Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I probably won't be posting much, if at all, for the remainder of the week. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Kung-Fu Baby

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wow, Part 2 (A Little Different)

Earlier today, I posted a video showing a person at the pinnacle of their craft. To complement it, I thought I'd post this video of someone who's not-so-much at the pinnacle of their craft.

Wow. Just Wow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Memorizing Scripture Together

Tim Challies is starting a great new effort for fellow members of the blogosphere to memorize Scripture together. Through regular emails sent out by Tim, everyone will join in seeking to slowly memorize longer chunks of Scripture (ex. whole Psalms, chapters, and possibly an entire book). Personally, I know how rewarding it was a couple years back when I attempted to memorize Philippians. I tailed off after chapter 1, but ever since I've had a desire (but sadly not the discipline) to try again. I think this will be a great accountability tool for me. Head over to Tim's blog to join up!

Bigger Than the Game

Check out this very cool story from ESPN's "Outside the Lines" about the 1958 University of Buffalo football team - the only squad in school history to be invited to a bowl game - and why the Bulls' players chose to decline their historic invitation.

Keep Watch on Yourself

"Give yourself for the well-being of the whole church. Does this mean you agree with everyone? Well, of course not. Does this mean that you are happy about everything? Of course not - but it does mean that your hope and your heart is for the good and the well-being of the whole church. If you become embittered or angry against a part of the church, you will end up reacting against it, defining yourself by what you're against - 'We're not this, we're not this, we're not this, we're not this,' - and pretty soon, the Gospel, the person and work of Jesus, is not the compelling, defining variable in your ministry, but who or what you're against, annoyed by, or agitated by, and that's not good." - Mark Driscoll

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sola5 Wednesday Recap - 11/19/08

This weekly topic is an effort to recap the Wednesday night Bible study I teach at Sola5, my youth group. I hope it serves to help us all in contemplating the ceaseless riches of God’s grace as revealed through the Scriptures.

I can’t believe we finally finished. It’s been about a year and a half (counting breaks) and 57 lessons, but last night we had our final lesson in our expository series The Word Became Flesh: A Study of the Gospel of John. We’ve spent week after week tracing the teaching, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and trying to understand its relevance to us today. It’s been a fantastic ride, and one that’s helped me to grow immensely. Last night, we finished the study by looking at John 21:20-25, and thinking about the future, and our human tendency to want to have all the answers before we move forward. Jesus deals with this tendency as it crops up in Peter, and we’re reminded that for the disciples and for Christians today, the end of Jesus’ earthly story is just the beginning of our walk of faith.

When we left off last week, Jesus has just warned Peter of the price that Peter’s faith would ultimately carry. Before calling Peter to follow him, Jesus assures him that he is calling Peter to lay down his life. History tells us that this was true, as Peter was killed for preaching Christ (likely by crucifixion). Now, as we pick back up, Jesus and Peter go for a walk and talk further, followed by John. With the news of his difficult future fresh on his mind, Peter begins to think about the close bond that Jesus has shared with John. He and the other disciples seem to acknowledge John and Jesus’ close friendship (notice carefully the way that the betrayal question is posed in John 13:21-25), and John is the only disciple on record as staying by Jesus’ side throughout his crucifixion. Peter thus asks Jesus the question, “What about him? Will John share my fate?” Peter has questions, and he wants them answers. It seems that he wants to know, “Why me? Will the others have to suffer like this? Is this punishment for my betrayal?” We may not know exactly what was going through Peter’s head, but we do know that he was concerned with his future, and with why he would go through something. Most of us can relate to that, to asking the big, bad “why” question to God at some time or another. What kind of answer does Peter get to his?

In verse 23, Jesus answers by basically asking Peter, “If I allow John to live until I return, what would that have to do with you?” Peter had questions, and he wanted to know Jesus’ answers. However, Jesus doesn’t offer the answers he’s after. He just calls Peter to trust him. All of us have questions about this life. Why wasn’t my family experience what I wish it could have been growing up? Why didn’t this relationship or that pan out like I’d hoped? Why have I had to suffer in this way? The possibilities are endless. Now, I’m not saying that having those questions is wrong in and of itself. After all, Job had his share of questions for God, and we are told rather explicitly that he did not sin through his suffering. However, the point (and ironically enough, the same point that Job learned by the end of the book) is, if God never answers your questions, and only tells you “trust me,” is that enough for you? Is your faith in your God and Savior, or in your own ability to rationally map out whether or not your own spiritual journey has made satisfactory sense. Do you believe the promise of Romans 8:28? What about Matthew 28:20? Is that enough for you? Look, we’ll always have questions. This world, this life, is wrecked by sin, and its consequences are more far-reaching than I think we’ll ever be able to really comprehend. Sometimes God in his grace shows us answers. Other times, he doesn’t. At the end of the day, the million-dollar question is whether or not you’re willing to trust him when your understanding runs out. That’s the essence of faith. As we reflected on these things last night, it brought to my mind the words of England’s King George VI in his Christmas address of 1939. I leave you with them.

“I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.’”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From Him and Through Him and To Him Are All Things

"Like the inconceivable immensity of the heavens, ever increasing as the power of vision is lengthened, we go on to find that the further we go only the more does the thought of infinity rise upon us; but this infinity is filled with an Infinite Presence; in every leaf-blade, in every atom, yet transcending all His works; and ‘to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ. by whom are all things, and we by Him.'" - Arthur W. Pink.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Requesting Your Feedback

Last night, I finally got around to doing a much-needed redesign on our church's website. I'd be interested to get people's feedback about the design and functionality. Like it? Think it's uglier than the University of Oregon's football uniforms? Let me know. Have any ideas on things to add to the site? Send them my way in the comments section. Also, I'd be curious to look over other churches' sites for ideas as well, so if your church has a site that you think is cool, put a link with your comment so I can take a look.

The Supremacy of Christ

I found this very powerful...

HT: Vitamin Z

Monday, November 17, 2008

Right Where We Want to Be

It's been a good season to be a Carolina Panthers fan. Yesterday, the Panthers notched a 31-22 win over Detroit to move to 8-2 on the season, the 3rd-best record in the NFL and tied for the best start in franchise history (with the 2003 NFC Champion squad). Even better? No one seems to have noticed. The national media is abuzz with chatter (deservedly so) about the Titans and the Giants. The airwaves are filled with pundits falling all over the Cowboys now that Tony Romo's back and they've won six whole games (six!). Sports Illustrated's Peter King places the Panthers as the 9th best team in the NFL right now, ranking them behind Tennessee, the Giants, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, the Jets, New England and Tampa Bay. Seriously?

Why is this good news? Because Carolina's always thrived on flying under the radar. When big things are expected, they tend to flop (see 1997, 2004, and 2006). When people are expecting mediocrity, they become world-beaters. The last six games on the schedule are going to be tough, but this team looks poised to make some noise come January. That's the only attention that really matters anyway.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday's Featured Film - 11/14/08

New movies are usually released to theaters every Friday, but who’s got 10 bucks these days to drop on a movie that may well be a load of crap? Given those odds, each Friday I offer an alternative on DVD that you can rent at your local video store (or in some cases, avoid at all costs). Some will be new releases, others you may have to hunt for, but all of them are available to light up your small screen should it be a lazy Friday night.

Black Hawk Down

With Veteran’s Day having come and gone this week (with sadly few people noticing), I figured that I’d give a war film my Friday’s Feature perch. As modern war films go, Saving Private Ryan tends to get all the press, and with good reason. However, Ryan launched a bit of a renaissance in the war genre, with several excellent films following it over the last decade. The pinnacle of those movies, in my mind, is Black Hawk Down, director Ridley Scott’s retelling of the Battle of Mogadishu. The movie is a harrowing look into the horrors and brutality of modern warfare, but also an uplifting look into the courage and honor of the modern soldier.

In 1993, U.S. forces were stationed in Somalia as part of a global humanitarian mission. Civil war had racked the country, and hundreds of thousands had died in a brutal genocide. Warlords ruled the nation, and UN aid was often intercepted before it could ever reach the people who so desperately needed it. When the opportunity presented itself to nab one of the chief warlords in the capital city of Mogadishu, a U.S. strike team was sent in on a routine mission to extract him. Things went horribly wrong, however, when an American helicopter was shot down over the city, turning a simple catch and extract mission into a massive rescue effort and a struggle for survival.

Scott is one of my favorite directors, and he captures the battle with brutal reality. The action is up-close and dirty (and often extremely graphic), following in the frenetic, hand-held cinematic tradition that Spielberg forged with Saving Private Ryan. Also like Ryan, this is a movie that largely eschews the political factors at play and focuses in on the men on the ground. This is a tale of soldiers. Thankfully, the cast playing them is top notch. John Hartnett takes the lead, but great performances are also turned in by Eric Bana, Ewan MacGregor, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Sam Shepherd, Jason Issacs, and Orlando Bloom, among others. The film is particulary relevant, I think, given our current political/military climate. When the men who waged World War II returned, they were hailed as heroes, having fought a war that the nation understood was necessary and important. Over the past three decades, however, our soldiers have come home from less-popular wars like Vietnam and Iraq and smaller conflicts like Somalia and Kosovo largely removed from the public consciousness. As a result, their sacrifices and heroism often go unnoticed. War has become a source of debate for political pundits, rarely recognized as a harrowing reality and a realm of brave heroes. As we look at Scott’s portrait, we come to see the bond that unites these warriors, summarized by Eric Bana’s Sgt. “Hoot” Gibson – “It’s about the man next to you, and that’s it.” I don’t know where you stand on the merits of our nation’s war policy, but I’d encourage you to watch Black Hawk Down this weekend and reflect on the merits of the men who fight those wars. - **** (out of 4)

Black Hawk Down is rated R for intense, realistic, graphic war violence, and for language.

Livin' On the Edge

Way back in July, I posted about an upcoming video game that caught my eye called Mirror's Edge. The game looked unique for its use of a first-person perspective, but its focus on running and traversing the environment (think freerunning or parkour) rather than gunplay. I picked up the game this week upon its Tuesday release, and I can tell you that it has absolutely delivered on my expectations. It's among the most immersive game experiences I've ever had - it's an absoulte adrenaline rush leaping across the cityscape with enemies in hot pursuit. The game captures a sense of motion and momentum better than any I've ever played. I'm only a couple chapters into the game, but I've already gone back and replayed levels I've already finished, because half the fun in Mirror's Edge comes not from getting from A to B, but how you get there. If you're into gaming and you'd like something that feels truly original, you need to pick this one up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There

"We have become so engrossed in the work of the Lord that we have forgotten the Lord of the work." - A.W. Tozer

Sola5 Wednesday Recap - 11/12/08

This weekly topic is an effort to recap the Wednesday night Bible study I teach at Sola5, my youth group. I hope it serves to help us all in contemplating the ceaseless riches of God’s grace as revealed through the Scriptures.

Do you love Jesus Christ? That’s the question we all sought to answer last night in our study of John 21:15-19. When asked by a scholar what the most important commandment in all the law was, Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” There is no more important consideration for the Christian than our love for our God and for our Savior. If then, the question is of supreme importance, shouldn’t we devote some mental energy to answering it honestly? In our text from last night, Jesus posed the question to Peter, and pressed him in his response to consider all that a commitment to Christ entails. We sought to look at Jesus’ words to Peter and apply them to ourselves, with the goal of evaluating how our love for Christ is and in what areas we need to increase our affection for our Savior.

Jesus begins by asking Peter the very pointed question, “Do you love me more than these?” Pointed, because Peter had made exactly that claim prior to his denial of Christ. In Mark 14:26-31, Peter responds to Jesus’ proclamation that all the disciples would desert him by saying that even if everybody else turned and ran, he never would. He proclaimed a superior love for Christ, only to have that notion shattered by failing to even verbally identify with Christ during his greatest need. The pride is gone now, and Peter simply answers, “You know I love you.” In his response we see the first step in a love for Christ – saying it. Confessing our faith is the starting point, but even it can be difficult, as Peter learned - and as perhaps you’ve learned in you spiritual journey. In a world that is fallen, sometimes merely identifying with Jesus can lead to ridicule or worse. Yet Jesus pushes Peter past this starting point with his reply – “feed my lambs.” In essence, Jesus is calling Peter to the more difficult step in our love for Christ – living it. Jesus tells Peter that if he really loves him, he will care for his people, teaching them the way that Jesus had taught him. If our faith is real, as James tells us, it must become action, it must do something. There are many ways that our actions can proclaim our love for Christ. My students last night came up with several: caring for the outcast and the ignored, living a life where proclaiming your faith is a natural occurrence, being a person of your word whom others can depend on, being a person of integrity when you think nobody’s watching but God, and demonstrating by the use of your time what’s really important to you. In all of these areas, we put flesh and blood on our faith, demonstrate its reality and vitality, and demonstrate a true love for Christ in much the same way that our actions toward our spouse or significant other reflects our love for them. It’s interesting to note also that Jesus repeats his question and answer three times, mentally taking Peter back to his moment of greatest failure. Our actions aren’t earning our favor with God. We will all fail, just as Peter did. Yet, God’s grace picks us up and pushes us forward.

