a few things I’ve picked up on

things I’ve learned: here are a few things I’ve picked up on over the past year.
always yield right of way: when singing, always yield to the person with a better singing voice, even if you think they have the wrong tune or words. For me, that’s easy to do.

good manners: what’s bad is to bite your fork at the table. What can potentially be worse is to bite someone else’s fork at the table.

The years haven’t been good to our voters.

someone to keep me going: when it comes to writing, sometimes you need a friend to encourage you…and sometimes you need another friend to crack the whip. Also: writers block is a terrible thing.

“Our fair morning is at hand, our daystar is near the rising, and we are not many miles from home; what matters the ill entertainment in the smoky inns of this miserable life? We are not to stay here, and we will be dearly welcome to him whom we go to.” Samuel Rutherford. Wow.

what is acceptable?: I’ve been hearing a lot from various sources lately about the luxury* in which American Christians live. It a controversial and somewhat sad subject; and most people, myself included, don’t like talking about it. But really, it has to be addressed. I guess the dangers in talking about this particular subject are 1) we can easily put knowledge before love. Often when such things are spoken on, arrogance or snobbishness can sneak in, and the one speaking can do much more damage than those they are referring to. 2) there is even a risk of taking what is being stated to an extreme by saying that luxuries are completely wrong. Now, based on what I’ve been told rather than what I’ve deciphered, I would have to say that:

Luxuries in and of themselves aren’t sinful. If you will look a that gospels, you will plainly see that Jesus didn’t say any such thing. In fact, his earliest recorded miracle was to provide a simple luxury at a wedding. It wasn’t to heal; it wasn’t raising from the dead; it was merely an act of kindness to ad a little more joy on this important occasion in the life of someone else. God, out of his overflowing kindness, has given us many things that we don’t necessarily need; and I think one of the great examples of this kindness is our ability to taste. We could have just been made like animals, who eat only because they know they are supposed to. (but it is important to note that there are no “luxuries” in our salvations; God would not force his Son to pay so high a price for something we could only have if we wanted it. So, any ‘extras’ would have to be shared with unbelievers as well as believers). So, luxury itself is not overtly sinful.

But then how is this different to the Christian? “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” I Corinthians 10:23. For the Christians, there are certain luxuries which are unacceptable. Some things are so against Christ that they are not even worth talking about. But I will not even get into those; they should be so obvious. But what about the things that aren’t obvious? What about the ’nice things’? How do Christian liberties relate to denying self? The way you measure “allowable” things is how they effect your relationship with Christ. The place that a luxury in our minds is a good measure. If entertainment, or activity, or nice things, or whatever, swallow us up, it may mean we should let them go. If it is something that hinders our becoming like Christ, it is something which we really oughtn’t have. And if it cripples us in our service to Christ, it must be let go.

*for a monumental lack of more conducive phraseology. Aren’t those beautiful words?

 

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  1. #1 by amongchosenones on August 15, 2008 - 11:50 pm

    <>>

    Thank you so much for this Jacob, this really ministers to me tonight. We (your mother & I ) were just talking earlier about how we have to let go of things in this world that sort of matter that really shouldn’t. (My grandmother’s handiwork things/ your grandpa’s tractor.) I was really grieved by the time we got to the shower of what a hold my heart had on things that really shouldn’t matter, but kinda did, because of the bitterness in my heart of having to let things go that are by right mine when my father passes, but might not get to my sister & I because of a stepmother.

    Why do I ‘have’ to have these things for my sojourn here? What difference does it make if I have her stuff to decorate with? Why the turmoil in my heart over such unimportant, un-eternal things? Yet, it would be so pretty, it makes a cozy home, maybe I’m just too Yankee to not have the care for that sort of thing, yet I feel I should, & it was Grandma’s stuff, such turmoil inside of should I care, should I not? I AM A PILGRIM !!

    Is it a essential part of hospitality? World it be beneficial? Would it ‘provoke others to envy’ ? How do we not ‘provoke one another to envy?’ How do we not put a stumbling block in our brother’s path?- I am as comfortable in a bare, plain Amish house as I am in a Country Living magazine house. (more so really)

    I think you have it right, Jacob. The difference is what kind of hold it has on our hearts.

    Then as well, we do need to consider what effect our actions or liberties would have on others, whether it would wound their weak conscience with our freedom or would they see Christ & be edified in our actions of taking a stand of Christ FIRST in our hearts.Are our luxuries NECESSARY to build Christ’s kingdom?

    Ruth asked Ron & I the other day what treasure in heaven was before he left for work. I had a spout off the top of my head definition & Ron went to work & thought about it all day. He came that night & he expounded it in ways we’d never thought about. I was thinking about it just in monetary terms of what we spent our money on that spoke of where our hearts were & he was thinking about it was what we did with our time that made the difference eternally. We discussed several scenarios about what constitutes treasure in heaven.

    As for denying self, what American knows anything of that? Do any of us really? Does that sort of fall under the category of ‘to him who knows the good he ought to do, yet does it not, sins?’ Take up our cross? Wasn’t Jesus’s cross other people’s sins, so is ours? Just rambling,

    So if this is taboo that a female almost 40 has posted theological things on your blog, just let me know. I am old enough to be your mother your know, I am older than her, you know, (3 months) so I leave you with this

    Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.1 Timothy 5:1-3

  2. #2 by christian on August 22, 2008 - 4:49 pm

    hey people
    I truely love the template of turinsblog.wordpress.com. Looks good, keep it up!
    anyways..
    Im a very “faithful” christian and I guess I have a few questions on my mind..
    I’ve been thinking a lot about dating.. but im not sure where to begin.
    My cousins have been telling me christian dating is the way to go..
    Would be cool to hear your input.

  3. #3 by christian on August 25, 2008 - 8:32 am

    I would like to say that i really like your site turinsblog.wordpress.com a lot
    now..
    I cant say that i agree with what you wrote… care to clear things up for me?

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