Work Can Be Worship

“Have you seen the painting The Angelus by Jean-Francois Millet? It portrays two peasants praying in their field. A church steeple sits on the horizon, and a light falls from heaven. The rays do not fall on the church, however. They don’t fall on the bow heads of the man and woman. The rays of the sun fall on the wheelbarrow and the pitchfork at the couple’s feet. 

“God’s eyes fall on the work of our hands. Our Wednesdays matter to Him as much as our Sundays. He blurs the secular and sacred. One stay-at-home mom keeps this sign over her kitchen sink: Divine tasks performed here daily. An executive hung this plaque in her office: My desk is my altar. Both are correct. With God, our work matters as much as our worship. Indeed, work can be worship.” —Max Lucado, in You!

(To read some other quotes from You!click here, please .)

Links & Quotes

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“Culture becomes corrupt when it is employed according to the whims and passions of men rather than the purposes and standards of God. … When culture falls into this sorry state, it is the duty of those who perceive this condition to do whatever they can to redress it. Christians are the salt, light, and leaven of the world; it is our duty to take every thought, and all of culture, captive for obedience to Jesus Christ, to redeem culture from the destructive powers of sin and rebellion, so that it can be renewed for the purposes of God and His glory.” —T.M. Moore

“Surely the fertile brain of invention must be the Creator’s gift. … The puffing of steam from a kettle, or the falling of an apple from a tree have led thoughtful minds to discover great and important truths, and who shall attribute these circumstances to any but to ‘Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will,’ and Who gives wisdom to the wisest of the sons of men? Let us adore the mighty God, not only as we read our Bibles, but as we traverse the halls of art and science, and visit the exhibitions which in these days of ours are being reared on every side. Let us make man’s skill speak to us of God’s glory.” —Charles Spurgeon

Good teaching from John Maxwell on being a virtuous person—

 

Poetry Saturday―Don’t You?

Edmund Vance CookeWhen the plan which I have, to grow suddenly rich
Grows weary of leg and drops into the ditch,
And scheme follows scheme
Like the web of a dream
To glamour and glimmer and shimmer and seem,…
Only seem;
And then, when the world looks unfadably blue,
If my rival sails by
With his head in the sky,
And sings “How is business?” Why, what do I do?
Well, I claim that I aim to be honest and true,
But I sometimes lie. Don’t you?

When something at home is decidedly wrong,
When somebody sings a false note in the song,
Too low or too high,
And, you hardly know why,
But it wrangles and jangles and runs all awry,…
Aye, awry!
And then, at the moment when things are askew,
Some cousin sails in
With a face all a-grin,
And a “Do I intrude? Oh, I see that I do!”
Well, then, though I aim to be honest and true,
Still I sometimes lie. Don’t you?

When a man whom I need has some foible or fad,
Not very commendable, not very bad;
Perhaps it’s his daughter,
And some one has taught her
To daub up an “oil” or to streak up a “water”!
And her grass is green green and her sky is blue blue,
But her father, with pride,
In a stagey aside
Asks my “candid opinion.” Then what do I do?
Well, I claim that I aim to be honest and true,
But I sometimes lie. Don’t you? —Edmund Vance Cooke

The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The Bible (book review)

The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The BibleI have been a big fan of The Overview Bible Project ever since I discovered Jeffrey Kranz’s amazing Bible-based infographics and study tools. In The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The Bible Jeffrey and his wife Laura give us a helpful and beautiful way of learning more about the men whom God used to write His Word.

I recently had a chance to ask Jeffrey & Laura a few questions about this ebook.

Jeffrey, why do you think that it’s important for students of the Bible to learn about the biblical authors?

One of the most important things to know about any message is where it comes from. We know this from life. If you get a “happy anniversary” card from your spouse, it’s a loving gesture. If you get the same card from an ex … well, you get the picture. The whole message hinges on who sends it!