Many of us are content to stop here, if we get this far at all. Yet Jesus calls Peter further in verses 18 and 19. He foretells the violent death that Peter will endure as a result following him. He then ends with the simple admonition, “Follow me.” He is showing Peter – and us - that in answering the question of our love for him, it’s not enough to say it and live it, but we must be willing to die for it. Jesus gave some tough words to would-be followers throughout his ministry – telling people to forget their recently deceased loved ones, hate their families, and be ready to suffer and die. Our commitment to Christ should be such that we see him as far surpassing all things – even life itself. He must be our treasure in the field, for which everything else is expendable. He loved us unto death, and he calls us to the same love. Take some time today and ponder the question, “Do I love Christ?” Are you content to profess faith without doing anything about it? Or perhaps you’re living a life of faith, but still clinging to other loves above your Savior? No matter where you are, no matter how strong your love, the call of John 21:15-19 is the same. Move forward. Find a deeper love. Or, as Jesus simply put it, “Follow me.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Power of Quiet Wisdom

If I had to name the preacher I enjoy hearing the most, most people around me know that I would name Alistair Begg. Every year, I attend his Basics Conference for Pastors with several friends and find it a time of great refreshment. Several years ago, one of the speakers at the conference was Derek Prime, who was Begg's mentor when Alistair was a young minister in Scotland. I remember being struck by Prime's humility and wisdom. Listening to him preach was like listening to a grandfather passing on wisdom to his grandchildren. He's not flashy, he's not loud, he's not full of catchphrases or clever rhetoric - he's just full of wisdom.

That impression led me to recently pick up his book A Christian's Guide to Leadership for the Whole Church. What I found inside was very reminiscent of the sermons I heard Prime preach several years ago. He offers very practical, down-to-earth advice on how to demonstrate Christlike leadership in the church - whether one's sphere of leadership extends to the pastorate or even a simple committee chairmanship. Absent are the catchy formulas that one would expect to find in a book on leadership. Prime simply seeks to present biblical wisdom on how to lead well, peppered with his experience from over 30 years as a pastor - the last 19 of which have been spent in the same church. His pastoral heart shines through in his presentation as well, as he ends each section with a prayer, applicable Scripture readings, and reflective questions.

As I said, don't pick the book up expecting flash or pizazz. Prime is not the most engaging writer I've ever read, but the quiet humility of his preaching is evident in the way that he writes. For anyone who is in any type of leadership role in a church (or has aspirations to be), this would be an immensely valuable read. Don't come in expecting the broad scope and vision of Mark Dever and Paul Alexander's The Deliberate Church, but if you're searching for a book that focuses on the day-in-day-out concerns, stresses, and difficulties of leading the people of God, you won't be disappointed here.

Your Spiritual Heroes Aren't Jesus

"Ministers are but the pole; it is to the brazen serpent you are to
look." - Robert Murray M'Cheyne

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This Has Me Interested

Here's the trailer for Hitchens vs. Wilson: A Collision of Lives, an upcoming documentary about the series of debates between pastor/theologian Douglas Wilson and author/"New Athiesm" apologist Christopher Hitchens. Each has a sharp mind and the wit to match, which should make this worth watching.

HT: Justin Taylor

I'm a Lousy Bachelor

Over the weekend, my wife and baby girl headed to visit family in North Carolina while I stayed behind because of work. What would I do with a whole weekend to myself, to do whatever I wanted? Well, after staying with friends Thursday and Friday, I got some things done around the church Saturday, did some final sermon prep, and then realized how quickly playing video games alone gets old. By around dinnertime Saturday, while I was driving out to get Chinese takeout, I was ready to have my girls back.

