Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Confess your sins-

by Michael Krahn
In James 5:16 we are commanded to do the following: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
“Therefore” means “because the preceding is true”… In other words, he is sayng “You should do this… it will be good for you.”
Confess your sins to one another. When is the last time you did that? What does it mean, anyway? Does it mean I apologize to you for being harsh or critical? Maybe I’ll confess that I said something I shouldn’t have…
There at least four reasons why this mutual confession is good for us:
1. It causes us to consider the sin in our lives
When we consider this, a panic may set in about how much of our sin we want to confess to the someone else. Will we reveal all our sin or will we hold back the “really big ones”?
If we never confess our sins and faults to one another, it is easier to minimize the seriousness of the sin and ignore the potential consequences. This is less likely if we confess these faults to one another.
In addition, if we are going to approach this practice honestly, there will be a deterrent effect. If I know I will be sharing mutual confession with you on Friday, I may rethink me action in the days before when I am tempted to sin.
2. It causes us to seek out trustworthy people
One of my favorite songwriters, Bill Mallonee, has a lyric in a song called “A Certain Slant of Light” that goes like this:
Tell me your deep, dark secret,
And I will tell you mine.
Is that your deep, dark secret?
Oh, well, nevermind…
There is always this fear. What if… the secret sin you’re about to confess is way “out of league” with your mutual confessor? What if… that person tells others about your sin? Will you take the risk?
Of course we do need to be wise about what we reveal and to whom. Confession to the wrong person can quickly become a sinful form of exhibitionism. But avoiding mutual confession completely is a clear disobedience.
3. It encourages dependence on others
I have found this to be true of my relationships. Perpetual platitudes and shallow talk, while enjoyable, will not lead you into intimacy of relationship. It is not until we have seen both sides of a person that we really begin to know them. And it is not until we have revealed both sides, or all sides, of our selves that we are really known.
There is no intimacy without risk, but we fear this vulnerability, not realizing that without it our hearts become stone and not only do bad things not get out, good things can no longer get in either.
4. That we may be healed
Like Jesus, James uses words that have meaning in a physical as well as a spiritual sense. “Healed” is one of those words. Clearly in the preceding verses he is speaking of physical sickness, but in verse 16 he must not be telling people only to pray for each other when they become fatally ill. Here the healing he speaks of is spiritual.
But how can we possibly “confess our sins” to each other if we are not in authentic relationship with each other, or if we don’t cling to grace as a foundation for our faith? God has put us together to suffer with each other and also rejoice together.
Practicing mutual confession will allow us to enjoy the full spectrum of relationship with God and others.
When was the last time you practiced what is clearly commanded in James 5:16?

Monday, August 29, 2011


Media-Hyped Religious Surveys and the Bad News Bearers

The Baylor University sociologists of religion Rodney Stark and Byron Johnson remainunimpressed with the Barna Group’s methodology. From an editorial in The Wall Street Journal:
The national news media yawned over the Baylor Survey’s findings that the number of American atheists has remained steady at 4% since 1944, and that church membership has reached an all-time high. But when a study by the Barna Research Group claimed that young people under 30 are deserting the church in droves, it made headlines and newscasts across the nation—even though it was a false alarm.
Surveys always find that younger people are less likely to attend church, yet this has never resulted in the decline of the churches. It merely reflects the fact that, having left home, many single young adults choose to sleep in on Sunday mornings.
Once they marry, though, and especially once they have children, their attendance rates recover. Unfortunately, because the press tends not to publicize this correction, many church leaders continue unnecessarily fretting about regaining the lost young people.
In similar fashion, major media hailed another Barna report that young evangelicals are increasingly embracing liberal politics. But only religious periodicals carried the news that national surveys offer no support for this claim, and that younger evangelicals actually remain as conservative as their parents.
Given this track record, it was no surprise this month to see the prominent headlines announcing another finding from Barna that American women are rapidly falling away from religion. The basis for this was a comparison between a poll they conducted in 1991 and one they conducted in January of this year.
The reporters who ran with this story ought to have wondered why this change wasn’t picked up sooner if it was going on for 20 years. Many national surveys have been conducted during this period—in fact the Barna Group has been doing them all along. Did the organization check to see if its new results were consistent with its own previous data or with the many other national surveys widely available? There is no sign that it did. If it had, it would have found that its findings about women are as unfounded as previous claims about young people deserting the church and young evangelicals becoming liberals.
(Justin Taylor) 

