Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Two for Tuesday - Emerson, Lake and Palmer

One of the nice thing about Tuesday is listening to the music of my youth on the local classic rock station. This morning they played Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Enjoy!






Friday, August 16, 2013

Favorite Tweets of the Day for August 16, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Highlights from Chapter 1 of "Formed for the Glory of God: Learning from the Spiritual Practices of Jonathan Edwards"


God, as Edwards never tires of telling his readers, is a fountain of love. The eternal and infinite love of God quenches the thirst of all who draw near. In drinking deeply from this fountain, love of God and neighbor finally reign perfectly (p. 20).

The present realities of love and hate are proof that heaven and hell are real—so real, in fact, that their ways of life bleed into ours (p. 21).

God is the only source of the heavenly life, and therefore to grasp the nature of the Christian life we must grasp what it means to know God (p. 21).

Heaven is a journey with God where we grow in love and knowledge of him for eternity; where our own love abounds to others in a society of love (p. 22).

The “tip of happiness,” or, we might say, the goal of humanity, is to see God face to face and be embraced as his own (p. 23).

Meditating on the reality of heaven and hell helps us understand our calling in this life (p. 24).

Grasping the destination set before us helps us to understand the kind of journey we are on (p. 24).

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2). In a real sense, to see God is to become like God. This biblical point will prove incredibly important for Edwards’s understanding of the Christian life. Truly seeing God is grasping him as the highest good, truth and beauty (p. 25).

The difference between faith and sight is that now, on our pilgrim journey, we see in a mirror dimly, but in glory, we will come face to face with God himself (p. 25).

Knowledge of God is not knowledge of an object, but is a personal knowledge, knowledge only available in a relationship of love (p. 26).

You may know things about someone but still not know them in any meaningful sense. Something similar is true with knowing God. Knowing God necessitates God revealing himself to us, just as others have to reveal themselves. We come to know others through what they say and what they do. Likewise, we come to know God in Christ, his image, and in his work of redemption. Both of these are revealed to us in Scripture. This knowledge, of course, is not attained through sheer force, memorizing every aspect of the biblical text in an attempt to know God through one’s own effort. Rather, the Spirit of God illumines believers such that Christ himself, and likewise the Father, are known through the biblical text (1 Cor 2:9-16) (pp. 27-28).

When God gives his Spirit to his people he does not merely offer forgiveness, but his own self (p. 32).

see. It is not the physical beauty of Christ that melts hearts, but the revelation of God’s love for his people through Christ (p. 33).

In 1 John 3:2 we are told that when Christ appears we will be like him, because we will see him as he is. One day we will see clearly. The hindrance of our fleshliness will be removed and we will be clothed anew. Until then, we see through a glass darkly. Now, our loves are varied, often grasping for temporal things and confusing them for what is eternal. (p. 34).


My Highlights from the Introduction of "Formed for the Glory of God: Learning from the Spiritual Practices of Jonathan Edwards"


Our world is dripping with God’s presence and calling us to worship him alone (Ps 97:4-6). But our eyes are dim and our understanding is darkened. Eternity is lost in the immediacy of our world (p. 11).

Ultimately, the reason this is the road less traveled is that spiritual formation is not simply doing spiritual disciplines. Spiritual formation is about a life oriented to God in Christ by the Spirit. Since spiritual formation is not, ultimately, about us at all, but about God, we must set our minds and hearts on him rather than our problems, our shortcomings or our desire to change. Those who lose their lives for my sake will find them (Mt 16:25), Jesus tells us (p. 13).

Spiritual formation is the Spirit’s work of transforming us into the image of Christ (p. 13).

Christian spirituality is ultimately about the work of the Spirit to bind us to the Son in love (p. 13).

Spirituality is about the very thing we need and do not have—God’s own Spirit. Christian spirituality is a partaking in God’s work to redeem, reconcile and glorify believers. Rather than being grounded in human potential, Christian spirituality begins with complete dependence, utter neediness and alien righteousness (p. 14).

Christ formed in us entails the transformation of our whole lives; it means that we take on the contours of God’s life revealed in Christ. If the heart is changed, then a changed life will flow out of the heart (p. 14).

In Edwards, we find a vision of the Christian life that is deeply spiritual, beautiful and humanizing. It is a vision of losing one’s life to find it in Christ. It is a vision of the human heart captivated by God (p. 16).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tebow's Top Ten!

The most watched football game this weekend will be taking place between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. I know that Loren, Nathan and I will be in the family cave watching together just like last weekend even though I think Nathan was more concerned about the apple sauce then what was happening between the Steelers and Broncos. 


The thing I love the most about what's happening in Denver is the conversation that is taking place in the church right now. 


"Is God really concerned who wins the football game or not?" 


"Is God more glorified when Tim Tebow and the Broncos win?"


"God does answer prayer. At least we know he answers Tim's prayers."


Unfortunately in the twitterverse the conversations that are taking place aren't so, lets say, friendly. Now I'm a firm believer in the statement that "Truth invites scrutiny, error demands tolerance" but it seems in the twitterverse that truth does not invite scrutiny. Instead of a open conversation taking place we lose followers, and friends begin to look at each other crooked. 


