We headed out Thursday morning after a whirlwind early morning trip to the feed store...
We got to our hotel in time to eat a quick snack-ish lunch and find the church (and Robert and Lessie) before the first session started. R.C. Sproul had the first talk--on justification. He joked throughout the weekend that he has spoken on justification at least as much as Martin Luther did! I did not realize until Thrusday afternoon that Dr. Sproul was a stand-up comic along with being a theologian...not that I have any problem with a little humor thrown in with my theology! :) The second session was supposed to be by a man named Robert Godfrey, but apparently he was so ill that he could not make it so they asked Steve Lawson to fill in for him. Mr. Lawson therefore did...he spoke on the nature of Truth. Then there was a question and answer session--during which I did not take notes. It rather amused me when the Presbyterians and Baptists got to talking about baptism...Mr. Begg and Dr. Sproul had a nice friendly argument. (I wish theological discussions could be that amiable more often!) There were two 'optional' sessions by author's about their latest books. I sat in part of one of those and talked to Robert some. The final session of the day was Alistair Begg on preaching the Word. I forget when we ate supper Thursday evening...what I do remember is that Robert kindly purchased a Caeser salad for both Savannah and I (as he like-wise did twice on Friday).
Friday morning, bright and early, we were back in the chuch listening to Mr. Lawson talking about Martin Luther and the sufficency of scripture. His talk was followed by one by Cal Thomas (FOX news commentator) on the family. After a short break, we were back listening to Sinclair Ferguson on doctrine. Lunch (Caesar salad for us) was next. I managed to consume the entirety of that salad even though I wasn't exceptionally hungry...it tasted good, but I was stuffed.
After lunch came Mr. Alistair Begg instructing us to be merciful. Dr. R.C. Jr. (whom we have always known by the nickname 'Red-beard'--though it doesn't fit anymore since his beard is no more), spoke next on being a 'Good Offense'. There were two more 'optional' sessions after that and then Ravi Zacharias encouraged us with the knowledge that Christ is risen and what that means for us. He got a standing ovation. The speaking done for the evening, we went back to our hotel.
Saturday morning we were back at the church for a second session by Mr. Ferguson. He spoke of Christ and the church. There was a second question and answer session, which I likewise took no notes from. The final session was by Dr. R.C. Sproul on not compromising--the theme of the conference and what everyone was encourging in their lectures. I will get around to posting all my notes sometime.
Now for the more humorous stuff: coming back into the hotel Thursday night, the toe strap on my right sandel gave way. Oh well, I've had those sandels ever since 2004 so I suppose they were rather out of style! I also made the discovery that I didn't have a nightgown! I didn't do my own packing and whomever did forgot to pack one for me--probably because I didn't have one laid out. I'm grateful that someone else did do my packing because I was so flustered I might have forgotten something myself! Thankfully, Lessie had an extra nighty which she loaned to me.
Friday I was told at lunch by the ladies who had been sitting behind us, that they could hear me singing during the time of song before the sessions. I was rather astounded by that fact because of the beautiful loudness of the organ and the Symphonia (as well as nigh on 5000 people singing!)
We got one of the free DVD's on economics that R.C. Jr. was giving away for free...I look forward to watching that. I also got a free book by Steven Lawson on Luther when I signed up for Tabletalk--only for some reason I suspect that Robert and Lessie have it! We were car-pooling with them and I did have it in her bag...
Saturday morning, they had a volunteer choir sing the "Hallelujah Chorus". I was thinking about maybe trying (though I am really not very good at all singing parts), but by the time they were ready to start practicing, I was in desperate need of a cup of coffee. By the time I had had my coffee and was feeling like I could have given it a shot, the practicing was mostly done. They didn't loose anything by not having me in the choir either! :D At the very end of the conference, they got up there on stage and sang. It was so amazing!
We went to St. Andrew's Chapel on Sunday before heading home. St. Andrew's is beautiful, built like a minuature cathedrel. It was all beautiful...but, if I can say this without treading on anyone's toes...it had too much of a 'high church' feel to it. I'm a Presbyterian and I was on the verge of uncomfortable becuase it seemed to have an Anglican flair too it...it just wasn't Presbyterian, I guess!
