While many Americans hold less than orthodox views, a strong majority believe that God is omnipotent and as such 'rules this world.' This is in much contrast to the '30 percent God' popular with some progressives, a deity who would have a difficult time fixing a parking ticket. For some progressives, even a 30 percent God--God Lite--is far too much" (from Exodus: Why Americans are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity).
(HT: Mark Dever) David Wells, Above All Earthly Pow’rs (2005), p. 9:
This Word of God is the means by which God accomplishes his saving work in his people, and this is a work that no evangelist and no preacher can do. This is why the dearth of serious, sustained biblical preaching in the Church today is a serious matter. When the Church loses the Word of God it loses the very means by which God does his work. In its absence, therefore, a script is being written, however unwittingly, for the Church’s undoing, not in one cataclysmic moment, but in a slow, inexorable slide made up of piece by tiny piece of daily dereliction.
Carolyn McCulley's hillarious introduction to her post on why she is adjusting some priorities:
A few months ago, I purchased a new purse. I should have been duly warned because this one came with its own light. Take it from me, if your purse is cavernous enough to require a light to find what's residing on the bottom, it is just too big! Another indicator that a purse is outsized: your mobile phone always goes to voicemail before you can get your hands on it to answer. But the real litmus test is "the big dig." If you have to disgorge the contents of your purse on your lap, the restaurant table, or the adjoining car seat just to find a pack of gum, you need a better system.
I am waiting for purse manufacturers to recognize that we need a feminine toolbox, not a soft-sided pouch. We need compartments with strong dividers to organize keys, multiple lipsticks, mobile phone, PDA, iPod, digital camera, sunglasses, wallet, pain reliever, mints/gum, tissues, feminine products, and other necessities (such as Shout-Wipes for the spill-prone). That's just the stuff a single woman hauls around. When you get married, you need compartments for the "hey, honey, can you put this in your purse for me" items. Then when you have kids, you have to add a plastic-lined, hazardous waste compartment for all the soiled and half-used items your children hand you--"here, Mommy."
If you're going to take a punch in the gut... one of the best punchers in the world is Scott Croft, whom I had the pleasure of serving with as an elder at CHBC. I miss this brother and here's why:
I once counseled a Christian brother in his dating relationship with a great woman. She was godly, caring, and bright. She was attractive, but not a supermodel. For weeks I listened to this brother agonize over his refusal to commit and propose to this woman. He said they were able to talk well about a lot of things, but there were a few topics he was interested in that she couldn't really engage with, and sometimes the conversation "dragged."
He also said that, while he found her basically attractive, there was one feature of hers that he "just pictured differently" on the woman he would marry. I would ask about her godliness and character and faith, and he said all those things were stellar (and he was right). Finally, he said, "I guess I'm looking for a 'ten'."
I could hold back no longer. Without really thinking, I responded, "You're looking for a 'ten'? But, brother, look at yourself. You're like a 'six.' If you ever find the woman you're looking for, and she has your attitude, what makes you think she would have you?"
Check out the full article, "Brother, You're Like A Six" at Boundless.
From Expository Thoughts, another gem from Baxter:
You cannot break men’s hearts by jesting with them, or telling them a smooth tale, or pronouncing a gaudy oration. Men will not cast away their dearest pleasures at the drowsy request of one that seemth not to mean as he speaks, or to care much whether his request be granted or not. If you say that the work is God’s, and he may do it by the weakest means, I answer, It is true, he may do so; but yet his ordinary way is to work by means, and to make not only the matter that is preached, but also the manner of preaching instrumental to the work (The Reformed Pastor, 149).