Wednesday, December 19, 2007

MA party

We had our work Christmas party two nights ago. It was a ton of fun.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A great Huckabee response

I think this is a little old, but I thought he was right on.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Burned by the church

Lately, I've been hit a lot by the truth that many have been burned by "the church." I met someone last night at dinner who had been. I met someone else today who had a rough experience. And I read about it on a blog today. It's everywhere. It's a very sad reality. But the reason I put the term in quotes is because there are so many people who are masquerading as the real thing and there is no transformation going on in their lives. Some people blatantly don't care, and some really have good intentions of following after God, but are misinformed about what that looks like.

At first, I become prideful that I know the real thing. I consider myself a thoughtful Christian, one who has wrestled through different truth claims and have come to understand that the message Jesus Christ is Truth. But when I reflect on the grace imparted to me when I was God's enemy, I begin to be humbled. And I begin to really hurt for people who think they've seen people who have met Christ, and have nothing to do with the claims of Christianity today because they don't want to associate themselves with those "self-righteous jerks."

My heart aches. And I long for the day when the true church of America will shine more brightly and the dividing line between Christian and non-Christian will be much more distinct (more like the other countries of the world). When it isn't easy to associate yourself with the church, because of the persecution that could come from it. I long for that day because then people can take a more honest look at the church and see the people of God for who they really are (and hopefully be attracted to it instead of repulsed). We're normal, screwed people, but who have been transformed by the gospel of Christ. And then conversations can be had about Truth, because no one feels the guilt anymore that comes from the hypocrisy of been associated with the church while at the same time not knowing God at all.

I don't really know how to end this. So, I'll just say my desire is to love people well. I want to be up front with everyone about my short-comings and how I haven't done anything to earn the wonderful gift of salvation.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Gabe Lyons, co-author to the book Unchristian, speaks on CNN about his book. I've heard good things about the book, and after watching this video, I was a little more intrigued. I think he has some good things to say.

Thanks Steve.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bert's Bacholer Celebration

Bert's getting married next weekend. It was fun to celebrate his life at little bit last night. Old college friends (and some new) hanging around playing poker, recalling crazy stories, playing Halo till 3:30 in the morning, praying over Bert, and sleeping 12 to a two bedroom place. There's nothing like that kind of community.

Also, who knew jumping in Lake Hartwell at 1 am in 40 degree weather would be refreshing? Pics here

Thursday, December 06, 2007

UGA's bowl game

Though the opportunity to play an undefeated Hawaii in a BCS bowl is exciting, most UGA fans are disapointed we didn't get a shot at the title. Here's an article I found from Bert's blog that does a good job of showing some of the inconsistencies of keeping the Bulldogs out of the title game. And even though I grew up a loyal LSU fan being from Louisiana, my alma mater ties still leave my somewhat disappointed.

Here's a teaser:
Georgia got jumped without losing a game or even playing one. LSU was hoisted above the Bulldogs on the dubious strength of a seven-point victory in a game it was favored to win by 7 1/2 points. Georgia was No. 4 in the BCS standings last week — LSU was No. 7 — and two of the top three teams lost. Simple math should have put the Bulldogs in the title game. Turns out the BCS flunked math as well as logic.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Phil Wickham

I've been listening to Phil Wickham's new CD "Cannons" recently, and have enjoyed a lot of it. There are two ballads new the end that are incredible. Check out "Beautiful" and "True Love" if you can. Here's a couple lines from "True Love"

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers broken heart
tears were filling heavens eyes
The day that true love died, the day that true love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, The day that true love died

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Faith and Reason

I was perusing Arnold's blog yesterday and I ran across this speech delivered by the Pope, a little over a year ago. Arnold's post on the juxtaposition of religion in and of itself was intriguing, but I would just like to further point out a section of the Pope's speech that I enjoyed.
The scientific ethos, moreover, is - as you yourself mentioned, Magnificent Rector - the will to be obedient to the truth, and, as such, it embodies an attitude which belongs to the essential decisions of the Christian spirit. The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening
our concept of reason and its application. While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them. We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically falsifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith.

Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world's profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. At the same time, as I have attempted to show, modern scientific reason with its intrinsically Platonic element bears within itself a question which points beyond itself and beyond the possibilities of its methodology. Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based.

The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur - this is the programme with which a theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. "Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God", said Manuel II, according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian interlocutor. It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bitter Providences

I was reminded by Caroline's latest blog entry that is not always easy to feel thankful for things during Thanksgiving, or any time for that matter. Sometimes, life seems to be dealing you a bad hand, directly, or maybe indirectly through family and friends. Because of this, it's hard to recognize any good in your life. And all this reminds me of a guy named William Cowper.

