Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God

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Read a book the last couple of days called, 'The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God' (D A Carson). I disagreed with most of it. The book spoke about finding the balance between God's love, and God's sovereignty and God's wrath. It then went on to talk about the doctrine of election and how God has a special love for those he has elected.

Here's a thought I had. A Calvanist has to work hard to make sure we don't see God as 'too' loving. Why? If we see God as a God of love, unconditional love, and a God who never separates us from that love (Rom 8), then would such a God elect some for salvation and others not? Would such a loving God elect some people to go to hell? Or rather, to spend eternity without the presence of God? The Calvinist therefore cannot hold to such a high view of God being a loving Deity, because it really does not make sense to then say he predestines some for eternal wrath. That's not a loving God. Though, when we truly believe God IS a God of love, we understand the Arminian position a little better, and know God gives opportunity to respond by faith to the redemptive power of Christ. This fits better, because someone that loves us, invites us to love them back, and doesn't 'elect' us into that love, but allows us to choose whether to enter that love.

If you're standing at the bookshop wondering whether to buy, 'The difficult doctrine of the love of God', remember to chew over what you read. You just might find a few lumps not worth swallowing.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stress less, you're blessed right?

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I just read a 'tweet' that says we're too blessed to be stressed. There's too much to be thankful for in life, as opposed to living out life with six cups of coffee and a negative, tired attitude all the time. One thing I've been learning over this past year, in relation to stress and tiredness is this...

* Set your boundaries.
So many of us become stressed and ARE stressed because we fail to create effective boundaries in our lives. In essence, some of this stress we feel is actually avoidable and is really our own fault. Let me give you some examples of setting boundaries in your life to avoid stress and all the responses that this creates.

1. Choosing a Sabbath day of rest. Contrary to what some Christians might argue about having to work and work and work until your crash, I believe the New Testament quite clearly encourages us to have a day or rest, a time of Sabbath. Check out Hebrews Chapter 4 for instance. Anyway, avoiding this discussion... the point is, if you choose to make a day your day off, then guard it, and keep it. Don't book meetings, say 'no' when you have to, etc, etc.

2. If you wish to not work at nights, or have the morning off, because you're working til 10pm at night, then simpy say 'no' to the other expectations. People may want to meet with you, or expect you to be somewhere, or expect you to do something for them, but I'm saying, if it's not really important, then reschedule it to a later date.

3. Have message bank on your phone. If you are resting, people can leave a message, and you can get back to them.

4. Prioritize expectations better. Ever wondered why you can get some much work done, one day before Holidays? All of sudden you know how to prioritize your work expectations. Can you delegate something? Work more efficiently? Spend less time writing that email? Spend less time on that phone babbling? Get URGENT and IMPORTANT work done first...

So, what am I saying? I'm saying that stress can be caused from a lack of rest and a lack of prioritizing tasks.

Stress less. Your blessed right? If Jesus is your Saviour, then live life to the max, in the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray God will guide you through any time you might be feeling stressed or tired.

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