Westminster Shorter Catechism #19

Question #19:

What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?

Answer:

All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden…After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:8, 24

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3

“All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’” Galatians 3:10

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” Matthew 25:41

Penguin Awareness Day, a little late

How did I miss Penguin Awareness Day? Apparently it was on January 20.

I saw this article and just had to repost…I simply LOVE the video clip at the end. I’ve seen it before — multiple times — but it continues to make me laugh. And laugh again. Only seconds long. Watch it.

Happy belated Penguin Awareness Day!

(So, now you’re aware.)

The downward drift

“One of the most striking evidences of sinful human nature lies in the universal propensity for downward drift. In other words, it takes thought, resolve, energy, and effort to bring about reform. In the grace of God, sometimes human beings display such virtues. But where such virtues are absent, the drift is invariably toward compromise, comfort, indiscipline, sliding disobedience, and decay that advances, sometimes at a crawl and sometimes at a gallop, across generations.

People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.

“This is the sort of situation Nehemiah faces toward the end of his leadership in Jerusalem.”

These words are from a devotional: For the Love of God by D.A. Carson.

Seems like some things never change. 446 B.C. Human nature remains human nature. But, by His grace, we do not have to continue in the downward drift.

Lord, raise up YOUR leaders. Open our eyes! Reveal to us our own hearts so that we might recognize delusion and compromise and turn from it.

Draw us back to You.

Glorious winter day

We had a glorious walk to church yesterday!

Westminster Shorter Catechism #18

Question 18:

Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?

Answer:

The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called Original Sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” Ephesians 2:1-3

“…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:19

More decline in Ukraine’s democracy ratings

May I ask you to seriously pray for Ukraine?

Really.

According to a recent report, Ukraine suffers the steepest decline in democracy of any major nation in the last two years. This is not good news.

To read the full report, click here.

Cousins

GRAMMY ALERT! (Fair warning…) GRAMMY ALERT!

Seriously.

This warms Grammy’s heart to see her grandsons playing together…also knowing that their Moms are also together!

I don’t think you could ever send me too many videos.

Thanks, Dasha, for shooting and sending the video. Thanks, Jeanne, for getting Milan over to Lydian’s place!

Lavish

Lavish. Defined as ‘expending or bestowing profusely; marked by excess’

That is the word used in Ephesians: ‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he LAVISHED on us with all wisdom and understanding.’

I am currently involved in an online/facebook/email Bible study through Good Morning Girls. (I know, I’ve mentioned this a couple of times this week already.) But what I didn’t know EARLIER is that we are encouraged to write on our blogs on WEDNESDAY to share what we’ve been learning. So you get to hear about this study one more time.

This is day 3 and we have read the first 10 verses of Chapter 1. Slow and steady. Meditating on the passages rather than hurrying through them to simply get THAT accomplished today.

Today the word LAVISH just kept turning over and over in my mind. I have more than enough grace for any given circumstance. So much so that it’s considered in excess! Wouldn’t you think that maybe I could extend some of that grace to others? Regularly?

I have less patience for those that I think should already have certain things together. We’re STILL working on THAT? Come on. Get with it.

I remember when my children were young that I would find myself saying the same things over and over and over. And wondering whether they would EVER get it. And then hearing a quiet Voice asking me just how many times HE had pointed out the same sin to me…over and over and over. Was He going to have to repeat Himself for years to come?

Ah, grace. So thankful for a heavenly Father who lavishes his grace on an undeserving sinner. Thankful for children who grew up to love Him and serve Him…despite my parenting.

Thankful for the reminder through this study that I need to continue to lavishly extend grace to those around me.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God…”

Love that word: LAVISH

Growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ukraine

“This is the region of the world — the only region of the world — where the AIDS epidemic is still growing,” says Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

He is urging the government in Ukraine to step up its efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The United Nations says Ukraine has Europe’s worst AIDS epidemic with 1.3 percent of the population above 15 infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

To read the full article, click here.

Ephesians


The study has officially started.

Our little group has a home on facebook, and we are getting to know each other as we begin to look at God’s Word together. We are welcoming others to join, so let me know if you’d like to walk through Ephesians with us. (Let me know here or on facebook.)

I am so thankful for a group of women who want to dig deeper into scripture…simply scripture. No bells and whistles. No big name video teacher.

Just each one of us, our Bibles, and God.

(Thank you to Good Morning Girls for organizing this study!)

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