Crisis Pregnancy Centers

I am so thankful for the amazing work that Crisis Pregnancy Centers do in confronting the horrible abortion problem in our country. I am so encouraged by how they faithfully serve women in providing resources, counseling, and solutions for life with women facing unplanned pregnancies. The below video does a great job sharing one woman's story: Some saddening statistics:
  • "every year 3million women in America deal with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy"
  • "42% of these pregnancies end in abortion"
  • "there is no statistical difference in abortions among women who profess to be Christians and those who don't"
  • "22% of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion"
  • "in 2005 approximately 1.21million abortions took place in the U.S."

In my area, I am thankful for Clarity -Solutions for Women in Elizabethtown, KY and Crossway Pregnancy Resource Center in Radcliff, KY and the many people who have started, invested, and continued these amazing resources. Do you have a crisis pregnancy center in your area that you can support? If not, maybe the Lord will lead you towards starting one...

Psalm 82:3-4 "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. 4 Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."

HT: http://www.nambforlife.net/ & http://www.abort73.com/

Teaching Your Children About Money

How are you teaching your children about money? Society and government advertises and models spend, spend, spend but the Bible advocates different principles for using the money God has given us. The Moon Jar is an excellent method for teaching your children the basics of financial stewardship. It takes the concept of a piggy jar and expands it into the three categories of saving, spending, and sharing. A Christian parent could use this as a tool to teach their children how to apply several stewardship basics:
  • Proverbs 13:11 "Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow."
  • Ecclesiastes 5:10 "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. "
  • 1 Timothy 6:6-10 " 6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
  • Proverbs 22:7 "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave."
  • Deuteronomy 16:17 "Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you"
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 "6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver"

HT: Challies

“Overview of Corrective Discipline” by Tedd Tripp

Have you ever been to a Christian Parenting conference? Ever wanted to go to one? Mars Hill Church shared a series of talks from their Biblical Parenting conference via online video so that all can benefit from it even if they couldn't attend. “Overview of Corrective Discipline” by Tedd Tripp HT: The Resurgence

“Helping Kids Understand the Heart” by Tedd Tripp

Have you ever been to a Christian Parenting conference? Ever wanted to go to one? Mars Hill Church shared a series of talks from their Biblical Parenting conference via online video so that all can benefit from it even if they couldn't attend. “Helping Kids Understand the Heart” by Tedd Tripp HT: The Resurgence

“Helping Kids Understand Authority” by Tedd Tripp

Have you ever been to a Christian Parenting conference? Ever wanted to go to one? Mars Hill Church shared a series of talks from their Biblical Parenting conference via online video so that all can benefit from it even if they couldn't attend. “Helping Kids Understand Authority” by Tedd Tripp HT: The Resurgence

“Biblical Parenting – Giving Kids a Vision for God’s Glory” by Tedd Tripp

Have you ever been to a Christian Parenting conference? Ever wanted to go to one? Mars Hill Church shared a series of talks from their Biblical Parenting conference via online video so that all can benefit from it even if they couldn't attend. “Biblical Parenting – Giving Kids a Vision for God’s Glory” by Tedd Tripp HT: The Resurgence

“Biblical Parenting - The Call to Formative Instruction” by Ted Tripp

Have you ever been to a Christian Parenting conference? Ever wanted to go to one? Mars Hill Church shared a series of talks from their Biblical Parenting conference via online video so that all can benefit from it even if they couldn't attend. “Biblical Parenting - The Call to Formative Instruction” by Ted Tripp HT: The Resurgence

Parenting Resources

As Brittney and I prepare for Sophia's arrival in March, we desire to be ready to instruct and teach her to love Christ, love others, and to walk in wisdom.
Here are some resources which are on the top of my reading list as they've been suggested and reference by many pastors, teachers, and leaders that I trust and respect.
Proverbs 1:8 "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
Proverbs 31:26 "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

Quote - Martin Luther

"...if ever a monk could get to heaven through monastic discipline, I was that monk....And yet my conscience would not give me certainty, but I always doubted and said, 'You didn't do that right. You weren't contrite enough. You left that out of your confession.' The more I tried to remedy an uncertain, weak, and troubled conscience with human traditions, the more I daily found it more uncertain, weaker, and more troubled." Martin Luther

God of Elizabethtown, KY

This is a cool video of our town/area...Elizabethtown, KY...with the song and lyrics from "God of this City" by Chris Tomlin. Thanks to all who made this...may it inspire us to more effectively reach and love the lost of our area with the Good News of Jesus Christ! HT: Micah Johnson & Valley Creek Baptist Church

Marriage and Men

All men (single, divorced, or married) should watch THIS MESSAGE by Mark Driscoll titled "Marriage and Men." Set aside a full hour so you can watch it all at once. Over 200,000 people have watched it and I guarantee that if you do, it will radically convict you in your current or future marriage. HT: My brudda Stephen for pointing me to this message in its entirety

The Lord's Servant - 2 Timothy 2:22-26

Do you desire to be used by God for noble purposes? To be made holy? To be prepared for any good work? If so, then read what instruction the Lord has for you... 2 Timothy 2:22-26 "22Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."

2 Timothy 3:1-5 - Our Day & Age

How unfortunately, yet accurately, this passage parallels our day and age. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 "1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."

Sacraments = Efficacious? Not according to Scripture.

Although this video (Mass: We Pray) is simply a parody for humor (and an advertisement, see note below), it does bring up the sad fact that some churches/traditions elevate rituals and works as means of grace. This video is funny...but the subject matter behind it is a very serious issue that we need to consider Biblically. NOTE: This game IS NOT REAL…it is simply an advertisement for a video game called Dante’s Inferno that is releasing in the Spring…Dante’s Inferno is not for young eyes or something I support. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1131) defines “sacraments” as “"efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions."’ The problem with the Catholic practice of "sacraments" lies in the reality that their focus is not on Christ's completed work on the cross, but in the human attempt to earn/accomplish "sanctifying grace." Grace is accomplished through faith in Christ alone....apart from observing the law...not by works. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” "Are the seven Catholic sacraments Biblical?" - by http://www.gotquestions.org/ Romans 10:8-10 "8But what does it say? 'The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,' that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." HT: Church Matters

Are You Rich? Test Yourself.

How much do you get paid a year? $20,000/yr...$30,000/yr...$40,000/yr...$60,000 a year...more? Do you consider yourself rich? http://www.globalrichlist.com/ shows you how rich you are relative to the rest of the world. For the vast majority of those reading this blog, WE ARE RICH. YOU ARE RICH. What specific instruction does God have for you? Read closely...think hard about some of the implications and self-evaluation this requires. 1 Timothy 6:7-10 "For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
  • What do you hold on tight to?
  • How do you discern between what you "need" and "want"?
  • Do you want to get rich? Do you want temptation/traps/ruin/destruction?
  • Do you love money? Do you invest your emotions/energy/time/spirit into getting money?
  • Are you wandering from the faith?
  • Are you pierced with many griefs?

1 Timothy 6:17-19 "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. "

  • Are you arrogant?
  • Do you trust your wealth more than God?
  • Does your enjoyment/joy come from God or from this world?
  • Are you rich in good deeds towards others?
  • Are you generous, willing to share?
  • Are you laying up treasure in your bank account or in Heaven?

Quote - Blaise Pascal

"Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it." Blaise Pascal

Living in a Romans 1 World

What kind of world do we live in? What kind of America do we have today? While some relish and reflect on the past glories of our nation, the present reality is enormously disturbing. It seems to me that American society is seeking to outdo Sodom and Gomorrah through the degree of creativity to which sin is practiced, encouraged, upheld, advertised, and promoted. Instead of sin being labeled as sin, our society is labeling righteousness, holiness, and virtuousness as "intolerant," "close minded," and "ignorant." I just got done watching Chaz Bono (formerly known as Chastity Bono) being interviewed on Good Morning America. Throughout the interview, Chaz, extolled the "virtue" of her decision to try to make herself resemble a male and her journey into lesbianism and then transgender "therapy". Do we call transgenders by their desired "gender identity" or by their God-created gender? As I write this post I wonder, could I be charged with defamation or hate speech for referring to Chaz as a "her" and "she" instead of how she desires to be addressed (and was addressed on national TV) as a "his" and "he"? The entire interview was a clear representation of depraved and fallen our world is. Anyone read Romans 1 lately? Some excerpts... Romans 1:21-22 "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools "
  • "I feel gender is more between the ears than between the legs." - Chaz Bono
Romans 1: 24-25 "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. '
  • "I felt more male than female." - Chaz Bono
Romans 1:32 "Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.'
  • "If you're happy, we're happy for you." - GMA anchor Chris Cuomo to Chaz Bono regarding her 'transgender identity'
Romans 1:18 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" Want to see the continued economic, military, social, and moral decline of our nation? All you got to do is keep standing by, enabling, allowing, and supporting our nation's sprint ahead of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. I hope and pray that Chaz Bono stops worshipping her own "feelings" and "identity" and decides to worship the Creator of the heavens and the earth. I hope and pray that Chris Cuomo, and every other passive sympathizer or active supporter of sin, realizes and repents from their sin of encouraging wickedness. I hope and pray for myself and other Christians, that we do not become desensitized to the fallen state of our world and subconsciously exchange the truth of God for the lies of Satan. As a West Point graduate and a combat veteran I have no doubt that we live in a nation of freedom. What are some of the freedoms we value most?
  • freedom to sin extravagantly and creatively
  • freedom to worship the creation instead of the Creator
  • freedom to exchange the truth of God for a lie
  • freedom to be fools while claiming to be wise
  • freedom to degrade our bodies
  • freedom to approve and encourage wickedness
  • freedom to earn the wrath of God

May our nation and all of its people repent of their sin and turn to Christ.

Quote - Wolfgang Goethe

"Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable." Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Nor Sharing Your Faith = Hatred of the Lost?

Avowed atheist Penn Jillete, best known for his illusionist work with Teller, expresses in this video how he understands and respects those who choose to share their faith. Listen closely to what he thinks of those who posses exclusive truth claims yet don't share it with others.



I hope and pray that Penn Jillete comes to repent of his sin and trust in Christ as his Lord and Savior before he dies. He has heard the Good News but has rejected it. What about the billions who haven't heard the name of Christ?

