Monday, December 27, 2010

How can you recognize false teaching?

I read this note this morning while reading 1 Timothy, and thought it was helpful in recognizing some of the warning signs of false teachings;  those ideas/doctrines/beliefs that are contrary to what the Bible teaches. Here is the note from the Life Application Study Bible:

"How can you recognize false teaching?
1. It promotes controversies instead of helping people come to Jesus (1 Timothy 1:4)
2. It is often initiated by those whose motivation is to make a name for themselves (1 Timothy 1:7)
3. It will be contrary to the true teaching of the Scriptures (1 Timothy 1:6-7; 4:1-3)
To protect yourself from the deception of false teachers, you should learn what the bible teaches and remains steadfast in your faith in Christ alone."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Any Questions?

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of questions when it comes to Christianity. Often these questions seem unanswerable, and as Christians, we are just supposed to use faith to bridge the gap between how we perceive the world to be, and our Christian convictions. But that troubles me, to be honest. Did God really intend for us to have minds capable of reason and founded upon logic, only to dump them out when we become Christians, and just hope that all the things that God has revealed about himself and His message to us in the Bible are true?

"The heart cannot believe for very long that which the mind rejects." - Greg Koukl
This quote seems to sum it up for me. How are we supposed to believe those things that we perceive to be contradictions, impossibilities, or those things that seem irrational? What about these questions below?

  • » How do we know what books belong in the Bible?
  • » Do all religions lead to God?
  • » So many churches—what is the big difference?
  • » Why does everyone seem to interpret the Bible differently?
  • » The doctrine of the Trinity—can someone please explain this?
  • » Why should I study theology?
  • » So many versions of the Bible… Which one do I use?
  • » What about those who have never heard about Christ, can they still make it to
  • » Why does God allow bad things to happen?
  • » What is the difference between Protestants and Roman Catholics?
  • » Can we be sure that Christ rose from the grave?
These are big questions that many struggle with, some for which people have placed their faith in God on the shelf, if not abandoned all together. And the culture we live in isn't much help. The rhetoric is thick, full of presumption that there are no answers that could possibly harmonize with a biblical world view, let alone that all this Christianity stuff  just might be true.

But what if the culture is wrong? What if there are answers to these questions? What if Christianity is true? The implications are life changing-- and if acted upon, are life-giving and life-saving. But we won't convince a doubting world with "what if's", let alone our doubting mind. If we have any hope of not only plugging the holes of doubt in our own belief in God, but also those of others, we must take a note from the Bereans and do some homework and search for answers (Acts 17:11).

I am preparing to take a step in the footprints of the Bereans, to seek out answers, to see if these things which I believe are true, to see how the scriptures respond to these questions of doubt, and to see if the scriptures are actually reliable and divinely inspired by the One who created me and you, and all of creation.

There are many great resources out there. In my search for truth for over the last several years, I have found a few that are exceptional, biblical, and reliable resources for helping people connect their questions and doubts with truth: Stand to Reason (, The Christian Research Institute (, and last but not least- Credo House Ministries (

I plan to begin The Theology Program at the Credo House in Oklahoma City ( after the first of the year, and would encourage any and all to take this step if you have questions or want to shore up your convictions with truth. If you are interested, please follow the link and check it out. They have resources that would allow for independent study, or live classes via the internet. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The BEST idea

No one likes to be told they're are doing something wrong - especially me. When we act upon a choice, we do so because either we think it is the right thing to do, or we have justified it to ourselves in our own mind that there is nothing wrong with what we are doing. But sometimes, even with the best intentions, we arrive at wrong conclusions when we take into consideration the "facts" of the issue.

It seems to me that based on our predisposed opinions, agenda, and point of view, we perceive reality the way we want to see it. Now there's nothing wrong with having an opinion or belief about something - that's what makes us unique; it's a part of our individuality.  But the goal is to see through a clear, objective lens, not a distorted subjective one.

Often I'll be faced with a problem and have to come up with a solution. If I'm able to come up with an idea that solves the problem, it automatically becomes the BEST idea amongst all others, because it was my idea. It doesn't matter that someone else's idea is objectively better, one that clearly addresses the problem and meets all the required criteria. If it didn't come from between my two ears, or pass my subjective approval, it is not the best idea.

My pastor preached a message this last weekend on "self deception" as a part of a series called "Masquerade" (if you haven't seen it yet, you should definitely do so; follow the link One of the most challenging points to me was when he said that, "Often the more convinced you are you're right, the more likely you are wrong." At first i didn't like this statement. It's clearly not a black-and-white statement that is correct 100% of the time, but it does provide just reason to pause and consider: am I right because of the intensity of my conviction, or am I right because the collaborative evidence objectively supports my belief? What I found in introspection of myself is that I often conclude that I am right because of my own predisposed bias towards my own ideas that are always right - this is bias of mine was distorting my lens.

"You cannot hate the sin you don't detect; you cannot overcome sin that you cannot identify." Craig Groeschel

Now that I have identified this source of self deception, I can now do something about it. Awareness is half the battle. What about you?  Here's a few points that Craig made in his message, to help us uncover our distorted view of ourselves:

1. Pray. "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24
2. Listen. "He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding." Proverbs 15:31-32
3. Change. "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:3

Don't brush this off. Pray. Listen. Change. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanking God for rejection

Never thought I would be thanking God for rejection from others. Timely reminder that there is One who is closer than a brother, that my joy and well being is not found in the approval or acceptance of others, but in knowing the risen Christ, who has chosen me, accepted me, and has uniquely made me just as I am, for His divine purposes, for His glory. Thankful that I'm not who I was, but even more so that God isn't finished with me yet.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Psalm 51

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem;19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The heart of worship

"I'll give you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deeper within through the way things appear, You're looking into my heart."

These are some pretty profound lyrics by Matt Redman, from his song, "the heart of worship."  They challenge the idea that worship is merely singing songs about God, which, right or wrong, is what worship is often thought of in our day. 

But any good worship song will have more than just a catchy tune; it will be based upon good solid biblical theology. And that is the case with this song. Romans 12:1 states:

"Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship." (HCSB)

Prior to this passage, Paul spent a great deal of time reminding us how great God's kindness is toward us, that through faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven of our sins. So in light of this, he tells those who have been made new in Christ that our only reasonable response to God is to worship Him for what He has done for us! But how should we worship Him; how should we demonstrate our gratitude for such an extravagant gift that we are completely unable to repay? By living our lives fully surrendered to God, for His purposes, for His glory.

Is singing songs about and to God for 20 minutes on Sunday mornings with God's people important? Isn't that a way that we can worship God? An emphatic Yes, and Yes! But is it our spiritual act of worship? Well, not according to this passage in Romans. In this passage, Paul is reminding us that in light of what God has done for us in saving us by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, our only reasonable response is to worship Him through the lives that we live, fully surrendered to Him! 

So how do we do this; how we learn to do what is holy and pleasing to God? Paul tells us in verse 2:

"Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2 (HCSB)

Renewing our mind is the key. Without consistent quality time with God in His Word, our mind begins to fail us, forgetting what God has revealed to us in the Bible, how significant those discoveries are to us, and provide clear reasons to remind us of the hope that we have, and how great a joy it is to live fully surrendered to the King of Glory, Jesus Christ!  It is through the proper perspective of seeing the life we live as God sees it, which we discover by the regular and frequent renewing of our mind and enabling of the Holy Spirit to perceive how His Word applies to our lives that we are able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

From this proper perspective, we are able to realize that our obedience to Christ, our pursuit of His righteousness in our life is our spiritual act of worship. From this perspective we also discover that this obedience to Christ also includes being faithful stewards of all that God has given us, including our time, our talents, our abilities, our giftings, and our resources as He has given us.

So, if you are gifted in writing, your spiritual act of worship would include writing as God leads you. If your gift is in listening and encouraging people, then you are worshiping God by simply doing what you were created to do. If you are a parent, then you are worshiping God by raising and training up your children in the Lord. And be sure of this, parenting children is tough, and sometimes we don't really want to be parents. But when we choose to embrace this role and refuse to give in to frustration and impatience and choose to love and lead our children, we are offering our bodies as living sacrifices and worshiping our loving Creator.

If we offer our "living sacrifice" begrudgingly, out of a heart of obligation, we forfeit the opportunity to offer a true spiritual act of worship. God is no fool. He knows when we are faking it, and when we choose to surrender our will to His. What a blessing it is that the Holy Spirit resides in us, enabling us to do what our flesh refuses! For it is only by His Spirit in us that we are able to live from a pure and holy heart that's greatest desire is to honor and glorify the One who made it, who gave His life to save us!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Your Family vs. Electronic Media

Here's a link to a good article i found at about electronic media and family- something to think about the next time you turn on the tv or surf the internet.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A prayer for the Church

9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you can determine what really matters and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Phil. 1:9-11
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

Seems like the greatest works of God happen through people when they surrender to what God is doing in their life. Difficult circumstances, hurt, pain- Too often we want to fight the consequences of these things, but often these are the very things that God uses in our lives to bring about the greatest good in our growth as followers of Christ.

It is also in our obedience to His teachings revealed in the bible that God moves the greatest in our lives and in those around us.

Among others, we are called to love God, to love others, to forgive, to tithe, to look after widows and orphans, to show compassion for those in need, to submit to our authorities, to look past an offense, to be prepared to give the reason for the hope we have, and to do so with gentleness and respect.

Its amazing to me how resistant we can be to obeying such simple commands- simple, yes. Easy, no. It is only then when we do these things and truly trust God with the results, that we can begin to see God's faithfulness as He works out His sanctification in our lives through our obedience to His word.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wise Man or Scoffer?

Proverbs 9:8: “Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you." 

Ecclesiastes 7:5 "It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools."

No one likes to be called out on something that they are doing wrong. We don't intentionally seek out to do wrong, but our need to justify our actions, to protect our image and ego, to show that we are the victim will ultimately numb our conscience to the point where we cannot receive correction from another (even someone we love). Yet we all know that we need correction, because we don't want to do something wrong if it can be shown that through sound counsel and the Word of God that it is in fact wrong.

The question we need to ask ourselves: when it comes to receiving correction from others, am I a scoffer or a wise man? 

Apart from the work of Christ in our lives, we all act as fools and hate the rebuker. But through the work of Christ in our lives, God matures us and enables us to be wise in our choices over difficult decisions and in our responses to the endless challenges we face. Romans 8:28 teaches us that God causes all things to work together for the good of those that love Him, that are called according to His purposes. That includes His use of discipline and rebuke in our lives. In Revelation 3:19 Jesus says that "as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." Only when we realize that God loves us, that He is faithful to complete the good work that He began in us (Phil. 1:6), and that discipline in our life brings about His work in our lives, only after we realize all of this will we be able to rejoice when we are disciplined and truly love the person who has shown us the error of our way.

Praise God for those who have the courage to confront us in humility before God to bring about the correction and discipline we need in our lives to mature us and draw us ever closer to Christ Jesus.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

God: our confidence, our assurance, our hope

Our confidence:
23 A man's steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way. 24 Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

Our assurance:
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Our hope:
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

God is faithful, God is trustworthy, God is good, and He cares for us! When our ways leave us with no hope, we need not panic, for He has been holding us up all along, and though we may fall (not if, but when), we can rest in His peace because the temporary struggles we face are for our good, as God is sovereignly working out His perfect plan. When we remember that God loves us and that He is in control, we can have true peace, and will not be able to be overwhelmed, because we know that "to live is Christ, and to die is gain!" If God is for us, who can be against us? Whom shall we fear?

