Thursday Book Review – The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

#davidbrainerd #puritans #jonathanedwards

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Beloved the day is finally here, I get to review one of the most impactful books I’ve read since becoming a believer. The Life and Diary of David Brainerd (published in 1749 by Jonathan Edwards) is one of those books that stays with you. After reading it myself I’m now reading it with Kayliegh, and have ordered copies as gifts for Christmas.

Brainerd (1718-1747) was a Puritan missionary to the Native Americans. He kept a daily journal of his spiritual progress. Many of his entries are heart wrenching, as he describes the struggles we have day to day in our walk with Christ. Brainerd often expresses his desire to be with the Lord. A beautiful prayer God answered, as he went home at the young age of 29.

His writing is very honest, and he is upfront with his struggles in prayer. I’m often tempted to be more enthusiastic in my description of my walk for the encouragement of others. It actually can just heap burdens on brothers and sisters, when we are dishonest about our own trials. It gives them the idea that perfect is possible, just not for them. Often times the most encouraging thing we can do is be truthful. I found Brainerd’s truthfulness very encouraging, as I read his words that reflected my own thoughts I wouldn’t dare voice. Some days my prayer is dull and lifeless, and it does feel like God has left me. Other days my prayer can be filled with sweetness.

I heard Puritans once described as the Redwood trees of the Christian forest. I think that’s a fair assessment, as they often stand tall in their love, obedience and devotion to God. Brainerd is most certainly one of those Redwood trees. We have visited the Redwood forest in our travels, as we walked through a trail of trees so tall you couldn’t see the tops, everything was silent and still. That was one place where Gods creation doesn’t whisper, it sings of His majesty. In the same way, Brainerd’s diary and all he accomplished in his life doesn’t whisper of Gods power to change mans cold heart of stone, it sings of a new creature in Christ, glory to God!

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd is a book I would recommend to every believer, young and old, particularly those who have a love for Puritan writings. I would also suggest this as a gift this Christmas for anyone you know who is considering going into the missions field, is already in the missions field, is an elder, or a pastor. This book is in the public domain, although there does not seem to be a free audio version just yet, you can download the free pdf. Or you can get a Kindle version for less than a dollar. And of course the paperback or hardback copies are available.

I pray this book will bless you, friends. There are so many books that have short daily encouragements or commentaries, however I think an entry or two of this book would be far more helpful. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – The Straight and Narrow Way

It’s finally here, beloved brethren, it’s Reformation Day! Is that an official holiday yet? It should be! Instead of candy everyone could hand out tulips. I’ll admit, the ecumenical parties have tainted this anniversary for me. It’s frustrating to see the very thing the Reformers faught against, and in some cases died for, being imbraced and celebrated today. Compromise. 


What a beautiful thing that this day fell on Twisted Tuesday, the day I usually discuss a verse that’s being misused, misinterpreted, or twisted. Instead of giving you a specific verse today I’m going to do something special to mark this anniversary.

Today I give you Sola Scriptura! 

Scriptures alone. 

We’re warned throughout the Bible to stay on the straight and narrow path. The other path, the wide and winding path, leads to eternal damnation. How do we find the straight and narrow way? There’s only one map, one instruction manual, that is the Bible. Sola Scriptura.


I’m not saying that commentaries aren’t helpful, they certainly are! Church history, expository preaching, descriptive books, are all helpful, in so much as they line up with the Word. When we decide that Gods Word will not be our sole authority we open ourselves up to the wide way. Where can we find the narrow path, only in the scriptures.

What is the narrow path? Salvation by grace, through faith in Christ alone, for the glory of God! 


This is why the issue is so very important, this is no secondary discussion. This is the road to the Celestial City we’re talking about! If the Bible says stay straight, but your extra biblical, ‘prophetic’, follow your heart, book of advice says make a left turn, your in trouble. If you have a greater working knowledge of mans written word than Gods written Word you’re at risk to be led astray by every wind of doctrine.

So, my dear friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved. And have a happy Reformation Day! 

Twisted Tuesday – Soul Sleep

Every evening I have the same conversation with myself, wagering over minutes. If I go to bed at such a such time I can get up this early and still get everything done. My alarm goes off and the pep talk begins. ‘If you wake up now you can get more done’ but ‘I don’t want to get up yet, it’s so comfortable here’ oh but ‘yet a little sleep, a little folding of the hands’…another little thought says ‘coffee coffee coffee’ that’s usually the thought that works, I love coffee.


I hate having to sleep, every night as I grudgingly make my way to bed I think of how many other things I’d rather be doing. When my alarm goes off at 4:30 am I have a change of heart, suddenly I can’t think of anything I’d rather do. Since becoming a mom I’ve seen sleep as a necessary evil. I don’t know if I’m in the minority or not, but I would be a much happier person if we didn’t need to sleep at all.

I assume for most people, rest is restful so I can understand the desire to create a doctrine around it. Today’s twisted scripture is John 11:11.


I’m going to address John 11:11 although many who hold to the doctrine of Soul Sleep also use verses from Ecclesiastes as support. Every scripture in the Bible is beneficial to believers, but not every part is there for doctrinal purposes. Such is the case with the book of Ecclesiastes, which begins by underlining the words written therein are ‘under the sun’. As with everything in the Bible, context is important.


So what is Soul Sleep? It’s the idea that when you die you sleep, and you’re completely unaware that you’re dead. This contradicts several other passages in the Bible, which brings us to an important point. How can you be sure that you’re not believing heresy? The Law of Non-Contradiction. Gods not going to contradict Himself, so if it appears there is a contradiction the error is with us, not Gods Word. That means we need to search the scriptures and see if it is so.


When we go to the scriptures, using our handy-dandy Strong’s Concordance, we find the word Christ uses figuratively meant deceased. When we match this up with other scriptures that inform us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, this doctrine falls apart. Which is why it is so imperative, beloved, that we take the full counsel of Gods Word.

It’s the glory of God to conceal a matter, so be good Berean’s, brethren, and study to show yourselves approved.

Rebuked 

I love Gods Word, I love Gods people, I love going before His throne in prayer, and I love the beautiful way God can use each of these things to chasten me.


I know that we live in a Christian culture today that sees no value in rebuke. How unloving, they say, a rebuke is. Can’t you just love me where I’m at? Pray for me if you think I’m wrong! Why is this the case? Why do so many calling themselves Christians bristle at a rebuke of a beloved member of the body of Christ, or the chastening of God Himself?

There are only two reasons;

1. They’re false converts.

2. They’re true converts who have spent too much time listening to false converts.

If 1. is the case than we must not begin or end with a rebuke, we must begin and end with the Gospel. To an unbeliever playing church being rebuked will either give them the opportunity to cry victim, or it will give them a chance to prove themselves a Pharisee indeed.

If 2. is the case we must remember that once saved, discernment will follow. Do rebuke this beloved brethren, if you win them over it’s a wonderful thing! If they become angry, continue to pray for them that God would work in them from grace to grace.


In both of these cases there is no fear of God. Gods Word tells us repeatedly, fear God. It says the fear of God is the beginning of wisedom. Pastors don’t preach on this subject anymore, everyone wants God to be their buddy, no one wants to hear of the wrath to come. 

I was chastened by Gods Word this morning. This is why I stress starting your day in prayer and study. The beautiful thing about being chastened by God is that His Word doesn’t just show us what not to do, but it tells us why as well. Then when we take it before Gods throne in prayer, the Holy Spirit strengthens us. Don’t fear chastening, beloved brethren, pray for it! God chastens those He loves

As always, dear brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved. 

Saturday Worksheets – The Sun

I didn’t realize that I had skipped over the Sun in other worksheets for this series, I’m so sorry about that brethren! Here I’ve attached a worksheet for the Sun along with a maze. There is also some scriptural copy work. Of course, if there’s anything specific that you would like to have so homeschooling, Sunday school classes, or other lessons, please feel free to ask.

The Sun

Psalms113-3

There is also a wonderful diagram with more information here. You can also find some excellent videos here for creation science for youngsters. As always, beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – The Saddest Wedding Part III

Over the past couple weeks, with regards to the wedding we attended, I’ve discussed a couple disturbing twists of scripture. This last one was the most concerning to me, as the implications go far deeper than a negative out look on marriage, or disobedience to Gods Word. This is the wrongful handling of Gods Word.

Our brothers over at Semper Reformanda wrote an excellent post about how to rightly handle Gods Word. Something they said struck me, that we don’t like having our words misinterpreted, we shouldn’t misinterpret Gods Word either. The ‘pastor’ at the wedding read from the gospel of John chapter 2. She suggested this was a good verse because there was drinking, Jesus disobeying His mother, and a wedding. 


Two of the three are correct, there was a wedding, and there was wine. However, had Christ disobeyed His mother it would have been a sin, and He would not have been able to die for our sins. Christ lived a sinless life, for someone claiming to be a leader of the body of Christ to suggest otherwise sent a chill down my back. James’ warning not to let many be leaders came to mind. 


The wedding at Cana is significant, there’s enough in those few short verses to write ten posts on. I just want to point out the twisted part from the wedding, that Jesus said ‘Woman, what does that have to do with us?’ Somehow said to the officiator of the wedding that He was somehow disobeying His mother. The worst part of having a lack of context is missing beautiful moments like this. When Christ says ‘woman’ to Mary it’s not like our culture says it. In the Greek it’s a title of honor, not an insult from a disobedient son. 


This is why I exhort you always, beloved, to be careful not to twist Gods Word. Do you see the damage done, in front of a couple hundred guests, by the twisting of one verse? All those in the audience who already had it in their minds now can say ‘see, I knew Jesus didn’t live a sinless life’. We have to handle Gods Word accurately, whether we’re pastors, elders, or layman. If God handed you a piece of treasure, a beautiful gem, and asked you to care for it, would you? Would you toss it in the corner? Would you lose it, sell it? (Don’t be silly, if God came to you in your human form you’d melt under the pressure of His majesty and glory.) God has given us a greater treasure then any gem, His Word. We need to handle it with care, purposing to make no misinterpretations. 


It’s easy to use verses to help you in your argument, but please brethren, take the time to make sure the verse your using is in the proper context. For example, did you know the Bible says there is no God? That’s right, plan as day, for all the world to see in Psalms 10:4, 14:1, and 53:1. Ok, that’s an extreme example, but I hope it’s one you’ll remember, friends. I implore you, be good Berean’s, and study to show yourselves approved. 

Saturday Worksheets – Venus

Today over at abitoforange he interviewed a very cool creation science podcast for kids which I thought I’d mention here too, in case any parents want to put some of her awesome work to good use.

https://creationscience4kids.com/

https://creationscience4kids.com/podcast/

I also have some worksheets for you today. If you missed the last worksheets you can find them here, and if you’ve missed the Solar System series that I’m using to make these worksheets you can find Mercury here, and Venus here.

These worksheets just have facts and are evolution free. I hope they’ll be a blessing to you, your children, or your Sunday school classes. Along with science worksheets, there are some scripture copy work pages.

Venus

venus-planet-coloring-pages

WorksheetWorks_Print_Writing_Practice_4

I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend, brethren, and as always be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.