Friday, July 31, 2009

i'm a sinner...but God is merciful

Matthew 9:13
Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

Romans 5:8
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Timothy 1:15
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Isaiah 55:7
let the wicked forsake his way,and the unrighteous man his thoughts;let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Luke 18:13
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

Matthew 19:24-26
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit

Luke 15:7
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.


it's friday already?

First up is the free stuff:

Jared is giving away more books over at the Thinklings (you should definitely go there and comment [and respond if you win] because Alex and I both won copies of Godology from him), Boundless has released their guide for the ladies, STR is hooking people up with a free pdf of Salvo magazine, win a copy of Crazy Love (HT: Matt), a chance to win a ton of books and support a brother in Christ, and Challies will be having some Free Stuff.

For the music nerds: teach your kids perfect pitch!

Our hope of the new heavens and new earth.

You should subscribe to this blog.

Most awesome news of the week.

And, the Pistol Shrimp.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

what we sang in philly

(Click through to view the video)


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

calvinism: theology for the masses

Recently I was challenge with the reason there are so few book-learned Arminians, and so many book-learned Calvinists, is that there are so few books written for people from the Arminian perspective.

I've been thinking on this. I think there are lots of resources for Arminians to read...but most of them are pretty intense. They are written for intellectuals and not for the masses. Most of the books from Calvinists are not high theology books, they are written for the masses.

I think I know why.

Calvinism is content to live with the tension built into Scripture, going by the mantra: God is Sovereign; Man is responsible. We like passages like Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 4. And we like them smacked together like a big old bell and clapper. We like to sit on the promises of God's eternal decree and then work out our salvation with every once of energy we possess, returning all praise to our God and Father.

Arminians seem to want to make everything fit nice and neat. The tension needs explained. That Ephesians 1 passage needs the words chosen, adopted, predestined, plan and purpose of His will explained so that they make sense inside a free-will theology.

And so, I think the reason there are very few good books for the masses based in Arminian theology is that it is too complicated.

Therefore, I declare Calvinism to be the lowest of all theologies...because even a simpleton can read "...He chose us in Him before the creation of the world...In love, he predestined us to be adopted as sons.." and say "Hallelujah, Jesus loved me before the worlds began enough to grab hold of me for all eternity!" and then just a few chapters later read " completely humble; be patient, bearing one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the body..." and say "I will work with all my might so that God's church is unified and I am humble and patient with all people!"

The tension is real and Calvinism refuses to get high-minded. It's theology for the masses.


Monday, July 27, 2009

favorite moment from the last week

There were times during the week in Philadelphia that the Gospel was glaringly absent from the evening lessons and morning devotions. It wasn't that what was said was was just that Jesus wasn't the grounding for it. The messages had a very "be good" feel to them.

And then something eternally rewarding happened. Several kids from my youth group said to me, after I asked them their thoughts on the past couple of days, that the Gospel was not there. The messages seemed unfulfilling and not quite Jesus centered.

It made my heart joyful to know that they could recognize Jesus-absent theology. Not only that, but that they desired to hear the Gospel.

On Thursday night after a brief message on foot-washing we began to ready ourselves for the act of washing. My kids were fidgety and uncomfortable (which is absolutely normal) and then one of them said "I just wish I knew why we were doing this. I don't think that washing someone's feet is a very good way to serve."

What they missed was the awesome service of Christ washing our feet as a symbol of our continual need for repentance and his continual intercession on our behalf. When they saw the beauty of God's sustaining grace found in foot-washing they were immediately ready to endure the brief uncomfortable moment for the delight of Christ continual work on our behalf.

I asked them two questions: What did Peter ask Jesus to do? (Wash his hands and face as well.) What did Jesus respond? (That he was already clean and only his feet needed continual cleaning.)

They immediately saw the connection to Christ's sustaining work for us. What a sweet thing to see them get it, that it's not about our service but about Christ's work. So awesome.


Sunday, July 26, 2009


Psalm 131

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD
    from this time forth and forevermore.


Oh, that we would spend more time thinking of the High and Exalted LORD and less time thinking about ourselves. How much more content would we be?