William lived in the mid to late 1700s. He was a Christian, but one who battled with depression all his life. He was a poet who also ended up writing many hymns, including his most famous, "There is a fountain." He lived with his good friend John Newton most of his life who loved him well during his dark days.

He wrote a hymn called "God moves in a mysterious way" the day before he fell into his greatest depression that lasted until he died. It is a hymn that has greatly comforted me during my darker days over the last several years. It is reminiscent of Jeremiah's Lamentations, when, after he groans over his life devoid of happiness, he says this:
"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."

So let this hymn remind you, Christian, that now matter how hard things seem to be in your life, God is always sovereign and working all things out for your greater good, your richer joy, and for His greater glory.

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill.
He treasures up His bright designs and works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, the clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour.
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.

Here's Piper's bio of WIlliam.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

John Piper and Thanksgiving

For those of you who don't know that I'm a big fan of John're a little out of the loop. For about 5 years now I've been blessed to be able to learn from him and his teaching, delivered to me via DG's website. I've listened to most every one of his sermons from the last 10 years, including a 8 year trek through the book of Romans. This has happened mostly via my Ipod to and from work.

The above picture encapsulates well why I very much appreciate him and his teaching. It has been through his teaching that I have been helped to look to Christ and to know His great love for me. John explains the Word with such passion and insight, through such great humility. He continues to help me see God more clearly and vividly. He excites within me the desire to know God more fully. His love for the Word, God's sovereignty, reformed doctrine, and most especially the gospel has radically shaped me in who I am, and what I believe, today. Most of what God has done in my life spiritually in the last several years, he has used him.

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't worship him. Instead, God has used him to help me worship Christ more fully and deeply. And as Thanksgiving is coming up, I'll leave with you two of his best sermons surrounding Thanksgiving. Enjoy. And let your heart rejoice this week as you consider all that God in Christ has done for you.
Thankful for the Love of God. Why?.

Thank God for the Mercies of Christ.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Turner's Creed

The following quote (somewhat edited) is taken out of Ravi's book "Can man live without God?" It basically sums up, in satire, the creed of the modern (postmodern) man. And if you get A.D.D. and can't read all of it, at least read the last paragraph.

by Steve Turner

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes
UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.

If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that
is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly. The universe will readjust.
History will alter.

We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.
If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky

and when you hear:
State of Emergency! Sniper Kills Ten! Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting! Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man worshipping his maker.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Garrett at Smith's this Friday

If your in the Atlanta area Friday night, make sure you come and see Garrett Moore. He's playing at Smith's Olde Bar in the Brookwood area. The show starts at 8. See you then. Directions here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Global Warming

The founder of the Weather Channel has recently commented on the Global Warming issue. He says:
"It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM."

Does this mean that all the politicians and actors are wrong about the issue? Couldn't be. Surely they know more about the weather than this guy. (To be read with sarcastic tone) Read more here.

Via Tim.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Irony in Modern Intellectual Progress

I've been reading a book called The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas. It was Arnold's idea, and a good idea at that. It's just been slow moving.

Anyway, the subtitle is "Understanding the Ideas that have shaped our Worldview." It particularly focuses on the worldview that us "Westerners" operate in. I read this quote tonight:
" was the irony of modern intellectual progress that man's genius discovered successive principles of determinism...that steadily attenuated belief in his own rational and volitional freedom, while eliminating his sense of being anything more than a peripheral and transient accident of material evolution."

Now you know why it has been taking me so long to get through it. Good quote though. It points to the fallacy of naturalism and such a high regard for the intellect.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Paste Magazine

For those of you who don't have a subscription yet, Paste Magazine just made it so you can name your own price for a year subscription. And if you don't know, it's a music magazine that is excellent at introducing new, up and coming artists, as well as talking about bands that have been around for a while. Their tagline, "signs of life in music, film, and culture," pretty much sums up how they differentiate from other magazines (thanks MV).   They seek to give great insight into what really inspires the music that is created.  This is a great time to check it out.  

Saint Augustine

I was flipping through one of my favorite books today. It's called Confessions by St. Augustine. It was written over 1600 years ago, and still has some incredible thoughts for us today. I encourage you to read it if you haven't yet. Here's a good thought:
“It is not for nothing, not mere chance, that the towering authority of the Christian faith has spread throughout the world. God would never have done so much, such wonderful things for us if the life of the soul came to an end with the death of the body. Why then do I delay? Why do I not abandon my worldly hopes and give myself up entirely to the search for God and the life of true happiness.?”

He was writing these words as a non-Christian. But, they hit me today because although I am a Christian, I seem to forget a lot that true happiness is found in Christ. I often turn to cisterns that can hold no water, desperately searching out that which can give me life. And I forget that God Himself is the true source of my everlasting joy.
"Thou has formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee."
- Augustine

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Very Nice...I like

UGA 42 - Florida 30
What a great celebration

I want to hug Knowshon too.

I'm a happy guy

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mike Huckabee

The presidential race is well underway. And though I am not fully convinced of the candidate for me, I have been impressed with what I've seen about Mike Huckabee. Here's a pretty good blog post that sums up what he's all about. And here's the intro from Justin, Joe, and Matthew:

"When it comes to politics, we three are pragmatic idealists. We are dedicated to the pursuit of noble principles and goals while never forgetting that politics is the "art of the possible." Because we are idealists we are choosing to endorse a candidate who most aligns with our principles and values and is most worthy of our sacred trust. Because we are pragmatists we are choosing to endorse the one candidate who we believe is most capable of defeating Sen. Hillary Clinton."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rosie Thomas...and loneliness

I went to Eddie's Attic last night, along with Bailey and Evan, and saw a pretty incredible show. I went for the amazing voice and songwriting ability of the opener, Rosie Thomas, and was quite thrilled to be able to experience her musical talent. However, Bailey assured me that I would not be disappointed with the main act, Over the Rhine. And I definitely was not. You should check them both out.

Moving back to Rosie, she has a song called "Say Hello" that I'm quite fond of. She didn't play it last night, but I just wanted to point some lyrics within the song. She says:
"Loneliness is just a crime, look each other in the eye...and say hello."

I like that line. It's very true. Eye contact is such a simple way to care for someone who you might not even know.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

History of Religion

For those of you interested in a quick version of the spread of religions around the world, check this out:
Thanks to Justin for the link

Willing to be saved by grace

I listened to a song called "Draw my soul to thee" this morning by a favorite group of mine,Red Mountain Music. In it these lyrics really stuck out to me:

"Bid me seek Thy smiling face;
Willing to be saved by grace"

and later
"Teach me to confide in Thee; Thy salvation's wholly free."

These lyrics struck me because most of the time recently, I have not been willing to be saved by grace alone. I find it more comfortable to try to do good things. And of course, when I fail, I suffer much guilt and shame because I can't measure up.

So, that's my prayer today. That I would be willing to let myself to rely completely on Christ's work for my salvation and standing before God.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

DG conference 2007

Though I didn't get to go to the Desiring God conference this year, I did take full advantage of the audio resources on their website. I wanted to highlight three talks that I listened to that are well worth hearing:
Four Essentials to Finishing Well by Jerry Bridges
A Call for the Perseverance of the Saints by Helen Roseveare
and of course
Getting Old for the Glory of God by John Piper.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

A new addition to my blog

Be sure to check out the new addition to my blog. It's the Recently Read section and is found on the right below my currently reading stuff. Here I intend to rate and briefly review recent books that I have read. My hope is to encourage you to read well. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Embracing Accusation

So, after about a month of listening to it, the new Shane and Shane CD is great! There is one song in particular, lately, that has really given me much encouragement. It's called "Embracing Accusation" (much thanks to Aaron for pointing it out.) Here are some of the lyrics:

"Father of lies...saying,
'cursed are the ones who can’t abide.'
He’s right, hallelujah, he’s right.
The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed,
that I am cursed and gone astray.
I cannot gain salvation...
Embracing accusation.

The devil’s singing over me an age old song
that I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently over me,
he’s forgotten the refrain...
Jesus Saves!"
Being very aware of my sin this week, despair began sinking in. The self-talk is very loud, "David, you are so messed up. How can you call yourself a Christian?" Thankfully, the Truth of the gospel hit me in a very fresh way through the words of this song. I am so grateful, not that I do sin, but that sin gives me the privilege of relying fully on Christ for redemption. Man, how freeing it is to know that my sin has nothing to do now with my standing before God. My salvation is already secured in Christ's redeeming work.

So, next time, when "Satan tempts you to despair and tells you of the guilt within," remember that "God the just is satisfied, to look on Christ and pardon you."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Solitude pt. 2

About a year ago, I posted a quote by Os Guinness about solitude. I just recently read another very intriguing paragraph by Dallas Willard (in the Divine Conspiracy). What he says really hits me right now, because I haven't had much of this kind of time. Even when I do manage to create some solitude, my mind is often racing around, making sure I have all my future plans in order. I really needed to be reminded that I am not in control.
"[Solitude and silence] take the world off our shoulders for a time and interrupt our habit of constantly managing things, of being in control, or thinking we are. One of the greatest of spiritual attainments is the capacity to do nothing. Thus the Christian philosopher Pascal insightfully remarks, 'I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they are unable to stay quietly in their own room.'"