Even though in the twitterverse the conversation is weak, the conversation taking place in the blogosphere is rich and fruitful. Below I have listed what I consider to be ten of the best blog post and articles addressing what is happening in Denver. 


Remember I said "I," as in my opinion. :-D

  1. Owen Strachan, "Does God Care Whether Tim Tebow Win's on Saturday?"
  2. Rick Holland, "If I Were Tim Tebow's Pastor."
  3. Nathan Busenitz, "Tebow Time: 10 Thoughts and a Cloud of Dust."
  4. Randy Alcorn, "How Tim Tebow Messed Up My Plans and Forced Me to Preach This Coming Weekend." (MY FAVORITE!!)
  5. Rick Riley, "I Believe in Tim Tebow."
  6. Alvin Reed, "Tebow vs Brady is not David vs Goliath."
  7. Jeff Dunn, "Does God Like Tebow More than Brady?"
  8. Walt Mueller, "Tim Tebow Lost... Phew!"
  9. Fran Tarkenton, HOF QB I might add, "Does God Care Who Wins Football Games?" (Sidebar: If you asked a Alabama Crimson Tide fan that question I'm sure their answer would be YES!)
  10. Michale Flaherty and Nathan Whitaker, "Tim Tebow's Role Model."
There are so many more great articles and blogs that are addressing this subject that I believe if the Broncos win Saturday night be ready for the internet to crash!


Cya Saturday night God willing and the creek don't rise. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Would Rather Be a Son of Pharoah

I am currently reading a book by John Piper titled, “Desiring God: Meditation of a Christian Hedonist” and it pointed me to a passage in the Bible that I have read and quoted many times. That passage was Hebrews 11:24 - 25.

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.


Then I read these words from Piper.

Moses is a hero for the church because his delight in the promised reward overflowed in such joy that he counted the pleasures of Egypt rubbish by comparison and was bound forever to God’s people in love.


After reading those words, I haven’t picked up the book for over 3 weeks. Why you ask? Because I realized that I would have failed miserably if I were in Moses’ shoes. Instead of refusing to be called the son of Pharaoh, I probably would have said to myself that I could do more for my people in a position of wealth and power instead of in obscurity living in the desert.

What was this reward that he would walk away from that much wealth? This cat never had to wear the same thing twice. Never had to do anything for himself. That includes brush his hair or bathe himself. Never would have to fix his own plate or pour his own drink. And I’m sure if I allow my mind to I could come up with a very unsanctified list of things that fall under the “fleeting pleasures of sin.” I won’t. But hey! With all that wealth and being in that position of power just think of what I could do for my people.

I don’t know how that passage makes you feel but when I read it this time, a dread came over me. I realized that the many times I read this passage before, even quoted, I read it as if it was a tweet on my Twitter feed. Nice but not anything that would make me change my life. But now, and for the last 3 weeks I’ve been mourning in a sense. Because my confession is that I didn’t see “the reproach for Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt.” I mean, C’mon! I go to church in America. Wealth and prosperity are next to godliness isn’t it? Isn’t it? My destiny, my purpose isn’t it to reach a place of comfort? Mistreated? Really? I’ll say it again, I go to church in America! I refuse to be mistreated by anyone. I have rights! Have you even read verse 26?

He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.


Moses looked at his position of power and wealth and decided that the reproach of Christ was worth more than all that he had or ever would have. He didn’t even have the Holy Spirit living in him. Shouldn’t it be easier for me now on this side of the cross? Shouldn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus but I realize that I don’t love him like I should. This has caused me to examine every area of my heart and to leave no stone unturned. The questions that I’ve been asking myself lately, is there anything in my heart, in my life that I treasure more than the reproach of Christ? What am I willing to do about it?

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Purpose

Awhile ago a friend asked me to help him flesh out the topic purpose. He specifically asked me to think of 5 questions on the subject. Now of course when he asked me the question it had already been a log day. So I didn't get the chance to muse on the subject that night because I was fried. So I spent the evening watching Johny Depp in the first two installments of "The Pirates of the Caribbean" and laughing/entertaining myself to death.

The next morning I got the opportunity to think on what my friend had asked of me and the only question I could come up with was the same question, the first question the authors of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (WSC) started with. This question is the question I believe we all should start with when considering purpose.


Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.


Here's the problem; Today the word purpose has become synonymous with words like famous or happy. Now don't misunderstand me, there's absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to be happy or famous but when they become the purpose of our existence, we lose our soul.

The question the authors of the WSC asked is the same question we need to ask and reconcile within ourselves. If we don't get the answer to this question right, then it really doesn't matter what we do. Why? Because when we don't get the question right, God doesn't get the glory, we do. We may obtain success. We may become famous. We may even obtain a level of happiness we never dreamed of. But the glory would not go to God.

When we purpose to live a life that glorifies God, we find ourselves right in the purpose God created us for. Paul the apostle put it like this in 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."