This video is disturbing, but necessary. Parents, you should preview this video before allowing your children to see it, if you allow them to see it at all. Whatever decision you make, pray.
Justin Taylor posted this today:
In the blog post “The Right and Wrong Questions to Ask When You Get Cancer,” I shared how David Sunday (pastor of Grace Community Bible Church) encouraged his wife, Kate—in light of the diagnosis of advanced cancer in her body—to focus not on the questions of “Why me?” but rather upon “Who is God?” “What does He want to teach us?” and “How can we glorify him in this?”
In response some commenters suggested that this was wrong-headed, and that it it biblically permissible to ask “Why?”
I am not suggesting that it is sinful to ask God “Why?” questions. I have appreciated Michael Card’s teaching in A Sacred Sorrow and I’m grateful for the psalms of lament.
Nor am I advocating a stoic form of passive resignation. Our friends know—and the Lord knows—that we have shed many tears of sorrow in the last three weeks. We are crying out to God for the gift of healing. I am so thankful to have a God who hears our brokenhearted cries and who sympathizes with us with all His heart in the midst of our fear and sorrow.
I do believe that focusing on “Why?” questions can lead to confusion and despair if we demand answers from God that He has not promised to give us. Instead, by God’s grace, and with the Holy Spirit’s help, we want to focus on the “Who?, What?, and How?” questions—for these questions can lead us deeper into the character of God as we pour out the grief and sorrow of our hearts to Him. When I spoke those words to my wife in the hospital room, I was thinking of the book of Job. Job did ask “Why?” questions and he is not condemned for doing so; but I don’t recall God directly answering Job’s “Why?” questions. Instead, the Lord redirected Job’s focus to Who God is. That, ultimately, is where we hope to settle our hearts: Be still and know that I am God.
Embedded in the Why? questions can be the seeds of unbelief or anger against God. God does not usually answer our why questions with the answers our flesh is demanding.
But he does give us abundant reasons to sustain our hope. And those reasons are usually a more direct answer to the Who, What, & How questions. In other words, “I gave you this thorn in the flesh to exalt my strength.” This tells me something about who God is, what God is doing in my life, and how God intends to use me for his glory. It doesn’t necessarily answer the questions we tend to ask, like: Why me (out of all the people on the earth)? Why this particular trial? Why now (as opposed to ten years from now when my kids are grown up)?, etc. . .
Please do remember to pray for this family, even as they teach us much in the midst of this great trial.
Kevin DeYoung has a great little post about Valentine’s day, particularly in his advice to married couples. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I read the following regarding pursuing your wife:
Words are wonderful, but pursuit may be even more powerful. Now listen, guys, don’t get all weird and stalker-like. Remember, you should pursue her as she likes to be pursued, not as you do.
DeYoung has a quirky, tell-it-like-it-is sense of humor that I absolutely resonate with deep in my bones. Maybe you didn’t find it as funny. Nonetheless, check out the whole post. It short, instructive and encouraging.
CJ Mahaney offers his tips on how to watch the Super Bowl, including how to be discerning as you watch the game, as well as offering a prediction.
Russell Moore provides some very helpful and practical advice regarding what it means to honor one’s parents in all stages of life and the true nature of submission. Sometimes we have “good reasons” for permanent decisions, and we need to realize that more is at stake than the implied good intentions of our desires.
This is “must-read” counsel.
I found this at Justin Taylor’s site and found it helpful.
From Peacemakers Ministries:
As God opens your eyes to see how you have sinned against others, he simultaneously offers you a way to find freedom from your past wrongs. It is called confession. Many people have never experienced this freedom because they have never learned how to confess their wrongs honestly and unconditionally. Instead, they use words like these: “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” “Let’s just forget the past.” “I suppose I could have done a better job.” “I guess it’s not all your fault.” These token statements rarely trigger genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. If you really want to make peace, ask God to help you breathe grace by humbly and thoroughly admitting your wrongs. One way to do this is to use the Seven A’s.
1. Address everyone involved (All those whom you affected)
2. Avoid if, but, and maybe (Do not try to excuse your wrongs)
3. Admit specifically (Both attitudes and actions)
4. Acknowledge the hurt (Express sorrow for hurting someone)
5. Accept the consequences (Such as making restitution)
6. Alter your behavior (Change your attitudes and actions)
7. Ask for forgiveness
See Matthew 7:3-5; 1 John 1:8-9; Proverbs 28:13.
I’m not an avid golf follower. I mostly follow the majors each year. But I admit it. Tiger Woods is my favorite golfer. I suppose it is because I started attempting to play golf about the same time that Tiger burst onto the national golf scene. It’s probably also because we are the same age. It’s not because our financial portfolio’s mirror one another. The last time I checked Tiger Woods will soon become the first professional athlete to earn over 1 billion dollars during his career. I think I’ve earned about $500,000 in my lifetime!
The Tiger Woods saga saddens me, not just because Woods is my favorite golfer, but because it breaks my heart to see the effects of sin upon this world. CJ Mahaney has posted an excellent article on the Tiger Woods story.
…sin is an enemy Tiger can’t manage. He can’t shape this story like he does a long iron on a par 5. Tiger doesn’t need a publicity facelift; Tiger needs a Savior. Just like me. And just like you. And if by God’s grace he repents and trusts in the person and work of Christ, Tiger will experience the fruit of God’s promise that “whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
Read the rest of it here. I think it will change the way that you read the headlines in the future.
John Piper was not always a pastor. He was once a professor at Bethel Seminary. John Piper didn’t even want to be a pastor. Yet God had other plans. Read about the encouraging story of how God called John Piper into the pastorate, a calling that has created an ever-expanding ripple effect for the glory of God as revealed in the Gospel.