Monday, October 01, 2007

Robby Seay and Brandon Heath

Robby Seay and Brandon Heath are playing Tuesday night (10-2) at Perimeter Church. It should be a great night. Everyone in the area, be sure to make it out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brain McLaren's new book

Tim Challies recently reviewed Brian McLaren's new book "Everything Must Change." In the review, he mentions countless dangerous ideas held in the book.

For those of you unaware, Brain McLaren is the leader of the Emerging Church movement. Also associated with this movement are prominent leaders and pastors such as Rob Bell and Tony Jones. This is a recent movement that is encouraging others to value relationships over Truth, and is also revamping the traditional view of salvation in Christ. I realize some of my readers are at least somewhat involved in this movement, so please tell me if I am being too subjective here. And I would appreciate any feedback.

Moving on to the book, Mclaren states that:
"With no apologies to Martin Luther, John Calvin, or modern evangelicalism, Jesus (in Luke 16:9) does not prescribe hell to those who refuse to accept the message of justification by grace through faith, or to those who are predestined for perdition, or to those who don't express faith in a favored atonement theory by accepting Jesus as their 'personal savior.' Rather, hell--literally or figurative--is for the rich and comfortable who proceed on their way without concern for their poor neighbor day after day."
Tim summarizes views on heaven, hell, and salvation with this:
"Rather than being eternal realities, heaven and hell become states we create on this earth as we pursue or deny the kingdom of God. Because Jesus' message is not one of sinful men becoming reconciled to a holy God through an atoning sacrifice, those of any creed can seek and participate in the kingdom. People of other creeds may well be participating in it more fully and more purely than ones who claim to be Christians. Men and women of all creeds can be followers of Jesus living out the kingdom of God even if they have never heard His name."

Wow!!! Tim sums up the book with this statement:
"It seems increasingly clear that the new kind of Christian McLaren seeks is no kind of Christian at all. The church on the other side of his reinvention is a church devoid of the glorious gospel of Christ's atoning death. It is a church utterly stripped of its power because it is a church stripped of the gospel message. McLaren's new gospel is a social gospel, a liberal gospel and, in fact, no gospel at all. This Emerging Church has managed to do something remarkable--it has emerged into something the church has already seen, has already wrestled with, and has already defeated. The Emerging Church has gone suicidal."

The reason I point these things out is not to create arguments for arguments sake. The Truth is a very sacred thing, and I am interested in knowing God and the gospel as explained in the Bible. Obviously, some might point out that I have a skewed view because of my theological presuppositions, or just by the fact that I was born in the late 21st century. But as I explained in a recent post, my pursuit and understanding of Truth is only further confirmed by the history of the church throughout the ages.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Billy Graham, C. Hitchens, and Woody Allen?

I found this info. from a great blog that I read called Looking Closer.

This short Time article shows how Christopher Hitchens, a famous atheist, had some unflattering words towards Billy Graham. The article states that Hitchens uses evidence that actually proves himself wrong. And it also shows what conviction Billy had in sharing the gospel as the Bible presented it, rather than conforming his message into what the itching ears of the masses wanted to hear.

Also, Looking Closer provided these two videos that were really cool.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Props to Evan

So, my buddy Evan McHugh played a show last night at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta and he get a pretty cool write-up from the AJC.
"Atlantan McHugh's "From the Second Chair" is a little marvel. If any major label A&R department heard this and passed, they should be flogged. The songs are smart and memorable. The musicianship and arrangements couldn't be more luscious if they were drenched in butter, recalling the best moments of David Gray and Damien Rice. But it's McHugh's swoon-worthy voice that steals the show."

Wow...I couldn't agree more. Especially the part about the butter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reading tips

I like reading a lot, as mentioned earlier. And I found this article of reading tips to be very helpful. In the article Tim Challies list 10 ways to read more books and to read them better, or as I would like to say, to read books more better. :)

I'll list the tips here, but check out the article for more info.
2)Read widely
3)Read deliberately
4)Read interactively
5)Read with discernment
6)Read heavy books
7)Read light books
8)Read new books
9)Read old books
10)Read what your heroes read

My personal favorite is #9, reading old books. As I've heard many people quote before, and as Tim points out, C.S. Lewis has a great quote that I live by in this arena:
"It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones. Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.”

Monday, September 17, 2007

Improbable People

"God does impossible things through improbable people"

That was the message last night at the Gathering. It such an encouraging truth to me. I often feel very inadequate to do anything of worth towards advancing the Kingdom. But, the Bible's heroes are mostly men who were wretches and nobodies. It gives me hope.

This idea is also written all over books and movies. It's really what makes a good book or movie good. Well, here's a video made by my buddies James and Scott, in case you missed it last night, of several different nobodies doing impossible things. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Gospel

For those of you praying for me lately: Thank you. I got a fresh wave of grace this afternoon from His Word. Luke 23 states how Jesus tells Peter that Satan has demanded to have him that he might sift him like wheat. BUT, Jesus prayed for Peter, so that WHEN he returned, he might be able to strengthen his brothers.

Also, Hebrews 4 speaks to the rest found in Christ. He did all the striving. He was tempted as I am. Therefore I have confidence to go to Him with confidence to receive mercy and grace in my time of need.

Also, I found the following video to be refreshing. It's a new clip from Piper explaining the gospel in 6 minutes.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Asheville and such

Asheville was good this weekend with the guys. Good local beer, good reading, beautiful weather, and watching some great football games. (Doesn't Ethan's Fu Manchu look great!?)
More pics here

I'm digging Shane and Shane's new album.

And I read this Sunday. Good stuff.
"We are not to try to get in a position to avoid trials. And we are not to 'catastrophize' and declare the 'end of the world' when things happen. We are to see every event as an occasion in which the competence and faithfulness of God will be confirmed to us. Thus do we know the concrete reality of the kingdom of the heavens."

- Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard

Monday, August 27, 2007

Garrett show Thursday

For those of you within a 300 mile radius of Atlanta, GA Thursday night, you won't want to miss Garrett Moore performing at Eddie's Attic. The show starts at 8. Tickets are $10 now, $12 at the door. He rocks my face off and I know he will rock yours too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Favorite Books

I was influenced by a coworker a couple of days ago to compile this list of a few of my favorite books. Just in case someone out there is looking for something good to read, here's a few of my favorites in a couple different categories.

1. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
2. Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray
3. The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink

Apologetics and philosophy
1. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
2. Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
3. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

1. Confessions by St. Augustine(autobiography)
2. Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
3. Bruchko by Bruce Olson

Classic Fiction
1. Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
2. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
3. Crime and Punishment by Fyoder Dostoevsky

What are your favorites?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes

I am a pretty big fan of Calvin and Hobbes. Growing up as a kid I always identified with Calvin Hobbes individually in different ways. And getting older, I can still read it and enjoy it because of its thoughtfulness and wit.

I enjoyed this article that speaks to a lesson learned from the comic. The article comments on how this comic can teach as about the medium and the message.

The article explains how Bill Watterson, the author, never would allow merchandise to be made, even to the point of rejecting millions of dollars. He says:
Calvin and Hobbes isn’t a gag strip. It has a punchline, but the strip is about more than that. The humor is situational, and often episodic. It relies on conversation, and the development of per­sonalities and relationships. These aren’t concerns you can wrap up neatly in a clever little saying for people to send each other or to hang up on their walls. To explore character, you need lots of time and space.
I have no aversion to obscene wealth, but that’s not my motivation either. I think to license Calvin and Hobbes would ruin the most precious qualities of my strip and, once that happens, you can’t buy those qualities back.
The article goes on to relate this bit of exploitative marketing to how Christianity is marketed a lot of the time with bumper stickers and t-shirts. Keith Green once said this about the issue:
It pains me to see the beautiful truths of Scripture being plastered about like beer advertisements. Many think it is wise to “get the word out” in this way but, believe that we are really just inoculating the world with bits and pieces of truth - giving them their “gospel shots.” (And we’re making it hard for them to “catch” the real thing!) People become numb to the truth when we splash our gaudy sayings in their eyes at every opportunity. Do you really think this is “opening them up to the Gospel”? Or is it really just another way for us to get smiles, waves, and approval from others in the “born-again club” out in the supermarket parking lot, who blow their horns with glee when they see your “Honk if you love Jesus!” bumper sticker?
The article continues by saying:
It’s possible that too many ineffective Jesus reminders all over the place might have a degrading effect on our ability to read Jesus where he really is. The only way to know if that’s the case is to know our message as well as Watterson knew his. Watterson could spot a deviation from the integrity and fullness of the Calvin and Hobbes mystique in an instant. Do modern Christians have senses so well trained, or a grasp of the gospel message so acute, that we can spot such deviations?
Basically the point of the article is to point out that the medium of our message as Christians should mainly be through our lives, not simply by what we preach.

