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Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Week of Freedom

Okay, here's the deal. When I started writing on this blog thing I decided (I'm not sure if I said it or not) that I was going to be honest, transparent. However you want to say it. So here is me being honest. I have been way to addicted, dependent, concerned with communication with my friends, especially since I got back from my visit to school. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I have some good conversations with people and a lot of it is back and forth encouragement. But when it is the first thing I do when I get up in the morning, the first thing I do before I go to work, the last thing I do before I go to bed, and what I do when I'm bored, it is flirting with idolatry. So I am going to give it up for awhile. No facebook, twitter, email or blog until Friday night. It's just me thinking that I need to go without it for awhile. I'm sorry for those of you who get encouragement from the blog. I'll still be writing my notes and I'll post them all next week (I just finished Joshua tonight). For those of you that I have been messaging on facebook, I'm sorry that I won't get to do that for a week. If you want to talk, call me. I'm always available at night. I promise it won't be that awkward. It's a conversation. Also I am going to text still so don't think that is off limits. I don't have a huge problem with that.

Lastly, I want to make sure you know that one of the reasons I'm doing this is because I feel like I am too dependent on the praise of man. I like when people tell me they are encouraged by me or challenged by the stuff I write or post. It makes me feel like I'm doing something. But then my brother showed me Galatians 1:10 tonight, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." That was convicting.

So I am off for the week. Pray for me. Pray for me to love the Lord and His written word. I continue to pray for a lot of you that God would shower His graces on you and that He would give you an unquenchable desire for Him. I love you guys. I'll talk to you soon.

All for His glory,


I forgot to mention something at the end of the last post. I think it's probably because I was so riled up about chapter 28. It's about chapter 34. I can feel myself starting to get really involved in what I'm reading. Have you had that happen to you with a novel or something? I think I have, but never like this. At the end of Deuteronomy Moses dies. When it describes his death and then talks about how the people of Israel mourned for forty days then no more, I got legitimately sad. I'm serious; it was so weird. Moses has been the catalyst for God revealing His glory for four books of the Bible now. He's been there basically the whole way with me and now he's gone. I think it was a good reminder to me that God uses people for His purposes, but they are still just people. It reminds me of the verse in James that says, "Elijah was a man just like us" (5:17). I don't know. I don't really have a point to that it was just some stuff that I was thinking and forgot to put in the last one. Hopefully I'll have notes on Joshua by Sunday. Thanks for reading. I hope you're encouraged or challenged.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Deuteronomy 9-34

Well I finished Deuteronomy this morning. It took me about two weeks. The drag at school really got me and I haven't been able to stay awake in the mornings to do my reading lately. But last night I had some time and then finished off the last few chapters this morning with the help of a few cups of coffee. Then my boss text me and said I didn't have to come in till noon. So I am writing my notes.

The first and most obvious thing going through the "lulls" of the book was the emphasis god kept placing on how the Israelites were getting this land. Forty-five times in the book God reminds them that He is giving them this land that they are about to enter. That seems like a pretty good indicator that it is important. In chapter 32 God is talking about what He will do to the Israelites when they are unfaithful to Him. He says this stuff about these nations that will conquer Israel and then says this in 32:27 "... lest their adversaries should misunderstand, lest they should say, 'Our hand is triumphant, it was not the Lord who did all this.'" Then he goes on to say that it is stupid of them to think they were in control. It was God acting through them. Then here is 32:39, which makes this truth extremely clear, "See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand." I love when God makes things so obvious.

The fear of the Lord shows up multiple places again. Chapter 9 is all about God making sure the Israelites know that God is not blessing them because of their righteousness. Chapter 13 is all about God's jealousy. Very good stuff. The end of chapter 17 speaks to the importance of Scripture. God reminds them multiple times what He did for them in Egypt. Chapter 26 orders them to give a speech to the Lord when they give their first sacrifice in this land He is giving them and the speech is basically the story of God's faithfulness to their people. If it seems like I am rushing through a lot of this, I am. I am rushing through all of it because of chapter 28.

Chapter 28, verse 15-68, is the most terrifying thing I have read or heard in my life. It is a list of all the curses God will put on Israel if they do not follow His law. You need to read it to understand what I am talking about. I'll post the whole thing at the bottom. So go down and read it. As hard as it is, try to picture these things as you read them. For those of you lazy people, you still need to hear some of this. So I'll just rehash the ones that stick out to me. "You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall ravish her" (v 30). "Your sons and daughters shall be given to another people... but you shall be helpless" (v 32). In verses 52-57, He tells them they will resort to eating the flesh of their children. It's very graphic in how it describes it. This is disgusting, awful stuff! Why? Why would God cause these terrible things to happen to them? He promises He will do these things for this reason: "Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart" (v 47). Did you hear that? God says He will cause a man to rape our fiancee if we don't joyfully serve Him. Now listen to this. Verse 58, "If you are not careful to do all the works of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, then..." He continues in the awful things He will do to them. He says if the words of this Law do not cause you to fear the name of the Lord, I will put on you every disease and affliction in this book and the ones you haven't ever heard of. This is how much God hates sin. This is how much He cares about us delighting in Him and His name being glorified.

