Friday, December 2, 2011

Our God is with us - Stephen Curtis Chapman

I've been gaining a lot of encouragement from this song and what a message that is there, enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Factions - are they necessary?

I'm inherently a person to question what someone is saying, although it might offend, or, even make them think that I'm something that I'm not.  So, when a brother comes to the table with a certain mindset about the Scriptures, I'm bound to question.

Such was the case the other night. Someone, in our care group, wanted to discuss a passage in 1 Cor. 11:19, "for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized."  If you take the verse before that, Paul is talking about "divisions" - Greek schismata that are among the believers there in Corinth.  The factions are actually heresy's that are within the church, so it is a serious passage, one not to be glossed over for sure.

But paramount to every scripture is context that would frame what Paul says correctly, for how they would understand it and how we should understand it.  I think what disturbs me is when people get so over hyped about their understanding of what is said that it can lead to celebrating the very thing that breaks God's heart, namely - His glory being diminished through heresy.

Factions will exist within any church, that is for sure, we need to reveal our hearts in humble awareness of this w/o a terseness that would betray what Paul would say two chapters later, that the "Way of Love" is the best way.  See, that is what Jesus prayed in the Garden when he was begging the Father to "take this cup from Me."  His prayer was that we would be united, not around factions or how they were caused and what we did to not cause it or expose it, but around a bloody cross.

That is what bothers me at times, about myself as well as others, the idea that I like factions, I like to tear down the heresies and make sure that everyone knows that I know what I'm talking about but that is the opposite of the message that Paul was giving to the Corinthians, he was saying, in effect, don't be molded in that way.  It wasn't a surprise to Paul because Paul was gifted in the language of rhetoric or sarcasm, see chapter 5, " are arrogant" particularly about sin.  Paul was saying, don't be a part of that but be unified in love around the cross.  Also, see 2 Cor. 12:21; 13:10f for context of how Paul confronted those who he felt necessary to correct.

I've read, not lately, a book With the Old Breed by E. B. Sledge and in the book he tells a story.  They were fighting to take the island of Peleliu which by the way was the bloodiest battle of all time for the Marines and after WWII was seen as a waste because they would've bypassed it to take the Phillipines.  In the book he tells a story about life on this South Pacific island and the problem there was because the whole island was made of lime.  If you know anything about battle in WWII it is about digging trenches so you could get below enemy fire.  Well they couldn't get but maybe a foot or two into the ground, it was arduous. 

After a couple of weeks on the front line they came back to those in the rear, that were getting ready to go into battle or were just troops that were ancillary.  I'll let him explain:

We boarded trucks that carried us southward along the east road then some distance northward along the west road.  As we bumped and jolted past the airfield, we were amazed at all the work the Seabees (naval construction battalions) had accomplished on the field.  Heavy construction equipment was everywhere, and we saw hundreds of service troops, watched our dusty truck convoy go by.  They wore neat caps and dungarees, were clean-shaven, and seemed relaxed.  They eyed us curiously, as though we were wild animals in a circus parade.  I looked at my buddies in the truck and saw why.  The contrast between us and the onlookers was striking.  We were armed, helmeted, unshaven, filthy, tired, and haggard.  The sight of clean comfortable noncombatants was depressing, and we tried to keep up our morale by discussing the show of U.S. material power and technology we saw.

That is a great description of the life of a believer who is in the world every day.  If I tried to live my life in a test tube it wouldn't work, I have to be in the world to earn a living.  But this is the contrast that I feel exists in the church many times, especially the Reformed movement.  You have those who want to make sure that all things are in-line with the Scriptures, w/o giving any kind of leeway to how it is lived out in our world.  I see more brokenness in this world on an average day than most of the people I know.  We live in a broken area of Ft. Worth, in an African-American community, or largely becoming one.  Our lives aren't pretty, we struggle with sin that is deep, we struggle with finances, we struggle with knowing how to raise our children in light of the Scriptures.

What is the point?  Well, the point would be why I come to a meeting of believers, to acknowledge my own sin and be encouraged to take up my cross because normally, I don't want to.  I want to get off the convoy and live like the rest of the people that I see, although I don't see perfectly, at times it is what I perceive.  They have clean shaven faces, they don't have the circles under the eyes, etc...they seem to have all the answers, I want to be there. 

Question is, what am I providing to my brothers and sisters?  How can I receive from them?

Pray for me to continue boasting in the Gospel and not the pride of my own heart that wants to have all the questions answered this side of eternity and live with new eyes to see the heavenly reality.

Your boasting friend,


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vocational thoughts - God's glory? (Part 2)

So, as I thought about this more, my thoughts flowed toward culture.  I think the culture that we are called to, in our vocations, can become a concern.  How does it effect what I do on a daily basis?  Think about it, you spend a third of your life at work, if your just an 8 hour worker bee.  That would include our commuting, assuming you have a 30-45 minute commute and time at work.  So a third of your life that is immersed in a culture opposed, not fully but generally, to anything that is of faith.  What do you do?  How do you, say, become, counter intuitive in this?  I can control what comes into my home and dictate what is done but at work it is different or is it?

See that is where the Scriptures come in and should inform us properly where to place our confidence.  Think of what Paul says in 1 Cor. 7:17, "Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him." (emphasis mine)  To break it down just a bit, Paul is addressing the Corinthians and, by extension us, about the importance of pure Marriage practices.  So the point of concern is that the unbelieving spouse not be left by the believing spouse if they want to live peaceably.  We come to v. 17 and he talks of this "call" that God has made.  The greek word, kaleĊ, meaning to call, invite, name is the word used here.  Why is this important, especially for you if/when you become dissatisfied with your job?

God did not expect them to leave just based on their emotional circumstances, their feelings.  God is in control of all circumstances, He is not aloof or unconcerned about your circumstances, He is intimately involved in all of them.  When I can realize that God has ordained this, that God has called me to this, then it allows me to operate in a different culture.  I didn't just choose this job because it happen to fall in my lap, God is - by His Holy Spirit - creating in me a view of His character that will allow me to draw on the resources I have in Him.  So when, Mr. X wants to yell and try to make my life miserable I can respond in fear, based on my own feelings or respond in faith of who God is but that character of God will not be built in us unless we see this overarching Sovereignty.  That He is allowing this for my good and His glory and that eventually I will know the reason why it was allowed, although I won't know right now.

We would never want this, not ever.  I had a conversation with my wife the other night, I'll admit it, at times, most of the time, I'm a glass is half empty kind of person.  Well I said to her, "you know, if God, before we were born, would lay out all of the options before us, good and bad, that we would go through, I think I would look at the bad and say, 'NO WAY!'"  Even if the good meant my life as it is, I have a great life with a beautiful wife and four awesome kids.  That is just me, it is the way that I approach things for better or for worse.  Sometimes I won't take the leap when I know that I should or think back to times when it didn't turn out so good, to shore up my good reasons not to do it. ;)  But, that is not to undermine the "call", God uses even those times to show us more of himself.

I've had about 3 opportunities come at me over the last five years of different things I could possibly be doing but in each one they did not pick me.  So, to say that, I just sit here, and happily be a dead log, that is wrong.  I seek to know if God is calling me elsewhere without letting my feelings dictate that "call".  You know, if you're a Christian and you go to church and suddenly you just feel "called" to go somewhere else?  It's the "I feel called game" and boy can it be a roller coaster.  Back to my point - God ordained feelings can lead us out of the place that we're at or God ordained meetings - but those can never just be based on the culture of fear or desiring a "better life" for the family and now you spend most of your time away trying to provide a better life.  I don't call that life, I call that bondage.

So, let us seek to be a part of the culture of Christ and spread that aroma around as our call, from God, sets us apart to be the salt and light where we're at.

