Friday, June 29, 2007


This quote is from Don Whitney in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life:
"Many of us need to realize the addiction we have to noise. It's one thing to listen to the television, tape player, or radio while ironing or doing other chores, but it's another thing habitually to turn one of these on immediately upon entering a room just to have sound. Even worse is to feel that it's necessary to have background noise during Bible intake or prayer. I believe the convenience of sound has contributed to the spiritual shallowness of contemporary western Christianity. The advent of affordable, portable sound systems, for instance, has been a mixed blessing. The negative side is that now we don't have to go anywhere without human voices. As a result we are less frequently alone with our own thoughts and God's voice. Because of this, and because we are the most urban, noise-polluted generation ever, we have an unprecedented need to learn the Disciplines of silence and solitude. [pp. 186-7]"

Have you ever sat in a communion service or a baptism service and thought...turn off the music?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Music "And Can It Be"

Of course we'll sing all the verses that I posted last week!

Family Worship

I just finished a book by Don Whitney on family worship...and we're starting tonight! Here's the hymn we are doing this week! Woo hoo!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

International Philosophy

I haven't laughed this hard since I watched the Marx Bros. A Night at the Opera last night! ;)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Prayer Becomes Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!

Here are a few good quotes from David Powlison on "Praying Beyond the Sick List".
"Sickness, like any weakness or trouble, is itself a temptation. Whether you face life-threatening disease or just feel lousy for a couple days, it is amazing what that experience can bring out of your heart. Some people complain and grumble, getting grouchiest with the people who care most. Others get angry—at God, at themselves, at others, at the inconvenience. Others pretend nothing is wrong, denying reality. Others pretend they’re sicker than they are, seeking an excuse to avoid the responsibilities of job, school, or family. Some invest vast hopes, time, and money in pursuing doctor after doctor, book after book, drug after drug, diet after diet, quack after quack. Still others keep pressing on with life, doing, doing, doing—when God really intends that they stop and learn the lessons of weakness. Others become deeply fearful—“perhaps this is the big one”—imagining the worst, And others get depressed."

"When any of these three strands of prayer [circumstantial prayers, wisdom prayers, and kingdom prayers] gets detached from the other two, prayer tends to go sour. If you just pray for better circumstances, then God becomes the errand boy (usually somewhat disappointing) who exists to give you your shopping list of desires and pleasures—no sanctifying purposes, no higher glory. Prayer becomes gimme, gimme, gimme. If you only pray for personal change, then it tends to reveal an obsession with moral self improvement, a self-absorbed spirituality detached from engaging with other people and the tasks of life. Where is the longing for Christ’s kingdom to right all wrongs, not just to alleviate my sins so I don’t feel bad about myself? Prayer pursues self-centered, morally-strenuous asceticism, with little evidence of real love, trust, or joy. If we only pray for the sweeping invasion of the kingdom, then prayers tend towards irrelevance and overgeneralization, failing to work out how the actual kingdom rights real wrongs, wipes away real tears, and removes real sins. Such prayers pursue a God who never touches ground until the last day."

Religious Expression

Imagine a school not allowing a student to wear a ring that expresses a religious belief. More specifically a Christian religious belief. Even more specifically the Christian religious belief that one will be chaste and sexually pure prior to marriage. And then imagine that the principal for the school argues as a defense that ,"It is not a Christian symbol, and is not required to be worn by any branch within Christianity."

Well, got actually happened. Let me get this correct. There has to be a "mandate" by some ecclesiastical power in order for a person to do something that expresses their religion? It's a good thing it wasn't a tattoo. With this logic our schools better CRACK DOWN!! There's so much "religious" attire out there...the religion of "self worship" and "culture worship". Check out this article, "British Girl Sues for Right to Wear Chastity Ring".

This just isn't very good logic from a principal, Leon Nettley, at a school in Horsham, south of London. Any thoughts??

Approval Rating

Bush isn't doing so hot according to theGallup Poll approval rating from May 15, 2007. He's at 33%.

But here's something I wasn't aware of. A Gallup Poll regarding congress...

