Saturday, February 27, 2010

Poverty and The Gospel

Milton Vincent:

Like nothing else could ever do, the gospel instills in me a heart for the downcast, the poverty-stricken, and those in need of physical mercies, especially when such persons are of the household of faith.

When I see persons who are materially poor, I instantly feel a kinship with them, for they are physically what I was spiritually when my heart was closed to Christ.

Perhaps some of them are in their condition because of sin, but so was I.

Perhaps they are unkind when I try to help them; but I, too, have been spiteful to God when He has sought to help me.

Perhaps they are thankless and even abuse the kindness I show them, but how many times have I been thankless and used what God has given me to serve selfish ends?

Perhaps a poverty-stricken person will be blessed and changed as a result of some kindness I show them. If so, God be praised for His grace through me. But if the person walks away unchanged by my kindness, then I still rejoice over the opportunity to love as God loves. Perhaps the person will repent in time; but for now, my heart is chastened and made wiser by the tangible depiction of what I myself have done to God on numerous occasions.

The gospel reminds me daily of the spiritual poverty into which I was born and also of the staggering generosity of Christ towards me. Such reminders instill in me both a felt connection to the poor and a desire to show them the same generosity that has been lavished on me. When ministering to the poor with these motivations, I not only preach the gospel to them through word and deed, but I reenact the gospel to my own benefit as well.

- from A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See The Glories of God's Love, pp 38-39

HT: Justin Taylor

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Global Warming Today

I found this blog post by Doug Wilson pretty amusing. It is rather odd, isn't it, that an entire world can believe something semi-false just because an "authority" on the matter told them it was so. The money and power that resulted from the global warming theory was really astounding. Even more so was the way people bought into it hook, line, and sinker, purchasing their carbon offsets because they were told to do so. No one ever thought to question where the money might be going and whether it was a truly effective program for climate change. I have long thought that the buying of carbon offsets was something akin to the medieval purchasing of pardons: do something bad (like fly your private jet, as Al Gore and his celebrity minions do), confess that you know it's not the best thing for the environment - but hey, I'm going to make it up for it, okay?! - then purchase your pardon in the form of lots of carbon offsets. I'm not saying don't take care of what God has given. I am personally sad to think that it will take thousands of years for our plastics to biodegrade. At the rate we use and throw away plastics, what will our earth look like even just a hundred years from now? That said, I refuse to buy into a science that was created by a group of people to further their own careers. If people would stop checking their brains at the doors of climate change conferences, we might do more good than harm in helping to solve waste problems around the world.

Just an observation in closing, but this has been a record winter here in Texas. For the first time that we can remember, we had a white Christmas. Then, only two weeks ago, we had a mighty 12.5" snowfall. God does indeed make foolish the wisdom of the world...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Here

It's been awhile, I know. Life is crazy, and I thank you if you still check this blog. I'll try to be more worthy of your time and attention. :) I got interrupted from the visual look back at last year, and then when I wanted to return to it, I thought that so much more had occurred, so much had happened that wasn't caught in pictures. I may continue to post some photos as a look-back, but for now I just want to resume blogging. I do miss it and hope to be more regular.

For starters, I took a break from my emails, essays, and work to check a few blogs I haven't read in awhile. One is Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley, who is, simply, an inspiring woman. In her most recent posts was a link to this story from the Washington Post, which addresses a new technology being used to find brain activity in people who are in a vegetative state. Not surprisingly, people in comas are capable of using their brains even though they often have minimal or no physical activity/function. Ms. McCulley went on to reflect on this amazing story, of a young man who was thrown into a coma after an accident. After four years of loving care from his parents and girlfriend, he has made an amazing recovery. Please read the story, you can't help but be moved and inspired. On their blog, I saw this post which could be one of the best responses to suffering I have ever seen.