Season your words
“Every day, our words could write a book of 50-60 pages (cited by John MacArthur in his sermon ‘Exposing the Truth About Men’s Hearts’). As you consider the book that might be made of your words, what would it look like? Would it be a book you would like to give away as a birthday present? Would it be a book you could read to the grandkids? More importantly, would it be a book you would be content to sit down and read with the Lord?”
– Rev. Andrew de Vries, in his article “Talk the talk” in the May 2013 edition of Faith in Focus
“I can’t even imagine the self control required to work at a bubble wrap factory.” – attributed to Bill Murray
Technically true can be completely false
Proberbs 18:17 tells us how important it is to hear both sides of a story: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” In his book, How to know God exists, Ray Comfort recounts a story, that while not true, shows what can happen if you are stuck with hearing a story from just one source.
“The story is told of a symbolic foot race that took place between Russia and the U.S. during the Cold War. The very best athlete from each country compete to see who was superior. The Amerian runner won. The next day, the Soviet newspaper headline read: ‘Russia comes in second in big race; US comes in next to last.'”
Best bumper stickers
As seen on the back bumpers of cars all over…
- What if there were no hypothetical questions?
- Eschew obfuscation
- If you can read this, I can hit my brakes and sue you.
- If you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry?
- How is it possible to have a civil war?
- A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
- Five out of four people have trouble with fractions
Evolution is a non-starter
“Survival of the fittest doesn’t explain the arrival of the fittest.”
– Dr. Donald Batten, explaining in the documentary Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels, that while the process of natural selection can whittle down the a species to only the fittest few, it isn’t a creative force – it pares things down, but can’t explain the orgin of anything new.
Host as you are
Have you ever said, We’ll start asking people over when…
- we tidy up the house,
- our kids our older
- our kids are better behaved
- we move into a larger place
- we get a proper dining room table
- we have time to shop for/cook a special meal
But blogger Jack King encourages us to do away with the excuses and consider offering our guests “scruffy hospitality.” He explains:
“Scruffy hospitality means you’re not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home. Scruffy hospitality means you hunger more for good conversation and serving a simple meal of what you have, not what you don’t have. Scruffy hospitality means you’re more interested in quality conversation than the impression your home or lawn makes. If we only share meals with friends when we’re excellent, we aren’t truly sharing life together. Don’t allow a to-do list to disqualify you from an evening with people you’re called to love in friendship….. We tell our guests ‘come as you are,’ perhaps we should tell ourselves ‘host as you are.’ ….What does it look like to welcome people into my humility rather than my standard of excellence? The playroom may not be tidy. Our kids, who are lovely and enjoyable, may become noisy and cranky around 7 pm. Dinners may be sponsored entirely by Trader Joe’s frozen section…. But why would I withhold an invitation simply because I can’t make dinner from scratch?”
On reading children dramatic works
“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.” – C.S. Lewis, On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature
Jesus’ impact on our culture today
Twenty years ago Preysbyterian pastor D. James Kennedy wrote a book exploring the question What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? As Kennedy noted, Christ’s influence has been such that the whole world counts times as Before Christ (B.C.) and Anno Domini (A.D.) which is Latin for “in the year of the Lord.” It is an irony, Kennedy writes, “that the most vitriolic atheist writing a propagandistic letter to a friend must acknowledge Christ when he dates that letter.”
But the irony doesn’t stop there. The very same people who shake their fist at God benefit from Christ’s influence. The following is a short list of some of the very best features of our culture and civilization that can be attributed, as Kennedy does, to Jesus’ lasting impact:
- hospitals were started back in the Middle Ages by Christians
- slavery was abolished by Christians
- most universities were begun by Christians
- literacy for the masses was begun so that even peasants could read the Bible
- modern science was developed by Christians to investigate the wonders God has wrought
- we owe the seperation of powers in government to the Christian understanding of man’s corrupt nature – if we can’t be ruled by angels, then let us at least ensure no one devil gets his hands on all the power
- Capitalism and free enterprise are based on property rights found in the Bible
- the common man was elevated, and we began to have a higher regard for human life, based on the understanding all of mankind is made in God’s image
Henry VIII to Pope: “Go away, but the title can stay “
For almost 500 years now, to this present day, British monarchs have gone by the title “Defender of the Faith.” We were until last year ruled by Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith. The current King Charles is no longer officially known as “defender of the faith” in Canada, but retained the title as Great Britain’s king.
This title finds its origin back in 1521, when as a reward for service rendered, the Pope gave the English king this “Defender of the Faith” designation. What did Henry VIII do to warrant such an impressive title? He wrote a pamphlet titled, Declaration of the Seven Sacreaments Against Martin Luther. In it Henry defended the Pope and attacked Luther.
But a scant nine years later this Roman Catholic “Defender of the Faith” broke with Rome, and started the Anglican church. In response the Pope revoked his title, but the English Parliament later restored it. So the official head of the Anglican church bears a title first awarded to the very first Anglican King by none other than the Pope.
Photo credit: Shutterstock/ Michael Tubi