Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pollock Live

I forgot to tell you about these when they happened:

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I was thinking about new birth and regeneration and what that moment looks like.  I decided that it can not be a gradual shift.  If we are to believe in the God of the bible (and we are) then He is so amazingly magnificent that the moment you clear your eyes and see any part of His Glory you are shaken to your core.  You realize the power of God and the depth of His mercy, and a lifetime spent for Him becomes not an inconvenience but a joy.  You don't understand who God is then walk away and think about what that means; You understand and are instantly and completely changed forever.

It's like the opposite of Jenga.  The whole point of Jenga is to remove one piece at a time slowly working until someone removes a piece that was necessary to keep the whole thing standing and it topples and falls in on itself.  If we are to give our lives over to God (and we are) He doesn't want small parts of your life one at a time until you feel comfortable giving another part all the while holding on to the rest of the stack thinking that we have it under control.  Instead, find out what your bottom level Jenga blocks are and remove them.  

The sooner the better, I promise.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jesus as Genie

I saw a website recently that was trying very hard to prove the nonexistence of God using Matthew 7:7.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
They tried to make the point that even if you ask for wonderful things that benefit everyone, nothing would happen.  The author encouraged the readers to "get on your knees and sincerely ask God for the end of world hunger."  (Apparently the proof that God doesn't exist, is that He doesn't respond to your whims.)

There is nothing wrong with praying for the benefit of the world.  In fact, I recommend it, but this guy was completely missing the mark.  

The whole point of the new birth is to be more like Christ.  You die to yourself to put on the life of Christ to demonstrate His love to the world.  When you make Him the center of your life, His wants become your wants; His plans become your plans, so the idea of demanding action from God in order to prove Himself to you is laughable.  

God is not the genie in the lamp.  He is not compelled to follow your direction.

The idea behind Matthew 7:7 is an instrument to prove your own devotion to Him not the other way around.  When what you ask for is that God's plans become reality and not your own, you have truly died to self and can take up your cross and follow Him.

If you try to use God to fulfill your vision for the world, you will be sadly disappointed every time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Musicology (not by Prince)

Creativity is the approximation and synthesis of the unseen and unheard.

You'll never get to see or hear the inside of my head, so you'll never truly get what I mean when I sing a song, because the song itself isn't the thought or feeling I had, but rather a description of a thought or a feeling that I had.

Hopefully (if I do a good job), I can synthesize that feeling inside of the listener (or at least something close).  That is my constant aim when writing new songs; for you to feel what I feel.

Music Suggestions (other than me of course)

Dance Pop (it's totally cheesy, but I can't help myself)

Worship (sorta)

Enjoy and tell me what you liked/didn't like.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Persistent Sin

the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8
This was the arrow that pierced my heart today, because "the one who practices sin" could be on my business cards as my title.  I like the American Standard translation because it uses the word "practice" instead of "does."  We're all sinners.  That is inescapable, but someone who clearly sees and understands what is good and right and makes the conscious choice to do otherwise (herein called practicing) is "of the devil."

Now, we all love to think of Jesus coming to Earth to spread peace and love, but we don't like to think of the rest of the totality of Christ's message.  It lays out some of the rest of His plan up there in verse 8.  His purpose for coming to Earth was to "destroy the works of the devil."  If you are making a practice of sinning, I'm fairly certain that you can expect to receive your fair share of that destruction.

My interpretation of the gospel includes this: Comfortableness is dangerous.  There are all sorts of things in my life that I keep around because they make me comfortable.  I'm sure I'd be ashamed if Jesus showed up and while I was watching Family Guy.  (I don't think the show is evil outright, but I do know the time I spend watching it could be better spent reading the scriptures or praying or even having a meaningful conversation with someone.)

I don't even know what it means yet, but I want to live an uncomfortable life.  I want to be beset on all sides by the power of darkness because of the great works that God is accomplishing through me.  I want to charge the gates of hell and know that they cannot stand against me because Christ is for me.  And I know that's not going to happen until I ask God to separate me from my indwelling, persistent sin, because He cannot be for someone who harbors the works of the devil.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let Go to Grab Hold

If you grip tightly the things in your life that you have gained of your own ability, they will keep you from grabbing hold of what God has in store for you.  Even holding onto the things God has provided for you can prevent you from following God.

While the Jews wandered the desert for 40 years God provided food that could not be kept overnight to reinforce the idea that they should be dependent on God.  The manna was a good thing.  It was from God, therefore it had to be good, but it was not the point.  God didn't provide a quickly perishing food because he couldn't have given them something that lasted.  He did it purposefully.  

He was the sustenance!  He is the goal!  He is the point of creation!  Not your comfortableness.  Not your superficial satisfaction.

Don't hold on to things.  Hold on to God!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Psalm 56:10-11

In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Oh God, make this trust real.  Be my rock and my firm foundation.  All else is sinking sand.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I've become a better pray-er by becoming a worse pray-er.

Everybody gets nervous in group prayer.  So you spend all the time you aren't speaking thinking about what you're going to say, at the expense of praying along with the others.  Then when it gets to your turn you say that prayer that you rehearsed in your head a dozen times and two things happen: You didn't pray along with the people that you're there to pray with and when it finally came to your turn you didn't even pray what you had rehearsed because you were too worried about sounding like you had a plan going into the prayer.

Forget about that.

Listen and pray what they're praying.  Don't think about anything else.  Then when it comes to your turn, split open your heart and just let whatever is in there spill out all over the place.  Who cares if you conjugated your verbs properly?  Not God!  Who cares if you pray the same thing everyone else already prayed?  Not God!  Who cares if you pause for a few seconds mid sentence to compose your thoughts?  Not God!  Who cares if you come off sounding a little silly?  Not God!

He's interested in your heart!  Don't keep it from Him.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Living Sacrifices

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer yourself as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.
-Paul, Romans 12:1
There are a few key words here: Body, Living, Holy and Acceptable (to God).  Let's take a look at each one of these individually.

Body:  Why would God want our bodies anyway?  The Old Testament always said that the best bull or the best sheep or the best goat was to be sacrificed.  He can't possibly mean that, can He?  We're overweight, or underweight, or ugly, or awkward, or short, or tall, or _________.  That's not the point!  Christ is the only sacrifice good enough to remove the sin of the world (and each individual...don't forget that it's a very personal sacrifice Christ made for you...not just for us), and He made that sacrifice already.  That debt is paid.  He's not calling you to bear the weight of the sins of the world (or even of just yourself).

Living:  This is not a call to die!  We are called to live for Jesus.  It's true that some of us will die in the name of the Lord (and as strange as that sounds, that will please Him greatly), but that is not a necessity for God and is far from the norm.  (You don't get excluded from heaven because you died of a heart attack in a Ruby Tuesday's.)  The point is to make your life about Jesus.  Think about Jesus.  Talk about Jesus.  Etc. Etc. Etc.  Live for Jesus!

Holy:  As is written in Romans 6:13, use your body for the will God.  Accomplish righteousness with your hands and feet and mouth.  (Philippians 4:18, Hebrews 13:15, 16) 

Acceptable to God:  Your motives are as important as your actions.  Just because you do good deeds doesn't mean that you are glorifying God.  Make it known that God is your purpose for the actions.

All these things together make up a worshipful life.  Make much of Jesus as you serve people in love.  That is how you present yourself as a living sacrifice to God.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crystal Ball Christians

From time to time, I find myself waiting for a message from God.  Like He's going to beam an answer to a question straight to my brain.

As far as I can tell, God doesn't work that way.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.
-Romans 12:2
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
-2 Timothy 3:16
From this I can tell, that I shouldn't sit around waiting for some divine message to pop up and tell me what to do.  A transformed mind should be able to test and discern God's will.  A man knowledgeable about the scriptures is equipped for every good work.  (Not just some good works.  Every good work.)

