Saturday, January 31, 2009

Christianity on a Garbage Can

This is by far one of the greatest moments ever on the Cosby Show. Vanessa has just brought home a boyfriend and has announced to everyone in the family that she is going to marry him. This is the conversation between Dr. Huxtable and the boyfriend.

“You have a favorite food?”
“Yes sir, what you had here was fine. I especially enjoyed the fish sticks.”
“No no, forget the fish sticks. I mean, do you have a favorite food, something that you really, you know, love?”
“Oh yeah. On occasion I enjoy a nice juicy steak.”
“Steak! Steak, there you go. You’ve got the steak. Now just imagine we got the Porterhouse.”
“Porterhouse, and no white lines in it at all.”
“Now what would you like to go along with it?”
“Oh, uh, some crispy potatoes.”
“No problem. Now, you got mushrooms. Mushrooms. Do
you like your mushrooms?”
“Yes, sir.”
“You can smell it, can’t you?”
“Can you smell the potatoes?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Smell the mushrooms?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Smell good?”
“Mm, boy.”
“Mm, hmm.”
“Yes, sir.”
“All right. Now, I’m going to present it to you, right? I go over. I don’t get a plate.”
“Uh huh.”
“I take the garbage can lid. And I turn it upside down after taking it off of the garbage can. I take your steak, your potatoes, and your sautéed mushrooms, and I give it to you. Not too appetizing, is it? It’s in the presentation. That’s the way she brought you here. On a garbage can lid.”

I just got finished reading Mark Dever's book called personal Evangelism. It really has been convicting and reminding me of my call to share my faith.

This story pops in my mind whenever I think about evangelism. I don't fully accept that the best evangelism is just living our faith out loud, nor do I fully believe we should be out on the streets with signs and doing cold call conversations with people. I do believe a lot of it has to go into the presentation though, and so much of Christianity these days seems to be brought out on a garbage can. 

Friday, January 30, 2009

Anniversary Weekend

Posted with LifeCast

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Reason for God

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book-list on Marriage

This is a listing of books I used for the Family Sermon Series I just completed.

God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation by Andreas Kostenberger

This was the best book that I read on the topic when it came to understanding Biblically what is going on in Scripture. Dr. Kostenberger is amazing at drawing attention to the central theme of Scripture pertaining to marriage.

Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas

Not much to say other than a classic book on marriage.

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs

It took me awhile to get excited about this book. I am not sure why, but it really does an excellent job at pointing out the two strong needs inside a man and a woman. Good book if you struggle with supporting one another as spouses.

Sacred Sex: A Spiritual Celebration of Oneness in Marriage by Tim Alan Gardner and Scott M. Stanley

There are several good books on how sex should be viewed in marriage and I thought this was one of them. He does an excellent job at placing the importance of sex within the lifeline of a marriage.

Life in the Spirit: In Marriage, Home, and Work--An Exposition of Ephesians 5:18-6:9 by D. Martyn, Lloyd-Jones

Best commentary on Ephesians ever written and probably ever will be written. Great insights on marriage and how to view the home.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tim Keller at Google

Just wanted it on the blog. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rick Warren's Prayer

Almighty God, our Father:
Everything we see, and everything we can’t see, exists because of you alone.
It all comes from you, it all belongs to you, it all exists for your glory.
History is your story.
The Scripture tells us, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.
Now today, we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we celebrate a hinge point of history with the inauguration of our first African-American president of the United States.
We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where a son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.
Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity.
Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.
Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans—united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.
When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you—forgive us.
When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone—forgive us.
When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve—forgive us.
And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.
Help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good of all.
May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.
And may we never forget that one day, all nations--and all people--will stand accountable before you.
We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.
I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life—Yeshua, 'Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus—who taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Holding on the Nothing

Caedmon's Call has some great tunes and really makes me think about stuff. I like listening to music that makes me think about stuff. 

I hold on to nothing and like it. I like the comforts of this world and all of the stuff that I have accumulated. I like my iphone that allows me to check my email every five minutes. I like my apple computer that allows me to blog. I like my house that keeps the rain out. I like my Dodge truck that sucks up gas faster than I can fill it up. I like being able to go to coffee shops and restaurants. I like being able to watch TV and go to movies. 

It is lately been occurring to me though that these things really are nothing. They all go away in the end. They all are breaking down and not adding to my eternal whole. I don't think I am going to read or listen to Francis Chan anymore. Way to convicting. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rambling Thoughts

To have peace with God, to have strength to walk before God, is the sum of the great promises of the covenant of grace. - John Owens

I have a strong sense of entitlement when it comes to God. I expect that he owes me something because he has created me. I believe that he should give me the opportunity to receive his grace and mercy whenever I want it and however I want it. I am not proud that this sense of entitlement exists inside of me, I am just distinctly aware that it does.

