Sunday, July 31, 2011

Internet Addiction = Idolatry

Yesterday my neighbor was digging a trench for a new sprinkler system and accidently cut the Comcast cable to both of our homes. Result: we had no cable TV, telephones or internet access for 24 hours. Another result was that the extent of my internet addiction (and media addiction in general) was revealed once again.

Also Yesterday Take Your Vitamin Z posted the image to the right and a link to an article by Alexia Tsotsis referring to Facebook as The New Smoking:
We’ve all been there; You’re at an outing or a dinner table with friends but itching to check your email or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Google+ or Yammer or what ever digital hit of serotonin you prefer. Have you ever “gone to the bathroom” in order to check email or come up with a socially appropriate excuse to pull out your smartphone just so you can check your @ replies on Twitter
Remember when the critical mass of smokers used to leave the table or meeting in groups to go indulge their habit? I straight up open my laptop at bars and parties, and then feel more guilty about that than drinking.
A new British study released today backs up what we otherwise know intuitively, that Internet usage is increasingly becoming an addiction. Out of 1000 people surveyed after being cut off from the Internet for 24 hours, 53% reported feeling “upset” about being deprived of online access and 40% said that they felt lonely after not being able to connect to the Internet. Participants described the digital detox akin to quitting drinking or smoking and one even said it was like having his hand chopped off (!).
Read the rest here.

Not sure what I am going to do about this, but I need to do something. Anything, good or bad or indifferent, that becomes an ultimate thing has also become an idolatry thing. God deliver me from all idolatry!

Friday, July 29, 2011

ESV Classic Reference Bible - Free eBook Download is offering for a limited time a free download of the English Standard Version Classic Reference Bible in eBook format.

Go to ESV Classic Reference Bible - eBooks, Audiobooks, Mobile Apps, Free Downloads!:

Did I mention that it is FREE?!!?

John Stott Memorial Website

There is now an official John Stott Memorial website
John Stott was born in London in 1921 to Sir Arnold and Lady Stott. He was educated at Rugby School, where he became head boy, and Trinity College Cambridge. At Trinity he earned a double first in French and theology, and was elected a senior scholar.

John Stott trained for the pastorate at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He was awarded a Lambeth doctorate in divinity (DD) in 1983 and has honorary doctorates from universities in America, Britain, and Canada.
He was listed in Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” (April, 2005) and was named in the Queen’s New Years Honours list as Commander of the British Empire (CBE) on December 31, 2005.
 Much more at the link above.

Where the Noxious Weeds Shrivel & Die

In memory of John Stott, who passed away this week, here is a great quote from one of his classic great books.
Our sin must be extremely horrible. Nothing reveals the gravity of sin like the cross. For ultimately what sent Christ there was neither the greed of Judas, nor the envy of the priests, not the vacillating cowardice of Pilate, but our own greed, envy, cowardice, and other sins, and Christ’s resolve in love and mercy to bear their judgment and so put them away.
It is impossible for us to face Christ’s cross with integrity and not feel ashamed of ourselves. Apathy, selfishness, and complacency blossom everywhere in the world except at the cross. There these noxious weeds shrivel and die. There they are seen for the tatty, poisonous things they are. For if there was no way by which the righteous God could righteously forgive our unrighteousness, except that he should bear it himself in Christ, it must be serious indeed…
     --from The Cross of Christ
Instead of "passed away," I should say "was promoted to glory." Thank God for this brother's life and legacy!

Hat Tip: John Stott, the Cross, and the Gravity of Our Sin | 9Marks:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Remembering Keith Green

Christian singer/songwriter Keith Green died 29 years ago today. Oh, I so remember that tragedy - and also the huge effect his words and example had on so many. Here's a one hour documentary movie about his life and legacy.

Hat Tip: Keith Green – Justin Taylor

God Knows Where Waldo Is

God knows where Waldo is - and where you are also!
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up... Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.   -  Psalm 139 ESV
Hat Tip for picture: 22 Words:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Living Now Through the Cross

Interesting comment from Dane Ortlund
He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. -2 Corinthians 5:15

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. -1 Peter 2:24
Notice how seamlessly Paul and Peter tie the death of Christ into the life we live as believers.

