Saturday, December 31, 2011

Books Finished in December

"Lilith" by George MacDonald (a wild and fantastic tale with profound truths and challenging motifs)
"The Pilgrim's Regress" by C.S. Lewis (a bit harder work to understand than some of Lewis' other fiction, but I appreciated all that I could understand.)
"Miracles" by C.S. Lewis (a grand argument for God's intervention into our world for His glory)
The Holy Bible - I try to read through the Bible every other year. This year I worked through a Bible reading plan that had me read passages in somewhat chronological order.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Seeking God's Secrets...

I've been meditating on Psalm 25:14: God-friendship is for God-worshipers; they are the ones he confides in. (The Message) or as in the NIV translation...The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. I want to stand in awe of God above all else and tremble before His holy love that I might truly know Him and His rich covenant. But I'm recognizing that I don't really stand in awe of God. I stand in awe of me and stuff. I stand in awe of position and prestige. I'm unwilling to stand in awe of the Servant-Savior and thus live like the shadows, on my knees, among the outcasts. His secrets are found in service. His secrets are found not in high society, but in the back streets of Galilee. Pray for me that I'd be a friend of God who fears Him rightly and lives like Him accordingly.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On Arguments for the Existence of God

"...we are totally dependent on God to make himself known to us. He cannot be grasped by scientific investigation, for he stands above our world of cause and effect. His existence and nature cannot be proven by human reason as the conclusion of a philosophical syllogism, for nothing stands behind and apart from God to explain him (footnote: 'This is not to say that arguments for the existence of God have no value. They make God's existence reasonable but not indubitable.')."

From page 41 of Evangelical Convictions: A Theological Exposition of the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Incarnation that leads to other incarnations...

Pastor Tim Keller explains in a past Christmas sermon that truth without tears is cruel and tears without truth is unhelpful. What we have in the incarnation of the Son of God, however, is a perfect blending of tears and truth. Jesus came as a complete human, totally vulnerable, subject to the same fears, pain, and anxieties as us. But, he was not only vulnerable, he was also fully God, full of truth, fearless in the face of evil. An event that depicts this clearly is Jesus before the burial site of his friend Lazarus. In almost the same breath, Jesus proclaims to the crowd, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Christ will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26), and then just moments later he weeps before a crowd of mourners. Emmanuel, God with us, God the Son in human form, perfectly blends truth and tears. He faces death down and wins, and yet the reality of death breaks his heart. This is why Jesus took on flesh. This is why he bore our sins on Calvary. He wept at death, and He knew that He alone could stop to tide of death from wiping out His people. Let us worship the God-Man this Christmas not only for His perfect power, but also for His intimate love for us. But let our worship not only be in songs, but also in the giving of our lives for others. Let us enter into people’s suffering not as cold, truth-telling stoics. Let us incarnate ourselves into the world we live in. We need to befriend the hurting, mourn alongside the despondent, and walk with those who can only crawl. But let us also be bearers of truth, who stand in the face of evil and proclaim that its defeat has been accomplish on the Cross.

You can download Tim Keller's full sermon, "The Furious Love of Jesus" here:

From my recent Pastor Post for Cornerstone Church.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tim Tebow Joke and Story

Tebow [recently famous quarterback for the Broncos] asks for an audience with the Pope, who grants it. Tebow flies to Rome and the Pope gives him a tour of the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, everything. But it's Sunday morning and now the Pope needs to deliver Mass to the 50,000 people waiting in St. Peter's Square below his window. "Come with me to the window and see for yourself," the Pope says. The two of them go to the window. Down below, an Italian guy says to his buddy, "Hey, who's the guy in the pointy hat next to Tebow?"

From a fun article contrasting Tom Brady and Tim Tebow (the big rivalry hits America this Sunday at 3:15 CST).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pausing, pondering, worshipping the Christmas Child

As we await the 25th of December and the culmination of all our focus on the grand miracle of the Incarnation of the Son of God, I thought I’d let you read some of C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on this miracle of miracles:
“No woman ever conceived a child, no mare a foal, without God. But once, and for a special purpose, He dispensed with that long line [of generations] which is His instrument: once His life-giving finger touched a woman without passing through the ages of interlocked events. Once the great glove of Nature was taken off His hand. His naked hand touched her. There was of course a unique reason for it. That time He was creating not simply a man but the Man who was to be Himself: was creating Man anew; was beginning, at this divine and human point, the New Creation of all things. The whole soiled and weary universe quivered at this direct injection of essential life—direct, uncontaminated, not drained through all the crowded history of Nature.” (from the bookMiracles)
Pause now and marvel at the words of John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
From the December 2 Cornerstone Church Pastor Post

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Eve Service (Marion and Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Each year the Cornerstone Church family and friends choose to celebrate Christmas with the residents at Cottage Grove Place. There is always room for one more...come and worship the King with us.

Where: Cottage Grove Place (2115 1st Avenue Southeast, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
When: 6:30PM, December 24, 2011
What: Scripture readings, Christmas Carols, a Christmas meditation, and special music.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Books Finished in November

"Season of Life" by Jeffrey Marx (fantastic, quick, delightful read!!) I highly recommend this book to all sons and fathers.
"The Inheritance" by Chris Paolini (the 4th and final book of the Inheritance saga; a decent conclusion to Paolini's first series of books)
"The Message of Genesis 1-11" by David Atkinson (my go-to book this Fall while preaching through Genesis 1-11)
"Decision Points" by George W. Bush (I liked the beginning, but later I got a little frustrated with W's repeated attempts to defend himself on all accounts related to his presidency. I wish he would have confessed his faults with more candor and humility.)
"Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ" by John Piper (I like to reread this every 2-3 years)
"A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" by Eugene Peterson (a delightful, convicting, grace-filled second reading)