Out of town ...

My wife and I, praise God, are getting out of town this weekend -- alone -- for some R&R. It's rare in the hustle and bustle of raising two kids and our careers that we get any time for the two of us, so I'm thankful God is allowing us the opportunity to be man and wife for 30 or so hours. Hey, it's not much but we'll take it.

So before I left town I thought I'd post some random items.



I'VE READ OSWALD Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest" regularly for nearly four years now, and it always amazes me how each year a new entry jumps out at me and really grabs hold. I'll come across an entry that bears the unmistakeable sign of Godly inspiration -- notes scribbled furiously in the margins and sentences underlined in whatever shade of ink was handy when God spoke. But, invariably, lightning rarely strikes twice. The next year, I might shrug at the same text and simply move on.

Conversely, I'll come across an entry that through the years bore no brunt of my pen yet speaks so powerfully and unexpectedly that it stirs something way down deep inside. The entry for October 18 did just that.

You can read it here, if you want. Or, instead, just chew on this statement: "The test of my love for Jesus is the practical one; all the rest is sentimental jargon." Whew!

What's so amazing is that God recognizes the place we occupy at any given time -- mentally, spiritually and emotionally -- and has something to offer us at each. The Word is truly alive.

AS AN ADDENDUM to yesterday's entry on how ahead of His time Jesus was in relating to women, I came across something on the opposite end of the religious spectrum.

To contrast what we know of Jesus' attitudes on women, here are some passages from the Koran, the Muslim holy book.

"Men are the protectors And maintainers of women, Because Allah has given The one more (strength) Than the other, and because They support them From their means. Therefore the righteous women Are devoutly obedient, and guard In (the husband’s) absence What Allah would have them guard. As to those women On whose part ye fear Disloyalty and ill-conduct, Admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); But if they return to obedience, Seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, Great (above you all)."

"The woman remarked: 'What is wrong with our common sense and with religion?' He (Muhammad, the Islamic messiah) observed: 'Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense.' ... The Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: 'Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?' The women said: 'Yes.' He said: 'This is because of the deficiency of her mind.'"

Oh, and the Koran also teaches that women ungrateful to their husbands can look forward to spending eternity in Hell and that Muslim men are allowed to have sex with their female servants.
DO YOURSELF a favor and pre-order this book. It's gonna be a good one.
MY FRIEND and co-worker Jim Hale writes a great weekly column called "Mountain Monergism." He has some great insights on Christian life. Check him out here.
UBER-THEOLOGIST John Piper had a great post the other day about people's reluctance to talk about their faith, insisting that, in the words of many a politician, "My faith is a private matter." I once interviewed John Edwards when he was running for vice president back in 2004, and that was his answer to a point-blank question about his religious views. He said he was a Christian but wouldn't go into specific details on just what he did or did not believe. What a wimp.
Have a great weekend and, while you're at it, pray for Chrysalis (for those who know what I'm talking about).
Grace and peace.