Monday, August 31, 2009

there are some things i know about

Some of the things I know the most about are the things I really know least well.

The Gospel of freedom and grace is something I know a lot about. Tons even. Galatians statement that we have "been set free for freedom" is implanted on my brain.

But many times (countless times) I will sin and immediately and guiltily avoid God. I'll feel such a burden that it is hard to breath and I'll feel it for weeks or months. Multiply that by the number of times I catch sin and it ends up being quite the weighty package.

And so, the Gospel that I know so well, is the thing that I know the least. I pray that someday I'll know the true scope of the Grace that saves me.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

a winner. and

First, the winner of Compelled by Love is Justin Lunsford. I wrote down everyone's name and used to get a number. I'll give it to him Sunday at church.

Second, does anyone know anything about Native American spiritual thought or life? The reason I ask is because I ran across a very, very interesting statement in one of the texts I'm reading for my lit. class.

"But these four spirits are only one Spirit after all, and this eagle feather here is for that One, which is like a father..."

It's not Trinitarian (because there are four and they are all spirits) but it has the idea of 3 in 1. I don't think I've ever seen or heard of any other religion having a concept like the Trinity.

The statement is made as commentary to an interview with an Indian named Black Elk. It was written in 1932 so there is the possibility that this is later theology influenced by Christianity...but it's still pretty interesting.


Friday, August 28, 2009

rubberbands are good for flipping

Free stuff:
Challies has 10 dvds to give away, Tony Kummer has 4 weeks of children's church curriculum to hand out, Terry's got Al Mohler's book, Z has a giveaway (that ends today!), and of course I'm giving away a book by Ed Stetzer.

Speaking of's Andy Naselli on whether or not we have free-will.

Kentucky has some cool pastors.

Something to pray for.

How to feel Scripture.

Something my sister has been trying to convince me of for the last couple of weeks: you can't do everything.

Something that will make you laugh.

And a video that will not.

(HT: Straight Up)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

i'm giving away a book

Thanks to New Hope Publishing I have a copy of Compelled by Love to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment here or on Facebook. I'll draw a random name on Saturday.

You can be entered twice if you share this note on Facebook, Google Reader or link to it via your blog.

Happy free book day!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Compelled by Love by Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation

I just finished reading Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation's book Compelled by Love and I heartily recommend it.

I've been following Ed's blog for several months and I'm always impressed with his passion for the Gospel and those outside the church. Those passions shine through in this book.

The opening chapters set the tone by defining the Gospel and the call to missions. Ed and Philip work through Scripture to show that the Gospel is defined by love, driven by love and a call TO love.

Putting the things of first importance (Christ's death, burial and resurrection) above everything is what drives our love. Christ's sacrificial death serves not just as our justification but as our example. Sacrificial love is what defines a Christian.

With great clarity and simplicity, Ed and Philip, describe the Christian life that is motivated by love: Love for God and Love for Neighbor. They challenge us to look beyond ourselves and to die to ourselves. They push us to make disciples and to work hard at evangelism. And they do it all through the lens of love.

Through it all they link obedience to Christ and love of Christ, which is exactly the way Jesus put it "You are my friends if you do what I command...This is my command: Love each other."


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


If you've ever wanted to hear me sing a lame children's song...then your wish has come true.

I preached on Luke 19 this past Sunday.

It came down to two things that depend on a proper understanding of Christ.

We should receive Christ joyfully because we are in need of saving.

We should not grumble against those who are not saved because Christ came to save them.

You can listen via this link.


Monday, August 24, 2009

back to school, back to school, to prove to dad i'm not a fool

I don't think any other question has come up as much as this one: "So, have you finished school yet?" It's usually said with an air of "if you don't finish soon you will surely die alone and retarded."

Well, I'm finally back to the ol' grind and I've got a thought or two after my first class.

Have you ever thought that a class is ridiculous to have a paper or reading or homework assigned on the first day? I've never really had a problem with it. In fact, I'd rather have something useful on the first day instead of a boring "this is what the class is gonna be like" routine.

If, however, you are one of those who thinks it ridiculous for class to be class on the first day then you would be sure to hate one of my profs before you ever met him...because I have an assignment due BEFORE we have class this Thursday. It consists of two chapter of a Biology text and a paper. Did I mention that it is due BEFORE we ever meet for the first time? I think this may be a little out of bounds.

And, speaking of "this is what class is gonna be like" days...I had one of those this evening.

In a class titled "American Ethnic & Minority Literature: Native American Literature" we spent the first 30 minutes listening to a talk on how this class is outside the normal "canon" of literature. Basically, we aren't going to be reading Shakespeare...for thirty minutes! I think we knew that when we signed up for a class with this title.

Then, we spent about 10 minutes listening to our professor complain about the fact that the only two women authors they read in college were Austen and Elliot.

Following that...we watched a movie. A. Movie. In a 300 level literature class (with graduate students taking it as a 500 level course.) And, it wasn't a movie about literature.

So, here's to going to school to get my education.


Sunday, August 23, 2009


So, after Paul lays down the law on how to avoid succumbing to the law, he lays down some guidelines to follow. What?

At the end of Colossians 3 Paul gives some words to married couples, children, slaves and masters. The important part is verse 23, in everything "work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

Men, love your lives for the Lord.

Women, respect your husbands as unto the Lord.

Children, obey your parents to make God look glorious.

Slaves, work with your hearts directed towards Christ.

Masters, treat your slaves well because it makes Jesus look awesome.

In all these things, Paul keeps us trained on the one thing that will keep us from succumbing to asceticism: Jesus Christ, high and exalted.

I'll get to chapter 4 tomorrow.


Friday, August 21, 2009

more than likely

There isn't a lot of free stuff this week...just Challies. (And the Mars Hill iPhone app is available for free.)

Bob Dylan...

Some unsettling information on the founding of the infamous Planned Parenthood.

The sweet Gospel of freedom.

Real theology is lived out theology.

Confession of a Calvinist.

How do you get Scripture into North Korea?

(HT: Spirit of Adoption)

(Facebookers click on "View original post")

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

sometimes i just think things are funny

Although I disagree with the author of xkcd on some things (based on comics they've drawn) I can't help but laugh at them most of the time.

And this one probably isn't the funniest in the world, but I guffawed out loud.

(Maybe it's because I'm easily startled...)


Monday, August 17, 2009

the church

From Why We Love the Church:

We need to be careful about our language. I think I know what people mean when they talk about redeeming the culture or partnering with God in His redemption of the world, but we should really pick another word. Redemption has already been accomplished on the cross. WE are not co-redeemers of anything. We are called to serve, bear witness, proclaim, love, do good to everyone, and adorn the gospel with good deeds, but we are not partners in God's work of redemption.

Similarly, there is no language in Scripture about Christians building the kingdom. The New Testament, in talking about the kingdom, uses verbs like enter, seek, announce, see, receive, look, come into, and inherit. Do a word search and see for yourself. WE are given the kingdom and brought into the kingdom. We testify about it, pray for it to come, and by faith it belongs to us. But in the New Testament, we are never the ones who bring the kingdom. WE receive it, enter it, and are given it as a gift. It is our inheritance. It's no coincidence that "entering" and "inheriting" are two of the common verbs associated with the Promised Land in the Old Testament (see Deut. 4:1; 6:18; 16:20). The kingdom grows to be sure, and no doubt God causes it to grow by employing means (like Christians), but we are never told to create, expand, or usher in the kingdom just as the Israelites were not commanded to establish Canaan. Pray for the kingdom, yes; but not build it.


Friday, August 14, 2009

new hope publishing rocks

Seriously, they do. You should all write them an email and say "thank you" because they have graciously allowed me two things:

1. Free books to review

2. Free books to give away on here

I just received four books in the mail today and you'll be getting your chance at a copy in the next week. How sweet is that?

Here are the titles I'll be reviewing over the next month:


the middle of august is upon us

It's hot out. Here are some things to keep your mind off the heat:

Challies has got some great stuff from Crossway to give away, free Kindle copy of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (HT: Crossway).

JetBlue is offering unlimited travel for one month. Cost is $599. (HT: Cranach)

Z asks some questions about abortiong here, here and here.

22 words on why having no regrets is not necessarily a good thing.

A great interview in 4 parts about avoiding the world's temptations and pursuing G?od instead. Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Can God make a rock so big...?

Is this funny?...or just creepy?

And, if you've never seen Kevin Johnson...then watch and laugh:

(Facebook click "view original post" to see the video)


Thursday, August 13, 2009

revelation 5

James Grier once preached a sermon on Revelation 5 at College Park Church in Indianapolis. It has so profoundly affected me that I continue to reference it quite often.

I recently found out that Dr. Grier has a website with sermons and articles:

There is a sermon on Revelation 5 on the site. I don't think it was the same sermon that I heard, but much of the content is the same.

I encourage you to listen to it.

All glory to the Slain Lamb - Jesus Christ.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I thought that this quote was quite timely considering Monday's accident. This is our local paper's latest article on it.

“What the Lord expects from us at such seasons is not to abandon ourselves to unreasoning sorrow, but trustingly to look sorrow in the face, to scan its features, to search for the help and hope, which, as surely as God is our Father, must be there. In such trials there can be no comfort for us so long as we stand outside weeping.

If only we will take the courage to fix our gaze deliberately upon the stern countenance of grief, and enter unafraid into the darkest recesses of our trouble, we shall find the terror gone, because the Lord has been there before us, and, coming out again, has left the place transfigured, making of it by the grace of his resurrection a house of life, the very gate of heaven.”
-Geerhardus Vos (HT: GDC)

The Gospel gives us hope because Christ suffered in every way. He wept at the death of his friend, Lazarus, and then he felt the sting of death himself. He is our only comfort.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


There was a bad one-car accident last night in Rochester.

A high school girl was killed and the other two passengers are in Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne.

Please be praying for them and the family of the girl who died.

The school year started last Thursday, so there will probably be counseling offered at the schools over the next few days.


Monday, August 10, 2009

how to live holy without succumbing to asceticism

It's a hard question. How do we live holy lives, pleasing to God, without ending up counting the rules we've followed at the end of the day?

Thankfully, Scripture is clear on the issue. Paul, in Colossians 2 and 3, warns against asceticism and the art of discipline...and then he tells us to put to death sexual immorality, greed, obscene talk, covetousness...and so on.

How can he put these two things right next to each other and not be crazy? Because he grounds our disciplined lives in the Gospel. The death of Jesus gives us victory over sin.

WE HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST, therefore those sins in us (like sexual immorality, greed, obscene talk and covetousness) are dead. That's our old self. That's not us. We are free from it.

And so, it is no longer a matter of trying to follow the rules, it is a matter of realizing that those sins are dead and we are no longer bound to it.

To quote from Romans "If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin."

How do you avoid rule keeping? By keeping the Gospel in front of you. Jesus took away the POWER of sin in our lives. We get the joy of killing sins. That makes a world of difference.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

the spoof

I recently found this again on Google Video and put it on my Facebook page. I thought I'd post it here for you. Hope you get a chuckle.

And, for those of you who have never seen the original..........shame on you. But, here you go anyway.


Friday, August 7, 2009

the week in review

As always, Challies has a giveaway and Randy has his month-long opportunity for stuff.

It is a good thing to be a cheerful giver.

Challies navigates some choppy water with grace.

Do you live an assumed Gospel life?

Go laugh at something.

Some great encouragement for those of us who will never be Peter, Paul, Martin Luther or Charles Spurgeon. One is here and the other is here.

And, instead of a vidoe, two quotes:

"Our young men are going into the professional fields because they don't 'feel called' to the mission field. We don't need a call; we need a kick in the pants. We must begin thinking in terms of 'going out,' and stop our weeping because 'they won't come in.' Who wants to step into an igloo? The tombs themselves are not colder than the churches. May God send us forth." - Elisabeth Elliot (HT: JT)

“It is not easy to get the law killed. Something of a legal disposition remains even in the believer while he is in this world. Many a stroke does self and self-righteousness get, but still it revives again. If he were wholly dead to the law, he would be wholly dead to sin. But so far as the law lives, so far sin lives. They that think they know the gospel well enough betray their ignorance. No man can be too evangelical [gospel-centered]. It will take all his life-time to get a legal temper destroyed.” - Ralph Erskine (HT: Ray)


Thursday, August 6, 2009

hiking barefoot

What would this place be without the occasional post on going barefoot?

Check out these awesome hikers on the AT.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

are you unworthy?

That, I think, is the message of the first twenty-four verses of Luke 14.

Are you unworthy to sit at the table for the wedding feast?

If you are, then Jesus welcomes you.

You can either click on the embedded file or download the sermon here.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

bobby mcferrin

You might know him from the hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy," but this guy is much more than that. He spent several days with us at Butler and it was unbelievable what he could do with his voice.

He also led a small Bible study (I missed it...dangit) while he was there. And, I got to play on stage with him soloing over the jazz band.

I've embedded a video of him doing a Bach prelude and having the audience sing Ave Maria over the top of it. He did it during our concert as well...and it was amazing. I hope you catch a bit of that below.

(Facebook will need to click "view original source" to see the video.)


Monday, August 3, 2009

even more from the chan

He seems to be everywhere lately. (HT: Josh Harris)