Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Wreckage...

The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, 
half-built towers: 
the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish.
 For thousands of people still ignore Christ's warning and 
undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so.
 The result is the great scandal of Christendom today: 
so-called 'nominal Christianity'.

--From "Basic Christianity" (rev. edn. London: IVP, 1971), p. 108. Thanks Pastor Stott

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Definitely Definite

Gotta love that definite article. How's your summer Greek studies y'all? Here's looking at you Tyler...

For some great sing-a-longs check this out... (the article is the second one)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Like Judas...

"Would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"

Giotto di Bondone, a thirteenth century Italian artist, here depicts the epic scene of Christ's betrayal.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Goodbye Wisdom...

No, not our beloved TBS upper-classmate - but my upper and lower wisdom teeth. I got the lot of them pulled this past wednesday. I figured I'd let the three of my blog following friends (Stauff, Ty, Benoit) check out my hamster cheeks. So - check it out boys. Laugh it up. I'm thankful to God for pain-killers. This would have been a really hard-one if I was going all-natural. If you've never seen the roots on those teeth they are huge... no wonder there is so much pain... for those scheduled > ice-packs help a lot too.

What Attracted You to Christianity?

"In a questionnaire submitted to members of All Souls
congregation I asked both: 'What first attracted you to
Christ and the gospel?' and 'What mainly or finally brought
you to Christ?' In their answers over half referred to
something they had seen for themselves in Christian people,
their parents, pastors, teachers, colleagues or friends.
As one put it, these 'had something in their lives which I
lacked but desperately longed for'. In several cases it
was 'their external joy and inward peace'. To a student
nurse it was 'the genuine and open friendship' offered by
Christians; to an Oxford undergraduate studying law their
'sheer exuberance'; to a police constable the 'clear aim,
purpose and idealism which Christian life offered' as seen
in Christians; to a secretary in the BBC 'the reality of
the warmth and inner resources which I observed in
Christians'; and to a house surgeon 'the knowledge of
Christ's working in another person's life'."

--From "Our Guilty Silence" (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1967), p. 71. Thanks for this observation JRW Stott

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The School of Love

For those of us who are in training or happen to be enrolled, here are some invaluable tips for marriage. They were given to Mrs. M. Kassian from her mother on the occassion of her 60th wedding anniversary. Here's what she encourages her daughter with:

1) Don’t confuse love with infatuation. Love is much more than just a feeling—it’s a choice.
2) Love is giving and serving.
3) To love, you need to “grow up” and make mature instead of childish choices.
4) When you say “I do” on your wedding day, you enter into the school of love. Remember that you will always be a student. Learning how to love requires constant, life-long effort.
5) As you go through life, you will have to adjust to one another again and again.
6) To overcome difficulties, you have to set aside personal interests and die to self. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.
7) Always try to esteem, recognize and encourage your spouse.
8) Read Gods precious Word together for encouragement and guidance.
9) Pray together.
10) Use the “Love Passage” (1 Corinthians 13) to regularly evaluate if you’re doing a good job loving your spouse:

Am I patient with my spouse?
Am I kind to my spouse?
Am I envious of, or feel like I’m in competition with my spouse?
Am I boastful that I am better than my spouse?
Am I rude toward my spouse?
Am I seeking my own interests rather than my spouse’s interests?
Am I easily angered?
Do I keep a record of wrongs?
Do I always protect and guard our relationship?
Do I choose to trust my spouse?
Do I hold on to hope for our marriage?
Do I always persevere?
Does my love for my spouse never fail?

You can read the whole article here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time Keeps on Slipping into the Future...

This is the first line in Steve Miller's song "Fly Like an Eagle" - it was also in the motion-picture soundtrack for Space-Jam - remember it? If you know me a bit, I definitely stretch the clock. For me it seems time keeps on slipping and that I'm losing against this race with the clock. I'm learning though that we each get the exact same amount of hours every day. I found a helpful article by R. C. Sproul in April on our rez's kitchen table at TBS that spoke some sense into me. I lost the article but with a little web-surfing found it hidden in an article by C. J. Mahaney (who also really enjoyed it).
Here are Sproul's 7 tricks on using the time we are given to glorify God, instead of wasting it:

First, I realize that all of my time is God’s time and all of my time is my
time by His delegation. God owns me and my time. Yet, He has given
me a measure of time over which I am a steward. I can commit that
time to work for other people, visit other people, etc. But it is time for
which I must give an account.

Second, time can be redeemed by concentration and focus. One of the
greatest wastes of time occurs in the human mind. Our hands may be
busy but our minds idle. Likewise, our hands may be idle while our
minds are busy. Woolgathering, day‐dreaming, and indulging in
frivolous fantasy are ways in which thoughts may be wasted in real
time. To focus our minds on the task at hand—with fierce
concentration—makes for productive use of time.

