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

Friday, December 31, 2010 

Don't Waste Your 2011

Final Post of 2010...bringing in the new year first here in Japan - in 22 minutes. God is good.

"My joy grows with every soul that seeks the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Remember, you have one life. That’s all. You were made for
God. Don’t waste it."

- John Piper

Thursday, December 30, 2010 

New Year's Resolution: Accomplished

I have no idea what some of my resolutions were, but I remember my main one:

RESOLVED - not to buy a new hat of any kind for myself in 2010.

Mission accomplished.

However, my addiction is still fully in tact. It was pure guts & grit to make it through, no heart change here.

People don't understand that with addicts like me, it doesn't matter if it's alcohol, drugs, tattoos, internet, Coke, or hats...the "starve the flesh" & it will die method doesn't work with us. But a weak dollar while living in steroid-Yen Japan sure makes it a no brainer!

I have 1 resolution for 2011 & I have every belief that I'll crash & burn by week 3, so if I am able to pull it off, you'll know what it is in one year. If you hear nothing, I will have surely failed.


At 2011's End, 7 Billion People

The missiological implications of the realities behind these numbers is staggering. 7 billion souls. Booming urban centers. 7,000 languages in 194 countries. Countless needs. Countless opportunities to glorify Christ:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 

Reuters: 2010 in 60 Seconds

Saturday, December 25, 2010 

The Birth of Christ

Christmas Candle

by John Piper

The sun had just begun to set
And Joseph's face, filled with regret
Appeared again. "We'll find a place,"
Said Mary, full of hope and grace.
"I know we will," she touched his chin
And bravely smiled, "Who needs an inn?
The sky is clear, the blankets thick
And warm; there's still good light to pick
A place among the rocks we passed.
God's first and best is often last."
More times than he preferred to think
Poor Joseph's faith would start to sink
And darkness gather like a foe
'Til Mary's hopeful heart would glow.
It wasn't that he feared the night,
Nor prowling beasts nor thieves to fight.
In fact, it wasn't fear at all
That made the tears begin to fall.
"It's all right, Joseph, I don't mind.
I'm sure it won't be hard to find."
"My God, you're pregnant, woman, look!
What kind of husband ever took
His wife to sleep among the rocks?
I'm not a shepherd with some flocks;
I am a man and you're my wife
With child." She hugged him to the Life
Within her womb and said no more.
Wise woman, she had learned before:
Sometimes you leave a man alone
To bear his load of love, and groan.

She'd kept it to herself all day
And every time they came she'd pray
"Not yet, O God, not on the road;
Your handmaid bears as big a load
As she can take. O Lord, please wait;
Please let the child, your child, come late."
She never burdened Joseph down,
Not even when they got to town,
Not even at the setting sun,
But only when the search was done.
He helped her down among the cocks
And hens. She smiled, "It sure beats rocks,
Especially for a night-time birth."
"I'm in no mood for silly mirth."
"Nor I." "How long have you known this?"
"No anger now, my love, let's kiss
The hour and kiss the ways of God.
Remember that his staff and rod
Are comfort, father David said."
She winced and quickly shaped her bed.
"I helped to make your day's load light;
Please, Joseph, carry me tonight."
"I'll get a midwife from the place..."
"Don't leave me here without your face.
My mother showed me what to do
And what I need right now is you."

Between the pains she tried to lie
In peace and stare into the sky,
And think of how she'd been prepared.
And then she said, "Joseph, I'm scared."
And he with steady eye and calm
Recalled for her the angel's psalm.
"He is the shoot of Jesse's rod;
He shall be called the Son of God;
His Kingdom shall not ever end.
Will not God then his birth attend?"
But Mary's face remained so grim:
"The promises are sure for him.
You know I never doubt God's word,
But, Joseph, I have never heard
A promise for myself but this:
‘Some sword my own soul will not miss.'"
Again his eyes were steady, bright
Reflecting heaven's grace and light.
"Our book is full of promises;
Remember that one where it says,
No good thing does the Lord withhold
From those whose cares on him are rolled.
And: when your worries multiply
God's consolation hovers nigh.
And: steadfast love surrounds the girl
For whom Jehovah is her pearl.
And: God's a stronghold for the weak,
How happy those who his help seek."
Each time the birthing pangs withdrew
He gave her joyful words and true.
He carried Mary with the Word
And she delivered what she heard:
God's Yes to every ancient oath.
And now with lifted hands they both
Were filled with distant prophecy:
"To God alone all praises be,
And let the world a candle light
To celebrate this awesome night."

