Friday, May 31, 2013

todd the grey‏

So apparently the jury is still out on the whole “grey” v. “gray” thing.

I noticed one stray grey hair northeast of my passenger side temple a few months back. I got excited.  I have been excited about gray hair for a while now.  Don’t know when or why, but I have.

I just saw in the mirror several little grey warriors popping through my chin, a few scattered throughout my cheeks and some companions joining Christopher Columbus on my temple to explore this brave new world.

Proverbs 16:31

Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life.

My crown of glory is apparently claimed in victory by a very sporadic, slow-moving army.

Proverbs 20:29

The glory of young men is their strength,
but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

My splendor’s website is apparently under construction.

Psalm 71:18

So even to old age and gray hairs,
    O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
    your power to all those to come.

I want to live longer because I have kids who do not yet know Jesus.
I want to be the one to tell them about Him.

In the meantime, I will have to settle for being only a slightly silver fox.

Watch yo back Clooney, you aren’t the only one who likes salt-n-pepa.
(but you do pull it off far better than most)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

spell-check yo self before you wreck yo self‏

In a recent e-mail, spell-check changed “Deo” in Deo volente to: doe.

Nice work spell-check.
Top shelf.

Never before have I so LITERALLY experienced Romans 1:22-23:

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Deo to doe.
God to deer.
Immortal God for animals.

Good call Paul.

Score another one for the prophetic pen of Scripture.

(although at this point Scripture is kind of running up the score)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

the world did not know God through wisdom‏

We come hard-wired for Law.
We like being wise.
It is familiar to us.

We must receive the Gospel.
We do not like being fools.
It is foreign to us.

1 Corinthians 1:21

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

We know that wisdom is better than being foolish.
Everyone knows that.

But one man’s wisdom is another man’s folly.

So what is more accurate, then, to say is that we know that we like our wisdom better than other men’s folly.

By our wisdom, we frequently find ourselves faultless.

But by our wisdom, we do not find God.

We find God by repenting of our wisdom and embracing the foolishness of God in killing the Christ on our behalf.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.

It is the pleasure of God to save people who confess that their wisdom has failed them.

Your own understanding is a pointy stick upon which if you lean you will be pierced.

God’s wisdom is to pierce Jesus on your behalf so that upon Him you can fully lean.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

diligent indifference‏

Oswald cut to the quick with this tasty bit.
Just because I have listened carefully and intently to one thing from God does not mean that I will listen to everything He says. I show God my lack of love and respect for Him by the insensitivity of my heart and mind toward what He says. If I love my friend, I will instinctively understand what he wants. And Jesus said, “You are My friends . . .” (John 15:14). Have I disobeyed some command of my Lord’s this week? If I had realized that it was a command of Jesus,I would not have deliberately disobeyed it. But most of us show incredible disrespect to God because we don’t even hear Him. He might as well never have spoken to us.
Most people who call themselves Christians know enough to say that they would say, “Yes” to whatever Jesus asked. I would not disobey on purpose. I sin by accident.
Oswald on this particular point is not calling into question the genuine discipleship of those who disobey Jesus. He is wanting to highlight the fact that many disobey Jesus not because they say, “No” when He says, “Go,” but because they never went because they were not paying attention to what He was saying in the first place.
Do you read your Bible?
Do you spend time in prayer?
If not, when do you hear from Him?
We disobey daily not only in our destructive deeds, but also in our diligent indifference.
We work hard at hardly working at all.

Monday, May 27, 2013

a living sacrifice

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before, but the other morning at Men’s BASIC I for the first time only began to ponder the faith of Isaac in reflecting upon this admonition from the Apostle Paul.

Isaac voluntarily laid down his life on the altar expecting, in his faith, to survive the ordeal.

You and I now, in view of God’s mercies to us in providing a “ram in the thickets” in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, are charged to lay down our lives so that we may be raised to life like Jesus.

Hebrews 11:17-19

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

The point of dying to your self is living to God.

Many cut themselves off from pleasures in order to climb a ladder back to God.
Many cut themselves off from pleasures for their own purposes.

But our dying is not, in itself, of any value to us, others or God.