I'm still not exactly clear on how to go about using the bible to make decisions, but I know that I should keep God first in all things.  The more I read the bible the more I understand who God is.  So the more I read the bible the more I understand what God wants.

Churchy Setlists

Salvation Is Here
Your Love Is Strong
All I Need Is You
You Are God

Full band!  Woo!
We sound great when we're all there.

Then Matt went and talked about sex...awkwardly...really awkwardly.
Sex is not the point of life.  God is!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Last Day

Today is my last day of wasting my time between the hours of 7:00am and 5:00pm Monday-Friday.

It's not my last day of work.  I like to think that my work is just starting.  I'll work fewer hours to be sure, but I'm going to cram much more work into those hours.

I've spent most of the day so far cleaning out my office, and distributing stuff to the people that need it after I'm gone.

It feels more like vacation than the end.  I wonder what it will feel like after next week.

2 Corinthians 4:13-14

It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." (Psalm 116:10) With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence.
For a long time I believed myself a christian, but seldom if ever acknowledged it with my words or my interactions with other people, whether they be close friends or complete strangers.

Here, the apostle Paul quotes Psalm 116:10 in saying that if you truly believe, God's name would be constantly on your lips.  You would proclaim Him even in the mundane, because to do so is to obey the Lord's command.

Over and over again, the bible teaches to "love one another." (John 13:34; Romans 12:10, 13:8; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2; 1 Peter 1:22, 3:8, 5:14; 1 John 3:1, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11; 2 John 1:5)  What greater love is there than to share the gospel with your fellow man?  There is none better.

The word of God brings life.  At best, everything else will die with the world.  At worst, it will distract you from Christ as the focus and kill you.

You might be thinking to yourself, "There's no way I (the failure, the idiot, the sinner) am qualified to bring this message to others.  Wouldn't God want someone better to tell these people the gospel?  Doesn't He know that I'll screw it up?"

Jump back a few verses to 2 Corinthians 4:6-7.  "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

You're right!  Your are nowhere near qualified, but He made you as a "jar of clay," the most plain, ordinary, average, fragile, replaceable vessel there was, on purpose!  You telling people about Jesus has nothing to do with you!  Obviously, you're there, but that's about the extent of your involvement in the transformation of a person's life.  God calls us to love people by telling them about Jesus not so that we'll change their lives (only He can do that), but so that we might be changed.  Your willingness to tell people about something is a great indicator of your own faith in that thing.

It's not normal to talk to strangers.  We drill that into our children's heads over and over and over.  "Don't talk to strangers!"  God is calling us to the exact opposite; "Talk to strangers!"  Do it.  It's awesome.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I'm sorry.  Quarks are hilarious.

There are 6 flavors of quarks: Up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom.
There are 6 flavors of anitquarks: Antiup, antidown, anticharm, antistrange, antitop and antibottom.
There are 3 color charges a quark can have: Red, blue and green.
There are 3 color charges an antiquark can have: Antired, antiblue and antigreen.

Flavors?  Color charges?  I'm pretty sure quarks were discovered by kindergartners.

Trees and Smoothies and Marbles and Quarks and Polyurethane

From atoms to galaxies, things are more complicated than they seem.  Peel back the shell and there is always another layer to discover.  Take a step back and there's always a bigger picture.

Like my friend David said,  "The natural world is complicated."