The end of chapter 31 speaks more to how the reading of the Law will cause the fear of the Lord. Chapter 32 is the song of Moses that God gives him to sing. It praises God for His greatness and then talks about His wrath some more.

I have some more to say about 28 and they are just thoughts, not truths I found in the Bible. The whole chapter is about God's wrath. This is what He promises when they break His laws. When I hear this, I think about how unfaithful the people of Israel were throughout the rest of the Old Testament. These things didn't happen to them. I don't remember Israelite women eating the afterbirth of their children. So thinking that makes me think of Romans 3:25. Paul is talking about Jesus as a propitiation for our sins. Then he says this, "This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins." This verse says that He didn't pour His wrath out on people that deserved it. That He held it off and poured it on Jesus. That makes this section in Romans that much more glorious. That, Deuteronomy 28:15-68, that is what I deserved because I didn't lift up God and fear His name the way I should. And God said, "No. I'm not going to do that to you. I'm going to let you live and pour that wrath out on my Son." WHAT?!? Are you kidding me?! God took that wrath and poured it out on Jesus because He loved me? That is the best news I've ever heard. That is amazing! That is the gospel. I am going to talk about this more when we get to Romans and the amazingness of it that I have just begun to understand, but I will probably hint at it multiple times before we get there too. "Why?" you ask. Because is the glory of God. It is the greatest thing He has ever done, and what have I learned in the first five books of the Bible? God demands that we remember His greatness. Oh this is awesome and I am loving it.

Let me know if you think I am wrong about any of this. My goal is to be accurate, so that I might praise the name of Jesus accurately. Hopefully there will be much more to come in the next few days since I won't be bogged down with work.

All of it is to make His Name great,

P.S. I promised Deuteronomy 28 and I will deliver. Here is it. The curses begin in verse 15.

Deuteronomy 28

Blessings for Obedience

28:1 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Curses for Disobedience

15 “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

20 “The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me. 21 The Lord will make the pestilence stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 22 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought [1] and with blight and with mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. 24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed.

25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 And your dead body shall be food for all birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away. 27 The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind, 29 and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. [2] And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you. 30 You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall ravish her. You shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it. You shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat any of it. Your donkey shall be seized before your face, but shall not be restored to you. Your sheep shall be given to your enemies, but there shall be no one to help you. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and fail with longing for them all day long, but you shall be helpless. 33 A nation that you have not known shall eat up the fruit of your ground and of all your labors, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually, 34 so that you are driven mad by the sights that your eyes see. 35 The Lord will strike you on the knees and on the legs with grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.

36 “The Lord will bring you and your king whom you set over you to a nation that neither you nor your fathers have known. And there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone. 37 And you shall become a horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the Lord will lead you away. 38 You shall carry much seed into the field and shall gather in little, for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off. 41 You shall father sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours, for they shall go into captivity. 42 The cricket [3] shall possess all your trees and the fruit of your ground. 43 The sojourner who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.

45 “All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that he commanded you. 46 They shall be a sign and a wonder against you and your offspring forever. 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young. 51 It shall eat the offspring of your cattle and the fruit of your ground, until you are destroyed; it also shall not leave you grain, wine, or oil, the increase of your herds or the young of your flock, until they have caused you to perish.

52 “They shall besiege you in all your towns, until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout all your land. And they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land, which the Lord your God has given you. 53 And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you. 54 The man who is the most tender and refined among you will begrudge food to his brother, to the wife he embraces, [4] and to the last of the children whom he has left, 55 so that he will not give to any of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because he has nothing else left, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your towns. 56 The most tender and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because she is so delicate and tender, will begrudge to the husband she embraces, [5] to her son and to her daughter, 57 her afterbirth that comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears, because lacking everything she will eat them secretly, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your towns.

58 “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, 59 then the Lord will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting. 60 And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. 61 Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will bring upon you, until you are destroyed. 62 Whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God. 63 And as the Lord took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

64 “And the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65 And among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but the Lord will give you there a trembling heart and failing eyes and a languishing soul. 66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you. Night and day you shall be in dread and have no assurance of your life. 67 In the morning you shall say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and at evening you shall say, ‘If only it were morning!’ because of the dread that your heart shall feel, and the sights that your eyes shall see. 68 And the Lord will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How Do I Make Christ Look Great?

This is the first Sermon Jam I ever saw. I'm pretty sure Mr. Webster showed it to us in high school. And then it was the video that encouraged me so much when I got to college at the beginning of this year and just kept getting disappointed over and over again with the way people didn't care about what matters most (thanks JR). If I were to choose a life creed, this would probably be it... or Acts 20:24. Enjoy.

