Monthly Archives: January 2011

1 Comment

A Prayer for Friends Struggling with Pornography

Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 7:21-8:2

Jesus, my heart goes out today for friends and their spouses whose lives are being assaulted by the ravaging and enslaving grip of pornography.  I know of no other power sufficient for the task but the gospel. This is why I run to you today with grave concern, but also with great hope.

I invite you to read the rest. (HT: Challies)

Usually the day (when I'm blogging) that I write about theology.

THIS day...not.  I woke up feeling icky and it got worse from there.

Diet should not be a problem, since I can't eat much (I've got some soup that's working for me)

I may put off "shop or starve" until tomorrow afternoon and see what I can pull out of the cupboard for lunch tomorrow.

I set google calendar to wake me up at 2:58 Thursday morning to be one of the "First come, first serve" for the verizon iPhone.

My phone is (literally) falling apart so it's time for a phone...I just put it off for this day.

and I think we missed our January thaw.  I'm going to settle in with my soup and the remote.


The Road Less Traveled


This photo was taken "way up north" - north of Marquette, the first trip I took as an "NMU Mom."

Tom was at orientation for 2 days and I was up there just hanging out.  I took the "waterfalls" map and my GPS and took off.

That's the day I learned that my GPS unit took the short way.  Even when the short way was a 2 (or one) track "truck trail" - a sort of path for logging trucks.  I turned back when the "bridge" across a creek was a set of 2x4's in the water.

I turned around in a clearing/meadow and went back to the road in the photo. It was really foggy!

Apply to real life:

When the road ahead is foggy and unclear...this is not the time for a short cut!

(note:  I followed the dirt road a little while more, found pavement and entered the GPS coordinates again.  I found a delightful little waterfall, just as the sky cleared and the sun came out!

When you stay the course, you might just end up in the right place!





This was taken at Art Prize 2010. I had a chance to talk to the artist ( Romanian artist Liviu Mocan)

the name of the piece is "Invitation/Decalogue" and was sculpted in honor of John Calvin's 500th birthday.

• The Decalogue is an ancient code for moral and spiritual development, commonly known as the Ten Commandments.
• John Calvin saw the Decalogue as the centre of God’s law in the Bible; Jesus Christ summarised it as to love God with all your heart, and love others as yourself. Calvin used this to guide the reformation of Genevan church and society in the 16th century.
• Liviu Mocan sub-titles the sculpture “God’s hands”. The ten giant fingers correspond to the Ten Commandments, and the sculptor tries to illustrate the peace, justice and security that God’s law was intended to create.

• Hands – an invitation to relationship: the Decalogue is not just an impersonal set of laws, but is an expression of God’s love and desire for good and right relationships
• Contrasting faces – an invitation to ethical reflection: the two sides of each pillar reflect the dual consequences of God’s law: it generally goes well for us when we respect the law; but negative consequences follow when the law is disregarded.
• Circle – an invitation to freedom: the Decalogue creates a space of freedom to do good and live at peace with others.
• Massive columns – an invitation to hope: throughout history the Decalogue has helped shape societies that are characterised by freedom, justice and peace, and can still do the same in today’s troubled world.

As I talked to the artist, he took me by the hand and walked me around the sculpture.

"See," he said, "Inside God's hands, it is safe.  Can you feel the safety in being enclosed.  I made this round, gentle.  Feel the metal, how strong, how it hold you."

He led me outside of the circle.  "But look at how sharp the outside edges are."  He took my hand and had me feel the metal...warm in the October sun.  "How dangerous.  Outside the hands of God...there is danger."

I've been reading about porn lately in a number of places and it's time.

I've been single for 9 1/2 years and I've chosen to stay quiet because there are things that I don't want my kids to know.  But I'm pretty confident that they don't read this and there are a few things I need to say.

I read a lot about "his sin" and the innocence of the woman.

Read this:

If the sins of another person focuses our hurt, our wrath, our anger and our "consequences" onto that person...we have missed the point of the Gospel.

Did the sin of my husband hurt me...

any more that **my own sin** hurt the heart of God?

Do I really believe that my own wretched selfish any better than the sin of my husband...that I could hold it over his head in my own reactions of hurt and anger?

Is that the way I want to be treated by God?


This is from Reclaiming the Mind - I'd rather comment there, but for whatever reason, my browser doesn't want to show me the combox...

This interaction was interesting.



(I asked)Why does one fear Him and another does not? Intelligence? Random Chance?

(another answered)Have you had children? Have you examined your body and how incredibly it is made? Have you gazed at the starry host and wondered at the vastness of what God has created? Have you considered the amount of energy within a single atom and how it holds itself together? How about the energy present within the fabric we call space and often thing of as a vast expanse of nothing? I have watched the BBC Earth series and my jaw literally drops to the floor when I consider the incredible creation of God.

