28 April 2008

Articles:
Are You Bored with Good Preaching? (kerux noemata)

Real-Life Sanctification: How Much Television Should a Christian Watch? (Consumed)

The Rebellion of Nudity and the Meaning of Clothing (Desiring God)

Complementarian Singles: How Can I Prepare Myself for Marriage? (CBMW) If anything this is a good reminder that those who want to get married (like me) should be prepared for it and not go into it, or even dating, hoping that you’ll learn everything on the way

How To Master A Book (The Blazing Center)

Before You Preach (Joe Thorn)

12 Ways to Improve Your Blog by Serving Your Readers (Between Two Worlds) For more serious bloggers, not me

Readings:
An amazingly insightful quote by A.W. Tozer:

      We commonly represent [God] as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world…
      Too many missionary appeals are based upon this fancied frustration of Almighty God. An effective speaker can easily excite pity in his hearers, not only for the heathen but for the God who has tried so hard and so long to save them and has failed for want of support. I fear that thousands of young persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and his limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of. Add to this a certain degree of commendable idealism and a fait amount of compassion for the underprivileged and you have the true drive behind much Christian activity today.

– A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

 

Randoms:
2 pictures, 1 Earth

Videos:
Vega 4 – Life is Beautiful (Pushing Daisies Music Video)

Verses/Messages:
Philippians 3:1-16

Treasuring Christ Together Because He Is More Valuable Than All Else (Desiring God)

Then in verse 12, Paul gives one of my favorite statements in all the Bible, because it helps me put the fight of faith in the context of absolute assurance. He says: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” I don’t coast. I don’t drift. Christ is too precious for that. I press on. I strive. I reach. I long. I ache. I yearn to obtain the fullness and perfection of the presence of Jesus. Why? Because I don’t know if I am his? No. Because he has already made me his own. I reach for him because I am held by him. I press into him because he has enclosed me with unbreakable bands of love. This is what it means to treasure Christ together. And we help each other press on in this way—with this assurance.


21 April 2008

Articles:
5 Tips for Clear Writing and Talking (Desiring God)

Readings:
ESV study bible! Can’t wait til October 2008, here is what they list as primary features:

  • 25,000-plus notes—focusing especially on understanding the Bible text and providing answers to frequently raised issues.
  • Over 50 articles—including articles on the Bible’s authority, reliability, and interpretation; on biblical archaeology, theology, worship, prayer, and personal application.
  • Over 200 full-color maps—created with the latest digital technology, satellite images, and archaeological research; printed in full color, throughout the Bible.
  • 200-plus charts—offering key insights and in-depth analysis in clear, concise outline form; located throughout the Bible.
  • 80,000 cross-references—to encourage easy location of important words, passages, and biblical themes.
  • More than 40 new full-color illustrations—including historically accurate reconstructions of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, Solomon’s temple, Herod’s temple, the city of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time and throughout the history of Israel, and many more.

Messages:
Together for the Gospel Roundup (Challies) what better place to look for the T4G audio and posts on the conference

Other Sheep That Are Not of This Fold (Desiring God) A message on missions delivered recently to students of Cal Poly

Videos:
Michael Buble – You and I

T4G – Panel Discussion (Excerpt): more excerpts here

Verses:
1 Timothy 4:11-16
Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Let No One Despise You for Your Youth (Desiring God)

Be careful young people that you don’t postpone the burden and the blessing of fruitfulness in your life because you use the excuse, “I am only a youth.” God said to Jeremiah, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go.” There are some younger than you that you can lead, and there are some older than you that you can serve. But do not say, “I am only a youth,” as though the only thing you are good for is watching videos and playing games, as though there is no ministry for you to do.


14 April 2008

Articles:
Finding Joy In The Mundane (The Blazing Center)

Deacons: Tried and True (Pure Church)

Randoms:
If you ever wanted to know all 613 commandments of the Old Testament

Thoughts:
So random eving I go up to this guy sitting on a bench reading some book and I ask him if he’s busy, he answers with a why, and I ask if he’s heard about the gospel. He’s taken back a little and says, ” The gospel!?” in a sour tone, I said, “Yeah.” Then unexpectedly he gives me a “ha, I’m not religious!” and at the same moment gives me the hand motion that clearly says, “Move along buddy, you’re not wanted here.” That same motion you see when an angry master wants his servant to leave him alone. I was taken back. Out of all the times I’ve done this, I’ve never had this reaction towards me, I’ve had a lot of no’s but never something so adverse to the gospel. While walking away, I really wanted to feel like punching him, but I could not but feel sad for him. That guy will go in life pushing and pushing aside the gospel not wanting to hear it, not wanting to think about it and have nothing to do with it. He’s going to wave that hand every instant the cross is presented and that will harden his heart even more every time.

Recently I watched a debate with James White and a Muslim, and I saw the same exact motion, no, he didn’t wave off James White, but he did wave him off with his attacks. It’s these moments that I rejoice in my salvation.

Videos:
Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie) – Carolina

Verses:
1 John 4:20
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

What does it mean when it says what is seen and what is not seen? One is in-front of you eyes, the other cannot be seen by the eyes those making it harder to perceive. Of course God is not seen and a brother or sister is seen but what does that have to do with love? Love is only some kind of feeling, right? Wrong, we must look at the previous verses to see that love is so much more than an expression. Verses 7 and 8 gives us the necessary foundation we need to validate the claim that the subject is a liar.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

In verse 9 God “manifests” that love through sending His Son.  Then, I think most importantly to understanding this passage is verse 10:

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

We are told the source of that love. The mainspring that love is manifested through and from  and in, it is God! And it is brought about from the cross.

So to answer the question in the beginning, how can they relate the sense of sight to love, it comes down to faith. John eloquently shows us faith is from this love and if one does not have this faith, he has not loved, and thus cannot say “I love God,” and hate his brother, for he is a liar and sadly perishing, for he presents to others what he thinks is genuine faith genuine love, but is really only clearly saying he has no God.


7 April 2008

Articles:
Who Says What’s “Christian” Music? (Colossians Three Sixteen) A taste of Sufjan Stevens in Videos

Marriage and the Glory of God (Al Mohler) “The end of marriage is its beginning–the glory of God, the mystery of Christ and the church. The exclusivity and purity of the marriage bond points to the exclusivity and purity of the relationship between Christ and His church.”

Gospel Counterfeits (9 Marks)

Preaching What You Don’t Feel (Desiring God)

One-to-one ministry (The Briefing)

Effective one-to-one Christian ministry is not limited to counselling, nor is it essentially about solving personal or emotional problems. What is it then? It is forming a relationship with another individual for the purpose of mutual growth in Christian understanding, obedience and service of others.

News:
A slide show presenting China’s pollution (NBC)

Videos:
Sufjan Stevens – Decatur, Or, Round Of Applause for Your Step-Mother!

Sufjan Stevens – Chicago

Sufjan Stevens – Come Thou Font of Every Blessing

Verses:
Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

The Life of the justified must be one of praise and prayer. His justification has drawn him near to God. It has opened his lips and enlarged his heart. He cannot but praise; he cannot but pray. He has ten thousand things to ask for; he has ten thousand things for which to give thanks. He knows what it is to speak in psalms and hymn sand spiritual songs, singing with grace in his heart to the Lord.

– Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness