Why I Appreciate My Pastor – In 22 Words

This post is an attempt to win my pastor a pair of tickets to the 2009 DG pastors conference (click on this link to find out how to do the same for your pastor).

He has faithfully pastored a congregation of ten people for over ten years, succeeding in a difficult position where many would’ve failed.

Stirring or Squelching My Affections for the Savior

Inspired by Matt Chandler’s post on things that either inspire or rob him of his affections for Christ, I venture to give you my own list of things that either stir and squelch my affections for Christ.

While there are many different things that feed my desire for Christ (like hanging around with other believers), I find that these three things seem to be the most effective:

  1. Reading the Bible. I know this is a no-brainer; but spending quality time in the Bible allows me to see Christ more clearly and love Him more intensely.
  2. Listening to Sermons. While listening to the Bible being preached is helpful in general, I find that men like Leonard Ravenhill, John Piper and Paul Washer preach passionately about Jesus, and many times their passion is contagious.
  3. Walking. There is something about being physically active outside that awakens me to God’s greatness.

And, conversely there are two main things that effectively subdue my love for Christ:

  1. Watching T.V. Passively watching television programs stimulates passivity in the pursuit of spiritual progress.
  2. Being on the Computer. Seventy percent of the time I spend in front of a computer is used on trivial unimportant things. For me, the computer is like a black hole for time. More time spent on the computer means less time spent in the Bible.

So what about you? What are some of the things that ignite your passion for Christ? What causes your passion for Christ to dwindle?

Jonathan Edwards on Self Condemnation

I was reading a post entitled How to be revival-ready on Ray Ortlund’s blog, and this quote from Jonathan Edwards really hit home (at least for me):

For us to be judging one another and behaving with fierceness and bitterness one towards another, when he who is the Searcher of all hearts, to whom we must all give an account, appears so remarkably present, is exceeding unsuitable. Our business at such a time should be at home, searching and condemning ourselves and taking heed to our own behavior.

Before The Throne Of God Above

Yesterday I downloaded “How Sweet The Sound” from Covenant Life Church. This CD is a collection of hymns that their church will be learning over the next year. You can pay what you want for the CD or tell 5 friends about it to get the download. I opted for the tell-5-friends option.

So far I have really been enjoying the CD, but, I have particularly enjoyed the hymn “Before The Throne Of God Above.” The lyrics rock, and I really love the first verse!

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav’n He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

Click here to read the story behind this hymn as well as the rest of the lyrics.

The Dance of Mahanaim – it's hot

Mark Driscoll:

If you’ve missed any of the Peasant Princess sermon series, in which we’ve walked through the Song of Songs, I hope it was not last Sunday. Why? Because we covered the most erotic, passionate, and debated section of the entire book, and possibly the entire Bible.

If you subscribe to the sermon feed this week, you can learn what the Dance of Mahanaim is, why a husband greatly enjoys seeing his wife perform it, and whether or not Song of Songs 7 is really talking about her belly button or something more interesting.

ESV Study Bible – Pics/Review

So I did it! I finally purchased an ESV Study Bible. Monday morning I was in the parking lot of the Christian Bookstore 35 minutes before the store’s opening. And at 10:00 AM, promptly, I went in and bought a black, bonded leather ESV Study Bible.

Since I have only had this Bible for two days, I have not been able to use it extensively yet. But, I will say that the notes look very good; the maps, diagrams, and charts also look great. And the extra articles and resources are incredible in their scope and comprehensiveness.

Alright, now to what you’ve been waiting for… the pictures!

In The Plastic - i by you.
Spine by you.
Page Spread - i by you.

While I don’t like wild goose chases either, click here for some more pictures.

Why I Am Voting For John McCain

While a candidates stance on one issue is not enough to qualify them for a particular position, a candidates stance on an issue is enough to disqualify them from a particular position.

Barack Obama is unashamedly pro-death. Based on this information, I am unable to vote for him in good conscience. Regardless of his stance on other issues; his position on the abortion issue is enough to disqualify from the list of candidates I can vote for.

While John McCain may not have the best stances on other issues, he does not support the destruction of the most defenseless group of American citizens as does Obama. Therefore, as a Christian I must vote for the candidate who supports the protection of innocent human beings.

There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

– Proverbs 6:16-19 (ESV, emphasis mine)

Barack Obama's Ties To A Dangerous Kenyan Politician

My pastor sent out a link to this article and I found it rather insightful. The article tells of Kenyan pastor Mbijiwe Mwenda’s concerns about Barack Obama’s friendly relationship with an avowed Marxist politician who is now Kenya’s prime minister.

The article states that Mwenda’s mains concern is:

That Democratic presidential challenger Barack Obama has a cozy relationship with Raila Odinga, an avowed Marxist politician who now serves as Kenya’s prime minister. Obama, who made taxpayer-funded visits to Kenya in 2004, 2005 and 2006, campaigned for Odinga in 2006.

The article continues:

Today, Odinga hopes that Obama will win the White House on Nov. 4 to boost support for his bid to become president of Kenya in 2012.
Pastor Mwenda says he is amazed that Americans don’t seem concerned that Obama is tied to Odinga. He rattled off a list of facts that Charisma has verified:
· Odinga was trained in communist ideology in Europe and holds Marxist views. “He even named his son Fidel Castro,” Mwenda says.
· He has obvious ties to Muslim interests and even received funding for his presidential campaign from Libya. Although he officially claims to be an Anglican, Mwenda says, “[Odinga] has been very sympathetic to Muslims and some say he is a Muslim secretly.”
· Odinga fits in nicely with Arab leaders’ plans for Africa. When they convened in Nigeria in 2001, they released a statement indicating that Kenya is to play a key role in spreading Islam throughout southern Africa. Says Mwenda: “Odinga is a dangerous man. A dictator.”
· Odinga has promised to enact Sharia law in “Muslim declared regions” of Kenya—meaning that pork would be outlawed, women could not drive and crimes would be punished according to Islamic tradition.

10 Reasons Why it is Wrong to Take the Life of an Unborn Child

John Piper:

1. God commanded, “Thou shalt not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

2. The destruction of conceived human life — whether embryonic, fetal, or viable — is an assault on the unique person-forming work of God.

3. Aborting unborn humans falls under the repeated Biblical ban against “shedding innocent blood.”

4. The Bible frequently expresses the high priority God puts on the protection and provision and vindication of the weakest and most helpless and most victimized members of the community.

5. By judging difficult and even tragic human life as a worse evil than taking life, abortionists contradict the widespread Biblical teaching that God loves to show his gracious power through suffering and not just by helping people avoid suffering.

6. It is a sin of presumption to justify abortion by taking comfort in the fact that all these little children will go to heaven or even be given full adult life in the resurrection.

7. The Bible commands us to rescue our neighbor who is being unjustly led away to death.

8. Aborting unborn children falls under Jesus’ rebuke of those who spurned children as inconvenient and unworthy of the Savior’s attention.

9. It is the right of God the Maker to give and to take human life. It is not our individual right to make this choice.

10. Finally, saving faith in Jesus Christ brings forgiveness of sins and cleansing of conscience and help through life and hope for eternity. Surrounded by such omnipotent love, every follower of Jesus is free from the greed and fear that might lure a person to forsake these truths in order to gain money or avoid reproach.

Read the how he expounds on all these