Your boasting friend,


Monday, November 21, 2011

Vocational thoughts - God's glory?

From the time that I exited Seminary, I've been trying to figure out what in the world you do as a Christian worker, not just getting an education and then going on to something else.  Usually when they learned that you were going to Seminary you got the blank stare or look of disgust or a gasp, "really!".  Sometimes there were times of ministering, to those you worked with, yes, but working at a hospital there were many opportunities to see God's work.

I've moved on from the medical field, being in it for about 6 years as a Medic in the Air Force and then on the outside as a clinical assistant at a hospital in Ft. Worth.  Now I work as a Travel Consultant, yes, just like my life at times, makes no logical sense or connection, just go with me. :)  But I've now worked for over 10 years in the travel industry, it is a huge field of ministry. 

For the fact that most of the Consultants, that I know, who are male, are homosexual or older men who are divorced.  I know there are the exceptions, I'm one of them!  Married, committed, four kids, conservative, Christian, you can't strike many more polar opposites.  In fact, I have a guy that I talk to about many issues that there are between trying to strike a common ground between living in a homosexual relationship and true Christianity.  It is very civil, in fact, normally, we'll always pick up right where we left off but still have a good working relationship.  I had to test the "waters" first, so to say, you can't just jump into those conversations, is a misnomer, but they will happen if you are open about your faith.

What brought this about was the article that I read at For Christ and Culture by Bruce Ashford.  He brought up several points worth sharing but I'll let you read the article for yourself.  The one thing that caught me today was this sentence, "Is it fair to say that most evangelicals do not recognize their workplaces as a significant way to love God and neighbor?"  So, you see what I see?  I think that the second part of that last phrase hit me differently today, don't you love how that happens sometimes?  Think about it, when was the last time that you thought of the worker outside your door or in the hallway as you pass, your "neighbor"?
It's been awhile for me but I have some thoughts on why that is the case.

First, my own vanity.  How often do you not want to look at another person because you just don't know exactly what will happen?  Will they reject you or will they look right at you?  How is my hair, teeth, eyes, etc...?  You may think this is silly but it isn't when you work in the Arts district in Dallas.  Listen, if they filled up our building with the bleach that they used to whiten every ones teeth it would fill it up to the 2nd floor at least!  Vanity is abounding and I don't have a lot of time being the father of four and not to mention married.  Who cares what people think, right?  Wrong.  Many times I'm thinking about what they think but not for the right reason.  Just a simple hello would do, even if they say nothing.  That is the point of Jesus story about the Samaritan, they were not compatible in there race, religion or creeds but He said that this is your neighbor.

Second, tied into the first but still exclusive is what I would call, the "catered to" realm of my job.  I work as a travel consultant in a downtown office.  I can call any of the sales reps in any of the hotels in Downtown and have lunch at some of the most exclusive restaurants.  They would bring me over and tell me what a pleasure it is to have me, not that I'm doubting their sincerity mind you it is just that they're sales women (for the most part).  They like to sell me on the particulars of their hotels and I would like to say that I would make it more profitable for them.  But, if I look at it just like that, am I looking at them as my neighbor?  I hope that my relationships with them would be above reproach and steadfastly faithful to the gospel.  But the feeling I get a lot of times is, this isn't reality at least not for me.  Dealing with that aspect of my job and trying to love those who stay at these places and eat at these places and love these places is difficult.

Third, the aspect of servant hood at my job.  You might discern from the above that my job is really not that fulfilling and for the most part you would be right.  I don't look at my job and say, "Yea, I get to go to work today!", I wish that I did.  Maybe part of it is that I work with Lawyers?  That can make any ones life difficult. :)  There is, within the field, a very upper-elitist mindset that likes the idea of being catered to, where I come out of a situation feeling like saying, "STOP", I'm just a normal person, they would come out of it complaining about the food or service or a myriad of other things.  They want you to say that they are special because of where they work, what the drive, where they live, who they marry/date, what they eat, where their kids go to school.  Quite honestly, this is the hardest aspect about being neighborly, when someone demands their way or doesn't acknowledge a job well done because I feel that the cliche, "you're only as good as your next screw up" applies here, HUGE.  Changing the culture seems much harder from the bottom of the totem pole than from up at the top.

Now, I will say that there are some exceptions to the rule but that is the problem, they're also still under the top ones who rule the culture.  Simple things like, "Thx" rather than "Thank you", sometimes I would rather not have a response, but that is part of my being neighborly and hopefully showing Gods love, responding in kindness.  When they look at you, in the eyes and you address them, talk to them, say their name and no response, walk in love. This is the culture that I'm talking about.

Someone who I knew well, that worked here for five years quit just about 2 months ago after 5 years of being here and putting out a resume once a week to a head hunter.  To say that she loathed it was an understatement, God finally gave her what she wanted and I think she is learning in her new job to be thankful. :)  When you are working with that kind of culture, that is a bane.  I don't want to be judged for how I look, what I drive, where I live and what I wear but that is this culture.  To be neighborly I almost have to be counter intuitive, be a light of God's grace within the midst of great desires to be catered to.  Show the greatness of God that far surpasses any wealth you could have on earth.  Live the verse in John 12:25, "Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

That is my struggle, to show the light of the gospel that says, I don't deserve it but Christ, by his mercies has given His own life.  Don't live that as a tersely said statement but as a truth in tears.

Your boasting friend,


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Little Faith?

Reading today in Matthew 7:19-20.

" Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” "
(Matthew 17:19-20 ESV)

I was reading this and could not get past a couple of phrases, one right behind the other.  First one is, "Because of your little faith", then, "if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed".  Depending on which camp you find yourself in Theologically you would use the first portion of this verse to bolster your idea of "Big faith".  You would think, well, Jesus rebuked the disciples for having "little faith", so in response, I don't want to be like the disciples.  BTW, why do we and many preachers do it publically w/o adding caveats, we talk about those "dumb disciples", but don't bring it around to us.  How many times do we do things that are, for the sake of a better term, 'dumber'. :)

But back to my point, Jesus was talking about a lack for sure but what did they lack?  Was it because they did not muster up enough faith to heal the sick boy?  Well, we certainly could ascertain that if we stopped at "little faith".  But that isn't where Jesus stops, he carries it on that makes a paradox in our minds, you would almost think that he is obligated to say, "you need big faith", leave that little faith behind.  That is what it becomes to many, God is the 'sugar daddy' and so you have to apply yourself to get the most out of your faith.  It becomes semi-pelagian, God does his part and we do ours.  That isn't quite the paradox that I think Jesus was trying to create in our minds and theirs.  In fact that would fit in quite nicely with a lot of church programs that are out there, "doing our part".

Jesus wanted them to see the contrast of what little faith it took, even the faith of a mustard seed and if you haven't looked at one of those lately, it is miniscule.  So, why would he tell the disciples that they have "little faith" but what you need is even smaller faith.  I believe Jesus was trying to get them to see that it isn't the amount of faith as much as it is the object of their faith.  So, he could've said, "It is because of your little faith, that you have in me, that is detracting you from the true faith that it takes."

That is what holds us back at times, true little faith that has everything to do with our circumstances or trials and we're gonna 'hold the line' but God is saying, "look at the object of your faith and make sure it is me."  Sometimes those trials, sufferings and uncomfortable circumstances make us look too much to our faith and we miss the opportunity to have true faith, even if it is as small as that mustard seed.

May His pleasure in showing us our little faith make us rejoice in the grace and mercy of God.


Friday, September 16, 2011

My struggle with the moralist in me

Question that I posed to my wife:

"If you took the subtotal of all your moral actions away would you still feel as if you were in a right relationship with God?"

The intended connection is, what faith am I placing in what I do rather than the hope that I have in Christ?  Also, what do I require of others through my supposed piety?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Joseph Prince - master manipulator or compassionate truthsayer?

