Thursday, July 31, 2008
The best part of the Summer Olympics is not the pagentry, not seeing if the little country neverheardofstan will make it to the medal round, no the best part is that it gives me some basketball to watch!!! This cover reminded me of this fact and has got me stoked!! Click here for the Time Magazine article about the Olympics.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Matt Chandler, Pastor at The Village Church in the Dallas area has started his own blog. Matt is a very gifted teacher that is willing to be who he is when speaking in other words he is not afraid of emotion. I recommend you add this one to your reader!
His blog is called Dwell Deep
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Have you ever said anything like this?
- “I’ve tried to stop so many times, but somehow I still end up in front of the computer surfing websites.”
- “Cold showers, prayer, avoiding situations—I’ve tried everything. Is there any hope for me?”
- “I know I should get help, but I am too ashamed.”
- “I thought only men struggled with pornography, but I spend way too much time in my own little fantasy world.”
If you have, it’s likely that you are feeling trapped by an addiction to pornography and sexual fantasies. You feel guilty and ashamed, but you just can’t seem to stop. Maybe you are starting to notice that your relationships with the real people in your life are being affected by your struggle.
There is no magic bullet to free you from your addiction, but when you ask Jesus for help, he will come to you mercifully and firmly. Jesus welcomes all kinds of strugglers into his kingdom, and his Spirit will provide the deep-down change you long for.
Change happens when you face your behavior honestly, understand the roots of your behavior, and then go to God to work true change in your life. The true change that comes from God will affect not only your behavior, but also your imagination and desires in life. Do you believe God can do this? Take a step of faith; read this article, and ask God to use it to begin to change you.
Props: Missio Dei Suburbia
Watch this video and be moved, not just because of the amazing story of family love, but of what it points to. The amazing love displayed by our Heavenly Father to make us his son, and to run the race through us, by his power, and in the end we both celebrate. We celebrate as if we have run it and done anything, and we should because our father delights in our celebrating and excitement.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (I Corinthians 15:10)
(even when he types in "I can" at the end, remember we cannot!)
(I had no idea JT posted on this today too, we watched it in my seminary class)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Here is more from Josh Harris:
My friend Kirk emailed this picture of one of one the girls from his church with John Piper at New Attitude. Evidently she asked him to do a "W" for the "word of God" since that was the theme of the conference. Kirk pointed out that of course Piper had no idea he was also flashing the "Westside" gang symbol. Represent!
Props: J. Harris
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Windsor Hills Baptist Church plans to hold a shooting competition at their youth conference where they are giving away some fairly hefty fire power. The motives are clearly at least in part good. The church’s youth pastor, Bob Ross, claimed the main thrust of the conference wasn't about guns but rather "teens finding faith".
Perhaps this doesn't sound strange to you: to a Brit like me, it sounds about as responsible as giving away 6 packs of extra strength lager to try to encourage 8 year olds to attend vacation bible school - and no, even now we have returned to Europe, this isn't our plan!
The plan has unsurprisingly provoked some comments by local media.
But, if you are not planning to give away guns to encourage youth to attend your retreat, what it the hook that you would like to use? Is it the gospel, or is it something that would be extremely appealling to young people intent on pursuing the things of this world, whether it be guns, beer or something a little tamer? Is it OK for a youth group to be sold on the great programme planned and then sneak the gospel in through the back door? How can we be sure that we are presenting the gospel to young people in a way that is by no means deceitful or manipulative?
Giving away free stuff if you come to church always reminds me of the credit card companies on the college campus giving away a free t-shirt if you sign up, and that is not a good thing to be compared to.
Apparently they had almost canceled this shoot fest '08 and left this note on their website:
Although the shooting competition that was to take place during the Youth Conference had been canceled, due to false statements* made by the Oklahoma City TV Channel 5 (KOCO) and subsequently reported also by media outlets across the country, a shotgun was donated last Saturday so that the competition could go on as planned.
If Congress, back when our country was fighting for its independence could give engraved muskets to the fifteen or so eleven year old boys that their teacher, Mr. Akins, led into battle against the British, then we can give away a firearm still today, especially since our Supreme Court just re-emphasized our Second Amendment rights.
And if "Congress back when our country was fighting for its independence" thought slavery was ok and that women should not vote and Natives were ruthless savages less than human, then....
Props: Church Matters
Monday, July 14, 2008
This week for my church's Vacation Bible School for the wee ones, the theme is "Amazon Experience", which deals with creation and flies directly at the world's view of Darwinism. Each night starts with a skit and tonight's talked about how the Earth is only 6,000 years old and that it is not billions and billions like we have been taught in schools and on the History Channel. What is interesting is how after the skit I thought about all the people that would get upset over this teaching sense it flies in the face of "science", and as I drove home I started to wonder how many of the people that will be upset understand even what they are upset about. Is it a scientific fact, or just something many believe blindly because "experts" say it is so. Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason puts it best when he shows that we need to be really careful what theories we state as actual "facts".
The real question is whether the evidence supports evolution or not, not whether we can baptize evolution with the word "God" so Christians feel comfortable.
To put it simply, lest there be any confusion about the matter, evolution must be dealt with scientifically, on its own merits. Is it an adequate explanation of the origin of things?
I think it's wholly inadequate. Contrary to the Pope's views, the more knowledge we get, the more problems we see with the origin of life by evolutionary means--the more problems we see with the change from one kind of life into another by evolutionary means.
The passage of time and the increase of knowledge haven't helped evolution; they've hurt it. Evolution was popular early on precisely because there was so little information about the process. Now we know much more about the details of biochemistry and genetics, and information theory, and the incredible complexity of even the simplest living thing. It's become evident that evolution is just not capable of explaining life.
You want proof for that? Here, it's very simple. This is my handy-dandy evolution refuter. It's the simplest way I know to right to the heart of the problem, proving that evolution is not based on fact, but on philosophy.
For evolution to be a fact, you must have two things, minimally. First, you've got to have life coming from non-life--abiogenesis. Second, you've got to have a change in that life from simple forms to complex forms over time. You must have the kick-off, and you must have the rest of the game.
Now, here's my question: How did life come from non-life? How did the game get started by evolutionary means. Does anyone know? Guess what? Nobody knows. Oh, there are some ideas and people have suggested some possible ways, but nobody has sketched out any way that really answers the question. There are so many problems and complications. There are competing models that have been suggested, but they're just starting places. They're just ways of saying, "Let's start here, and we'll see where it leads." There are possibilities, but no one knows how it happened, or even how it could have happened in enough detail to be compelling."
Now, here's the kicker. If you don't know how it happened by naturalistic, evolutionary processes, how do you know that it happened by naturalistic, evolutionary processes? Evolution is claimed to be a fact, but you can't have the fact of evolution unless you have the fact of abiogenesis. Yet nobody knows how such a thing could ever take place. And if life can't be shown to have come from non-life, then the game can't even get started.
Then why do we call evolution a fact when evolution can't even get off the ground, based on the information we have right now. The answer you get is always the same: Because we're here. It must have happened . That's called circular reasoning, friends, based on a prior commitment to naturalism that won't be shaken by the facts.
Which proves that this is not about science, it's about philosophy.
Check out the rest here at STR
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
John Piper has written some observations he has had recently during his own personnel time in the Word. What is cool is that Piper was not preparing for a sermon, or a book or even a Desiring God blog post, but was reading to "feed my soul", how often do pastors or those that vocationally proclaim God's Word through the pulpit or in books do not get away for their own soul's sake? I often find that I can justify my own distance from "quiet times" as saying I am in His Word when I prepare for a message, Piper shows that there is a difference between preparation and feeding one's own soul in personal in depth study. Piper today was studying Saul's death and David's rise, here is a quote from what he observed and chewed on in God's Word.
One reason Saul died is that he committed suicide. Another is that he broke faith with the Lord much earlier. Another is that God put him to death. None of these excludes the others. To say God is the decisive actor does not mean Saul did not act. To say there are physical causes for a death (suicide) does not mean there were not moral causes (infidelity).
To say that Saul brought his demise on himself (by infidelity and suicide) does not mean God did not bring it on him. We would be unfaithful to Scripture if all we said was that the reason Saul died was the natural consequence of his own behavior. We must also say, “The Lord put him to death.”
There was real punishment, not just impersonal, natural consequences. God is personal. God put him to death. There was punishment by a judge and executioner. There was wrath. The Bible is designed to make sure we do not turn death and hell into impersonal consequences. “The Lord put him to death.”
Therefore, I was sobered this morning. I trembled in my spirit. I bowed to God’s right and authority to give and take life. I reverenced him. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Now chew on that, and then chew on some more of what Piper shared about his "quiet time" in the Word here
Then dive into your own personel time, here
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I just finished watching C.J. Mahaney's talk given at Resolved '08. C.J.'s message was titled "The Cry of the Damned" and was one of the most breathetaking, moving talks I have heard on the cross and crucifixtion. C.J.'s passion and genuine affections are such a gift of God. I urge you to download the message on either MP3 which is free, or buy the video for $4 and watch it.
Randy Alcorn was moved by this as well as John Piper's message which I hope to watch soon as well, here is an excerpt from a letter that Justin Taylor had posted:
A flood of tears came as God preached the message to me yet again. That Deity would be Damned. That the God who is called upon righteously by the saints and angels in heaven to damn people, and called upon habitually by unbelievers flippantly and unrighteously to damn people, would in fact damn his Son, would (from the Son’s willingness to drink the cup) damn himself…for us. That it could be said of the Beloved One, “God damned Him,” and that He screamed the scream of the Damned….it was too much for me. It is too much for me this moment. And in the ages to come it will continue to be too much for me.
The cup of His suffering has long seemed deep to me, but never deeper than Monday night and the two days since.
I affirm all that Randy says as I still find myself in awe of the Awesome, Gruesome, Beautiful, Cross of our Lord.
Here is a quick quote that has been ringing in my ears from C.J.:
"Because He (Jesus) screamed we can sing, because He screamed we are now forgiven, because He screamed we will never be forsaken by God, because He screamed we will see the face of God and because He screamed we can now sing and serve our God."
Download the Message Here, or go to Purchase Video Here
Monday, July 7, 2008
Listen to his first point:
I have caught the fervor I will vote for Obama. Here is my reasoning in three crucial areas.
1. Yes, he doesn't share my views on abortion, but so what? After all, aborted babies go to heaven. If they grow up, they might go to hell. Abortion on demand is the best form of evangelism ever invented. So, with Obama we'd continue to get over a million babies into heaven year, and Supreme Court Justices to insure that it goes on for another generation. Obama would push for more and more federal funding for abortions, which means we would be using state money for evangelism! How cool is that?! And I'm sure the ACLU would never call him on it. Yes, I know the Bible talks about "Thou shalt not murder" and caring for "the least of these," but let's not get legalistic and impose our Christian morality on others.
I never looked at it this way, click here for the rest of his reasoning!
BTW: Total Sarcasm intended!!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Amen Dr. Piper!!!
What do the supreme court ruling on guns and the martyrdom of missionaries have to do with each other?
Noël and I watched Beyond Gates of Splendor, the documentary version of End of the Spear, the story of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Nate Saint in Ecuador in 1956. That same day we heard that the Supreme Court decided in favor of the right of Americans to keep firearms at home for self-defense.
Here’s the connection. The missionaries had guns when they were speared to death. One of them shot the gun into the air, it appears, as he was killed, rather than shooting the natives. They had agreed to do this. The reason was simple and staggeringly Christlike:
The natives are not ready for heaven. We are.
I suspect the same could be said for almost anyone who breaks into my house. There are other reasons why I have never owned a firearm and do not have one in my house. But that reason moves me deeply. I hope you don’t use your economic stimulus check to buy a gun. Better to find some missionaries like this and support them.
Taken from Desiring God Blog
This story of rescue and undercover convert stuff, is crazy cool. Do I smell the making of a movie?? I think so...
Here is an excerpt from CNN:
The Colombian government's bloodless rescue of the hostages Wednesday was the product of a perfectly executed ruse that depended on old-school spy games rather than high-tech gadgetry.
Agents spent months worming their way into the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, an insurgent force that has waged war on the Colombian state for 40 years, Gen. Freddy Padilla de Leon told CNN.
The agents gained the rebels' trust and rose to the top of FARC's leadership council as well as a team assigned to guard the hostages.When the time was ripe, the moles used the authority they'd gained within the group to order the 15 hostages moved from three separate locations to one central area, and the game was on.
Read the rest of this awesome story here
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
“God, it turns out, deliberately chose the foolish things of the world, the cross and the Corinthian believers, so that he could remove forever, from every creature, any possible grounds on their part of standing in the divine presence with something in their hands. The ground is level at the foot of the cross; not a single thing that any of us possesses will advantage him/her before the living God-not brilliance, “clout”, achievement, money, or prestige. By choosing the lowly Corinthians God declared that He has forever ruled out every imaginable human system of gaining favor. It is all- “trust him completely” (v. 31)-or nothing.” Gordon Fee, Commentary on 1 Corinthians
“God delights to prick all the pretensions of this rebellious world. Where proud men and women parade their mighty intellects, God chooses the simple; where wealthy people assess each other on the basis of respective holdings, God chooses the poor; where self-centered leaders lust for power, God chooses the nobodies. All “the things that are”- that is, the things that appear to have substance and are highly promoted in this fallen world-are “nullified”. They are written off as having no eternal significance, since God does not attach his salvation to any of them. In fact, he goes out of his way to overturn their presumption: God chooses the nobodies.” D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry