Sunday, December 4, 2011

Photo Card

Initially Snowflake Christmas
Visit for classic photo Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Family Pics

We went to the Murrell Home the other day with Bethany and Matt Wheeler and got some new family pictures taken.  Bethany did a great job with my unruly mob :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just For Fun

I've been slowly working on learning to play the ocarina.  I'm sure it looks silly when I wear this thing around my neck but it really helps to keep it close by so that I can practice when I have a free second or two.  This is a video of some amazing ocarina playing.  He's using a different style of ocarina than the ones I use but I love how this shows that they are legitimate musical instruments.  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pro-Choice 180

I so appreciate Ray Comfort and the service he does for the cause of Christ.  I'd encourage you to watch the following video and show it to others. 

Thankful for life,


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spiritually Dull?

John Bunyon

Sometimes when my heart has been hard, dead, slothful, blind, and senseless, which indeed are sad frames for a poor Christian to be in, yet at such a time, when I have been in such a case, then has the blood of Christ, the precious blood of Christ, the admirable blood of the God of Heaven, that run out of His body when it did hang on the Cross, so softened, livened, quickened, and enlightened my soul, that truly, reader, I can say, O it makes me wonder!

The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded (London, 1708), 183.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Five Ways To Make God Known At School This Year

Below are five ways to make God known this next school year – all of them are important. When one of them is missing, the witness to the truth of Christ suffers.

1. Doing your school work to the best of your ability shows the excellence and greatness of God.

2. Being a young man or young woman of integrity shows the integrity and holiness of God.

3. The love you show to students in your classes, in the hallway, at lunch, during sports, at band practice, etc.  shows the love of God.

4. The way you handle money shows the value of God compared to other things.

5. The spoken message you give to the reality of Jesus Christ shows the doorway to all these things in your life and their possibility in the lives of others.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How Should I Study the Bible?

“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). As we approach the Bible we must look at every word, verse, sentence, paragraph, and book as relating to the Good News of Jesus Christ. I was just listening to a White Horse Inn broadcast where Mike Horton was interviewing Dennis Johnson, author of Him We Proclaim, Preaching Christ in All the Scriptures, and Johnson gave some simple and helpful advice for filtering our study of Scripture through Christ as we interpret it. In essence we come to each passage of the Bible and ask how this relates to Christ in one of His roles: Prophet, Priest, and King.

Priest – Jesus’ role of Priest serves our central need to be reconciled to God, the need for forgiveness and reconciliation. Here the guilty person is made righteous by the slaughter of the spotless Lamb in his place – by this we are justified, that is we are declared not guilty and are acceptable and pleasing in His sight.

King – as the King, Jesus is the one who rules us AND the one who obeys in our place. He is the perfect picture of true submission. Our King tells us how to live, lived perfectly for us in our place, and leaves us an example to look to.

Prophet – as the true Prophet, Jesus is the one who speaks God’s truth to us. He challenges us to live in the reality of this world as God has revealed it to us. As the Bible says, Jesus is the very Word (Message) of God.

If we come to the Bible merely to see what it is that we are supposed to be doing then we will fall headlong into legalism and failure. It is only the Gospel that frees us and empowers us to live as our Lord has called us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Become a Trader :)

I think I need to watch this video every day. I so want to live every day for Christ and not be conformed to this present world!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Does it matter how we approach the Bible?

In my circles we throw around alot of theological terms and one that must be near the top of my list in importance is the term "exegesis."  Now you might read that and not even know how to correctly pronounce it let alone what it means.  Here's a great video of a discussion between two of my living spiritual heroes discussing this important subject.  Enjoy!

RC Sproul interviews DA Carson on biblical exegesis from Ligonier on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easter Worship for Families

How will you celebrate the Resurrection with your family?  One idea that we have used for a few years now is called "Lenten Lights."  This time of worship follows the last week of Jesus' life leading up to our His crucifixion and culminating in a celebration of the resurrection.  The holidays can be wonderful times to help teach and encourage our families to keep the Savior our central focus.  Maybe this coming Easter season can be a jump start for regular family devotional times.  Below is the transcript that you can use for your own Easter family worship this year.  This is adapted from a resource from Noel Piper.

To try this with your family you'll need a Bible and seven candles that you can use throughout the week.  Also, I'd encourage you to read through the whole thing to get an understanding of what's going on before you try it as a family.

April 16, Saturday of Palm Sunday weekend (All seven candles lit before reading)

Read: God created the universe – from galaxies to water spiders. He created the breeze that calms us and the hurricane that terrifies us. All of it is to show what He is like, to display His glory and personality. BUT people have let themselves be blinded and say it just got there somehow – no need for God. Others worship the things that were created and don’t see God behind it.

Read: John 1:1-5; Genesis 1:1, 31, 2:1-3; Romans 1:18-23 (snuff out one candle. Do not light it again until Easter) Romans 1:25.

April 17, Palm Sunday (Six candles lit before reading)

Read: God created people to give Him glory. And He created a perfect place for them – a place that reflected His glory. He gave them everything they could need or want for happiness. BUT they listened to God’s enemy. They didn’t really believe God’s gifts to them were good enough for them. So they turned their backs on God, and they lost their perfect place to live and their perfect friendship with God. Now they could see pain and futility and death in their future.

Read: Genesis 2:8-9, 16; 3:1, 6-13, 16-19 (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Romans 5:12.

April 18, Monday before Easter (Five candles lit before reading)

Read: Usually God holds back His anger over sin. But one time He let it loose, so we would know how serious it is to turn our backs away from God and toward darkness, and so we would know how great His wrath is against sin. BUT He did not totally destroy His creation. He showed us His mercy, through Noah.

Read: Genesis 6:5-9, 11-14 (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Genesis 6:17-22; 7:12, 23; 8:1, 20-22; 9:12-15

April 19, Tuesday before Easter (Four candles lit before reading)

Read: Even before the world was created, God knew that Jesus would be the Way, the Truth, and the Life for all who believed in Him. But God didn’t just ignore His people then, waiting until the time came for Jesus. No, He gave them a way to be forgiven. If they offered sacrifices from a heart of worship, they could renew their friendship with God as they proved their reliance on Him. BUT people did not rely on God. Some did not follow His way of sacrifice and worship. And there was an even deeper problem. Many may have followed the outward ritual, but they didn’t trust God in their hearts. They didn’t love Him. They didn’t live lives that reflected His glory.

Read: Leviticus 1:1-4; Psalm 51:16-17; Jeremiah 7:21-26 (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Jeremiah 7:27-28

April 20, Wednesday before Easter (Three candles lit before reading)

Read: God wants people to be happy. And the only way we can be truly happy is by following His instructions. So He gave us His Word, His written Word, to make very clear to us where our life comes from and how we can keep it. BUT again and again we think our ideas are better than God’s. And we turn from life to death.

Read: Psalm 19:7-11; Daniel 9:4-6 (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Daniel 9:7-11

April 21, Thursday before Easter (Two candles lit before reading)

Read: God made very sure that we could understand who He is, what He is like, and what He wants for us and what He wants from us. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus. Now we don’t have just the written Word, we have the Living Word – a real person. When people watched Jesus, they were seeing God. BUT even God Himself, God in person, was rejected. People hated Him and rejected His message from God.

Read: John 3:16; Luke 2:6-7; Isaiah 53:3; (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Mark 10:32-34

April 22, Good Friday (One candles lit before reading)

Read: This was the darkest day in history. The Son of God Himself was killed by people who weren’t satisfied simply to reject Him; they couldn’t stand to have Him exist. They thought they could put God out of existence.

Read: Mark 15:22-25; Acts 7:51-53; 2:22-23; (Snuff the next candle. Do not light again until Easter.) Isaiah 53:4-6

April 23, Saturday before Easter (No candles. No readings. Let this serve as a reminder of the emptiness experienced by Jesus’ followers between his death and resurrection.)

April 24, Easter Sunday (Begin with no candles lit)

Read: HE IS GOD! He cannot stay dead. HE IS ALIVE. The true Glory of God shines in the world. The Light has won! The Eternal Light! The Bright Morning Star! The Light of the World!

Read: Matthew 28:5-6; (LIGHT ALL THE CANDLES) Colossians 1:15-23; 1 Peter 1:3-4



Adapted from Lenten Lights by Noel Piper,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Redeeming Your iPhone

Are your electronics distracting you to death?  Here's a great challenge from Pastor John Piper that we need to hear in our digital age.

Are apps a threat to God-focus? Yes. But it works both ways. Fight fire with fire.

If you are reading your Bible on your computer or your smartphone or your iPad, the presence of the email app and the news apps and the Facebook app threaten every moment to drag your attention away from the word of God.

