Election is a dangerougs & demoralizing doctrine?

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.” 1 Peter 1:1-2

“In this, Peter refutes the greatest objection Arminians have about the doctrine of election. “If election is true, men can live as they please,” Arminians say. “Therefore election is a dangerous and demoralizing doctrine. If people glean their assurance in anyway from election, their holy walk with God will be compromised.”  Peter replies that the very purpose of election it to make men holy. God’s election does not destroy moral effort; rather, as Spurgeon notes: “God’s choice makes chosen men choice men.” And Thomas Watson says, “Sanctification is the earmark of Christ’s sheep.”

God wants to make His elect holy, for He has predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Sin. No one can then say, “I am elect therefore, I not need to be Christlike.” Rather, as Peter implies, a believer should say, “Because I am elect, I cannot avoid being Christlike.” God’s elect cannot be at peace living in sin; they cannot live under sin’s domination (Romans 6:11-14) or live counter to Christ and His will. If we are elect, God has committed all the fullness and glory of His resources to make us like His son. As surely as God has determined to save the elect from eternity past and provided the cross of Calvary as the means of that salvation, so He has determined that the effects of that salvation will be holiness, even into eternity.”

– Joel Beeke, Living For God’s Glory:An Introduction to Calvinism pg 65

The most comforting attribute of God

“There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of his own hands—the throne of God, and his right to sit upon that throne … for it is God upon the throne whom we trust.”

-C.H. Spurgeon

June Status Report

We’ve been quite busy! I haven’t forgotten about my “why I believe what I do …” blog series — in fact I have quite a few drafts waiting to be finished for it. But, they’ll just have to keep waiting because like someone recently said “blogging isn’t a have to but a get to.” :) I’m thankful to be quite busy at home!

Outside my window…  we have some plants taking off in our tiny little garden! Very exciting. If only the plants would grow as fast as our grass ;)

I am thinking… about grace-based-parenting and how much more grace my parenting needs.

I am thankful… for so many things! God has sustained me and our son through this pregnancy. Access to fast and affordable health care through out this pregnancies. Sisters that are so excited to care for and meet their baby brother. A loving husband that supports me in more ways than I ever dreamed. Family, near and far!

In the kitchen… I am planning to try this recipe for english muffin bread.

I am wearing… painting clothes.

I am creating… Fathers Day gifts with the children :) Also working on a cross-stitch.

I am going… no where. I’ve been trying to stay home as much as possible as I wait for the little man to arrive :)

I am wondering… what my labor will be like. What little Titus will look like. What will his sister say when they meet him? What will Josh think of the birthing process.

I am reading… I just finished Stepping Heavenward and loved it. Emma has taken on to read it now :) I’ve just started Living For God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism and it is excellent so far. Also, I’m reading According To The Plan with the Desiring Virtue Book Club. And in Scripture I’m close to finishing up Acts and can I just say wow! What an amazing book this is. I’ve had a hard time restraining myself to five chapters a day.

I am hoping… for a safe birth. Successful breastfeeding.

I am looking forward to… meeting my son.

I am learning … to trust in Christ and run to him for the smallest things. That starting my day out with prayer and Bible reading really does make a world of difference. That even if it didn’t make a difference I should still do it :)

Around the house… we are busy preparing for the little man to arrive! It’s such an exciting and joyous time. We’ve been arranging rooms, washing tiny little clothes and so much more.

I am listening to … Give Them Grace on audiobook.

A favorite quote for today … “The Calvinist is the man who sees God: God in nature, God in history, God in grace. Everywhere he sees God in His mighty stepping, everywhere he feels the working of His mighty arm, the throbbing of His mighty heart. The Calvinist is the man who sees God behind all phenomena and in all that occurs recognizes the hand of God, working out His will. The Calvinist makes the attitude of the soul in prayer its permanent attitude in all its life activities; he casts himself on the grace of God alone, excluding every trace of dependence on self from the whole work of his salvation.” -BB Warfield as quoted in Living For God’s Glory pg 41

One of my favorite things… the sound of laughing children :)

In Christ,

Thankful Thursday: 37 weeks

Today is an exciting day. Today Titus is 37 weeks old, which is considered full-term in the medical world! Praise God for sustaining us through out this pregnancy! We have reached the point where if I went into labor all systems would be go. It’s kind of like the first finish line of pregnancy — but certainly not the only finish line! I continue to pray the Lord would be with Titus, my husband, myself, our doctors, and the hospital staff during the labor and delivery of our sweet son!

I bless God for giving us the gift of life in our family.

I thank God for a safe and healthy pregnancy.

I thank God for the prayers of my church, my sisters and brothers through out the world for Titus and myself.

I thank God for the kindness of our friends and family that we have had to buy practically nothing for baby Titus.

I bless God for the sweet daughters He has given us and all the excitement they have for their baby brother and their anxiousness to help and serve him.

I thank God for a husband that loves life, is open to life, who recognizes that God alone gives life, who has been so excited and loving … and will continue to be so :)

I know that it is only the hand of the Lord that has brought us through this pregnancy thus far. I’m so thankful he choose to give my husband and I another sweet, little soul to care for and pray for.

