He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Monday, September 25, 2006 

Look Out Russ!

Dr. Moore, Vice President of Southern Seminary and Dean of the School of Theology is about to get blindsided & eaten by a dinosaur...


Fooey on Fairweather Fans

This is perhaps, the greatest sports article ever written in the history of sports journalism. Click, read, marvel, ponder, agree.

Friday, September 22, 2006 

Dear Ishmael

In light of recent Muslim anger, here's a re-post of a February post I made for the Islamic nation:

Islam, the ticking time bomb

Pray a Psalm, try & remain calm

Abraham's illegitimate child

A donkey of a man, so wild

Won't you believe, won't you receive

Life from the King, it's life that He brings

Mohammed he lied Mohammed he tried

To deceive the masses, the proof's in the ashes

On the Trade Center's floor & in Gaza Strip's gore

The prophet is dead and all that he said

Will lead you astray, so repent on this day

There's no virgins or wine

Just fire and worms that won't die

My Jesus He lives and it's grace that He gives

Freely to sinners like you and like me

So Ishmael, put away your sword

Muslims, be angry no more

The God of creation replaces death with Salvation

The crescent moon it sets as the rising Son He gets

Glory from God on high. There is no God but YHWH and

My prayer is that someday you'll trust Jesus for eternal life

Thursday, September 21, 2006 

The Savior a Creator of Spectacular Species

Just in this month, a new bird species was found in India as well as over 50 new marine species in Indonesia as well as nearly 600 new coral species. This year we were also told that in 2005 what was labeled as an entire "lost world" in Indonesia was discovered as well. In just 15 days they found "troves of animals never before documented" marsupials, new birds, more than 20 new species of frogs, "5 previously unknown plant species" and "4 new insects species."

This absolutely blows me away. How much technology do we have now? How long have we been around now? To think there are multitudes of land and sea animals, plants and insects that we have never even come across, is mind boggling. To the Creator of all these species on just portions of just one planet I keep thinking of the word, "VASTNESS." He is so vast, unsearchable, never-ending.

And Paul tells us that "we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient (not lasting, non-enduring, not permanent), but the things that are unseen are eternal." Imagine if all the vastness of God in creation, what we can see, points to His unsearchableness, His vastness, then how much deeper is He, how much greater than our little finite minds can grasp? How much more glorious in the unseen and eternal that we have yet to behold?

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable." - Psalm 145:3

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutible His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen." - Romans 11:33-36

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 

Thabiti is Troubled

...and so am I by the McChurch Franchises Coming.

Monday, September 18, 2006 

The Pastor as Blessed

This semester I am interning under our education minister (sunday school) and prayer and evangelism minister as well as taking a preaching practicum course under the leadership of our pastor where we preach 5 18-22 minute (yes - that's hard) sermons (epistle, Gospel, Psalm, OT narrative, & a topic). Each week I have either had to study for both a sunday school lesson or a sermon or both of them throughout the week.

Granted, it has been a challenge in light of all the other course work and church responsibilities we already have, but it has also been a surprising joy. Each time I come to the text, usually having zero to minimal understanding of the passage, and begin reading, praying, pouring over it, meditating on it, usually within a few hours to a few days, the Holy Spirit is pleased to illumine the mind and the heart, and the infectious joy of God's revelation begins to penetrate the shell of sin and ignorance, and it is a time of communion with God through the truth of His Word.

God calls us to ministry indeed to show His glory through weak vessels, through jars of clay. I have seen over this past month that the pastor - for all the bruises, suffering, disloyalty, malice, and lonliness he suffers as he lovingly tries to shepherd stubborn, dumb, rebellious sheep to the green pastures of the Word of Life and the living waters of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit - that he is also richly blessed. He is constrained by his very calling to get into the Word, and not just read it, but wrestle with it, to break it open, to try and discover what it means and how it applies. And through this hard work, this wrestling, the Holy Spirit is pleased to let him catch a glimpse of God the Father through the Word, Jesus Christ. And this produces deeper love for God, transformation into Christ-likeness, and bread broken open for God's people to come and feast on. The pastor for all his brokenness, is still, bountifully blessed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006 

Love His Bride

Upon listening to some bold preaching from an SBC pastor, I emailed him and told him how powerful and blessed his message was to me. But, as any young Southern Baptist would these days, I asked him the predictable and crucial question - "Hey, how do you preach so boldly in such a traditional, SBC congregation and not get fired?" His response in part is well worth public attention:

As far as surviving in SBC life I think a key is to genuinely love your people and teach from where they are when you arrive. Do not overreact to what you find but see it as a challenge to move your people closer to Christ as He is revealed in Scripture. Then, always know that your life and job are ultimately in the hands of God. He gives and takes away and He provides for His people so you can trust His providence.

Perhaps it hit me because the first part of his statement is something I've heard a couple times this past week from a friend, as well as our professor Dr. Lawless who said, "you have no right to criticize the church if you don't love it." May God give all His people, especially His ambassador shepherds a heart and love for the bride of Christ.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 

Southern Baptist Dead

Baptist born and Baptist bred and when I die I'll be Baptist _____

I wonder how many Southern Baptist parents tell their newly married children to "wait till you get settled" before having children so "you can enjoy each other," as though children will mean the end of romance. I wonder how many Southern Baptist churches greet a family with four or more children with a snide comment from a Baby Boomer about whether "you know what's causing that."

