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

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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.”


Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge Psalm 16:1

12 May 2008

Articles:
What Is the Most Crying Need of the Church in America Today? (Between Two Worlds) Answered by the Gospel Coalition

Don’t Miss How God Motivates (Desiring God)

The Purpose of a Seminary

Advice for Seminary Students with Families (& Full-Time Jobs), most of his points are applicable to anyone actually, I also like the article he links to, so check those out if you have time

Don’t Waste Your Summer (9 Resolutions)

Quality Down Time (Going to Seminary)

Readings:
The Moral Basis of Faith by Tom Wells (Monergism)

Random:
My love of Star Wars and Photography mashed together, originals and artist’s site

Videos:
Alistair Begg on Preaching (1)

Alistair Begg on Preaching (2)

Verses:
Psalm 96:7
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!

How Do You “Give” God Strength? (Desiring God)

In our giving heed to God’s power there rises up in us a realization that God created the universe for this: So that we could have the supremely satisfying experience of not being God, but admiring the Godness of God—the strength of God. There settles over us a peaceful realization that admiration of the infinite is the final end of all things.


Hallowed Be Thy Name

5 May 2008

Articles:
Late Night in Dever’s Study–Mohler on reform (9 Marks) A nice quick quote from Al mohler

How To Listen To A Sermon (The Reformed Reader)

Dispensationalism – A critique of Classic Dispensationalism (Monergism)

Who or What Defines “Reformed?” (Heidelblog)

News:
Wheaton College professor’s divorce costs him his job (Chicago Tribune) I’m glad Wheaton is not conforming and molding to this world’s ideas of qualifications for teachers

Readings:
Good stuff from Horatius Bonar

Scripture is wonderfully balanced in all its parts; let our study of it be the same that we may be well-balanced men. The study of prophetic word must not supersede that of the Proverbs, nor must we search the latter merely to discover the traces of the ‘higher doctrines’ which may be found in that book. We must not overlook the homely, and the little, and the common; we must stoop to the petty moralities, and courtesies, and honesties of tamer life, not neglecting those parts of Scripture which treat of these as vapid or obsolete, but bringing them to bear upon each step of our daily walk, and delighting in them as the wisdom of the God only wise. There is a vitiated literary taste, arising not so much from reading what is bad, as from exclusive study of one class of books, and these perhaps the more exciting. There is also a vitiated spiritual taste, not necessarily growing out of error or the study of unsound books, but arising from favouritism in the reading of Scripture, which shows itself both in the preference of certain parts to others, and in the propensity to search these others only for their references to certain favourite truths. Let the whole soul be fed by the study of the whole Bible, that so there may be no irregularity not inequality in the growth of its parts and powers. Let us beware of ‘itching’ ears and eyes. True, we must not be ‘babes,’ unable to relish strong meat, and ‘unskilful in the word of righteousness’ (Heb. 5:13). But we need to beware of the soarings of an ill-balanced theology and an ill-kint creed. True Christianity is healthy and robust, not soft, nor sickly, not sentimental; yet, on the other hand, not hard, nor lean, nor ill-favoured, nor ungenial.

– Horatius Bonar, God’s Way of Holiness, 109-110

Random:
If I have it my way and I have at least $7,000 to spend on a photographer I want Cliff Mautner to photograph my wedding, and no I didn’t find him because I was searching for wedding photographers I found him through photo articles. Favorite picture in his portfolio. I think I have to add wedding photographer now to my dream jobs.

Videos:
The Bravery – Believe

I love macs!

Verses:
1 Peter 3:13-17
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

Christ Is Hallowed in Us When We Hope in Him (Desiring God)

The great central heartbeat of Christianity is that Jesus Christ, the Savior and Lord, is exalted and hallowed and sanctified by the happy hope that his people put in him. And he shines all the brighter when our hope is fearless and well-defended and meek and zealous for good deeds.


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.