Impact

1 July 2008

Abouts:
So for those who don’t know I will leaving for China in a few weeks for a mission trip from LAX and then after I will be flying home to SFO, because I didn’t want to bring my computer to China I have left it at home, so I will be without a computer for about a month. (In case you were wondering I am using the school’s computer right now)

Thoughts:
One thing I’ve learned is that I have conditioned my heart to be sustained by this world. I have wasted more time than I have ever thought, talk to me if you want to full story, no it’s not that interesting if that’s what you were thinking, I just don’t have time to spend on the computer here.

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Resolved

16 June 2008

Abouts:
Here I am at Resolved it has been a great time of fellowship and refreshing time spent with God. So that this post will not be a total meaningless update one thing I learned through this conference and not even from this conference is that we must pursue Christ, we must yearn for Him, if we do not we are not in danger of slipping, we are slipping from our God.

So far I have taken about 1600 pictures…


Thirsting

9 June 2008

Abouts:
This weekend I will be going to Resolved 2008 where I will be live-blogging next to Tim Challies… actually it will be a time for me to just rest in the good Word, hear amazing preaching, and fellowship with incredible friends. The conference runs from Friday the 13th to the 16th so I am sorry to say I will not have time to attend to this blog.

For the ‘Reviews’ section I will put a symbol for the length of the review (L = Long, M = Medium, S = Short)

Summer Readings:
As I promised here is my summer reading plan, I am purposefully making the list longer than what I am capable of reading because if by some chance I did finish the shorter list I would like to have back up, also I like options. The list won’t be too long though because I am going to China this summer for mission work.

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Between Two Worlds
John Stott

This is a book I have heard rave reviews over from those well-informed. There isn’t much I can say about this book but that it intrigues me. Although I might never need to preach ever in my life I think that learning about the process is good for me and any Christian, because preaching requires one to exposit the Word correctly, teaches one to stay focused on the Cross, and refines the way something is taught/preached. If that isn’t applicable to Christians I don’t know what I would do.

Resources: Summary (Monergism), Pride in Preachers (Desiring God), Preparing a Sermon (with John Stott) (Josh Harris)

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Christian Apologetics
Cornelius Van Til

I bought this book when I was in the infancy of my Christianity and didn’t know what I was getting into. I saw ‘Christian Apologetics’ as the cover and bought it off christianbook.com. When I picked it up years later, I went on to figure out who this Van Til was and later was introduced to presuppositional apologetics. I’ve picked up this book and started it multiple times but because this book is so dense I had to put it down every time, so this summer I would like not to continue the tradition and finish this book. Seeing how I already started with this book because I finished my school year books already, you can make this #1 in my order.

Reviews: The Reformed Baptist Thinker (S)

Resources: Van Til: the Theologian (CRTA)

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Communion with the Triune God
John Owen

Recently I wanted to start studying the trinity and get more into John Owen’s work, so what better way of doing that then spending time in this book. I bought the reprint edited by Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds and Kelly M. Kapic, associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Covenant College. But to be honest I think I will make this one one of my back-up books, because if I read this this summer I would have no time for other books, why make it a back-up book then, you might ask, I don’t know, I know I most likely will not even touch this book this summer, only to put it in my luggage and then take it out of my luggage back on to my bookshelf.

Reviews: Irish Calvinist (M), Provocations & Pantings (L), The Shepherd’s Scrapbook (L), Tolle Lege (S)

Resources: Summary (Monergism)

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God of Promise
Michael Horton

I have been meaning to start my deeper study of covenant and dispensational theology for awhile, and now with a summer full of motivation I think I’ll start. Having a quick look at it, it looks like it could take a week to finish this book, but if I looked a little closer I noticed that it will take awhile to go through this book because of the density of the content. I think I will make this #3.

Reviews: The A-Team (S), Discerning Reader (S/M), Reformation Theology (S)

Resources: Summary (Monergism)

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Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This book comes from a couple of recommendations by friends. I have been meaning to dive deeper into Martyn Lloyd-Jones, so I think this book would be a good book to continue with. Finishing a in-depth study of Matthews during my weekly bible study, what better way to review and refreshed with a deeper study on the Sermon on the Mount. I have been encouraged to read this so I will make this #2.

Resources: Summary (Monergism), Watch the Past: Living Lessons from Dead Theologians (The Shepherds Scrapbook)

Orders:
From some thinking and deduction I got this order

1. Christian Apologetics by Van Til
2. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Lloyd-Jones
3. God of Promise by Horton
4. Between Two Worlds by Stott
5. Communion with the Triune God by Owen


Learn. Apply. Teach.

