Weekend time with the Lord ...
LIFE OF DAVID
LESSON 5: THE DECAY, DECLINE, AND DEMISE OF KING SAUL
It may be because I grew up in a tourist town where one of the primary "industries" is Shakespeare (four theatres with the largest permanent Shakespearean theatre in the world outside the UK). And it may be because of these Shakespearean overtones I cherish ... that I simply can't get enough of the captivating narrative of King Saul.
If you haven't already ... dig into the Word this weekend and see a man, much like Macbeth, who is intoxicated by his own grasp for power. I can't but sympathize with this tragic character as we watch his descent into ultimate destruction.
And before you say, "Hey! I'm looking for something a little more uplifting this weekend" (and you'd be right to think this) ... may I encourage you: the life lessons here are RICH. So rich, that I am seeing many situations, people, personalities, leadership styles, life decisions with fresh eyes. And I thank the Lord for it! Hope you join me in this journey in 1 Samuel.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy
Psalm 96:11-12 NASB
Enjoy some gorgeous landscape photography from my favorite nature photographer, William David (my brother).
Weekend food for thought ...
I am not qualified to speak to this matter.
I grew up in a country north of here; one neither insulated nor exempt from the evils of the human heart. But it was (and remains) a far different social landscape. I can not claim personal experience or knowledge regarding many of the deep social divides that have (historically) fractured certain regions of this nation.
I both laughed ... and was deeply moved through Voddie's teaching.
I watched a second time even ... so I could better understand and articulate my biblically-shaping views on these matters.
See what YOU think about Pastor Voddie's claims (Peter and I have met and deeply regard Voddie Baucham).
Would love to discuss/wrestle/think this through with whomever is interested.
I would say we have all seen God working POWERFULLY at Calvary SD. But this was an encouragement to look for and appreciate His hand even ... especially ... in the simple places.
"Let your eyes skate past the megachurch industrial complex and take note of the almost invisible church in your neighborhood that you’ve driven past a thousand times without noticing. Check on it some Tuesday night, and see if there aren’t lights on in the basement. Maybe the food pantry is open. Or the congregation is offering financial management classes or marital counseling for couples who are struggling. It might just be the choir practicing, giving some souls an appointment to look forward to each week that pulls them out of their loneliness."
"I’m not against big churches. God is at work there too. My point is simpler: We tend to think that God is at work somewhere else. We spend our time wishing that we could be part of what God is doing, all the while missing what God is doing right under our noses because it looks small and insignificant and because it’s hard work."
Books are God's grace to us! I love that.
"When we aren’t growing in our doctrine and devotion then we remain infants who are still very much of the flesh we were saved from and we aren’t being transformed by the Spirit we were saved by. This means we stay at square one and as Paul said, we remain on milk and not solid food. Practically this means that we don’t know very well the God who saved us.
Books are God’s grace to us because in them we are given access to the thoughts and teaching of some of the most brilliant Christians to ever walk the earth. Even after these writers are gone, we can still be taught by them and learn from them. God uses good books to shape, grow, and challenge us in our doctrine and our devotion. We have been blessed now in our age to even be able to access these titles on our smartphone; some are even available for free. We, more than any generation before us, are without excuse to still be infants in Christ."
I enjoy watching for archaeological discoveries that CONTINUE to reinforce the truth of our Word and our God! Check this out!
"A long-buried street that led pilgrims to the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago was commissioned by Roman governor Pontius Pilate."
Here are two reasons you may be tempted to neglect meeting together with God’s people.
Weekend kitchen adventures ...
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe (click link here)
We are making this at our house this weekend.
Weekend worship ...
Brand new worship from Matt Redman. Take a listen!
Weekend Scripture memorization & reflection...
Weekend reading ...
Weekend (discounted) Kindle reading that may be of interest.
Western Civilization is wealthier, but it isn’t happier.
We are the richest people ever to walk the face of the earth, but according to research, we aren’t becoming happier. Families and communities are increasingly fragmented, loneliness is skyrocketing, and physical and mental health are on the decline. Our unprecedented wealth doesn’t seem to be doing us much good.
Yet, when we try to help poor people at home or abroad, our implicit assumption is that the goal is to help them to become like us. "If they would just do things our way, they’d be fine!"
But even when they seem to pursue our path, they too find that the American Dream doesn’t work for them. What if we have the wrong idea altogether? What if the molds we are using to help poor people don’t actually fit any of us? What if the goal isn’t to turn other countries into the United States or to turn America’s impoverished communities into its affluent suburbs?
In Becoming Whole (building on the best-selling When Helping Hurts), Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic look at the true sources of brokenness and poverty and uncover the surprising pathways to human flourishing, for poor and non-poor alike. Exposing the misconceptions of both Western Civilization and the Western church about the nature of God, human beings, and the world, they redefine success and offer new ways of achieving that success. Through biblical insights, scientific research, and practical experience, they show you how the good news of the kingdom of God reshapes our lives and our poverty alleviation ministries, moving everybody involved towards wholeness.
Reading the Bible need not be a haphazard journey through strange and bewildering territory. Like an experienced tour guide, How to Read the Bible Book by Book takes you by the hand and walks you through the Scriptures. For each book of the Bible, the authors start with a quick snapshot, then expand the view to help you better understand its message and how it fits into the grand narrative of the Bible. Written by two top evangelical scholars, this survey is designed to get you reading the Bible knowledgeably and understanding it accurately.
In an engaging, conversational style, Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart take you through every book of the Bible using their unique approach:
John Stott has been a giant on the landscape of the worldwide church for more than half a century. Here, however, are almost three dozen brief, very human-sized portraits of a man who has been a radical disciple of Jesus all those years.
One of the outstanding gifts that God gave to John Stott was an incredible capacity for friendship. Never did the word single seem less appropriate than for this lifelong bachelor. So in these sketches by his friends, relatives, coworkers and worldwide partners in the gospel, we see portions of his life and personality that many have not.
We see the small acts of kindness and service he performed such as regularly emptying wastebaskets and taking hours to find the old, toothless mother of a priest in India. We see a poignant portrait of Stott as he continues to follow Christ in the midst of age and physical decline.
Biblical Christianity is more than just another private religious view. It’s more than just a personal relationship with God or a source of moral teaching.
Christianity is a picture of reality.
It explains why the world is the way it is. When the pieces of this puzzle are properly assembled, we see the big picture clearly. Christianity is a true story of how the world began, why the world is the way it is, what role humans play in the drama, and how all the plotlines of the story are resolved in the end.
In The Story of Reality, bestselling author and host of Stand to Reason, Gregory Koukl, explains the five words that form the narrative backbone of the Christian story. He identifies the most important things that happen in the story in the order they take place:
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer ... praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.