Only in putting off the old man IN ORDER TO put on the new man in Christ is their life.
A living sacrifice.

One who is dead to self.
One who is alive to God.

Romans 6:11

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Friday, May 24, 2013

knowing there's a bank doesn't make me rich‏

“I know there’s a bank, but that doesn’t make me rich. It’s only when I have money in that specific Bank that I am well off.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Believing in heaven does not guarantee that you will go there anymore than believing in roads gets you anywhere.

A person’s trust in road signs is made perfect in their plodding forward. Not only does that person confirm that they actually want to go where the signs are pointing, but also that they trust inherently the signs to point them faithfully to their destination.

Do you believe the signs?
Do you want to go where they point?

Where are you wanting to go and how are you planning on getting there?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

the Chef's pantry‏

Romans 8:28-29

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

I am guessing that God does not employ any more discomfort than required to produce that which He desires anymore than I desire to enforce any more discipline than necessary to produce fruit in the hearts and lives of my children.

Do not forget that God loves us.

He does not over-salt.
He does not over-sugar.

We would ruin ourselves and others by making some difficulties too salty and others too sweetly.

God uses salt and sugar in their right proportions depending on the dish He is preparing for you in becoming like Christ.

He is the Chef.

Conform your palate to His pleasure.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the end of the Law‏

Romans 10:4

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes

The purpose of the Law was to point to Jesus.

The Law is fulfilled in Christ.

What for?

“righteousness to everyone who believes.”

Praise God!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

black belt babies‏

Psalm 51:5-6

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

We are black belts by birth in being self-absorbed.

We are born into the dojo of the satanic sensei.

We do not, by default, debate the direction to “Sweep the leg.”

We are not the Karate Kid.

We are the “get him a body bag” dufus in the background.

I don’t know where this all breaks down (likely two analogies ago), but just for the record: Mr. Miyagi is not God.

Monday, May 20, 2013

for Christ's sake: efficiency‏

Life is messy which leave us with two possible explanations.

1. God is inefficient
2. God is efficient at what He is doing
Is efficiency even something God exalts?
Are we even sure efficiency is something God should be or even claims to be?

We exalt efficiency.
We declare it good.
We then condemn God for being inefficient.

So we demand an explanation:

Why this?
Why that?
Could You have done this quicker, better, faster, etc…?
Could any of this have been avoided?

Romans 9:20

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

Who are we to declare anything good?

Who are we to judge God by our standards?

Romans 8:28-30

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Do we know that?
Do we know that all of this is for the good if we are found in Him?
Are we so foolish as to assume that being conformed to Christ would be a cakewalk?

But precisely there is the rub, right?

Couldn’t God do it quicker, faster, better, etc…?
He’s God after all.
Conform me now.
If that is the end goal, then let’s expedite this process.


Romans 9:22-23

22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory

What we call inefficient, God calls our glory.

Jesus even inquired, “Is there another way? Can this cup pass?”
There wasn’t and it didn’t.

The Cross was messy.
So are we.

What we condemn as clumsy, God exalts as Christ.

God is gracious to cast us in metal that we by these fires may be refined rather than consumed.

Why fire at all? Is there no other way?
Only God knows and He chooses this.

And who are you to question His choices?

Friday, May 17, 2013

a peace of advice

Philippians 4:6-7

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God gives us peace to guard us in Jesus.
Not more understanding.
Not additional information.
But peace.

And that is likely what we really wanted in the first place.

We request information and understanding not because we need to know, but because we feel like we would have more peace if we knew.

Maybe not.

God will not be used as a medium to officiate your wedding with personal wisdom and insight.

We ask for understanding.
He provides peace.
And that guards our hearts and minds.

Not wisdom.


1 Corinthians 1:21


For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

Better than understanding.
Better than what we thought we wanted.
Better than what we thought we needed.

The Gospel provides and protects by peace.

Not the way we thought we would get it, but the very thing we wanted to get.


Isaiah 55:8


For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord

Thursday, May 16, 2013

He who hears me

God heard my prayer.
The other morning I was feeling down on my commute in to work. I was feeling a little defeated and a little discouraged.
Mid-morning I received a random note from a man of God I respect dearly saying that he was thinking of me.  He even went so far as to say that he thought I was awesome.
God heard my prayer.
He provided me with encouragement.
A kind word from someone you respect can go so far.
Thank You Jesus for hearing my prayers and interceding on my behalf before God for salvation, sanctification and all the sentiments in between.

it is easier going out of the way, when we are in, than going back in when we are out‏

“Then I thought that it is easier going out of the way, when we are in, than going back in when we are out.” ~ Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Allow me to define a quote by another quote.
“When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Mt 4:17), He willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” ~ Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

on and off like tapwater

Matt 25:10-13
10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Deathbed repentance and faith upon Jesus does result in salvation as demonstrated by the thief on the Cross.
It’s not that it does not work, it’s that it’s a bad plan.
One cannot guarantee when and where they will meet their Maker either by passing from this life or Him physically returning to our world, but when He does, the gig is up.
Additionally, you cannot simply assume you will one day love Jesus enough to worship Him and follow Him if you do not want to do those things now.
It is not something you simply turn on and off like tap water.
All you have to do is turn a knob, but a lot of work went into making it so easy for you to get that water.
Do not build your house on sand and put off laying pipe and assume that someday when in thirst you turn the knob of your sink it will produce water.
It won’t.
And it will be too late.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

the reign of God has already begun‏

“The kingdom is the rule and reign of God, the expression of His gracious sovereign will. To belong to the kingdom of God is to belong to the people among whom the reign of God has already begun.” ~ Sinclair Ferguson

God will not reign someday.

He reigns now.

His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth in me as it is in Heaven in Christ.

Monday, May 13, 2013

in your gut and what you must‏

we do, by nature, what we want.
we do, by will power, what we prioritize.
The best way to answer the question, "What do you want to do?" is not to imagine what you would like to be doing in the future. The best way to determine what you want to do is to look back to the past at what you usually do.
In that same tenor, the best way to answer the question, "What are your priorities?" is not to imagine what you want to get done tomorrow. The best way to determine what you prioritize is to look back to the past at what, for you, never fails to get done.

man is the glory and shame of the universe‏

"Man is the glory and the shame of the universe.” ~ Blaise Pascal

Man is the glory of God and is created in God's image.
Which makes his fall so much more tragic.
All creation suffers because of man's depravity.
Nothing could demonstrate God's majesty more than the mankind He created.
Nothing could bring more accusation against God than the trouble this mankind produces.
But God in Christ purposed from before time began to demonstrate His love in designing a world in which He is the hero and not the men He created.
God does all of this for the men He designed and loves.
Jesus died because men are God's reflected glory.
Jesus died because men are God's shame.
The cross demonstrates the great love He has for us and the great shame which we bring on Him.

Friday, May 10, 2013

aristotle is but the wreck of adam and athens is but the rubbish of an Eden.

"Aristotle is but the wreck of Adam and Athens is but the rubbish of an Eden." ~ Robert South

Nothing is as it once was and all because of sin.

But by the grace of God revealed in Christ, God is making all things new.

for Christ's sake: down comforter‏

I often find myself asking Jesus to unite me to comfort.
I want Jesus to make a way back to comfort when I find myself uncomfortable.
The idolatry of comfort is pronounced in a convenience culture.
Inconvenience is our hell and we ask Jesus to save us from it.
In so doing, we fashion a Christ that does not exist to save us from a hell that is not real in order to have a god contained to our imaginations.
We ask Jesus to go between, to go ahead and to go before us to make peace with comfort so that we can have it back.
Jesus is a Mediator.
But not between us and comfort.
And not just us and not just our comfort.
How arrogant to create a god consumed only by my conditional circumstances. Not only does it reduce god to my servant, but it also ignores the fact that my comforts may cost other persons some discomfort. We create a Thunderdome scenario where two gods enter and one god leaves. My idol vs. your idol.
But I digress…
Jesus unites the elect to God, the Father.
He restores the rebel to the Father.
The Father is a Comforter.
But do not misread 1 John.
God is love.
Love IS NOT God.
So too…
God is comfort.
Comfort IS NOT God.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