(Thanks to Justin Taylor for the link)

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I'm reading "Orthodoxy" right now by G.K. Chesterton with a few other guys. It's an incredible book. More on it later. I found this article online regarding the book, and I thought it was pretty cool. It's about a hollywood director that loves the book too and it has shaped the way he does everything.

(Thanks to Looking Closer for the link.)

Recent Calvinist surge

Mark Dever recently completed a series called "Where did all these Calvinists come from?". He was addressing the rise of Reformed theology among the younger generation. I thought it was interesting, especially because many of the reasons listed have been the major influences on me in my theology. Here's a quick list for those who don't want to read the articles. (I think these are addressed from oldest to youngest influence)

1. Charles Spurgeon
2. Martyn-Lloyd Jones
3. The Banner of Truth Trust
4. Evangelism Explosion
5. Inerrancy Controversy
6. Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
7. J.I. Packer
8. John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul
9. John Piper
10. The rise of secularism and the decline of Christian nominalism

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum

I don't have much to say except that this movie is exceptional. You should go see it. I like Jason Bourne's character for many reasons. He exudes confidence in humility. He shows his ability to kick serious butt, while doing it almost apologetically.

It's very redemptive throughout this trilogy as he is struggling to find out who he really is. He finds out his real name in this movie. I couldn't help but reflect on my own journey of trying to find out who I really am. How my flesh is struggling to keep me in a zombie-like state, indifference to Truth. While God is telling me that I am His.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Piper on the Bridge Collapsing

I'm sure most of you are aware of the Minneapolis Interstate bridge that collapsed late yesterday. Here's Piper with yet again great perspective.
Also, here's an article that he wrote. Here's a snippet.
The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is his most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live. If we could see the eternal calamity from which he is offering escape we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cool RJD2 video

Thanks to Relevant Magazine for making me aware of this video. I'm not sure I dig the music that much, but the video is pretty cool!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bailey has a blog

Just an FYI, Stephen Bailey now has a blog. Make sure and check it out a lot, so he will post more often. He's got some good thoughts, but as you'll be able to tell from his first post, he might need a little encouragement to write more.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

20 years later...

I went to Louisiana this past weekend, for the purpose of seeing a good friend get married. I stayed both nights in the town I grew up in, West Monroe. This friend, Adam, and I met 20 years ago, when were 5. We went on to become best friends throughout elementary school. When we were both in 5th grade, our parents' jobs took us away from WM, but we managed to stay in touch a good bit, though we were 500 miles from each other.

I guess I'm writing this because I'm thankful. I'm thankful for friendships such as these that are rooted so deep that distance doesn't really matter in the long run. It's an encouraging reminder, because within the last year, good friends have moved to San Diego, Puerto Rico, China, and Los Angeles. I hope that these thoughts move you to be thankful for your deeper friendships as well.

Here are some of the pictures throughout the years. (Notice I'm always on the left for some reason)
13 years ago
6 years ago
A year and a half ago in Colorado
At the wedding

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I am addicted to comfort.

I just got back from church. I heard my pastor speak on belief vs. conviction using Stephen out of Acts. He talked about how, as he meets with people, most will say they believe in Jesus. But he asks the question, "Is that belief a conviction?" Most will then mutter different excuses, but will ultimately land on that it is not a conviction.

A conviction is something that takes over one's life. It takes over the soul and allows nothing else to stand in its way. I was wresting in my own heart this morning, wondering if my belief in Christ stops there, or is it a conviction? As I'm thinking through it, it gets harder because my pastor moves to the idea of martyrdom. It was obvious in Stephen's life that Jesus Christ was no mere belief, someone he tucked away when He wasn't convenient. He was utterly convinced that He was (and is) Lord and that He satisfies the deepest longings of the soul. He was not going to stop heralding this Truth for mere physical persecution.

So what does this have to do with comfort? Well, I live a life free from much discomfort, much less physical persecution because of my faith. I buckle under the pressure of an awkward conversation, of someone giving me a weird look. And I believe this has happened because I don't suffer enough. I live a life filled with comfort and ease. Even right now, I'm typing on my Apple computer, using wireless internet, in the comfort of a condo in Alpharetta, Georgia. Why do I need God? I have everything I need right? Why do I need to trust him for my needs, when I seemingly have everything??

The truth is, I'm thankful for the blessing of these things. But they often become an idol. And in my heart of hearts, I would give it all up if I could just experience the presence of God like that experienced by many I read about, for instance John Paton.

John Paton was a missionary to the New Hebrides in the South Pacific 150 years ago. The island was full of cannibals, and he often was in danger of being killed. This is what he wrote while being hunted one night, as he he took refuge in a tree.
Being entirely at the mercy of such doubtful and vacillating friends, I, though perplexed, felt it best to obey. I climbed into the tree and was left there alone in the bush. The hours I spent there live all before me as if it were but of yesterday. I heard the frequent discharging of muskets, and the yells of the Savages. Yet I sat there among the branches, as safe as in the arms of Jesus. Never, in all my sorrows, did my Lord draw nearer to me, and speak more soothingly in my soul, than when the moonlight flickered among those chestnut leaves, and the night air played on my throbbing brow, as I told all my heart to Jesus. Alone, yet not alone! If it be to glorify my God, I will not grudge to spend many nights alone in such a tree, to feel again my Savior's spiritual presence, to enjoy His consoling fellowship. If thus thrown back upon your own soul, alone, all alone, in the midnight, in the bush, in the very embrace of death itself, have you a Friend that will not fail you then?

Basically, I'm exhausted with comfort, but my flesh still longs for it. I want to know God more fully, and I know suffering is the main way that is going to happen. So, if your my friend, please speak truth into my life about this reality.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Multiplying Churches

I ran across this poll and article Friday (thanks Arnold and Erik). It's encouraging to read because I attended West Ridge Church (#16) a couple years ago after college. And I attend Perimeter Church (#4) now. Also, I have been keeping with with Redeemer (#1) and Mars Hill (#2) for some time now, listening to both of their pastors whenever I can.

I'm encouraged because it's exciting to be a part of discipleship and multiplication. I feel very privileged to be surrounded by churches that understand the Great Commission to go and make disciples. They aren't focused having the biggest sanctuary to fit the most amount of people. They are focused on building communities that love Jesus Christ and allowing them to be salt and light where they live.

I also thought this post was interesting, because it points out the inaccuracy of believing that Calvinists do not care about evangelism.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Visualizing Egypt

I figured out the picture posting problem. Here's a few of my favorites.

Here I am on a camel. Camels are pretty cool.

Here are the guys from the trip. Good group.

So, they're drinking some amazingly fresh mango juice here. And, as you can see, the orange is the only color showing up. Basically, I figured out a cool feature on my camera, and took pictures like this the rest of the trip.

The Nile, but much cooler than normal.

It doesn't get old. Here are some of the kids we got to play with who live in Garbage city.

Hotel balcony overlooking the Nile.

The rest of the pictures

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Reminiscing Egpyt

I'm having trouble posting pictures right now, so just go to my Egypt pictures here if you would like to see them. Now I'll attempt to summarize the trip for you.

Overall, the trip was a great experience. There was not a whole lot of "doing" that is associated with most mission trips. Our main objective in going over was to further relationships with our partner church (Kasr el-Dobara Evangelical Church) as well as gain first hand knowledge of the influence of Islam in the Arab world. See the Egypt section here for more info on Kasr Church.

After our sight seeing in Cairo, we traveled south to a conference put on by Kasr. That was a very beneficial time. We heard from many speakers about Islam and missions. And there was about a 4 hour period that made the trip for me. In that time we heard from two different people who spoke truth about what Islam is really all about. After hearing from them, I came away realizing more clearly how dark, dangerous, and corrupt Islam really is. We also heard how sharing the Truth with Muslims looks a little different than with people with other worldviews, namely more relationship based and logic driven.

Probably the hardest barrier for the Muslim to overcome is the conjoining of his faith with his ethnicity and culture. To be Arab is to be Muslim and vice versa in their eyes. Once you get past this, the persecution and alienation from their friends and family is terrible. Many will get beaten and/or turned in to the secret police by their own flesh and blood. It's really amazing that Muslims are still turning to Christ even through all of this. And those that do persevere through it all really do seem stronger for it. It seems as though James (1:2-4) and Paul (Rom. 5:3-5) were right. Seeing their courage really challenges me in how I live out my faith here in the States, as an awkward conversation is the most I have to fear. Though I fear it a lot!

We also spent some time in some very poor areas of Cairo. In these places the streets are lined with garbage and the average annual salary per household is $600. The people that live in these areas have never known any different and are not really allowed to leave. They are considered unclean by the Muslims (because they work with pigs). It was a very sad thing to witness.

