Assorted Thoughts

Acts 26:24-29: Paul would be pleased with both confrontational evangelism that calls for immediate persuasion, and patient, relational evangelism thatis content with gradual, transitional persuasion.

If we say, “this good work demands that I be trained elsewhere, because the Bible isn’t profitable in this area”, we lie, and call into question an apostle of Christ: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching… that the man of God may be competent,equipped for every good work.” This is why I must stop reading literature where the author bloviates his own wisdom without any regard for or interaction with scripture. It makes me a sitting duck for ignorance, error, unrighteousness, demonic influence, incompetence, and pride. It renders me unfit for good works.

Grace and peace in the God who justifies that ungodly by faith (Romans 4:4-8), not by anything that reveals the absence of what it requires (3:19-30).

“God created computers for missions. He just happens to let the rest of the world use them.”

When I try to make up a song on my own, I am humbled by my inability to pull together something of greater richness and musical taste than the very songs I so often criticize as mediocre and thin. Be humbled Aaron. You are edified and excited and encouraged and lifted up in glory when you sing your church’s praise music. Oh, I still ache for more lyrical richness in song, but I am nevertheless humbled by this all. I am a vessel of mercy. I am weak. The very things I criticize as weak are the things God has designed to strengthen my feeble heart.

Marijuana as a pain reliever for those with terminal illnesses: “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.” –Proverbs 31:6-7

“I’m not like that.” “I don’t do things like him.” “That’s not just how God made me.” “That’s just part of my personality.” Lumping our character flaws into that morally neutral category called “personality” is a really cheap way to justify our sin.

“Just the effort to keep a thought in your head keeps the thought in your head.” -John Piper

Is it a coincidence that many writers who think they are least understood and most slandered are usually the ones who write least apologetically and speak most equivocally? Is it a coincidence that, of these, those who cry “foul” never in their cry clarify specific misunderstandings with lucidity?

Someday I hope to have the work ethic of my dad, Garry Shafovaloff, Outstanding Airman of the Year, 1980. He is one of the hardest working people I know.

Nick Nye once observed that our favorite living authors rarely have their faces egotistically plastered on the front of their books and web sites. For health & wealth and positive-esteem preachers, however, it’s a different story.