I know the video is cut off and it makes it look junky. So click here and watch it on youtube. Thanks for not freaking out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I often think of this verse in 3 John. It's verses 3 and 4, where he says, "It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell me about your faithfulness to the truth, and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." He says children, but he is talking to Gaius here, a friend, he says in verses 1 and 2. I can completely and wholeheartedly agree with John here. The joy of Christ is amazing and indescribable. But to know that a friend is experiencing that joy with you and hear that they are walking in the truth is the greatest joy I can imagine right now. I love you my brothers and sisters who are walking in the truth. You don't have a clue what kind of joy and satisfaction you bring me.


Monday, January 25, 2010

The Bible Is not Boring!

This is a video about something that I've been slowly learning for the past few weeks now. It rings true in every word that I read on the page I promise. This is not just me trying to sound all "spiritual." When he says that God is a Vesuvius of joy, he is right.

A Disclaimer to My Post about the Bible

This is a disclaimer that needs to be a followup to my post stressing the importance of the Bible. This is John Piper is his sermon entitled, "Holding Fast the Word of Life in 2010." You can listen to it or watch it at this link. But this is a piece of that sermon that you need to have in mind when you read my post. I'm learning more all the time.

Deuteronomy 6-8

I ended the last post in Deuteronomy 5 with the Ten Commandments. Moses now looks like he is rehashing some of the things the Lord commanded to the Israelites. All of it is staggering. It is more and more and more of God demanding that they recognize Him as the greatest. That is so encouraging because I keep seeing it. It's one thing if I find one verse in the midst of a complicated passage or something, but these things are just being beat into my head by God. They show up everywhere. Anyway, here is another piece of Deuteronomy.

At the beginning of chapter 6, Moses is saying what looks like it is the purpose for these statutes and rules God has given them. I'll start in verse 1, "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to posses it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long." So it looks like the purpose is so they fear God. Which would be consistent with everything else I've heard so far. Fearing the Lord and praising His Name go hand in hand. If you don't fear God you aren't realizing His great power and therefore, aren't praising Him accurately. So they are told that when they think of the Law, it should bring back this fear of God to their minds. And that is a good thing.

Verses 4-9 are the famous verses that are known as the greatest commandment. I won't write them out because it is pretty long, but this is basically what it says (check me on it), The Lord your God is one. Love Him with everything in you. You do whatever it takes to remember these things that I've commanded you. Write them on your door, put them on your head, etc. And teach them to your children whenever you get the chance. So again God is saying, this isn't trivial. The things I am telling you are important. You do whatever it takes to remember them and remember that I am your God. Then He tells them to be careful not to forget Him when they come in to this promised land. He warns them not to serve the gods of the people of the land, but Him and Him alone. Again, He says in verse 13, "It is the Lord your God you shall fear." Then He says something that shows His wrath again. In verse 15, He says that if they do forget Him and worship these other gods, He will get angry and destroy them from off the face off the earth. Boom. That's power.

Verse 20 is so cool to me. I think it is great that I have been asking, "What's it for? What's the law for?" And searching for it. I've found those purposes, but this is just so explicit. It says, "When your son asks you in time to come, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?' then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in and give us the land that He swore to give to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God." So the kid asks his dad why God gave them all these laws. The dad starts in about what God did for them in Egypt and how it was Him that brought them out and Him that showed signs and wonders so He could show His faithfulness and give them the land He promised to their fathers. Then in 24 it's almost funny. It seems like the dad says, 'Basically He gave us the law so we would fear Him.' That's it. The reason that God has done all of this is so the people would fear Him. It fits perfectly. I said earlier that proper worship and glorifying of God cannot be done without acknowledging that God is the one responsible for everything that was done and fearing Him because of that power.

Chapter 7 is so cool. I feel like I am writing too much so I won't give many examples, just a basic summary. Moses starts off talking about how they will completely destroy the people in these lands that God is giving them. Wipe them out completely. He warns again of staying away from their idols so they won't be ensnared by them. In verses 6 and 7, He tells them that He chose them from all the nations of the world. Not because of anything they did. So He goes in again, commanding them to know that He and He alone is God. After that, Moses goes in to this big long thing about what God will do for them and to their enemies when they go in to posses this new land (verses 12-24). It's so cool. There is no doubt by the end of it that God is in control. Verse 25 is another command to beware of the gods of the people. They are to smash and destroy ever idol that they find.

I cannot write out all of chapter 8 even though I really want to. Here is a link. Read it. It's only 20 verses and it's totally worth your time. It is this entire chapter of the Lord saying to remember Him and all the works He's done. Don't forget, don't forget, don't forget. It's like He is just saying, "I AM GREAT! AND DON'T FORGET IT!" Verses 17 and 18 make extremely clear who deserves the credit. "Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' You shall remember the Lord you God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth." That is so blatant. You didn't do it. God did. He ends the chapter with a warning. If you forget what I have done and go after other gods, "I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish."

I'm sorry that this is all taking so long. This last week I was at school and it was pretty hectic. It was a reminder for me that I am going to have to work a lot harder to keep this up when I leave for Chile. Pray for me that I won't lose the desire to know God and His Word. Also, let this continue to challenge you to do the same.

For His glory,

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Tough Prayer

I heard someone say a prayer one time that they said they prayed every time they opened the Bible. The prayer was,

"Lord, please take everything I believe about you and tear it down and replace it with truth."

I think that's a pretty humbling prayer and it's one that I need to pray more. Instead of thinking, 'Oh, I want to confirm the things I already thought about God.' No, I want God to blow my mind. However great I thought you were, just destroy that and show me how great you really are. Whatever constraints I put on your character, just break those and show me who you really are. That's something I need to do more of. Coming before God humbly and saying that I don't know, but I want to know.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The De-churched

Matt Chandler talking about something that I've seen in every circle that I've ever lived in. The video takes awhile to load so start it, pause it, then come back in a few minutes and watch it. It's worth the time.

Sustaining Grace

Tonight, at Shores devotional, we discussed sustaining grace. We tried to define it and the basic conclusion was that it does not mean that we won't go through hard things. In fact, it seems like God intends that we go through hard times so that we would cling to Him. We went through the story of Lazarus in John 11 and also went to Jeremiah 32. Also I mentioned 1 Corinthians 1:3-11, talking about Paul and the hardship He and Timothy experienced in Asia. But two things that we discussed were a poem and a hymn. Both are worth going back to and looking over again so here they are.

Not grace to bar what is not bliss,
Nor flight from all distress, but this:
The grace that orders our trouble and pain,
And then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.

Now here is the fourth verse in Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing that Mark went through:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Deuteronomy 1-5

Okay, so I couldn't help myself. I haven't had a ton of time to read since I've been at school, but when I do I continue to see the same things. I know that if I wait till the end of Deuteronomy, the post will be extremely long and take you forever to read, so I am just going to cut it down into multiple parts. This is what I have learned and seen in Deuteronomy 1-5.

It starts off and you realize that it is Moses summarizing everything that has gone on in the last couple of books. The great thing about this is that summaries create big picture thinking. That is why I have tried to give some summaries on here. It makes you see patterns clearly and makes you ask 'why?' questions a lot. So, Moses is summarizing what has happened from when they were commanded to leave Horeb and go to the promised land (Exodus 33) until the present time. A lot of great stuff ensues.

It is basically all telling what we have already heard until chapter 4. Then Moses starts to give reasons for all of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Deuteronomy 4:6-7, "Keep them and do them (the statutes that the Lord commanded them, the Law), for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him?" So the Law and them following the Law is so the nation of Israel looks a certain way. A way that makes the nations say, "Look at their God." Wow. That is awesome.

Then in verses 9-10, Moses makes it clear again what the purpose of the Law is, "Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children- how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb (where He gave them the Law), the Lord said to me, 'Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.'" BAM! What is the purpose of the Law? That they would remember what God did for them, all His great acts. Furthermore, the Law was so they would fear Him because of those awesome and powerful acts, and teach their children to fear Him also. There it is. The purpose of everything I've read in the last week and a half- so they know how great God is. What happens when they remember how great He is? They fear Him!

The next amazing thing written is Deuteronomy 4:32-40. It's worth the time to read.
"For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing has ever happened or was ever heard of. Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides Him. Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might discipline you. And on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. And because He loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with His own presence, by His great power, driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, know therefore today, and lay it on your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep His statutes and His commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time."
That is so awesome! This totally speaks to what was said just a couple verses earlier in 4:24, "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." Moses is reminding the Israelites of all these great things God did, all the way back to creation. And he keeps asking, "Do you know of any other god that's done all this?" In verse 34, he says all these things about what God has done in taking them out of Egypt and saving them by His hand. Then, he says why- verse 35, "To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides Him." We are supposed to remember how great He is. Not only that, we are supposed to remember how much greater He is than everything else. God is so much greater than every idol or god that anyone could ever show them, and He demands that they acknowledge that and fear Him because of it. So awesome!

Next comes the Ten Commandments in chapter 5. Have you ever noticed what God started them out with? "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." That's the opening to the Ten Commandments. I don't remember hearing that. He's just reminding them right off the bat, 'Remember how great I am in what I have done fore you." And when you start reading, it makes sense that He would give them that reminder. The reason being, all of the first commandments are basically, "Acknowledge how awesome I am; remember it, and don't you dare act like anything else is better!" Seriously, look at these. The first four take up these huge paragraphs and they are basically, don't put anything on the same level as me, don't try to act like you can even imagine my greatness and put it in to form, don't take this Name that I have made great and profane it, and set aside an entire day to remember how great I am. Then He just kind of tacks on the next six. I'm not saying they aren't important. They are; they're God's commandments, but it's pretty clear to me what He is trying to stress here. So in verses 24-25 it shows the Israelites reaction to God telling them all of this out of fire on the mountain. It's basically, "Look we are seeing God's glory right now and we are scared that we are going to die if we see any more. Please tell Him to stop talking to us so we don't die from the presence of His power." Hahaha. That is so great. Do we have that fear of the Lord. Not from what I can see. I can tell you that I sure don't. Not yet anyway. In verse 29, it is God wishing that they had this type of attitude always, that they would always have this kind of fear of Him. And He says, then it would go well with them!

More to come soon. I will try to get to chapters 6-14 tomorrow and then continue in my reading. This is awesome stuff. Soak it in. But don't soak in what I'm saying. Read it and then soak in the truth of God's Word. Oh, it is awesome to see the glory of the Lord!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Need to Repent


I need to repent of something. I need to confess to all of you that I have downplayed the importance of God for a really long time. Even as recently as this week to certain people. I've downplayed that importance by suggesting books to people. I'll say, "Oh you've got to read this John Piper book, or this Francis Chan book, or this whatever book. It's life changing." I've said, "This book completely changed my perspective on everything." And that is wrong. All of that is wrong. Books do not change people. God does. And He does that through His Word. The only reason that any book that I've read has any credibility or worth is because it points back to the Bible. Some do so more accurately than others, but they point back. Don't miss this. These books may be good. They may help you understand some great truths. But they are truths from the Bible and you need to hear them from the Bible first.

The reason that I have messed up so horribly is I have assumed that everyone that I suggested these books to knows the Truth. Which is stupid because I myself don't know the Truth. By "know the Truth" I mean have read and understood as much as is possible in God's Word. In that video I posted last week, Mark Driscoll said it better than I could ever say it, "You need to learn the Truth before you learn everything else." That is so important and I've been wrong for not saying that and doing that. Hear me again because it is worth repeating,

"You need to learn the Truth before you learn everything else."

Well what is the Truth? It's the Word of God, the Scriptures, the Bible. Quick note on that: The Bible is Truth because it believes itself to be Truth. If you say, "Oh I don't think the Bible is completely true." Then you have to come to the conclusion that God is lying to you. If you believe that and do not believe that the ENTIRE Bible is the inspired Word of God, then the Bible is not credible at all. Here's why- because it believes itself to be COMPLETELY true. Listen to what Peter says in 2 Peter 1:19-20, "And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." How much more clear can you get? The Bible believes itself to be COMPLETELY true. Therefore if it is not COMPLETELY true, the whole thing is worthless.

Watch what the rest of the verses say though. Look at verse 19, "... you will do well to pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." Do you know how much you would pay attention to a lamp shining in a dark place? It would seriously be all you could look at. And Peter is saying, pay that much attention to it until the day you are in heaven.

This is where I have made my mistake. I have told people that things would help them when they wouldn't. I am not saying that books are bad. There are a lot of really good books out there that will help you understand things. But if they are read on their own and before you read and understand what God is telling you in the Bible, they are screwing you over. I know that is harsh language and it is meant to be. They will confuse you over and over again, as I am a testament to, because you do not know the Truth. I know you'll probably just be thinking, 'He's just doing this because he's reading the Bible now and it makes him look good to say that it's the only thing you should be reading.' I hope that you don't think that way. I am telling you this because in reading the Bible I am realizing the awesomeness and incalculable importance of God's Word. I plead with you to put down your books that give people's opinion and pick up the opinion of God. Put down these commentaries on truth and pick up The Truth. If after that you want to go back and get some perspective, that's fine. I encourage you to do that. I encourage you to learn what is out there so that you know who to give ear to and who to shut out. But if you don't know the Truth, you will take it all and will become very confused, very quickly. I was just talking to my friend Mark Baur and I said to him, "I wish so bad that I had learned this when I was fourteen instead of nineteen, because I could have saved myself from a lot of listening to things that I should not have been listening to. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I only would have learned the Truth before everything else." That is what I am trying to do for all of you, my friends and brothers and sisters.

With that in mind, there are those people who have read the Bible and do know what they believe and why they believe it. They still constantly are working through things, but they know what is in there. I have read the Bible, but not to understanding. Not to the point where I know what is in there and know why I believe things. So these commentaries and sermons and books are all great for those people, but they have a very real danger of leading other people, who don't know the Truth, astray.

So again, I beg of you. Pick up your Bible. Read it. Read the Word of God and learn the truth that He states about Himself, not what some guy thinks God is to him. Please, please, please. Read the Bible.


The Beauty of Hymns

I was in a conversation a little while ago that got me thinking about some of the lyrics to old hymns. There are a lot of them that I don't understand, but most I just don't take the time to focus on. Amazing Grace is one song that I love. The truth of it makes me smile every time I hear it. If you don't remember all the words, just read through them right now. It took me awhile to realize just how awesome a praise to God they really are.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26

The Outrageous Verdict

I'd like to direct you to my good friend Steve Webster's blog today. He posted a video that gives some perspective on what our church back home is going through in Ephesians. It is a great message to behold. In fact, it is the greatest message, the greatest news that I can possibly imagine. So please go watch "The Outrageous Verdict" at my friend's website.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why I Hate Music and Love Christian Rap

In just this past six or seven months, I have been listening to and loving Christian rap. I get quite a few sideways glances from people when they get in my car and Lacrae starts blaring through the speakers. I also have had quite a few conversations at Harding about why I don't like music. I figured this would be a good place to clear up why I feel the way I do about both of those things, and it might give you something to think about.