I might decide to write some more later. Thanks again to all who prayed for me and supported me financially. It was a great experience for me to have. The challenge now is to continue to live with the perspective of global redemption that God has in mind. Join with me in praying for the darkness to be lifted in the Arab world, that the eyes of their hearts would be able to see the Truth and beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Egpyt part 1

Right now I'm sitting outside at a conference center in Wadi, Egpyt, about 100 miles south of Cairo. It's probably about 105 degrees right now, out of the sun. So far, the trip has been great. Up to this point, we've mainly done sight seeing things, but last night began a three day conference that we will be attending here in Wadi. The conference has in attendance people from many different countries, and it is focused on how to reach the Muslim world for Christ.

Probably the coolest moment I've had so far is being among several thousand Egyptian Christians in Kasr Church, as we worshipped together the name of Christ. Knowing how much it cost them to be a believer among the Muslim population of Cairo is truly awe-inspiring.

I'm not able to post pictures right now, but I'll be sure to post some as soon as I return. Thanks again to those who are praying for me and to those who supported me financially to be able to come. God bless.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Heading to Egypt

Tomorrow, I will be on a plane heading to Egypt. I'm going with a team from the Gathering at Perimeter Church. We'll spend the first few days checking out the normal sights. Then we'll head down south of Cairo to a missions conference. And our last few days will be spent with the Zabbaleen people, who are basically the garbage collectors of Cairo.

Thanks to all who helped make this trip possible for me by supporting me financially. And thanks to all who will help sustain me on this trip by praying for me. My prayer for myself and for my team is to be radically changed. To come to know better the God of the Arabic Christians, who aren't Christians because of heritage or because it will create a comfortable life (FAR FROM IT), but believe because it is Truth. I desire my heart to be lifted it from it's cold state and to experience the wonder of who God is by seeing Him working among the believers in Egypt, and seeing Him afresh in His living Word. I desire humility. I desire to grieve over the nations as God does, wanting them to be reconciled to their Maker.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thankful for community

Ecclesiastes chapter 4 talks about how two are better than one. Well...I agree. Community is a wonderful thing. This is a picture of my discipleship group. We just came back from Lake Hartwell this past weekend. It was a great time of riding waverunners, playing poker, and making up random games using a tennis ball. Things that all create great bonding time between men.

We just got done meeting together tonight. We had great conversation about where God has us right now as single men. It's great to be able to share with a group of guys beyond the superficial conversation most of us partake in throughout the day. To have a group where you can share struggles openly and bear one another's burdens is a huge blessing, and one that should be taken advantage of.

My encouragement, if you don't have a group of men or women who know you well and can speak truth lovingly into your life, is to please get one. No man is an island. Even though it's scary to be vulnerable, you will come to know God in deeper, fuller ways because of it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Life on the road

Well, I'm in Charlotte right now. It's day two of roadie life with my buddy Evan. He's opening up for a band named the Damnwells, and for a guy named Ari Hest.

Ari played this great song last night that he originally wrote as a duet to be sung with Norah Jones. It hasn't happened yet, but the song is still really good. Check it out.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Thanks to Tim Challies for pointing out this great video on the man hug.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I've been wrestling with some things lately. I don't like insincerity in my own life. I believe that Truth about life should grip one's heart. And because of that, we should desire to share with others this Truth. But what happens when you believe something to be true, but lack passion and zeal? Should you still express this Truth to others? Does that make you insincere?

I was encouraged by a brother today to continue in obedience to Truth, even when my heart isn't quite there. I know God is Truth and that His Word is Truth. I'm just not always passionate about it. But I will press on to take hold of Him who has already taken hold of me.

Also this quote from Henry Scougal's The Life of God in the Soul of Man helped me understand this recently.
...nor need we fear the imputation of hypocrisy, though our actions do thus somewhat out-run our affections, seeing they do still proceed from a sense of our duty; and our design is not to appear better than we are, but that we may really become so

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nightline Debate

Last Friday night, a debate was aired on ABC between two athiests and two Christians. The Christians are Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. The athiests are members of an organization called the Rational Response Squad. The debate is centered upon whether or not God exists.

Part 1 (Kirk and Ray set up the debate)
Part 2 (Ray attempts to prove that God exists)
Part 3 (Ray finishes and Brian responds)
Part 4 (more atheist response)
Part 5 (Kirk speaks)
Part 6 (finishing up)

My roommate Rob poses an interesting thought on his blog about this whole discussion between the two groups.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Vestal in Puerto Rico

As I am writing this, my buddy Matthew is getting on a plane for Puerto Rico. He is going with a organization called ILDP based out of Briarwood Church, in Birmingham. He will be down there for at least a year, helping to start a seminary like training program in San Juan. He will also be ministering on a local univeristy campus, as well as being invovled in a church plant. Pretty exciting stuff. Please pray for him.

Also, he posted a video today of a crazy good yo-yoer. WOW!