Romans 10:14-15 "14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'"

HT: JT

Texting Acronyms - Do You Know What You're Saying???

In the last two years of diving into the world of texting and Facebook, I've been shocked and surprised at the acronyms some teenagers use...some thoughts:
  1. Do the teenagers really know what the acronyms they use mean? (wtf, fml, etc...)
  2. Do the parents know what their kids are saying?
  3. Is it intentional or unintentional? How can I get them to be intentional in speech?
  4. How can I inspire them to be more careful with the language they use?
  5. Foul acronyms are just as awful as foul language.
  6. If you wouldn't say it out loud to your parents, grandparents, teachers, or pastor...you shouldn't be texting/IMing/FBing it as an acronym.
  7. The fingers on a keyboard or cell phone are just as dangerous as the tongue.

James 1:26-27 "26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. "

Previous posts with texting/technology connections:

Prayer - A Scriptural Study

This is a cool, FREE, online resource about prayer from a Scriptural perspective. It has six awesome, brief study sessions:
  1. Praying for People Facing Hard Times - Part 1, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
  2. Praying for People Facing Hard Times - Part 2, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
  3. Praying for Leaders in High Places, Nehemiah 1:4-11
  4. Praying that We Will Do More for God, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
  5. Praying for God to be Famous, 1 Kings 18:36-39
  6. How to Pray for Your Children, Matthew 20:20-28

It is convicting to me how weak my prayers are compared to the intensity, passion, godliness, specificity, breadth, and depth that saturate the prayers we find within the Scripture. How many opportunities to be used have I missed as a result of a lack of God-centered prayer? I hope and pray to draw closer to God every day in order that He may use my supplication and life in a way that glorifies Him in the way He deserves.

Ephesians 6:18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints"

Quote - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Quotes - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Hebrews 11 - Matt Chandler

This is an excellent sermon (HERE) by Matt Chandler of the Village Church, given November 12th at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's Chapel. It is geared towards anyone (lay and clergy)seeking to serve, lead, and teach within the local church. There are some convicting words of admonishment towards the loves of our life and our motives in service within the church. 2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?" Proverbs 5:21 "For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths."

A Witness of an Ultrasound-guided Abortion

Abby Johnson shares with Mike Huckabee about the ultrasound-guided abortion she witnessed that caused her to quit serving as a Planned Parenthood director. This is a very interesting and detailed perspective that the public often does not get to hear on the abortion process. HT: JT

Quote - Hannah More

"...No man ever repented of being a Christian on his death bed." Hannah More

What if I blow it? - Parental Discipline Mistakes

ParentLife online offers three simple fixes to parental discipline mistakes:
  1. Apologize
  2. Determine what you will differently next time
  3. Do it!

Colossians 3:21 "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged"

Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

The Abomination of the "prosperity gospel"

John Piper gives a short summary (10min) of Biblical and personal objections to the "prosperity gospel" via video ("Why I Abominate the Prosperity Gospel") Here is a short video (8min) from Christianity Today on the "prosperity gospel" as it is sent abroad from America. This is an interesting, documentary view of the "prosperity gospel" in action abroad exploiting the poor in Africa.

The Prosperity Gospel from The Global Conversation on Vimeo.

HT: Desiring God Blog & Justin Taylor Blog

Quote - St. Ignatius of Antioch

"My dear Jesus, my Savior, is so deeply written in my heart, that I feel confident, that if my heart were to be cut open and chopped to pieces, the name of Jesus would be found written on every piece." St. Ignatius of Antioch

Quitting Abortion - Planned Parenthood Director Resigns in Disgust

An article published Monday at foxnews.com shares the story of a Planned Parenthood Director in Texas, Abby Johnson, who quit Planned Parenthood and joined a pro-life group after viewing an ultrasound of an abortion. Some excerpts:
  • "she says she knew it was time to leave after she watched a fetus 'crumple' as it was vacuumed out of a patient's uterus in September"
  • "'When I was working at Planned Parenthood I was extremely pro-choice,' Johnson told FoxNews.com. But after seeing the internal workings of the procedure for the first time on an ultrasound monitor, 'I would say there was a definite conversion in my heart ... a spiritual conversion.'"
  • speaking of the abortion business she states, "It's a very lucrative business and that's why they want to increase numbers"
  • "A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood refused to answer questions about Johnson's accusations, but released a statement noting that a district court had issued a temporary restraining order against the former branch director and against the Coalition for Life, an anti-abortion group with which Johnson is now affiliated."

If you want to be broken in spirit over this great sin that kills so many thousands daily in our country, go to www.abort73.com (NOTE: this website has graphic photos and videos of abortions that are not appropriate for children...keep in mind however, that it is children who are doing the vast majority of these abortions). It is especially disturbing, convicting, and motivating to see the carnage of the innocents.

TO THOSE WHO ARE 'PRO-CHOICE': Before you try to defend or maintain your 'position', I sure hope you have the courage to look at the torn, dismembered bodies on the above website. Their blood in on your hands as you equip, facilitate, and accelerate this great plague of murder that is spreading across our nation and world. I am so disgusted by those infatuated with the darkness but I am also filled with love, hope, and compassion that you might possibly change through the work of the Holy Spirit.

I hope and pray that many shall rise up in prayer and petition to our God, and to the authorities over us, for change!

