Heidi and I took the boys over to College Station this past weekend and we spent time walking around Texas A&M University. It is, after all, a really neat place to check out and she has never seen any university that is so big and prestigious.
We were taking pictures as we went along and we tried to get Andy to take pictures of the two of us, since we don’t have a lot of pictures of the two of us together. Well, it was a good idea. We just didn’t count on Photobomb Joey, who was in a rare mood. (A photobomb is someone who jumps into a photo unexpectedly.)
I’m giving you three shots of us with Joey. By the time Andy took the first picture, Joey had already danced in front of us and we were almost in tears laughing so hard. Andy did manage to get Joey in a couple of the shots. Here are the three best shots:
You can see why Joey keeps us in stitches. He really has a great sense of humor and truly loves to enjoy the moment. More to come on that one.
(NOTE: Today is not Stoke’s birthday, that would be October 25th. But the photo was taken on Stoke’s birthday many moons ago…)
I really love this photo because it is one of the better shots I took that fall with my relatively new camera, a Canon Ftb SLR. I saved up several months pay in order to buy the camera, earning money while working at Alfred’s in Town ‘n Country Shopping Village, and The Greenery, a restaurant in what was then the Sheraton Hotel at the corner of the Beltway and I-10.
I’ve been pondering the latest movement to the Christian scene a lot in the last several days. Read about it here. The newest movement really bothers me, as most movements do, because movements take away from God’s prescribed means of grace towards His church.
His means of grace toward the church are the preaching and reading of His word, the sacraments of baptism and communion, prayer, discipline and the taking of religious vows and oaths under God appointed leadership, men who meet the qualifications of elders and deacons. Anything beyond those means is man-made, especially the movements that we see from time-to-time. The sad reality is that so many people fall for the lie that the means of grace are not enough. They believe God did not see what we needed and they lack trust in the means He has given us. Therefore we must take matters into our own hands because obviously, God was not doing enough through the means He gave us. It is this false sense of urgency that feeds the fervor found in the movements.
It seems that we have “another” movement afoot in Christian circles again. This time it is the If:Gathering, which is a woman’s conference led by Jenny Allen and Jen Hatmaker. The website even has Ann Voskamp listed among the leadership. If you read my post on Voskamp you would know why I have problems with this conference before we go any further into the details. But on the front end, I will say that this movement is just another misguided movement like so many others foisted upon the church in the past 30 years.
I have not posted a quote in a long time, but I loved this one via one of my FB friends, from Carl Trueman. It really puts Lent and the LORD’s day into perspective. I’m not a fan of Lent, and I’m a huge believer in observing the LORD’s day. May the following quote give you something to ponder.
“Finally, it also puzzles me that time and energy is spent each year on extolling the virtues of Lent when comparatively little is spent on extolling the virtues of the Lord’s Day. Presbyterianism has its liturgical calendar, its way of marking time: Six days of earthly pursuits and one day of rest and gathered worship. Of course, that is rather boring. Boring, that is, unless you understand the rich theology which underlies the Lord’s Day and gathered worship, and realize that every week one meets together with fellow believers to taste a little bit of heaven on earth.”
You can read the rest of Trueman’s article, Ash Wednesday: Picking and Choosing our Piety, here.
“If you will return, O Israel,” says the LORD, “Return to Me; And if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be moved. And you shall swear, ‘The LORD lives,’ in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; The nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him they shall glory.”
At first, the declaration that ‘The LORD lives’ might seem a bit out of place coming from Jeremiah 4. After all, this Old Testament passage seems so much like the gospel. It calls for repentance in a very direct way. It calls for faith in an inferred way, and it calls for a declaration that the God we are returning to… Lives!
Reading in Jeremiah 3 this morning, I came across this wonderful verse:
“Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
This passage is packed with spiritual truth. We see the need for repentance, the relationship of those who do so with the LORD, election of those who are called by Him, and even their destination to Zion. But what jumped out at me was the fact that He will call shepherds according to His heart and for the purpose of feeding His people with knowledge and understanding.
It dawned on me this past week while listening to a sermon by Alistair Begg on the Second Commandment that both Sarah Young and Ann Voskamp trample on the Second Commandment in their books, Jesus Calling and One Thousand Gifts. Both books have been widely popular among women and the men of the church have been dreadfully absent in offering any correction or critique.
Tim Challies tried to make some inroads with the issue, but was contacted by Ann Voskamp in person, and he melted like a chocolate-covered cheesecake in the Texas summer heat. I agree that we should treat both women as sisters in the LORD, but both sisters in the LORD still need correcting on their writing and the women of the church need to be warned that both books have terrible theological problems.