Friday, August 28, 2009

The Excellent Wife: Love Believes the Best

[Love] believes all things, hopes all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7.)


The points made in Kendrick's LOVE DARE today are FANTASTIC!!! I cannot copy all of it here but I would like to quote a portion though I feel you are not going to get the full effect of the message and therefore encourage you to read it in its entirety.

"Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal baggage. This is a sad aspect of being human. We have all sinned. But we have this unfortunate tendency to downplay our own negative attributes while putting our partner's failures under a magnifying glass....Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. As much as possible, love focuses on the positive....Your spouse is a living, breathing, endless book to read. Dreams and hopes have yet to be realized. Talents and abilities may be discovered like hidden treasure. But the choice to explore them starts with a decision by you."


Thus far, reading and engaging in THE LOVE DARE has been a very joyful experience. It has also, in a sense, made me feel like a high school/ college student again looking to win the heart of my knight in shining armor. (In those days it would have been a "crush" but today it is my husband of course). What's that saying?..."Giddy as a school girl." Yes, I feel young, innocent, naïve, bubbly, and fresh with the notions of love and romance. I anticipate seeing the man who is my heart's desire and I do my hair up pretty, add a little color to my face (a.k.a light makeup), and pick out a cute outfit. All to win the attention and affection of the one I adore.

And thankfully, I do not have to look far to find him. I do not have to wait by the phone for his call or wonder when I might get to see him again. Will I get a glimpse of him between classes at school? Will he look in my direction or, even better, offer me a smile? My heart skips a beat at the thought of his radiant blue eyes and the cute way his lips curl when he is happy. I know I will see him at the end of the day. I know he will speak to me. But do I "dare" allow myself to become utterly vulnerable and put my heart out there? Yes, I do "dare". EVERYDAY!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Excellent Wife: Love is Not Irritable

THE LOVE DARE by Stephen & Alex Kendrick reminds me today that,
"Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive....The truth is, love does not get angry or hurt unless there is a legitimate and just reason in the sight of God....In each decision, love ultimately lowers your stress and helps you release the venom that can build up inside. It then sets up your heart to respond to your spouse with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation."


God's word says,
"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." (Colossians 3:12-14. ESV.)


To tell you the truth, I am thoroughly enjoying THE LOVE DARE! Like RESPECTABLE SINS by Jerry Bridges, THE LOVE DARE is centered on God, His grace, His word, and Christ with an emphasis on Matthew 7:5...First, take the log out of your own eye!!! I love Matthew 7:5 books because I, of course, cannot change anyone other than myself! I can teach God's little lambs and encourage others however I am not their Holy Spirit and cannot convict nor provoke change. So really, why waste the energy trying and risk stirring up strife? This is not to say I do not make biblical appeals and/or give biblical reproofs as God's word instructs me to do. I hope I am making sense and not just typing gibberish.

THE LOVE DARE has also encouraged me to be creative when coming up with ways to bless my husband daily. A percentage of the "dares" are things I already do for my hubby on a regular basis so I am challenged to go above and beyond and come up with "little somethings" that are completely out of the ordinary. For example, when "dared" to "buy my spouse something that says, 'I was thinking of you today,'" I put a love song to him on his laptop. (It was meant to go onto his I-pod but after hours of failed attempts I had to settle with just placing it in his I-tunes on his computer.) This was in place of picking up his favorite snack while I was at the store, making a "candy run", grabbing him a ICEE at the gas station (which he loves), etc.

Sidebar: Only 72 more pages remaining of THE EXCELLENT WIFE by Martha Peace for me to read. I will, of course, continue with THE LOVE DARE even after I have completed THE EXCELLENT WIFE. And, unless another Matthew 7:5 book is recommended I have yet to read, I will be revisiting RESPECTABLE SINS to refresh on that one!

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11. ESV.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What the World Eats

I found this to be very interesting and informative. See pictures of what the world eats. I think the most thought provoking for me is how much each family in the various countries spend.

More pictures of what the world eats.

These pictures come from the TIME Magazine article "Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pyromaniacs: Telling sinners how to be saved

Pyromaniacs: Telling sinners how to be saved

Between Two Worlds: Depersonalizing God's Wrath and Undermining the Cross

Between Two Worlds: Depersonalizing God's Wrath and Undermining the Cross

Between Two Worlds: William Wilberforce

Between Two Worlds: William Wilberforce

Mark your calendar! International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

(by the Persecuted Church Weblog)

Every November, Christians around the world join together in prayer to remember our Christian brothers and sisters suffering persecution simply because they confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

Continue reading this post.

The Excellent Wife: Love is Not Selfish


Today's LOVE DARE (by Stephen & Alex Kendrick) is based on Romans 12:10 which says,
"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor,"
and Philippians 2:3 which states,
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."
There are so many great points in today's "Love Dare". I wish I could write them all out for you here but I prefer you buy the book and read the whole thing for yourself. I did want to quote it in part but had to sit for a moment to decide what I liked the best about today's reading. I think I'll go with the following:

"If there were ever a word that basically means the opposite of love, it is selfishness....When a husband puts his interests, desires, and priorities in front of his wife, that's a sign of selfishness. When a wife constantly complains about the time and energy she spends meeting the needs of her husband, that's a sign of selfishness. But love "does not seek its own" (1 Corinthians 13:5). Loving couples - the ones who are enjoying the full purpose of marriage - are bent on taking good care of the other flawed human they get to share life with. That's because true love looks for ways to say "yes"....Choosing to love your mate will cause you to say "no" to what you want so you can say "yes" to what they need."



I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3. ESV.)

Road Trip #2


In a previous post I wrote we have been truly blessed this summer to go on two road trips. The first was California to Texas and back and the second covered Northern and Southern California. In seven days we visited five cities and covered 1,215 miles!


The trip was an adventure and a true blessing from my parents and my brother who (between the three of them) paid for EVERYTHING! Every meal, each snack, all treats and souvenirs...not to mention lovely hotels with spacious rooms!





We took a day trip to Hollywood and Beverly Hills where we stood infront of Grauman's Chinese Theater, drove past Paramount and other studios, got as close as possible to the "Hollywood" sign, and stopped by Rodeo Drive.


Our adventures took us down highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway - PCH) along the coast where the view was beautiful but challenged the driver (a.k.a ME)! Hwy 1 went through Big Sur, past Hurst castle, and beside elephant seals bathing on the beach.





In addition to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the San Diego Zoo was on the list of things to see while in CA. EVERY part of our trip echoed God's character, His love for us, His humor, etc. "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." (Hebrews 11:3. ESV.)

"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:5-6. ESV.)


"By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." (Hebrews 11:7. ESV.)


I am infinitely thankful God provided the means for all of us to be able to go on this journey through His creation...this world he gave to us which I find great enjoyment in exploring! Thank you Dad, Mom, and Matthew for the opportunity to see the sights and to teach my children about God's existence!!!

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1. ESV.)

The Ultimate Aim of Serving Others



"Healed For The Sake of Holiness"
John 5:1-18
August 23, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

You Belong to Me



You run, you hide
As tears fall from your eyes
They fall like snow
From a wounded soul
You hold inside
The hurt of great divide
The hole is starting to get old

So come back to the light
To the love, you will find
It’s been here all along
So come back to the start
And you’ll find in your heart
That you always belonged
To me

Just take the rope
I won’t let it go
Give in
We can start again
I’m life, I’m hope
And I’m ready to explode
With how bad I want you back home

So come back to the light
To the love, you will find
It’s been here all along
So come back to the start
And you’ll find in your heart
That you always belonged
To me

You’re my daughter, you’re my son
You’re the one I long to love
And you’ve heard I chose to die
Do you know you’re the reason why?

The Excellent Wife: Love is Kind

Today's LOVE DARE (by Stephen & Alex Kendrick) is based on Ephesians 4:32 which says,
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (ESV)
It suggests I do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness for my husband. After careful thought, I have decided to do something completely out of the ordinary and bake him a cake! Yes, his very own 9x9" dessert "just because". Of course, the kiddos are also taking great joy in serving daddy in this way and will be even more excited to help daddy eat his special treat! I am thankful my heart is truly joyful in doing a little something as an unexpected blessing for my honey bunny!

Not to mention, this morning I was blessed by a phone call from a dear sister in Christ who makes superb cakes and was given some pointers! Thanks, Ms. Amy!!! And, praise God for He has given me all I needed to successfully complete the "Love Dare" for today!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (1 Chronicles 16:34. ESV.)

While I'm Waiting

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Two Extraordinary Women

The body of Christ is indescribably beautiful! Today I received a very unexpected blessing from these two ladies who are my dear sisters in Christ. Ms. Cindy and Crystal, I am so thankful for you! Thank you so much for your love, encouragement, and blessings! My words could never adequately express how precious you and your friendship is to me! You know how important God and being obedient to His word is to me and you are so faithful to Him and to helping me stay faithful to Him! Thank you!!! ♥

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Excellent Wife: Raising Maidens of Virtue

(by: me)

Again, if lustful looking be so grievous a sin, then those who dress and expose themselves with desires to be looked at and lusted after-as Jezebel, who painted her face, tired her head, and looked out of the window (2 Kings 9:30)-are not less, but even more guilty. In this matter it is only too often the case that men sin, but women tempt them so to do. How great, then, must be the guilt of the great majority of the modern misses who deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of our young men? And how much greater still is the guilt of most of their mothers for allowing them to become lascivious temptresses? ~ Arthur Pink


Yikes! I certainly do not want to be one of those “mothers” who allow the “modern misses” in her home “to become lascivious temptresses”. In my household, this seems to be an uphill battle. I alone train up the young ladies in my residence to dress modestly and not “deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of young men”. I advise against sex before marriage and prefer courtship over dating. But when my voice seems small and easily ignored or my words appear mocked I wonder if I am really making a difference. I become disheartened when my teaching of God’s word is met with rolling of the eyes and snide remarks as though pointing to the cross is not allowed. They do not wish to feel the sting of conviction. Yet, I take comfort in knowing the Holy Spirit is within me. At times it becomes so offended I feel as though I am angry.