Saturday, July 25, 2009

back from philly

Apparently the Twilight Zone does exist. How else do you explain a 730 mile trip taking 15 hours? I hate Ohio.

We had a great week, the 5 kids and my last minute assistant, Allison. We met lots of folks, made lots of friends and were able to share the love of Christ with folks.

There were lots of things that could have been better but there is no doubting that all of us came away more in love with our awesome savior, Jesus Christ.

I'll give you a more thorough treatment once I get some more sleep. Definitely need lots more sleep.

Here's a pic with another group that was there with us. They're from Buffalo, NY.


Friday, July 24, 2009

friday links

What? How can I know these things?

Free stuff from Challies and another chance to win Godology. (HT: SBC)

Imonk asks some penetrating questions.

Alex helps us focus on the Gospel.

And Ed tells us how to proclaim that Gospel.

Buzz Aldrin taking matters into his own hands. Awesome. (HT: Jared)

(Facebook click through for the video.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

agree with satan?

Sounds like a terrible idea.

One of the greatest vices the devil uses against Christians is to make us feel guilty and unworthy of being a Christian. Oftentimes our response is to say back that we aren't that bad. This is deadly.

We must agree with him. We must more than agree with him. We must go beyond that and say that we are completely and totally worthless and have nothing good in ourselves.

Then, (and this is the key to overcoming the depressive state that may come) we must say that this is the reason that Jesus died. He died to save us, the wretched sinners. And of that I rejoice and I no longer count the sin that I do and say to be of any consequence because I am righteous before God because of the Lamb's blood.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

eternal security

After reading and commenting on a couple of Alex's posts, I've attempted to explain a tough idea with a word picture.

I'll start out with telling you that this idea has been bumping around in my head frequently as I prepare to lead my Senior Highers through the book of Hebrews over the next year. Hebrews is full of all these "warning passages" which seem, at times, to say that our faith to persevere is based on obedience and/or our growth in Christ.

I don't believe this to be the case and here is how I explain it.

I think the warning passage in Hebrews are meant to continually remind us that our faith is not based on us, our obedience or our growth in Christ. Those warning passages are there to let us know that it's all about Jesus.

Think of it like this:
Eternal security is like this giant mountain that you are climbing throughout your Christian life and all along the way we get this sense that we are perfectly safe.

We grab a climbing harness, like the defeat of a certain sin, and strap ourselves in. We cling to this evidence of faith and depend on it to continue to bring us to the top.

And then, higher up we run into a good friend and they become our climbing partner for awhile. They are great. They bear a lot of burdens for us because we are tired and lonely. They grab our 50-lb pack with ease (for a time) and we chalk this up as evidence that we are on track.

Later on we get to a large ravine and we cross it with a ladder, like consistent prayer, and we are confident of the strength of that ladder. We see it as a strong piece of wood that is virtually indestructible.

The problem that Hebrews makes clear is none of those things are what secures us. Hebrews shouts out: "Wake up!! You're near the edge! Cling to the rock! Let Christ's hand reach down to sustain you! Look out!! That ravine is deep and your ladder is full of holes!!"

And the point? The point of those warning passages is summed up in Hebrews 2:1, "Therefore, we must pay much closer to the things we have heard, lest we drift away from it."

What is the it? It's Jesus. It's the Gospel. He's the harness, the friend and the ladder.

The warning passage are meant to take our eyes from ourselves and the things around us and put them onto Christ. They are not meant to scare us with doubts and fear of falling, but to redirect our gaze to the One who holds and sustains us.

And so, I warn you, don't neglect this "great salvation" and keep your eyes on Christ. He will make sure that you are eternally secure in His arms.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

there is no way to introduce this video

(HT: Randy)

(Facebook click through for the video.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

a little about philly

I thought some information on Philadelphia might help you get a better picture of where we'll be.

Philly is best known for things like the Liberty Bell and cheesesteaks but there are lot of other things you probably didn't know about the 5th largest city in the US.

Did you know that the first secure website purchase was made from Philadelphia? He bought a CD.

The first piano built in America?...yup, Philadelphia.

Apparantly the idea of hanging out in a bar and discussing weighty matters was common in Philly, with the likes of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin spending time at the City Tavern.

And, the picture below will remind you that the movie Rocky (shot in 28 days) was filmed in the "city of brotherly love."


Sunday, July 19, 2009

how about some scripture

There's nothing like a good chunk of Scripture. Here is one of my favorites from the past few months.

Hebrews 1:1-, 2:1-4, 10-13
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying,

"I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise."

And again,

"I will put my trust in him."

And again,

"Behold, I and the children God has given me."


Saturday, July 18, 2009

mission trip

Tomorrow morning I'm heading off to Philadelphia with 5 kids from my church and a girl that I barely know. (She was gracious to step in at the last minute after a chaperone had to step down.)

We'll be working with YouthWorks! which I've heard from my friend, Rachel, is a great organization. I've been getting more and more excited as the day approaches. I can't wait to see the effect of teaming together with 60 other people for the cause of Christ will have on us.

I love mission work and haven't had the chance to go on any short-term trips since I spent the summer of 2005 in Yellowstone with Campus Crusade. I hope this proves to be a good experience and a Christ-exalting time.

Pray that we would be safe, united and good witnesses for Christ. But mostly pray that Jesus will be our focus and that His Gospel would go forward with power while we are there to save those who would believe. That's the whole purpose.

I've got several scheduled posts for next week, I hope you enjoy them. We'll be getting back late Friday night.

In Christ who sustains,


Friday, July 17, 2009

friday things

I completely forgot what day it was until I saw Challies Free Stuff Friday. So, it'll be two posts for today (I really encourage you to listen to the sermon by Nate Irwin in my latest post.)

So, without further ado:

Free Stuffy Friday from Challies, Godology giveaway (HT: Rebecca).

Oh, and thanks to Jared for giving me a copy of Godology after Alex and I hounded him for a couple of weeks.

Some items of interest: A 17-year old sails around the world, being hospitable, and the Pyros ask "do you want to be healed?"

Evangelism in open air preaching and at bus stops (HT: Challies).


Are you a real Calvinist? (I scored 81%)
Something you can send to all your Calvinist buddies. (HT:

Something to get active about: Zimbabwe (I got a letter about this a week or so ago from Campus Crusade. Definitely look and see if you can help out.)

(HT: Z)

(Facebookers click through for the video)


Jesus' rabbit hole

Nate Irwin, one of the pastors of College Park Church in Indianapolis, gave a sermon this past Sunday that was powerful. I encourage you to listen to it here.

He begins by recounting part of Alice in Wonderland and then shows us that Jesus, like the rabbit, unveils to us a hole to go down that is completely different than anything we have ever seen before.

Near the beginning of the sermon Nate makes these statements about the standard worldview of many people today:

"We believe we have the do anything that we want...and not to do anything that we don't want. We believe that we're free to love whoever we want and ignore whoever we want as long as we don't do them harm."

He then contrasts that with the worldview (the rabbit hole) that Christ calls us to:

"Jesus says, 'In my world you do not have the right to live, but you have the requirement to die. In my world you do not have the freedom to love, you have the responsibility to love.'"

The requirement to die and the responsibility to love. Powerful.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

what grace looks like, practically

Just over a year ago I had what would be classified as "mental break-down." I wigged out one morning and left town, telling no one and taking only the bare essentials. I drove over 1500 miles and wound up in Bozeman, MT. It was an excruciatingly painful time, not only because of why I left, but because of the wounds I had caused by leaving and abandoning so many people that I loved.

Even harder, though, was coming home. There were several times on the way back that I thought about disappearing again. It was only the hope of grace that kept me going, not just God's grace but people's grace.

I remember sitting in my truck in my parents driveway for about 30 minutes and then just standing in front of their door for a long time. The only reason I went in is because they saw me first. I nearly left from that spot. I'd never felt so terrible in my whole life.

But grace prevailed, not only in my family, but in my church. Who would have thought that people could forgive and welcome back someone who had done so much harm to them. It was then that I truly began to understand the meaning of Christian community.

There are many times that I have failed since then but always there is the grace given to sinners for one another. And so, grace extends through the lives of believers so that we can endure one another.

I hope that I display this grace. I hope that despite my demanding personality that people see that when they fail (personally or publicly) that I am not going to crack down on them for their sin, but welcome them graciously back.

What does grace look like practically? It looks like a pastor who was restored to his family, friends and church despite having failed them on a thousand levels.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the chan

"Some of you are luke-warm, you know you're luke-warm and you want to be luke-warm. You've planned your life this way."


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

prophet, priest and king

From Grudem's Systematic, Chapter 29:

Christ fulfills these three offices [prophet, priest and king] in the following ways: as prophet he reveals God to us and speaks God's words to us; as priest he both offers a sacrifice to God on our behalf and is himself the sacrifice that is offered; and as king he rules over the church and over the universe as well.

Christ as Prophet
He is the one about whom the prophecies in the Old Testament were made...The Old Testament prophets looked forward to Christ in what they wrote, and the New Testament apostles looked back to Christ and interpreted his life for the benefit of the church.

Jesus was...the source of revelation from God. Rather than saying, as all the Old Testament prophets did, "Thus says the LORD," Jesus could begin divinely authoritative teaching with the amazing statement, "But I say unto you.

Christ as Priest
In the Old Testament, the priests were appointed by God to offer sacrifices..."But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrificing of himself(Heb. 9:26) This was a completed and final sacrifice, never to be repeated, a theme frequently emphasized in the book of Hebrews.

The Old Testament priest not only offered sacrifices, but also in a representative way they came into the presence of God from time to time on behalf of the people. But Jesus does much more than that. Jesus has opened for us the way of access to God so that we can continually "draw near" into God's very presence without fear but with "confidence" and in "full assurance of faith."

One other priestly function in the Old Testament was to pray on behalf of the people. The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus also fulfills this function:"He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always live to make intercession for them"

Christ as King
After his resurrection, Jesus was given by God the Father far greater authority over the church and over the universe. God raised him up and "made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his fee and has made him the head over all things for the church" (Eph. 1:20-22; Matt. 28:18; 1 Cor. 15:15)

That is awesome.


Monday, July 13, 2009

call me a cynic

I normally don't voice my thoughts on things of this nature, but I happened to read an article on GM from last Friday's paper. (It was right next to a picture taken by some friends of mine of a hot air balloon that landed in their yard.)

In the article was this little diddy:

Once the world's largest and most powerful automaker, the troubled company was expected to emerge from bankruptcy protection by early Friday cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans.
Call me crazy but isn't filing bankruptcy getting "sunk"?

The federal loans were made and they still filed for

The only difference seems to be that now, instead of being under the jurisdiction of the businesses it owes money, it is under the headship of the government.

The federal loans didn't keep it from sinking, they just sunk it in federal property.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

it's official

I am way too old to stay up really late. I proved it a few weeks ago when I hit a deer at 4am and barely lived to tell and I proved it again this morning when I slept in and missed about 10 minutes of church.

Bad decision number one: deciding at 2am Saturday morning to drive to Indianapolis to rent a car.

Bad decision number two: sleeping for an hour at the airport waiting for the rental agency to open

Bad decision number three: getting home 3:30 this morning

Bad decision number four: deciding at 6:10 (after getting up and moving some clothes to the dryer) to go catch another 1/2 hour of sleep.

Result: Getting woken up by my sister at 7:45 (when I should have been there at 7) and failing to do my job as sound-man at the lake service...thus failing miserably at one of the few parts of my job that people see.

It's official. I can't stay up late all weekend and hope to do a good job on Sunday. So...I'm quitting.

No, not quitting the church. I'm just not going to be staying up like a maniac and trying to do the service on Sunday. Everyone'll either have to have their weddings over by a decent hour or have them during the week.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

celebrating cobbo

My good friend, John Cobb, is getting married this weekend. I'll be serving as his Best Man (scary, I know.) I thought I'd throw up a few pictures of the summer we met in Yellowstone.