In general TBN holds the line for those who would teeter on the line of orthodoxy and so I really try to listen closely, when I'm flipping around at 6A feeding my 3 month old son, to what they have to offer.  Well, here comes Mr. Prince, affable, funny, stylish and a remarkable tact for mixing so many truths with lies that it is noxious.

As I said, I cannot say that I would expect any less from the channel that also brings you Jesse Duplantis and John Hagee.  These who would mix the message of biblical truth with philosophical and generally sophomoric insight which people seem to eat up.  Of course the lies get mixed in, there is a magical potion that all of the sudden they say "Jesus!" and poof, they're acceptable.

Back to the main character, Mr. Prince.  Today he just went a little too far, to the point that I just had to document it.  Here he is going across the stage and he says:  "I mean people who say that its not right to prosper"..."who is gonna help the poor"..."I mean heaven is paved with streets of gold and "as in heaven so on earth" (quoting from Matthew 6:10, Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray)..."right?". 

I would like to ask Mr. Prince a few questions:
  •  Did Jesus follow the same thought as you do?  I mean, he was rich, right (Luke 9:57-62)? 
  • Why did Jesus send the rich man away, "sad" (Luke 18:18-30, emphasis on v. 22-23)?  According to your thinking he would've welcomed him on board and used his money, right?
  • Since when is using a parable, about praying, good for material gain?  Is that what Jesus would say to do?
  • Why do you think it appropriate to use the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus interchangeably?  One time regarding redemption and then toward this prosperity garbage?
  • Isa. 55:1 seems to encourage a different economy that is uncommon among today's fare, what was God expecting them to use?
 Please let me know, I find you very sincere but sincerely wrong on this, so please answer my questions.

Thank you.

Boasting in the gospel of Christ,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From the website  I think that we have sold out too contemplating our own navel gazing and think that mystically God is going to do something outside of sending those who are called disciples. Also, doing the main thing that we were called to do, spread the gospel with our time, resources and tears.  Go and dig a well, feed a child, clothe them, educate them, innoculate them but never send them on there way w/o the most amazing thing, the GOSPEL!  Stay, love them, protect them and die with them if need be but don't do it while sending them to hell, that is a huge fail.

Boasting in the gospel from a little office in Dallas,


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

"Death reveals that the world is not as it should be but that it stands in need of redemption.  Christ alone is the conquering of death." Dietrich Bonhoffer as quoted in Bonhoffer biography by Eric Metaxas.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Meditations - getting the hurt out of my soul

(this post was begun in December of 2010, I did not want to post but I think it will claify a little more of my growing up years.  especially in light of the post just before this one.  I pray that it will help someone else go through suffering and see the presence of God in it.)

I know that many will not understand what I'm about to say.  I won't stereotype but this involves suffering and sometimes doctrine helps but it helps in the way in which a surgery helps a broken bone, it still hurts right after surgery but it still hurts.  Some people don't get that, they just don't get people who suffer or go through suffering.  I'm not saying that I get people, especially in suffering, mostly I don't, but I understand how it causes reactions in me that might lead me down a different path. 

Sometimes I don't like thinking, it hurts but it is necessary.  2010 was a year of thinking and thinking beyond the means that I have used to cope with fear and depression that sometimes consumes me.  Yes, I get fearful and it is sinful, it is a basic mistrust of God and his goodness.  One of the main bylines of this year that I shared with my wife was, "you do what you believe".  So I can say that, "I'm better than I deserve" but do I walk that way?  Do I complain when it starts coming at me hard and heavy?  What is my reaction to adversity?  Does it "open the ear" as it says in Job 36:15 or does it shut me down?

Why do I ask these things?  Well it is simple since I was about 7 years old I walked in abject fear.  You say well that is just ridiculous, you're suppose to walk in faith.  I would say, "Yes, you're right", but this is where doctrine comes in as the surgery but the bone is still healing.  Do you ever feel that way?  Do you have something that you struggle with, "how could a good God allow that to happen?", maybe you thought of something right away, something inside you curled up or your stomach churned.  I'm with you but this year was different, God would not allow me to keep questioning.

When I was 7 y/o my sister was sexually assaulted by seven guys, I was in the room.  No they did not assault me, that was by God's grace but I watched it all and I still saw the pain on my sister's face as she tried to resist her attackers.  It was sinful, mean, hateful, anti-Christ, nothing that I saw was good.  We went home, both crying, I was crying for her and myself, not to make me out to be someone who is servant minded all the time, it was an uncontrollable heave from my soul, I was losing something. 

It was a Sunday, just like any other Sunday at Redeemer Church, I'm now 42 y/o and singing songs to my Redeemer.  I started to cry and could not stop, I saw the pain and hurt, my sister's face seared onto my memory.  I ran out the back door, hoping to run away from the thoughts, I didn't want to deal with it, I wanted it gone.  I was angry at God.  Why did I have to be in the room?  Why could I not defend someone that I loved so much?  I put on a great show but behind the scenes my soul was a mess.  Friends consoled me and I love them for that but God, the Holy Spirit was just reminding me that, no matter what this life brings He'll be there.  That is what the Gospel is about, a God who is present.  It is what we just celebrated, Immanuel - God with us!

My thoughts are not all the way healed, it just doesn't happen like that.  I'll still have the issues of living up to my calling as a leader.  Not only do I have the natural, "I don't measure up" thoughts but I also have the messages that the enemy of my soul wants to leave there, "you can't protect anyone", "a real man would've been able to do something, anything but you didn't".  God is steadfast in his love for us, you can never doubt that when you look at where we have been and where we are now.

****what spurred this is I pulled up Google street view and went back to the place, the scene of the crime so to say and it is painful to take steps, tracing the roads that we walked back down to our home.  I didn't know it then but I would never be the same again.  By God's grace I am where I am and he has blessed me beyond measure with a family of 1 beautiful wife and 4 beautiful kids.  Would I ever want them to experience this?  Perish the thought.  But would I be the dad that I am today?  Most likely not, what happens to us shapes our lives in ways that, if we went back, would only make it something that we could wrap our tiny, insignificant brains around.  God is vast and may our hearts rejoice in him in all things.

Your boasting friend,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Complementarian or Eagalitarian?

I remember when I was in an SBC church and had to teach a class on marriage, within the context of Sunday School and I was uncomfortable with the material that was presented by the video.  I still go to an SBC church but it is more of the reformed taste.  Moving toward Philadelphia (instead of Rome)?  Nah, just wanted the expression, especially to my kids, to be more sincere about what faith we profess.

