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Sunday
Jul042010

Heart Aflame - July 4, 2010

Psalm 80:16-19

Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire.  The calamities of the people are now more clearly expressed.  It had been said that the Lord's vine was abandoned to the wild beasts, that they might lay it waste.  But it was a greater calamity for it to be consumed with fire, rooted up and utterly destroyed.  The Israelites had perfidiously apostatised from the true religion; but they were still a part of the Church.  We are accordingly warned by this melancholy example, of the severity of the punishment due to our ingratitude, especially when it is joined with obstinacy, which prevents the threatening and rebukes of God, however sharp and severe they may be, from being of any benefit to us.  Let us also learn from the same example, when the Divine anger is blazing all around, and even when we are in the midst of its burning flames, to cast all our sorrows into the bosom of God, who, in a wonderful manner, raises up his Church from the gulf of destruction.  He would assuredly be ready not only to exercise without interruption his favour towards us, but also to enrich us with his blessings more and more, did not our wickedness hinder him.  As it is impossible for him not to be angry at the many offences which we we have committed, it is an evidence of unparalleled mercy for him to extinguish the fire which we ourselves have kindled, and which has spread far and wide, and to save some portion or remnant of the Church, or so to speak more properly, to raise up even from the very ashes a people to call upon his name.  It is again repeated that the Church perished not by the strength and arms of her enemies, but at the rebuke of god's countenance.  Never can we expect alleviation of our punishment, unless we are fully persuaded that we are justly chastised by the hand of God.  It was a good sign of the repentance of these Israelites that, as is observed in Isaiah 9:12, "they looked to the hand of him who smote them."

Saturday
Jul032010

Decorating has rules....

We have ugly, and I mean ugly, wallpaper in our upstairs bathroom.  Whoever invented wallpaper?  Probably people who had bumpy walls and wanted to hide them.  Anyway, we're in the process of getting rid of it and painting.  Give me a nicely painted wall any day, and I'll add colour with accessories.

But not all people have good decorating protocol.  Wallpaper sizing was invented for a reason.  It ought to be mandatory before people can use wallpaper.

Another hint?  Don't wallpaper over other wallpaper.  And if you're going to use a piece of wallpapered drywall, and piece it together behind the sink, at least tape and mud the seam that is above the sink.

Martha Stewart I am not, but I was around my dad enough to know that there are certain procedures that should not be left up to interpretation.

Saturday
Jul032010

Soundtrack for a Saturday

Last night, before bed, I was listening to a little Debussy.  It's wonderful "before bed" music.  I will admit, however, to being entirely disgruntled to hear from my teenaged son that many people are calling "Claire de Lune," the "twilight song," because the song is used in the silly piece of film known as Twilight.

My son likes Debussy.  He has been trying to learn "Claire de Lune," although it is a grade level above where he currently plays.  But next year, his teacher will help him learn it.  He was doing a very good job on his own, and I was thrilled that my son actually likes a classical composer.  I also heard him trying to learn this one the other day, "Reverie:"

I hope I get to hear this in my living room at some point.

Friday
Jul022010

Sin's Foul Bondage

That is the title of the most recent chapter I have read in Martyn Lloyd-Jones's book Studies in the Sermon on the Mount.  I have been dragging my feet a little with this book, but not because it's boring, or I'm losing interest.  My best friend and I get together weekly to discuss this book, but over the past month, we have also been meeting with two other friends for a study in the attributes of God, so we have had less opportunity to meet and discuss this book. 

Lloyd-Jones discusses sin's effects in the context of the verses that remind us that we must not lay up treasure on earth, but rather treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).  One of the reasons we tend to lay up treasures on earth is that our minds are blinded by sin.  Lloyd-Jones states that our minds can only truly function in a rational manner when we have been redeemed by Christ.  He says this:

If you are not a Christian do not trust your mind; it is the most dangerous thing you can do.  But when you become a Christian your mind is put back in the centre and you become a rational being.  There is no more pathetic illusion than for a man to think of the Christian faith as sob-stuff, the dope of the people, something purely emotional and irrational.  The true view of it is stated perfectly by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:17.  You have 'obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.'  The doctrine was preached to them, and when they came to see it they liked it, believed it, and put it into practice.  They received the truth of God first of all with the mind.  Truth must be received with the mind, and the Holy Spirit enables the mind to become clear.  That is conversion, that is what happens as a result of regeneration.  The mind is delivered from this bias of evil and darkness; it sees the truth and loves and desires it above everything else.  That is it.  There is nothing more tragic than for a man to find at the end of his life that he has been entirely wrong all the time.

Thursday
Jul012010

Thankful Thursday

Well, for those of you who know what July 1st means here in Canada, you may know what I'm thankful for today.

Today, is the 143rd birthday of Canada.  I am thankful to have been born and raised and to live in this country.  I am actually quite a patriotic person, even if my patriotism doesn't look that of others.  I pray for my country, learn about my country and support my country.  Hey, I even watched the Canada-U.S. hockey game at the Olympics this year.  I mean, who could resist watching them beat the U.S. in such an exciting way?

There are many good things about living here and as with other countries, there are bad things.  There is no perfect government system.  Me, I prefer a theocracy, but currently that won't fly here in North America.

I'm thankful for some time this afternoon we're going to spend together as a family with my in-laws.  I have two kids who have to work tonight (yes, stores and businesses are open even on a holiday here) so the time will be brief, but precious nonetheless.