Wow, three days are already gone!!! How does that happen? We have now listened to 8 lectures by 3 different teachers(today we had 5 hours devoted solely to Augustine!), gone to watch fireworks once, and we have played sardines in the dark once. They said we would all be sent home unless we were able to find a seminary graduate in the dark in the seminary. We succedeed in finding RPTS’s newest graduate after about an hour and a half. Since I was last to find Him, they say I have to hide next time! Yikes! Tomorrow is supposed to be our busiest day. We are to listen to I forget how many lectures, do a worldview survey on the Pitt Campus, and then serve dinner at the RP home. We will have to see how that goes.
Day one of the Theological Foundations for Youth went smoothly. After arriving safely at the seminary, I met my fellow students, and then we all enjoyed a picnic supper. After supper, we formally met one another by giving a brief testimony of what God has done in our lives. We also were encouraged to share why we came to TFY, and what our plans are for the near future. David Whitla then gave the opening lecture on the preparation and presentation of a testimony. Today we are to listen to 4 lectures by various faculty, followed by (Deo Volente) a trip to the point and fireworks. If God does indeed hold off the weather it should be a great trip.
Categories: Other, Pictures
For the next 2+ weeks, I will be a part of a missions team to the ECHO farm in Fort Meyers Florida. Since it is a missions trip, and because luggage space is limited, I am required to fit all of my supplies in a Rubbermaid bin. Except for food and a sleeping bag, everything has to fit in the bin. All my clothes, books, and supplies either have to fit in, or be left behind. Needless to say, this makes one pack light, taking only bare essentials. All other things are left behind. Since it is a missions trip, I won't have regular internet access. I will try to post pictures of the trip, and give updates, but they won't be long, and they will be unpredictable. And yes, here is the Rubbermaid bin.
A common misconception about summer break is that it is a time to be free from studying, working, and thinking. The reason this misconception is so common is because it is not only easy to think that one should stop using his mental faculty, it is quite fun. However, my personal view of summer break is quite different. I view the summer break not as a break from learning, I see it as a time to expand my learning in ways that is not possible during the school year. In short, the summer frees me to study what I want to study, when I want to study. The last two weeks have been extremely rich in learning for me. Although I have delved into the realms of the latest nanotechnology, the newest space research, and the history of bygone civilizations, I have by far learned the most through in-depth bible study. The following is the result of one of my more recent meditations.
“Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” This is the statement of the world, which is reflected in students' love for summer break. They love the parties, the vacations, the pleasures. This is an old worldview, one that has been around since the Fall of Man. There was nothing new to me here. However, I realized just how similar yet different the Christians statement is. “Let us eat, drink, and be sober minded, for one day we will die. Let me contrast these two for a moment.
The first says let us eat and drink, just like the second; but are they the same? I answer no. The first eats and drink to satisfy his own desires and lusts, the second eats and drinks to the glory of God. This can take on an even greater meaning with reference to the Lord's Table. That is where the Christian is commanded to eat and drink, as a means of strength to continue on the journey.
The first exhorts us to merryment, the second to sobriety. Those two options are the right outcomes or consequences of the respective worldviews. One is a hopeless worldview, thus they seek to forget their troubles through fleshly indulgment. The second is a worldview with much hope, therefore it requires a careful, logical, and patient mind, a sober one.
The last contrast is to be made by looking at the respective views of death. The first puts death in the subjective sense. They don't want to admit that death is real, and yet they must. Therefore, they put contemplation of it as far off as possible. The second says one day we all will die. It fully recognizes the truth, and is not scared to meet it.
Pity the person who eats, drinks, and makes merry during the summer! While it may seem rough and hard to study and think when everyone else isn't, the end result will be reward enough.
Diligetur Insequi Versus Aeturnum Florem!!!!!
Today was one of those days where everything is absolutly joyous. It all started in the morning when I decided to make my bed really neatly. Don't ask me why, I never do. It usually stays messy throughout the whole day. If you need a testimonial, just ask my mom. Ok, after that, I proceeded to clean my room, so that it was cleaner than clean. (ok, not really, but it hadn't been that clean for a year or two.) I then proceeded to have a most enlightening devotion time, followed by a huge breakthrough in calculus. From there, I practiced music the rest of the day, and yep, it went beautifully!!! As it was getting dark, I squeezed in a run. You guessed it, I ran my route in record time.
It is really fun to have these types of days, but it does make the next quite hard sometimes, and one can't expect life to be this good all the time. I just hope tomorrow isn't one of those "crash and burn" days.
Wow, the first portion of the Blogging Contest is over already! Where did that month go?? I was just getting started! Oh, well, I guess that is what the second section of the contest is for. I think the second one will be even more exciting than this first section has been. I can't wait! (well really I can, because I must, but I know you all understand that)
Categories: Book Review
You may wonder why a Christian should read a book on depression, especially if you are not currently depressed. There are several reasons why this book on depression is a good read for most everyone.
1) while you may not currently be depressed, it is very likely that you will become depressed at some point in your life. I am not only referring to a clinically diagnosed depression, I mean this to include even lesser forms.
2) You are going to run into people who are depressed, and you must know how to give them wise counsel. Reading this book will help to do that.
3) This book shows the steps we can take to keep from becoming depressed.
The book was originally preached as a series of sermons. Thus, the 21 chapters are simply 21 sermons. Each sermon could be read individually, however, reading them all together is best. I found this format rewarding, as you can hear D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones talking directly to you. This book does not really deal with the depression of the unbeliever, because they are supposed to be depressed. They have no hope, thus that should be the norm among them. What Mr. Jones deals with in this book is the depression of the Believer.
The first several sermons define depression, and show its effect on modern Christian society. Mr. Jones believes that the Christian life is to be primarily joyful, with short seasons of sorrow. Modern Christians have turned that backwards. They are primarily sorrowful, with short seasons of joy. This must be remedied if the Church is to advance.
The next several sermons deal with the causes of depression. According to Mr. Jones, there are several things which will lead to depression.
1) Slackness in reading and hearing the Word of God.
2) Not fully believing the Promises of God.
3) Relying on self rather than the Works of God.
Mr. Jones points out that by doing the opposite of the above, Christians can avoid depression.
The last sermons give the cure for depression. Mr. Jones' cure does not consist in 4 easy steps, guaranteed to work in one week. Rather, they are a processes that we must put ourselves through by much work and perseverance. The campaign against depression is not won in a single victory. It is won through many different battles, each of which will not be won easily.
There is so much to be gained by reading this book. It is not a fast or an easy read, but it is a good one. This should be required reading for anyone who wants to be spiritually mature.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones