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January 10, 2012

Grieving, Hope and SolaceIs it bad form to review a book I was involved in publishing? Perhaps so. Either way, I intend to do just that this morning. Many months ago I read a draft of Grieving, Hope, and Solace by Albert Martin, a book that was subsequently published by Cruciform Press (of which I am a co-founder). It wasn’t until this weekend that I thought to read the final product that had emerged after the editing process. I was so blessed by this little book that I just had to let you know about it.

Grieving, Hope, and Solace, as you probably surmised from the title, is a book about death. More particularly, it is a book about Christians and death. The book arose from a question Albert Martin grappled with following the death of  Marilyn, his wife of 48 years: “Although in many ways she had been taken from me incrementally during her battle with that wretched disease, the reality of the finality of death and the radical separation it effects swept over me. A few moments later, as I picked up her lifeless body, I found myself asking the question—What precisely has just happened to Marilyn? What has she experienced, and what is she experiencing now? Immediately I knew that if I would grieve as I ought, I had to be able to answer that question out of the Scriptures with absolute certainty.” 

He knew that one whole chapter of his life had closed and that the Lord was now calling him to something new. Whatever that new thing was, he wanted to glorify God in it. “I felt very keenly the pressure of 1 Corinthians 10:31, ‘So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do [including grieving the loss of a godly wife], do all to the glory of God.’” Even in his grief he wanted to honor the Lord.

As a lifelong preacher he set himself to the task of preparing sermons that would search out and explain what the Bible teaches about death, about what his wife was experiencing and about how he was to react in his grief. The sermons formed the basis for this book, though I am glad to say that it does not read like a sermon series. It is, in fact, a wonderful little book that is packed full of hope and faith and gospel.

October 18, 2006

Wednesday October 18, 2006

Du Jour: Mark Dever shares some wise and humble words about pride as impatience. Impatience “is a disguise for the sin of pride, the ugliest of all sins, and the most direct rejection of God’s authority and of a humble joy in His provision for me in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Music: Here’s one for all the U2 fans. “Bono, the rock star and campaigner against Third World debt, is asking the Irish government to contribute more to Africa. At the same time, he’s reducing tax payments that could help fund that aid.”

Humor? Old Truth pictures the absurd, taking issue with those (he?) who believes that Calvinists are worse than Muslims.

Beauty: GirlTalk discusses distorted beauty (complete with an interesting video).

June 30, 2004

Yesterday I woke up feeling rather depressed. The previous evening I had sat in front of the television and watched Canada elect their fourth consecutive Liberal government. Despite years of gross negligence, waste and scandal Canadians showed their complacency, deciding that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. The polls leading to the election had suggested a neck-in-neck race, but by the time all was said and done, the Liberals took 135 seats to the Conservatives’ 99.

Now I was under no illusion that the Conservatives were going to step in and suddenly transform this nation into a godly country. However, I saw them as the group that might just help us take a step back to more traditional values. Their interpretation of the word “family” was much more inline with Scripture as was their view on abortion. And beyond that, at least we would be punishing the Liberals for their endless lies and scandals. But it was not to be. Canadians rejected even a moderate return to Biblical values. It was proof that Canadian standards of morals are irreversibly corrupt.

As I considered my frustration with Canada I came to realize that my frustration was caused by me! I had somehow allowed my mind to believe that perhaps, just perhaps if the slightly-less-morally-bankrupt party was elected it would mean that Canada would become a more Christian nation. If only we could stop our slide into the moral morass, Canada could become the Christian country we all dream of.

But that isn’t how God works, is it? Some place their trust in horses, some in chariots and some in governments, I suppose, but God places His trust in His church. God has ordained that it is His church that will be the power of change in this evil world. As nations continue to slide into greater and greater evil, it is the church that needs to be the light in the world. So while the darkness around the church increases, the light flowing from the church needs to increase proportionately.

The Bible tells me to “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:17) and I will do so, albeit with some reluctance. While I despise Emperor Martin’s stance on so many important issues, I will continue to honor him as one God has placed in authority over me. I know that God is in control of Canada and it fit into His plan for this nation to have this Liberal government elected. While I am free to dislike (or even hate) the policies of the government, I have no right to hate what a Sovereign God has decreed.

And through it all, I can remain hopeful that this government will not last long. The average minority government lasts less than a year and a half before it loses confidence and is forced to call a new election. Perhaps next time around Canadians will be willing to take a stand against further disintegration of Christian morals. And if not, I will not allow myself to get depressed over it. God is in control now and He will be then.