It's strange how we change over time. I've always been the type of guy who enjoys time alone - and I still do - but it gets depressing far more quickly nowadays. I love to cook, but I subsisted on takeout and frozen dinners for the weekend because I just couldn't churn up the motivation to cook for only me. Sunday night, I was talking to one of our deacons at church, who said, "It's funny how once you've got a family, it just doesn't seem right when they aren't around." How true that is. God has wired us for relationships, and when the deepest ones you have are gone, even only briefly, there's a void that nothing else can really fill. I've always tried to take joy from the small things in life - a good movie or game, a relaxing evening, or even just driving around town on a cool fall night. However, I'd trade you 100 years of bachelor-themed joy for the joy of 4:30 yesterday afternoon: pulling up to the airport terminal, receiving a kiss from my wife and a smile from my baby girl.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday's Featured Film - 11/7/08

New movies are usually released to theaters every Friday, but who’s got 10 bucks these days to drop on a movie that may well be a load of crap? Given those odds, each Friday I offer an alternative on DVD that you can rent at your local video store (or in some cases, avoid at all costs). Some will be new releases, others you may have to hunt for, but all of them are available to light up your small screen should it be a lazy Friday night.

There Will Be Blood

As a college student, I was a huge movie buff, usually taking in between 50-60 movies a year in the theater. One of my annual rituals involved an attempt to take in all 5 best picture nominees before the Oscars rolled around. Usually, I was able to succeed. Since I’ve become a husband and more recently a father, the time I have to spend in a movie theater has significantly diminished. It’s become more common lately for me to see 5 movies in the theater a year period, let alone all 5 best picture noms. The only one of last year’s crop I’ve seen was Juno (which was great), so I was very excited about the chance I had last night to sit down with a good friend and watch director Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, There Will Be Blood. If you’ve seen any of Anderson’s previous work (Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love), you know that he tends to make films a bit off the beaten path. That’s probably putting it lightly – his films are often very different, sometimes bordering on the bizarre. There Will Be Blood doesn’t flirt with bizarre territory, but it does tell a very simple story in a very unconventional way, and it had me hooked for the entirety of its 2 ½ hour plus runtime.

The movie, on the surface, is a portrait of two men. One is Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a crafty, charismatic, and determined oilman who is out to get rich at any cost. The other is Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), a young faith healer of a small church in a town sitting on a sea of oil. The movie tells the tale of each man’s journey as they clash against each other over the sea of wealth under the town. Daniel seeks wealth as an end in itself, Eli is more concerned with the prestige that it brings. Caught in the middle is Daniel’s adopted son H.W. (Dillon Freasier), who over the course of the film grows from a boy to a young man.

The setup really isn’t much more complicated than that. The complexity of the film is all in the way that Anderson tells the story. He films things like no other director. Nearly every shot in the movie, from simple framed conversations to extended steadycam shots, appears on screen with a different look and cadence than expected. The way that he presents the film will either leave you studying every frame, or completely turned off. I was riveted. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the performances are superb. Day-Lewis took home the Best Actor Oscar for his role, and he earned it. Dano was nearly as good with very little fanfare. Freasier does little to stand out, and I mean that as a compliment. H.W. as a character is a blank slate, absorbing everything around him, and the only character in the film to really go through a substantial change. Reflecting back on the film, I instantly began asking myself whose story it is. My first instinct was to say that H.W. is the true center of the story, but after more reflection I’m less sure. One could easily see this as a portrait of Daniel and Eli, who at the end of the day are largely the same man. One could see the oil itself as the central driving force, watching to see how each character is impacted by its presence. Perhaps Anderson himself isn’t really sure, but if he is I’m glad he’s not telling. This is a movie that begs to be discussed, to be thought about and discussed some more. It’s not for everyone, and frankly it’s probably not for most people. But for those who like something different cinematically on occasion, you’ll find a film that will stay with you for quite a while. - ***1/2 (out of four)

There Will Be Blood is rated R for some violence.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sola5 Wednesday Recap - 11/5/08

This weekly topic is an effort to recap the Wednesday night Bible study I teach at Sola5, my youth group. I hope it serves to help us all in contemplating the ceaseless riches of God’s grace as revealed through the Scriptures.

