What Should We Think About the SCOTUS Ruling on Sodomite Marriage?

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  Isaiah 5:20

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Nine Lessons Concerning Sickness

J.C. Ryle wrote some helpful things as we consider the meaning of sickness and how we ought to respond to it. He says,
Sickness is meant…

1. To make us think—to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body—an immortal soul—a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery—and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.

2. To teach us that there is a world beyond the grave—and that the world we now live in is only a training-place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.

3. To make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously. Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ’s blood? Am I prepared to meet God? (more…)

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Generation Cool: Self-Obsessed Millennials Having So Much Fun

The BBC ran this story, profiling two millennial generation 29-year-olds, “We will not be a great generation,” says Gray. “We are too self-absorbed, spending most of our time on frivolous things, like posting photos of ourselves. We are cool kids, we are the cool generation.”
Adam Gray and Sam Fuchs are 29-year-old digital artists and founders of the Hella More Funner collective in San Francisco.

They spend hours searching the internet for images, which they then use to create huge collages of the online world.

Their work resembles what late-medieval artist Hieronymus Bosch might have painted had he had an internet connection and photo editing software.

“Everyone’s sort of mentally obese,” explains Fuchs, commenting on the overload of images and possibilities we are exposed to every day online. “I feel like distraction has a big part to do with our generation’s story.”

Hella More Funner artwork celebrates human relationships in the age of social media, while at the same time revealing their darker undertones.

“We will not be a great generation,” says Gray. “We are too self-absorbed, spending most of our time on frivolous things, like posting photos of ourselves. We are cool kids, we are the cool generation.”

Produced by the BBC’s Anna Bressanin

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You’re Invited to the History of America Mega-Conference

I am very excited about Doug Phillips’ upcoming History of America conference, July 2-6, 2013. When I was raising my children, I had them focus on two things: history and theology. These are the most important subjects. This is why I kept them away from fantasy and other things that would distract them from these kings and queens of the sciences. At Doug Phillips’ History of America conference, you get both of these combined… a perfect way to equip the next generation.

We have seen so many cataclysmic, speed of light social changes in our land in the past few years. Just last night, I was speaking to one of the men in our church and he was telling me that only a few years ago when he was a student at West Point, if you were found to be a homosexual, you were court martialed. Now sodomite weddings are being conducted in the chapel at West Point. Now is the time to teach a new generation where we have been and how the foundations are being destroyed. I believe that a populace that understands history can help stem the the degrading tide we are now experiencing.

I will be giving two lectures at this conference that also blend history and theology.

In my first session, “The Decline of Puritanism in Colonial America,” I will explain the theological perspectives, moral system, personalities, and battles that comprise the decline of Puritanism in America. Learn how the Mather family, Winthrop, Bradstreet, Hutchinson, Edwards and Whitefield all fit into this dramatic story of a shifting culture that affects us to this day. Also see some of the seminal antiquarian books that form the story of what was the moral foundation of our nation on display. Finally, take note of my answer to this key question: “Is the Puritan legacy lost forever?

The second session I will be delivering is, “How Three Generations Cried Out to the Rising Generation.” We need more families like the Mathers. George Washington said that the Mathers were the true founding fathers of America. In this message, I will explain how the Mathers were a fusion of intellect, spirituality, passion, and duty. They thought, preached, applied, and sought to find out what was acceptable to the Lord. All three generations believed that Christians should use every ounce of being for the glory of God. Come and hear an inspiring record of this family that stands as a beacon light of hope for families today. Would you be a family like this? What would it take?

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Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology Is Now Free

SystematicTheology

Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology is now free as an ebook.

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The Freedom and Rest of a Submissive Wife

John Winthrop suggests a life of authority and submission in marriage is actually a beautiful life of joy and liberty:

The women’s own choice makes such a man her husband; yet, being so chosen, he is her lord, and she is to be subject to him, yet in a way of liberty, not of bondage; and a true wife accounts her subjection her honor and freedom and would not think her condition safe and free but in her subjection to her husband’s authority. Such is the liberty of the church under the authority of Christ, her king and husband; his yoke is so easy and sweet to her as a bride’s ornaments; and if through forwardness or wantonness, etc., she shake it off, at any time, she is at no rest in her spirit, until she take it up again; and whether her lord smiles upon her and embraceth her in his arms, or whether he frowns, or rebukes, or smites her, she apprehends the sweetness of his love in all, and is refreshed, supported, and instructed by every such dispensation of his authority over her. – John Winthrop

John Winthrop, “Little Speech on Liberty”, Little Speech on Liberty, Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library, n.d., 14 June 2013, <http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=WinLibe.xml&images=images/modeng&data=/texts
/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=1&division=div1>

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More Restful Than a Vacation

God has provided significant rest time for his people (52 days per year) as they work six days but then cease from economic activity on the seventh, in order to enter into His rest. But, it is much more than a break from work. It is a reminder of the eternal rest that is coming in heaven. It is more than a day to enjoy the courts of the Lord, it is a reminder of what all true believers in Jesus will experience when they meet their Savior when the die, “Enter into the joy of your master.”

If you begin to grasp the privileges of the Sabbath as the market day of the soul, it will be your favourite day, better anticipated than Saturday, more joyful than your birthday, more restful than a vacation. It is the Lord’s Day, and your first conscious though ought to be, ‘This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it’ (Ps. 118:24).
– Joseph A. Pipa, The Lord’s Day, (Fearn, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2008), 45-46.

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Mankiller Chronicles: More U.S. women than ever are breadwinners

More U.S. women than ever are breadwinners, Pew study finds.