Third, the mind can redeem valuable time taken up by ordinary or
mechanical functions. For example, the mechanics of taking a shower
are not difficult. In this setting the mind is free for problem solving,
creative thinking, or the composition of themes. Many of my
messages and lectures are germinated in the shower. When I used to
play a lot of golf, I found that the time I had between shots was a
great time for composing messages in my mind.

Fourth, use your leisure time for pursuits that are life enriching.
Leisure time is often spent on avocations. Reading is a valuable use of
time. It enriches life to read outside of your major field or area of
expertise. Augustine once advised believers to learn as much as
possible about as many things as possible, since all truth is God’s
truth. Other avocations that are enriching include the arts. I like to
study the piano and I dabble in painting. No one will ever mistake me
for a serious musician or an accomplished artist. But these avocations
open up the world of beauty to me that enhances my view of God
and His manifold perfections. I also enjoy working cross‐word puzzles
to warm up the little gray cells and to expand my vista of verbal

Fifth, find ways to cheat the “Sand Man.” Several years ago I had an
epiphany about time management. Though my life‐long pattern had
been to stay up late at night I realized that for me, the hours between
9–12 p.m. were not very productive. I reasoned that if I used those
hours to sleep I might secure more time for more productive things.
Since then my habit has been to retire between 8–9 p.m. when
possible and rise at 4 a.m. This has effected a wonderful revolution
for my schedule. The early hours of the day are a time free from
distractions and interruptions, a marvelous time for study, writing,
and prayer…. 

Sixth, use drive‐time for learning. Driving a car is another mechanical
function that allows the mind to be alert to more than what is
happening on the roadway. The benefits of audio tape can be put to
great use during these times. I can listen to lectures and instructional
tapes while driving, thereby redeeming the time.

Finally, in most cases a schedule is more liberating than restricting.
Working with a schedule helps enormously to organize our use of
time. The schedule should be a friend, not an enemy. I find it freeing
in that the schedule can include time for leisure, recreation, and
avocation. It helps us find the rhythm for a God‐glorifying productive

The article “Time Well Spent: Right Now Counts Forever” by Dr. R.C. Sproul and published in Tabletalk magazine (September 1997, pp. 4–7).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Preparing for Revival: Part II

Continuing from yesterday's post from Spurgeon's sermon on walking with God comes this quotation on putting off those vices which offend God:

Before God appeared upon Mount Sinai, the children of Israel had to cleanse themselves for three days. Before Israel could take possession of the promised rest of Canaan, Joshua had to see to it that they were purified by the rite of circumcision. Whenever God would visit his people, he always demands of them some preparatory purging, that they may be fit to behold his presence; for two cannot walk together, unless that which would make them disagree be purged out.

A few suggestions then, as to whether there is anything in us with which God cannot agree. Here I cannot preach to you indiscriminately, but put the task into the hand of each man to preach to himself. In the days of the great weeping, we read that every man wept apart and his wife apart, the son apart, and the daughter apart, all the families apart. So it must be here. Is there pride in me? Am I puffed up with my talent, my substance, my character, my success? Lord purge this out of me, or else thou canst not walk with me, for none shall ever say that God and the proud soul are friends: he giveth grace to the humble; as for the proud, he knoweth them afar off, and will not let them come near to him. Am I slothful? do I waste hours which I might usefully employ? Have I the levity of the butterfly, which flits from flower to flower, but drinks no honey from any of them? or have I the industry of the bee, which, wherever it lights, would find some sweet store for the hive? Lord, thou knowest my soul, thou understandest me.

Am I doing little where I might do much? Hast thou had but little reaping for much sowing? Have I hid my talent in a napkin? Have I spent that talent for myself, instead of spending it for thee? Slothful souls cannot walk with God. "My Father worketh," saith Jesus, "and I work"; and you who stand in the market-place idle, may stand there with the devil, but you cannot stand there with God. Let every brother who is guilty of this, purge away his sloth. Or am I guilty of worldliness. This is the crying sin of many in the Christian Church. Do I put myself into association with men who cannot by any possibility profit me? Am I seen where my Master would not go? Do I love amusements which cannot afford me comfort when I reflect upon them; and which I would never indulge in, if I thought that Christ would come while I was at them? Am I worldly in spirit as to fashion? Am I as showy, as volatile, as frivolous as men and women of the world? If so, if I love the world, the love of the Father is not in me; consequently he cannot walk with me, for we are not agreed.