Run with confidence, with assurance, with hope, for God is on His throne. Run without fear, without doubt, without worry. Run with all your heart as unto the Lord- delight yourself in Him, in all you do! Get off the fence; leave passivity and apathy behind- leave the gray! For when we do these things, we are running in such a way as to win the prize, and will not be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our sovereign, omnipresent, omniscient, and loving God: read Psalm 139

1 For the choir director. A Davidic psalm. Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. 3 You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord. 5 You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me. 6 This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it. 7 Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. 9 If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, 10 even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will become night"- 12 even the darkness is not dark to You. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You. 13 For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began. 17 God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me to comprehend; how vast their sum is! 18 If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I wake up, I am still with You. 19 God, if only You would kill the wicked- you bloodthirsty men, stay away from me- 20 who invoke You deceitfully. Your enemies swear by You falsely. 21 Lord, don't I hate those who hate You, and detest those who rebel against You? 22 I hate them with extreme hatred; I consider them my enemies. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Offerings that cost me nothing...

...Are they really offerings at all?

20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants coming toward him, so he went out and bowed to the king with his face to the ground. 21 Araunah said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?"
David replied, "To buy the threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to the Lord, so the plague on the people may be halted." 22 Araunah said to David, "My lord the king may take whatever he wants and offer it. Here are the oxen for a burnt offering and the threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 My king, Araunah gives everything here to the king." Then he said to the king, "May the Lord your God accept you." 24 The king answered Araunah, "No, I insist on buying it from you for a price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for 50 ounces of silver. 25 He built an altar to the Lord there and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered prayer on behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel ended. 2 Samuel 24:20-25
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Monday, May 24, 2010

From the lips of babes: "I love you bigger than..."

One of my daughter's favorite things in life is watching movies. She could watch the same movie two to three times in a row without thinking anything of it. And if I'd let her, she could probably be content watching movies all day long.
As I was getting ready to leave for work today, we went through our "standard procedure" for saying goodbye:
"Bye baby- see you tonight."
"Bye Daddy- hey Daddy, do you know how much I love you?"
"How much?"
Now I have to stop here for a moment and give some background information. Her usual response to this question is "bigger than the house," or "bigger than the whole. Wide. World!" About 6 months ago she threw me a curve ball and said, "I love you bigger than your work." This response alone is worthy of exploring, but I digress... :)
So back to my story-
"Daddy do you know how much I love you?" And she looks over at the tv, which is playing one of her favorite movies, and says with a big ole cute grin, "I love you bigger than the tv."
Talk about knocking your socks off! She just told me that she loved me more than her most favorite thing in the whole-wide-world! If that doesn't warm your heart, then I don't know what will!
So what's the significance? Why tell this story? I think that it is profound when a 4yr old little girl is able to communicate a correct understanding of true love, a love that esteems someone more than any other cherished thing they posses. And given to a little introspective thinking, I realize that, while I might say that I love God "bigger" than anything in my life, I often live the exact opposite, by demonstrating through the use of my time and money that things (or even my family) are "bigger" in my life than my relationship with Christ, and His transformation of my heart to reflect more of His.
As Christ followers, we all will say that we love Jesus. Let's be certain that our love is not mere lip service, but one that demonstrates that we truly love God "bigger" than anything else.
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Psalm 62:5-7

5 Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and glory depend on God; my strong rock, my refuge, is in God.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Psalm 32: Best Psalm of all, IMHO!!!

1 Davidic. A How happy is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! 2 How happy is the man the Lord does not charge with sin, and in whose spirit is no deceit! 3 When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer's heat. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You took away the guilt of my sin. 6 Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to You at a time that You may be found. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel. 9 Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle, or else it will not come near you. 10 Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
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Sunday, May 16, 2010


4 "Lord, reveal to me the end of my life and the number of my days. Let me know how transitory I am. 5 You, indeed, have made my days short in length, and my life span as nothing in Your sight. Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor. 6 Certainly, man walks about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they frantically rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them. Psalm 39:4-6
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Psalm 36:5-7

Ever wonder where Third Day got their lyrics for "You Love Oh Lord"?

5 Lord, Your faithful love reaches to heaven, Your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountain; Your judgments, like the deepest sea. Lord, You preserve man and beast. 7 God, Your faithful love is so valuable
that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

what is deep, high, long & wide?

God's Love.
This song by Jami Smith will mess you up. Well worth the buck or two you have to pay to download from itunes or amazon.

Your love is deep
Your love is high
Your love is long
Your love is wide

Deeper than my view of grace
Higher than this worldly place
Longer than this road I travel
Wider than the gap You filled

Who shall separate us
Who shall separate us from Your love
Nothing can separate us
Nothing can separate us from Your love

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In case you were wondering...

8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of faithful love. 9 He will not always accuse us or be angry forever. 10 He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:8-12

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Couldn't have said it better myself

Even if I tried :). Psalm 19- hard not to read something like this and not wish that I had the wisdom and insight to write something so wise, so humble, so profound that it even moves the hearts of men and women towards God's heart thousands of years later. Thank You Lord- Your words are better than life! Give us discernment and conviction to put these teachings of yours into practice, and as we do so, may they consume us and transform our hearts. May eyes of our hearts be opened to see as You do, and may we be moved to use our remaining days wisely, for Your Namesake, for Your purposes, to find joy and contentment in doing the good works that you have prepared in advance for us to do, before there was time.

Psalm 19
1 For the choir director. A Davidic psalm. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. 2 Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. 3 There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. 4 Their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the inhabited world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a groom coming from the bridal chamber; it rejoices like an athlete running a course. 6 It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat. 7 The instruction of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad; the commandment of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous. 10 They are more desirable than gold- than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey- than honey dripping from the comb. 11 In addition, Your servant is warned by them; there is great reward in keeping them. 12 Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. 13 Moreover, keep Your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule over me. Then I will be innocent,
and cleansed from blatant rebellion. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For the Good

Finally got some new cd's back at Christmas, and got a copy of Shane & Shane's latest: Everything's Different. In a word, this CD is awesome! One of the songs that has moved me the most in my walk with Christ is the song "For the Good", which is based off the Romans 8:28 passage, which reads:

"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose."

When we read this, we may be led to think that God will only allow good things to happen to us, because we think that God wants us to be happy... not the case at all. He wants us to be blessed. Here's a great post that explains the difference:

Any ways, here are the lyrics to the song - absolutely awesome with the music. take some time to read and consider these words. Does this challenge the way you see difficulties in your life?

When darkness is surrounding me
by Your Spirit, Lord help me sing
that You are working all things out
Lord, I really need to hear you speak
Remind me in the waiting
that You are working all things out

For the good of those
who are called by You
for the good of those
who are in Love with You
That's why we sing

Holy God of light
I lay down my life
Holy is the Lord
Even in the storm be glorified

We like to take the blessing from You
Shall we not take the trouble too
You are working all things out
We like to take prosperity
Shall we not take the suffering
You are working all things out 

Holy are you Lord
even in the storm
be glorified
Worthy of affection

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The gap between my blog posts is getting larger and larger... mostly due to the fact that i really don't have time in my day to sit down and type out the kind of thoughtful post that i usually try to do. The other reason is that most people have the same time constraints that i do and are not spending as much time reading blogs as they are keeping up with their facebook and twitter accounts.
So, if you still want to follow my updates, i encourage you to follow me on twitter - it's where i do the most damage on a regular basis :). If you don't have an account, go ahead and take a step off the deep end and dive into the 21st century - like it or not, twitter and facebook is simply the way people communicate anymore.  Look forward to chatting with you - follow me here

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"let it be said of us"

What a joy it would be if this could be said about the church today... God change us! Exodus 36:3-7 (HCSB)

3 They took from Moses' presence all the contributions that the Israelites had brought for the task of making the sanctuary. Meanwhile, the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work for the sanctuary came one by one from the work they were doing 5 and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than is needed for the construction of the work the Lord commanded to be done." 6 After Moses gave an order, they sent a proclamation throughout the camp: "Let no man or woman make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary." So the people stopped. 7 The materials were sufficient for them to do all the work. There was more than enough.

Move our hearts once again, Lord. May we bless you Name by returning all that we have, all that we are, for the glory of your Name, for the extension of Your kingdom. May Your church give so generously, that the people must be turned back and told to stop giving because there is so much, that there was more than enough.
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Friday, March 5, 2010

breaking the mold

There is only one you.
Let me say it again - never again in all of history will there be another you.  You are uniquely gifted by our Creator with God-given talents, passions, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, to be used in this exact moment in all of history. You are not an accident. In Christ, you have purpose; you have significance; you are loved.
You were meant to be you- and you are the only person who can BE you!  There will always be expectations put on you by others, about what you should do, who you should be like, and on and on... Just as you can't be in two places at one time, you can't be two different persons at the same time. If you are not you, then who will? Who can?
If you are tired of trying to live up to the expectations of others, then break the mold! There's a reason that shoe doesn't fit - it's because you weren't meant to wear it!
If you find yourself imitating someone else's life, then there's no time to make your own life. Break the mold of being like someone else - there's only one you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"All over the world"

Haven't read any out of the New Testament in quite a while, and thought i'd start reading in Romans today. The thing i love about reading the New Testament is that you can't read very far without coming across those things that move us, challenge us, or encourage us in our walk to be come fully devoted disciples after our Lord Jesus. My reading today was no different; couldn't even make it past verse 8 of Romans chapter 1:
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.
As I read this, Matt Redman's song "all over the world" came to mind (, and made me think: Would Paul say this of us if he were writing to us today? Sure, there are many churches that might have this reputation: HillSong,, etc. But what does YOUR world say about your faith in Jesus Christ? Your neighbors? Your co-workers? Your family and friends?
Hear me clearly: the point is not to make our faith famous, but to make Jesus famous. And the question the world is begging us to answer is this: what difference does Jesus make if he makes no difference in the lives of those that profess to follow him?
Our answer to this question can be nothing short of this: a life fully submitted to the lordship of Jesus through faith (active-trust). People may not beleive what you say, but they will always beleive what you do.
My prayer is that each of you who read this would be stirred by the Holy Spirit to consider the opportunity, our resonable response to the Gosple, to be the salt and light He has called us to be, for His namesake, all over the world.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One Year Bible, Week 2

This week, the chronological reading plan had me reading in Job. So far, I've read thru chapter 31, and looking back, I've found one thing for sure: Job's friends are jerks.

In Christian apologetics, we are taught to always give a reason for the hope that we have, and to do so with gentleness and respect, and that the ultimate goal is to win the person. Unfortunately, well-meaning Christians often will strive to win the argument at all cost, including at the expense of the person who they are trying to win. And this is the script that Job's friends followed.

Often people will jump straight to the end conclusion that Job's friends are jerks and have no sympathy for Job. But I don't think they intended to end up in the conversation they had. After Job lost everything- his wealth, his children, his health- his friends showed an amazing level of compassion towards Job by sitting on the ground with him for SEVEN days and nights in silence! I can't even imagine sitting still with some one for a single day, let alone 7 days!

The text doesn't tell us, but its possible that they were fasting during this time for their tragedy-strucken friend, who they apparently cared for deeply. But somewhere along the way, they forgot their love for Job, and felt like it was their duty to play God in Job's life and tell Job to repent of his many sins. After all, (in their mind) only the rebellious sinner suffers in this life, not the righteous....

There's a lot for us to be learned here. Probably the biggest thing I came away with is that when people are hurting or grieving, they don't need to hear your words as much as they need to feel that you care. Often a friends mere presence in our time of grief speaks volumes about how much they love us.

There is a time to talk through the questions and emotions, and when that time comes, don't follow the lead of Job's friends. If it is more important for you to be right than to grieve with your friend, then you will inevitably accomplish your goal to win the argument, and not the person.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Authentic Christian community requires faith

Acts 4:32-35
"All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.  There were no needy persons among them.  For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need."