As America contines its slide away from biblical gender roles, the trend line continues in the direction of the demise of man as provider – one of the key responsibilities of men. The L.A. Times released this article below, based on a recent Pew Research study. The researchers say the problem is being created by single motherhood. Well maybe. In reality, single motherhood is a result. It is a result of men shirking their responsibilities. Single motherhood is a problem that is created by men. The truth is, we have women making more than men, because men refuse to be men, which is another way of saying they refuse to take responsibility. (more…)

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The Problem With 17-Year-Olds Who Hang Around 17-Year-Olds

Time Magazine recently came out with an article,“The New Greatest Generation”, contending that the idea of seventeen year olds hanging out with seventeen-year olds is a bad idea.

This is why, in every place we went on our tour to Australia and New Zealand, we gave the messages attacking the notions of youth culture and entertainment. We called our messages, “Preparing Boys for Battle and Girls for Dominion,” particularly in view of the fact that, worldwide, youth are caught in a culture of play and non-achievement…their main achievement is to adore themselves. Love for God has been replaced by love of entertainment. When they move into young adulthood, love for children has been replaced with love of toys. We said over and over again, “We were meant to work with tools not play with toys… This message is needed all over the world as the global youth scene is being pickled in its narcissism. We pleaded with our hearers to stop playing games; stop being entertained; stop hanging out; stop adoring yourself and get to work doing something that has meaning. The society at large is no help at all… being content to put young people in educational institutions where they sit at desks for 18 years and have nothing to show for it except a diploma. It should take our breath away.

Even Time Magazine has recognized this reality that exists in the Millinial generation which consists of those born between 1980 and 2000. (more…)

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Church Hopping in Australia

Families in Australia

Here is a map of families that registered for our Australia conferences.

The past few days have been a whirlwind as we’ve travelled from Melbourne to Sydney and Sydney to Hobart — three conferences in less than a week.

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Voices That Cry Out

During the trip, we’ve meditated on Isaiah 40, which speaks of a voice:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. — Isaiah 40:3

The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. — Isaiah 40:6

God brings about reformation through voices that are lifted up in a time of need. We were invited to a meeting with pastors and fathers who have been locally engaged in spreading the message of the NCFIC to discuss the idea of forming an association in Australia. This association would provide leadership and a voice for the FIC movement in Australia, connecting families who share the same vision and extending the reach of the message.

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At the Grave of John G. Paton in Melbourne

 

 

Today we went to the grave of one of the greatest missionaries in history, John G. Paton. Here are a few of his reflections:

His Trust in the Promise of Jesus

His courage and peace was fueled all his life long by the words of His Lord in the Great Commission, “Lo I am with you alway, even to the end of the age.” He wrote,

“’Lo, I am with you alway!’
The secret of a quiet heart!
The secret of a gallant spirit!
The secret of a sunny faith!
The text so often on the tongue! The text upon the tomb!
’Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end!’”

His Honor of His Father

One of the most remarkable aspects of his life is the impact of his father. The memory of his father was one of the centering inspiring forces that worked in his soul. Paton wrote the following about his father’s prayer closet in their thatched house, ‘but we children knew that it was a reflection of the Divine Presence in which his life was lived’. He also wrote,

‘Never,’ he says, ‘in temple or cathedral, on mountain or in glen, can I hope to feel that the Lord God is more near, more visibly walking and talking with men, than under that humble cottage roof of thatch and oaken wattles. Though everything else in religion were by some unthinkable catastrophe to be swept out of memory, my soul would wander back to those early scenes, and would shut itself up once again in that sanctuary closet, and, hearing still the echoes of those cries to God, would hurl back all doubt with the victorious appeal: He walked with God; why may not I?

His Love for Cannibals

One lesson from his life comes from the way he loved the rebellious that God called him to. He was not put off by the cannibals:

‘My first impressions,’ he tells us, ’drove me to the verge of utter dismay. On beholding the natives in their paint and nakedness and misery, my heart was as full of horror as of pity. Had I given up my much-beloved work, and my dear people in Glasgow, with so many delightful associations, to consecrate my life to these degraded creatures? Was it possible to teach them right and wrong, to Christianize, or even to civilize them?’

His Courage in the Face of Danger

His calm in time of crisis caused one friend to say he was the most courageous man he ever knew. On one occasion, when he was in a tree and being threatened from below, he reflected,

‘During the crisis, I felt generally calm and firm of soul, standing erect and with my whole weight on the promise, Lo, I am with you alway. Precious promise! How often I adore Jesus for it and rejoice in it! Blessed be His name!’

‘I have always felt that His promise, Lo, I am with you alway, is a reality, and that He is with His servants to support and bless them even unto the end of the world.’

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Scott and Kevin Down Under

The Praying Son-in-Law of John Knox

I have a grandson named Knox Defender Bradrick; so my heart is moved by things “Knox.” Here is a story about the son-in-law of the Knox of the 16th century:

Rutherford refers to the former pastor of Kirkcudbright [John Welch of Ayr, son-in-law to John Knox] as ‘that Apostolicke, heavenly, and Propheticall man of God’ and reports, ‘from the godly witnesses of his life I have heard say, of every twenty four hours, he gave eight to prayer, except when the public necessities of his calling did call him to preach, visit, exhort in season and out of season.’ – From his ‘brotherly and free Epistle’ in his Survey of the Spiritual Antichrist, 1648 quoted in Iain H. Murray, The Puritan Hope: A Study in Revival and the Interpretation of Prophecy, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1998), 24.

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Dinner with Some New Zealand Pastors

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Esther and Rebecca Courter, Claudia Brown, Rebecca Swanson

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