Category Archives: Tribbett

Inspirational Videos

Here are two videos to move your heart toward gratitude–one for farmers and one for the Creator God who is the Farmer of Our Souls

Praise God for Jesus–“That’s My King” by Dr. S.M. Lockridge

 

Praise God for Farmers: “God Made the Farmer” by Paul Harvey

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I’m So Clever

“One of the difficulties about satire, and I’ll say this about myself in particular, is that it is so difficult to use without sounding arrogant. James Denny said ‘It is very hard to show that Christ is magnificent and that I am clever at the same time.’ That has been a very powerful word for me over the years.”  John Piper, “Should Christians Use Satire?”

 

Clever

(Photo Source)

Ten years ago, I read a piercing reflection entitled “The Scourge of Cleverness,” in which David Gundersen puts “cleverness” in the cross-hairs:

“One of the greatest maladies of the blogworld is the disease of clever-seeking.  I’ve seen it in myself and I’ve seen it in others, but it’s unhealthy no matter where it’s found.  What I’m talking about is the insatiable drive to say something witty and clever, something that catches people’s attention whether it’s balanced and helpful or one-sided and harmful, something that pricks people’s minds whether the syringe is full of medicine or poison.  There’s a lot of substance-less rhetoric out there, and those who produce such rhetoric seem to have the bottomless gift of making clever posts seem insightful and true even though they are often neither.  Or maybe they’re both, and the post (or comment) is still suffocated by its own wit.

It’s just hard to resist the urge to be clever.

…In the past I’ve sometimes realized that I’m writing paragraphs that are more flowery than they are true, sentences that are more clever than they are humble, and words that resonate with the flesh but erode true godly affections.  I’m not going to stop trying to encourage whoever comes here to read.  I know that my life is a vapor and that Christ is all, so I want to do the best I can to spur my brothers and sisters on to love and good deeds.  For me, one of the things this means is writing, and writing for a verdict.  But I always want the aim and the effect of my words (whether spoken or written) to be encouragement and exhortation instead of a worthless reputation for being clever.”

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Selections from the Storybox

Here are two blogs I’ve read this week and posts that are worth your time:

Tribute to Tim Keller: This was a fantastic tribute to Tim Keller written by one of his proteges. It’ll deepen your respect for Keller, and provide several insights into spiritual leadership.

Tattoos and the Paradox of PreachingWhat are the parallels between tattoos and preaching? Read this fascinating reflection to find out!

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You Are What You Love

James K.A. Smith, “You Are What You Love” (Seminar at 2016 NEXUS Conference, Christian Union)

I found this to be a thought-provoking seminar on the topic of discipleship and the spiritual transformation that comes as a result of loving and following Jesus.

Smith highlights the power of habit and the necessity of engaging God with our affections. Loving God with our minds is not enough–otherwise we are beings filled with intellectual knowledge who lack the depth that comes from enraptured affections. Affections compel us to apply knowledge and imitate the Object of our deepest longings. Smith’s thesis is that “Discipleship is the rehabituation of your loves,” which illustrates a biblical truth crucial to our spiritual reformation: that we become, or we reflect, what we worship (for more on this topic see G.K. Beale’s We Become What We Worship)–examples of this are seen in Psalm 115 and 2 Corinthians 3 (culminating in 3:18).

 

 

 

 

 

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Making Love Everyday

Lately, I’ve been reading John Wooden’s book, A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring, in which he highlights seven people who mentored him and rounds out the book with seven people whom he mentored.
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In the sweet chapter about his wife Nellie, he records the following conversation:

“I remember one evening, when we were still a young couple, Nellie looked at me very seriously and said, ‘John, I want us to make love every single day of our marriage. And I don’t mean that sexually–it can be a look or a touch or a kind word or an action. I mean that I want us to actually create love in our home each and every day of our lives.’ That was one of the simplest and most profound ideas I had ever heard. That’s exactly what Nellie sought to do, and I found that the love she created was a blessing to our family, and to other people as well…”  (John Wooden, A Game Plan for Life (New York: Bloomsbury, 2009), 99.

May our homes reflect everyday love-making!

