Friday, January 30, 2009
“Capturing a girl’s heart, attention, and loyalty before a man knows how he feels about her can be compared to his stealing a hot rod to take a joyride. Would he risk being caught with a stolen car, then have to pay the consequences, all for a momentary cheap thrill? Those pride-filled seconds in time, which may have been full of excitement and adventure, when you toy with a woman’s emotions without commitment. The joyride may be and emotionally satisfying , ego-stroking, and self-pleasing experience, but it could hurt both of you. The female heart should be protected. Ask yourself what you can do to help the women in your life protect and save their hearts for their mates” Emotional Purity, Heather Paulsen, pg. 51
Here is a great concluding quote of the One who lived in each of the dramas perfectly:
When we take our gaze off the celebrity pastors (practical dramatists) and the ministry pundits (theoretical dramatists) and we fix our eyes once again on Jesus, we’ll discover a spiritual leader with the wisdom to focus on the only drama that really matters. Jesus lived and served from a soul at one with the Father and an identity secure in his love. From this inner place he drew the strength to do might works (drama of the practical) and teach profound truths (drama of the theoretical), but more importantly he found the courage to endure outward failure, ridicule, and abandonment. The drama of the eternal, his inner communion with his Father, defined and determined the outward drama of his life. Unfortunately, too many of us in ministry have it the other way around.At any given moment we are each engaged in three dramas, but only one of them ultimately matters.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
“When, I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.” C.S. Lewis
Go Here for more from John Piper
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Below is a post he did in thankfulness to Rick Warren for his prayer today, let us listen to Pastor Mark and his gratitude to man who stood in front of 2 million people who for the most part had cross-hairs on him.
From The Resurgence Blog:
Rick Warren is a brother in Christ. Having spoken with him on the phone, spent time at his church, and shared dinner with him, I can assure you that he loves the Bible, loves Jesus, loves pastors, loves the church, and has a heart for the world. If you want to criticize him, of course you can. But remember, if you lived your life under the scrutiny that he does, you would likely be even easier to criticize. Also, remember that much of the criticism against him is often by those who, rather than praying for his ministry, criticize it out of jealousy. And, just so you know, not everything you read on the Internet is true.
The invitation for Warren to pray at the inauguration of Barack Obama was met with criticism from seemingly every side. Regardless, he did what 1 Timothy 2:1–3 commands: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.” His prayer honored the same Jesus Christ that all true Christians worship as God. Sure, people will quibble over parts such as creation or the mention of Martin Luther King Jr., but such quibbling reveals more about the critics than it does the prayer. After all, what could have been more appropriate than simply quoting Jesus’ own prayer and letting Jesus have the final word to the watching world? (The entire transcript of Warren’s prayer is below.)
Finally, today is a good day to follow brother Rick’s example and pray for our nation and its leaders. While we are at it, it would be good to also pray for Rick and the other pastors, that Jesus would be honored in our churches and from our pulpits.
Reading the story below brought a smile to my face. I worked for the UNM Men's Basketball team during the time that Danny was playing for the Lobos and still consider him a friend. His dad was such a supporter and model of what it meant to be a dad that loves your kids. Danny was not this egotistical player that he easily could have been, but was a humble guy that loved basketball and Smallville (I thank Danny for my introduction to that show). A lot of Danny's attitude came from his father who did not let his son get a big head or get out of line. Danny is one of those players that we do not hear about, you those players with mad skills and a clean police record and good, humble spirit. We need more Danny Grangers in professional sports!!
From Eric Musselman's Basketball Notebook:
Loved the story in yesterday's Indy Star about Pacers guard Danny Granger, whose scoring average has jumped by about six points in each of his four seasons in the NBA, going from 7 to 13 to 19 to 26 this season.Thanks also to Z for showing me this article!!!
It's the story of how Granger's father "raised three children by himself in a drug-ravaged neighborhood outside New Orleans. How all three of Senior's kids, including his NBA All-Star-to-be son, Danny, have become high achievers in their chosen professions. How his steady, stern hand, his tough love (really tough, at times) ensured that his kids would rise above the drug- and violence-addled chaos that visited their daily lives.""I could have gone the wrong way," says Granger. "Almost all of my friends did, the guys I grew up with. They ended up selling drugs, ended up in jail or were found dead. That was the neighborhood. That was how people felt like they needed to survive. They didn't have dads to keep them out of trouble. But my dad wouldn't have it with his kids. It was academics and then, with me, it was basketball. That's what he pushed. We could be from that area, but we weren't going to be of that area.''
