Monday, July 11, 2011

The time has come for an era to end. No, not an era of long hair on my chin like this fellow below:

That era is Blogger. I've made the switch to WordPress.

Soooo, that means you should check out - right now. Go there. If you want. No pressure.

This site will remain as it is; all future posts will be at the new location.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

THE Question

Ask yourself this:
"The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this: 'If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?'"
-John Piper (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself)

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Very Convenient Truth

 I'm not left to save myself!

Ephesians 2:8-9:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

...because I couldn't!

John 8:44:
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires...
Proverbs 21:10:
The soul of the wicked desires evil...
John 8:34:
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin."
2 Peter 2:19:
 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
Genesis 6:5:
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 8:21:
And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.
Jeremiah 17:9:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How P2R changed my life

It would be an understatement to say that my wife and I completed the last P2R challenge only slightly changed.

Doing anything for 4 months straight will certainly have drastic effects on you.

One of the ways participating in the Partnering to Remember challenge through Philippians has changed my life is:


I've never been one to journal. I think I had one for a week or so when I was younger, but it didn't last. Now, I enjoy writing down:

  • Daily memorization/reading/meditating notes
  • Sunday sermon notes to reflect on during the week
  • Prayers (my own/others)
  • Random musings
I am excited to one day look back upon my journals and rejoice in answered prayers and recognize how much God has blessed and changed me.

Maybe my (grand)children will be encouraged by the work the Lord has done/will do in my life though the study of God's Word. I can only hope to be so blessed. Only through God's grace will I leave a legacy that lasts.

So, thanks to Pastor Timmy Brister and all the others who helped make P2R well-organized and easy to jump into! And also to those who helped encourage along the way!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The End has come...and gone...

And no, I'm not referring to Mr Camping's infamous miscalculation that apparently really wasn't a miscalculation, just a different kind of calculation than we all thought he was referring to...

I'm talking about the end of waiting for the Martin OMC-Aura I ordered...and sent back...

I really, really, really love the look of this guitar however, it didn't produce the sound I'm looking for. It's not really meant for strumming, more for finger picking. And I'm sure many of you may think it would have been worth it to just start playing differently just so that I could keep the guitar...I had thought of that! :)

It has a gorgeous sound (described as a 'symphony of angels singing with every strum' by my friend Dan - great musician btw) but there isn't enough 'oomph' behind it. It's too thin-sounding for me. I play with more rhythm and choppy-ness than lightly plucky-ness (make sense??)

Sooo....I sent it back. The place I ordered it from has a 7 day return policy, luckily (I wouldn't have ordered it had they not).

And so my search continues.

I am currently checking out Nelson Gutars (a local luthier). I'll post my opinion of them soon.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gender Secrecy

READ > Parents keep child's gender secret < READ

Really? I don't even know where to begin...I don't know if there would be an easier way to make a child's life as difficult as possible.

-Letting children be 'who they want to be.'
Great, like a cop or a nurse or a teacher...but male or female? The importance of gender roles has gone completely out the window.

Good luck getting into college - "Well, for 12 years I built forts, chased frogs and baked muffins. Oh and drew and colored a lot."

Why not just shorten in to Goy? But we wouldn't want to confuse them any more than you parents already have...

There is a very clear difference between God's Word and man's word regarding male and female and their roles. (See Genesis 1-3, 1 Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5 for clarity)

Thoughts? Reactions?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Would Light make light?

The Twitter world is ablaze with jokes and mockery of Harold Camping.

My question is, should we joke about a subject as veracious and important as Christ's return?

Of course, we must proclaim the truth and be aware of false prophets as Scripture warrants (Matthew 7:15-23).

But should we make light of the situation? What is the Christ-like way to react - publicly or privately?

Chime in with your thoughts...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The End is Near!

Not of the Harold Camping sort...I'm talking about the end of my (patiently??) waiting!

Delivery is scheduled for today by 4:30pm!

Stay tuned for more info on what it is!

Oh, and you know what they say: "The third time's the charm!" Oh's been a lot more than 3 tries...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Where's the Green Grass?

We've all heard it before:  
"The grass is always greener on the other side.
I'm not actually sure I've ever heard it spoken with a sincere attitude; usually it's shortened to 'The grass is greener..!' and said with a slight hint of banter and a half eye-roll (oh, and don't forget the shrug).

