Wednesday, May 31, 2006


"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." James 1:27

Friday, May 26, 2006

Death by Ministry

Such a good article--hang on to this.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Empty Well of Blogging

I get much spiritual benefit at times throughout the day from looking at different blogs. I have a lot of "in between" time while on hold in which I can glance at a post and read a quick comment. Sometimes it is very insightful and many times I get benefit from them.

But today I was reminded of the primacy of the Word of God. I had to go outside with the primary source--the very words of God and hear Him. I read through Colossians and was reminded that the Bible is the word of God and that we hear His voice as we read His word. Felt good just to be cleansed from the emptiness of "second-handers" (as Spurgeon would say) and just feast on the very words of Christ.

Wesley said, "Oh let me be a man of one book!" Pray that I will use my in-between time for a lot less blogging and more meditating on the Word. Pray against being up on the latest "cool" post and more enthralled with the words of Christ.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Does Your Preaching Do This?

I saw this comment on Bruce Chant's blog this afternoon about Matt Chandler at the Village.

Chandler, for my personal edification, is my favorite preacher right now. I listen to probably eight different preachers via podcast, some weekly, some less so, all for the different things I can learn from these men of God. But if I was only listen to one, I would pick Chandler. Why? I find myself closer to Jesus when I’ve finished listening to and digesting his sermons than when I began. And that’s really the whole point isn’t it?

I totally agree. Matt Chandler has a unique blessing by God in his preaching to achieve this fruit. Like this blogger, I experience a "unique closeness to Jesus" when I listen to Chandler as well. I think God blesses his ruthless humility from the pulpit and faithful exposition to point people to a beautiful gospel. Is this not the goal of all preaching? Way to go Matt.

Incidently-I expect at least Justin to answer the above question--since he's the only one I'm sure will read this.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Edwards Quote

Came upon this quote today by Edwards. I'm thinking on the theological and practical implications in my life.

"Labor to be brought closer to God."

What a life quote.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Holy Dissatisfaction

I just spent lunch with John Piper. He preached a sermon to me from 1984 entitled "Going Hard after a Holy God."

I was convicted by the Holy Spirit that Christ has not been the center of my thoughts and affections lately. I am very convicted that I'm not created primarily to preach, or lead, or dream about church planting, or read great books, or know the Bible, or feel guilty because of my lack of evangelism. I'm created to know and enjoy Christ. All activity must terminate on one idea--one Person--one Reality--who is Jesus.

"There is so much of Christ yet to be known!"

I am dissatisfied with my current experience of the most deeply satisfying Reality in existence. Learning from Piper here...

"When I plead with you to develop a holy dissatisfaction with your spiritual life, I am asking for something rare, not common. I'm not asking you to feel worse about your inability to appear cool and intelligent. I'm asking you to feel worse that you possess so little of Christ. The first step in going hard after God is to feel bad about the right things. Develop a holy dissatisfaction with your spiritual life."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Today at Aaron's

I was late getting to the clinic today. I missed Crim and then tried to circle around. In my usual display of directional imbalance, I spent 30 minutes just making my way back to LBJ, and then back to the clinic. In all, I spent about 10 to 15 minutes at the clinic—not enough time to do anything but observe.

I was surprised to not see the guard outside today. I was burdened to see so many cars. I’ve only been a couple times to Aaron’s, but there were more cars than I remember seeing—at least 20.

The only chance I had to hand off a flyer was to what looked like a young, professional woman that looked more like a doctor or a nurse going to lunch than a girl about to have surgery. Of course, she could have been coming in to set the appointment for another day.

As she drove out the front entrance I approached her car in the most humble way trying to get her to acknowledge I had something for her to read. She avoided eye-contact the way I do to cars on Eldorado when I’m late for work. She left me smelling the fumes of her Nissan Altima.

A guy in a red car slowed down long enough for me to see his middle finger.

The saddest sight was a hispanic couple leaving the mill. As they were walking out to their car—he seemed in a hurry. She walked slowly behind. The way she swayed back and forth made it clear that she just had an abortion. She seemed in physical pain.

With the sun bouncing off the pavement, I walked back to my car passing the Day Spa next to the clinic. A huge sign reads "Surprise Her for Mother’s Day." The irony was tragic.

Aaron's Women's Clinic is a surgical abortion clinic in Dallas that performs abortions through the legal limit of 24 weeks.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Your Unfolding Gives Light

The unfolding of your words gives light;it imparts understanding to the simple. (Ps. 119:130)

On Sunday Craig preached from 2 Timothy 4:1-2 where Paul exhorts Timothy to "preach the word." Craig instructed that this text is often the most popular section of the Bible for ordination services and for preachers to meditate on in their service of the church. However, Craig's emphasis was on the responsibility of the church (not just pastors) to allow the power of the word to "reprove, rebuke, exhort" us daily. This comes when we approach the word as the authority over our lives.

Paul's charge to Timothy is not just that Timothy preach the authoritative word, but that I recieve and actively pursue its correction in my life.

Craig said, "there is resident power in the Word of God that when proclaimed--a miracle happens." This miracle is the kind correction of God that help us to see the ugliness of sin and the beauty of Jesus. It is the means by which the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to truth. Namely that God is holy, I am sinful, and the cross is my hope.

Because the preached Word has this kind of "resident power" we were challenged to "raise our expectations and anticipation" of what God will speak into our lives. Specifically...

1. Pray for the pastor that is preaching--for faithfulness to the text. That the preacher will see the glories of Christ.
2. Prepare your heart throughout the week to be ready to hear God on Sunday
3. Come to the meeting EXPECTING to hear from the Lord personally
4. Listen actively while the word is heralded
5. Repent where you see you are lazy in the word or falling short
6. Ask for a hunger for the word.

For me, when Craig referenced Ps. 119:130 my heart leaped. It is an amazing thing that words on a piece of paper, that when preached, bring "light" to see the truth of who God is.

God is a God that loves to communicate the contours of His beauty. He has spilled out truth all over His creation--from tiny tree insects, to mammoth elephants--from the laziest ripple of a puddle, to the waves of a tsunami. He has not created the universe to go secret, but to reveal His glory.

However, the revelation of this glory in creation is a black hole compared to the light that shines out of His word.

I am stunned by the plain fact that apart from the Holy Spirit illuminating my heart to the "resident" blaze of God's Word, I will lose my way. I will stumble and fall because the light of creation doesn't describe the person and work of a Savior apart from the informing work of the Word. In the word of God (Bible), the Word of God (Jesus) is "unfolded" before me. He is the Lamp unto my feet, and the Light unto my path (John 14:6; Ps. 119:105).

Lord, make the ears and eyes of my heart hear Your voice, and see Your beauty through the word. Make me hungry for the Bible--not for a cerebral experience, but for the joy of Your presence.