The Gospel

Two Reasons We Should Never Pit the “Gospel of Paul” Against the “Gospel of Jesus”

Jesus: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:12-15).
Paul: “For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11-12).
(Kevin DeYoung)

Saturday, August 27, 2011


He has good knees!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Somebody shoot me!

This is what Gary looks like when Mark Marshall preaches......

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are you fit for Heaven- JC Ryle

J. C. Ryle:
But alas, how little fit for heaven are many who talk of going to heaven, when they die, while they manifestly have no saving faith and no real acquaintance with Christ. You give Christ no honor here. You have no communion with Him. You do not love Him. Alas, what could you do in heaven? It would be no place for you. Its joys would be no joys for you. Its happiness would be a happiness into which you could not enter. Its employments would be a weariness and a burden to your heart. Oh, repent and change before it be too late!

Tar Heel Recruits: Tokoto and Paige

Ready for Bball Season. Go Heels!

Monday, August 22, 2011

One Thing

 One thing I have desired of the LORD,
         That will I seek: 
         That I may dwell in the house of the LORD 
         All the days of my life, 
         To behold the beauty of the LORD, 
         And to inquire in His temple.  Psalm 27:4


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

30 lbs gone!!

 I have lost 30lbs and it has been really easy.... 

Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates.
- Don’t eat bread, pasta, rice, grains, potatoes, breaded/ fried foods
- No Dairy

-stay away from white

Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again.
- Keeping meals simple, prevents your from emotional eating
Mixing and matching foods from the list below will allow creativity without going overboard:
- Eggs
- Chicken
- Beef (grass-fed)
- Fish
- Pork
- Lentils
- Black Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Red Beans
- Soybeans
- Spinach
- Mixed Veggies
- Sauerkraut, Kimchee
- Asparagus
- Peas
- Broccoli
- Green Beans
Rule #3: Don’t Drink Calories

-no soft drinks, sweet tea, fruit juices.. drink a ton of water

Rule #4: Don’t Eat Fruit

Fruits are high is sugar and fructose that eventually is converted to glycerol phosphate, leading to fat storage… leading to weight gain.

Rule #5: Take a CHEAT DAY!!

-eat anything and everything all day long…
-my cheat day is Saturday…. I love cheat days..

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vince giving back

My days as a Carolina student, both pre-NBA and during the summers after I was drafted, will always be special to me. It goes without saying that I am a Tar Heel. For several years, I have been thinking about something I could do to leave a legacy at UNC. Lettermen’s Lane is a perfect fit.
Vince Carter on his $2.5million donation to the UNC Family Fund

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Saved to the Uttermost

All true believers will be saved to the uttermost. Christ's High Priestly ministry guarantees it. They have been justified, they are being sanctified, and they will be glorified. Not one of them will miss out on any stage of the process, though in this life they all find themselves at different points along the way. 
The truth has been known historically as the perseverance of the saints.
No doctrine has been more savaged by the system of theology that advocates merely intellectual faith as the condition of salvation,because the doctrine of perseverance is antithetical to the entire system that is so oriented. In fact, what proponents of this system have pejoratively labeled "lordship salvation" is nothing other than the doctrine of perseverance!

Perseverance means that "those who have true faith can lose that faith neither totally nor finally." It echoes God's promise through Jeremiah: "I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me" (32:40, emphasis added).