Having that experience with the sarcastic aphorism, I will be honest, I went into reading Stephen Altrogge's new book The Greener Grass Conspiracy with a few unfair reservations.

Incorporating the wit we would expect of him, however, Altrogge littered the pages with many stories (true and imaginary) that helped keep the book interesting and drive his points home. If reading about King Solomon sipping a latte at Starbucks (p. 47) and Paul throwing coffee in your face (p. 76) won't entice you enough to read this book, I'm not sure what will...maybe the following review will help:

Contentment is defined in chapter 3 as: 
     ...a disposition of the heart that freely and joyfully submits to God's will, whatever that will may be. (p. 28)
First, we are taught that we must address our heart if we want to be content. Mere self-denial is not enough to breed contentment:
I imagine that Saint Benedict encountered many discontent monks who were absolutely dying for a piece of bacon. (p. 29)
Second, we are given a great example of how freely and joyfully submitting to God's will is very important:
     Dentist appointments are a part of life that I tolerate. I know dentists are good for me, but I really don't like going to the dentist.
     Often we treat God like some sort of divine dentist. We know, at least in theory, that he is good and that all he does is good. We know from Romans 8:28 that God works all things for the good of those who love him. But when life starts to get rough, we adopt a "grin and bear it" attitude. We know that somehow God will work everything for good, but in the meantime we're going to climb into our bunker and prepare for whatever bombs God is going to drop. This is not biblical, God-honoring contentment. (p. 31)
Third, we cannot choose when we shall be content:
We don't experience a breeze or backache that hasn't first been ordained by God for our good and his glory. (p. 32)
...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (Philippians 4:11) (p. 29)
So in understanding contentment, we must know that mere self-denial, tolerating trials, and choosing when to be content are not going to cut it.

Altrogge accurately represented scripture in relaying to us an ideology that is far too absent in America. Our focus gets stuck on the 'other side' where the grass looks greener (new job, marriage, health) and not on Christ.

The chapter that stuck in my mind and heart the most:
Chapter 9 - Eat the meat and die

Here we are faced with what our complaining says about our heart. A step is taken away from funny stories to explain the serious side of what we're communicating when we complain:
     Complaining...[is] a slap in the face of God. (p. 103)

     We're saying that God hasn't been good to us, that he's not so kind after all. We're telling a lie about God. That's why complaining is so wicked. (p. 104)

     Call the defendant to the stand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
     The accused is charged with the following crimes: dangerous neglect of family, failure to give child support, and family abandonment. This person is a deadbeat and a menace to society. He needs to be taken off the streets and locked up until he can get his act together. The name of the accused: God. (p. 106-107)

     Complaining turns us into blasphemers. (p. 108)
I will surely be re-reading this chapter many times to remind myself of the impact my complaining has on my view of God; especially what it communicates to others.

Overall, I found this book to be very helpful in understanding what contentment is (and isn't) for the Christian. All believers should be reminded of what it means when we aren't content with where God has us.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

By Means of Grace I See His Face

Just a few thoughts. Remember the cross today:

There is nothing that I or you could have done, had we lived at the time of Christ, to delay or accelerate the eternally-appointed moment when Christ would breathe his last breathe (sort of) and fall into the grave.

His physical body was completely destroyed. Every one of us would have been completely deserving had it been us on the cross.

The prophets of old told of this day, however most did not truly understand it.

He came to save us from the grave.
We praise his name and aim for his fame.

Happy Easter, Christ saved my keister!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The New Testament Endorses Slavery

Yep. It's true. And no, I'm not joking.

However, it's probably not the form of slavery you're thinking of.

No Kunta Kinte (not Toby) here.

Have a look at just a few of the texts:

Matthew 6:24 
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 
1 Cor 7:22 
For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ.
 Matthew 25:21
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
 Romans 1:1 
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
The Greek word that is referred to in these verses is (or a form of) douloƟ* (duolos) meaning: a slave, bondman, man of servile condition. Strong's Concordance further explains it as giving yourself up to another's will or interests.

Let this challenge you to further study what it means to really be a slave to Christ.

