God Wants You to be a Hedonist

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the term “Christian Hedonist.” That sounds like a lie, or at least an oxymoron, all by itself. At that time, I also promised a deeper discussion.

As John Piper coined the term, I will let him explain it. Enjoy this post – and then – Go Satisfy Your Deepest Longing!

Serving Servant

I am a disciple of John Piper, as you have probably read here before, many times. On Piper’s blog, he often hosts other godly authors and pastors. One such pastor is John Bloom. Last week, I got the blog updates in my email with a featured post by Bloom.

I have confessed that I struggle diligently with pride. I like to think that I have lessened its influence on me over time. When I was young, and living at home, I raged with prideful indignation toward one of my sisters. She seemed prodigious. Everything she touched turned to gold. Every feat she attempted crumbled beneath her capable, confident strides. As her old sister, I felt like an ant, searching for the sun, while shrouded in the shadow of a greater being. Eventually, I quit many things – softball, piano, swimming; and I shrugged in resignation when it came to school, friendships and ambition – I could never be her equal.

Through a unique type of prayer, called Theophostic Prayer, many years of impotent counseling and self-effort were finally surpassed by Christ’s truth. Jesus, Himself, spoke to me as I relived the memory of my pain and bitterness:

“If there is something I gave her, I didn’t intend it for you. I don’t give to all the same. I give out of pure unbiased love to fulfill the needs of each. Not the same for all.  Don’t let your heart be bruised by things that don’t matter.”

At that moment, that conversation, the jealousy that I had stoked with every failure, was squelched. Unfortunately, I am still human. I live in a fallen world and I am apt to forget things. I don’t see this sister regularly, and so I began to slip in my vigilant obedience. Instead of Christ’s truth, I started looking for things I can DO to prove myself. Little lies that were mere echoes of earlier screams, told me, “You could be a better wife. All of your sisters are working, why aren’t you earning an income? What good are you? You’re home again? Inferior!”

Jesus doesn’t forget – anything. He hasn’t forgotten my tendency toward self-pity. He hasn’t forgot the exact purpose he designated for me. And so this morning, in a blog post by John Bloom, He reminded me. Maybe this time, with Andrew as my mentor, I can remember.

Serve In The Shadow God Placed You

How to Remember 9/11

Oh Dearest Friends,

I am struggling this week with how to treat the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Undoubtedly, flags will flutter at half-mast, comic strips will cease to strike at funny bones, somber expressions will roll across faces with the simple word, “remember.” And it’s not that I don’t remember, but I wonder if we don’t begin to trivialize the day’s significance with our dramatic television and radio replays. Does it seem to you that each year, each public medium tries to surpass what they did last year, or trump the emotional display put on by another venue?

So, this week I am not going to draw concentric circles around 9/11, deepening sadness and calling for patriotism.  September 11 was sad and Americans should be the most patriotic people on earth. But the day is past, we have a future to pursue and an obligation to tell everyone about Jesus.

That brings me to a compelling article written by John Piper. If you have ever entertained the idea or the question: Where was God on 9/11, then you MUST read this article.

WHY I DO NOT SAY, “GOD DID NOT CAUSE THE CALAMITY, BUT HE CAN USE IT FOR GOOD”

A Sovereign God and My Own Will?

Last week I devoted each day to a single chapter in Will Davis’ book, “10 Things Jesus Never Said.” One chapter that I did not get to was about God’s will. Basically, Will asks, “What happens if I miss God’s ultimate will for my life?” I have known times of near paralyzation, wondering – what if I go to the wrong college, marry the wrong guy, spend too much money on something God doesn’t want me to have, forget to pray for someone?

What if, what if,WHAT IF!?

John Piper is probably my all time favorite pastor. He is more than a little over my head, but his intellectual style forces me to stay awake and pay attention. John’s passion is unmatched. Another time, we’ll discuss John’s call to be a Christian Hedonist.  The phase itself sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? I subscribe to the blog at, Desiring God. Last week, a guest author addressed this troubling concept of finding God’s will. For once, it made sense to me why God sometimes seems to leave us in the dark.

That said, I believe it’s God’s will for me to share this post with you today, and save my breath for tomorrow.

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

There’s a pervasive, subversive lie,

That all of us will quickly deny.

“It’s not about me,” tongue in cheek, we reply.

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by: John Bloom

taken from: Desiring God

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Remember the story of Narcissus? He’s the proud, beautiful man in the Greek myth who saw his reflection in a pool, fell in love with it, couldn’t tear himself away, and it killed him.

Mirrors are very dangerous for proud people. Believe me. I speak from experience.

But mirrors present most of us with a different danger than Narcissus. When we look into a mirror we do not see enchanting beauty, nor do we see the glory of God imaging forth in the indescribably complex, ingenious, phenomenal, spectacular miracle that is a human being. What we see mainly are defects.

The captivating power mirrors wield over us is not what we see, but what we want to see. What we see is deficiency. What we desperately want to see is sufficiency.

And worse yet, we see mirrors are all around us. Fallen, proud hearts turn just about everything into a mirror. Whether we’re gazing at magazines or malls or mutual funds or someone else’s immaculate lawn, impressive children, beautiful home, successful business, or growing church, we see ourselves. We see ourselves wanting.

And as we look into these mirrors, seductive messages are whispered into our heart: “Fix that and you will be happy,” or “Better yourself and others’ admiration, acceptance, respect, success, or attraction will save you,” or “Improve yourself and you will please, or at least appease, your god.”

These are the promises of every false gospel. Which is why mirrors are such effective messengers of false gospels.

But happiness, salvation, and peace will never be found in beholding an image, even a relatively improved image, of ourselves. That’s because we are designed to be satisfied when we look at and believe in Jesus, not us.

The Apostle Paul tells us that the true gospel is the “gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). John the Baptist instructs us to “behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). King David sings, “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).

It is not a better you that you need to see. You need to see Jesus.

Narcissus is a pagan parable of a real danger. Beware of mirrors. Look at them as little as possible. Instead, open the window of the Word and “Look to Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1). He is the Savior (1 John 4:14), the peace (Ephesians 2:14), and the gain (Philippians 3:8) you are looking for