mgpcpastor's blog

Leave a comment

Full Steadfast Live Video by Sandra McCracken

The complete video recording of Sandra McCracken’s concert video Steadfast Live is on Youtube.
You can watch or listen.

Leave a comment

True Piety Is Not Self-Centered (via Hywel Jones)

The experience of Job recounts a faithful and human expression of trust in God through a time of great suffering and confusion.
Hywel Jones points out that we should be encouraged to know that God was not an inactive party throughout Satan’s assault on Job, and that after Job’s vindication there is a touching example of true graciousness toward those who had been part of Job’s affliction by their error:

…it might seem as if Job is left unaided in his struggle with the powers of darkness. That is not the case. The Lord boasts of him to Satan and has his eye on him all the time. Throughout his struggle Job is graciously, though unconsciously, supported by God, and occasionally he is given some glimmers of light as he pioneers his way toward God. His very persistence in addressing God by way of appeal and accusation and also arguing with his friends and rejecting their counsel is a manifestation of his being upheld by God. It is not only dark thoughts that spring up in the mind unbidden, but also thoughts that inspire hope, even if it is only faint hope. Finally and climactically, when he is sure that he is about to die, he is given to know that his “kinsman-redeemer lives,” who will ensure that Job will see God again on his side. This is a sovereign intervention in a situation where Satan seems dominant. It is, as James says, great compassion.
Job has found solid ground under his feet. His outlook clears and he sees that the argument of his friends—that suffering is always traceable to sin—is a paper tiger, for the wicked do not always suffer (chapter 24). He gains the ascendancy in the argument and reduces his friends, and with them Satan the accuser, to silence. Job triumphs over Satan for God and godliness.
God therefore had his own purpose in allowing Satan to test Job. This is what James calls “the end of the Lord.” It is to show great compassion and mercy and to bless Job more than he had previously done. When the Lord appears, it is to judge and to save as James declares (5:9 and 11). He humbles Job for his outspokenness but still owns him as he did before the trials began, calling him “my servant.” Surprisingly, God says that Job had spoken what is right about him, whereas the friends had not.
This probably refers to the issue that is at the center of the debate between Job and his friends, namely whether God is punishing Job on account of his sin or not. God says that Job is not a hypocrite, and God further exalts Job by telling the friends to go to him as to a priest and that he will accept Job’s prayer for them. It is striking that Job prays for them before he is restored, and that it is as he prays for them that he himself is restored. True piety is not self-centered.

Read the whole post at Core Christianity.

Leave a comment

How To Succeed In Two Different Roles In The One Movie

In the movie musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying actor Sammy Smith plays two roles, mailroom manager Mr. Twimble and chairman of the board Wally Womper.
I hadn’t really noticed and it blew my mind a little.
Two very different characters and two accomplished performances with Robert Morse in the first clip and then with Morse and the company in the second.
The Company Way

Brotherhood Of Man

Leave a comment

Serious About Pizza – Adam Hills

My family are serious about pizza.
I could happily eat pizza every day of my life.
This story by Adam Hills was featured on our local ABC radio station a couple of Saturday mornings ago.
The clip features on the website of the pizza store in question, so I think its legit.

Leave a comment

Healthy Consumption Of A Digital Diet (via Harvard Business Review)

This article is measured and seeks to propose that the health effects of a digital overload need to be recognized and strategies developed to deal constructively with a problem that will not go away.
Though referenced in US terms, it would seem that Australia is not far removed from its central points:

Historians and clinicians may someday call this moment “peak content.” American adults now spend over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media—sometimes longer. That’s more time than we spend eating and sleeping. From YouTube videos to viral tweets, we are ingesting a huge volume of media, and it has consequences.
Out of this cloud of mood-altering material emerges a new set of health challenges. One in five Americans is clinically depressed. Tens of millions more suffer from mild to moderate anxiety and other mood disorders. But current research doesn’t yet support a clear and causal link. More work is required to understand the complex relationship between media diets and depression–mood disorders are not a new phenomenon, even if suicide rates appear to be increasing. The technologies fueling our media consumption are outpacing the rate of scientific inquiry, making real or verifiable effects hard to understand and perhaps harder study appropriately.
Now is the moment to pursue a three-pronged approach to all digital encounters: literacy, hygiene, and labeling. We have the opportunity of a lifetime to re-shape our still primitive and often unruly digital culture into a safer, healthier, more rewarding domain.

Read the whole post at Harvard Business Review.

Leave a comment

Love Is Kind Of Patient (via Pete Reynolds at McSweeney’s)

This is from a short (satiric) post that translates the poetic imagery of 1 Corinthians 13 to everyday life.
The introduction:

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is kind of patient; love just needs to get in there for two seconds to brush love’s teeth. Sure, love guesses love could have gotten in there first, but you basically sprinted ahead of love. Yes, love is aware that spicy foods do not sit well with you. Love is fully aware. Love was a little too aware of that on the ride home, actually, BELIEVE love. Yes, love can be patient. Just, like, hurry it up, though.

Read the rest at McSweeney’s.

Leave a comment

Exalted – Sunday Songs

Exalted, from Trevor Hodge’s EP Once For All.

The lyrics:
Christ, by nature God
Did not pursue this gain
But in the form of man
A servant He became
Obedient till the end
To death upon a cross
Exalted to the highest place
Bestowed the name above all names
That every knee in heaven and earth
Would humbly fall, would humbly fall
Come every tongue – confess, adore
That Jesus Christ alone is Lord
To God the Father be all praise
Forever more, forever more
If any hope is our
Or comfort from His love
Then make this joy complete
Of heart and spirit be one
Uphold each others needs
Have the mind of Christ the Son
O Come rejoice
Forever more
Lift up your voice
Forever more
Declare His praise
Forever more
To God be praise
Forever more
With Christ at work in you
With fear and trembling strive
To will and walk His ways
To live for His delight
In the darkness shine like stars
Holding out the word of Christ

Words and Music: Nick Freestone and Trevor Hodge
(C) 2017 Nick Freestone Music; Hodge, Trevor