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July 06, 2009

Praying in Perilous Times

Pastor and missionary Gene Cunningham has written a timely piece on what we can learn from Elijah as we pray for our nation. You can read "Perilous Times Primer -- The Elijah Option" here.

July 03, 2009

The Johnny Cash song you’ve never heard

Well, maybe you have, but I'd never heard it before the local country station played it the other day, in honor of Independence Day. Enjoy, and have a happy Fourth!

July 02, 2009

And he didn’t get there by crying in Argentina

Karl Mona Malden Funny the way things work, isn't it? Just when marriages seem to be falling apart left and right, when some are predicting or even calling for the destruction of the institution, along comes a gentle reminder that the death of marriage has been greatly exaggerated.

With the news of the death of acting great Karl Malden, God rest him, came the news that Karl and his wife, Mona, had been married 70 years.

Seventy years.

Thank God, some couples still have it.

(Image © David Livingston for Getty Images)

June 30, 2009

I know I have forgiven if...

As I read Catherine’s book As We Forgive, it reminded me of the forgiveness issues I have in my life that I daily bring to the foot of the cross. The men and women in her book suffered a great deal; by comparison, my own experiences are nothing. They all have to come to terms with people who did horrific things to them, and I only have to deal with forgiving myself for the poor choices I’ve made in the past.

It made me reflect on the question "How do I know if I have forgiven?" And it revealed once again some of my flawed understanding of forgiveness. Unfortunately, all of us are guilty of such flaws. I wrote down some things to remember about forgiveness:

I know I have forgiven if...

I no longer have feelings of anger or bitterness.
I have asked God to forgive the other person.
I have asked the other person to forgive me.
I have confronted the other person.
I have attempted reconciliation.
I am willing to allow time to heal the wound or get on with life.
I can say “let's just forget about it.”

What's comforting to realize is the fact that I don't have to be flawless to experience God's forgiveness. No one is required to change to be proven worthy of His forgiveness. The only evidence needed is my life submitted to the presence of Christ.

June 29, 2009

Waiting on the Lord

707_jmilton You lovers of literature might want to check out my recent piece on John Milton's "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent" over at the Wilberforce Forum's new website. While you're there, check out some more of the most recent pieces, such as this and this.

(Image courtesy of The Wilberforce Project)

Good News out of Iraq

Iraq-radiostation

Joel Rosenberg reports this bit of good news about what is happening with Iraqi Christians, who now have their own radio station:

That station -- which can be heard throughout the Kurdish region and thus by more than two million people -- is broadcasting Christian music, original and previously-produced educational programs, original and previously-produced cultural programs, Bible reading programs and radio dramas based on the Bible. All of this is in the Kurdish and Arabic languages.

One Iraqi Christian, and station manager, said, "Growing up under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, we never thought we would see the day when we who love Jesus could run a radio station in Iraq.... We are excited to see how the Lord will use us to bless the Iraqi people, and particularly the Kurdish people. Please be praying for us that the Lord's favor would be with us and we would make a real impact in people's lives here."

I'm praying. Will you? 

(Image courtesy of Joel Rosenberg's Weblog)

June 25, 2009

Honor their service

Thumb_hts_banner_336x280 The second annual "Troopathon" is being celebrated today, in support of soldiers and their families. Visit Move America Forward's Troopathon site to find out what the event is all about. And don't miss the tributes being published on Big Hollywood, which has devoted the entire day to Troopathon. (Be aware that BH contains the occasional suggestive image and rough language.)

(Image © Troopathon)

June 24, 2009

Daily roundup

June 23, 2009

A tribute to Neda

June 19, 2009

Daily roundup

June 17, 2009

One Big, Happy Family

Kayes A friend of mine from my college days has quite the amazing family. If you have a few spare minutes, I highly recommend taking the time to watch this video of the Kayes family in Cincinnati. If there is a better reflection of God's selfless love for each of us, I haven't seen it.

(Image © Facinglife.tv)

June 15, 2009

Stephen Johns memorial funds

2009_0610_stephentyronejohns Speaking of Stephen Johns, three memorial funds have been established for his family. Click here to find out how to contribute.

June 12, 2009

Daily roundup

Father’s Day flicks

Frequency Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse's Ruth Institute is running a Father's Day Movie Poll. You can click here either to vote for one of their choices, or to nominate a favorite "dad movie" of your own. This was my pick (although this is a very close runner-up). What's yours?

(Image © New Line Cinema)

Foxhole faith

Flag We're in the middle of what always seems to me like the most patriotic of seasons. Memorial Day was just a few weekends ago, this Sunday is Flag Day, and just a few weeks after that, we'll be eating watermelon and watching fireworks on the Fourth of July. As a card-carrying Daughter of the American Revolution, I couldn't be happier. Bring on the flag bunting and red, white and blue jello parfaits.

Getting me in the mood for the season is a book I picked up at the library. God in the Foxhole details dozens of stories from the frontlines of American conflicts. Author Charles Sasser (a Navy and Army veteran) includes anecdotes from the Gulf Wars, Somalia, Vietnam, Korea, the two World Wars, the Civil War, the Alamo, the Revolutionary War, and even the French and Indian War and King Philip's War (both fought on American soil before we were independent of those tea-taxing Brits). 

Included among the stories of ordinary and even anonymous soldiers are the stories of some not-so-anonymous men and women, including Sen. John McCain, Clara Barton, and George Washington.

Washington's story comes not from the Revolutionary War, but the French and Indian War, when he was a young colonel in the Redcoat army. During a battle to capture the French Fort Duquesne, Washington rallied an outnumbered Virginia regiment and left the battlefield unharmed--but with a coat full of bullet holes. Fifteen years later, in 1770, an Indian chief who, during that battle at Fort Duquesne, had assigned his best sharpshooters to fell the Redcoat who fought like an Indian caught up with Washington to tell his side of the story and to deliver a message:

...a power mightier far than we shielded you. Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you. I am old and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades; but ere I go, there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy. Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man [pointing at Washington] and guides his destinies. He will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven and who can never die in battle.

Indeed, the Father of Our Country died in his bed in 1799 at the age of 67 after a sudden illness.

Continue reading "Foxhole faith" »

June 11, 2009

It’s a good night to watch a John Wayne movie

Jwayne John Nolte explains why.

(Image courtesy of Big Hollywood.)

Seeing Jesus Afresh

Jesus Mafa Years ago, when I was going regularly to Russia and Belarus on short-term missions, I invested in a series of A Beka posters depicting Bible stories. The posters were beautifully rendered and were a great teaching aid, whether I was working with children or adults. The posters, of course, depicted Jesus as either white or olive-skinned.

However, once I started going to Africa, I wanted a set of Bible story pictures that would resonate with Africans, from both an ethnic and cultural standpoint. A couple of years ago, I discovered this wonderful resource -- Jesus Mafa -- and ordered a set of their posters, which show a black-skinned Jesus in settings that look like a typical African village.

If you are a white American, take a look at these images and tell me what you think (click here and go through the seven links to see images from Christ's life). Do they change your perception of Christ? Do they give you a greater appreciation for the passages in Revelation which talk about how heaven will be populated with people from every nation, tribe, race, and language? If you are non-white, do these pictures make you feel more at home with Jesus? Why or why not?

(Image © Jesus Mafa)

Security guard dies in Holocaust Museum shooting

Stephen Johns As you may have seen in the updated Post article at my original post, security guard Stephen Johns has died after being shot in the chest at the Holocaust Memorial Museum. R.I.P. Please be in prayer for his family.

(Image © AP/U.S. Holocaust Museum)

June 10, 2009

Daily roundup

More Racing for Prisoners’ Kids

Runningshoes I’ve always thought “Wow, these Pointificators are a smart bunch … and fun too!” And with the outpouring of giving toward Prison Fellowship’s Storybook Dads program last month -- I hoped to raise $100 via my race … and you delivered $266!! -- I also realized “Wow, they’re generous too!”

Well, Joe, Zoe, Ron, CreationWaits, Dennis and YouKnowWhoYouAre, you were absolute heroes for my race. Again, thank you SO much.

Now, may I come back to The Point and ask our many dear friends for help again?

Those of you who enjoy reading The Point, first, may I again tell you how much we enjoy conversing with you? And may I also ask you to give to fellow blog contributors Karen Williams and Travis McShirley? They, too, are running to raise funds for Storybook Dads, a Prison Fellowship program that helps build the bonds between incarcerated fathers and their children.

Karen’s site is here. Travis’s site is here.

Continue reading "More Racing for Prisoners’ Kids" »

In Search of Saints

Check out Jim Tonkowich's review of A Crisis of Saints: The Call to Heroic Faith in an Unheroic World. The book's author, Fr. George Rutler, evidently has much to say about "saintliness" -- which Tonkowich defines as "the God-given ability to exercise heroic virtue in the face of cultural breakdown." If we want to heal our culture (and I suppose most of us Pointers and Pointificators do), then we must begin with the spiritual renewal of the Church. Rutler claims that "any crisis in culture is a crisis of saints, and no reform is radical enough unless it is a redemption from sin."

The final essay in the book deals with G. K. Chesterton, who was able to demonstrate his saintliness in, "of all places," the journalistic world. The difference between Chesterton and modern media types, according to Rutler, "is Chesterton's subordination of the self to truth. This is far more significant than the breath of knowledge" (though, goodness knows, Chesterton had that, too). 

In closing, Tonkowich offers these encouraging words from Rutler's book: "If there were giants in the land then, there can be giants now. It is, after all, the same land, and we are of the same human stock, and the times and issues are certainly no less important. And God is no less faithful to those who ask...."

June 09, 2009

Before the Throne of God Above

Need a little encouragement today? Listen to this beautiful song by Selah, and find comfort in the knowledge that our great High Priest is praying for you this day.

"Now that we know what we have -- Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God -- let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all -- all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help." (Hebrews 4:14-16, The Message)

June 08, 2009

Daily roundup

A Terror to the Devil

Saint_Columba Check out T. M. Moore's recent Crosfigell article "A Terror to the Devil" -- the story of how St. Columba's contemporaries viewed him (and a challenge to us to become like him). Here's an excerpt:

How did Columba get that way? He loved God and hated his own sin. He pored over the Word of God, giving special attention to the Law and the Gospels. He spent long hours praying and contemplating the unseen realm ... [and] he was a diligent student of Church history, knowing the debt he owed to the martyrs and theologians of the past.

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

June 06, 2009

’It is so important to be free’

Art.photo.cnn On the 65th anniversary of D-Day, one soldier tells his story.

(Image courtesy of CNN)

June 05, 2009

Daily roundup

Looking Up and Over One’s Fence

OBIT_KEMP_011_r350x200 Lanny Davis is about as enthusiastic a Democrat as one can find. An effective communicator and lawyer, he may be best remembered as one of Bill Clinton's chief defenders during the Lewinsky scandal.

But he found in his diametrical political opposite, the late Jack Kemp, a good friend, one who could vigorously disagree with him on issues while still enjoying him and caring for him as a person. This article by Davis shows wonderfully that the feeling was mutual.

John Wesley once encouraged his followers to note how even a cow will look up over the fence in front of it to see what is beyond it, if only out of curiosity. He encouraged his followers to hold fast to their cherished faith and beliefs while being secure enough in them to investigate what might be worthwhile in another person.  

Lanny Davis and Jack Kemp were able to find common ground on several issues, despite their different vantage points--all because they saw in each other something more than just an opponent.

(Image courtesy of the Washington Times)

Thought for the Day: C.S. Lewis

"I must often be glad that certain past prayers of my own were not granted." -- C.S. Lewis in Christian Reflections

June 04, 2009

How Chinese Christians are commemorating the Tiananmen Square Anniversary

Christians, that is, who took part in the demonstrations 20 years ago.

June 02, 2009

Music for the soul

Ig5-cover Having recently moved to a new area and gone through the "church shopping" process, I've had ample opportunity to observe some of the different styles of music in churches around my local area, from the staid to the ear-splitting. 

All of which makes me appreciate even more the lovely melodies and harmonies and the thought-provoking and soul-stirring lyrics on the Indelible Grace CDs.  The focus of Indelible Grace is on updating age-old hymns, many of which have fallen out of common use, for a modern audience.

Over at the 9Marks blog, Mike McKinley provided the lyrics for one of the hymns that Indelible Grace has recorded, one that, although written 112 years ago, seems particularly apropos to this time of economic uncertainty:

I do not ask to see the way
My feet will have to tread;
But only that my soul may feed
Upon the living Bread.
'Tis better far that I should walk
By faith close to His side;
I may not know the way I go,
But oh, I know my Guide.

Refrain
His love can never fail, His love can never fail,
My soul is satisfied to know His love can never fail.
My soul is satisfied to know His love can never fail.

And if my feet would go astray,
They cannot, for I know
That Jesus guides my falt'ring steps,
As joyfully I go.
And tho' I may not see His face,
My faith is strong and clear,
That in each hour of sore distress
My Savior will be near.

I will not fear, tho' darkness come
Abroad o'er all the land,
If I may only feel the touch
Of His own loving hand.
And tho' I tremble when I think
How weak I am, and frail,
My soul is satisfied to know
His love can never fail.

(Image © Indelible Grace)

May 29, 2009

Daily roundup

May 28, 2009

Marriage Is for Life

Milfords203 Frank and Anita Milford just celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary and are currently the longest married couple in the United Kingdom. What's their secret? They credit "a little argument every day."

Eighty-one years and still happy together. Congratulations, Frank and Anita!

(Image courtesy of the BBC)

May 27, 2009

Daily roundup

A patient God?

Rachel_06 When calamity lights on the world, the question is asked, “Why would a good God allow such a terrible thing to happen?” Often the best reply from believers in a good God is, “We don’t know.” That, at least, sounds better than “God is punishing someone.”

A thirty-seven-year-old wife and mother in Canada, however, unhesitatingly provides an answer:

Many have asked, "Why? Why is this happening to you?" ...I don't ask why, because I know the answer. And here it is. We live in a sinful world. Bad things happen. But it was not supposed to be this way, and it will not always be this way. God has a plan. He has made a way for sinful people...to be with him in a perfect world. The way is Jesus.... This is the way to know God and someday be free from this world of disease and pain....

So God is being patient, patient so that everyone has the opportunity to repent and to make things right with him. That is why there is evil and suffering in the world, because when he does return to bring judgment there will be no second chances.

Rachel Barkey is qualified to speak so boldly. Last January she was told her cancer had returned and was terminal. Astonishingly, she has used her final days not only to make memories with her family but also to share her profound and resolute faith in a good God publicly: 

I am dying. But so are you. Neither of us knows if he will even see tomorrow. And perhaps the reason that I am suffering now, the reason that God is waiting to bring judgment against all the evil in this world, is because he is waiting for you, for you to acknowledge your sin and to turn to him for forgiveness. Maybe you are the one we are waiting for.

Jesus suffered. God did not spare him. Why would he spare me, if my suffering would result in good for you? If my suffering is the means God would use to bring even one person to himself, it is an honor for me to suffer.

(Thanks to Tim Challies for the link; image © Anastasia Chomlack.)

May 26, 2009

Handling Temptation

In his book Conformed to His Image, Ken Boa writes about using our identity in Christ to help us resist temptation:

Who we are in Christ is not shaped by what we do but by what he did on the cross and continues to do in our lives. Our performance does not determine our identity; instead, our new identity in Jesus becomes the basis for what we do.... In him, we have been granted great dignity, security, forgiveness, unconditional love and acceptance, hope, purpose, righteousness, wholeness, and peace with God. We may not feel that these things are so, yet Scripture does not command us to feel the truth but to believe it....

When we are tempted to covet, lust, lie, become envious, or succumb to any other work of the flesh, we should say "That is no longer who I am." While we are on this earth, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life will be constant snares, but we are more than conquerors when we remember that our deepest identity is in Christ and invite him to rule and live through us.

