Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
It doesn't hurt when they follow Mark 5.19:
And he did not permit him but said to him, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
It does hurt when they are far away.
Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away. (Proverbs 27.10)
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Bonhoeffer: A Biography impressed me from the start. I was skeptical coming in because I had heard negative reviews of Metaxas’ Amazing Grace, mainly that it was overly academic sounding while attempting to be a popular level biography. I had not read Amazing Grace, and my only experience with Metaxas was when he came to Union University and spoke in chapel, which frankly, the only thing I remember is that he came. On of my professors at Union, Greg Thornbury, is a good friend of Metaxas and spoke highly of him, but more importantly, over the years I have greatly enjoyed history of World War II Europe and have come to appreciate Dietrich Bonhoeffer greatly.
Coming in with my skepticism, I was immediately impressed, not only with readability but the high amount of detail woven into a single narrative. Metaxas weaves together personal accounts to show the character of the family and of Dietrich himself from a young age, showing his vivaciousness and sensitivity to both God and to others. He was always a servant to others, putting everyone else before himself. While this was in many ways simply his moral compass, he knew from an early age that he would study theology, and persevered even through opposition from his overly rationalistic family. He maintained his character throughout his life, even through the hardest of ethical choices during Hitler’s rule over Germany. I'll let you read the rest yourself. This is a great book that paints a great picture of such a hero of the faith.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
the world and those who dwell therein,
2for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers. Psalm 24.1-2
The weather was odd that week. It was February, which is normally supposed to be cold, but I suppose that in the south the winter is always more of a variable. There had been warm days and cold days cycling that week. It was only the fifth day we were back in school for the spring semester, and all non-weather issues seemed pretty normal. With all the changing weather, on that day, February 5th, 2008, the weather men projected a huge cold front would come through, ending our pre-spring spring. We heard that there was bad weather coming because of the cold front, but that didn't surprise us.
We have had tornado warnings in the past, but never had much trouble, just had to sit in bathrooms with each other. Having gone running in the early afternoon (well, around 3:00), I took a shower, a pretty long one, and then ate dinner with my roommate Matt Kuchem. We cleaned up and I headed down to the commons to work on some various classwork. I went to my usual spot and got out my Macbook while I talked with my good friends Kyle Clark and Austin Ward.
Soon after I got to the commons, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Jackson, TN. The resident advisors rushed for the McAfee sirens and rushed us into bathrooms. I left my backpack in the chair, but took the notebook I was using and my laptop into the bathroom and we all "settled in" for a while. We still were jovial and unconcerned. Austin and I were in the stall and I was finishing typing up some notes, and every few minutes I was checking the weather updates.
Things were ok when the power went out. We still were unconcerned because because again, this had happened before. We even lost power for a few hours one night in the fall when a car ran into a utility pole. We all groaned but were relieved to find that the Wi-fi was still working. We started checking the weather more frequently but were still unconcerned.
A few minutes in, a couple of us used the bathroom but nothing seemed to be happening with the weather. A few minutes went by when we felt the air pressure change in our ears. No one thought anything of it until a second later when Matt Kuchem said, "Did anyone else feel that pressure change?" When Kuchem said that, we all basically dove for corners of the bathroom. Some of us heard a low roar, not really like a train, and a few seconds in we heard the glass shatter, and we knew it was bad. A minute after the noise subsided, some of the guys, I think John Henson or Jonathan Moore (J-Mo), looked out into the Commons and simply said, “Wow."
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
6For to the snow he says, 'Fall on the earth,'
likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
7He seals up the hand of every man,
that all men whom he made may know it.
8Then the beasts go into their lairs,
and remain in their dens.
9From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
and cold from the scattering winds.
10By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.
12They turn around and around by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world.
13Whether for correction or for his land
or for love, he causes it to happen. Job 37.5-13
Monday, March 15, 2010
Called to Worship by Vernon M. Whaley, is a good book on worship that bridges both academia and the broader church. Whaley, who is the director of the Center for Worship at Liberty University, gives a biblical theology of worship, tracing both the “worship wars” throughout Judeo-Christian history and positive biblical responses to God, providing, as the subtitle declares, “biblical foundations of our response to God’s call.” Whaley has a biblical point of view that all people share this purpose in life, to worship God, and, as Tozer said, “If we do not honor this purpose, our lives will degenerate into shallow, selfish, humanistic pursuits.”
While overall the book is good, it fits into a small niche. It can be helpful to worship leaders and pastors to give a better understanding about worship as the bible portrays it, but doesn’t bridge gaps well beyond themes and principles. It seems more theoretical with little practical advice on how one can proceed with worship to follow through with these principles. Yes, this does lay a foundation and gives a framework for thought, and it does a good job at that, but there is great need for practical helps on how to proceed in our “call to worship,” both individually and corporately.