Charles Spurgeon wrote,
“If we do not come out from the world and keep ourselves from its polluting influence, we have not yet learned what pure and undefiled religion really is! We may be very orthodox in creed, or we may be very far advanced in our knowledge of religious matters. We may think ourselves to be Hebrews of the Hebrews, Pharisees of the Pharisees, and as touching the righteousness which is of the Law, blameless. But we are, in the sight of God, only as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal, unless, by Divine Grace, we have learned to keep ourselves unspotted from the world!”


When referring to James 1:27 Spurgeon goes on to say,
“To keep ourselves unspotted from the world,’ implies that we are not a part of the world. We are in it, but evidently not of it. We are one thing and the world is another thing—and we are so much apart from the world that even a spot from the pools of the world would defile us. We are to be quite outside the world even while we are in it….

“Here, in the midst of this world, you and I, if we are truly born again from above, are strangers and pilgrims. We have come into this land as gypsies might have come—pitching our tent here and there—but having no abiding city anywhere. We are in this world as Abraham was in Canaan. We are not related to any of the Canaanites among whom we dwell. We are of another country, to wit, a heavenly one—and we are looking for ‘a city which has foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.’ There are some professing Christians who also try to be worldly, but a worldly Christian is an anomaly and a contradiction!

“No, beloved Friends, if we are truly the Lord’s, we are severed from the world….The Lord Jesus Christ had a people given to Him—a people whom He received of His Father, as He said—‘Yours they were, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word.’ ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which You have given Me.’ These are they whom God chose in Christ Jesus from before the foundation of the world, having predestinated them, according to the good pleasure of His will, that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love—‘for whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the First-Born among many brethren.’ Now this eternal choice of God has severed Believers from the rest of mankind and they stand apart as much as Israel stood apart in Egypt, even in the midst of the plagues. Thus God’s chosen ones constitute a people that shall dwell alone—they shall not be numbered among the nations. He has made them to be His portion, ‘for the Lord’s portion is His people. Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.’…

“Another clear distinguishing mark is redemption. The blood of the paschal lamb was on the lintel and the two side posts of the house of every family of Israel. It was not on the houses of the Egyptians and to their dwellings the Destroying Angel came with swift, sure, unerring blow, killing the first-born in every house throughout the land. It was the blood-mark that distinguished Israel from all the rest of the people! And today, only those who are sheltered by the sprinkled blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, are safe! Christ has redeemed His people from among men. He loved His Church and gave Himself for her—and He has redeemed that Church and brought her out of the Egyptian bondage of sin with a high hand and an outstretched arm, redeeming her by power as well as by price—and she shall be His forever. Has He not espoused her unto Himself and will He not have her of whom His soul was eternally enamored and to whom, in the Covenant of old, He was joined by bonds of everlasting wedlock? Yes, verily, He will have her to be His own bride, world without end! This is another mark of our separation from the world—the blood-red mark of redemption, effectual redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ.

“…There is a people in this world who have another nature from that of the men of this world. Would to God there were more of them! But there has come, by Divine Grace, a work of Christ in their heart which has changed their entire nature, aspirations, loves, hates—their whole selves—and made the whole world to become new to them because they are totally new to it. When this great change is worked in the heart of a man, it crucifies him to the world and the world to him. And he becomes a member of a community as much above the common race of humanity as a man is above a horse or a dog! He becomes possessed of a higher nature which was born in him by regeneration and which lifts him up into familiarity with God, so that he becomes a partaker of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust….

“Sanctification is the great open separator of Christians from the world! And they are so separate and so distinct that they will never be mixed together, not even in that day when their bones shall lie mingled in the same cemetery—when grave by grave the righteous shall sleep side by side with the wicked! There shall be a distinction in that day of resurrection when the dead in Christ shall rise first—‘The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.’ There shall be a distinction in that day when the King’s words, ‘Come, you blessed,’ or, ‘Depart, you cursed,’ shall make an everlasting division between them—and all the universe shall know that the Lord does put a difference between Israel and Egypt!...

“Abstinence from evil and seeking that which is right will manifest our separation from the world, especially if the Glory of God is our one great objective in life. I like that word of my dear friend, Mr. George Muller, when he says, ‘Never begin a day without feeling joy in the Lord.’ I think that is a very blessed rule—to live constantly walking in such a way that you and God are on close terms of happy fellowship so that all that you do you do heartily as unto the Lord! Your common service as a domestic servant, or your public service as a preacher, you do in the Presence, not of the great Taskmaster, but of your great Father and Friend, of whom you have become an adopted child and to whom you are separated to be a priest serving Him every day!

