Unexpected and Unfortunately an Underappreciated Blessing

I had the privilege today to spend a couple of hours with some senior citizens in our community. It was their annual Thanksgiving/Christmas lunch that our Women on Mission host for them. They asked me to come and eat and share a short devotional with them.

As always, the food was wonderful and I had a great time sharing God's Word with them and celebrating God's triumph in the coming of His Son Jesus Christ. But the greatest blessing was just being there and being with them. There were a couple of moments where I just about had to get up and walk outside and have a good cry.

Being around that many elderly people is in a way difficult for me. It just reminds me of my Granddaddy and not being able to just "be around" with him anymore. But while it was sad in some ways, it was also a blessing. It reminded me of how precious our granddaddys and grandmas are and how important they are to our lives and the lives of our children.

And so next week during Thanksgiving and a month later with Christmas will be very difficult for me and my family. In some way it has been an advantage being away from "home" and so not having to face my granddaddy's absence everyday. But I imagine that once we go back for Christmas I will see how much of a disadvantage it has been not having to face his absence every day.

But in the midst of the sorrow, I will be thankful to God for all the years He allowed me to "be around" my Granddaddy. He will be appreciated and I will be thankful and appreciative for the time He has still given me with my Grandma.

If you have Grandparents who are still alive, appreciate them because in them you will find the most unexpected blessings. And if you don't have grandparents who are living, then find an elderly person nearby and just find a way to show them the appreciation they deserve.


Is the Gospel The Same As Toothpaste?

Mark Dever gives a clear answer to this question and how it relates to what we do as the church and how we do it.

Many church leaders today think that with the right poll-tested methods, just about anyone can grow a church. If ambience sells coffee, why not use it to sell...Jesus? If music sells clothing, why not use it to market the church?

But think about this: What does it say about God if we need to market his glory and gospel using the same tools we use to sell toothpaste and laundry detergent?

God is so much more glorious. His Son came with a mighty gospel and now his Spirit is backing up the Son's work and words by actually changing a group of

There's the church's appeal--the wisdom of God, the might of God, the love of God on display in the lives of a gospel-created people for all the world to see!

Join as we pray and labor for a supernaturally attractive church, a worshipping church, a church that is distinct like salt and bright like light.


Does This Make Sense?

Something's not right in this equation. In both California and Florida, voters voted "yes" to an amendment to ban gay marriage. However, the voters in both California and Florida both voted "yes" for a president who opposes a ban on gay marriage.

Could it be that in the most important election in the history of our nation, that the citizens of this country just elected a man president based more on his personality and less upon his policies, which they either do not care about or of which they haven't got a clue?

The Day After Reflections

If you are like me, as a follower of Christ there are so many mixed emotions going on within you on this day after the most important election in recent memory. There are things that you want to be excited and thankful for, as we should, but that excitement and gratitude is being drowned out by the potential of what an Obama presidency could mean to so many issues of righteousness which we hold dear.

I cannot commend to you enough Justin Taylor's series of guest posts today. Justin's blog is about the best that is out there for the believer, but it is exceptionally helpful today in working through the issues we are facing as followers of Christ and keeping things in the right perspective.

You can go here to read a great series of posts.

Also, Ligon Duncan has written a great post as well here. Here's how he ends his reflections:

Without doubt and whatever our particular views may be, we face hard days ahead. Realistically, we must all expect to be frustrated and disappointed. Some now may feel defeated and discouraged. While others may all-too-soon find their audacious hopes unfounded and unrealized. We must all keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up leaders and nations, and it is God who pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers. We must not act or think like unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.

Hope We Can Believe In

We have a new president elect. November 4th was a historic moment for our nation. We should be thankful to God that we as a nation have come to the point where we can elect an African-American as President. Unfortunately, my excitement over that moment was crushed by my grief for what Senator Obama's presidency may mean for the cause of the unborn. Abortion is to the 21st century what slavery was to the 19th century, but worse. I am saddened for what it might mean for half of all African-American babies whose lives end in abortion, according to recent statistics. Since 1974, 12 million African-American babies have been aborted.

But, as a follower of Christ I have hope and it is as hopeful as it was on November 3rd and as hopeful as it would have been on Nov. 4th if the election had gone differently. Psalm 146:3-5 says,

"Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

Or as the hymn writer wrote,

"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand."


Happy Birthday Granddaddy!

Tomorrow, November 2nd, is my Granddaddy's 76th birthday. It will undoubtedly be the most splendid and beautiful birthday of his life. There will be a lot of family there with him, family he has not seen in years! But there will be no cake or ice cream. There will be no presents. There won't even be "Happy Birthday" sung to him. He won't be the guest of honor. As a matter of fact, no one will probably even acknowledge that it is his birthday.

But nonetheless, it will undoubtedly be the most splendid and beautiful birthday of his life. Why? Because for the first time in 76 years, my Granddaddy will experience his birthday with his Savior, Jesus Christ. His birthday will not be any different than any other day in heaven. Because each day in heaven is splendid and beautiful because each day is spent beholding more and more of the glory of the Lamb of God, slain from before the foundation of the world.
And so while we as his family--wife, brothers and sisters, sons, daughters, and grandchildren--will remember his birthday with sadness and longing because this is the first of his birthdays we will not get to celebrate with him, it will be the best and most beautiful birthday of his life. And for that, there is great cause for rejoicing, even in the midst of sorrow.
I love you Granddaddy! Happy Birthday! I'll see you again one day.