I wonder how many Southern Baptist churches these days devote time in their youth groups to teaching young boys to prepare for the glory of fatherhood? I wonder how many churches recruit older women to teach our girls that the greatest success they can find is not to be the first Southern Baptist female President of the United States or to tithe more money as a monied Southern Baptist bank executive but to be a wife and mother? Is it indicative of how far we've fallen for the American dream that it would be controversial in some conservative Southern Baptist churches even to say this?

It is time for us, as Southern Baptists, to recognize that our success can kill us. As a denomination that once was derided as "redneck" and backward, we're now invited to the Rotary Club meetings. We're being elected to Congress. We're not in the trailer parks anymore. Our young men are successful, suburban, and careerist, and our young women are too. And we think that's a sign of health. Meanwhile our baptisms go down, and our birthrates do too. It turns out keeping up with the Episcopalians can have a downside.

This doesn't mean that we should equate fertility with spirituality. God is going to call some believers not to marry so that, like the Apostle Paul or Lottie Moon, they can devote themselves totally to Great Commission service. Others will not be blessed with large families, or with children at all. But, at the same time, can't we insist that our view of children be dictated by the Book of Proverbs rather than Madison Avenue or Wall Street?

Let's pray for churches that welcome children, embrace families, and seek to evangelize and disciple our little ones, and the little ones in our neighborhoods whose parents will never join them in the pew. Let's pray for churches that won't idolize the Dual Income, No Kids picture of success mirrored on our television screens. Let's teach our boys to want to be husbands and fathers, our girls to want to be wives and mothers, our familes to be evangelists. Let's outbreed the Mormons and out-preach the Pentecostals. Let's press the gospel upon a new generation, win them to Christ, baptize them, teach them, and see the Lord call them to the pastorate, to missions, to lay leadership.

Let's pray for busy baptisteries and crawling cradle rolls. Otherwise, it doesn't matter how respectable we are in the community or how large our capital budgets are. Without a next generation, we'll just be Baptist dead.

Read the rest of Russ Moore's article on low Southern Baptist birthrates here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 

Church and Politics

Lifeway reports interesting findings on church involvement and politics.

Out of Ur writers ask, "Are Conservative Politics a Barrier to the Gospel?"

Russ Moore discusses, "More government, More Jesus".

Ligon Duncan reports cultural statistics of modern morals in the US...surprising numbers.

Matt Harmon dialogues about 1 Peter 2:13-17 and its implications about the role of government.

Andrew Sullivan gives his opinion on the difference between faith and political agendas in TIME.

RC Jr. types that voting is not where the power lies, but in obedience and meekness and multiplying.

Saturday, September 02, 2006 

Understanding the Underdog

College football is upon us, and though I should probably be staying far, far away from it, not having a television will help keep this idol in check. It will at least keep me from spending an entire day in front of the tube watching game after game after game. But I digress.

Everyone in the state knows UAB is the stepchild of the state in sports. The fact that it is a leading research and medical institution in the country as well as the employer of over 43,000 Birmingham residents (states largest employer) gains the school no loyalty from the citizens of this great state.

Still, I digress. This is about my underdog UAB Blazers, who after transferring from sports powerhouse Auburn, I grew to love and embrace and would pull for over Auburn any day. And most people cannot understand that. UAB is horrible they say. They laugh at my Green and Gold attire. Go to the sports message boards and fans of our opponents are mocking us for even pulling for them, talking about how we're going to get killed. Folks, I graduated from there. It's the heart of my hometown. Your loyalty lies with your alma mater. You don't just pull for another school because you like it or because they're good every year. It's college, not the pros. So, besides that, why else do I embrace the Blazers? They are underdogs. Any given Saturday, they have the chance to shock the world. You Buckeyes, Bulldogs, Irish, Tigers and Tide, have to be careful that you don't blow it. You won! Woohoo! Who cares. You better have won. You are expected to win. And besides, if you didn't, all your spoiled fans would be ready to lynch you. And you win year after year after year, and still have zero national championships to show for it - or maybe one every 50 years at best.

Sure, the underdogs may never win a championship, go to many bowl games, or attract national TV ratings. But they are invited to the dance, and once every blue moon, the old paupers shake loose and steal the heart of the princess, and for an evening, become the world's darling for doing the unthinkable. Thank you, that'll be our national championship. After falling short at #3 Tennessee last year by a touchdown in the waining moments, the year before falling a field goal short in Athens to the Bulldogs, it gives me reason to think, if even not this year, the Blazers will shock the world again. Just ask LSU. Or if you want a more well rounded case, in basketball, just ask Kentucky, Memphis, or LSU. Ok, or in baseball, just ask...LSU. Just click the links, the proof lies there. There's always the excitement of the possible upset, enough to make you antsy for every game, and the delight of knowing, even if they get demolished, that you are one of only a few true fans in the whole world. I didn't say true fan of this particular team, but just true fan. Those who stick around, thick and thin, win or lose, hype or no hype, sportin your team in a 3-8 campaign - that's a true fan.

And besides, when winning becomes routine, and you never have anything to show for it besides a nice consolation game at the end of the season, how much different are we really - oh, besides the fact the the fan to the underdog is ten times more loyal.

It's nice too, like when you stink in football, to have a basketball program on the rise and the #15 nationally ranked soccer team to follow if you do happen to get blown out week after week.

And if we get pounded week after week (like we probably will this year) I can always rest in the fact that my HS alma mater can beat your alma mater :)

Go Blazers.

Friday, September 01, 2006 

Jonathan Edwards in Ripley's


My dad sent me this photo in an email, so click, read, and catch your jaw before it hits the floor. Talk about leaving a legacy!

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