Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Truth War

Slated to come out this Spring [2007] is MacArthur's new book "The Truth War". I guess it will discuss the Emergent Church among other things in the current Evangelical landscape.

[HT: PyroManiacs Blog]

Monday, September 25, 2006

Self Love

Self love is shallow! Do you avoid looking into your life because you have "self love"? I know I do at times. Lets break the cycle and know ourselves fully that we might walk more honestly with our God, family, and friends. For Jesus Christ's namesake. Amen.
"It were an easy thing to be a Christian,if religion stood only in a few outward works and duties,

But to take the soul to task, and to deal roundly with our own hearts, and to let conscience have its full work, and to bring the soul into spiritual subjection unto God,

This is not so easy a matter, because the soul out of self-love is loath to enter into itself, lest it should have other thoughts of itself than it would have."

[Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) was a Puritan pastor. Quotation is from The Soul's Conflict, and Victory Over Itself by Faith, XV:vii:6, in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Vol. 1, (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1862), p. 200.]

[UPDATE: I intended to but forgot to mention that I found this quote in David Powlison's book Speaking the Truth in Love.]

Friday, September 22, 2006

It’s Always Cool to Get Free Books!

I haven’t been given so many free books in my life…check it out! I got these for free last weekend!~
Speaking the Truth in Love [David Powlison]

Reformed Pastor [Richard Baxter]

Polity [edited by Mark Dever]

MacArthur NASB Study Bible [John MacArthur]

Humility [CJ Mahaney]

Getting the Gospel Right [RC Sproul]

Give Praise to God [edited by Ligon Duncan III, Derek Thomas, & Philip Ryken]

Counted Righteous in Christ [John Piper]

9 Marks of a Healthy Church [Mark Dever]

I've finished Sex, Romance and the Glory of God and it was great. I'm in the middle of Speaking the Truth in Love and it's very good too.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's been a While


Friends, it's been a while. I'm back in Des Moines again. God is good...and life is seriously in a whirlwind right now...but it's good!

Thank you for praying for me while I was in Washington DC. I'll give a little more of an update later, but I just wanted everyone that reads this to know that God is good and it went very well...I feel like a different person with some of the perspective that God has given.

Anyhow...I hope you're all doing well.

In Christ

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"Till the God of Love Sees Fit"

"Plagues and deaths around me fly;

Till He bids, I cannot die;

Not a single shaft can hit,

Till the God of love sees fit."

(John Ryland from A.W. Pink's The Soveregnty of God pp. 145)

"If It Be His Sweet Will"

"Ill that He blesses is our good,

And unblest good is ill,

And all is right that seems most wrong,

If it be His sweet will."

(from A.W. Pink's The Sovereignty of God pp. 148)

“Paganized Small Town America?”

What is going on in small towns???

Lanesboro, MN: A few months ago Lindsey and I stayed at a B&B in Lanesboro, MN. It’s known to be a small “artsy” town. On the surface you might think that it is pretty innocent. Well, it’s not innocent at all. It used to be [from what I gather] a small German and Amish settlement and mainly agrarian. Well, if the shops on main street are any indication of what it is now, I would say it is a secular/pagan/wiccan/with some Christianish influence thrown in for good measure.

Well, you’d think, “that’s just Lanesboro, MN,” well no, it’s not!

Eureka Springs, AR: We were just in Eureka Springs, AR and we saw the same kind of “artsy” small town. Only this is in the “Bible Belt”. Well we saw some of the most pagan shops you could imagine. From native American spiritual gifts complete with mixtures of teas for healing…to homosexual themed ornaments…to witches that are clearly a “niche” market. The strange thing is that there appears to be a Wiccan influence taking root in these small towns by what the stores are selling. One of the clearest marks of this is the mainstreaming of things like stuffed animals [witches], decorations [nudity all over the place] and cards. These cards have witches and fairies as themes. Weird! These aren’t like tinker bell from a Disney movie…these fairies and witches clearly convey a deeper “spiritual” message. I bought a pair of shoes at a more “mainstream” store and the woman who sold them to me had a pentagram tattooed on her hand. Also, the incense was so strong in the stores that my brother in law's allergies were going nuts. With all the smells it was almost like I was back in India with all the incense.

What’s going on?

These themes probably don’t fairly generalize the entire towns of Eureka Springs and Lanesboro, but I’m trying to figure out what is going on here.

Why did I get this impression? It’s almost like as the population has left some people have revitalized the town and made it a “tourist trap” and somehow hippies and some of these occult things have moved in.

About an hour away is the Rogers/Bentonville area. The main question that pops into my mind is, “Are they sending missionaries from these 5,000 plus congregations to reach these small towns?” They need to hear the gospel in contrast to Tibetan Buddhism, Native American Pantheism, Wicca, etc.

Have you guys observed this in other small towns you’ve been to? If yes, which ones? I’m just curious.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Some of My Favorite Jazz Musicians"

I was going through a bunch of pictures today and took some of these with the "digital macros" function of our camera.

Left: Charlie Haden, Bass Right: Larry Grenadier, Bass

Bill Frisell, Guitar

From Left to right: Tony Corson,Tuba [friend] Steve Gilberston, Piano [friend], Brad Meldau, Pianist, Me

Wynton Marsalis, Trumpet

Roy Hargrove, Trumpet

John Abercrombie, Guitar

Friday, September 08, 2006

"Where Have You Been?"

This is a cool link that I saw at Brandon Barker's blog. You can make a map of all the places that you've ever been to. Below are all the places I've been. Pretty cool! Check it out!

It's pretty obvious that I'm from the midwest!

I'll have to update this after next week in Washington DC :o)

Prayer Request--Nate Rowland

Hey guys please pray for a good friend and brother in Christ Nate Rowland.

He has felt God call him out of the education field and into public service as a fire-man [sorry Nate...I don't know the technical title].

Anyhow, he's made it through all of the interviewing...but he has to pass a final physical evaluation.

He has felt spiritual warfare in the form of an attack from the enemy of doubt, restlessness, etc.. So pray for peace in his heart and in his mind that can only come from our Lord!

"When was the last time you shared the gospel...Verbally?"

I like to make it a practice to do this with folks I see regularly...like my barber and the guys that work on our car.

There are a ton more people that I could talk about the gospel with, but these are the guys, most recently, that I've had pretty good conversations about Jesus Christ.

Anyhow four key points I try to hit!
(1) God [creater/sovereignty]
(2) Man [the fall specifically/need for atonement]
(3) Jesus Christ [atoning sacrifice]
(4) Response [will you repent of your sins and believe this]

I'll share more about John [guy that works on our car] later, but just getting your brain ticking:)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Good Form!"

Well, I bet you never dreamed that you would see pictures like these:)

Lindsey has really good form... Legs shoulder width apart. Arms fully extended, etc.

Me on the other hand...

I was anchoring my left elbow in my chest... here I have it extended a little bit, and I had my left leg about a foot in front of the other one. The funny thing is... my poor form was fairly accurate. I hit the target fairly well.

[Here's my poor form at it's worst!]

Lindsey was a good shot too...I sure wouldn't want to be in a gun duel against her! :o) She seems innocent, but wow, she's deadly!