Doctrine to Life

Hope

You know what it is.

You’ve had it! You’ve lost it.

You’ve encouraged others with it; others have encouraged you.

But what happens when hope seems hopeless? How do you minister hope to someone whose life seems to keep repeating the same pattern; “sorrow, rebellion, despair.”

This past week, Tim Challies posted an incredibly beautiful narrative by a pastor’s wife in Toronto, Canada; someone who is acquainted with many stories of sorrow, rebellion and despair.  Elisha Galotti in A Story Already Told writes,

“Could it be that He has written our story with a sovereign, loving pattern of repetition: His people walk through darkness and He gives them light; His people stagger under the weight of heavy burdens and He comes alongside and lifts; His people bear the shame of their sin and He sends One to wash them clean; His people work and grow weary and He gives them rest; His people know deep sorrow and He replaces it with tears of joy….Could it be that the One who has written the story of redemption lovingly breaks our hearts in order to draw us to a Love that will not fail?”

This blog post is not only a powerful and beautifully written piece, it is a great encouragement and a great reminder of an incredibly GREAT God who has an amazing plan. Enjoy…

Satan’s plan. Or at least one of them…

If you’ve been around the PCA or reformed church circles for very long you likely have heard about the three uses of the law.

The first use is as a mirror. R.C. Sproul states, “the law of God reflects and mirrors the perfect righteousness of God,” as well as “illumines human sinfulness.”

The second use is the restraint of evil and the third use is “to reveal what is pleasing to God. As born-again children of God, the law enlightens us as to what is pleasing to our Father, whom we seek to serve.”

Would you be surprised to know that Satan also has his own use for God’s perfect law? Andre Seu Peterson at World magazine shares how she witnessed Satan’s use of the law after instructing her son to do something he enjoyed however he did not initiate.

A telling tale indeed.

The New Normal

Widely accepted in the field of psychological medicine is a manual called the DSM. First published in 1952, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders “provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.”

“The DSM is used in the United States and to various degrees around the world. It is used or relied upon by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, the legal system, and policy makers.” (Wikipedia)

This diagnostic tool widely used around the world is not, however, the same document it was in 1952. Interesting to note, between the 1952 edition and the 1973 revision the DSM referred to homosexuality as a “sociopathic personality disturbance.” (Wikipedia)  The DSM has endured 4 revisions; the latest being released this May.

Michael Emlet at CCEF briefly introduces us to this manual in The New Normal and then helps us understand the ways in which this tool may or may not be helpful to believers in the Christian church.

Hym.nol.ogy

“What Wondrous Love is This” is a hymn more popularly sung in Methodist and Baptist traditions, written by the ever ubiquitous “Anonymous.” Earliest appearance in a hymnal appears to have been in the early 1800’s, perhaps originating in the south. And if it’s from the south, well….ya’ll know it’s gotta be good.

Sung typically in Lent season, this hymn leads the singer to reflect on Christ’s amazing work on the cross and with gratitude praise Him throughout the blessing of eternity.

What wondrous love is this,
O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this,
O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul….

And when from death I’m free,
I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free
I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity,
I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity I’ll sing on

I’ve decided banjos are my favorite instrument. Not that they get much play time in this version of Wondrous Love by Blue Highway but at least one of the guys is holding one…

Blue Highway’s version is a cappella and you can hear it here beginning at the 1:20 mark.

I don’t know this artist but her voice is haunting. Besides. I want you to be able to exercise choice in these renditions! Listen to Chelsea Moon and The Franz Brothers here.

Wish I’d Said That

“If I think I have all of my theology right, but have not love, then I have none of my theology right.” Buck Parsons