Monday, September 21, 2009

Between Two Worlds Has Moved

Justin Taylor's "Between Two Worlds" blog has moved, and is now located at the Gospel Coalition. The Gospel Coalition has their own blog and plans to add more blogs. TGC's website as a whole is a terrific source for all sorts of gospel-centered ministry resources. If you haven't yet, I'd encourage you to check it out and bookmark it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chuck Norris

I always enjoy some good Chuck Norris jokes:
  • When taking the SAT, write “Chuck Norris” for every answer. You will score over 8000.
  • Chuck Norris kicked Neo out of Zion, now Neo is “The Two”.
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t get wet, water gets Chuck Norris
  • Chuck Norris always knows where Waldo is. Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is so hard to find.
  • When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris
  • Every year on his birthday Chuck selects one lucky child to be thrown into the sun.
  • Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.
  • When Chuck Norris Does Long Division there is Never a Remainder
  • When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side.
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t need to swipe a card at an ATM, He just stares and the ATM empties itself.

THESE JUST IN!

  • In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records appendix it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone else has ever gotten.
  • When Chuck Norris had surgery, the anesthesia was applied to the doctors.
  • Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.
  • Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.
  • Chuck Norris keeps a pillow under his gun.
  • Chuck Norris plays Russian Roulette with a full CLIP and wins.
  • Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.
  • Chuck Norris can fry ants with a magnifying glass. At night.
  • Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.
  • Only Chuck Norris can prevent forest fires.
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t love Raymond.
  • Superman has Chuck Norris PJs.
  • Chuck Norris can make a snowman. From rain.
(HT: Vitamin Z)

Thoughts On Parenting

Vitamin Z shares some thoughts on parenting while observing a little girl and her mom in an airport. After telling the story and his first thought on the details of the story, he writes the following:
2. Kids are crying out for discipline. It's almost as though this little girl loves the give and take dance of her lashing out and her mother quietly trying to tell her to sit down. I believe that kids instinctively know that they need to be lovingly disciplined. It shows attentive care for them. You can see it in this little girl's eyes when she freaks out at her Mom that she is just waiting for her Mom to do something and continues to push it until she get some sort of reaction.

3. Kids will take as far as you give them. Sin runs deep in all of us and if we don't model God's disapproval for sin we do them a grave disservice. "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him." Prov. 22:15.

4. The way to keep your child in check has to start at the home. If you want to manage your children well in public you had better be sure to manage them consistently at home, especially since you might get slapped with a lawsuit if you attempt to spank your child in public. I am not comfortable with spanking my kids in public, but my children know for sure that Dad will follow through when we are in the appropriate context. Your kids have to know that your words mean something. If you never follow through with what you say you are going to do then you simply become a liar in their eyes.
Read the whole post here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Saved By The Bell Reunion

It's been a while since I blogged about ... well, anything. But this was just too good to pass up:



Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Murder of Dr. George Tiller

Some wise words from Albert Mohler and Robert George on the recent killing of Dr. George Tiller:

First, from Mohler:
Abortion is murder. What goes on in those clinics is institutionalized homicide, often for financial profit. Abortion is a moral scandal and a national tragedy and a blight upon the American conscience.

But violence in the name of protesting abortion is immoral, unjustified, and horribly harmful to the pro-life cause. Now, the premeditated murder of Dr. George Tiller in the foyer of his church is the headline scandal -- not the abortions he performed and the cause he represented.

We have no right to take the law into our own hands in an act of criminal violence. We are not given the right to take this power into our own hands, for God has granted this power to governing authorities. The horror of abortion cannot be rightly confronted, much less corrected, by means of violence and acts outside the law and lawful means of remedy. This is not merely a legal technicality -- it is a vital test of the morality of the pro-life movement.

The Christian church has been forced by historical necessity to think through these issues again and again. The church has reached a basic moral consensus on issues of violence and governmental obedience, and this consensus requires that Christian citizens work within legal, judicial, and political means to persuade governing authorities concerning what is good, right, just, and honoring to God. Those who operate outside of this consensus and perform acts of violence are rightly understood to arrogate authority to themselves in a way that violates not only the laws of men but the law of God. Civil disobedience may be justified so long as the Christian is willing to suffer at the hands of the governing authorities, but is not justified if the citizen employs violence against the state or against other citizens.

In the case of Dr. George Tiller, the governing authorities failed again and again to fulfill their responsibility to protect all citizens, including those yet unborn. The law is dishonoring to God in its disrespect for human life. The law failed to bring George Tiller to account for what should have been seen as crimes against humanity. But this failure does not authorize others to act in the place of the government, much less in the place of God. The government must now act to prosecute and punish the murderer of Dr. George Tiller.

...

Murder is murder. The law rightly affirms that the killing of Dr. George Tiller is murder. In this we must agree. We cannot rest until the law also recognizes the killing of the unborn as murder. The killing of Dr. George Tiller makes that challenge all the more difficult.

And from George:

Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him. We are a nation of laws. Lawless violence breeds only more lawless violence. Rightly or wrongly, George Tilller was acquitted by a jury of his peers. "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord." For the sake of justice and right, the perpetrator of this evil deed must be prosecuted, convicted, and punished. By word and deed, let us teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion. Every human life is precious. George Tiller's life was precious. We do not teach the wrongness of taking human life by wrongfully taking a human life. Let our "weapons" in the fight to defend the lives of abortion's tiny victims, be chaste weapons of the spirit.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Misc Parenting Links

It's about time that I admit that I often use this blog instead of my internet browser's Favorites/Bookmarks - to save links for stuff I think looks interesting to read, but don't take the time immediately to read it. So while I haven't really read through all of these, I intend to come back to them. And I hope they may be interesting to you, too.

