Wednesday, September 28, 2011


For His Glory- Chandler

  • God created us for His glory (Isaiah 43:6-7). I want you to think about this. The reason you exist, the reason you are is for the glory of God, the name and renown of God. The praising of His infinite perfections, that’s why you exist. You’re not here for fellowship. God was not lonely and decided to make you because He was just tired of being alone after eternity of being alone. God was perfectly content within the Godhead. God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit did not need to create you. He did create you for the praise of His glorious grace. That’s why you exist. It’s the reason you’re alive.

  • God calls Israel for His glory (Isaiah 49:3). “And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified."”

  • In Jeremiah 13:11, we find out that He tells the nation of Israel, “I didn’t pick you guys because you’re awesome. I picked you because you were the smallest, crummiest tribe there was.” So even with Israel, it wasn’t about Israel. In fact, even to this day, God delights in making much of Himself through people who are lacking. You should be very grateful for that.

  • God rescues Israel from Egypt for His glory (Psalm 106:7-8). “Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.”
  • God raises up Pharaoh to show His power and glory (Romans 9:17). “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."” I know Romans 9 is a wildly unpopular Scripture, but it’s in the Bible. You ought to check it out. In Romans 9, the Scriptures tell us that God allowed Pharaoh into the pinnacle of human power. So Pharaoh pretty much is ruler of the world at that point in history. He has a slave force of millions, a massive empire and a massive army, and the Bible tells us that God gave him all of that so He could crush him to show that man at his pinnacle is tiny compared to God on His worst day. We see that even the destruction of Pharaoh was about the name of God.

  • God defeats Pharaoh by the Red Sea to show His glory (Exodus 14:4; 17-18). “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD." And they did so. . .And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

  • God spared Israel in the wilderness for the glory of His name (Ezekiel 20:14). “But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.” I have never ceased to be comforted by the fact that God never just outright destroys the nation of Israel. They get it right for a couple verses in the Old Testament. Right behind almost every verse of commendation is, “All right. You want t go that way? We’ll go that way.” And so God never destroys them or completely annihilates the nation of Israel, and He does it for the sake of His name.

  • God gave Israel the Promised Land for the glory of His name (2 Samuel 7:23). “And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods?”

  • God did not cast away His people for the glory of His name (1 Samuel 12:20-22). “And Samuel said to the people, "Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.”

  • God saved Jerusalem from attack for the glory of His name (2 Kings 19:34; 20:6). “For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David. . .and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.”

  • God restored Israel from exile for the glory of His name (Ezekiel 36:22-23; 32). “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. . .It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord GOD; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.” 

Monday, September 26, 2011

You are not cool

by RW Glenn

At the Psalm 119 Conference in Boston, Todd Friel showed video of churches doing astonishing things in public worship: a pastor dressed up as a Transformer, complete with digitally-altered "robot" monotone voice; a pastor mounting a white horse (an actual horse) riding into the worship center like one of the Knights of the Round Table, only wearing a suit.
Then Todd asked us speakers what, if anything, we found troublesome or problematic about this approach to ministry.
Here are my two cents:
All of these antics are rooted in pragmatism, pure and simple. If it works to achieve our ends, then it's right. The logic goes like this: We want more people to hear the gospel. People will only come to hear the gospel if you dress up like a Transformer or ride a white horse. Therefore, dressing up like Bumblebee or becoming Will Rogers is a perfectly legitimate way of doing church.
Now this logic is problematic on many levels, not least the implicit denial of the power of the gospel alone to save those who believe (Rom 1:16). But I would also argue that it fails on the grounds of the very pragmatism that drives it. Bottom line: non-Christians do not think it's cool! They think it's hokey, silly, and inauthentic.
I have talked with my friends who aren't yet Christians about churches that do things like this, and to a man they've said that it's ridiculous. And my instincts tell me that they aren't alone. People who are really cool can tell when people who aren't cool are trying to be cool and it totally turns them off. We need to get over ourselves. If you're a Christian, you gave up being cool as soon as you said, "I love you" to Jesus Christ.
Put simply, the pragmatists are unpragmatic. Their practice is philosophically self-defeating. The moment they try to be cool to attract cool people is the moment every cool person leaves their church.
I should add that I feel qualified to speak this way about pragmatism because I, too, am a pragmatist. If God is our creator, he knows the perfect strategy for marketing the gospel to his creation: preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor 2:2). No bells, no whistles. The unadulterated gospel, pure and simple. So wouldn't it be the most pragmatic, common sense thing to do to adopt his strategy? He has a great success rate. Every single person who has ever been saved was captured hook, line, and sinker by it. Why not give it a whirl and see what happens? It could be the most pragmatic thing you've ever done.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Churching the Unchurched?