That flatly contradicts the notion entertained by some who teach that faith can evaporate, leaving "believers" who no longer believe. It opposes the radical easy-believism teaching that genuine Christians can choose to "drop out" of the spiritual growth process and "cease to confess Christianity." It is the polar opposite of the brand of theology that makes faith a "historic moment," a one-time "act" that secures heaven, but offers no guarantee the "believer's" earthly life will be changed.
The Westminster Confession of Faith has defined perseverance as follows:
    They whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved (chap. 17, sec. 1).
This definition does not deny the possibility of miserable failings in one's Christian experience, because the Confession also said,
    Nevertheless [believers] may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein; whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit: come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves (sec. 3).
Sin is a reality in the believer's experience, so it is clear that insistence on the salvific necessity of a working faith does not include the idea of perfectionism. Nevertheless, people steeped in the merely-intellectual-faith teaching often misunderstand the issue with regard to perseverance.
(johnny mac)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kreeft - The Comfort of Heaven

“Now suppose both death and hell were utterly defeated.  Suppose the fight was fixed.  Suppose God took you on a crystal ball trip into your future and you saw with indubitable certainty that despite everything — your sin, your smallness, your stupidity — you could have free for the asking your whole crazy heart’s deepest desire: heaven, eternal joy.  Would you not return fearless and singing?  What can earth do to you, if you are guaranteed heaven?  To fear the worst earthly loss would be like a millionaire fearing the loss of a penny — less, a scratch on a penny.”
Peter Kreeft, Heaven (San Francisco, 1989), page 183.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Welcome to The Hill! Isaiah Hicks...

via twitter:

 Isaiah Hicks 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This is really good- Pastors

“Dear Lord, I refuse henceforth to compete with any of Thy servants. They have congregations larger than mine. So be it. I rejoice in their success. They have greater gifts. Very well. That is not in their power nor in mine. I am humbly grateful for their greater gifts and my smaller ones. I only pray that I may use to Thy glory such modest gifts as I possess. I will not compare myself with any, nor try to build up my self-esteem by noting where I may excel one or another in Thy holy work. I herewith make a blanket disavowal of all intrinsic worth. I am but an unprofitable servant. I gladly go to the foot of the cross and own myself the least of Thy people. If I err in my self judgment and actually underestimate myself I do not want to know it. I purpose to pray for others and to rejoice in their prosperity as if it were my own. And indeed it is my own if it is Thine own, for what is Thine is mine, and while one plants and another waters it is Thou alone that giveth the increase.” - (A.W. Tozer, The Price of Neglect)

[H/T David Guzik's commentary on Haggai 2] 

(The Thinklings) good site

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cast It!

 Cast your burden on the LORD,
         And He shall sustain you; 
         He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
 Psalm 55:22

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1Peter 5:7

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not Silver or Gold

...knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1

The blood of Christ (v. 19) is the ransom price paid for our life, and this blood is contrasted with the less valuable silver and gold that might have been paid. And the reason silver and gold are less valuable is that they are “perishable.” Verse 18: “not with perishable things such as silver or gold.”
So again the point is that the new life that Jesus ransoms with his blood is not in danger of going back into captivity, because the price he pays for our new life (our new birth) is not perishable.

The blood of Christ is of infinite value, and therefore, its value never runs out. It is an imperishable value. That is how we are ransomed. That’s the price of the new life we receive in the new birth. And Jesus paid it for us. 

(Finally Alive- Piper)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Lord Sings Over You! Piper

 The LORD your God in your midst, 
      The Mighty One, will save; 
      He will rejoice over you with gladness, 
      He will quiet you with His love, 
      He will rejoice over you with singing. 

                          Zephaniah 3:17

"I say this is almost too good to believe-that when the Father calls the minstrels to sing at the banquet, it is He Himself that leads the singing, and the song has to do with how glad He is that we are there. In fact it is too good for some people to believe, and they, tragically, cannot believe it. But Zephaniah labors under the wonderful inspiration of God to overcome every obstacle that would keep a person from believing-really feeling and enjoying-the unspeakable news that God rejoices over us with singing." John Piper

Monday, August 1, 2011

You wanna be a Rebel- Driscoll

“You wanna be counter-culture? You wanna be a total rebel? Get a job! You wanna be counter-culture, totally alternative, radical? Be a virgin until you get married…to a person of the opposite gender. And then stay married and pump out some kids and pay your taxes and read the Bible, you freak. You’ll be just totally a rebel.”