Psalm 82:3-4 "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. 4 Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. "

Matthew 5:44-45 "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."

Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. "

Quote - Augustine

"They, then, who are destined to die, need not be careful to inquire what death they are to die, but into what place death will usher them." Augustine

Who Do You Think You Are?

I do not know if I would use the same language, volume, and anger as Mark Driscoll in the video below...but maybe I should. When you think of sports coaches growing up, you might think of getting chewed out for a horrible loss, performance, or laziness. Many men need to be called out in such a manner for their failures in leading their family, loving their wives, and living in purity. Such harsh and pointed talk can motivate a man in love towards change in a way soft spokenness often won't. How great would it be if all of us men were called out specifically, personally, and convictingly on the areas of sin in our lives that we have given over to Satan? That sort of accountability can happen from an individual friend, a small group leader, a pastor in the pulpit, or through another form of teaching. You know where, as a Christian, you can go to get INSTANT conviction, accountability, and loving rebuke? The Word of God. For many of us our tolerance of sin (and lack of righteous anger over sin) is a direct result of our light use of Scripture. When we ignore God's Word, we do not allow Him to sanctify us through His Holy Spirit. 1 Timothy 5:20 "Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning." Luke 17:3-4 "So watch yourselves. 'If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." Revelation 2:2 "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. " HT: iMonk

The Power of Spoken Scripture

These two videos of Ryan Ferguson dramatically reciting Scripture are a reminder to me of: 1) the power of Scripture 2) the power of the spoken/audible Word 3) the appropriateness, value, and effectiveness of accurate expression, tone & volume variety, and non-verbal communication in giving Scripture the appropriate emphasis 4) making Scripture boring is just plain wrong and inexcusable 5) my need to enhance and improve my own memorization abilities and delivery skills 6) the weakness of human-contrived poetry, drama, visuals, and videos in comparison with a God-breathed message Hebrews 9-10 (ESV) Psalm 25 (ESV) HT: (Hat Tip) to Justin Taylor for posting these videos on his blog

Together for the Gospel - Early Registration!!

Together for the Gospel: The (Unadjusted) Gospel is happening April 13th-15th, 2010 in Louisville, KY. It only happens every other year, and I was extremely blessed by the conferences in 2006 & 2008. It is a gathering across denominational lines of men and women who are united in their focus on the Gospel message and a desire to worship and glorify Jesus Christ. Here are some of the speakers and a video of what to expect. EARLY SIGNUP (at a discounted rate) ends this Saturday...note: as an added bonus you'll come out of this conference with LOTS o' free books Speakers: Thabiti Anyabwile , Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, John MacArthur, C.J. Mahaney, Albert Mohler, John Piper, R.C. Sproul Breakout Speakers: Eric Bancroft, Tony Carter , Kevin DeYoung , Greg Gilbert , Brian Habig , Joshua Harris , Michael McKinley , David Platt

Together for the Gospel: T4G 2010 Conference from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

Also, if you want to attend with me (I'm commuting each day), let me know, I'd love to have some good friends to sit and share with...email me before you signup and I'll share an additional online coupon code with you to save a few extra bucks.

C.J. Mahaney - Listen to his heart & passion

Have you heard of C.J. Mahaney? If not, I highly recommend viewing the short video below or linked HERE. I love C.J. Mahaney's love of Christ, humble nature, and desire to pour himself into the lives of others. I have heard his preaching twice in person at Together for the Gospel (www.t4G.org ) and look forward to hearing him again during this upcoming Spring's T4G Conference. C.J.'s book Humility: True Greatness is one of my favorites!

C. J. Mahaney - Study Video from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

Got Questions - THE BOOK!

My FAVORITE WEBSITE (which gets 3million+ hits a month) now has come out with a book. http://www.gotquestions.org/ has taken its 1600 most frequently asked questions and compiled them into a book. This is a great resource for any Christian who wants concise Biblical answers to the tough questions of life.

An excerpt from the back cover:

"Written in an easy-to-understand format and organized in easy-to-follow sections, Got Questions? will help readers find the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding spiritual matters. The questions were asked by real people struggling through real-life issues who received solid, practical answers from the Bible. The articles in this volume are compiled from the more than 1600 frequently-asked questions on our website, which are read over 3 million times each month."

I got my GotQuestions? book (just ordered), do you have yours?

Top 5 Free Resources for Parents of Teens

Here are my top 5 free, online resources for parents of teens: www.gotquestions.org – Find a Biblical response to tough questions your teens ask and continue the spiritual conversations you can have with them www.focusonthefamily.com – parenting, marriage, entertainment, & life issues resources (James Dobson) www.familylife.com – Incredible marriage and family resources www.CPYU.org – The Center for Parent and Youth Understanding www.pureintimacy.org – a helpful resource for teaching, correcting, and protecting your teens

Top 5 Free Bible Study Resources

Here are my top 5 online, free Bible Study Resources:

http://www.gotquestions.org/ – Answers over 195,000 tough bible questions

http://www.biblegateway.com/ – A great way to compare translations or search for keywords in the Bible

http://www.4truth.net/ – An SBC website on interfaith, evangelism & apologetic resources

http://www.biblestudytools.com/ – FREE intralinear and parallel Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, concordances, enyclopedias, lexicons, histories, and more!

http://www.bibleplaces.com/ – Amazing photos and descriptions of Bible places (some free, more extensive collections for sale)

Self-control - Time & Technology

Joshua Harris, pastor of Covenant Life Church and author, shared a portion of his sermon this weekend via his blog. This short introduction to his sermon is filled with wisdom as we consider our own use of technology. Self-control in using technology is something I know I must continue to evaluate and be disciplined with in my own life, and I am thankful for Joshua's instruction from God's Word!

From Josh Harris' blog:
Yesterday I preached a sermon about self-control from Proverbs 25:28 that says, "A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." I focused on the issue of media, the internet, and today's new technologies. I don't think I'm the only person who would identify this as an area where it's easy to lack self-control. I think a lot of us we could rephrase the words of Proverbs 24:33-34 about the sluggard and say, "A little web surfing, a little Facebook, a little folding of the hands around the smart phone and spiritual poverty will come upon you like a robber."

HERE is a link to the video embedded below:



The audio of his full sermon is available HERE

Quote - Thomas Aquinas

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." Thomas Aquinas

The HOW & WHEN of your Personal Walk

A busy husband, father, pastor, and speaker - Matt Chandler, shares the HOW & WHEN of a personal walk with Christ. I especially value his statement concerning decisions we must make regarding where our affections lie. Check out the VIDEO HERE and embedded below: What are some practical steps you must take in your life to draw closer to Christ day by day? It is a convicting, yet inspirational, thought as to how we can improve in the consistency, depth, and quality of our devotional time. Hebrews 10:19-25 "19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. "

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

"You may speak but a word to a child, and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Christian Church in years to come." Charles Spurgeon

Angry Americans? Demand Spiritual Reform.

Are you an angry American? Are you disappointed with our government? With their social policies? Health care ideas? Crime rates? International Affairs? War policies? Tax plans? Party interaction? Economic strategies? Bureaucratic inefficiencies?

A FoxNews article today states "Americans are overwhelmingly angry at the U.S. government and is nearly as let down by the lack of ideas from both political parties...Sixty-six percent of voters in a national poll said they're angry at the policies of the federal government, including 36 percent who counted themselves as very angry"

We are a sinful nation that have been led to idol worship over many generations of Ahabs and Jezebels (1 Kings 16-22) in our governments, media, and society as a whole. We have our Baals and Asherahs that we worship and adore...we simply give them different names: individualism, wealth, prosperity, independence, sports, entertainment, popularity, Hollywood, success, 'The American Dream', retirement, beauty, long life, relativism, etc.

May we become a nation who doesn't merely seek political, social, economic, or military reform, but one who seeks SPIRITUAL REFORM through a repentance of our sin and a turning towards Christ alone. May we seek Jesus Christ in prayer and worship and allow His leadership to prevail instead of our own. Isaiah 1 "2 Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: 'I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.' 4 Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 5 Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. 6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness— only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers. 8 The Daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a field of melons, like a city under siege. 9 Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!"

Remembering Names

I ALWAYS struggle with remembering people's names. I found these tips online yesterday for how to remember fellow churchmembers names...I can use all the help I can get! My favorite is #12, but is #1 for me "Pray for better memory and name retention!"

Cell Phone vs. Bible

My wife shared this with me the other day...it is a copy of an email forward that makes you think about the prominence and access we give God's Word in our lives.

Some of you may have read this before, but it is a helpful (and convicting) reminder of how we might change some aspects of our day to day lives in order to spend more time with God!

Cell phone vs. Bible
"Ever wonder who at would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
  • What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
  • What if we flipped through it several time a day?
  • What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
  • What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
  • What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
  • What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
  • What if we used it when we traveled?
  • What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing...unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill....and no dropped calls!"


Deuteronomy 6:6-9 "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."

Quote - C.S. Lewis

"The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a sunhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the son shines on it." C.S. Lewis

Good-things becoming god-things - Idolatry vs. Worship

I watched a great sermon yesterday by Mark Driscoll on idolatry vs. worship. In it he argues that we are all worshipers of something. He defines true worship as occurring when our focus is on the Creator while idolatry is defined by worshiping creation. He pointed out that we all can easily become idolaters when we allow "good-things to become god-things; and that's a bad thing." He also points out that when we idolize something, we are often led to demonize others in order to justify our position. Idolatry, Driscoll points out, is more than the love of money, power, and position...sometimes it can be the worshiping of family, marriage, sex, relationships, politics, sports...anything that consumes our time, energy, finances, or emotions. Idolatry is giving the world/creation what rightly belongs to God the Creator (glory). He concludes by looking at leaders within churches, and how they can fall prey to "ministry idolatry." Here are some of the convicting examples he gives:
  1. Attendance Idolatry – Does your joy change when your attendance/giving changes?
  2. Gift Idolatry – Do you feel God uses you because you are so skilled?
  3. Truth Idolatry – Do you consider yourself more righteous than the ‘simple Christian’ because of your knowledge/experience?
  4. Fruit Idolatry – Do you point to your successes as God’s approval of you?
  5. Tradition Idolatry – Are you more committed more to traditions than for Christ?
  6. Method Idolatry – Do you worship your method as your mediator?
  7. Officer Idolatry – Are you motivated by your title?
  8. Success Idolatry – Do you desire to ‘win’?
  9. Ministry Idolatry – Do you walk with God only to help your ministry?
  10. Innovative Idolatry – Does it matter that your ministry be considered unique or creative?
  11. Leader Idolatry – Who other than Christ are you imaging? “First requirement of the Gospel is repentance. Anyone who doesn’t repent is a heretic.” J.I. Packer

The below video of Dricoll's message can also be viewed HERE

Romans 1:25 "they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator"

reTHINK: Decide for yourself, is student ministry working? - PART 3

More helpful excerpts from reTHINK by Steve Wright on Student Discipleship:
  • “Across the next ten years, some churches will get better and better at doing the wrong thing – with excellence. For awhile, they will appear to be successful. Such churches will build buildings to support segregation – and they will do so with excellence.” (59)
  • “Our churches’ values are exposed when the first questions after every ministry event are: ‘How many came?’ rather than ‘Did this event give a glimpse of the glory of God?’ ‘How many responded?’ rather than ‘Were the families and the church championed?’ ‘How many came forward in baptism?’ rather than ‘How will we disciple those who responded to become faithful followers of Christ?’” (62)

Scriptural Principles for Student Discipleship:

  • Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - v.7 "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
  • Psalm 78:1-7 - v.5b-6a"which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them"
  • Ephesians 6:4 - "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord"
  • Proverbs 1:8-9 - v.8 "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
  • Malachi 4:6 - "He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse"
  • Luke 1:17 - "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord"
  • Proverbs 22:6 - "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
  • Psalm 127:1-4 - v.3 "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him."
  • Proverbs 4:1-11 - v.10 "Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many."
  • Colossians 3:20-21 - "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 - "as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God"

reTHINK: Decide for yourself, is student ministry working? - PART 2

Some more excerpts from Steve Wright's reTHINK:
  • “We must equip parents with the tools and understanding to disciple their teens” (86)
  • “Josh McDowell shares that 78% of churched teenagers say their parents shape their attitude and actions. These studies also show that parents have three times more influence over their students than pastors or youth group leaders” (112)
  • “The average teen spends two hours at church per week. That is less than 2 percent of a teen’s time” (153)
  • “Resource, Train, and Involve – It is our three-step strategy to ensure parents are no longer sidelined in our ministry.” (158)
  • “offer them tools and encouragement in navigating the waters of raising an adolescent” (159)
  • “Let’s get our parents and their children on the same page to encourage carryover at home” (161)
  • Supports the formation and use of a Parent Leadership Team to “provide wisdom, information, encouragement, and perspective to the Student Ministry Leadership Team” (178)
  • “If I could go back, I would seek to build disciples over building crowds. I would seek the applause of heaven over the applause of men and seek a biblical model that produces lasting fruit.” (199)
  • “We must champion the parents and point teens back to mom and dad in tough times.” (216)

“The set of principles that guide my ministry are:

  1. Everything I do must honor God above all. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
  2. We are to be biblical stewards of everything God has entrusted to us. (Matthew 6:19-21)
  3. God has ordained parents as the primary disciplers of their children. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
  4. God has ordained the church to support, equip and resource families. (Ephesians 4:12)
  5. The goal of student ministry is to make disciples who seek to bring others into a relationship with Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20)
  6. The three primary needs of students and adults are alike: love and care, a model to follow, and truth to build their life on. (1 Peter 2:21)
  7. Effective student ministry co-champions the family and the church. (Acts 2:42-47)
  8. A biblical framework is always valued above cultural relevancy. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)” (122)

reTHINK: Decide for yourself, is student ministry working? - PART 1

Have you ever wondered why churches have student ministries? Why they are only a relatively recent trend? Why the increase in funding and attention does not necessarily equate to a burgeoning, enduring impact on the lives of our students? I just finished an outstanding book that is informative, encouraging, and yet challenging. reTHINK: Decide for yourself, is student ministry working? by Steve Wright with Chris Graves is written to critically evaluate the Student Ministry model that has emerged over the past 50 years and compare it with what Scripture teaches regarding the disciple-making of teenagers. The authors speak so clearly and in such a convicting manner that I'm going to directly share some of the quotes/portions of the book that stuck out for me in a series of posts. Here it goes....
  • There is clearly a problem in Student Ministries across the world as seen through four “gauges”: 1) student retention rates, 2) student baptism rates 3)student pastor tenures & 4) student Bible literacy (17)
  • “The solution isn’t to kick the traditional student ministry up a notch; the solution is to reexamine how the Bible should guide our framework to develop students and encourage the parents and adults who influence them” (30)
  • “Parent ministry needs to be thought through as thoroughly as student ministry “ (51)
  • One study showed that students looking for (in order) opportunities to serve, deep conversations, missions trips, accountability, and more time in worship with “a desire for more games” coming in last (54)
  • Another study showed "the most common reason students gave for attending church was ‘to better understand what I believe.’” (54)
The author, Steve Wright, has written many other works available through InQuest Ministries and maintains a Blog, Lasting Divergence, "to encourage parents and churches to partner together as they present the whole counsel of God to children (Acts 20:27)" More helpful excerpts tomorrow...

Social Media Revolution

A thought-provoking video on the influence of Social Media today.... As Christians we should be well-aware that the overhwelming use of social networking is not a fading trend, but an aspect of culture that may be redeemed and used to the glory of God. For some that may mean a more careful and disciplined use...for others it may mean the beginning or wise increase in its use. Followers of Christ cannot fail to communicate the Gospel effectively...we must make the most of the opportunities we have to witness of the work God has done and is doing in us! Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Quote - St. Ignatius of Antioch

"It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth." St. Ignatius of Antioch

Unity vs. Disunity in Marriage

An interesting article on FoxNews.com caught my attention today with its title of "Christian Couples Staying Faithful on Facebook, Twitter." The article discusses an apparent trend of sharing email addresses and other forms of electronic communication. It discusses examples in which couples felt led towards such a decision in order to better protect themselves from temptations and communications that might be harmful to their marriage. I think I take for granted the lessons I learned growing up and through Scripture as I prepared for marriage. I always assumed the unity inherent in marriage and valued the wisdom in sharing information and being transparent (no secrets) in my marriage. Although Brittney and I do not share the same Facebook and email accounts, there is never a sense of secrecy or compartmentalization. We each have totally shared access/passwords to all of our accounts and have a spirit of trust in what we communicate. Likewise all of our financial accounts are totally combined so that there is no sense of "my money" versus "your money" in what we earn or spend. Such trust within a marriage is something I greatly treasure. It is hard to imagine a spirit of distrust, compartmentalization, and secrecy within a marriage and the damage that can do in reducing the unity of the relationship. Are there secrets in your marriage? Evidenced by unshared passwords or accounts? Do you have a temptation to have a compartmentalize part of your life that you are unwilling to share with your spouse? Is there a need for confronting agents and areas of disunity within your marriage? Are you giving Satan an easy avenue for attacking your marriage and creating lasting damage? It is my hope and my prayer that we all seek daily to create, cultivate, and protect unity with our spouses in all areas of our life to the glory of God! Psalm 90:8 "You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence." Mark 10:6-9 "6'But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 7'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.""

Quote - Augustine

"We want to reach the kingdom of God, but we don't want to travel by way of death. And yet there stands Necessity saying: 'This way, please.' Do not hesitate, man, to go this way, when this is the way that God came to you." Augustine

Humility & Servanthood

I was reminded of the important of humility in the Christian life as I watched a video of John Piper's sermon this week titled Greatness, Humility, Servanthood. In it he referenced C.J. Mahaney's book, Humility: True Greatness as a focus of their church staff's small group time in the year ahead. I've personally benefited much from this work. Piper's sermon highlighted many great points and I especially enjoyed one statement he made and several Biblical passages he referenced.
  • "Humility is the soil in which everything good grows in the Christian life. If that soil goes away, everything withers" - John Piper
  • 1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. "
  • Philippians 2:3-8 " 3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

What example of humility we have in Christ on the Cross. In considering such a sacrifice for sin, how can we be anything but humble?

Video of John Piper's sermon below:

Quote - Oswald Chambers

"Character in a saint means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested." Oswald Chambers

Trying Something New...

After years of "Favoriting" websites on my Internet browser and then going between them to read articles and find updates, I have finally conceded the inefficiency of this process (opening 20+ tabs/windows). In response I am now using an RSS feed reader, namely Google Reader. Google Reader serves like an email directory almost, where I can see which blogs or websites I "subscribe" to have new articles or postings. I can then scroll through the updates without ever leaving the website I am on (Google Reader). What feeds am I currently subscribed (free) to? Here they are, in alphabetical order!

In essence, with RSS feed readers (like Google Reader) you essentially get to create your own newspaper of sorts with the types of articles you like to read. I'm sure my Internet newspaper will change overtime, and maybe a new reading technique will eventually replace it, but I am enjoying the efficiency of Google Reader so far!

Proverbs 15:22 "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."

Ecclesiastes 7:5 "It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools."

Ecclesiastes 8:1 "Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance."

Quote - A.W. Tozer

"A pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself." A.W. Tozer

Parents - Do You Prioritize the Spiritual Growth of Your Child?

A recent Lifeway Research survey reveals some startling statistics regarding the spiritual influence of parents on their children. This survey reveals that many parents show little concern in action for the spiritual growth of their children. The first two stats appear to reveal the opposite though...
  • "72 percent (of parents) want their children to have more than they themselves had growing up"
  • "87 percent of parents believe it is important to teach their children how to have a relationship with God"
The truth is revealed as the application is considered in the process of teaching children about having a relationship with God...
  • "55 percent of parents agree they try to take their children to worship services on a regular basis"
  • "47 percent agree they do not want to influence their children too much about religion, saying, 'It’s important they find their own way.'"
  • "17% of weekly churchgoers, 41% of born-again Christians and 24% of evangelicals do not strongly agree that they need to take their children to services regularly"

The results: many parents value in speech "a relationship with God", but are a significant number are unwilling to build and support that relationship by bringing their children to church.

Since when do children learn to 'find their own way' without the influence of their parents? Do not doubt that children are influenced, for good and for bad, by what they see and don't see in the lives of their parents. A child of any age is far more likely to model what is done rather than what is said by a parent. They will prioritize what the parent prioritizes in the use of their time, emotion, money, and energy. Is your relationship with God a priority in your life? Does it show in a way that inspires your child to emulate you? Is there any hypocrisy that must be rooted out? 1 Corinthians 4:16, 20 "Therefore I urge you to imitate me...For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." Proverbs 20:7 "The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him." Photo Above: A sealed church door in Anglesey, Gwalchmai at St Morhaearn's Church from http://www.photosofchurches.com/

Essential Church - A Must Read for all Youth, College, & Young Adult Workers

I just finished listening to the audiobook of Thom Rainer & Sam Rainer III's book Essential Church: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts and highly recommend it to all of those within churches who minister, volunteer, or work with middle school, high school, college, and young adults within the church. Although the focus is on studying dropouts (dechurched) from the church who are primarily in their 20s, the value of the research is remarkable for the spiritual formation of those teenagers who are still in church and preparation for the many life-changes they will hit as they exit their high school years. In this book, the authors explore why young adults leave "nonessential churches" and contrast it with "essential churches" that effectively close the back door in retaining believers active participation in the local church. Christians today cannot help but notice the trend of those who leave the church in their late teens or early 20s only to return when they begin a family or encounter a significant life-event. It is perplexing and troubling to those of us who understand and value the local church as God intends it. In the first century the followers of Christ were inextricably connected with the local church. In the 21st century we have a generation of Christians who views church as optional. Those of us connected and committed to God's work through the local church MUST work to help bring those claiming Christ back into the fellowship and protection of the flock. It may require some tough self-evaluation and changes within our churches, but the potential reward in the lives of believers and winning of the lost is incalculable.

Quote - Richard Trench

"He has brought himself to this state; he has exposed his heart as a common road to every evil influence of the world, till it has become hard as a pavement." Richard Trench

Babies In The Womb vs Eagles in the Egg

In The Womb is an incredible photographic and videographic look into the human womb by National Geographic (they also have a series on multiples and animals) that reveals the reality of life in its earliest stages. As technology increases to allow 3D & 4D ultrasounds, it reveals what we already know (but some try to suppress); the incredible life God creates at conception in the human womb. I continue to marvel at our country, where we punish the disturbing and moving of eagle's eggs with monetary fines and jail time (Federal Law - 1900, increased in 1972 in the midst of the Roe vs. Wade appeal process) but finance, endorse, and encourage the mudering of innocent human children. Psalm 97:10 "Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. " It is my hope and prayer that those who endorse and allow the evil of abortion would open their eyes to the images of these human children, gaze upon the torn bodies of the aborted, and repent of their wicked ways. Even if we have supported or been complicit in abortion in the past, our God is a forgiving and loving God who desires us to turn to Jesus Christ in faith and trust! 1 John 1:9-10 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

Back in blogging....big news!

After a few months off from blogging (finishing my Masters of Divinity and spending an AWESOME summer leading our church's youth group), an appropriate way to get my website up and running again is through a VERY SPECIAL announcement.... Brittney and I are expecting our first child in early March 2010. Our child is a precious gift from God, one we have prayed and hoped for since we first married. We continue to pray for our child's health as well as its future salvation and service to our Lord Jesus Christ. Over the past few weeks we have clearly seen the beginning of a heartbeat (6 weeks), legs/arms/head/body/umbilical cord/clear heartbeat/small movement (8 weeks), and listened to its heartbeat as well (12 weeks). We look forward to seeing it via ultrasound again soon and love praying for and feeling its growth every day! This visual and audio evidence is such a clear reminder of the reality of life within the womb. It is also a sad reminder of the tragedy and evil of abortion that ends the lives of so many children every day. Enjoy the below photo (8 weeks) and audio (12 weeks) of Baby Carl and please join us in praying for him/her! "13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

The Twittering Tongue & James 3

The other day I attempted to sign up for both Twitter and Facebook Mobile only to be denied because my cell phone provider does not support them. Although I was partially disappointed, I think I was mostly relieved. No instant access to Facebook and Twitter might help me in the long run by preventing me from rashly throwing my immediate thoughts and feelings onto the information super highway... It is a scary thing when we have in our hands the ability to lash out or openly share our emotions, feeling, frustrations, etc. not just with those within earshot, but with all of the world on the Internet. Far too many teenagers and adults rashly write things on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Blogs, etc. that they would not dare say directly to others. Often they write or say things without thinking about the audience who is paying attention...their friends, family, teachers, employers, employees, pastor, youth minister, and strangers. What we say and do should always be about giving glory to God. Oftentimes in our technology-laden society we allow (and are teaching following generations)the immediate pouring out of our emotions without giving thought to the ripple effects that such comments may hold. Let's take our time in thinking through what we choose to share, and in the process teach our teenagers to rightly handle the responsibility that comes through the freedom of social networking! Let us not become the stumbling block to the beginning or growth of another's faith! James 3:5-10 "5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so." James 1:19 "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger" Let's be slow in our Internet-based speech!

Quote - Jerome

"A false interpretation of Scripture causes that the gospel of the Lord becomes the gospel of man, or, which is worse, of the devil." Jerome

Quote - C.S. Lewis

"If you read history you will find out that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next." C.S. Lewis

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