Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Thanks to all who serve and have served: Freedom is never free.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another Believer Passes

The call came yesterday -"She died at 11:00 am." It was 11:07. I had sat with her the afternoon before. We said Psalm 23 together. Then we sang "Jesus Loves Me." I assured her there was nothing to fear, "Yes," she said, "Jesus loves me." And then she repeated "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death ... comfort me." She was ready to go to be with Jesus.

Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, died shortly after the first of the year. He wrote an essay several years ago after being seriously ill. I quote the first three paragraphs of Born Towards Dying:

We are born to die. Not that death is the purpose of our being born, but we are born toward death, and in each of our lives the work of dying is already underway. The work of dying well is, in largest part, the work of living well. Most of us are at ease in discussing what makes for a good life, but we typically become tongue-tied and nervous when the discussion turns to a good death. As children of a culture radically, even religiously, devoted to youth and health, many find it incomprehensible, indeed offensive, that the word “good” should in any way be associated with death. Death, it is thought, is an unmitigated evil, the very antithesis of all that is good.

Death is to be warded off by exercise, by healthy habits, by medical advances. What cannot be halted can be delayed, and what cannot forever be delayed can be denied. But all our progress and all our protest notwithstanding, the mortality rate holds steady at 100 percent.

Death is the most everyday of everyday things. It is not simply that thousands of people die every day, that thousands will die this day, although that too is true. Death is the warp and woof of existence in the ordinary, the quotidian, the way things are. It is the horizon against which we get up in the morning and go to bed at night, and the next morning we awake to find the horizon has drawn closer. From the twelfth-century Enchiridion Leonis comes the nighttime prayer of children of all ages: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep; if I should die before I wake, I pray thee Lord my soul to take.” Every going to sleep is a little death, a rehearsal for the real thing.

"Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No, Mr. Presdent

There can be no so-called middle ground with those who promote abortion on demand and the killing of the not yet born. John Piper nails the issue in the blog post. Desiring God Blog. One weeps for all who hold a cheapened view of life and murder the unborn for 'choice' and convenience. Mr. President, like John Piper, I too pray for you - I pray that God would thwart your desire to pass the so called "Freedom of Choice Act;" I pray for your soul and that God in His mercy would redeem you, for by your actions you demonstrate an unredeemed heart.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Persecution in China

My name is Geng He and I am the wife of political prisoner and lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who is currently being persecuted in mainland China. On March 11 this year, I arrived in the United States with my son and daughter for political asylum. ... We are safe now, but my husband's situation has become more perilous... "In the past, whenever I was worried about my husband because of his challenges against tyranny, he would often console me by saying...that if one day he would be persecuted because of his ideals and sense of justice, the people in the world who believe in justice would stand by him and support him. I know that he would still harbor this light and hope in his heart while enduring various torments in prison!" -- Geng He's open letter to the U.S. Congress asking for Congress to intervene on behalf of her husband Gao Zhisheng. Read the full letter.

Calvin on Faith

John Calvin On Faith – “Faith then is not a naked knowledge either of God or of his truth; nor is it a simple persuasion that God is, that his word is the truth; but a sure knowledge of God’s mercy, which is received from the gospel, and brings peace of conscience with regard to God, and rest to the mind. The sum of the matter then is this,—that if salvation depends on the keeping of the law, the soul can entertain no confidence respecting it, yea, that all the promises offered to us by God will become void: we must thus become wretched and lost, if we are sent back to works to find out the cause or the certainty of salvation . . . for as the law generates nothing but vengeance, it cannot bring grace.”(From Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans)

HT: Ligonier on line