Again, am I covetous? do I scrape and grind? is my first thought, not how I can honour God, but how I can accumulate wealth? When I gain wealth, do I forget to make use of it as a steward? If so, then God is not agreed with me; I am a thief with his substance; I have set myself up for a master instead of being a servant, and God will not walk with me till I begin to feel that this is not my own, but his; and that I must use it in his fear. Again, am I of an angry spirit? Am I harsh towards my brethren? Do I cherish envy towards those who are better than myself, or contempt towards those who are worse off? If so, God cannot walk with me, for he hates envy, and all contempt of the poor is abhorrent to him. Is there any lust in me? Do I indulge the flesh? Am I fond of carnal indulgences by which my soul suffers? If so, God will not walk with me; for chambering, and wantonness, and gluttony, and drunkenness, separate between a believer and his God: these things are not convenient to a Christian.

Before the great feast of unleavened bread, a Jewish parent would sweep out every piece of leaven from his house; and so anxious would he be, and so anxious is the Jew at the present day, that he take a candle and sweeps out every cupboard, no matter though there may have been no food put in there at any time, he is afraid lest by accident a crumb may be somewhere concealed in the house; and so, from the garret to the cellar, he clears the whole house through, to purge out the old leaven. Let us do so. I cannot think you will do so as the effect of such poor words as mine; but if my soul could speak to you, and God blessed the utterance, you would. For my own part, I cry unto my Master, that if there be anything that can make me more fit to be the messenger of God to you and to the sons of men, however painful might be the preparatory process, he would graciously be pleased not to spare me of it. If by sickness, if by serious calamities, if by slander and rebuke, more honour can be brought to him, then hail! and welcome! all these things; they shall be my joy; and to receive them shall be delight. I pray you, utter the same desire: "Lord, make me fit to be the means of glorifying thee."

"The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from its throne,
And worship only thee."

What! do you demur? Do you want for ever to go on in the old dead-and-alive way in which the Churches are just now? Do you feel no sacred passion stirring your breast to anguish for the present, and to hope for the future? O ye cravens, who dread the battle, slink to your beds; but ye who have your Master's spirit in you, and would long to see brighter and better days, lift up your heads with confidence in him who will walk with us if we be agreed. 


(Retrieved from the Spurgeon Archive: 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

God I Wanna Be Your Man...

A lot of you folk hate country music, I get that. But this isn't your blog, so you can tell me in the comments how lame and cheesy you find this song. But this is one worth a listen. I'm posting the lyrics just for those who have a hard time translating American. It's by Chris Young - The Man I Want to Be.

God I'm down here on my knees
Cause it's the last place left to fall
Beggin' for another chance
If there's any chance at all
That you might still be listenin'
Lovin' and forgivin' guys like me

I've spent my whole life gettin' it all wrong
And I sure could use your help just from now on
I wanna be a good man
A do like I should man
I wanna be the kind of man the mirror likes to see
I wanna be a strong man
And admit that I was wrong man
God I'm askin’ you to come change me
Into the man I wanna be

If there's any way for her and me to make another start
Could you see what you could do
To put some love back in her heart
Cause it gonna to take a miracle
After all I've done to really make her see

That I wanna be a stay man
I wanna be a brave man
I wanna be the kind of man she sees in her dreams
God I wanna be your man
And I wanna be her man
God I only hope she still believes
In the man I wanna be

Well I know this late at night that talk is cheap
But Lord don't give up on me yeah

I wanna be a givin' man
I wanna really start livin' man
God I'm askin’ you to come change me
Into the man I wanna be

It's God's help we need. I'm not sure what god he's singing to, but I know what God I'm praying this one to. Sometimes country says it all...

Preparing for Revival: Part I

Every month I receive a sermon of C. H. Spurgeon in the post through Bathroad Baptist Church's ministry (Spurgeon Ministries). If you haven't heard of this impacting ministry I encourage you to jump on the bandwagon and support it. This past week I spent some of my morning reading time going through February's sermon, entitled "Preparing for Revival". It's a delightful and straightforward message expounded from Amos 3:3 on walking with God, in agreement with God, whilst casting off all that offends God.
From this sermon I am compelled to share 2 points pertaining to the church as it desires to see God's work of revival within the people Christ died for. The first point he stresses is conducive to the member's prayer life corporately and in private:

Yet again, dear friends, are we agreed this day as to our utter helplessness in this work? I caught a good sentence the other day. Speaking with a Wesleyan minister, I said to him, "Your denomination during the past year did not increase: you have usually had a large increase to your numbers. You were never so rich as now; your ministers were never so well educated; you never had such good chapels as now, and yet you never had so little success. What are you doing - knowing this to be the fact, what are you doing? How are the minds of your brethrren exercised with regard to this?" He comforted me much by the reply. He said, "It has driven us to our knees: we thank God that we know our state and are not content with it. We have had a day of humiliation, and I hope," he said, "some of us have gone low enough to be blessed." I do fear me that some of us never do go low enough to be blessed; and when you and I pray to God with pride in us, with self-exaltation, with a confidence in our own zeal, or even in the prevalence of our own prayers of themselves, we have not come low enough to be blessed. A humble church will be a blessed church; a church that is willing to confess its own errors and failures, and to lie at the foot of Christ's cross, is in a position to be favoured of the Lord. I hope we are agreed, then, with God, as to our utter unworthiness and helplessness, so that we look to him alone.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