the days of Noah‏

Matthew 24:37-39
37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Most people will largely overlook the pending judgment of God and opt to continue going about business as usual right up until the end. Noah was about God’s business. Noah had kids and they grew up and got married before the flood. Jesus is not saying that getting married, having kids, eating food and drinking fluid is evil. Jesus is saying that the only thing you have to do to be swept away in the wrath of God is what you always have done. Just continue on doing what you’re doing with no thought to God.
Noah directed his actions in response to God’s commandments. Noah responded to God’s warning by placing his faith in the plan God proposed to save him. We too can place our faith in God’s design by believing on Jesus to deliver us from the wrath to come and just like Noah’s ark, the Cross will get us safely through the turmoil and to the other side of a brand new world.

the passing of the buck

“American history may be divided into two eras, the era of the passing of the buffalo and the era of the passing of the buck.” ~ Will Rogers

Once upon a time, man lived with God and worked His will without compromise.

Now man lives apart from God and blames Him or anyone else who happens to be around for it.

Do not pass the buck.

Buck up and repent of your sin and believe on the Lord Jesus to forgive you despite your undeservedness.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

are you talking to me?

Matthew 21:45

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them....

…and repented of all their sin and placed their faith on Jesus to deliver them from the error of their ways in having been so foolish as to oppose the very One who offered them life.


46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

How do you respond when you perceive the Bible is talking about you? Not just talking about sin in general or someone else’s bad habits; but what about when it talks to you about your specific sin and your specific bad habits?

All too often we, like the Pharisees, seek to continue down the very path the Bible is warning us to avoid, but we fear the crowds' (family, friends, church) condemnation, so we pretend.

You must confess and repent even of the things you would like to do, but don’t do, simply because you fear men’s reactions.

Numbers 32:23

But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Father forgive us for we know exactly what we do‏

Leviticus 20:1-5

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,2 “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.3 I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name.4 And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death,5 then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.
A quick search through the ESV reveals that worshipping Molech required one to sacrifice their children (seeHERE).
Who would join that religion? How could people be so callous as to kill their children in order to get better crops? How could a person worship a god that required them to murder a baby?
What was Molech offering that was so valuable as to persuade a parent to trade their own child’s life for it? Rain? Bumper crops? Military victory? Atonement?
I don’t know what was in the water back in the day, but I sure am glad we have evolved so much since then, right?
Molech is alive and well in the hearts of men and women and the promises he makes are merely nuanced versions of what men and women have always wanted.
How does any single person willingly, under no pressure other than their own desire, subject their child to destruction?
How do so many people do so enough to even suggest it should be normative?
How are so many persuaded as to even propose a legal right to do so?
How is a society so duped as to pass a law protecting Molech from our children?
How is it that God would even have to command people NOT to kill their children?
The battle used to be one of arguing over the proper title of the child: fetus, embryo, baby, etc… This battle was anchored on the reality that no one in naked confession would agree to killing a child. But if it is a fetus or a mass of cells, then I can feel better about killing “that.”
But the veil is lifted.
We know.
And still, we go.
Father, forgive us.
We know exactly what we are doing.
We know exactly what we’ve done.
We know exactly what we’ve planned to do.
Bring repentance.
Bring redemption.
Bring forgiveness.

Monday, May 6, 2013

the middle of that water is poisoned‏

My amazing, beautiful, servant-hearted sister Lauren lent me her copy of Quitter to read. I came across this goldmine today over lunch-break at work.
“If there’s poison in a glass of water, no one says, ‘Be careful, the middle of that water is poisoned.’” ~ Jon Acuff in Quitter.
Sin affects everything.
Do not be so silly as to think that sin in one area is an isolated incident.
It’s not.
You cannot keep sin corralled.
Sin cannot be kept as a pet.
It must be killed with Christ on the Cross.
It will rule you.
It will migrate faster than you think and into areas you never anticipated.
You cannot fence it in.
A bull in a china shop does not stop with the china shop, it busts through the walls to the diner next door and so on and so forth.