Aesop's Fables

Offering proverbial wisdom in story form, Aesop wrote these stories in the sixth century before Christ. I was pleasantly surprised for the most part by how they promote personal virtue in relationships. Sometimes it's just a "scratch his back and he'll scratch yours," self-interest kind of wisdom. Or a description of how people prefer their own nation or master to other people. But it also promotes a common-grace sense of justice. Some classics that many people know, and also many unknown gems.

Happy New Year!

So this blog has over 2000 posts now, heading into 2011.

No Bible or book summaries for this year.

I think I say this every year, but I'm hoping to do more free writing more regularly.

Revelation 19-22

19 - Rejoicing in heaven over Babylon's fall and the invitation to the glorious marriage supper of the Lamb. Christ goes forth to subdue the nations by His Word/sword. Invitation to eat the flesh of the conquered.

20 - Satan bound 1000 years; martyrs raised to reign; Satan released and rages, but defeated. All are judged by their works, and those in the book of life are spared from the lake of fire.

21 - The bride comes down from heaven; restoration and our child-of-God status declared.The city: safe with walls and no night, pure and beautiful with jeweled foundations, close to God so no temple is needed.

22 - the city has a river from the throne, and the tree of life which heals the nations spans the river. Jesus is coming soon to right all wrongs. Come to Him now.

Revelation 13-18

12 - a dragon tries to destroy the woman (church) and her Child (Christ), but He ascends to heaven. War in heaven between angels and dragon, who is thrown down to earth where he makes war against us, the church.

13 - beasts from sea and land get all people to worship them and kill the saints who don't.

14 - God's pure people; 3 woes on the ungodly who fall and are judged; the earth harvested at the end of time.

15 - 7 angels with bowls full of plagues come from the temple to smite the earth, while the saints sing anew song of Moses.

16 - 7 plagues come, like in Egypt, on unbelievers who don't repent.

17 - The great prostitute, Babylon, the city that rules the world [Rome], sits on a beast with heads (successive rulers of the city), drunk with the blood of saints and getting others drunk with her sins.
18 - Babylon is declared fallen, saints called out of her, merchants and kings lament their loss of delicacies and sins.


Revelation 6-11

6 - 1st 4 seals: 4 horsemen who bring conquest, war, famine, and death to earth.
6 - seal 5: martyrs in heaven cry for justice.
6 - seal 6: The earth is shaken and its kings fear the wrath of the Lamb.
7 - God's people all completely sealed before the earth harmed
7 - saints worship God and the Lamb in glory, free of all trial and pain.
8 - Seal 7 opened: silence while prayers are heard
8 - 1st 4 trumpets bring destruction to 1/3 of earth.
9 - 5th: Giant locusts come out of a pit and torment unbelievers for a time
9 - 6th: Armies invade from the east
10 - A mighty angel comes down and says all will be done by the 7th angel's trumpet; John eats his scroll
11 - two witnesses prophesy, are killed by the beast, resurrected and ascend to God. The 7th trumpet sounds, kingdom victory is declared, and the ark appears in the heavenly temple.


1 - John sees a vision of the all powerful Jesus on the Lord's Day.
1 - He tells John to write what he says and give it to the seven churches.
2 - Ephesus lost it's first love but hates error
2 - Smyrna will suffer more than just slander. Be faithful.
2 - Pergamum has some who hold error. Repent.
2 - Thystira tolerates Jezebel. Throw her out, or Jesus will when He comes
3 - Sardis needs to wake up before she dies. Some there are worthy
3 - Philadelphia has an open door to hold fast to Christ
3 - Laodicea thinks it's independent, but needs what Jesus has
4 - John sees a throne and One on it like a jewel.
4 - Around it are lamps, elders, living creatures all worshiping Him.
5 - a Lamb appears, who alone can take and open the scroll. All worship Him


2-3 John

2 - I'm glad you are walking in the truth; love each other; watch out for deceivers who deny Jesus has come in the flesh, and do not receive them.

3 - Gaius, thanks for showing hospitality to the saints. My other letter was intercepted by Diotrophes, who is supporting the wrong people and suppressing the truth. Demetrius is doing the right thing.

1 John

1 - We proclaim to you what we have seen and touched: Jesus. God is light; Jesus' blood cleanses from our sin.