300 Year Old Impressions of a Thunderstorm

There's quite the thunderstorm this rainy saturday morning. I've begun to undertake reading Jonathan Edwards Works and an excellent coincidence occurred. As I began reading the rain started, and I came across this dairy entry of his impression of God in storms and nature:

After this my sense of divine things gradually increased, and became more and more lively, and had more of that inward sweetness. The appearance of every thing was altered; there seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet cast, or appearance of divine glory, in almost every thing. God's excellency, his wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in everything; in the sun, the moon the stars; in the clouds, and the blue sky, in the grass, flowers, trees; in the water, and all nature which used greatly to fix my mind; I often used to sit and view the moon for continuance; and in the day, present much time in viewing the clouds and sky, to behold the sweet glory of God in these things: in the mean time, singing forth, with a low voice, my contemplations of the Creator and Redeemer. And scarce any thing, among all the works of nature, was so sweet to me as thunder and lightning; formerly nothing had been so terrible to me. Before, I used to be uncommonly terrified with thunder, and to be struck with terror when I saw a thunder-storm rising; but now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. I felt God, so to speak, at the first appearance of a thunder-storm; and used to take the opportunity, at such times to fix myself in order to view the clouds, and see the lightnings play, and hear the majestic and awful voice of God's thunder, which oftentimes was exceedingly entertaining, leading me to sweet contemplations of my great and glorious God. While thus engaged, it always seemed natural to me to sing, or chant forth my meditations; or, to speak my thoughts in soliloquies with a singing voice.

Holiness, as I then wrote down some of my contemplations on it, appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm nature; which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness, and ravishment to the soul. In other words, that it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers; all pleasant delightful, and undisturbed; enjoying a sweet calm, and the gently vivifying beams of the sun. The soul of a true Christian, as I then wrote my meditations, appeared like such a little white flower as we see in the spring of the year; low and humble on the ground, opening its bosom, to receive the pleasant beams of the sun's glory; rejoicing, as it were in a calm rapture; diffusing around a sweet fragrancy; standing peacefully and lovingly, in the midst of other flowers round about; all in like manner opening their bosoms, to drink in the light of the sun. There was no part of creature-holiness, that I had so great a sense of its loveliness, as there was nothing that I so earnestly longed for. My heart panted after this, - to lie low before God, as in the dust; that I might be nothing, and that God might be ALL, that I might become as a little child.

Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol 1. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007, [UK Printing 1834]), xi-xii. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Band...

Since my friend Ian Clary decided to post about his band I thought I should give you (all three of my blogosphere fans, and somebody from Germany!) a glimpse into my high-school past. Left to right: Your's Truly, Daniel Sylvester, & Tyler VanHalteren (both of which are single...ladies). We spent most of our highschool lives jamming out in Ty's barn in Claremont and staying up late watching thriller movies. We were called the Exceptions. We played about 12 shows in 2 years. It were pretty hype.  If you're wondering how I got to know Justine, she was our biggest fan... some say she still has our first show on VHS somewhere...

Scott's Top 7s: Best 5-second Movies #1

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Word of Promise - Moviestar Audio Bible (Free-Access Link)

Woahhhh! The Moviestars are reading the Bible! Totally orchestrated and theatrical. I've never heard the Bible like this before - not sure if I'm totally for it yet. But hey if it gets people reading the Bible - that's pretty sweet. My friend from New City Baptist Chruch, Michael Plato, just sent this to me - I'm pretty stoked. You can actually access this theatrical audio Bible here online. Hopefully these texts of the Bible will lead the actors to contemplate God's greatness and come to Christ. What do you think of this audio Bible? Check out the cast...

Jim Caviezel

Jesus (New Testament) & Angel of the Lord (Old Testament)

Previous Roles:

Richard Dreyfuss

Moses (Old & New Testament)

Previous Roles:
  • Academy Award Winner

Jon Voight

Abraham (Old Testament)

Previous Roles:
  • Academy & Golden Globe Award Winner
  • Emmy Award Nominee

Lou Gossett, Jr.

John (New Testament)

Previous Roles:
  • Academy Award Winner
  • Golden Globe Award Winner

Stacy Keach

Job (Old Testament) & Paul (New Testament)

Previous Roles:
  • Golden Globe Winner

Gary Sinise

David (Old Testament)

Previous Roles:
  • Golden Globe Winner
  • Emmy Award Winner
  • Academy Award Nominee

Joan Allen

Deborah (Old Testament)

Previous Roles:
  • Academy Award Nominee
  • Golden Globe Award Nominee
  • Emmy Award Nominee

Michael York

Narrator (Old & New Testament)

Previous Roles: