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Moved, again

August 22, 2009

Hi all! I’m moved by blog again. Some change themes a lot, I change web addresses a lot. This one will hopefully be more, well, that’s what yesterday’s post was about (over there). Here’s the new address:

http://joshuacottrell.wordpress.com

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A moment of suffering

April 15, 2009

4Sing praises to the LORD, O you His saints,
and give thanks to His holy name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
and His favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5)

I don’t think it occurs to us enough to suffer well. We’re told to do so. Here David praises the Lord because the anger of the Lord only lasts for a moment. Our lives are defined by His favor toward us. But we should also be over-joyed that God disciplines us, gets angry, because His purpose is our maturity and His set goal is our perfection (Hebrews 12:7-11; James 1:2-3) to His glory, His purpose (Romans 8:28)!

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Thoughts of the Father

March 27, 2009

This struck me while reading John Owen’s Mortification of Sin (131, Crossway 2006). Luke 15:11-13a (emphasis mine)

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country

We find ourselves in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. Notice how the son abandons the father and goes to a far country.

Luke 15:17-20a

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘ And he arose and came to his father.

Now notice the son, just by remembering the father and the father’s generosity. The son also understands the deep grace of his father, being willing to return such a great distance. And on the way back from this far country he has no money, no food yet he is sustained by the thought of the father. And he thought only of being a servant, not a son again!

How much more should we be sustained by thoughts of our Heavenly Father as we seek to follow our Lord Jesus through this life to live with Him forever as His adopted son, sharing in the great inheritance of our brother Jesus. It is worth so much more than this ragged, hungering, dirty, sin-stained walk through this far country.

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In the storm, or battle as it were

March 26, 2009

Incredible verse I read today, 1 Chronicles 5:20

And when they [the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab] prevailed over them [Israel], the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and He granted their urgent plea because they trusted in Him.

The best part of this, of course, is God delivering His people. And when does He do it? Right in the middle of the battle! And why did God give them into the Israelites hands? Because they trusted in God.

As we look at the cross (as I should be doing more with this site) we find that God had given the church victory over sin and death and every spiritual enemy because of Jesus Christ and His work in life and death. And today we trust in Him to deliver us day-by-day as we cry out to Him and entrust ourselves to Him.

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who asked that her name be withheld

March 11, 2009

I read an article today, “Family planning may suffer as economy declines“. The title sounds promising. The details are a bit disturbing.

I did find some encouragement in two small phrases made about women commenting on their recent abortions, “who asked that her name be withheld” and “who asked that her name not be published because some family members do not know she ended a pregnancy”. There may still be an understanding that abortion is evil.

Some context of one almost extinguishes that hope though, “‘It [stinks][1] that it comes down to money,’ said the woman, who asked that her name be withheld. ‘But if we can’t even support ourselves, it wouldn’t be good for a baby.’” Do you think she noticed that she just said it would be better for the baby to die than the baby, parents, or siblings to be hungry?

I praise God for using all sorts of means to reduce the abortion rate. And I praise him that there is that still small glimmer of God’s image in our children that refuses to be extinguished. But where will we be in 5 years if we continue to see things as “it’s better for others to die, that I may not suffer want”? And how are Christians any different? Adoption anyone? How about supporting some of the right to life clinics, like Central Illinois Right To Life Inc. which is mentioned in the article? What about teaching our children that marriage is sacred so we see a reduction in unmarried sex?

[1] – the [stinks] was in the original, aparently not wanting to offend anyone with “bad” language.

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Abortion, the new Divorce

January 23, 2009

An article byFrederica Mathewes-Green is excellent, making two great points. The first, abortion is being overlooked as an issue. The second, the baby-boomer generation will be judged for abortion.

A friend and I were talking about sins and big issues a few days ago. When we started to list a few I began with divorce. He was surprised but continued with more “relevant” ones, like abortion and gay-marriage (speaking of, gay marriage may be the new abortion in terms of the issues our culture struggles with). I think he was surprised because of how “old” and “worn out” divorce has become. Green suggests that abortion is on that same road. She hopes it will be picked up later and reviewed, as do I. Truth always wins. It just depends on how long we have to wait until God uses our preaching, working and love to bring truth to victory.

As for the baby-boomer generation being judged – yep, they sure will be. And our generation will be judged for gay-marriage. But we must continue to preach, teach, work and love toward the truth because it is still possible that our judgment, especially by God, will be for the good we have done in over turning our cultures stance on divorce, abortion and gay-marriage.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

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Obama set to commission public funding of genocide

January 21, 2009

In an article titled, “Celebration over, Obama plunges into workday one“, Jennifer Loven, AP White House Correspondent lists some of Obama’s pending executive orders. Among them,

overturning the so-called Mexico City policy that forbids U.S. funding for family planning programs that offer abortion, and lifting President George W. Bush’s limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

This will probably come Thursday or Friday according to the article. So, our tax money now funds abortion.

Two things: 1) we need to pray for our new President (1 Timothy 2:1-2), especially Thursday and Friday for this decision; 2) how far does Romans 13:1-7 go? must we pay taxes Caesar when Caesar uses them for genocide? Does Jesus say yes in Matthew 22:15-22?

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