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Archive for April, 2013

What could be more fitting for God than praise?

He spoke all the universe into existence. He filled the earth with all that is living and all that would keep the living alive. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

“He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) He showers common grace on those who receive Him and those who reject.

Would that all could see the blessed hand of the One who made us, the One who sustains us, the One who laid down His life so that all could have life, by grace through faith.

Gratitude for the goodness of our God is the wellspring of praise befitting the greatness of our God.Thank Him … Praise Him!

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I love to tell my story.

I love it not because it sheds light on my abilities, my accomplishments, or my importance. I’m no more special than any other human being, just another beating heart with feet of clay.

My story is a joy to tell because it magnifies my Maker, my Savior, my Master, and my Friend.

God has mended my brokenness, redeemed by regrettable past, corrected my defiance, nurtured the gifting He knit in me from the womb, and granted me a future I could never attain on my own.

And the writing goes on.

My story matters only because it is a passage from a far grander tale; a story of the one and only Almighty stooping to lavishly love the least of these, among whom I am counted.

I love to tell my story … a journey through the valley of the shadow of death destined for ultimate arrival in the presence of the King who alone is worthy of glorious praise.

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Life is full of such uncertainty.

I think to myself, what bliss to have complete control, supremacy. And yet, no amount of wishing changes the disturbing reality of my frailty. Life happens – triumph and tragedy – and so much of it without consulting me in the least.

So we are left to flail about, groping for any speck of perceived power we can harness.

Or, we can marvel at our Maker. We can see in the majesty of mountains and the opulence of oceans His benevolent heart and hands securing and sustaining our feeble lives. He literally holds us together when all is falling apart.

Take heart. The breath-taking magnificence displayed in all of creation is but a glimpse of the infinite power exerted by the God of our salvation on our behalf each and every day.

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Our adversary is the father of lies.

He specializes in cheap shots. Slander is second nature. He blissfully exploits our greatest vulnerabilities and capitalizes on our confusion. Every deed of his is saturated with sinister intent. He never plays fair. He has no conscience and revels in our adversity. He is relentless in his pursuit of our downfall.

Though fierce, he is defeated.

We do well to ask (as Jesus did on our behalf) that our Father in Heaven “keep us from the evil one.” (John 17:15) Having prayed, and with great assurance, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) “… He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

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To be human is to be spiritually hungry.

All of us eat, but not all from the same table.

Spiritual starvation isn’t due to a lack of consumption; but to feeding upon the fruitless fodder of a dry and weary cultural landscape.

The world offers an endless buffet of junk food that may hold off a hunger pang, but never nourish one’s soul.

God alone – His beauty, grace, power, wisdom, love and glory – can sustain us. Nothing is so satisfying than feasting with our Father who fills us with the very fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), the abundance of His presence.

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The latest news rant is that of fired Rutger’s basketball coach after video emerged of him verbally and physically abusing his players. The outrage is viral! Our cultural village is crying out, “Fire him!” Not far behind is the inquisition hammering the Rutger’s A.D. for his failure to act once the evidence emerged. (See “Rutgers coach fired after abusive video broadcast,” by Michael Pearson & Brittany Brady, CNN; 4.3.13)

I couldn’t agree more with the confrontation and consequences of Coach Rice’s behavior, but I find the self-righteous animosity staggering. We’re all up in arms against a coach who misused his position of power and authority (and rightly so), yet societally we’re silent about a far greater cruelty taking place daily.

I find it fascinating that one CNN reporter mentioned the comparison of Rice’s behavior with that of a parent. “If you did this to your OWN child the state would take them from you!” If that were true, why doesn’t the state intervene when parents seek to take the life of their unborn child? We all pile on when a coach violates the dignity and worth of his players, but say nothing when the literal life of a dependent child is disregarded due to inconvenience.

Where is the village outrage? Why is our culture not crying out on behalf of those who cannot stand up for themselves? How is it that we threaten athletic administrators for complacency and yet silently stand by why Planned Parenthood openly advocates and administrates abortion?

The double standard is undeniable. We crave sensual freedom without social responsibility. If our posture toward abortion were the standard we would think nothing of Mike Rice’s methodology. We’d just chalk it up to the cost of winning. We’d care nothing about Lance Armstrong doping or Tiger Woods sexing … actually, according to Nike, “Winning takes care of everything.”

But it doesn’t. Greed, betrayal, and abuse are inexcusable and unjustifiable. They reflect the darkness of our souls and our need for spiritual reformation.

If player abuse is so offensive (and I think it is!), then let’s be all the more offended by the lethal abuse handed down in our midst to completely dependent and defenseless human beings. Let’s put an end to debates around semantics and exert ourselves to ensuring support for mother and child alike. Let’s wake up and speak up (graciously and truthfully) on behalf of the unborn. This issue is among the greatest blights in our nation’s history.

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