From LifeTogether:
From Between Two Worlds:
From Desiring God:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Song For Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day (hope you didn't forget to get your wife an eco-friendly gift like a box of dirt or a bag of mulch), my all-time favorite environmentalist song, which I first posted back in June of 2007:
Take a listen:



Here are the full lyrics, if you want to play it again and sing along:

Please don't melt our glaciers
Please don't kill us all
Please don't destroy our atmosphere
The sun will kill us all

Global warming
It's not just a prediction anymore
It's not just a prediction anymore
It's true
Help

Bush is such an idiot (I know)
He won't sign the Kyoto Treaty
Why doesn't he care?
Why won't he help?

Global warming
It's not just a prediction anymore
It's not just a prediction anymore
It's true
Help

Icebergs are falling into the ocean
The ozone layer is thinning
Make good choices
Don't use so many resources
Every single day
Don't drive your car as much
Find alternatives
Don't be careless
Recycle
Don't use so much electricity
Don't use styrofoam
Be friendly to the earth
It will be friendly back

Global warming
It's not just a prediction anymore
It's not just a prediction anymore
It's real
Help

If that's not enough, I've got a fair amount of posts regarding global warming.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Unity Amid Differences

John Piper's latest "Taste & See" article is about his pastoral staff and unity amid differences. It includes six Biblical guidelines that I think the Church as a whole and individual churches in particular would do well to heed:
1. Let’s avoid gossiping.
2. Let’s identify evidences of grace in each other and speak them to each other and about each other.
3. Let’s speak criticism directly to each other if we feel the need to speak to others about it.
4. Let’s look for, and assume, the best motive in the other’s viewpoint, especially when we disagree.
5. Think often of the magnificent things we hold in common.
6. Let’s be more amazed that we are forgiven than that we are right. And in that way, let’s shape our relationships by the gospel.
Read the full article here.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

That's My King

I've seen & heard this before, but never knew whose voice I was listening to until today. It's the voice of Dr. S. M. Lockridge.


That's My King! from Albert Martin on Vimeo.

(HT: JT)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

National Champs

It's good to be a Tar Heel (or a UNC fan). And there's no more fitting end than One Shining Moment:


Watch CBS Videos Online

Friday, April 03, 2009

And Iowa Makes Three

From ABC News:

A Republican congressman from Iowa warned Friday that the state could turn into "the gay marriage Mecca" if the state legislature does not begin restricting marriage licenses to in-state residents.

The statement from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, which followed the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous ruling striking down a state ban on same-sex marriage, underscored the emotional power the issue holds for social conservatives in the state, which will hold the GOP's first presidential nominating contest in 2012.

Iowa is now the third state where gay and lesbian couples are permitted to marry. The other two are Massachusetts and Connecticut.

My favorite part of the story is this quote:
"I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman and the definition of marriage should be left to the people and not to activist courts," former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., said in a written statement provided to ABC News.
That coming from the man with no spine who kowtowed to "activist courts" in instituting gay marriage in Massachusetts.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Disappointing Championship?

This is far from timely, as it happened a week and a half ago, but I promised my uncle, a University of Iowa graduate, that I would post it here when it happened. (Sorry it's a bit late, Jeff.)
ST. LOUIS, MO -- Despite crowning no individual champions, the University of Iowa wrestling team collected its second straight national team title at the 2009 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO, Saturday night. The Hawkeyes scored 96.5 points, edging runner-up Ohio State by 4.5 points, to record the school's 22nd NCAA team title. That is the closest margin of victory since Iowa won the 1999 team title by two points, and only the second time in school history that the Hawkeyes won the NCAA title without an individual champion. Iowa also accomplished that feat in 1978. It is also the first year that the Hawkeyes have not crowned an individual champion since 2006.

(Read the rest)
I'm really not much of a wrestling fan, but my brother & uncle both are. I spoke with my brother that Saturday morning, and he told me how the Hawks were trailing and it wasn't looking good because they only had one wrestler in a championship match. You know you've got a pretty good program when you win a team national championship and it can still be considered a disappointment because none of your five All-Americans won individual titles.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fireproof

Doug Wilson on Fireproof:
If I set myself to think of couples in marriages that I think would be greatly helped by watching this movie, I would run out of fingers inside of a minute. I can also think of Christians who would be offended by the schlock, but many of them would be those who know more about how a movie ought to be made than about how a woman ought to be treated. And they would rather watch a movie about a woman being abused so long as the movie was made right than to have the woman treated right in a movie that offended their refined sensibilities. So which is the altar and which is the sacrifice?
Read the whole thing.
(HT: JT)

Looking Back

From Shaun Groves:
On your first day on the other side of the grave, do you think you’ll look back on this life and be flooded with gratitude for hours spent watching episodes of American Idol and Lost? Do you think you’ll look back fondly on the effort and money spent remodeling the kitchen? Do you think you’ll be glad you were up-to-date on the juicy details of celebrity lives? Will you be thankful for the hours, days, weeks, years you lived feeling victimized and sorry for yourself? Will you regret not spending more time at the office? Will you wish you had been more of a people pleaser? Will you miss your caffeine, porn or Facebook?

Me neither.
(HT: Vitamin Z)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day of Atonement

In our Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) this morning, we talked about the Day of Atonement (see Leviticus 16), and how it points to what Jesus Christ did / how He fulfilled/perfected it. I had heard most of this before, but one thing really struck me this morning - in reference to the scapegoat (or "Azazel"), the goat on which the sins of the people are confessed/transferred. I had never before thought of how when I confess my sins, I'm not only confessing them to Jesus, but confessing them onto Him. Even writing this now, it seems so obvious - of course Jesus bore my sins on the cross (see 1 Peter 2:24). But I had never so clearly seen the connection with the scapegoat of the Day of Atonement. I am humbled and awed by being reminded that Jesus became our great high priest and our sacrifice of atonement.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our Greatest Need

“If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.”

- D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation

(HT: Of First Importance)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Never Let The Gospel Get Smaller

From John Piper at the Desiring God Blog:
Here is a simple exhortation that I have been trying to implement in our family:

Seek to see and feel the gospel as bigger as years go by rather than smaller.

