Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Keller on Conviction

“If you know what He has done at infinite cost to himself—He’s put you into a relationship so that you’ll never be rejected by Him—then your motivation when you sin is to go get Him. You want fellowship with Him. When the thing that most assures you is the thing that most convicts you, you’ll be okay because when you’re convicted of sin in a gospel way it drives you toward God.

Without the gospel we hate ourselves instead of our sin. Without the gospel we’re motivated through all sorts of awful fear and pride to change and it doesn’t really change our hearts; it just restrains our hearts.”

- Tim Keller, “How the Gospel Changes Us” (message given at Redeemer Presbyterian Church)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our Yard

Summer Reading

My reading has been sparse this summer since we've been traveling so much.

I'm planning on reading a book called Christianity Explored this week.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Book of the week

Jennifer and I are going to a middle school mission camp this week, so I'm not sure how much reading I'll get to do, but I'm planning on reading through John MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus." It's somewhat of a modern classic, but I've never really read through the whole thing before...

1 John 4:1

This video is from one of the "revival" meetings in Lakeland, Florida:

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).

There was a quote in "And the Shofar Blew" that fits this video well. It was a conversation about how a church was growing so rapidly and one of the people stated something along the lines of "God must be in this...look how many people have joined." The older gentlemen responded to the comment by saying, "Just because something grows doesn't mean it's good. Cancer grows."

Wise counsel.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Strange Headline

I saw this headline today: "Retired Justice O'Conner Starts Video Game Project"

Seems a surprising/bizarre direction for her career...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Jesus commands my destiny

“No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.”

-from "In Christ Alone"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Jennifer and I will be heading to Chattanooga next week leading a Middle School mission trip. We will be doing several service projects while we're should be a great trip.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” -Jesus, Matthew 5:16

“In all our serving may God be the giver, and may God get the glory.” -John Piper

“Trying to work for God without worshipping God results in joyless legalism. Work minus worship magnifies your will power not God's worth. If you try to do things for God without delighting in God you bring dishonor upon God.” -John Piper

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:58

“Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” -Corrie ten Boom 

“Worship empowers serving; serving expresses worship.” -Donald Whitney

“The bread that is spoiling in your house belongs to the hungry.  The shoes that are mildewing under your bed belong to those who have none.  The clothes stored away in your trunk belong to those who are naked.” -Basil the Great

“Let us be willing to do little things. And let us remember that nothing is small in which God is the source.” -D.L. Moody

The Discovery

My friend Josh Via just wrote a book. It's called, "The Discovery: Beyond the Jesus of Flapjacks and Grilled Cheese." You can purchase the book here.

Josh is a gifted writer, worship leader, a great husband to his wife and father to his children, a good friend, and Christ-exalting in the way he lives. This will be a great devotional book to go through the Gospel of John with and encounter Christ.

Can't wait to read it!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Christian & Pain

"For the Christian pain represents, at various times and from various angles, a design feature worthy of praise and gratitude, an affliction to be overcome, a potential vale of soul-making, and a spur to hope in a painless future." -Philip Yancey


Some guy out west got real video of an alien.

Book of the Week

I forgot to post last week, but I continued reading "Overcoming Sin and Temptation" by John Owen. I decided to take it slowly rather than to read through it in a week, due to the density of it.

Each month, I read one book that Jennifer recommends for me. This week, I'm reading "And the Shofar Blew" by Francine Rivers. Jennifer says it should be required reading for seminary students.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Penguins just got more amazing

Book of the Week

I'm reading a leadership book this week. I started it today, and I don't think it's going to be that great...but it's probably wise for me to read and think through leadership as I believe God has called me to be a pastor. Anyway, the name of the book is "Ministers as Leaders" by Robert D. Dale.
I found it in my personal library, but I have no idea where it came from, and I've never read it before, so I figured I'd give it a shot.
In way of review, "Pierced for Our Transgressions" was a great book, well worth the read.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Book of the Week

I was out of town this past weekend, so I didn't post what book I'm reading this week.
It's called, "Pierced for Our Transgressions", subtitled "Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution."
I thought it might be a little academic, but it's really not. And actually the second chapter was a great Bible study on the cross.
It's kept the song "In Christ Alone" in my heart as I've read particular the line, "That on the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied!" Great book, highly recommended.
Speaking of which, the David Wells is well worth the purchase. He describes the unhealthy condition of evangelicalism so's very thought-provoking. For those who are in full-time ministry it's somewhat like a mandatory read.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days or never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.

~ Jerry Bridges

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Book of the Week

This week's book is David Well's book, "The Courage to Be Protestant":

Personal Space

And I thought Chick fil A was a little crowded last night:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Book of the Week

This week's book is called Christ & Culture Revisited by D.A. Carson. The book discusses the relationship of Christians with culture, by looking again at the classic work on this issue by H. Richard Niebuhr. Last week's book by R.C. Sproul was great. It was an easy read with sharp clarity. He has a chapter that deals with the doctrine of limited atonement, and I'm not sure I've read anything more clear on that subject.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Faithful God

"God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?" -Num. 23:19

Book of the Week

This week's book is called, "The Truth of the Cross" by R.C. Sproul. Last week I went to a conference in Louisville, KY called Together for the Gospel, and Sproul was one of the speakers there. They gave us about 14 books and one of them was "The Truth of the Cross."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Book of the Week

This week's book is a short one by Henri Nouwen called, "The Way of the Heart." It's divided into three sections dealing with solitude, silence and prayer.
I'll be going to a conference this week in Kentucky (Together for the Gospel), and a short book will be great.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Book of the Week

Reading Abraham Kuyper's works online was more difficult than I had hoped it would I'm excited to get back to reading a book that I can have in my hands.

This week's book is too large to read in one week, so I've decided to divide the book into three parts, and read each part on different weeks over the next several months.

The book is called "Christian Theology" by Alister McGrath. I read through it when I was in seminary for a Theology class, but that was several years ago. One thing that I really like about McGrath's theology book is that he reviews historical theology so well.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Book(s) of the Week(s)

I forgot to post last week's book since I was on Spring Break living la vida loca.

At the suggestion of my lovely wife, I read through "Toddler Wise." It was a helpful little resource for sure, especially since Owen is our first toddler. Not that anybody really cares, but the best chapter was probably the one on potty training. We'll start that pretty soon, and we'll load Owen full of treats if he learns how to keep his diapers clean.

Anyway, moving on to this week's book of the week, I'll be reading several excerpts of works from Abraham Kuyper. He was part of the foundation of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. He's been dead for about 90 years, and I've never really read much from him, but I see his name mentioned from time to time as a resource in some of the books I read. I should learn a lot this week, since I'm pretty ignorant about the guy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Book (aka Movie) of the Week

Since this is the week leading up to Easter, I've decided to watch the Passion of Christ in place of reading another book outside of Scripture. Each morning, Jennifer and I will watch 15 minutes of the film. We started this morning, and we'll finish on Easter morning. We prayed this morning that it would not be entertainment to us, but rather be a meditative experience for us with regards to the ugliness of our sin and beauty of God's love.

If you own a copy of the movie, I think it will be a great focus for meditation this week. Feel free to join along.

(By the way, last week's book, "The Godly Man's Picture" by Thomas Watson has been the best book I've read this year...apart from Scripture).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Reason for God

Jennifer and I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday afternoon and on the first table we came to, I saw Tim Keller's new book, "The Reason for God." I won't be starting it real soon, but I bought it and skimmed through it. Each chapter deals with the big questions from skeptics. Some of the chapter ideas include: Is there really only one way to heaven? Why does God allow suffering? How can a loving God send people to Hell? Can the Bible be trusted?
Based on what I've read from Keller before, I think he will write with clarity on some difficult questions. Should be a great book

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Book of the Week

This week's book was written by Puritan Thomas Watson. It's called, "The Godly Man's Picture."
I've never read it before, but here's a blurb from the back of the book:

"Few preachers in the Puritan era (or any other period of church history) match Thomas Watson for his ability to combine rich spirituality, nourishing doctrine and sane wisdom with fascinating illustrations and a pleasant style...Watson works with a Scripture pencil in this priceless sketch of the true believer."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Book of the Week

Unfortunately, I didn't get to finish Driscoll's book this past week on my Disney trip. I'll finish it soon though.
This week's book is one that I've read several times, but I'm reading it again because our youth small groups are going through it together: Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper.

I love the book, and I think its a great book for young people.

As far as reviewing Vintage Jesus by Driscoll, I've found it to be like a humorous Christology book. In other words, its not much different than taking a theology course with a focus on Christology, except that he adds humor to it. I haven't found it to be extremely enlightening, however I do think it would be a good book for group study in a church as a way to introduce good theology in a reader-friendly way.

As for Disney, the Yeti ride at Animal Kingdom was the best. I think its called Expedition Everest.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Book of the Week

I'm heading off for Disney World tonight for the senior trip at our school, and I'm excited about the bus ride because I'll have time to read my newest book: Mark Driscoll's Vintage Jesus. It looks like it will be a great/easy read on the Person & work of Christ.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Book of the Week

This week's book is the book of Job.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You are not the author of your own life story

Last year in one of my classes, there was this old poster that said, "You are the author of your own life story." I pointed at it in the beginning of the year in my Romans class and told the students that we would find that that simply was not true...and then at the end of the year we would rip it down and replace it with a more accurate statement.

I got up this morning and continued reading through the book of Job and came to this verse:

"Are not his days like the days of a hired hand?" (7:1b).

There is a Divine appointment that rules over human lives. This past weekend, we took a ski trip to Winterplace in West Virginia. On the trip, one of the groups that was with us received word that another student in their group had been killed in a car accident. Saturday night, we mourned alongside of these students.

We take such little thought of death. I just saw yesterday that at some gas stations, they're putting up tv's at the pump. It seems that we have to occupy our minds constantly in order not to think about deeper subjects such as death. Here are some statements about death that I read this morning from Thomas a' Kempis's book, The Imitation of Christ:

"What canst thou see anywhere that can long continue under the sun?"

"Didst thou oftener think of thy death than of thy living long, there is no question but thou wouldst be more zealous to improve"

"Very quickly there will be an end of thee here; look what will become of thee in another world"

"Ah, foolish me, why dost thou think to live long, when thou canst not promise to thyself one day?"

Praying that we would fix our hearts on the things that are unseen.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Frozen People of Grand Central Station

Book of the Week

This week's book is the classic by Thomas a' Kempis, "The Imitation of Christ"
It's probably been close to 8 years ago since I read it last, but I remember when I read it the first time, it was one of my favorite books for a long time. I used to use it somewhat like a devotional. I'm pretty excited about reading it. I think it will be like visiting an old friend.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Author of the Week

This week I'm planning on reading several different articles from Bishop N.T. Wright. I've read a lot about his works, but not his works. My guess is that I'll disagree with a lot of what I read.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is Owen's birthday. He's 2 years old now!
I just heard him wake Jennifer and I are going to go sing to him!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Author of the Week

This week I've decided to focus on a particular author's writings rather than on a single book. David Wells is a professor of theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. I'm planning on reading excerpts from several of his works this week.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I had to go get the car inspected today, and while I waited I read a book called, "Hospitality Commands" by Alexander Strauch. It was a great and convicting book for me. It made me extremely thankful for Jennifer's incredible gift of being hospitable, and it revealed some of my weaknesses in this area. The overall message of the book was the importance of the home as a place of showing the love of Christ to people. I highly recommend it...and it only took a couple of hours to finish!

Friday, January 25, 2008


Ben Stein has a very interesting movie coming out in the Spring

You can make a toy out of anything...apparently

The most disturbing bowling game ever. 10 plagues...10 pins. Makes sense to me.

O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of thy name.

-Charles Wesley

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Close talkers...close singers

This is one of the most awkward music videos I've ever witnessed. They couldn't be any closer to each other while they're singing this...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

35 years...46 million people

Today marks the 35th year anniversary of Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion in the U.S. Since that time, an estimated 46 million babies have been aborted in our country...a number that is entirely too difficult to grasp


I'm studying the life of Joseph right now in my personal study. It's a remarkable story of God's providence.
Check out this toy that depicts him with blue eyes and bright blonde hair. Come to think of it, what's more disturbing than the color of his eyes & hair is the enormity of his feet and hands.

Everyday Gospel

"Preach the gospel to yourself everyday..."
-Jerry Bridges

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Book of the Week

This week's book is a parenting book called, "To Train Up a Child" by Michael and Debi Pearl. Jennifer read it and wanted me to read it when she finished. It's written by an Amish couple and so far its been pretty funny as well as helpful. Even the structure of the book is funny. The first subtitle of the first chapter is entitled: "Switch your kids"...and he's not referring to trading them in, but rather to spanking them. Other than the somewhat dated language and strong opinions, it is a good book. Here's an excerpt that captures the goal of the book:

"Parents should not wait until the child's behavior becomes unacceptable before they commence training..."

It's got certain parts that neither Jennifer or I would agree with, but as an old professor of mine used to say, "Eat the meat and spit out the bones."

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Pet

Jennifer and I decided this morning that we're going to try to get one of these as a pet. I love to see animals make fools of themselves


"However many things fail us that have to do with the maintenance of this life, God will never fail."
-John Calvin

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Book of the week

This week's book was written by my former pastor in Raleigh, David Horner. Its called, "Firmly Rooted, Faithfully Growing." It's about principle-based ministry in the Church. Its a great book that helps think through the proper order of asking why things are done in a church and then asking how they should be done. A lot of churches start with the pragmatic questions like, "how do we get more people here?," without asking the more foundational questions of "why do we do or not do something?"...or "what is the purpose behind what we do, or not do?" I'd recommend it to any leader in a local church.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Book of the week

This week, I'm reading through the classic "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23" by Phillip Keller. I read it several years ago, but I wanted to reread it in part because I'm teaching on Psalm 23 in a couple of weeks. I started it this morning, and it's an enjoyable read. Plus, you can find it used for 14 cents!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Book of the week

From time to time different people will ask me about what I'm reading. Each week, I plan on posting something about the book that I'm currently reading.
The first book of the week is called "Infant Baptism in the First Four Centuries" by Joachim Jeramias. I don't really recommend this book to anyone unless you're extremely interested in the subject. I'm sure it will be a good book documenting the early church fathers' views concerning this topic, but I'm not sure its that interesting to most people.

Happy New Year

I don't really do New Year's Resolutions, but if I did, I would adopt Jonathan Edward's 22nd resolution (22 of 70 he wrote when he was 19):

"Resolved, To endeavour to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigour, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of."