Get the book here

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Are We Ministering the Way Jesus Did?

Read this carefully...

“Jesus’s teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day. However, in the main, our churches today do not have this effect. The kind of outsiders Jesus attracted are not attracted to contemporary churches, even our most avant-garde ones. We tend to draw conservative, buttoned-down, moralistic people. The licentious and liberated or the broken and marginal avoid church. That can only mean one thing. If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners do not have the same effect on people that Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message that Jesus did.”

- Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Universal Harmony of the Good Kind!

Wow. I don't know why I didn't see this earlier. Way cool!

There IS Power in the Blood!

Ministry Defined

Re-reading Warren Wiersbe's On Being a Servant of God. There are few books I recommend for everyone; this is one.

Here is his definition of ministry, worthy of contemplation, memorization, and action:

"Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Coming Death of Evangelicalism thinks evangelicalism is dying. Here is one of his observations that, for me, is hard to argue:

2) Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people the evangelical Christian faith in an orthodox form that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. In what must be the most ironic of all possible factors, an evangelical culture that has spent billions of youth ministers, Christian music, Christian publishing and Christian media has produced an entire burgeoning culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures that they will endure.

Do not be deceived by conferences or movements that are theological in nature. These are a tiny minority of evangelicalism. A strong core of evangelical beliefs is not present in most of our young people, and will be less present in the future. This loss of “the core” has been at work for some time, and the fruit of this vacancy is about to become obvious.


Monday, January 26, 2009

This Guy Doesn't Blame Obama

"In the end, I don't blame Obama. He has always been an abortion absolutist, he has only supported legislation that expanded abortion so I had to laugh when he claimed (like all pro Choicers) that we can all agree that abortions should be reduced... apparently by massive expansion around the world. I can't wait to see what he means by "tax cut"."

- Doug Tennapel, Filmmaker

The article from which this quote is taken is a bit harsh, but if you have enough courage read it HERE

THINKABOUTIT - Songs We Shouldn't Sing?

I have a standard line, brought about by being "on support" for over thirty years and from a couple decades working with Christian radio - "I hate money and I hate music; no matter what you do, you are wrong!"

That said, here's some thought-provoking stuff from James McDonald:

Sunday, January 25, 2009


“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
- Donald Arthur (D.A.) Carson

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jason Castro - More than Just a Smile

I liked watching this guy last year...and now that I've seen this I know why:

THINKABOUTIT - Smuggling Your Soul?

“The real problem of Christianity is not atheism or scepticism, but the non-witnessing Christian trying to smuggle his own soul into heaven.”
- James S. Stewart

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Here's another quote from Michael Horton's "CHRISTLESS CHRISTIANITY":

"The proper preaching of the law - God's holiness, righteousness, glory, and justice - will not creat an us versus them self-righteousness but will expose the best works, done from the best motives of the best among us, as filthy rags before God's searching judgment. Bad-law preaching levels some of us; Osteen's omission of the law levels none of us; biblical preaching of the law levels all of us."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Duh. Obviously this inauguration day is historic. As was December 7, 1941; September 11, 2001, November 22, 1963.

Joab was not exactly a pillar of good character, but his words, recorded in 2 Samuel 10.12 are appropriate:

"Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people...and may the Lord do what seems good to Him."

Monday, January 19, 2009


This line runs through my mind every time I hear someone say, "It's not my fault..."

"I figure if we are prisoners of the past, we are jailers as well."
Jack Kerley, "The Hundredth Man"

Friday, January 16, 2009

THINKABOUTIT - Crutch or Stretcher?

I've been told my faith is a which I reply, "No, man, if it were a crutch I'd be doing something to help; my faith in the Christ of the gospel is more like a stretcher...He does it all ("salvation is of the Lord)!"

Reading a tough book by Michael Horton titled "Christless Christianity" (Baker Books, 2008).

Here's a quote that reminded me of the crutch/stretcher:

"...grace is primarily seen by evangelicals as much as by the medieval church as divine assistance for the process of moral transformation rather than as a one-sided divine rescue."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Remembering This Keeps Grace Amazing!

"My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Saviour." - John Newton at age 82

Retirement = Reassignment

Props to Tony Dungy. The former Indianapolis Colts coach resigned at age 53. As I scanned articles it was refreshing to see unanimous commendations of this vocal Christian who also happened to be the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl.

Tony is burdened for youngsters growing up in fatherless homes and will probably be more heavily involved in outreach to that group. He also will continue working with prison ministry.

His book, "Quiet Strength," though not the best written, is encouraging and insightful.

As he leaves football behind, many will remember that he frequently said his priorities were "Faith, Family, Football."

Body Count Addiction - THINKABOUTIT

I recognize that my tour-of-duty in Vietnam makes me nervous about "numbers," "decisions," also known as "body counts."

"Fourteen saved, three assurances, and five dedications" is a common refrain amongst evangelicals. Certainly these numbers may provide a glimpse of what is happening; but too often they become an indicator of "success" in ministry.

Thus this is food for careful thought:

"There are evangelicals who are so earnest in calling for decisions for Jesus that they seem to forget to tell people why they should decide for Jesus. I remember listening to a speaker at an evangelistic meeting whose only mention of the death of Jesus was a passing reference in his closing prayer. I was acting as an advisor to follow up on the after-meeting counseling. I spoke to a young couple who had heard the talk, gone out to the front, been 'counseled' and then brought to me. They obviously had not heard any gospel in either the address or the counseling. They had no idea about being justified by faith in the doing and dying of Christ. It seems the decision can become everything. People are exhorted to turn to Christ, to receive Christ, to ask Jesus into their hearts, and the like, even when they have been given no substantial idea at all of who Jesus was and what He has done to save us."

Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, 173-74

Monday, January 12, 2009

Keith Green - Make My Life A Prayer To You (live)

It's been three decades since Keith's death...but hopefully his music finds new ears..these old ears were reminded of this song randomly today...ministered to me, so I share it with thee:

THINKABOUTIT - Is there a Difference between the "simple" gospel and The Gospel?

This will take some time to chew on; for those serious about the preservation and transmission of truth, it is worth the struggle:

"For complex reasons many in the Western church came to speak of ‘the simple gospel’, by which they at one time meant the gospel summarized in convenient and simple form, usually for evangelistic purposes. The result is that for many today ‘the gospel’ or ‘gospel preaching’ refers not to the glorious, comprehensive good news disclosed in scripture but to a very simple (some would say simplistic) reduction of it. Some churches distinguished between ‘worship services’ and ‘gospel services’: one wonders which term, ‘worship’ or ‘gospel’, has been more seriously abused. Doubtless the motives behind these developments were often excellent. But the fact remains that a variety of serious problems were thereby introduced. For many, evangelistic preaching became identified with simplistic preaching. Worse, ‘the gospel’ came to be associated in their minds exclusively with the initial steps of faith rather than with God’s comprehensive good news that not only initiates salvation but orders all our life in this world and the next."

–D. A. Carson, “The Biblical Gospel,” in For Such a Time as This: Perspectives on Evangelicalism, Past, Present and Future (ed. Steve Brady and Harold Rowdon; London: Evangelical Alliance, 1996), 82.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


“Fear of God has two aspects. The first is reverence. It is a sacred awe of God’s utter holiness. It involves the kind of respect and veneration that results in fear in the presence of such absolute majesty. The second aspect is fear of God’s displeasure. Genuine faith acknowledges God’s right to chasten, His right to punish, and His right to judge.”
- John MacArthur

Saturday, January 10, 2009

THINKABOUTIT - Confessing Righteousness and Repentance from Conviction

“Before you can ever make a clean and unamended confession of your sin, you have to first begin by confessing your righteousness. It’s not just your sin that separates you from God, your righteousness does as well. Because, when you are convinced you are righteous, you don’t seek the forgiving, rescuing, and restoring mercy that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”
- John Tripp

“Repentance out of mere fear is really sorrow for the consequences of sin, sorrow over the danger of sin — it bends the will away from sin, but the heart still clings. But repentance out of conviction over mercy is really sorrow over sin, sorrow over the grievousness of sin — it melts the heart away from sin. It makes the sin itself disgusting to us, so it loses its attractive power over us. We say, ‘this disgusting thing is an affront to the one who died for me. I’m continuing to stab him with it!’”

- Timothy Keller, Church Planter Manual

Friday, January 9, 2009


I wish I'd quit using the word "god."

It is nebulous, like "okay" in response to "how are you?"

Means nothing. Over ninety percent of Americans believe in "god."

Talk about "god" all day long; no one gets upset. Talk about Jesus and the stuff hits the fan. "one of them" "Right wing fanatic" "fundamentalist" etc...

But talking about "how much I love god" and "god means so much to me" is not helpful since the word means nothing.

If the Son of Man be lifted up...

Brag on Jesus.

There is a reason it's called CHRISTianity.

ADDENDUM Here's an example, I just got this:
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote in an E-mail to supporters this week. "The government has eliminated God from the classroom and too often replaced Him with an anti-life, anti-family curriculum that misses life's deepest meaning."

Okay, Tony's statement may be true, but, first, government can not ban the Lord...secondly, whose "god"? Allah? The Jehoveh's Witness' version? In no way am I dissing Tony...I'm simply trying to point out that god-talk is non-talk. We need to do some mental "find and replace" (for those who use Word!) and look for "god" and replace with "Jesus."

What Can I Do For You, Lord?

This old(er) song keeps running through my head when I's cool to ask/beg for His blessing and provision, but this perspective needs to envelope prayers...

No Cross To Bear = No Growth to Share

An antique song has a lyric that says, "If it wasn't for our problem, we wouldn't know that God could solve them."

Charles Spurgeon explains:

I believe the hard heartest, most cross grained and most unloving Christians in all the world are those who have not had much trouble in their life. And those that are the most sympathizing, loving and Christlike are generally those who have the most affliction.

"The worse thing that can happen to any of us is to have a path made too smooth.
One of the greatest blessings the Lord ever gave us was a cross."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Daily Discipline for Delighted Duty

“Preaching the gospel to myself each day nourishes within me a holy brazenness to believe what God says, enjoy what He offers, and do what He commands. Admittedly, I don’t deserve to be a child of God and I don’t deserve to be free of sin’s guilt and power. I don’t deserve the staggering privilege of intimacy with God, nor any other blessing that Christ has purchased for me with His blood. I don’t deserve to be useful to God. But by the grace of God I am what I am and I have what I have, and I hereby resolve not to let any portion of God’s grace prove vain in me! And to the degree that I fail to live up to this resolve, I will boldly take for myself the forgiveness that God says is mine and continue walking in His grace. This is my manifesto, my daily resolve; and may God be glorified by this confidence that I place in Him.”

- Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians (Focus Publishing, 2008), 52.

BY THE WAY, 'A GOSPEL PRIMER' IS FANTASTIC! For ordering information email If you do so, mention you got sent from this site :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Our Creator is Amazing

National Geographic displays some of the Lord's amazing creations here. I encourage you to take a few minutes to marvel, be awed, and thank the Lord that "all things were created by Him and through Him and for Him."

Satan's Significant Strategy - THINKABOUTIT

“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom but he trembles when we pray.”
- Samuel Chadwick

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Not only THINKABOUTIT, but take-action-about-it (I am preaching to me, as well as to thee!)

Truett Cathey, founder of Chick-Fil-A , remarked,

“How do you identify someone who needs encouragement? They are breathing.”

A Regular Day in an Israeli Town

Of course spin is spin, whether it is CNN or Fox, or anyone else...O'Reilly says he has a "no-spin" zone; but that is an unrealistic goal.
Here is an Israeli "spin"...but there is too much truth here:

The Omission in the Commission

What's the "great commission"?

Did you include "obedience" in your definition?

Or is that the "omission" in the "commission"?

Here it is in the ESV (Matthew 28, 19,20) Go therefore and make disciples (not "decisions") of all nations...teaching them to observe (obey) all that I have commanded you."

I was reminded of this as I read Romans 15 this morning.

In verse 18 Paul states, "For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience - by word and deed,"

Yup, we are saved by grace through faith, but saved for the purpose of bringing forth good works. (Eph 2.8-10)

Work on!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Fear of God and Forgiveness

“Do you ever think that your sins are too bad, and that forgiveness for those sins requires you to get your act together first? If so, you don’t fear God. You are minimizing his forgiveness. You are acting as though his forgiveness is ordinary, just like that of any person or make-believe god. In contrast, the fear of the Lord leads us to believe that when God makes promises too good to be true, they are indeed true.”

- Ed Welch, Running Scared (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2007), 195.


The number of abortions since Roe V Wade in 1973 approaches 50,000,000! The photo is of a 9-week old aborted baby.

Proverbs 24:10-12:

If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thoughts on Church Hunting

With the move from NY to MO, the top item of business is to find a church to call home. We have visited a few, none "bad," but none appear (yet) to be right fit.

A couple churches fell into the "less than ideal" category simply by being either rude, inefficient, or both. I called one asking for details on their CHRISTmas eve service on Dec 22, and never got an answer. I called two others to ask about children's ministry; got no answer in a three day period.

I know many churches don't have paid secretarial staff; but if you aren't going to answer your messages, don't give the option. There may be a lot of excuses, but there are no reasons for rudeness. In the case of the CHRISTmas eve question, even if they for some reason didn't get the message until after the fact, a twenty second "I'm sorry I didn't get back to you; our offices were closed for the week" or something like that would have helped.

Churches, like people, never have a second chance to make a good first impression.

Who was Lost?

I chuckle when I hear people say, "I was 17 when I found Jesus," or "I was 42 when I discovered Jesus..."

Oops...Guess what? He wasn't lost...we were! The hound of heaven finds us. (praise His name that His "mission statement" was/is "to seek and save that which was lost.")

C. S Lewis says it far better than I:

“Amiable agnostics will talk cheerfully about man’s search for God. For me, they might as well talk about the mouse’s search for a cat…God closed in on me.”

Saturday, January 3, 2009


“The essence of the Christian religion consists in this: that the creation of the Father, devastated by sin, is restored in the death of the Son of God, and recreated by the Holy Spirit into the kingdom of God.”

- Herman Bavinck, as quoted by Michael D. Williams in Far As the Curse is Found

Friday, January 2, 2009

Whatcha Gonna Read This Year?

The figures are dismal...most adults don't read. Ever. Some may read one book a year.

Yet books are powerful tools...if used. In the 14th century, writer, monk and bishop Richard de Bury said, "Books are masters who instruct us without words or anger, without bread or money. If you approach them, they are not asleep. If you seek them, they do not hide, if you blunder, they do not scold, if you are ignorant, they do not laugh at you."

You don't even have to plug a book in!

There are several great books located in my "carousel" to the left. If you need a recommendation, ask!

But'll never "find" time to read; you need to make time to read.

And avoid the danger of reading books about the Book rather than the Book!