Our temptation is to think that the gospel is for beginners and then we go on to greater things. But the real challenge is to see the gospel as the greatest thing—and getting greater all the time.

The Gospel gets bigger when, in your heart,

  • grace gets bigger;
  • Christ gets greater;
  • his death gets more wonderful;
  • his resurrection gets more astonishing;
  • the work of the Spirit gets mightier;
  • the power of the gospel gets more pervasive;
  • its global extent gets wider;
  • your own sin gets uglier;
  • the devil gets more evil;
  • the gospel's roots in eternity go deeper;
  • its connections with everything in the Bible and in the world get stronger;
  • and the magnitude of its celebration in eternity gets louder.

So keep this in mind: Never let the gospel get smaller in your heart.

Pray that it won’t. Read solid books on it. Sing about it. Tell someone about it who is ignorant or unsure about it.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel.... For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Adoption Tax Credit

From Vitamin Z:
Help make the federal adoption tax credit permanent. Click here to find out how. This is very important if you are serious about adoption.

One Shining Moment

I just can't let an NCAA Tournament start without posting a One Shining Moment video. Here's the original, from 1987:

Go Heels!

From an Associated Press story at ESPN.com:

North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Connecticut share a No. 1 seeding in the NCAA tournament. Their graduation rates have less in common.

The numbers ranged from 86 percent at North Carolina to 33 percent at UConn, according to a report released Monday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

Louisville was at 42 percent and Pitt at 69 percent.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Myths About Embryonic Stem Cell Research

From Justin Taylor:
Yuval Levin--author most recently of Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy--shows four basic myths that the public and the media believe about embryonic stem cell research and policy:
  1. Obama has restored federal policy to what it was prior to Bush’s 2001 stem cell policy announcement.
  2. The Bush policy was a ban on embryonic stem cell research.
  3. There are no viable scientific alternatives to the destruction of human embryos.
  4. The promise of pluripotent stem cells is quite certain.
Read the whole thing.

See also:
I haven't taken the time to read any of the linked articles yet, but based on prior experience, I'd recommend Robert P. George and Wesley J. Smith.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Galatians

From Challies.com's A La Carte:
If Galatians was Published in Christianity Today
The Sacred Sandwich imagines what would happen if Paul’s letter was to be written and published today.

Visualizing $1 Trillion

This is pretty cool: Someone used Google Sketchup to create this.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Memorize Scripture From Your iPod

Crossway Bibles, who publishes the ESV Bible, offers the ability to listen to scripture online - at the ESV website or at the ESV Study Bible website (which is offering a free preview during the month of March, and is included with the purchase of an ESV Study Bible). B.C. McWhite shares the following steps for downloading the readings of selected passages to take with you on your iPod or other mp3 player, or to burn them to CD:

1. Open another browser tab so that you can refer back to these instructions as you do what I tell you to do.

2. Go to the ESV Online site.

3. In the top right corner, click on the “Options” tab.

4. Under “Audio Options,” click in one of the buttons for MP3 (I use David Cochran Heath because he has the most “normal” sounding voice).

5. At the bottom left of the page, click the “Save” button (that should open a page that says, “Your preferences have been saved” at the top).

6. Type the passage you want (e.g. Ephesians 4:29 or Matthew 6:25-34) into the search bar and click “search.”

7. When the passage comes up, you should see a link that says “Listen” next to the passage reference. Control-click (silly PC users right-click) on the “Listen” tab. A menu box should come up. Click on “Save Link As…”

8. When the box pops up, you will have to add an extension name on the end of the title if it doesn’t have one. So, for example, if the title of your selection is “49004029″ then you need to add .mp3 on the end, so that it reads “49004029.mp3″. Save the file to your Desktop.

9. Find the file on your desktop and open it with iTunes or Windows Media Player, or whatever you use. You can then load it onto your iPod, MP3 player, or burn it onto a CD for your car.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Adopted is Not an Adjective

From LifeTogether:

Russ Moore spoke last week at our church on the topic, “Why We Want to be Foster Children”:

In Scripture there is no such thing as an adopted child. Adopted is a past tense verb, it is not an adjective. Those who have been brought into the household and family of God are really and truly part of the household of God sharing with their brothers and sisters everything that it means to be in Christ.

10 Ways to Pastor Adoptive Parents

By Jason Kovacs, Director of Ministry Development at the ABBA Fund, posted at the Desiring God blog:
There are many ways that you can express your pastoral care for those considering adoption and those who have adopted already. As an adoptive father and former pastor, I offer a few thoughts on how to help adoption become a biblically based, heart-led, missional movement in your church and not merely another program on your church’s list.

1. Develop your own heart for the fatherless.
2. Do a biblical study on God’s perspective on orphans.
3. Educate yourself on basic facts about adoption and orphan care.
4. Ask questions.
5. Remind them that they desire a good and God-magnifying thing.
6. Keep on encouraging them.
7. Provide financial counsel and help.
8. Cry with them and celebrate with them.
9. Celebrate adoptions publicly in services.
10. Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers.
Read the whole post for further explanation of each point.

Parenting Reality Check

“The story of child rearing is almost wholly about imitation. We do good or ill, and the young ones follow in lock step, no matter how much we talk and point elsewhere. They are designed that way.…

This inescapable imitation should be listed as a means of growing in grace. Parents often jest about their children being ‘means of sanctification,’ suggesting that child rearing is often a trial. But the situation is much more serious than a passing trial. Given the way children have to imitate parents (or whoever fills that role), one cannot just coast passively, selfishly, like we often do through tough times. Our tiniest daily responses in front of the kids constantly mold and chip away at their persons. Children are a means of sanctification because they are daily adopting their parents’ characters, virtues and vices and all. This is a blessing when we are faithful, but it’s a frightening mirror when we see our own sins growing in them. With kids around, we can’t just move slowly on our own growth. We have to grow in grace for the sake of the kids. If we don’t, then we can become a curse to them and their children.”

- Doug Wilson, Angels in the Architecture, 121–122

(HT: Vitamin Z)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Madness Is Near

ESPN.com's Pat Forde understands why the NCAA basketball tournament should not be expanded:

The Tournament Starts Now

Tuesday night, the fun begins. At 7 p.m. ET, the quarterfinals commence in the Big South Conference and the Horizon League tournaments. At 7:30, the Ohio Valley Conference follows suit.

As of that moment, The Minutes counts 308 Division I teams harboring hopes of an NCAA tournament berth. A handful still will be competing to squeeze into the 299 conference tournament slots, since some leagues don't have an all-comers tourney. (Boo to them. And hooray to the Big East for getting it right this year.) A few more teams will be tussling for the Ivy League title.

So for everyone who starts whining at this time of year that college basketball ought to expand its tournament from 65 to 68 or 96 or 1.6 million teams, The Minutes has a simple and succinct answer:

You're already in. You just don't realize it.

Just about everyone has a chance to use the Little Dance as a vehicle for reaching the Big Dance. You have the opportunity to win your way in through your league tourney.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adoption Motives

From the Abba Fund Blog:
Jeremy has a must-read post on adoption motives:

It would seem nearly impossible for one to make the act of rescuing an orphan sinful. However, as someone recently thrust into the process, I have become well aware that adopting offers a myriad of opportunities for sinful behavior. I have even seen adopting Christians forget about the person they are rescuing because they are only concerned with how the process is affecting them at a given moment of delay or difficulty. Blinded by the deceitfulness of sin, what should inherently mean good for another is devoted to the altar of self. Feeling the natural tendency of my own heart, I have had to pray constantly, “Lord save me from turning the adoption of two Ethiopian orphans into an act of self-serving wicked idolatry.

...

May God help us to be more aware of the sufferings of these two boys than that of our own. Christ’s example teaches us that adoption has never been easy. May we be come to grips with the reality that whatever we have to endure over the course of several months (and maybe longer) for these two boys can never be compared to the suffering they have felt of being left fatherless. If this is what causes pain and turmoil in our lives so be it. But, may it not be just because we are not getting our way. Or because God is not doing what we think He should do.

I ask you to pray that we would remember that this particular adoption should not cause us to grieve the Spirit of adoption that indwells us. We must remember that we were orphans who deserve nothing but God’s judgment. By grace, we received adoption in Christ. By grace, we will receive this adoption as well.

Read the rest

(HT: Vitamin Z)

More Quotes!

Here are a couple of unrelated quotes, neither of which came from Of First Importance (from where I've been borrowing liberally lately).
The only way in which a state-controlled school can be kept even relatively healthy is through the absolutely free possibility of competition by private schools and church schools; if it once becomes monopolistic, it is the most effective engine of tyranny and intellectual stagnation that has yet been devised. (J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings, 167)
(HT: Desiring God Blog)

No, Machen is not a contemporary politician, he wrote those words in 1933.


"If our theology does not quicken the conscience and soften the heart, it actually hardens both; if it does not encourage the commitment of faith, it reinforces the detachment of unbelief; if it fails to promote humility, it inevitably feeds pride."

J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness, page 15.
(HT: Vitamin Z)

Warning Against Chronological Snobbery

C.S. Lewis has been credited with coining the phrase "chronological snobbery." Dr. Art Lindsley, a Senior Fellow of the C.S. Lewis Institute, writes:
One of the often-heard objections to faith in Christ is that it is old fashioned or outmoded, a relic of the distant past and therefore easily discarded. After all, what could a two-thousand-year-old faith have to say to us in the twenty-first century?

This was one of the obstacles that C.S. Lewis had to overcome in order to come to faith in Christ. He dubs the problem as one of “chronological snobbery.” His friend Owen Barfield often argued with him on this issue. Lewis’s question was: How could this ancient religion be relevant to my present setting? Lewis defines this chronological snobbery as “the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate of our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that count discredited.”

(Quoted from C.S. Lewis on Chronological Snobbery)
Here's a lighthearted look at the problem of chronological snobbery:


(HT: Tim Challies)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Family Dinner Devotions

I found this post at Life Together to be a good resource:

Mark Driscoll gives a realistic approach to doing family devotions at dinnertime:

Step 1. Eat dinner with your entire family regularly.
Step 2. Mom and Dad sit next to one another to lead the family discussion.
Step 3. Open the meal by asking if there is anyone or anything to pray for.
Step 4. Someone opens in prayer and covers any requests. This task should be rotated among family members so that different people take turns learning to pray aloud.
Step 5. Start eating and discuss how everyone’s day went.
Step 6. Have a Bible in front of the parents in a translation that is age-appropriate for the kids’ reading level. Have someone (parent or child) open the Bible, and assign a portion to read aloud while everyone is eating and listening.
Step 7. Parents should note key words and themes in the passage and explain them to the kids on an age-appropriate level.
Step 8. Ask questions about the passage. You may want to begin with having your children summarize what was read—retelling the story or passage outline. Then, ask the following questions: What does this passage teach us about God? What does it say about us or about how God sees us? What does it teach us about our relationships with others?
Step 9. Let the conversation happen naturally, listen carefully to the kids, let them answer the questions, and fill in whatever they miss or lovingly and gently correct whatever they get wrong so as to help them.
Step 10. If the Scriptures convict you of sin, repent as you need to your family, and share appropriately honest parts of your life story so the kids can see Jesus’ work in your life and your need for him too. This demonstrates gospel humility to them.
Step 11. At the end of dinner, ask the kids if they have any questions for you.
Step 12. If you miss a night, or if conversation gets off track, or if your family occasionally just wants to talk about something else, don’t stress—it’s inevitable.

Adapted from “Family Dinner Bible Studies” by Mark Driscoll in Trial: 8 Witnesses from 1 & 2 Peter, a study guide. (Mars Hill Church, 2009), pages 69-70.

The study guide is a 208 page PDF that goes along with Mark's current preaching series, which you can subscribe to in iTunes here. Or check out more media resources from Mark and Mars Hill Church at their website.

The Only Reason I Can Sleep Well At Night

I know I've been an a quote binge lately, but I'm lazy and these quotes are good, so here's another one:

“My conscience does not render a positive verdict in God’s courtroom when I look inside myself. The only reason I can sleep well at night is that even though my heart is filled with corruption and even though I am not doing my best to please him, I have in heaven at the Father’s right hand the beloved Son, who has not only done his best for himself but has fulfilled all righteousness for me in my place.”

- Michael Horton, Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Books, 2008), 88.

(HT: Of First Importance)

Monday, February 16, 2009

He Knows What We Need

Another gem of a quote, courtesy Of First Importance:

“Everything is necessary that he sends. Nothing can be necessary that he withholds.”

- John Newton

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quotes

If "Of First Importance" is not a blog you regularly check out, you should. Here are a couple more recent quotes I found over there:

“On Christ, and what he has done, my soul hangs for time and eternity. And if your soul also hangs there, it will be saved as surely as mine shall be. And if you are lost trusting in Christ, I will be lost with you and will go to hell with you. I must do so, for I have nothing else to rely upon but the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived, died, was buried, rose again, went to heaven, and still lives and pleads for sinners at the right hand of God.”

- Charles Spurgeon


“The gospel, by telling us Jesus died for us, is also really insulting. It tells us that we are so wicked that only the death of the Son of God could save us. This offends the modern cult of self-expression and the popular belief in the innate goodness of humanity.”

- Timothy Keller, The Message of Romans (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), 2.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Good Quotes

“You don’t have anything to prove to us or the world. The work is finished at Calvary, and that work has unlimited meaning and value. Keep your focus there.”
- C. John Miller

“The message of the gospel is that you are saved by grace through Christ’s work and nothing else at all. As soon as you add anything to it, you have lost it entirely.”
- Timothy Keller, Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: Living in Line with the Truth of the Gospel (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), 13.
(HT: Of First Importance)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Barack Obama Promise Tracking

From Todd at Ideapalooza:

I continue to marvel at both the media and pundits discussions regarding the Barack Obama Stimulus Package. They wonder how things like money for the Arts and money towards Pell Grants can have any immediate impact on the ailing economy. What are items like this doing in a stimulus package?

The truth and the facts are that they are not part of the stimulus package. They are part of Mr. Obama’s Promise Keeper Package.

My Barack Obama Promise Tracker file contains 895 campaign promises culled from all of Mr. Obama’s speeches and his Plan for America. This file is downloadable, shareable, contains links to original sources and has a keyword search function.

The current stimulus plan, spun to us as a plan only recently concocted to heal the ailing economy, is a actually a year old plan formerly titled Barack Obama’s Plan for America. This is easily seen in my Barack Obama Promise Tracker.

A full year before the current economic crisis, President Obama published his Plan for America during his campaign run. In this, was a wonderful, wide-eyed, list of spending promises meant to transform America. The economic stimulus plan is this year-old Plan for America, only now it is fully funded under the guise called a stimulus plan.

I hope, wish and beg that the real intent of the stimulus plan is brought to light. That is, this is not a stimulus plan, it is a promise keeper plan. Let’s call it what it really is, I say. No disguises, no spin, real transparency.

The True Message of Jesus

“Jesus’s teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day. However, in the main, our churches today do not have this effect. The kind of outsiders Jesus attracted are not attracted to contemporary churches, even our most avant-garde ones. We tend to draw conservative, buttoned-down, moralistic people. The licentious and liberated or the broken and marginal avoid church. That can only mean one thing. If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners do not have the same effect on people that Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message that Jesus did.”
- Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God
(HT: Of First Importance)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Voddie Baucham

I recently read Voddie Baucham's Family Driven Faith, but didn't take much time to write about it. I found these clips of Baucham that give a good taste of the book:

The Definition of Disciple:


Family Discipleship:


The Purpose of Family Worship:


Put the Baby in the Beemer:


Is it ever too late?

Family/Children Part II

Japan has a slightly different take than Speaker of the House Pelosi:
TOKYO, Japan (CNN) - Even before one reaches the front door of Canon's headquarters in Tokyo, one can sense the virtual stampede of employees pouring out of the building exactly at 5:30 p.m.

In a country where 12-hour workdays are common, the electronics giant has taken to letting its employees leave early twice a week for a rather unusual reason: to encourage them to have more babies.

Japan is in the midst of an unprecedented recession, so corporations are being asked to work toward fixing another major problem: the country's low birthrate.

Read the rest.
(HT: Vitamin Z)

"Stimulus" Quick Facts

From the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Committee on Appropriations:
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson

Total Cost of Stimulus Legislation: $825 billion

How does this compare?

• In 1993, the unemployment was virtually the same as the rate today (around 7%). Yet, President Clinton’s proposed stimulus legislation *only* contained $16 billion in spending

• The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.

• This legislation nears a trillion dollars. President Reagan said the best way to understand a trillion dollars is to imagine a crisp, new stack of $1000 bills.

• If you had a stack four inches high, you’d be a millionaire. A trillion-dollar stack of $1000 bills would measure just over 63 miles high.

• In $20 bills, a trillion dollar stack would be 3150 miles high. That’s about the distance between DC and Trujillo, Peru.

• President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save 3 million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $42,000 a year.

• This bill provides enough spending to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700.

• This bill will cost each and every household $6,700 in additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.

• Although this legislation has been billed and described as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, but only three percent ($30 billion) of this package is for road and highway spending.

• Much of the funding within the proposed stimulus package will go to programs which already have large, unexpended balances.

• For example, the draft bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which already has $16 billion on hand.

• And, this year, Congress has plans to rescind $9 billion in highway funding that the states have not yet used.

• Deficit spending will not expand the economy. If that were true, then the current $1.2 trillion deficit -- the largest in history -- would already be rescuing the economy.

• $800 billion more will not change that.

• Trade groups state that every $1 billion in highway “stimulus” can be spent creating 34,779 new construction jobs.

• But Congress must first borrow that $1 billion out of the private sector.

• The private sector then loses or forgoes roughly the same number of jobs.

• Japan responded to a 1990 recession by passing 10 “stimulus” bills over 8 years (building the largest national debt in the industrialized world). Their economy remained stagnant and their per capita income went from the second highest in the world to the tenth highest.
(HT: Glenn Beck)

Family/Children Part I

Denny Burk comments:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is defending the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars of the forthcoming stimulus package are to be spent on “family planning.” Her argument is very simple. The economy is bad. Having babies costs money. Would-be parents need to save their money by not having babies.

Without a doubt, Pelosi’s remarks reflect the spirit of the age. In general, our culture has come to view children as a burden rather than as a blessing. Even among those who are married, children are increasingly viewed as add-ons—an option that may or may not be pursued by the couple.

This view of children is anything but biblical, and it is positively sub-Christian. From the very beginning of creation, having children has been associated with blessing from the Lord. God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply”—which was apparently the necessary condition of their ruling over the earth (Gen 1:28). Psalm 127:3 states very clearly that “children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.” When his disciples attempted to dismiss curious children as a nuisance, Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14).

For a more helpful perspective on welcoming children into our families, take a listen to Russell Moore’s conversation on “The Albert Mohler Program” last week. You can download it here ...

I listened to Dr. Moore on the Albert Mohler Program mentioned. It was really good - I wish I had been taught some of this stuff earlier. Unfortunately I bought into society's philosophy of waiting until you were "ready" or could "afford" to have kids. My biggest regret in my marriage is that I kept my wife from having children for more than 3 years because I wasn't "ready." I got to the point where I actually asked my sister why anybody would have kids. Thank God (and my wife) for showing me grace and patience. If only somebody had knocked me upside the head and told me to grow up and be a man instead of just asking when we were going to have kids. At least now maybe God can use me to do just that for somebody in the next generation.

UPDATE: Upon further reflection, I owe an apology to anybody - particularly family and/or friends - who may have knocked my upside the head, but I was still too thick headed to feel it. Nobody else is responsible for me but me, and it was wrong of me to try to pass the buck and blame somebody else. I won't accept that in politicians; I won't accept that in my kids; and I will not accept that in myself. Particularly as I trust in God's sovereignty, I cannot honestly look back and say that I would change anything, because it's all a part of His plan to bring me where I am today. So looking forward, I hope in God & pray to Him that I will lead a life and a family that communicates the inherent value of children as a blessing from the Lord, as well as the responsibility of parents - particularly fathers - to disciple their children and pass on lessons such as these.

(HT: Vitamin Z)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration News

I enjoyed these brief stories from the Onion:
Inauguration Crowd Moves To White House Gates To Watch Presidency Happen
WASHINGTON—Moments after witnessing the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama Tuesday, the massive, euphoric crowd shifted to the White House gates to watch the rest of his four-year term unfold. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the new president administrate as it happens," said Hawaii resident Matt Rogers, who paid a scalper $100 to secure his portion of sidewalk until January 2013. "These first 100 days will really set the tone for his presidency, and I'm going to see it all from 50 yards away." This is reportedly the largest crowd of presidential spectators to assemble since 1974, when 20 million Americans stood for six months outside disgraced former president Nixon's home in San Clemente, CA just to rub it in.



Hillary Clinton Mouthing Along To Presidential Oath
WASHINGTON—Network news cameras covering Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony Tuesday captured Hillary Clinton silently moving her lips along with each word of the minute-long presidential oath of office. As she stood watching several yards from Chief Justice John Roberts, the former Democratic presidential candidate could be observed placing her left hand on a leather appointment book and raising her right hand slightly from her hip. Clinton, who carefully followed the swearing-in procedure with her eyes shut tightly, only varied from the president's words once, when she soundlessly mouthed her name instead of Barack Obama's. Clinton was later seen at an inaugural ball pretending she was dancing with first lady Michelle Obama.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is Disturbing

According to a new Barna Group poll, among Americans who described themselves as Christian*:
  • "close to half believe that Satan does not exist"
  • "one-third contend that Jesus sinned while He was on earth"
  • "two-fifths say they do not have a responsibility to share the Christian faith with others"
  • "one-quarter dismiss the idea that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches"
Heavenly Father, draw us closer to You and Your Word, and may Your Spirit correct us and lead us into all truth.
* "Born again Christians were defined as people who said they had made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that was still important in their life today and who also indicated they believed that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as 'born again.'"

Being Pro-Life Christians Under a Pro-Choice President

From John Piper at the Desiring God blog:

That is the title of a sermon I preached January 17, 1993 three days before Bill Clinton was inaugurated president. It is just as relevant—or more—today.

The text was 1 Peter 2:17, “Honor the king.” I closed with eight ways to honor a pro-choice president. The seventh was this:

We will honor you by expecting from you straightforward answers to straightforward questions. We would not expect this from a con-man, but we do expect it from an honorable man.

For example,

  1. Are you willing to explain why a baby's right not to be killed is less important than a woman's right not to be pregnant?
  2. Or are you willing to explain why most cities have laws forbidding cruelty to animals, but you oppose laws forbidding cruelty to human fetuses? Are they not at least living animals?
  3. Or are you willing to explain why government is unwilling to take away the so-called right to abortion on demand even though it harms the unborn child; yet government is increasingly willing to take away the right to smoke, precisely because it harms innocent non-smokers, killing 3,000 non-smokers a year from cancer and as many as 40,000 non-smokers a year from other diseases?
  4. And if you say that everything hangs on whether the fetus is a human child, are you willing to go before national television in the oval office and defend your support for the "Freedom of Choice Act" by holding in your hand a 21 week old fetus and explaining why this little one does not have the fundamental, moral, and constitutional right to life? Are you willing to say to parents in this church who lost a child at that age and held him in their hands, this being in your hands is not and was not a child with any rights of its own under God or under law?