“…the Christian never expects to get any good from the world. He is to keep himself from the world, specially from the spots of the world….

“You will never get anything out of the serpent, even though you stand and listen to his philosophical questions and his new explanations of God’s Word. You will get nothing more out of him now than mother Eve did when she got from him a curse to all her posterity. You can get no good out of the world, nor out of the Prince of this world….

“…If there is any man here who is a professor of religion and who can go, tonight, and indulge himself in vice, or who can find himself at home with the world, well, he belongs to the world. Where you find your pleasure, there your heart is!...

“In particular, we must keep ourselves unspotted from the lepers of the world. There is a certain number of leprous men in the world. You can tell them by their conversation and, sometimes you cannot help going very near where they are. But if you hear them cry, “Unclean!” just give them a very wide berth. I wish that Christians were more careful about this leprosy in the matter of books. As soon as ever you see that there is leprosy there, do not go and play with it, and examine it, and look at it. You will catch it if you are not careful! Keep clear of it! Keep yourselves unspotted from the lepers of the world….

“And not only will your circumstances be likely to spot you, but the favors and honors of the world will spot you. So you have received a degree, or you have had a rise in business and the people all speak well of you, do they? And there is that thoroughly worldly lady who has a secret admiration for you. Well, well, well, be careful! Joseph had the favor of Potiphar and of Pharaoh in Egypt, but he kept himself unspotted. Mind that the world’s favor does not spot you. ‘Ah,’ says one, ‘I don’t get much of that! I get all frowns.’ Very well—persecution, slander and frowning need not spot you, but they may, you know. There are many who cannot bear the cold atmosphere and biting frosts of persecution. Mind that you are not spotted in that way….

“…If you go with the current of the age, you are swimming the wrong way, for all that is of the world comes of evil even to this day. There is no change in the Scripture and there is no change in the world. If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. The current of human opinion always was, is and will be, till Christ shall come, an evil current that will bear you the wrong way if you yield to it….

“…The Lord help us to watch every action and, more than that, every thought and every word! I would like to be able to take my words out of my mouth and look at them before I speak them—and to have all the actions of my life done as under the watchful eye of God, to see whether they will look right in the Day of Judgment. If you cannot sleep over a thing, do not do it. As the good man said to his boy, ‘My boy, pay as you go.’ ‘Suppose I cannot pay, Father.’ ‘Then, don’t go.’ So would I say to you, examine your life as you go. If you dare not examine an action, or look at it, then do not do it! When you do not know whether it is right, then it is always best to feel sure that it is wrong. Even though it might be right to another, it will be wrong to you if you have not faith that it is right, for, “whatever is not of faith is sin.” If any question arises about moral conduct, that question makes it evil to you….

“…mind what company you keep! And when you find people getting rather “fast,” or rather “loose,” leave them—get away from them! You do not need to be muddied, so keep yourself unspotted from the world.

“Above all, cry to God to preserve you from evil. If you go out every day, covered and protected by Divine Grace, then, and then only, can you be kept unspotted from the world. I would like to see a Christian not kept in a glass case away from trial and temptation, but yet covered with an invisible shield, so that, wherever he went, he would be guarded and protected from the evil influences that are in the world in almost every place….

“…what am I to say to those who are not only in the world, but also of the world? Do you not know that “the earth, also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up”? What will become of you, then? And you who belong to the world and have your portion in this life—and your joy in this world—in that great day when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, where will you be? Then you may call to the rocks to hide you, but you will call in vain! If your portion is in this life, what will you do in the life to come?

“Some of you are living within the boundaries of this mortal existence and that is your all. Poor Soul! Poor Soul! Poor soul! Poor Soul! The Lord in His mercy bring you to know the life eternal! And when you once get that, your great desire will be to be delivered from the power of sin and to keep yourself unspotted from the world! The Lord bless you, for Christ’s sake! Amen!” (Charity and Purity by Charles Spurgeon.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Making a God-Centered Decision

The following was given to me in a bible study group. Thanks Kristin!

Making a God-Centered Decision

1. Will I glorify God in all parts of this decision? (1 Corinthians 10:31.)

2. Is making this decision a part of a plan to grow in holiness and know Christ and treasure Him more? (1 Thessalonians 4:3, Philippians 3:8.)

3. Will this decision cause me to be more like Christ or more like the world? (Romans 12:2.)

4. Can I pursue the thing I am deciding on wholeheartedly and with joy? Will I remain committed to it? (Ecclesiastes 9:10.)

5. Am I making the most of my time in this decision? (James 4:14.)

6. Even though this decision may not be over sin, is it still a WISE decision? (Ephesians 5:15-17.)

Treasures on Earth

(by John Piper)

Click here to read John Piper's article in "Tabletalk".

