boston-marathon-explosion

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

– Jesus | John 14:27

Heavenly Father, our hearts are troubled and we are afraid.  Please grant peace to Boston and to us all.  We turn to you in the name of your Son, who was killed and rose again.  Amen.  

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The Rise of the Papacy

March 25, 2013

With the resignation of Pope Benedict and the installation of Pope Francis, the question of how the papacy began is a good one to ask.  Catholics believe that Jesus himself laid the foundation for papal succession when he announced that the church would be built on Peter (Matthew 16:18-19).  Peter, therefore, acting as bishop of Rome, passed down his apostolic authority to his successor.  That successor passed Peter’s authority to the next, and so on down to the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio two weeks ago.  Bergoglio, taking the name Francis, is the 266th Pope.

“The problem with this explanation,” writes David Wells, “is that there is no evidence to sustain it.”

Well’s brief article is an informative and interesting look at the reality behind the rise of the papacy.  You can read the article here.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” has never been one of my favorite Christmas carols.  I stumble over a couple of things in the song, one being the commonly sung tune.  Critiquing a tune is subjective, I know, so I don’t expect anyone to agree with me.  Let me just say that I don’t think a song about the angelic announcement of Christ’s birth should make me envision the congregation joining hands and whistling one of the verses.  And it certainly shouldn’t make me think of roller skating.  The other thing I struggle with is the idea of winged angels singing, when the Scripture says nothing about wings or singing.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying…. (Luke 2:13).

And then I heard Sara Groves’s version. Read the rest of this entry »

“Hug your kids, kiss your wife, and give thanks to the Lord”

When I read that 58-character tweet, I immediately clicked ‘Follow’ on the Twitter profile.  Here is a man I can learn from, I thought.  Here is a man who appears to have a profoundly biblical perspective on life.   True, the tweet by itself doesn’t express anything extraordinary.  But then you hear the backstory.

R. C. Sproul, Jr.’s wife died less than a year ago.  And at the time of the tweet — September 30 — his fifteen-year-old daughter was about to die.  Shannon, whom R. C. affectionately called Princess Happy, was born with a brain disease called lissencephaly, which left her severely impaired.  (That’s Shannon and R. C. in the picture above.  You can watch a short video of Shannon here.)  Shannon passed away three days later.

Two deaths in the immediate family within a year.  Layered grief.  Sorrow upon sorrow.  That’s quite a backstory.

Over the last month R. C. has shared some of his grief on Twitter, and the blessing to me has been immeasurable.  I have benefited so much from his thoughts that I wanted to share them with others.  What follows is a compilation of numerous tweets over the past month related to R. C.’s suffering.  His journey through the valley of the shadow of death can instruct and edify us all. Read the rest of this entry »

“I’m disappointed in you” are some of the hardest words we can hear.  Ed Welch writes:

If my wife says, “I am so angry with you,” I can live with that. But if she says, “I’m not angry. I am just disappointed in you,” that is unbearable. I feel like a scolded puppy. My tail goes between my legs, I retreat to the corner, and . . . I feel helpless because I am not sure what I can do to change her opinion. I could ask forgiveness, and she would be quick to forgive, but I would still be left feeling like a disappointment. Forgiveness does not remove disappointment. Maybe I would make vows to do better and spend the rest of the day living out those vows, but it would still be unbearable.

After exploring the problem further, Ed offers a meaningful remedy.  Here’s a hint at his conclusion: “There are no doghouses in the kingdom of God.”

You can read the whole article here.