Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day after Day they Pour Forth Speech

Landscapes: Volume Two from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.


Well, it's a been a few weeks. . . . I'll let Jody continue to hit home runs on her blog with everything about the adoption. She says it all better than I can. I'm sure I'll drop in some things from time to time, but suffice it to say, Dorcas is a great kid, and we're very humbled and grateful to be her parents. It was a life changing trip, and we're all hoping Jody and Dorcas can come home soon.

On to the lynx. . . . .

--This post makes me go, Duh?! But, it's something I fail at daily with my kids (and my wife). Basically, I confuse alot of people. I confuse them often. :) I need to grow in this area. But, strictly from a parenting perspective, this is gold, although it should be obvious.

--Steve Jobs died while I was in Africa. It was interesting hearing the reaction from there. I certainly respect his technological genius.

Some reports are coming out about the way he led his company, though. And, they hit a little close to home with me, since I've been under leadership like this before. I think it's silly basically. Yes, if you're good enough (like Steve was) you get stuff done. But, at what cost? Pragmatism leads high-talent folks into some really abusive and ridiculous behaviors. Of course, it's easy to throw stones when you aren't that talented, . . and it's easy to be the armchair quarterback who hasn't accomplished much. But, when do those people (me) get a hearing? Why does achievement and success equal infallibility (in a leadership sense)? Why do super-talented people cut off their effectiveness at some level. . by shutting out dissenting voices? Most who lead this way are not as talented as Steve anyway (who was?), and still think it's the only way to do things. I just don't know why the story usually ends this way with very influential people. It doesn't have to.

--Justin Taylor has a great post about victim's mentality. I think it's really good, . . and it's coming from people who have been through alot. Controlling our thoughts and reactions to circumstances is very important. Our culture would argue with that last sentence, but the bible tells us to "test everything, hold onto the good". Why wouldn't that apply to our own thoughts? Why shouldn't we evaluate ourselves and how we're reacting to things? It's a great post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dogs and Cats, . . and Kids can smell fear

Last week must have broken some un-official record for great parenting posts on the internet. There were quite a few. I linked to one last week here. But, this one from Kevin DeYoung is really close to my heart.

I find that so many parents, most notably myself, are sometimes absolutely blind to the behaviors that they, themselves, are bringing out in their kids. As parents, we can take a situation that is a 5 on the stress scale, and make it an 8 very quickly.

One of the main ways we do this is by re-directing our own "stuff" towards our kids. If we had a bad day, they're about to have a bad day. Ain't Momma happy, . . ain't nobody happy. . as the wise saying goes.

Well, if Dad ain't happy, Mom ain't happy, and the spiral spins downward. Thanks to Kevin DeYoung for the confession, and the encouragement here. This is worth 5 minutes . . .if you're a parent, you should read it.

The Wrong Person

Challenging article from Tim Challies. . . . but I'm fully on board with the way he thinks about this. Most of my difficulties in marriage don't come from actual differences and conflicts, but from my lamenting the differences, and blowing the conflicts out of proportion. Hopefully this article is a kind of antidote to that. God is using your spouse in your life for something much greater than immediate happiness; namely, becoming more like Himself. Oh, and the myth that some other couple has everything together, never fights, and are "better" for each other. . . .it's just that; A Myth. Great Wisdom here.

So did you marry the wrong person? Yes you did. Embrace it and thank God for it. Her wrongness is just right in God’s eyes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


“Faith . . . unites the soul with Christ, as a bride is united with her bridegroom. From such a marriage, as St. Paul says, it follows that Christ and the soul become one body, so that they hold all things in common, whether for better or worse. This means that what Christ possesses belongs to the believing soul, and what the soul possesses belongs to Christ. Thus Christ possesses all good things and holiness; these now belong to the soul. The soul possesses lots of vices and sin; these now belong to Christ. . . . Now is not this a happy business? Christ, the rich, noble and holy bridegroom, takes in marriage this poor, contemptible and sinful little prostitute, takes away all her evil and bestows all his goodness upon her! It is no longer possible for sin to overwhelm her, for she is now found in Christ.”

Martin Luther, quoted in Alister E. McGrath, Christian Spirituality: An Introduction (Oxford, 1999), pages 158-159.

HT: Ray Ortlund

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mouth. . . meet foot.

After a few fairly serious posts. . . . I thought I'd leave you with this clip. Over at the Gospel Coalition they're talking about sermon flubs, so after you listen to that discussion, check this one out:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Presence of God and Worship under the New Covenant

There's alot of great worship music out there today. . . I get many requests to do songs. . some of them good, and some of them not so much.

Some of them have lyrical issues, and I'm kind of a stickler for lyrics and for us to know what we're singing about. Recently there's been a trend in alot of corporate worship music to ask, plead, welcome, and be desperate for the presence of God. Sometimes you can tell what the author is trying to say, but other times, it's not so clear.

The problem, as I see it, with these lyrics is that they are not recognizing the glorious reality of the new covenant we have in Christ. Here are some passages of scripture that speak of the new covenant:

Jeremiah 31:31-35
"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Ezekiel 11:19-20
19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Colossians 1:26-28

26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Acts 17:24-25
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.


Suffice it to say. . in these and other examples, I believe scripture teaches that Christ is now here, among us, in our hearts, speaking through his Word, and active by the Holy Spirit.

Old Covenant worship was built around the Tabernacle/Temple system, and the Children of Israel could actually locate the presence of God on earth (over there in the temple). To be sure, there was an awareness of God's omnipresence:

Psalm 139:7-8

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

But, there was a definite sense of the place they had to go to worship God, where He would "show up", and seeking his immediate presence.

In the New Covenant, as Christians, the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, and Jesus, who is the Emmanuel "God with us" is our advocate before God.

So, when I see songs that say, "waiting here for You. . . . desperate for You. . . come and fill this place. . . .rend the heavens and come down. . . . we welcome You with praise, etc. . . " It's hard for me to use alot of them when we sing together as the church. Because, among other things. . God is here. He is among us. We are not desperate for His presence. (if we define desperate properly. . as being in need of something). We might be desperate to recognize His Presence. . but we should say it that way, then :).

Some of these songs are quoting Old Testament Scriptures. And, that's great. . but we have to remember which covenant we're living in, and if that reality is being reflected in the lyrics.

Now, I know in most of these cases the author of the song is trying to get across the idea of asking God to "show up" in a special way, . .speak in a fresh way. . . "arrive" so that we all recognize His work, etc. . .

And, that's fine. . but we should say it that way. We should recognize that the problem is not with God being there or not being there (because He is there), but that we are not recognizing His presence and/or we are not concentrating on prayer, or on His Word, by which He speaks to us.

So, how about "Help us to hear your word today" or "We know that You're here" "thank You for your presence among us".

I know the heart behind longing for God's presence. And, to be sure, we "wait on Him" for many things and for many reasons. We do not ever "wait" for Him to arrive, though(unless we're singing about His second coming at the end of the age). And, I think, unless you take some time to explain those lyrics in the service. . it would be hard to understand them any other way. There's a sense where those songs connote "You're not here, . . please come. . . You're here now, You weren't here before". Many people have told me "I never think those things when we're singing". So, I don't want to be a stick in the mud. But, perhaps our thoughts can be as simple as "I need to hear something new from God that I can't hear until we're singing this song". That's not good either.

So, let's declare His Presence, celebrate, and wait on the Lord. . . in the context of the New Covenant; whereby He has given us His Spirit, and in Him we "live and move and have our being".

ps. a straw poll of the 5 readers of this blog. . . .would you rather me get back to blogging about silly things, or sports things. . or shall I continue to dive into technical theological matters which perhaps no one but myself is even thinking about. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Not Impressed

I live in Boulder, CO. . . basically, the mecca for "I meet with God in the mountains" spirituality. That's why this piece was so good for me. Yes, the writer is a little negative and pointed. But, frankly I think this sort of religion deserves the satire. Here's a taste:

Like people who go to church don't see God in the sunset! Like we are these monastic little hermits who never leave the church building. . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Some good stuff on the interwebs today. . .

1) I love and respect many who home school their kids. Hey, I was homeschooled for a while. But, this article shows many of the reasons I choose not to do so with my kids. This is an amazing article of wisdom for all parents, though, . .and even though it's super long, print it out and take 10 minutes to read it. It's that good. Here's a quote to get you started.

I am convinced that the most contagious parenting is living a heartfelt faith before your children.

Lots of wisdom for parents making all kinds of choices.

2) Pastor Mark Driscoll has finally launched his own site so that you have access to tons of sermons, articles, and interviews all in one site. I know Pastor Mark is a lightning rod of controversy, . . in fact that's part of the reason why they launched this site. . . so he can fully flesh out his thoughts, and not do dumb tweets and offensive blogs that other folks can do what they want with. People will be linking to his website now, and that should give some context to what he says. I think anyone would be helped by this site,. . . even if Pastor Mark is not your cup of tea. And, if you're wondering who the lovely woman is who has to put up with Mark. . . Grace Driscoll writes here too. . . an invaluable resource for the ladies. Check out her first piece on identity. Awesome.

3) If you ever went through the Experiencing God bible study. . I'd read this article. . . . a little negative, yes, but needed.

4) Oh Yeah, it's football season.

Disagreeing with the Puritans

I know, pretentious, right? The Puritans put us all to shame with their scholarship, their piety, and their seriousness about the scriptures. But, that doesn't mean they were without flaws, (who is). . and so I offer this critique:

I get the daily John Owen blast in my email. It's usually a great John Owen quote from his masterpiece, "On the Mortification of Sin in the Believer", a foundational work that was life-changing for me a few years ago. (no, Mortification is not just a questionable Christian band from the 80's).

Here's the quote from a few days ago:

Let us be in an expectation of such changes of providence, that they may not be great surprises unto us. When we are in peace, let us look for trouble; when we are at liberty, let us look for restraint; and when our children are about us, let us look for the removal of them; and be content to see all our comforts in their winding-sheet every day. It is impossible but our hearts will be too much upon them, unless we keep them in this frame.--John Owen

I used to subscribe to this philosophy, because I had a season with many "changes of providence" (i.e. crappy stuff. . come on puritans!!! :) ) .

And, there is wisdom here, of lowering the bar of expectation, and "not to be surprised" by various trials, as the book of James tells us.

But, this is not the way the whole of scripture tells us to interact with the various situations and relationships in our lives. I don't think it is helpful or biblical to walk around with a Chicken Little view on things like these. . like "it's going to go wrong. . better not get used to this good thing". My dad used to rebuke me for being sort of melancholy about things going well in life. I'd say things like "well, better get ready for something bad to happen". He was right to call that out.

I feel like Owen is encouraging us to look at life like this. We've been going through Ecclesiastes in our Young Adults Bible Study, and that book is full of encouragement to enjoy life, and enjoy the things God has given us. (pretty hard to do if when we're at peace we should be "looking for trouble", or "when our children are about us, let us look for the removal of them", yikes).

For sure, in America we are too attached to our stuff. No argument there. But, the solution to that is not to always expect the worst. We should hold loosely to things, and not worship/idolize them. But, that's different than expecting your children to be taken from you. We need a more fully-fleshed-out theology of Joy for the Christian today. It seems the only guys that are talking about Joy in God's gifts are spouting heresy about prosperity theology and wearing a shiny blue suit. Please.

We can and should enjoy God's good gifts, while enjoying the Giver most of all. We should not walk in fear or despair at possible struggles, but take them as also gifts from God's hand. We can enjoy our car while not expecting God to give us a new one if we have enough faith.

We shouldn't stare at our navel during the guitar solo!!! Know what I mean? Enjoy the guitar solo, . . jump off the riser! (sorry musician nerd reference)

Here's some encouragement from Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 8:15b. . . ". . for man has no good thing under the sun bot to eat and drink and be joyful. . . "

Ecclesiastes 9:7 "Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, . . . "

Ecclesiastes 9:9 "Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of our vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun".

(that's all from one page of the bible. . . )

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

. . .And Hopefully They'll all "die"

What a great, engaging, and yet brutally honest piece from Ted Kluck.

I used to spend quite a bit of time in this "scene" and resonate with all of his observations. Here's hoping we have alot more amazing worship leaders that get why they do what they do. . .

Great Observations.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Losing the Battle and Winning the War

Well, we have a big change of plans with our trip to Uganda. It's been very discouraging . . .it's frustrating, and kind of exhausting, really.

Alot of people are trying to be kind and caring, and I so appreciate that. However, between some of those folks and the battles going on inside my own head, there's been some poor theology thrown around.

Now, I'm not ungrateful for caring people trying to help and getting some theological points wrong. I'm really not. . I hate the tendency to attack the care-giver in times like this when folks are really just trying to be nice.

But, one thing that I've noticed in American christianity, . . and in my own inner-monologue. . .is that we have a big problem with (enter guiding metaphor) God "losing" some battles while still winning the war. We don't have good categories for disappointment, or for plans not going like we think they obviously should. I am a big schedule guy, and so I raise my hand here.

When we're praying for details like "Let this phone call happen, . . . Help this package to go through. . help this schedule to get worked out". . . when those things are part of a larger issue like "help this adoption to be completed". . . we have to be prepared for the fact that God might have a different plan for how to "win the war" (i.e. complete the adoption) that involve different details (i.e. "losing" some battles)

It may sometimes seem like the enemy is "winning" while all of our details are getting fouled up. But, don't get it twisted. .God is working is plan out. God is at the wheel. God is currently kicking the enemy's butt all over Africa. The war is over. . it's won.

To stretch the metaphor towards football. This weekend was the classic cupcake Saturday in College Football. For instance, Ohio State played mighty Akron University. This game wasn't close. . . OSU dominated. There wasn't ever any doubt. Did Akron get some first downs? yes. Did they make a few tackles? yes. Did anyone for a second think they were winning? no.

In the same way. . the enemy got some first downs this week when all of our details got messed up. But, don't think for a second that God's sovereign will for our soon-to-be daughter's life can be thwarted. . . it can't. This game is OVER. And, God wasn't nervous. It didn't make SportsCenter.

Now, we shouldn't avoid praying for details. . we shouldn't be fatalists. But, let's just remember that God is working these things out in the ways that will be best. Romans 8:28 is not a cliche. It's the truth.

So, Let's remember

Isaiah 14:24

24The LORD of hosts has sworn: "As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand,

Psalm 115:3
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases

It's true. The will of God is irresistible. His will will be accomplished in her life and in yours. Let's submit to Him, and get ok with "losing" (he never loses. . part of the plan. .and it helps with my metaphor) some battles while God is winning the War.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Music

Sorry for the blog silence. . .

I thought I would post some songs that have been really meaningful to me lately.

Here goes:

This song is how I feel about my beautiful wife, Jody. . . 'nuff said.

This Shane and Shane song will make you cry, get the hankies out. But, it's a great song, and these guys do a great job. I also like the fact that they haven't changed styles at all in their 10-12 years. You can expect solid, acoustic guitar driven rock with some of the most amazing vocals you'll hear. The "other" Shane sings amazing on this one (the Shane not playing guitar). What a powerful video. . .

So, I got all fired up about this Matt Redman song . . and then screwed it up on Celebration Sunday. :) Oh well, that doesn't detract from a great worship song, penned by one of the best. What an encouragement. Thanks Matt R.!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


If you've ever thought the band "how to" videos were a little pretentious . . .

("let me show you how awesome I am as I take you through the part I play on this hit song as if you were a 3rd grader, and my part is so easy a monkey could play it " )

. . .this video is awesome. I like Brett Younker, we play "All Things New" at Calvary. I like his tambourine player even more. :)

If you've ever played aux. percussion in any setting, . . you know where this guy is coming from.

C.S. Lewis and the devil

When asked about "his belief in the Devil," Lewis addressed the question in a thought-provoking way in his preface to a revised edition of "Screwtape" in 1960: "Now, if by 'the Devil' you mean a power opposite to God and, like God, self existent from all eternity, the answer is certainly No."

That is, Lewis did not believe in the false theology and caricatures of the devil that have developed over the centuries—whether through art, literature or even today's sports mascots (think Duke and Arizona State).

As Lewis explained, "There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. . . . The proper question is whether I believe in devils. I do. That is to say, I believe in angels, and I believe that some of these, by the abuse of their free will, have become enemies to God. . . . Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael."


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Sad to hear about J-Lo and Marc Anthony. . . not because I was a huge fan or anything. . . but because divorce didn't have to happen, and there are small kids involved. Those things always get to me. Here's J-Lo's quote:

Jennifer Lopez says it took some time before she realized that she had to leave her relationship with husband Marc Anthony behind because she was “compromising” herself.

In the new issue of Vanity Fair, the singer and actress, 42, opens up about her recent divorce and why she finally realized after seven years of marriage that Anthony was not good for her.

“It’s not that I didn’t love myself before. Sometimes we don’t realize that we are compromising ourselves,” she says. “To understand that a person is not good for you, or that that person is not treating you in the right way, or that he is not doing the right thing for himself—if I stay, then I am not doing the right thing for me. I love myself enough to walk away from that now.”

Um, "compromising myself". . . . welcome to marriage. See, this goes along with my post from last week; if we look at marriage, or any relationship, as a consumeristic/transaction based thing. . . it doesn't work, and we won't be satisfied. Compromise is non-negotiable. And, I might add, we all need to compromise some things that we hold dear. No one is without things that need to be moderated, and rough edges that need to be smoothed out.

If we think the highest good is to "love myself", than we will stop loving and sacrificing for our spouse very quickly.

I don't want anyone to think that I'm rigid/cold against folks who are in a tough marriage and that I think it's wrong to say that you have "needs", etc. . that the other person isn't meeting.

Those things may be true, and that's why we have the church/Christian community to help us walk along-side each other to help our relationships through hard times, and help us to communicate well.

I just think there's a fundamental difference in the way we approach other people that we can be full with the love and acceptance of Christ. . . . . or desperately looking to the other person to fulfill needs that only God can fulfill. Those two heart attitudes make a difference in the way we would approach talking about our "needs" and loving and sacrificing for another person. Here's another link to the piece from last week.

Dubious List

How is "Vocal Music Performance" not on the list of least paying college majors? Probably because all of those people have to go on to get other degrees :) Anyway, I'm skeptical of this list, but it's not a good one to be on, you know?


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why I'm not a fan of "Love Languages"

And, for that matter, focusing on "felt needs" as they relates to deep relationships. It's almost as if we concentrate on things that lesser, casual relationships need, when we're involved in the deepest and most important relationships we have. These are wise, paradigm-changing words from Paul Tautges


Warming Up a Cold Marriage

“Often I will illustrate the difference between a need and desire this way:

‘If you held me underwater in a swimming pool, I would fight you to the end because I need air. A need is something you cannot live without. But when you elevate desires to the level of needs, there is some form of idolatry going on, and if you don’t repent of your idolatry, that craving will wreck the relationship from which you are trying to extract that perceived need.’

A common rebuttal to the ‘need theory’ concepts [in marriage counseling] is that we need love. What we really need, however, is a relationship with God; if we have that, and the relationship is right, our demands on other humans to meet our cravings for love should not be controlling. If you are resting in the gospel, you can turn the tables on all your relationship; rather than being a deficient taker, you can be an abundant giver. Rather than expecting others to meet your inordinate craving for love, you will be able to love others. You will be Christlike. He did not come here to be loved, but to serve (see Mark 10:45).”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For the guys. . . . for the girls

This weekend, with my beautiful wife, I was able to see "Larry Crowne", a great new film from Tom Hanks.

Without qualification, let me say. . . .every man (especially married ones) need to see this movie. It is a parable for our time. Larry shows us how to treat a woman. Larry shows us how to deal with huge loss. Larry shows us what hard work and diligence does. Larry shows us what respect and honor are. And, lest you think it's a "preach down to the guys" thing. . . . Larry is largely un-impressive, didn't go to college, and can't dress himself.

The movie also shows us the "other side" of manhood in our day. . which is the "guy, just being a guy" (see the movie) philosophy. It shows the tragedy that pornography brings to our society. And, it shows us how women really feel about pornography (regardless of what they might say). It's a great flick. The only downside I would say, is that it actually shows two examples of porn (no nudity) that are regrettable. .but I'm not sure they could've told the story effectively in any other way.

See the movie guys. . . just see it. Your wife/girlfriend will like it too.

And even if you don't like it. . .you just scored one for movies that actually have a story and are well-written, and don't rely on CGI, loud bass, and exploding Robots/Vampires/Monsters to make money (we could feel the bass from the theater next to us)

For the Ladies this week. . here's a pretty direct, blunt, but encouraging word from The Resurgence. I find there to be a lack of "straight talk" for women in our modern church culture. Of course, you talk to women in a different way then men (different post). . but it seems to me like sometimes things need to be said directly to women that are avoided. . and this piece does not do that.

Ladies, check it out.

I hope these two things are helpful to you if you're 1) a man or 2) a woman :) Besides those groups, they don't really apply.

Just feeling grateful and a little sad about the David Crowder Band this morning

The song that blew the lid off of 25 years of worship music. . . . Thanks Dave and the boys. . we'll miss you.

(and if you live in the denver area and aren't going to their last tour ever. . . . you're not trying)

I'm sure there will be more random thoughts as October approaches. . .these guys were a huge influence on me. But for now, enjoy the song that changed alot of things for worship pastors and churches in our day.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jared Hits Home Runs

I linked to a piece by blog-favorite, Jared Wilson, in the post on Congressman Weiner.

I'm not even sure what to do with this. . . except to say that it's absolutely true, and it's one of the biggest struggles I've had as I've grown older. I also am in the process of doing pre-marital counseling for 3 couples and have no idea how to even bring this up. (or "warn" them??. . what would that even mean?). All I know is, this is coming for everyone who is married, and it's important that we deal with it in the way Jared talks about it. It will actually lead to greater joy, intimacy, and understanding in our marriages. Jared's a smart guy.

(Disclaimers: This is a risky post. . . and could be easily misunderstood. . . if this post makes you mad, let's talk. Jared links to a blog debate that is talking about female body image in marriage. . and I'm not trying to make a comment on that here in this post. What hit me was the concept of "change" in a more general way. . .Also, if you read his piece, one example of marital conflict he gives is when a wife changes in the amount of kids she wants. . .you should know this has nothing to do with Jody and I, and I'm fully on board with the size of our family)

Congressmen and Broken Cisterns

I know, how loathsome of me to post on Congressman Weiner. . .have we not heard/seen enough of this?

As I was perusing the blogs this morning, there was a really interesting piece from Maureen Dowd in the NYT. She was lamenting the state of current manhood (especially as it relates to successful, powerful men) and others were talking about how we can build "better" men in the church.

I would recommend all of this for your reading enjoyment, because it's all very thoughtful and well-done.

I, somewhat, agree with the diagnosis. But, I think there's a radically different "cure" for the problem of "boys being boys". Let's throw adultery out for a minute. . . how do we, as guys, relate properly to the women around us?

As men, we're vulnerable, insecure creatures. We like to act like we're not (especially when we appear on Fox News), but we all know it's not true. There's a hole in each guy that needs approval, acceptance and recognition of ability (or power).

The biggest mistake a guy can make is to try and fill that hole with a woman. God gave us our wives to perhaps, help with some of this. . . .but never to actually fulfill it. The wonderful, God-sent women in our lives cannot and will not answer those questions for us (news flash guys: you're not answering your wife's questions for her either).

Listen to one of Congressman Weiner's mistresses:

"Meagan Broussard, a 26-year-old college student and single mom from Texas, wrote, conservative Andrew Breitbart’s site, that her relationship with Weiner began when she wrote on his Facebook page that one of his speeches to construction workers was “hot.”

“Within an hour,” she wrote, “we were sending messages back and forth.”

Broussard lost her sense of awe pretty quickly: “Talking to him was sometimes a turn-off because he was so open and just so full of himself, as if he were looking, searching for something.”

(NYT: Dowd)

Searching for something indeed. Congressman Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, was a beautiful, successful woman (she was one of Hillary Clinton's aides), and he had risen to a level of power that most of us will never see in this life. So, what was he searching for? Why was he texting college girls?

The bottom line is that it won't be enough. Jesus is the only one who can fill our souls with the kind of radical humbling, and then radical acceptance that we need. As Tim Keller says, "we're more wicked than we ever feared, but more loved than we ever dreamed". The Gospel "speaks a better word" to us as men than any woman, or position, or success ever will.

(In fact (this is another post) we can't love our wives well, understand them at all, or accept their changing ways if we try to use them to fill some huge insecrity gap that we're struggling with. It simply won't work for us (or her). )

I know, these are the Sunday School answers. . .but they're answers that Congressman Weiner, and I, need to hear every day. Thanks be to God who has "brought us near" by the blood of His Son, Jesus.

Jeremiah 2:13
for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me,the fountain of living waters,and hewed out
cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest.

Ephesians 2:13-14

English Standard Version (ESV)

13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

Hebrews 12:24

English Standard Version (ESV)

24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

1 John 3:1
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we
should be called children of God; and so we are.

Colossians 1:17
And he is before
all things, and in him all things hold together

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Drunk Ladies and Judgement

This is a good word for us when we're having trouble with God's timing, or not liking the way He's running things. . . . and oh yeah, don't be these ladies at sporting events.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Proof positive that you shouldn't take notes in church:

I was sitting by my daughter, Eden, last week in church, and she pulled this out of the hymnal in front of us:

Yes, that's right. . . on June 5th, 2011, a sermon outline (fully filled out and notated) from September 21st 2008 was found, stuffed in a hymnal, in our worship center. Wow, I'm sure glad all those notes were taken, I bet that sermon really changed his life (come on, that has to be a man's handwriting). He obviously hasn't needed those great insights on his outline for these last 3 years.

Now, I know that some of you listen by taking notes. . . and I think that's great. I just think there's a way to take notes to try and get everything down and make additions "so you'll remember later" (boo). . . . and there's a way to jot things down to process your current thoughts. (yeahee)

See, sermons (and singing together as the church) are things that happen in a moment. It's a real thing, it's really happening. We all need to be in those moments together and present there as the Church. Tim Keller says we should preach to "change someone on the spot". I think that's true. We should be changed, even in little ways, every time we hear God's Word. Perhaps the change is as simple as quieting your heart from a busy week and remembering that God has saved you. That's an important "change" that we should be present for, as we worship together.

So, take notes if you must, to help you listen. . but don't fill in all your blanks, write down all the points, and forget to listen to the Holy Spirit while you're in church. Basically, don't do what this guy did (and then leave your outline from 3 years ago in the hymnal).

Thursday, June 2, 2011


God’s sense of timing will confound ours, no matter what culture we’re from. His grace rarely operates according to our schedule. When Jesus looks at Jairus and says, “Trust me, be patient,” in effect he is looking over Jairus’s head at all of us and saying, “Remember how when I calmed the storm I showed you that my grace and love are compatible with going through storms, though you may not think so? Well, now I’m telling you that my grace and love are compatible with what seem to you unconscionable delays.” It’s not “I will not be hurried even though I love you”; it’s “I will not be hurried because I love you. I know what I’m doing. And if you try to impose your understanding of schedule and timing on me, you will struggle to feel loved by me.
- Tim Keller, King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus, p. 63


I really will get back into this blogging thing one day. . . .really I will. It's been kind of a crazy time for the Brittons. Those of you who follow my wife's blog know most of what's going on. In addition to getting wrecked every time I see pictures of my new daughter, I've been going through some pretty painful shoulder re-hab that doesn't involve very much sleep. This makes it tough for me to write (songs or prose). I'm kind of in a daze most of the day. Also, I've been doing alot of counseling with folks lately and journeying towards marriage with 3 couples (their marriage, not mine. . . I digress).

All that to say. . . I apologize. It will come around again, and I'll have pithy things to say that will cause great enjoyment to come to all 6 of you.

For today, a little video tribute to my favorite NBA player, Shaq. There was no one like Shaq, and there will never be anyone like Shaq. He is one of the top 10 players of all time. . . but no one thinks so because he doesn't have the numbers, and he definitely did not keep himself in shape the last 4 years of his career when things were winding down.

The last time I checked, the NBA was not a fitness contest, nor a math contest. Ask any coach in the last 19 years who was the hardest person to game plan for. . . . . you will get one answer, Shaq. Look up his numbers from the playoffs here from the Lakers 3 peat from 2000-2003. Unreal. Ask any player who was the MVP in the NBA from 1998 (Jordan's retirement) until 2008. The answer: Shaq. When you played the Lakers or Heat (and at some level, the Suns), you had to place your whole gameplan around Shaq. His body couldn't stand up anymore under the abuse he took. (Shaq took some of the hardest, most consistent fouls of any player, ever. . and only responded once, . . here "Look out Brad Miller"!!!) Injuries finally got to him. But, Shaq is underrated. I challenge anyone to find a 7'2 inch man that weighs 330 pounds and see if that man can even run down the court twice. Shaq did it for 19 years, and was a freakish athlete.

Ok, I'm done. Enjoy these hilarious videos. More than anything, Shaq was a large child who enjoyed himself while playing.

Epic Quotes:

This is hilarious. He doesn't care about the censors, and Shaq always let Craig Sager have it for his suit.

Wouldn't be complete with a vintage Shawn Bradley facial:

Michael and Scotty? :

What? Only young Shaq could lead the fast break? I give you '09 Shaq. . blocking the shot and running the show. Again, show me anyone else who's 7'2 who can run this far:

Thanks for the good times Shaq. Enjoy fighting crime and being "the greatest in the universe"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wow. John Owen

John Owen is usually pretty thick for me. I've made it through portions of a few of his books :)

Once in a while, he'll say something like this which is eternally profound:

Indeed, the great sin of believers is, that they make not use of Christ’s bounty as they ought to do; they do not every day take of him mercy in abundance. (Communion with God, pp. 239-40)



HT:Ray Ortlund

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Dash of Humility

It's funny I know. . . an old guy with enormous ears proclaims the end of the World. However, I'm not going to any parties tonight, or mocking these sincere folks who are misguided.

The bible is not a code to be cracked. . . Mr. Camping is a false teacher. . . if Jesus returns tonight it won't be because Mr. Camping was right about anything.

But, let's be a little humble and gracious towards these folks. Clear-minded? yes. But, let's let the comedians have a go at Mr. Camping. As Christians, let's pray and be kind to these folks.

I think the tone of this piece from Prof. Michael Horton is a good model for us.

I hope Jesus comes tonight. . . . if He doesn't, let's be humble and pray for all those who were deceived, their dissallusionment, and their return to Christ.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No Earthly Good

When awful, unspeakable things happen. . . . when really good and right things/prayers go unanswered. . . . when things just aren't right. . . . I feel like a fish out of water many times.

At my worst, I'm impatient with those who struggle. I get frustrated with what seems like an effort to make/keep oneself miserable. And, I'll make it seem like I'm disaffected by the situation. I've definitely struggled big time in all 3 of those areas. I think God has really been working on me, and refining me as a pastor in those places. . .and hopefully I'm growing. Also, I can be prayerless at times. . and kind of function (even though I don't believe this) as a Deist. Like God is not interested in the small details of life. . . that we just need to shut up and get happy with our circumstances.

That's me sometimes. . It's wrong, I'm not proud of it.


When horrible things happen, and/or disappointment comes to our lives. . . . I really find it helpful to take a step back and look at the BIG picture. God is sovereign. Even the "hairs on our head" our numbered. He knows everything. He is working out HIS plan, not ours. We have no idea what the plan for the universe is, except the enormous truth that it's all going for HIS glory, and for HIS purposes. God "does not live in temples built by hands" the "depths of his wisdom" are unthinkable and sometimes unknowable to us. "Who has known the mind of the Lord", "Who has been his counselor"? He's got this. He's going to end it (we hope, soon). It's in His hands.

If that paragraph felt like a bunch of preaching to you, or that I was just "running to the bible", or that I'm not dealing with my feelings. . . . .Just know that I really believe that stuff. It affects me. It brings me peace. It helps me "not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine" and "though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea" I stand on that stuff.

When we're talking about our wishes of God, there is a hard balance to strike between persistence in prayer and patience with God. Of course, we need both. This is a really helpful message from Mark Driscoll about the persistent widow. It's really helpful.

We should be persistent with God. We should make our desires and hearts known to Him. But, let us never say that "God did not answer my prayer". He did. He either answered, "yes, no, or later".

We have to be radically "un-tethered" from the results. We have to remember that God has got this. He's working HIS plan. Most of the time, in my experience, God's answer to my prayers has alot to do with changing my heart, and less to do with me affecting His actions.

If that seems like a cop out. . remember that "waiting on the Lord" should cause us to "rise up with wings like eagles" and "walk and not grow weary". I believe that. It affects me. Waiting, and releasing outcomes to God brings Faith and Strength.

And, mostly, and most helpfully. I really believe in Heaven. God is going to wrap all of this up in the right way, and we will be with him forever. The present sufferings of this world, the prayers not answered as we like, the tragedies, the sin, the disappointment "will not be able to be compared with the Glory that will be revealed in us". It will seem like small potatoes.

I believe that. It affects me. It affects the way I interact with hard times, disappointment, and evil in the World. It all has an expiration date. It's going to end. "Every tear" will be wiped away.

The tears of my parent's divorce, the tears of my dad's death, the tears of Malachi's abandonment and fear, the tears of marriage difficulties, the tears of tragedies. God will make "all things new". I really believe that.

The hope of Heaven is not a cop out, not something to make us "no earthly good", it's actually the dominant way Paul, in the New Testament, tried to give hope to the churches, and those struggling. Because "in the blink of an eye, we will be changed". Then, we'll say "death where is your victory, death where is your sting". Paul believed that, he preached that to people going through really, really hard times. I believe it too.

So, let us (me) be patient with those who struggle and grieve with those who grieve. . .shut up with the bible platitudes for a season while we hurt together. . .yes, yes, yes. Absolutely

Let us all, struggling or not, . . . . also "hold firmly to the faith we confess" because "He who promised is faithful", and "hope does not disappoint". Let us "hope in God". Let us "wait on the Lord". Let us "come to Him" for "He will give you rest".

Let's fight with these truths. Let's fight against discouragement, depression, and frustration with God. Really. . that's why HE wrote these words to us. To help us fight against those things.

I believe that. It affects me and the way I process times like these

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Good Word

Great post from Vitamin Z

For Moms, Former Moms, and Wannabe Moms

Single woman watching your biological clock tick away, I encourage you to look today at your longings through the lens of the gospel. You don’t have to deny your longing or talk yourself into a happy attitude for all the good things you can do without kids. It’s OK to mourn the loss. God said children are a blessing. But after the fall, we do not all get to experience that blessing. The gospel makes up the difference. While you are disappointed in deep ways and that disappointment is real, you will one day sit with Jesus in heaven profoundly content with His work in you through this disappointment. In heaven, you will have no longing for something you missed. You will not be disappointed. May confidence in that hope sustain you.

Married woman experiencing infertility, I encourage you with similar words. People can be callous with their words, especially in the church. But believe in confidence that God in this very moment loves you with a deep love. You may feel estranged from Him, knowing that He has the power to give you that sweet infant that He has given so many around you. It seems like He is dangling a desire in front of you, teasing you with it. But understand that unfulfilled desire is a tool He uses to give you even better things – things of Himself that you cannot know in easy ways. Believe in confidence that this time of waiting is not just a holding pattern with no discernible value, but it too is a blessing, albeit in disguise, as it increases your strength to run and not grow weary and to walk and not to faint. Wait on the Lord, dear sister, in confidence.

And mom who fails her children regularly (because that’s everyone else), preach the gospel to yourself this day. If you have any grasp on your reality, you are likely painfully aware of every failure you’ve made with your children. And maybe you are fatigued by the fears of future failure as well. It’s okay that your children expose your own sin to yourself. In fact, it’s the mom who doesn’t seem daily aware of her failures that most concerns me. Christ has made the way for you to be at peace. If you sinned against your kids, ask their forgiveness. If you are kicking yourself for your failures, preach God’s grace to yourself. Don’t learn to live with your sin – don’t embrace it with the attitude “that’s just how I am.” But don’t deny it either. Be honest about it. You sinned. You confess. God forgives. You get up and walk forward in confidence. It’s called gospel grace, and THAT is the legacy to leave your children.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama, Obama, Burning, and Geraldo

Much in the same way I randomly turned on the T.V. at an unusual time 10 years ago on September 11th, and watched the 2nd plane slam into the towers. . . . I turned on the news last night at 9:45 for no apparent reason. There was breaking news, I toggled between Wolf Blitzer and Geraldo "stretching" for time (and awkwardly so) waiting for the President to speak. The news came early (is anything actually announced at the proper time these days? Can anything not be "leaked"?) Osama Bin Laden was dead.

Geraldo almost cried and then he hi-fived the Retired General sitting across from him. Words failed (not that he didn't try), people at the Pentagon were "shaking" with the news.

Some were rejoicing, some were saying "burn in hell, Osama" on Facebook; others started immediately judging those responses saying that "Christians don't" do those kinds of things.

I wonder how many people who were denying an eternal Hell a few weeks ago are now wishing Osama would be there. I wonder how many people fighting against viewing God as "angry" and "punitive" are now wishing He would be so, (against Bin Laden, of course)

What's the proper response?

1) humility. Jesus talked about tragedy, encouraging those who were listening to "repent or you will likewise perish". It's a good time to confess our sins and realize that justice is coming for us as it did for Osama last week. We need Jesus to stand in the gap for us, we need to believe in Him, and then the justice meant for us was absorbed by Jesus.

2) reluctance. I'm getting to the good ones, don't worry. . . . but our attitude should, at the very least, not be quick to rejoice, pile on, or tell crude jokes about Bin Laden's belief system or what awaits him on the other side. . . . there but for the grace of God go I.

3) thanksgiving. For the mercies of Christ, for our military, for the sacrifice of those who serve to protect our country. It's appropriate to thank these men, and it's appropriate to give some of them leash (I'm going to include Geraldo here, he's spent years embedded with the forces in Afghanistan, chasing Bin Laden. . .he has pictures on his wall of guys he's traveled with who are now dead) in their celebration. We're not on the front lines, we haven't been chasing this man for 10 years. Let's let those who have. . . . . release a little bit and celebrate.

4) rejoicing. Not in the death of a man. But, the fact that justice was done to a man who is trying to kill you. . us, our children. Some are so quick to judge any who smack of being thankful that Osama is gone. As an American we can be happy that a brutal murderer has been brought to justice.

I thought President Obama was measured, firm, and gracious in victory last night. . . it was an appropriate tone, I think. And hey, kudos to him and others who have kept their eye on the ball with plenty of bunny trails at their disposal. Although I'm sure President Obama will try to reap the political rewards (and rightly so) from such a triumph, this has been a 10 year project under 2 presidents, numerous generals, and how many countless soldiers. Great job to all of them.

Yes, it's time to bring up the verses from Ezekiel about not rejoicing in the death of the wicked:

Ezekiel 33:11 (New International Version, ©2011)

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?

There's alot to say about that verse, most notably that this was Israel, God's chosen people. But, this isn't the blog post for exegesis. Let's simply balance that with Romans 13 which talks about the role of Government:

Romans 13:4-5

4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

Should we pile on and wish that Bin Laden would "burn in Hell"? No. Should we judge those who would rejoice in this occasion as the end of a long military mission (that they were apart of ) and that a dangerous man has been brought to justice? No.

Let's stake out some middle ground and humble ourselves under God's mighty hand, . . while at the same time being thankful that justice has been done here, our Government has done their job (as the bible outlines it), and we're safer for it.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's Not Easy

“My last sentence is simply this: The world is lost, the God of the Bible does exist; the world is lost, but truth is truth, keep on! And for how long? I’ll tell you. Keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on, and then keep on!” -----Francis A. Schaeffer

HT: Ray Ortlund

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Character Matters

We (I) spend alot of time debating and thinking through different philosophies of ministry, techniques of how to do things, and models of organizing the Church.

These things aren't as important as doctrine, or theology. . . . but as a leader in the church we do need to search the bible to flesh out how we're going to "do church" and where the bible is silent, make wise decisions based on our doctrine, history, and gifts that he's given us.

As I was thinking through some of these things this week, it hit me again. . . that the models, methods, and philosophy don't matter as much as the character of the leaders who are implementing those things. Great philosophy, in the wrong hands, is not a win.

You can be the most successful mega-church, seeker, evangelistic pastor there ever was. . . but if you have a deep-seated need to be liked by folks, or to be accepted in what you say. . . .that will sabotage your ministry at some level. Even small "personality quirks" that seem like elementary issues (such as needing to be liked) can get in the way of ministering to glorify God (because in that sense. . . you're ministering for your own glory or "need" at some level).

On the other side of that philosophical coin. . if there is a hard-line conservative pastor who is ruthless in his commitment to the truth, preaching sound doctrine, honoring the history of the church in everything you do. . . . and yet, you have an inner need to "be right" about everything and win every argument, never being proven wrong. . . that will sabotage the effectiveness of your ministry. Again, you're fighting to be right and to "fill a hole" at a heart-level. . instead of feeding Christ's sheep.

Some try to solve these problems with rules and reg's. to "hem in" the pastor's personal quirks and help keep him "in bounds" in all that he does. Others try to solve these problems by protecting the pastor with handlers (kind of like a politician), yes men, and publicity monitors who don't let their pastor come under attack for anything he does or has said.

There's nothing inherently wrong with either of those solutions. . . (we should protect pastors with rules, and personal help). But, it doesn't help at the deepest level.

Colossians 2:20-24 (English Standard Version)

20If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" 22 referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Those are pretty strong words; "no value". Bottom line, rules and accountability won't ultimately help if our motivations and hearts aren't changed by the gospel, . . .and continually changed through God's Word and repentance.

This weekend was a weekend for churches to put their best foot forward, theologically, and practically, as many non-Christians were in church and it is the key weekend on the Christian calendar (we like to call it Super Bowl Sunday around here :) ) . But, all of the great methods, services, and successes in the world can't fix a sinful heart, and can't hide character flaws.

Now, none of us has "arrived" on these things. (I've sabotaged myself today a few times already. . . things coming out of my mouth crippling my effectiveness as a minister) But, simply an awareness of our folly and reluctance due to our own sin and wounded-ness is a good place to start. Then comes the oh-so-difficult ability to rejoice in others' success and find our ultimate salvation at the Cross. . . not in anything we've "pulled off" or "accomplished".

Thanks be to God for the Cross, so that we can come and lay down our desires to succeed, be right, and be liked. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, who can change us. . since there are no perfect pastors and there is no one who is ministering in the absence of any wounded-ness.

God is at work, and for us to effectively serve Him, we need to ask Him to deal with the subtle inclinations of our hearts, and yes, our character. It matters.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hope Does Not Disappoint

It's not popular to hold on to ultimate hope. We're either encouraged to just "hang on" because life sucks (to which there is some truth) or to smile and have faith because Jesus will give us everything we want (to which there is no truth. . . he'll give us much more than that. . one day).

I've been thinking through this dichotomy lately. We're not in the midst of easy days in the Casa De Britton. There are plenty of reasons for discouragement. Many of my friends are currently in crisis (others don't see that they should be in crisis and be broken over what's happening in their lives), and the days seem to pass quickly, sometimes without feeling like much has been accomplished. Life, it seems, is happening to us sometimes, more often than we're initiating things we want to happen.

That's where the empty tomb comes in.

We're often disappointed because God did not come through for us like we wanted Him to. Perhaps we can't have something we want. . . perhaps things are changing and we don't like it.

Making God the means to some other end will always end in disappointment. We either can't see/trust His providential reasons in orchestrating things a certain way. . . or we actually get what we wanted and aren't satisfied (which is inevitable).

Both of those responses come from seeing other things as ultimate. God is not the means to another end. He is the good news, He is the goal, He is our joy, He is the fountain.

Yes, we take joy in his good gifts, . . . just not in an ultimate way.

One of the less-discussed days of Easter week is Saturday. The day of discouragement and ambivalence. Can you imagine the disciples discouragement? Can you imagine the Kurt Cobain/despondent/Van Gogh levels of "who cares?" "there's no point to life!" "why did all of this happen, what was the purpose?" among the disciples?

But, then there was Sunday. Christ arose. Circumstances for the disciples did not change. But, their joy was back.

There will also be a "Sunday" for us, when we will be raised again to Eternal Life, and fullness of Joy, if we put our faith, and ultimate desire/hope in Christ (not as a means to some other end).

That Eternal kind of life is foreshadowed now in our enjoyment of God, through Christ. Have you stopped this week to think about how awesome Christ is? How glorious the Cross is? The empty Tomb? Have you thought about how ultimate and all-encompasing "the same power that raised Christ from the dead" is? And how "that is the same power that is at work in us".

Ephesians 1:18-22 (New International Version, ©2011)

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

These are heart-lifting, depression-killing truths. I hope you have some time to think about them this week. There is an empty tomb. Death is conquered. The disappointments of this life will end, the struggles will end. Their power is already defeated in the cross. . we don't have to be crushed by them.

It's Saturday. . .but Sunday's comin'

Monday, April 18, 2011

Two new books

I'll spare the details of why I haven't blogged in a month. . . . But, I promise I've spoken with all 5 of my readers in that span of time.

I feel a little like I have too much to say, so for now I'll recommend some books.

1) This is a lesson I still struggle to learn (and I wish I had grasped somewhat when I was in college). Oh, how I wish I wouldn't have made so many decisions because of "The Grass is Greener Conspiracy".

2) I like it that they do book trailers now. . . kind of like a feature film. So, check out the little movie and the book looks great too. Sometimes we forget we're being tempted and ignore obvious signs that things are not what they seem to be.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

47 Minutes Well Spent

Matt Chandler is a favorite of this blog, and this past weekend he absolutely nailed it in his Sermon. Home Run in the bottom of the 9th in the playoffs--nailed it. Discipline or Wrath is his title as he preaches from Habbakuk, and a few other texts. If you've ever struggled with why God is doing what He's doing, or what the role of suffering is for a Christian. . . this might be the best sermon I've ever heard.

Also, if you're having character questions about God (something that's come up a bit lately in the whole heaven/hell debate), this is also a priceless sermon for you to listen to. I couldn't recommend it more highly. Do yourself a favor and carve out 47 minutes.

Questioning Matt's credentials to speak on such a topic? He has brain cancer, so none of this is theoretical, he's living it.

An Under-Reported Consequence of Universalism

I've been in alot of discussions about Rob Bell and Heaven/Hell/Ultimate Things lately. I'm sure many of you have as well. . . .Here is an under-reported consequence of holding the universalist belief from a blog favorite, Jared Wilson. I think this is pretty compelling because it is history. But, narrative is not normative, so we need more than that. Well, in addition to history this is compelling because the bible told us this would happen.

This "bigger" Jesus ironically makes for a smaller following. ...

I Timothy 4:3-4

3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.