The Powerful Work of Womanhood in Childbearing

In John Hartley’s commentary on Leviticus, he makes an insightful statement about the powerful work of womanhood in childbearing. Commenting on Leviticus 12, he writes:

“Birth is fraught with mystery, wonder, and danger. As a mother approaches the door of death, she brings new life into the world….In giving birth the woman challenges the penalty of death on mankind for sinning against God in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2.16-17), for each birth insures the continuation of the race. Symbolically each birth strikes a blow on the head of the paradisaical serpent, the champion of death (Gen 3.15). Giving birth was a momentous act of victory. But the regulations of ritual purity did not allow a new mother to exalt herself as divine in her great accomplishment. These regulations relegated her triumph to the sphere of this earth without diminishing her great joy in bringing forth new life.” (John Hartley, Leviticus: Word Biblical Commentary), pp. 169-170

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Unemployed? What Do You Do?

Here is a message I delivered on the subject of grappling with being unemployed.

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Also see this post by Justin Taylor, Promises for Those who are struggling with unemployment.

He notes:

Steve Fuller offers some promises from the Bible for those who are struggling with unemployment, organized under the following headings:

  • Because of Jesus God will provide everything you need.
  • God will deliver you from problems you caused yourself.
  • God will bless you through wrongs others have done.
  • God is in complete control.
  • God will provide the job and income you need.
  • God has a perfect plan for each day you are unemployed.
  • God will give you full joy in Himself without a job.

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The Importance of Difficulties in the Christian Ministry

The Founders Ministries Blog had this helpful post: The Preacher’s Difficult Work

John Venn (1759-1813) became rector of Clapham Church in South London in 1792 and served there until his death. He was the son of the better known, Henry Venn, also a minister in the Church of England, and a friend of William Wilberforce and Charles Simeon. He also served as chaplain to the Clapham Sect. After his death, a collection of his sermons was published by his son. The first message in the first volume is “The Importance and Difficulties of the Christian Ministry” based on 1 Corinthians 2:3. The whole message is worth reading. The following excerpt is taken from that sermon.

It is a difficult service in its own nature. Were the work of a preacher indeed confined to the delivery of a moral discourse, this would not be an arduous task. But a Minister of the Gospel has much more to do. He will endeavour, under Divine Grace, to bring every individual in his congregation to live no longer to himself, but unto Him who died for us. But here the passions, prejudices, and perhaps the temporal interests of men combine to oppose his success. It is not easy to obtain any influence over the mind of another; but to obtain such an influence as to direct it contrary to the natural current of its desires and passions, is a work of the highest difficulty. Yet such is the work of a Minister. He has to arrest the sinner in his course of sin; to shake his strong hold of  security; to make the stout-hearted tremble under the denunciation of God’s judgment; to lead him to deny himself, as to sacrifice the inclinations most dear to him–to repent, and become a new creature. Neither is the work of the Ministry less arduous in respect to those whoa re not open and profligate sinners. Self-love, the most powerful passion of the human breast, will render it equally difficult to convince the formalist of the unsoundness of his religion, the pharisee of the pride of his heart, and the mere moralist of his deficiency in the sight of God. In all these cases, we have to convey unpleasant tidings; to persuade to what is disagreeable; to effect not only a reformation in the conduct of men, and a regulation of their passions, but, what is of still higher difficulty, a change in their good opinion of themselves.  Nay, further we have not merely to “wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” “Who is sufficient for these things?” For this office the Christian Minister may in himself “have no resources above those of any of his congregation,” their weaknesses are his weaknesses, he must therefore undertake his work in weakness, fear and much trembling, but knowing that it may yet be effectual, for it is in weakness that Christ’s strength is always made perfect.

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This Makes Me Angry – Law Requires Americans to Buy Abortion Drugs for Others

It is amazing to me what kind of thinking our country is producing (from an article last year):
As of August 1st of next year, the morning-after pills that must be provided free of charge, from coast to coast, will include Plan B and ella. Both drugs arguably act, in part, as abortifacients — by keeping a fertilized egg (or a newly conceived being) from implanting in the uterine wall. (“Pregnancy” is no longer medically defined as commencing with conception, but days later, at implantation.)”
The author insightfully comments:
“While most Americans were fixated on the debt ceiling debate, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took the opportunity on Monday to decree that, under Obamacare, all Americans will hereby be required to pay for other people’s birth control pills and morning-after pills — including a morning-after pill that is a close cousin of the abortion pill, RU-486. Insurers will be banned from charging recipients any co-pays, co-insurance charges, or deductibles for such pills, and the citizenry as a whole will therefore share the costs.”

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How Can I Increase Productivity in an Internet Age

A Metric for Productivity – Flow State Percentage

Forbes Magazine published something I found helpful. This is a metric for productivity not normally measured, but needs to be well understood.  It is about concentration, and minimizing distraction and interruptions and the recovery time from them.

Metric 1: Flow State Percentage

Jobs that require a lot of brainpower—software programming for instance—also demand deep concentration. You know that feeling when you’re “in the zone,” cranking on something. That is flow. Unfortunately, most of us are constantly interrupted during the day with meetings, emails, texts, or colleagues who want to talk about stuff. These interruptions that move us out of “flow state” increase R&D cycle times and costs dramatically. Studies have shown that each time flow state is disrupted it takes fifteen minutes to get back into flow, if you can get back at all. And programmers who work in the top quartile of proper (ie uninterrupted) work environments are several times more productive than those who don’t.