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Engaging Children with the Gospel

I love David Platt’s vision for engaging our kids with the gospel message, and cultivating an environment influenced by the light of Christ.

Here’s a “catechism” for teaching your children about God and the good news of the gospel: http://www.sojournkids.com/northstar/

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Led by the Lord

A.W. Pink, “Cultivate the holy habit of seeing the hand of God in everything that happens to you.”

(from A.W. Pink, The Life of Elijah (East Peoria: Versa Press, 2011), 63.

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Free Audio Book: “The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert”

This month, Christian Audio is providing a free download of Rosaria Butterfield’s The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert, which is her memoir of encountering Christ in the midst of pursuing a distinguished career as a professor of English and Feminist studies. I enjoyed and benefited greatly from reading her testimony and some of the unrefined thoughts she experienced. The narrative is “real”, yet tactful and informative. I recommend it: The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert–Rosaria Butterfield (AUDIO)

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Believe the Word

And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
(Gen 15:4-6)

Have you ever wondered how faith comes into the hearts of men? It is by hearing (see Romans 10:17.)

This has always been the case and here in Genesis we see it clearly stated. Abraham believed the word of the Lord and this was what gave him righteousness.

It is still true today. In order for men to believe the Word must be preached.

Do not hold back the truth of Scripture for it is life, righteousness, and joy for all those who believe.

Take time to thank the Lord for the faith he brought forth by his Word in your own heart and then shout it from the mountaintop.

sola scriptura

(Our church is currently in a series on the 5 Solas. Right now we are studying Scripture Alone.)

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Working for the Lord

Most of us don’t live as though we’re working for Jesus.

Sure, in the back of our minds, we know that Jesus is our ultimate Employer; but that realization doesn’t often run through our thoughts. But when it does–when we recognize that Jesus is our Master and glorifying Him is our primary motivation, our work, regardless of what we do, becomes an act of worship.[1]

In Ephesians 6:5-7, the Apostle Paul tells us to work “with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ… Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”

In Colossians 3:22-24, Paul tells us to work “with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord… Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters… It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Let us learn to approach our work–all forms of it–as though we’re tangibly serving Jesus.

Praying with you that God will teach me, teach us, to work this way!

Grace & Peace,

Gabe

[1] Sebastian Treaeger & Greg Gilbert, The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus GIves Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013).

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Purified words, not flattering lips

To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith.
A Psalm of David.

Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.

Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,

those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”

The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.

You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us from this generation forever.

On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

 

Everyone lies. We’re all guilty and so are all those who are around us.

Except one. One doens’t lie. One doesn’t speak falsely. One promises and then always acts.

This one is the Lord, the God of all creation.

He is faithful and true and his words are pure.

Let us trust him and delight in his trustworthiness.

-joe

(Our church is currently in a series on the 5 Solas. Right now we are studying Scripture Alone.)

sola scriptura

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For our good

sola scriptura

Scripture is good.

All Scripture, even the hard parts.

It is good for our souls like a cool drink on a hot day.

It is nourishing our bodies like a hearty meal after a day’s work.

It is good for our minds like an exercise program that strengthens the body.

Each time we open the Word we are treated with nothing but goodness.

Let us thank God for the grace of His Word.

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good.” Deuteronomy 10:12-13, ESV

-joe

(Our church is currently in a series on the 5 Solas. Right now we are studying Scripture Alone.)

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Every Word of God

sola scripturaIt proves true.

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

That’s Proverbs 30:5 and how delightful it is to think about.

Not only is the Word of God true but it proves itself true. It ends true and shows its trueness. And then, the second half of the proverb gives us the result: God proves himself a shield. Take refuge in His Words and it is a shield of protection for us. We need not fear tyranny, terror, or anything fearful if we have run to the refuge of weary souls and found it in His Word.

He is a refuge.

He is true.

Be delighted.

-joe

(Our church is currently in a series on the 5 Solas. Right now we are studying Scripture Alone.)

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Likeness to Jesus

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

It is not great talents God blesses so much as likeness to Jesus.

