Monday, June 30, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

I forgot how much I love air travel. (HT Reepicheep)

Watch highlights of NFL Network's Top 10 Performances of 2007.

Read questions for a prospective pastor from Jim Elliff & Don Whitney.

Read about the US Supreme Court's decision that the 2nd Amendment covers individuals' rights to bear arms.

Read the findings Ed Stetzer shares that indicate 70% of Americans holding a religious affiliation believe that people can get to heaven via a way other than their own.

Read about NY identical twins wedding in double ceremony.

Read about why athletes go broke, by Brian Cuban.

Read Joshua Harris' thoughts on Hypermilers and find out if you are one.

Read about the woman arrested after being caught speeding 22 times in 45 days.

Check out the Top 10 Harmless Geek Pranks.

some interesting social science findings related to the attractiveness of one's spouse and supportive interaction. The gist? Ladies, go ugly early.

Read Mike Fitzhugh's thoughts on how and when to find a new church home.

Read Danny Aiken's reflections on missions and evangelism.

Read an interview with Thabiti Anyabwile on his new book, What Is A Healthy Church Member?

Check out the 125 Healthiest Supermarket Foods in America.

Read about an unused lifejacket from The Titanic fetching $68,500 at auction.

Read John Piper on the Advantages of Providence.

Learn about Hypnosis: Myths and Facts.

Read 10 things that don't make sense. (HT Joshua Harris)

Read about why conservatives are happier people per Kevin Lewis.

Check out Stuff White People Like #104: Girls with Bangs.

Read John Piper's contention that knowledge increases mystery with regard to God.

Listen to the audio of last week's Founders National Conference.

Johnny Mac shares why he loves the church:
(Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4)

Watch a clip from Dr. Bruce Ware on freewill.

Read about the Australian grandmother who naturally gave birth to triplets.

Check out 12 sins we blame on others at Desiring God's blog.

Read about the Virginia bride auctioning off role of bridesmaid.

See Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections. (HT Jay the Bennett)
See Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." (HT Justin Taylor)
See the New Testament books individually. (HT Justin Taylor)
See Martin Luther's 95 Theses. (HT Justin Taylor)
See the Psalms in Hebrew. (HT Justin Taylor)

Read 21 must read articles on happiness.

Read about how Spain's success in Euro 2008 hurt the porn industry. I guess there's some silver lining to Deutschland losing 1-0 in the Final.

Read about the German man who protested high gas prices by dousing his BMW with gasoline and setting it on fire.

Read 101 ways to use less gas.

Learn how to take a nap.

Read why Chad Hall is tuning out Christian radio.

Comment of the Week:
"If www stands for the beast, does that mean Al Gore, the inventor of the internet is the antiChrist??? :)" (Timothy)
Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on 1 Samuel 17, "S.D.G., Soli Deo Gloria" by Lance Ward.
"I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts."
-John Locke


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Move your thumb.

I always thought this was common knowledge, but apparently not, so I'll share this factoid with you.

Credit cards tell you what kind/brand they are by the 1st digit.

3 - American Express starts with a 3.
4 - Visa starts with a 4.
5 - Mastercard (formerly Mastercharge) starts with a 5.
6 - Discover card starts with a 6.

(Learn more about what the numbers mean.)

I first realized this when I would give my number to a company only to hear, "Is that a Visa or Mastercard?" I wanted to say, "Move your thumb," but I found myself educating the person with the information I've shared above.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.

Over the next few days I will be attending the National Founders Conference at Bethel Baptist in Owasso, Oklahoma.

The theme is Lengthening the Cords & Strengthening the Stakes: Rnewing and Planting Local Churches.

You're welcome to check out live streaming video or the audio of the conference. (Transcripts are from Timmy Brister's liveblogging.)