2 - We know Jesus if we keep His commands; love your brother, not the world. Antichrists have gone out from us denying the Son; abide in the Son.

3 - God loved us and made us His children. We are being purified as we hope to see Him. Continuing in sin shows you are not of God. Jesus came to destroy Satan's works. We know we are of God when we love our brother

4 - False prophets deny Jesus has come in the flesh. God is love, so He sent His Son to save the world.

5 - Those who love God love the brethren and overcome the world by faith. Spirit, water and blood testify to the Son. I write so you know you have eternal life, believing in the Son.


Hey! A Child is Born to You!

With a "Cotton Patch Gospel" feel, Robinson captures well the saying that familiarity breeds contempt, and overcomes it successfully. Hark turns into "Hey!" When the school bullies come to Sunday School for the free food, they volunteer for the Christmas pageant and know nothing about the story. Some get a fresh look at Joseph, Mary, the wise men and Herod, while other traditional church ladies keep trying to run things as they are "supposed" to go, catalog the faults of the upstarts and miss the point. Pretty good.


I wanted to write about our salvation, but need to warn you about wicked men sneaking into your fellowship. Like the wicked angels, Sodom, Cain, Balaam, Korah, they rebelled and fought against God. Enoch prophesied that God will judge them. They are discontent, seek their own gain, cause division, pervert grace into sensuality. You build yourselves up in the faith instead. God will present you to Him faultless.

2 Peter

1 - I remind you before I die to make your election on Christ sure by clinging to His promises and adding virtue to your faith. You have the sure Word of God to direct you.

2 - God has and will punish the wicked. Don't listen to false teachers who promise freedom, but enslave you.

3 - Scoffers say Jesus won't return, but God came in the flood of water and He will come again in fire, like a thief to destroy the earth. So we need to be holy as we wait for the new heavens and earth. Listen to what Paul says, even its hard to understand. False teachers distort what he says, like they do the rest of the Bible. Grow in the grace of Jesus Christ.


Cricket on the Hearth

I had no idea what to expect in this short story, and remain a bit confused. A man wrongly suspects his wife of infidelity, when she is actually bringing a long lost love together with her friend. Apparently the main theme is how love overcomes trials and setbacks, which is good, but it’s a bit sentimental. Tackleton and Ebenezer Scrooge from Christmas Carol are similar, each changing from grouch to benefactor.

Pig Out?

25 reasons why Christians may eat pork

by James Jordan

Pulling no punches, Jordan addresses the teaching that we should eat according to the diet in the OT, especially the levitical laws forbidding pork. Rushdoony and Gothard have been teaching this, most recently, and some cults also do. This is a straightforward, easy-to-understand rejection of their position, but done in a constructive way. Highly recommended.

Spy book

Told from a decidedly anti-French Revolution perspective, which I consider a plus, The Scarlet Pimpernel bridges the English Channel in its scope and sucks you in to consider the heroism of a spy saving the lives of nobility from the guillotine by delivering them in disguise through the gates of Paris and covertly crossing to England and freedom. The French minister extorts the leading lady of England into helping him track this spy, which leads to some tough choices for her. This book is not great literature, but is a good story.

The Innkeeper

I re-read this short poem by John Piper, for Christmas, made into a book. It's really too short for a book.

It's a good antidote to the sentimentalism of Christmas, which cost families their babies' lives. Just a couple of brutal lines about 3/4 into the poem pack quite a punch. Jesus came into this sinful, harsh world to redeem the worst of circumstances. Mary's birth of Jesus was one of these - Christmas was no cake walk for Joseph and Mary.

2 Timothy

1 - Timothy, guard the faith entrusted to you.

2 - Soldier on in the strength of Christ's grace. Oppose foolish controversy with patient gentleness.

3 - disobedient false teachers will arise, but pursue Paul's example and God's Word.

4 - Preach the Word; I have fought the fight. Many have left me, and i was alone at my first hearing, but God is with me.


No Salvation without Christmas

Hebrews 2:14-18
"Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself [Jesus] likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."

Merry Christmas!

Hebrews 7-13

7 - Jesus is like Melchizedek: king of righteousness and peace without earthly genealogy. Jesus is  greater than Levi and Abraham, who paid tithes to Melchizedek. He is better than Aaron's priests, since He lives forever, is sinless Himseelf, and was made priest by God's direct oath.

