Friday, August 31, 2007

Vacuous Prayers

I was recently at a meeting (you weren’t there!) where someone led in prayer. They had prepared a prayer (no sin in itself) and this only added to the problem. It was one of those “prayers” with content addressed more to us listeners than the Listener. Plus, it was chock full of requests that, to be honest, were of no interest to God.

That may sound harsh, to say that God took “no interest” in the things asked for... but I base that assertion on the prayers recorded in the Bible. Have you ever taken time to read the prayers of Scripture? It is a glorious exercise and will teach you more about prayer than any book or seminar.

For instance, in my devotional time this morning I was reading Colossians. Consider this prayer:

“1:9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

To break this prayer into two simple statements, Paul tells the Colossians, “I am praying that your knowledge of God will increase exponentially so that your sanctification will deepen correspondingly.”

Now that is something to pray for one another!

In fact, a growing knowledge of God (an intimate, relational depth in knowing Him) is prayed for throughout the Bible. Which leads me to this simple conclusion. The next time you pray publicly, why not pray for yourself and the people around you that you will know God through Christ more deeply, and that such knowledge will intensify your zeal to live like Him in this world?

Modeled prayers, when appropriately appropriated, are sure to be answered!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rick Phiips on Mother Teresa's Redemption

Reformation21 Blog» Mother Teresa's Redemption: "But it is clear from Mother Teresa's correspondence that what she was looking for was another ecstatic visionary experience. Her idea of salvation was to participate mystically in deity itself. To have such an experience was to have Christ. To fail to achieve this mystic height was to be without Christ.

This leads to the main reflections I want to offer in light of Mother Teresa's new book. The first is that instead of offering a primer on the despair of works-righteousness, she really offers a primer on the perils of mystical, ecstatic Christianity...

If this is the case, Mother Teresa should not be venerated for the towering height of her spiritual achievement. What she accomplished should continue to be admired on its own merits. But as a spiritual example, she is to be sincerely and compassionately pitied. "

Modesty Guidelines - Pure Fashion

Modesty Guidelines - Pure Fashion

The Catholic-sponsored group Pure Fashion has a Modesty Checklist. I am curious from my female readers if something like this is helpful? I am just asking about "a list," not the whole program and fashion show stuff that PF puts on.

A similar list is available from the GirlTalkers here.

So, the question is, if you are a woman, are these lists helpful?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

'splain this! The Coffee Cup Lid Alignment Plot.

Why, out of all the wonderful inventions in the world, can someone not devise a coffee cup that will refuse to allow the "mouthpiece" of the lid to line up with the seam of the cup?

Does this not drive you batty?

You have 25 cm of circumference and somehow, some way, that little exit hole in the lid lines itself up with the ridged seam of your cup 94% of the time! And this, of course, is dreadfully annoying!

Who can stand that feeling of the paper ridge pressing up against their bottom lip? It breaks the perfect seal. Loosens ones grip. Ruins the whole drinking experience. You should be thinking about how glorious that Yukon Bold tastes... instead you are worried about dripping down the front of your shirt.

And I wish I could say it was the fault of your local barista. “Yes, let’s shift the blame to them!” you shout. But hold your horses. Don’t you find you put the lid on this way just as much as they do?

Which leads me to this conclusion.

It is a plot.

To make us drink more coffee.

If we had one week of perfect coffees with perfect cup/lid alignment – we might stop drinking it altogether. Nirvana reached. Why mess with happiness?

Thus, to keep us forking over ridiculous amounts of money, some NASA-reject has carefully engineered “the coffee lid.” Whether it is through slightly weighting the lid to one side or the addition of micro-magnets, I do not know. But, trust me – it is a plot.

So, I say, coffee-drinkers of the world UNITE!

And buy a travel mug.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger, Please!

Sometimes, some things just sound so good!

Spurgeon Fellowship Goes Live

[Spurgeon Fellowship Launches]

Great, just great, to see Clint and the boys knocking it out of the park in Alberta!

The Fatal Disobedience of Adam and the Triumphant Obedience of Christ :: Desiring God

The Fatal Disobedience of Adam and the Triumphant Obedience of Christ :: Desiring God

So my RSS feed from the Desiring God blog tanked last week. This is very interesting.

Early in the summer I determined by God's grace to preach 2 or 3 sermons on Romans 5:12-21. As I explained on Sunday, the reason for this was a series of conversations and counseling meetings where it became increasingly obvious that our church needed a refresher course in "alien righteousness" from this linch-pin passage.

Wasn't I shocked last night to see that John Piper had preached from the same passage on this same past Sunday! Albeit with a different goal in mind - "to show that everything that exists—including evil—is ordained by an infinitely holy and all-wise God to make the glory of Christ shine more brightly."

I highly commend reading this sermon or listening on line. It will be a great appetizer to what I intend to preach this coming Sunday morning: The Better Adam!

Did I just write that Piper was an appetizer to my sermon? That's like saying have some perfectly grilled filet mignon before you sample my Cheez Whiz sandwich! Oi!