Quote of the Weekend and Thanksgiving (Day 12)

“Every picture tells a story and every person has a story. But there is one Person whose story stands apart from all others and that story is God’s, recorded for us in the Bible. God’s story tells us that He created, what He created in the first place, why He created man and what man’s supposed to do, why there’s so much trouble on the earth, and where history is heading.” – Better than the Beginning by Richard Barcellos

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday Thoughts: Repetition

repetition

Courtesy of Bing.

 

This should probably be titled Wednesday Thoughts, since it was inspired more by our Wednesday night lessons on the Trinity, but since it’s inspired by preaching, I’ll just leave it Sunday Thoughts.

My husband has been preaching on the Trinity for about two years now, or about 71 lessons. He just finished up. What a challenging blessing this journey had been for our congregation. We’ve covered the basics of the doctrine, its historical development, the heresies surrounding it, and the theology of it. You can listen to all it on his blog, Rod of Iron.

I’ve had an interesting journey as I’ve listened to the preaching on the Trinity. I started out treating the doctrine as something I couldn’t understand and thus was exempt from understanding. Halfway through, I was terrified I was constantly thinking of God in error. Now, I am aware of how much I don’t understand, feel like I have a grasp on some things, and am more thankful than ever for the gift God gives us in our Pastors and Teachers.

One of the books I’m reading right now is By Common Confession, essays in honor of James M. Renihan, edited by Ronald S. Baines, Richard C. Barcellos, and James P. Butler. In it, there is an essay by Stefan T. Lindblad on the Eternal Generation of the Son. This was the first essay in the book that was way over my head. The language and subject matter are far above my normal reading level. And yet, due to the diligent preaching of the word by faithful men, I followed for more of the essay than I would have otherwise.

This led me to have a greater respect for repetition. You know that bit of review a pastor does at the start of every sermon in the series? You know that sermon almost exactly like the one he preached before his break? You know, that part at the beginning where you only half listen cause you just heard this last week?

That part.

I always viewed that part as necessary for people who weren’t here last Wednesday/Sunday. (Sounds so prideful doesn’t it?) I often encouraged my husband to not do so much review. I thought if he stopped reviewing so much, he could finish the series faster. And we’ve all heard it before. Thankfully, he didn’t really take my advice. The concepts, truths, and theology he was teaching are hard to understand, hard to hold onto, hard to processes. We want to skip it, so we don’t have to wrestle with it.

Over and over, on Wednesday nights, he repeated the same things about the Trinity. Over and over, we sat and listened. Things got deeper, bigger, broader, and my view on review started to change. From one Wednesday night to the next, I eagerly awaited the review because I knew I wasn’t holding onto all that had been taught last week. I needed to refit it all in my brain. Then I’d go home, meditate, worry I wasn’t thinking through it right, and be ready for the repetitive review by the next Wednesday night.

Repetition became one of the biggest aids in a difficult and often misunderstood or abandoned doctrine. It familiarizes us with the terms, re-aligns our thinking, and helps us gather up what we’d forgotten. Repetition gave me hooks to hang thoughts on allowing me to sort of follow an article about the Trinity written far above my normal reading level. Repetition is helpful.

This is why we never get tired of hearing the Gospel. I’ve been in church my whole life, was saved at a young age, and still, I come to church each week hungry for the gospel. I’ve sinned, fallen short, and I need to hear of grace again.

So, this is a remainder to me, and hopefully and encouragement to you, don’t check out when the Pastor is going over, yet again, the same thing he went over last week, and the same thing he’ll go over next week. It’s for our good. Listen.

 

Quote of the Weekend

“Christian take heed what books you read, if you would have a sound and steadfast ground of hope, peace, and comfort, nay not only have the joy of God’s salvation, but salvation itself.” – A quote from the Marrow of True Justification by Benjamin Keach found in By Common Confession edited by Ronald S. Baines, Richard C. Barcellos, and James P. Butler

(Sound doctrine is so important!)