8 - Jesus offers a better sacrifice in the true temple, as mediuator of a better covenant with bettter promises. Looking for a better covenant is justified in the old covenant by Jeremiah 31:31-34, quoted in full.

9 - Jesus entered the holy of holies by His own blood, so the present temple system of sacrifices in the holy place is not needed anymore. Jesus offers a better, more effective, death than the temple sacrifices. Done only once, it removes sins forever, unlike the temple sacrifices.

10 - Jesus did God's will and sat down after serving. Priests sin, and continually offer sacrifice, always standing before God as servants. So let us draw near to Christ, stop sinning, and endure in faith.

11 - The saints of old lived and acted by faith.

12 - Look to Jesus who also suffered, and endure it as God's discipline of His children for our good. Maintain your purity, for you have come to Zion which obligations (greater punishment for rejecting the greater Jesus) and privileges (receiving a greater kingdom) are better and greater than Sinai.

13 - Offer pure sacrifices to God: show hospitality, visit prisoners, stay pure, content and true, bear Christ's reproach, obey your leaders, pray for us.

Hebrews 1-6

1 - God spoke ultimately in His Son, who is greater than and creator of all things. He has given Him all authority and made angels His servants, so Jesus is greater than the angels.

2 - Jesus' ministry was not through angels, but is greater than the angels' ministry (the Old Testament). He does not help angels but men, so became a man to save us.

3 - Jesus is greater than Moses, and Israel didn't enter God's rest led by him.

4 - We can enter that rest as we keep trusting Jesus our high priest.

5 - Jrsus is a faithful priest, who did not exalt Himself and who can sympathize with us.

6 - You can't be saved if you reject Jesus. I trust you won't. We have God's sure promise to rely on.


1 Peter

1 - Bless God for giving us new life in Christ's resurrection, to the hope of His inheritance, even if we have to suffer here for a time. The grace we received was sought after by the prophets, so be holy, for you were bought with Christ's blood.

2 - you are a holy temple and nation. Submit to rulers and employers, following the example of Jesus by suffering for doing good.

3 - wives be respectful and virtuous; husbands be gentle and loving. Suffer for doing good, not evil, as Christ did.

4 - Don't please the flesh but love and serve each other, suffering only for Christ in doing good.

5 - elders, shepherd willingly, not domineering; young people, submit to elders. Be humble in suffering, and God will restore and lift you in His time.

Aesop's Fables

I'm reading 32 of these a day, to finish by year end, and have been struck by the Solomonic wisdom they convey (about 200 years after Solomon...), and how appropos many are to character, relationship, and leadership. Take these, for example:

The Three Oxen and the Lion
There were three oxen who always grazed together. A lion had his designs upon them and wanted to eat them, but he could never get at one of them because they were always together. So he set them against each other with slanderous talk and managed to get them separated, whereupon they were isolated and he was able to eat them one after the other.
If you really want to live in safety, keep close to your friends, retain your confidence in them and challenge your enemies.

The House-ferret and the File
A house-ferret slipped into a blacksmith's workshop and began to lick the file that she found there. Now it happened that using her tongue thus, the blood flowed from it. But she was delighted, imagining that she had extracted something from the iron. And in the end she lost her tongue.
This fable is aimed at people who pick arguments with others, thereby doing harm to themselves.

The Ploughman and the Snake Who Had Killed His Son
A snake slid up to the child of a ploughman and killed it. The ploughman, demented with grief, took an axe and went to keep watch near the snake's hole. He was ready to strike it the moment it came out. The snake poked his head out and the labourer hurled his axe but missed, and instead split a nearby rock in two. Having missed, he was in great fear that the snake would take his revenge on this attack by striking him with his fangs. So he attempted to appease it. But the snake replied: 'Neither of us can pretend to any good feelings, neither I when I see the gouge you have made in the rock, nor you when you look at the tomb of your child.'
This fable shows that great hatred does not lend itself to reconciliation.

The Dolphins, the Whales and the Gudgeon
Some dolphins and some whales were engaged in battle. As the fight went on and became desperate, a gudgeon [small fish] poked his head above the surface of the water and tried to reconcile them. But one of the dolphins retorted: 'It is less humiliating for us to fight to the death between ourselves than to have you for a mediator.'
Similarly, certain nobodies think they are somebody when they interfere in a public row.



