Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Closed Minded Preaching

Reading on the importance of understanding the listener while preaching:

Heads are neither open nor hollow. Heads have lids, screwed on tightly, and no amount of pouring can force ideas inside. Minds open only when their owners sense a need to open them. ~ Haddon Robinson

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Prosperity Gospel is not the Gospel

Very sad that this is the answer that people are seeking after from church these days.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Switchfoot Coming to the SF January 9th

Get you tickets here!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Gospel

We have a problem. The Bible names it sin. Jesus healed the sin with no help. He did not require help from the beginning. He did not require help while he lived amongst his followers. He does not require help today.

Instead we are invited into a relationship and a community. This community will be established, rooted in eternity. This community will be redefined beyond our understanding except this one truth. Jesus will be at the center of it all and by center of it all I mean he will be totally dominate in it. There will not be one shred of community left that is not dominated by Jesus in one shape, form or manner. Everything we do apart from Christ will be gone. Pursue Christ and you purse glory.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What does success look like in light of the Gospel?

I live in an area where success and the fear of failure is a regular part of life. From adults to children in preschool the pressure is on to be the best and highest achieving individual that you can possibly be. It is a relentless pace that often leave the broken down on the side of the road as everyone else passes by.

Know Christ as a man …

Philippians 2:4–7

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

It is not all about us. It never has been about us. The great deception is that we think it is about us. Every great moment that I have experienced has been in that time in place where I stop looking at myself and I sit back and enjoy the process of serving others, because ultimately that means I am attempting to serve him, by living out his calling in my life. Jesus makes himself into the man that we were suppose to be, set the example of who we were suppose to be and then gave us the charge to live in such a manner that is worthy of the call.

Know Christ as crucified …

Philippians 2:8

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The greatest gift of all came in the form of apparent defeat. This is so unlike our nature, this is so against all streams of conscious thought. How could death accomplish anything? Jesus, with his disciples, his band of brothers taught that the greatest sacrifice that any of them could make for each other is to lay down their life for one another. For Jesus, this meant an actual death, what does it mean for you?

Success in this lifetime is about living a life sacrificed to God. It means giving up our worldly loves and passions and striving after his loves and passions. In the thoughts of CS Lewis it is the most wonderful thing to do and at the same time the most painful. Success through the gospel demands that you risk everything and it is only in risking everything that our eyes can be made to see the glory that is worshipping him. It is taking this risk that causes Solomon to write to his son in the Proverbs that the beginning of knowledge is fear in the Lord. Success will never be found in the wisdom of the world.

Know Christ as glorified …

Philippians 2:9–11

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

When one is given the opportunity to assist the President of the United States of America you take it and gladly so. You will go and tell your friends, take pictures, blog it, twitter it, facebook it, and anything else you can do to it. Yet our call to serve comes from the King, not a king, but The King of all, in all, through all, to all. The King of Kings, The Anointed One, the one whose name will be screamed out into the universe as all of his people yell “Alleluia” at the end of all days. All the world will be recreated with him as the centerpiece.

So how can we possibly define success away from him? How can we forget to make him the King of Kings in our daily lives when we rise. Everyday when we wake we must pause and remind ourselves what success means as one who serves the King.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Interview with Kevin DeYoung

I have recently been reading Kevin's blog and he posted an interview that was done by CJ Mahaney about him. I read through it and really liked this question and his answer.

What single piece of counsel (or constructive criticism) has most improved your preaching?

If people walk away from your sermons and think you are really smart, you probably have preached a bad sermon. At first I thought it was good if people were impressed by my learning, but now I see that wowing people with my studies is exactly the wrong thing to do. Along these lines, I’ve heard Earl Palmer say that he aims at the high school junior or senior in his sermon. This makes sense to me. A high school senior is used to thinking (we hope) and can handle new ideas and concepts (we hope), but we should not assume he has a deep background in the Bible and theology. That’s a good target audience.

I have ordered his book Just Do Something and will try to write my thoughts on it after I read it (so look for that post in a year or so).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Signing the Manhattan Declaration

R.C. Sproul writes:

The Manhattan Declaration confuses common grace and special grace by combining them. While I would march with the bishop of Rome and an Orthodox prelate to resist the slaughter of innocents in the womb, I could never ground that cobelligerency on the assumption that we share a common faith and a unified understanding of the gospel.

I appreciate this perspective and agree. It is so confusing to understand as a church what we hold as the center that anything which clouds it does not stick well with me. I like what the document say, I agree with everything it says but is suggests a different center not so much in words but the its mere existence. I didn't have the terminology to explain this earlier but RC Sproul I think articulates my heart well, that it confuses special grace and common grace issues.

HT: Challies

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Am I Content?

I have struggled with being content because I focus more on what I don't have than what I do. I justify my longings because I feel that "normal people" have the things I desire. I speak to my heart lies that suggest that I deserve the basic things in life that all people enjoy and have opportunity to enjoy. I get bitter when I see people gain simple things, simply, when I have to work hard to achieve simple things. It is in this place of brokenness I find comfort in these words from Proverbs:

"Remove from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." ~ Proverbs 30:8-9

I desire deeply to have the vanity and lies removed. What an amazing prayer, and an amazing gift to receive. As one who has not received it, I will continue to pray.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How are we saved?

Two weeks ago I preached on Revelation 21 and briefly described the debate in Protestant churches over Justification. Today I read this on Kevin DeYoung's blog and thought it was a great summarization of the debate that is understandable. Here is a quote from the blog


Of all the points of contention between the early Reformers and the Catholic Church, disagreement over justification was sharpest. Luther himself said that it was "the doctrine by which the Church stands or falls." The crux of the debate was this: What, if any, role do our own actions play in being justified?

The Reformers saw in the Bible that we are justified by faith alone. The Catholic Church has always acknowledged that the Christian was saved by faith; it was the alone part Catholics questioned. Do not works play some role in our justification? they asked.

Of course, Protestants insist on good works, too. But these works serve as corroborating evidence, not as any ground for our justification. Indeed, that's what the controversial second chapter of the New Testament book of James is saying: Works are how we "see" in others the kind of genuine faith that underlies justification. The gospel says, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved," not "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and cooperate with transforming grace and you shall be saved." Yet the 16th century Council of Trent condemns those who believe in justification by faith alone.

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Atheist Conviction


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Whole Article

I was stumbling through looking for something on CS Lewis and found this article. A couple of highlights is a description of him meeting Billy Graham:

I had the pleasure of meeting Billy Graham once. We had dinner together during his visit to Cambridge University in 1955, while he was conducing a mission to students. I thought he was a very modest and a very sensible man, and I liked him very much indeed.

He commented also how he viewed contemporary literature:

I have read very little in this field. I am not a contemporary scholar. I am not even a scholar of the past, but I am a lover of the past.

His thoughts on space travel:

I look forward with horror to contact with other inhabited planets, if there are such. We would only transport them all of our sin and our acquisitiveness ...

I love these insights into CS Lewis. It makes me want to read his books more and more. If you want to read the entire article click here.

Say What You Mean

“The way for a person to develop a style is (a) to know exactly what he wants to say, and (b) to be sure he is saying exactly that. The reader, we must remember, does not start by knowing what we mean. If our words are ambiguous, our meaning will escape him. I sometimes think that writing is like driving sheep down a road. If there is any gate open to the left or the right the readers will most certainly go into it.”~ CS Lewis

Friday, November 13, 2009

Old Stuff

Found these while doing some Spring Cleaning of old files on my Hard Drive.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Most Beautiful Promise

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. ~ Rev. 21:4

Friday, November 6, 2009


The Wall Street Journal has an article on the implications of the social networking phenomenon and how it is impacting our kids. This summer Adriane and I got to see Jesse Rice talk about his book "The Church of Facebook" and he had a lot of interesting things to say. I have not had the chance to read the book yet, but hope to over Christmas break.

I am a huge advocate for Christians understanding this new way of communicating and understanding the importance of this type of communication in balance with interpersonal communication.

The Big Three

I was listening to a lecture given by my friend Jeff Louie on the Gospel and Community. In this lecture he mentions that when we think through our choices about how to handle controversial issues between culture and faith we should consider them in light of the "big three". He basically asks how would you have handled the issue of Slavery, the Rise of Hitler, and the Civil Rights Movement.

On the issue of Slavery we can read in Scripture that it was illegal, at least the form that America practiced, but would we have said anything? Or would we have said that the church should not get involved in social issues. On the issue of Hitler, would we have opposed him and taken the punishment (most likely imprisonment or death or one after the other) or would we have said the church should not get involved in politics. You get the idea.

I think today the big two that face the church is homosexuality and abortion. These two issues are so tough to look at from a cultural perspective in light of what Scripture teaches. It almost demands us to be on the other end of culturally accepted practice. I feel that abortion may be turning the tide as more people are made aware of the horrific experience an individual life experiences as it is being ripped out of mom, but people so desperately want the ability to control each aspect of their life that I do not think the issue will ever go away.

Gospel and Community is a nice phrase with profound implications if you truly are in love with the word of God.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Rules of Youth Ministry

Read this on youth ministry at Stuff Christian's Like. Good stuff.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pattern for our lives set in the Miracles of Christ

The renewal of Christ’s salvation ultimately includes a renewed universe… Christ’s miracles were miracles of the kingdom, performed as signs of what the kingdom means… His blessing was pronounced upon the poor, the afflicted, the burdened and heavy-laden who came to Him and believed in Him… The miraculous signs that attested Jesus’ deity and authenticated the witness of those who transmitted the gospel to the church is not continued, for their purpose was fulfilled. But the pattern of the kingdom that was revealed through those signs must continue in the church… Kingdom evangelism is therefore holistic as it transmits by word and deed Christ’s promise for body and soul as well as Christ’s demand for body and soul.

– Ed Clowney

Miracles are not unnatural

In my preparations for a lesson on the Kingdom of God, I came across this line in "Gospel Christianity" from Redeemer:

'Often it is said that a miracle is a violation of the natural order. That may be true in a sense, but it would be more true to say that Jesus' miracles were restorations of the natural order.'

In an ever increasing broken world I pray for these moments of restoration to come more often.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sin leads to brokenness

Romans 3:9-20, Paul marks out three types of sins: Global, Relational, and Personal.

Global sins are those ones that leave the world broken and twisted. It is the sin that makes the world a mere echo of what it really could be. Global sins are those ones that we feel so overwhelmed by but never know what really we can do about them so we just suppress them and let them continue without any response on our part. If the problem is too big I guess I just won’t worry about it.

Relational sins is the breakdown of society. This effects our global community efforts all the way to the most intimate relationships like family and marriage. Marriages are breaking apart all around us, yet we are all drawn to them like a drug. We try to describe the Trinity but always fail because we can’t understand that type of unity. We might be able to wrap some words around it, but sin blocks us from really knowing it.

Personal sins break the heart. They lie to us and tell us that taking care of number one is what will bring true happiness. They tell us the most important Gospel in the world is the Gospel that brings me prosperity in this lifetime. Personal sin divides us from God at the core and leaves us unable to truly seek him, let alone connect with him.

The hope we have in this world is Jesus as a man who walked the world. He has come not to condemn the world, but to save the world. He heals the global brokenness.

The hope we have in this world is Jesus and him crucified. He is the restorer of our separation of from God by taking the penalty due us all. He heals the relational brokenness.

The hope we have in this world is Jesus and him resurrected. Our future hope is living out the full expression of Jesus in eternity. He heals our personal brokenness.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I had never heard of Matthew Henry's method for prayer until I stumbled upon this site put together by Ligon Duncan and the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. On the site they discuss the different aspects of prayer and how we can pray in all areas upon which we are called to as Christians. If you get trapped in your prayers by always asking God for stuff, but never really get to thanksgiving, or confession I think the insights from this site could help you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Keller on Counterfeit Gods

Tim Keller's new book "Counterfeit Gods" just arrived today in my office. He wrote a blog entry at Redeemer Church Planting website as to how he got on the topic of idols.

I also saw on The Gospel Coalition, on Justin Taylor's blog a link to an article that Keller drew a lot of wisdom and inspiration from.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Francis Chan

The more I listen to and read Francis Chan the more I like. His heart is sold out for the gospel and is heart is connecting people to the gospel in a real and powerful way. Besides having a fun time texting to Will about the Sovereignty of God, I read this article about him on The Gospel Coalition Blog, which was referring to this article being done by Christianity Today.

Every Parents Worst Nightmare

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Gonna Be Good

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On the Resurrection

Indeed, it would seem that he who disbelieves this bodily rising of the Lord is ignorant of the power of the Word and Wisdom of God. ~ Athanasius

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Gospel spoken to Abraham

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” Gal. 3:8

God's provision for his people never ceases. Christ reveals himself throughout the ages to all nations so they may be blessed. We are all covered under the blessings of God through his presentation of the son. Praise be to God.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mark Driscoll on idols.

Tim Keller's book is coming out soon, it would have been cool to see them interview him instead, but Mark Driscoll does great. Check it out here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sticking by a Friend

Real love loves the beloved enough to be “tough.” Real love “is so passionately devoted to the beloved so that it hates every evil which is incompatible with his or her highest welfare.” (Stott)

True friendship seeks after truth into one another's life. It does not settle for kindness, gentleness, and humility when justice is required. What does justice look like in friendships? Justice in relationship is an upholding of truth in the midst of temptation.

It is easy to be tempted to allow my friends to do things that harm them because confronting them can be so difficult. I don't want to make a big deal out of their shortcomings because they might call out my shortcomings. Let's be real, if our friends are true friends, they have plenty of dirt on us.

This is the beauty of true friendship though, we know one another's dirt and we keep loving each other towards dealing with it in the light of God's love and truth. Keep growing others and you will grow yourself.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


The answer is the gospel.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tim Keller's New Book -- Counterfeit Gods

Tim Keller's newest book is coming out in October. If you want to pre-order it amazon will be selling it. On Westminster's site you can read an excerpt. Here is a quote from the book:

What is an idol? It is anything more important to you

than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination

more than God, anything you seek to give you

what only God can give.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

Found this on a blog I like to go to.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Amazing Blog -- Stuff Christians Like

If you want a good laugh check out this blog. This is awesome.

New Gospel Coalition Website

The Gospel Coalition has recently updated their site. It's aim is to be a collection of Gospel-Centered thoughts and ideas. Almost a library of Gospel Centered theological ideas and outpourings. Check it out here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Marriage is Tough

Fireproof is a really powerful movie on marriage. It hits at the heart of some very important themes that people really struggle with as they try to build a healthy marriage. I love Tim Keller's thought that marriages are "Gospel Reenactment". I also have been reading lately John Pipers book this Momentary Marriage.

