We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Needle in a Haystack

Have you ever found a needle in a haystack? Alan and his wife, Leisa, were tired after spending all day raking up leaves and pine straw from the backyard of his mother-in-law’s home. Even their 4-year-old daughter, Lydia, had tried to help. Now, after hours of back-breaking work, the yard looked great. Towering pine trees stood majestic against the orange sunset, and the Smiths shared in the satisfaction of seeing the 12 huge lawn bags piled up in the center of the grass. But satisfaction quickly turned to dismay when Leisa discovered her diamond wedding ring had somehow slipped off during the chore. It could be anywhere on the lawn or in one of those bags. She gasped. Sick with despair, Alan realized there was only one solution. He huddled his family together and encouraged them, let’s just ask God for help. He knows where it is. Suddenly, little Lydia jumped and said, I know where it is! She walked over to the bag in the middle of the pile and after spilling just a small amount of the pine straw, out came the ring.
What a wonderful experience for the Smith family, not just because they found something of value, but because they now understood the value of prayer. God could have chosen not to answer this prayer but instead he acted on behalf of a family who did. Over the last decade I have observed an alarming trend of Christian parents, teens, and children who no longer converse with God about the little things. Jesus said to ask and we would receive. I don’t think little Lydia will ever forget that day. God’s design is really quite simple we have not because we ask not.

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christian Hedonism

Have you ever heard of Christian Hedonism before? Christian Hedonism was first introduced to me through author and Bible teacher, John Piper. When I first read about Christian Hedonism in his book, Desiring God, I read that chapter over and over again. It sparked something in me that has remained with me years later. In fact, there is rarely a morning when I wake up that my first thoughts are not influenced by Christian Hedonism. Christian Hedonism has so influenced my life that I am happier than I have ever been. Ok, enough delay…the word Hedonism refers to one who lives for pleasure. Christian Hedonism is simply one who lives for the pleasure of God. John Piper conveys it this way in his book, Desiring God…he first quotes the old Westminster Confession which reads, “The chief end of man is to glorify God AND enjoy him forever.” But John changed one word in the Confession and by doing so, it changed my life and countless others who are also now Christian Hedonists. John Piper’s alternate Westminster’s Confession now reads, “The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying him forever.” Yes it is that simple…God wants us to enjoy him and he desires to enjoy us. Thinking this way can change your entire outlook on life. Everything you do can now be done with the thought that you are living life in partnership with God—he receives enjoyment or glory as you live your life creatively, or kindly, mercifully, or humbly. And reciprocally, you receive enjoyment in how God lives his life through you. Galatians 2:20 states that “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives in me, and the live which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment