Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weekend Thoughts

It has been awhile since I have written a lengthy blog but I have been working on some that are almost ready for publication. Topics include abortion, idols and the first 4 months of this year. So, keep an eye out for those. Today, I just feel the need to share some thoughts on a variety of topics so welcome to my brain.

Donald Trump - It's a testament to how much frustration and angst the majority of Americans feel toward our political leaders that Donald is able to find early traction among some voters. People just want someone who will actually lead and give it to us straight. Donald has done a good job of scratching that itch so far. Yes, he is not terribly nice, nor politically correct and his negotiating style would certainly offend more than it would attract but a lot of people view that as a small trade-off for someone outside the machine. I was never a part of the birther movement as I thought it was a distraction from more important and substantive issues. But he actually gained credibility when Obama finally relented and released his long-form birth certificate. For those of you who still don't believe Obama was born in America and want to keep the conspiracy going, you will appreciate this video:

Chris Norton - He was given a 3% chance to walk again. I assure you, if he never walks again, it won't be due to lack of effort. I wear a bracelet reminding me of his struggle. There are days I take strength in my battles knowing that he is out there fighting even bigger ones. In the latest entry in his online journal, his oldest sister stated that one of his favorite quotes is, "I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds it." Amen brother. I might put that quote on my mirror.

Sin - "Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God." - Martin Luther

Every Good Friday I try to find a new way of looking at Christ's death that will lead me to a deeper understanding or a greater appreciation for what was accomplished on the cross. I do this for Christmas and Easter as well. This year, I heard a sermon in which the pastor was describing what God the Father was saying to Jesus as He hung on the cross. God was accusing Jesus of all our sins, one by one. Except they were no longer our sins. They belonged to Jesus now. For over four minutes, the pastor went down the list as the Father told his Son all the ways He had wronged Him. I found myself in the midst of that agreeing with Pilate - THIS MAN IS INNOCENT! Jesus didn't do any of these things. It was all me. It's not right that He hangs there for my sins. It's not fair! It was absolutely heartbreaking. To hear Jesus, the perfect Lamb, being forsaken and punished in such a personal way delivered a big impact. In that moment, it made me stop and think that if my going to hell could have prevented Jesus from enduring that, it would be worth it. Upon further reflection, I realized that is exactly what Jesus was saying about me.

Tornadoes - It's a different kind of heartbreak. Hearing and seeing the stories of those affected by the storms has been difficult. Just over a week ago, St. Louis endured it's worst tornado damage since the 70s but no one perished. Now, after the destruction in Alabama and other southern states it seems like what we had here was a minor event. Today, I saw the story of a man in Alabama who had worked in coal mines all his life. He said that what took him 50 years to accumulate was gone in 30 seconds. Again and again, I have heard people say that they are just thankful to be alive. It's ironic that for so many of us we have to lose everything in order to realize that we have everything.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tonight's Thought

I am reaching the conclusion that the most important part of a Christian's life is more deeply understanding the words "Lord" and "Savior".

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Easter service with Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill:

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live . . .” — Jesus Christ (John 11:25)

"The resurrection was God's way of stamping PAID IN FULL right across history so that nobody could miss it." - Tim Keller

"The fact of the resurrection of Jesus is what makes the gospel story not merely a great experience to read, but a life-changing power." - Tim Keller

"The happy ending of the Resurrection is so enormous that it swallows up even the sorrow of the Cross." - Tim Keller

From Dan Darling...

I’m writing this as I’m meditating on the most beautiful moment in the history of the world. It is the moment when the risen Jesus says, “Mary.” Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows the names of his sheep. And Mary was a most earnest seeker of Jesus. She had a past to be ashamed of, baggage that would embarrass most of us, things we wouldn’t talk about in polite company.

When Jesus call out to Mary, He was revealing Himself as the risen Savior. Everyone who knew Jesus, who was a witness to His unjust trial, knew that Jesus had died. John was there at the cross and saw the soldier pierce Jesus’ side. The centurions and soldiers knew Jesus was dead—so dead they didn’t have to break his legs to hasten death. The disciples knew Jesus was dead and ran away in fear.

So that’s why Jesus appearance to Mary and the speaking of words to her were and are so profound. It means that Jesus is alive. And if Jesus is alive, it means that the salvation he purchased on the cross for you and me is secure. It means the Father was satisfied by the sacrifice of the Son.

For you and me, it means we have a substitute, Jesus, who pleased God on our behalf. IT means we can now walk with God in peace. It means the wrath of God toward me for my sin was satisfied in Christ.

It also means that I can please God. It means that all of the commandments of God, those things I must to do obey God, I can now do. This is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “without the resurrection, we are of all men most miserable.” Why are we miserable? Because if Jesus stayed dead, then there is no sacrifice for sins, I have no substitute, and I have no way of pleasing God. I’m still under his wrath.

But, because Jesus rose. Because Jesus called Mary’s name (and calls my name and your name), Easter is a moment of grand celebration, the greatest holiday on the calendar. And really Easter should be celebrated every day.

This is why the most important question in your life and mine is this: “What will I do with Jesus.” There is really no other question in the world. This is a question for those who don’t know Jesus and seek him. But it’s also a question for those who do know Jesus and yet seek to follow him faithfully. The gospel message is a call to unbelievers and a call to believers.

So as you work your way through life, filter every life’s question through this important grid: What am I doing with Jesus?