Friday, January 30, 2009

President Obama, then and now

If you have never read this 2004 interview with President Obama and his own journey of faith, I recommend it.
This will help you know how to pray for our sitting leader now, and it may also give you insight on what makes him tick. Many people are making comments about what Obama believes and doesn't believe. Let's give him the respect he (and every human) deserves and let him tell us in his own words.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On thriving churches - Ray Ortlund Jr.

Quote of the day:

"I have never seen a church rise in spiritual power where the preaching was unclear, indistinct, overly cautious, timid. Every church I know of that is making a gospel impact has an unmistakably clear and winsomely courageous preaching ministry."

Ray Ortlund Jr.

A former pastor inCalifornia, Oregon and Georgia, former professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, current pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, Nashville, blogs at Christ is Deeper Still. Feel free to listen for yourself his sermons.

HT: The Workman

Do Movies Suck Up Your Time?

When I was a teenager, I watched dozens of movies each week. My brother and I used to walk through our local movie rental store going shelf by shelf saying, "Seen it, seen it, seen it . . . oh, here's one we actually haven't seen." When I was a sophomore in high school, my Fellowship of Christian Athlete's leader (an awesome woman), asked why I had more movie lines memorized than Bible passages. Needless to say, she brought a needed conviction upon me.

Ever since then and throughout the last 10 years, I have tried to be more intentional in what movies I watch and don't watch. No longer do I try to watch every movie that comes out, but I try to be make the most of my time. Time is a commodity that cannot be increased by any human invention so it's fitting that the Apostle Paul told us in Ephesians 5:16 to "redeem the time" or more clearly, "make the best use of your time."

Here are a few ways my wife and I have attempted to watch movies more wisely:

1. We try to watch movies from the Time Magazine 100 best movies of all time -
2. Each year Christianity Today highlights the 10 most redeeming films. Most years we have already seen 5 of these before the list comes out. It is always interesting then to go back and watch the other movies listed in the next year. You can see their 2008 list here:
3. If there is a movie not on either of these lists, we rarely (if ever) rent a movie unless it has been recommended by a friend's whose opinion we trust.

Many of us are drawn to movies. We love the excitement, adventure, suspense, and the romance. I believe our culture is addicted to movies because most of us are not experiencing these kinds of things in our everyday lives. The thing I had to wake up to, and I hope you do to, is that we will never begin to experience these things in our own lives if we are parked in front of a TV or movie screen.

Let us redeem the time and make the most of every opportunity in 2009.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm not dead

So, I have had my longest blogosphere absence since I gave up blogging in 2007 for Lent. I was one day shy of a whole month without blogging. To some you are rejoicing. To most you did not notice. Well, with my wife being pregnant, Christmas vacation, and a job-change I have not found time to blog. I have had a great month with my family and am excited about this being the first day of my spring semester.

Carrie hopes to get some pictures and video up soon.

I may offer some meandering thoughts in due time as well . . .

Much love to you from me and my family.