According to the article, Granger's father's receipe for success is "Love. Discipline. Religion (the Grangers are Jehovah's Witnesses). Attention. A stern hand."One day during Junior's childhood -- he was maybe 8 or 9 -- Senior had an idea. Instead of having his son play basketball all around the dangerous city, he figured he could better keep an eye on him by purchasing the land next to his house and building his own half-court. He put up floodlights, the whole deal. That court at 805 S. Cumberland became the basketball center of the area. The court developed Junior's skills and his toughness.
Senior didn't build that court because he saw his son as a future NBA player. Far from it. He just wanted him to survive the neighborhood and move on to an academic career that would help him succeed in a better place.
Despite the basketball court next door, Granger's priority was academics. But as Granger started to excel on the court, his father began pushing him to improve."Put your shoes on,'' he'd say. "We've got work to do. I'm like, 'Dad, it's 1 in the morning. I've got school.' We'd go out, maybe I'd missed a couple of shots during the game or made some move, he'd make me do drills. Meanwhile, in my neighborhood, people are just coming out at 1. The next day they'd see me at school, they'd be like, 'Man, what were you doing at 1 in the morning?' 'That's my daddy.' It was crazy. A little over the line at times.''
Said his father:"Danny told me people at school would laugh at him because we'd be out there at 3 and 4 in the morning and they'd laugh at him. But look who's laughing now.''
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
“The approach of this book is to start with the biblical principles of a healthy marriage and to work backwards to describe a healthy biblical dating relationship. Now a marriage proposal does not usually happen on a first date, nor would we advise that it should. But neither does a marriage really begin with a wedding. Whether we know it or not, the patterns we establish in dating continue into marriage. Therefore, the foundations for a healthy and godly marriage begin while we are dating.” Richard and Sharon Phillips, Holding Hands, Holding Hearts, pg. 13
Click Here to Buy This Book
The Bible never claims that God acts fairly, of course. Fairness is the best we mortals can often hope to achieve. We want our children to learn to play fairly and each child learns all too quickly to cry out, "No fair!"
But God does not claim to be fair. The God of the Bible is infinitely greater than we are. He is faithful, just, holy, merciful, gracious, and righteous. A morally perfect being does not operate at the level of mere and faulty human fairness, but at the level of his own omnipotent righteousness. We hope to make things fair. God makes things right.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Jonathan Dodson offers some helpful tips in exegeteing your culture:
- Ask your neighbors and fellow citizens lots of questions. Don’t freakin interrogate them but show sincere, intentional interest in them and the info they possess. Anecdotal information about your city and fellow citizens is unbeatable. Ask them the what, how, and why questions: What do you think is broken in our neighborhood or city? What gets you excited about life? What do you think should be done about economic decline in our city? why do you drive across town to do X? why do you dislike traditional Christianity. Feel free to add to this in the comments.
- Read local, independent publications. Very often the stuff that looks like a waste of time contains some of the most clear voices from within your culture. Get local (not just national) opinions and reviews on movies, books, culture and politics. For Austin: Statesman, The Chronicle, Misprint, Austin 360 blog, the Austinist, etc. Feel free to add to this list in the comments.
- Gather historical information on your city and neighborhood. How did your city come to be the way it is? What political and cultural and economic issues have shaped the ethos and beliefs of your city? Read local authors and histories. Austin: Writing Austin’s Lives, History of Austin DVD, Bob Bullock History Museum, Neighborhood Assns, etc.
- Participate in local art, music, and business. Support local business, go to art shows, listen to local bands. Examples are endless in Austin.
The Associated Baptist Press reports this bill was first introduced in 2004 by Sri Lanka's Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Party -- a political party headed by Buddhist monks. The bill would outlaw religious conversions carried out by "force," "allurement" or other unethical means like taking advantage of a person's "inexperience, trust, need, low intellect, naivety or state of distress." The article continues: Depending on how it's interpreted or enforced, faith-based humanitarian groups fear the law could be used to crack down on all evangelism and encourage violence against evangelical Christians.
My honest question for us here in a country that is open to religion diversity and where conversion is not outlawed is how would this law change your life? Sadly most of our lives may not be that affected by this, because most of us are not active in evangelism, in sharing the gospel. I include myself in a lot of this critique as well. We are good at reading books on being "missional" or on the history of justification, but are we actually speaking to the world, are we out in the coffee shops, workplaces and other gatherings sharing this wonderful news.
I have noticed in my time working at a church that we in "church work" seem to be all about reading the new books, arguing over sometimes really stupid things that in the end are not that important to the here and now of spreading the message of the cross and we never get out to the world, we never spend time with the lost. Here is an idea, let's put down the newest book on culture, theology, missiology-and actually get out and talk to people about Jesus and His Kingdom.
Are You In????
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
A simple but astonishingly helpful ‘exercise’ I use during initial passage study is what I call 20 observations. The idea is simple. Take one verse of the text at a time and force yourself to make at least 20 observations of each verse, soley from the text.Click Here for the Rest and an example
This looks like something worth doing, it looks like it will take a lot of time, but the gain will be sweet in it!
Props: Pure Church
“We must never forget that the story we have to believe and live in and proclaim is a story of glorious doctrinal assertions. ‘It is the dogma that is the drama,’ penned (Dorothy) Sayers, ‘not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving kindness and uplift, nor the promise of something nice after death-but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to a heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that man might be glad to believe in.’” (DeYoung and Kluck, Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be, pages 116-117)
Monday, January 12, 2009
I could not have said it better myself:
“I know that some in my generation have a hard time with truth claims. But I’m convinced there are just as many of us-Christian and not-in our postmodern world who are tired of endless uncertainties and doctrinal re-paintings. We are tired of indecision and inconsistency reheated and served to us as paradox and mystery. Some of us long for teaching that has authority, ethics rooted in dogma, and something unique in this world of banal diversity. We long for Jesus-not a shapeless, formless, good-hearted ethical teacher Jesus, but the Jesus of the New Testament, the Jesus of the church, the Jesus of faith, the Jesus of two millennia of Christian witness with all of its unchanging and edgy doctrinal propositions.” (Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be, pages 116-117)
Friday, January 2, 2009
Ok so not the deepest way to start, but hey it was a great game and being a Giants fan in NM means I only see the G-Men when they play the Cowgirls. But with a Super Bowl win the NYG were on a lot more this season!! Do I smell a repeat in 09, I think so!!!
Augustine was a dude that lived during the waning days of the Roman Empire. Even though he lived long ago Augustine’s works are profound for today’s world. Augustine is blunt and honest about his sin, struggles and wonder of God.
Francis Shaeffer may be one of the most amazing theologian, apologists of all time. His book True Spirituality to take a phrase from the UFC "Rocked Me". It was one of those books that you have to read, then re-read, then get up off the ground cause it just knocked you over again and agian.
While I am thoroughly disgusted by his stance on the slaughtering of babies, I am also excited that the first president my son and daughter may see and remember will be an African American man, and not some old crusty white dude!
This is a must see for all dudes. I especially believe this series is a must see for all men who want to lead in ministry, or plant a church. It shows what leadership is, and isn’t as well as shows what community and the need for solid men in one’s life.
The College ministry that I am over at my church has grown and tripled in size during the last 5 months of the year. I say that not to gloat at all, but to say the impact of that growth has been overwhelming at times. I have learned of my utter failure at organization and my need to repent of laziness, even busy laziness and work to make the use of time the Lord gives me for prayer, fasting, and doing hard but nesacary things for the ministry. It has also been amazing to see young leaders step up and take on responsibility, I hope for more of that in 2009.
Watching my brother in Christ and good friend Zach and his family trust in God and obey Him in taking care of orphans has been mind blowing. Zach is an uber white dude, and his and his wife's adoption of this little African American girl named Mya is such an amazing picture of the Kingdom of God. It has also amp’d up the talk with me and my uber white wife about getting serious about adoption.
Read Z's own testimony of this amazing story. Part I, II, III, and IV
My mother has been battling cancer since the spring of 2007. The most amazing thing though was what I saw in her this past Christmas service. As we were singing about the birth of our Glorious King Jesus I looked over at her and she was singing with arms out in praise to our God. The Lord has done an amazing work in her and my dad, their faith is inspiring to me. I love my parents and praise God for the faith He has placed in their hearts even when the hearts are hurting!
Lauren and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary this past year and I can honestly say that I am more in love with her and feel more of a soul connection today than ever! I am more attracted to her and passionate about loving her than I thought I could be. I fail daily at being a husband worthy of anything but hell, yet she shows me grace and love as well as a heavy dose of patience. Her love for our kids is something that makes me almost burst with tears of joy as I type this. She is my love!
Jordyn turned 2 back in January and she is a full on girl with attitude. She is growing up to be a beautiful girl (she gets that from her mom) which means daddy is going to be getting a shotgun soon enough ☺. Raising her has been a joyful challenge, there have been tough times of discipline, as well as times of laughter as she is developing quite a personality
On March 9th Brayden Nestor Griego was born. He has grown to be a cute little boy with a “Charlie Brown” head. I love that boy and am intimidated and excited to be raising a father, grandfather and husband in the Lord.
Man what a year, we are stoked, excited and a bit nervous about what 2009 holds, lets find out....