Sunday, April 6, 2014

Golf Lessons with Elizabeth – 2

Never give up on a hole:  when playing a round of golf, a golfer needs to never give up!  I remember when I started playing tournaments how I would do really well on the first few holes and then on, say, on hole #4 I would post a triple bogey.  Why did I give up so many strokes in one hole?  It was due to giving up on the hole after one terrible shot.  Once I realized that giving up does not work, I started hitting bad shots and recovering from them to save, say, double bogey, bogey or even par. 
There are times in one’s Christian walk when a certain besetting sin continues to tempt and sway the believer away from what is true, right and honoring to God.  We may fight and battle well, say, the first five times the temptation tries to lure; but, in our weakness and remaining fleshly desires, we succumb to the temptation and sin against God the very next time.  I know all too well how despondent one can get after fighting so well just days prior.  But, just as in playing golf, we should not give up nor lose hope.  God is a God who redeems.  We can trust that He is in control and will use all for His glory and our good.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Golf Lessons with Elizabeth - 1

Taking One Shot at a Time:  when playing in any golf tournament, it is essential that the player take one shot at a time, one hole at a time, in order to maintain a clear mind and not get ahead of oneself.  This concept holds true to the Christian walk as well. 
Although we are always thinking heavenward and fixing our eyes on eternity, we are also required to take one day at a time in the battle against sin and temptation.  Just as every shot in golf counts and should be taken seriously, so every act of righteousness matters in the day-to-day living of a saint.  Just as a successful golfer doesn’t get ahead of themselves in a tournament, so a Christian needs to remember that each day God gives them is an opportunity to honor Him in everything that day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Justin Taylor's Blog Entry: April 17, 2013

Below is an entry from Justin Taylor's blog that I found to be uplifting, encouraging, exhortative and hope-filled.
I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—
that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens—
that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses.
The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—
the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.
Does Scripture really teach this? I believe the answer is yes. Here is just a tiny sampling:
God Is Sovereign Over . . .
Seemingly random things:
The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the LORD.
Proverbs 16:33)
The heart of the most powerful person in the land:

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
Proverbs 21:1)
Our daily lives and plans:
A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?
Proverbs 20:24)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21)
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. . . .  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
James 4:13-15)
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
Romans 9:15-16)
As many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 13:48)
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:29-30)
Life and death:
See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
Deuteronomy 32:39)
The LORD kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
1 Samuel 12:6)
Then the LORD said to [Moses], “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”
Exodus 4:11)
The death of God’s Son:
Jesus, [who was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Acts 2:23)
For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
Acts 4:27-28)
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief. . . .
Isaiah 53:10)
Evil things:
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the LORD has done it?
Amos 3:6)
I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these things.
Isaiah 45:7)
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. . . . “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 1:21-22; 2:10)
[God] sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. . . . As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Psalm 105:17; Genesis 50:21)
All things:
[God] works all things according to the counsel of his will.
Ephesians 1:11)
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:3)
I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Job 42:2)
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
Daniel 4:35)
And since compatiblism is true, none of this contradicts the equally biblical teaching that Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) and that human choices are genuine and significant.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Can God Use a Man, a Woman and 5 Years for His Glory?

A Man:  the one who asked on bended knee

A Woman:  the one who gladly said, “Yes!”

5 Years:  the number of years since February 23, 2008

His Glory:  what I pray is the result of the joys, the hardships, the asking of forgiveness and the giving of grace by the hand of God through Jesus Christ