Marriage for me is the closest thing I have to a visible representation of my relationship with Christ. I can see that relationship out loud through my dedication and devotion to Adriane. I praise God we have never fought like this, but I know it can come if we choose to stop turning towards each other and selfishly pursue our own needs and wants before we pursue others.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jesus Culture

Monday, September 7, 2009

Amazing Bay Bridge

Friday, September 4, 2009

CS Lewis on the Moral Gospel

I have been rereading The Great Divorce and came upon this passage about the moral man and his need to claim a sense of justice for his good work and a need to look down upon those who did not achieve moral success.
'That may do very well for you, I daresay. If they choose to let in a bloody murderer all because he makes a poor mouth at the last moment, that's their look out. But I don't see myself going in the same boat as you, see? Why should I? I don't want charity. I'm a decent man and if I had my rights I'd have been here long ago and you can tell them I said so.' ~ CS Lewis, Great Divorce

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sermon Jam

Friday, August 28, 2009

Everything Tim Keller

We are preparing as a church next Winter to work through The Prodigal God series that has been put together by Tim Keller through Zondervan. If you want to hear Tim Keller for free, most of his stuff you have to pay for on the church site, then check out this site.

Here are seven sermons on Luke 15

Sermon 1 He Welcomes Sinners (Luke 15:1-10)
Sermon 2 Give Me Mine (Luke 15:11-14)
Sermon 3 He Came to Himself (Luke 15:11-20)
Sermon 4 To Be Called Your Son (Luke 15:21-24)
Sermon 5 And Kissed Him (Luke 15:11-24)
Sermon 6 We Had to Celebrate (Luke 15:17-32)
Sermon 7 The True Older Brother (Luke 15:17-32)

Amazing Youth Pastor Clips

Saw the first one on Justin Taylor's site and then I found this other one while I was on You Tube. Youth Ministry is great.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mark Driscoll at the Crystal Cathedral

Click here to see Pastor Mark from Mars Hill Church in Seattle preach during the Hour of Power.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ed Clowney Saves My Day

I read this quote by Ed Clowney on the Unashamed Workman and it made everything that happened today okay.

Ed Clowney:

“Yet above all, the minister must bear the Word of God in the full depth of his stewardship. With the Word he enters the presence of God as he leads public worship. Only with the Word can men ascend God’s holy hill, for God’s promises are the only plea of a redeemed people. Worship is always an echo, reflecting the word of grace with the cry of praise. Preaching, too, is worship, for the naming of God’s name and the proclamation of his mercy is itself an act of praise. The minister at the Lord’s table or the baptismal font continues to be a minister of the Word. For this reason he administers the sacraments: not because he has a claim to a separate priestshood, but because the sacraments seals the Word and are observed as part of the proclamation of the Word to men.

(Clowney, Called to the Ministry, p 58)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Memorize Scripture Tool

Check this out if you want to make some Scripture memorization cards.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Worship God 09

I have made it through a couple of these and it really has me thinking about the importance of what worship should look life in our lives in our church.

The God of Worship | John Piper

The Leaders of Worship | Jeff Purswell

The Church of Worship | Thabiti Anyabwile

Lessons Learned from Three Decades of Leading | (CJ Majaney and Bob Kauflin)

The Future of Worship | Bob Kauflin

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How dedicated?

I appreciate the ministry of Francis Chan not so much because of who he is as a speaker, or pastor, but because you see the struggle he has with himself and this makes complete sense to me as I live day by day holding back.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This is amazing and I am not sure if that is good or bad, but it is amazing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Using the Right Words

Trevin Wax:
Did John Calvin believe in “Limited Atonement” – the L in the famous TULIP acronym, which teaches that Christ did not die as an atonement for the sins of the whole world, but only for the elect?I don’t know.There are contradictory signals in Calvin’s writings. At times, it seems very clear that he did not believe in limited atonement. At other times, there is hardly any choice but to assume that he did.
Here is the Post.

I read this post on Justin Taylor's blog and really liked this article because I totally have struggled with using the right words when preaching or when leading a bible study on becoming a Christian or coming to Christ. This article was very insightful about relaxing a bit on the words that we use and not being afraid to use the words that the Bible uses as well.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The God Who Walks

I am reading through a new book written by Andrew Miller called God Stories. It is an examination of Scripture placing the gospel in the center of everything. It has already spoken to me through the first three chapters.

Have you ever noticed that God is a God of walking? Quoting Miller “Jesus walked over 750 miles during his three years in ministry”. Throughout the Old Testament God walks with his people, whether it’s Job, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, or Elijah.

I think for myself my most powerful memories of experiencing Christ has been on walks. Many times it is me walking alone working through the trials of life or the difficulties that sin has caused in my life. These walks of restoration have served as a refreshment to my soul. Do yourself a favor today and go on a walk with the creator of the universe because he is a God of walking.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Gospel

The Bible is far more than a rulebook to follow. It is primarily the message of God's saving grace through Jesus Christ, with everything in Scripture before the cross pointing to God's redemptive work and everything after the cross--including our sanctification--flowing from that work. ~ Jerry Bridges

Sunday, July 26, 2009


When I experience tension I have found myself being more and more comforted in hearing the Gospel preached. Here is the link to a wonderful sermon from John Piper on John 4.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Want to Get Published?