Thursday, December 23, 2010 

Because It's Healthy to Dream (or How to Memorize Romans in One Year)

Here's some math I just did for a little dream I've had for a while & never even attempted to execute:

  • The book of Romans contains 433 verses
  • Every weekday you learn 2 verses
  • On the weekends, review those verses as a unit for 2 days (Sat & Sun) giving you 10 total verses a week
  • Do the above weekly for 43 weeks, sneaking in 3 additional verses at some point during that 10 month span, & now you have memorized the entire book of Romans
  • Use the final 9 weeks, roughly 2 months, to review, review, review so that you really & truly can have the book of Romans firmly stored in your heart by 2012
See how easy? Let me know how it goes :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 

Consorting with Whores

That there is a deep and profound chasm that separates believing in the total depravity of man and our own understanding of the depth and scope of our own sin is a potent sign of the depth and scope of our own sin. “Total depravity” is a true and sound biblical doctrine about how the fall has impacted mankind. We are sinful in every part of our being and utterly unable, precisely because we are unwilling, to embrace the work of Christ on our behalf unless He changes us first. Because we are totally depraved, however, we see this as a doctrine about man, rather than an actual self-description. We distinguish between the problems of “man” and our own problems. It is safe to speak ill of man, but dangerous and sad business to look too closely into our own hearts of darkness. So instead we think ourselves as partaking in a general sense of this depravity thing, but see it manifest in our own lives in nice, clean ways. We have a high view of God’s holiness, of His law, and so confess with all due piety that we are sinners indeed, rebels against the living God, in a nice, clean, abstract sort of way.

The living God, however, has a far more accurate and potent picture of what we are. We are whores. We are shameless, self-degrading, crass and crude. We throw ourselves at strangers, selling our dignity for cash. Worse still, after He has redeemed us, washed us, even married us, we go back for more. We turn tricks before the all seeing eyes of a Husband who suffered hell for us. Again He comes and washes us. He holds us. He confesses His love for us. He promises He will never leave us. He makes us new again.

But because we are still proud, we parade around in the beautiful gown with which He has covered us, suggesting that it surely had a few spots, a wrinkle or two on it before He found us. But they were nice, respectable spots and wrinkles. What we should be confessing that it was once stained through with our whoredom. The joy of the Lord is not that He took we who were mostly clean and made us wholly clean. The joy of the Lord isn’t that because He worked in us no one needs to know our former shame. The joy of the Lord is that while we were out walking the streets He came for us. While others paid to pollute us, He paid to redeem us.

Our Father told us a story so that we would know what we are. He gave us a prophet, Hosea. And we, sinners that we are, instead of confessing to being Gomer, thought He was telling us to be more like Hosea. “Oh,” we humbly confess, “we should be so much more compassionate towards the really bad people. Please forgive us for not being more loving toward the unseemly ones of this world.” The truth is He is confessing that we are the unseemly ones. That’s what we are, the people Jesus died for and married, the people adopted and loved of the Father, the people indwelt and being cleansed by the Spirit- God in three persons, consorting with such as we.

- R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Monday, December 20, 2010 

The Digital Story of the Nativity


Music Lyric Monday

A little example of the Christian faith & the bifurcated life of "believers" in America:

____ it feels good to be a gangsta
Feedin' the poor and helpin out with their bills
Although I was born in Jamaica
Now I'm in the U.S. makin' deals
____ it feels good to be a gangsta
I mean one that you don't really know
Ridin' around town in a drop-top Benz
Hittin' switches in my black six-fo'
Now gangsta-___ ______ come in all shapes and colors
Some got killed in the past
But this gangtsa here is a smart one
Started living for the Lord and I last

Now all I gotta say to you
Wannabe, gonnabe, _____-_____', __________' prankstas
When the ____ jumps off what the ____ you gonna do
____ it feels good to be a gangsta

- Bushwick Bill's verse in a popular Geto Boys song from 1992

Sunday, December 19, 2010 

Every Church Must Make a Decision

Because this is from the Desiring God blog I assume anyone reading this has already seen it there, but it's the kind of thing I hope everyone is challenged by time & time again, so here's a re-post:

Every Church Must Make a Decision

J. D. Greear, Lead pastor of the Summit Church and author of Breaking the Islam Code, says:

Every church has got to make a decision whether or not it’s going to be a seed that exists for itself or whether it's going to be a seed planted in the ground that dies [to be a blessing for the nations].

He recently recorded a helpful and challenging video while traveling to the largest unreached island in the world.

Vid 2 from The Summit Church on Vimeo.

Also, at our National Conference this year, J. D. participated in a discussion with Thabiti Anyabwile entitled "Loving Our Muslim Neighbors."

Saturday, December 18, 2010 

Burning Desperation

Self-immolation has become a common form of suicide for Afghan women. Photographer Lynsey Addario speaks with women who survived their suicide attempts.

- New York Times

Friday, December 17, 2010 

'One is Not Enough' Buddhist Woman Says at Lantern Ceremony

THAILAND (BP)--I'm surrounded by thousands of suspended paper lanterns that look like glowing jellyfish in a black ocean. I reach out and touch one. It bounces off me, awaiting its ascent heavenward.

Fireworks explode overhead. Green, red and blue sparklers provide a magical backdrop as the golden dots begin to float into the distance.

It's easy to get swept up in the magic and beauty of the moment, forgetting the real meaning -- releasing one's sin -- behind this northern Thai festival called Yi Peng.

This is my first Buddhist ceremony, even though I've traveled around the world writing stories about different cultures for years. I never knew releasing sin could seem so beautiful and awe-inspiring.

A Thai woman standing next to me, Som Mookjai, says this is the one time of year she feels light and beautiful from the inside out. The 48-year-old mother of two has been practicing Buddhism her entire life and never misses this November full-moon ceremony. She literally counts down the months, and then days, until she can release her sins through these traditional lanterns.

Mookjai spends most of the year making merit, or doing good works, for her various sins and wrongdoings. She takes food to the monks, but feeding the orphans is where she finds the most joy.

"You can never do enough merit," Mookjai says as she picks up a lantern for herself and one for me.

I thank her for the gift and explain that I don't need it. My God already sacrificed for my sins. She nods, not really interested, and continues with the task at hand -- preparing the lantern for launch.

Mookjai unfolds the mulberry paper, revealing a 4-foot balloon connected to a bamboo frame. She lights the fuel cell, casting a beautiful golden hue on our faces. As we wait for the lantern to fill with hot air, she prays to Buddha, asking for a year of good health.

She tells me this ceremony helps her feel comforted and brings a sense of relief. She explains that it is hard walking around for an entire year with so much on your shoulders. It makes her feel heavy. Curiosity gets the best of me and I ask how many lanterns it takes to feel total relief.

"I release lanterns just enough for my sin," Mookjai assures me, then explains that as the lanterns float higher and higher, she feels lighter and lighter. "I do not do too many, just enough for the year."

Lanterns all around us begin standing straight up; it's time for another mass release. Mookjai's lantern is ready. She places my hand on the bamboo frame to feel its gentle tug. It's ready to ascend. She whispers another prayer to Buddha and slowly releases the balloon.

