Is this love?
How can a parent help put a daughter’s crushes in the right context? How can we help her view this boy with discerning eyes? Diane Stark shared her approach in the March 2015 issue of Thriving Family. First she pointed her daughter to 1 Corinthians 13:4-6:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Then she asked her daughter to replace the word “love” in this passage with the boy’s name, to see if it fit. As in “Timmy is patient and kind; he does not envy or boast. Timmy is not arrogant or rude…” What her daughter found is that the boy she was interested in wasn’t all that loving to many of their classmates. Seen in this biblical light, this prince wasn’t quite so charming.
Stark wasn’t done. Next she asked her daughter to insert her own name in this passage to see how well it fit. Though the Stark didn’t share her daughter’s self-evaluation it is safe to say this passage exposed her own room for improvement – this passage exposes us all, and shows us all our need to ask God to continue His transforming work on us, so we can become more and more like Him.
Exegeting God’s other book
“Imagine if we’d let atheists translate all our Bibles? Imagine if we did that, and so the Bible now says, ‘There is no God’ ‘Everything is chaotic and meaningless’ and ‘You are just a piece of shrapnel’ and yet we keep using them. And then we’re shocked that we lose people? ….[Well] we’ve let natural revelation be exegeted, extrapolated, and taught and all the ‘catechisms’ are made by people who hate it, and hate the One who made it. And they hate the people who love the One who made it.“
– N.D. Wilson, director of the Riot and the Dance, on why there is a pressing need for Christians making nature documentaries
A Dutch joke inspired by my neighbor’s cat…
LITTLE GIRL: “Look auntie, this is our new kitten Pepper!”
AUNT: “So is your other kitten named Salt?”
LITTLE GIRL: “No Auntie, that wouldn’t make sense, because Pepper is actually short for Peppermint.”
AUNT: “So what is your other kitten’s name?”
LITTLE GIRL: “Double Salt!”
Sometimes I Wonder…
Sometimes I wonder, My Lord, why
Did you create us with our eye?
Unlike the worm or mole made blind
Who labour in earth’s soil, yet find
Their tasks both noble, right and true
In ink-black solitude, praise You.
Eyes prove the window of our soul
But, do they help us see Truth’s goal?
Did, what Eve saw corrupt her heart?
Can we keep wrong from right apart?
Was Achan not by wealth impressed?
Eyes, led him to sin, he confessed.
And David? Whom the Lord loved so?
That sordid tale! So we might know,
Our eyes are to our soul, the key,
What does that mean for you and me?
Were it not better, we were maimed
And blessed with blindness, than be shamed?
Are we not given to despise?
Job covenanted both his eyes
Not, to be overcome with lust,
But in these things in God to trust,
For, does our God not see our ways?
Lord, shield our eyes, yes, all our days.
– Aart Blokhuis Feb. 29/20
Ravi Zacharias (1946-2020)
The well-known apologist Ravi Zacharias passed away on May 19 of cancer at the age of 74. While his family was Anglican, he didn’t believe until, at age 17, an attempt at suicide landed him in a hospital and while there someone brought his mother a Bible and told her to read John 14 to him. Zacharias said God used verse 19 to turn him: “Because I live, you will also live.” Later, in his book Jesus among other Gods, he summed up that conversion experience this way:
“I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny.”
Called to business
Even in Reformed circles there can be the feeling that ministry is a calling and business is not. But can we glorify God in providing for our families, in creating jobs that allow others to do the same, and in supporting ministries that, without such support, simply couldn’t exist? Yes, ministers and missionaries are vital, but as the Rev. Dick Lucas noted, to reach the ends of the earth with God’s Word we also need those who make it possible for them to do their work:
“You have to have a generation of people raised up to proclaim the Gospel but you also have to have a generation who are prepared to support the Gospel to a sacrificial extent.”
Red and yellow, black and white…
Creationist Ken Ham has a response to racism: he wants us to help people understand their true origins:
“[The Bible] says all people are descendants of one man and one woman, Adam and Eve. That means there’s only one race of people… I remember after talking on this once a man told me, ‘When I filled out my census form and it said, “What race are you?” I wrote down “Adam’s.”’”
On public education
“I think we ought to be plain about this – that unless we preserve the principles of liberty in this department there is no use in trying to preserve them anywhere else. If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.”
– Presbyterian professor J. Gresham Machen, testifying before Congress in 1926, speaking against the formation of a federal Department of Education and the further involvement of the government in education.