Our hotel room..the decor through the hotel was very 1970's.
Friday morning coffee...I look like I needed it!
This is a job I WOULD NOT like to have!!
The Ligonier Symphonia (sans strings)...
The organ's pipes!!!
Close(r) up of the one side...
Savannah Saturday evening...
This morning we said, "Bye" to Mama and Katherine and they headed back for the domains far north...before they left we had a short picture taking spree...if you can't tell, the wind was blowing!
See how much taller my little sister is?? Actually, I was slouched down some. :) She's reminding me to lift my chin so the second one doesn't show! :D
I'd like to share a story written by a friend of mine over at Sons of the Remnant
... (Is it silly to call people you've never actually met 'friends'? I really don't think so.)
The Good Ship Western Christendom
Being an Allegory by Andrew Romanowitz
While going through my papers yesterday, I found a portion of a story which was
recorded by an old collector of tales of the sea, whose name, it seems, is now
lost to history. Lamentably, the narrative is incomplete; nonetheless, I have
decided to post it here, as I think the readers will find it an object of interest. The portion of the manuscript which I have in my possession reads thus:
On a distant ocean, long ago and far away, a fine ship of war named the Western
Christendom lay dead in the water. She had been long known as a ship of noble bearing and distinguished martial honor, yet when we approached her we found that most of hew crew lay sleeping in the sunlight as she listlessly drifted on the open sea..
Some reader well-versed in maritime history might ask by what stroke of ill fortune she found the doldrums. Ah, but you see, she wasn't in the doldrums. The
sailors had simply hoisted down the sails. It appears that every man on board
was certain that the martial voyage was doomed to failure. Rather than continue
a journey that they considered futile, they decided it would be most comfortable and therefore most advantageous to hoist down the sails and fall asleep on the deck. This turn of events is astonishing, as the Western Christendom was renowned for having seized victory from the jaws of defeat in many a fight on the high seas, and her crew was counted by some as the finest that had ever crossed the line. We are not certain as to how the persuasion of the entire crew was effected. While we have heard it reported that the captain himself commanded this course of action (or rather lack thereof), we do not wish to impeach the good name of the captain, and so we prefer to believe that the officers and sailors acted against orders. Someone has suggested that the helmsman and the first and second mates were largely responsible, and that they convinced most of the crew that such was a necessary consequence of the essential principles of military duty and good seamanship. Absurd as it may seem, we hope the reader will forgive us if we are inclined to lend more credibility to this account.
But whatever the case may have been, not long after the Western Christendom
began to drift, an enemy vessel hove into view and showed herself to be a forty-four-gun man of war. Without delay she commenced pouring successive broadsides over the decks and into the hull, tearing holes into the ship's side and flooding the lower compartments. Yes, my lads, such was the woeful state of the good ship Western Christendom on that distant ocean long ago and far away...
In the midst of the barrage, there were a few officers making rounds of the deck
and noting the damage to those of the sailors who seemed roused by the roar of
enemy gunfire, while reassuring them with the utmost calmness that the Western Christendom would sink very soon, and the enemy be unhindered ruler of the high seas. This news, it appears, had varied effects on the illustrious crew; Many of the more craven and youthful souls jumped overboard, fearing the guns of the enemy more than the shark-filled waters of the open sea. Others sought to return to their
sleep, convinced that the sooner the good ship went down, the better it would be for them, and that if they were sure to die, it were better to die peaceably. Nonetheless, they were certain that they were faithful sailors, and not mutineers in the least; and as faithful sailors, they said, they were resolved to die on board the ship with full military honor amid the thunder of battle. They wished to spend their final hours contemplating the peaceful clouds floating across the sky rather than manning the ship's guns. But below decks, there were yet a few men still defiantly firing at the enemy ship, ignoring drowsy and incoherent shouts of ridicule from the men reclining on deck.
And here the manuscript breaks off, leaving us only to wonder about the conclusion of this seemingly fantastic, yet strangely familiar tale of the sea, and the fate of the good ship Western Christendom and her crew.
Thank-you for letting me post this, Andrew!
Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll!!
For Savannah and I, this Thanksgiving is probably going to be one of the most different one's we've ever had. Sure, we're going to have turkey (it's done now that we've already eaten lunch :D), and we even managed to scrounge up costumes (though certainly not 100% Pilgrim accurate), but it is still different. Savannah is doing laundry and we both did some random house-straightening this morning. Granddaddy as usual is sitting in front of the televsion and as it is 1:00, his four hours of Westerns has started. Thankfully, the volume is still down where I turned it last night while watching Remington Steele
. (The last couple of nights, Granddaddy has gone to bed thirty-minutes in--so perhaps Operation Steele isn't working as well as I'd like...)
I'd like to share with you the recipe for what we had for lunch (meat-wise): turkey gizzard something-or-rether
...I didn't think I liked gizzards very well, but this stuff is awesome!
I guess most people do a blog post about what they are thankful for on Thanksgiving...but since I'm not necessarily a follower...I decided not to do that. You would get bored reading everything I'm grateful for. Instead, I'm going to point out, to myself, as much as anyone else, the fact that we so often take the good things God has given us for granted. I know I do. I eat my food after a quick prayer. How often is my word of thanks said out of rote habit? Far too often. Do I ever think to thank God that my closet is busting with clothing? Maybe once in a great while. What about my health? I'm a fairly healthy, robust young woman. How often do I fall on my knees and glorify God for that fact? More often than I thank Him for my clothing, but not often enough. The list of things that I take for granted could go on and on...it's as long as the list of the things I'm grateful for--because the two lists are identical
So on this day of Thanksgiving, let us thank God for our good gifts...let us try to remember that we
gave ourselves absolutely nothing of what we have.
God gave it all
to us. He is sovereign...and for that fact alone, let us rejoice and be thankful.
Soli Deo Gloria! Amen.
'And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do
them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’
Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”'
While some of our details are different, we as God's children can still cry out to Him in the words of Nehemiah. I found this very apropos when I read it this morning right after I checked the election results and found that Barack Obama had won re-election. (HOW?)
Strangely enough, I wasn't really surpirsed. Even stranger, I didn't have the sickening fear in my guts that I expected. Maybe because it hasn't really sunk in yet...or maybe simply because God has given me a peace that surpasses understanding. I don't know. What I do know is that God is Sovereign and Obama's re-election is not out of His providence or plan. In that I can take comfort.
Now...what can we (you, my reader, and I, myself) do in the next four years to begin to take back our country? I don't have any answers off the top of my head. I look at this issue and wonder what would be different with me if I were a boy...would I go into politics? If I had my same personality, it might be dangerous. I'd be rougher than Rick Santorum telling the media, "Stop distorting what we are saying." (I saw a clip of that on the news this morning on their 'Campaign Recap' thingy. It was awesome...)
As a girl I wonder sometime about what I can do. I don't believe women ought to take political office and should for the most part keep out of it. I see that for us girls, that maybe the best thing we can do, is to continue to learn, support our fathers, brothers (if you have any), and husbands (if you're married). We can work in our homes to reform culture. We can have little in-home business. Or like me, you can try to get your foot in the door with media of some sort--be it writing books, screenplays, or making films (my aspiration, you know). While we shouldn't be out there on the stump, we can encourage our men-folk to get out there...back them to the n-th degree. (I perfectly understand not every man is called to be a politican.)
I want to put a challenge out there...to myself, but also to my readers (and I really have no idea how many people read this): "What can you do...what are you doing to further the kingdom of God in our country?" Now. Not tomorrow. NOW. World wide mission are great and my family supports several, but I'm talking about our country today. If we don't get our country on the path to reformation (which truthfully, only God can do that), then we (as a country) are doomed. The church universal will never be doomed no matter what it looks like. I know that.