It is of course blessedly true that Christ's death results in atonement. That is fundamental and non-negotiable. Paul and Peter say just that in the immediate context of these two texts. But that's not what they say in these verses. Here they say not that Christ's death results in (the 'that' in each text is the Greek word hina--'in order that,' 'so that') living in heaven when we die but living in a heavenly way here and now. Christ's death produces something not only for us but also in us.
From: Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology: Does this fit into your theology of what the death of Christ did?

RIP John Stott

John Stott, World Famous Evangelical Leader, Dies at 90:
World-renowned evangelist and Biblical scholar John Stott died Wednesday at 3.15 p.m. local time in London (10.15 a.m. EST), according to John Stott Ministries President Benjamin Homan.

Homan has reported that Stott’s death has come following a few weeks of discomfort, and that the death was simply related to complications related to old age.

Stott, who died at 90, retired from public ministry in 2007 when he was 86 years old. He spent his retirement in the College of St. Barnabas, Lingfield, which is a residence for retired Anglican clergy.

The English Anglican leader is revered for his ministry life. The world famous evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, described him as "the most respected clergyman in the world today."
RIP, Brother. You will be greatly missed.

What to Say and Not to Say

Know a Victim of Sexual Assault? What to Say and Not to Say - exerpted from From Rid of My Disgrace by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb.
Don’t say:
  • I know how you feel.
  • I understand.
  • You’re lucky that ___________.
  • It’ll take some time, but you’ll get over it.
  • Tell me more details about what happened.
  • I can imagine how you feel.
  • Don’t worry, it’s going to be all right.
  • Try to be strong.
  • Out of tragedies, good things happen.
  • Time heals all wounds.
  • It was God’s will.
  • You need to forgive and move on.
  • Calm down and try to relax.
  • You should get on with your life.
Do Say:
  • I believe you.
  • Thank you for telling me.
  • How can I help?
  • I’m glad you’re talking with me.
  • I’m glad you’re safe now.
  • It wasn’t your fault.
  • Your reaction is not an uncommon response.
  • It’s understandable you feel that way.
  • You’re not going crazy; these are normal reactions.
  • Things may not ever be the same, but they can get better.
  • It’s OK to cry.
  • I can’t imagine how terrible your experience must have been.
  • I’m sorry this happened to you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Give Me The Deeps

The Deeps

Lord Jesus,
Give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach;
Help me chastely to flee it,
and jealousy to resolve that my heart shall be thine alone.

Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in thee,
the ground of my rest, the spring of my being.

Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself as Saviour, Master, Lord, and King.
Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.

Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee.

Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly Husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until thou alone art seen in me,
thy beauty golden like summer harvest,
thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no Master but thee,
no law but thy will,
no delight but thyself,
no wealth but that thou givest,
no good but that thou blessest,
no peace but that thou bestowest.

I am nothing but that thou makest me,
I have nothing but that I receive from thee,
I can be nothing but that grace adorns me.

Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.

From The Valley of the Vision

Hat Tip: Provocations & Pantings:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Norway and the Scandal of the Cross

Jared Wilson proves once again why he is widely considered one of the best Christian bloggers in this piece - That Irritating Feeling, That Twinge? That's the Scandal of the Cross.  An excerpt below:
The horrid beast who murdered upwards of 100 in Norway last week deserves the full measure of justice executed upon him, and worse. He deserves the wrath of God. And if he goes to his grave as he is, he will experience the eternal conscious torment of hell.

But if he repents and believes in Christ . . .

That little "twinge" we feel at the very idea is our brushing up against the scandal of the cross....
...If this vicious murderer in Norway repents of his sins and trusts in Jesus' saving work on his behalf, when he goes to his grave he will be welcomed into the arms of the Father like a beloved child.

If this bothers me, it is because I have forgotten most of the Psalms and most of the New Testament were written by murderers.

And it is because I consider myself a better judge than God.

And it is because I have forgotten that I deserve the same fate as this horrid beast. Or I think I do not face this fate because of some comparative goodness of my own.
If this idea rubs you wrong or offends you, perhaps you need to rethink the depths of your own evil heart, for, like mine, it is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9). You may also need to reconsider the awesome grace of God. What a Savior we have!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jesus Doesn't Want You to Be a Good Person

"Jesus doesn't want you to be a good person.

When he calls you to follow him, he isn't asking you to become nice and do your best at helping others.  He didn't die so you can feel good about the things you've screwed-up or so you could carry a sentimental hope of being re-united beyond the grave with the people you love but who have died.

His call is a command for you to comprehensively and absolutely walk away from the way you do life now so you can follow him down an exclusive path through the narrow gate that leads to the kingdom of heaven....

...Like a frog in kettle, we do not see that when our relationship with Jesus is replaced by rules, the rules then take on an inordinate and unnatural heaviness.  We end up making the rules the main thing when the main thing has always been Jesus...

...The sooner you understand this and stop trying to impress Jesus, the sooner you can follow Jesus into the realm of costly grace."
- Jon Walker, Costly Grace: A Contemporary View o Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, pages 35-36, (italics in the original)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creeds: Living What We Believe

From How the Creeds Helped Me by Winfield Bevins at The Resurgence:
...Christian doctrine is not just for knowing, but for living. The essentials give us a foundation to build our life upon. What we believe about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit shapes and influences how we live and how we see the rest of the world:
  • God is the Creator of all things, so I should care for his creation
  • Jesus died for my sin, so I must live for Him and share my faith with others
  • God created us to live in community, so I need the church
In the end, a creed is not just what we believe but how we live out what we believe.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The New Measure of Existence

Dilbert comic strip for 07/19/2011 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive.:

Hat Tip:

Living in Grace & Truth

 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 ESV)
" If I am full of grace, there is no excuse for legalism in my life (Matthew 23:4, 11:28-30).

If I am full of truth, there is no excuse for unrestraint (licentiousness) either (Matthew 5:17-20, John 8:11).

The only reason to live legalistically or licentiously is unbelief in the adequacy of the indwelling Lord Jesus Christ who freely supplies grace and truth for my every need.  Or an unwillingness to let him be himself - full of grace and truth - in and through me."

                -Jon Walker, Costly Grace, page 21

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sin Boldly: Believe More Boldly Still

"Sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ more boldly still."  - Martin Luther
"...Luther's point then, was when we sin we need not despair. Jesus covers all of our sins.  He died for the sins you've already committed and he died for the sins you will commit tomorrow. Luther means we can stop being afraid of ourselves; stop being afraid that we may make mistakes.  Just love God and live your life - and when you stumble, fall into the grace of Jesus Christ.

By trusting the grace of God, we can be courageous in following Jesus an equally courageous in confessing our sins before hi.  There is no need to hide our sins or to posture as if we have not sinned. We can just admit it and keep on following Jesus, even if we have to confess sins to Jesus every day."

              - Jon Walker, Costly Grace, Page 27

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Costly Grace

"Costly grace justifies the sinner: Go and sin no more.  Cheap grace justifies the sin: Everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are."

Jon Walker, Costly Grace, page 25

He is Our Textbook

"...Discipleship means we are inseparably bonded to Jesus.  Without him, there can be no discipleship: he is the curriculum we study: he is the Word we believe: and he is the Way we live. 'Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly,' Jesus says (Matthew 11:30 MSG).

Jesus is our textbook on how to live connected to God, how to make decisions with the mind of Christ, and how to act on promptings from the Spirit rather than self-impulse.  The more intimate we become with Jesus, the more successful we will be at becoming like him."
Jon Walker, Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, page 19

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who - Not What or How

"Jesus calls us away from the hows and whys and whats into the rhythms of grace, standing before us as the Son of God Incarnate, Jesus, God's Word in the flesh.  The answer to our frustrations is 'who,' not 'what' or 'how.'

The Word of God who stands before us is not a problem to be solved, but a person to know; when we try to relate to him as a 'how' or 'what,' we end up in the never-ending cycle of trying harder to fit into an equation that God never meant for us to solve."

Jon Walker, Costly Grace: a Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, pages 17-18,

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Cost of Discipleship Retold

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship has long been considered a classic, if not the classic, work on discipleship, following Jesus, and costly grace. It was written in German just before World War II, but became popular when translated into English after the author's death at the hands of  Hitler and the Nazis.

I first read it when I was in high school.  It is an astounding book.  However, as the concepts are sometimes difficult, and as it is a translation from thoughts and words first expressed in a foreign language and culture, it can be hard for many Americans to read and understand. I include myself in that group.

Jon Walker has done us all a great favor by publishing Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. This book is not a re-translation of Bonhoeffer.  It is a retelling of the concepts and idea of his book, following the same structure, yet written in contemporary English. This makes it easier for us to understand. I do not say, however, that it makes it easier to digest and process. Easier to understand, but still as hard to process as is Jesus' call to take up the cross and follow him.  He still says "Come and Die."

Over the next several days I will be posting quotes from the book.  Decide for yourself.  Come and follow!

Generous and Content

How the Gospel Makes Us Generous and Content with Our Money - A good article by Zach Nielsen based on 1 Timothy 6:6-10: and 1 Timothy 6:17-19:
"...Rather than debating between “radical” living for God and the dangers of “poverty theology,” we learn from 1 Timothy 6 that contentment and generosity should be our emphasis in light of the gospel.
God has already provided all that we will ever need (Rom. 8:32). He cares for grass (Matt. 6:28-30) and birds (Matt. 10:29), so we can be content with or without stuff. God has been infinitely generous with us in Christ so, rich or poor, we can be joyfully generous in a way that makes our neighbors scratch their heads and say, “Who are these people?”
Generosity is not a poverty theology. Contentment with thankfulness is not a prosperity theology. The gospel motivates us to be generous and gives us ultimate contentment."
From The Gospel Coalition Blog

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Fire

Hat Tip:  Rick Ianniello:

"We Bring Before You, Lord…"

We bring before you, O Lord,
the troubles and perils of people and nations,
the sighing of prisoners and captives,
the sorrows of the bereaved,
the necessities of strangers,
the helplessness of the weak,
the despondency of the weary,
the failing powers of the aged.
O Lord, draw near to each;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

- Anselm of Canterbury

Hat Tip: Kingdom People

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Life From the Inside Out

"When we learn to truly follow Jesus, we find that obedience to God comes from the inside out.  Submissions to what God wants for our lives flows naturally out of that relationship.  It's not to say that what we do or don't do doesn't matter, but what we do or don't do must come from who we are as followers of Jesus."

- Not A Fan, Kyle Idlemann, page 77

$100, One Penny at a Time

"Most of us think of dying to ourselves as this one big moment where we hand over our 100-dollar bill.  I don't want to take away from that moment. That moment of salvation is the most important moment of your life.  But to see following Jesus as a one-time decision is like saying after your wedding, 'Now that we are married, it's back to life as usual.' There is more to being a husband or wife than a wedding ceremony. Instead of thinking of our lives as a 100-dollar bill that we give to God and that's the end of it, we give our 100-dollar bill to God and he accepts it but says, 'This is mine, but I want you to cash it in for pennies and give one penny back to me each day.' It's a daily death."

- Kyle Idlemann, Not a Fan, pages 168-169

(Anybody figured out yet that I recommend this book?!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

ESV Audio Widget

Crossway Publishing has a neat new widget that allows bloggers to embed audio from the ESV Bible into a blog or other website.

John 1:18

What do you think? My response: Cool!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Luther: The Graphic Novel

Here’s a real "super hero." Click this link to look inside a new graphic novel on Martin Luther published by Concordia Publishing House.

Hat Tip:  Justin Taylor:

E and E

Church services need both E and E. What is E and E, you ask? It means Evangelism and Edification - Evangelize as You Edify, Edify as You Evangelize :
The greatest thing an unbeliever needs to hear is the gospel. They need to be evangelized with the good news of Jesus Christ. The great thing a believer needs to hear is the gospel. They need to be edified with the good news of Jesus Christ. When there is a robust commitment to preaching Christ from all of Scriptures, unbelievers will be evangelized and believers will be edified.
From Timmy Brister at Provocations & Pantings:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Glorified Dust

“Because of the bodily ascension of Jesus Christ, the dust of earth now sits on the throne of heaven.”

— Philip Graham Ryken, Luke (Vol 2)
(Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2009), 693

Hat Tip: Of First Importance

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Here's a provocative title - Being Radical For Jesus Is Boring. There's a good article to go with it at the link.

Hint: Being boring is a good thing.

The Gospel Is For Christians, 'Cause Christians Need the Gospel

Another book on my wish list: The Gospel Is For Christians by Mitchell Chase.
From the Publisher:
Christian discipleship cannot be achieved by following clever formulas or spiritual shortcuts. Believers achieve true growth by holding firmly to and continually appropriating the gospel of God’s grace. While some people consider the gospel to be relevant only for conversion, the Bible teaches that the gospel is indispensable for the Christian life.
The gospel must shape our discipleship.
• Non-gospel messages do not foster spiritual growth
• Faithful churches are gospel-driven churches
• Gospel-driven churches obey the Great Commission
• The marital covenant points to the New Covenant
• Every generation must declare the words and wonders of God

Monday, July 11, 2011

Grace Wrecked

This is the way I want to be wrecked! Great quotes from Tullian Tchividjian - "God’s grace wrecks and then rescues, not only the promiscuous, but also the pious." -
Nothing is more difficult for us to get our minds around than the unconditional grace of God. It offends our deepest sensibilities. We are actually conditioned against unconditionality–we are told in a thousand different ways that accomplishment precedes acceptance and achievement precedes approval.....

....Grace is radically unbalanced. It has no “but”; it’s unconditional, uncontrollable, unpredictable, and undomesticated. As Doug Wilson put it recently, “Grace is wild. Grace unsettles everything. Grace overflows the banks. Grace messes up your hair. Grace is not tame. In fact, unless we are making the devout nervous, we are not preaching grace as we ought.”....

.....Remember: Jesus came not to put into effect a moral reformation but a mortal resurrection (moral reformations can, and have, taken place throughout history without Jesus. But only Jesus can raise the dead, over and over and over again). As Gerhard Forde put it, “Christianity is not the move from vice to virtue, but rather the move from virtue to grace.”.....

.... Christ offers forgiveness full and free from both our self-righteous goodness and our unrighteous badness. This is the hardest thing for us to believe as Christians. We think it’s a mark of spiritual maturity to hang on to our guilt and shame. We’ve sickly concluded that the worse we feel, the better we actually are. The declaration of Psalm 103:12 is the most difficult for us to grasp and embrace: “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Or, as Corrie ten Boom once said, “God takes our sins—the past, present, and future—and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says ‘No Fishing Allowed.’” This seems too good to be true…it can’t be that simple, that easy, that real!
Yep, it is that easy.  Yep, it is that real.

Excerpts from Tullian Tchividjian at  Wrecked by Grace | The Resurgence:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Call to Be CompletelyCommitted Followers

Kyle Idleman at Not A Fan

Are You a Jesus Fan?

...or a Jesus follower?  A recommended book - Not a Fan - and a recommended website - Not a Fan.:

fan: an enthusiastic admirer.

In the Gospels, Jesus never seemed too interested in fans.

Is that how you define your relationship with Him? An "enthusiastic admirer"? Close enough to Jesus to get the benefits but not so close to require sacrifice?

He was looking for followers. Not just any follower though, but a...

completely. committed. follower.

How would things change if you lived as Jesus lived, and loved the way He loved?

Maybe you’re ready to join the hundreds of people who have stepped across a line and said:

i am not a fan.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Because He Sat Down .

Have you ever read Hebrews 1:3?  Do you believe it?

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.        -- Hebrews 1:3

Listen to these words about this verse from Jared at The Gospel-Driven Church: 
Wow! If this is true:

It means we ought to ditch the dualism rampant in Christianity where we think Jesus is battling Satan, relying on our prayers and good works to win. Jesus isn't Tinkerbell, needing our applause to survive. He won. He wins. He owns Satan.

It means no more worry about the end of the world. Is global warming happening? Who knows. But if it is, it isn't the end of the world!

It means we ought to repent of the arrogance in our thinking that this world is what we make it. We don't sustain the universe; Jesus does.

What I think this line of thinking leads to in hearts that love Jesus is faith, not fatalism. Knowing this information, we are now free to obey, love others, work towards the good, etc. knowing that despite our sins and imperfections, God is in control.

If Hebrews 1:3 is true, we need to rethink everything: our assumptions, our philosophies, our agendas.

Illuminate the Earth

"Theology will not try to illuminate the heavens with a searchlight mounted on earth, but will try to see and understand earth in the light of heaven.” 
          - Karl Barth 'The First Commandment as an Axiom of Theology" p. 74

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's In His Hands

It's in His Hands.

"Why I Need Jesus"

I saw this post at  SBC Voices - Why I Need Jesus  - and was deeply moved.  Almost all of what Dan Barnes says here (other than the part about being a pastor) also applies to and is true about me.
I have been guilty of telling many other people why they need Jesus, instead of sharing why I need Jesus. I know sometimes it makes me come across as a “holier than, better than and more righteous than” sort of individual. I don’t want that. I want to share with you, my friends, brothers and sister why I need Jesus.

I am a sinner. You all knew that. I have some sins that I struggle with more than others. I have the sin of pride, I try to study and learn and go, and as a result I often have a pride issue. I am not quick to admit when I am wrong, I don’t react well to criticism, even when it’s justified. I don’t like to be dismissed or marginalized, and I get very upset when I feel like someone is dismissing me with an argument/statement that is not valid. I hate proof texting, makes me crazy. It’s a result of my pride and ego, and to save me, I need Jesus.

I am an introverted, task oriented person. That means that I am not as patient and loving with people as I should be. If I am interrupted, I can become short . Being a pastor, my job is to be an under-shepherd of people, not do tasks. I need Jesus.

I sin in my actions, my lack of actions, in my words and deeds. I sin in my thought life, in my home life, in my work and in my play. I need Jesus.

Affecting Lives

Found a new little blog site called Affecting Lives.  Their stated purpose is :
AffectingLives is a multimedia blog aimed at helping people with their relationship with Jesus Christ.  Whether you are a mature Christian, new believer, or investigating Christianity, this blog will provide value to your spiritual journey.  Our goal is to provide information in a variety of different formats to keep you inspired, impacted, and informed.  We at AffectingLives believe strongly in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) and we keep this as our central focus when creating content.

The word affect literally means to influence.  That is our goal… to influence people to surrender their lives fully to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
And lo and behold, one of the first posts there was by an old friend of my daughter's (and my friend too),
LauraKatherine Logan, who moved off to California a few years ago.LK says:
A reasonable person doesn’t call a plumber on the phone and knowing that a pipe has ruptured in the basement, simply mentions that there is a faucet that leaks in the bathroom. When something in our house is need of repairs, we call an expert. We expect them to fix it completely. And if they don’t, we expect them to come back until it’s fixed. Well God is the ultimate repair man but He’s also a gentleman. He’s not going to bust down your door to make you seek His help. Often times He allows us to let water fill our basements to the point of drowning, in order for us to finally ask Him for help. And when and if we finally do express to Him how bad it really is, and how bad we really feel inside, each and every time He will meet us with toolbox in tow and arms wide open.

God knows where we’re broken. He knows the pain we’ve gone through and the pain we never want to go through again. And He has a solution for all of them. The only requirement is that we run towards Him and not away from Him. And even in that we don’t have to be perfect. We just have to try to be near Him and He will meet us the rest of the way every single time.
Laura Katherine is a gifted writer, as demonstrated on her own blog. Good job, Sister!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Should Churches Spend Money on Nice Big Buildings?

At the Gospel Coalition Web site there is an interesting conversation taking place on the question whether churches should spend money on building nice big buildings.

We Want to Stay Light and Mobile,  Flexible and Ready - J. D. Greear
Reforming Church Architecture - David Gobel
Buildings Matter Because Bodies Matter - Matthew Lee Anderson
Should Churches Spend Money on Nice Buildings? - John Starke

What do you think?

"Benefits" of Unforgiveness?

At the Desiring God site, there is an interesting post entitled Five "Benefits" of Unforgiveness (Then the Better Way):
Why don’t people just forgive? That is a very good question. If forgiveness is easier and more beneficial, why isn’t it more popular? The sad reality is that there is short-term, relationally destructive power in refusing to forgive. Holding onto the other's wrongs gives us the upper hand in our relationship. We keep a record of wrongs because we are not motivated by what honors God and is best for others but by what is expedient for ourselves.

The article lists five temporary "benefits" from not forgiving, but then shows the long term bad consequences nad the better way of forgiveness.  So much more at the link above.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


There is a difference between the overused and abused phrase "Oh My God" and the heart cry "O My God." One is a probably violation of the commandment not to take the Lord's name in vain, and the other is a Biblical cry to God.  See Using “O My God!” Instead of “Oh My God!” – Justin Taylor

Does God Need Celebrities?

What If Leonardo DiCaprio Got Saved?

If a famous celebrity like him came to Christ, just imagine what he could do for the Lord’s sake. And he would, right? So why hasn’t the Lord thought of that plan? Do you ever wonder why stuff like this doesn’t happen more often? Why don’t more celebrities and shakers and movers get saved? Perhaps 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 tells us the answer.

Many interesting thoughts at the link above.

Hat Tip: Challies Dot Com

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Remember the Answered Ones

"Many people think their prayers are never answered because it is the answered ones that they forget."

Letter by C.S. Lewis, Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis, page 192

Neither Over-boldness nor Timidity

"Pray for me...that I neither persist, through overboldness, in what is not permitted to me nor withdraw, through too great a timidity, from due effort:  for he who touches the Ark without authorization and he who, having put his hand to the plow, draws it back are both lost."
Letter by C. S, Lewis, Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis, page 195

And pray for me also, my dear reader, pray for me too!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rockin' The Fourth

Got to have a litttle "School House Rock for Independence Day!I remember these from my childhood (or youth, whatever). They were great!

35 years ago, on the Bicentennial 4th, I sat on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial in DC watching the fireworks burst over the Tidal Basin. Twas the middle of a long summer for that 19 year old me, working at a moving and storage company hauling furniture 12 hours a day. I did not know then that my wife to be, whom I had yet to meet, was just across the Potomac River watching the same fireworks show.

Oh the memories - seems like yesterday. Time sure flies!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

By Nothing Else Except the Cross...

By nothing else except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ has death been brought low:
The sin of our first parents destroyed
Hell plundered,
Resurrection bestowed,
The power given us to despise the things of the world,
Even death itself,
The road back to the former blessedness made smooth,
The gates of paradise opened,
Our nature seated at the right hand of God,
And we made children and heirs of God.
By the cross all these things have been set aright…
It is a seal that the destroyer may not strike us,
A raising up of those who lie fallen,
A support for those who stand,
A staff for the infirm,
A crook for the shepherded,
A guide for the wandering,
A perfecting of the advanced,
Salvation for soul and body,
A deflector of all evils,
A cause for all goods,
A destruction of sin,
A plant of resurrection,
And a tree of eternal life.

- St. John of Damascus

Hat Tip: Kingdom People:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Millennials - Free Audiobook

ChristianAudio.Com's free audio book download for July - The Millennials:
At more than 78 million strong, the Millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—have surpassed the Boomers as the larger and more influential generation in America. Now, as its members begin to reach adulthood, where the traits of a generation really take shape, best-selling research author Thom Rainer (Simple Church) and his son Jess (a Millennial born in 1985) present the first major investigative work on Millennials from a Christian worldview perspective.

Sure to interest even the secularists who study this group, The Millennials is based on 1200 interviews with its namesakes that aim to better understand them personally, professionally, and spiritually. Chapters report intriguing how-and-why findings on family matters (they are closer-knit than previous generations), their desire for diversity (consider the wave of mixed race and ethnic adoptions), Millennials and the new workplace, their attitude toward money, the media, the environment, and perhaps most tellingly, religion.

The authors close with a thoughtful response to how the church can engage and minister to what is now in fact the largest generation in America's history.

Did I mention that it is FREE! That means no cost. Can't beat the price!