Friday, November 30, 2007

night light

My light burns longer than everyone else in my family and tonight I needed to share two things.
One is that I have recently begun praying this psalm for the youth in Rochester:

12May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace;

Oh, that God would raise up the young men and women in my youth groups and use them to spark a great revival of hearts and minds in Rochester. I pray that the baby-boomers would see the great love of Christ dwelling richly in the youth and that their hearts would be quickened to that same joy and love.

The second is related to the has to do with evangelism (which must occur to see our sons and daughters grow). Below is a quote found in The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever (which is a great easy read. no theological jargon. no hard to read statements...just down to earth writing in about 115 pages). The quote is by John Stott:
The invisibility of God is a great problem. It was already a problem to God's people in Old Testament days. Their pagan neighbors would taunt them, saying, "Where is now your God?" Their gods were visible and tangible, but Israel's God was neither. Today in our scientific culture young people are taught not to believe in anything which is not open to empirical investigation. How then has God solved the problem of his own invisibility? The first answer is of course "in Christ." Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. John 1:18: "no one has ever seen God, but Bod the only Son has made him known." "that's wonderful," people say, "but it was 2,000 years ago. Is there no way by which the invisible God makes himself visible today?" There is. We return to 1 John 4:12: "No one has ever seen God." It is precisely the same introductory statement. But instead of continuing with reference to the Son of God, it continues: "If we loves one another, God dwells in us." IN other words, the invisible God, who once made himself visible in Christ, now makes himself visible in Christians, if we love one another. It is a breathtaking claim. The local church cannot evangelize, proclaiming the gospel of love, if it is not itself a community of love.

So, let us take up the charge of evangelizing our youth by being a community of love so that God, the invisible, is displayed. And then, then...we will see the fulfillment of our prayer that God would make our sons and daughters like pillars and full-grown trees.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007


ever wondered what the point of praying was? ya go

(HT:Vitamin Z)   i in no way endorse or condone any of the answers this man gives for the reason we a little

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Would anyone prefer me post a few links everyday rather than just have the links appearing in a feed on the page? I subscribe to several blogs that have their top blogs of the day in a single post and I thought that it may be an easier format for some of you. could subscribe to my feed for good blog posts here


the great spurgeon

Some of my friends have said I look like Charles Spurgeon, the great preacher. I saw a picture today...and...i do bare a striking resemblance.

Here's a link to the Spurgeon Archive which has tons of resources...not just those of Spurgeon.

You should check out his writings, they will do you great benefit.

(HT:Colin Adams)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


well, thanksgiving week (yes, week) has come to and end. This is, by far, my favorite holiday of the year. It is probably everyone in my immediate family's(i don't know how to make family possessive) as well. (my sister, amy, blogged about it included...check it out here)

Thursday starts with a round of turkey days. I start at my place (sometimes accompanied by a couple of friends) then off to my buddy Jump's family. Then off to see Nigel's family. Then finally settling in at Rob's family gathering. This has been tradition for nearly a decade. Sadly, as we have gotten older it has been more difficult to make it to all of these (marriages...grandparents leaving town...)

Ahh...then Saturday. Saturday is really the day that Thanksgiving revolves around on the Helt side. My Grandma used to have it at her place and there would be anywhere between 100 and 150 relatives and friends. It. was. in. sane. She made all the food herself (including her state champion pies). Sometimes she brought in an extra oven. It took her the entire holiday weekend to prepare.

She died 5 years ago this past August. Since then, the gathering has happened at my folks house and has been trimmed down, since we have a smaller house and we just don't feel like killing ourselves to cook for that many people. We still average about 50 every year.

I've been made the bread chef. This is for a couple of reasons. One, I am a voracious bread-eater. I am the current record-holder at 26, in one sitting, of my Grandma's famous home-made yeast rolls. No one has even caught site of the record (people usually talk of going for it and then buckle anywhere between 10 and 18). The second...I make a darn good roll. Seriously. They rival my Grandma's.

I made somewhere around 350 this year. It took forever. I think I may need another stove like she used to have.