First I will tell you why I "don't like music." In my junior and senior year in high school, I had a Bible teacher named Steve Webster. Mr. Webster taught me a lot of things that will stick with me until the day that I die. One of those things was to pay attention to lyrics. Like most sixteen-year-old kids I didn't really listen to what I listened to. If that makes sense. I just put music on the radio and half listened to the words, half just didn't pay attention. He taught me how important lyrics were. We would start almost every day off with a song- sometimes by a Christian band, sometimes not. I'm sure Mr. Webster's intention was to give us a love for music. I assume this because he is a huge fan of music, secular and Christian. It did not work out that way for me. Sometime, I think during my freshman year in college, I just started to get weary and even disgusted by the lyrics of songs. The things that these people sing about just don't matter. It seems like if you had an amazing ability to make beautiful music, you would sing about the things that matter most to you. Therefore, I'm confused when I hear a song about how this guy might have cheated on his girlfriend, but when he makes it big, he'll have a lot of money and be able to do anything for her, so it's all okay (Watcha Say).

Even the "deep" songs like Coldplay and U2, I just don't get the fascination. I don't want a girl to think that I can fix her. I can't. Jesus is the only one that can do that. Worship music is not exempt. I hear a "worship" song and it's talking about me and what I do. That's not what I want to do in worship. The greatest being in the universe is the object of my praise. Why would I waste my time talking about myself. I could sing for all of eternity and couldn't find enough adjectives to describe how awesome He is. So when I hear some shallow song in church that has awful theology, I just wonder how it got in there. I also think that it is probably just some bad artist who couldn't make it in regular music so they tried to write Christian music, because honestly, there is not much competition. This has led to somewhat of a disdain for music. Not all music, but most mainline music that I hear just kind of sickens me.

This is also the reason that I love Christian rap. I have never heard music that has lyrics that are so true. I listen to a Lecrae song and he preaches the gospel in every line. I have to listen to them over and over again, just so I can catch it all. Because it is rap, they can also fit way more into one song than most can. In Shai Linne's song "The Greatest Story Ever Told," he preaches the entire story of the Bible. It's great. I love it. I can't get enough of hearing them preach Jesus Christ and His supremacy. You might not agree with me. In fact, if your name is not Dayton Merrell or Jon Yoder, I'm pretty sure you don't agree with me. But I love it. I told Dayton one time that at this point, I hear so little truth that I will take it in any form. That's it. Those are my reasons for not liking popular music and liking Christian rap. I will say this though. Recently I have been listening to more worship songs by guys like David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and Hillsong and I really love what they say. It's truth about the supremacy and glory of Christ. So that is on the rise in my book. Also, I just can't really find the hymns I like on itunes.

Here is an example of my favorite Christian rap. This is Shai Linne. The man loves Jesus and he's also very talented. The link to his blog is on the right-hand side of my page. It's called "Lyrical Theology." Check it out. It's good stuff. One of his latest posts addresses kind of what I am addressing here. I really enjoyed it. It's called "Truth and Culture." Read it. It's good. I'll also post a few links at the bottom of this to some of my favorite songs.

Trip Lee "Superstar"
Tedashii "Make War"

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Okay, here's the deal. I finished Numbers on Thursday, but I had some work to do that night and my boss actually made me come in to work yesterday. Plus I just drove to Harding. So it's a little late. I think it's still fresh enough in my memory though. Oh, and I already kind of started Deuteronomy. Let's just say prepare yourselves because I already have two pages of notes after 8 chapters. It absolutely blew my socks off! But, this is Numbers. And it is also God's good and holy Word. So let's dive in.

Big themes that I noticed in Numbers: 1. God is faithful. 2. God is serious about His glory and His people showing it. (Side note: I listened to a Mark Driscoll sermon on the way down about Jesus and His glory. Great sermon and it kind of made me laugh because I totally expected some stuff from the New Testament to get a look forward at some of this. Nope. He spoke on 2 Corinthians 3... it totally rehashes the Law... which is what I have been reading for a week... which was actually kind of cool to see him lay some of it out. But that's beside the point. The point is he gave a definition of glory at the beginning of the sermon and I realized that I haven't really done that. So when I get a chance I'm going to write down how he defined it for you guys. Sorry, kind of a long side note.) Okay, Numbers: 1. God is faithful. 2. God is serious about His glory and His people showing it. Here's why I think that.

The book starts out with a bunch of censuses. That shows how faithful God is because of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He said that He would make them into a great nation. Well at this point I think they are like 700 years from that promise and God has made one old couple who had a son when they were about 100, into a nation of what looks like about 1.5 million people (603,550 men over 20, not including the Levites). The thing that I found interesting is that God keeps killing a ton of Israelites at a time. At the golden calf incident, He killed 3,000 men (Exodus 32:28). At Korah's rebellion (Numbers 16), He kills almost all of Korah's family and his cohorts families. Then consumes 250 other Levites that were involved with fire. The next day the rest of the people were grumbling, so God puts a plague on them. When Aaron and Moses finally sacrifice to atone for their sin, God has already killed 14,700 of them. So God keeps killing off all of these people... yet they still grow into a great and mighty nation. I thought that was interesting.