The sweet car that got us out there:

Our first meal together, courtesy of the wood stove:

Outside of work, this is all John did all summer:

The one, the only, Buck-Buck:

We tried to destroy Chicago that fall:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

braille for the internet?

Thanks to my sister-in-law, Amber, for shooting this to me in an email yesterday.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

fun for friday

Finally, Friday has fallen.

First, for free: Audio book on Money by Randy Alcorn, this is your last week to try to win Bibleworks 8, if you sponsor a child with Compassion you can win a free hat, Crossway has a free book on facebook, Christian Communicators has a free book on baptism (HT: Challies), Challies will also have his weekly free stuff up soon and, though it's not quite free, Ligonier is offering a book on Calvin for a donation of any amount.

Fanciful findings: Kevin DeYoung's version of Pilgrim's Progress...part 1, part 2, part 3

Fundamental faith: Ray Ortlund nails it. Pyro makes it obvious. The A-Team gives evidence. Francis Chan lays it out.

For philosophizing: Jared's post on our true identity is worth thought and there are some really disturbing things happening with abortions.

Funny for you:



p.s. It's John Calvin's birthday!

the first chunk of colossians 2

Last Sunday I walked the Senior High through the first chunk of Colossians 2 (I'll be going over the same thing with the Junior High this coming Sunday.)

Colossians 2

(1)For I want you to know how great struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, (2) that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, (3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (4) I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. (5) For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Alive in Christ
(6) Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, (7) rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

(8) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (9) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, (10) and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (11) In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (12) having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. (13) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him having forgiven us all our trespasses (14) by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (15) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Questions to consider:
1. What is Paul's hope for people?
(Knit together for the purpose of knowing the Gospel more intimately.)

2. Why does he have this hope?
(So that they aren't falsely persuaded.)

3. What is the "good order" and "firmness of faith" that Paul is talking about?
(Behavior that evidences their faith and grounding in Christ.)

4. What does it mean to "walk" in Christ?
(To show a growing change of attitude and behavior as you know Christ more.)

5. What is the overriding mark that Paul desires to mark the Colossians?
(Abounding in thanksgiving.)

6. What does it mean to be "filled in him"?
(That nothing else can ever satisfy our longing for complete joy except Christ.)

7. What is the relationship between baptism and circumcision?
(Baptism of the Spirit is something that happens to us and not something we can perform.)

8. What did Christ accomplish on the cross? Why is it important?
(Fulfilled the legal demands. He reconciled us from enemies at war to friends at peace with God.)

1. How can you apply this to your prayer life (for yourself and others)?
(Praying for others to love one another with no ultimate purpose is hard. To pray for someone to be knit together for the purpose of knowing Christ and making Him look glorious gives weight to our prayers.)

2. What will this do to your obedience to Christ?
(Realize that obedience isn't done to earn favor but is done in joy and as evidence to sincere faith. If you're not showing signs of obedience over a long course of time then it is likely that you are not firm in the faith and are still enemies of God.)

3. Relating back to Chapter 1, what are the things that we need to jealously guard about Christ and his image?
(The transactions occurring at the cross, penal substitutionary atonement.)


Monday, July 6, 2009

my new front end

Insurance that doesn't cover hitting a deer: $46 monthly

Gas to get to and from the wedding: $34.68

Pepsi and Gardetto's to keep me awake: $4.18

New grill for my truck: $94.60

Knowing that God was gracious enough not to let me die in a car wreck:


Below is a picture of my new front end courtesy of my cousin's junk yard.

in honduras

I have this friend who is a missionary in Honduras. She is not allowed to talk about the things going on down there because her mission organization said so. I, however, am free to talk about anything I want.

The big problem with everything going on down south in Honduras is that the media and the world are portraying it much different than it actually is. There are a couple of reasons this might be the case:
1. They are misinformed.
2. They are absolute morons.
3. They are diabolical, war-mongering, chaos-driven jerks.

Let's hope for all our sake that they are not the third option.

The truth is that Honduras ousted it's President because he was a nutcase (much like Hugo Chavez, a good friend of his.) He was, by all known means, trying to change the constitution to allow for a dictatorship.

