Sunday, April 30, 2017

day no. 14,069: dead predators

Ecclesiastes 9:4-5
But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing.
Better to be a lowly scavenger dependent upon the scraps that fall from your Master's table than to be a dead predator with nothing left to master.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

day no. 14,068 continued... criminals and kings

Ecclesiastes 8:14
There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Some criminals are treated as kings while some kings are treated as criminals. This is not meaningless bad news. This is the meaning of the Good News.

day no. 14,068: happy 7th birthday penelly

Little lady ain't so little anymore.

It has been so much fun lately to watch God working on that brand new heart He gave you. The Holy Spirit is working on you in so many ways. It sometimes seems like more than your little mind, even if it now has 7 years experience, can handle. Just the other night when I was tucking you into bed you were crying because you just had too many sins to work on at the moment. You are feeling the weight of lying and being a liar and are faithfully repenting of lies you have told in the past while telling the truth in the present. But you are also feeling the prick of being inattentive and apathetic to me and your mom's voices. At least, you are feeling the pinch of our bringing it up to you at the very least. You are such a sweet girl. You love flowers and nature and wearing pink on Wednesdays, a fact that I whole-heartedly adore. Here's a picture your mom took of you on Wednesday, March 1st that she had you send to me while I was at work.

I love you, little girl. I wouldn't change a thing about you and I will gladly smash the face of anyone who would try to make you feel otherwise. I love looking out for you. I love you and I like you. You are a cool cat baby doll. I love your smile. Sometimes I watch you watching the television on family movie night when you don't realize I'm watching you. I can't help but smile. You bring me joy. I'm so glad I have you. I would not trade you for anything and anyone who wants you has to come through me!

Happy birthday. Here's to many more and as much pink as possible!

Friday, April 28, 2017

day no. 14,067: thick wick

Ecclesiastes 8:11-13
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
Because God is patient, many good people rot and many rotten people get rottener, but those who fear God delight in the length of His wick.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

day no. 14,066: sure as cuss

Ecclesiastes 7:21-22
Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
Everyone is a caricature to someone.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

day no. 14,065: no good

Ecclesiastes 7:20
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
You may do some things well, but you cannot do good.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

day no. 14,064: knowing what day it is

Ecclesiastes 7:14
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
Enjoy the good you get as goodness received and endure the bad you meet with goodness believed.

Monday, April 24, 2017

day no. 14,063: quick wick

Ecclesiastes 7:9
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
If you train your heart to spring from the starting blocks at the sound of a gun, you will begin hearing blasts where there were none.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

day no. 14,062: cashing checks

Ecclesiastes 7:8
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
A person is not proved faithful by what they promise to do. Any proud fool can promise to do something… later.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

day no. 14,061: snap, crackle and pop

Ecclesiastes 7:5-6
It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise
than to hear the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot,
so is the laughter of the fools;
this also is vanity.
Pop music crackles as it cackles. It makes you want to snuggle up and sleep as your entire life burns down.

Friday, April 21, 2017

day no. 14,060: the Gospel and the goddess

"There will be people (in Heaven) who were far worse than you, and people who were far better than you in Hell. We are talking about free grace." - Doug Wilson

Thursday, April 20, 2017

day no. 14,059: mourning and mirth

Ecclesiastes 7:2, 4
It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Funerals are better than festivals,
crying is better than carnivals,
grief is better than guffaws,
lamenting is better than laughing,
and sorrow is better than soirees
since they place life in its proper context.
It is important for the living to often consider dying.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

day no. 14,058: the way things ought to be in you and around you

Ecclesiastes 1:18
For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
The more you begin to understand the way things ought to be in you and around you, the more difficult it becomes to live with the way things are in you and around you.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

day no. 14,057: hungry mungry

Ecclesiastes 6:7
All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.
No matter how hard we try, we can never satisfy our desires. We go to bed full and wake up hungry. We fill ourselves up only to find ourselves empty.

Monday, April 17, 2017

day no. 14,056: wisdom for idiots

"The book of Proverbs is good news for bad people. It is grace for sinners, hope for failures and wisdom for idiots." - Ray Ortlund, Jr

Sunday, April 16, 2017

day no. 14,055: smart grace

Ephesians 1:8
God lavished (grace) upon us, in all wisdom and insight
"God's grace is smart grace." - Ray Ortlund, Jr.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

day no. 14,054: crossing burnt bridges

Isaiah 43:25-27
I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.
Put Me in remembrance; let us argue together;
set forth your case, that you may be proved right.

Your first father sinned, and your mediators transgressed against Me.

It's a bad day when the one who is supposed to make things right between you and your enemy ticks off your enemy in the process. How are they supposed to atone for your sin when they rub the judge the wrong way?
If only we had someone who could go between us and God. If only there was someone who understood us, loved us and liked us; BUT was not like us. If only there was someone who impressed God and leveraged his cache to plead our cause. If only there was a real bridge between Heaven and earth that could elevate the earthly without compromising the heavenly. If only.

Friday, April 14, 2017

day no. 14,053: permitted or pursued?

In re-reading this article, I did find a few things I'm not ready to embrace entirely.
The terminology and usage of "permit" is largely, if not solely, influenced by 1 Timothy 2, so when she says, " but it seems a shame to let one occurrence of a term dominate our language and practice," I disagree. It isn't a shame per se. It could be. It might be. or… it could be using the term the Bible provides us. Now, I understand Mrs. Wilkin is addressing the undertone that can permeate the usage of said word as one of restrictive, "I guess, if we have to"-tude, but nevertheless, baby and bathwater withstanding, we have to start with "permit" as that is the word and the tone Paul employs. And he's not wrong. Can we at least agree on that? That word and that tone are not an excuse for chauvinism - which is anti-Biblical because it claims men are superior. Which isn't true. I know lots of guys. We aren't the greatest. But we are still the head. So it's not because we won an arm-wrestling match or a battle of wits, but because God said so. And again, can we at least agree on that? God's "say-so's" overrule our "wish-was's."
Again, Mrs. Wilkin says, "It may be that permission vocabulary persists because of the unfortunate woman-as-usurper stereotype that sometimes underlies complementarian thought." It is unfortunate only in the sense that it is true.
Genesis 3:16
To the woman God said,
"I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
When Adam abdicated his role, it didn't make an OK way for Eve to swoop in and fulfill it. It made it understandable, but not excusable. I know why Eve did it, but I can't approve of her having done it. The direct result of this action is reflected in the curse itself. Eve, the glory of man, made from man, to serve man, and help him will now struggle with a desire to be "the man." The usurper motif is not one we created, it was a direct consequence -, a curse created and distributed clearly by God - in response to the sins in the garden.
All that said, I think we should strive to create and cultivate a culture of inviting women into greater capacities and opportunities. The problem I have here is not with the attitude of invitation, which I am for, but the attitude of inclusion, which I am opposed to. Everyone doesn't have to, and Biblically shouldn't, do everything. It's not good for a man to stay at home when he could work. It's not good for a woman to be drafted for war. It's not good for men to spend hours in front of a mirror. It's not good for women to spend zero time in front of a mirror. We reflect things differently, but in a complementary way. The more we make everyone the same, the less we actually reflect any kind of complement. If everyone is doing the same things, there is no distinct "vel" and "cro," so nothing quite sticks right.  If men stay men and women become men, who will be the glory of man? Who will be beautiful, feminine, helpmetes? Women are better than men at being women. Men are better than women at being men. There is overlap, but there is distinction and the less distinction there is, the less the complement.
All that to say, there is a serious, helpful point that Mrs. Wilkin is making here: male leaders must seek to equip and encourage women to utilize their time, talents, and treasures more and more and not consider them as an afterthought, but in their planning, strategy and intentionality. You don't "fix" your failure to pursue Eve by encouraging Eve to pursue something else. You fix it by pursuing her.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

day no. 14,052: a little slumber

Ecclesiastes 5:12
Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.
Sharp minds and sore muscles rest well, while indigestion and atrophy lie down in difficulty.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

day no. 14,051: everything has its problems

Ecclesiastes 5:10-11
10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes?
Everything has its problems. If you have money, you have the kind of problems people with money have. If you don't have money, you have the kind of problems people without money have. Some problems may be more preferable to others, but to imagine a world without problems where the bank accounts are greener is a false hope. The more you love your stuff, the less satisfied with your stuff you become and the more problems you create as you find yourself laboring to keep and protect the stuff of which you've grown tired.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

day no. 14,050: ordinary obligations

Ecclesiastes 5:2, 4-5
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.
Anyone can promise a lavish future, but a lifetime of fulfilling ordinary obligations is truly extravagant.

Monday, April 10, 2017

day no. 14,049: when the gift betrays the confession

Ecclesiastes 5:1
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.
Accidental evil may be the most unfortunate misunderstanding imaginable. If someone strives to provide a gift of bread to someone who is allergic, it is not well received, especially when the giver proclaims a deep, personal relationship with the recipient. The gift betrays the confession.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

day no. 14,048: straight to the point

Psalm 127:3-4
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
“Children are compared to ‘arrows.’ Now, we know that sticks are not by nature arrows; they do not grow so, but they are made so; by nature they are knotty and rugged, but by art they are made smooth and handsome. So children by nature are rugged and [troublesome], but by [training] are refined and reformed, made pliable to the divine will and pleasure.” - George Swinnock

Saturday, April 8, 2017

day no. 14,047: a dog or a duke?

Ecclesiastes 3:21
Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?
Under the sun, who can know what happens beyond the sun or if anything beyond the sun even exists, if it is better to be a beast or a billionaire, a dog or a duke?

Friday, April 7, 2017

day no. 14,046 continued... a nail to the temple

Shooting from the hip this morning.
Judges 5:24
Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
of tent-dwelling women most blessed.
I like the emphasis on Jael's feminine strength and the indictment it served towards the weakness of the men of that world. I like the song that Deborah sings about Jael following the incident that serves almost as a proto-Magnificat (just as Genesis 3:15 serves as a proto-Evangelium)
The Protestant Reformation will celebrate its 500th anniversary this October 31st. Just like Jael drove the nail through the temple of Siscera, Luther drove the nail through the temple door. Just like Barak should have stood up for and protected Israel, Rome should have stood up for and protected the church. Jael's hand was forced. The fight came looking for her. Luther's hand was forced. The fight came looking for him. And when you decide to fight, you must also decide to win. If you start a fight, you must be prepared to end the fight.

Jael did not delay, frustrate or wound Siscera, she ended him. Luther did not delay, frustrate or wound Rome's rule, he ended it. Jael put the tent peg all the way through Siscera's head and into the ground. She decided to hit and then hit with all her might. Luther nailed more than a piece of paper to the temple door, he drove 95 stakes into the heart of the dragon. Jael and the church were both married to compromised husbands. The result of those compromises brought an enemy into the camp/church and the ones who were supposed to protect them, failed them at their greatest hour of need. Where Barak failed, Jael succeeded, where Rome failed, Luther succeeded.
Just some thoughts.

day no. 14,046: like a ball being held underwater

Ecclesiastes 3:15
That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
You cannot make things like principle and truth just go away. They are like a ball being held underwater. They desire to come up and God draws them up again despite our best protests. No matter how clever our machines or how calloused our consciences, we just cannot seem to tamp out that pesky spark. God will not let that flame expire. He will breath it back to life or spontaneously combust it where dampness previously prevailed.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

day no. 14,045: eternity is unswervingly shrewd

Ecclesiastes 3:14
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before Him.
Eternity is unswervingly shrewd. You cannot make infinity more and you cannot rob from its weight. You cannot tax it and you cannot improve it. The sheer sovereignty of God in it all is incredibly dwarfing. We live, breath, love, and die in the hands of a crushing reality: we add nothing to or take anything away from God's design.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

day no. 14,044: who wants to live forever?

Ecclesiastes 3:11
God has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Queen once famously inquired, "Who wants to live forever?"
E'erbody Queen. E'erbody!
Now I will grant you that we may grow tired of the same ol, same ol of this life and desire it to be over at times. But that isn't because we don't want to live forever, it's because we don't want to live forever in a world like this. We all want there to be more to life than this life actually is. It is a deep desire that leads to the quiet despair of this life under the sun when there's no hope in anything beyond it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

day no. 14,043: loving oppostion

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Love is often honored by those who hate what comes against it and sometimes peace is best honored by those who wage war.

"We certainly never hate our enemies so much as when we are running away from them." - GK Chesterton

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for someone who is opposing you is to oppose them back.

Monday, April 3, 2017

day no. 14,042: put up or shut up?

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak
There is a time to rip and a time to repair; a time to put up and a time to shut up.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

day no. 14,041: a house of representatives

A home is a little church and its residents all play particular parts in representing the faith to its guests and neighbors.

Ephesians 5:22-32
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

day no. 14,040: the white flag of victory

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away
Americanism states that the only unacceptable outcome is giving up. Wisdom clearly states that sometimes the most noble course of action is calling it quits. Never give up? Always depends.