Well check this article out, "Americans' Confidence in Congress at All-Time Low" from June 21, 2007. What is their approval rating?? 14% Wow!

We're not doing so hot.

[HT: Josh Dyvig]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mac or PC

Okay folks...what's better. A Mac or a PC, and why? particularly regarding laptops.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NEW 9Marks blog!

Check this blog out sometime! Very cool!

Here are the 9marks to whet your appetite!!!
• Expositional Preaching
• Biblical Theology
• Biblical Understanding of the Good News
• Biblical Understanding of Conversion
• Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
• Biblical Understanding of Membership
• Biblical Church Discipline
• Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth
• Biblical Understanding of Leadership

Prayer Request: John & Thelma

Please pray for our brother and sister in Christ. They are going through a very difficult time and give all glory to God. Pray that God would give peace, patience, and joy in the midst of suffering.

Pray that their sole dependence would be in God alone. That God would calm John’s heart that he wouldn’t fight the nurses that are trying to help him. He has Alzheimer’s and sometimes he can fight quite a bit.

Our pastor is being called to be a missionary with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) in Northeastern Iowa. For Thelma this reality causes fear because pastor Mike comes and visits her and John often. The next pastor that our church is praying for will be a bi-vocational pastor (Lord willing). There is fear that the next pastor won't be able to visit them. John doesn’t remember or know pastor Mike often times because of his disease, but Mike was reading Isaiah 55 with John recently and John picked up and started quoting the verse word for word as Mike was reading. What a sweet and gracious providence of God that he has truly written His word on John’s heart even when his mind is leaving him.

Pray that the church would surround them and support them in their need. Pray that they might be a witness to the glory of God to their neighbors, doctors, friends, and family.

We were at Thelma’s house the other night just talking and praying. We were looking at pictures of when they were young. It was great, amazing, and humbling. We are just as they were: young, smiling, vibrant, etc. How quickly time flies…and now she is 87 years old. When I was baptized a few months ago Thelma’s the one that was rejoicing with me and telling me that she was baptized at age 69.

Please pray for John & Thelma. They are beloved saints in the Lord.

In Christ,

In honor of John here is Isaiah 55:
The Compassion of the Lord
1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.

6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” [ESV]

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sin & Hell Part 2

(you'll want to read my last post before you read this one)

Okay, then there is preparatory direction number 2 in chapter 10 in Owen's Mortification of Sin:
Get a clear and abiding sense upon your mind and conscience of the guilt, danger, and evil of the sin with which you are troubled. (pp. 65)

Crazy! In the last chapter he said to not fight sin with the law and alluded to the fact that if a man, “cannot fight against it with gospel weapons, it is very evident that sin has control over his will and affections, and has prevailed and conquered. (pp. 60)” It’s important for us to get a grasp on what this means. In the last post, consideration number 4, a dangerous symptom that accompanies a lust is fighting, “against a sin only because of the consequences or penalty of that sin. (pp. 59)” Notice the “only because”. Fighting sin because of its consequences ONLY because of the consequences is not a right and healthy way to fight sin. There are many factors at work. Once Owen lays out some of the complexities he comes back to considering how to fight sin in light of the judgment to come for sin. With that preface in view consider what he wrote in the following:
Danger 4 – The danger of eternal destruction.

To rightly understand this, consider two things:

First, there is a connection between continuing in sin and eternal destruction. God does graciously deliver some from continuing in sin so that they may not be destroyed. However, He will not deliver any from destruction that do indeed continue in sin! For any that lie under the abiding power of sin, the threats of destruction and everlasting separation from God should be held out (Heb. 3:12; 10:38). This is the rule of God’s proceeding – if any man ‘departs’ from Him, ‘shrinks back’ through unbelief, God’s ‘soul has no pleasure in him’; that is, God’s indignation shall pursue him to destruction (Gal. 6:8).

Secondly, he that is so entangled, as described above, is under the power of corruption, and has no clear evidence of participating in the grace of God. Such a one cannot claim any assurance that he is delivered from destruction. Destruction from the Lord should be an appropriate fear for him. Such a one should seriously consider this to be (pp. 72) the end of his course and ways. ‘There is…no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom. 8:1). True, but who shall have the comfort of this promise? Who can claim it for themselves? Those who ‘walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit’ (Rom. 8:4).

But you will say, ‘Does this not lead people away from faith? I answer, No. Whatever evidence we may have of our own salvation, we must acknowledge that an evil path leads to destruction. To believe otherwise is atheism. We are not throwing away the good evidence of a personal interest in Christ, but an evil path throws doubt upon the reality of it. We should surely fly from a path that leads to death! The realization that the end of such a path is destruction should move us to free ourselves from the entanglement of our lusts. (pp. 73)

This is difficult stuff. We all have sin. Even when we think we have conquered sin in our lives we still carry it with us. And yet he says, "He will not deliver any from destruction that do indeed continue in sin!" and, "Such a one cannot claim any assurance that he is delivered from destruction," and "Destruction from the Lord should be an appropriate fear for him." That is hard hitting stuff. We may be saved, but, "Whatever evidence we may have of our own salvation, we must acknowledge that an evil path leads to destruction." May we fight with the weapons of the gospel, not law...yet we have to realize that, "the realization that the end of such a path is destruction should move us to free ourselves from the entanglement of our lusts." So it's not a weapon of law per se. Considered in the context of the complexity of sin and all the weapons to fight sin we must consider the consequences or penalty of that sin. Doing this draws us to fight sin with blood wrought freedom in grace.

This is true! Don't you think? It seems that Christians constantly downplay the effects and destination that sin leads to. Some people that think they are Christians aren't. We can see that from Scripture passages like Matthew 7:21-23 that some will meet an end that they had no clue they were destined for. Yet, we know that if one is truly a Christian they cannot lose their salvation John 10:28-29.

I'm not being exhaustive by any means, but I'll cover more in a few more posts. Feel free to correct or just interact.

In Christ

And Can It Be

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
[Words by Charles Wesley, music by Thomas Campbell]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sin & Hell Part 1

I was hanging out with a younger brother and we were talking about sin and the destination it leads to. We are reading Mortification of Sin by John Owen. The following stuff stood out. In chapter 9 and 10 are two preparatory directions followed by a lot of considerations…

In Chapter 9 there is preparatory direction number 1:
Consider the symptoms that accompany a lust. If they are deadly and serious, then extraordinary remedies must be used. The ordinary course of mortification will not work. (pp. 54)

Further, number 4 in the considerations of the first direction stood out that, “A fourth dangerous symptom is when a man fights against a sin only because of the consequences or penalty of that sin. (pp. 59)” Later Owen also says the following:
“If a man is under the power of his lust to the extent that the only opposition to it is the law, and the arms of the law, hell and judgment, and cannot fight against it with gospel weapons, it is very evident that sin has control over his will and affections, and has prevailed and conquered.

Such a person has cast off, in this respect, renewing grace, and is kept from ruin only because of restraining grace. He has fallen a great way from grace and returned under the power of the law. Must this not be a great provocation to Christ, that men should cast off His gentle yoke and rule, to cast themselves back under the iron yoke of the law, merely because of their lusts?

Examine yourself also by this: When you are tempted, and must decide whether you will serve sin and rush into folly, like a horse into battle, or fight against it and suppress it, what do you say to your soul? Is it only, ‘Hell will be the end of this course; vengeance will meet with me and find me out!’ It is time for you to look about you; evil lies at the door. Paul’s main argument that sin should not have dominion over believers is that they are ‘not under law, but under grace’ (Rom. 6:14). If your battle against sin is only on legal principles and motives, what assurance do you have that this sin will not have dominion over you, leading to your ruin? (pp. 60)”

I've read this before, but this time I really thought this piece was particularly interesting. Sometimes we start to try and fight sin with the law, when really we should be fighting sin with grace. If we cannot fight sin effectively with grace they we must look into our heart to consider if we are in the faith. If Romans 10:9-10 is still our confession of faith then we must continue to repent and walk in belief trusting that the Lord will bring to completion the work He has begun in us.

