And Our Winner Is…!

Today we can announce the winner of our first Seminary Library Contest – and it is Mrs. Deb Poortinga, a member of our Crete, IL PRC. As I posted last Friday, the contest involved guessing how many resources were in the PR Seminary Library, including the Letis collection. Currently there are 17,851 items, and Deb guessed 17,827 – only 24 off! There were 4 others with guesses in the 17,000 range, but Deb was the closest. And even the one with the guess furthest off the mark was within 3,000 (Sorry, Rev. D.Kleyn in the Philippines – were you guessing how many miles away you are?!) – so good guessing everyone who participated.

I have contacted Deb about her prize (three books). And don’t worry, this contest was not sponsored by or paid for by our Synod (whose monies support the library)- so we won’t break any budgets or budget rules! This one is “on me” :) Perhaps we can do this again sometime. I sensed you had some fun with this. So did I. And I hope I brought greater awareness to and interest in our Seminary library. I can offer this consolation prize to all contestants – FREE library tours when you visit!

Published in: on April 16, 2012 at 5:13 PM  Leave a Comment  

Pleasures Forevermore – R.C. Sproul Jr

Pleasures Forevermore by R.C. Sproul Jr. | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

Our Monday Tabletalk feature this week presents a fine article by R.C. Sproul, Jr. about how the “God-centered life” (this month’s theme) controls and directs what we seek as our main goal in life (Keep in mind that this “R.C.” lost his wife to cancer last Fall). Written under the rubric “Seek Ye First”, and using the prayer of Agur in Proverbs 30:7-9 as his starting point, this is part of what he has to say (the full article and others on the Ligonier site from the April Tabletalk) may be found at the link above):

A God-centered life, then, is not found in feeding a constant craving for more, better, newer. Neither, however, is it found in embracing an ascetic aesthetic, eschewing the good gifts of God. He is the giver of every good gift, both contentment in abasement and a shiny new car. He is not impressed with our piety if we accept the former but turn up our nose at the latter, thinking ourselves too pure for such crass blessings.

The issue, then, isn’t the size of our bank accounts or the square footage of our homes. The issue is the perspective of our hearts. A God-centered life is one that gives thanks in all His providences. It was one of the wealthiest men of ancient antiquity who spoke these wisest of words: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

The issue isn’t in what we have but in what we want. What do we long for? What do we daydream about? How do we measure ourselves and the success or failure of our efforts? Who do we look up to, and what is it about them that we admire? The broader culture is obsessed with the rich and the famous. Tabloids at the grocery store, tabloid television, Internet gossip sites — these all feed our insatiable desire to know what they are like, how they live.

The evangelical world, as is so often the case, has its own version of the cultural phenomenon. We have rock-star preachers, Lollapalooza-like conferences and concerts, and, as well, Internet sites complete with all the latest gossip on who is hot, who is not, and the reasons why.

We, however, are in the world but are not to be of the world. We are called to aspire for not just something better but the one needful thing. We are called, in living a God-centered life, to seek God’s kingdom, to pursue God’s righteousness.

We are blessed to be shown the way to the one thing that will satisfy. A God-centered life, in the end, isn’t self-denying. It, instead, is how we find ourselves. Jesus said we would find our lives in losing them. Augustine said our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him. And John Piper reminds us that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. The glory of the contentment, the blessing of the car, is not found in the contentment nor in the car, but in the Giver of these good gifts.

Our calling is to look through every good gift to the One giving it. He is the goodness in which the gifts live and move and have their being. He gives Himself. This is the path of life. Our end is that we would be in His presence, that we would rejoice to be there. His promise is not only that we will find pleasures at His right hand, but that we will find them forevermore (Ps. 16).

The 3 R's Blog:

CJT – Much attention was paid to the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titantic this past week (yesterday was the actual date – go to the History Channel’s website for information), but this “Michigan in Pictures” blog I follow had an interesting article yesterday on the worst Michigan shipping disaster, which took place back in October of 1880 during the “big blow”. You will find plenty of other interesting links in the article as well. These losses of ships and souls are object history lessons in the fallibility and frailty of man, and in the sovereignty of our God Who is Lord of the wind and seas.

Originally posted on Michigan in Pictures:

S.S. Alpena, photo from Wikimedia Commons

Over on Absolute Michigan we have a feature from the Archives of Michigan about two Michigan couples who were aboard the Titanic. I thought it would be interesting to see what the worst Michigan maritime disaster was. You might think it would be the immortalized Edmund Fitzgerald but with “only” 29, it’s down on the list. Or perhaps the tragic Carl D. Bradley in which 33 men perished, most from her home port of Rogers City.

It’s actually the sidewheel steamer S.S. Alpena. Michigan Shipwrecks says that this 197 foot Goodrich side wheel steamer was built in Marine City, Michigan in 1866. She was lost with about 80 crew & passengers in the “Big Blow” of 1880.

The Alpena left Grand Haven, Michigan bound for Chicago on Friday evening, October 15, 1880 at 9:30 PM. The weather was beautiful — Indian…

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