Holiday weeks begin with the prior weekend and last through the next weekendat least in my mind. So... we begin the birthday celebration of The United States of America today. In honor of our great nation, I present:
June 21, 2012
s I get older, I find myself dealing with a whole new set of issuesthings I never even considered when I was younger. And I frankly do not find them any easier than the things I dealt with as a teenager. I know we like to talk about how difficult the teenage years can be, and it is important for us to show that understanding to our teenage children and friends, but the simple fact is: life is hard! Very hard! No matter what the stage in life, it really is not a beach.
So I’m paying attention to the scriptures that provide encouragement, such as the passage I referenced yesterday (Psalm 37). But I’m also paying attention to the saints who have gone before... including some who are still living but who passed through my stage of life more than a decade ago.
As always, one of my favorites is John Piper, pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, and author of the phenomenal book, Desiring God meditations of a Christian hedonist. I decided to pick this book up and read it again. I first read it about 10 years ago when I was at a very different place in life. So I’m going to see how it applies to my new context.
Here’s an appropriate quote from the book’s introduction:
The older I get, the more I am persuaded that Nehemiah 8:10 is crucial for living and dying well: “The joy of the LORD is your strength.” As we grow older and our bodies weaken, we must learn from teh Puritan pastor Richard Baxter (whoe died in 1691) to redouble our efforts to find strength from spiritual joy, not natural supplies. He prayed, “May the Living God, who is the portion and rest of the saints, make these our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly, that loving him, and delighting in him, may be the work of our lives.” When delighting in God is the work of our lives (which I call Christian Hedonism), there will be an inner strength for ministries of love to the very end.
John Piper, Desiring God (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2003), 11
June 20, 2012
urrent events are enough to drive you crazy! But I guess you’ve noticed thatyou don’t need me to tell you. I tend to be a worry-wort. I worry about my family. I worry about my job. I worry about politics. I worry about my friends, my church, my car, my lawnmower. Worrying seems to be one of my favorite pastimes.
But it’s not supposed to be that wayat least not for those of us who claim the name of Christ. I am not supposed to concern myself with things I have no control over. And, frankly, I have almost no control over everything.
When I compare my worries to the worries some other people might have, I realize mine are not so bad. I am not homeless, which is a great relief on a day like today when the temperature is forecast to reach 96 degrees. I am not a shut-in or bed-ridden. I have a family, reasonably good health, a great church, a good job, and I live in a beautiful location in a nation that has been truly blessed.
Perhaps I should see what God tells me to do when I am inclined to worry:
- Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
- For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
- Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
- Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
- Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
- He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
- Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
- The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
- The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
If, like me, you are prone to worry, click on Psalm 37 and read the entire psalm. It’s a wonderful salve for a worried soul.
Now... I need to just make sure that I do as the psalmist says.
June 06, 2012
I don’t mean to gloat, but when liberals get themselves this worked up it shows that something is going right in our nation. Let’s keep it going this coming November.
Hopefully, now we can say good riddance to democracy and get back to the representative republic our nation’s founders set up to protect us from the mob rule of democracy.
And here’s a video response to recall election: