Monday, July 30, 2007

Time Moves Quickly

It has been a while. Lord willing, Lindsey and I will be moving to Washington D.C. this Thursday. I'm excited that tomorrow will be my last day at my current work (I've struggled with contentment in the past). Also, I'm planning on making some changes on how I blog in the near future. Keep coming I hope to be posting some updates.

In Christ,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Almost All Iowa Baby!

You have 94% Iowa in you!

Wow! You're almost all Iowa. No wonder you're such a likeable person. Isn't it great being so close to the greatest state in the country!

Do you have Iowa in you?

[HT: Ryan and Lisa]

Friday, July 13, 2007

Examining Questions from D. A. Carson

FYI: I'm editing them out of the original paragraph format into a list.
Perhaps some practical examples will help clarify Paul's prayer [in Philippians 1:9-11]

1) What do you do with your time?
2) How many hours a week do you spend with your children?
3) Have you spent any time in the past two months witnessing to someone about the gospel?
4) How much time have you spent watching television or in other forms of personal relaxation?
5) Are you committed, in your use of time, to what is best?
6) What have you read in the past six months?
7) If you have found time for newspapers or news magazines, a couple of whodunits, a novel or two or perhaps a trade journal, have you also found time for reading a commentary or some other Christian literature that will help you better understand the Bible or improve your spiritual discipline or broaden your horizons?
8) Are you committed, in you reading habits, to what is best?
9) How are your relationships doing within your family?
10) Do you pause now and then and reflectively think through what you can do to strengthen ties with your spouse and with your children?
11) Do you make time for personal prayer?
12) For prayer meetings?
13) Have you taken steps to improve in this regard?
14) How do you decide what to do with your money?
15) Do you give a set percentage, say, 10 percent, of your income to the Lord's work, however begrudgingly, and then regard the rest of your income as your own?
16) Or do you regard yourself as the Lord's steward, so that all the money you earn is ultimately his?
17) Are you delighted when you find yourself able to put much more of your money into strategic ministry, simply because you love to invest in eternity?
18) Has your compassion deepend over the years, so that, far from becoming more cynical, you try to take concrete steps to serve those who have less than you do?
19) Is your reading and study of the Bible so improving your knowledge of God that your wholehearted worship of the Almighty grows in spontaneity, devotion, and joy?
20) At what points in your life do you cheerfully decide, for no other reason than that you are a Christian, to step outside your "comfort zone," living and serving in painful or difficult self-denial?

From D. A. Carson's book A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 128-9.

How humbling. Lord have mercy on us.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Whitefield's Self-Examination

"The ocean-hopping evangelist of the Great Awakening, George Whitefield, is best remembered for his inimitable, passionate preaching. Like his contemporary Edwards, Whitefield’s Diary reveals that his spirituality was at least as deep as his influence was wide. The book begins with a list of criteria that he used each night as a basis of self-examination.

Have I,
1. Been fervent in prayer?
2. Used stated hours of prayer?
3. Used ejaculatory prayer each hour?
4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action considered how it might tend to God’s glory?
5. After any pleasure, immediately given thanks?
6. Planned business for the day?
7. Been simple and recollected in everything?
8. Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?
9. Been meek, cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?
10. Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others?
11. Recollected in eating and drinking? Thankful? Temperate in sleep?
12. Taken time for giving thanks according to (William) Law’s rules?
13. Been diligent in studies?
14. Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone?
15. Confessed all sins?

Each day’s entry in Whitefield’s Diary is in two parts, one page per part. On the first page he would list the specific activities of his day, then evaluate each on the basis of his fifteen questions. On the second page, according to his biographer, Arnold Dallimore, “He records any unusual activity throughout the day, but above all, gives expression to his inner self. The longings of his soul, a searching of his motives, severe self-reproach for the slightest wrong and bursts of praise to God, are all recorded without inhibition.”

How did men like Edwards and Whitefield become so unusually conformed to the image of Christ? Part of their secret was their use of the Spiritual Discipline of journaling to maintain self-accountability for their spiritual goals and priorities. Before we give all the reasons why we cannot be the kind of disciples they were, let us try doing what they did."

From Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs: Navpress,1991), Pp. 214-215.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Class At Southern Seminary This Week

In case you're interested I'm not posting anything this week, because I'm taking a class in Louisville, KY this week. If you have the opportunity to pray for me I would appreciate it...three specific things...
1) God's glory
2) Sharp mind to learn things that will be useful for God's Kingdom
3) Safe travel

Thank you!

In Christ