Archive for Doctrines

Doctrines in the Kitchen

Posted in Friends, My Thoughts, Pondering with tags , , , on Friday, May 21, 2010 by Becky

As we were drinking another cup of coffee, I said ” I cannot explain you how much being a Reformed Christian has changed my whole life”

I grew up in a Christian environment, the type which never mentions words like, “religion, sin or hell, sacrament or Lord’s Day” However, it included many phrases like, “give and you will be blessed”, “You can do all things through Christ” – the context did not matter -, “You are more than conqueror”, “You are the child of the King” -i.e live like a princess!- Now I see behind and lower my head, and bless my Redeemer.

Yes my life has changed dramatically; doctrines reached me in the kitchen, in the dining room, in my bedroom, in my backyard. The Teachings (Doctrines) of the Word have changed my worldview.

“Sovereignty, for example, has changed me tremendously.” I kept saying to my friend, “Believing that God has chosen His own, and has called them to be His own changes more than my view of how God saves his people, it changes my attitude towards every single event that happens around me”

God is Sovereign. He is Sovereign when I do not understand why winters last so much, or when I see pretty and beauty all around me. God is Sovereign when I sit or when I walk. He is Sovereign.

Doctrines should change us, the body of teachings in the Bible must change us and make us more godly; if not we are in danger, we are only puffing up.

Grace meets me every day, and what I believe I must live.

The “T” in T.U.L.I.P changed me; Total Depravity still changes me; I am the daughter of a King, yes indeed! but I am much more than that, I am His. I am hidden in Him, I do not deserve being where I am, I need a Saviour but I also need a Sanctifier. I am lost without Him. Sin is real, my fights are real, but I am His!

The Five points of Calvinism, the Five Solas of the Reformation, words like Monergism or Theology would not avail much if they would not reach me in the kitchen, in how and why I cook for my family, in my marriage bed, in my conversation with my friends, in my daily life.

The Bruised Reed -Chapters 10 and 11-

Posted in My Thoughts, Read This with tags , on Thursday, May 20, 2010 by Becky

We are reading this great classic together at Challies. It has proved to be a great experience to read along with others who are also sharing what they have been learning. You can visit their places and read what they have to say today. (Lisa, Paul, and Deek)

10. Quench Not the Spirit

I n this chapter I clearly see two main streams:

1. Hell awaits for those who oppose grace.

2. The precious doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Sibbes doesn’t write too much about the first point, but he starts this chapter mentioning it clearly and firmly. However, he, as a great physician of the Christian soul, deals more with the second one, the Perseverance of the Saints.

I love this doctrine. I love it because it is always a good reminder that because of Christ’s death and resurrection I am saved and I am indeed, journeying home. He will not let me go astray.

He mentions four “means whereby Christ preserves grace”:

1. Holy communion; fellowship with other saints.

2 Much more communion with God in holy duties, such as meditation and prayer, which not only kindles but adds a lustre to the soul.

3. The preached Word, on Sibbes’ words: “We feel by experience the breath of the Spirit to go along with the breath of his ministers…as acoal that has fire in it will quickly gather more fire to it. Smoking flax will easily take fire.”

4.Grace is strengthen by the exercise of it (I Tim.4:7) . And again using the author’s words: “Stir up grace that is in you, for in this way holy motions turn to resolutions, resolutions to practice, and practice to a prepared readiness to every good work.”

It touched my heart, and the fire grew in me as I was reminded that even though I need to actually do something, that is exercise myself in this grace, “it is not by virtue of the exercise itself, but as Christ by his Spirit flows into the soul and brings us nearer to himself, the fountain, so instilling such comfort that the heart is further enlarged”

Sibbes closes this chapter encouraging us to love and be merciful with the saints around us, to not “mistreat the heirs of mercy”. and this is a thread that can be traced so far in every chapter of the book. Be merciful with the weak! He reached me, why I won’t reach them? and again, I cannot but think in my role as a Mom.

11. Christ Judgment and Victory

S ibbes deals in this chapter with the doctrine of Justification.

Jesus Christ saved us  and took us out of darkness into his formidable light and from the moment He saved us, he abolished our sins and guilt, and started in us the process of Sanctification. “Pardon leads to obedience” and this we must keep in our hearts as we walk under His sun every day.

Sibbes says:

“He is our Sanctifier as well as our Saviour”

And then he proceeds to enlist thing that we {I}  need to remember:

1. Christ is our Priest, our Mediator, “He has right to govern us; thence it is that He gives us his Spirit as our guide to lead us home”

2. If we are in a state of grace, let us remember that if we sin we can come to Christ’s mercy to find forgiveness, knowing that He has given us the promise of His Spirit to pardon us.

3. “The constrain that he lays upon his subjects is that of Love”.

So here I am on a new day no one has ever lived before, and I am ready to walk through it, because I know that my Redeemer lives, and He holds me with cords of love and He sustains me, and He will lead my steps as I am On My Way to Heaven.

My comments on chapters 8 and 9 here.

Waiting in the Secret

Posted in Easter, Lenten Season with tags , on Saturday, April 3, 2010 by Becky

“When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.”               Mt 27:57-58

The disciples were hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews (John 20: 19)… because an empty cross, without an empty grave is hopeless, is futile.(I Corinthians 15: 17)

” Christianity hinges not only on the empty cross but also on an empty tomb…only the resurrection transforms the cross from a symbol of despair to a symbol of hope”

Warnock, Raised With Christ, How the Resurrection Changes Everything.