Two interesting posts from Kevin DeYoung on getting your book published (Part 1 and Part 2).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The God Who Walks

I am reading through a new book written by Andrew Miller called God Stories. It is an examination of Scripture placing the gospel in the center of everything. It has already spoken to me through the first three chapters.

Have you ever noticed that God is a God of walking? Quoting Miller “Jesus walked over 750 miles during his three years in ministry”. Throughout the Old Testament God walks with his people, whether it’s Job, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, or Elijah.

I think for myself my most powerful memories of experiencing Christ has been on walks. Many times it is me walking alone working through the trials of life or the difficulties that sin has caused in my life. These walks of restoration have served as a refreshment to my soul. Do yourself a favor today and go on a walk with the creator of the universe because he is a God of walking.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Training in Righteousness

No idea if this makes sense, wrote it at midnight, but wanted to post it either way:

Trained in Righteousness

The righteousness of God is our place, our position, achieved for us by the work of Jesus on the cross. There is no hope for us as men in due course to solve this equation by our own means. We puzzle over these moments in life where we believe our control mitigates a response that is worthy of the cross, yet in the end all is hopeless. When we truly achieve an understanding that the only worth is the cross itself then we can begin to unravel what being trained in righteousness really means. It is then from this place that we can begin to see outpourings.

Instead most would like to move straight towards works in their understanding of this training. One might say, “Perhaps I can suggest a course in right living to achieve what the Christ was like, hoping to give a piece of the cross back.” Even this will fall short and probably not promote what we hope to be accomplished, namely a likeness to the cross. However, if we count this training as a step in the direction of understanding the cross, the love of Christ as it were, the beginning and the end, and the center; we can have a different focus.

This focus moves us towards a representation of the cross in our lives that does not merely attempt to match it in a works oriented way but instead as an identification of the image upon which we hope to emulate. This emulation is an important word because it suggests that we are attempting to identify with something that we can not become, so we can concede that the outcome won’t be perfect therefore being burdened by an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. Yet, at the same time we acknowledge that ability to be like the one enough to attempt to join him in his death.

The good news is that we do attain this perfection at a spiritual level, even though we do not understand the complete truth that resides within us. It is locked away in the mystery that is our hearts. This heart can only be accessed through a deciphering of the word and an activation of the spirit which can occur through the power of prayer. This then leads to the outpouring of action. Thus one can conclude that being trained in righteousness, walking in the spirit, are accomplished by a meditation upon the word, and seeking out that truth that is inside of us versus “getting to work” and really manhandling the change of specific behaviors one at a time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Lie of Moralism

Matt Chandler kicks the ball and puts it straight through the goal post.

Tim Keller on The Key to Change Through The Gospel

A pastor friend pointed me towards this article by Tim Keller "The Gospel - Key to Change". In the second point of the article Keller gives me something to reflect upon for my own life:

"the Father accepts us in Christ and treats us as if we had done all that Jesus has done (cf. Col 3:2a). But this also means Christ’s life comes into us by the Spirit and shapes us into a new kind of person. The gospel is not just a truth about us that we affirm with our minds, it is also a reality we must experience in our hearts and souls."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Top Five Commentary List

A Top Five Commentary list is provided on the Ligonier Ministries written by Tim Challis. The list contains a listing of five commentaries per book of the Bible. Challis also gives some insight into each commentary chosen as well as a list of runner up books. Very helpful list.

Francis Chan

Love this!!!

Another Reason to Blog

When I find things I like and I need to find them easy this is a good place to go. I suppose I could bookmark them, but that is not quite as fun because I get too many bookmarks. So here is a great listing of books from the Unashamed Workman blog that I like. Click Here

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What is the Gospel? -- RC Sproul

I was reading through some sites trying to get a clear simple articulation of the Gospel and was encouraged by these words from RC Sproul.

Monday, July 6, 2009

PCA Deacon Issue

Here are the two articles from Tim Keller and Ligon Duncan on the ByFaith site. If you would like to hear the men discuss the issue at the General Assembly 2009 you may do so be clicking here.My beloved denomination had decided not to form a committee to discuss the issue further. If you want to read some conversation about this decision you can read the comments on this article.

The Necklace of God (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Mercy, Hope, Inheritance, God's Power, Faith, and Salvation are the words used by Peter at the beginning of his letter to the churches in Asia Minor. He uses these words and is drawn to worship because of them. He treats these words like a quarry and draws his listeners to begin mining from the riches of God that he has lavished on us. I am encouraged greatly by the words of Spurgeon who reflected on the great mines of 1 Peter 1:3-5:

In these three verses we have a string of pearls, a necklace of diamonds, a cabinet of jewels—no, the comparisons are poor—we have something far better than all the riches of the earth can ever typify. You have here the heritage of the chosen of God. Your heritage, Beloved, your own peculiar portion if you belong to Christ this day. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Power of One

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” ~ Genesis 6:5-8

These words end the first unit of thought in Genesis. It begins with Adam and ends with Noah. I think Moses wanted the people to know that there would always be one person, always be one hope, always be one provided who would be there to communicate with God for the people.

