Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jesus Camp

I am not quite sure how to take this movie coming out. In many ways what I see, at least in this trailer is not good. We are shown parents who feel it is their duty to raise up an army for God, however after listening to these kids one thing is missing from their "agenda", the gospel. Replaced is a political, right wing agenda, and a underlying fear that God is not big enough to change the world by the simple preaching of His Gospel and the change they want is a legalistic, pharisee type change. The reality is, these people do not trust the Power of God unto salvation, and feel that they have to replace the gospel with very dramatic pep rallies for Jesus. I am not worried about this film, or do I think God is up in heaven biting his nails, but I do pray for these people, especially the kids. That the Spirit would open their eyes to the truth, and see who they are (sinful people) and who God is (Holy, Holy, Holy) and then see Jesus (Saviour, Redeemer). But like I said God is not worried or has for a split second stop reigning!!!!
Jesus Camp Website
Just my thoughts.....

Monday, October 16, 2006

Where My Joy is Found......

Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,
Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,
Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,

Working late, tired, feeling kind of sick, not really
enjoying life and having a victorious Christian "attitude"
whatever Joel Osteen thinks that may be.

This is my hope, this is my joy, this is my smile and my
passion, my esteem, my delight, my love and it has
nothing to do with me inasmuch as I
have had a hand in it!!!!!!

Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,
Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,
Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"And They Will See The Son of Man.....

.....coming in clouds with great power and glory. " Um ..... yeah.... not sure this is what Mark had in mind as he was being inspired to write this. If you look closely you can see a mullet on Jesus!!! I still think Balloons can be used to God's Glory (see below) but this may be trying too hard, it is like taking the cheesy church sign and pumping it with steroids of cheesiness!!!!

I can see it now, "I prayed to God for a sign, and behold Jesus floated by it was a miracle!!!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Up, Up and Away

This week is the annual Balloon Fiesta here in Albuquerque, and that means 2 things, we get a pretty cool skyline like above and also we get a lot of traffic with all the tourists. They estimate that over 100,000 people will go to the fiesta, and that got me thinking. Why?? What is so great about watching big, colorful balls go up in the air, I mean unless you are riding in one all you are is a spectator. The answer came this morning as I drove to work. My drive is usually across town from my home on the west mesa to my office so I have a pretty cool view of the whole city as I come down. I caught myself watching the balloons more than the road, and I thought to myself, how cool, how grand, how peaceful, but mostly "dang that is a lot of balloons".

What popped in my head was what John Piper said last week about greatness, how we do not go to the Bulls game cause Michael Jordan is just as good as us, or go hear U2 cause Bono is an average singer, no we go cause we are naturally attracted to that which is greater, grander, more awesome than us. While Bono and Jordan are talented, this natural instinct was made for adoration and worship of God, the grandest, greatest and most awesome One. So we do not go to the balloon fiesta to see a bunch of balloons we blew up, no, we go to see giant globes that carry people!!! We go to watch a giant polar bear, or whiskey bottle float up in the air as we look at it and realize how big the balloon is and then in turn how little we are.

What a God we have, how he uses Balloons floating over our city to point to His greatness, to His bigness. It does not stop simply there, for us that are in Christ it points to more. We see His transcendence and then marvel at His immenence (closeness) to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is God, and is what big balloons and great athletes point to, even if they don't know it. He is the all and all, He is the only one deserving the title Awesome! He came down took on our flesh, experienced our struggles, and in a lot of ways experienced struggles we will never face, and then was killed on a cross, and 3 days later was resurrected and exalted to the right side of the Father where He reigns. He also sends down the Holy Spirit, also God, to live in our hearts and minds, to open our eyes and unclogg our ears, to see and hear the Great News of our Glorious Redeemer. Yeah that seems to be greater than a floating bottle, or bear.

Hallelujah, What a Saviour!!!!

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Piper and Driscoll- All I can say is wow!!!

As a young man of 26 I look up to Dr. John Piper with great respect and in so many ways like Paul told the Philippians to do, I strive to imitate Piper's faith. Here is an exchange between Dr. Piper and Mark Driscoll, following what some thought to be a sign that they are not on the "same team". Read it and think about someone in your life that you can encourage, love and stand firm together for the gospel!!!!!
  • Driscoll-Piper E-Mail Exchange
  • Monday, October 2, 2006

    Desiring God 2006

    So 24 hours after coming back to the desert from Minnesota and the Desiring God conference I look back at this past weekend with one thought.... Christ and His Supremacy in all things!

    That is really what this conference was about. The conference was aptly titled "Above All Earthly Powers, The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World". The first speaker we heard from was on Friday night, David Wells whose book was the titled
    Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World.
    I recommend you purchase this book, as well as the 3 other books that proceeded this volume by Wells. David Wells's talk was an outline for the weekend. Wells spoke on basically how all through out life Christ is Supreme and he used the Book of Hebrews to showcase this fact. I had never heard Wells although I had read some of his works and was simply in awe of how Christ just poured out of this man. Plus he was English and the accent gives him credibility and intelligence in whatever he says, just kidding, but what he was saying was breathtaking. It was simply, Christ and His Supremacy.

    The night than followed with a 1 hour discussion time between, Tim Keller, Mark Driscoll and John Piper and was mediated by Justin Taylor (who as it turns out is our new worship leader's old roommate). It was great to see Driscoll and Piper sitting there, two so different men with one Supreme bond, Christ. The night ended with joy and excitement for the next 2 days that laid ahead.

    We woke up early the next day after going to bed late (well late for new parents that are in bed by 11pm usually). We headed over to the convention center and heard an amazing message from Voddie Bauchman, after which I along with the rest of the conference went and purchased his book. Voddie's passion for truth was inspiring to imitate. His passion for racial harmony for no other reason than biblical ones was amazing, because they were God's passion for racial harmony!!

    After Voddie was Tim Keller, and his urge for us to go to the city, to be in the center of culture. I write this feeling convicted as our downtown and city center here in ABQ is about 30 min away. But his excitement for being in the city to change culture, and for us not to just go and become the city but by God's grace go and be lights and transform the city. Keller's thought about that we don't get beyond the gospel, we do not say "Ok got the gospel, now what" the gospel is the substance to everything, all pours from the gospel, and we must always stand in the gospel.

    After a good lunch in Minneapolis's very cool and trendy downtown, heck they got a 2 story Target, we headed back to hear Mark Driscoll.

    Mark in someways was a guy that I think a lot of people were wanting to hear. John Piper had spoke on how he had received a lot of flack for inviting Mark to speak at the Conference. I was very familiar with Mark, as I had read his books and love to hear his sermons that I Podcast weekly, as well as his blogs and websites. It turns out that a lot of people had heard that Mark was a controversial speaker and someone that crosses the line and goes too far, which being a sinful human like all of us he does. But man I did not realize the controversy that surrounded him. His talk was on the Christ and the Church in a Postmodern world, it was a very good talk, maybe my favorite. His outline of the foundational things he grasps and stands firm in, in one hand and with the other does have an open hand was so needed in our sometime over critical, quick to dismiss reformed circles. All in all I think John Piper made the right choice in not giving in to those people that were calling for Mark's excommunication and head!

    After Mark's talk there was another panel like the previous night, this panel had Piper, Bauchman, Wells and D.A. Carson. The one thing I saw was vulnerability as these great theologian types allowed us to see them as simply broken men. Carson's tears over his father's ministry and that he did not see the fruit that came from it, Wells want to be "hip, man" like Driscoll, and Piper's fatherly care for Mark. Voddie's talk on Racial harmony and how our supreme goal should not be "How diverse is our church?" but "How are we doing with preaching truth in a way that color does not have a hint of significance?".

    After a nice dinner, we heard from Dr. Carson, now at this point I must tell you my head was close to exploding, and I was almost to the point of being crouched down in the fetal position and crying in the conference room. Why?? I was very overloaded with such great talks from the whole day that adding Carson to it was the elephant that broke the camel's back. So I did enjoy Carson's talk, how he spoke on the Trinitarian love and how that is our starting point. I will need to listen to all these talks again, slowly and take notes, and especially Carson's.

    After a beer and talk with friends me and wife hit our pillows ready to come in Sunday to here Dr. Piper's talk/sermon. Piper was like always, passionate and expressive with his emphasis of joy. He has been such a major impact on my theology, my growth and my call that I was very excited sitting there listening to him. Piper started of speaking of how someone in the crowd had called him out, in the same way he had called out Mark as being wary of Mark's cleverness in culture and his own cleverness in academia. What was amazing was not only did he take the slight rebuke in, but also shared this with 3000 people, what humbleness. Piper than talked about the joy of Christ, and how that is the end, to be with Christ, that is true Joy, and that is the end of everything for those who cling to the cross.

    That is a brief, very inadequate summary of the conference, also the bookstore was a great place as well!!!! I Discovered the possibilities with my credit card!!

    The thing that was amazing was that there was no 5 points to going out to the Postmoderns and being effective, or how to's. There was no applications really in any talks, it was simple. Christ is Supreme in any and every culture, and all flow out from that, that's our application, and all I can say is Amen!!!!!