I read this passage this morning and couldn't help thinking how awesome it would be to live amongst believers who lived like this. A spoken faith backed up by action. I guess that's the true measure of faith any way. Praying that God would open the eyes of my heart so that I can see where he's calling me, moving me, burdening me for His Church, His Name, and His purposes. Praying also that God would do the same for you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

O.Y.B. - Week 1: Ham, Creation, and Snipes

I've finished the first 4 days of my chronological reading plan, which covered Genesis chapters 1-11, and has me reading Job chapters 1-5 today (haven't finished yet...). A lot of ground is covered in these first 11 chapters: the creation account, the fall of man (enter: sin), growth of the human population, Noah and the ark, and the Tower of Babylon. There is also a mess of genealogies in these chapters, filled with names, most of which i cannot pronounce, and have a little difficulty keeping track of who beget who, which lineage is blessed, and which one is cursed-- i'm sure Ham really appreciated his Dad Noah for that, even though it was Noah's fault that he got drunk and decided to strip down and pass out in his tent...

One thing that I need to wrestle with is the 7 day creation account. In college, I had read most of John MacArthur's "Battle for the Beginning", which makes a strong case for a literal 7 day creation. This was my view,  though recently, I am considering other options that I was unaware of before, as offered by Hank Hannegraff with the Christian Research Institute (Bible Answer Man, From my listening to his radio program, I gather that there is evidence to believe that the writer did not intend for the 7 day account to be literal, but figurative. Not sure where i stand on this, but hope to dig into this at some point and see where the evidence leads.

Random thought: Noah was on the ark for 150 days with his family and all the animals. I'm curious what everyone had to eat during that time... Don't remember seeing the answer to that question, but have to wonder if there were a few species that didn't make it off the boat because a gator or a lion got the munchies... maybe that's what happened to snipes? anyways, i guess that's just some food for thought... man that's bad :)

FINALLY! One Year Bible Plan has begun!

I've been meaning to post about my goal of reading through the Bible in a year, and haven't been able to carve out some time until now. So, here we go! I've read through the new testament letters many times, and most of the Gospels. I've also read from Genesis through 1 Chronicles, Proverbs, and all the Minor Prophets. But, I've never read ALL of the Bible, let alone in one year. So I've decided to do so for 2010.

I have found a great resource for mapping out a plan to read through the Bible in a year - It has numerous different reading plan options, tracks your progress, and can also be set up to email you or someone else to provide you accountability - pretty slick! What's even better is that now they have synchronized the online version with the mobile version, so you can update your progress from your phone!

So anyways, I plan to use this blog during my reading to update my progress, to keep me accountable to my goal, and more importantly note anything i found to be significant to me at the time, questions i had, or whatever else that may relate to my reading for the day. I've set my start date to January 7th, and will finish on December 31, 2010 and am reading through based on a chronological reading plan by (

Hope you'll join me and read along, or read another plan at another pace that suits your needs. At the end of the day, the point is not to merely to just read the Bible, but to be transformed by it, so that we put into practice what it says.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"All of life comes down to just one thing..."

"...and that's to know You, oh Jesus, and to make you known." - Charlie Hall, "One Thing"

It's not about your job, your title, your success, or how much you make.
It's not about your wife, your kids, your family, or the memories you've made.
It's not about the size of your home, your car, your toys, or where you live.
It's not about the places you've been, or the things you've done, the things you can do, the things you've seen, or what you've accomplished.

IT... is about knowing Jesus and to make Him known

It's not about the size of your church, how "good" your pastor is, the books you read, or the sermons you've heard.
It's not about how much you know about God, the Bible, Christianity, or other faiths.
It's not about the faith of your mom, your dad, your pastor, your friend.
It's not about your faith either.

IT... is about knowing Jesus and to make Him known

These many things are not bad things, but chasing after many things will keep you from the one thing we all need: Jesus. 
3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.  (1 John 1:3-6, NIV)
We will never know true contentment, true peace, and true joy until our life's end purpose is to know Him and to make Him known.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20)
To have the One Thing, you must abandon pursuit of the many things. The many things will keep you from the One Thing.

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.  (Matt. 13:44-46, NIV)
"All of life comes down to just one thing, and that's to know You oh Jesus, and to make you known."