True. Fight that. If your finger offends you, cut it off. Or use any other virtuous violence (Matthew 11:12) that sets you free to rivet your soul on God.

But don’t take mainly a defensive posture. Fight fire with fire.

Why should we think of the Facebook app threatening the Bible app? Why not the Bible app threatening the Facebook app, and the email app, and the RSS feeder, and the news?

Resolve that today you will press the Bible app three times during the day. No five times. Ten times! Maybe you will lose control and become addicted to Bible! Again and again get a two-minute dose of life-giving Food. Man shall not live by Facebook alone.

I’m serious. Never has God’s voice been so easily accessible. The ESV app is free. The OliveTree BibleReader app is free. And so are lots of others. Let the Bible threaten your focus. Or better: Let the Bible bring you back to reality over and over during the day.
Fighting with you,


Thursday, January 13, 2011

God's Call for Us All - Do Hard Things, Don't Waste Your Life

Please pray with me as I think through how to challenge our own youth to not waste their lives but to do hard things for the glory of our amazing God.  Who knows, maybe God will even move our adults to do hard things too :)


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Should the Church Work on Social and Political Problems?

I love this answer from Pastor John Piper

Yes . . .

If you mean: Should ten million Christians take 10 hours a week spent watching TV, and give that time to worthy social and political engagement.

No . . .

If you mean: The pastors should leave their Bible study and pulpits and counseling and evangelism, and put that time into politics and social ministries.
May we not waste our lives, and may we keep the main thing the main thing - for His glory!!!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Birthday King James Bible!

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the printing of the King James Bible, 1611 to 2011.  God has blessed us richly by continuing to give us His eternal, settled word in our own language.  Below are three short clips on how the King James Bible came to be.  Enjoy!

Justin Taylor Interview: Leland Ryken, "The History of the King James Bible" (part 1 of 3) from Crossway on Vimeo.

Justin Taylor Interview: Leland Ryken, "The History of the King James Bible" (part 2 of 3) from Crossway on Vimeo.

Justin Taylor Interview: Leland Ryken, "The History of the King James Bible" (part 3 of 3) from Crossway on Vimeo.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Get in the Word This New Year!

Many people I talk to say that they struggle to get into Scripture regularly and/or meaningfully.  Recently I've been desiring to and attempting to (but failing miserably) memorize larger portions of Scripture, specifically the book of Philippians.  The idea of memorizing this particular book just keeps popping up over and over again from different sources in my life.  This leads me to a resouce I found just the other day that I want to commend to whomever might be interested.  It is a sixteen week plan for memorizing the book of Philippians (just click the last sentence to see the blog post).

We desperately need to work to not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).  I've learned again and again that if I am not being transformed to the mind of Christ then I am, by default, being conformed to this present age in which I live (and so are you).  I hope that some will join me in this endeavor to memorize the book of Philippians.  Shelly and I plan to begin next week.  As a side note if you are looking for the Moleskine notebooks they have some of the 3.5 x 5.5 plastic cover versions at our NSU bookstore.  I actually like these better than the ones suggested in Tim's blog.  The ones at NSU are 80 pages long allowing you to space out the sixteen sections a little more widely so that there is more room to journal your meditations for the week :)

Also here are a few options you could use for your Bible reading program for this year:

Discipleship Journal
This plan from NavPress's Discipleship Journal lays out four daily readings, but only for 25 days per month (let's face it we all get behind).  This is my personal favorite for someone who wants to read through the whole Bible in one year (which I have never accomplished).

For Shirkers and Slackers
I just came across this one today and it now is probably my favorite plan for someone who wants some structure in their Bible reading and who wants to eventually read the entire Bible.  There are no time limits, and no way to get behind, yet it allows you to keep track of what you have read.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan
You may or may not know this but our Bible's are not compiled in chronological order.  The goal of this plan is to read through the Bible in a year taking the sections of Scripture as they would happen in chronological order.  I've not done this yet, but is sounds interesting.

Whatever you decide to do - do it!  Don't let yourself merely float or simply think that you can get your spiritual nourishment on Sundays and Wednesdays.  If you are feasting on Christ and His word throughout the week then you will come to church hungry for more; but conversely, if you feast on the white bread of laziness during the week you will come to church not hungry at all and will receive little to no nourishment.  Fight the fight of faith.

Wanting to hunger more,