Theology and The Black Company

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1781912688/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1781912688&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=ADPC75NCK7P7QCWV

The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace: More Than a Memory
By Richard C. Barcellos

In this book you will find a comprehensive study of the Lord’s Supper as a means of grace and encouragement to view it with a past, present, and future perspective. (Though I tend to want to yell “The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future” every time I think about this. My problem, not yours.)
While this book was a fairly quick read, I think large portions of it went over my head especially in the middle. Even with that it was a valuable and encouraging read. I have felt convicted for a while now about my lack of understanding of the Lord’s Supper and the practical chapters at the end were very helpful to me. I plan on re-reading this book again in the future and recommend it even for the layman. If you are struggling to understand the Lord’s Supper, or the means of grace, you need to add this to your list.

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812521390/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0812521390&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=KD5OMJAKY7MELTN6

The Black Company

By Glen Cook

I’ve read this book twice and absolutely loved it both times. I love the writing style, though you should be warned, it takes some getting used to. I tend to get into an author’s cadence pretty quickly, but even the second time through, it took me almost half the book to feel in the flow. Cook writes with a very clipped vocabulary which does turn some people off of the story.
The Black Company is basically a military book in a fantasy setting. It’s gritty, bloody, rough, ragged, and wonderful all at the same time. The characters are fun and interesting. The world is well developed. I really enjoyed this story. I loved seeing the hardened men softened by a little girl. I love how the mercenaries try to find the lines of right and wrong. I love how Cook breaks so many of the fantasy rules, even rules I love, to make a very down to earth story.
I think this is one of my favorites in the fantasy genre. I would put it next to Starship Troopers as far as military fantasy goes.
Rated R: war, adult situations, language

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812533720/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0812533720&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=6PVCZNDXMOBQLDI4

Shadows Linger

By Glen Cook

This is one of those books I read in one day… granted I was sick and had nothing better to do. Cook’s voice seemed to change quite a bit from book 1 to book 2. All the force of the story was there, but the clipped nature of his writing seems to have mellowed. Many who struggled through book 1 will enjoy book 2 more.
I really like how the pace didn’t slow down from one book to the next even though the events are very different.
I spent most of the book screaming about Raven and his lack of life or death. He’s my favorite character.
Ultimately this is a redemption story and I enjoy that element of it quite a bit. It wasn’t a “Christian” redemption, but a very human redemption which I always view as a shadow of what God did even when an unbeliever expresses it. Even they can’t escape this beautiful element of story telling. I really enjoyed the villain in this story. It was very creepy and unique. (I’m being vague for spoilers sake.) And I enjoyed the violent, redemptive, resentful end as well, though I was sad for all that happened to the Black Company.
I did feel like this book was a bit earthier than the last one, still very good.

Last, the cover is just so bad. They really really need to re-design it. Please don’t judge this book by it’s horrible cover art.
Rated R: violence, language, earthiness.

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0875525687/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0875525687&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=IRMDZOIK3NG55NLC

Living in the Hope of Glory: A New Translation of a Spiritual Classic
By Adolph Monod

I think out of all the books I’ve read this year, this one is my favorite. Mike Gaydosh over at Solid Ground Publishing suggested it at our church’s conference this fall and I knew I wanted to read it right away. It is a collection of sermons preached by Monod a few months before he passed away. Every Sunday as he lay dying he would have a handful of fellow Christians over and they would enjoy the Lord’s Supper together and he would preach a small sermon. What a blessing to get to see this dear brother’s heart only months before he met the Lord. What riches and truth we can share in due to the hard work of the translator.
I was blessed over and over again by this brother who has gone before me. His perspective on life was convicting. His thoughts on affliction were so encouraging, and his last sermon on God’s love brought tears to my eyes as I thought of it being the last sermon he preached.
I can’t put into words how thankful I am for this book. It’s going to be hard not to just start it right over again. If you are looking for something to feed your soul and compliment what your pastors preach on Sunday, this is my suggestion. Read this book!

(If you click on the links, it will take you to Amazon where you can purchase the book. Bonus! I get a tiny kickback. 🙂 Thank you!)