Artist: Rembrandt, The Descent From the Cross, found here.

A great Hymn, The Power of the Cross, at Jael’s Tent.

For the little ones, God’s wonderful Surprise, at Girl Talk.

For all the family, a great read aloud, The Prince’s Poison Cup, by R.C Sproul, to listen as a broadcast click here, to buy the book, click here.

A Cross where the Christmas Tree was

Posted in Lenten Season with tags , , on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 by Becky

In the same place where we had our Christmas Tree, we now have the cross with art images . Jesus was born to die. He was born as a baby to grow and die; to atone for the sins of many.

Reminders, places to stop and look at. Times to set apart and meditate and think of what the cross really means.

Where I am today has to do with the cross;  if I have been saved by God’s grace, then it is because of God’s Son on the cross bearing my guilt, my death; if I am still living in sin, it is in the cross where I see clearly what God thinks of sin, and how He punishes it with a fierce wrath.

The cross should make us think of the glorious life that we now have and at the same time of the horrors of sin.

Sin, a word, not so used lately, even among Evangelicals, (I hear them only talk about the “promises they must claim”, and the “joy of the Lord”), was  nailed on the cross, because of Jesus’ sacrifice  now I am free from the bondage of sin, but I am also in a daily battle… What am I doing to fight against that sin that still wants to have dominion over me?

I must fix my eyes upon Jesus, and not forget the cross.

A beautiful lesson of repentance by Elise.

Dianne, shared this beautiful images.

This coming Friday, my dear friend Eileen, will be sharing with us, The Love of Reading…join us, and share your thoughts with us.

Getting Even Closer

Posted in Lenten Season, My Thoughts, Read This with tags , on Thursday, March 18, 2010 by Becky

“Obedience always involves death. And death always produces the life that glorifies God”

“The cross reminds us that Christianity is about God, not us. The cross reveals a radical orientation, unknown to fallen humanity. We understand by fixing “our eyes on Jesus, the author and oerfector of our faith” (Heb 12:12)”

William P. Farley, Outrageous Mercy.


Taking a Closer Look

Posted in Lenten Season, Pondering with tags , , on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by Becky

This is the picture of  a peach tree branch that gives such beautiful flowers. Flowers full of color, full of life, promising  fruit. We walk by this tree everyday, it is in our backyard, but to see the real beauty, I must stop and take a closer look. And I am amazed.

So, it is this time of Lent in our home, it is a time to stop and gaze at the cross, the doctrines, the beautiful mysteries behind the beautiful word “Atonement” , it is a time to see ourselves, the only way we should do so: “through God’s eyes, comparing ourselves to the whiteness of his moral purity” (William P. Farley, Outrageous Mercy)

That is what we do, we stop and take a closer look…We preach the cross, we live by the cross, we die to ourselves because of the cross, but during this time we just have to stop and gaze and be amazed. We must stop and  take a closer look to be able to see the fullness, the beauty, the glory, the wrath of God over sin and His perfect love, kissing each other, finding each other in Jesus, on the cross, atoning for my sins.

“Because grace cannot amaze until we feel the judgment we deserve” William P. Farley, Outrageous Mercy, p.51

It is when I come to the cross, that I remember that there is nothing I can do to save myself. It is all grace, all unmerited favor, all by faith.

“Then why did Christ died for us? That is the great question for which no satisfactory answers exists- except God’s overflowing love, goodwil, and all- consumig passion for the happiness of his undeserving creatures” (William P. Farley, Outrageous Mercy, p. 69)

Let’s stop and gaze at the cross, and be transformed by it, let us take a closer look to be able to see the Outrageous Mercy hanging on it.


Lessons From a Lost Book and a Cable

Posted in My Thoughts, Pondering with tags , , on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 by Becky

Fighting against a cycle that wants to rule my life is always tough; and today I found myself again in the battlefield.

No, it wasn’t a major thing. It was a battle for a lost book (of mine) and one of my computer’s cables. It is a shame. It is a shame because I found myself  still choosing to go into those kind of battles, all geared up, with words as swords and unmerciful eyes. Battles that are not to be fought against my children, but against my own flesh.

And then, it was late at night, when the sun was not shining, that I pondered over my bed… and again, doctrine was not only something found in the “big books”, it was right there in my heart: the mortification of the flesh, of this sinful body is not a word only for theologians; it is for me, a redeemed child of God, on her daily journey to heaven.

Fighting, battling against the flesh, that is the battle I should embrace. That is where I have His precious promises to conquer. It is in those battles that the Holy Spirit works within me and beside me. Those battles, are the ones that must be fought.

My children need a loving mom fighting in the Spirit while kissing them goodnight. They need a mom fighting the right battles in the prayer closet, not in the kitchen.

Now it is night, and morning will soon come, and the sun will sure shine; He has promised so, and I will again remember the doctrine, the Word, the battles  which I need to fight.  And He will be my side; He has also promised so.

That is a gift to unwrap.

And the book and the cable?
Still lost, but I am sure we will soon find them;
right now that is not a battle which I want to fight anymore.


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