1 - appoint elders who can teach sound doctrine and refute error, for false teachers abound.

2 - Specific instruction for young and old men an women on living ordered and controlled lives, for which Christ redeemed us.

3 - God saved us from lawlessness and strife, so don't put up with it in the church.

1 Timothy

1 - Paul to Timothy: stay in Ephesus and reject heresy and speculation. Christ came to save sinners, and I was the worst. Fight the good fight.

2 - Pray for rulers, that we have peace. God wants all saved through the one mediator, Jesus. Men should pray and not quarrel. Women should be modest and verbally reserved.

3 - The kind of men elders and deacons should be in God's house: sober and controlled.

4 - Expect false teaching and oppose it: abstinence from marriage and certain foods rejects gifts God has given. Train yourself in godliness; be an example, though young; read the Word publicly.

5 - Make sure widows don't have family to care for them before the church supports them. Treat elders well, and fairly

6 - oppose those craving controversy for their own gain. Show them the contentment of godliness. Guard the faith entrusted to you.



1 - We thank God for you and pray your love and fruit grow. The gospel is advancing because I'm in jail - everyone wants to know why, or get me on trouble, so they all talk and learn about Jesus! Suffering is fine, for even in death we are with the Lord,, but God has more work for me here.

2 - be humble to each other, as Xhrist was. Don't grumble. I wanted to send you Timothy, but sent Epaphroditus, who was sick and almost died.

3 - Paul counts any other advantage as junk next to knowing Jesus. He presses on to know Him. Imitate the godly, as citizens of heaven.

4 - help others get along. Rejoice, and God's peace will guard you. Think on noble things. Thanks for the gift. I can do all things through Christ. God will meet your needs, too.


1 - blessed be God who chose us to be adopted, holy in the Son's redemption, sealed by the Spirit. I thank God for you and ask him too give you wisdom to know your inheritance and power at work for you.

2 - God made us alive in Christ when we were dead in sin, by grace not by our works. Jesus made peace at the cross between God and man, removing Jew/Gentile distinctions.

3 - The mystery of the gospel - gentile inclusion in God's people. Paul prays that Christ may dwell in their hearts and that they may know His great love.

4 - walk as you were called, in one faith. God has given various gifts to bring His people to maturity. Put off the old man of sensuality, lying, bitterness and anger; put on forgiveness.

5 - walk in love and light, not in fruitless deeds of dark sin, but filled with the Zpirit. Instructions on household and work relationships.

6 - Use all God's armor to fight Satan and sin. Pray for us, too.


12 Days...

Hey folks, I'm hearing some hints that people are celebrating the 12 days of Christmas early, making the 12th day the 25th of December. I'm not one to observe days religiously, like you're sinning or silly or anything, but do be aware that the 12 days of Christmas STARTS on the 25th, and ends the day before Epiphany, connecting the two holy days. This, the origin of "Xmas" and more is explained more fully here, a good resource.

Okay, I'll take my own advice now, and lighten up. Enjoy the holidays, and merry Christmas to all!

So, lighten up, already

"Seriousness is not a virtue.... It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one's self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. It is much easier to write a good Times leading article than a good joke in Punch. For solemnity flows out of men naturally, but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity." ~Chesterton in "Orthodoxy" (HT Valerie KyriosityAngie Mason Brennan)

Death stayed, then killed

Sermon text: 2 Samuel 24, where the plague on Israel for David's sin is stopped by God's mercy at the threshing floor on Mount Moriah, where David determines to build the temple.

Araunah’s threshing floor looked ahead to the place of atonement in the temple. The temple altar looked ahead to the cross of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Table here looks back to the cross of Jesus Christ. Only the cross stays the hand of the angel of death for your sin. Not eating here, not your good works, not even being repentant for your sin stays His judgment. Only the death of Jesus on the cross pays it all. But the picture God has given to remind us of the cross is this table. Here we proclaim the Lord’s death. Every subtle sin rooted out, exposed, judged, condemned, and defeated. Enmity with God removed and favor restored. God delights to do this. Here, death turns to life; grieving to dancing. He redeems you to himself with laughter, joy, bread and wine.


