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You can tell a lot about a man from his shoes, and I would add from his study.  Here’s Ligon’s.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy troubles to bless
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

A good reminder post on a subject we take for granted, lament when it evades us, and escapes our notice as an expression of God’s sovereignty and goodness . . .  . sleep!

John MacArthur is going to be speaking on A Theology of Sleep at T4G10 from Mark 4.  That should be interesting.

Worship Leaders!  Open your eyes when you lead us!  Good post from Bob Kauflin.

What is the pastor’s greatest means to exercise leadership?  Read here.

Is there a neurological connection between men, pornography and subsequent issues with genunie God honoring intimacy?  According to this new work as reviewed by Tim Challies, yes.

While the male brain does predispose men to be drawn to nudity and drawn to images of sexuality, this does not provide an excuse for indulging. To the contrary, it challenges men to be exceedingly careful about what they view and it makes them doubly responsible before God for images they’ve consumed. The implications of the neurological basis for human sexuality call men to purity before God in a whole new way.

Wired for Intimacy is a book we need. With pornography increasingly reaching epidemic proportions, this book helps us understand it at a whole new level. And it calls us to deal with human sexuality in a way that acknowledges all of its dimensions–moral, ethical, psychological, spiritual and physical. I give Wired for Intimacy my highest recommendation.

O soul are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see.

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free. . . . .

Al Mohler on the amout of media time our kids now consume (mostly non TV!).

The Kaiser Family Foundation has just released a new study on the online lives of children and teenagers, and the statistics are simply astounding. America’s children and teenagers are now spending an average of more than 7 1/2 hours a day involved in electronic media.

Al Mohler on our child focused culture.

Whatever happened to being seen but not heard? Diana West asks that question in a recent essay, noting that there has been a massive shift in Western culture away from adult authority and toward the “wise child.”

Carolyn Mahaney on rising early for quiet time with God

There is no law in the Bible that dictates when to have a quiet time. In fact, we are to meditate on God’s Word day and night! However, there is biblical encouragement for rising early to seek the Savior.

Apparently this diatribe has been around for awhile and I somehow managed to miss it until now, but how true are the sentiments expressed!  If there is one thing that absolutly kills me about the generation or so behind my own is this cloudy, etherial kind of conversation where I can hardly understand a word that is said, probably because nothing of any substance is being conveyed.

This is a good reminder to us all to let our ‘yes be yes’ and our ‘no be no’ and for people to know what constitutes the difference!

HT:JT

I recently gave an exhortation to our body to add the Spiritual discipline of journaling to their daily routine in the coming year. This was an attempt to draw some very practical applications out of the text of Luke 1.

When you come to Luke 1 and do just a sight scan of the passage you notice two very distinct sections of that singular chapter. Those two sections are Mary’s Magnificat and Zechariah’s Benedicuts. They are songs of praise  (NT Psalms as Ryken would say) and they are littered with Biblical references from the OT.  Some scholars suggest that both Mary and Zechariah refer to at least 30 different OT passages in their brief songs as they respond to God’s Sovereign working in their lives.

This begs the question:  “When God Sovereignly blesses me with great grace and goodness and I actually recognize that work in my life, does my heart, mind and tongue burst forth in similar praise?  Does my response of joy burst forth back to God and in the hearing of others with the language of Scripture being fulfilled by God towards me for my good and His glory?”  The answer is probably all to often no.

How often have I heard others, and how often have I myself, attributed the blessing and Providence of God to human means?  How often has someone attributed a healing act of God up to the advancements in medicine.  How often has someone attributed a relational reconciliation up to time, “which heals all wounds?” How often have we robbed God of the glory He is due to common and worthless explanations as opposed to filling the air around us with sound of His praises and the testimony of His word rolling off our tongue in thankful praise?

Journaling your way through your daily time of Scripture reading and prayer as well as journaling the ins and outs of everyday life is a way to cultivate this habit.  Why?  Journaling makes you slow down, contemplate your thoughts, contemplate the construction of a sentence that accurately captures your emotions and accurately conveys the truth from Scripture that you’re meditating on so that someone coming behind you could read it and understand.  In a sense, journaling forces the habit /discipline of meditation.

Christy Tennant in the Jan/Feb issue of Bible Study Magazine writes . . .

Journaling forces me to linger over a verse longer than I normally would.  During my devotions, if a particular verse or phrase catches my eye, I write it down and begin meditating on it.  Reading through Jeremiah recently this phrase jumped out at me:  “Their ears are uncircumcised , they cannot listen” (Jer 6:10 ESV).  As I wrote this phrase, I pondered what it meat that they had uncircumcised ears, noting some of the things that came to mind: ears that are covered, blocked, unable to hear God’s voice.

As I wrote out the passage, I remembered that circumcision is also described in God’s Word as a sign of: spiritual rebirth (Rom 2:29), God’s covenant (Gen 17:11), and spiritual humility (Deut 10:16).  I was reminded of some key spiritual truths that I had not considered in a long time.  I prayed something like; Lord, circumcise my ears so I can hear you when you speak. Let me hear your warnings your instructions your encouragement, and your assurance. The concept of uncircumcised hears became more meaningful when I incorporated it into my prayers.  Suddenly a passage that seemed only about the history of rebellious Israel had a very practical personal application.”

In coming posts, I’ll add some more thoughts and examples of how journaling can become one of the most fruitful Spiritual disciplines in your life.  Give it a dedicated try in the coming months.  I’d love to hear how God is using in your life to bear good fruit.