Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Riley is Nervous

OK, so I was invited to play rugby with some new friends that are students at the University of Louisville. I've never played rugby but I thought that it would be a fun way to fellowship and get to know the guys better. They kept going on and on about their heroes of the sport, some team called the "All Blacks." They said I should look them up on You Tube and I followed their suggestion. Let's just say I am not as excited to play rugby on Friday as I was before I watched this video.

It's not that I don't like sports, it's just that at 30 years old, I play touch football now. I'm not sure if we will be playing touch rugby. In fact, I'm pretty sure that touch rugby doesn't exist. Furthermore, when I play football with friends, I try to use my swiftness to make plays. After watching a few rugby videos, it seems that being able to run over people is the best skill one could have.

I am fatter than I have ever been, so maybe the extra mass could help me run over any dwarfs that might be playing. On the whole, I am just a little nervous about playing this FULL contact sport. I'll let you know how it goes.

Irreverent Wrongs

Irreverent Wrongs

More on the Rev. Wright from someone qualified to share an opinion, namely, Thabiti Anyabwile.

The reason I love about reading what Thabiti has to say is that his opinions are grounded in the gospel. Not so with Fox News, Drudge or other media outlets.

If most of what you read and hear about this situation is coming from the secular media, I would encourage you to read the above post by Thabiti that I linked to for a different, more godly perspective.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Google Reader Can Help You

Read this post about RSS and Google Reader. Google reader has been really helpful in saving me time as I browse the blogs that I read. If you frequent more than 3 blogs, Google Reader might be something you want to check out. It is very easy to use and saves lots of time. HT: Tim Challies

Monday, April 28, 2008


But if any one fact is clear, on the basis of this evidence, it is that the Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work, but upon an account of facts. In other words, it was based upon doctrine.

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (p.21)

Economic Stimulus Payment & Christ

Economic Stimulus Payment & Christ
Wow! Was that even on your radar screen? Sadly, it wasn't on mine. Isn't it neat to dream of the ways God can use us if we make him our treasure above everything else?

Think You're Subways Crowded?

Think You're Subways Crowded?
This is amazing!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday's Porchin' It Video of the Week

And all we get is "Deal or No Deal."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Soft and Hard Preaching

Brad Thayer, blogging at the Third Avenue Baptist Church Blog, comments on a John MacArthur quote from T4G. In fact, the quote mentioned in the post by Brad was my favorite part of his sermon. Along with this, he also said that, "Hard preaching makes for soft hearts." Although this isn't a popular view, I tend to agree with him.

When I was serving the Lord in East Asia, once a year all of the people ministering with our organization would travel to another Asian country for an annual meeting. It was a special time that everyone looked forward to.

There were administrative things to take care of but the highlight of the week was the preaching and worship. These were times when over 1,000 fellow workers would join together in singing and praising God together. Many of these people had spent the past year mostly alone and in remote places without the abundance of Christian fellowship that we often take for granted here in the U.S.

The first year I was there, the pastor from America literally spent almost 30 minutes of his sermon telling typical Southern Baptist corny jokes. It was like he as a stand-up comedian. Granted, he was really funny, but I couldn't help being discouraged because I could have stayed in my hotel room and heard funnier and better jokes on TV.

I was discouraged because for the past year I had been laboring to do the work of an evangelist and church planter. There were so many times of loneliness, emptiness, and fatigue. There were times of great trial and even when things were going great, there was a great deal of pressure and anxiety regarding new converts and beginning churches. I came to that meeting tired and spent, and desired and needed the gospel preached to my broken heart.

Instead of truth, I got jokes. Instead of preaching, I got stand-up. Instead of the Word, I got stories. Thankfully, I had friends who were going through the same things and we ministered to each other through the reading of Scripture and prayer.

The reason I mention all of this is because I am convinced that battle weary Saints don't need jokes and stories to encourage and strengthen them. They need hard, heart softening, Christ centered, gospel proclaiming, expository preaching. From my humble experience, John MacArthur is right. Soft preaching does make hard hearts and hard preaching makes soft hearts.

Joel is on the Way

Here Comes Joel!

Looks like Joel Osteen is making an appearance in the Ville.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Complementarian Singles: How Can I Prepare Myself for Marriage?

Complementarian Singles: How Can I Prepare Myself for Marriage?

Click on the above link if you are single and have the desire to be a husband or wife someday.

Also, if you have or will have the opportunity to disciple a single person who may be considering marriage in the future, click on the above link.

Finally, if you are a member of a church with single people, click on the above link for some probing things to think through as we help single Christians discern issues related to dating or courtship.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

10 Ways to Help Kids Love Missions

This post at the Desiring God Blog is near and dear to my heart. The 10 suggestions are practical and easy and are sure to have a lasting effect on your children, or yourself, if you don't have kids.

I especially like #6. Which one is your favorite? Are there other things that you have done with your children that could be added to this list?

I might add #11, take a short term mission trip as a family. This might be quite expensive, but a person wouldn't have to go half way around the world to do this. I know that my aunt and uncle took my cousins on mission trips with their church to Mexico starting when they were relatively young. Praise God for all of our little future missionaries!

Can I Get Some Advice?

Ben Bartlett, who blogs at Christ and Pop Culture and Humble Beginnings offers an insightful post on where Christians should or shouldn't get their advice.

When you come to an important moral decision, will Christ guide your footsteps, or will Oprah whisper in your ear? Will you worry more about your child receiving right guidance through discipline, or self-esteem through constant affirmation? Will you confess sin, or share how your mother ruined your life? Do your kids need a friend or a father? Will you honor godly leaders or will you join a church that makes you feel more at home and less judged?
Read the entire (but short) post here.

Diarrhea, Cha, Cha, Cha.

I don't really watch that much TV so this is the first time I have seen this commercial. I saw it this morning as an advertisement before a video on the Weather Channel website. It seems that there is supposed to be a big tornado outbreak beginning late tonight over the southern plains and I wanted to get the details. Remind me sometime to tell you about my days as both an amateur storm chaser and a certified Skywarn 2000 storm spotter. At any rate, I saw this advertisement and got double pumped. This is awesome. Enjoy!

It's Not Easy Being Green

It's not easy being green. Watch this to see how environmental hysteria can make people do some pretty dumb things. (HT: Tim Challies)

"Maybe they're not so much environmentalists as they are joiners...of anything."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Contemporary Church Buildings

Another interesting post from the Said at Southern Blog. It seems that Lifeway has come out with research which finds that the unchurched actually prefer traditional church buildings.

The reason I find this interesting is because so many contemporary churches are trying to find whatever cool, relevant, inovative method they can to make church more interesting in order to reach their unchurched neighbors.

Sometimes new church plants will build a church that is "nonthreatening" and doesn't even look like a church. Again, many church plants choose to meet in homes instead of buildings because they feel that people are turned off by traditional church and would feel more comfortable meeting in a home than in a church.

The problem I see with this trend is that too many churches are putting their hope in style, environment, and relativeness instead of the gospel.

The Holy Spirit is what draws unbelievers to the Father and the only method He uses as described in Scripture is the preaching of the gospel. Personally, I don't care where a church meets, or what the building looks like if a given church is preaching the gospel faithfully, and according to Scripture.

Unfortunately, it seems that in large part the "cooler," and more relevant a church tries to be, the less it trusts fully in the preaching of the gospel to convert unbelievers.

I am exceedingly thankful that my church, Third Avenue Baptist Church, trusts that the Holy Spirit is who enlightens unbelievers through the preaching of the gospel and therefore, the gospel and faithful, Biblical, preaching are what characterizes us.

On the other hand, the church I am a member of isn't perfect, and if we want to reach our neighborhood, we are going to have to be more faithful to actually be a presence in the community in order to preach the gospel that we are so faithfully trusting in. What good is a lamp that is under a basket? Fortunately, I believe that by the grace of God, we are moving in the right direction.

Christian Obedience

This is a short but good post from Brad Thayer at the Third Avenue Blog. It has to do with Christian obedience. This is something crucial for those who claim the name of Christ to think about.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday's Porchin' It Video of the Week

OK, so I dropped the ball on last week's video. I didn't post it early enough in the day and when I did post it, I had to scramble to find one suitable. A few people questioned my love of taser videos and people hurting themselves videos so I tried to find a lighthearted compromise. That's fine and all but the best and funniest videos just happen to be the ones where people do stupid things and hurt themselves. So, today I am going to try to make everyone happy.

For those of you who don't like to see people get hurt, watch this:

For those of you who don't mind a little trauma, check out this reporter getting owned by a sled.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What Does It Mean To You?

Here is an interesting post on hermeneutics. If you are not a theologian, or don't know what that word means, don't let it scare you.

The author of the post argues that asking the question, "What does this mean to you" is not the best way to determine what a verse or passage in the Bible means.

