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If God is all powerful why did Jesus have to die?

On Reddit someone asked a really good set of questions. They asked about God’s power, his goodness, and the necessity of the cross. There are five basic responses to the following question.

If God is all powerful why did Jesus have to die?
I mean we’re talking about the Creator of everything… Why couldn’t God just forgive our sins?

The answer is grounded in God’s sovereignty (his kingship and will power displayed). In the simplest explanation the crucifixion shows the power of God the Father in the humility of God the Son. Continue Reading →

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The Cut Man

There once was a man whose job was to cut down trees.
His blade slung as strong as a nor’easter breeze.
He cut down the sentinels from morning to night.
Year after year, one at a time each timber fell before his blade,
none were spared, none were stayed.
His hair grew gray, his eyes grew dim, but his blade was sharp enough for him.
He cut in the heat, he cut in the cold.
To him his mission never grew old.
One day he rose from his rest and realized there were no more trees.
He had cut them all down like his prime.

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5 Things That Make Me Happy

Five things that make me happy.

1. My wife’s smile and touch. Been married nearly ten years and it still amazes me pretty much every day like it’s the first time.

2. Memories from the days after all my kids had been born. All three births got progressively more difficult. After holding and seeing them especially as they slept on one of us has been such a wonderful set of memories. It would also be rewarding now if the older ones would sleep through the night on their own. Yet, I sometimes lay in bed and remember those little bodies laying asleep on my chest. Their hearts beating in rhythm with mine, their lungs moving in tandem with mine. A melody of grace so simple and sublime.

3. Noise of joyful crying after heart wrenching terrible minutes of silence. Our third child went through shoulder dystocia at birth. He was delivered gray and non-responsive. After two minutes the mid-wife got him breathing and he cried one of the most glorious sounds I have ever heard in my life. Even after 18 months hearing him crying is a little bit soothing. Honestly, It’s also a bit irritating at 3 A.M. but every cry is a bit of grace too considering what so easily could have happened if a very skilled midwife had not been there.

4. Waking up two days after I lost insurance coverage as a unemployed twenty something in a Duke hospital recovery room. I still remember the interim ER admitting doctor. He thought my symptoms were psychosomatic and wanted to send me home instead of admitting me. Glad he did not get his way. I was eventually carried in to exploratory surgery which proved that I was going in to early organ failure. The blood flow to my organs had began to fail. They performed emergency surgery and corrected the blockage from stomach tissue that had somehow twisted and caused the blood flow in my stomach to stop working properly. It has been over fifteen years and the scar has mostly faded yet when I really notice it, it reminds me afresh of how precious and precarious our lives are.

5. Surprise snow days with family in the Wilmington area.  I grew up in northern New England during part of my childhood. Up there snow stopped nothing. If it snows in the Southeast everything is shut down. A few years ago we had a really awesome snow storm. The kids and my wife, who have never really seen so much snow, were so amazed by seeing real snow. I still can picture them making snow angels. Great memory when it is closing in a 100 plus in July.

What makes you happy?

Click here if you want to listen to Pharrell Williams Get Happy.

Continue Reading →

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The Spirit blows where it will by Dr. John Henry Jowett

Dr. Jowett, when he wanted to preach upon this very passage (John 3:8) , went down to Tynemouth, and sat by an old sailor, a real sailor, a man who had spent many years upon a sailing vessel; and said to him, ” Do you know anything about the wind?”
“Yes, sir, I know a lot about the wind.” ” Well, will you explain to me the phenomenon of the wind.”
“I don’t know what you mean sir.”
” Well, how do you explain the wind? What do you know about it ?
” No, sir, I don’t know anything about the wind; but I know the wind, and I can hoist a sail!”

Continue Reading →

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Belgic Confession

“We do not wish to inquire with undue curiosity into what he does that surpasses human understanding and is beyond our ability to comprehend. But in all humility and reverence we adore the just judgments of God, which are hidden from us, being content to be Christ’s disciples, so as to learn only what he shows us in his Word, without going beyond those limits.”

Written in 1561 on what Christians aught to believe. True in 2014.

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Africa the front line

“Scripture provided Kwashi a defense against Islam, as it had since missionaries arrived among the non-Muslim hill tribes two hundred years earlier. The Bible, along with guides to health and hygiene, also served as a practical guide to a new way of life—a syllabus. One popular slogan was “Our Faith and Our Farm.” “Any shift away from the Bible is to strip me naked of my way to develop,” Kwashi said. “I don’t have the luxury of relativism that the West does.” Continue Reading →

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C.S. Lewis on Childishness

Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

C.S. Lewis. “On Three Ways of Writing for Children” (1952)