Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Things to ponder

“I fall short of Thy glory every day by spending hours unprofitably, by thinking that things I do are good, when they are not done to Thy end.”

“Show me how to know when a thing is evil which I think is right and good, how to know when what is lawful comes from an evil principle.”

"May I never rest in a system of doctrine, however scriptural, that does not bring or further salvation, or teach me to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, or help me to live soberly, righteously, godly”

-Taken from the book Valley of Vision.

May our prayers be such as the Puritans before us, who recognized their own sinfulness and did not merely confess outward sins, but what was in their hearts as well. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recommended Reading

Here are some of my favorite books that I've read in the last several months or so. If you're looking for something to read, here are some great ones to get started with!

Lord Change My Attitude
James MacDonald

Through Scripture and good examples, Mr. MacDonald challenges that allowing bitterness, discontentment, rebellion and other sins in our hearts leads to spiritual deserts and inhibits our relationship with God. But he doesn’t leave us there; he reminds us that we need to replace our old patterns of thinking with the opposites.  Whether or not you think beforehand that you struggle with the sins of the chapters, you will find it applicable!

Humility: True Greatness
C.J. Mahaney 
This short book encompasses key components to developing and cultivating a heart of humility.  Mr. Mahaney aptly explains that “The real issue here is not if pride exists in your heart; it’s where pride exists and how pride is being expressed in your life.”  With this foundation laid, Mr. Mahaney delves deeper the true greatness in humility. 

Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are 
Brett and Alex Harris
As the sequel to Do Hard Things, this book gives practicals on how to get started doing hard things right now. Additionally, it asks questions to start with to initially find out what kind of hard things you even should be doing.  Whether or not you've read Do Hard Things, you should read this book!

They Found the Secret
Stories of lives of men and women used by God because they released their lives solely to the service of the Savior.

Valley of Vision: Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions 
Filled with rich truth about God and man, these are great to imitate in your own prayer life, or to just read!

Dug Down Deep
Joshua Harris
Joshua Harris’s latest book discusses the importance of studying and understanding doctrine and theology. He exerts that we’re all theologians, and we are getting our theology about God somewhere, the issue is where. Additionally, Joshua Harris reminds not only of the importance of knowing the doctrine, but crucial aspect of living it out. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Everyone’s heard the phrase “be yourself”. And we can understand how most people mean it—they’re encouraging you to not to act like others around you but to show your unique personality. It’s not wrong to encourage others to stop giving into peer pressure or to stop doing things just because everyone else is. Yet when we heard the term “be yourself” it brings to mind some things we’d like to address.

It's directly unbiblical. We are to be imitators of God, to crucify the flesh, to grow up to be like Christ as Christ lives in us, to walk as children of light and to live worthy of the gospel.

We’re sinful, we don’t want to be like we naturally are!  None of us are righteous, we often feel secure in our sin, we think we haven't sinned, we are wise in doing evil, and we want to follow our own plans

We’re called to be like Christ, not ourselves.  He is our example and we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him.

We have to be careful with the clichés and phrases we use. It’s easy for us to take an unbiblical statement and expand it to make it sound good or even “Christian”. But because it often stems from an unbiblical source, it is weak and doesn’t clearly expound on what we really mean, thus leaving an empty, shallow half-truth.

For Christians, it’s not a matter of acting the way we want or even acting the way we’re naturally inclined. It’s living our lives in such a way that honors Jesus Christ, and choosing to do what pleases Him, ultimately putting the flesh to death.

-Allison and Katie