Monthly Archives: September 2012



“Your sufferings are not so great as your sins: Put these two in the balance, and see which weighs heaviest.”

Thomas Watson



“In church, rather than rehab people, we just put them in a wheelchair and say, ‘We will do everything for you.’ You don’t have to witness to your neighbors. We will send out fliers and do TV shows and evangelize for you. You don’t have to counsel your neighbors; just give them the church’s phone number”

Francis Chan



“I used to aspire to be the next Henry Martyn (a famous missionary).  However after reading your dad’s diaries, the Lord has given my heart a far loftier goal: simply to be faithful”

From the preface to D.A. Carson’s  biography of his father entitled “Life of An Ordinary Pastor”


“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones


Many quotes have caused me to pause and say inside, “yes, that is right!” This week I will share a few of those quotes with you. They do not need the distraction of my commentary. I hope you will give a little time to consider the value each one can have in your life.

“My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things; that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great savior’

John Newton


On Sunday night, my daughter Jillian became engaged to Ryan Pattison (a.k.a. Mr Wonderful). They are both students at Moody Bible College in Chicago where the fateful moment took place. Debbie and I are entering exciting new waters that are deep, and I have been warned – expensive.

Ryan who always has a plan, had a friend hidden nearby to capture the moment. Just think what I will be showing you when I become a granddad!


by Debbie Huber

I have never read the book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, nor am I recommending it. But there is some truth in that title!  Men and women often do communicate very differently, as if we are from different planets, and it can be a problem in a marriage.

The subtitle, “Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships” is the part that makes me steer clear of the book.  The goal of communication should not be “Getting what you want in your relationships”, but rather, honoring God in your communication to demonstrate the gospel in your relationships.

I recently read an eye-opening article by Thabiti Anyabwile on The Gospel Coalition blog that discusses the differences between how men and women work through decision making.  I recommend that you read it here:

He says that most women feel like “I gotta get everything done.”  And in contrast it seems most men feel like “I gotta get everything right”.  Related to this, many women make their decisions by talking through them; while many men make their decisions by brooding over them.  This can result in a vicious cycle of nagging by the wife because she needs to get things done and her husband is not responding quickly enough which leads to an unloving response by the husband because he feels disrespected.

He gives some good biblical advice to wives:  “Wives, please recognize this; In a world where your husband might feel like he’s always earning respect, defending himself and his family, and worried about messing everything up, the last place he wants to have a fight about respect is in his home with his wife.”

This is what he encourages wives to do:  “Ladies, respect your husbands.  Make your main ministry to him a ministry of affirmation and encouragement.  I don’t mean flattery.  And I don’t mean never share honest feelings and concerns.  But never share those things in a way that attacks his sense of confidence and self as a man.  If you don’t know what that looks like, ask him–after a period of communicating to him the simple message, “I respect you.”  You’ll be surprised at the amazing changes that happen in your man’s life when he hears you say in various ways without flattery, ‘I respect you.’ “

Sinful selfishness is a natural, worldly response to defend our position, but we have been changed by a supernatural God!  He will enable us to respond biblically to our spouse which is a wonderful example of the gospel to those around us!


In his excellent book “Lost in the Middle”, Paul Tripp discusses what we should do with our pain. He is referring to the pain of disappointment, failure, aging, suffering and loss.

Listen to your pain. It is telling you something that you need to hear. Here are some of the things your pain is announcing to you:

1. You live in a fallen world

2. Your suffering is not okay

3. You are not alone

4. There is something better to come

Our pain is very real and part of that reality is that we will not fully escape pain while we live in this rebellious world. However pain does have a purpose and it has an end.

As you experience pain, be reminded about the reason for it which is sin’s entrance into the world. Make sure your finger of accusation is pointed at rebellion against God and never at God himself. For if all creatures had obeyed God, pain and sorrow would be unknown experiences. Our experience with pain should convince us that sin is always our enemy.

Just as importantly keep in mind that this world is a transitory experience for us. God has promised another experience – another life coming where pain will never gain entrance. It is easy to allow our hopes and dreams to center around what we can have in this world, but those hopes will be disappointed in some measure. Change your day dreaming to a coming reality that is worth the investment of our thoughts; that is guaranteed to take place; and is not that far off.

And since you do know something about pain, you are well equipped to have empathy for the many people who are in pain around you. Hurting people are a vast mission field; people who need our attention, our understanding, our love, our prayers and our testimony.

Let’s use our pain well


 “What is the worth of our soul?”  Matthew 16:26

How should we measure the value of life?

Some base our value on what we can contribute to life

Just like fantasy football players, those who do more are worth more. This perspective is why many people keep busy, so they can tell themselves their life is important

Others measure value by what they can experience

The value of life is being able to enjoy more of what the world offers. They live for the weekend, the next vacation and for doing what they want

For those who are nobler, it’s all about love!

To be loved or to love someone is what makes life valuable

In Matthew 16:26, Jesus encourages us to look even deeper

“What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”

The value of life is connected to our soul

1.  Our soul is who we are (Genesis 2:7)

We are more than a body more than our experiences and relationship

2.  Our soul is eternal

Our body and this world both have an expiration date, but our soul has an existence that goes forever

This simple fact should overturn how we typically value life

Rather than invest ourselves into what is temporary, we should pursue what will actually last

Have you considered which realities of life you focus on and which ones you ignore?

3.  Our soul was created to be in relationship with God

God created humanity in His own “image” and with a soul

God made us to know Him, so we could share life with Him

So what went wrong?

Jesus warns us that that our soul can be lost

Somehow we already knew this. We can tell that this world and life in general are not right

We sense there is a disconnect between ourselves and God

This problem is not God’s doing nor is it his neglect

We’ve done it ourselves, by rebelling against him (Romans 1:25)

We have tried to run the world and our own lives

The condition of the world and of our lives is the result

More seriously, is that the condition of the human soul is the result

1.  We are separated from God (Ephesians 2:12)

2.  We are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:5)

What we refer to as spirituality is simply our ideas of what God should accept from us. It is not about God, it is about God fulfilling our perceptions and expectations

3.  We are in hostility toward God (Romans 8:7)

If your response is “not me”! Consider how you respond to the rule of God and the standards He has given us in the Bible. Do you embrace them or bristle at them?

4.  We are under judgment (Ephesians 2:3)

God can have not other response to our sin. Matthew 10:28 tells us we should “fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell”

The Bible also says there is hope for our soul

Jesus, Son of God, stepped across the separation and entered humanity

He offered himself in our place and took the judgment for our sin

In his death, Jesus paid our penalty

By his resurrection, Jesus proves he has overcome sin, death and judgment

The bible says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)

Jesus invites us to “come” to him and “find rest for (our) souls” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Will you consider Jesus question about your soul?

Yes, your soul is eternal, but without Christ it is eternally lost

What profit are you gaining as you neglect God and your soul?

Today, are you willing to turn over your brokenness, for the wholeness of life He alone can give?