[There's more so I'll save it for another post!]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Unofficial Start to CHBC Internship!

Wow! When Linds and I arrived home this evening there was a box of stuff from CHBC. Inside were two letters and six books, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (booklet by Mark Dever), A Display of God's Glory (booklet by Mark Dever), By Who's Authority? Elders in Baptist Life (booklet by Mark Dever), Humility True Greatness (C.J. Mahaney), When People are Big and God is Small (Ed Welch), and Theology of the Reformers (Timothy George).

Here's a run down of the assignments...
Two 5 page papers one on each book When People are Big and God is Small, and Humility due 7/13/07.

Three 2 page papers on the booklets by Mark Dever due 8/3/07.

One 5 page paper discussing the significance of the reformation for Protestants' understanding of the church, the pastor and his role, and the sacraments (based off of Theology of the Reformers) due 8/9/07.

Lastly, write a broad timeline of the English Reformation, including major monarchs, reformers, and critical events and publications due 8/9/07.

Good news is that I've already read 5 of the 6 books. Of course I'll be doing some rereading...I'm just glad I don't have to start from scratch.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Have You Ever Felt Like an Idiot?

Man I do. I know we all make mistakes...but when I was preaching on Sunday I was explaining how the name of God in the Old Testament was spelled and I spelled "Y-W-H-W"...

Ahhh...I know how to spell Yahweh..."Y-H-W-H" When I first heard it on the recording I felt like such an idiot. Just goes to show me that even though I know something I need to read my sermon notes much closer.


In Christ

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sam Brownback @ Work Today

Well, today I saw Senator Brownback @ work. I like him... In case you're curious here are the the handouts with some information on him. (just click on the images to enlarge)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007



I'm not posting as much these days. Linds and I are completely moved out of our house. We moved in with my parents, and I've been preparing for the sermon Sunday. I'll try to post a bit more in the coming week. I'm working on some new posts on the church...

BTW, Ryan;) I saw your comment;) I haven't read Revolution...and right now I'm reading other stuff so I'm afraid I wouldn't get around to it for a long while. I'm not trying to take on Barna...and his views. I'm sorry that I may have painted him into a group of people that he doesn't belong... It seems from the parts of the book that I have read and the reviews I have read that he comes close to supporting a "lone ranger" Christianity.

Anyhow, I still stand by my points about the church in my post even if I pegged Barna unfairly too far in a direction that I was reading into his words.

More to come...sometime:)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Preaching This Sunday

This Sunday I'm preaching on Psalm 1 at Waukee Baptist Church. If you would pray for me that God would be glorified, that He would speak through me, that He would bless the preparation, and that He would prepare the congregation it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

In Christ

Friday, June 01, 2007

What is Iowa State University’s Beef??

ISU’s new football coach wants to hire a chaplain as full time staff. And according to WHO TV’s article, Petition Opposes ISU Football Chaplain, “More than 100 faculty members have signed a petition, opposing the idea.”

What is up with ISU’s “faculty”? Also, notice that, “Private donations have fund [sic.] the position, which Coach Gene Chizik would like to make permanent.” So why do the ISU faculty care? Notice PRIVATE DONATIONS. Besides the football program basically runs off of private donations called "ticket sales" anyhow.

With all the robberies, muggings, assaults, etc. that the football players have committed in the last few years I’d think most would welcome a chaplain. “ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard supports the idea, saying student-athletes under a lot of stress should have access to spiritual guidance if they want it.”

And once again our antagonist is…guess who…just guess…yup, professor of religious studies Hector Avalos. He said, “Are you going to have counseling for Jewish students? Muslim students? There's no such thing as one religion or one version of Christianity." Really?

Also, the ACLU is getting in on the action check this article out if you're interested, ACLU Asks ISU To Reject Chaplain Plan.

I loved what one football player had to say, "I think we need to get Christ back in sports. Chizik was hired to do a job... and that's one thing they're passionate about, as am I."

Any thoughts??