Here is one resource I have been recommended to read by @Sola5Girl and @lunchboxsw (read a review here)

What have you read that has encouraged your faith and led you to lead a life more bent on Christ's will and not your own?

Also, something to consider: How does our slavery to Christ affect our free will?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Zombies are the Exception

Can the dead come to life again on their own? 

Ephesians 2:1-10 says:
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedienceamong whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christby grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (ESV, emphasis in original manuscripts...or not)

Last time I checked, zombies were the only exception to this impossibility - and technically they're still 'dead.'

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Lion, the Witch, and the Box Office

The next installment in 'The Chronicles of Narnia goes to Hollywood' has been nearly confirmed - The Magician's Nephew is next!

Apparently The Magician's Nephew is the second most popular in the series of books, explaining the origins of the lamppost and the wardrobe.

Personally, I did enjoy this book almost as much as The LWW and The VDT.

What is your favorite book in the series?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Box Office | Movies & TV | Christianity Today

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lost Tribe of Israel found!

Believe it!

According to Wikipedia, "The Makuya sect of Japan believes that parallels between ancient Japanese culture and Biblical practice indicate a Lost Tribes origin for many aspects of Japanese religion and culture."

This was under extreme criticism, until archeologists in Japan recently discovered this ancient artifact:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Great Discipleship Commission

The last two sermons at Bethlehem Baptist have been focused on Discipleship. This last weekend was a wonderful exposition of Matthew 28:16-20.

Pastor Kenny Stokes started with refuting a common misconception that discipleship has merely a 1 on 1 functionality.
"Discipleship is a part of corporate meetings: sermons, small groups, church classes/training, etc."

I thought that was a wonderful observation, as I have always pictured discipleship (in my head) as something that happens between two people: one mature in the faith and another less mature in the faith - while this may very well be the case in some circumstances (i.e. Paul and Timothy).

The week prior to that David Mathis preached on 2 Timothy 2:2, emphasizing the need to
 "make disciples who make disciples.
I really appreciated his point on discipling your family first and foremost. We have a responsibility to tend to our home before others.

I've heard great things about this book:

The Cost of Discipleship

What has been your experience with discipleship?

Monday, April 4, 2011

The 1,274,632th Rebecca Black blog post

I know, I know...another Rebecca Black blog post??


I give my props to Rebecca black. Watch this video to see why.

There are 2 things we learn from this video:

1) Rebecca Black is handling the intense promotion of her video properly. She is making light of the mockery that has flooded the internet. She is very wise to take this approach and join in on the fun. Certainly defending the song's credibility as 'quality' would not have been the right move; that is unless you define 'quality' as something that ignites a wildfire across the globe...

And granted, it was almost certainly her new PR rep that suggested this course of action, but nonetheless she's going along with it.

I hope she enjoys her 15 minutes. But who knows?? Maybe we'll see her on American Idol in a few years! Or in a new Bieber video!?

2) The names of the horrible writers: Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson (pictured below w/client J'Rose)

Apparently Ark Music Factory specializes in making music for the daughters of rich folk. Definitely a good niche to be in I guess...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Three weeks until Easter

Standing in the kitchen drying my hands after rinsing some dishes I was captivated by the two candles lit on the table. We have been building up to Easter Sunday with some (new) Lenten traditions. Starting with 5 candles lit at the beginning of Lent, we read certain passages and snuff out one candle each Sunday.

The lights are great for grabbing my attention in the busyness off the day and turning my mind to remember the cross.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Be a Berean

This video clip of Jesse Duplantis, an evangelical charismatic of the Word of Faith movement, is the epitomy of why we should be as the Bereans were Described in Acts 17:11, "examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Planned Parenthood apologizes for abortions

(click the image for the Telegraph's Top 10 April Fool's Day links)

Guess what day it is?!?

Sorry, but unfortunately it's not true...but we can all hope right?

However, if you want to stay updated on the Pro-Life world I highly recommend checking out these sites:

                    - The ministry of Scott Klusendorf, formerly of Stand to Reason
                    - "Persuasively communicating the Pro-Life message"


                   - "Graphically exposing the injustice of abortion"


                   -  "Helping moms, saving babies, ending abortion!"


            - "Students for Life is an indispensable resource for pro-life college students who would otherwise be left in the wilderness of liberal academia.' 
                                   ~ US Congresswoman Michelle Bachman


Here are some great books to help you make your case for life!


Do you know of any other helpful Pro-Life resources? 

Please share!!

Oh, and try not to get duped the rest of the day! Not that you actually fell for this :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What is the power of Christ's sacrifice?

An anti-Calvinist sermon preached in Brisbane, Australia late last year stated:
To limit the atoning work of our Lord Jesus on the cross to cover only some people is so offensive, and strips that wonderful sacrifice of much of it's glory and power.
Here is Dr James White's great response:
What glory and power is stripped from Christ's sacrifice by saying that He did not die for those that God knew would...spend eternity in Hell?...What power is expressed by Christ's sacrifice in His own position? He knows that John Brown is never going to believe, so He punishes Jesus Christ in John Brown's place: the entirety of His wrath due to John Brown's sin falls on Jesus Christ in his place, and then the entirety of that same wrath falls upon John Brown. Where is the power and the glory there? Could someone answer that question for me? For some of my squeamish reformed brethren who really are questionable on particular redemption, could you answer that question too? At least you've thought about it. It's very clear that this brother has not.
(transcribed from December 30, 2010 podcast of The Dividing Line)

Objective...the new Subjective

These days, we need to be careful diving right into conversations about God and reality.

In this seemingly (and I say that genuinely, I truly believe that no one is a true relativist) relativistic society, people have changed the definitions of many words.

I found this out this morning when I met with a good friend of mine. We began a discussion on what it means to be a Christian, and ended with a debate on relativism

It took a while to realize it, but I ended up discovering that we were using the same words, yet assuming different meanings.  This can make one argue in circles forever.

What he defined as 'Objective' was what I defined as 'Subjective.'

Clearing up these types of confusions will allow me to make clearer points and hopefully be persuasive in my portrayal of the truth.

I plan on moving into the Objectivity of Morality with him next week. I don't think relativists can honestly continue in their beliefs when you bring morality in to the argument. Denying objective morality does not allow the relativist grounds for moral judgments. We'll see how that discussion goes!

Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-AirI have heard this book is very helpful in understanding Relativism and how to approach discussions. It's on my Wish-List! Is it in yours? What books/resources have you found helpful in challenging the Relativistic worldview?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Philippians 3:7-14

Here is the video for last week's verses:

I'll have this week's up soon.

And remember, I almost always have the songs available to download before I am able to get the video together! So no need to wait until you see the post for the verses. Check the right sidebar!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Does God Exist? Part 2

*The following is a compilation of arguments and rationale from William Lane Craig and his Reasonable Faith website.*

Reason #2 to believe in the existence of God:

God makes sense of the fine-tuning of the universe for 
intelligent life

Scientists, at one point in time, assumed that no matter what the initial conditions of our universe were, life might eventually come about. However, we now know that our existence is dependent upon many different variables, needing to be more precise than one could possibly imagine. In fact, these fine-tunings are so precise that they are literally unfathomable.

There are two aspects to consider regarding the fine-tuning of the universe:

     1. When you communicate the laws of nature as mathematical equations, there appears certain kinds of constants (i.e. gravitational constant)
    • These constants are not determined by the laws of nature, as the laws of nature are steady with many different possible values for these constants.
     2.  There are certain chance quantities that are set as the initial conditions of the universe that the laws of nature function under (i.e. amount of entropy, balance between matter/anti-matter in universe)
    • These quantities and constants fall into a narrow range of life-permitting values. If any part of them were altered by even the slightest amount, life would cease to exist.

    Some of the fine-tunings that if altered would not permit life:

    A change in gravity's pull by one part in 10100
    (that's 1 part in 10,000,000,000,000,002,048,152,312,936,744,064,968,280,736,496,704,368,200,216,912,448,184,576,664,144,552,576,752,872,304,304,512,280.0000000000000002e+100)

    The cosmological constant by one part in 10120 
    (that's one part in 1,000,000,000,000,000,384,216,968,488,640,432,840,928,368,184,096,208,592,344,560,296,704,312,272,880,432,872,384,504,432,456,880,328,408,304,736,184,568,656,384.0000000000000003e+120)

    The Big Bang's low entropy existing by chance by one out of 1010(123) 

    (NOTE: in trying to calculate this number, one program froze my computer every time I attempted to calculate, and a dozen others I tried gave the answer "infiniti" - this should give you an idea of how big this number is!)

