Round Up

George Bush is Smarter Than You – They say that perception is everything, but could it be that we have allowed our perception to be hijacked by others instead of checking things out for ourselves?

Praying for a Killer – How to pray for those we really don’t want to pray for.

God is Bigger Than Tragedy – A Pastor reflects on the recent tragedy in West, Texas.

Is God Committed to Your Happiness? – If you have ever wondered.

Quote:

The final goal of the blessed life, moreover, rests in the knowledge of God [cf. John 17:3]. Lest anyone, then, be excluded from access to happiness, he not only sowed in men’s minds that seed of religion of which we have spoken but revealed himself and daily discloses himself in the whole workmanship of the universe. As a consequence, men cannot open their eyes without being compelled to see him. Indeed, his essence is incomprehensible; hence, his divineness far escapes all human perception. But upon his individual works he has engraved unmistakable marks of his glory, so clear and so prominent that even unlettered and stupid folk cannot plead the excuse of ignorance…in the creation of the universe he brought forth those insignia whereby he shows his glory to us, whenever and wherever we cast our gaze…wherever you cast your eyes, there is no spot in the universe wherein you cannot discern at least some sparks of his glory. – John Calvin

Daily Roundup

8 Rules for Growing in Godliness – Our growth in godliness is a grace from God, derived from our union with Jesus, and is a work of the Holy Spirit, and yet we are active throughout in both killing sin and living unto righteousness.

Elements of Productive Bible Study – Is studying the Bible hard?  Do you not really know how to start studying the Bible?  John MacArthur gives some tips on how to start.

Understanding the Times:  An Interview with Carl Trueman – From the current issue of Table Talk Magazine.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 and the Case for Sola Scriptura – A transcript of a debate by Dr. James White that took place 19 years ago on the sufficiency of Scripture.

People Prospering Under Ol’ Fashioned Preaching – No pastorate will be successful in the absence of biblical preaching​The faithful preaching of a humble, prayerful pastor is one of God’s greatest means for building up His people.

Quote:

The knowledge that we all have the same creator and maker admonishes us not to harbor contempt for God’s work, whether in ourselves or in another, by asking “Why did he make it like this?” Thus we read in Isaiah, “Woe to anyone who, like an earthen potsherd, argues with its maker. Shall the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’” And in Proverbs, “Whoever disregards the needy insults their maker.” And so this faith, wherein we believe that we have been created by God, brings about these three things in our hearts: First, that with all our hearts we depend in all things upon God our creator. Second, that each of us be contented with our circumstances–indeed, that we embrace them with thanksgiving, given that God our creator has placed us in them. Third, that none of us view our neighbor’s circumstances with contempt, however vile and miserable they be, lest we thereby cast aspersions upon our common creator. – Wolfgang Musculus

Daily Roundup

4 Thoughts on Chick-Fil-A Day– Dan Cathy, the head of Chick-Fil-A, who has publicly stated his stance on what constitutes marriage has become a sort of rallying point for those who see the worlds intolerance to the Christian view of marriage.  This article brings some food for thought into this controversy.

Appearance is Everything? – John MacArthur writes a timely article dealing with the way the world perceives the Church and how the Church tries to market itself to the world.

Pastors: Recommit Yourselves to What You Were Ordained to Do – Preach Christ!  What more is there?

26 Part Lecture Series on Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion – As I am re-reading the McNeill edition of Calvin’s Institutes, I thought this might be a good primer for those who might be interested in taking up this massive volume of wisdom.  Listen online or download as a podcast in iTunes.

When All is Lost – Who are you going to call on when all seems lost? 

Quote:

Thus it comes about that we see men who in [God’s] absence normally remain firm and constant, but who, when he manifests his glory, are so shaken and struck dumb as to be laid low by the dread of death – are in fact overwhelmed by it and almost annihilated.  As a consequence, we must infer that man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God’s majesty. – Calvin, Institutes 1:1:3

Tired Pastors Produce Tired Sermons

David Murray was in Austin, Texas for the Spring Microconference that was put on by the Plantr Network and delivered an address on “Soul Care.”  In this address, he talked about issues that pastors have due to tiredness.  This is a good read and I highly recommend it.  Here are some excerpts:

 – Most pastoral problems, such as burnout, backsliding, depression, etc., begin with neglect of the body.

 – There are lots of people who call God “Lord” but don’t live as His servants. And there are lots of people – yes, even pastors – who call God Creator and preach God as Creator, but who live like evolutionists. Some pastors give the impression that the ministry is about the survival of the fittest! (OR THE FATTEST!)  If you can’t say amen you ought to say OUCH! Continue reading