Monday, November 30, 2009

Check It Out 11 30 09

Here are some resources worth checking out today.

Andy Naselli just pointed to an older post of his where he had compiled several links to a series that Kevin Bauder had written on The Christians and Fantasy Literature. This was good reading and well worthwhile for the believer in pondering how fantasy literature can be used.

My daughter Bethany wrote an article yesterday in which she talks about lessons in perseverance learned from a wilderness camping trip she took last summer.

John Piper posted a quote from Spurgeon about the a cure for discouragement in the ministry.

Justin Taylor links to a video of John MacArthur telling about the wonderful grace of God that led to him being able to share the Gospel with his old football coach.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Beyond the Manger

December is a favorite month for many because of the celebration of our Lord’s birth. It is always a blessing to be reminded of his rescue mission to this world. He came on a mission that would prove his lordship, but he came first as an obedient servant. Often we become enamored with the glory expressed by the angels, with the image of a star as a birth announcement, with the appealing idea of shepherds and lambs, with the honor of wise men coming to worship.

Yet our focus must move from the romanticism of the manger to the indignity of the cross. Without the completion of the mission, the start of the mission would mean nothing. The coming of the Son to the created world was not in order to receive honor for himself. It was a to accomplish the task that had been assigned by the Father.

John tells us, “he came to his own, but his own people did not receive him.” Many would have accepted a king coming to grasp power to himself and set up his rule, yet most were unwilling to accept a servant coming to redeem their deficiency. That is what he did, he came as a servant not for his own benefit, but to suffer and give his life as a ransom for those that are slaves to sin. It was the completion of that mission that gives meaning to the start of it.

This month remember cross is the reason for the manger.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Check It Out 11 25 09

Bethany posted a neat new article about teaching the English word ‘church’ to children who only have heard of ‘Church’s Chicken.’

A helpful list of things to remember when your child is disobedient.

Chris Brauns has a thought provoking quote on thankfulness being directed to a person.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Check It Out 11 24 09

Some helpful links for today.

CCEF has a short excerpt from an article entitled Thankfulness: Even When It Hurts. I found it to be a good reminder.

Chris Brauns reposts an article encouraging believers to make intentional efforts to reach out to unbelievers especially during times like the Christmas season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Check It Out 11 23 09

Bethany posted a new article, The God of the Impossible. She is chronicling her year teaching English in a Honduran school.

Rick Thomas of Counseling Solutions links to the book, This Great Salvation available for free download from Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Justin Taylor is posting excerpts from the Gospel Coalition’s Theological Vision for Ministry. He is excerpting the section that deals with gospel centered ministry.

Some beautiful pictures from the Boston Globe. These are from The National Geographic’s International Photography Contest.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Check It Out 11 20 09

Albert Mohler writes on the immorality of therapeutic evasion.


A very helpful article by Jim Eliff discussing the issue of childhood conversions. Those of you with children or grandchildren that you want to see walking with God would be very well served to read it.
(HT Kevin Pierpont)


The Manhattan Document was just published on line. It is a very thoughtful statement defending three foundational aspects of a biblical social order. These three are:
1. the sanctity of human life;
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife;
3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty. I encourage you to read this thoughtfully and add your signature to it.


Of First Importance includes a daily quote that highlights some aspect of the Gospel. Today’s quote, entitled Sin and the Resolve of God, is a good example of the quotes that are included.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Check It Out 11 19 09

Some helpful resources and links for today:

Lex Loizides continues his series on George Whitefield’s visit to Northhampton. In this post he focuses on God’s outpouring of his Spirit on that community before, during, and after the time of Whitefield’s visit there.

Here is a short quote from J. I. Packer on the Gospel.

Steve Altrogge at the Blazing Center has posted an article entitled Extreme Makeover – Heaven Edition.

Part two of Dan Cruver’s backstory of adoption. See part one here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Check It Out 11 18 09

Items worth reading today.

Paul Tripp talks about what is wrong with the world.

A helpful article on unpacking the meaning in some of the densely packed sentences in Paul’s epistles. Justin Taylor does it by asking simple questions.

A frightening article on the recommendation by U.N. Population fund to slow global warming by slowing population growth. Compare Albert Mohler’s thoughts on population growth.

Sometime back, Ray Ortland had this thought on the importance of the church over at the Gospel Coalition blog. I thought it was worth reposting and reminding ourselves of the place of the local church in God’s program.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Check It Out 11 17 09

Bethany posted some pictures of her school as she is ministering in Central America. Pray for her as God uses her in the lives of many of these children.