Treasures on Earth by John Piper

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Excellent Wife: Specific Ways Wives Are Not Submissive

(by: me)

While reading THE EXCELLENT WIFE by Martha Peace the other night I came to a wonderful list of “Specific Ways Wives Are Not Submissive”. I want to share it here because I think it is a great way to check our own actions and make sure we are each serving our husband and his position as God has instructed. I know for myself, conviction in any of these areas indicates it is something on which I need to work and repent, repent, repent! Martha Peace writes:

Specific Ways Wives Are Not Submissive

1. She does things that are annoying or vexing to her husband. (Proverbs 21:19.)
2. She does not discipline the children as she should (even after her husband asks her to). (Proverbs 29:15.)
3. She is more loyal to others than to her husband. (Proverbs 31:11.)
4. She argues or pouts or gives him the cold shoulder when she does not get her own way. (Proverbs 21:9.)
5. She does not stay within the limits of their budget. (Proverbs 19:14.)
6. She corrects, interrupts, talks for her husband, and is too outspoken when others are around. (Proverbs 27:15-16.)
7. She manipulates him to get her own way. She may manipulate by deceit, tears, begging, nagging, complaining, anger, or intimidation. Martha tried to manipulate Jesus when she said: “…Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me:” (Luke 10:40.)
8. She makes important decisions without consulting him. (1 Corinthians 11:3.)
9. She directly defies his wishes. (1 Samuel 15:23.)
10. She worries about the decisions he makes and takes matters into her own hands. (Philippians 4:7-8.)


God's word says:

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (1 Peter 1:14-15. ESV.)

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. (Titus 3:3. ESV.)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2. ESV.)

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, (Acts 17:30. ESV.)

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1. ESV.)

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:7. ESV.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Excellent Wife: Walking with God

(by: me)

Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:22-24. ESV.)

Malachi 2:6: True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity.

Hebrews 11:5: By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.

Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2And Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel. 3And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?" And he said, "Yes, I know it; keep quiet."… 11And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12And Elisha saw it and he cried, "My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" And he saw him no more. (2 Kings 2:1-3 & 11-12. ESV.)


When researching and studying about Enoch and Elijah’s walk with God I came across the following from John Piper:

“What we have seen in Hebrews now is that the nature of faith and the vitality of faith is rooted in what God is like, not what we are like. You don't find out what Christian faith is by consulting your felt needs. You find out by consulting the nature of God. Therefore, if you would have your faith be strong, and your soul be strong and your family be strong and your church be strong and your denomination and schools be strong, know your God. Know your God!

“The more you know what God is like, the more conformed to his greatness will be your faith. You will be more and more assured of things hoped for and more and more convinced of things unseen. And God's existence and fullness will be wonderfully displayed in your life.”


My heart’s desire is to walk with God like Enoch and Elijah did. They were so pleasing to Him that they did not even suffer death but rather went straight from this world to heaven…Elijah on a chariot of fire. For as long as I can remember I have had the knowledge of Enoch and love for God in my heart though I did not receive His grace and the Holy Spirit until about 2006.

My focus too often wanders from God and His precious Son to the ways of this world. I become wrapped up in the day to day and struggle with my sin of frustration over tedious things and being sinned against instead of staying steadfast on God’s word and what he requires of me! I should be preaching to myself God’s word every moment of every day! When sinned against and feeling the burn of the flesh I need to snap out of it immediately and listen to the Holy Spirit within me. Not to mention to be in fervent prayer.

I was recently mocked for reading books by godly men and women who write doctrinally sound material and filling my mind with their encouragement and wisdom. But as John Piper reminds me, the more I am familiar with the nature of God, the more obedient and pleasing to Him will be my faith!!! And, the closer I will walk with Him! It does not matter what others say who try to thwart me at every turn! Like John Bunyan’s little pilgrim, Christian, I must stick to the King’s path and not be deterred. I must consult God instead of listen to my heart which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9)!

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul… (Deuteronomy 10:12. ESV.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

He Knows My Name



I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

Chorus
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

Chorus
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Excellent Wife: The Love Dare

(by: me)

[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:7-8. NKJV.)


In addition to reading THE EXCELLENT WIFE by Martha Peace…yes, I am still plugging along at it despite many interruptions…I have also decided to dabble in THE LOVE DARE by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. It has some excellent things to do for your spouse daily just to show how much you love him. Two of my personal favorites thus far are:

1) Make two lists (one for the positive things about your husband and one for the negative things). Thank your spouse for one thing on the positive list and burn the negative list.

2) Give in to an area of conflict and tell your husband you are putting his preference first.


These are only a couple of the many great (and often creative) ideas to bless your “one flesh”. Some of the gestures mentioned in this book are probably things you already do on a daily or weekly basis but others are quite imaginative and of which I never would have thought. Not to mention it will keep your hubby at the forefront of your mind and heart (whether he deserves it or not).