Paul appeals to Philemon to receive, free, and maybe send back to Paul Onesimus, a slave who ran away from Philemon and was converted by Paul. Paul could command Philemon to do this, but asks him to do it freely, out of love.


1 - we give thanks for your faith and fruit in Christ, asking God to give you wisdom and strength to endure, since He has saved you from darkness into the bright kingdom of His Son, who is the image and fullness of God, reconciling all things (which were made through Him in the first place) back to God at the cross. Paul suffers for the church.

2 - The mystery and wisdom of God is Christ. God's fullness is in Him bodily. You are circumcised in baptism, united in his death and resurrection, where He triumphed over all other "powers." So dont submit to manmade regulations.

3 - look up to heaven, where your life is hid in Christ. Put off sin. Put on love, peace and the Word of God. Wife submit to husband. Husband be loving and gentle. Employee, work as if for God, for that is the case.

4 - Pray for an open door for the gospel among us. Speak with seasoned grace to outsiders. Greeting from those with Paul.


Acts 24-28

24 - Paul accused before governor Felix, kept in custody 2 years, but protected

25 - New governor Festus hears Paul, who appeals to Caesar. Festus relates his case to king Agrippa, asking for help in what to say in sending Paul on to Rome.

26 - Paul speaks to Agrippa, that he believes what all Jews believe, seeking to persuade Agrippa. He and Festus agree that Paul is innocent, but must go to Caesar since Paul appealed to him.

27 - a tough voyage to Rome ends In shipwreck on an island.

28 - Paul bitten by a deadly snake but preserved; heals a servant. Arrival in Rome. Preaching to Jews; response is mixed; Paul goes to the Gentiles.



1 - Paul, an apostle of Christ, wants to preach in Rome the gospel of which he is not ashamed, in which God's righteousness is attained by faith. God's wrath is against Gentile unrighteousness, giving glory to creature instead of Creator, so He lets them do vile things.

2 - The Jew is also guilty for judging Gentiles, but sinning himself. Claiming to follow the law doesn't save you.

3 - All are guilty. Redemption is available to all, not through the law but through Christ.

4 - Abraham was justified by his faith, before he was circumcised (before he had the law); therefore we can be justified by faith apart from the law.

5 - So we have peace and reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. Adam's sin brought condemnation to many; Jesus' obedient death brings justification to many.

6 - But you are dead to sin, united with Christ's death, so don't sin anymore. We are no longer slaves of sin, which leads to death, but slaves of righteousness, which yields the fruit of eternal life.

7 - we are not under the law, since we died to it, but serve God in the Spirit. The law teaches what sin is, but the sin comes from me.

8 - Yet we are not condemned, being in Christ and His Spirit, not walking in the flesh. The Spirit tells us we are God's children. We groan, awaiting our redemption. The Spirit helps us pray accordingly. God works it out for the good of those He has called, who will be glorified. He is for us in Christ, and nothing will separate us from His love.

9 - Why doesn't Israel believe? They have God's promise and covenant. Not all ethnic Israel is the true Israel. God shows mercy to whoever He wants. He has rejected many Jews who sought God by works, and favored many Gentiles who found Christ by faith.

10 - Faith is from the heart regardless of being Jew or Greek. Why hasn't Israel believed?

11 - A remnant does believe, just like in Elijah's time. Many have disbelieved, resulting in Gentiles being grafted in; Israel might not continue in unbelief and may be grafted back in at any time. God's ways are mysterious and wonderful.

12 - serve God sacrificially, using your gifts humbly for the body, being peaceable even with persecutors.

13 - be at peace with civil authorities by doing good, showing honor, paying taxes. Love one another; do not lust and covet.

14 - Don't be contentious over secondary things. We live to the Lord; don't live your opinions in unloving ways. Bear with each other.

15 - Receive Gentiles who believe Christ. I plan to come see you on my way to Spain. Pray that God delivers me from unbelievers in Jerusalem.

16 - Greeting specific people; warning away from divisive and obstinate people.

Acts 20-23

Paul heads for Jerusalem. First stop, Troas. Preaches all night. Eutyches falls through the window, dies, and raised to life. Farewell to Ephesians elders: shepherd the flock.

Voyage to Caesarea. Prophecies of Paul's arrest. Arrival and meeting with James, who asks Paul to sponsor some mens' purification rites, as proof that he is not against Jews keeping the law. He does but a riot starts when he is seen in the temple. He is taken by roman soldiers to the barracks for safety and questioning, but he asks in Greek to speak to the crowd.

Paul recounts his Damascus road exp with the Lord Christ, but they don't get upset until he says God said to go to the Gentiles. They riot and the Roman soldier on command sends him to be flogged for questioning and confession. He gets out of it by saying he's a Roman citizen.

The Roman tribune sends him before Sanhedrin to figure it out. Paul gets the Pharisee party on his side. Jews conspire to kill him when he is moved. Paul uncovers the plot and tells the tribune. He sends Paul to Governor Felix in Caesarea with full security.


What are you excited about?

"If the gospel—even when you are orthodox—becomes something which you primarily assume, but what you are excited about is what you are doing in some sort of social reconstruction, you will be teaching the people that you influence that the gospel really isn’t all that important. You won’t be saying that—you won’t even mean that—but that’s what you will be teaching. And then you are only half a generation away from losing the gospel.
Make sure that in your own practice and excitement, what you talk about, what you think about, what you pray over, what you exude confidence over, joy over, what you are enthusiastic about is Jesus, the gospel, the cross. And out of that framework, by all means, let the transformed life flow."

– Don Carson, lecture, “Is the Culture Shaping Us or are We Shaping the Culture?” delivered at the CBMW Different By Design Conference (Feb. 2, 2009, Minneapolis, MN)


2 Corinthians 10-13

10 - We don't minister to you with worldly methods, comparing ourselves to others, speaking powerfully or beautifully. We minister to you in the Spirit, destroying arguments and building you up. We aren't trying to take credit for things we didn't do (though we planted the Gospel among you). We mean to go beyond your land with Gospel, not take credit for what others have done among you.

11 - Paul descends to their level and compares himself with others who are claiming equal authority with him. They are false apostles preaching another gospel, even if they speak better than he does, or charge a higher speaking fee. He is as much a Hebrew and has suffered more than they. But he boasts in his weakness, not his strength.

12 - Paul knows of sensational visions, too, but only boasts in his weaknesses. Some speak against Paul that he exploited them. But how? He has been seeking their good, in Christ, always, spending and being spent for their souls.

13 - I am coming soon, and will use my authority with Christ's resurrection power for your good. Restore, comfort and love each other.

Angels in the Architecture

A great book for recovering the "full-orbed" gospel, as it is often called. This means recovering and treasuring: beauty, the church, feasting, authority, wife and children, and more. Deep gratitude for all the gifts God has given us in this world was at the heart of the Reformation, but quickly lost by many. Medieval life actually assumed many important things that were lost in the Enlightenment. This book calls us back to them.

Get it here!



A rare five stars! Biblical depth and balance on what a covenant is, and how God has dealt with His people with them. The first 60 pages looks at what a covenant is: a bond in blood sovereignly administered. The rest of the book looks at God's activity with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and finally in Christ.

Some important points from the book:

A covenant is a structured relationship. Some emphasize the structure, others the relationship, but both are essential.

All covenants with God are gracious. Those after the Fall involve God's grace in spite of our sin. The covenant with Adam at first is also gracious in a different sense, as God's creation and provision for Adam and Eve was unnecessary, an act of sovereign love.

Each new covenant God made did not replace the previous one, but developed and expanded His dealings with us, the previous covenant promises remaining in force until all were fulfilled in Christ.

Chapter 11 offers an excellent analysis of dispensationalism.

This is the perfect book for the interested reader who wants to go deeper in studying the Word.

Grow in Grace

Great book here, by a presbyterian pastor in Lynchburg, Virginia. It covers each of the seven deadly sins from a practical and Reformed perspective. Pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. It is easy reading, but also convicting and piercing. The introduction is especially good on how to grow in the Christian life by grace. There are Scriptures and prayers at the end of each chapter, to lead you to the Lord regarding each of these sins.

Pick it up here.

Wives and mothers working outside the home

Tim Bayly writes...

"The issue is critically important, and yet not to be dealt with in a wooden way. Specifically, some work outside the home is always required of wives and mothers and is good and right--Biblical, even...