The heavens declare the glory of God.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

I am concerned that our reading and our writing is gravitating to the lowest common denominator so completely that the great themes of majesty and nobility and felicity are made to seem trite, puny, pedestrian. . . . I am concerned about the state of the soul in the midst of all the cheap sensory overload going on today. You see, without what Alfred North Whitehead called “an habitual vision of greatness,” our soul will shrivel up and lose the capacity for beauty and mystery and transcendence. . . . But it isn’t just the substance of what we say (or write or read or hear or see) that concerns me. It is the way we say it. To write pedantically about radiance or infinity or ubiquity stunts the mind and cramps the soul. To find the right word, to capture the perfect image, awakens the spirit and enlarges the soul. Mark Twain noted that the difference between the right word and the almost right world is like the difference between the lightning and a lightning bug. . . . The ancient Hebrew prophets cared enough about their message that they frequently delivered it in poetic form. May new prophets arise in our day that will call us to faithful living in words that are crisp and clear and imaginative.
-Richard Foster


Recently, I've been listening to a whole lot of sermons online in an attempt to learn more and more about Jesus and His mercy.

I kept picking topics that spoke to the situations in which I find myself most often, topics about the kind of man I want to be, topics about me.  Every time I would listen and think to myself, "Oh, you picked a good one this time.  This is exactly what I was looking to hear."

Then I ran out of obvious topics and picked a few that spoke to situations my friends were in so I could speak the word of God into their lives, and I'd say, "Oh, you picked a good one this time.  This is exactly what they're looking to hear...I guess this kind of speaks to me too.  Great, two for one!"

Then I ran out of obvious topics for my friends.

So I listened to some about things I felt I had under control to affirm myself in my Godliness.  I got through the first one without noticing anything strange.  It was a good word and I was glad to have bolstered my understanding in another area in my life.  (There were a few pangs of conscience telling me to listen harder.)  I listened to a second one that I thought had little bearing on where I stood with God at the moment and I started to notice a pattern.

Everything I was hearing had to do with me.

Every little word hit me dead center like an arrow to the heart.  "If you love God, you'll show it by loving people!" "No one who is saved makes a practice of sinning!" "The righteous heart delights in the commands of God!" "God has ordained sin and evil to fulfill a purpose in my life!" etc. etc. etc.

These were all things that I knew...but these were all things that I didn't get.

Oh God, forgive me for my blindness.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Faith In. Love Out.

Faith and love are inseparable.  They are not the same thing, but they always go together.  

Faith is the welcoming in of Christ.
Love is the outward manifestation of the indwelling Christ in your life.

If you have faith in Christ, but that doesn't show up in how you love other people, you don't have faith in Christ.  If you truly believe, then you wouldn't be able to contain the gospel inside of you.  It would leak out of your seams.  It would pour out of your mouth.  It would show up in the things you do with your hands.  If you truly believe it, it's the greatest news that there could possibly be, and loving other people would mean telling other people about Jesus.

Likewise, if you love people but that doesn't manifest itself by your faith in Christ, you aren't loving people.  The gospel should be the point of your interaction with the people around you simply because it is the most important thing.  These people will find out that Christ was the point of their lives whether that happens now, later or when they stand before God and he executes judgement for them, but it will happen.  God wants them to find out on this side of the grave because He doesn't want them to go to hell.  He wants to spend eternity with them.

It's like recess soccer.  (If you could get grades for recess, my GPA would have been much, much higher.  I loved that 30 minutes after lunch to just run around and be a stupid kid.  Heck, I'd do it now if I didn't care about looking like the developmentally stunted idiot-kid that I am in my head.)  You can be the one who owns the ball, but the only way recess soccer is any fun is if you get other people to play with you.  It's really fun with 10 people, but it's even more fun with 11, and 12 is even better than that.  The more people you have playing, the harder it is to get that idiot-grin off of your face.

The kingdom of heaven is the exact same way X 1,000,000 (,000,000,000,000,000...etc).

It's a Jesus party, and the more people that show up, the more fun the party.  Don't be that jerk on the recess field who takes the ball off to play by himself.  (Nobody liked that kid for a reason)  Tell people about it.  Invite more people to the party.  Tell them to bring friends.  They don't even have to bring a snack or beverages. or plastic cups or hot dogs.  Just come.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Romans 12:11

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Of late, my greatest fear is spiritual burn out.  So I took another look at this verse that I've read a thousand times and noticed something new about it.  