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18. NKJV.)

James 1:21: Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Romans 2:8: but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;

Philippians 2:3: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Romans 13:13: Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

James 1:17: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

1 Timothy 4:1: Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

1 Corinthians 2:6-7: Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

Hebrews 12:11: For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Luke 6:36: Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Proverbs 14:29: He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.

Romans 12:9: Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Proverbs 11:18: The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.

Isaiah 32:17: And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

Hosea 10:12: Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

Matthew 5:9: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Galatians 6:8: For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

God’s Word, Good Exposition, Great Joy, Much Strength

(By: John Piper)

Here’s another reason I am joyfully committed to expository exultation, that is, preaching.

Look at this amazing statement of what biblical exposition is like when it’s done well—in the power of God’s Spirit and riveted on biblical texts.

Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people.... [T]he Levites helped the people to understand the Law.... They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.... And all the people went their way...to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them. (Nehemiah 8:5-8,12)


First, there was a reader of the word of God. Then there were those who explained the words. Then there was true understanding in the minds of the people. Then there was great rejoicing “because they had understood the words.”

It is astonishing to me how many pastors apparently don’t believe in pursuing the joy of their people in this way. Evidently they think it doesn’t work. I’m sure there are many reasons for this abandonment of biblical exposition.

But I simply want to wave the flag and say: There was joy then. And there is joy today when God’s people see real, divine meaning in texts that they had not seen before.

If you want to see a strong church, keep in mind that it is no accident that in this very context the writer says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

What joy? The joy of verse 12: “All the people went their way...to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.”

God’s truth followed by faithful, Spirit-anointed exposition, leads to great joy, which is the strength of God’s people. So give the sense, brothers. Give the sense!

© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Friday, August 14, 2009

John Piper on Reading and Studying the Bible

(By: Abraham Piper)

The newest Bible Study Magazine features an interview with John Piper.

They ask him...

* How do you keep from growing indifferent to the Bible when you're so familiar with it?
* How do you approach the Bible?
* How can we make time for the Bible?
* How do you memorize Scripture?
* Is the Bible easier for you to understand than for other people?
* What would you say to someone who hasn't read their Bible in a long time?

Download the article to read his answers.

Bible Study Magazine is also giving away John Piper's book Finally Alive for Logos Bible Software this month.

© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

The Food of Christ Is to Give Eternal Life

(By: David Mathis)

This week's sermon: "The Food of Christ Is to Give Eternal Life"

Four lines in John 2-4 conspire to remind us of our stupidity apart from grace. In 2:19; 3:3; 4:10; and 4:31, the responses of the Jews, Nicodemus, the woman at the well, and the disciples show us our own dullness and hardness of heart to Jesus and his spiritual reality:

* "I will raise this temple in three days." It took 46 years to build this temple.
* "You must be born again." How can a man enter into his mother's womb?
* "I will give you living water." You don¹t have a bucket.
* "I have food to eat you do not know about." Who brought him a sandwich?

Between Jesus' interaction with the woman at the well (which the disciples found amazing) and his reception of the townspeople who flocked to him because of her witness, Jesus explains to his disciples what's going on. He is fulfilling Amos 9:13 by collapsing sowing and reaping. He is the Messiah, and now in his coming he is sowing and reaping all at once. He's not bound to the natural ways of doing things. And he invites the disciples in to join him in reaping the fruit his word, and the woman's word, has sown.

The upshot for us is that:

1. Jesus himself is life-giving food,
2. his coming begins the promised messianic age, and
3. all our labor is important, and we're all building on the work of another—in particular, Jesus' fully finished work at the cross.

© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Jesus Treated Women Differently

(By: David Mathis)

Fellow complementarians, try framing the gender debate in three categories instead of two.

Feminists and egalitarians love it when everything to their right is cast as one monolithic "complementarianism." But authentic complementarians need to highlight that there is not only sin to the left, but to the right as well. True biblical complementarity is neither feminism nor misogyny. It’s neither egalitarian nor patriarchal. Jesus plotted another course altogether, a third way that viewed gender “in step with the truth of the gospel” (Gal. 2:14).

Jesus had a different flavor of complementarity than many who try to pass under that sometimes unhelpful label. He didn’t cloak male chauvinism in the guise of complementarity, but had a different way of treating women than his first-century contemporaries.

Watch John Piper reflect on John 4:27 (“They marveled that he was talking with a woman”) and how Jesus treated women:



© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Monday, August 10, 2009

Road Trip #1

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20. ESV.)



The Lord knows I love road trips and this summer He has blessed me with two! The first was 16 days, four states, and 3,504 miles! We covered California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.



We visited beautiful lakes, a historic desert town, and saw storms that loomed on the horizon just to the north and south of us. The lightning was amazing and reminded me of God's power.



Our sovereign King graciously blesses us with safe travel and we keep Him and His precious Son the center of everything. "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39. ESV.)


