Monday, May 16, 2011

Jay Adams on True Love

True Love
May 13, 2011 by Jay Adams
Have you ever noticed how closely love and the Holy Spirit are connected in the Bible?

“Can’t say that I have.”

Well, love is the first piece of fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Some even think it’s the basic quality from which the other items listed flow.

“Of course, now that you mention it, I remember it as the first fruit of the Spirit.

And, sometime, check out Colossians 1:8 where, in passing, Paul mentions “your love by the Spirit.”

“What do you think that means?”

Much the same as the longer reference in Romans 5:5 where Paul wrote,

God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.

Before regeneration (of which the pouring is a picture) no one is capable of expressing God-like or God-pleasing love. Others may love with a sort of ersatz love, but the vertical dimension is totally missing from it.

“What does that mean?”

It means that God is left out of the picture; that such love has a heavy self-focus rather than an other-focus (and, in particular, leaving out God as the significant Other).

“Tell me more.”

Read the rest here

An encouraging letter on modesty

By Carolyn Mahaney

My husband, CJ, received the following email last week, thanking him for his sermon on modesty. May we all be provoked and encouraged by this woman's example!

Here is the letter that he received!

That women could all be humbled as this woman has been.....

Keven DeYoung on Parenting 001

Parenting 001

Does it seem like parenting has gotten more complicated? I mean, as far as I can tell, back in the day parents basically tried to feed their kids, clothe them, and keep them away from explosives. Now our kids have to sleep on their backs (no wait, their tummies; no never mind, their backs), while listening to Baby Mozart surrounded by scenes of Starry, Starry Night. They have to be in piano lessons before they are five and can’t leave the car seat until they’re about five foot six.

It’s all so involved. There are so many rules and expectations. Kids can’t even eat sugar anymore. My parents were solid as a rock but we still had a cupboard populated with cereal royalty like Captain Crunch and Count Chocula. In our house the pebbles were fruity and the charms were lucky. The breakfast bowl was a place for marshmallows, not dried camping fruit. Our milk was 2%. And sometimes, if we needed to take the edge off a rough morning, we’d tempt fate and chug a little Vitamin D.

Trial by Error

I don’t consider myself a particularly good parent. I was asked to speak a few years ago at some church’s conference. They wanted me to talk about parenting. I said I didn’t have much to say so they should ask someone else (which they did). My kids are probably not as crazy as they seem to me (at least that’s what I keep telling myself anyway), but if I ever write a book on parenting I’m going to call it The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.

There are already scores of books on parenting, many of them quite good. I’ve read several of them and have learned much. I really do believe in gospel-powered parenting and shepherding my child’s heart. I want conversations like this:

Me: What’s the matter son?
Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!
Me: Why do you want the toy?
Child: Because it will be fun to play with.
Me: Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?
Child: Yes.
Me: Would it make him sad to take the toy away?
Child: I guess so.
Me: And do you like to make your brother sad?
Child: No.
Me: You know, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That means loving your brother the way he would want to be loved. Since Jesus loves us so much, we have every reason to love others–even your brother. Would you like to love him by letting him play with the toy for awhile?
Child: Yes I would daddy.

I try that. Really I do. But here’s what actually happens:

Me: What’s the matter son?
Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!
Me: Why do you want the toy?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: What’s going on in your heart when you desire that toy?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: Think about it son. Use your brain. Don’t you know something?
Child: I guess I just want the toy.
Me: Obviously. But why?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: Fine. [Mental note: abandon "why" questions and skip straight to leading questions.] Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?
Child: No.
Me: Really?! He’s not having fun? Then why does he want that toy in the first place?
Child: Because he’s mean.
Me: Have you ever considered that maybe you are being mean by trying to rip the toy from his quivering little hands?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: What do you know?
Child: I don’t know!
Me: Nevermind. [I wonder how my brilliant child can know absolutely nothing at this moment.] Well, I think taking the toy from him will make your brother sad. Do you like to make him sad?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: [Audible sigh.]
Child: He makes me sad all the time!
Me: Well, I’m getting sad right now with your attitude! [Pause, think, what would Paul Tripp do? Thinking . . . .thinking . . . .man, I can't stop thinking of that mustache. This isn't working. Let's just go right to the Jesus part.] You know, Jesus wants us to love each other.
Child: I don’t know.
Me: I didn’t ask you a question!
Child: [Pause.] Can I have some fruit snacks?
Me: No, you can’t have fruit snacks. We are talking about the gospel. Jesus loves us and died for us. He wants you to love your brother too.
Child: So?
Me: So give him the toy back!

Then I lunge for the toy and the child runs away. I tell him to come back here this instant and threaten to throw the toy in the trash. I recommit myself to turning down speaking engagements on parenting.

I encourage you to read the rest

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

T4G 2012

T4G 2012 Teaser: The Game from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

About my Gideon

It has now been nineteen months since the discovery of Gideon's brain tumor...very hard to believe that it has been that long!

I am pleased to say that he will have his last physical therapy session on Monday, May 9th! It has been a long road to recovery for my boy. When I think back to when he first started therapy and wasn't even able to walk, I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God!

Gideon has always looked forward to seeing his therapists....they have become almost family to us. They have been such a large part of our lives for a long time. When we first started, we were going three times a week, to physical, occupational and speech therapy. A few months ago, we were down to just physical therapy, mainly working on his core strength.

If you were to see my boy, you would see a normal, active, rambunctious seven year old. I am so grateful that he is doing so well. Believe me when I say, I have seen many children who see his same therapists who will never get better in the same way that Gideon has. They will have a lifelong struggle to just do basic tasks.I only experienced a glimpse of what it is like to have a child with special needs....and that great affected me and gave me a newfound appreciation for those caring for their disabled children.

I feel that as we prepare to move to a new city and become members of a new church...we are closing a chapter in our lives. In some ways, it is sad, but we are very excited to see what God has in store for our family.

Monday, May 2, 2011