We have more information today than we have in the past, but all the big stuff is easily within reach. And you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to recognize the obvious about God.


yes.  I have children.  Yes, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

This is a wonderful answer...but I have no clue what the question was.

The answer given has ZERO to do with the question that I asked.

If our salvation depends on our decision to choose to accept Christ, why did I choose, and why didn't the person next to me in the pew choose?

What makes me so smart?  spiritual?  special?

If the answer to that was "because God chooses those who fear Him" - why do some fear Him, and others not?

If the answer lies with the person, what is the answer?

If the answer lies with God - isn't that "election"?

The paragraph from "Church Planter"

“One of the common errors of young men who surrender to ministry is to simply adopt the model of a church Macthat they have experienced or idolized. A similar mistake is to blindly accept the ministry philosophy and practice of a ministry hero. The man who is experiencing head confirmation is thoughtful about his own philosophy of ministry, his own ministry style, his own theological beliefs, his own unique gifts, abilities, and desires. In short, there is uniqueness to the way he wants to do ministry.”

John MacArthur's take:

Notice that Darrin Patrick himself summarizes and restates the point he is making, and it is about “uniqueness” in “the way he wants to do ministry.” He seems to suggest that everything about one’s ministry (Patrick expressly includes “his own theological beliefs“) needs to be self-styled and individualistic.

Is that really what Patrick is saying?

He could simply have been saying that when a man is called to ministry, everything he considers should be with thoughtfulness.

Is being thoughtful about my own theology mean that I'm being "self-styled and individualistic?  No - it means that the more thoughtful I am about my study, the more I work out my salvation, the more time and care I put into it, the more I make the faith of my own.

As the White Horse Inn guys say:

Know what you believe...and why.

A while ago, I read an interview with Rob Bell.  He - as a pastor - embraced the mystery.  He wasn't sure what he believed and he was okay with that.

My thought at the time was something to the effect of - If HE doesn't even know what he believes, why on EARTH would I trust him to teach me what I should believe?

God BLESS His men who are willing to be thoughtful (Patrick's word) about their own theology.

Repeating MacArthur:

He seems to suggest that everything about one’s ministry...needs to be self-styled and individualistic.

No.  I'm going to go further than MacArthur did in his quote.

In short, there is uniqueness to the way he wants to do ministry.  Unlike many young men who know much about what they are against and little about what they are for, the man who is experiencing head confirmation things through very carefully and deliberately, what am I for with my life and ministry?  What are my specific burdens for the church?  How can I best serve the church in these areas?

If you read in context, the uniqueness that Patrick is writing about is not 'make it up as you go along' theology...

Patrick is urging men who feel called to the ministry to thoughtfully discover their own path, their own gifts, their own burdens, their own service...all of these given to them by God.

I doubt that MacArthur would really urge young men to jump into ministry without being thoughtful about their own theology - at least I hope not.

Or is it "preach the way I preach, believe all the minutia that I believe, do it the way I do it" and it'll all be good.

From "Is God A Moral Monster" by Paul Copan (hint - if you buy it through the link, I'll get credit  😉

According to Copan, both pride and false humility have their basis in a lie.

Pride (arrogance) says that I can do more than I can do.  Pride says that I have done things that I have not done.  The lie of pride lets me give myself (and others) an inflated view of myself and my abilities.

False humility says that I have not done what I have done.  False humility says that I cannot do things that I can do.  The lie of pride lets me give myself (and others) a deflated view of myself, my gifts and my abilities.

True humility, on the other hand,

Copan writes:

True humility doesn't deny abilities but rather acknowledges God as the source of these gifts, for which we can't take the credit.  What do we have that we didn't receive (1 Cor. 4:7)?  To be humble is to know our proper place before God - with all of our strengths and weaknesses.

Two links:

Challies Weekend a la Carte - the segments and most of the comments about John MacArthur's criticism of Darren Patrick.

John MacArthur's blog - Travis Allen defending MacArthur.

More tomorrow...


She was sitting in her chair when he got home, settled in to watch a rented move...a "chick flick"

"Why can't you be more like him?" she asked her husband. He shook his head and thought...I'm not him. I'm me and I want to be wanted for who I am.

He nuzzled her neck and whispered..."let's head for bed."

She lifted her shoulder and gently pushed him away, "No, I'm in the middle of this movie. I don't feel like it tonight."

He backed away from her "cold shoulder" and walked to the home computer. Click.


Using porn is the choice of the person viewing it. But within a marriage, there is another person involved. If it's the husband using, the wife is also involved.

I will never say that a husband's choice to use porn is the sin of the wife.

I will say that the sin of the wife of denying her husband could (and sometimes does) lead to the temptation of the husband to use porn.

We have a responsibility to help one another avoid temptation. When we don't help, we often hurt.