1The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3There is no speech, nor are there words,whose voice is not heard. (Psalm 19:1-3. ESV.)



4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, 5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. 6Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. (Psalm 19:4-6. ESV.)


"Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not." (Jer 5:21. ESV.) All honor and glory are His. Praise be to God!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Pastors brutally martyred in Nigeria

(by Voice of the Martyrs)

The Nigerian paper, the Daily Sun reported today that three pastors had been brutally killed at the instruction of Mohammed Yusuf, the deceased leader of the Islamist group Boko Haram, last week in Borno State, Nigeria.

Continue reading this post.

Subtle Wisdom

(by Our Daily Bread)

“My Lord knows the way through the wilderness; all I have to do is follow!” — David H. Roper

Read this post.

Pyromaniacs: Whither Evangelicalism?

Pyromaniacs: Whither Evangelicalism?

Vacationing For the Glory of God

(by Michael Mckinley for Nine Marks)

...seven lessons to remember while on vacation:

1. A Servant Heart
2. A Tone-Setting Attitude
3. An Awareness of Indwelling Sin
4. Studying Your Family
5. Skillful Surprises
6. Intentionally Together
7. Gratefulness to God

Read this post.

Inmates to get the boot

(by Kristin Chapman for World Magazine)

Earlier this week, a federal judicial panel ordered California to reduce its prison population by more than 40,000 inmates over the next two years in a move aimed at relieving overcrowding in the state’s prison system.

Continue reading this post.

Between Two Worlds: Piper: Questions for Marriage

Between Two Worlds: Piper: Questions for Marriage

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Weighty Words on the Meaning of a Husband’s Headship

(by John Piper)

What follows is one of the greatest reasons for a man to get married and stay married: not the rapturous flame of eros, but the refining fires of holiness.

No relationship is more clearly commanded to model the death of Christ. No relationship is more costly—in both senses of that word (painful and precious).

This quote comes from one of C. S. Lewis’s last books, published in 1960, The Four Loves. In it we hear the wise fruit of a lifetime.

The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the church—read on—and gave his life for her (Ephesians 5:25).

This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is—in her own mere nature—least lovable. For the church has no beauty but what the bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely.

The chrism [anointing, consecration] of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man's marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of the bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence.

As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labors to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs. He is a King Cophetua who after twenty years still hopes that the beggar-girl will one day learn to speak the truth and wash behind her ears. (105-106)


© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Matters Of The Heart

(by Our Daily Bread)

The hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed. —Matthew 13:15

How dangerously easy it is to neglect our hearts. If we become callous, we find no joy in living or serving; and life seems hollow. But when our hearts are tender toward God, understanding and gratefulness flow through us to others.

Read this post.

Seeing Our Shame: The Fuel of True Love for God

(by Jon Bloom for Desiring God Ministries)

He had the Holy One of Israel in his house, reclining at his table. The Prophet that Moses had foretold was sharing dinner with him. The Lord of glory, the Resurrection and the Life, was speaking with him face to face. The great climactic moment of history he claimed to be living for had arrived. It should have been a deliriously wonderful, breathtaking honor for Simon to host the Messiah.

But Simon was not amazed. As he looked at Jesus, all he saw was a dusty Nazarene whose claims could be interpreted as delusional.

And Jesus’ feet were still dirty. Offering foot washing to guests had been a deeply ingrained custom for Near Eastern peoples for thousands of years. To not offer it was to dishonor one’s guest. It’s not likely that Simon simply forgot.

But Jesus showed no sign of offense. And with the meal on the table, superficial pleasantries were exchanged. A few polite questions were asked.

Suddenly all eyes facing Jesus were filled with confused concern, focused toward his feet. Jesus looked back.

A woman was standing near him, clearly not part of the household. She was looking intensely at him, cradling a small jar in her hands. She began to sob and dropped to her knees. And as her tears flowed, she leaned over and let them drop on Jesus’ soiled feet and wiped them off, along with the dirt, with her hair. Then she kissed Jesus’ feet.

Gasps and mutterings were heard around the table. This woman had a reputation known to all the local guests. It was improper even to speak openly about what had given her this reputation. She was simply called a “sinner.” Everyone knew what was packed into that word.

So everyone was mortified by this sinner’s actions, except, apparently, Jesus. He did not seem shocked. And he did nothing to stop her. An alarmed servant moved toward the woman but Simon waved him off. This was a revealing moment.

As Simon watched the woman pour fragrant oil from her jar on Jesus’ feet, he felt both contempt and pleasure. His appraisal of Jesus was being vindicated before his eyes. Nothing spoke more eloquently of the falseness of this so-called prophet than his stunning lack of discernment regarding this immoral woman. No holy man would have let her pollute him with her touch. He began to rehearse what he would report to the Council.

“Simon, I have something to say to you.” Jesus’ words snapped Simon’s attention back. “Say it, Teacher,” he replied.

