Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NC weekend

I went up to North Carolina this weekend to do some hiking with a few friends. It was good times, though our hike was cut short by some heavy rain. It was my first experience with this kind of rain while hiking. We were about 2.5 miles into a 7 mile loop when it started pouring. We quickly made the decision to head back and spent a lot of the trek back sprinting, which added quite an adventurous spirit. That was a lot of fun. I recommend it some time.

I also went to my first casino on Saturday night. We were staying pretty close to Cherokee, so we stopped by Harrah's. My initial thoughts: really smoky and really old people. And when I say old people, I mean people in their 80s and 90s, with wheelchairs and oxygen tanks, who apparently consider it worthwhile to spend their last few days in a casino. It was kind of depressing. While walking through, Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life" talk came to mind. Our group managed to find a smokefree, less depressing area, and Caleb and John managed to win a few bucks at the digital blackjck tables.

I also started and finished "Franny and Zooey" by J.D. Salinger over the weekend. If you've never heard of it, you should check it out. It came highly recommended and I really enjoyed it.

So, overall, a great relaxing trip. I enjoyed all the hang out time, but particularly that of our car's driver...she is pretty cool ; ). Anyway, here are a couple of pics:Pre-rain pic heading in to the woods
Post rain

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why you should use Google Reader

Abraham Piper offers great advice on why you should use Google Reader to read websites/blogs that have an RSS feed. The advice also comes with simple step by step instructions. As a user already, believe me, this will save you a lot wasted time checking sites with no new updates. And who couldn't use a little more time?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Piper and stimulus checks

Piper has some good thoughts over at Desiring God regarding the money we should be receiving soon from the government.

For a moment, forget the political puzzle of getting money back when the country is nine trillion dollars in debt. The more immediate question is: How will you make much of Christ with your "economic stimulus payment"? The president says it will be in the mail in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Clue: Nobody in the world will see you spend your money on yourself and conclude that Christ is your treasure. They will assume you are just like them, no matter how loudly you thank God for this boon. That doesn't mean you shouldn't spend it on yourself (the way we do with most of what we earn). Not everything we do can look different from the world—eat, pay utilities, fill up the car, wear clothes (even thrift-store clothes). And yes, we hope (somehow) that spending on ourselves in some way contributes to our being more Christ-exalting people.

But do we really need this money? Very few do. We would have gotten on fine without it. If we didn't know it was coming, we wouldn't even be feeling the desires we are feeling right now.

May I encourage you to be radically creative and hedonistic. Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). And those crazy Macedonians in a "severe test of affliction" and in "extreme poverty" had an "abundance of joy" that overflowed in a "wealth of generosity." They even begged Paul "for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints" (2 Corinthians 8:2-4). They really believed what Jesus said. Really.

Before the check comes dream of some person or ministry which might make much of Christ because you treasured him above your next home project.

The reason God created money and enabled us to earn it is so that we could show by the way we use it that money is not our treasure, Christ is. That's why the checks are coming. So we can make Christ look great.

"Be content with what you have, for he has said,
‘I will never leave you nor forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Into the Wild

I saw this movie last Thursday night. I know I'm a little behind, but I highly recommend it. Since I want you to actually see the movie, I'm not going include any spoilers, but I did want to speak to a few things.

It's based on a true story of a young guy graduating from Emory in 1990, but who wants nothing to do with corporate America and the materialism associated with it. He decides to travel to Alaska and go into the wild to be free of all people and possessions. Throughout the movie he meets a lot of interesting people along his journey. And there is some incredible cinematography in the process. Without giving much away, it ironically shows the despair of isolation and the importance of living life in community.

Honestly, I can't write much more without giving away a lot of the movie. I just encourage you to see it.


The documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" came out this past weekend here in Atlanta. I haven't seen it yet, but hope to see it soon. It basically shows how creationists are laughed at in the scientific community. There's a good article here explaining more about it. And you can check out the Super Trailer here.

