Friday, April 25, 2008

we got to pray just to make it today

These are means I have either witnessed, experienced, or heard through the grape vine that the Spirit uses to strengthen His children in prayer. Feel free to add your own because I'd love to know. Gracias.

  1. Read D. A. Carson's book on the prayers of Paul. The intro and Ch 1 were worth the book to me.
  2. Use Operation World to pray more intentionally for the nations and God's global mission. I like using the book.
  3. Tie your prayers to the Scriptures.
  4. Pray out loud. It helps you focus.
  5. Pray with other believers.
  6. Buy a house.
  7. Have a baby.
  8. Get married.
  9. Maybe, possibly, occasionally write it out in a journal or something. Sometimes this helps me focus.
  10. Realize that as believers, we get to fellowship with each member of the Godhead. I know that sounds weird. So, read John Owen's book about communing with God.
  11. Set aside specific time to pray. Distractions will dominate your puny motivation if you don't deliberately set aside time for it.


Why do I feel strangely saddened about this?

the paradoxical fruit of the gospel

This is from Tim Keller's recent book.

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to died for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”

Friday, April 18, 2008

a midnight ramble

I just got home from a pastor's conference in Louisville, KY. It was good fun all the way around, getting to be with some of the boys and my dad too. Some of the guys who spoke did an ok job, but as usual, Dr Piper tore it up.

He preached on how the supremacy of Jesus should create radical sacrifice in the lives of ministers. I feel like when he speaks at these pastor's conferences he stands up there as an unmuzzled prophet. It was theologically, spiritually, emotionally, and practically overwhelming. It was like you couldn't even take notes or glance down at your Bible, but you knew you were being summoned to live and die in a manner past
your capability. Terrifying and glorious at the same time.

There were a few lines he quoted from Isaac Watts that were particularly sweet and powerful:
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease
While others fought to win the prize
And sailed through bloody seas?

Other conference highlights included 5000 voices, one grand piano, and really old hymns. RC Sproul actually brought an excellent word as well. He explained the curse motif in the atonement from Gal 3.10-14, Dt 27-28, and elsewhere. Download and enjoy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

the Johannine word of the day

Well boys and girls, the word of the day is PARAKLETOS.

This word is only used 5x in the NT and each time it is used by John [Jn 14.16, 14.26, 15.26, 16.7, and 1 Jn 2.1]. In John's gospel, it always refers to the Holy Spirit. In 1 John, it refers to Jesus. Some translate it "Helper" [NASB and ESV], "Counselor" [NIV], "Advocate" [NLT and NEB], and/or "Comforter" [KJV]. If there was one word that could encapsulate all of these translations, that would be the best one to use. This is why you might hear the Holy Spirit referred to as the Paraclete.

Greek generally uses two words that mean "another" ["allos" and "heteros"]. "Allos" means another of the same kind; "heteros" means another of a different kind. This is where we get the word "heterosexual" from. For example, in Gal 1.6-7 Paul is perplexed that the Galatians are leaving the gospel for a "heteros" gospel. He says that because it is a "heteros" gospel, it is really no gospel at all.

So, knowing that Jesus is our PARAKLETOS in 1 Jn 2.1, Jn 14.16 says that the Holy Spirit is an "allos" PARAKLETOS. This means that it is not merely a job description of the Holy Spirit to comfort and help us, but it is part of the character of the whole Godhead to be with and beside His own.

dead cow

The first cheeseburger came from heaven to earth in Louisville, KY in 1934 at Kaelin's Restaurant. Not only is this place still open, but I have high hopes of partaking in some medium-well goodness there next week. This has been called into question by saying that some yahoo in Pasadena, CA made the first cheeseburger in 1926, but that has to be wrong since I'm going to Louisville next week and not Pasadena.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


What is it that makes morality moral? And what is it about truth that makes it so truthful? Why is beauty beautiful? Is it really in the eye of the beholder? It has to be somehow, right?

Morality is reality that corresponds with how we relate to each other. Truth is reality that interacts with our minds and intellects. But I think beauty is that bit of reality that satisfies the senses.

Plato's theory of beauty [in "Symposium"], Aquinas' stress on knowing as a part of beauty, Alberti, Shaftesbury, and all others who have contributed to thinking about beauty... all of their thoughts point to a design behind beauty that necessitates both pleasure and relationship for the one who calls beauty beautiful. But what if there was a singular Source that caused beauty to happen? What if that source was not only the means, but the end of beauty?