After a week off to celebrate Reformation Day, we were back in John again last night, taking a look at Jesus’ appearance to some of the disciples in John 21:1-14. Here, we see Jesus perform a miracle, which isn’t a new thing in John’s gospel. Over our yearlong study, we’ve seen several – Jesus turning water into wine, healing a crippled man, raising Lazarus from the dead – but this is the only miracle that is recorded for us from after Christ’s resurrection. Along the way, the miracles have been a demonstration of Jesus’ divine power. Yet, since the resurrection was the penultimate display of that power, Jesus helping the disciples catch some fish can’t help but feel anticlimactic. This miracle is about Jesus power, but it’s also about teaching us a lesson in trust, and in how we now should live in light of the resurrection.

We find several of the disciples together in this passage, and heading out onto the sea to fish. They spend an entire night out on the water, but don’t catch a single thing. This is a strange thing. These guys aren’t just some average Joes out for some weekend fishin’ – they’re professionals, having earned their living this way before being called by Christ. Yet, in God’s providence, they catch nothing at all this night. Yet in the morning, a man on the shore tells them to throw the net on the other side of the boat. Yeah, right, they must be thinking. Like twenty feet of water is going to make any kind of difference. Yet, for whatever reason, they toss the net to the other side, and they haul in a catch so large that the nets are too heavy to pull back in. They instantly recognize that the figure on shore is Jesus, and Peter dives in and swims for shore while the others haul the boat and their catch back to land.

As I thought about this passage over the last week, one verse constantly came to my mind – John 15:5. Giving his disciples a lesson about spiritual life, he tells them that without him, they can do nothing. What we have in John 21 is an object lesson illustrating that very fact. We are utterly dependent on God in all things. We can do nothing in our own strength. Yet how often are we like the disciples, charting our own course and choosing ourselves which side of the boat to throw the net on. Often, when Christ does speak to us, we are too distracted by ourselves to even recognize his voice. Think of your day-to-day life. Are you depending on Christ for your wisdom and your direction? For your attitudes and your decision-making? If you were to pretend tomorrow that Christ was not raised, would your day be any different than it normally is? All of us need to be more dependent on Christ. In what area of life are you relying on your own strength?

In the final verses, we see the disciples back on shore, eating breakfast with Jesus. They are enjoying fellowship with him – an aspect of our spiritual lives we cannot forget. Christianity isn’t just about what we do (although that is vital), it is about a relationship with Christ. After all, Jesus himself said that our love for God was the most important commandment in the law. If we are loving God as we should, then we will be living as we should as well. Are you cultivating a relationship with Christ? Are you spending time in his Word? Are you reading it like a school assignment, or are you pouring over and thinking about what you read as you go about your day? Are you praying? Are you praying for the things that God is most concerned about? Are you praying for your own spiritual growth, and for that of your friends? Through prayer, our attitudes are brought more in line with the attitude of Christ. Are you spending that time with him? As we look at John 21, we see a picture of the way that we need to approach our daily lives. It’s the answer to the question that must be central to all Christians - if Christ is alive, then now what?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Easy as 1-2-3

Let the ads end. Let the pundits cease. Let the water cooler debates quiet. The election is over.

So now what? What should you do if you, like me, cast your vote for the McCain-Palin ticket? What do you do if your excitement that our nation has elected a black man as President (unthinkable when my father was born) is severly tempered by the fact that Barack Obama's policies show total disregard for the unborn? I've got three suggestions.

1. Calm down. The kingdom of Christ is not of this world. The gospel flourished under Nero - an insane, murderous tyrant. I think we'll be fine under Barack Obama.

2. Pray for President Elect Obama. Thank God for men like Obama who dedicate their lives to public service. The next four or eight years will be incredibly difficult on this man and his family. Look at pictures of George W. Bush in 2000 and again in 2008 if you'd like a visual representation of the stress that Obama has just taken on. If it weren't for presidents and senators and judges, you wouldn't enjoy the life of peace and security you do. Our brothers and sisters in Christ in places like Sudan and Afghanistan would be quite grateful to live under the government of Barack Obama, I think, imperfect as he may be. If you still don't feel like praying or thanking God for Obama, then read 1 Timothy 2:1-7 and get over your sinful hatred. That sounds harsh, I know. But if you look at your political enemy and fail to see a human being created in the image of God, then harsh words are in order.

3. Read Eric Redmond's "Living Soli Deo Gloria Under Obama." It's the best post-election piece I've read, easy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Out of Two Don't Cut It

Did you vote today? Good for you, citizen. Have you prayed for the future of our country today? If not, then remember this...

For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. - Psalm 22:28

Not sure how to pray? Mark Altrogge has some good advice.