31 July 2013

Have You?

Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good?

Have you, when you have thus been emptied of yourself and weaned from this vain world, found a better good?

Have you had those discoveries of Christ, or that sense of his excellency or sufficiency and wonderful grace, that has refreshed and rejoiced your heart, and revived it as it were out of the dust, and caused hope and your comfort to spring forth like the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain?

Has there been light let into your soul, as the light of the sun pleasantly breaking forth out of the cloud after a dreadful storm, or as the sweet dawning of the light of the morning after long wandering in a dark night, or the bright and beautiful day star arising with refreshing beams?

Have you had that divine comfort that has seemed to heal your soul and put life and strength into you and given you peace after trouble and rest after labor and pain?

Have you tasted that spiritual food, that bread from heaven, that is so sweet and so satisfying, so much better than the richest earthly dainties?

Have you felt something of the divine comfort and peace, which can't be expressed and which passes all understanding?

Have you tasted that in Christ that has turned the stream of your affections that way and filled you with longings after more of him?
--Jonathan Edwards, "Like Rain Upon Mown Grass," in Works, Yale ed., 22:315

27 July 2013

Jesus Worked a Secular Job

Sometimes, Christians will insist that the only work that is truly worthwhile, pleasing to God, and spiritual is the work of serving the proclamation of the gospel across the world. This view suggests that, if we were all truly earnest Christians, we would leave our “secular” jobs, in which we are simply making a living, providing for our families, and ruling the world, and we would all join the “sacred” work of mission.
But if we stop and think about Jesus’ life, we see that he was doing so-called secular work as a carpenter or a fisherman for many more years than he was a preacher and teacher. It would be blasphemous to suppose that during these years Jesus was living in a manner that was not fully godly and completely pleasing to his Father in heaven.
Jerram Barrs, Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts (Crossway 2013), 21

26 July 2013

Women's Immanuel Theology Group 2013-14

And for the men:

Hard to imagine a better way for busy men and women within striking distance of Nashville to deepen their hearts and knowledge of God's Word.

24 July 2013

You Never Leave a Loved One Behind When You Die

Edwards, jotting down some thoughts (a "miscellany") in a private notebook:
When a saint dies, he has no cause at all to grieve because he leaves his friends and relations that he dearly loves, for he doth not properly leave them.
For he enjoys them still in Christ; because everything that he loves in them and loves them for, is in Christ in an infinite degree; whether it be nearness of relation, or any perfection and good received, or love to us, or a likeness in dispositions, or whatever is a rational ground of love.
--Jonathan Edwards, Works, Yale ed., 13:167

20 July 2013

The More Fear, the Less Fear; the Richer, the Poorer

Edwards captures beautifully the strange but true paradox of Christian maturity:
All gracious affections have a tendency to promote this Christian tenderness of heart, that has been spoken of: not only a godly sorrow; but also a gracious joy. . . .

Yea the most confident and assured hope, that is truly gracious, has this tendency. The higher an holy hope is raised, the more there is of this Christian tenderness.
The banishing of a servile fear, by a holy assurance, is attended with a proportionable increase of a reverential fear. The diminishing of the fear of the fruits of God's displeasure in future punishment, is attended with a proportionable increase of fear of his displeasure itself: the diminishing of the fear of hell, with an increase of the fear of sin. The vanishing of jealousies of the person's state, is attended with a proportionable increase of jealousy of his heart, in a distrust of its strength, wisdom, stability, faithfulness, etc. The less apt he is to be afraid of natural evil, having "his heart fixed, trusting in God," and so, "not afraid of evil tidings" (Ps 112:7); the more apt is he to be alarmed with the appearance of moral evil, or the evil of sin. As he has more holy boldness, so he has less of self-confidence, and a forward assuming boldness, and more modesty. As he is more sure than others of deliverance from hell, so he has more of a sense of the desert of it. He is less apt than others to be shaken in faith; but more apt than others to be moved with solemn warnings, and with God's frowns, and with the calamities of others. He has the firmest comfort, but the softest heart: richer than others, but poorest of all in spirit: the tallest and strongest saint, but the least and tenderest child amongst them.
 --Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections, page 364 of Yale edition

17 July 2013

The Single Greatest Command of Deuteronomy

...and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake. (Deut 12:7)

And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants... (12:12)

And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you undertake. (12:18)

And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. (14:26)

And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God... (16:11)

You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter... (16:14)

...because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. (16:15)

And you shall rejoice in all the good that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house... (26:11)

...and you shall sacrifice peace offerings and shall eat there, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God. (27:7)

Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart... (28:47)

'Rejoice with him, O heavens...' (32:43)

'Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out, and Issachar, in your tents.' (33:18)

$4.5 million and Zero to Sixty in Under Three Seconds

03 July 2013

Writers, Listen Well . . .

. . . to the analogy from 7:11 to 11:16 from Jim Collins, author of Built to Last and Good to Great.

02 July 2013

Who Jesus Is (And Who He Isn't)

The final question to a brief, really nice interview on Proverbs, Stephen Altrogge asking the questions and Dad answering them--
What one thing do you hope people take away from reading the commentary? 

That Jesus is the wisest, smartest, most omni-competent man anywhere. He is not just a really, really nice religious guru for people whose lives are privileged enough that they have margin and money for recreational religious sweetness. No, he is the shrewdest man in all the universe. He out-thinks everyone. And amazingly, he offers himself, in his fullness of grace, to complete idiots like me who are willing to listen and learn.

Leadership Wisdom from the Man ESPN Called the Greatest Coach of the 20th Century