Tuesday, June 24

3:30 pm - Ted Christman (Transcript)
An Exposition of Psalm1

6:30 pm - Andy Davis (Transcript)
Dangers in Reforming a Church

Wednesday, June 25

9:00 am - Tom Nettles (Notes, pdf)
Biographical Sketch of Daniel Marshall

10:30 am - Voddie Baucham (Transcript)
Building a Solid Doctrinal Foundation

6:30 pm - Ed Stetzer (Transcript)
Lengthening the Cords and Strengthening the Stakes, Part 1

Thursday, June 26

9:00 am - Don Whitney (Transcript)
Reforming through Discipline

10:30 am - Ed Stetzer (Transcript)
Lengthening the Cords and Strengthening the Stakes, Part 2

1:30 pm - Leadership Dialogue (Transcript)

6:30 pm - Andy Davis (Transcript)
The Importance of Filling Your Life With Scripture

Friday, June 27

9:00 am - Phil Newton (Transcript)
From Planting to Reforming


Monday, June 23, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

I forgot just how scary this can be. At least I can do my part to spread the word. Think of the children! ;-)

Check out the discussion regarding the role of original language study in pastoral ministry at Conservative Reformed Mafia.

Learn that 1 In 10 Adults In England Has A Non-earlobe Piercing.

Check out Wordle, which will make a "word cloud" of a bunch of text.

See Gunny's Wordle of Semper Reformanda.

See Gunny's Wordle of the Sermon on the Mount (ESV).

Read Al Mohler's thoughts on the Canandian judge who ruled the parents "excessive" when they wouldn't let their daughter go on a camping trip as punishment.

Scope out all the helpful things Rev has learned through informative emails he's received.

Read about black Republicans considering voting for Barak Hussein Obama.

Read about Denmark being the happiest place on earth according to 60 Minutes.

Read 10 key parenting tips from Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.

Read about the passing of George Carlin.

Read about the woman who got a year in jail for forging an abortion parental notice.

Read about the newly discovered "quarter-life crisis" (QLC) affecting recent college graduates.

Watch Bishop N.T. Wright on the Colbert Report.

Read about the Gospel of Juneteenth per Joe Carter.

Read about the cook who intentionally put hairs in the steak of a dissatisfied customer.

Read Mark Driscoll's explanation of why Mars Hill Church switched to the ESV. (HT Brent Thomas)

Read John Piper's explanation of why Bethlehem Baptist uses the ESV.

Read many endorsements of the ESV.

Read about the woman sentenced to prison after she branded a man who never called her after a "hook up." (HT Brent Thomas) This is a good cautionary tale and one that might make a great movie.

Read The Onion's take on Tiger's courageous victory at the US Open. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Read as John Piper explains why it matters that God does everything for His own glory.

Check out 30 Useful Tools Everyone Should Own.

Read Lionel Woods on The Law: An Instrument of Sanctification or Dividing Wall?

Read "Abraham's Four Seeds" by John Reisinger dealing with similar issues.

Read Paul Lamey's 10 key theological aspects of the New Covenant.

Read about the historic vasectomy reversal for an endangered horse.

Read about the Canadian Senate approving an "anti-spanking" bill. (HT Tim Challies)

Read Phil Johnson on Postmodernism's Favorite "Virtues" vs. Biblical Faith.

Read about the Romanian village that re-elected the dead mayor because they so preferred him to his living opponent.

Read about the dramatic change in how black people view the Boston Celtics by David Aldridge: Hating on the Celtics: You Know How We Do.

Read about the Founders Conference I'll be attending: Lengthening the Cords and Strengthening the Stakes: Renewing and Planting Local Churches.

Read about the woman suing Victoria's Secret alleging injury from wardrobe malfunction.

Read John F. MacArthur, Jr.'s (i.e., Johnny Mac's) thoughts on dizernment, "Thinking Biblically."

Read about How the Ideas and Events of 1993 Created the World We Live in Today.

Read Lance Ward's thoughts on the role of the worship leader/team.

Read about the beautiful toilet paper wedding dress winning a national contest.

Read Tony Kummer's interview of Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales.

