mgpcpastor's blog


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In The Doghouse

This video clip from the South China Morning Post starts off as an eccentric story about a Chinese man who builds a $500,000 house for his dog to live in.
As the story unfolds it becomes something else, a remarkably poignant insight into the power relationships and family love; both those that are ruptured and those that remain.

Toward the end a comment is made that contrasts relationships that are broken with those that endure.


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Never Wrong

No one was ever wrong between me and my kids.
There were a lot scenarios like the one illustrated below.
The other definition of not being wrong involves being less correct than someone else.


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Pilot Me by Josh Garrels

Pilot Me is a track from Josh Garrels’ classic album, Love & War & The Sea Inbetween.


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Watches Of The Night – New Album Of Psalms And Hymns From Matt Searles

Notification arrived today that Matt Searles has released his fourth album, Watches Of The Night.
A collection of hymns and psalm settings, it is mature and assured, an album that encourages reflection and offers consolation to those in times of need.

It is only available at bandcamp presently, with a wider range of sale points to be added soon.
You can listen straight away, though.


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Christian Resistance Is A Corporate Expression (via Fleming Rutledge)

Writing on 1 Peter, Fleming Rutledge identifies the theme of the letter as “the church among the nations as the people of the crucified, risen, and reigning Christ.”

The first epistle of Peter is a letter from a God’s—eye view, and the view it gives is of the church. We can never say it often enough: the Bible is addressed, for the most part, not to individuals, but to the people of God.7 We need to say still more. As Peter puts it in various ways over and over throughout the letter, the people of God have been constituted, not by their own preferences or choices, but by Gods’ prior choice, first of Israel, and then, through Jesus Christ, of the church. The church resists, endures, and conquers not through its own efforts, let alone its merits, but because of the call, the commission, and the continuing presence of God. “The God of all grace, Who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you.” The church lives out of (not “into” but “out of”) its foundation upon the “living stone” (I Pet. 2:6), which is Christ, out of its baptism into his death and resurrection, out of its promised future guaranteed by his Holy Spirit. It is this certainty that gives courage for resistance.
Fleming Rutledge, Advent – The Once & Future Coming Of Jesus Christ, Eerdmans, 2018, pg 131.

The footnote indicated in the passage above expands the idea:

7. Therefore resistance is not largely a matter of individuals but of the corporate body. “Peter does not issue a general call to become a Christian and then, as a subsequent and perhaps optional move, for individual Christians to join togetherinto a voluntary association that might serve our projects of being individual Christians.” God precedes the people; the people precedes the person; the person is constituted by being incorporated into the people (Harink, 1&2 Peter, 73).


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Going Back Where The Church Belongs (via J.A. Medders)

A post in which J.A. Medders points out that any sentimental, nostalgic appeal to become more like the early church is not the solution to the church’s current problems and challenges.
After all, much of the New Testament was written to address the needs of the church, not because of its strengths.

So, tell me again, which early church you want to go back to? Immorality, persecution, division, theological confusion, legalism, and attacking the apostle Paul is what’s on the menu.

The answer to our present need is the same answer that was provided to the early church for their problems and challenges:

We don’t need to go back to the early church—we are already like them. But we do need to go back somewhere.
The only perfect church, filled with non-problematic people is in Heaven. Be faithful in the present without wishing for the past.
We must always go back to the teachings of the early church, the New Testament, but the church itself was a mess. Much like today. We are a mess, too, so we go back to the teachings that went to our messy brothers and sisters. We learn from them and the teachings—not to be like them, but to be faithful to our risen Lord.
We go back to the apostolic teaching. We go back to the Bible. We go back to Christ. A church that does that is who we should want to be.

Source.


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Living At Midnight (via Fleming Rutledge)

Fleming Rutledge reflects on Christian life as a time of waiting, doubt, and preparation.

In the last week of his life, Jesus went to the temple every day to teach. He was engaged in a fight to the death, literally, with the religious leaders. This whole section of the Gospel of Matthew is always read toward the end of the church year; it projects an atmosphere of impending crisis. The parable of the ten Virgins, or bridesmaids, is one of the very last that Jesus told. We are meant to see ourselves in this story. Ten young women with lamps and oil are waiting for a wedding procession. It is midnight, and the bridegroom has not come. The lamps are burning low. Maybe he is never coming. Maybe the whole thing was a mistake.
Midnight is the time of the church year that we are in. This is the time for asking if there is some mistake, for, as W. H. Auden wrote, “Unless you exclaim — ‘There must be some mistake’ — you must be mistaken.”

Fleming Rutledge, Advent – The Once & Future Coming Of Jesus Christ, Eerdmans, 2018, pg 91.