It also brings me to the second thing that I noticed. God is serious about His glory and His people showing it. There are quite a few instances in Numbers in which people rebel, grumble, disobey God. He does not take those things lightly. I just showed you some of them. Here are a few more that point directly to someone making something else out to be greater than God. This is one that I didn't put in the last section but probably should go there. At Peor the Israelites start to get into Baal worship. From seeing the first chunk of the Ten Commandments, we should no that is a big deal to God. So He starts a plague. It kills 24,000 people! So Eleazar's son, Phinehas sees the Midianite woman (apparently she is causing this is some way because the plague stops after she dies), takes a spear and puts it right through her and the guy that brought her there. Normally I would think, 'This is one of those instances where the guy went too far. He shouldn't have speared them should he have?' After this, God tells Moses that He's giving His covenant of peace to Phinehas because "he was jealous with My jealousy among them." So this was good. It was pleasing to God that he gored those people. God doesn't like it when people look to something else as their God. There are a few more, but I'll just give the most blatant and and well-known example. In Numbers 20, Moses strikes a rock to get water from it when God told him to speak to it. Because of this, Moses cannot answer the promised land. It seems like an overreaction on God's part right? I mean it wasn't that big of a deal was it? This is God's reason, "Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel." So He's saying, I did this to show my greatness to my people and apparently you didn't think it was great enough. I saw a lot of God caring about people believing that He is the greatest good there is. Anytime someone acted otherwise, he either destroyed or punished them severely. Many examples. Read it. They are important.

One thing that I read and have read before and I just don't get is the story of Balaam. It starts in Numbers 22. Balaam is apparently a prophet of some sort (which I found very surprising that God speaks through someone not of Israel), and this kind, Balak tells him to curse Israel for him. Balaam says he can only do what the Lord tells him too, and so he blesses them a bunch. Those blessings are actually pretty cool because it's like, "These people are great. There God is great." Proclaiming God's glory again. But I've always heard that Balaam kind of screwed Israel at the end and told Balak, just intermarry with them and it will destroy them. I saw that happen, but I didn't see Balaam telling them too. Actually his last oracle seemed like he was prophesying about Jesus. I might be way off. I'm not a scholar, that's just what it looked like to me. But I never saw him tell them that. Apparently he did do something wrong though, because later when they destroy the city, it says they kill Balaam. But I didn't see it. If anyone else did, let me know where.

Lastly, I need to say this again. I'm not going to cite God's control as much as I was because it is EVERYWHERE. It will take quite a bit to convince me that God is not completely in control of everything at this point. The Bible says He is over and over again. The people believe it to be true in the way that they talk. Even pagan nations speak like they know it is God doing these things. If you see something that says otherwise, talk to me so I can understand and praise God more accurately. Thank you.

I know this was kind of sloppy. I've had two hours of sleep in the last 2 days about. I just am so eager to get to Deuteronomy, I didn't want to leave this hanging. I'm salivating thinking about the rest of the book. I look through to kind of see what's coming my way, and I'm so excited. Again, let my excitement, my thoughts, even my wrongness if you see it, be a challenge for you to read and learn more accurately who God is and what He is like.

For His glory,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What You Spend Your Time Reading

This video was great for me to watch because I like to read and always wonder what I should be reading (especially because I'm a slow reader and it's a big commitment for me to pick a book). If you haven't watched the Mark Driscoll video below this, watch that one first. I'll repeat that. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW THIS THAT DEFINES CHURCH GROUPS FIRST!!! Otherwise you might not understand why he's telling you not to read some of these authors. I think Driscoll did a very good job of advising about this. I know it helped me out.

Defining the "4 Lanes" of Today's Churches

This is a video of Mark Driscoll giving a breakdown of the mainline church groups in Christianity today. I thing it was really helpful for me to understand some things and he touched on some topics that I was a bit unfamiliar with. So this is a good video to watch to understand some things. Also, please watch the other Driscoll video that I am about to put up about what you should read and what you shouldn't read, but watch this one first.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How Does God's Love fit into His Passion for His Own Glory?

For anyone who is wondering how love for us fits into God and His glory, I've got an article for you. This was given to me by a good friend and has already been extremely helpful to a lot of people. So here it is: "How Is God's Passion for His Own Glory Not Selfishness?"


Okay, I realize that I'm posting things like crazy. I'm sorry if you are trying to keep up and you can't because you are actually doing something right now in your life. For me, my boss called again today and told me I didn't need to come in to work. Therefore, I finished Leviticus. So here are my notes.