         Roger Penrose of Oxford University comments, "I cannot even recall seeing anything else in physics whose accuracy is known to approach, even remotely, a figure like one part in 1010(123).

    Now keep in mind, it's not just these individual quantities and constants that need to be taken into consideration. One mustn't forget that the ratios between all of these values must be calculated. Here, we are multiplying improbability by improbability by improbability. Our mind cannot even begin to comprehend these types of incomprehensible numbers.

    There are 3 possible explanations for the presence of fine-tuning:

    1. Physical necessity (a universe would need to have these conditions - assuming a so-called "Theory of Everything" [T.O.E.] necessitating a life-permitting universe.)
    2. Chance (we are the lucky recipients of good fortune.) 
    3. Design (an intelligent mind behind the cosmos who designed the universe to allow for life.)
    Physical Necessity
    There is simply no reason to believe that the constants and quantities of this universe needed to be the way they are. P.C.W. Davies explains:

    Even if the laws of physics were unique, it doesn't follow that the physical universe itself is unique. . . . the laws of physics must be augmented by cosmic initial conditions. . . . There is nothing in present ideas about 'laws of initial conditions' remotely to suggest that their consistency with the laws of physics would imply uniqueness. Far from it. . . .. . . it seems, then, that the physical universe does not have to be the way it is: it could have been otherwise.

    In fact, String Theory allows for what is referred to as a 'cosmic landscape' with 10500 different universes that are governed by the laws of nature we observe. So there is no reason to assume that the constants and quantities we observe are physically necessary.

    The odds of this universe happening by chance are so fantastically unfathomable that it would be nonsensical to assume that position. Although there are an enormous amount of possible universes within the existing constants and quantities, the amount of worlds that would be life-permitting are absolutely astronomically low. Anyone who throws out the claim 'It could happen by chance' truly has no idea and cannot comprehend how impossible this is. Also, they would never assert that assumption to explain anything in their own lives (such as a giant boulder appearing in their backyard overnight.)

    Some have said that we should not be surprised that this universe has happened by chance and is extremely fine-tuned simply on the grounds that we are observing it. "If the universe were not fine-tuned, we would not be around to observe it!" However, that argument is nonsensical. Consider the following situation often offered by William Lane Craig:

    "Such reasoning is logically fallacious. We can show this by means of a parallel illustration. Imagine you're traveling abroad and are arrested on trumped-up drug charges and dragged in front of a firing squad of 100 trained marksmen, all with rifles aimed at your heart, to be executed. You hear the command given: "Ready! Aim! Fire!" and you hear the deafening roar of the guns. And then you observe that you are still alive, that all of the 100 trained marksmen missed! Now what would you conclude? "Well, I guess I really shouldn't be surprised that they all missed. After all, if they hadn't all missed, then I wouldn't be here to be surprised about it! Given that I am here, I should expect them all to miss." Of course not! You would immediately suspect that they all missed on purpose, that the whole thing was a set-up, engineered for some reason by someone. While you wouldn't be surprised that you don't observe that you are dead, you'd be very surprised, indeed, that you do observe that you are alive. In the same way, given the incredible improbability of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life, it is reasonable to conclude that this is not due to chance, but to design."

    Some have argued for an Infinite-World hypothesis, where there are an infinite number of universes out there, and so eventually one would have life-permitting values as it's constants and quantities. As covered in the previous 'Does God Exist' post, an actually infinite number cannot exist, so this hypothesis is logically impossible. Also, due to the ridiculously improbability of this universe happening by chance, it has been argued that if it did happen by chance, we should expect to see many other things happening that are far more likely to happen than this universe existing: such as horses popping into and out of existence, perpetual motion vehicles, etc.         

    The argument for the existence of God based on the fine-tuning of the universe can be summed up as follows:
    1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
    2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
    3. Therefore, it is due to design.
    What do you all think of this argument? Or of Charlie Horse's cameo above?