We watch the beautiful lantern rise lazily, joining thousands of others in flight. They move as one in the dark sky, drifting higher and higher. When a wind current whisks the glowing mass away, we are left standing there, engulfed in darkness and empty-handed.

"I still feel heavy," Mookjai sighs. "One is not enough."

She bends down and fumbles in the dark, searching for another lantern.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 

Dead or Alive?

Somewhere between 1-2 months ago, I was walking back home quite dejected, frustrated, & even angry about several things. I said to myself in my head, "I'm done. I give up. I'm going to just quit living for any dreams or anything for myself & I'm going to live to make sure my children have their chances. I'll live for them only now."

But I got about halfway through the first sentence of thought before I was convicted by the Spirit inside of me. Clear as day the thought came, "weren't you supposed to do that a long time ago, but for Jesus?" I was basically saying, "I'm going to die to myself & live for my children." But supposedly, I died to myself 10 years ago & Christ became my life.

Perhaps, that's the reason for so much frustration...I'm too much alive. A dead man has no dreams or expectations or outcomes to long for. And to live for good things, even our children, is far too less a thing than living for Christ. And the good news? Dying to self & living for Christ allows us to find our lives & actually live, & it is to much greater advantage to our children, neighbors, & nations around us to live in Christ than if we strove to live for them!

Monday, December 13, 2010 

Music Lyric Monday

The easiest answer to the question, "what's the best (or your favorite) Christmas song?" is O Holy Night.

It was written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. He got his friend Adolphe Charles Adams to compose the music. What's significant about that to me is that I believe the tune keeps the integrity of the lyrics & carries a sense of awe & weightiness that is worthy of the worshipful words. Finally, it was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight.

Enjoy the best of the Season: (if you haven't ever closely listened to the words, it's certainly worth the read...

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Sunday, December 12, 2010 

Christian Faces Death Sentence in Iran


Pastor Youcef faces execution in Iran if his appeal fails.

Iran (MNN) ― The fate of a Christian pastor in Iran is in the hands of the judicial system in Iran.

32-year-old Youcef Nadarkhani is the pastor of a church of about 400 people. He was convicted of apostasy and has been sentenced to death for allegedly renouncing his Muslim faith.

A member of the Church of Iran's Executive Council says, "This is part of a greater trend of persecution against Christians."

On September 22, Iran's 11th Circuit Criminal Court of Appeals for the Gilan Province upheld the death sentence and conviction of Nadarkhani for apostasy. The delivery of the death sentence was being delayed. According to reports, the goal was to put more pressure on him to turn away from Christ.

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says, "His attorney has now formally appealed the verdict, or asked for the verdict to be set aside. So now we wait and see what the appeals court will do in this case."

Nadarkhani would be the first Christian convicted of apostasy to be executed in 20 years.

Nettleton says Christians are facing more persecution. "The church of Jesus Christ is growing at an incredibly high rate, and Muslims are coming to follow Christ in huge numbers. That has the government running scared."

According to Nettleton, "For the man on the street, the government is Islam and Islam is the government. So when there's failure in the country -- when there's poverty, when elections are stolen -- the man on the street says, 'That's Islam. And if that's Islam, I want to know what else is out there.' So that's part of the seed that is growing into revival in Iran."

Two articles in the constitution grant Christians "the right to freely worship and form religious societies." Another article "obligates the Iranian government to uphold the equality and human rights of Christians."
The judge based his decision on constitutional provisions and Revolutionary Court "civil procedures that instruct judges to consult sources when there is no codified law that addresses a matter."

Nettleton is asking you to pray AND go to http://www.PrisonerAlert.com "where you can go and write letters to Christians in prison. The Web site actually translates [the letters]. And it also provides ways to contact the government."

Saturday, December 11, 2010 

4 Things Never to Do With Evil

1. Never despair that this evil world is out of God’s control. “[He] works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11).

2. Never give in to the sense that because of seemingly random evil, life is absurd and meaningless. “How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! . . . For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever” (Rom. 11:33, 36).

3. Never yield to the thought that God sins or is ever unjust or unrighteous in the way he governs the universe. “The Lord is righteous in all his ways” (Ps. 145:17).

4. Never doubt that God is totally for you in Christ. If you trust him with your life, you are in Christ. Never doubt that all the evil that befalls you—even if it takes your life—is God’s loving, purifying, saving, fatherly discipline. It is not an expression of his punishment in wrath. That wrath fell on Jesus Christ our substitute (Gal. 3:13; Rom. 8:3). Only mercy comes to us from God, not wrath, if we are his children through faith in Jesus. “The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb. 12:6).

When we renounce the designs of the devil and trust the power and wisdom and goodness of God displayed in the humble triumphs of Jesus Christ, we fulfill God’s purpose in letting Satan live a little longer. We glorify the infinitely superior worth of Jesus. So I invite you to trust him and to stand in awe of how he saves you and defeats Satan in one great sacrifice of love.

- John Piper

Friday, December 10, 2010 

8 Things to Do With Evil

1. Expect evil. “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Pet. 4:12).

2. Endure evil. “Love bears all thing, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7; cf. Mark 13:13).

3. Give thanks for the refining effect of evil that comes against you. “Give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20; cf. 1 Thess. 5:18). “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance . . .” (Rom. 5:3–5).

4. Hate evil. “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Rom. 12:9).

5. Pray for escape from evil. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).

6. Expose evil. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11).

7. Overcome evil with good. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).

8. Resist evil. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7).

- John Piper

Thursday, December 09, 2010 

Answer: For the Glory of Jesus Christ

So where do these evil supernatural powers come from and why do they exist? Colossians 1:16 gives a decisive part of the answer. Not the whole answer, but the part we need to know. They come from Christ. “By him [by Christ, the Son of God!] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. . . .” That’s where they came from. They were created by Christ. And why do they exist? Verse 16b: “All things were created through him and for him.” They exist for Christ. They exist to make his glories known—to display his infinite beauty and immeasurable worth.

...[even] Satan’s fall and ongoing existence are for the glory of Christ. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, will be more highly honored and more deeply appreciated and loved in the end because he defeats Satan not the moment after Satan fell, but through millennia of long-suffering, patience, humility, servanthood, suffering, and decisively through his own death. A single, sudden, and infinitely holy display of power to destroy Satan immediately after his fall would have been a glorious display of power and righteousness. But it would not have been the fullest possible display of all the glories in the Son and the Father. God chose an infinitely wise way of displaying the full array of divine glories in letting Satan fall and do his work for millennia.

- John Piper

Wednesday, December 08, 2010 

Why Does God Not Restrain Sin More Often?

Whatever month of the year you choose, heartrending calamities fill the news from coast to coast and around the world. And if we had the connections to know about them, we would see that they fill our churches as well. Calamities strike the world of unbelievers and the children of God every day with mind-numbing pain. Some of these tragedies come directly from natural disasters, and some come directly from the sinful acts of man against man.

Just when you think violent crime in one state is decreasing, you read about a major city where the murder rate is up 50 percent in the last seven years. Just when you hear that drug use is on the decline among teenagers, you read about execution-style murders among our youth.

Somewhere in the news miners are trapped deep underground, and family members are huddled in a church hoping against hope. An interstate bridge collapses, and a just-married husband doesn’t arrive home for supper—ever. Planes collide, and bodies fall from the sky. Trains explode in flesh-burning balls of flame. The most stable countries suddenly burst into ethnic violence, and headlines venture the term genocide. A father throws his children off a bridge to spite his wife. Little girls are kidnapped and made to serve as sex slaves. Ethnic and religious minorities are systematically starved out of existence. Tsunamis sweep away whole villages and churches. Earthquakes bury thirty thousand people in a night. Suddenly twenty million people are displaced with South Asian flooding. And forty-six million pre-born babies are killed every year around the world.

Does this have anything to do with Jesus Christ—the risen king of the universe who stops the threatening wind and waves with a single word (Luke 8:24–25), who commands the dead and they live (John 11:43–44), who makes the lame walk and the blind see and the deaf hear (Matt. 11:5), who feeds five thousand with a few loaves of bread (Mark 6:41–42), who created the universe and everything in it (John 1:3), and who upholds the universe with the word of his power (Heb. 1:3) and says, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18)?

Surely, this Jesus can stop a tsunami, and make the wind blow a jet off its deadly course toward a crowded tower, and loosen the stranglehold of an umbilical cord from around an infant’s neck, and blind the eyes of torturers, and stop a drought. Surely he can do this and a thousand other acts of restraint and rescue. He has done it before. He could do it now. What is his reason for not doing it more often than he does?

- John Piper

Tuesday, December 07, 2010 

Love or Self-Pity or Rage?

In the end, my aim, as I will make clear as we go along, is that you will be given the strength and courage of never-failing love toward all people, including your enemies (Matt. 5:43–44). “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7). There will be much to endure. Without a way of seeing the world that can deal with massive evil and unremitting
pain under the supremacy of Christ, we will collapse in self-pity or rage. This is the opposite of love. If we are to endure and bear and believe and hope, we need to see the spectacular sins of history the way God sees them.

- John Piper

Fitting quote for the 69th anniversary of the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor.

Monday, December 06, 2010 

Sin Succeeds in Glorifying God

My aim is to show that sin and evil, no matter how spectacular, never nullify the decisive, Christ-exalting purposes of God. No, my aim is more than that. These spectacular sins do not just fail to nullify God’s purpose to glorify Christ, they succeed, by God’s unfathomable providence, in making his gracious purpose come to pass. This truth is the steel God offers to put in the spine of his people as they face the worst calamities. There will be tenderness in due time. But if the back of our faith is broken because we think God is evil or absent, who will welcome him when he comes with caresses?

- John Piper


Music Lyric Monday

Sometimes you have to post the whole thing:

Labor of Love by Andrew Peterson

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David's town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother's hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
Callused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David's town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love
For little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

Sunday, December 05, 2010 

War Eagle!

I used to bleed orange & blue. That all ended 10 years ago. I decided to put the state of my soul over what football program I liked the most & moved back to Birmingham from Auburn & plug into my home church. And it was in Birmingham I met the inanimate love of my life, UAB. I started by taking one of the 2 AU decals off my truck & replacing it with a UAB decal, having one of each. Then, within a couple months, I was head over heels with the place & people of UAB. That is too personal to post publicly (somewhat kidding about that) but today I want to congratulate the Auburn Tigers, SEC champions.

I remember in 1991, after going to watch the Tigers get beat down by the Gators in Auburn that at the tender age of 12, my friend & I were extending the middle finger to any car with Florida flags, magnets or stickers. When one irate fan started shouting at my friend's dad to roll down the window, he was already so mad from the loss & thinking this Florida guy was taunting him, that he about had an aneurysm. After rolling down the window & first cursing the guy out for taunting him, the Florida driver proceeded to tell him that "his sons were flipping us off." Since I wasn't his son, he turned around & punched Patrick on the leg! And we started swearing we were only saying, "we're number 1," but that didn't fly. But Patrick did say he was the only one doing it, which allowed me to continue to come to future games. Patrick, where ever you are, thank you still!

By the next year I had matured a lot & after the most heart-breaking loss I've ever attended (against Georgia as the clock ran out near the goal line & they were in the top 10 & AU was unranked) some UGA fan (middle aged woman) whipped my eye with her pom pom outside the stadium. Patrick & I followed her & her husband from a distance, picked up a broken glass bottle piece, & placed it snugly under their rear tire, point up.

Two years later at 15, after Nix to Sanders at the Swamp knocked off #1 Florida, extending AU's winning streak to 18 games, I was riding in my friend's Jeep with the top down with my AU shirt off & waving it around my head screaming on the interstate when we got pulled over & I got a warning (b/c I think the cop was an AU fan!!).

My senior year of HS after a 1 point loss to Alabama, a dumb girl with a dumb Alabama hat thought it wise to say something dumb about the game to me (a win or loss against Alabama these days set the stage for at least 1 month of happiness or depression back then) within an hour after the game was over. I walked over to her & took off her dumb hat & walked away as she beat at my back & then felt a much stronger hit in the back of my head that wasn't from that dumb girl. It was from her dumb boyfriend who I didn't see. So I threw the hat in his dumb face followed by some saliva & the rest I cannot post.

Then came my 4 Fall semesters of AU football while a student there, & during the first 3, as well as the above stories, I was not a believer. Let's just say things escalated not being under the same roof as my parents & worship would be the best word to describe my emotion towards Auburn. I don't want to write about things that could incriminate me in possible open cases (kidding, I think).

I write all this to build my case as a past fanatic of the Auburn Tigers. My family goes back generations at the school & even on my wife's side, her uncle graduated from there & her grandparents (missionaries) met & married in Auburn (married in the church that planted my home-sending church).

I lived in Kentucky when Auburn had their perfect season in 2004 & didn't get to play in the championship, & it was then that I realized I had a lot of love for Auburn left. I got physically sick & worried watching particularly the LSU & VT games, & I realized that that was a bit ridiculous!

However, I moved back to Auburn in 2005. (almost) Everybody that lives there worships - yes, worships, AU in the way I once did. As I wore my UAB shirts or hats, AU fans, made not just a little bit of fun of me. Even one of my closest friends now asked, "do you really like UAB sports? Like you follow them & pull for them?" "Yes," I said, "I graduated from there & I loved it." "Hmmm..." he replied!

The fans started to remind me a whole lot of those Alabammer fans I despised, & after a while, it just got to be so obnoxious I couldn't root for the team anymore. I didn't want them to lose, I just focused on my Blazers all the more. And then came the clincher - attending an AU basketball game with my friend, an AU football player, for no reason, threw his pizza slice down on us. I was done.

Now, not living in Auburn anymore amongst the obnoxiousness & closing my facebook page & being blind to the obnoxiousness, I've been able to enjoy the Tigers in Japan, just my old school feelings handed down to me by my family, & pulling for AU as the world pulls against them.

Besides ESPN, it seems the most "cheating" outcries I've heard have come obviously from Alabama, South Carolina, & TCU fans. Alabama makes sense - fans thought they had a dynasty started last year & in 1 year's time, their rivals get a Heisman, Iron Bowl victory, SEC championship, & a shot at the title. South Carolina - 50% of their losses came from AU. TCU - sorry frogs, when a team beats 6 top 25 teams & you beat (1 or 0 I forget) you deserve squat.

And it needs to be said, Auburn was never even implicated in cheating from the get go - it was always looking at a player & a different university altogether in Miss St. As one wise man said:

"...Let's say the charge that Mr. Newton shopped his son and later got cold feet is true. This is neither a slippery slope nor is it unprecedented. The infamous Albert Means case is an exact parallel to the worst-case Newton scenario. Some coaches and boosters "shopped" Means to UAT (that is Alabama), but neither Albert nor his family benefited from that shopping expedition. So the NCAA blocked Means from playing with UAT yet allowed him to play at Memphis. Similarly, if Cam had ultimately played for MSU, the NCAA would have ruled the same way -- he couldn't play for the school tainted by the "shopping" but he can play elsewhere (Auburn)."

So sorry world, Cam Newton & the Tigers have legitimately been beating your tail all season long. Crying foul like babies just makes it more enjoyable & continues to give AU the fuel of "us against the world." Let's pretend that Auburn has been cheating - they must have an $800 million payroll to be this good!

Today, War Eagle!

Go Blazers - 2047 National Champs!

And Father, seriously, teach us Christians from the West to enjoy your gift of sports without finding our hope & joy in them!


Adoniram Judson: Surviving Suffering

"If I had not felt certain that every additional trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, I could not have survived my accumulated sufferings."

- Adoniram Judson


Let's Be Clear

tweet: Muslims kill Christians, and their clerics pay them off for it. Christians die for Muslims because Jesus paid it all. - VOA News

Let's be clear:

Muslims kill Christians, & their clerics pay them off for it. Christians not serving the idols & comfort & entertainment in the West die for Muslims because Jesus paid it all.


tweet: Corporate worship rescues us again and again by reminding us that there's only one glory worth giving our lives to, the glory of God.

Let's be clear:

Those who really believe this would be zealous for those who are in the faith & cannot meet safely or find any other believers for corporate worship. And they would be zealous for billions who do not meet for corporate worship again & again because they are Gospel-less. Attending corporate worship should also remind us again & again that we are to make disciples (which glorifies God), not just go to 'c'hurch.

Saturday, December 04, 2010 

Japan: Husbands Biggest Cause of Stress to Wives

Do your stress levels ever get higher than you can bear? graph of japanese statistics
Goo Research, in conjunction with President Family magazine, recently conducted a survey into stress in the family, which will feature in the January 2011 edition of said President Family magazine. The printed edition should feature much more information than in this short excerpt, of course.


1,006 women in their forties with children who were members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was provided.

I can identify with the husband being the main source of stress… Second would have to be our upstairs neighbours, or at least our thin ceiling.

Research results

Q1: Does your stress level ever get higher than you can bear? (Sample size=1,006)

Often (to SQs) 32.5%
Sometimes (to SQs) 50.7%
Almost never 16.8%

Q1SQ1: What is the cause of your stress levels getting higher than you can bear? (Sample size=837, multiple answer)

Husband 68.1%
Children 55.3%
Period 19.0%
Menopause 18.9%
Work 18.0%
Parents 17.1%
Neighbours 8.1%
Other 11.7%
Don’t know 4.1%

Q1SQ2: What do you do to relieve your stress? (Sample size=837, multiple answer)

Watch television, movie, DVD 31.2%
Go shopping 24.0%
Get aware of it and it doesn’t go away 23.2%
Drink alcohol 15.5%
Go internet shopping 14.3
Give up on housework 13.4%
Stuff my face 10.8%
Make a long phone call to friends 9.8%
Do sports 9.6%
Shout at my husband 7.8%
Go on a trip 7.8%
Play with my pet 6.6%
Smoke 6.0%
Go to karaoke 3.0%
Go for beauty treatment 2.5%
Go for a night out 1.3%
Gamble 0.7%
Other 28.8%

Friday, December 03, 2010 

Coddled Christians & Wimpy Worldviews

It seems to me that Christians in the West are being coddled. We suffer little in the name of Christ. Therefore, we read the Bible not with a desperate hunger for evidences of God’s triumph in pain, but with a view to improving our private pleasures.

Therefore, we read the Bible selectively. We pick a text here and there to fit our felt needs...

The coddled Western world will sooner or later give way to great affliction. And when it does, whose vision of God will hold? Where are Christians being prepared for great global sorrows? Where is the Christian mind and soul being prepared for the horrors to come? Christians in the West are weakened by wimpy worldviews. And wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians. God is weightless in our lives. He is not terrifyingly magnificent. His sovereignty is secondary (at best) to his sensitivity...

Coddled people will not be good listeners when their world collapses. They will be numb with confusion and rage at the God who wasn’t supposed to allow this. “If this is the way God is, why didn’t you tell us?”

- John Piper

Thursday, December 02, 2010 

The Suicide of Evil

At the all-important pivot of human history, the worst sin
ever committed served to show the greatest glory of Christ and
obtain the sin-conquering gift of God’s grace. God did not just
overcome evil at the cross. He made evil serve the overcoming of
evil. He made evil commit suicide in doing its worst evil.

- John Piper

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  • From Exiled
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