Read about the brain detail similarities among gay men and straight women.

Check out the audio of Sinclair Ferguson's sermon series on the book of James.

Learn 9 Black Belt techniques for fighting laziness at work.

Check out Johnny Mac on when to leave your church.

Read Eric Redmond on Abstinence Only Education and African Americans.

Read a summary of Eric Redmond's address at the Founders breakfast at the SBC annual meeting.

Check out the audio (mp3) of Eric Redmond's address at the Founders breakfast at the SBC annual meeting.

Check out 17 Drug-Free Ways to Stay Awake.

Read Phil Johnson's thoughts on biblical manliness, being authentic character not bravado.

Read about the Air Force man who got his leave extended one more week for the opening of a new White Castle restaurant.

Read (pdf) Geerhardus Vos on the biblical concepts of "wisdom" and "folly."

Comments of the Week:
  1. "As I always say, go reformed, or go home. Actually, this is the first time I have ever said that, but it does have a good ring to it." (Sean Crowe)
  2. "I'm a baptist who prefers wine at communion - not grape juice! Does this make me 'reformed'?" (Kelly)
Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Philippians 3:4-11, "Just to Know Him."
""Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.""
- Mary Hirsch


Friday, June 20, 2008

Isms, in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself.

Instead of "Calvinism," I greatly prefer "Reformed," for a variety of reasons ... not that there's anything wrong with an ism per se. But that raises another question:

What does it mean to be Reformed?

As a Reformed Baptist this is one of those love/hate conversations. I can't help but jump in, all the while knowing it's an uphill battle.

Some Presbyterians will say Baptists cannot be Reformed because they don't adhere to infant Baptism. Even some Baptists will say that other Baptists are not Reformed if they are not strict sabbatarians.

What does it mean to be Reformed?

How tight do we draw the circle?

This is from our church's "About Us" page ...

We are a Reformed and Southern Baptist Church.

* What does Reformed mean?

First of all, it doesn't mean that we've "arrived." We're not perfect, as individuals or as a church, but we pursue such through reliance on the Holy Spirit. In fact, part of being a Reformed church entails a recognition that it is always in process. Or, as it was put centuries ago, ecclesia reformata semper reformanda est ("The Reformed church is always reforming").

Being "Reformed" means an adherence to and advancement of the theological principles of the Protestant Reformation. This is most clearly seen in our doctrinal statement and in our subscription to the "5 Solas" of the Reformation as expressed in The Cambridge Declaration. It declares that our authority is Scripture Alone by which we hold to salvation by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, because of Christ Alone. Thus, we proclaim To God Alone Be the Glory! Our theological framework might also be referred to as Calvinistic or Augustinian.

As you can see, I'm thinking the Reformation is better captured by certain principles, rather than the by-products of working out those principles.

Others would obviously answer differently, limiting the label to those embracing certain creeds.

It's a stretch to require adherence to doctrinal statements that the Reformers did not produce nor endorse (e.g., WCF). Sure, much of it gels, but neither Calvin, nor Luther would embrace the WCF's Sabbatarianism, for example.

Also, the term is often employed in such a way that Zwingli would not be included or congregationalists, who would not have embraced a Presbyterian form of government (e.g., Edwards & Owen).

Interesting topic to ponder, especially since the term "evangelical" has received so much etymological discussion. Of course, we could really open a can of words as well with definitions of who is truly covenantal and/or Calvinistic (cf. Are Five Points Enough?).

So, for those of you who claim the label Reformed, what say ye?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The human torch was denied a bank loan.

By now you know. Phil Jackson was denied his 10th championship. He started 9-0 on the Finals and is now 9-2. I like Phil Jackson, now that he's a Laker, but I used to hate him. Well, I guess I used to hate his former team.

I'm hoping this is therapeudic or at least helps to ease the pain, but here are the sports teams* I hate the most.

1) Washington Redskins
2) Philadelphia Eagles
3) San Francisco 49ers
4) New England Patriots

1) Houston DisAstros
2) Chicago Cubs

College Football
1) t.u. (University of Texas)
2) Notre Dame

1) Boston Celtics
2) Detroit Pistons
3) Houston Rockets

1) Detroit Red Wings

These are the teams I want to lose. In fact, a loss for one of them is almost as good as a victory for my favorites.

The most hated teams are typically the nemesis of my favorite teams (e.g., Cowboys, Cardinals, Aggies, Lakers, Mavericks, and Stars). But others are cheaters (e.g., Patriots) or over-hyped (e.g., Notre Dame).

* I don't necessarily hate the individuals on the team, but more so hate the team. In other words, I hate the name on the front of the jersey, not necessarily the name of the back. I learned that when Deion Sanders became a Cowboy. I used to hate him when he was a Falcon, then I REALLY hated him when he was a 49er. But I loved him when he put on the Cowboys uniform.

Care to vent?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

A video inspired by a comment from George...

Check out 50 Everyone Should Know How To Do. (HT Lance)

Check out the official 2008 Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting website, complete with video, resolutions, review articles, and archives of prior years.

Read Ed Stetzer's analysis of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting last week.

Read the resolution (#6) dealing with regenerate church membership passed at the annual meeting.

Read Tom Ascol's account of how that resolution morphed into its final draft.

Read Tom Ascol's thoughts on corporate repentance.

Check out Steve Farrar's 7 Steps for Effective Fathering.

Check out Thabiti Anyabwile's description of his new book, What Is a Healthy Church Member? (including table of contents and endorsements by Johnny Mac & RC).

Read the 10 best excuses for coming to work late. (HT Tank)

Check out 25 Signs of a Healthy Church:
Part 1 - Spiritual Vitality
Part 2 - Personal Vitality
Part 3 - Relational Vitality
Part 4 - Missional Vitality

Read about the potential release of prisoner Susan Atkins (aka Charlie Manson follower "Sadie Mae Gluts") due to terminal illness at age 59. (HT Lance)

Learn about Paperback Swap, an online way for readers to share paperback books with each other for only the price of postage.

Read (pdf) Back to the Bible's 50 Reasons I Don't Read the Bible.

Read Tim Challies' 7 reasons to study church history.

about the Dutch study that found Friday the 13th to not be more "unlucky."

Read about about how the gender-based math gap is missing in some countries.

Read Girly Men: The Media's Attack on Masculinity by S. T. Karnick.

Read about the growing popularity of the surgery to restore the illusion of virginity due to the insistence of such for Muslim women.
(HT Jade)

Read Al Mohler on The End of History--The Moral Necessity of Eschatology.

Read 12 Fun Summer Activities for Fathers and Children by Jeff Large.

Read about former planet Pluto getting a new name.

Read about the rumors that President George W. Bush may convert to Roman Catholicism after leaving office, as Tony Blair did. (HT Tim Challies)

Read about the connection John Coleman proposes between Al Gore, Global Warming, and the absurd price of gasoline. (HT Tim Challies)

Read about the woman attending to her baby's cries finding a snake wrapped around her leg.

Read about the 100 push up challenge. (HT Brent Thomas)

Read about Egypt banning a 92 year old man from marrying a 17 year old.

Read John MacArthur's Tips for Self-Discipline.

Read about 5 Hindrances to Self-Control by Lydia Brownback.

Read the Time Magazine article concerning the epidemic of overweight American children.

Learn how to live with just 100 things.

Unlearn 60 Popular Pieces of False Knowledge.

Read surprising insights from the social sciences by Kevin Lewis, covering things such as bullying, choosing a double major, and a mystery in the bathtub.

Read what Ezra Klein has to say about the real significance of what's on our bookshelves.

Read about the man who legally changed his name to "In God We Trust." Is that the "royal we," dude?

Read as Michael Patton ponders the question, "Are All Sins Really Equal in God's Sight?"