Besides the food, the holiday is really great because of my family. They are wild, crazy and blunt. They are also all tremendous story-tellers. My grandma was the queen. She could weave a tale so great that we would forget that we'd heard it countless times before and we would still laugh at all the insane moments she made tall.

My aunts and uncles (and my dad) run in the same vein. My hope is to one day be able to tell a compelling story the way they do.

I hope your holiday week was a great one. I hope that you know the reason we can give thanks and I pray that you believe in Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, today.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


3 things from Sunday.

1. I got a new guitar on Saturday (12-string Alvarez). It was a sweet used guitar, perfect condition, half-price. My old guitar needed serious I played my sweet new guitar on Sunday. It was awesome (not my playing...just the guitar).

2. I preached on Ephesians 4 and the preeminence of Christ in corporate worship. My sermon tore at my heart...I long for the day when pastors across the world will unite in equipping the saints so that they won't be turned by falsities and so that they will love the world through Christ.

3. I talked through the first 2/3 of Romans 8 at Sr. High. A quick summary:
We are now alive in Christ and in His Spirit. We need to constantly be mortifying the flesh so that Christ can be made supreme in our actions and so that we do not
succumb to the sin that dwells in our body.
We are heirs with Christ. We have a Father who loves us dearly, one who we need to cling to because we are unable to do anything good without Him.
We also must suffer for His sake if we are to be counted among those who love Him. That means living a life of sacrifice, willingly giving to God all that He demands (which is everything...)
We see the beauty beginning to shine in the predestining of us to salvation. We are in utter and total sinfulness, unable to do good. How gracious of God to stoop down and pluck us from the pit of sin that we live in.
We are promised that if we are foreknown and predestined, then we will be called (oh how sweet that irresistible grace is), we will be justified (counted righteous in God's eyes), and we will be glorified (to be forever with God in His glory).

'Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...that saved a wretch like me' begins to melt the heart when the love of God is understood.


Monday, November 19, 2007

a little something for ya

I don't update this blog every day (although I think about doing it nearly every day), so I have added a little feature.
To the left at the top of the column is a little spot with some links to blogs that I like on that day. I read about 50-100 blogs per day, so I usually have read something worthy to be noted.
So now you have something to read even if I don't have anything to say.
Happy Thanksgiving (that's your Christmas present, too).


Sunday, November 18, 2007

mike huckabee and...chuck norris?

You read it right. I knew that Chuck had already donned his Huckabee hat, but this little message made me laugh until I cried. For all those who love Chuck, know that he loves Huck. It's only a minute long...and well worth the 5 that you'll spend laughing.
I hope Mike wins the is a bit of a long shot...but i still can hope.


(HT:vitamin z)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

upcoming and a funny

I am stoked about Sunday. You wanna know why? 2 reasons.

#1. I am preaching from Ephesians 4:11-16. Ephesians to me is like Galatians to Luther. I may call my future wife Ephesians. I can't wait to talk about Christ on Sunday. I'm jittery with excitement.

#2. I am talking through the first half of Romans 8 with the Sr. High. That passage is such a good follow-up from chapter 7 and there is a nice little break (in my opinion) that will allow me to teach for a couple of weeks on Biblical manhood and womanhood (a requested topic).

and now...the funny. (and no, I'm not going to tell my sweet knock-knock joke).
This is Dr. Jim Orrick. I have no idea who he is or what he thinks, but I saw this on Hershael York's blog and thought it was hilarious. Old man rap...gotta love it.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Joseph Hart

I began looking around for information on Joseph Hart, the guy who wrote "Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy," and stumbled upon this prayerful hymn. Considering how often I am moved in my Spirit, I think it may be good for me to read this once (or more) a day. I nearly cried...yeah. I know.

O for a Glance of Heavenly Day

O for a glance of heavenly day,
To take this stubborn heart away,
And thaw, with beams of love divine,
This heart, this frozen heart of mine.

The rocks can rend; the earth can quake;
The seas can roar; the mountains shake:
Of feeling, all things show some sign,
But this unfeeling heart of mine.