It’s that way with the Bible, too. If we’re going to understand what the authors of the Bible were trying to get across, we should spend a little time getting to know them: who they are, where they’re from, what they’ve been through, and even what time period they’re writing from.

So what was one of the most surprising discoveries you made while researching this book?

As I went into this project, I hadn’t expected so many of the authors to be from the tribe of Levi. But they are! About 42% of our Bible was written by Levites—45% if you count Matthew. No other tribe comes close.

I had expected a little more of a mix, but then I remembered a certain prophecy. Right before Israel enters the promised land, Moses blesses the nation tribe by tribe. When he gets to Levi, Moses says, “They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob, And Your law to Israel. They shall put incense before You, And whole burnt offerings on Your altar.” (Dt 33:10)

And indeed they did.

Laura, what was your inspiration for giving a “face” to the biblical authors? How do you think this will help someone learn about these authors?

Actually, the initial idea was Jeffrey’s. He was working on pulling together the information on the authors, and asked me if I’d be willing to do an art series to go with it. I thought it would be a great way to help people connect the facts to actual people. There’s a lot of information to digest, and I hope that having images to go with it allows more of the personhood of each author to sink in. I also thought it would be a nice way to help visual learners simply find the facts about who wrote the Bible to be more interesting. Obviously, the pictures are hypothetical—we don’t know much at all about how these guys looked—but using the stats and stories Jeffrey compiled to try to draw out personalities and faces was a really fun challenge.

Can the two of you give us any hints on what you next book and/or art project might be?

We have a few in the works:

  1. For the new year, we’re launching a special email course that sends people a 3–minute summary of a book of the Bible every week. This will help new students of the Word to get an idea of what each book is about, and it should be a nice refresher for the seasoned Bible geeks out there.
  2. Thus far our readers have really enjoyed these character surveys, so we’re thinking of launching an illustrated guide to the 40 most important characters of the Bible.
  3. In 2015 Laura and I hope to collaborate with more people in the Bible geekery space. One project on the table is a book of illustrations for the Songs of Ascent (Ps 120–134), which would include more of our friends in the Christian art community.
  4. And of course, plenty of infographics, a few study guides, and possibly some video and music!

I strongly encourage you to download the FREE ebook The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The Bible by clicking here. Then also subscribe via RSS feed or email to the great stuff Jeffrey & Laura produce and share at The Overview Bible Project.

Links & Quotes

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These are links to articles and quotes I found interesting today.

[VIDEO] Disgusting! Child Sex Trafficking Coverup At Planned Parenthood

“Don’t imagine I doubt for a moment that what God sends us must be sent in love and will all be for the best if we have grace to use it so. My mind doesn’t waver on this point; my feelings sometimes do. That’s why it does me good to hear what I believe repeated in your voice—it being the rule of the universe that others can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and one can paddle every canoe except one’s own. That is why Christ’s suffering for us is not a mere theological dodge but the supreme case of the law that governs the whole world; and when they mocked Him by saying, ‘He saved others, Himself He cannot save,’ they were really uttering, little as they knew it, the ultimate law of the spiritual world.” —C.S. Lewis

“Christianity is the greatest intellectual system the mind of man has ever touched.” —Francis Schaeffer

[PHOTOS] Funny Doodles Of A Bored Commuter

Tim Elmore has a good word for parents: The Fine Line Between Commitment & Obsession

“Give so often and so much as a matter of course that you know more take note that you have helped the poor than that you have eaten your regular meals.” —Charles Spurgeon

Become A Better Person

Become A Better Person

If you want a better world,
Composed of better nations,
Inhabited by better states,
Filled with better counties,
Made up of better cities,
Comprised of better neighborhoods,
Illuminated by better churches,
Populated by better families,
Then you’ll have to start by becoming
A better person. —Tony Evans

Keep Going

Keep GoingI don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14)

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out if they’ve got a second.” —William James

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low but the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit…
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many failures turn about
When we might have won had we stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow…
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out…
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit. —Edgar A. Guest
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