Obviously, the Congress and Supreme Court of Honduras (what? a third-world democracy?) didn't approve. So, when Zelaya attempted to overtake these oppositions by firing a bunch of the folks under him, the Supreme Court ordered his arrest. They didn't want a crazy, power-hungry dude ruling over them.

Since Zelaya being in the country would not be so good, the military escorted him out to Costa Rica and a new President was made by the chain of succession.

At this point the world condemned the democratic government of Honduras for staging a coup and said that they support Zelaya AND Hugo Chavez. The US jumped on the bandwagon and said that the actions taken by the other two branches of the Honduran government were wrong and wouldn't be tolerated.

Outstanding. The world at large (which claims to value democracy) has denounced a fellow democratic country for following legal procedures to remove a President who has overstepped his boundaries and become a threat to their society.

For an enlightening take on the situation from the eyes of a Honduran, go here.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

the goats that had bloat

The Goats That Had Bloat
By: Dr. Chevon

My neighbor, the farmer, has a big farm.
With chickens and tractors and pigeons and barns.
It has pickles and carrots,
It has sickles and parrots.
He keeps pigs and cows and bottle-necked sheep
All penned in their places, at night they would sleep.

Over all of these things their dog makes sure
That nothing can harm them, not even a bur.

Over tractors and parrots and barns he keeps watch
Checking pickles and carrots and sickles for spots
He herds chickens and pigeons and bottle-necked sheep
Keeping cows, pigs and piglets all safe in their sleep.

There are many things funny you find on a farm
but only a few are cause for alarm.
One of the things that may happen at times
Is a serious thing that makes for good rhymes.

Occurring in mammals, this thing that we discuss
Within one of the species it really makes fuss.
This thing that I speak of is known of as "bloat"
The beast that most gets it is known as a goat.

And thus, my dear friends, the story begins
In a field on a farm right next to the hens.

You see, my good neighbor had just received
(as a gift from my grandpa on All Hallow's Eve)
A goat with three horns and one with but two
And wouldn't you know it, they both had the flu.

Luck'ly for them, the bottle-necked sheep
Are real good at nursing; they revived in a week.
But just one month later a new sickness fell
Leaving both of those goats not feeling too well.

You see, those poor goats had gotten the bloat
From something they ate while drinking a coke.

They ate flubber and gibbards
And fake rubber lizzards.
They had green chimichangas
And wallaby bongas.

Bee bumbles and struddles they ate with a smile
Slurping and burping their cokes all the while.

"Why, don't they know?", you will cry out and ask,
"That doing such things will make you pass gas?"

Well, what you don't know is the poor brothers goat
Had never passed grade school and learned about "bloat."
So they ate and they drank and got all gassed up
But then something happened, they seemed to be stuck.

They felt the gurgling burgling deep down below
But nothing they did would cause them to blow.
They tried pills and drinks that promised a fix
and ended up worse, and then got the fits.

Now the fits are just bad, if you don't know
They make you grab needle and thread and sew.
(Now sewing isn't bad if you like to make dresses
But for goats with the bloat it just adds more messes.)

Well, the three-horned goat, whose name was Mo Miley
Decided to go to the doctor, Bill Highly.
Bill prodded and poked and looked down his throat
And said "You, good sir, are down with the bloat!"

Now Mo was just angry at the doc's diagnosis,
he already knew that very prognosis.
But his two-horned brother, who lived by the dam,
said "Don't worry, my brother, we'll get fixed by Shazam."

Shazam was the monkey at the Round Barn Golf Course
(who lived next to Grumpy, the crazy pole horse)
He made a living by making gray goo
That gets rid of the bloat but makes you turn blue.

So the two brother goat, who were sick with the bloat
Went down to the golf course, (the one with the moat)

When they got to the bridge to get to Shazam
Who might have the thing that could cure them, Ka-blam!
They fell in the water, those goats with the bloat,
And wouldn't you know it, away they did float.