“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

And then Jesus spoke to the woman: “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:40-49).

* * *

“He who is forgiven little, loves little.” This small statement reveals a mammoth truth for us: we will love God to the degree that we recognize the magnitude of our sins and the immensity of God’s grace to forgive them.

As a Pharisee, Simon likely had significant theological learning, memorized extensive portions of Scripture, exercised rigorous self-discipline, tithed meticulously, spent much time “serving” God, and enjoyed a reputation as a godly man. And yet he did not love God.

The woman, however, who had nothing to offer except shameful sin, was described by Jesus as a model for true worship. Why? Simply because she knew how desperately she needed the forgiveness Jesus offered in his gospel, and she believed that he could grant it.

That is what Jesus is looking for. That is the faith that saves.

True worship is a passionate love for God. And, for sinners like us, the fuel of that love is a profound realization, in the words of former slave trader-turned-pastor, John Newton, “that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.”

© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

The Case for (Early) Marriage

(by Albert Mohler)

Shifts in a culture are often signaled by unexpected developments that represent far more than may first meet the eye.

Continue reading this post.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Faith Like a Grain of Mustard Seed

(by: me)

Okay, I hesitated in posting this because I was not sure if it was going to glorify God or be seen as foolishness. But my heart felt heavy and burdened with NOT sharing it so I guess you could say, I feel compelled to give you a glimpse of a seemingly mundane trip to the grocery store. First I would like to begin with:

"He said to them, 'Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.'" (Matthew 17:20. ESV.)

Matthew 21:22: And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."

John 16:24: Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

John 14:14: If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

John 14:13: Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.


Alright, so I was feeling rather overwhelmed yesterday, after church, when I went to do the grocery shopping. My cart was PACKED because, to be honest, we did not have the money for me to go shopping until we got a cash advance from the bank. Anyway, back to my sin of frustration. During the course of this trip small things were bugging me...like a tiny hole in one of the gallons of water I grabbed which leaked on other things in the cart and had to be put back but I did not feel like walking it all the way back to the aisle on which I found it so I just left it among the soft drinks...not to mention the children were tired of being there just as much as I was and were not behaving. So by the time I got nearly everything on the extensive list, made the way to the check out stand, unloaded, paid, bagged, reloaded, and made it out to the vehicle, I was not a happy camper. Sadly, I was struggling with my sin and was grumbling to myself as I had the kids get in the car and began to unload the groceries.

Now, to make matters worse, the cart would not stay put (as I was on a slight incline) and began rolling away each time I released it from my grasp. Okay, God, I thought to myself. I just need faith the size of a grain of mustard seed and all I have to do is ask for something in your name, right? Let's see if it really works! Dangerous thinking, right!!!! So I looked at the grocery cart and prayed, "In God's name STOP MOVING!"

Was I really expecting the cart to remain still? No, oh me of little faith! But I'll tell you what...and this is NO lie, joke, nor exaggeration...the cart began drifting backward again (at which I rolled my eyes), yet as it moved the two wheels closest to me slowly rotated to face each other, and it stopped and stayed perfectly motionless until I had taken all bags out, placed them in my vehicle, and moved the cart myself to put it among the others waiting to be returned to the store.

HA! God sure showed me, didn't He? I smiled then and I am grinning now just thinking about it. And boy do I wish I had taken a picture of it sitting there nicely just as I had asked God! And if He is willing to do that for me over a shopping cart imagine what He is doing in my life right now!!!! Something more amusing than a stinking cart and more beautiful than anything I could ever possibly imagine!!!!

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you." (John 15:16. ESV.)


That's my story and I'm sticking with it! :D

Hell Never Produced a Single Pleasure

(by John Piper)

One of the roots of Christian Hedonism as I have pondered it for the last forty years is C. S. Lewis. Reading Alan Jacobs’ biography, The Narnian has underlined the influence Lewis has had on my thinking.

Here is a striking sentence about Lewis’s lifelong pursuit: “Lewis’s perpetual task both as a defender of Christianity and as an advocate of medieval literature is to call people to delight” (p. 190).

One of his paths to this “perpetual task” was his analysis of the devil’s use of pleasure. Screwtape (speaking for the devil—“Our Father”—in The Screwtape Letters) says to one of his under-devils:

Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy's ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which he has forbidden.... An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula.... To get a man's soul and give him nothing in return—that's what really gladdens Our Father's heart. (quoted in The Narnian, 189)


This is an astonishing view of pleasure. Hell has never been able to produce one! It can only misuse the ones that God created—in “times,” “ways,” and “degrees” that God forbids.

This means that all the debased enjoyments of the world are echoes of the joys of heaven. The analysis of this is worth a lifetime. And one effect of such an analysis would be to take the notion of “seeker-sensitive” ten miles deeper into Truth. How to penetrate the soul whose every desire is for Heaven while hating Heaven—that is the task.

© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

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