Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fight on Men!

I thought these words from Tim Ellsworth were both convicting and exhorting in tone.

MM - Pride

I'm posting my Marriage Monday column a bit early due to the holiday (Labor Day) on Monday. I have been working through a section of The Exemplary Husband for quite some time. On pp.180-183, Stuart Scott, the author of this excellent work, lists some manifestations of pride which so easily emerge from our lives. Here is a sampling of some that leaped at me:
Being unteachable. Many proud individuals know it all. They're superior. They can't seem to learn anything from anyone else. They respect no one. (Proverbs 19:20; John 9:13-34)

Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading. Proud people can be very unkind people. Those who belittle other people usually want to raise themselves up above others. Very often this can be quite cleverly done through jesting. They may excuse themselves by saying, "That's just the way I am. That's my personality" (Proverbs 12:18, 23).

Being defensive or blame-shifting. You will often hear a proud person say, "Are you saying it's my fault?" or "Well, what about you?" (Genesis 3:12-13; Proverbs 12:1)

A lack of admitting when you are wrong. A proud person will make a great many excuses such as, "I was tired," or "I was having a bad day" (Proverbs 10:17).

Being impatient or irritable with others. A proud person might be angry wirth otehr people because they are concerned that their own schedule or plans are being ruined. They are often inflexible on preference issues (Ephesians 4:31-32).
These are just a few of the 30 Scott mentions. I know that as I've been mulling over these, God has again and again reminded me of what an arrogant person I am. Thank God this sin is met with grace through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Let's repent of our pride and live to honor God above all.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

#4...

Today, Meg and I celebrate our 4th Anniversary. (Interesting side note: If you ever want to remember how many years we have been together, think presidential elections, because I vividly remember spending part of my honeymoon watching political conventions while Meg was recovering from an illness.) We are both so grateful to God for His kindness to us. This is expressed in so many ways:

God's deepened our relationship and allowed us to not only grow closer to one another but closer to Him.

God's blessed us with 2 sons and entrusted us with the responsibility of raising them to be men that glorify Him. I heard C.J. mention the other day that parenting is about preparing children for the day of judgment. We want to be faithful to raise them but we are blessed in these gifts He's given us.

God's provided through the thick and thin. We began this journey together with me never being a senior pastor and being oblivious to many things. Meg would probably echo something to that effect as well. But to see how God has provided grace all along the way for whatever we face has been so encouraging.

Today, then, we are rejoicing and praising God. Pray that our celebration blesses Him.

Sane Faith...

Yesterday, JT posted links to Boundless Webzine's 3 part series from David Powlison. When it comes to wrestling truth about the human heart, it doesn't get much better than Powlison. Check out this series:

Sane Faith: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Self-immolation

I was really encouraged by this post on self-immolation in ministry. I often wonder if I am being a good steward of my time. I try to redeem my commute home to prepare my heart to serve my family. Times in ministry are sometimes very busy and almost breakneck speed. This week, for instance, I had an elder's meeting that lasted till 11PM and then turned around for a 6:30AM meeting with another guy. This article, then, proved very helpful when it summarized and said:
work hard, play hard. The body needs its rest and exercise as surely as it needs food and drink. The minister who neglects these is “a self-immolated victim”.
May God grant me that kind of grace so that He is ultimately glorified in what I do.

Don't Waste Your Life

Piper's book has long been one of my favorites, now starting September 14, our adults are going to be exposed to this in Sunday School. David Lansdowne will be leading his class over this curriculum.

They have a website, podcast, blog, and products to coincide with this great curriculum.

Here's the message they seek to communicate in the curriculum:
We want people to know that they will find their greatest happiness and deepest fulfillment when they spend their lives magnifying Christ.

We want to show them that God loves them, but that this love may be different than they’ve ever thought.

And we want people to see that the unwasted life is the life that seeks its own joy by putting the infinite value of Christ on display for the world to see.


Check out these resources and, by all means, don't waste your life.

SOW - Driscoll on Prayer

I have been greatly helped in recent days by Mark Driscoll's podcast and a series he did entitled Pray Like Jesus. I commend it to you as this week's free audio of the week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

JE's Preaching...

Tony Reinke's blog, Miscellanies, has a review of John Carrick's recent book The Preaching of Jonathan Edwards, including a PDF attachment of an excerpt.

In related Edwards news, the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University (which houses Edward's works and recently completed their publishing), have made them accessable online. To view them, go here. You will have to register first, though. Happy browsing and ENJOY!

MM - Quick Fix...

We all like quick fixes. A quick fix to help with your marriage is to forsake comforts. In last night's small group curriculum, our church read the following (from John Butler's chapter "Never Say Comfortable in Why Small Groups?):
We love our comfort, don't we? Our urge to pursue pleasure is deep and universal. Yet there are many places in our lives where God desires to put this urge to death. This may sound harsh, but I know from personal experience--including many confrontations over my own love of comfort--that it is true. Small groups can provide excellent opportunities for us to die to excessive love of comfort by embracing the changes and challenges God brings our way.
As much as this is true for small groups, it is infinitely more true in marriage. God desires to rid us of our comforts and marriage is a great tool of sanctification in His hands to remove those selfish, cancerous comforts that exist. Let's make it a quick fix, though, by continually seeking to serve our spouses and not our own comforts. Doing this is simply yielding to all that God wants to do in and through us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Long Term Planning

If you are a regular reader you might pray for me as I am in Wichita doing some long term planning for life and the church. I try to get away a couple of times a year to clear my head, think out loud, and get lots of ideas on paper. Pray that this time would be fruitful. Thanks.

Audio - Don't Waste Your...

In just the past few days, I've enjoyed 3 sermons from Covenant Life Church's Don't Waste Your Life series:

Robin Boisvert on Don't Waste Your Vote
Gregg Harris on Don't Waste Your Kids
Mark Mitchell on Don't Waste Your Job

Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

MM - On Manhood

Listening to a sermon from Mark Driscoll this AM on the elliptical, I heard a great definition of what it means to be a man. He says something to the effect of...

"A man is one who does his responsibilities."
(from the Podcast on 7/13/08. A sermon entitled: "The OX: Qualifications of a Church Planter" at the 24:30 mark)

As I think about being a godly husband and father, what does Driscoll's definition of manhood have to say to me? It has much to say. Being a man means that I lovingly lead my wife and children to be godly.

Guys? How about you?

Further ESV Study Bible Stuff...

James Grant posted an interview IMonk did with David Powlison. What's exciting and promising is the excerpt from the Study Bible which was also linked to: David Powlison writing on "Reading The Bible For Personal Application" (one of many helpful articles to be found in it).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Audio - Recommended by Thabiti

As you know, on Wednesdays I usually recommend a free audio resource from the web. Today, I will let Thabiti speak. Thabiti listened to C.J. preach on A Husband's Responsibilities and How To Change. Among other things, this question stood out from his reflections for men, as we relate to our wives:

"What am I doing each day to serve my wife that involves sacrifice, that costs me something?"

Read more of Thabiti's reflections including the main points of this sermon here. Be encouraged to be a godly husband as well.

More on ESV Study Bible...

They now have a blog (today featuring the map that will appear in Study Bible of Ancient Rome).

Monday, August 11, 2008

ESV Study Bible Video Intro...

Check this out:



(HT: J. Mark Bertrand)

MM - For the Men...

Men, we always need encouragement in our task as the loving leaders in the home. Here are two helpful reasources I came across this AM to help us in our quest to glorify God as husbands and fathers:

Josh Harris linked to some Friday morning meetings for men at Covenant Life Church. They call this series THE MILL because that is where "you grind and reshape something." Check them out.

Also, Colin Adams had some links to messages that encouraged him in home-work.

Avail yourself to the grace found here so that your life resonantes of God's greatness.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Worship God Conference Complete

Wish I could have attended this conference too. As always, the good people at SGM have made the audio available for free. The theme of this year's Worship God conference was on the Psalms. They released this excellent CD as well with it.

2009 BPC


This conference looks like it will be a good one. I have been reading Dallimore's bio of Whitefield throughout this year and will be anxious to hear Piper's take. Anyone else planning on attending this?

Vacation

As many of you know, we are all gone on vacation. We actually left last Sunday after the AM services and came to my mom's house. It has been a pretty busy week, really. Andrew has been sick most of the week. I worked on Monday - Wednesday on my Mom's deck, dismantling the old one and then replacing all the deck boards and other things. That work will resume on tomorrow and Tuesday. I've also been nursing a pretty serious cold as well. I tried over the counter stuff for a few days but kept getting worse. Now, with the help of antibiotics, I think I'm getting better. Then, Friday and Saturday, we were at 2 family reunions here with my family. Needless to say, we are enjoying a day of rest today. It hasn't been the most restful of times, but we have gotten lots done and hope to get more relaxing in during the next few days. Anyway, I may do some posts this week, but that is my explanation on the drought of posts.