There will always be one mediator. At the end of the first period of time God found nobody who would pursue his heart. The grief he expressed is grief he carries with him to this day. Yet, the Lord always provides one who has favor in his eyes. Then he expresses through the one, hope for us all, until the one who would provide everlasting hope would come.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good Writing

Good thoughts for writing sermons, as one who writes out every word he preaches.

Building for Eternity

"Christ himself is the builder of his spiritual temple, and he has built it on the mountains of his unchangeable affection, his omnipotent grace, and his infallible truthfulness."~ Spurgeon

I have been building my own empire. I don't want to but in reality there are so many self motivations mixed with worship motivations that it can be difficult to tell the two apart. This is where the heart of Nehemiah guides me developing my own, because he didn't limit himself to working on the walls of Jerusalem, but he was working on the hearts of the people first and foremost. He kept his relationship with the Lord as the central focus and used the building of walls to display it. Today his prayer is my prayer.

And I said, “O Lord God of heaven,k the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 l let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, m confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even n I and my father's house have sinned. 7 o We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules p that you commanded your servant Moses.8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, q I will scatter you among the peoples, 9 r but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, s though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them t to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10 u They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, l let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”


Friday, May 29, 2009

Twitter and the Process of Worship

I honestly thought this was a joke when I first saw it but I suppose it is a very real thing happening, not to different than sending text messages during a sermon. Joshua Harris and John Piper both contributed to the question: Should we use Twitter during sermons. You can read their individual thoughts by clicking there names.

Friday, May 15, 2009

No, Mr. President: John Piper's Response to President Obama on Abortion

This is what Barack Obama said that caused this response from John Piper.

Clayton's Story

Saw this on Between Two World's Blog. I liked it. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's Next for The Gospel Coalition

Christianity Today interviewed D.A. Carson about The Gospel Coalition and its future. On the second page of the interview he noted our regional conference coming up on May 30th. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I wanted to do something fun and useful with all of my blog reading. Each week (or so) I will share my favorite blog entries from the past week (or s0). Enjoy!

1. There are two conferences that I have enjoyed paying attention to over the past couple of years for pastors and theologians. The first is the Gospel Coalition which I was able to attend this past month. The second is Together for the Gospel which I have not attended but hope to next year. Pastor Duncan who is a part of both describes their differences and similarities on his blog post this week.

2. If you are concerned about abortion issues, which you should be, read this article about a pastor from Oakland that put it all on this line in a Christ honoring way in this blog post.

3. I liked this idea from The Resurgence blog post on not getting caught up in our own Christian worlds.

4. John Piper explains his methodology in Bible Study in this blog post.

5. 3000 year old homework assignment! Check this blog post out if you want to see some serious old school homework.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Compete and Complete

Yesterday I competed and completed an Olympic marathon with five of my friends and another seven friends that came for support and coaching. I had no idea when I started this process about nine months ago how intense the process would be. It was at challenge learning how to swim and bike and run in such a way as to do them back to back to back. It was challenging to watch friends have to back out because life demands were too much to prepare sufficiently. It was exciting to see the support and care from family and friends.

In the end it was a real joy to compete and complete. It was different for me because the competition was not really me against another person. One of my coaches just kept telling me don't pay attention to everyone passing me focus instead on my own pace and what I needed to do to complete the race. Wise words that probably saved my life in the water, but also allowed me to finish the race.

This week I am preparing a message on discipleship, how fitting given the process I just under took. If I attacked this race the same what I go after everything else competitively in my life I never would have finished. I had to admit to myself my weaknesses and live with them. I had to accept the 55 year old woman passing me on the run up the hill that I was walking (one day I will catch you lady).

Our lives as Christians is the same kind of journey. We want to be super strong and powerful, but in the end there is always someone passing us, more mature than us, but in the end we all strive to be like the one who achieved the prize perfectly.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Francis Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project, wrote the book 'The Language of God' in the summer of 2007. Collins offered a detailed perspective of his discoveries about DNA and how he viewed DNA as the fingerprint of God. His results and conclusions left me confused, excited, and wanting more answers.

Now he has launched a website called "biologos". This is a word he coined that combines his understanding of God through the Bible and his understandings from science. On the front page they have a list of questions that people most frequently ask them ... 

1. If God created the universe, what created God?
2. How are the ages of the Earth and the universe calculated? How accurate are those figures?
3. How was the Genesis creation story interpreted before Darwin?
4. What does the fossil record show? 

If you would like to read an interview with Dr. Collins about this new site you can so here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I wanted to try something fun on the blog and do something useful with all of my blog reading. Each week (or so) I will share my favorite blog entries from the past week (or s0). Enjoy!