May 25, 2009

Take time to remember

Memorial Day This Memorial Day, columnist Diane Evans reminds us of the point of the holiday: "Take time from whatever you're doing to remember those who went before you, without whom you wouldn't have the opportunities you have today." And she suggests some good reading to help us do just that.

Have a blessed Memorial Day, and make sure to take time to remember.

May 21, 2009

Pictures from the Hubble Telescope

Omega-swan Awe-inspiring pictures from the Hubble telescope sometimes leave me at a loss to understand people who can see this and tenaciously continue cling to a belief in a materialistic view of life. Enjoy the pictures, but before you leave this post, first read a beautiful poem about stars by Madison Cawein.

The Stars

These--the bright symbols of man's hope and fame,
In which he reads his blessing or his curse--
Are syllables with which God speaks His name
In the vast utterance of the universe.

Image © NASA/Associated Press)

On Leadership

I've been doing some research lately on leadership, and I ran across this very useful website called The Teal Trust. Among its many pages is one containing quotations on leadership. Here are three of my favorites:

"Charisma becomes the undoing of leaders. It makes them inflexible, convinced of their own infallibility, unable to change." -- Peter Drucker

"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy." -- Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf

"I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod." -- Sir Winston Churchill

What are some of your favorite sayings about leadership?

May 20, 2009

And They Wanted Him Dead

Armas My daughter, Rebecca, sent me that Gallup survey showing that Americans are becoming more pro-life than pro-death. Hurray for our country! (Here's a little heartwarming story: When Rebecca was a young teen we watched a show featuring a remarkable fetal surgery, and she became pro-life after watching the little guy's hands curl around the physician's fingers.)

Yesterday, I saw this article about that same little boy, whom many would have targeted for termination. I pray we're becoming a country where such advocacy would be unthinkable.

(Image © the Armas family)

May 14, 2009

Thought for the day

When it comes to oppression, persecution, and pain, our faith is to rejoice in hardship for the blessing and joy that will eventually result from it, and for the love that makes it bearable and even meaningful.

When you suffer, do you rejoice because God considered you worthy of the honor? It isn't a natural reaction for us unless we happen to be so filled with love for our Savior that any identification with Him -- even a painful one -- thrills us. Aim for that attitude. Nurture that love.

Chis Tiegreen, "Worthy of Suffering," May 14, The One Year Worship the King Devotional

May 12, 2009

Abdicating the throne

Prom Being elected Prom King and Queen takes charisma and popularity. One Kansas City high school got a little more out of their prom court. Instead of basking in the glory of their teen moment, the Prom King and Queen at Blue Springs High School took off their crowns and presented them to two classmates with special needs. 

It's nice to see some royals acting with nobility for a change.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

May 11, 2009

Farewell to a friend

U.S. News & World Report has excerpts from Chuck's eulogy for Jack Kemp.

Update: A video of Chuck's eulogy is now available on the main BreakPoint site.

May 08, 2009

From Atheism to Christianity

I've just seen the conversion story of die-hard atheist A. N. Wilson. What strikes me is that it was the everyday beauty of life which caught Wilson's heart. 

Let us all shout from the rooftop with our brother--Christ has risen!

Blogger roundup

Here's a collection of full-length articles recently published by your Point bloggers:

May 07, 2009

Clapham School’s Classical Christian Students: What a Crew!

Clapham School For anyone needing a bit of hope for the future of the human race, I commend to you the classical Christian school movement. I had the opportunity to engage with one such school last week in Wheaton, Illinois: the Clapham School. You got it: the founding parents named their school for William Wilberforce's Clapham Saints. After just three years, their enrollment is flourishing, offering Christian parents a great opportunity to help build their children's minds and character for Christ. 

Doug Reynolds, father of three and an international businessman-turned-Christian educator, serves as Head of School. He and his wife, Julie, came back from an overseas assignment in London wanting to combine Christian worldview, the classical education model, and the educational philosophy of 19th-century British educator Charlotte Mason. 

Mason is a favorite of homeschooling proponents, but schools like Clapham are able to distill the essence of Mason's joyful approach to learning in small group settings, as well. In this method, young children, while taught obedience, are also considered people and respected as such. As a result, challenging material, while always age-appropriate, is encouraged. In short, their minds can handle it.

I got a first taste of this phenomenon by just observing one class of second graders at Clapham last Thursday morning. First, it's a nice treat to have the whole class stand to greet you cheerily with "Good morning, Mr. Reed!" One by one, each student got before his or her fellows and spoke with interest about a subject they researched for this part of class. The first little girl presenting her material had the presence of a British Member of Parliament, discussing her research in a relaxed but highly competent way. The other students asked her compelling questions, and a great little colloquy had begun. 

When it was my turn in another class to lead a discussion on abolitionist John Brown, I got halfway through and only then realized to myself, "These are third graders, and I'm going to be discussing complex themes like violence in the name of morality!" How would this go? But they ate it up, including Ellie, a bright, fun young lady whose mental machinery was written on her face as she grappled with John Brown's complicated nature. But they seemed to enjoy it just because they love to learn something new. The questions were magnificent, worthy of a college class sometimes.

Continue reading "Clapham School’s Classical Christian Students: What a Crew!" »

May 06, 2009

Daily roundup

Chuck Colson’s tributes to Jack Kemp

Kemp Colson Chuck Colson has been asked to deliver the eulogy for his friend Jack Kemp at the National Cathedral on Friday. But he's already offering a tribute in today's BreakPoint commentary.

Jack might well have been President—and would have been a great one—were it not for two things: He would never compromise his convictions, nor would he attack his opponents. Sadly, it’s hard to resist those things and still get to the White House.

His courage was on display to the very end. During the times I visited him over the last months of his life, I was taken by how he kept his spirit up even as the cancer devastated his body.

Jack was a giant in our midst. He had a heart for the same kind of people Prison Fellowship serves—the poor, the oppressed, and the downtrodden. His wife, Joanne, has been a board member at Prison Fellowship for many years.

He also shared our Christian commitment to human life, telling the New York Times how a personal tragedy made him “more aware of the sanctity of human life, [and] how precious every child is.”

This and more is why Jack’s death is such a great loss to me personally. Joanne and his four beautiful children—all Christians—are in my prayers. How proud of them Jack was. This family’s Christian witness has touched countless lives.

Read more.

(Image © Prison Fellowship Ministries)

May 05, 2009

Chuck on ’Daisy Chain’

Daisy Chain Catherine has written before about Mary DeMuth's new book, Daisy Chain. Now, in today's BreakPoint commentary, Chuck Colson weighs in on this sad but inspiring novel.

DeMuth is a Christian and an award-nominated novelist whose books often deal with issues of abuse. Yet at the same time, they intertwine themes of grace and hope. Daisy Chain tells the story of a young boy named Jed who’s struggling with both his best friend’s disappearance and his father’s abuse. On the surface, Jed’s father looks like the model pastor and family man. Only his wife and children know what happens at home when his rage spirals out of control.

DeMuth herself is a survivor of a different kind of abuse, having been molested as a child. Her goal in writing about abuse, she once said in an interview, is “to show folks two things: That God can heal even the most horrific abuse. And to educate parents and professionals about abuse.”

I’m not a big fan of “message” books, where the writer neglects his or her craft and just concentrates on pushing an agenda. But Mary DeMuth is not that kind of writer. Her books are beautifully and sensitively written, and her characters are realistic and well-developed. She has a true gift for showing how God’s light can penetrate even the darkest of situations, and start to turn lives around. Even her villains are not beyond the reach of God’s grace.

Read more.

(Image © Zondervan)

2000 Reasons to Celebrate

A friend of mine (who will remain anonymous for security reasons) is currently in India conducting Bible classes for children. Last week, she and her team reached 1400 children; this week, they'll reach 600 more.

Please be in prayer for the salvation and spiritual growth of all these children -- and their parents -- who have had a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed clearly, boldly, and with such obvious love. I've heard much good news coming out of India in the past few years, especially from missionaries who minister to those "lowest" on the social and economic scale in India. How true are Christ's words that the "last will be first" in His kingdom!

C.S. Lewis on God’s Love

Here are a few encouraging words from C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity to inspire you this week: "Though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him."