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Showing posts from October, 2006

Wondering What's Up With That?

Here's a great post by Todd Bolen here:

Eye Test

I recommend this. It's short but it'll determine how good your vision is and the degree of color-blindedness you have. Click here:

Your Speech Really Speaks

Take note of Eph 4:29 when Paul says, Ephesians 4:29 " 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear ." Notice the context in which Paul wrote it as well "30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you " (Eph 4:30-32). It is so important for us to take verse 29 to heart. Paul says (literally) every word that is sapros out of our mouth - Let it never come out! . The main verb of the clause is last clearly for emphasis. In other words, Paul is saying that every word that is sapros must never come out of our mouths as believers. So what does sapros mean? Sapros

A Preacher Preaching With Joy

May we all who aspire to be preachers preach with as much joy as this man!

Go Cardinals

How are you Running?

The Apostle Paul gives a great illustration in 1 Cor 9:24-27: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. What Paul is saying is that - in this life - he makes it his ambition to run with such a determination so as to win the prize. He knows that there are many others who are running. He knows that the race is large. The stadium is packed. The sounds are deafening. Yet Paul uses this athletic analogy to get his point across. In the Isthmian games, the winner of the race would receive a wreath ( stephano

The Great Discovery

Glorious God I bless thee that I know thee I once lived in the world, but was ignorant of its creator, was partaker of thy providences, but knew not the provider, was blind while enjoying the sunlight, was deaf to all things spiritual, with voices all around me understood many things, but had no knowledge of thy ways, saw the world, but did not see Jesus only. O Happy day, when in thy love's sovereignty thou didst look on me, and call me by grace. Then did the dead heart begin to beat, the darkened eye glimmer with light, the dull ear catch thy echo, and I turned to thee and found thee, a God ready to hear, willing to save. Then did I find my heart at enmity to thee, vexing thy Spirit; Then did I fall at thy feet and hear three thunder, 'The soul that sinneth, it must die', But when grace made me to know thee, and admire a God who hated sin, thy terrible justice held my will submissive. My thou

True Accountability

When you have a relationship that strives to be pleasing to the Lord, one of the essential qualities that must be in place is accountability. True accountability. Not just a mere question here, or a question there. But a real and genuine interest in the other person's heart to understand what is going on in their soul/spirit. The psalmist recognizes this and he says that "Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against you" (Ps 119:11). How important it is for us - not just to hide God's word in our hearts, to live it, but to hold one another accountable by it. True accountability is God-honoring. It is glorifying to Jesus Christ. It is open honesty seeking to understand the other person's spirit with the help and aid of the Holy Spirit. May God give us the grace to practice this kind of true and biblical accountability in our relationships. To God be the Glory.

Ex-governor says he'll wed boyfriend if state allows

This is shocking. And it is still amazing to me that these issues are still on the front lines and the main topics of discussion in the news these days. Ex-Gov. James McGreevey said, "I regret not having had the fortitude to embrace this right during my tenure as governor." It is horrifying to hear that " Before they could marry, the former governor would have to finalize his divorce from his second wife ." This is disturbing. We - as believers - need to understand what's going on, to not be afraid of it, and then to take a stand for the truth. We need to stand for the truth because the supreme authority of the truth commands us to stand up for what's right. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching , for reproof , for correction , for training in righteousness ; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. God is true and let every man be found a liar (Rom 3:4). Believer, take

A Passion for God for the Glory of God

One of my heroes is a man by the name of St. Francis - or more commonly referred to as St. Francis of Assisi. He was born and raised in this town of Assisi, Italy and lived a normal childhood. He was quite the partier and the womanizer. He was one who was always living on the edge longing to have an exciting time which would bring cheer to his heart. During the inquisition in Italy, he was captured and spent much time in a cement prison/dungeon. He was chained to the wall and the only light he ever saw was the faint daylight coming through his small window in the cell. This time alone - desperately alone - allowed Francis to reflect and meditate much on his life - that is, the reason for living. Upon being released from the cell after the Inquisition, he often wandered off to secluded places contemplating, meditating and wondering what his life was all about. He stumbled into a Church one day. It was nothing special. It was a one-room church-house. Upon entering, he looked up and saw

What Happened to a Man Leaving Father and Mother and Being Joined to his Wife?