Read about 2 Anglican priests involved in the 1st gay marriage in an Anglican church, their own. (HT Jared Nelson)

Read (pdf) David Dorsey's The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise, an article in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. (HT Justin Taylor)

Read (pdf) the Introduction to Revelation in the ESV Study Bible.

Read 3 reasons against the use of video in the church service by Michael McKinley.

Read Brent Thomas' appeal to Christian consumers.

Abraham Piper's provocative question, Would any part of the Bible seem wrong to you if you didn’t already know it was biblical?

Comment of the Week:
[regarding what to name our new Beagle puppy] "If he drops a lot of stuff on the carpet you can call him T.O." (Rev)
Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Philippians 3:1-3, "Spiritual Protection."
"Any concept of grace that makes us feel more comfortable sinning is not biblical grace. God's grace never encourages us to live in sin, on the contrary, it empowers us to say no to sin and yes to truth."
- Randy Alcorn


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Your dad could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.

Can I get an "Amen"?

Top 10 Things You’ll Never Hear a Dad Say

10. Well, how ’bout that?… I’m lost! Looks like we’ll have to stop and ask for directions.

9. You know, Pumpkin, now that you’re thirteen, you’ll be ready for unchaperoned car dates. Won’t that be fun?

8. I noticed that all your friends have a certain “up yours” attitude … I like that.

7. Here’s a credit card and the keys to my new car — GO CRAZY.

6. What do you mean you wanna play football? Figure skating not good enough for you, son?

5. Your mother and I are going away for the weekend … you might want to consider throwing a party.

4. Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo-hickey thingies — you know — that makes it run or something. Just have it towed to a mechanic and pay whatever he asks.

3. No son of mine is going to live under this roof without an earring — now quit your belly-aching, and let’s go to the mall.

2. Whaddya wanna go and get a job for? I make plenty of money for you to spend.

1. Father’s Day? aahh — don’t worry about that — it’s no big deal.

Happy Father's Day

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Look it's the name man. The I-talian Stallion. The media will eat it up.

Contrary to godly counsel from Lance, we got a Beagle. He's 7 weeks old, but we don't know what to name him.

What's a good Beagle name?

We're looking at the following 3 contenders and welcome feedback, even perhaps a 4th.
  1. Luther
  2. Maverick
  3. Rocky

UPDATE: We decided on "Rocky" for our puppy's name. Thanks for the great suggestions, but this seemed to be the one upon which we could most easily agree.

No? Okay, then shut your piehole and listen to me when I say that I am FINISHED with the checking-of-the-bags CONVERSATION.

I'm not that great with small talk and I'm not often a great conversation starter. I've previously shared some of the worst small group ice breakers, but this is an interesting list I came across.

20 Conversation Starters
  1. What was the neatest birthday present you ever received?
  2. What makes you laugh?
  3. What is your favorite food?
  4. Where would you like to go for a vacation if you could go anyplace in the whole world?
  5. If you had to move and could take only 3 things with you, what would you take?
  6. How would you describe the "ideal" father or mother?
  7. What is something you can do pretty well?
  8. What is your favorite song?
  9. What is your best friend like?
  10. How would you describe yourself to someone who does not know you?
  11. Has there been a time when you felt proud of yourself?
  12. What kind of store would you like to own and operate?
  13. If you received $5,000 as a gift--how would you spend it?
  14. What is your favorite room in your house? Why?
  15. What kind of job do you want to have in 20 years?
  16. What talent do you wish you had?
  17. If someone could give you anything in the world for your birthday--what would you like it to be?
  18. What would you like to invent to make life better?
  19. What is something that bugs you?
  20. What kind of trophy would you like to win?
-Jerry & Patti MacGregor, Family Times: Growing Together in Fun and Faith

Some good ones. Any others?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Well, I'm in the amazing business.

There's not much that surprises me the longer I live and I assume that's true of most people.

Some people you would never expect to be surprised or amazed, like Jesus. After all, what would really get His attention?

Yet, in the Scriptures we read of Jesus being amazed.

Jesus was renowned for amazing others, but we see the Son of God amazed (θαυμάζω - "marveled", ESV) twice (and only twice). Both times are in relation to faith.

Jesus marveled at the faith of the "heathen" centarion (Matt 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10).
When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith."
-Matthew 8:10, ESV

Jesus also marveled at the lack of faith He encountered in His hometown of Nazarath (Mark 6:1-6).
And he marveled because of their unbelief.
-Mark 6:6, ESV

I read such and find myself echoing the words of the father of the boy with an unclean spirit:
"I believe; help my unbelief!"
-Mark 9:24, ESV

If Jesus inspected each local church, would He be amazed, and if so, would it be from lack of faith?

Jesus asks, "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" (Luke 18:8, ESV)

  • Suggested Reading: The Purifying Power of Faith in Future Grace, by John Piper

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Listen to the dead air as the other commentators lay out on this guy as they attempt to distance from his potentially insensitive comment. Hilarious.

Read about how to encourage your pastor this summer.

Read Logan's review of Kung Fu Panda.

Read about a service that will send emails to your loved ones after you are raptured to explain what going on. (HT Jade)

Read A Critical Review of John Eldredge's Wild at Heart by Daryl Wingerd. (Lance, try not to get tender here, brother.)

Road crossings:
Top 10 reasons why the Emergent chicken crossed the road.
Top 10 reasons why the Emerger did not cross the road.
Top 10 reasons the Reformed Theologian did not cross the road.
Top 10 reasons the Dispensationalist did not cross the road.

Get this month's FREE audio download: The Pilgrim's Progress (unabridged).

Check out Jack McCallum's piece on the (Lakers-Celtics) Rivalry.

Check out Sports Illustrated's All-Time Celtics Team.

Check out Sports Illustrated's All-Time Mighty Lakers Team.

Check out Gunny's All-Time Celtics & Lakers rosters.

Read 7 Reasons Why Your Church Nursery Service Is Vital To Your Church.

Read about the man who accidentally shot himself while teaching his girlfriend how to handle a gun.

Read a 12 Point Cure for Complaining by Bill Izard. (HT Steve Camp)

Check out the odds for each NFL team to win the Superbowl.

Read Lionel Woods' interview with Jim Elliff, president of Christian Communicators Worldwide.

Read about the controversy caused by plans to make a wax figure of Adolph Hitler for the Berlin branch of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. You see, Hitler is kind of an unpopular historical figure.

Check out LibriVox's free audio books from the public domain. (HT Ray Fowler)
“LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.”
Read about what the CIA learned from "Get Smart."

Read about the "French Spiderman" arrested after scaling the New York Times skyscraper.

Read as Rae Whitlock wonders about “Color vs. Content” when it comes to African Americans and the Obama vote. (HT Brent Thomas)

Read Fred Hiatt's article “‘Bush Lied’? If Only It Were That Simple” in the Washington Post. (HT Denny Burk)

Read about the Japanese man's tumor that wound up being a surgical towel left in his 25 year prior.

Read the Resolution on Integrity in Church Membership presented to the SBC annual meeting by Aggie Tom Ascol, executive director of Founders Ministries.

Read about the Saudi woman filing for divorce after her husband tried to sneak a peek at her face. Curiosity got the best of him ... after 30 years of marriage.

Check out Wayne Grudem's Advice on Interpreting the Word.

Read about the Texas justice of the peace being sued for ordering a man to "paddle" his teenage son.

Check out 7 characteristics of divine election.

Read about the biblical theme park planned in Germany.

Learn why D.A. Carson doesn't like the terminology "redeeming the culture."

Read about (alleged) September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed getting to send the court sketch of him back for revisions.

Check out more slooge on what "missional" means.

Read about the drunk driving mother who let her toddler take the wheel.