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True, Kind, & Necessary

Tim Challies posted this on his blog the other day, and I thought it was worth sharing:

“On my flight home yesterday I read Iain Murray’s short biography of Amy Carmichael, and he quoted one of her little sayings: “Let nothing be said about anyone unless it passes through the three sieves: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” (These questions sound like they come right out of Ephesians 4:29 and a whole collection of Proverbs.)

I’d like to more consistently live by these, why don’t you consider joining me. Ready… Set… Go!

Let nothing be said about anyone unless it is:

TRUE

KIND

NECESSARY

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Jesus, the Exegesis of God

D.A. Carson on John 1:18: “No one has ever seen God… He has made Him known”:

“This Word-made-flesh, himself God, is nevertheless differentiable from God, and as such is intimate with God; as man, as God’s incarnate Self-expression, he has made God known.… From this Greek term [Gk: exegesato, “to make known”], we derive ‘exegesis’: we might almost say that Jesus is the exegesis of God. Elsewhere in the New Testament the verb means to ‘tell a narrative’ or ‘to narrate’ (Lk. 24:35; Acts 10:8; 15:12, 14; 21:19). In that sense we might say that Jesus is the narration of God. ‘As Jesus gives life and is life, raises the dead and is the resurrection, gives bread and is bread, speaks truth and is the truth, so as he speaks the word he is the Word.'”

D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (PNTC) (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1991), 135.

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Comprehending the Meaning Life

“Comprehension comes from God, from knowing and loving him, and those who are separated from his life cannot and will not understand the fundamental reason for living [cf. Romans 1:18-32].” (Thomas Schreiner, “Understanding Truth According to Paul” in Matthew S. Harmon and Jay E. Smith, Studies in the Pauline Epistles (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 262.)

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AudioBook: Everyone’s A Theologian

This month Christian Audio is offering a free audio download of R.C. Sproul’s Everyone’s A TheologianHis book is a basic systematic theology, which is an overview of Bible doctrine. While I haven’t read it, I highly recommend it based on other books by R.C. Sproul that I have read. Download Here!

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PROOF: The Power, Freedom, and Joy of God’s Amazing Grace

I appreciated this fresh articulation of the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace–from start to finish.

PROOF: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace by Daniel Montgomery & Timothy P. Jones (Zondervan, 2014).

P-Planned Grace: Before time began, God mapped out the plan of salvation from first to last. God planned to adopt particular people as his own children; Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for these people’s sins and as a substitute who satisfied God’s righteous requirements in their place (John 10:11-18; Ephesians 1:4-12).

R-Resurrecting Grace: Everyone is born spiritually dead. Left to ourselves, we will never choose God’s way. God enables people to respond freely to his grace by giving them spiritual life through the power of Christ’s resurrection (John 5:21; Ephesians 2:1-7).

O-Outrageous Grace: God chose people to be saved on the basis of his own sovereign will. He didn’t base his choice to give us grace on anything that we did or might do (John 15:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).

O-Overcoming Grace: God works in the lives of his chosen people to transform their rebellion into surrender so taht they freely repent and recognize Christ as the risen King (John 6:44, 65; Ephesians 2:4-10).

F-Forever Grace: God seals his people with his Holy Spirit so that they are preserved and persevere in faith until the final restoration of God’s kingdom on the earth (John 10:27-29; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).

*Excerpted from pp. 20-21.

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A Culture of Grace

Gospel truth produces gospel change. At least, it should. In the following article “Justification vs. Self-Justification”, Ray Ortlund, Jr. explains how doctrine shapes church culture–“grace-justification” should produce an atmosphere of grace and acceptance.

Highlights: We are justified by faith in Christ; He receives our punishment for sin and we receive His reward for righteousness. But, “self-justification is the deepest impulse of the human heart”. We intellectually embrace justification by faith, but functionally we live by self-justification.

We desire to save ourselves… We judge others who live by different standards… We compare ourselves to others (who are worse) in order to justify our sins… We fear man–insecurity, anxiety, etc… We manipulate and condemn… all for the sake of self-promotion and self-validation.

“The doctrine of grace-justification… builds… and protects a culture of grace-justification.”

Check out Ray’s article for further elaboration: Justification versus Self-Justification

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