More Readings From the Pastor’s Desk

Following last weeks blog, I thought I’d share more of what I’ve been reading, what I’ve stumbled upon while studying, or what’s randomly arrived in my inbox.  Enjoy!

  • Update on Notre Dame
    It was shocking to see the massive fire in the attic and roof of the beautiful Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. To think that such a structure which has stood for 850 years could be lost so quickly was astonishing.  But as this article from the Gospel Coalition points out, while tragic, we shouldn’t be quick to say that this fire is not a moral lesson.
    This is another excellent articlefrom PCA Ruling Elder and writer for National Review, David French on how the Notre Dame fire affects all Christians, and the hope we can find in the midst of the ashes.
  • The Love of God
    I’ve been doing research on 1 John 4:19, “God is Love,” and found two interesting articles I wanted to share.  The first is from A.W. Pink’s book, The Attributes of God. If you click here, it will take you to the chapter on the Love of God, but the entire book is available on the website for free. It is a great read and I highly recommend it.
    Second, I love the hymn by Frederick Lehman, “The Love of God,” particularly the final verse

Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Tho’ stretched from sky to sky.

In researching the hymn at Hymnary.org, I came across this note:

The first two stanzas are Lehman’s own work. The third, by his own account, he added based on lines “found written by a demented man on the wall of his narrow room in the asylum where he died”; those words are a translation of an Aramaic poem, “Haddamut”, written ca. 1050 by Rabbi Meir of Worms, Germany. They hearken back to the 31st Sura of the Qur’an, where one reads
If all the trees on earth were pens, and the ocean were ink, replenished by seven more oceans, the writing of God’s wonderful signs and creations would not be exhausted; surely God is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

If you read the hymn in its entirety, it is undoubtedly Christ-centered and God-honoring, but it is interesting to note the source of the material.

  • Sunday’s Coming
    If you’re not familiar with S.M. Lockridge’s Good Friday message, make sure to take a moment and listen. I listen to this each year as I prepare for the celebration of Good Friday and the Resurrection. I find the video distracting, so turn up the volume, and just listen.
  • Daily Dose of Greek
    In case your thinking to yourself, “I wish I had a way to learn to read and understand Biblical Greek” (and let’s be honest, who isn’t thinking that), here’s a great, free, website to help you out. They even have apps for your smart phones and tablets. If you’re serious about learning, I’d even be willing to start a Greek New Testament reading group.
    I anxiously await your calls.
  • Pastors are Special
    At the risk of seeming self-serving, I share this article that I read today. I don’t share this to garner your pity, but because I would agree with everything he has said here, and seek your prayers for the effectiveness of my ministry, and my diligence for the work before me.
  • I Miss B.C.
    Finally, I came across this old comic strip and it reminded me how much I miss reading Johnny Hart’s B.C. comic with my dad on Sunday mornings.easter comic

Readings from the Pastor’s Desk

Today, rather than my usual blog, I thought I’d share links to the things I’ve been reading (or viewing) today. Some are deeply theological or biblical, while others are just food for thought.  I pray you will be encouraged and blessed as I was.

  • Expiation and Propitiation
    I have to admit, I often don’t do a very good job of keeping these clearly defined. L. Michael Morales does a great job in TableTalk this month in defining the two terms, and showing how both are tied up in the work of the cross. “A Christian basks securely in the warm rays of the Father’s favor only because that storm of judgement has already broken in the full measure of its fury on the crucified Son of God. His shed blood cleanses us from our sins, removing our guilt from the sight of God.”
  • On the Immutability of God
    In preparation for tonight’s Middle School study on “God Never Changes” I came across this site from Precept Austin, which has a lot of great quotes on the immutability (unchangeability) of God. I’ve posted several readings from Tozer and Pink here before, and both are found in this article.  My favorite has to be A.W. Pink’s, “God cannot change for the better, for He is perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.”
  • A Little Biblical Archaeology
    I had a class on Biblical History and Archaeology in college, taught by a former archaeologist from Jerusalem who actually passed around ancient oil lamps and coins dating back to the time of Abraham. Since then, I have always been interested in the finds of archaeology that are tied to Biblical history.  Here’s a short video about some recent important finds in Jerusalem.
  • Listen to the Bible
    Someone was sharing this week how they were listening to the Bible on CD in their car. Any opportunity we can get to be in the Word of God is a good thing.  If you’re looking for a way to hear the ESV Online, this link is for you.  If you want to hear what the Greek sounds like, click here.  When I read Greek, it sounds like Spanish, so please don’t ask me to read it out loud.
  • What did Shakespeare Sound Like?
    This has nothing to do with my studies, but it sure was fun to watch!

Enjoy!