On Sunday, Pastor Nic lead us through the last sermon in the 1 John series, Secure Standing. We looked at a few verses that are considered some of the most difficult to interpret in the New Testament.
D.A. Carson preached a sermon on 1 John 5:4-21 that will further clarify the truth in this passage. You can download his sermon here!
They say that having a child colors your understanding of God and life. That bringing new life into the world changes how you see the world. Until three months ago I didn’t realize how incredibly true this was. I feel like the charcoal sketch that I was looking at has been transformed into the most vibrant of Monet’s. Possibly the most profound instances of this is in regards to how God has painted my understanding of prayer and His emotional nature.
I’ve always prided myself on being a man who was confidently in touch with his emotional side and when it comes to prayer I’ve always prided myself on being the guy who says “it doesn’t matter what you say — just speak and let the Holy Spirit translate it for you!” But if I can be honest, having Maisey has opened my eyes to just how theological I’ve been about all of it. It’s been a standard case of the “head but not heart syndrome”. I’ve known in my mind how God desires us to talk to him in prayer, I’ve known theologically how the Holy Spirit intercedes and translates for us when we talk to God but I haven’t felt God’s heart for us regarding prayer. It took the birth of my daughter for it to finally click.
Continue reading Parent’s Corner: What Three Months with My Daughter Has Taught Me About God
A recent survey of new parents in Germany has suggested that the birth of a child is, on average, more traumatizing than divorce or even the death of a spouse. Nic asked me to write a bit about why this matters for us.
The survey was conducted as an attempt to shed light on the seeming discrepancy between couples’ stated desire to have two children and Germany’s persistently low birth rate that has rested at 1.5 for forty years. If the average couple says they want two children, why are so few doing so? Continue reading Self-Inflicted Trauma
The word sovereign doesn’t technically mean “in control.”
It means “in charge.” It means that something is rightly under someone’s authority or within their dominion.
Some will read that and say I’m playing with words, but the difference is important. It’s important because it means that we can’t say all actions are “caused by God.” Things that God says he finds terrible or evil are related to God in more complex ways. As the One who chooses how to interact with the created world, he may prevent it, permit it, direct it, or limit it (for a helpful reading, see Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology, pg. 372). As God works all things for the good of his own glory and name, as well as for our good, his rule still interacts with the amount of rebellious independence he allows to humans. This relationship is enormously complex, and I have never read a completely successful explanation of it.
Continue reading Trusting the God Who Doesn’t Explain Himself
For those of you who do not know Dennis and Ellen Hierl and their daughter Brooklyn, they are a family that are a part of High Point Church. You may recognize the names from the Sunday morning prayer requests asking you to pray for healing for Dennis from a brain tumor. It’s been quite the journey for them – but as anyone will see when you read their blog, they are trusting the Lord through it all and depending on Him each step of the way. We wanted to share the most recent ways this family saw God provide in their lives and what He’s been teaching them most recently.
Continue reading Overwhelmed by God’s Provision
I’ve had a number of conversations recently with people asking why they are going through something. On some level many believe it’s a test. However, tests are actions for omniscient beings. Why would God give a painful test to find out an answer he already knows?
See if this explanation helps.
Some tests are merely exercises to find out how much we know – or perhaps who we are. However, some tests – those we have often called trials – are tests that actually make us into something rather than just reveal what we already are. That is, we become something in the test – it forces a choice and therefore a definition of identity and character.
This doesn’t change the issue of omniscience. God still knows the end from the beginning. It just changes the status of whether or not we needed the test. Continue reading Is God Testing Me?