Perhaps you have good answers to each of these questions. We will honor you by expecting you to defend your position forthrightly in the public eye.

You have immense power as President of the United States. To wield it against the protection of the unborn without giving a public accounting in view of moral and scientific reality would be dishonorable. We will honor you by expecting better.

Imagine


(HT: JT)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Making Christ a Minister of Condemnation?

I couldn't pick & choose from this blog post written by John Piper at the Desiring God blog, so here it is in full:

At Barack Obama’s request, tomorrow in the Lincoln Memorial, Gene Robinson, the first openly non-celibate homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church, will deliver the invocation for the inauguration kick-off.

This is tragic not mainly because Obama is willing to hold up the legitimacy of homosexual intercourse, but because he is willing to get behind the church endorsement of sexual intercourse between men.

It is one thing to say: Two men may legally have sex. It is another to say: The Christian church acted acceptably in blessing Robinson’s sex with men.

The implications of this are serious.

It means that Barack Obama is willing, not just to tolerate, but to feature a person and a viewpoint that makes the church a minister of damnation. Again, the tragedy here is not that many people in public life hold views (like atheism) that lead to damnation, but that Obama is making the church the minister of damnation.

The apostle Paul says,

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves , nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

What is Paul saying about things like adultery, greed, stealing, and homosexual practice? As J. I. Packer puts it, “They are ways of sin that, if not repented of and forsaken, will keep people out of God’s kingdom of salvation.” (Christianity Today, January 2003, p. 48).

In other words, to bless people in these sins, instead of offering them forgiveness and deliverance from them, is to minister damnation to them, not salvation.

The gospel, with its forgiveness and deliverance from homosexual practice, offers salvation. Gene Robinson, with his blessing and approval of homosexual practice, offers damnation. And he does it in the name of Christ.

It is as though Obama sought out a church which blessed stealing and adultery, and then chose its most well-known thief and adulterer, and asked him to pray.

One more time: The issue here is not that presidents may need to tolerate things they don’t approve of. The issue is this: In linking the Christian ministry to the approval of homosexual activity, Christ is made a minister of condemnation.

Reading this, I'm reminded of this passage of Scripture:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1:16-32 (ESV), emphasis added

Bush Grants Clemency

According to Fox News:

On his last full day in office, President Bush commuted the controversial sentences of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.

The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the men were just doing their jobs and were punished too harshly. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.

Their sentences will now expire on March 20 of this year.
Finally. Now we'll have to see if anything happens with Johnny Sutton. If you aren't familiar with the story, check out my previous posts on the matter.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Russell Moore Hates Sanctity Of Human Life Sunday

Russell Moore:
I hate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday because I’m reminded that we have to say things to one another that human beings shouldn’t have to say. Mothers shouldn’t kill their children. Fathers shouldn’t abandon their babies. No human life is worthless, regardless of skin color, age, disability, economic status. The very fact that these things must be proclaimed is a reminder of the horrors of this present darkness.
Read the rest of this very important article.

(HT: Vitamin Z)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sanctity Of Life Sunday

From the Romans 15:4 Project Blog:
"The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do." - Presidential Candidate Barak Obama, 2008

"Abortion has set us on a dangerous course. We may come to our senses and back away from the slippery slope. Or we may follow it to its inescapable conclusion - a society in which the powerful, for their own self-interest, determine which human beings will live and which will die." - Randy Alcorn, "Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers"

Message from AUL Action:

This Sunday is Sanctity of Life Sunday — a wonderful way to start a week that includes the presidential inauguration and the annual March for Life. Millions of Americans will go to churches where there will be a special emphasis on the sanctity of human life.

Yet many of those Americans haven’t heard about Congress’ plans to expand abortion through the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) — and other bills like it that would eliminate virtually every pro-life law in the country and force taxpayers to help pay for it.

You can help spread the word. It’s easy
: http://www.fightfoca.com/

Visit Fight FOCA today!


Anchor Of Our Salvation

“Our assurance, our glory, and the sole anchor of our salvation are that Christ the Son of God is ours, and we in turn are in him sons of God and heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven, called to the hope of eternal blessedness by God’s grace, not by our worth.”

—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (III.17.1)
(HT: Of First Importance)

Vote For Noah

From Tim Ellsworth:
My wife entered a photo of Noah in the “America’s Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction” contest, and we found out that he’s a finalist. If you would, please take a second to go to the Cutest Tax Deduction site, scroll down to the bottom and cast your vote for little Noah.

Let’s rock the vote! (And no registration is required.)

Thanks very much.
Tim gives some background on Noah in the comments:

Noah was born Dec. 30, and was quickly taken to the NICU with respiratory distress. The next day, they discovered he had a pneumothorax (or hole) in each lung, resulting in an air leak.

So, Noah had to get two chest tubes inserted — one on each side. The chest tubes removed the air that had gathered outside his lungs, thus allowing his lungs to expand and to heal. He spent six nights in NICU before we were able to bring him home on Jan. 5.

The Lord was most gracious to us in healing little Noah. A friend of my wife’s works in an NICU at a different hospital, and she said it’s not uncommon for this kind of situation to require a much lengthier stay.

So, we’re so grateful to the Lord for healing Noah as quickly as he did. God is indeed good.

Thanks for visiting, and thanks for helping us by voting.

