Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Through the wonders of OCR, I'd like to share with you this chapter from "Life as a Vapor" by John Piper. Although expensive, it's a really good wee book. (Okay it was expensive for me, but you can get it for a lot cheaper at Amazon.) Although not rocket science, the much-maligned Mr Piper has contributed greatly to the area of practical religion.

The title is no comment on my own marriage! The general sinful behaviour, however, is present to some degree in all our lives, so this topic is relevant to all of us.

Kill Anger Before It Kills You or Your Marriage

In marriage, anger rivals lust as a killer. My guess is that anger is a worse enemy than lust. It also destroys other kinds of camaraderie. Some people have more anger than they think, because it has disguises. When willpower hinders rage, anger smoulders beneath the surface, and the teeth of the soul grind with frustration.

It can come out in tears that look more like hurt. But the heart has learned that this may be the only way to hurt back. It may come out as silence because we have resolved not to fight. It may show up in picky criticism and relentless correction. It may strike out at persons that have nothing to do with its origin. It will often feel warranted by how wrongly it has been treated. After all, Jesus got angry (Mark 3:5), and Paul says, "Be angry and do not sin" (Ephesians 4:26).
However, good anger among fallen people is rare. That's why James says, "Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires" (James 1:19-20). And Paul says, "Men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling" (l Timothy 2:8). "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you" (Ephesians 4:31).

Therefore, one of the greatest battles of life is the battle to "put away anger," not just control its expressions. I invite you to join me in this battle by adding these nine biblical weapons to your arsenal.

1. Ponder the right of Christ to be angry, but how He endured the cross, as an example of long-suffering. "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps" (l Peter 2:21).

2. Ponder how much you have been forgiven, and how much mercy you have been shown. "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you' (Ephesians 4:32).

3. Ponder your own sinfulness and take the beam out of your own eye. "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:3-5).

4. Ponder how harboured anger gives place to the devil. You do not want to make room for him or invite him into your life. "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27).

5. Ponder the folly of your own self-immolation, that is, the numerous detrimental effects of anger to the one who is angry – some spiritual some mental some physical and some relational. "Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones" (Proverbs 3:7-8).

6. Confess your sin of anger to some trusted friend, and, if possible, to the offender. This is a great healing act. "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed" (James 5: 16).

7. Let your anger be the key to unlock the dungeons of pride and self-pity in your heart and replace them with love. "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (l Corinthians 13:4-7).

8. Remember that God is going to work all your frustrating circumstances for your good as you trust in His future grace. Your offender is even doing you good, if you will respond with love. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).

9. Remember that God will vindicate your just cause and settle all accounts better than you could. Either your offender will pay in hell, or Christ has paid for him. Your payback would be either double jeopardy or an offence to the cross. "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord'" (Romans 12:19). "When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting [his cause] to him who judges justly" (l Peter 2:23).

Father, I love Your patience toward me.
I love it when You describe Yourself as slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Oh, to be more like You!
Have mercy on my easily angered heart!
Forgive my many peeves and murmuring.
Grant that I would be saturated with grace, and let me show it to others as
I desperately need it for myself because of Jesus,

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Covenanters Praying at Whitadder in 1677

John Welsh Leading the Covenanters in Prayer by the Banks of the Whitadder in the Lammermuir Hills of Berwickshire in 1677

We recently had the opportunity to cheaply upgrade our printer to an all-in-one with scanner, so I've scanned-in one of my favorite pictures from J.A. Wylie's History of Protestantism to be able to get it printed and framed.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Friendly Bacteria and All That...

See this article on intestinal bacteria and this one on skin bacteria. How complex are our bodies and the ecosystems of nature! More glory to our God!

(You can tell that I'm doing temperature testing at work as I have time to do this.)

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Clive James Now a Regular on BBC News Online

The comedic genius that is Clive James is now to be a regular on the BBC News Online Magazine. Read him here.


The Republic of Ireland has the Highest Crime Rate in Europe!

Contrary to all expectations, a recent study by Gallup has shown that the Republic has the highest crime rate in Europe, followed by the U.K.!

See the BBC article here and the actual European Crime and Safety Survey here.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Reformation Didn't Start with Luther

As I keep hearing about Luther starting the Reformation, I thought it would be worthwhile setting the record straight. Other Reformers like Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland and Jacques Lefevre of the Sorbonne in Paris (picture opposite) were already convinced of the true Gospel, and were publicly proclaiming it prior to 1517 and independent of Luther.

In his commentary on Paul's Epistles published in 1512 Lefevre states, "It is God who gives us, by faith, that righteousness which by grace alone justifies to eternal life" (quoted in J.A. Wylie's "The History of Protestantism", Vol. II, p. 126).

As Zwingli said, "I began to preach the Gospel in 1516, at that time namely when the name of Luther had not even been heard in our country." As Wolfgang Capito stated in a letter to Heinrich Bullinger, "For before Luther had appeared in public, Zwingli and I had conversed together regarding the overthrow of the Pope, even when he lived in the hermitage." (Both quotations in Wylie, Vol. I, p. 431.)

This is not to deny the great and godly man his deserved place in Church history and our thanksgiving to God for raising him up, but to point out that the Reformation started independently at various points under the influence of God's Word, and in some cases prior to Luther.

There is of course the proto-Reformers, Wycliffe and Huss, but the contiguous period known as the Reformation in which Churches were reformed didn't begin with them.


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Worries about Global Cooling

See this interesting article on Kevin Hanley's blog. One thing I would also point out is that we're actually coming out of the "Little Ice Age" that was at its height in the 17th Century, although many would say that although true there is more to the current increase than that. This article on Wikipedia is very instructive. See also this article on solar flares on Tim Hammons' blog.

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