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33 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Some Packer gold…

    “Divine wrath is righteous antagonism toward all that is unholy. It is the revulsion of God’s character to what violates God’s will. Indeed, one may speak of divine wrath as a function of divine love. For God’s wrath is his love for holiness and truth and justice. It is because God passionately loves purity and peace and perfection that he reacts angrily toward anything and anyone who defile them.

    Packer explains: Would a God who took as much pleasure in evil as he did in good be a good God? Would a God who did not react adversely to evil in his world be morally perfect? Surely not. But it is precisely this adverse reaction to evil, which is a necessary part of moral perfection, that the Bible has in view when it speaks of God’s wrath.”

    Storms, Sam (2015-06-30). Packer on the Christian Life: Knowing God in Christ, Walking by the Spirit (Theologians on the Christian Life) (p. 35). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

  2. Michael says:

    “people outside the community of faith are commonly unwilling to believe that there is in God a holy antipathy against sin, a righteous hatred of evil, which prompts him to exact just retribution when his law is broken. They are not, therefore, prepared to take seriously the biblical witness that humanity in sin stands under the wrath of God. . . . Some dismiss the wrath of God as another of Paul’s lapses; others reduce it to an impersonal principle of evil coming home (sometimes) to roost: few will allow that wrath is God’s personal reaction to sin, so that by sinning we make God our enemy.”

    Storms, Sam (2015-06-30). Packer on the Christian Life: Knowing God in Christ, Walking by the Spirit (Theologians on the Christian Life) (p. 33). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

  3. Em says:

    the above makes all the sense in the world to me…

    on another tack – from the Seattle Times today:
    “The owners of the 138-foot paddle-wheeler Queen of Seattle have agreed to sell the vessel for $250,000 to a fledgling Seattle-area church.

    Lisa Dindinger of Alaska Travel Adventures, owners of the steam-powered stern-wheeler since 2005, said Pastor Steve Brown of A Walk With Jesus Church submitted the only written offer for the vessel, which has been used for tours in Seattle and Alaska.
    Brown, 52, who started his church a year ago, said it has launched a fundraising campaign to generate the price of the boat and another $70,000 to $80,000 for renovations…
    “We are firm believers,” said Brown. “We know if you want to make something work, it will take a lot of hard work, but we believe in it.”
    Once the vessel is renovated, Brown said, it likely will stay docked for several years, operating as a floating restaurant, wedding and conference venue, before it has the crew and certification to carry passengers on short tours.
    Long-term, Brown said, he envisions the boat hosting a variety of church functions, such as sessions in marriage counseling, which has been a key focus of his ministry to date.
    this is an online church with 50 – 100 members … is this right? should they call themselves “church?” may be, but… dunno

  4. Surfer51 says:

    Do you suffer from depression?

    Do you suffer from anxiety?

    Help from a wonderful man of God that I once had the privilege of praying with at his home with my son…

  5. Em says:

    saw Surfer51’s #4 and for a minute i thot Erunner was the fella buying the stern wheeler in the Times’ article – (wish i had a boat to live on, tired of all these fires)

  6. London says:

    What a freaking waste of money!!!

  7. Steve Wright says:

    With London as inspiration, we (CCLE) are going to be able to announce tomorrow that we were able to put together 60 backpacks for the local elementary school a couple blocks down the road. This was fairly last minute for this school year and made difficult since the school made a staff change and the person we spoke to at the end of the year was not the new person – and the new person was not available until school started this week.

    The school knows the families with need and they will distribute as they see fit. Our goal was 60 (we actually surpassed it a little) but we are told there is usually a need through the year and so now we are in a position to collect items throughout the year and maybe next Fall we will be able to include other schools in our area.

    The people of our church were very much excited at this new ministry we will be undertaking for our community.

    And as usual, the Lord raised up some key people who really took charge and ran with it. I literally did not do a thing (except read London’s testimonies the past few years and present the plan to our church)

  8. London says:

    Very cool Steve!

  9. We did the backpacks this year – we had a couple of hundred, I don’t know the number. People at church donate the stuff and we take it down to South County Outreach and they put them together.

    We do just about all of our benevolence stuff through SCO – food pantry – clothing drives – backpacks – Christmas toy drives etc.

    The are a secular group that works with schools and churches and community group. We find them very effective and we are not so isolated from the community trying to do it the ‘church’ way.

  10. London says:

    I love how MLD always has to one up everyone 😉

  11. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, I think our example shows its pretty easy not to be isolated from the community – and I make no apologies if by “the church way” it simply means the people who receive this help know that the people of their local church down the street were the ones kind enough to help – in Jesus’ Name.

    Thanks again to London for the example…and some help along the way.

  12. London, who did I one up? The conversation entered an new topic.

  13. Steve, I just meant that we have decided to do our benevolence as a part of the larger surrounding community.
    SCO does it better than we would alone.

  14. I think we even do the Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes through them.
    I think it is good that here we have a community group that is secular but not hostile to churches at all as we hear about so often, because they see our good work. It may be that churches have invaded this secular organization to show them the results of God’s love.

  15. Steve Wright says:

    It is interesting MLD. We have a group like yours in Elsinore and they do a good job on a shoestring budget and 100% volunteer staff. I spoke to them for some advice and contacts and they were appreciative that we were helping out as they had once done this backpack help but no longer were – and were grateful our church was stepping in the gap.

  16. Steve Wright says:

    . It may be that churches have invaded this secular organization to show them the results of God’s love.
    Certainly getting the church, in even a small way, into a public school is a step forward. Agreed?

  17. Hey Steve,
    I am cutting off my class in Matthew tomorrow at 11:11 – because I need more work on 11:12
    “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”

    What do you think? I have read through all the commentaries, even J Vernon McGee 😉 – but they all slide by or guess.