The USA Today (along with the New York Times, LA Times, and Washington Post) gave headlines (or if not the leading article, then it was a secondary one) to the idea of "Same-sex couples [who are] in New Jersey must be given all the benefits and rights enjoyed by married men and women." This is outright wrong, sinful and dishonoring to God. It is completely defaming the purpose that God had originally intended for the covenant of marriage. It is overwhelmingly clear in the Scriptures that God intended for man and woman to join together for the God-given union and bond of marriage (cf. Gen 2:22-25; Prov 18:22; Matt 22:4-9; 1 Cor 7:10-11; Gal 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; Titus 1:6; 1 Pet 5:1-7). The union is for "a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Gen 2:24) and there is no doubt about this. It couldn't be more clear in the Word of God. Additionally, Scripture condemns the sin of homosexuality (R

Announcement Please

A Black Truck. About 11:00pm. Driving on a road with not many cars. I heard something that really, really , really brought joy to my heart. Yet it humbled me. To my friend whom I love giving piggy-back rides. You are great. God is truly Good. Psalm 93:1 - "The Lord Reigns"

We Are Complete and Utter Fools - For Good Cause

I was soberly and humbly reminded last night of the truth - which I read this morning in my devotions - that the "word of the cross, to those who are perishing, is foolishness, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God...We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews, on the one hand, a stumbling block, but to the Greeks, on the other hand, foolishness. But to the called, both Jew and Greek, [we preach] Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:18, 23-24). How true is it that every single person who rejects the Gospel is in essence calling the gospel a "foolish scheme." But yet let me be reminded: salvation is all of God. I play NO part in it. In fact, the only part that I ever played in my salvation were the running away from God as fast as I could run because of my sin nature and inherent rebellion. Paul says so clearly the word of the cross is absolute foolishness to those who are perishing. This is ho logos tou stourou and it is mor

Are you Unhappy With Your Reading Speed?

Have I got the solution for YOU . It is very simple, really. In fact, it would not take much effort at all. It could, potentially, be done by the click of the mouse. Though there must be a decision as to which "style" is the best. What on earth is my solution to reading fast(er)? Techno music . That's really all it is, folks. In fact, let me elaborate just for a moment - humor me - and tell you why I genuinely believe techno music can enhance your reading speed: (1) It is a steady beat for hours. No commercials, no breaks, no slow down - love song, mushy-mushy - music. (2) There are no lyrics (for the most part) with Techno music. That means that you can listen to Techno all day long and not get wrapped up in the lyrics that you may already know or partly know (that we all try to sing along with those songs that we know only 30% of the lyrics and as a result, make up our own lyrics for the other 70%!). This means - no distractions. (3) It is simply good chill musi

Divine Power in the Spirit

I was contemplating the idea last night of serving. This then led me to the wonderful text of Galatians 5. In this chapter, Paul is giving the practical exhortations to the Galatian believers to walk in (or by the Spirit). Paul says in Gal. 5:6 that it is "faith working through love" that counts. He continues in v.13 by saying that "you were called to freedom, brethren: only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another ." Serving another individual takes a conscious, deliberate, willful and determined effort. It does not come natural. To humble oneself and take off the outer garments (so to speak) and get down on the hands and feet and - with a towel - wash and wipe the muddy, smelly, dirty and calloused feet of the disciples of the Lord, is a hard task. Yet, at the same time, it is one that we are all called to. The reason I say this is because of John 13:15, "For I gave you an example that you also should d

Mohler and Mahaney - Masterful Minds

I read a few blogs this morning that were quite excellent: Bob Kauflin describes his time with C.J. Mahaney to visit Al Mohler at Southern seminary here: Al Mohler gave an entertaining blog expressing his desire to wish iPod a Happy 5th Anniversary here:

A Dose of Encouragement

It is amazing what a simple verse of the Bible can do to completely change the midset of a person day by day. For example, every day I receive a daily email with Scripture verses and meditations with a quote from a saint of old, and one of those days had a verse and a quote that really encouraged me. It was a much needed reminder in the course of a long (filled with studying and research) day: " The knowledge of Christ's love for us should cause us to love Him in such a way that it is demonstrated in our attitude, conduct, and commitment to serve God. Spiritual maturity is marked by spiritual knowledge being put into action. " -- Edward Bedore The Scripture that encouraged me was: Romans 15:13-14 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 14 And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and

A Hunger For Missions

Here is the link to a great (one of many) missions organizations: . The executive director, Stephen Lonetti, spoke at our chapel (at TMS; ) a few weeks ago and gave a very heart-stirring message on not only the need for missions, but the privilege (and necessity) or training local, national men to be pastors in their own villages and cultures that they are most familiar and acquainted with. This website and the organization is definately worth a few minutes of your time and prayers. "Missions exists because worship doesn't" ( quote by John Piper ).

The Place of Scripture in Church

Excellent post this morning by Mark Dever as he commented on the absolute necessity of the Scriptures in Church services. Unfortunately, this is a lost cause in modern day evangelical churches. Dever quotes David Wells by saying: “This Word of God is the means by which God accomplishes his saving work in his people, and this is a work that no evangelist and no preacher can do. This is why the dearth of serious, sustained biblical preaching in the Church today is a serious matter. When the Church loses the Word of God it loses the very means by which God does his work. In its absence, therefore, a script is being written, however unwittingly, for the Church’s undoing, not in one cataclysmic moment, but in a slow, inexorable slide made up of piece by tiny piece of daily dereliction.” David Wells, Above All Earthly Pow’rs (2005), p. 9.

Second Hand Belief

Why is it that so often, we are prone and enticed into believing the truth about something/someone from someone else. Why is it, that we do not make the effort to approach the matter and investigate and find out the truth from the primary source ? I think I am beginning to realize the devastation this can bring upon a person - a church, a family, a ministry, etc. For example, this is a true story that happened in the not too distant past: One person heard something about another person. Then that person who heard the issue told other people. After telling a host of other people, the person sought out the primary person and said, "I heard ... about you." Why did that happen? Or Why did you do that? Notice that there is no question to confirm if the issue heard was correct or even valid. It was simply a question with accusatory overtones. I think we do this for a number of reasons: (1) We are simple minded and do not want to have - in any way, shape or form - any confl

All Israel Will Be Saved

Count on it. There will come a time in the eschaton, when every single Jewish person will be saved - they will trust in Jesus Christ (Y'shua), their promised Messiah. When will this be? In the future, after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Rom 11:25). As I was studying Romans 11 yesterday, I was overwhelmed with the future of God for ethnic, national Israel. Not the church, no replacement theology, not the "spiritual Israel" but national, ethnic Israel (an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, the tribe of Benjamin; cf. Rom 11:1). It is clear from the book of Romans at large, that one of Paul's overarching themes is God's plan for both Jew and Gentile (cf. 1:13-14, 16-17). In Romans 11 Paul speaks of a metaphor that everyone in the first century would understand clearly. The metaphor was that of an olive tree and some wild branches that were grafted in to this olive tree. The point is simple. Israel is this olive tree. Yet, out of God's free and

Thoughts from John Piper on Obeying Christ

I take no credit for this blog: It is posted from a good buddy of mine, Gunner Gundersen ( It is from John Piper on his New Book, What Jesus Demands from the World. It is an interview that recently took place at the Conference at Bethlehem Baptist Church: Justin Taylor to John Piper: Pastor John, I wanted to start with you… You spent two months this summer looking at the commands of Jesus in the gospels and poring over every word that Jesus said, and I want to ask you: In this postmodern climate, in today’s culture, what did that do for your own soul, spending that much time with the words of Christ; anything personally that you learned, that you took away from that time, or were you changed by doing that exercise? John Piper: It’s a devastating thing, first, to expose yourself to five hundred imperatives in the gospels and dozens and dozens of demands from the one who has all authority in heaven and on earth, because His standards are so radic

Authentic Vulnerability

Have you ever had such a great conversation that afterwards you think and reflect on the conversation that just took place and realized, "I really shared a lot right then?" Last night was one of those for me. Those late nights with buddies, with roomies, with family and friends and the great conversations that accompany that time are all special. However, I realized something at 2:30 in the morning after a long night of conversation and fun with someone that I thoroughly enjoy spending much time with. And that is that being brutally honest inevitably results in some degree of vulnerability. In a sense, this is what friendship is built on. Is it not? Trust is vital. Authenticity is vital. Vulnerability is essential. How can a person be completely honest and yet hold back some issues from the past (before regeneration, embarrassing moments, post-conversion sinful experiences, etc.)? Upon reflection last night, not only was I amazed at the marvelous company that I had, bu

Awesome God! Really.

I have begun something new each morning. As I begin my personal prayer time, I will open the Scriptures - usually to a Psalm - and read through a verse or two (or even the Psalm) and meditate on the person and character of God. This morning I was reading through Psalm 96. I recognized something in the Hebrew that I have not recognized before in this Psalm. It struck me. Psalm 96:4 says, "For Great is Yahweh and Greatly to be Praised. Awesome ( norah ) is He over all gods." Upon reading this verse that is ever so clear in teaching the incomparable characteristics of Yahweh God over all other (pagan and mythological) gods of the Ancient Near East at that time, I was awed by the awesomeness of the God of the Bible. The fact that the Psalmist says that He (Yahweh) is norah (what we translate "awesome") is from the Hebrew root yareh meaning "to fear; to tremble; to be afraid." I am not suggesting that we - as New Testament believers - ought to be afrai

Biblical Egalitarianism?

One of the current issues in modern day evangelicalism is the ongoing (and unending) debate among "evangelical" scholars that women and men have totally equal rights in the marriage covenant. As I have been reading and researching extensively for one of my courses at seminary, I have been overwhelmed with the abundant number of evangelical scholars, theologians, pastors and "counselors" that hold to an egalitarian form of marriage. One of the verses that is so often at the forefront of my mind in all of this is Ephesians 5:24. It is here in this passage that Paul is giving a charge to various groups in the household. He is dealing with the first group here, namely the wives. He says to them in verse 22 - "Be subject to your own husbands" (that right there can be used to refute the egalitarian view) and Paul continues in v.23 by saying that "the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of

One Minute of Boasting

Allow me one minute of boasting, please. I received an extraordinarily kind gift yesterday after a special friend returned from Hawaii. Permit me to describe three of the gifts for you in brief, yet sufficient detail: (1) Kona Krunch. This is a chocolate Covered Macadamia Nut with Rice Crisp bar made from "Hawaiian Sun." I don't know anything about Hawaiian Sun, but the company sounds official. This is very tasty. As far as size goes, the candy is a little small, but no complaints. (2)Hawaiian Host presents, "Selected Whoel and Halves Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts. Now folks, these are superb. I have eaten about 6 of the 16 that are in the box and I made the sad - oh, so sad - mistake of looking at the Nutrition Facts on the side of the box. First of all, I had trouble reading the facts because the print was so small - no wonder. If everyone could read the Nutrition facts, no one would buy the box and eat 6 of these things in a day like I just did. (3) Hawaii&

The Lord Reigns and yes, short shorts are still in style!

My Roommate was running tonight. I was told by another roommate, whom I would deem trustworthy most of the time, that his shorts were just a tad short. More specifically, the white and muscular thighs were clearly evident upon every stride that was taken while burning the calories. Tyler, we love you, brother. On a serious note, this is the inauguration of this blog. I have entitled the page "Vassal of the King" for a simple reason. I have been pondering for many recent months the simple - yet profound - truth of Psalm 93:1, "The Lord Reigns." I have been overwhelmed in my personal times of worship in trying to understand how and what this looks like. I was first introduced to this concept along with a detailed study in the Psalm by Steve Lawson - who is my "hero" preacher. Psalm 93 was his last sermon at a church where he was removed from the Pastorate for preaching the absolute and exclusive truths of the Scriptures. Furthermore, Dr. Lawson's