July 30, 2010

Now reading...

Joel is a Political Science major in college, and he gets to read many interesting (and some boring) books.

Just this week, he got in the mail a fascinatingly titled book about Rwanda: We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda.  I began reading it this morning, and so far it is a fairly morbid and sober read about a dark chapter in the history of Rwanda.

Philip Gourevitch approaches the genocide carried out by the Hutu majority in Rwanda against the Tutsi minority in the spring of 1994 from a fairly humanistic/evolutionary worldview, and yet with a gentleness and sensitivity few would find in a piece about such horrific atrocities.

To quote the author: "All at once, as it seemed, something we could have only imagined was upon us - and we could still only imagine it.  This is what fascinates me most in existence: the peculiar necessity of imagining what is, in fact, real."

July 29, 2010

Theology Thursday: Sabellianism

Modalism is an interpretation of the doctrine of the Trinity in which the Persons of the Trinity are viewed as Modes of divine action rather than as eternal and essential distinctions within the divine nature itself.  Such a view flourished in the 3rd century A.D. as a form of Monarchianism.  Its proponents insisted on the complete and undivided sovereignty of God and thereby rejected any distinctions in the being of God, such as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Sebellius (early 3rd century) appears to have argued that God is one individual being and that the terms Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are simply names applied to the different forms (Modes) of action of that one being and, therefore, do not refer to eternal and intrinsic distinctions within the god-head.
Now, many of you are sitting there wondering "what on earth is Abby talking about?"  Well, does the name Phillips, Craig and Dean ring a bell?




The popular music group that I mentioned above (Phillips, Craig and Dean) believe in the "oneness Pentecostal" doctrine of the Trinity.  Watch the video... it will be explained.


Next time...


I will discuss The Absolute.  Stay tuned.

July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Caleb!


Today my brother Caleb turns 18.  Hard to believe.


C - Caring. Compassionate. Cool.
A - Affable.  Affectionate.  Adventurous.
L - Lovable.  Loyal.  Long-suffering.
E - Enduring.  Encouraging. Engaging.
B - Boyish.  Bold.  Brave. Brotherly.

Caleb is such a neat young man, and it has been amazing to watch him grow up into a strong, opinionated, Christian leader.  He is reliable.  Dependable.  Someone I can always count on. He is truly a faithful, gift of God.  That's what his names mean, and that is what he is becoming.
I Love you Caleb and I am so thankful that God has given you another year with our family!  May He ever richly bless and guide you as you seek to serve Him each day.


July 8, 2010

Quoting the Author

 It is only in a society that truly acknowledges God as being the Supreme Being that science can continue to be advanced. We do not see scientific discoveries for the most part being made in pagan lands. Why have not the Muslim countries seen great advances in the medical industry for example? Could it be that due to their worldview, such advances are nearly impossible? Or why hasn't an “industrial revolution” occurred in some of the Asian countries where Buddhism, Hinduism, or Animism are being practiced?

I would argue that because of the Christian influence on all of society throughout the centuries, there have been great discoveries made in almost every major field of study, scientifically speaking. When we look back through the ages, we see how that after the Reformation, there was a literal explosion of new inventions and much of the ground work was done for what we now call “modern science” - what was then called natural history. And then after the Great Awakenings in North America and the British Isles, numerous advances were made in not only the scientific fields, but industrially.

July 7, 2010

A Singular Heart


2010 Resolved Trailer from Resolved on Vimeo.

Resolved means what it sounds like: it’s a deliberate, committed disposition.
 As a 19-year old in the mid-1700s, Jonathan Edwards became serious about the direction of his life. He began to understand the nature of God, and what he discovered was both delightful and disturbing. The more he investigated the infinite tributaries of God’s nature, the more he unearthed his own sinfulness. From then on, the weight of God’s glory became the gravity of his life. He was compelled to respond.
 Check it out: Resolved Conference.

July 6, 2010

Sono Harris Remembered

I got the sad news yesterday.  Even though I knew she was seriously ill, I did not expect her to go so quickly.  I'm sure her family didn't either.

Sunday July 4th was Independence Day for many, but for Sono Harris wife of homeschool pioneer Gregg and mother to: Josh, Joel, Brett, Alex, Sarah, Isaac and James, it was homecoming day.  The day when she stepped over to the shores of glory-land!  

Her earthly journey was brief (1954-2010) and yet filled with so much to remember and give thanks for.  She has been an inspiration to countless thousands, even as she was a "behind the scenes woman" - her husband and sons Josh, Alex & Brett being well-known, you know that she was a great influence and inspiration in their lives.  As the saying goes "behind ever successful man, is a strong woman."  How true.

I love what her sons Alex & Brett say about her on their blog
Fourth of July represents something even greater to us now, true freedom for our dearest mother — from a body wracked by cancer and life in a broken world.
Tonight, as fireworks lit up the sky, we like to think that they celebrated a life well-lived — and a recognition that it is not death to die, that we can still rejoice.
Even as they rejoice that their wife, mother and grandmother is cancer free, I know that they must be sorrowing inexpressibly.  Join me in praising God for a life will lived, and for strong comfort and strength for the dear family left behind.



To the Harris family - You are all in my prayers as you grieve!

July 4, 2010

50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

Why Jesus Came to Die


Copyright 2006, Desiring God Foundation
Published by Crossway Books
$6.49 at Desiring God bookstore

Are you seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus? A greater understanding of Christ's death? Do you want to grow your love for our Saviour? How about a true sense of gratitude for His death?

Recently I have taken the time to read and study through John Piper's marvelous book 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. An overview of the theological reasons why Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of mankind. As I work my way through this book I am seeing more clearly my sinfulness and His sinlessness. The picture is becoming clearer to me as to the reasons (or as Piper explains so wonderfully, the purposes) behind Christ's great love for me.

Supported by many scripture references, Dr. Piper draws a dramatic picture of the vast ramifications of Christ's death. He points it back the reason why behind the Cross. A predetermined agreement between God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit to conquer death and Satan. A holy agreement.

From the forward of this wonderful book Piper says the following: “When all is said and done, the most crucial question is: Why? Why did Jesus come to die? Not why in the sense of cause, but why in the sense of purpose. What did Christ achieve by His death? Why did He have to suffer so much? What great thing was happening on Calvary for the world?” “... I have gathered fifty reasons why Jesus came to die. Not fifty causes, but fifty purposes. Infinitely more important than who killed Jesus is the question: What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending His Son to die?” (p. 17, c. 2006)


As I began to work my way through this dear little book (it is actually rather small, only 122 pages long), my whole frame of reference changed as to the purpose for Christ's death. This became very apparent in the sixth entry: To Show His Own Love For Us. “He loved me and gave Himself for me.” Or as Piper puts it: “The early witnesses who suffered most for being Christians were captured by this fact: Christ “loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). They took the self-giving act of Christ's sacrifice very personally. They said, “He loved me. He gave himself for me.” (p. 30) His death was for me, for my sins. Very personal.

Yet is was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief.” Isa. 53:10

Ultimately, Christ came to die for the sins of mankind, to fulfill the will of the Father, and to bring glory to God.

I am so thankful that I purchased this book, but regretful that I've not read it before now. This is a book that I highly recommend to everyone, so that you will have a clearer idea of the greatest sacrifice... ever!

“In Him we have redemption though His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7

July 3, 2010

Eclipse

Flee also youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace; with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

No, I’m not going to laud the new action packed fantasy based on Stephenie Meyer’s thriller novel series Twilight

I would however like to HIGHLY recommend to all of my female readers young and old, to take time to read and consider seriously the points that Jasmine makes in her wonderful article about this newest Twilight saga installment.

And you can check out my brief article about the dangers of engaging in this kind of demonic fantasy here.   I would also direct your attention to this very thoughtful article penned by Mary Kassian over at True Woman.

July 2, 2010

Evangelism

Mark Cahill is one of the most inspiring Christians I have ever read about.  Through his books One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven and One Heartbeat Away I have been inspired and convicted regarding my own habits of personal and external witnessing. 

Here is a quote from his book  One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven which hits the nail on the head:

A youth pastor in Atlanta once asked me, "Mark, why is it that when we are in church or in a good worship time, God is so big and Satan is so small; but when we go out witnessing, Satan is so big and God seems so small?"
I didn't have an answer.
He asked, "Did God change?"
"Of course not."
"That's right," he said.  "God hasn't changed, but our perception of God has." 
That is an incredible truth.  God is big wherever you go.  Whether you witness in the bar section of town, at a music festival, or during spring break, don't ever forget how BIG your God is!"

You can learn more about Mr. Cahill and his Ministry here.  And if you would like to order his books, you can do that here.

July 1, 2010

Welcome to my new blog!


I have been wanting to try the new Blogger ever since I realized they had updated everything about their stick.  The sleek backgrounds.  The sophiscated gadgets.  All of the buzz was right on.

For the last two years I have enjoyed blogging over at Word Press, but I've always admired the moveablity of blogger blogs.  All of the add-ons you could post on your side bar, the polls, videos and the list goes on...

Since I'm new here, let me tell you a bit about my life.

Some days are good, others bad.  I am not a wishy-washy person either.  I have my mountain top experiences and my valleys.  I think we all do.

The one thing in life I want ~ consistancy.  Each day to be as good as the one before, as holy, as righteous.  God needs to be happy with my life, or rather His life I'm living out.

I struggle with contentment.  I want to go places and do things.  Not just for me.  For Him!  I'm tired of sitting in neutral while other people try to figure where I should head.  I know what I want to do.  The problem is getting there.

I guess I should say that I will probably vent a lot of my frustrations on here, so be prepared. :D