Monday, October 29, 2007

I failed my first exam.

Nice things

By default, I tend to make rather black and white distinctions between what is good and what isn't. For that reason I believe I have just barely escaped making most people around me my enemies (can we say, "by the grace of God"?).

But I appreciated Phil Johnson's approach to the whole matter of discernment, especially this line:

There might be many nutritious scraps of food garbage in a compost heap, but if something in you compels you to go out of your way to point them out to an undiscerning toddler, shame on you.

I haven't had much time for deep thinking lately, to my own loss. But this insight is precisely why I would rather behave like a guard dog against any of the silly, fluffy, gospel-lite stuff out there rather than giving someone the benefit of a doubt. Perhaps I should have more at the ready to say in defense of my own position, and this is precisely why I must stay in rigorous personal training with the Word of God.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

The importance of doctrine

An excellent post on Doctrine from our friend and pastor, JD Hatfield.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Funny

Seriously now, who's gonna pay for this?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Praise to the LORD, the Almighty

I've had the privilege recently to understand AGAIN through practice what it means to let go of something with a complete lack of understanding ANYTHING, save the necessity of obedience. Truly, I spent the next few days pondering that to accept all of life's joys and none of its sorrows is nothing less than spiritually immature. Things had been going so well in my life, I appreciated the small jolt back to reality: that we live in a fallen world cursed by sin that reaches even to the smallest and most helpless of its creatures. NONE can escape its grip except for those whom the Father has chosen from the beginning of time to reveal as His sons. In the middle of the sorrow, God was quite gracious to extend to me His love and care through the truth and knowledge of Him and His reign over all things. Nothing escapes His notice. Furthermore, looking to the experience that brings the pain to look for some measure of comfort is futile. One can ONLY find healing balm with one's eyes fixed on the Father. Let this be a lesson to me that no matter WHAT painful experience occurs, I MUST keep my eyes fixed on the LORD who orders all things for my good and for His glory, which brings inexplicable comfort and peace.

Praise to the LORD, the Almighty, the King of creation!

O, my soul praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near, join me in glad adoration.

Praise to the LORD, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
shelters thee under his wings, yea so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the LORD, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee!
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
ponder anew what the Almighty will do, if with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the LORD, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee,
decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee.
How oft in grief hath not He brought thee relief, spreading His wings to o'er shade thee!

Praise to the LORD! O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the amen sound from His people again; gladly fore'er we adore Him.

Friday, October 19, 2007

LORD, help me.

While reading this post, I saw on the page not as it appears, but more like this:

[From Luke Chapter 6] 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. 32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

I can hear Him because He has given me the ears to do so. But I don't always follow this command. Really, the fact that I can hear Him is miraculous and a work of His grace. Because there are many who can't and don't. But to whom much is given, much is also required.

Friday Funny

Everything looks all well and good, until...

you discover that the original drawing wasn't quite so creative.

So, who's gonna pay for this?

What can I say?

I'm a nerd at heart, and I've ALWAYS thought this was cool...

I'd LOVE the chance to see this in person, but this shot was taken in Alaska, and I'm deep in the heart of Texas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Look at this setup!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Psalm 73:26

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Word Art

I have been agonizing over what to put on my wall. I have three EXTRA-LARGE (minimum 2'x4' each) canvases in my possession that I plan to put around the apartment with the Word of God on them. I have been planning this project for about a year at least. This one canvas has been gessoed and primed for a few years, actually. It hangs an empty wash of yellow ochre in the living room. It begs for Scripture. But seeing as these will take a lot of time to complete, I didn't want to be frivolous about the verses on them. So I'm finally coming to a passage I think keeps coming back to me, as I continue to grow.

The book of Deuteronomy was a pivotal book in my conversion experience. I learned a LOT about the sovereignty of God. I learned doctrine that my pastor at the time was not preaching from the pulpit, all by personal study. But as I look BACK on my life and my desperate state, I see the one thing I struggle with the most, my thorn, and that is the sin of pride and unbelief. So, calling upon the Word of the Lord, I fall back on this chapter of Deuteronomy to remind me of where I have been. I have highlighted the portion I'd like to put up on the canvas in the living room, hanging right above the chair and table I do my morning Bible reading at.

[Deuteronomy 8]
1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

19 If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.

I honestly would love to put the whole chapter up, but I'd like for the words to be discernible from across the living room. I'd like to be able to read it before leaving the house every morning, and upon entering it again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

To be in OKC right now...

I just pulled this up on the radar. My parents are getting slammed by a nice squall line. This is so beautiful... If it were daylight, I'd love to see this approaching.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Funny

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Back to work

A quick detour here.

Kim at The Upward Call has a good post today about youth groups and their emphasis on fun to perhaps a level that causes kids to suffer from too few responsibilities at an age when they ought to be learning to take on more.

I read this article on fun at work. While this may be the extreme opposite of what is going on here, I'm ruminating on the Puritan work ethic the author mentions in the article.

Ruminate with me, and share a few ramifications in the comment box.

And maybe later I'll recount the horror stories of what happens when an entire city or state department suffers from a poor work ethic.... DUN-DUN-DUNNNNNN

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More good advice

I will probably revisit the post below on marriage, but I just wanted to offer a bit of advice while I'm taking a blog-break to get some work done:

Prevent tornadoes before they happen:
Make sure that warm, moist air fronts do not converge with cool, dry ones.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Because it doesn't matter

Marital status, anyway... that doesn't matter.

I just wanted to point out here that when people make mention of how "lonely" I might be because I'm single, they only serve to make me think about it. If I let their comments go in one ear and out the other (which may sound unkind on the surface) I come away the better for it.

When I'm at home late at night, I'm quite un-lonely. I have no real awareness of my need for social interaction on a day-to-day basis, and when I'm fellowshipping with a group of believers, I come away realizing that I actually NEEDED it. But when I'm home at night, I don't think of going out.

I do remember when I was younger, I would be plagued with thoughts of "where will I go tonight, even if it's in a restaurant booth by myself, just so I'm not lonely". That phase has quite completely vanished.

I am so convinced that it ought to be the last thing on my mind.

I'm ALSO convinced of two more things:

1. Desiring something temporal doesn't mean one will ever get it.
2. NOT desiring something temporal doesn't automatically preclude one from ever getting it.

To postulate otherwise is nothing less than voodoo, and dangerous. Does that make sense? Didn't Jesus make a point to promise TWO things? Food and clothing. He will take care of our physical needs. He never said "I will fulfill all your desires", but rather "I will meet all your needs". Both spiritual and physical. This earth is not our home.

The ONE desire to pursue, the ONE desire that WILL be fulfilled, is the Lord. Get your joy from Him. I can substitute ANYTHING in that list of "but I also want ______". A different job, to have a book published, to work on developing sustainable and affordable homes, to leave EVERYTHING behind and plant myself in a foreign country for the gospel completely and utterly dependent upon God for support, etc...

Seriously now. Desire God. Desire His Word. Desire prayer. Desire sanctification. Desire edification of the saints, the body. Lift up the sovereignty of God, declare the glory of God, and desire to see Him face to face at the end of this long and arduous journey home.

Because NOTHING ELSE matters.

I will probably come back to this. Right now, I'm headed to Oklahoma. Bye, y'all.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My, how fast they grow.

I sponsor a little girl in Guatemala through Compassion Intl. Her name is Delia and she will be 5 years old Oct 23rd.

I received an updated picture in the mail today, and my heart swelled like never before to see this adorable little girl grow. This must be something of what it's like to have kids. To see them go from point A to point B. In my case, almost overnight, because I don't get to see her every day like her mother does.

As much as I'm NOT for the social gospel, I AM, however, for taking a child under my wings and teaching them the gospel. I cannot model it for her, I can only pray that those around her model that. But I CAN write her and expose her early to the truth. I think that is the most important. I cannot oversee everything that goes into her head, but I can prayerfully present to her the gospel in its entirety with the expectation that if the Holy Spirit opens her eyes to the truth, she will have something that will lead her to the scriptures for the whole truth.

Please pray for little Delia.


I completely forgot mine yesterday.

Monday, October 01, 2007

What I'm listening to right now:

John Piper's sermon series on 1 Peter