Sunday, May 31, 2009


My wife made an astute observation concerning the immediate Reeves family (of which I have been grafted in). We are all homeless.

That's not to say that we don't have a roof over our heads; we most certainly do. It's just that none of us currently possess or rent a domicile.

  1. Mark, Julia, Rachel, David, and Philip are residing in the home of Julia's parents.
  2. Aaron is in Boston, the U.K., what have you.
  3. Hastings is in Fargo, about to finish high school, living with the illustrious Conants.
  4. Rebekah and I have been granted a roof over our heads in the semi-vactated Johnson/Lammers apartment.
We may not know what is coming next in any of these situations, but I do know this: we are all exceedingly grateful to those whom have been so generous with us in these transitional times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

God's Sovereignty Magnified Through Obedience

It's a simple concept really. God's sovereignty is magnified through obedience.

The apostle Peter gives a tangible example of the magnification the sovereignty of God through obedience.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

The command here is straightforward: "humble yourselves... casting all your anxieties on him."

The obedience to the aforementioned command is invoked by the promises: "because he cares for you," and "so that at the proper time he may exalt you."

An understanding that God cares for us and will exalt us means little without knowing that God is sovereign. If his capability to honor his promises is limited, we have no real reason to obey.

But we know that God "who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24). We know that we can cast "all our anxieties on him" because "he cares" for us. And when we humble ourselves we know that God is faithful to exalt us at the proper time.

It is important to note that it is a dangerous thing to think that God exalts us based upon our level of humility. We will not be exalted because we are humble; rather we are humble because we will be exalted.

It may sound like semantics, but the latter magnifies God's sovereignty while the former minimizes it. Obedience with the thought that God will act based upon our action is minimizing to his sovereignty. Obedience with the thought that God has done all that he pleases and will do all that he pleases regardless of our obedience is magnifying.

Why do we obey then?

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

We obey because God has seen fit to work in us and it pleases him to do so. God's sovereignty is magnified through obedience.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

10 Reasons Why I Love My Wife

  1. She was a cute little girl... and we will have cute little girls.
  2. She is real.
  3. She likes Frank Sinatra's music.
  4. She always tells me how much she loves me... even in a text message.
  5. She always encourages me.
  6. She is beautiful.
  7. She like to snuggle and cuddle and hug.
  8. She always wants to spend time with me.
  9. Her sins have been atoned for by the precious blood of Jesus, she has been justified by God-given faith, and she has been granted the right to be called a child of God.
  10. Christ, not me, is her treasure.

Tree of the Week (5.19.09)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Religious Dessert

So, what is it with desserts and religious terminology?

Here are some common adjectives used with sugary, after-dinner potions:

  1. Divine
  2. Heavenly
  3. Sinful
  4. Indulgent
And of course there are "Angel Food Cake" and "Devil's Food Cake."

Who decided that this was a good idea? Why not tasty or delectable like all the other food?

You never hear someone say, "Wow. This pork loin is divine," or "Mmm. This burrito is so sinful." That just sounds dumb.

I doubt heaven will have little brownie-bites that you heat up in the microwave or that anyone will be cast into the lake of fire because he or she ate a truffle. Maybe. But I doubt it.

Let's cut it out.

Tree of the Week (5.12.09)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Red to Green, Death to Life

During a recent outing to the tennis courts, Jordan (Resident Thorns Poet) drove through a rarely green stop-light unabated. Miraculously, he was able to achieve the same feat on the return trip.

"Wow," I mused. "That was incredible. Two green lights in two tries."

"That's right," replied Jordan with a smug glow of self-congratulation as if he had somehow willed the light green.

Jordan's faith in his self-sufficiency (although completely in jest) is a trap that many Christians fall into concerning their salvation (unfortunately not in jest): ascribing to themselves that which only God is capable of.

Jordan had no ability to make the light green, just as the Christian had no ability to call him or herself from death to life. Yet the free-will beast rears its head and Christians claim that they breathed life into their own dead lungs.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God made us alive together with Christ.

Figurative Wesley-slayer, Augustus Toplady, put it this way,

"A man's free will cannot cure him even of a toothache or a sore finger, and yet he madly thinks it is in his power to cure his soul of sin."

Monday, May 04, 2009

Under Construction

Thorns is under construction.

I thought I could pull off all of the changes I wanted in an evening, but I was wrong. So if you are a regular visitor to the actual blog there is a reason it looks like a six-week-old paraplegic ape was messing with it. If you usually read Thorns from Facebook or a feed-reader, then you can ignore this post. Thanks for your patience. 


I just went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Rebekah requested that I wait five minutes since she was about to wash her face. I said yes.

With five minutes on my hands I decided to celebrate my 210th blog post. But first I had to write it.

So this post is both the reason for my celebration and the celebration itself.

Thank you to all of you who made this possible.

I will now brush my teeth.

Friday, May 01, 2009

I Haven't Decided If I Am a Big Enough Dork... watch the Lord of the Rings fan film, The Hunt for Gollum.

The independent film is 40 minutes long and will be released online this Sunday.