I had to get up after that and apologize that I did not agree with the video in the least, the whole issue? I lean toward Complementarianism and the speaker on the video did not. I would say that, me saying that I am a Comlementatrian, would be a slight to anyone who held that view. I say that tongue in cheek because I came from a family where I had 5 sisters and 1 brother.  Mind you that I had an authoritarian figure of a father who ruled our house and all complied with him.  In fact, I remember when at his funeral they played audio of him that he made before he died, he said about me, "Tim, I don't know where you came from...".  It was truly meant as a compliment but now, looking back, I see it as a point of frustration for him and disappointment that I wasn't more like him.  Okay, enough with personal stuff.  I had 5 sisters, I joke and say that I had 6 mothers. :)
This was no easy thing for me, taking the lead and becoming a man in the midst of so much estrogen.  I did at times look at that with bitterness because I sure would've used more manly influence.  I thought it telling that when I had a conversation with one of my sisters a couple of years ago, I looked up to my Mother instead of my Father because she was the one who had worked all my growing up years.  My Father, suffering from health problems, would stay home and be there when I got home from school.  I never really saw my Dad "go to work" but maybe for 3-4 months or less at a time.
I give this background because if anyone should be an Egalitarian it would be me!  Again I'm not a full blown Complementarian but I think it is because of sinful reasons.  I normally don't want to take the lead, I want to sit back in comfort and watch a strong woman take charge which they normally will, every time.  My struggle in the area of sexual purity handicaps me in leading and being more of a man because I see something that I want more than a family.  I say this to my shame.  You would think that living with 5 sisters there would be more respect but I think that would explain more of my Father's absenteeism and authoritarian stature that I saw.  So a high respect of women isn't high on my list.  That is a subtle nuance, sinful yet attracting, that I would love to be more Egalitarian, my reason would say, "it would give more respect to women and that would make me feel better."  But again, would that make them feel better, floundering and having to be more the authority because you don't want to be?  I know that it is a role that has been thrust on women but is that because of men's sinful behavior or because of obedience?  I remember that same SS class having an older couple come in and give us clues on how to have a successful relationship.  One of the success' that they shared was that when he, the husband, would come home from a long day at work they didn't greet him, they just let him go have "his time", after he was ready then he would come out and greet them.  Really?  Poor guy just couldn't handle it and she had to take up the slack for him - BTW, that is how it was nuanced from what was said.  That is a pity in so many ways, MAN UP!  If that is success than give me the failure door for $200 Bob (The Price is Right). :)  So, is that walking in obedience, making sure you get your "me time" so that you don't "go off" on your kids?  Aw, poor man, just can't handle work and family? :)  Listen, I know that it is hard to have a family and work and commute but when I come home, guess who is waiting...two boys and a girl who, when they hear the garage open up are right on me and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Just some questions observed.  I still change diapers and clean the house, so I think it is more than just an action, done or not done, that would make one a Complementarian or Egalitarian.  In fact, I think it would make it more viable for me to excuse my wife to do it if I didn't have more of a Complementarian view of things.  I believe that I contribute everywhere and not just in leadership ways.  I think men have felt less than, especially in this area, because we tend to do those things, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc...and say that your a Complementarian.  Am I not suppose to sit on my throne and rule?  Well, if your following the example of Jesus, yes and no, he ruled but also washed the disciples feet.  All this is to introduce the below video from a website called reform, I thought at first it was a joke because I got it from the fellas at ref21, a women talking about Complementarianism, joke right?  Wrong, she makes some very strong points, I'll let you see:

Carrie Sandom from Jason Rooper on Vimeo.
May God grow us in grace as we look to him for clarity in areas of debate.
Your boasting friend,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sexual Purity - practicing it and fighting our propensity to run away

This is from a great post by Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg and the particular post, Fireproof your life and marriage.

1st Biblical Essential: A Consistent Diet of “Meat” Heb. 5:11-14

To be skilled in the word of righteousness

To have the powers of discernment

To distinguish good from evil

2nd Biblical Essential: A Rigorous Training in the Grace of God Titus 2:11, 12

To renounce ungodliness

To renounce worldly passions

To live self-controlled, upright and godly lives

3rd Biblical Essential: A Well-Established Heart James 5:8-11

To be patient

To not grumble

To remain steadfast

4th Biblical Essential: A Determined Effort to Supplement Faith 2 Peter 1:5-11

To increase these qualities

To not lack these qualities

To practice these qualities

5th Biblical Essential: A Strict Departure from the Old Life Col. 3:5-14

To put to death what is earthly

To put away; put off the old self

To put on the new self

6th Biblical Essential: A Restless Diligence Heb. 2:1; 3:12

To avoid unbelief

To not be hardened

To be firm to the end

7th Biblical Essential: A Concerted Effort Must Be Made Heb. 12:15-16

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God.

See to it that no root of bitterness springs up.

See to it that no one is sexually immoral.

See to it that no one is unholy like Esau.

We can deceive ourselves and settle into a stupor when we're not aware of this area. The gospel can become dull and unfasinating if our minds are dulled by the encessant attack from the sexualized culture that we live.

