Friday, December 31, 2010


This year, 2010, I read through the Bible entirely on my Blackberry. I've worn out a fair number of Bibles in my lifetime, but after a year of reading, the Blackberry has no dog-eared pages, no marks, no highlights and no notes scrawled in the margins . . . and I think I miss that. Well, I have been able to mark up my other "work horse" Bibles during study and sermon prep, so I didn't miss out completely on interacting with my text in that way.

At any rate, I'm on the verge of purchasing a new phone with a different platform, one that will support a Kindle app, and I'm looking forward to downloading the Scriptures and having a go at a "cover to cover" read next year with some more options for digitally highlighting and notating.

"Open my eyes, that I may see wonderful things in Your law." Psalm 119:18

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The following is of no spiritual or inspirational significance whatsoever (unless you're really creative). I recommend duct taping your jaw so that it doesn't hit the floor in the seconds following the 1:20 mark...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Longfellow On Christmas

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Historical Note: This hymn was writ­ten dur­ing the Amer­i­can civil war, as re­flect­ed by the sense of des­pair in the next to last stan­za. Stan­zas 4-5 speak of the bat­tle, and are usual­ly omit­ted from hymn­als:

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound the carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn, the households born
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Go Ahead and Jump

When my second son Jack (he's the fella featured in my blog header, btw) was small, he would jump from the top of the stairs in our home to where I stood on the landing with outstretched arms. He never once balked, and would always be smiling and often close his eyes in blissful freedom as he flew, spread eagle, towards my secure embrace. I have never in my life seen a more vivid demonstration of trust: that little guy not giving his blind leap a second thought, but trusting without hesitation that I would catch him. And I always did.

So today, remember how faithful God is.

Monday, December 20, 2010


LEFT JAB - "For by that one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy." Hebrews 10:14, NLT

It sends you reeling!

Here's the right cross from the ESV:

"For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."

That's the power of justification! Christ's perfection, applied to believers, makes them perfect, not in practice (sanctification must do its work) but in position and eventually in the full realization of redemption. It is mind-blowingly awesome.

Our salvation is very great indeed, stronger and more profound than I've ever imagined. Just when I think I've got my mind wrapped around what Jesus did, more wonder is revealed.

I'm so thankful that Christ is the kind of high priest we need: forever interceding, guaranteeing, saving forever and saving completely.

Friday, December 17, 2010


"Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies." Romans 8:33


This isn't a picture of Al Capone with some bottom feeding attorney getting him off the hook, just so he can get back to doing his mob business again. This is the common thief and murderer, poor and pitiful, the one justly sentenced, that finds a pardon has been granted and his death sentence repealed. A life of imprisonment has dissolved, dreamlike, into a life of freedom. The impossibly high and barred gate swings open into the sunshine.

And who hands down this clemency? None other than the judge Himself! The criminal doesn't even expect it. This judge is just, he hears. That can't be good news. But there IS good news . . . strange news . . . the judge Himself has actually made sure justice was served - in the death of His own Son.

Imagine: there you stand in the dock, guilty and accused, when the judge declares that YOU have been pardoned. He chose you to be so.

He's already handed down the sentence on His Son, and that's final. You can't argue it. No one can. It's the Judge who justifies. There simply are no more charges to bring, no more sentence to be served.

What this does to my soul!

God visited the punishment for our crimes upon His Son, the Christ, not wistfully hoping someone would believe and be saved, but He did it with intention, with a specific mission: to save those called "elect." Who are these? They are those of whom it is said, "whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" and Jesus' death has purchased their pardon, salvation and freedom, and no one will bring any charges again. Ever.


That's it. I want to be done with sin. That's what freedom does; it doesn't (shouldn't) foster a sense of license to sin even more. I want nothing more than to please my dear Savior. Nonetheless, sin is still a part of my life. It grieves me, and enough of it grieves the Holy Spirit with whom I've been sealed. But my heart's desire is to be done with it and live in the glorious freedom of the children of God, and rejoice in my freedom.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Evolution Is Preposterousness

"You can't make a chicken from soup." Thus, the fatal flaws of evolutionary theory are summed up by my distant relative Alan Root.

Alan is a rock-musicianary to tweens (what an awesome title!). He's a lovely fella, and has written some great material for teaching young tweeners. Check him out, buy his stuff, use it. And when you click on his mug below, you'll be taken to his home page where you can hear the song "You Can't Make A Chicken From Soup!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daryl and Toni's Marriage Advice

OK who doesn't dig this song? It's so great: simple, honest, catchy. The lyric must have meant something to the Captain and Tennille because they're still happily married, enjoying their golden years in Arizona. So, I would suggest listening to the song while reading the article below the vid in another tab.

Weathering Storms in Your Marriage at

Monday, December 13, 2010

Arduous and Glorious

I've been reading a fantastic book by Al Mohler called He Is Not Silent, and I am stunned that one man can say so many incredible things so close together. I think I've underlined half the book so far!

Just grabbing a quote at random, I give you:

"Preaching did not emerge from the church's experimentation with communication techniques. The church does not preach because preaching is thought to be a good idea or an effective technique. The sermon has not earned its place in Christian worship by proving its utility in comparison with others means of communication or aspects of worship. Rather, we preach because we have been commanded to preach."

And later...

"True preaching is never an exhibition of the brilliance or intellect of the preacher but an exposition of the wisdom and power of God."

That last one is especially good, as I am several watts short of brilliant. The real burden, though, is far greater. There's no pressure, you see, to be brilliant or intellectual; where the responsibility lies is in properly handling the Word of Truth.

Quoting Mohler again:

"Those who preach from some other authority or text may speak with great effect and attractiveness, but they are preaching 'another gospel,' and their words will betray them. Christian preaching is not an easy task. Those who are called to preach bear a heavy duty. As Martin Luther confessed, 'If I could come down with a good conscience, I would rather be stretched out on a wheel and carry stones than preach one sermon.' Speaking on the basis of what God has spoken is both arduous and glorious."

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Does It For You?

Last Sunday I trembled.

Our team was leading the congregation in worship and when we came to the second verse of "Before the Throne of God Above", I wasn't sure I was going to make it all the way through.

"When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free!
For God, the Just, is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me."

It was like stones thundering down a mountain, crashing with powerful certainty on my soul. I don't know if anyone else felt the vibration, but nothing moves me like belting out magnificent truth like this while banging on a guitar. It was nothing less than the Spirit of God, moving as the truth of God and the work of Christ was proclaimed.

So, what does it for you? What songs move you because of the truth they proclaim?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Come Away

Middle of the for my wife..."Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones. I've always heard this with Norah playing piano, which she does beautifully, but I stumbled across this vid of her playing GUITAR! The sound of the hollow body Gretsch is niiiiice.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Frozen Facial Hair

Finally...a morning brisk enough to frost my facial hair. My "soul patch" was collecting crystals within sixty seconds of the beginning of my walk along my favorite abandoned road this morning. Seventeen glorious degrees!

Phil Keaggy's My Unspoken Words:
(Listen to it at Grooveshark)

There's a road I like to walk when the morning is brand new
And the only sound you hear is the earth beneath your shoe
In silence more is said, I pray you're listening, Lord.
Reach into my heart and hear the unspoken word.

The road leads up a hill whose path I used to know
Suddenly it's unfamiliar, I'm not sure where it will go.
So I'll wait for just a while, You know just where it hurts
Oh assure me that you hear my unspoken words.

Eternal light shine and still lead me home
Grant me sight til I'm where I belong.

Though I've been gone a while wandering alone,
In the distance there's a light I recognize as home
And You have lead the way and brought me safe towards
That place where I can speak my unspoken words.

Eternal light shine and still lead me home
Grant me sight til I'm where I belong.

Eternal light shine and still lead me home
Grant me sight til I'm where I belong.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Seeds Of Turmoil

Peace in the Middle East? Not likely. In Bryant Wright's book Seeds of Turmoil, he traces the current unrest in the Middle East back through the centuries to where it all began: the sons of Abraham. He shows quite clearly that the trouble truly began when Abraham and Sarah acted faithlessly and Abraham took matters (and Sarah's maid Hagar) into his own hands, siring Ishmael because He was too impatient waiting for God's plan to materialize.

The results have been manifold: through the centuries Arabs have been pitted against Persians, Jews and even other Arabs. Muslims have sought to exterminate Jews, Christians, and even other Muslims. Seeds of Turmoil does a good job of laying out in a simple and understandable way the scenarios that brought us to where we are today and how historical events have demonstrated this deep-seated tension.

What is truly fascinating is that the tension between Jews and Arabs, and even between different Arab groups, exists and persists because of one man, and the weakness of that one man displayed in a less than faith-filled act. It's a clear and present demonstration to us that acting in faith and obedience is always the best route.

I review for BookSneeze

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Met Her Up In Delaware

Who doesn't like a good love story? This one's for my wife, and even though the couple in the song doesn't spend their lives together, love finds them together at the end.

"His Favorite Christmas Story" by Capital Lights