On the other hand, when trying to determine the meaning of a text, we should try to figure out what the original author's purpose was in writing what he did. This way, we can determine THE meaning of the text, God's meaning.

This is not how many of us read the Bible. Churches for the most part, don't teach members that there is a correct way to read the Scripture and an incorrect way. I don't claim to understand the correct way fully, but I sure do want to.

The reason I think this is so important is because I feel that God has called me to be involved in church planting. There is hardly a more critical area of church planting than discipleship and leadership training, in which learning how to read the Bible is central.

One of the most common methods of "doing church" internationally as espoused by many missionaries is participative Bible study. In this method, the participants read a passage of Scripture and try to find the meaning by discussing it and applying it to their lives. One of the problems with this method is that people come to believe that it does not matter what the author's original intent is. The most important thing is what my intent is, and what the passage means to me. The result is that any passage of Scripture can mean any thing to any person. This is how many missionaries are teaching new believers how to study the Scripture. This is how I taught people to read the Bible. In my opinion, this is a flawed method.

Now we get to the nitty gritty. I understand that this is a flawed method, but the question I have is, how do I teach new Christians the right way? For millions of new believers world wide, there is NO access to the internet, commentaries, hermeneutic text books, teachers, seminaries, consistent Biblical preaching, or anything else that my friends in seminary or my church take for granted. In many instances, there is a missionary, a new believer, and a Bible. How can I teach hermeneutics using these three things?

That's what I am here to find out. Thankfully, the Lord has not left us with only these three things. He has also given us a teacher, the author of the Bible, namely the Holy Spirit. Without Him, the task would be impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Oh yeah, don't forget to read the whole post that got me thinking about this stuff again. What do y'all think about all this?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Are We Thinking Anymore?

Oprah and Jesus on the Importance of Belief (Read This!)
How many millions of Christians are being deceived every single day? After touring the blog world today, I must admit that I am a little discouraged.

Often I am too blind to the ways my mind can be deceived by seemingly harmless things like New Age teaching on a TV program. As a Christian, I am supposed to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Why do I allow the world to influence me so much more than Scripture? And I'm in Seminary!

My heart breaks for the millions of Christians out there who NEVER read the Bible and NEVER consider how their heart might be influenced away from Jesus by worldliness.

In fact, if a person claims to be a Christian but has no taste for God's Word, and doesn't feel that it is important to read the Bible, this might be a sign that their belief is more along the lines of Oprah, and not orthodox Christianity. Thoughts?

By the way, you can stop the video at the six minute mark. After that, God Tube gets goofy. God Tube, really? That is a different post.


Here is an Op-Ed piece by Michael Gerson on Obama's Abortion Extremism.

But Obama's record on abortion is extreme. He opposed the ban on
partial-birth abortion -- a practice a fellow Democrat, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once called "too close to infanticide." Obama strongly criticized the Supreme Court decision upholding the partial-birth ban. In the
Illinois state Senate, he opposed a bill similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion. And now Obama has oddly claimed that he would not want his daughters to be "punished with a baby" because of a crisis pregnancy -- hardly a welcoming attitude toward new life.

I found this link at The Henry Institute. I have no reservation in calling someone who opposed a bill that prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion a sicko. Really, there are many other words that can be used to describe a person like this, but I stopped using that kind of language a long time ago.

At any rate, it breaks my heart that people are fainting at Obama speeches and falling in love with someone whose views are so extreme and inhumane. Obama's personal character and worldview are reflected in his voting record on abortion. As far as I am concerned, there is not much else to say. Oh wait, I forgot one thing, God bless America.

Blue Like Jazz

Here is a book review of Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. I have never read the book but many of you have. I would be interested in reading some comments about what you think of the book. Supposedly, it is being turned into a movie. Any thoughts on this? This is where the interaction of blogging is supposed to take place. From what I have read/heard about the book, I probably wouldn't put a lot of stock into Mr. Miller's opinions about Jesus. I am always weary when people try to make Jesus' "coolness" His chief attribute. Is that fair?
(HT: Third Avenue Blog and Brad Thayer)

Right On!!!

Overcome Contradictory Compassion
From the Desiring God blog. I would encourage you to read this short (you can read it in 30 seconds) commentary.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Most Amazing Thing I have Ever Read

I can't believe this! This is something I never thought that I would see. In fact, I would believe that aliens live on Mars before I would have believed this. I think that anyone who has ever spent time in the land of Chiner would agree. Right? Wow, what's next, knives and forks?
Beijing to ban smoking ahead of Olympics