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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Contentment)

Contentment. It really is a biblical concept — to be thankful and grateful for what the Good Lord has given you. The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4- “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Contentment is a learned response! The question is: Am I allowing the Lord to educate me in the virtue of contentment?

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2020 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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On Becoming Seventy! A Few Reflections (Part 7 of 7) Y=YOUTHFULNESS!

Groundhogs’ Day. February 2nd. That’s my birthday! Now, I think that Groundhogs’ Day ought to be declared a national holiday. This furry creature comes out of its comfortable underground home to prognosticate about the next six weeks of weather — Surely that deserves to be honored as a national holiday!

But it’s also my birthday. My 70th birthday. TODAY! And we’ve been thinking about a couple of issues when it arrives.

We’re using the acronym SEVENTY as our guide. We’ve thought about the letter “S” (survival), the letter “E” (for engagement), the letter “V” (for victory), the letter “E” for (evangelism), the letter “N” (for newness), and the letter “T” (for trusting). Let’s conclude with the letter “Y” for YOUTHFULNESS!

That might be the last word you would come up with in considering my ancient birthday of SEVENTY! But the Bible has something to say about AGE. We read in Psalm 103:

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

That’s what I need — renewed, eagle’s youth! How does one get renewed, eagle’s youth? The Psalmist tells us:
1. It’s first of all by living a life of PRAISE! This practice of praise begins with self-talk! Have you told your soul lately to “praise the Lord” (v. 1)? Have you told your soul the same thing a second time (v. 2)?
2. Secondly, it’s reminding ourselves to REMEMBER! Don’t forget all His benefits (v. 2). Take the time today to list at least ten benefits you’ve received from knowing Christ Jesus as your Savior!
3.Thirdly, it’s reflecting on how you’ve been REDEEMED FROM THE PIT (v. 4).  It’s hard not to think of Joseph being tossed into a pit by his jealous brothers, isn’t it? Some pits are of our own construction; others are shoved under us by outside forces. But He, the Lord, majors in pit-rescues!
4.Fourthly, he CROWNS us with love and compassion (v. 4). Wow! Do you sense His love and compassion in your daily life? If not, get into the Word!
5.
Lastly, He SATISFIES your desires with good things (v. 5)! When the Rolling Stones sang, “I can’t get no satisfaction!” in 1965, they probably didn’t realize that their double negative was really saying, “I can get satisfaction”!  We can get our deepest satisfaction from God alone. And He recalibrates our desires so we want the good things He provides!

Thanks for reading these posts from a man who, by God’s grace, has reached his “threescore and ten”!

Pray with me? “Lord of My Years, please guide me and use me in the time remaining to me. I want renewed eagle’s youth, Father. Please give that to me! In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2020 in 70th birthday

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 104)

Psalm 104

Praise the Lord, my soul.screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-5-45-29-am

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2017 in creation

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 81)

Psalm 81

For the director of music. According to gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing for joy to God our strength;screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-18-38-am
    shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
Begin the music, strike the timbrel,
    play the melodious harp and lyre.

Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon,
    and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival;
this is a decree for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
When God went out against Egypt,
    he established it as a statute for Joseph.

I heard an unknown voice say:

I removed the burden from their shoulders;
    their hands were set free from the basket.
In your distress you called and I rescued you,
    I answered you out of a thundercloud;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—
    if you would only listen to me, Israel!
9 You shall have no foreign god among you;
    you shall not worship any god other than me.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

11 “But my people would not listen to me;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
    to follow their own devices.

13 “If my people would only listen to me,
    if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
    and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
    with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in burdens

 

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What is the “MORE” You Are Looking For? (A Geico Commercial)

 

It is true — we are always looking for MORE! The Prosperity gospel promises more to its adherents — more wealth, more success, more health. But isn’t it true that sometimes we serve God better with our wounds than with our wellness? Isn’t it the case that when we have less or little, we find our satisfaction in Him?

It is certainly appropriate that we long for MORE of the Lord, MORE justice in the world, MORE opportunities to share the gospel.

I guess it all depends on what the object of the MORE is?

Your comments?

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2016 in more

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! (Contentment)

Screenshot 2016-01-05 19.27.38

CONTENTMENT! The Bible says a lot about being content. For example, the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:2- “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Paul dogmatically declares in 1 Timothy 6:6 that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Then he says in 1 Timothy 6:8, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” The writer to the Hebrews commands, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5).  When our lives are marked by discontent, we are actually making a statement about the God of the universe.  We are saying that He is not enough, that His presence does not satisfy us.

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Posted by on August 9, 2016 in contentment

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 147)

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord.Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 7.47.38 AM

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
    and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
    his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
    but casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
    make music to our God on the harp.

He covers the sky with clouds;
    he supplies the earth with rain
    and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle
    and for the young ravens when they call.

10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the Lord delights in those who fear him,
    who put their hope in his unfailing love.Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 7.50.01 AM

12 Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
    praise your God, Zion.

13 He strengthens the bars of your gates
    and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
    and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.

15 He sends his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool
    and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
    Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
    he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.

19 He has revealed his word to Jacob,
    his laws and decrees to Israel.
20 He has done this for no other nation;
    they do not know his laws.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 107)

Psalm 107Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 6.22.18 AM

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.[a]

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
    to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,

Don't let your life EBB away!

Don’t let your life EBB away!

    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
1because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
    they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.

17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
    and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
    and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
    he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings
    and tell of his works with songs of joy.

23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
    they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
    his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
    that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
    in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
    they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea[b] were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
    and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
    and praise him in the council of the elders.

33 He turned rivers into a desert,
    flowing springs into thirsty ground,
34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,
    because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
35 He turned the desert into pools of water
    and the parched ground into flowing springs;
36 there he brought the hungry to live,
    and they founded a city where they could settle.
37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards
    that yielded a fruitful harvest;
38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
    and he did not let their herds diminish.

39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
    by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
40 he who pours contempt on nobles
    made them wander in a trackless waste.
41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
    and increased their families like flocks.
42 The upright see and rejoice,
    but all the wicked shut their mouths.

43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
    and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 90)

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 8.15.09 AM

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,

Isn't it amazing how much Moses looks like Charlton Heston?

Isn’t it amazing how much Moses looks like Charlton Heston?

    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
    Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
    your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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