It is this sense of entitlement that makes me aware of the pride in my heart. This pride rises up and begins to control all the other facets of my life. The emotion of anger, for example, comes from pride. Anger is an emotion from a sense of entitlement whereby we believe that events should occur in the way we desire because of the effort we put forward. When this doesn't work out frustration sets in and this begins the process of anger. 

The wonderful thing about God is he teaches us about anger, the danger of it, and the way to solving its vicious attack on our heart. What if this was taken away? I fearfully wonder what the world might look like if God was ripped out of it. This is the thought of the Atheist Bus Campaign whose slogan is: 

There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life. 

I am not so much worried about the idea is God real. I am worried that people are turning their backs on him even though he is real. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Family Matters Sermon Series

I had the chance to preach this past month at my church. Here are the messages. Let me know what you think. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Strength of America

"I fear for our nation if the time ever comes when the strength of the hill man is no longer ours."
A.W. Tozer

Monday, January 12, 2009

Working Through Anger

In the book Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges is a section dealing with the sin of anger. I have been through several seasons of anger in a variety of contexts over the past several years. I like his thoughts on processing anger and moving past it. 

"First, we have to recognize and acknowledge our anger and the sinfulness of it." 

This has been harder for me that it might seem. I like the power my anger gives me. It also helps me maintain a certain level of control in the situation. I think putting our burdens at the foot of the cross can sometimes be the most difficult part of letting go of anger. 

"we need to change our attitude toward the person or persons whose words or actions triggered our anger." 

This falls somewhere in the midst of us needing to realize how much Jesus forgave in order to save us. I constantly find myself having to remember that I deserve no mercy, no grace, and no inheritance, and no sonship from God, but I get it all the same. If I can't focus on the cross, I really would not have much power to do this step. 

"Finally, we need to hand over to God the occasion of our anger." 

This is where pride really takes a hit. This is that step that really drives home the point in the heart that God is in control. I don't think we can really take this step if we lack trust in God. This step necessitates our belief that God has a plan, the plan is good, and it is good for me. Someone or something is going to essential "win" and we are going to feel like we have "lost". Yet the Christian says I always win no matter the situation because God is doing all things for his glory and I am a part of that glory. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Walk to Remember

I went with my boys to the train park today. We talked about rocks, cars, trains, and mom-peep. My boys are wild and out of control, but they are also gentle spirits wanted to rejoice in the everyday events of life. While we were playing at the park I saw a boy talk harshly to them. I have a live and let live policy at the park and let boys be boys, and so I let it go. What I loved was my sons reaction though. He looked at the child and said with resiliency, "Let's play on the choo choo train!" He actually screamed it. My boys love to play, that is what makes them my boys.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fun at the Snow

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Do It Yourself Marriage Retreat

Adriane and I are going to be going away at the end of the month for our Wedding anniversary. It is the first chance we will get away together in about four months. I am sure the boys won't enjoy it as much as we will. I found this do it yourself marriage retreat at a blog I read. I think we might give it a try. I will report how it went.

Download the PDF file: Marriage Retreat

Everything that is wrong with Christianity!

I recieved this email with the following picture:

The President of Argentina received this picture n called it 'junk mail', 8 days later his son died. A man received this picture & immediately sent out copies..his surprise was winning the lottery. Alberto Martinez received this picture, gave it 2 his secretary 2 make copies but they forgot 2 distribute: she lost her job & he lost his family. This picture is miraculous & sacred. Forward to 1O people.

This is really cool.....How many object do you see?

This is the sort of thing that drives me crazy. Do we really believe that God is taking a picture on email and using it to cause death to little boys and loss of jobs for families. This type of fantasy and delusion is what makes us open to attack by people who are antagonistic to God. Is this what we are asking people to join? A crazy bunch of people who need to pass on a silly picture of Jesus, that probably does not resemble much of what he looked like.

Please be wise in what you email and pass on to others.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Finding the Right Answer

The Apostle does not approach this problem of husbands and wives, and wives and husbands directly, immediately per se, as if it were an isolated question. His method is this – you must always approach it indirectly. It is, once more, ‘the strategy of the indirect approach’. When I am confronted by a particular question I must not immediately apply my mind directly to it. I must first ask the question, is there any principle; is there any doctrine in the Scripture that governs this kind of problem? In other words, before you begin to deal with the individual problem, as it were, that is in front of you, you say: Well, what family does he belong to? You might go even wider and say: What nation does he belong to? Get hold of the big classification, and having discovered the truth about the group or the class or the great company, you then proceed from that to apply the principle to that particular instance or example. -- Martin Lloyd Jones

Monday, January 5, 2009


Preaching is a gift from God. I constantly grow in who I am each time I am given the opportunity to preach. I can only pray that others grow as well.