I cannot tell you enough of how we need this to grip us, the secret nature of this sin is the nastiest and most deadly to our spiritual senses. We can justify it to ourselves but it will never grow us closer in intimacy with the ones that we truly love the most, if we sat down and thought about it. But that is the problem, we never sit down and think it out. Ultimately it is a separation from the One who has given us all things, especially His own Son for our sin.  I pray that we can find accountability and never generalize this but kill it or as Col. 3:5 says, "Put to death..."

Your boasting friend,


Monday, April 4, 2011

Good example of preaching the gospel via the Old Testament

March 27 sermon from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

The Word of God is powerful and speaks best by those that will plainly speak the word by simple words because let's face it, most of us have simple minds. 

One of the lines from the video, "God draws straight with crooked lines..." Doug Wilson.  Until we realize that the gospel is worked out in the details of life then we will not understand the broader picture of what God is doing all over the world. 

Lord, please grant us eyes to see.

Your boasting friend,


Monday, March 14, 2011

Praying for the people of Japan

(photo from the Big Picture)

There is no adequate way to express the sadness of watching peoples homes, in some cases with them inside, destroyed and the grief that you feel.

As in any tragic situation like this we should pray and not doubt that our prayers are heard.  We should help where we can by giving, like Food for the Hungry.

These things should bring us closer to the God of sovereign purposes that go beyond us and to the gospel.  Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior that make these situations bearable.  Because he has suffered unto death he does in every way relate to those who are broken and suffering.

May God grant repentance to many in Japan and those around the world because of this tragedy.

Your boasting friend,


Monday, March 7, 2011

Hell and the commentment to obscurity

Just about a year ago, I posted this about hell and the realities of it.
Now, because of one video, by Mr. Bell, there is the questioning of a literal hell.  Why would that be a surprise, especially since, as Scot McKnight claims, "...somewhere near 75% of my students, many if not most of them nurtured in the church, are more or less (soft) universalists."  Now, I appreciate what he is doing in the context, he is trying to say that there is a vacuum when it comes to this discussion but I think what it is centered around is a person instead of the Person of Christ.

Brian MacLaren goes to the other side and says, "let's defend Rob and heap praise upon him for being so BOLD!"  Really?  So "BOLD" is now questioning biblical thought and the reality of Jesus' teaching from the scripture?  I mean no less than 14 references to it directly and at least 3 in the Sermon on the Mount alone.  Jesus wasn't afraid of the realities of it or to have a discussion of it, in fact he was fiercely determined that there was a hell and real people were going there.

Also, there is a misnomer that because there is no real discussion of hell in the OT that the realities of it weren't present among the people of Israel.  God's judgment of them was no less clear as Jesus teaching on hell than when the earth opened up and swallowed 250 sons of Korah (Num. 16:31-35), are they in heaven?  And what were they judged for?  They questioned Moses' leadership, not a real "evil" thing to do in our day would you say?  But God saw it as a rejection of His leadership over them and he judged them severely.  Sheol is a place mentioned frequently in the OT, just look up "Sheol" and see at least 60 references to it.

When Mr. McKnight starts with the false premise of people's thoughts, we become fascinated with guys like Rob Bell and what they question rather than what they believe.  So he relates to the kids of today, so what, really, so what.  I think that todays generation is so idealistic that it drives me crazy and makes me want to cover my kids ears.  They're so focused on their wants and needs that if we don't pay attention to them then we are somehow doing a disservice to the community.  Can they be quiet and listen to older and wiser voices, even older than Rob Bell is at 40?  And not just voices that question everything but voices that say wise things, biblical things, and take stands that involve the Bible and not their own thoughts.

So be ready for the discussion, if you do have it, that hell is real and they must be prepared.  Like Tyrun who I spoke to at the park on Sunday, it should provoke the reality of that to run to our neighbors and share the good news.

Your boasting friend,