May 8, 2010

Thoughts on death and friendship

Filed under: Uncategorized — quotable1988 @ 12:10 am

When peace like a river attendeth my way; when sorrows like sea billows roll: whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say it is well–it is well with my soul.

Though satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blessed assurance control: that Christ has regarded my helpless estate and hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul.
It is well–it is well with my soul.

–“It Is Well” verses 1 and 2, by Horatio Spafford

Today, tragedy struck the family of a person whom I once called a close friend. Jared Adams’ younger brother died today in a one-man car wreck on his way from Longview to Texarkana. I have had several thoughts uniquely related to this incident in the hours since I found out.

1) I have lately begun to consider Jared as more of an acquaintance rather than a friend. We have scarcely talked in the past year, and I find it difficult to carry on a conversation with him when they do happen to occur. But today, I realized that he will never be an acquaintance. He will always be an old friend, even if he isn’t someone to whom I am particularly close at this point in time. We have shared life together; we have walked deeply with each other, trusting each other with things that we don’t entrust to many people. And even though that season of our lives has passed, it does not mean that we are no longer friends; it just means that we are old friends, or maybe unacquainted friends (if that makes any sense at all). I still care about him as I once did–that is why I am still so deeply hurt that we are no longer close friends–and I still will come running if he ever calls upon me.

2) It is easy for me to think that I can help Jared in some way since I went through losing my dad. But I must remember: talking to him will not help him; assuring him with words will not help him; anything that appeals in any way to rational thought will not help him. In times of deep emotion like this, trying to rationalize only hurts. There is a time for rationalizing, but that comes later. The only thing that I can do at this point is be there for him. That is all that will help–and even that helps very little.

3) I have dealt with suicidal (/suicidal-type) desires for at least two years now–perhaps more. Even as soon as a week ago: I was talking to Nate H. and he asked what I wanted to do, my answer (though I didn’t actually tell him) was “to die.” Not commit suicide, but die–there is a distinct difference (hence the “/suicidal-type” modifier). I will not commit suicide because I will not put my mom through that. Even whenever Mom ends up dying (which I pray will not be for a very long time), I still won’t do it–at that point, I won’t leave my sister alone. But tonight, as I was getting ready for bed, I realized something: I’m not envious of Jared’s brother. I’m not! With the way I have felt rather consistently for the past two years, I would expect a fairly quick reaction of envy after hearing the news. But I’m not. And that surprises me. A very good surprise–but a surprise, nonetheless. Perhaps… perhaps underneath all the strife, it truly is well within my soul.


May 7, 2010

Chandler on expository preaching

Filed under: Uncategorized — quotable1988 @ 4:39 pm

If you want to talk about the text [in a sermon], that’s great. If you want to tell a story about your cousin Jim, I don’t care. — Matt Chandler

My beef with some preaching *coughantiochcough* is not just topical/exigetical. It’s a combination of that and exhortational/expository. And my thoughts are summed up very well by the above Matt Chandler quote.

April 17, 2010


Filed under: God - general — quotable1988 @ 5:00 pm

Two posts in one day. Whaddayaknow?

Unfortunately, in some Evangelical circles, we’ve done great work in exegeting and studying Scripture, but we’ve done lesser work in understanding people and culture. Bob Kellemen, at RPM Ministries blog

How true this is. According to Kellemen, this is the main reason that so much of what Brian McLaren’s says A New Kind of Christianity is appealing. I’ve enjoyed the two introductory posts in this series of replies to McLaren’s new book, and I would already recommend the series to anyone who disagrees with McLaren–especially people who have asked what one of Kellemen’s friends asked:

“What is Brian saying that is persuasive to so many? What can we learn?”

Because after all, we always want to be learning, right? Why “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” as they say? Why not take away what good we can from McLaren’s questions and throw away the rest?


Filed under: God - general,Theology — quotable1988 @ 11:13 am

So. It’s been awhile. Quote of the day:

The problem is not too much knowledge or too much doctrine or caring too much about thinking. The problem is when knowledge of God becomes a vat instead of a vessel. Doctrinal knowledge is to the Christian life what blood is to the human body. If the blood flows through vessels, it literally gives life to the whole body. But if you just collected blood in a big bucket, some kind of grotesque vat, then you’ve got something unnatural going on. Blood isn’t meant to be stored in a vat. It is meant to flow through vessels of veins and arteries. Likewise, knowledge is not meant to be pooled in a giant theological noggin. Good doctrine and a robust understanding of God is meant to flow through us, producing fruit, leading to worship, making us more like Christ. – Kevin DeYoung

March 14, 2010

The Bible Belt

Filed under: God - general — quotable1988 @ 6:50 pm

It’s easy for Christianity to be nothing but cultural wallpaper in the Bible belt. Sins go under cover for years and sometimes generations. The gospel can devolve into family values, moralism, or Republicanism. The idolatry of sports, children, ethnic heritage (if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much), and property up-keep are more respectable than the idols of sex, power, and liberalism. – Kevin DeYoung at his blog.

March 5, 2010

A contest

Filed under: Uncategorized — quotable1988 @ 3:03 pm

When facebook isn’t working, use the blog. 🙂

I just entered to win 1 of 2 Henri Nouwen books from The Englewood Review (@ERBks ).  You can enter too: http://ow.ly/1dqri – Englewood Review

March 4, 2010

On “acceptable” sins

Filed under: God - general — quotable1988 @ 11:52 pm

This is a comment on a post at Ragamuffin Soul. Carlos has been talking about homosexuality and the church for the past few days, and I enjoyed this comment by Shannon (about halfway down the page)–especially because I know Christians who do struggle with this issue.

Wow, I’m glad that most of my fellow Christians DON’T have to deal with homosexual issues because they don’t have the guts. It’s all well and easy when we struggle with more “acceptable” sins… alocholics [sic] and adulterers can bounce back, right? [yes, that is sarcasm. Not that alcoholics and adulterers can’t bounce back, but… oh, you get the point.] Glad my sins are more acceptable and so very glad that all of us can count on the unfailing and unmerited love, mercy and grace of Jesus… because sadly we won’t find that with many of our brothers and sisters. – Shannon, on a comment at Ragamuffin Soul.

February 28, 2010

The necessity of the Gospel

Filed under: God - general — quotable1988 @ 7:18 pm

It’s been awhile. For today I have a quote via The Gospel Coalition that is very appropriate for Lent.

“There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be trust as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest.” – B. B. Warfield, via The Gospel Coalition

February 20, 2010

Delight yourself in the LORD

Filed under: God - general — quotable1988 @ 9:51 pm

“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.” – Psalm 37:4-6

“Think it not hard if you get not your will, nor your delights in this life; God will have you to rejoice in nothing but himself.” – Samuel Rutherford

In this time, when I am seeking the delights of this life–namely, the delight to pursue a woman as God pursues me–may I rest in God. May I never worship the created rather than the creator (who is blessed forever, amen!), the image of God rather than God Himself, or the human embodiment of ultimate love (earthly marriage) rather than the Godly embodiment of that ultimate love (the marriage of the Lamb to His bride).


February 13, 2010

How glorious!

Filed under: God - general — quotable1988 @ 6:35 pm

“Richard Baxter wrote, ‘If He be thine enemy, it is no matter who is thy friend; for all the world cannot save thee, if He do but condemn thee.‘  The opposite is equally true; if he be [thy] friend, it is [no] matter who is [thine] enemy; for all the world cannot condemn thee, if He do but save thee.” Josh King, at Gloria Dei

After a full day of Edinburg training, how good this reminder is!

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