mgpcpastor's blog


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Wisdom About Anger

Proverbs 14:29
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Proverbs 16:32
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Proverbs 19:11
Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.


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The Most Compelling Argument For The Truth Of Christianity Is The Cross At Its Center (via Fleming Rutledge)

From Fleming Rutledge:

“Religious figures are not usually associated with disgrace and rejection. We want our objects of worship to be radiant, dazzling avatars offering the potential of transcendent happiness. The most compelling argument for the truth of Christianity is the Cross at its center. Humankind’s religious imagination could never have produced such an image. Wishful thinking never projected a despised and rejected Messiah. There is a contradiction at the very heart of our faith that demands our attention. We need to put a sign on it, though, like the signs on trucks carrying chemicals: Hazardous material, highly inflammatory cargo. Handle at your own risk.”

Fleming Rutledge, The Undoing of Death, Eerdmans, 2005.


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A Fearful Symmetry

It was Queensland’s victory in the 2011-2012 Sheffield Shield season that was instrumental in Darren Lehmann cement the coaching credentials that saw him assume the role of coach of the national team when Mickey Arthur fell foul of something of a player’s revolt.

Now with Queensland’s victory in the 2017-2018 Sheffield Shield Lehmann’s tenure looks terminal, and the player’s culture that brought him into the job has expressed its full flower with poisonous results.

The question remains about whether the answer to the cultural problem will be seen in a repudiation of the notion of identifying a line in order to justify yourself by never having crossed it, or the cultivation of a sense that if there’s a line what is needed is to be as far away from it as possible.

Oddly enough in a culture that really wants to embrace the ‘I didn’t cross the line’ self-justification, the greatest crime is being caught on the wrong side of it and showing up the toxic impact of that lie.

That’s why the response to these actions has expressed more outrage than empathy. Yet the nature of the crime is so banal, so inept and doomed to failure that it invites pity rather than anger. What frame of mind thought they would get away with it, what frame of mind thought that consequences would be slight?

If your self-image is formed teetering on the edge of a line, what happens when you lose sight of where the line should be?

I know in my heart that the temptation is strong to wilfully cross lines, let alone inadvertently wander over them. Truth be told I’m a natural denizen of the other side and pretending by my identifying the line that I’m not over it.

What I need is a grace that finds me on the false side of the line and renews and restores me to the true side. A grace that rather than reinforcing my line encroaching, recreates me into someone who hates the line, and not just the crossing of it. A grace that grows me love all the space on the best side of the line rather than the false promises of the other side.

A grace that helps me know that it’s not a line that I’m talking about but a relationship with my creator, who subdues my rebellion through the death and resurrection of his son, and brings me into his family.

I always need that grace, and in Jesus, God gives it abundantly and eternally.


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The View At The Sheffield Shield Cricket Final In Brisbane.

I realise no one wants to talk about cricket at the moment, so here’s a couple of pictures.

How likely is it that Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and/or George Bailey will be on a plane to South Africa tonight?


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Pastors Must Be What They Want To See (via Jared Wilson)

Jared Wilson points out that pastors must model the pattern of life they long to see in the Christians they serve.
A plurality of elders in a congregation helps provide a broader balance of these qualities.
From Wilson’s article:

If we want our churches to be of one mind, to be of one heart, to assassinate their idols and feast on Christ, to be wise and winsome with the world they have forsaken, to be gentle of spirit but full of confidence and boldness, to be blossoming with the fruit of the Spirit, we must lead the way.
A pastor goes first. In groups where transparency is expected, a pastor goes first. In the humility of service, a pastor goes first. In the sharing of the gospel with the lost, a pastor goes first. In the discipleship of new believers, a pastor goes first. In the singing of spiritual songs with joy and exuberance, a pastor goes first. In living generously, a pastor goes first. In the following of Christ by the taking up of one’s cross, a pastor goes first. All I am saying is that one who talks the talk ought to walk the walk. Don’t lead your flock through domineering; lead by example.
The pastor ought to be able to say with integrity to others, as Paul says to Timothy, “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13). It is not arrogant to instruct others to follow you, so long as you are following Christ and showing them Christ and giving them Christ. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ,” Paul says again (1 Cor. 11:1).

Read the whole post here.


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How To Tie Shoelaces With One Hand (via Megan Absten)

Megan Absten is an athlete who lost her left arm at age 14.
Here she provides a video tutorial on how to tie shoelaces one-handed.
(A couple of different ways, actually.)


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His Love Can Never Fail – Sunday Songs

His Love Can Never Fail is from Kenwood Music, a simple sung expression of the peace God’s love brings to the life of the Christian.
It’s a retuned rendition of an old lyric set; the music serves the lyrics very well.
I can’t tell of the chorus is original or part of the hymn lyrics, but it matches up nicely.

The lyrics:
1.
I do not ask to see the way
my feet will have to tread;
But only that my soul may feed
upon the living bread.
‘Tis better far that I should walk
by faith close to His side,
I may not know the way I go,
but oh, I know my Guide.
Chorus:
His love can never fail,
His love can never fail;
My soul is satisfied to know
His love can never fail.
2
And if my feet would go astray,
they cannot, for I know
that Jesus guides my falt’ring steps
as joyfully I go.
And tho’ I may not see His face,
my faith is strong and clear
that in each hour of sore distress
my Savior will be near.
Chorus.
3
I will not fear, tho’ darkness come
abroad o’er all the land,
if I may only feel the touch
of His own loving hand.
And tho’ I tremble when I think
how weak I am, how frail,
my soul is satisfied to know
His love can never fail.
Chorus.

Lyrics: E.S. Hall © Public Domain
Music: Matt Damico © 2017