And also shows his humor:
Also, I should add: the grand prize for the contest is a $5,000 savings bond — which means, given the state of our economy, that it should be worth about $1.83 when it matures.
Go give the little guy a vote.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Family Driven Faith

I just finished reading Voddie Baucham's Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes To Raise Sons And Daughters Who Walk With God. I really enjoyed this book, as it made me think about the responsibility I have to evangelize and disciple my children - that it's not something I can "outsource" to children's ministry personnel, youth group leaders, or the youth pastor at church. Baucham's words ring deep and true, both convicting and encouraging families, especially fathers.

I'd recommend this book to anybody who has kids or is planning on having kids. I'd also recommend reading the review of Family Driven Faith at the 9Marks website. Michael Lawrence, associate pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, provides some good words of critique which he says "responds to a matter of secondary significance in Baucham's book," regarding the nature and purpose of the church.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Family Worship

A couple of "How to" links about family worship:

Culture Of Death

From the Washington Times' Jeffrey T. Kuhner:
Social conservatives are mobilizing to prevent President-elect Barack Obama's nominee, Thomas Perrelli, from becoming the next U.S. associate attorney general - the No. 3 post at the Justice Department. In a Jan. 6 story in The Washington Times, veteran reporters Stephen Dinan and Jerry Seper show that prominent special interest groups, such as the Traditional Values Coalition and the Family Research Council, are urging Republicans to oppose Mr. Perrelli's appointment.

It is rare for a sub-Cabinet nominee to generate such fierce criticism, but Mr. Perrelli deserves it. He was one of the lawyers responsible for the death of Terry Schiavo. While representing Mrs. Schiavo's husband, Michael, Mr. Perrelli played a key role in having the Florida woman's feeding tube forcibly removed. The 2005 landmark right-to-die case rightly outraged the pro-life community. As Mrs. Schiavo lay in a coma, her parents and siblings repeatedly said they were willing to take full responsibility, including paying for her medical care. Mr. Schiavo refused. He ordered her feeding at the hospital to be terminated - an act of coldblooded murder.

...

The selection of Mr. Perrelli is symptomatic of Mr. Obama's radicalism on social issues. He is staffing his administration with hard-core liberals bent on promoting a pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-euthanasia agenda. The president-elect has tapped the likes of Dawn Johnsen, the former legal director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), to head the Office of Legal Council. He has chosen a fiercely partisan pro-choice Democrat, Tom Daschle, as health and human services secretary. Mr. Obama's intended secretary of state, Sen. Hillary Clinton, is a pro-abortion feminist, who will use the power of the State Department to promote a secular humanist agenda abroad.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama vowed that one of his first acts as president will be to pass the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) - a sweeping law that will entrench Roe v. Wade and eliminate state restrictions on abortion and parental notification laws. He is a fierce critic of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits use of federal Medicaid dollars for abortions except in cases of rape, incest and when the mother's life is in jeopardy. The law has saved countless lives. Yet, Mr. Obama and liberal Democrats plan to repeal it.

...

Mr. Obama is a prophet, but a prophet of the culture of death. He refuses to lift a finger to protect the most vulnerable and innocent in our society - the unborn. He now wants to appoint Mr. Schiavo's lawyer to a senior Justice Department position and he must be stopped in his tracks. Conservatives must vociferously object: Mr. Obama needs to know Terry Schiavo has not been forgotten - and that her death was not in vain.
Read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When Christ Is The Treasure

“I don’t think Christ is glorified anywhere more than when suffering people rejoice in him as their treasure.”

- John Piper, “Suffering for Christ,” an interview with C. J. Mahaney

(HT: Of First Importance)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Climate Change

Do I sound more sophisticated and intelligent if I say "climate change" rather than "global warming?" I hope so. Because then I can mindlessly jump on the ice age bandwagon and still pretend that I'm smart.

RedOrbit carries a story entitled "Research Claims Earth Facing Ice Age:"
Scientists are now making an alarming claim that the earth is on the brink of entering another Ice Age that could last the next 100,000 years.

They believe a 12,000-year warming period is currently winding down.

They say ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic record, and studies of ancient plant and animal populations all demonstrate a regular cyclic pattern of Ice Age patterns, separated by intervening warm interglacials, each lasting about 12,000 years.
Read the full story here.

So evidently this means that in the past 35 years, we've gone from the brink of an Ice Age (see this story from Time's June 24, 1974 issue), through the worst global warming in the history of the planet, to the brink of another Ice Age.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Swords Are For Killing

John Piper's reflections on the sword of the Spirit:

In New Testament times swords were not for digging, shaving, or whittling. They were for killing. The only reason Peter cut off Malchus’s ear was that he missed (John 18:10).

But Herod didn’t miss: “He killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:2).

Many saints have felt the full force of the sword: “They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword” (Hebrews 11:37). So it was and will be: “If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain” (Revelation 13:10).

That’s what swords are for. So when Paul calls the word of God the “sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6:17, he is serious—something must be put to death. And it is not people. Christians don’t kill people to spread our faith; we die to spread our faith.

The link in Paul’s mind is given in Romans 8:13.

If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. The Sword is for putting to death. And by the Spirit we put to death our sinful deeds. So I conclude that the way we kill our sins is with the Spirit’s sword, the word of God.

All temptations to sin have power by lying. The are “deceitful desires” (Ephesians 4:22). They tell us that the pleasure of the sin is worth it. The killing blow against these lies is the power of God’s truth. Hence the sword of the Spirit, God’s word, is the weapon to use.

As John Owen said, “Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.” That is what swords are for, especially the Bible.

The Worst Climate Predictions of 2008

From Watts Up With That?:
  • 2008 will be the hottest year in a century.
  • You could potentially sail, kayak or even swim to the North Pole by the end of the summer. Climate scientists say that the Arctic ice . . . is currently on track to melt sometime in 2008.
  • Australia’s Cities Will Run Out of Drinking Water Due to Global Warming.
  • Hurricane Effects Will Only Get Worse.
  • Corals will become increasingly rare on reef systems.
  • No More Skiing?
Read more about the predictions here.