Sunday, September 30, 2007


So, Grant entered an AISD art contest. He won 2nd place with the following photo. A great shot captured in China. Attaboy Grant!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

why believe the Bible?

I recently received a 3-part study from "Christianity Today" on why we should believe the Bible. I have permission to copy/use the curriculum with a bazillion people. If you would like me to send you a free copy for your own personal study, email me HERE. Of course, you can't copy and distribute it to others, but I think you'll be encouraged by the study yourself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

shaking things up a little

Next week, I will finish a sermon series in the book of Haggai. In verses 2:20-23, God guarantees Zerubbabel, the political leader of His people, that he will one day shake the heavens and the earth, overthrow rulers and establish His Kingdom without contest. Tiffany is reading a great book, Epicenter [Joel Rosenberg], that looks at current political affairs and connects them to specific Bible prophecies such as Haggai's revelation. Rosenberg isn't a sensationalist. His global views are my wife says. Everyone believes (or at least wishes) that they were living in the last days. How I long for Jesus' glorious return! I shake just thinking about it...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

definition of community

A group of unicorns is called a blessing. Twelve or more cows are known as a "flink." A group of frogs is an army. A group of rhinos is called a crash. A group of kangaroos is called a mob. A group of whales is called a pod. A group of geese is called a gaggle. A group of ravens is called a murder. A group of officers is called a mess. A group of larks is called an exaltation. A group of owls is called a parliament.

A group of Christians loving each other and living life together is called community.

Friday, September 21, 2007

snappy shots

Here are a few pictures that my son, Grant, took and entered in a photography show. I think these are extraordinary. Snappy young man! Proud dad.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

on prayer

"When a person is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way to nourish one’s life with God. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible’s idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. It is not so true that ‘prayer changes things’ as that prayer changes me and I change things. God has so constituted things that prayer on the basis of redemption alters the way in which one looks at things. Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in one’s disposition." [Oswald Chambers, Christian Personal Ethics, C. F. H. Henry ed., Eerdmans, 1957, pp. 573]

Sunday, September 16, 2007

geocaching and deocaching

I was introduced to geocaching several years ago by my friends Chuck Ellis and Nic Nichols in Minnesota. The concept is simple: God to and download coordinates into your handheld GPS receiver. The coordinates correspond to one of thousands of caches [aka "treasure"] left by private citizens in public places. The treasure hunt hobby might end in a little film canister tied in the branches of a tree or it could lead to a camouflaged ammo box filled with trinkets and toys for the taking. The next time you head out on vacation, check to see if there might be a cache or two near where you'll be staying.

I have started preaching a new series--Spiritual Treasure-- in the obscure Old Testament book of Haggai. The message of 1:1-11 is simple: "When our highest treasure is God, our greatest pleasure is gained." To say it differently, God's best for my life is God and when I choose to pursue Him as my greatest treasure, He becomes my greatest gain. I can hunt for lightweight treasures apart from Him only to find they they get "blown away" like the Divine dust in the wind [v. 9]. Or, I can delight myself in God's glory [the Hebrew word for "glory" means "heavy"] and uncover a treasure that is weightier than everything else. Soli DEO Gloria

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

remembering 910

This morning, I woke to the somber reminder that, six years ago, our country was dropped into a dark despair that caused everyone to wake up to their need for God. Spiritual sensitivities after 911 were at the highest levels. Formerly disinterested citizens suddenly took note that life is fragile and that, if God isn't in control, we have even more to fear.

But, this was true on 910, the day before 911. On Monday, September 10, 2001, all of life was sustained by God [Acts 17:25, 28 and Colossians 1:17]. He was pouring out His gracious blessings on those who loved Him and those who didn't [Matthew 5:45 ]. The day before, He was creating, loving, protecting and providing. Perhaps it's just that we became so accustomed to God's extraordinary presence that it didn't seem so extraordinary any more. It took the collapse of two buildings and the loss of life to shake us [me] to our senses.

This morning, a cool front blew through the DFW metroplex. In the first half of September, that's a gift. So is the fact that I made it to work safely, my children slept soundly and the medication I took yesterday is working wonderfully. These little things could easily be missed. I pray that it doesn't take take another dark tragedy to open our eyes to the work of God that is already shining brightly the day before.

Friday, September 7, 2007

dealing with the debt collector

Gregory hasn't paid his bills. Unfortunately, Gregory used to have our cell phone number. Apparently, phone companies allow unused numbers to go dormant for a while and then reissue them. It seems that it took about that long for Gregeory's debts to catch up with him...or us. We're getting calls every day! Some collector named Guido is threatening to take away all of our birthdays if we don't pay what's due. The fact is, however, we have a spotless credit record. Our score is near perfect. Our bills are always paid on time. We owe nothing. But Guido keeps calling.

Revelation 12:10 calls Satan "the accuser of the brethren." He badgers the Christian daily, trying to make them pay on an account that is already clear. Our debt has been paid in full at the cross of Jesus Christ! We owe nothing [see 1 Corinthians 7:23] but the continuing debt of praise to God for the freedom we have from our sins! Don't let the demonic debt collector accost you and make you think there is a balance still due. Just hang up on him...right after you remind him that, in Christ, you are free.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

filing my flight plan

I caught the news yesterday that aviation adventurer, Steve Fossett, is missing. Rescuers are searching a 600 square mile region of the Nevada desert region to see if they can locate him or his plane which went missing yesterday. The biggest challenge: Fossett never filed a flight plan. The story took me back to the incredible tale of Aron Ralston who went hiking in Utah's Blue John Canyon in May 2003 and was suddenly trapped by a boulder. After several days without food or hope, Ralston eventually snapped his radius and ulna bones and severed his own arm with a multi use tool he was fortunate to have with him. Ralston's first mistake: He never told anyone where he was going.

These stories have made me pause and ask myself the question: Who really knows where I'm going? Am I flying solo or hiking alone? Who is aware of my journey?

The writer of Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 reflects on this important issue:

There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless— a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Life was never meant to be lived in isolation. God has made me for community--to be together. It's not just for my joy. It's for my protection. I am grateful for the people around me who know my flight plan. They know the coordinates of my heart and the direction I'm walking. They check in on my welfare (like a dear brother did this morning) and they rescue me when I'm lost in the desert places. I can't imagine going at it alone.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

the danger of doing nothing

This morning I presented a sermon on Proverbs 6:6-11 titled "The Danger of Doing Nothing." An excellent follow up to this topic is a sermon preached several weeks ago by my good friend Brian Gray. Download his sermon ["My Work Life"] online at the TNLC website. A good word!