This morning on Facebook the JC Ryle page posted this quote:
"The person who can take deep interest in politics, or sports, or money-making, but none in the conversion of souls, is no true Christian. They are 'dead' and must be made 'alive'. They are 'lost' and must be 'found'. ~ J.C. Ryle
Someone commented: "There's nothing wrong with deep interests in polotics, sports, money-making, or anything else as long as our relationship with our Lord and our commitment to the command of the Great Commission is above all else."
To which a reply came: "You can't take a deep interest in other things if your treasure truly is Christ."
I'm starting, more and more, to agree with the latter comment. Although I'm not really into sports at all, I have found a bit of an addiction to things politic these days and unfortunately, thinking about money-making, home businesses, etc., seems to consume way too much of my time on most days. (not actually making the money mind you, just thinking about it!)
When I've spoken to a couple of friends about it I've used the term "hypocritical" about myself. I say that Christ is the most important part of my life. I say that I desire to put Christ first when it comes to interacting with my girls, etc. I say that our driving verses for our lives are Deuteronomy 6:6-9:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
But do I do it? Do I really live that way? Not really. More often than not "these words" are lost in the shuffle of the urgent of the moment - so much so that we can go for hours - or dare I say days - without talking about them at all.
Hence the hypocrite title. Isn't a hypocrite someone who says one thing but does another?
For many years now our family has been on this quest to become more "simple, separate and deliberate" in our lives.
And with the start of the new year it is always a good time to think about changes, goals, etc., so in the never ending quest for more simplicity here are some things that I’ll be doing this year. I share them here as encouragement for you to maybe set your own focus on a more simple and joy-filled life. Plus it’s a chance to possibly get some free orange juice (see below!) :)
1. Use technology strategically. Although originally designed to help us, it seems, to me anyway, that technology has not only complicated our lives but taken up all our time as well. I do appreciate the benefits that the internet, cell phones and other technological advances have given us but have fallen into the trap of the “urgent” becoming the “important”. Because of a few clicks I can find myself off on some rabbit trail sleuthing or solving some problem that I would have never known existed had I not clicked on someone’s link. Rarely do these types of things require my time or my “wisdom” and so, one huge step for me this year will be to “just say no” when it comes to clicking around on the internet. Also I’m going to avoid texting like the plague and use it only when absolutely necessary. A quick phone call will, in all likelihood answer any question or problem I might have.
2. Grow a garden. With 5 inches of snow and ice on my driveway and yard it’s hard to really imagine growing a garden this year but I’m going to do it! Last year we decided to give the garden a sabbatical - which in our terms meant “we ain’t even gonna touch it”. That was very freeing for us but I missed the dirt and the bounty that some good outdoor digging brings. And so, this year, in an effort to simplify and save some good hard cash, a garden it is. I’ve already purchased my heirloom seeds and can’t wait for the chance to start some seeds out in the greenhouse. Now if we can just figure out how to stop the cat from using the seed pots as a litter box....
Book Title: The Quotable Chesterton
By: Kevin Belmonte
Published by Thomas Nelson
The Quotable Chesterton is a comprehensive, accessible survey of Chesterton’s greatest ideas and writings.
With more than 850 passages showcasing his brilliance and masterful writing style, it covers topics from Academia to Painting, Politics to Architecture, Jane Austen to John Bunyan, Jesus to Fairy Tales.
Fans and first-time readers of Chesterton will discover topics that dominated thought and life throughout the 20th century and have influenced our own time . . . all from the view of a man the New York Times hailed as a “brilliant English essayist” and who George Bernard Shaw called a “colossal genius.”
Chesterton created a bulwark in his own day to defend Christian faith and assert a Christian view throughout culture. As readers encounter the breadth of his genius, they will find compelling reasons to emulate his unceasing fight for truth and beauty.
I’ve never met a Chesterton quote I didn’t like. That said, I haven’t read that many Chesterton quotes. Until now. This book is full of golden nuggets of wit and wisdom.
Since I’m always looking for quotes to send off in emails or written letters, this book is a treasure to keep close by. It’s well ordered so it’s easy to find a quote that’s suited to your topic/letter, etc., plus all the information that the author fills in with Chesterton history is enjoyable.
I’d definitely recommend this book to others.
I received this book for free in return for a review from Booksneeze.com. I was not required to give a positive review.
|Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal
By T. David Gordon / P & R Publishing
Dr. Gordon looks at changes in worship from the fresh viewpoint of a Media Ecology perspective. Changes in music have changed the way we think, and the way we worship - or are even able to worship. The musical culture we are immersed in has altered our ability to understand other genres of music - so much so that we find them strangely unhelpful. This means that worship has become a conflict area, rather than a source of unity. Dr. Gordon not only shows the problems, he also provides solutions - it's important, because how we sing affects how we live.
It's an interesting perspective and one that all church going Christians should consider - no matter what type of music is typical for your church. Well written, easy to read and complete.
I really enjoyed this book.
But it's not too late ... even if you have pre-teens, teens or even young adults in your home you can start having a family worship time each night... before bed, after dinner... whatever. Just do it. You'll all be blessed and future generations (your grandkids, great grandkids and beyond) will thank you!
The fact of the matter is, family worship is a great investment. In fact, it is a no-brainer. It pays such high dividends that it is – to use the modern vernacular – like stealing money. In fact, I cannot think of many things in life that pay greater dividends than the ordinary practice of daily family worship. Let me quote Presbyterian minister Terry Johnson to give you an idea of what I mean:
If your children are in your home for 18 years, you have [over 5,600] occasions (figuring a 6 day week) for family worship.
If you learn a new Psalm or hymn each month, they will be exposed to 216 in those 18 years. If you read a chapter a day, you will complete the Bible 4.5 times in 18 years. Every day they will affirm a creed or recite the law. Every day they will confess their sins and plead for mercy. Every day they will intercede on behalf of others.
Think in terms of the long view. What is the cumulative impact of just 15 minutes of this each day, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, for 18 years? At the rate of 6 days a week (excluding Sunday), one spends an hour and a half a week in family worship (about the length of a home Bible study), 78 hours a year (about the length of two weekend retreats), and 1,404 hours over the course of 18 years (about the length of eight week-long summer camps).
When you establish your priorities, think in terms of the cumulative effect of this upon your children. Think of the cumulative effect of this upon you, after 40 or 60 or 80 years of daily family worship. All this without having to drive anywhere.
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This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever!
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