1. First is a thank you blog post to Ben Peays who helped organize The Gospel Coalition conference this past week (you will notice a Gospel Coalition theme emerging here). Thanks a lot, Ben. 

2. Second is a blog post regarding the newest edition to my favorite commentary set, Pillar Commentary. 

3. Third, is a blog post of the Gospel Coalition messages that are online, or you can go to their website and check them out.

4. Fourth, is a blog post on the difficulties of change that was challenging from Tullian Tchividjian. 

5. Fifth, What it the Gospel Coalition? Great question! Check out this blog post to get an idea, Tim Challies also put up a second blog post for part 2

Monday, April 27, 2009

Supermarket Church

CNN has a report on the growing tendency of Americans to shop for church. This quote came out of a CNN news story posted tonight: 
"You're seeing the free market at work," said Gregory Smith, a research fellow at the Pew Forum. "If people are dissatisfied, they will leave. And if they see something they like better, they will join it."
When we define worship for ourselves, worship itself becomes the idol that we are serving. This was the fundamental problem for the Samaritans. They lost the pathway to understanding salvation because they changed the word of God to their own liking (John 4:21-22). This is why it is so important for us to mediate on Psalms like Psalm 19 that draw us to understand where the truth can be found and where relationship with that truth can be found.  

At The Gospel Coalition last week Joshua Harris gave a presentation on this very real issue in the church community today: Ministering in a Church-Hopping Society

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life Video

I really enjoyed this video by Lecrae. I have not really listened to his music before, but I really enjoyed this. I enjoyed the book Don't Waste your Life by John Piper, but it always surprises me by how much it has touched people. John Piper has an amazing affect on people.

Knowing Jesus through the Bible

I loved this message from John Piper. It gave me a great perspective on how important it really is to keep the Bible at the center of our growth in the Lord. When we invite others into our conversation, through books, discussions, and lectures this is fine, but when we do it in replacement of knowing and learning from the word ourselves then we can fail to recognize the one we need to know most.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The gospel Coalition: Bay Area

The National Gospel Coalition held their second national conference last week. It was an amazing opportunity to meet with others who share a passion for sharing the gospel message. If you would like to view any of the messages check them out here.

The Gospel Coalition is a network of similar minded pastors, theologians, and church leaders who are committed to the idea that Christ needs to be in the center of our teaching, preaching, and leading. It is the desire of the Gospel Coalition to not only hold national meetings, but regional meetings as well. The first regional meeting is going to be hosted in the Bay Area on May 30th at Central Peninsula Church, Foster City at 9:00 to Noon.

For more information please feel free to email (

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Searching for a Purpose

The most remarkable thing about John 4 is his response to the Woman at the well when he confronts her with her relationships. At the point of confronting her sin he offers her more instead of less. I wonder if we, the church. offer more to sinners or less? Are we more inclusive or less inclusive to people who are sinning and trapped in sin? The very people who need purpose in life also need to understand there is hope for them to find purpose.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gospel Coalition Day 1

As a first time conference goer it was exciting this morning to drive to the convention center and get started with the day. I was not sure really what to expect, but I was praying it would be good.

I ended up being pretty overwhelmed at first because there were already a lot of people walking around forming lines. Checking in was fairly easy and I was given a free copy of the ESV Study Bible (not sure what I am going to do with it as I already have a copy).

Then I went into the exhibit hall. It can easily be described in one word, books. There were books everywhere, it was a reformed pastors dream world of books. I calmly went around collecting all the free books from the different tables, signed up on the various email lists, and checked everything out. It was overwhelming again for me and I had to go back to the car, put all the books away (that ESV Study Bible is heavy) and then sit for a moment.

It was getting close to the opening session so I went in the main auditorium with 3,000 chairs setup in the room. I found a couple of friends and was able to sit in the first 10 rows (very exciting). I decided that I would only take notes that I would write in my Bible, partly because I just wanted to listen, partly because all of the talks are available, but mostly because I just wanted to interact with it as I heard it.

Tim Keller shared first and spoke from Acts 19, the riot at Ephesus. He mainly focused on the idea of idol worship which he explained as taking good things in creation and making them ultimate things. He said we do this personally, culturally and religiously.

I think one of most powerful moments for me was when he discussed the idea of how we sacrifice our kids on the alter of our idols today. This comes through working from 7 in the morning to 7 at night everyday and then on weekends as well. We leave our kids and families abandoned so we can keep the lifestyle that we demand. He also touched on how we need to, as Christians, be influential enough to where we change culture and upset culture because that is precisely what Paul did everywhere he went. Paul attacked the idols that were controlling the people and moved them towards Christ, it was dangerous work that almost got him killed over and again.

Then after that mind blow, John Piper comes up. Probably one of the best moments of the day is when DA Carson, the MC for the morning called John Piper a dog of the Bible. He basically said that Dr. Piper takes the scripture and treats it like a dog with a bone, just ripping it apart until nothing is left. Dr. Piper of course kept referring to it all throughout his talk and it was awesome.