Check out Thabiti Anyabwile's historical timeline of the African-American people, beginning with the first arrival of slaves (1619) and culminating with the Democratic nomination of Barak Hussein Obama, a half-white, half-black man.

Read about the Texas woman who won a $10,000 funeral at a baseball game.

Check out Charles Krauthammer's balanced thoughts about global warming. (HT Chris Brauns)

Go to Timothy's site to view an hour long video exposing Mormonism.

Read Greg Gilbert's thoughts on the gospel, it's implications, and non-essential implications.

Read Dr. Al Mohler's summer reading list: 1-5 & 6-10.

Read about the woman arrested for non-emergency 911 calls.

Check out this collection of audio from the recent Dwell Conference (Speakers include Mark Driscoll, Ed Stetzer, and Tim Keller).

Read about the man who cut himself in a restaurant mooning that went awry.

Read about Stuff White People Like: Children's Games as Adults.

Read about the McKinney, Texas man who finally got a high school diploma 73 years after having been denied it after being falsely accused of cracking his knuckles during an exam.

Read about the 84 year old man who finally got a high school diploma and went to the prom.

Comment of the Week:
"Teaching children is a huge challenge - they have not yet developed enough self-discipline to politely submit to poor content and boring presentation. :)" (Oilcan)
Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Philippians 2:19-30, "Commendable Characteristics."
"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good."
-Stephen Colbert


Friday, June 06, 2008

War is young men dying and old men talking.

This is the national address and prayer of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 6th, 1944 (aka D-Day), the beginning of the Allied invasion/liberation of Europe.

(Click to hear FDR)

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

You ain't so bad. You ain't nuthin!

This is a little exercise I did a while back, just tracing a theme through the Scriptures. It raises many uncomfortable questions, especially for those who contend God is a gentleman and cannot/will not ever violate the "freewill" of an "autonomous" human.

Thesis: God uses Pharaoh like a pawn to demonstrate to Egypt, the Israelites, and the world that He is the sovereign of this planet. He took the most powerful man in the world and made him like a puppet and a fool, to show His greatness by way of contrast. The outcome of which should have been great faith in Him and obedience to Him on the part of His people (e.g., Exodus 20:2, Deut 4:34; etc.)

Romans 9:17-18
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

Genesis 15:13-14
13 Then the LORD said to him, ‘‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

Exodus 3:19
But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him.

Exodus 4:21
The LORD said to Moses, ‘‘When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

Exodus 5:2
Pharaoh said, ‘‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.”

Exodus 7:3-4
3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.

Exodus 7:13
Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

Exodus 7:22
But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.

Exodus 8:15
But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.

Exodus 8:19
The magicians said to Pharaoh, ‘‘This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the LORD had said.

Exodus 8:32
But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.

Exodus 9:7
Pharaoh sent men to investigate and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.

Exodus 9:12
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.

Exodus 9:16
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Exodus 9:34-35
34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the LORD had said through Moses.

Exodus 10:1-2
Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.”

Exodus 10:20
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.

Exodus 10:27
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go.

Exodus 11:1
Now the LORD had said to Moses, ‘‘I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.

Exodus 11:9
The LORD had said to Moses, ‘‘Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.”

Exodus 11:10
Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.

Exodus 14:4
And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”

Exodus 3:21-22
21 ‘‘And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

Exodus 11:3
(The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

Exodus 12:36
The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

Exodus 14:31
And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

  • Seems like that was the plan all along, since "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Proverbs 9:10)

(All Scriptures from the New International Version)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Your mom goes to college.

Although it's gaining some in popularity, for several decades the Hausfrau (i.e., housewife) has not been regarded as a noble or respected pursuit in this country.

Ladies were pitied for having to "give up" their lives, dreams, or careers to be "stay at home moms." Such women may have felt some shamed or scorn from other ladies who "didn't squander" their talents or abilities.

Over the years this phenomenon has led to many different, and often creative, ways to describe how they can answer the common question, "What do you do?"

I'm sure you've heard many responses (e.g., homemaker, domestic engineer, VP of Domestic Affairs, etc.), but I found one particularly charming.

When asked what his housewife does, Pastor Tommy Nelson of Denton Bible Church would say, "She creates, raises, and shapes eternal humanity in the image of God."

That's pretty good. Any interesting descriptions/explanations you've heard?
P.S. Think about the disparity of how important it is to care for children versus the lack of esteem received by those who do so.

That's not only the case in society at large (e.g., teachers, since "those who can't do, teach"), but also in the church. Far too often I've heard seminary students say, "I don't want to
just teach children.

The irony, of course, is that one can often make a much greater impact on the life of a child than the life of an adult, even in the church.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

It's always awkward for parents to talk with their children about "inappropriate touching." Why not take the cowardly way out and leave it up to He-man & She-ra?

Brush up on the official rules of calling shotgun.

Read 6 gas-saving myths.

Take this quiz to match the Harrison Ford quote with his movie character.

Read David Helm's defense of children's sermons.

Read why New Yorkers seem so rude.

Check out Gunny's thoughts on success in pastoral ministry.

Read Tim Challies review of 23 Minutes in Hell, by Bill Wiese.

Read some thoughts from Grudem, Geisler, and John MacArthur regarding the dual authorship of Scripture.

Read 101 Common-Sense Rules for Leaders.

Read about the man arrested for assault with a box of moon pies.

Read about humanitarian workers (sexually) abusing children they're supposed to be helping. (HT Jenn) This just might get your blood boiling. It did mine.
"After interviewing hundreds of children, the charity said it found instances of rape, child prostitution, pornography, indecent sexual assault and trafficking of children for sex."

Read about the Obamas quitting Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Read about the stabilization of the Tower of Pisa that should keep it safe for another 300 years.

Check out Phil Johnson on Angelology 101.

Read about the Canadian arrest after putting their 7 day old baby up for sale on Craig's List for $10,000 (Canadian).

Read Johnny Mac's thoughts on praying for the lost.

Read about the student being rewarded for 13 years of perfect attendance with a new car. Andria Baker's license plate will read, "O DAYS."

Browse 7 misrepresentations of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. (HT Brent)

Read one more from the list of Stuff White People Like: Being Offended.

Read some thoughts on cultivating humility from Deepak Reju, including 10 diagnostic questions for pastors.

Read Al Mohler's suggested summer reading (part 1).

Browse this list of 100 books that are necessary for a “man’s” library.

Read 20 Reasons I Don't Take Potshots at Fundamentalists by John Piper.

as Jeff Foxworthy becomes Reformed and gives us some "You might be a Calvinist if ..." (HT Vitamin Z)

Read the Wittenburg Door's list of the 10 worst movies about Jesus.

Read the study showing that Bikini-clad Women Make Men Impatient and compulsively act. By the way, advertisers already knew this.

Read about the Illinois DOT budget issues leading to less roadkill clean up this summer. Remember what Josey Wales said, "Buzzards gotta eat. Same as worms."

Learn how to remove most of the seeds when cutting up a watermelon.

Read about the Fox News worker suing after she was bitten by bed bugs 3 times over 7 months.

Read about the man suing Delta Air Lines for $1 million for ruining his family's vacation.

Read about the twin suing for being separated at birth 28 years ago in a hospital mix up.

Check out Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.

Check out the Top 10 moments in Celtics-Lakers postseason history.

Read John MacArthur's criticism of the question, "What does it mean 'to me'?"

Read what Desiring God Ministries says the phrase "God-centered" means ... to them.

Comment of the Week:
"Unfortunately, this utilitarian idea carries over to relationships with the newer generations, who think nothing of texting their buddies, while you're trying to converse with them face-to-face." (Lance)
Listen to yesterday's sermon at Providence Church on Philippians 2:14-18, "Enduring the Fires of Sanctification."
"Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses."
-Margaret Millar


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