To hear the sorrows Thou hast felt,
O Lord, an adamant would melt:
But I can read each moving line,
And nothing moves this heart of mine.

Thy judgments, too, which devils fear—
Amazing thought! unmoved I hear;
Goodness and wrath in vain combine
To stir this stupid heart of mine.

But something yet can do the deed;
And that dear something much I need:
Thy Spirit can from dross refine,
And move and melt this heart of mine.

His other hymns are equally good. You can check a few out here and a few more here.


Monday, November 12, 2007

best facebook group of the week

So, I stumbled upon this facebook group: Everything I know about Calvinism I learned from Caedmon's Call songs

I laughed hard...and then I joined it. I suggest that you join it, too.

I just went to a Caedmon's concert this past Friday. It was rockin...and Todd Bragg is a great guy with a passion for Christ.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

romans 7

The death of Christ has released us from the law. He has died and we die in Him if we believe that His death is what sets us free. What a beautiful portrait of love. He died to set us free from the law that to the love that abounds in the fruit of the Spirit.

And then on into the battle that rages. The great do-do verses. These verses give me no confidence in myself. They strip me of everything that I think I bring to the table for Christ. I'm dry, barren, knowing the good "but not [having] the ability to carry it out." It is the passage that I turn to to destroy the pride in my life. I cling to this passage because it tells me my worth outside of Christ is nothing and reminds me of the despair that I once lived. It reminds me that even in my salvation that I still have nothing to bring.

And finally, the crux verse. "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" That's my prayer. That is all our prayer is..."God, I'm unable to do anything good even though I want to...but thankfully you also move me in your Spirit to do that good. Let me flee temptation and cling to You."

The beauty of salvation is made no clearer than this passage. Our utter worthlessness our 'wretchedness' and Christ's ultimate worth through His death and His Spirit's work in us.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

my family

Here is an email that I sent to my brother. It is fairly typical of what a night with the family produces. Absolute crazy.

The context of the email is this: about 15 years ago my brother was offered some pickled pigs feet by my grandpa. He took one...and took a bite. (which is enough to make most people stop reading, but on). He nearly threw-up. The whole episode has become legendary. My little sister (who is 16) claims that not only was the entire family present at this little activity but that she vividly recalls the event. Which, if you do the math, means she remembers, with great clarity, something that happened when she was 1. order to end the debate between us, i sent this email to my older brother. Hopefully he'll remember his own story and be able to lay the argument to rest.

pickled pigs feet...
when did you eat them?
have you eaten them more than once?
just recount the story to me.

we're having a bit of a debacle.
anna, seems to have remembered an event that may or may not have occurred. The rest of the family thinks she has completely lost her mind.
Dad, sides with her. But that is to be expected, because it has been evident for some time that he is completely insane as well.
Mom, has no opinion and cannot stop laughing...probably because she's nuts.
Amy left the room hours ago. She hates the family.
Mo won't let anyone pet him. He's freaked out by the whole thing. So freaked out that he shut his own pen. He wants no visitors.


Your brother (the one who knows the real pickled pigs feet story)


p.s. anna does not approve or endorse this message. paid for by the campaign to elect joe helt as ruler of all things dumb in the family. (which is entirely separate from the campaign to elect mark smiley...because my campaign understands the legal implications of the open door policy)

hope you enjoyed it.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

romans 6

To borrow a term from Watchman Nee, we must 'reckon' our sin dead in order to begin living the 'normal Christian life.'

The first 14 verses of Romans 6 talk about this very idea. One of the greatest gifts given in salvation is the freedom from sin. It is no longer alive, it is dead. It has been crucified with Christ. We are not bound to it. To realize this truth frees us from guilt. It frees us from repetitive sin. It frees us from a legalist form of Christianity.

The second part of Chapter 6 is equally awesome. Not only are we free from sin...we are free to righteousness. That is our great duty and gift. That even though we are free from the law we are now bound in our heart to Christ. We are now to live a righteous life because we are bound to do so.

Let us all reckon these to be true and live truly God-glorifying lives in Christ Jesus.