Sunday, June 12, 2011

This Blog is Moving

Thank you for stopping by! I will soon be deleting this blog, and have a new public blog (with all the articles that are here plus new stuff) up and ready for a visit from you. Check it out at myrashealy.blogspot.com. And if you have this blog linked on yours, please make the appropriate changes. Thanks, friends!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Where is God When Disaster Strikes?

A visiting pastor spoke in our evening service last night and gave some timely insight from Luke 13:1-3 to the question "where is God when disaster strikes?" In the aftermath of the devastating tsunami that hit Japan, many people are stopping to consider what has happened and why.

When Jesus was asked to help his disciples make sense out of a tragedy that killed many people, his response called them to do three things:
1. Consider their own mortality.
2. Consider their own accountability.
3. Consider their own eternity.

We live in an age where people are tempted to think that death is rare, but it is common and life is desperately temporary. We will all die. The Scriptures teach that after that all will face judgement. The disciples wrongly thought that those who suffered a tragic death did so because they were more sinful than those who escaped. That is wrong. Thankfully, though all die, not all will perish (spend eternity separated from God and suffering punishment for their sins). Christ came to die and secure for sinners a righteousness that will be accepted before God as perfect and sufficient for any who trust in Him. There is no hope for salvation in any other!

All this should cause us to live a life of continual repentance and gratefulness for the Gospel! We must never wander away from the daily importance of what Christ has done for us, but stay camped at the foot of the cross. That is where our hope lies. We must each day awake and preach the Gospel to ourselves, lest we become self-righteous and forget the gracious love of the Savior who gave his life for undeserving sinners like all of us. Nothing will kill your love for Christ quicker than your own self-righteousness. What do we have that He hasn't given us? O, how we need Him!

When we consider tragedies and disasters in the world side by side with our belief in the sovereign control of God, it should cause us to renew our rest in Him. Put away fear and anxiety! Your sovereign God is merciful and gracious. He is awake and on duty.

Psalm 46 is a wonderfully comforting passage to remind us that God is fully in control and reigning over our world. We can put our hearts at ease in Him.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and
thought the mountains should slip into the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam; thought its mountains quake at
its swelling pride...Come, behold the works of the Lord,
who has wrought desolations in the earth...
Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Praying for Japan

Yesterday we watched the aerial video images that were captured as the tsunami swept over Japan. The scenes of overwhelming destruction were horrifying and seemed surreal. We could see cars trying to outrun the oncoming waves behind them, only to be overtaken by another wave that came from a different direction. Real people were dying as the camera continued recording. It broke our hearts for the people of Japan. Finally, our 9 year old son said quietly, "I guess God wants everyone to know how powerful He is."

The devastation we witnessed made us pray for the people in Japan, that God would use this catastrophic event to bring many souls to salvation. Thousands have died, but for the people who have survived I am praying that their eyes will be opened to their great need for a Savior. The mighty God who can unleash an unstoppable wave of death is the same God who tenderly offered His only precious Son to die a hideous death on the cross, so that people in Japan can cry out to Him and be saved.

I found a fascinating passage in Ezekiel 33:11 this morning. It is a message of hope and comfort to anyone, but my thoughts are on the Japanese as I read these words of the Lord: "Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways!'"

There is a very moving prayer for the people of Japan by John Piper on the Desiring God blog this morning. Click here to read it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spurgeon on Election

"I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love."
- Spurgeon

(My 21 year old daughter says that when she gets to heaven she is going to hang out with Spurgeon and C.S. Lewis, and is constantly quoting both of them. The above quote is from a sermon on election that she was reading out loud to me yesterday.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cute Quote

Me, addressing my 5 year old: "Did you like Reepicheep?"

(We had just come out of the theater after watching the latest Chronicles of Narnia movie. Reepicheep is a large Narnian mouse, who is very skilled with his sword, and known for his bravery and adventurous spirit. )

My little boy: "Reepicheep is the boss!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What God Can Do

Today I was reading a new book that I picked up on Sunday called Gospel-Powered Parenting. The author, William P. Farley, shared a great quote from Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847) and was showing how it is possible for children to follow Christ in a world filled with sinful allurements.

"Christians overcome the world by seeing the beauty and excellence of Christ. They overcome the world by seeing something more attractive than the world: Christ, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3)... In the same way, Christian parents try to make Christ and his kingdom glorious. Their children conquer the lusts of this world with a higher passion: the moral beauty of Christ."

Farley's own testimony of raising his five children echoes the same idea. They put all their hope in the life-transforming power of the Gospel:


"We aimed all our arrows at our children's hearts, knowing that once their hearts were changed, the decisive battle was fought and won."

I have been watching this happen in my own family. Today, I took my four sweet daughters out for a special girls time together. We reserved a study room at the library, and spent a couple of hours just talking together, and sharing what God is teaching each of us. As I sat and listened to the conversation around the table, I was so moved by what God has done/is doing in their lives. I was struck by the amazing fact that God can do in their hearts what parents can only pray for as we teach, love them, rebuke, exhort, and encourage through our days together. He captures hearts and makes them love His Son, and embrace His wisdom and His ways. I am so grateful and filled with hope for what He will do with my-- well, with His children in the days ahead.

Monday, January 17, 2011

So Thankful That...

God is always the loving Father who runs with outstretched arms to welcome any wayward child who leaves the pig pen to come back home to Him.

Yes, I really love the story of the prodigal son and how it truly illustrates the heart of the Gospel.