"Buying and selling land. Teaching the younger women at the church-house. Making cookies and taking them to the homeschool co-op or school classroom. Teaching in the homeschool co-op or school classroom. Buying groceries. The list is long. Some work outside the home is required by the specifics of a home and marriage. Husbands die or are disabled and mothers must provide for their families. Husbands commit adultery and abandon their wives and children forcing their wives to provide for their children. Again, the list is long.

"There are any number of other reasons a husband and wife might make a decision for the wife to work outside the home and we must be careful not to subvert the freedom of their consciences by declaring or insinuating that decisions they've made based on circumstances we have a limited knowledge of are contrary to the Word of God. At the same time, we must recognize that in Reformed churches today too many of our marriages are contrary to the Word of God precisely at this point. Women are not domestic, but have deserted the home for work and play. Our older women, but also our elders, pastors, and deacons must admonish those women who have abandoned their home."

More here.

2 Corinthians 5-9

5 - If we die we are with the Lord. We have a ministry of reconciling men to God through Christ
6 - You treat us as imposters but we are sincere and sacrificial. Separate yourselves from sin
7 - God comforted us, though I had to grieve you with my letter.
8 - the Macedonians have given generously. Finish what you started in this. Titus and Apollos bring this letter, and to collect your gift for Jerusalem. Your generous gift will result in more thanksgiving to God.


2 Corinthians 1-4

1 - we have been afflicted, so we can comfort you in your trials. My plans to you don't vacillate - I just couldn't come to you right now. Christ is the faithful yes to all God's promises; I didn't want to pain you with a difficult visit just now.

2 - I am not the source of your current pain, but the one you've had to discipline. Forgive him, now, so he isn't crushed. Christ always leads us whatever our plans, and we are a sincere, Christ-like aroma to believers.

3 - we don't deal with letters of commendation to show our capability. We minister a new, more glorious covenant of the Spirit, not of letters. We are bolder than Moses, who served with a veil. We are free, without a veil, and being more and more glorified in the Spirit.

4 - the unveiled gospel shines in us, but Satan blinds minds from seeing it. It shines in jars of clay to show God's power, and fulfill your purpose of thanking God. Our light affliction will give way to great glory.

Verses for the day

2 Corinthians 1:8-11
We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely no on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

1 Corinthians 9-16

9 - Paul has a right to live off the Gospel, but doesn't want to, to win more for Christ. Run to win.

10 - Israel was baptized and communed with Christ, yet fell away in sin. You are baptized and commune with Christ, too, so take heed. Give glory to God and eat what you want, but be sensitive to the weak conscience of others.

11 - maintain proper male/female distinction in worship (a woman's longer hair is her covering, her way of saying she is under authority. Don't be divisive in worship. Commune with regard for each other and for Christ, or He will discipline you.

12 - there are various gifts from one Spirit, as there are many members in one Body. The gifts and members need each other and should not despise each other.

13 - Without love you have nothing; what love is; it will last beyond other gifts, and defines the maturity as opposed to childishness.

14 - tongues are not forbidden, but also not very edifying, which is the point of spiritual gifts. Keep worship orderly: one thing at a time, so all may learn from each. This is authoritative: reject one who rejects it.

15 - most important: Christ died, was raised, and appeared to us. There IS a resurrection of the dead. If not, your faith and all my work is in vain. But our mortal bodies will be raised, transformed into incorruptible glory, defeating death. So our work is NOT in vain.

16 - take regular offerings on Sundays. I need to stay in Ephesus right now, but will come to you soon. Respect Timothy and other forefathers among you. Do all in love. The churches greet you.

1 Corinthians 1-8

1 - Be united; don't follow men divisively; the cross is folly to worldly wisdom
2 - We discern the things of God by the Spirit, not natural wisdom
3 - Don't boast in men, who are just building on Christ's foundation
4 - You boast yourselves to be greater than the apostles. Stop it
5 - remove the unrepentant professes to believe. Stop boasting
6 - judge among yourselves, don't go to unbelievers
6 - immoral won't inherit the kingdom; sexual immorality is a sin vs the Spirit
7 - marriage principles for the present distress
8 - food offered to idols is fine to eat, since idols are nothing.
8 - But some don't get that yet. Don't make them sin against conscience.