Are we ready?
I have NO IDEA. I try to live day by day according to the Word; but I fail. I'm a fighter (though not really a debater)...I will not go down with out a fight of some sort. Stand strong. Trust in God. Be optimistic (I'm a born optimsit :P).
Ready? Or not?
It doesn't matter. Let's take America back folks!
My part in the deal? For starters, I think I'll just keep on ranching (taking dominion) and filmmaking. If something else pops up that I can do, I pray I will see the opporunity and run with it.
What are you going to do my friends?
P.S. Ever notice how I start with one topic and end up someplce different? Now you know how my brain works...
You know, when I started my blog, I fully intended on writing many more posts than I have on theological subjects. For instance, every time I read Titus 2, "I am going to do a post on this!" Has it happened yet? No. Why? Well, partially because there is usually some other tale to tell. Partially because without sitting down and writing a paper, my theological thought processes live up to my blog's name of "Ramblings". Now, I'm not stupid (but neither am I the most intelligent young woman), and I do know what I think even if I have trouble expressing in clearly in few words (without spending hours on it like I would an essay). In the long run, I really think that is why I don't do theological posts very often--and when I do, they are usually spur of the moment and not very clear.
In my day to day writing about the excitment of mundane life (ah, to live in a state on normal abnormalacy! :D), I never try to hide my faith, but neither do I spill it somewhat soppily over these pages. I believe that I come to life from a Christian worldview, but the constant 'godly' wording doesn't fall out of my mouth in real life, so I don't use it in my writing. Perhaps it should; however, I don't think one has to use 'pious' speech in order to demonstrate their faith in Christ. (And please don't get me wrong I'm not thumbing my nose at people who do use what I have here termed 'pious speech'.) I wonder sometimes how long someone could read my blog without guessing that I'm a Christian....
Overarching everything I do is a sense that our loving and just heavenly Father is supreme and sovereign over all. That is one of the reason that I burst into laughter after sneezing, which causes me to yell in pain--sneezing makes my fractured collarbone hurt! :D
I am fully aware that my plans for the day can be switched at the drop of a hat--and God has ordained it as such. I am learning to 'roll with the punches' on this...as you may know, I've never been keen on having my plans overturned or disrupted--it has always frustrated me.
I think the point of this post is something along these lines....though I seldom lay it out in the open here, I do think on theological subjects. Indeed, how often in the mornings while reading my scriptures do I engage in mock debates with invisible people?
However, if you will please excuse my cutting this short, it is 9:30 and I need to go feed the cats and Snip. Have a lovely (aka blessed) day!
What do they have in common? Yesterday.
I'll spare you the gory details of my morning and start post lunch. After taking care of the lunch dishes, I pointed my noise toward town. In the Republican presidential primaries we voted at the county offices, so I went there first. I knew that the Rodeo Grounds was one place to vote, but I didn't know if that was where I had to go or not. I went in and was standing there...obviously I looked like I didn't kow what I was doing, because the lady walking around in the lobby on her cellphone asked if she could help me. She directed me to the Supervisors of Elections office down 'that' hall. I walked in, stated my plight, had to give my name and birthday (I forgot to tack the year on to start with!), and was promptly told I had to go to the Rodeo Grounds. (The girl who works in there is kind of cute and perky...she smiles a lot.)
So, I hopped in my car (rather, Savannah's car) and headed for the Rodeo Grounds. I got there without getting lost :D I went in and I was talking to myself as I stepped through the door. Now, this is funny...one of the poll workers asked me, "Where you talking to yourself when you came in?" I laughed (along with everyone in the room--only poll workers) and admitted I had. "Welcome to the crowd." It certainly made my voting experience pleasant :) I like laughing.
I left after casting my vote--I'm glad to say that one of the men I voted for is HSLDA
approved! There was a tabby hanging around outside the door that wanted to be petted, so I gave it a couple strokes before I left.
From there I went to Wal-Mart and got some banana's (poor Granddaddy had been out for several days--I think he ate 3-4 yesterday afternoon), milk, eggs, cheese, and onions. I almost always grab a sack of onions when I'm in there--we cook everything with onion.
