Thursday Morning Humor

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I definitely have a unique sense of humor, as does my whole family. We love it when people get the giggle fits, and we’ve been known to get a raging giggle fit or two ourselves. We lose it especially over ridiculous things, or when it’s most inappropriate to laugh (while singing in church or during a serious dinner discussion). I can totally envision me and my family, or me and my friend Abby, getting ourselves into a situation like this. Watch for a quick pick-me-up, and I dare you, try not to laugh…

God Only Knows

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I can’t help falling for collaborations like these…I mean Lorde and Jamie Cullum together? Plus the fantastical elements make it fun. Enjoy, beloveds, on this Monday!

It’s Great To Be Weak

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“An interviewer once asked Edith Schaeffer, author and wife of evangelist and philosopher Francis Schaeffer, “Who is the greatest Christian woman alive today?” She replied, “We don’t know her name. She is dying of cancer somewhere in a hospital in India.” I’m talking about that woman. Underneath her obedient life is a sense of helplessness. It has become part of her very nature…almost like breathing. Why? Because she is weak. She feels her restless heart, her tendency to compare herself with others. She is shocked at how jealousy can well up in her. She notices how easily the world gets its hooks into her. In short, she distrusts herself. When she looks at other people, she sees the same struggles. The world, the flesh, and the Devil are too much for her. The result? Her heart cries out to God in prayer. She needs Jesus…

…Less mature Christians have little need to pray. When they look at their hearts (which they rarely do), they seldom see jealousy. They are barely aware of their impatience. Instead, they are frustrated by all the slow people they keep running into. Less mature Christians are quick to give advice. There is no complexity to their worlds because the answers are simple–“just do what i say, and your life will be easier.”

Surprisingly, mature Christians feel less mature on the inside. When they hear Jesus say, “Apart from me you can do nothing (Jn. 15:5), they nod in agreement. They reflect on all the things they’ve done without Jesus, which have become nothing. Mature Christians are keenly aware that they can’t raise their kids. It’s a no-brainer. Even if they are perfect parents, they still can’t get inside their kids’ hearts. That’s why strong Christians pray more.

John of Landsburg, a sixteenth-century Catholic monk, summarized this well in his classic A Letter from Jesus Christ. He imagined Jesus speaking personally to us:

“I know those moods when you sit there utterly alone, pining, eaten up with unhappiness, in a pure state of grief. You don’t move towards me but desperately imagine that everything you have ever done has been utterly lost and forgotten. This near-despair and self-pity are actually a form of pride. What you think was a state of absolute security from which you’ve fallen was really trusting too much in your own strength and ability…what really ails you is that things simply haven’t happened as you expected and wanted. In fact I don’t want you to rely on your own strength and abilities and plans, but to distrust them and to distrust yourself, and to trust me and no one and nothing else. As long as you rely entirely on yourself, you are bound to come to grief. You still have a most important lesson to learn: your own strength will no more help you to stand upright than propping yourself on a broken reed. You must not despair of me. You may hope and trust in me absolutely. My mercy is infinite.”

-A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller

Live for the Giver

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Various motivations, desires and goals: these things are good by Creation, perverted by Fallenness. They make good goods, but make bad gods. A common sense way of saying this is “Live for the Giver, and not the gifts.” The minute you live for the gifts, everything goes dark and becomes sour.

If you live to have friends, you become manipulative, fearful, always taking things personally, your skin is too thin, you lack the ability to forgive, and feel frightened or hostile socially. If you live for the Giver, it implies the priority of my life being increasingly mastered by the vertical/horizontal will of God: to love God and then to love people. And there’s this logic that makes the golden rule make utter good sense. You can only live the golden rule if you aren’t ruled by, “I need to have them treat me a certain way.” If I’m not ruled by that, I’m free to love them. If they treat me that way back, life is very very sweet and it’s such a pleasure to have genuine friends. If they don’t treat me that way, life is painful and I’m called now to forgive, love, and endure in the face of enemies. The whole Christian life hinges on properly ordering and understanding the relationship between Creation and Fall–a biblical view of motivation.

-Dr. David Powlison, Theology and Secular Psychology 

I Can’t Stop Watching This

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This performance is the complete package! The song is one of my favorites, the lighting and costumes are spot on, the dancers are having so much fun, and the choreography…well, I can’t help but relish every movement. Of course, the #1 move is “The Carlton.” Enjoy!

#MathStruggles

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It’s no secret I’ve always occupied a front row seat on the math strugglebus. In school, word problems on tests were often my worst enemy. This I can relate to:

math hilarious

But in all seriousness, I truly appreciate how God creates people with different strengths and weaknesses. I am grateful for my non-math strengths, and I am grateful for those of you out there who can slaughter word problems in their sleep. For those of you who can, I tip my hat to you!

The Trumpet Call of the Reformation

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“The opening line of the Reformation was a reflection on Jesus’ call to “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” It’s no accident that the first of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses was this: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent,” he called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” There’s a comprehensive reorientation of our entire lives. And John Calvin picks up the exact same theme in his Institutes: “In order that believers may reach this goal of nothing less than the image of God, God assigns them a race of repentance which they are to run throughout their lives.” It’s a picture of the essential dynamic of what it means that we are Christians.”

-David Powlison, Westminster’s Convocation Service 2014