John Piper on Getting Enough Sleep

The Bible says, “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty” (Prov. 20:13).  But does that mean you should always cheat sleep?  Here is some real wisdom on sleep from John Piper, I can relate with.

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Use a Pointer While Teaching History To Your Children

Here is a story out of the home life of my friend Michael Gobart and a really neat use of a pointer in the training of his children:

Teaching our children is something we must embrace with joy even while it is an effort that requires great work. But the hope of eternal reward in the form of regeneration of heart and newness of life is the goal of this magnificent effort — a reward with no rival or equal in payout.

Seeing my children show excitement about a biblical event, principle, or concept is one of the most rewarding things I get to observe in this life. Understanding concepts of sin, consequences of actions, failures of heroes who are nonetheless heroes, God’s mercy and deliverance, or remembering something the writer of an epistle may have said in another letter are among the great highlights and victories which I hope will prove foundational to our children taking their thoughts captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. (more…)

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The Lifesaving Station

“Have we forgotten the urgency of evangelism and to save souls as we enjoy the comforts of the Church?”

This often happens to churches…The former lifesaving station.

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He Could Not Keep the Good News to Himself

Deborah’s great-grandmother writes of the impact of the salvation of her father:

My Father could not keep the good news, so a short time after he would take the train back every Sunday (after the morning service) to Martins Bay, and then walked to the hill country and preached to his own people and friends. Later on he preached in town in the market place, and opened a mission for the colored people where there was a settlement back of George St Belleville.

 We visited all these places when we visited Barbados on our 30th wedding anniversary.

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A Little Girl on Barbados Hearing the Gospel from Her Mother

Deborah’s great-grandmother recalls her mother preaching the gospel to her on the island of Barbados. She writes:

“Some of my Mothers favorite verses were:

Perfect love casteth out fear.

Godliness with contentment is great gain.

Having food and raiment therewith be content.

Let the words of my mouth, and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, Oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

How well I remember how she used to sit and tell us children of God’s simple plan of salvation!”

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Why Such a Comfortable Union?

In a nutshell, it’s theological. We both embrace a unifying principle that smoothes the bumps and calms the raging seas. It gives us compassion for one another. It is a 24/7 factory of patience. This principle helps us to understand everything. Let me explain. I have always been grateful for Deborah’s father and mother for a particular deposit they made in her life. They taught her that God was absolutely sovereign over all things. As a result, she believes  that “no one can restrain His hand” (Daniel 4:35). The world was not spinning out of control. Everything is on course. Every human being is being governed by Almighty God. She grew up believing that everything was a gift of God. The sunny day, the hurricane, and even the preoccupied husband are gifts from heaven to fulfill the “good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:5).

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Two of the Happiest Days of My Life

I am not the kind of person who is looking for an emotional high. I don’t think of it. But there are two days of my life that stand out against all others. They loom in my memory as days of happiness. The first was the day when I realized that Christ was my Savior. The sky was bluer, the grass was greener, the ocean was fresher and my smile was broader than ever before. The prophesy was fulfilled, “with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3). The second day, was my wedding day. It was a day of extreme happiness. I savored every moment of that day. And the happiness of that day turned out to be a prophesy for the days ahead. We have had such a happy marriage these thirty years.

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A Comfortable Union

Being away this week has given us some time to reflect on thirty years of marriage. Our marriage has been a comfortable union of souls. I have always marveled at the deep and abiding sense of “shalom” that has existed in our marriage. I am especially reminded of this as we fall into bed each night. It seems so natural to simply walk through the normal things of life. Our marriage has never been fueled by surges of new exciting things. There are no chivalrous feats or phenomenal heights of ecstasy or romance. It has been very normal. And, we have loved the normal. I don’t sweep Deborah off her feet everyday. I don’t wow her with flowers. We live day to day, raising children, having meals, going to church, receiving guests, and simply being together. I often feel embarrassed when people come to stay in our home because I know that they will quickly find out the truth. They soon realize that if they came expecting to see some amazing, jaw-dropping life, they have come to the wrong place. They come to a quiet place, where we are content to live life day by day. For us, that is what undergirds what has been such comfortable union.

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A Diary Entry from the Past

Deborah’s great-grandmother writes in her diary, “my Father, Robert Thomas Lanahan Gibson (Linnie), born March 14th, 1838 in Barbados, West Indies, Below the Cliff. He married Anna Lorinthia Edwards, born Jan 21st, 1843 in Barbados, West Indies, Below the Cliff. They married Oct 11th, 1863 at St Margarets Chapel, Below the Cliff. They had 10 children.”

Robert and Anna (Deborah’s
great-great-grandparents)
Tom and Carol
(Deborah’s parents)

Scott and Deborah

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The Kingdom of Heaven: Come and Nest in Its Branches

This past Sunday, we considered Matthew 13:24-43, where Jesus is teaching about the kingdom of heaven. In this passage, Jesus gives three parables: 1) the wheat and the tares, 2) the grain of mustard seed, and 3) the leaven. He explains through these what the kingdom of heaven is like and what those who hear should know about it.

You can listen the sermon through this audio player:

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Two Centuries Later

My friend Craig Houston wrote this to me regarding our celebration of the gospel coming to Deborah’s family:

“The Grace of God is truly amazing in that He moves in the hearts of His people to bring the gospel to the regions beyond, and people there are impacted by the good news, and then they take that glorious truth of the gospel to yet another country and people. Fast forward to the two centuries, and a descendent of those converts is a preacher’s wife in NC. Praise God!”

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Welcome to Barbados

Brethren missionaries came here and encountered Deborah’s family near the end of the 19th century. They preached the gospel to Deborah’s great, great grandparents. According to the diary of their daughter, Lorinthia, they brought the message of salvation by grace alone, eternal security, and the final judgment. God’s kingdom was expanding as Jesus promised His disciples in the parable of the mustard seed and the leaven in Matthew 13. The gospel came to Deborah’s family through ordinary people. They had the leaven of the gospel in their souls, giving them urgings to leave their homelands to sow the seeds of the kingdom of heaven in other places. I am so grateful for these missionaries.

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The Gospel and Our Wedding Anniversary

Today, January 23, 2012, is our 30th wedding anniversary. As an anniversary present, I am taking Deborah to the place where the gospel first came to her mother’s side of the family. We are scheduled to arrive this afternoon. We are going to celebrate the power of the gospel. We will be visiting the place they lived when they were married and converted, and the places they evangelized and lived. This is a gospel-celebrating wedding anniversary.

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Cesarean Nation

Amazingly, 46% Chinese women have cesarean section. Not only is an increasingly radical anti-child culture driving this but also the profit motive – hospitals get twice as much money for a C-Section compared to a vaginal birth.

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Indiana Unveils Its First License Plate for Gay Youths

The Indiana DMV is promoting debauchery among young Indianans by raising money for it and facilitating connections through advertising. This year there were ten new organizations that have been granted the privilege of raising funds through specialty license plates in Indiana. Now, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth group, “The Indiana Youth Group” has become one of those ten.

Here is the opening statement of the report:

INDIANAPOLIS | Indiana’s first specialty license plate that benefits gay causes is now available for purchase.

Bureau of Motor Vehicles spokesman Graig Lubsen said the Indiana Youth Group plate has been available since Dec. 28. The plate bears a logo with hands in rainbow colors reaching up.

Some $25 from sales of each $40 plate goes to the group serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The Indianapolis-based organization operates an activity center, helps develop Gay Straight Alliances in high schools and assists communities in forming youth services. The group serves about 1,400 youths and young adults ages 12 to 21, The Indianapolis Star reported in a Wednesday story.

“All the money will go directly for services to these young people,” Youth Group Director Mary Byrne said.

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