Archive for November, 2012

I love Jordon Kauflin’s modern hymn, All I Have Is Christ.  I’ve been surrounded by it lately, including during our staff devotions on Thursday.

I’m encouraged every time I hear it or sing it – he looked upon my helpless state! He suffered in my place!

And that makes this declaration hopeful rather than terrifying: oh Father, use my ransomed life in any way you choose.

We know that God chooses the path of suffering; we’ve lived it.  Yet, having Christ, who suffered and died for us, puts it in its proper perspective:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. . . (2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV) 

It is available as a free download through Desiring God:  All I Have Is Christ – Free Download.

Sovereign Grace, who provided this free download, also produced this short video of men singing at Together for the Gospel.  I love the sight and sound of these thousands of men joining together in praise!  May we dads of children with disabilities do the same, with joy and expectation that God is who he tells us he is in his word.


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For most of the Knight clan, a trip to the dentist means walking two blocks up the street.

For one of us, it means a pre-op physical, a 40 minute drive to a specialty health surgical facility, and general anesthesia.

It didn’t go as well as it has in the past – more pain than usual for Paul, more confusion on his part, more discouragement on ours.

God knows his pain, his confusion, and my discouragement. And I know it is all for his glory and for my good.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar. . .
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
(Psalm 139:2, 12 ESV)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. . .And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:18, 28 ESV)

And right now, that is enough.  God is good.

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Beeke’s and Jones’ conclusion to their chapter on providence was just too good not to share in its entirety:

The Puritan writings on providence are easy to read, yet they are deeply thought provoking. They are biblically focused, yet they throb with a sense of God’s ongoing activity. They are rigorously Reformed, yet they are wonderfully sensitive to human pain. They were written for people living in a time of social, political, and religious upheaval in the seventeenth century. They were written for people who knew a great deal of the angst that we moderns often mistakenly view as peculiarly modern or even postmodern. The Puritan writings also apply to people in the twenty-first century who suffer massive change. More than that, they spell out clearly some biblical principles that Christians today desperately need to hear:

• God is in control of His universe.
• God is working out His perfect purposes, also in my life.
• God is not my servant.
• God’s ways are far more mysterious and wonderful than I can understand.
• God is always good; I can always trust Him.
• God’s timetable is not the same as mine.
• God is far more interested in what I become than in what I do.
• Freedom from suffering is not promised in the Christian gospel.
• Suffering is an integral part of the Christian life.
• God works through suffering to fulfill His purposes in me.
• God’s purposes, not mine, are what bring Him glory.
• God enables me to read His providences through the lens of His Word.
• I have few greater pleasures than tracing the wonders of God’s ways.

No wonder, then, that Sedgwick admonishes us with the words of Psalm 37:5: “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” The God of the Bible, the God of sovereign providence, He alone is worthy of such trust.

Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark (2012-10-14). A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Kindle Location 6876-6894).  Kindle Edition.

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On Friday Tim Keller tweeted a recommendation by Pastor John for a fabulous book significantly discounted at Amazon, which I bought.

As is my habit, I looked over the table of contents and went to a chapter of interest rather than start at the beginning.  I could have quoted the entire chapter on providence, it was that good and helpful:

But what are we to do when the providences of God seem to conflict with His promises?

First, we must learn how to resist discouragement. God is teaching us patience. It may not yet be God’s time to act, or He may be delaying to increase our appetite for the blessing for which we long.

What are we to do?

We must remember that He is bringing about a greater blessing: our willingness to depend entirely on God and His good pleasure.

Our loving Father delights to come to us when we are at the end of our own resources. Perhaps we are not yet ready to receive the blessing. If all His mercies are of grace and we do not deserve them, we must learn to wait for them.

Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark (2012-10-14). A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Kindle Locations 6849-6853). Kindle Edition.

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The first question to the panel began with a question about adoption.  In less than 5 minutes Greg Lucas gives a picture of God’s grace to us through our children with disabilities.


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From Desiring God:

The full media from our recent conference on disability is now available!

“The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability,” hosted November 8, featured four messages, a speaker panel, and a special testimony on God’s sovereignty and goodness in disability. The audio and video of each resource can be streamed or downloaded by going to the respective links:

John Piper
When Jesus Meets Disability: How a Christian Hedonist Handles Deep Disappointment

Nancy Guthrie
Thinking Like Jesus About Disability

Mark Talbot
Longing for Wholeness: Chronic Suffering and Christian Hope

Greg Lucas
Parenting When Your Heart Is Continually Crushed

John Piper, Nancy Guthrie, Greg Lucas, Mark Talbot
Speaker Panel

Krista Horning
Testimony of God’s Good Design

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A beautiful word from R.C. Sproul, Jr., who lost his wife to disease and his daughter with disabilities less than a year apart:

But the thing is, Shannon (his daughter with disabilities) never felt the weight of her weaknesses. And Shannon had a faith that saw through the veil. She lived on earth as if it were heaven. She was so full of love, joyful, peaceful, so filled with patience and kindness, so good, so faithful, so gentle and so self-controlled that she bloomed, bore fruit in God’s own garden. When she woke up able to walk and speak, when she woke to feel our Lord’s hand on her head, it was no great change for her.

He offered these thoughts at his daughter’s memorial service.  It is well worth the 24 minutes to watch.

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And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:15-16 ESV)

This is a universal call to peace and thankfulness – not just in and during circumstances that are pleasant.  Dr. Mark Talbot explains why even suffering is something for which we can praise God:

We must come to see through the illusion that life’s ordinary pleasures are enough for us.

And this is another part of what significant and chronic suffering can do: when our lives begin to be significantly and perhaps rather consistently unpleasant, our quest for life’s ordinary pleasures tends to lose its appeal and our Lord’s declaration that “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” may begin to strike home (Luke 12:15; see, e.g., Ps. 107:17-20).

Moreover, the new taste of the new creature in Christ – the taste, that is, for God himself and thus for the “hidden treasure of the holy joy” that alone can satisfy our deepest desires – tends to grow as we lose taste for merely mundane satisfactions.

Pain often affords us our first real taste for the things of God.

Mark Talbot, “When All Hope Has Died: Meditations on Profound Christian Suffering,” in For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper, edited by Sam Storms and Justin Taylor, p. 84.

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