2 June 2008

Abouts:
Because next week is finals week here at UCI I will either not post, or have a extremely short post or if I feel like procrastinating I will have the longest post of my life…

Ooh, just came up with an idea, for next week I will reveal (make) my summer reading plans and I will include reviews, summaries, and whatever else I can find on the books I will be reading this summer

Articles:
Six Ways to Hinder Your Prayers (Challies) Selfish Motives, Turning Away From Scripture, Unforgiving Hearts, Family Discord, Unconfessed Sin, Doubt

How to Waste Your Theological Education (From the Study)

Advice to Missionaries (and All of Us) (Desiring God)

Audios:
How To Read 500 Books a Year (Denny Burk)

Readings:

If sin be but a common scar or wrinkle, to be erased from the soul’s surface by a few simple touches; if pardon be a mere figure of speech, meaning God’s wide benevolence or good-natured indifference to evil, why tell of wrath and fire and judgement, the never-dying worm and the ever-rising smoke?

Horatius Bonar, God’s Way of Holiness

Horatius Bonar is also known for his book, Words to Winners of Souls, and one section I found very rebuking/refreshing was a extensive quote of a public confession from  the Church of Scotland in 1965, I could not find the origin document, if there is one, so I found a pdf version of the whole book and the excerpt is in the 4th chapter extending from page 16-21, if you have time read the book,  better yet if you have money go buy the book; if anyone knows of the origin document can you please inform me about it or where I can find it

Randoms:
Top Ten Reasons Why the… Did not Cross the Road (Parchment and Pen) Dispensationalist, Emerger, and Reformed Theologian

Verses:
Ezra 7:10
For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

Study. Live. Preach. (Reformation 21)


Don’t Waste Your Mind

26 May 2008

Abouts:
Watch House if you don’t, it’s such an amazing show…

Articles:
A Love for Missions Starts at Home (Desiring God)

2 Kinds of Regret: Godless and Godly (Desiring God)

The Challenge of Attention in the Digital Age (Albert Mohler)

We are al living distracted lives that promise only to grow more complicated and distracted in years ahead. The discipline and stewardship of our attention is a matter of great and unquestionable urgency.

The Ultimate Conference Guide (The Blazing Center) Rule 1, 2, and 3

Randoms:
7 Pleasurable Ways to Improve Your Reading Ability

This week over at Woot Shirts they have some pretty funny slogans, I might buy the blue one, tempting…

Thoughts:
Watch the video first if you haven’t. The saddest part of watching that was when panning through all those scenes of the doctors after work has to be Cutner’s scene. It was the scene where after a day as a doctor we see him just sitting at home eating cereal while mindlessly watching TV. Every time I see that my soul just cries, “STOP IT!” What makes it sadder is just how we see what he went through the rest of the day saving lives, seeing lives end, and some change, but at the end of the day where does he find his rest, in a bowl of cereal and some tv shows. I feel bad for him (as much as I can for a made up character), but how much different is that from our lives; after a day of hard work, seeing life changing, seeing tragedy in the news, we end up coming home and become a couch potato, thinking we lived life enough for the day and now we have gained enough life points to waste it away on the night being totally idle.

Videos:
Iron and Wine – Passing Afternoon (Season finale final scene of House)

Verses:
Hebrews 5:11-14
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

John 6:35
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

So after going to my friends graduation and hanging out with him the whole day Saturday, inevitably I was tired on Sunday morning. So by the second half of the message I started to nod off a little. When I was thinking about it I started thinking about those people who go to church every week, listen to the messages and then goes home and when you ask them what they think about the message or church they have no idea what you are talking about. Then when you see them fall away from church and you ask them why they did, because they didn’t get anything out of it. But when you look back, they are the ones sitting down and nodding off during the sermon, they are the ones texting while the word is preached. They think that to be holy, to be sanctified is an involuntary motion. What happens every Sunday is the pastor takes the ingredients he has, prepares and prepares them throughout the week, cooks everything, makes a nice presentation, places the plate down with the right utensils and then on Sunday presents the meal in-front of everyone to enjoy. The pastor’s hard work is in-front of the congregation, sometimes the meal isn’t that great, and sometimes it’s amazing, but no matter what, he sets this meal in-front of them and then he goes on to prepare next week’s meal. What am I missing, where is the eating portion of the meal? Well, that’s my question as well. The pastor presents this meal but does he hand feed everyone, does he go to every member of the congregation and cut up the meat and then place the piece of food in their mouths? Of course not, he does all the preparing but leaves it up to the congregation to feed themselves. He goes and looks the Word, find the treasures that are in it and then prepares it into a message that will be impactful, applicable, and clear. Then on Sunday he presents this message to the congregation, but then here is where so many go wrong. People just tend to stop here and go, “Ok, now effect me sermon!” They think it is as involuntary as digesting food, but the truth is they don’t really care for the food. They look at it at a distance and think it’s nice and might even admit that it’s good for them, but when it comes down to it, they don’t feast on it. They sleep during the message, they listen to the sermon in one ear and it leaves out the other, and when you talk to them they explain how they don’t get anything from church, they say they aren’t being feed any food. The problem is that they aren’t taking the time to examine the food that is presented in-front of them, they don’t take the time to pick the food up and put it in theirs mouths to chew on, they don’t apply it to their lives to see what they may do with that new information. They


