Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Barack Obama

Well, crap.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McCain v. Obama = Life v. Death

Read this before you vote. Tell your friends.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Morality According to Hallmark

Al Mohler recently posted a blog on something that I find quite disturbing. Hallmark has decided to launch a new type of greeting card to cater to all those homosexuals who apparently are feeling a little left out. Last year Hallmark released a wave of "coming out" cards. They have now expanded their gay horizons into the land of wedding and anniversary cards. You can read Mohler's take on all of this here. Peace.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Heart of a Father

Here recently I've decided to read through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew over and over again. I'm not really sure when I will move on to something else, but for now I like it. Last night when I was reading I was affected by Matthew 6:1-4 which reads, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. (2) Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. (3) But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (4) so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Besides the obvious call to "silent generosity", I noticed in this passage the gracious heart of God. God has promised that obedience brings reward, but what stuck out to me was the fact that God not only wants our obedience, but He desires to reward us. In this passage I see the heart of a Father. He is not just shelling out a list of commands, but He is telling the crowds how to receive their heavenly reward. The Sermon on the Mount is a radical call from God Himself for His people to live in a peculiar, distinct way, which calls for a painful death to self. But what is so amazing is that this hard path of obedience is the path to joy, and our heavenly reward. We serve such a great God! There is grace behind every command and there is a great reward at the end of all obedience; and that reward is God Himself. Peace.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave

I am currently reading a book by Edward T. Welch called Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave and I highly recommend it for everyone. The last chapter I read is called Staying Violent. The two verses at the beginning of the chapter are Matthew 11:12 ("From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.") and Matthew 18:18 ("If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away."). Pretty intense from the get-go. After reading this chapter I come away really wanting to deal with my own sin and addictions. Why? Because it's flat out war-time manliness to do so! And it honors God. Battling sin is like a Biblical UFC (not the sissy new UFC, but the old-school "go until someone's unconscious" UFC). Here are some of my favorite quotes from the chapter...

"There is a mean streak to authentic self-control. Underneath what seems to be the placid demeanor of those who are not ruled by their desires is the heart of a warrior. Self control is not for the timid. When we want to grow in it, not only do we nurture an exuberance for Jesus Christ, we also demand of ourselves a hatred for sin." (pg. 225)

"But unlike our old conception of warfare, where battle lines are clear and the times of battle can almost be predicted, this is modern warfare in which you are not always sure where the enemy lurks. It is guerilla warfare. There are strategically placed snipers. You let down you guard for a moment and the village you thought was safe suddenly opens fire on you." (pg. 226)

"The problem is that as Christians, we often forget we are in a war. Or worse, we don't even know that there is a war. Unlike most warfare, where at least we know that there is an enemy somewhere, spiritual warfare tends to be especially covert. No one is getting shot and many people--even addicts themselves-- seem to be managing their lives fairly well. It all looks like business as usual. Add to this the fact that we actually like the enemy, and it is easy to understand why many of us act as though we were on vacation." (pp. 226-227)

"If someone can actually flee something that he deeply desires, then, once removed from the external temptation, he must follow through by taking his soul to task. We are attracted by the temptations outside us because of the sinful desires we harbor within." (pg. 230)

"Maybe we haven't given into the temptation, but we are dialoging with it rather than rebuking it. When a serpent comes across your path speaking lies, you should run from it or kill it. You shouldn't sit around for a friendly chat." (pg. 239)

"When temptations come, we live mindfully. We look past the facade of temporary pleasure and notice the smell of death that goes with it. If the temptation hooks our desires, we go public. We confess it to a friend, we confess it to the Lord, we get other people praying of us, we ask for counsel that helps us to see that the Serpent is dangerous. Above all, we remember that God's commands are good. They are inteded to bless us." (pg. 240)

"Why would God allow temptations? They are divine testings that reveal our hearts." (pg. 240)

In summary, 1) Buy the book, 2) Read the book, 3) Buy another copy and give it to someone, 4) Read the book again, 5) see #3. Peace.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Long awaited pictures of the Baby

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back from Sabbatical

I've been doing a little studying/thinking on the Emergent movement lately (and really Postmodernism in general). Check out this helpful quote from Christian philosopher William Lane Craig:

"To assert that ‘the truth is that there is no truth’ is both self-refuting and arbitrary. For if this statement is true, it is not true, since there is no truth. So-called deconstructionism thus cannot be halted from deconstructing itself. Moreover, there is also no reason for adopting the postmodern perspective rather than, say, the outlooks of Western capitalism, male chauvinism, white racism, and so forth, since post-modernism has no more truth to it then these perspectives. Caught in this self-defeating trap, some postmodernists have been forced to the same recourse as Buddhist mystics: denying that postmodernism is really a view or position at all. But then, once again, why do they continue to write books and talk about it. They are obviously making some claims—and if not, then they literally have nothing to say and no objection to [the rational] employment of the classical canons of logic."

Friday, March 14, 2008

The letter E is equal to the letters M and C squared.

Today is Albert Einstein's birthday... he's 129. I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from his life: Pipe-smokers are geniuses. Thanks Al.

A Word from the Spurg

"I will take heed to my ways." —Psalm 39:1

Fellow-pilgrim, say not in your heart, "I will go hither and thither, and I shall not sin;" for you are never so out of danger of sinning as to boast of security. The road is very miry, it will be hard to pick your path so as not to soil your garments. This is a world of pitch; you will need to watch often, if in handling it you are to keep your hands clean. There is a robber at every turn of the road to rob you of your jewels; there is a temptation in every mercy; there is a snare in every joy; and if you ever reach heaven, it will be a miracle of divine grace to be ascribed entirely to your Father's power. Be on your guard. When a man carries a bomb-shell in his hand, he should mind that he does not go near a candle; and you too must take care that you enter not into temptation. Even your common actions are edged tools; you must mind how you handle them. There is nothing in this world to foster a Christian's piety, but everything to destroy it. How anxious should you be to look up to God, that He may keep you! Your prayer should be, "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." Having prayed, you must also watch; guarding every thought, word, and action, with holy jealousy. Do not expose yourselves unnecessarily; but if called to exposure, if you are bidden to go where the darts are flying, never venture forth without your shield; for if once the devil finds you without your buckler, he will rejoice that his hour of triumph is come, and will soon make you fall down wounded by his arrows. Though slain you cannot be; wounded you may be. "Be sober; be vigilant, danger may be in an hour when all seemeth securest to thee." Therefore, take heed to thy ways, and watch unto prayer. No man ever fell into error through being too watchful. May the Holy Spirit guide us in all our ways, so shall they always please the Lord.

Charles Spurgeon

From Morning & Evening

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pictures of Makaya

Alright... I was really waiting to blog again until someone commented on the Piper video below. Oh well, I'm going to bless you anyway and tell you to click here to see pictures of my BEAUTIFUL baby girl. DO IT! peace.

Friday, February 29, 2008

John Piper on the Prosperity Gospel

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tim Keller on Small Groups

"If you're not in a small group, you're not in the church." How mobile our society has become! Fewer and fewer people live in a region in which they have been born and raised and that is filled with networks of their family, relatives, and long-time friends. But both church leaders and church members often expect that care and nurture will happen through informal, word-of-mouth communication and unplanned relationships between (usually) pastors and parishioners. It took us nearly two years to realize that the traditional approach can't work in a city. It is through a network of 'cells'--small group fellowships--that we can nurture and care for one another. Soon I began to warn people: "If you are a member or regular attender at Redeemer, and you have a spiritual problem, or you get sick, or you have some kind of acute need in your life--we certainly will try to help. But if you are not in a group and we are slow to respond, you don't really have a warrant to complain. It is through small groups that we can provide care and opportunities through learning, and it is through the groups that we know quickly if you have a need the Body can meet. So--practically speaking--if you aren't in a small group, you aren't fully in the church."

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Pictures from the blast.

Alon, USA

If you haven't heard the news, an oil refinery called Alon, USA exploded this morning in my hometown of Big Spring, TX. I have never experienced anything like it. Here's how it went down...

I arrived at my office at 8 AM this morning. At 8:20 I was getting ready to go teach my Substance Abuse class when I felt the blast. I was sitting at my computer about to check my email and then it sounded and felt like a bomb went off on the compound that I was at. It's hard for me to describe it, but dust started falling from the ceiling. After a couple seconds of just sitting there wondering what the heck happened I went and looked outside towards the oil refinery on the East side of town and saw a huge mushroom-looking cloud starting to form. I immediately went back to my office and called my wife because she was at our house which is about 1-2 miles away. To give some perspective, my office is about 10 miles away from the refinery on the opposite side of town. Amber answered the phone and said that everything was okay, but that she was definitely startled. She said that the glasses on our window seal in the kitchen fell off and that the bed shook pretty dramatically. Our dog in the backyard was cowering under some bushes and whimpering. Amber got our daughter (and dog) and we went to my parents' house in Ackerly, TX about 30 miles North of town. I am now back in my office.

To give an overall picture of the damage...

Some buildings downtown (~2 miles away) had all of the windows blown out. One person was injured that was driving on I-20 right beside the plant when it exploded. 4 Alon employees were injured. One person's house near the refinery had the front door and door frame blown off. And now for the miracle: THERE WERE NO DEATHS! If you were here you would understand how insane that is. The gracious providence of God manifested itself today. First off, it is President's Day so 50% of the employees (out of ~170) were not even there. Second, only part of the plant exploded. Had it been the entire thing I don't think I would be here to type this... no joke. Apparently, someone realized that their was a gas leak and immediately told the workers. As soon as they heard they started running and got all the way to the parking lot before it exploded. The blast threw them all to the ground and sent nails into cars and tires. One person was sent to Lubbock with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Please pray for the families of those that were injured. The fire is now contained and there is still a HUGE pillar of black smoke rising from the site. I do not want to experience anything like that again. I know several people that work there, including a very good friend, our landlord, the father of my best friend when I was little, and a couple of people that go to church with my parents. To the best of my knowledge all are okay. If anything else in this town explodes I'll let you know. peace.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Resources @

I just found out that has put together a "Puritan Library". I can't believe the amount of ENTIRE books and complete works that are on here to read online for free. Click here to check it out.

Jonathan Edwards on Trials

God tries the graces of his people by their persecutions, that the truth and power of his grace in them may appear to his own glory, both before men, angels and devils. One end is that by such a discovery of the truth and strength of their faith and love, he may as it were triumph over Satan; and make him to see what a victory is obtained over him, by so rescuing those souls that were once his captives from his power; and convince him of the real success of his design of redeeming and sanctifying souls - notwithstanding all that he had done to [them], whereby he thought he had utterly ruined mankind, and put them past the possibility of cure. For this end God tried Job. God gloried in Job as a perfect and an upright man, that did good and eschewed evil [Job 1:8]. Satan don't own the truth of it, but charges that Job was a hypocrite, and his service mercenary. But God tries Job with grievous affliction for Satan's conviction. So it is in the church in general, their trials being for Satan's conviction...

Jonathan Edwards
Entry 52 in 'Notes on the Apocalypse'
Quoted from Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography by I. Murray, p. 352

Friday, February 08, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished
written by shai linne

Verse 1
Here’s a controversial subject that tends to divide
For years it’s had Christians lining up on both sides
By God’s grace, I’ll address this without pride
The question concerns those for whom Christ died
Was He trying to save everybody worldwide?
Was He trying to make the entire world His Bride?
Does man’s unbelief keep the Savior’s hands tied?
Biblically, each of these must be denied
It’s true, Jesus gave up His life for His Bride
But His Bride is the elect, to whom His death is applied
If on judgment day, you see that you can’t hide
And because of your sin, God’s wrath on you abides
And hell is the place you eternally reside
That means your wrath from God hasn’t been satisfied
But we believe His mission was accomplished when He died
But how the cross relates to those in hell?
Well, they be saying:

Lord knows He tried (8x)

Verse 2
Father, Son and Spirit: three and yet one
Working as a unit to get things done
Our salvation began in eternity past
God certainly has to bring all His purpose to pass
A triune, eternal bond no one could ever sever
When it comes to the church, peep how they work together
The Father foreknew first, the Son came to earth
To die- the Holy Spirit gives the new birth
The Father elects them, the Son pays their debt and protects them
The Spirit is the One who resurrects them
The Father chooses them, the Son gets bruised for them
The Spirit renews them and produces fruit in them
Everybody’s not elect, the Father decides
And it’s only the elect in whom the Spirit resides
The Father and the Spirit- completely unified
But when it comes to Christ and those in hell?
Well, they be saying:

Lord knows He tried (8x)

Verse 3
My third and final verse- here’s the situation
Just a couple more things for your consideration
If saving everybody was why Christ came in history
With so many in hell, we’d have to say He failed miserably
So many think He only came to make it possible
Let’s follow this solution to a conclusion that’s logical
What about those who were already in the grave?
The Old Testament wicked- condemned as depraved
Did He die for them? C’mon, behave
But worst of all, you’re saying the cross by itself doesn’t save
That we must do something to give the cross its power
That means, at the end of the day, the glory’s ours
That man-centered thinking is not recommended
The cross will save all for whom it was intended
Because for the elect, God’s wrath was satisfied
But still, when it comes to those in hell
Well, they be saying:

Lord knows He tried (8x)

Click here for a link to Shai's blog.