Trevin Wax has an excellent interview with Justin Taylor of Crossway regarding the ESV Study Bible. I have a copy and I am very pleased with it. And I learned something more about it just from reading this interview.

A good article about how God dealt with the darkest time in history and what that says about our dark times.
(HT Trevin Wax)

Rick Thomas has some helpful thoughts on the danger of being right in an argument.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Check It Out 11 16 09

A few articles worth reading today.

Bethany posted a new article about her time in Honduras teaching school. This week she had to be at school on Saturday and God gave her a wonderful opportunity.

Lex Loizides has a four part series on the friendship that grew up between Jonathon Edwards and George Whitfield. Here are the links: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.
(HT Adrian Warnock)

A new issue of Themelios is now available. Themelios is the theological journal that is operated by the Gospel Coalition. The articles in this edition look like they will be very helpful.

A good reminder from John Piper on the difference between ought to and want to and how to change the ought to into want to.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Check It Out 11 15 09

Three things today:

Ray Ortland posted a quote from Jonathon Edwards that is worth reading today.
(HT Thabiti Anyabwile)

Good quote from Counsel From the Cross.

An interview with J. I. Packer looking back to his conversion and ahead to his ”non-retirement.”
(HT Bob Kellemen)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Check It Out 11 14 09

Here are a few things I have read lately.

The Boston Globe has a picture essay for Veterans Day.

Molly Piper has an article talking about the opportunity that she had this week to meet the child in El Salvador that she and her family sponsor. A very moving essay.
HT Abraham Piper

Justin Taylor has a video of Shai Linne rapping the story of the Bible in four minutes.

Kevin Bauder of Central Baptist Seminary is in the middle of a discussion of the history of Fundamentalism which I am finding quite interesting. Kevin is very thoughtful and thorough in his treatment. Though he calls himself a fundamentalist and is president of a fundamentalist school, he is willing to point out the absurdities of many of the assumptions that get made by most fundamentalists. I commend the entire series to you.

David Head at Ponder Anew has a helpful post thinking through some issues of cultural engagement. In particular he is addressing the firestorm surrounding the former Miss America contestant, Carrie Prejean.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Check It Out 11 13 09

Here is some of my reading for today.

A Christian Janitor gave his life to save Muslim girls. Read about it here.
(HT Tom Ascol)

Funny Story: Deer Loses Fight With Lawn Ornament.
(HT Phil Johnson)

Second laugh for today: Tim Hawkins video on using a GPS.

Rick Thomas of Counseling Solutions always has good content, many practical helps. Here is an article that deals with the issue of what constitutes saving faith in a child.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Check it out 11 12 09

As usual Albert Mohler has some good thoughts on a current issue of national importance. See his thoughtful comments about Muslims serving in the military in the light of the Fort Hood shooting.

Some thoughts from Jon Bloom of Desiring God, on disciplining ourselves for spiritual growth.

A great article on the goal of biblical parenting from Juan Sanchez on the Gospel Coalition Blog.

Anthony Carter, pastor of East Point Church in East Point, GA, speaks on Christian unity on Moody Radio.
(HT Thabiti Anyabwile)

A video of returning soldiers surprising their children at school. Remember to pray for our men and women who are in harm’s way.
(HT Chris Brauns)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Check It Out 11 11 09

Articles that are worth reading today.

Thank you to all our veterans. Here is a video tribute. (Thanks Dad, Uncle Jerry, Uncle Don, Don, Nick, Steve, Matt, Tyler, Mike)

Justin Taylor has a short article with a video about Michael Oher, the subject of the upcoming movie The Blind Side. There is also a link to an article about Michael in World Magazine that is very worthwhile reading.

Here are a couple of older articles that are well worth the time to read.

Tim Keller on heart idolatry and how it impacted his ministry.

Don Carson wrote an editorial for Themelios regarding how the speed of the internet encourages too much communication with too little thought.
(HT Mike Pohlman)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Have to Earn It

I just had the opportunity to spend some time with a young teen that had some questions about the existence and goodness of God. We talked for some time about the existence of God, then discussed the reason for evil in this world. I then told him how God had sent his Son, Jesus, to die in our place and take our punishment upon himself.

At that point he asked me why, if Jesus had paid for our sins, God would still punish people. I sensed that this was not an opportunity to expound upon the doctrine of particular redemption and decided that I would approach it from a different angle.

I pulled a dollar out of my pocket and offered it to him, intending to use this as an illustration that God offers us the gift of salvation by his grace and that we need to receive it. The illustration worked far better than I expected. As I held out the bill, a look of horror came over his face and when I told him he could take it he shook his head and said, “No! I can’t!” I was surprised, because I had never experienced a 12 year old that would refuse a dollar bill. I asked him why and his first response was, “Because it doesn’t belong to me.” I told him it belonged to me and I wanted to give it to him. He said that he couldn’t take it. When I pressed him further for a reason, he said, “I didn’t earn it!”

For a moment I was speechless, then I told him, that is why people are punished even though Jesus died. They still face God’s wrath because they don’t receive his gift. I talked with him about how something is not a gift if you earn it.

He never took the dollar, and he hasn’t yet trusted Christ, but I am praying for him.

This was just a reminder to me of the power that self-sufficiency has in our lives. We feel that we have to earn something, even when it is offered as a gift. Not only is this too often a roadblock to salvation, it is also a roadblock to our sanctification. May God grant us to recognize that though this grace cost God the death of his Son, he offers it to us as grace, no payment necessary, no earning possible.

Check It Out 11 10 09

Some links to some things I found worth reading.

A video celebrating the 234th birthday of the United States Marine Corp.
(HT Kevin Pierpont)

Here is an update on the fundraising effort I linked to yesterday.

The Boston Globe has a picture essay celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Our God Is Amazing

This morning I pointed to a blog post where Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like was attempting to raise $30,000 to build a kindergarten building in a poor city in Northwest Vietnam. His goal was to have the amount raised by the end of the year. I checked at 9:30 on the donation site and found that within 18 hours there has been over $30,000 donated. Praise God for his generosity through his people. Jon posted an update in the early evening when the total was at $24,000.

Check It Out 11 09 09

Things I found interesting today.

Jon Acuff writes about a project he just started to raise money to build a kindergarten in Vietnam. I am looking forward to getting his book.
(HT Abraham Piper)

Scott Anderson reviews Steven Curtis Chapman’s new album Beauty Will Rise. I have listened to portions of it and enjoyed it greatly. (HT Dan)

Justin Taylor posted the interview that Mike Huckaby did with Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood director in Texas that became a pro-life advocate after seeing an abortion procedure by means of ultrasound. This is worth the time to watch.

Remember Christian Audio is offering a free download of John Piper’s book Desiring God throughout this month.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Check It Out 11 08 09

Here are some recent items that I have read and found helpful.

Voice of the Martyrs prayer request for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

At Between Two Worlds, Justin Taylor posts an article about God’s love and how that relates to suffering.

My daughter, Bethany is teaching in Honduras for this school year. She continues to write about her experiences there. Yesterday she wrote about little boys and frogs.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Check It Out 11 06 09

Here are a couple links worth looking at.

Rules for youth groups. (HT Jason Taylor)


imonk has a thoughtful post on gospel living daily even when tragedy enters our lives. (HT Timmy Brister)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Check It Out 11 05 09

Links of interest for today.

Noel Piper has written a series of articles chronicling their adoption story.

Justin Taylor has posted a thoughtful essay about B. B. Warfield.

Thabiti Anyabwile has a post on the vital need of prayer for preaching.

Thom Rainer has a good reminder on one of the important metrics for understanding church attendance.

The director of planned parenthood in Texas that reversed her course.

Deal of the Day??? (thanks @Davecruver)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Check It Out 11 04 09

Here are a couple of recent web pages worth looking at.


Rod Decker gives notice about a new commentary series in the works. The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary looks like it could be a worthy set. But it also looks like it will be quite a while before any are seen.

Interview with Steven Curtis Chapman on the sorrow and pain of grief and the grace of God in the midst of that grief.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Check It Out 11 03 09

Naked and Alone Hung the Son of Man This is a poem by Kevin Hartnett that is a thoughtful, instructive look at the cross. He writes with a gospel perspective. Explore his site. (HT Of First Importance )

Video of John Piper commenting on the devastating nature of the prosperity gospel.

Christianaudio is offering Desiring God as a free audio book for the month of November. Apparently some have had trouble downloading because of overwhelming demand, but keep trying. They are encouraging people to try again later in the month if they have trouble now.

Life size Noah’s Arks have been built as replicas in several places. Here are some neat photographs and commentaries.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thanksgiving

We set aside the fourth Thursday in November to give thanks for the blessings that we enjoy. Abraham Lincoln made this proclamation in 1863:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. . . . I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States. . . [to] set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers . . .


The principle of thankfulness certainly ought to be a year round thing, yet it is good to be reminded of it especially on occasion. I appreciate that President Lincoln connected thankfulness for God’s blessing with intercession for the weak and powerless. Remember that all we have is a blessing of God.
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