Dr. Piper's challenge was essentially the theme of the whole book which he found in 2 Tim. 1:6. We are called, as pastors, to continuously fan into the white hot flame that has been put inside of us through the spirit of God. He then proceeded to reveal that the only way we can feed this flame is through the grace of Jesus.

His greatest teaching on the passage came when he taught that the ending of each of Paul's letters has the thought may God's grace go with you. At the beginning of all of Paul's letters it states in some fashion that it's God's grace to you. His thought on this was that the word of God is revealed it is coming into you, and then after the word is given it will and should stay with you. Great Stuff.

The evening consisted of Phil Ryken sharing on the importance of succession of leaders and mentors. The phrase that stuck out to me was "it takes a village to train a child, and it takes a village of pastor to raise one pastor." It has been a blessing for me to see the people God has put in my life to help raise me up as I pursue being a pastor.

Finally, the night ended with Mark Driscoll. His was not the most academic but it cut to the core of where a lot of guys probably find themselves at in ministry. His humor was amazing and his love of the gospel is great. It is obvious that his gift from the Lord is his incredible insight into the hearts of others who are called to pastor. He shared about three types of places we can find ourselves in and how those places can lead us deeper into our walk with Christ.

The notes for all the talks are being posted to The Resurgence website.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Gospel Coalition is a group of pastors and theologians dedicated to keeping Jesus in the center of preaching and teaching. This week is going to be spent listening to Tim Keller, John Piper, and Don Carson amongst others who share this passion. Tim Keller wrote The Reason For God and The Prodigal God and is responsible for organizing the Gospel Coalition together with DA Carson.

This is the second conference for pastors I have ever attended and am excited to hear them share their faith and thoughts on Scripture. It was fun flying out here and had a fun time talking to the guy in the seat next to me. It has been fun to visit Chicago as well, my first time.

More tomorrow ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who do we worship?

This week I am going to be working on a sermon about worship. One of the greatest questions I think we can ask ourselves is, "Who exactly am I worshipping?" The words "God" and "Jesus" have been so marketed in America that they really don't mean anything anymore. The real question becomes what do we believe about Jesus and what do we believe about God.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day of Silence

This next Friday schools will participate in the "Day of Silence". This is an event that brings to light the harassment of homosexuals on campus. Several national Christian coalitions have come together to offer resistance to this event, basically calling Christians to avoid attendance on this day.

I have been around Christian high school students for my entire career and I have to admit I think this "Day of Silence" sounds like a good idea. It is a constant battle to make students aware of how damaging this issue is to the faith. Most of what Christianity stands for makes immediate sense to us, but this one is a bit more difficult to swallow for people.

The most difficult conversations I have had are with Christians who struggle with homosexuality. They understand that it is a sin and pray for God to take this away from their heart but it remains all the same. All they want is for the temptation to leave them, but it doesn't. This is just another example of how frustrating our sin condition really is as we try to conform ourselves to Christ.

My hope would be that our high school students could go to school on this day and remember the call to show their love of Christ. I would hope they would remember on this day that they have victory over sin and their responsibility is to share in love how to claim victory over sin. I would hope that we could see this as an opportunity to be more aware of the sin condition of both those who struggle with homosexuality as well as those who struggle with taming the tongue.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mexico in the Dawn

I sit here now in the quite of my home waiting for my kids and wife to return with our dinner. I am excited about going to the park, eating, and enjoying a last few moments with them before heading off to Mexico with 80 other folks.

It is a humbling thing going to a country torn apart by a drug war. It is even more humbling being trusted by parents with their kids to help them grow in their faith. Being in love with Jesus brings you into many circumstances in life that don't seem rational at the time, but upon reflection afterwards seem perfectly rational. This is one of those times ...

It doesn't seem rational to take the one week of vacation and work harder than your actual job or school. It doesn't seem rational to pay money to build a home for other people that you have never met and will probably never see again. It doesn't seem rational that building a building would communicate the radical love of Jesus dying on the cross.

The lesson is that God is sovereign. When we focus on ourselves we get lost in the noise of the world around us. When we focus on God we can clearly see the hurts of others and recognize that we have the power to do something about it. The truth of the matter is that everyone in the world is hurting the same, just the circumstances that we have before mask it differently. Some have physical obstacles that are easy to see while others have internal obstacles that can stay buried forever. In the end the same thing heals them both, the radical love of Jesus dying on the cross.

So I will leave my boys, and my wife, and America in pursuit of taking my eyes off of my life and personal desires and instead focus on the cross and all that Jesus has to offer a humble sinner like me. My hope for all of those who are joining together on this mission trip is that we can see how important it is and how valuable it is to keep Jesus as the center and let everything else flow from this space.

Monday, March 30, 2009

J.I. Packer speaking to new Christians

The Resurgence filmed this message from world renowned theologian JI Packer "Knowing God". This is a message to new Christians as they pursue Jesus for the rest of their life.

JI Packer Speaks To New Christians from Mike Anderson on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

I got to preach this past week at Canyon Creek. Here is the message on Mark 14:32-42. I hope it was Gospel Centered, it is easier when the passage itself is on Jesus.