    I can usually B.S. through a tough verse, but this one is a baffler. I need something from the text that would indicate to me that the disciples would have understood what he means.

  18. Steve Wright says:

    It’s tough to differing opinions. Not sure how you can try to dig into it deeply with your students unless you want to wrestle with the Greek.

    F.F. Bruce has a chapter on it in his Hard Sayings of Jesus book….

    (I think Matthew is the hardest Gospel of the four to teach…which probably contributes to why I have not yet covered it at CCLE – though I have done the other three). 🙂

  19. I have the FF Bruce book – I will look there. My Concordia Commentary has 1 page it the textual notes, 1 page in the commentary and a 3 page excursus just on that verse. I didn’t want to go into it deeply with my class, but I wanted to come close in saying even though I have great trouble here, the disciples understood because of what was said earlier. I have no problem saying “I don’t know”

    Let me ask another question – when he says “From the days of John the Baptist until now” When do you think the now is – when Jesus is speaking or does Matthew play with this some and his now is when he is writing it. I ask because at the time Jesus is speaking John the B is still alive.

  20. Surely this will help you identify the “now” issue.

  21. London says:

    We are 100% volunteer but aren’t “Christian enough” for the churches around here.
    I appreciate that you guys support non-church groups.

  22. A Friend says:

    LOL, the two of you are like teenagers engaging in constant theological masturbatory behavior. You’ll go blind.

    …now if I can just find my glasses 🙂

  23. A Friend says:

    The bible is an insolvable riddle and probably more of a spiritual Rorschach test than anything.

    Makes the wise foolish and the foolish wise. I think there’s truth to that.

    Carry on LOL.

  24. So it’s 50 / 50 whether we should love or not? 50 / 50 whether we should care for the poor? All the good Jesus stuff could be just as much a Jesus call to do evil? as you say an insolvable riddle?

  25. SJ says:

    Our goal this year was a hundred backpacks.
    Our church is near a big Blvd. so there are lots of cheap hotels in rougher areas. The cheaper hotels are magnets for prostitution, drugs etc.

    However their cheap rates also allow for poor fams with kids to have a roof over there head.
    Our backpack group hits these “hotel kids” directly by talking with the motel/hotel manager/owners to get a beed on those kids in need.

    Steve, got this situation in LE? London, heard of hotel kids? Was surprised as I had a brother on the streets for years, but never heard of hotel kids.

  26. Steve Wright says:

    SJ…one of the brothers at our church was once on the street with his family. He shares of a time when a church (I believe) would give hotel vouchers on occasion to the most needy family and he got the voucher for many days in a row – since he and wife had multiple kids with them.

    I highly recommend his story, which he wrote and self-published and yet the Lord has had him doing book signings almost every weekend. It has been amazing to watch what is taking place.

    In Elsinore though, other than maybe an occasional night, I doubt too many could afford hotels for rent..and there are a lot of very low income apartments but not too many hotels.

  27. London says:

    One of the people in our group (however that is measured) is a social worker whose parent own one of those cheap hotels. I’m sure we have backpacks that go to kids who are staying there. We also on occasion have sent food that is left over from our events.
    We provide our backpacks (865 so far this time) to kids through social workers, teachers, counselors, parole officers, etc so I really don’t know where all they go.
    This year we had a police substation in the poorer part of town call and we not only gave backpacks but one of our guys (an officer in another department) bought 2 kids, being raised by their grandma, shoes for school.
    Thanks to my brother who is a physical therapist, we gave out our first wheelchair bags too.
    Also this year, we gave to school in the middle of nowhere in a bordering state.
    We had 103 volunteers that signed in, and more who provided food etc but didn’t come to the event.
    It always amazes me that people keep coming back year after year. We have some kids that have been there every year and they love it.
    I’m also amazed at how God works it out that we not only have enough supplies every year, but even when I think I’ve counted exact numbers of things we need, we still have boxes of stuff to take back to storage. I have no idea how that works out, but it always does.
    Loaves and fishes….
    This year was going to be my last because frankly, it’s hard work and I’m tired of not feeling like Im being supported. I spent a lot of time thinking and praying about being done this year.
    But this year, it seems like something shifted in people who have been around for a while. More ownership maybe, more confidence in how we do things, I don’t know.
    But we will see, maybe it’s shifted enough to continue.

  28. Xenia says:

    God bless London!

  29. Xenia says:

    My oldest son sort of ran away from home at age 20 (complicated story) and found himself stranded in a small town in the Pacific Northwest with no money, home, friends, etc. Being a Christian, his first stop was the Christian bookstore where he told the clerk his story and they sent him to a local church which sent him to a church family who let him live with them until he got on his feet. This was 20 years ago and he still lives in the same little town with his wife and two children.

    Whenever I begrudge helping a homeless person, I always remember the kindness of the people at that Reformed church in the PNW who took in a total stranger.

  30. Scott says:

    I awoke this morning with a heavy heart for all the hopeless, unemployed citizens in our country. Especially, the young black males in our inner cities. They have been raised in a cycle of government dependency with virtually no positive role models. How this cycle can be broken without Christ is beyond me. The government certainly can’t and isn’t doing it.

  31. Em says:

    London’s updates on her service that she posts here are like the proverbial good news from a far country

  32. Em says:

    #30- heard Ben Carson say that the inner city youth need challenges and opportunities, but instead we are focused on making them comfortable in their condition … thinking …

  33. London says:

    Xenia I have a young (18 yr old) friend in a very similar situation in TX right now. Hoping he decides that people will help him and gets out of where he is soon.
    Hadn’t thought of sending him to a bookstore. May need to do that.

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