I've been exposed to a lot of this type of conversation recently, and it's interesting to see how atheists quickly dismiss creationism as illogical and silly. But how their own ideas sound even more far-fetched, as you can see in the article above. The bottom line is something can't come from nothing. And it seems many evolutionists/atheists know this, but their emotional distaste towards the idea of a God lets them completely reject the idea before even getting started.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My face is peeling

I had the opportunity to go to the Masters last Sunday with my dad. It was pretty cool...thanks again dad. While there, I sunburned the heck out of my face. And thus, the last couple of days I've been peeling. A coworker said something to me yesterday that I still think is hilarious. When I had something in my eye, she said "I think your face is getting in your eye." I don't know why, but I find that so funny. And today, my face was getting all over my suit. I love the simple things that can make me laugh.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More on Rob Bell

Erik posted a book review here of Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell. You might also be aware that Rob is the creator of the very popular Nooma videos (check here for a review of those). In the review, the author Pat Abendroth reveals many of the ways that this book makes him mad. It's a good summation of why I also believe Rob Bell is dangerous, despite all the many things he might be doing right. Pat sums up his review with these words:
"In my opinion, the reason this book is resonating with so many is because we have seen the evangelical church abandon the Evangel Himself. Yes, much of evangelicalism is empty because the Evangel of our evangelicalism is gone or as David Wells so aptly put it: He has been dislodged from its center. Couple this with a general ignorance of the Bible and church history and you have a book like Velvet Elvis actually seen as publishable by a “Christian” publisher and selling as if it were something novel and good.

Because I love the Evangel of the Bible and therefore historic Christianity, I guess it is off to anger management class for me."

Thursday, April 10, 2008


“We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger, and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that He has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus’s miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming.” - The Reason for God, p. 96, Tim Keller

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Here's to being healthy

Roy posted an article that describes eight healthy reasons for having a beer a day.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Unrivaled Impact

Matt gave a talk at the Gathering Sunday. He ended it with this great quote about Jesus.
"He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter’s shop till he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not effected the life of man on the earth as much as that one solitary life."

Friday, April 04, 2008

Ideas have consequences

Victor Frankl, survivor of Auschwitz, once said:
“The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment…I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers." - Can Man Live Without God?, Ravi Zacharias

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


"The next time your child asks you, 'What do these requirements and regulations and rules that GOD, our God, has commanded mean?' tell your child, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and GOD powerfully intervened and got us out of that country. We stood there and watched as GOD delivered miracle-signs, great wonders, and evil-visitations on Egypt, on Pharaoh and his household. He pulled us out of there so he could bring us here and give us the land he so solemnly promised to our ancestors. That's why GOD commanded us to follow all these rules, so that we would live reverently before GOD, our God, as he gives us this good life, keeping us alive for a long time to come." - Deuteronomy 6:20-24 (The Message)
I love reading through the narrative of the Israelites wandering through the desert (even though reading about the exact measurements and fabric needed to make different things isn't the most interesting). It's fascinating to see God remind His people over and over and over at least three big things. He says, remember where you came from, remember where you are, and remember where you are going. God redeemed them from their slavery. He is showing them their need for Him in the wilderness, by giving them rules that they cannot keep. But they will soon attain the Promised Land.

That my friends is what you call allegory (even though I do believe it is a historical narrative as well). I constantly need to be reminded that God redeemed me from my slavery to sin. And I constantly need to be reminded, that despite my frustrations and struggle with sin right now, God is renewing me day by day for glory. There is a better country, my real home, that I am in pursuit of. And knowing that will provide the ability to endure and even enjoy the craziness that is involved in this life.

Ted Turner the church goer?

I thought this was an interesting article about how Turner is partnering up with churches to help fight malaria in Africa. The once vocal atheist is now having a change of heart about religion. He is now apologetic for the many negative things he's said in the past about religion. For me, this is yet another way of seeing God's effectual grace at work. When He finally wants to break someone's heart...He breaks their heart. Not that Ted is all the way there, but it shows no heart is off limits.
(HT:Friendly Atheist)