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)

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3 March 2008

Audios:
Something that has been in browser sitting next to future blog articles recently is the addition of Pandora, it’s a pretty sweet music player that is essentially a really good radio. All you do is type in the artist/song name that you really like and it gives you a station that has that artist/song and also plays similar artists/songs, it does a real good job and matching styles. Also it is a clean format that feels lightweight, so all it is is the station player so there is no fluff. If you make a profile, then you can save the stations you have loaded before.

Articles:
Five Rules for Choosing a Commentary (The Road To Emmaus), how many times have you looked for a commentary and been daunted with the task to pick one out of hundreds of different titles, or you don’t want to only have the commentary a friend suggested but don’t know which other commentary to get, well Chad has the answer (sounds like an infomercial), well more like guidelines
In addition here are Ligonier and Desiring God’s recommendations of commentaries, I would suggest going to Ligonier’s first because it is also helpful in explaining the different commentary series that are out (e.g. EBC, NICOT, etc…). Also here are Calvin Theological Seminary’s recommendations

What To Do When You’re Robbed (The Blazing Center)

The reason Paul and Silas could worship in the blockhouse was because they didn’t derive their joy from their circumstances, but took joy in the God of their salvation.

Randoms:
Mark Altrogge shares a very touching story (Blazing Center) about him and a friend he lost touch with, if I were a girl, right now I’d be crying…

How to Cram for a College Exam

Messages:
So the Resurgence conference was available live on the internet this past week, but if you happened to miss it, here are some quick little videos from the speakers (Resurgence) of the conference, and of course John Piper has his messages on his site for download: Why I Trust the Scriptures, How My Pastoral Ministry Shapes My Pulpit Ministry, and How I Distinguish Between the Gospel and False Gospels (Desiring God), I really wish they had the Q & A too, I caught most of John Piper’s session and it was both informative and funny

Verses:
Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

I was pointed to this passage during the Sunday message while going through Psalm 27. It was a little surprising that this statement was made after the whole chapter. In the beginning, David is presenting his present position as confidence in the Lord while going through pain and opposition of all sorts. The psalm is filled with the praise of God, “The LORD is the stronghold of my life,” “my head shall be lifted up above my enemies,” and petitions for God’s protection, “Give me not up to the will of my adversaries,” “Teach me your way, O LORD.” So all in all it goes along with our logic to how someone with David’s heart would trust in the Lord and ask for guidance in times of trouble, but what is unusual is that in verse 14 he says “Wait for the LORD.” What does trust entail, according to David it requires us to wait, though we be in anguish, in pain, we are to “wait for the LORD,” but the waiting the world thinks is one of sitting on the couch watching TV until someone tells them that God is ready. What Psalm 27 shows us is that the waiting is focused on the stronghold of the Lord, on prayer towards the sovereignty of God, and trust in the Lord’s promises which strengthens us.


11 February 2008

Abouts:
Updated a little of the “About me” section

Articles:
True Male Friendship: Part II (The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood)

Cherishing Your Marriage (CBMW) part 1, part 2

Called to Preach (Unashamed Workman) 1: Ash On the Four Criteria, 2: The Church and the Call, 3: How They Started; I especially liked the “How they started,” section because this is when it gets personal and you get to see the criteria in action

News:
Bottom Line for (Red) (NY Times), what do you think, spending $100 million on advertising and raising $18 million for the Red AIDs campaign, if you don’t know the Red campaign it is the effort to raise money for the Research center for AIDS, where company’s participate by selling red products, like Apple with their red iPod, or Dell with Red laptops

Audios:
All the audio and transcripts of the 2008 Conference for Pastors (Desiring God) has been uploaded on the website, the theme for this year was “The Pastor as Father & Son,” and had D.A. Carson as one of their speakers

Beulah, great fun indie band, there are some youtube videos of them below. Eclectic, relaxed-summer feel, fun feel that is a little reminiscent of the early 90’s alternative pop like the upbeat side of Oasis with a little Ska like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and a little Rooney and the Shins mixed in, everything that makes a sweet indie find, plus they are from San Francisco, another bonus. Of course my description doesn’t really do them justice so just listen to them.

Messages:
The Spiritual Watch (Thomas Watson)

Keep your heart as you would keep a WATCH. The heart will unwind to the world; therefore wind it up every morning and evening by prayer. The motion of a watch is not constant: sometimes it goes fast, sometimes slower. And so it is with the heart: sometimes it goes faster in vanity and sometimes it goes slower in duty. Therefore set this spiritual watch by the sundial of the Word.

It is not a message paralleling the heart with a watch, this is just a paragraph I liked; what it is, is a exposition of Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Readings:
Mohler: Top 10 Books Every Preacher Should Read in 2008 (Between Two Worlds), even if you are not going to preach I think there are a lot of books that anyone can benefit from

I don’t like how the indent for the block quotation makes it seem that that quote has something to do with the topic above it so I wrote this so it wouldn’t look that bad

The true Christian is the only man, because he has sources of happiness entirely independent of this world. He has something which cannot be affected by sickness and by deaths, by private losses and by public calamities, the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” He has a hope laid up for him in heaven; he has a treasure which moth and rust cannot corrupt; he has a house which can never be taken down. His loving wife may die, and his heart feel rent in twain; his darling children may be taken from him, and he may be left alone in this cold world; his earthly plans may be crossed; his health may fail: but all this time he has a portion which nothing can hurt. He has one Friend who never dies; he has possessions beyond the grave, of which nothing can deprive him: his nether springs may fail, but his upper springs are never dry. This is real happiness.

-J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion

Videos:

Verses:
Galatians 6:1-3
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Recently reading Respectable Sins (Jerry Bridges) while in the envy, jealously, and competitiveness chapter I was directed to this passage. The feelings of envy, jealously, and the related all have something in common, if nurtured enough will divide brothers and sisters. These are the sins that look at others and start comparisons. Now what does it have to do with the passage, this passage leads us to humility when dealing with others, it is easy to find someone who isn’t as good as you in something, there is always that person who just isn’t that smart as you, or as mature as you are; so what does it say “if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him,” of course being human we stop reading there and finish that sentence in our own minds. “you who are spiritual should restore him,” because you are so great, now pat yourself on the back because you did something good, and they better appreciate it because they should be begging for someone like me to help them. Of course the Bible won’t have it that way, so continuing we read, “in a spirit of gentleness.” Of course rarely do we admit or say such things out loud to the person we are helping, but if you read the message up there by Thomas Watson he points out that even if you don’t verbally announce your feelings it begins with the heart, it comes from the condition of the heart and spirit, you could look perfectly clean on the outside but your heart could be a black abyss . Paul didn’t write “in the voice of gentleness,” but the “spirit.” After figuring that out we stop once again and feel that we have done right which you would not be wrong about, you have done right, but he continues “keep watch on yourself,” what?! Why do you need to address me, the other person is caught in transgression, not me?! Well, “lest you too be tempted.”


14 January 2008

Abouts:
I finally started my flickr site, although I don’t really have any of my SLR pictures on there yet, I have some pictures I took with my camera phone

Chuck (NBC) is one of my new favorite TV shows

Articles:
As it is cold season here is a list of Cold-Fighting Foods (Health)

Christless Christianity: Getting in Christ’s Way (Modern Reformation) by Michael Horton

The God of either/or (97secondswithGod), this is Prodigal Jon’s second site, I really don’t know why he has a second site, but I don’t care as long as the content is there and it is

Advice to Pastors: How to Help Your People Be More Satisfied in God (Desiring God), I think it is relevant to any serious Christian personally and it can be used to know what to expect from their own pastor

4 myths on God’s will (The Purple Cellar)

Considering Marriage? Can You Respect Him? (Making Home), an interesting article for ladies and finding the “right” guy, to the men, can you be respected? She lists a few questions at the end that a guy can take as a check list sort of and I encourage not just the ladies to read this article.

Audios:
Explosions in the Sky (Myspace), I don’t really know how to describe this style of music but it is instrumental/rock/ambient/chill kind of style, no singing, just a background soundtrack to life

Videos:

Verses/Messages:
Amos 6:4-6
Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall, who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music, who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!

When Grieving May Save Your Life
The Poor of the Land and the Pride of Jacob

Listen to Amos’ slam at the lovers of comfort in [Amos] 6:1, “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria.” Verse 4: “Woe to those who lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches.” Verse 6: ” . . . who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.” Does that refer to anyone today: people who live for comfort, and do not grieve over the lost; people who are experts in loving themselves, but have not thought the first thought about what it means to love your neighbor as yourself? What governs your getting and spending? Is it the desire to fill your little three score and ten with as much comfort as you can? Or is it the God-given desire to do as much good for others as you can to the glory of Christ? There is a warning in [Amos] 3:15 which hits so close to home in middle-class Minnesota that I hesitate to read it. But it’s here, so I will: the Lord says, “I will smite the winter house and the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall come to an end.” Take heed and guard your hearts diligently, lest you find yourselves enslaved to comfort and addicted to luxury. (Desiring God)


17 December 2007

Abouts:
It’s sad but you can kind of tell how much I didn’t want to study from this post

Articles/Thoughts:
Talking to People Rather than About Them (Desiring God), reading Respectful Sins has truly opened my eyes more to the world of sin I live in and has helped me recognize those sins in my life that I “tolerate.” It really goes back to the old repeated saying where how big your view of God is, is reflected through your life dealing with sin, and it’s so true. How holy of a God you have in mind, is reflected on how you think about sin. Is your God holy enough to say gossiping is not acceptable? Is your God holy enough to say that that pride you feel is evil? Is your God holy enough to say that calling someone fat is totally and utterly unacceptable? Do we repent when we talk behind someone’s back, do we repent when we think angry thoughts? How holy is your God?

Audios:
I think I should say a little bit more to entice you to listen to the music, to continue with the indie trend: Ingrid Michaelson, she has somewhat of an playful tone, a rockish edge sometimes shows up, but she has a nice smooth voice (keep in mind I am not a music reviewerer)

Crazy thing is all of them (Meiko, Priscilla Ahn, and Ingrid Michaelson) play regularly at The Hotel Cafe in LA, which is not where I discovered them, but when I turn 21 I will definitely head over there

Randoms:
Alarm clocks to lust after but to get angry over, if you actually owned them, my favorite would probably be the Rug Alarm, worst would be the decorating one

Rejected Star Wars toys, my favorite is the Force

25 Skills Every Man Should Know, not really, but interesting for what it is

This week’s Desiring God sale is on there Don’t Waste your Life Group Study Kit

Readings:
Her is an updated list of books Monergism suggests are Top Ten Books on Piety, Sanctification, Spiritual Growth

Videos:

Verses/Thoughts:
Philippians 3:18-21
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Looking through photos and notes and what-not on facebook, distracting myself from my studies, I found myself looking at friends who have once, maybe still do, consider themselves Christian seeing what they are doing now and how far they have gone in life. I found myself not so surprised but saddened, seeing them loving the world and everything that comes with it, playing Beer Pong, relaxing with a nice cigarette while proudly making out with their friend. (Even as it is only through facebook I see this, sometimes the subtle areas of life show the most change in someone’s life, as it is usually not a 180 turn at one specific moment, but a gradual change by change) I kept digging deeper and still more friends down that same hole, but then I looked at myself didn’t see anything too different. I am a wretched sinner that needs Christ as much as my friends do. You know the only difference I see that this passage clearly states is that we (Christians), “await a Savior.” We are looking forwards to the end, where God will be glorified through us. We need to live a life that isn’t of this world, we need to act knowing this is not our home, we need to speak as if Christ is coming in the next second, we need to “await” for our Savior, because He is the only one able to “transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body.” Sola Deo Gloria, because we sure shouldn’t have any.


10 December 2007

Abouts:
Officially typing with one hand now, anesthesia is not fun

There is probably other stuff I wanted to write, but with everything happening around me right now there isn’t much time

Ready to go home, hope driving with one hand is not illegal

If you didn’t notice Prodigal Jon left a comment…

Articles:
Mark Dever on the Five Points of Criticism, we know how to be critics, we know how to tell people what they are doing wrong, but do we know how to do it in a God glorifying manner

Ask People How You Can Pray for Them

Another person’s interpretation of what the calling of a pastor should look like

Audios:
I guess I am in my folk/chick music phase right now, Priscilla Ahn

Randoms:
Resolved 2008, same speakers as last year plus… Randy Alcorn

Desiring God is having an advent sale, where they will have an item per week for sale, last week was the book Battling Unbelief, and this week is the DVD package, Brothers—Feel, Think, Preach God 

Readings:
Taken from Pure Church:

