Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Fifty Fruits of Pride

Jeff Keeney has a great post on that allows you to do a self-diagnostic on pride. It's a hard, but necessary read. Get it here.

HT: Tim Challies

Friday, January 28, 2011

Psalm 27 (ESV)

 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

[2] When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

[3] Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

[4] One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.

[5] For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

[6] And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

[7] Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
  [8] You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
  [9] Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
  [10] For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the LORD will take me in.

[11] Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
  [12] Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

[13] I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
  [14] Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Free Chapter of Vintage Church

The Resurgence is offering a free chapter of Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll. Get it here.

A World Without Jobs (Steve that is)

Andy Crouch has an excellent, and I believe important, commentary on the news that Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence. Read it here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

6 little things that can make a big difference in 2011

It is estimated that only about 10% of New Year's resolutions are kept. While the reasons for this are certainly many, I believe that a primary one is the fact that most resolutions are too big and/or complicated.

This being the case, last Tuesday I encouraged the staff at Bethel to shoot for 6 little things that can make a big difference in 2011. Here they are:

1. Communicate effectively (clearly, simply, quickly, lovingly).

2. Operate with urgency (Eph. 5:16).

3. Maintain relational equity (Eph. 4:26).

4. Serve humbly (Mark 10:45).

5. Read diligently.

6. Pray constantly.

Cashing the Check

Seth Godin:

A check in your wallet does you very little good. It represents opportunity, sure, but not action. Most of us are carrying around a check, an opportunity to make an impact, to do the work we're capapble of, to ship the art that would make a difference.

No, the world isn't fair, and most people don't get all the chances they deserve. There are barriers due to income, to race, to social standing and to education, and they are inexcusable and must fall. But the check remains, now more than ever. The opportunity to step up and to fail (and then to fail again, and to fail again) and to continue failing until we succeed is greater now than it has ever been.

As Martin Luther King Junior spoke about a half a lifetime ago,

"We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Favorite Psalm

Psalm 16 (ESV)

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
  [2] I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

[3] As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

[4] The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

[5] The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
  [6] The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

[7] I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
  [8] I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

[9] Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
  [10] For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

[11] You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Important New Study on Millenials

If you minister to Millenials (those born between 1980 and 2000) or are a parent of a Millenial, you will want to check out Thom Ranier's new book: The Millenials: Connecting to America's Largest Generation.

The book shares information Rainier obtained from a study of the Millenial generation and implications for ministering to them now and in the future. Here are four important things that the study shows about Millenials:

  1. They are a hopeful generation.
  2. They are a relational generation.
  3. They are a generation of learners.
  4. They are a less religious generation.
For an overview of the research shared in the book, read here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spiritual Healing in the Midst of a Husband's Addiction to Pornography

Pornography addiction is easily one of the top three sin issues that we deal with at the church where I pastor. What is easy to overlook in many of these instances is the impact that the addiction has on the wife of the one who is struggling. Today, Tim Challies has an interview with a women who is writing a book for women whose husband's struggle with this issue. The interview is good, and the book looks very promising. Read the interview here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parenting: The Joyful Possibility

Paul Tripp:
It was eleven o’clock on a Sunday night, and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot exhausted and overwhelmed. After we had put our four children to bed, later than we had planned, Luella discovered that we had nothing in the house to pack for lunches the next day. With an attitude that couldn’t be described as joy, I got in the car and did the late-night food run. As I waited for the light to change so I could leave the parking lot and drive home, it all hit me. It seemed like I had been given an impossible job to do; I had been chosen to be the dad of four children.

It is humbling and a bit embarrassing to admit, but I sat in my car and dreamed of what it would be like to be single. No, I didn’t want to actually leave Luella and my children, but parenting seemed overwhelming at that point. I felt like I had nothing left to face the next day of a thousand sibling battles, a thousand authority encounters, a thousand reminders, a thousand warnings, a thousand corrections, a thousand discipline moments, a thousand explanations, a thousand times of talking about the presence and grace of Jesus, a thousand times of helping the children to look in the mirror of God’s Word and see themselves with accuracy, a thousands “please forgive me’s,” and a thousand “I love you’s.” It seemed impossible to be faithful to the task and have the time and energy to anything else.
Now, I’m about to write something here that may seem counter-intuitive and quasi-irrational, but here it is: That moment in the car was not dark and horrible. No, it was a precious moment of faithful grace. Rather than my burden growing heavier that evening, my burden lifted. Do I mean that suddenly parenting got simpler and easier? By no means! But something fundamental changed that evening for which I am eternally grateful.
There are two things I learned that evening that changed the experience of parenting for me.
Read the rest here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Joseph: the Lost Nativity Figure

The day after Christmas I had the privilege of preaching on the life of Joseph from Matthew 1:18-25. I have to admit it turned out to be one of my favorite passages to study. You can listen to the message here.

Back to Blogging

Well, it's been several months, but now that the calendar has turned to 2011, I am back to blogging, new site design and all.

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About Me

I am a husband to Eva, father of 4, pastor, and most of all passionate follower of Jesus Christ. The focus of my life is to make the most of every opportunity God gives me to bring glory to Him. Outside of the time spent in my role as a pastor, I spend most of my time with my family -- a good deal of that coaching various sports teams that my children are involved with. Every fall and winter you will find me rushing to the woods of Indiana and West Virginia in search of a monster whitetail buck.