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John Owen’s Perspective on the Effects of Habits:
Habits Promote Sanctity of the Church
We had a light in this candlestick; which did not only enlighten the room, but gave light to others far and near.
—David Clarkson, Spoken of John Owen at Owen’s Funeral
In the wake of the English civil war, groups of clergy were ousted because of their seemingly anti-government teachings, ministry, and perspective. These men did not seek to overthrow the government, but rather to purify the church that had become so closely married to the government. Thus, in 1662 an edict was issued to provide standardization across the Church of England and that edict was the Act of Uniformity. It was declared that there would be uniformity in the sacraments, public prayer, and all of these changes were based on the Book of Common Prayer. However, these clergy members, given the pejorative title Puritan, refused to adhere to this new mandate and were ejected from every formal ministry or governmental position in England. This was the Great Ejection of 1662 in which some 2,000 plus clergy members forfeited their formal positions of ministry and government leadership because of a refusal to submit to the Act of Uniformity. One of these clergy members was John Owen—a faculty of Oxford, regular chaplain of Oliver Cromwell, and English clergymen. (more…)
(This post is an addendum to a sermon preached July 16, 2017 at Faith Community Church in Newhall, CA. You can find the PowerPoint here: Strengthening Your Core–Marriage (FCC 7.16.17).)
Below are some practical tools to help you prioritize your marriage by faith:
- Digital Boundaries: This means you need a location to keep your phones while at home so that they are not always on you, and always demanding your attention. A simply priority would be that you do not engage technology before you meaningfully engage your spouse.
- First Fifteen Minutes Project: Another thing that I encourage couples to all the time is the idea of crystallizing the first fifteen minutes that you are home for each other. This means that the wife stops what she’s doing if she’s home, or the husband stops what he’s doing and you guys take 15 minutes to talk with each other. We have to hang up the phone when our spouse walks in the door. We have to put dinner on hold for a few minutes. This is just a very practical way of saying you matter to me. You’re a priority. Children—be quiet. TV—be quiet. Telephone—be quiet. My spouse is home and they are a priority to me.
- 3-2-1-1 Communication Exercise
- _Intimacy Inventory.docx
**Sermon preached at Grace on the Ashley Baptist Church in Charleston, SC
Every person possesses habits. An important question to ask in understanding habits is, “what is the role of those habits in the educational experience?” Educators understand repetition, discipline, structure, and environment but do educators understand the behavioral assumptions that drive those methodologies or the ideologies from which current methodology has been derived? Consequently, the aim of this paper is to address one, central research question: can repeated behavior prohibit or promote learning or knowledge acquisition from a behaviorist’s perspective? Ivan Pavlov, perhaps a father in the behaviorism camp, spent years testing and proving what he believed to be the answer to this question. He argued that he could create a consistent stimulus and develop a habit in his subjects (primarily working with dogs) through external means, thus priming them for future responses. He believed that external stimuli teach a person to respond in certain ways, and those responses are then solidified through repeated exposure. Not all behaviorists agree, though, with Knight Dunlap stating these habits of learning were seen as the very fabric of the human nature: “in their totality, make[ing] up the character of the individual.” If Pavlov’s assertion is true, and Dunlap’s perspective is accurate, what role does habit formation plan in the ability of the student to learn? (more…)
We were in the woods near Columbus, GA where I was doing training with the Army and at one of the locations we stayed, there were showers! Hallelujah! When you have sweat for the past few days, a shower is worth its weight in gold. However, there was one catch—the water was cold … really cold. The only way you could take a shower was to acclimate to the coldness and attempt to rinse off the soap and shampoo. But before long, the cold water was not as shocking. We could hop right in, get clean, and continue on with life. After a while, the extremely cold water became normal. And sin has a way of taking something extremely shocking and making it normal. (more…)
Enjoy our free resource, Growing As A Mother this Mother’s Day or as a gift for someone you know! Select Mother’s Day Booklet to download your own personal copy!
Happy Mother’s Day!
“The professionalization of the pastorate is killing the spiritual life of congregations, even congregations seeing an increase in attendance to Sunday worship” (28). This is just one example of the first-person candor that Jared Wilson speaks with in The Pastor’s Justification. In this post, I hope to offer an eagles-eye view of this short book and point out some of the good things offered and places where improvement could be offered. (more…)
Is it possible that we are valuing redemption more than we value the Redeemer? Have we made the gospel about us, instead about the One accomplished the gospel? This is what brings me great concern as a rising trend among evangelicalism: gospel idolatry. Gospel idolatry is simply the elevation of the message over the Messenger; of the act over the Actor. It seems so subtle and so enthralling. Jesus is kind and in His kindness He liberates me from sin, saves me, justifies me, sanctifies me, and will one day return for me. And because who I am in Christ, I can now live out a life that lacks condemnation; I am free in Christ. Did you see what I just did in stating those accurate and biblical truths? The gospel just became about me, not about Christ. So I ask again, is it possible to worship salvation over the Savior? Yes, and we do.
Divorce has never been pretty. And it has never been God’s design. Unfortunately, many of us know this from a first-hand perspective. Divorce is never pretty because it erodes at the prettiness of marriage. However, divorce is not always a sin; Jesus makes that clear in Matthew 5 and Matthew 19. Yet, all that leads to divorce is sin.