"Churching the unchurched is an absolute fallacy – it is like purposing to let the tares in. It is absolutely bizarre to want to make unsaved people feel comfortable in a church. The church is not a building – the church is a group of worshiping, redeemed, and sanctified people among whom an unbeliever should feel either miserable, convicted and drawn to Christ, or else alienated and isolated. Only if the church hides its message and ceases to be what God designed the church to be, can it make an unbeliever comfortable."

John MacArthur

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Piper- exercise pt.2

I just don’t like being overweight. My pants fit funny. I can’t see my belt. When I was about 19 I went golfing with some overweight evangelists. They said, “Well look at that flat stomach on Johnny. Just give him another ten years.” At that moment something happened inside me. I said nothing out loud, but inside I said, “It’s not going to happen.” I suspect there was sin in that. But the resolve is still there.
Quickly, another disclaimer: There is a difference between obesity and gluttony. I was set straight on this one after I made some hurtful blunders. Some people are overweight who have issues very different from gluttony. Never assume that overweight equals lazy and undisciplined.

For Purity and Productivity

Today, my main motive for exercise is purity and productivity. By purity I mean being a more loving person (as Jesus said, “love your neighbor,” Matthew 22:39). By productivity I mean getting a lot done (as Paul said, “abounding in the work of the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 15:58).
Underneath most of my besetting sins is despondency. I am less prone to such melancholy when I hammer my body three times a week. The reason could be endorphins. Could be ego. Whichever, it’s cheaper than Prozac or psychotherapy. I’m simply happier. And I sleep better. I have more energy.
Most of that energy goes into the Bible and preaching and people. And the fruit from that is, I hope, edification. Which means I exercise to be a more loving person and a better pastor.

How the Spirit Produces Fruit

If you ask how the fruit of exercise relates to the fruit of the Spirit, my answer is this: The Holy Spirit produces his fruit both directly and indirectly. He can zap you in your worst moments and make you kind. But he often does it indirectly.
For example, if you are impatient when you get little sleep, and if patience is a fruit of the Spirit (which it is, Galatians 5:22), very likely the Holy Spirit will not only remind you of the sufferings of Christ and the glory of God’s promises, but he will also give you the humility to stop being God and to bed at 9:30.
And if you sleep better when you regularly exercise, then the Holy Spirit will also give you the humble discipline to exercise so that you sleep better so that you are more patient. If he does it that way, it is still his fruit.
I could add that doctors say being fit will help protect me from a hundred diseases and bad effects of aging. I suspect that’s true. But if that were my main motive, I probably wouldn’t drink Diet Coke.
So, in short, I have one life to live for Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:15). I don’t want to waste it. My approach is not mainly to lengthen it, but to maximize purity and productivity now. I want to show as much gospel truth and publish as much gospel truth as I can. I have found, for 43 years, that exercise helps. I think God set it up that way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Piper on Exercise pt. 1

First, a disclaimer: Some godly people who exercise regularly and eat well drop dead at every age. And some sedentary overeaters live to be ninety. Our days are set by God, not us. You won’t live a day longer or shorter than God decides. But keep in mind that some people have survived the plunge over Niagara Falls. That doesn’t make it wise.