Romans 12:11 is not a suggestion.

It's obvious, I know, but take another look.  It doesn't say, "Serve the Lord when you feel like it" or "Try to be excited about serving the Lord" or "Serve the Lord with Zeal on Sundays."  (I looked up ever translation I could's not there)

It says "Never be."

I don't think I need to go into the nuances of the word "be."  It's about as simple as it can get, but it's preceded by the word "never."  "Never be."  (When the Bible says never, you should probably start listening.)

This is a  command.   God is commanding that you never lack zeal in serving Him.  My first reaction here is, "yeah, but what if_______."  (And these can be serious issues here, not just flippant laziness.)  What if some Earth-shattering event just took place in my life?  What if my parents just died?  What if my wife files for divorce?  What if my kids are doing drugs?  What if?  What if?

Forget all that.  There is no wiggle room here.  There's no modifier to this command.  There's no loop-hole to squirm your way through.


God is demanding that we be in constant, cheerful service of God.  He is the point of life, not your parents, not your spouse, not your kids....Him.

Take a look at Luke 9:59-62.  This is serious.  God is serious about you putting Him first, not because He's a bully or because he doesn't care about you, but because He MUST proclaim Himself as the most important thing in your life.  He must because it's the truth.  If He were to say that something else was more important, He wouldn't be God.

What do you do?  It's not possible for a man to give God a worthy share of service or the proper amount or excitement for the effort, because He's worth more than you have to give.  So, you give everything you have, beg for mercy, and thank God that he is merciful.

So, now I have that figured out, I need to go figure out what that means.

John Piper Quote of the Day

...there is a mean, violent streak in the true Christian life! But violence against whom, or what? Not other people! It’s a violence against all the impulses in us that would be violent to other people. It’s a violence against all the impulses in our own selves that would make peace with our own sin and settle in with a peacetime mentality. It’s a violence against all lust in ourselves and all enslaving desires for food or caffeine or sugar or chocolate or alcohol or pornography or money or the praise of men and the approval of others or power or fame. It’s a violence against the impulses in our own soul toward racism and sluggish indifference to injustice and poverty and abortion.
John Piper, When I Don't Desire God, p. 102

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Churchy Setlists

Being that I am a worship leader, I figured I would share what songs we're singing in our church every Sunday.  Today we sang:
Your Love Is Strong
Living for Your Glory
How He Loves
All I Need Is You

Matt spoke today about how politics don't solve problems, but people do and how a new president is not what we need, but rather a radical, earth-shaking faith in the creator.  He challenged us reexamine the things we expect from our elected leaders, and to instead expect those things of ourselves, and ask God to move forcefully in those areas.

Jesus didn't come to Earth to become king.  He was already the creator...They were aiming a bit low with their expectations.  We don't need political change or a new political party in control.  We need Jesus...and that's all.

Also, if anything I said up there doesn't make sense, it's because I'm in the middle of a migraine here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quote of the Day

The very nature of joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting.  There, to have is to want and to want is to have.  Thus, the very moment when I longed to be so stabbed, was itself again such a stabbing.
-C.S. Lewis, Suprised by Joy, ch. 11
Lewis is talking about the experience of Christ-based joy.  Not only is the knowing of Jesus joyful, but the wanting to know Jesus or the pursuit of knowing Jesus is joyful in itself.

Do I Sound Like I'm Forcing This?

Transformation happens in one of two ways:
1.  Little by little old pieces are removed and replaced.  It can take years of careful study and dedicated prayer to put good pieces into place so that they fall in when the rotten original material is gone.  In a way, you harbor the wrongness until you learn the truth.  This is a good and steady and biblical way to change.  People see the growth.  People believe it's sincere, because it makes sense.  The apostles did this while following Jesus during His ministry.  They didn't have an automatic understanding of the eternal significance of the words of Christ.  They had to soak in it for years, and witness miracles, and see Christ crucified and raised from the dead before they understood.

2.  A cataclysm liquefies all the old, dead, rotten lower-level and whatever was above suddenly and absolutely takes it's place by force.  Typically, this is not a good way to change your life.  Usually the things placed above the filth in your life is more filth.  In rare instances, you can learn masses of biblical truth but still be too pig-headed to understand the implications of not implementing it.  Usually this doesn't happen because if you're not interested in hearing about how God can change your life and why He would want to, you remove yourself from the situations wherein you might learn those things.  

Paul experienced this sort of radical transformation in his life on the road to Damascus.  Christ, after He was dead, buried, raised, and ascended, appeared to Paul and changed his life by force.  Paul didn't wake up that morning searching for the truth about Christ.  Paul woke up that morning with a desire to kill Christians.  In fact, he was on the road to Damascus for the intent of killing the Christians there.  Christ grabbed hold of his heart and changed it in an instant.  Christ removed his guilty flesh and Paul was reborn.  So this too is a good and biblical way of change.

I feel I'm a mixture of the two.  I've been soaked in Jesus my whole life, I've made some good decisions (which were often followed by a contradictory bad decision), I've sung songs about salvation, I've accepted Christ as my savior (more than once), but I could not shake the sin from my life.  (I'm not talking complete removal of sin here.  I'm a man, therefore I am a sinner.  I'm talking damaging, recurring, unrepentive sin.)  I was a slave to my flesh and to the desires of it, not because Christ wasn't strong enough to remove me from my sin (because He can do all things), but because I just didn't get what it meant to be in Christ.  I didn't see the treasure that Christ is.  He had been an implement in the preserving of my "easy" and "satisfied" life.  (Things were going great, why did I need any more of God in my life?  He'd probably just make things difficult.)

I re-listened to a sermon that I first heard in Atlanta in January of 2007 by a guy named Francis Chan (he was preaching on the luke-warm church in Laodicea from Revelation 3:14-16) for probably the 10th time.  (I wish I had a way that you could hear it.  It's truly life changing if you actually listen.  It's on iTunes.  It's called Passionately Loving God In a Luke-Warm Church, or something close to that anyway.)  Part of the sermon talks about the sacrifices people make for the people they love without considering them sacrifices.  He gave his relationship to his wife as an example of how we do this.  

After only dating his eventual wife for a few weeks, he took her car from her and bought new tires and had it cleaned and detailed (which costs hundreds of dollars), but he was just so excited about the love that he had found in her that the hundreds of dollars were inconsequential.  It wasn't a labor to lavish her with gifts.  It wasn't work or even unpleasant to "inconvenience" himself for her.  It was love, and sacrifices for the one you love do not feel like sacrifices.  It is the same with Christ.  If you truly love Christ, you would give everything you had or ever could get in exchange for Him, because He is worth it.

Philippians 3:8 says:
...I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
I realized that I was keeping things back in my attempt a a trade for God.  I wanted other things more than I wanted Christ.  Christ is a free gift to those who want Him more than anything.  I am free (for now) to give all for Christ and call myself glad, but it will take constant prayer and attention to my heart to keep my aim true.

So, no...this is not forced.  This is salvation, and it's just very exciting.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

At Long Last

For the first time in my life, I am preoccupied with God.

I've been enamoured with God before, I've enjoyed reading the bible before, I've cried as I lamented my sins to the Father before, but never have I had this sort of constant righteous distraction that permeates.
"...of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:36)
I have read this before, but now I see and feel the weight of its truth.  He does not abide in the "God moments" but rather in all moments.  It was only in the "God moments" that I did not fail to know it.

Give glory to God, for it is His already!

Picture the delight of the parents as their toddler child picks things up off of the floor of their home and offers it to them as it were a gift.  Our hearts delight in these small things, not because we were given a gift, surely that small thing was already ours, but because our child has given a thing that in their little world was theirs for the taking.

We are but toddlers stumbling about in God's house!  The things we acquire here are but trinkets lying about on God's floor.  Offer them back to God, for they are not yours!  God delights in us when we make little of ourselves in an attempt to make much of Him.  Know that your attempt will fall embarrassingly short of giving God something that he lacked, but give all glory to God gladly anyway.


Psalm 73:25-26

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Search me, o God, and purge my heart of it's wicked desires for anything apart from You.
Be my strength, for I am weak.
Be my courage, for I am a coward.
Be my rescuer, for I am hopelessly lost.
Be my ransom, for I am a slave to sin.

John Piper Quote of the Day

Christ will be glorified in the world when Christians are so satisfied in him that they let goods and kindred go and lay down their lives for others in mercy, missions, and, if necessary, martyrdom. He will be magnified most among the nations when, at the moment Christians lose everything on earth, they say, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
-John Piper, When I Don't Desire God, pg. 21

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Only what's done for Christ will last.

I finished Don't Waste Your Life today.  It's a great book.  You should give it a whirl. (it's free and online:

John Piper has written about 30 books and all of them say the exact same thing:
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

Somehow he makes the point differently every time.

Don't waste your life.

Quote of the Day

I hear the haunting words of Jesus, “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things” (Matthew 6:31-32). In other words, if we look like our lives are devoted to getting and maintaining things, we will look like the world, and that will not make Christ look great.  He will look like a religious side-interest that may be useful for escaping hell in the end, but doesn’t make much difference in what we live and love here.  He will not look like an all-satisfying treasure.  And that will not make others glad in God.
-John Piper, Don't Waste Your Life, pg. 107-108

Execution Day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who wants to have a party?

The will(s) of God


If you've ever wanted to know the will of God in your life, listen to (or read or watch)  this sermon by John Piper.

It has changed my view of God's will(s) so radically that I'll never be the same.

(You have to read/listen/watch to understand the (s).  It's worth it.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What I'm Reading:

Don't Waste Your Life
by John Piper

Only one life,
'twill soon be past;
Only what's done
for Christ will last.

Write that down and read it every day.

Right Now

The post quit/pre not-there-anymore time is the worst.

Somehow I want to be here even less than I did before.

All I Need Is You

I Left my fear by the side of the road
I hear You speak
You won't let go
I fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray

I got every reason to be here again
It's the Father's love that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is you Lord

One more day and it's not the same
Your spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Saviour once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
He gave His life to save the earth
I rest in the thought that You're watching over me

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold
You hold

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

Listen to Hillsong United's The I Heart Revolution album version and try shouting along to the chorus of this song at the top of your lungs.  
You will feel better aferwards.

Warning: You may cry.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
My biggest struggle is doubt.

In my head, I know what's important.  I know what God looks for in me.  I know that I'm redeemed by the grace of God, and that He'll never forsake me.

But in my heart, I wonder if I'm good enough.  I wonder if I've been focusing on the right things (often time the answer is no).  I question the ceaseless mercy that is promised to me through the cross.

You see, I'm a repeat offender.  I sin, and beg forgiveness only to sin again the next day (sometimes the next minute), and I worry that my shortcomings are going to keep God from doing great works.  In reality, the mere thought that God could be limited by me is an affront to God.  It is a grave insult to the one that loves us more than is comprehensible when we try to cap His power with our weakness.

In fact, Christ is more powerful through us because we are sinners.  If we were perfect, it would not take infinite love to cover us, but since we are inherently not perfect, any powerful act of God that occurs through us is more evidently God's hand and not our own.

If I were a perfect man and God did works through me, people could be led to believe that I was the source of the works and not God.  Because I am far from perfect (and I cannot emphasize that enough), no one would believe that the good works that are accomplished with my hands are truly of my own doing.

So as Paul rejoiced in his weakness, so do I rejoice in my own.  

Praise God, I'm a weak and wounded man!