In Christ,

According To The Plan: Chapter 3

Photo From Desiring Virtue

I’m reading through According To The Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God In The Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy with the Desiring Virtue Book Club. Unfortunately, most weeks I cannot participate in the group discussion because it is schedule at the same time we start bedtime routine here. Nonetheless, I am so thankful Jessalyn introduced me to this book! I am only on chapter four and it is so thought provoking! I wanted to share a few excerpts from the previous chapter that I have been thinking on over and over.
“All forms of humanism make the enormous assumption that the human mind alone is the final judge of what is or is not true. When people present scientific “proofs” that something is true, it is rarely acknowledged that certain unprovable assumptions have to be made. It is assumed that the human senses and reason actually make contact with what is there, and that they are capable of assessing the meaning of what is there. In other words, man’s experiences become the final point of reference for what is true.”

“Man was created to know God. Every fact in the universe speaks of its creator and is open for us to discern. In addition, the image of God in us means that we know ourselves only as we know God, and know God only as we know ourselves. God’s eternal power and divine character can be discerned from nature,  which includes humankind. Man in the image of God communicates by word, and this reflects the fact that God is the one who communicates by word. The first word of God to man indicated the relationship that God established between himself and man and between man and the rest of creation. (Gen. 1:28-30). God spoke to Adam and told him what he needed to know about himself and his relationship with God. Thus, every word from God to man interprets the meaning of reality.

That part in bold and especially the underlined part really got me thinking. I started asking myself if I really lived like every word from God to us (the Bible) determines the meaning of reality, or do I rely more upon experiences?

“Presuppositions, then, are the assumptions we make in order to hold some fact to be true. We cannot go on indefinitely saying, “I know this is true because …” In the end we must come that which we accept as the final authority. By definition a final authority cannot be proven as an authority on the basis of some higher authority. The highest authority must be self-attesting. Only God is such an authority.

The presuppositions we must make in doing biblical theology are those of Christian theism. The alternative to this is to accept the presuppositions of some form of humanism. Either we work on the basis of a sovereign, self-proving God who speaks to us by a word that we accept as true simply because it is His word, or we work on the basis that man is the final judge of all truth. The Christian position, to be consistent, accepts that the Bible is God’s Word and that is says what God wants to say in exactly the way He wants to say it.”

We all have presuppositions. What are mine? Am I acting as God truly is the final authority or do I prop up men or my own experiences into that place at times? Are my actions on par with what I claim to believe about God’s authority and the Bible?

In Christ,

One Year Anniversary!

Today I celebrate one year in the marriage covenant with my husband. The past year has been full of trials and joys. God has blessed us in more ways than we can imagine. A year ago we promised these words to each other:

“I take you, Hollie, to be my wife and I promise before God and all who are present here to be your loving and faithful husband, as long as our lives shall last. I will love you and give myself up for you, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. I will serve you with tenderness and respect, and encourage you to develop the gifts that God has given you.”
“I take you, Joshua, to be my husband, and I promise before God and all who are present here to be your loving and faithful wife, as long as our lives shall last. I will love you and submit to you, as the church loves and submits to Christ. I will serve you with tenderness and respect, and encourage you to develop the gifts that God has given you.”

On our anniversary, I wanted to share one of my favorite little pieces on marriage. Enjoy :)

A little nook in the very heart of God

(J. R. Miller, “The Marriage Altar” 1898)

God’s plan for every marriage is happiness.

Marriage is meant to be a miniature of heaven—a
fragment of the celestial blessedness, let down into
this world.

Marriage is meant to be a little sanctuary, into which
husband and wife may flee from earth’s storms and
dangers, where in love’s shelter, their hearts fed with
affection’s daily bread—they may dwell in quiet peace.

Marriage is meant to be a shelter in which, covered
from the frosts of the world and shielded from its cold
and tempests—two lives may grow together into richest
beauty, realizing their sweetest dreams of happiness,
blending in whatever things are true, whatever things
are pure, and attaining the finest possibilities of godly
character.

Marriage is meant to be a holy ark, floating on the wild
floods of human life—like Noah’s ark on the deluge,
bearing to heaven’s gates, to the harbor of glory—the
lives which God has shut within its doors.

A godly marriage is a little nook in the very heart of
God
, where faithful souls are held close to the Father’s
heart, and carried safely, amid dangers and sorrows, to
the home above!

Taken from Grace Gems. Original post .

In Christ,

Menu Plan Week of 6/4/12

Here’s our menu for the upcoming week. Tomorrow we celebrate one year in the marriage covenant together! As such, we are having a special meal of filet mignon our grocery store was running an awesome deal on it last week — Providence! :D)

Breakfasts
Oatmeal (this recipe)

Lunches
Leftovers or Sandwiches, fruit

Dinners
Filet Mignon, baked potatoes, veggies
Breakfast Pizza
Chili Frito Pie, veggie, rolls
Cheesy Baked Grits, veggie, biscuits
Hamburger Pasta Skillet , veggie, rolls

Our Sabbath dinner isn’t finalized yet, though. I’m thinking of some kind of recipe using the flounder I have in the freezer, along with a veggie and bread. Emma has already asked to make peanut-butter cookies for the dessert :)

In Christ,