Saturday, July 31, 2010

A lack of leadership

I am consistently failing (and apologizing to) my bride for not leading us to pray together every evening. We make time for the things that are most important to us, right? So this quote from Tim Keller on his blog cut me pretty good:

The last form of prayer that I do daily is prayer with my wife, Kathy. About nine years ago Kathy and I were contemplating the fact that we had largely failed to pray together over the years. Then Kathy exhorted me like this. "What if our doctor told us that we had a serious heart condition that in the past was always fatal. However, now there was a pill which, if we took it every night, would keep us alive for years and years. But you could never miss a single night, or you would die. If our doctor told us this and we believed it, we would never miss. We would never say, 'oh I didn't get to it.' We would do it. Right? Well, if we don't pray together every night, we are going to spiritually die." I realized she was right. And for some reason, the penny dropped for us both, and we can't remember missing a night since. Even if we are far away from each other, there's always the phone. We pray very, very simply - just a couple of minutes. We pray for whatever we are most worried about as a couple, anyone or anything on our hearts that day. And we pray through the needs of our family. That's it. Simple, but so, so good.

Have mercy on me, Lord Jesus.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This makes my stomach turn.

Evidently, these are popping up on benches all over Colorado Springs:

I did not click through to the site, nor would I encourage you to do so. But this type of public prediction is really sad for a couple of reasons.
1. The people that produced this message in effect are claiming to know more than Jesus and the angels (Matthew 24:36).
2. If your guess at the date is wrong, you have done harm to the Name of Christ and cost yourself all credibility, both within and outside the church (Deut 18:22, Jer 28:9).
3. I am guessing that relatively few people are threatened into the kingdom of God. I know that God can use any means He chooses to save people, but it would seem to me that there are more effective ways to communicate the gospel.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Good quote

"Like a sneeze, sin feels good at first, but it leaves a huge mess."

----Craig Groeschel, in The Christian Atheist, page 22

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Three things #165

1. I have been experimenting with invisible tattoos. I have given myself a few including a great, fierce tiger on my forearm. The benefits of invisible tattoos is that you get to be trendy and cool without spending a lot of money. And alhtough no one can really see them that well, invisible tattoos don't age poorly. In forty years my tiger will not resemble a bloated striped walrus.

2. We have these "pay by the ounce" frozen yogurt places going up everywhere. The concept is that you fill your bowl with allow the yogurt and fruit or candy toppings you desire and they charge you by weight. They use the soft serve machines with the lever that you pull and the yogurty goodness emerges from the spout below. I have secretly had fantasies about just putting my mouth under the spout of the peanut butter yogurt machine and letting the perfect yogurty goodness run over.

And yes, I used the phrase yogurty goodness twice (uh, three time now). I may get an invisible tattoo of myself gorging myself on Peanut Butter frozen yogurt.

3. Does it make me a complete wuss that I got misty at the end of the movie Dreamer last night. Yeah, it does. But that horse won that race against incredible odds and saved the farm and helped so many people deal with their dysfunctional family issues. Doesn't a horse story like that deserve a few man tears? I think that I will probably get the corner of my man card clipped for this.....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thought provoking

‎"Doubt is not the opposite of faith, certainty is." --- Anne Lamott

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Three things #164

1. It is easy to exchange God centered-ness for church centered-ness or family centered-ness or Bible study centered-ness or marriage centered-ness. All of these things are intended for our santification, but none are a substitute for God Himself.

2. On a lighter note, my parents didn't like the movie "How To Train Your Dragon". Maybe it is because they saw the title and were expecting a documentary?

3. I am taking the boys to their first Major League Baseball game next week. One of my readers has a way to upgrade from outfield seats to luxury suites. Any tips for us, Miss Igarashi?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Important salvation quote

Telling people the need for the gospel, both their felt need and the real need, is plainly important, but it is not itself the gospel. When we have explained what God has done for us in Christ - the gospel - then we may go on to explain the benefits of receiving the gospel and the perils of ignoring it. However, telling people that they can choose either heaven or hell is not telling them the gospel. Telling them, as Peter did, that repentance and faith go hand in hand with the gift of the Holy Spirit is important, but it is not the gospel.

Whenever people's sense of assurance of salvation is expressed in the first person, something is amiss. When the question "How do you know God will accept you?" is answered by "I have Jesus in my heart, " "I asked Jesus into my life, " "The Holy Spirit is in me, " and so on, the real gospel basis for assurance needs to be reviewed. We rejoice when the answer comes in the third person: "God gave his only Son to die on the cross for me, " "Jesus died, rose, and is in heaven for me." When the focus is on the finished and perfect work of Christ, rather than on the yet unfinished work of the Spirit in me, the grounds for assurance are in place.

- Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible As Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching, 95


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Whoa. Probably true.

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Probably means a three year old Shakespeare.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Praise Jesus for Marriage!

Here is that Andrew Peterson video that I posted about the other day.

Three things #162

1. Once the shock wears off, people that find out I have 7 kids, ask me what that is like. First I tell them it is great about 95% percent of the time. Then I explain to them the complexity of our family using this illustration. In the average family of four people, each person has three relationships to maintain. The father in the family has to oversee and coach and deal with conflicts within 12 total relationships. With my family, there are 72 relationships and at any given moment they can be great or strained. Its complicated.

2. I had trout for lunch. And I think I might be able to get my two year old to eat trout if he thought it was dragon. He is a big How To Train Your Dragon fan at the moment. (If you haven't seen that movie, I recommend it highly. Better than that overrated Toy Story 3, I tell ya.)

3. Finally, take a moment to read this post. This is one of the best pieces I have read in months. I can't get it out of my head.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Three things #161

1. Like a slow working poison, my finely honed talent for being a timely smart alec is fading into....maturity. I feel terrible about it. It is effecting my blogging. I am reading more complicated books. I have tried everything: Looney Tunes, The Muppet Show, hanging out with teenagers, etc. But without some sort of intervention, Smart Alec Me will soon perish.

2. I am reading a biogrpahy about Warren Buffett. He is a really interesting guy, partly because you would not suspect the richest guy on earth to be humble. In the first chapter, he tells his biographer, "If I give you one version of a story and someone tells one that is different, include the less flattering one in the book."

3. I am more convinced that ever that the publishing of too many "Christian" books is doing more harm to the church than good. We need fewer people speed reading many books and more people concentrating on going deep with few books. Too many people rely upon the authors they read to do their Scriptural meditation for them, instead of thinking deeply about the things of God.

"[Our failure] in our duty to study God's not a lack of intelligence or passion. Our problem is that we are lazy." --- RC Sproul

And I am the worst of all men at dithering about in the shallow end of the pool.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On Resurrection Letters Vol II

WE are just a couple of weeks away from Andrew Peterson's new album. I will lose man points, but a couple of the songs I have heard made me tear up. This is powerful music. Click on the Dancing in the Minefields video and listen:

On Resurrection Letters Vol II

The Dad Life

Yo. Check it out:

Happy Day

This makes me laugh everytime I watch it. I love the under-his-breath "Crybaby" at the end....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Three things #160

1. Every once in a while my world just goes gray. The excitement of colorful adventures and a sunny outlook is replaced by the black and white tones of routine interrupted by trouble. It is at these times that I cling to the promise of God's goodness. He is not deaf to my prayers nor blinds to my difficulties. Instead, He has higher purposes, chiefly the sancification of my thoughts and habits and desires.

One of the sentences that I cling to when the world is tone deaf is "His goodness and mercy shall follow me all of the days of my life". I don't have to chase His goodness and mercy. It is not like a stubborn mule that I have to tug and pull along. No, Jesus' goodness and mercy are my constant companion, like an inescapable shadow. Jesus goodness and mercy are like my nose, I don't always think about my nose, but it is always with me whether I acknowledge it or not. And sometimes, when I look in the right places, I think, "Ah, yes. there is my nose. It was there all along." Such is goodness and mercy. Only they don't smell. Okay, this post is over.

1a. Sorry. For the nose analogy.

2. Punctuation is like Facebook You can ignore it but pretty soon someone is going call you a loser if you are not constantly using it

3. So let me get this straight, I can arm myself with a semi automatic weapon and that is okay, but I could get years in jail for possessing Black Cats within the city limits? Ironic, isn't it?