attendant came on the intercom: "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault… it was the asphalt." Quote of the month “People should know what they believe and why they believe it, and they should know what they don’t believe and why they don’t believe it.” – Dr. Glen Martin A stolen gift In June street evangelist Ray Comfort's new bicycle was stolen, so he ended up going back to the same bike store to buy the very same bike again. He has already spoken with the store owner about God the last visit, so this time he asked the man about his family, and discovered that while he had two children, and had been with their mom for 15 years, they were not married. And this is what Ray then told him: "I told him that if he loved his girlfriend he would marry her. I talked about her eternal salvation and that he was making her a fornicator. I also told him that the Bible begins with a naked couple being commanded by God to have sex, that sex is a gift from God to humanity.... Then I told him a story of a little boy whose dad had a brand new $100 bill in his wallet that he was going to give him as a gift. Not knowing that, the son snuck into his dad’s room, opened the wallet and stole the money. The $100 was going to be his anyway, but he stole it and made something bad out of something that was going to be good. I said, 'That’s what you’ve done with God’s gift of sex.'" SOURCE: Ray Comfort's Facebook post of June 10, 2014 Anagram arrangements Sometimes the exact same letters can be used to say the same thing in another way, as happens in the anagrams below. Astronomer: Moon starer The eyes: They see The Morse Code: Here come dots Slot Machines: Cash lost in me Snooze Alarms: Alas! No more Z's A decimal point: I'm a dot in place The earthquakes: That queer shake Eleven plus two: Twelve plus one Butterfly: Flutter-by Vacation Times: I'm Not as Active Source: the world wide web Dad joke of the month Two atoms are walking down a road when one says, “Oh no, I’ve lost my electron!” “Are you sure?” asks the second. “Yes,” says the first, “I’m positive!” Source: 3-2-1 Penguins – The Cheating Scales of BullaManka Unromantic… or just thrifty? Rene Gutteridge’s romance novel My Life as a Doormat has a rather creative introduction on being a romantic on the cheap: "I’m practical. Practical people can be romantics. I don’t think the two contradict each other. Sure, I cringe when an insane amount of money is spent on a dozen roses, and as I watch them die their slow deaths despite the Evian and the aspirin tablet, I can’t help but wonder what better use there was for forty dollars. Can the feeling of holding roses really match saving the starving children of the world? I simply pose the question. "I’m getting sidetracked. The fact of the matter is that I just see romance differently. I see it in defined spaces, with reason and structure attached. Romance doesn’t necessarily need spontaneity either. Scheduled romance is certainly a viable option for busy people. There’s no reason why a bottle of wine can’t be sought out days ahead of time, why a horse-drawn carriage can’t be ridden in the off-season to save ten dollars. Practicality is a simple frame of mind that in all honesty offers more perks and functionality than such frivolousness." Bringing the Greek fire! “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” – attributed to Plato Answers for "Pop Quiz" The correct order of events is 2, 9, 3, 6, 5, 4, 1, 7, 10, 8 or Noah’s ark Joseph and his coat of many colors The giving of the Ten Commandments Samson and Delilah Solomon building the Temple Elijah and the prophets of Baal Daniel in the lions’ den Jesus feeding the 5,000 The martyring of Stephen Saul’s vision on the Damascus road ...