Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Collection: March

Good Morning!

        Welcome to the second edition of The Collection: a monthly gathering of some of the best things I have found on the internet from the past month.  From the month of March I have selected four things to share with you: a remarkable giant music-box, a very encouraging blog post by a friend, a stunning video of Iceland, and a piece of WWII history.  I hope you enjoy them!

        The Music Marble Machine - A music video showcasing an amazing piece of work: a wooden contraption that plays a tune using marbles to hit notes.

        The Golden Chisel of Sorrow - A sincere and encouraging reminder of the role that grief and suffering play in the life of a Christian written by a friend of mine.

        Odessey: Midnight Sun - A breathtaking video of the wondrous beauty of Iceland captured this past winter.

        This Month in Military History - A very good article explaining the beginning of the British Commando raids on Occupied Europe during the Second World War.

        See you next month,
        The Collector

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Why I am a Christian

                ‘Always be ready to give a [reason] for the hope that is within you’, says the apostle Peter in his first epistle. This is a very wise admonition for the Christian, as I have found through experience that one of the least encouraging positions to be in as a Christian is the place where you know you are saved, but when someone asks you, ‘Why?’ you are at a loss for words. The answer is not just, “Because I am a Christian!” It is because of the great and marvelous work of Jesus as shown below.  
                As a Christian I am saved from judgement by a holy and righteous God. Thus, I am saved from the just punishment my sins deserve: death. Because of God’s love for those whom he would call to be his own, he saved me through his great mercy. It was not because of anything that I did which caused God to look upon me favourably. It was because of his great love which he had for me that he sent Christ to die upon the cross in my place, taking the wrath which my sins deserve, and now accepts me because of the Lord Jesus’ righteousness.
                But being a Christian is not just about being saved from eternal punishment, even though that is a large part of the process of salvation. I am saved from hell, but what am I saved for? I am saved for the ultimate glory and honour of God. I am saved to be his servant and to do his will.  I am saved to serve and bless others.  I am saved to bear witness about the life-giving work of Christ.  Therefore, I must live my whole life in submission to his commands, and strive by his grace to live in such a way that will bring honour to his name.

                I am a Christian so I can be saved from judgement and death.

                I am a Christian so I can live for Christ’s Glory.

Written and Posted by William A. Moore

Saturday, 19 March 2016

'The Gods of the Copybook Headings' - Rudyard Kipling

        It has been a while since I last posted a poem.  Thus I now share a favourite poem by Rudyard Kipling which shows the flaws of upcoming post-modernity, and the timelessness of true Christian wisdom.  Kipling wrote this just after the end of the First World War, in which he had lost his son fighting for the British Empire.  His editor said it contained 'age-old, unfashionable wisdom' that Kipling correctly recognized as having been lost in 'habits of wishful thought.'  Read the poem for yourself below.

"AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

"We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

"We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

"With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

"When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know.

"On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death.

"In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, 
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; 
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, 
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die.

"Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

"As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began. 
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, 
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

"And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, 
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, 
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!"

by Rudyard Kipling - 1919

Posted by William A. Moore

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Three Reminders when Sharing the Gospel

        Tempted to be ashamed of the Gospel? Surely that never happens! But all too often it does. As one who has shared the Gospel with non-Christians, though not nearly as much as I ought, I know the feelings of fear and anxiousness that come upon me when I seek to share Christ with others. A few times this has spurred me on to share Christ more boldly – but more often than not it has closed my mouth. Sharing the gospel is something which we all agree should be done, and wholeheartedly applaud those who do it, but when an opportunity comes our way, or if we are called upon to do it, we inwardly shrink back inside.
        I have struggled with how to overcome this tendency, and have found that there are three things which have helped me to become bolder, and at the same time, loving, in my proclamation of the Gospel. The first is that I do not have to think up everything I might need to say beforehand. While it is very beneficial to study apologetics and learn how to answer objection and questions people will have, remember that God will give us grace to speak truth into the lives of those with whom we speak. Thus, I have no excuse to not share the Gospel.
        Second, I remember that it is not my words or my arguments that convince someone of the truth of the Gospel – only the Spirit can do that. I may be used by God as his instrument to share the Gospel, but I am not the one who saves others. God has chosen whom he will to hear the Gospel and repent; my job is to make sure that they hear how Christ died for their sins and was raised to life.  I am only God's tool through which He may choose to bring someone to the knowledge of Him.
        Third, I need to bring everything before God in prayer. Telling him my struggles; repenting of my sin; asking him to enable me to trust more fully in him: these are the things which I need to do.  I also need to pray for those with whom I will share the Gospel - that God would open their heart, and give them ears to hear.  While I may still be somewhat fearful of men, I have nothing to worry about for God will give grace to help in time of need.
        So when you and I struggle with sharing the Gospel, I hope and pray that what I have shared may encourage us. But always remember that it is God who gives the grace and strength to do his will, and when we trust him fully, he will always give us wisdom and kindness to speak the truth.

Written by William A. Moore

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Collection: February

Good Morning!

        And welcome to the first ever edition of The Collection: a monthly gathering of some of the best things I have found on the internet from the past month.  From the month of February I have selected four things to share with you: a video on music, a short film, a piece of history, and a very good article encouraging us in our walk as Christians.

        How Music Elevates Story - A short video taking a look at the importance film scores have upon the movies they support using superb examples from the Lord of the Rings.

        This Month in Military History - One of the most destructive and horrific battles from the First World War took place 100 years ago in February 1916 - the Battle of Verdun.

        Skylight - A beautiful time-lapse video showcasing the wonders of light in the sky.

        How to Be Conformed to the World - An excellent post by my friend Tim Challies warning us about the dangers of being ensnared by the world, and encouraging us to stand fast in Christ.

        See you next month,
        The Collector