Fast forward: It was POURING down rain when I dashed from the house to the car on my way to the SCV meeting last night. I'm glad that my umbrella was in the house (I had thought it was in the pick-up...a lot of good that was going to do me :D). Even then I got my skirt soaked in the few seconds that it took to seat myself, swing my legs in, close the umbrella, and slam the door. By the time I got to the A.'s it was just sprinkling. I met some very nice men last night. Other than myself and Mrs. A. there was one other lady--Dolly. I like her :) A little more on the rough side than Mrs. A. but nice all the same. After the meeting, she came up to me and said, "I've been staring at your hair the whole time...how do you do that?" Being myself, I grabbed my hair clips out of my hair, took the 'snappy' clips out of the top, shook it out and put it back up in demonstration. It is so much easier than attempting to explain: "You take this chunk in front, give it a half-twist, hold it in place with two of the clips...then take some from either side, give it a bit of twist, and hold it in place with the clips....Then tie the remainder of your hair in a knot and stick these jaw clips into it!" *grin* See what I mean?
I was told by Mr. A. to stand up and tell people who I was. I was already pretty comfortable in this group of fine Southern men, so I hopped up and really spent more time on the Cow Cavalry project than anything ;) My next interviewee was there so we talked a little bit...he's been real busy and it won't be for another couple weeks before he can be interviewed.
I even got to see a fella in Confederate uniform :) The eldest gentleman in the room was getting rid of his because he's not going to do anymore events where he dresses the part. So, the gent I was sitting next too, Billy, tried it on and came out for everyone to see...He bought it :) It fit him perfectly. I put one of Mr. A.'s kepi's on my head. I didn't go look in a mirror or anything, but I was told that it looked good on me :) (You know, you can wear one of those things with a bun!)
I also spent a great deal of time talking to a Mr. S. They homeschool and his 13 year old daughter has an interest in filmmaking. So we talked about everything from home-education to filmmaking to boys/young men (lack of, mainly) to eschatology. I'm post-mil (had to admit I wasn't too sure about how post-millennialism handles the millennium--all the details) and he is pre-mil; but we could agree that God is Soveriegn. Mr. A. says he's pretty close to post-mil. It was an awesome evening. I throughly enjoyed myself.
On my way home, on the home stretch, I was barreling down the road (going a little over the speed-limit. NO ONE does the speed-limit on that road anyway...) and out of nowhere I see this girl--who looked soaking wet--waving her hands in the air as though she was signaling me to stop. Well, I hit the brakes, but I didn't stop...my brain got to whirling. Here I was, a girl, by myself, at night--unarmed...nope, no stopping for me. I went on home. I almost cleared the house when I got home--Granddaddy was in bed with the door unlocked--but I didn't bother since anyone hiding in the house could have grabbed me before I even got to my bedroom where my gun is and as no one did I figured it was safe.
After taking my shower and as I settled in to Skype with my folks and after running my mouth for a while I mentioned the girl. Immediately, they told me to call the Sheriff's Office (now why didn't I think of that?) Finally, I got through after wasting my time calling (by accident) first the ambulence--thank-fully no one answered, then the city police who also didn't answer (not that they would have done me any good since we're not in-town), then finally the Sheriff's office non-emergency line. I gave the lady on the other end a discription of the girl and my best estimate of what time it had been. Oh yes, and I also mentioned the pick-up truck that had come up the driveway (it's a quarter mile!) and turned around in the front yard...
I was suffiently 'creeped' by this time. So after prayers when we all said good-night and the lights were out, I kept my snubbie in reach. I also did a little practice of how I could use my cellphone as a flashlight and shoot at the same time. I kept my finger off the trigger of course...
Not too long after going to bed and settling in with my door locked, I saw a flash. So, I sat up in bed and peeked out the window...sure enough, flashing police lights. I took the cardboard out of my window, grabbed my binoculars, propped up on the stone window sill, called my parents and gave them a play-by-play as I strained my eyes. (After all, I was looking through not just a dirty window, but a dirty screen with those binoculars--in the dark.) Must have been a car in the ditch--though I didn't really see any evidence of it when I poked out there this morning rotating the cows. (Speaking of which I still have at least two cows and a calf on this side of the fence. 'Bad Child'--so-called for her past fence breaking escapades--had her calf just moments before I came on her. She still had afterbirth hanging out her backside--I went in and got Granddaddy to come look--just in case she had a prolapse--and the calf hadn't gotten up yet. It was still wet.)
Anyway, I got back in bed around 12:15 this morning. If you can't guess, I kind of groggy today. I had a big day yesterday...
"A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
Shall not go astray.
No lion shall be there.
Nor shall any ravenous beast go upon it;
It shall not be found there.
But the redeemed shall walk there,
And the randomed of the LORD shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
~~ Isaiah 35:8-10
This is just beautiful. The believer has nothing to fear and everything to gain...
However, not fearing the world is hard--the fear of persecution, pain, suffering, even death--distresses us. I wish I had the faith displayed by Stonewall Jackson; but I don't. Sometimes I am frightened by the thought of such faith...I am a weak young woman and I don't like to streach myself a lot. On the other hand, to be able to face those who hate me, because I love the Lord, with bravery and confidence in my God is my upmost desire. There is but one place to turn for such courage...God Himself.
This is a topic I think on not too infrequently (though I certainly don't exclusively set my mind to it), because life is scary right now. Our whole way of life is being threatened. Our culture is deranged, our President is a radical communist, there is a lack of strong, steady men, and many of our churches are dead. That is frightening to a young woman not quite 21 who for years has looked forward to getting married and raising a family in peacefulness.
Something else also bothers me during this pre-election season. I would love for all Reformed Christians to be unified in their vote this year. However, as I have quickly found from reading the blogs of particular brothers in Christ, there are vast differences between many of the conservative Christians and I myself politically. I agree with them 100% on much of what they say, but I cannot accept that a Christian can only vote for a Christian. Follow my logic and correct it if I'm wrong...but if a Christian can only vote for a fellow Christian, then only a Christian government is legitamate. But Scripture itself does not say this (Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13-17). We are told to obey our Governments (render to Caesar what is Caesar's), with out denying God and His Law (render to God what is God's).
Here they would agree with me...but the application is different! I cannot quite understand how if a non-Christian government or ruler is legitamate, how they come to the conclusion that they cannot vote for a non-Christian (in the case in point, a member of the Morman cult.) We have a responsiblity to future generations and voting third party in this election is in effect a handing of the presidency back to Barak Obama--essentially transforming our Republic into a Tyranny. Tryanny breaks all the laws of God.
So how does voting Mitt Romney keep us from taking that step into Tryanny? He too, it is true, is a Socialist (though not a Communist like Obama). It is a delaying tactic. (I think in military terms since I was raised that way.) Look...it has taken us over 100 years to reach the state we are at now. It is going to take us some time to get out of the hole we are in (and I'm not talking ecomonically.) People that my aforementioned brothers would vote for will not be elected. We are still a two party system. (In my opinion, rather than try to come up witha third party, those in the third/fourth/whatever party who are conservatives, ought to be working within the Republican party, trying to reform that.)
These brothers would call me pragmatic--perhaps I am. But I cannot in good conscience 'throw my vote away' to use that expression. I am working to further the kingdom of my Father. I desire to live peacably with all men--so far as I am not required to break His Word. If it comes to that, I pray God to give me the strength and courage, aye, the faith to hold strong and fight. I will fight to protect those I love and the Truth. (It is times like these that I get that ever so slight nagging 'if only I had been born a boy'. Not that it would change much--I would still be frightened, though probably in a different fashion.)
Aim small, miss small...To God be the Glory!
I was working a word-search entitled 'At the Horse Show' and that was the last word I found before I put it down for the time-being.
An interesting word--Obedience. Not just for people training horses, who find out real fast that obedience is very necessary for a safe and non-stressful ride.
What is it? Obedience could be said to be doing what we are told. I would add to that, obedience is also a duty. Not just obedience to anybody or anything--but obedience to Right and Truth--ultimately obedience to GOD.
It isn't just the God-fearing who owe such obedience to God either. ALL MEN (men being mankind) OWE OBEDIENCE TO GOD. Why? Because HE is GOD. HE is CREATED all of us. HE ORDAINS ALL OF LIFE. HE is SOVEREIGN.
Now, as we all know, NONE of us can be obedient to the extent we may desire. (I don't know about you, but Christian though I am, I still sin knowingly...sometimes even purposely--it feels so good to blow up sometimes :[ ) So, what can we do?
We of ourselves can do NOTHING AT ALL! CHRIST FULFILLED THE LAW (the moral requirements as well as the copies and shadows of the ceremonial law) FOR HIS ELECT. When Christ died upon the cross, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS was IMPUTED to US and OUR FILTHY EVILNESS--our SIN--was IMPUTED to HIM!! Wonder of wonders--the third person of our AWESOME triune GOD died for US--we who did nothing to deserve it. HE DIED FOR US WHILE WE STILL HATED HIM HEART AND SOUL!! What more can I say--we OWE HIM OBEDIENCE. That's it. Even then, we must rely on HIM to GIVE that obedience to us!
Do you desire to live your life to the glory of God? I do. Do I? I don't know if I can answer that question. Certainly I do not live my life to the glory of God the extent I should. Does any of it bring glory to Him? I hope so.
Obedience...a duty...a gift.
Sola Deo Gloria!
I thought I would post another quote from A.W. Pink's The Sovereignty of God:
"The substitution of so-called "practical" preaching for the doctrinal exposition which it has supplanted is the root cause of many of the evil maladies which now afflict the church of God. The reason why there is so little depth, so little intellegence, so little grasp of the fundamental verites [truths] of Christianity, is because so few believers have been established in the faith through hearing the doctrines of grace expounded, and through their own personal study of them. While the soul is unestablished in the doctrine of the Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures--their full and verbal inspiration--there can be no firm foundation for faith to rest upon. While the soul is ignorant of the doctrine of Justification, there can be no real and intelligent assurance of its acceptance in the Beloved. While the soul is unacquainted with the teaching of the Word upon Sanctification, it is open to receive all the errors of Perfectionism or other wrong teachings. And so we might go on right through the entire range of Christian doctrine. It is ignorance of doctrine that has rendered the professing church helpless to cope with the rising tide of infidelity. It is ignorance of doctrine which is mainly responsible for thousands of professing Christians being captivated by the numerous false 'isms' of the day. It is because the time has now arrived when the bulk of our churches "will not endure sound doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:3) that they so readily receive false doctrines. Of course it is true that doctrine, like anything else in Scripture, may be studied from a merely cold intellectual viewpoint, and thus approached, doctrinal teaching and doctrinal study will leave the heart untouched, and will nautrally be "dry" and profitless. But doctrine properly received, doctrined studied with an exercised heart, will ever lead into a deeper knowledge of God and of the unsearchable riches of Christ."
I'd like to add, this is as true today (2012) as it was when Mr. Pink wrote it (1928). I can see exactly what he's talking about in the modern church. We must continue to pray for reformation!
I wanted to share with you all a small piece of A.W. Pink's book The Sovereignty of God.
"Each of the three Persons in the blessed Trinity is concerned with our salvation: with the Father is predestination; with the Son propitiation; with the Spirit regeneration. The Father chose us; the Son died for us; the Spirit quickens us....
The new birth is solely the work of God the Spirit and man has no part or lot in causing it. This from the very nature of the case. Birth altogether excludes the idea of any effort or work on the part of the one who is born. Personally we have no more to do with our spiritual birth than we do with our natural birth."
If that isn't humbling, I don't know what it. We have nothing to do with our salvation--yes believe, but that faith is itself a gift from Glori