I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious

19 May 2008

Abouts:
A really long week…

4 more really long weeks until the end of the school year…

Articles:
Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (Sovereign Grace)

One More Way To God Than I Deserve (New Attitude)

Red-Letter Bibles (Between Two Worlds)

Readings:
ESV Study Bible: Luke Intro and Discount (Between Two Worlds) The discount is over but the Luke intro is still up for download

Randoms:
Colossal Castle or Humble Home? Same Price – Your Choice

Videos:
Interview with D.A. Carson (Between Two Worlds)

Switchfoot – This Is Home

Regina Spektor – The Call

Verses:
Exodus 33:18-20
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”

I must admit, I don’t fully understand this excerpt yet.

When these verses were brought to my attention this week, I was a little perplexed at a section, specifically the second part of 19 (which I will refer to as 19b), “‘And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.'” At first it doesn’t sound to weird, you’ve probably seen it used in the context of Romans 9:15, but as I looked at the whole excerpt again, I was confused.

We start out with the Lord staying away from the people of Israel because of their disobedience, so then Moses had to take the tent away from the camp so that he would be able to commune with God and intercede for the people. God then grants Moses request to guide him, and now it gets interesting. Moses then requests to see God’s glory. God answer’s, “‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name “The LORD.”‘” That is the understandable part, then He goes on to say “‘And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.'” Now if I was God (gratefully not!) I would have not said 19b, and leave it as: “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 19b just seems out of place and doesn’t fit with the flow of what He is saying, but as I meditated I find it fits perfectly.

If we take 19b by itself and examine it we could sum it up in two words, God’s sovereignty, but why assert His sovereignty in the middle of answering Moses request to see His glory? That is exactly why, He wanted to affirm and confirm His sovereignty over everything, to Moses and to us. God wanted to tell Moses before He showed His glory to Him was that He is the one who is doing this. Who’s presence will go with His people, God’s, why? Because Moses asked nicely, NO, because God will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom He will show mercy! Is Moses deserving of seeing God’s glory, NO, but God will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom He will show mercy! And as the LORD proclaimed his name in 34:6-7, I can only speculate that He proclaimed His name in a similar way here.

“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”


25 March 2008

Abouts:
Sorry this was late and it will be short due to finals week

Random:
Do you know was Facsimile is/short-for? Don’t know, Fax! I just learned that this week…

Articles:
His Last Friday Was His Best (Blazing Center)

The Reformation and Mysticism, you think after reading the title, mysticism?! that is not relevant for me, think again, read the article

Pride in Preachers (Desiring God)

Gospel and Ministry (New Attitude) “How do I lead people into a robust understanding of gospel-centered living? How can I make sure they don’t dismiss the gospel off to the side of life for a litany of good things?”

Resources:
Remember Sinim Books, if you thought that was sweet I found this site recently, China Christian Books, it has some of the same resources, different books, and other reformed literature, but what the kicker is, is that it is all online to read for free. So if cost was an issue all you need is the internet (or a friend with the internet and printer…)

Messages:
Explosive Fellowship (Desiring God)

Verses:
Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Pierced By the Word of God (Desiring God)

What then is the point saying that the “word of God” pierces to the “division of soul and spirit”? The point is that it’s the word of God that reveals to us our true selves. Are we spiritual or are we natural? Are we born of God and spiritually alive, or are we deceiving ourselves and spiritually dead? Are the “thoughts and intentions of our heart” spiritual thoughts and intentions or only natural thoughts and intentions. Only the “word of God” can “judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” as Hebrews 4:12 says.