Ideally programmers and other knowledge workers can spend 30% – 50% of their day in uninterrupted concentration. Most office environments don’t even come close. To get started, ask your engineers to track for a few days their personal flow state percentages: how many hours each day are they in flow, divided by the number of total hours they’re at the office. And then brainstorm ways that the team can move this number up. For example, perhaps there’s a little paper sign at each person’s desk that says “Go Away, I’m Cranking.” Or maybe you have a day where no meetings are allowed. Tom Demarco has written insightfully on the topic of flow.

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Gender Disorder – The Latest Scam

Here is what happens when lost adults are running the asylum – 3-year-old boy diagnosed with gender identity disorder after he announces he is a girl.

“He likes playing with his sister’s old toys but he still loves Dr Who too and playing with his brother. And we still put some neutral clothes in his wardrobe if he ever decides he wants to wear them.

“We leave it up to him to decide what he wants to do – if he changes his mind and wants to be a boy again then he does, but if he doesn’t, he doesn’t.

She admitted: “I would love to have my son back, but I want him to be happy. If this is the route he wants to take – if this is what makes him happy – then so be it. I would rather him have my full support.

The tragic reality is that sin leads to confusion and death: “The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart” (Deut. 28:28); “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1:21).

We must disciple our children to flee from sexual sins and temptations. This is a mighty war. Solomon trains his son. He is our example. If you have ever wondered how to approach this issue, the Proverbs teach us. Proverbs 5:3-4, for instance, says, “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.”

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Parents Who Outsource Basic Child Raising Functions

Parents now abdicate training even on the most basic of human functions to outside “professionals.” If your baby can’t sleep, bring in the professionals. Here is an excerpt:

“Dream Team Baby” comes into the home and helps infants and toddlers learn to fall asleep on their own and soothe themselves back to sleep during the night. Consultants organize a daytime napping and feeding schedule, so a child will be sleepy at bedtime and not hungry during the night. They also create the right sleep environment.

You can read the entire article here.

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Did You Know the New Penny Costs 2.4 Cents to Produce?

Here is an article that explains the madness – “What the 2.4-Cent Penny Says About America’s Budget Problem.“If that sounds strange, a nickel costs 11.2 cents to produce. It is a little too much like the government’s investment in education…you spend a lot, but don’t get much in return.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user terrypresley

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Using New-Found Notions and New-Coined Phrases

Those that would learn well, and teach well, in religion, must not affect new-found notions and new-coined phrases, so as to look with contempt upon the knowledge and language of their predecessors; if we must keep to the good old way, why should we scorn the good old words? Jeremiah 6:16. – Matthew Henry commenting on Proverbs 4

You see this same sentiment in the “Letter to the Reader” which accompanied the Second London Baptist Confession:

Also, when we observed that those last mentioned did in their confession (for reasons which seemed of weight both to themselves and others) choose not only to express their mind in words concurrent with the former in sense, concerning all those articles wherein they were agreed but also for the most part without any variation of the terms, we did in like manner conclude it best to follow their example in making use of the very same words with them. (more…)

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America The Barbarous

America the Barbarous

See Doug Phillip’s blog, “America the Barbarous: New Pentagon Policy Sanctions Women in Combat”:

America has become a nation of barbarians.

For more than a decade, women representing the U.S. armed forced have been dying in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have reported on this fact numerous times in the past, previously highlighting a 2004 front page New York Times story which featured a gruesome cover image of a wounded female soldier, blood running down her leg, with three men surrounding her, screaming. Rather callously, the Times titled the article, “A Routine Burst of Chaos Leaves a G.I. Wounded.” In writing the piece, journalist Dexter Filkins in no way keyed in on the fact that the wounded G.I. was a woman — he reported the story as if she had been any other male soldier hit by enemy fire. (more…)

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What About Birthdays?

Happy Birthday

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Happy Birthday PicturesPictures

Here is a neat piece by my fellow elder Jason Dohm on Birthdays.

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I’m Looking forward to seeing “Monumental” by Kirk Cameron

Moved by the current economic, political and moral issues facing the country, MONUMENTAL, directed by Duane Barnhart, chronicles Cameron’s personal journey to historic sites across Europe and the U.S. to discover the secret that has made America the freest and most prosperous country in the word. As Cameron retraces the heroic and faithful beginnings of America, he discovers a monument to the founding fathers that answers what core principles will keep America strong, free, and well: freedom, justice, education, morality, and religion. – from Monumental’s official press release.

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Beheaded, Matthew 14:1-21

Here is my sermon on Matthew 14:1-22, contrasting the kingdoms of Herod the Tetrarch and our Lord Jesus.

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The Massive, Pretend Framework of Sports

His Last Command Your First Concern

Here is a helpful article by Carl Bosma:

GOD’S LOVE: THE COMPELLING FORCE OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS

Novelist Reynolds Price claims that Jesus’ teaching “has resulted in the most far-reaching movements of mercy, tolerance and human freedom…” (“Jesus of Nazareth: Then and Now,” Time, Dec 6, 1999, p. 94). For this reason he also asserts that Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me,” offer the old welcome. Even though Price professes that Jesus cured him from cancer, he cannot accept Jesus’ final instruction to his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20. In his opinion, “that last command goes on contributing heavily to the evils of national and religious warfare, institutional and individual hatred, imperialism and enslavement…”. (more…)

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