Monday, November 3, 2008

One More Time!

I know the words to this song seem strange and childish, but it's one of the best stories behind a song that I've ever heard.

The Flaming Lips had recently released Soft Bulletin and played a few dates over in Japan.  While they were there they met a woman who worked for a magazine and owned a record store and struck up a friendship that they maintained through emails after they left Japan.  In the Spring of 2000 they found out that she had some sort of heart condition and wasn't doing very well.  

Wayne Coyne wrote Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots as an optimistic tribute to the fight that she was putting up against her condition.  Sadly, she died shortly thereafter, but her song remains.

I hope I can write songs that mean this much.

Her name is Yoshimi.
She's a black belt in karate.
Working for the city,
she has to discipline her body

Cause she knows that it's demanding
to defeat those evil machines.
I know she can beat them

Oh, Yoshimi,
they don't believe me,
but you won't let those
robots eat me.
they don't believe me,
but you won't let those 
robots defeat me

Those evil natured robots
they're programmed to destroy us.
She's gotta be strong to fight them,
so she's taking lots of vitamins

Cause she knows that
it'd be tragic
if those evil robots win.
I know she can beat them.

Oh, Yoshimi,
they don't believe me,
but you won't let those
robots defeat me.
they don't believe me,
but you won't let those 
robots eat me

Cause she knows that
it'd be tragic
if those evil robots win.
I know she can beat them.

Oh, Yoshimi,
they don't believe me,
but you won't let those
robots defeat me.
they don't believe me,
but you won't let those
robots defeat me.

Oh, Yoshimi,
they don't believe me,
but you won't let those
robots eat me.
they don't believe me,
but you won't let those
robots eat me.

False Comfort

Sunday school Jesus is a pansy.  At the time, no one ever told you that Jesus had sharp edges.

JG Ballard wrote a book called Kingdom Come.  It contains this quote:
"They knew they were being lied to, but if lies were consistent enough they defined themselves as a credible alternative to the truth.  Emotion ruled almost everything, and lies were driven by emotions that were familiar and supportive, while the truth came with hard edges that cut and bruised.  They preferred lies and mood music."
JG is tapping into the heart of people.  We are cowards who run at the first signs of difficulty.  We cover our eyes in order to keep from seeing the painful truth.  We fool ourselves into thinking that a the perfect life will be all satin and silk in order to feel good about our lack of spiritual discipline.  Our comfort tricks us into believing that we are doing right.  (God wouldn't allow us to be comfortable if we were getting it wrong, right?  Dead wrong.)

A truly Godly life will not be easy.  It will hurt.  It will often be uncomfortable.  Rejoice in the sufferings (somehow).  It is a blessing.  (I promise)

Marx Was Right (but in a wrong way)

Religion is the opiate of the masses.

Far too often we make Christianity (or Protestantism, or Catholicism, or Consumerism, or Whatever) our god and forget that no set of Rituals, Rules and Regulations could ever take the place of an infinite God.

The very idea of His infinity precludes the possibility that there could be something that encapsulates the whole of His being.

You will fail at following the rules.  I promise you that, but keep questioning Him and he will keep revealing Himself to you.  You will never come close to the bottom of that well, and you will always have clean, living water to drink.

Religion is man-made and therefore a dry well that will never quench your thirst.

Leave your religion and find God.

Commandment #1

I use Google Chrome as my web browser.

Whenever you open a new tab in Google Chrome, it shows you the top 9 sites that you visit the most.

Today I found out that I've been breaking the first commandment (and breaking it hard).  Nowhere on that list falls anything God-based.  I have ESPN, other blogs, craigslist, my email, etc.

For too long I've numbed the sense or urgent need for God with trivial pleasantries.  I'm resetting my browser history, and I'm keeping as number 1.

Read your Bible.  I'm going to read mine.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Not part of the series, but I re-thought this one and changed it up a little and decided to record it and throw it up here.