The first and most obvious thing about Leviticus is that it is a bunch of laws. Laws that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. Seems boring, right? Not at all! There is so much packed in here that it was awesome to see it all. Right off the bat I noticed the word "atonement," which is basically paying for some wrong you did to make it right. That word shows up 52 times in the 27 chapters of this book. That's pretty repetitive and pretty telling. It's very cool to see how ingrained in the Israelites' minds it was that if they did something wrong, it needed to be payed for. We don't really get that. If we did something wrong, then it must be someone else's fault. We'll sue someone or insurance will pay for it or something, but there's no way I'm paying for it. That was a certainty for them though. Not only was it a certainty that a wrong must be atoned for, but it must be atoned for by a perfect sacrifice. Over and over and over again, God says the animal sacrifice must be without blemish and the grain offering must have no leaven (which Jesus even refers to in a parable, meaning sin- Matthew 16). So they knew from the time they were little that for their sin to be atoned for, they would need a perfect sacrifice. Foreshadowing is so cool!

Another thing that is very cool is this year of Jubilee in chapter 25. Basically, if I understood right, it happens every fifty years, and it is a freeing of everything. All debt is erased; slaves are freed. It says they will proclaim liberty. Something that was in this passage that surprised me was the fear of the Lord. In the context of joy and jubilee it says "you shall fear your God (v. 17)." God equates fearing Him with joy? That was very interesting to me. Fearing God shows up four other times in the book, and then there is an entire chapter that just makes you tremble, but I'll wait to talk about that.

The backbone of the whole thing is still the glory of God and making His Name great. Repeatedly He reminds them that He brought them out of Egypt "in the sight of the nations." He tells them the purpose of the laws: "For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy (Lev. 11:45)." It's obvious. He has made them His people to show the nations His greatness. So He is giving them laws to make His nation like Him. They will see that He is holy, different, set apart. There is a passage in here that makes me cringe and rejoice at the same time. It is God telling the people how to deal with this son of a Israelite woman and Egyptian man who blasphemes God, they say "the Name." All the other punishments have been clean and straightforward. "Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death (Lev. 24:17)." But they go into so much detail on this.

"... and the Israelite woman's son blasphemed the Name, and cursed... Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Bring out of the camp the one who cursed, and let all who heard him lat their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death."

Wow! God does not take the profaning of His name lightly. I feel like that goes hand in hand with everything He has done to this point being all about His glory in the nations.

Now what everyone knows is coming- more on God's control. Hey, I'm not gonna write it if I don't see it. The problem is I keep seeing it everywhere. There are a few places in Leviticus where it shows that God is controlling what happened. More on how He brought them out of Egypt and how He will give them children or make them barren. Just a few things like that. But it blows up in chapter 26. In this chapter God tell the Israelites what blessings He will give them for obedience to His law and what punishments He will give them for disobeying His law. I'm not going to write the whole thing out because it is ridiculously long. But this is a link to it: Leviticus 26. I'll just list off some of the things He say He will do.
Make it rain so crops grow, make it so they don't get attacked in their land, remove harmful animals from their land, make their enemies fall in front of them (5 chase and defeat 100, 100 chase and defeat 10,000, etc.), make them have more babies, and keep their stored food better for longer.

Those are just some of the things God will do if they follow His law. Now listen to the flip side. He will make them panic, give them diseases that make their eyes rot and hearts ache, keep their crops from growing, give their enemies victory over them, make them flee when no one is chasing them, make the ground hard so they can't harvest it, make wild animals come kill their children and livestock, send an epidemic of diseases to kill them all, make it so they can't bake bread and when they do it won't fill them up, turn them into cannibals so they eat their children!, He Himself will devastate the land, make their hearts faint, make them scared and flee at the sound of a leaf blowing and while running make them trip over each other, and make them rot away in the lands of their enemies.

So yeah, there you have it. If that doesn't convince me that God is in control of what is happening, I don't know what will.

Good stuff in Leviticus. I was a little bored at the beginning, but the atonement kept me interested and then it really got good at the end. A lot packed in there. Any discussion is welcome. I'd like to be able to talk about what I've read and, as always, let this be a challenge to you to read and learn more about who God is from His Word.

To God be the glory,

God is Enough

John Piper on the prosperity gospel. Listen closely. He tells us when we show how beautiful and all satisfying Jesus is. When all this awful stuff comes into our lives and we say, "God is enough." Be satisfied in God, not in BMW's, iPods, and TOMS shoes. He's the greatest good and the greatest joy there is.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This video is pretty self-explanatory. This is for my friends who will deal with shame if they continue growing the way they are right now and proclaiming the true gospel of God to everyone they meet. Focus on that joy set before you.

Matt Chandler: Inoculated to the Gospel

This is a video from Matt Chandler, pastor at The Village Church in Dallas, Texas. Recently Matt found out that he has a brain tumor and is now going through chemotherapy daily for six months I think. Matt's example through this time has been an amazing picture of someone saying, "My hope is in the Lord." To follow Matt and how he is doing with the cancer and what he is saying about it, you can click on either his blog link or The Village Church link on the side of this page. For updates by the rest of the pastor's at his church click here. Also, you can follow Matt on twitter at MattChandler74. This video is one that I just came upon. God has given Matt a passion and a heart for His glory.

By the way. Inoculated basically means to introduce something to somebody in small dosages so that they become immune to it or numb to it.