They floated on down the Tippecanoe
And down the Wabash to the St. Louis zoo.
And now those poor brothers are on display
As "The Goats With the Bloat That Won't Go Away."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

be thankful on the 4th

I hope you have a great 4th of July. Be thankful that God has been gracious to us in so many ways.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

friday things

The latest in free stuff:
Ligonier Ministries is giving away stuff (if you review a book.)
Challies weekly free stuff.
Still a chance to sign up for the giveaway.
I think Jared is still giving some books away.

Weirdest new blog: Fancy Fast Food (HT: Challies)

A little something funny.

July 4th is tomorrow, the Pyros remember our freedom.

Something deeply serious and disturbing...keeping a child's gender a secret. (HT: Challies)

Church discipline working gloriously in three parts: #1, #2, #3. With a little extra commentary from Timmy Brister (who attends the church.)

I've been hearing a lot about Sojourn music...and they are good.

And, another music one (HT: Josh Harris):

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

latest book

About a month ago I was the winner of Challies giveaway. I won several books, one of which bore the title Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help It Happen.

Last night, after some conversation with a few women my age, I decided to buckle down and read it to offer them a review and summary. Although my summary was somewhat sarcastic I think it represented the basic ideas of the book.

Despite its slightly off-putting title, it was a book that set marriage in its right place: that most people are meant for marriage and should take the matter seriously. If you'd care to read my short chapter summaries, I've included them below (realize that I read and wrote this in about 1.5 hours and finished at about 12:45 this morning):
Chapter 1: It's good to be married. Don't think you have the "gift of singleness" just because you're not married. Unless you are using all your "single time" to work for the Kingdom, then you're probably either not fulfilling your call to singleness or you're supposed to be married. Marriage helps make you holy.

Chapter 2: There are a lot of people who lived single lives for God's glory in Scripture: Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Paul and especially Jesus. Outside of Scripture: Mother Theresa (I think there were others too...but i don't want to flip around). They all esteemed marriage, though. We rarely think highly enough of marriage, even though we're constantly told that we shouldn't make it an idol.

Chapter 3: Marriage is being belittled because of divorce and other problems. We think the problem is marriage, when it is actually the fact that men (and women) are sinful. The church perpetuates the problem by offering "singles" groups that rarely address marriage and, instead, tell singles to work hard for God and marriage will happen if it is supposed to.

Chapter 4: God is ultimately in control but He's given us free-will (I wish she wouldn't use that word.) We have to take initiative because God's normal means of working in this world is through our actions.

Chapter 5: It's good to get people involved in your romance life. Especially your parents. If they are unwilling, enlist some quality mentors who will give you solid advice and determine if the person you are interested in is quality or not. Try and get your church to invest time in marriage counseling before engagement.

Chapter 6: There are lots of single Christian guys to date (especially in Bozeman, MT. Good thing I've lived there. Which means I'm one of the most eligible Christian bachelors...haha) The problem is that many of them are wimps. Man them up by giving them respect and helping them dream big and go after big goals.

Chapter 7: Sometimes you have to "pull a Ruth." Because our society has so few social structures for dating/courtship/engagement and men are sinfully passive, sometimes you need to call them out a little and ask them to lead the way. Sometimes it'll end well, with him responding in leadership, and sometimes he'll abandon the relationship. Hopefully, you'll know if it'll be the good kind beforehand. (This chapter is hard to sum up in a paragraph. Easily the best chapter so far.)

Chapter 8: Work hard at being a good steward of money and avoiding sexual sin. Don't put off marriage because you think someone better will be along soon. Don't set your expectations so high that no man can match them (think someone who will faithfully serve the Lord, love you, and provide for the family rather than Prince Charming.) Avoid becoming too independent that you can't accommodate someone else in your life and don't be afraid of risking your heart.

Chapter 9: Pray boldly for a husband. Pray boldly for a husband. Pray boldly for a husband.

Afterword: Candice's (the author) husband, Steve, gives a short recount of their relationship. Nothing really new, just him retelling it.

An FAQ that's got some good questions (and some rather bland ones that were answered throughout the book) with some thoughtful answers.

Being a guy, it was a bit sappy for me...but I imagine that it is useful for the woman who, as the intro says, "for all the women who long for marriage but are afraid to admit it, embarrassed by their deepest desires, or concerned that maybe they want it too much."