“What the world dismisses as sheer foolishness, the foolishness of God, proves ‘wiser than man’s wisdom’ (1 Cor. 1:25). What the world writes off as hopeless weakness, the weakness of God, proves ‘stronger than man’s strength’ (1:25). This is much more radical than saying that God has more wisdom than human beings, or that he is stronger than human beings–as if we are dealing with mere degrees of wisdom and power. Now, we are dealing with polar opposites. Human ‘wisdom’ and ‘strength’ are, from God’s perspective, rebellious folly and moral weakness. And the moment when God most dramatically discloses his own wisdom and strength, the moment when his own dear Son is crucified–although it is laughed out of court by the tawdry ‘wisdom’ of this rebellious world, by the pathetic ‘strength’ of the self-deceived–is nevertheless the moment of divine wisdom and divine power. ‘For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength’ (1:25).
“For those of us in any form of Christian ministry, this lesson must constantly be reappropriated. Western evangelicalism tends to run through cycles of fads. At the moment, books are pouring off the presses telling us how to plan for success, how ‘vision’ consists in clearly articulating ‘ministry goals,’ how the knowledge of detailed profiles of our communities constitutes the keys to successful outreach. I am not for a moment suggesting that there is nothing to be learned from such studies. But after a while one may perhaps be excused for marveling how many churches were planted by Paul and Whitefield and Wesley and Stanway and Judson without enjoying these advantages. Of course all of us need to understand the people to whom we minister, and all of us can benefit from small doses of such literature. But massive doses sooner or later dilute the gospel. Ever so subtly, we start to think that success more critically depends on thoughtful sociological analysis than on the gospel; Barna becomes more important than the Bible. We depend on plans, programs, vision statements–but somewhere along the way we have succumbed to the temptation to displace the foolishness of the cross with the wisdom of strategic planning. Again, I insist, my position is not a thinly veiled plea for obscurantism, for seat-of-the-pants ministry that plans nothing. Rather, I fear that the cross, without ever being disowned, is constantly in danger of being dismissed from the central place it must enjoy, by relatively peripheral insights that take on far too much weight. Whenever the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry.”

From D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, pp. 25-26).

Videos:

Verses:
Ecclesiastes 4:7-12
Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

This week is “meditate and come up with your own thought for the passage” week


4 December 2007

Abouts:
Alright trying to put this blog back up and running as smoothly as a man with 1 hand and 1 finger can, I will probably describe less though

Not late 11:48pm, still Monday…

Articles/Audios:
Book vs e-Document, personally I find that the book is the winner, but having the internet with it’s endless sources has pulled me away from books a little, but still there is something about physical ownership that gets me

Some more Prodigal Jon stuff, I think I will just put him in the links section now: “The power of e.” and “I speak. I detox. I cut my arm off with a Swiss army knife.

A very interesting article with a title that I don’t even need to describe, “What Would Jesus Bomb,” I put a link to link of the article because I think that Justin Taylor has highlighted the section I was going to anyways

Boasting in Lesser Loves

Continuing on the topic here is an interview with C.J. Mahaney on Biblical Masculinity, sort of long, but worth it, here is the audio

Messages:
Good thing this doesn’t need much of a description, “‘Month of Man’ address” by Dr. Ray Van Neste, for boys who need to be men and need a little guidance, it is a transcript of a message, so if you rather hear it you have that option

Readings:
A section from Francis Turretin’s “Institutes of Elenctic Theology” on a reading outline for the Holy Scriptures, guess what was just added to my book list

Another addition I must add to the list, “The Works of Andrew Fuller

Videos:

Verses:
Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake

What comes to mind when someone says “grant?” Being in college and poor I think of California grant, it’s that state funding for those who had some score on some test and then they give them $2 to give the state an excuse to say they help their students, but I’m going off on a tangent. The important thing is that that $2 is considered a grant is because it is  something wanted that is offered and something needed that is given. The Greek root for the word used for “grant” here comes from the word for “grace.” Which we usually associate with forgiveness, the ultimate gift, the ultimate grant. But in this verse what is granted to us is not only the gift of knowledge but to also suffer. It’s not you have to suffer for His sake, it’s you can suffer for His sake. You, as a believer, are given the opportunity to suffer for Christ. But what kind of reward is that? What kind of privilege is that? Sounds totally idiotic but “now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:24)