I Took Up Jogging

Till I was 22 I didn’t exercise, I just worked and played outside. Since physical activity was part of my life (like it is for most of the world) I needed no exercise plan.
Then I married and went to seminary. Almost all physical work and play vanished. What remained was random. So I became a jogger. I’ve been a jogger ever since. That was 43 years ago. I jogged several times a week in Pasadena (and survived the smog). I jogged in Munich, Germany for three years. I jogged when I taught at Bethel in St. Paul. And, since coming to Bethlehem as pastor, 31 years ago, I have jogged pretty much every week.
I also walk to church rather than driving, most of the time. I figure a modest estimate is that I have walked the distance between my house and the church 10,000 times. It is exactly 600 paces from my front door to the church door. You can do the math. I think its been good for me. One thing I know for sure, I hear from God on those walks like no other time.
Back to jogging. I would guess that the average has been about nine miles a week for 43 years. I am intentionally using the word “jog” rather than “run”. I am pokey. There was a season between ages 28 and 38 when I ran farther and faster (say eight-minute-miles for an hour). The farthest I ever ran was 12 miles with Tom Steller in the early eighties.
No more. At 65 I jog three times a week for about 30 minutes at about an 11-minute-mile pace. In case you wonder, that’s slow.

About Six Hours a Week

I love to play. Love it too much probably. So there have been seasons where this jogging routine has been supplemented by more or less regular racquetball, handball, or basketball. But I’m not good at any of those. So I hold most people back. It’s better for me to go solo. I can set my own pace.
There have been seasons when I biked a lot. I rode with my son across Minnesota. I still take my road bike out now and then for 10 or 15 miles.
In the last year, I have added a weightlifting regimen to the jogging three times a week. I am told that people in their sixties start to lose muscle mass, whatever that is. And the solution is weights. So now there is about 30 minutes three times a week on weights at the Y. My total weekly investment in physical exercise these days would be about six hours, counting dressing and showering and travel.
(desiring God)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pat Robertson-- shut up!!

This is terrible!

To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part.

The Earth

Time-lapse from the International Space Station:

Colonel Jeff Williams—a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod—has seen this first hand. He has orbited the earth over 2,800 times, more than any person in history. He has also captured more photographs of earth than any person in history. You can view his 2006 photos and biblical reflections and commentary in the book The Work of His Hands: A View of God’s Creation from Space. He says, “Spaceflight definitely gave me a new perspective on the world around us and provided a transcendent view of things above and beyond the immediate elements of life . . . viewing the earth from space brought a new significance to the truth of many familiar biblical texts.”
(Justin Taylor)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fortune Cookie

so that is how they do it :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I can't do this!!

I can't do this with a basketball but I can beat Cory and Jon Presnell every time I play against them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Be a dawg not a Cat! Amen

Coastal Carolina football coach David Bennett gave one of the more interesting/bizarre press conferences earlier this week prior to his team's game against Catawba.

(sports illustrated)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tough job!

Men fixing the antenna on top of the Empire State Building.
(click pic to enlarge)
And you thought you had a tough job :)

(22 words)

Preaching by MacDonald

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:1-2
Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:16
I preach the Word; that’s what I do.
I preach because I have to do it. I don’t sense a choice in the matter at all.
I preach because nothing else can satisfy the urgency and passion that God has ignited in my heart for His truth and His people. The same should be true for you. If you can go sell cars or shuffle stocks instead of being a pastor and preacher of God’s Word, then go do that.

“For all the difficult trade-offs that come with living your Christian life in public, we get the joy of holding God’s Word in our hands, rightly dividing the Word of truth, and watching it change lives. That’s so much bigger than having free weekends.”
James MacDonald

Hey Bro... err maybe not...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011


Glory of God: Honoring in Word and Deed

…if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you… (v. 2a)
The minor prophets, like Malachi, were the Lord’s prosecuting attorneys. They brought God’s charges against Israel. Malachi here singles out the priests. They performed their sacrifices, but not with the prescribed offerings. They executed judgments, but did so with partiality. They instructed the people, but not according to knowledge. They were religious good-for-nothings, dodging their commitments (1:7) and grumbling about their service (1:13).
The particulars of their sin, with obscure Levitical laws and animal guts, seems strange to us. But the root problem is all too familiar. They tried cutting corners with God. Going through the religious motions does not honor God, neither does a casual commitment to Christ without a real concern for obedience. Suppose you had a great college professor you really liked. Outside the classroom you got to be good friends. You had a wonderful relationship. But you didn’t do your homework, study for tests or hand in papers on time. No matter how warm you felt in your heart toward this teacher or how often you showed up for class, he would not feel honored by you. God is glorified not by mere activity or a show of emotion, but by heartfelt obedience to his word.
(Kevin DeYoung)

Thursday, September 1, 2011