Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Little TV

I thought last night's American Idol was the best episode ever, as far as the competition. My number 1 & 2 for the night were Matt and Danny, but I thought all five were amazing. I think this is by far the most talented group ever.

And how about the NBA playoffs! The Boston/Chicago series is the best first round playoffs series I've ever seen. I'm a big Celtics fan, but I find myself pulling for the baby Bulls. I think D. Rose is going to be a top 3 point guard in another year or so. He's just got to cut those turnovers down. And I think they're one trade away from being an elite team (how about L. Deng and Tyrus Thomas for a big man, perhaps Bosh or Stoudamire?).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Goal of Parenting

The following is from Tim Kimmel's great book, Grace Based Parenting.

The real test of a parenting model is how well equipped the children are to move into adulthood as vital members of the human race. Notice I didn't say "as vital members of the Christian community." We need to have kids that can be sent off to the most hostile universities, toil in the greediest work environments, and raise their families in the most hedonistic communities and yet not be the lease bit intimidated by their surroundings. Furthermore, they need to be engaged in the lives of people in their culture, gracefully representing Christ's love inside these desperate surroundings (9).

There are times when we need to shelter and protect our children, but if that is our primary to the world, then we are doing a disservice to our children. Instead, we need to teach and live out a biblical worldview. We teach them what it means to follow God and be a missionary in their world.

Favorite Iphone Apps

I've had my iPhone now for close to three months, and I love it just as much as when I first got it. The 1 billionth application should be downloaded sometime today (winner gets a $10,000 iTunes gift card), so I thought I would share some of my favorite apps.

  • Google app - I probably use this most of all because I'm now using Google Reader for my rss feeds
  • reQall - replaced Jott when Jott ceased to be free; not quite as good but it's very useful
  • Amazon Kindle - I haven't bought a Kindle book yet, but I've sampled the first chapter of many
  • Evernote - I use this primarily on my laptop, but it's nice to have an app for the iPhone
  • Files lite - free version; allows me to take documents on the iPhone; I can read them, but no editing
  • Pandora
  • Simplify - allows me to listen to my entire iTunes collection on my desktop at home; not the best quality, but still a great feature
  • Yelp - pinpoints my location, shows restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc. nearby, and even gives reviews; I used them a lot while we were on vacation
  • Maps - right up there with Google as to most used; I drive around and look at houses a lot; this helps out quite a bit

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

American Idol

I think the talent in this year's American Idol competition is the strongest ever. I love Matt's soul, Danny's power, and Adam's charisma, but of all of them, the one I would spend money to hear is Kris Allen. His performance a few weeks ago of "Ain't No Sunshine" was amazing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Books I'm Reading

I just updated my Shelfari page, so I thought I would give an update on some of the good books I've been reading. On Easter we finished up our series on the Cross, so for the last couple of months I've been reading a lot on that subject. Two of the key books I read were Death by Love, by Mark Driscoll, and The Atonement, by Leon Morris. I grew and learned a lot during this series.

Next Sunday I am preaching on parenting, so I've been reading a few books on this topic, namely, Grace Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel, Revolutionary Parenting, by George Barna, and Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture, by Mary DeMuth. I haven't read much of Barna's yet, but I highly recommend the other two.

I've also just started reading Total Church, by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. This is one of those books where it seems like I'm underlining every other sentence. The chapter on community is amazing, as is the one on evangelism. Speaking of that chapter, you can read it on Tim Chester's blog.

Finally, our men's discussion group has one more week on Piper's Don't Waste Your Life. It's been encouraging yet very challenging. I guess that's typical Piper, though.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cal Who?

Great article on Memphis' new head basketball coach!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Importance of the Resurrection

I am getting ready to preach my first Easter sermon, and I feel a little overwhelmed. For the past few weeks we've been seeking to answer the question, "Why did Jesus have to die?" We've looked at the following bad news/good news facets of the cross:

Week 1
Bad news: We are in bondage to sin and cannot escape on our own
Good news: Jesus died to redeem us from the bondage of sin

Week 2
Bad news: God's response to sin is wrath and judgement
Good news: Jesus died as a once-for-all atonement for our sin, appeasing God's wrath, forgiving all of our sins (past, present and future), and cleansing us from all unrighteousness

Week 3
Bad news: We have sinned, and the penalty for sin is death
Good news: Jesus died in our place for our sin. Therefore we do not have to pay the penalty.

As I have been working my way through this, a new question has emerged that I'm going to try to address this Sunday. The Cross has humbled me. It is truly beautiful and amazing. In some ways it would be enough to say that Jesus is my Savior, that He did all of these things for me. My life would be changed. I would no longer be the same.

So what's the purpose of Easter?

My text will be 1 Corinthians 15, and the key words for me have been "of first importance." Paul shows us why the resurrection of Jesus is vital to Christianity. In verses 12-20 he gives shows what things would be like if Christ hadn't been raised from the dead. He shows that this can't just stop with the Cross.

The Resurrection also sets up the New Creation (which harkens back to the Creation Mandate found in Genesis 1). With the Resurrection, Jesus is not only Savior of the world but also King of the World. And He has called us to be ministers of reconciliation in His Kingdom!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


We are in Orange Beach, AL this week with Paw Howard, Boogala (not sure how to spell that, but it's Adam's grandmother), and Megan. The boys did great on the long drive yesterday, and our first night was good. Micah slept in the bathroom last night, but we moved him into the closet this morning (is that wrong?). Adam is most excited about making smores and watching Star Wars: Episode I. I'm looking forward to eating a lot of seafood, enjoying the serenity of the waves crashing outside our door, and enjoying my family!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Does Satan Exist?

Last week ABC News Nightline featured a four-person "Face-Off" debate on the topic of Satan. The guests were Bishop Carlton Pearson, Deepak Chopra, Annie Lobert, and Mark Driscoll. You can watch it in its entirety here. I was very impressed with Driscoll's responses. I also think Pearson hit the nail on the head when he began talking about Scripture. It all boils down to what you believe about Scripture. If you don't believe that Scripture is authoritative, then nothing that Driscoll and Lobert makes sense.