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

Apparently He’s Never Been on Live Television Before

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I agree, “apparently” is a great word. And apparently, this kid is a cutie.

Can’t Get Enough of Meekness

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Lately I’ve been captivated by Jesus’ call to be meek in the Sermon on the Mount. I’m still trying to grasp what meekness looks like in the life of a person. But looking at Jesus helps, as he’s our prime example of what it means to be human.

After spending some time in James, I was delightfully surprised to read of the intimate bond between meekness and wisdom. Beloved, although the world tells us to be anything but meek, we must listen to our God who says otherwise. This means our prayers are now infused with pleas to grow in meekness.

James has good things to say about why meekness is so captivating and dear to our God:

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” Js. 3:13-18.

The ESV follows up on the passage with some great insights:

“Wisdom for James is not merely intellectual but also behavioral. Meekness was considered weakness by the Greeks, but Jesus elevated it to a primary Christian virtue. Meekness comes not from cowardice or passivity but rather from trusting God and therefore being set free from anxious self-promotion. Bitter jealousy and selfish ambition are the antithesis of true wisdom as characterized by “meekness.” The envious yearn for what does not belong to them and selfish ambition is a divisive willingness to split the group in order to achieve personal power and prestige.

The answer to the “disorder” is to seek wisdom from above, which produces character qualities beginning with purity and concluding with peace. Purity is the primary virtue, with the rest providing aspects of this moral purity. Peaceable is the polar opposite of selfish ambition and the discord it produces. The legacy of those who bring peace rather than conflict is a harvest of righteousness. The “fruit” that comes from peacemaking in the Christian community will be the righteous conduct that God will bless.”

meek tozer

meek real wiersbe

 

No Self-Esteem? That’s good!

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To quote the humble Dr. David Powlison:

“In a nutshell: human beings are meant to find God, the One who is worthy of all esteem. It is God who is worthy. It is He who is to be loved and adored; it is He who is to be esteemed and honored. Even in the language we use, the notion of a self-esteem, a self-love, a self-worth–there’s something about that which is implicitly trying to assert about myself something that provides a foundation for righteousness, hope and identity; when we’re actually designed by God to find worship, identity, hope, and meaning in someone else…in the notion that self-esteem is the core, there’s implicitly the wrong God asserted at the foundation.”

-Theology and Secular Psychology class