Mr. Harry and Spicy

When I arrived at home today I was greeted by a strange looking ,three-legged-dog named Mr. Harry. (He looked very similar to the dog in the picture.) Yet, Mr. Harry didn't let his strange appearance or his handicap stop him from putting the moves on my dog Spicy. Sadly, for Mr. Harry, he got the cold shoulder. I think the relationship was doomed from the start considering that Spicy is ten times bigger than Mr. Harry. Maybe he'll have better luck with some other dog around the neighborhood.


Slow Start

Well, the NFL preseason is almost over, and the Carolina Panthers are 1-2. Hopefully, they can pull off a win against Pittsburgh before the regular season gets started. It would be awesome to see them get started with a couple of wins. But win or lose, I'll still be cheering them on throughout the season.


The Priority of Work

Last Sunday I preached the latest sermon in our current sermon series, The Big Rocks. In this sermon, Your Work As Ministry, I deal with the priority of work and how it fits in with our other God-given callings. If you haven't been keeping up with the series, I encourage you to download the previous sermons, listen, and enjoy!


Summer Youth Trip Photos

Well, I've finally posted some photos from the summer youth trip. We made our way from SC to NC to TN to KY to OH and back again. We spent most of our time at Big Bone Lick State Park and the Creation Museum. We had an awesome time, so take a few moments to see a few pictures from our trip.


Preparing Rain

"Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love" -Psalm 147:7-11

As Amy and I were driving back from Erskine today, we noticed a corn field that stretched out as far as our eyes could see. Yet, instead of seeing the bright-green-glow of healthy corn, all we saw were brown and brittle leaves. The corn was dry and dead.

It has been weeks since the ground has felt the refreshment of rain. Everything is dry and dying around us. And this should remind us of our utter dependance on God. All creation is dependant on its Creator. If He did not prepare the rain, it would never come. If He did not cause the grass to grow, the hills would be empty. If He did not feed the beasts or the ravens, they would perish. If the Lord did not send us His Spirit, we would never arise from death.


The Lord does prepare rain, cause the grass to grow, and feed the beasts and ravens. And He does breathe life into dry bones. "Thus says the Lord God to these bones: "Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord'” (Ezekiel 37:5,6).

New Student Orientation

Amy and I spent the day in Due West, SC at Erskine Seminary. I was able to register for classes and meet the faculty, staff, and other incoming students. I'm taking a small course load this semester: Early/Medieval Church History and Greek I. I'm really looking forward to being back in school, but I know that it is going to be a real challenge to keep priorities in order. I guess our current sermon series couldn't have come at a better time. (By the way, I'll be preaching this Sunday on the priority of work.)


Play-Doh Creation

While Amy and I did some work this morning, Alora spent her time creating this Play-Doh masterpiece:


Recovering a Reformed Paradigm

In a previous post, From Infancy Onward, my hope was to point toward a different paradigm of how children within the church should be treated. Our children must be taught about the promises of God that belong to them. We must exhort them to believe and follow their gracious God in faith, for all of their lives. Sadly, in most evangelical churches, the children of believers are treated no differently than the children of unbelievers. Instead of trusting that God is at work in our children, we assume that they are in the same position as pagan children. We expect for them to go through some type of gut-wrenching conversion experience before we believe that they can really know the Lord. Yet, we must take into account the words of Peter where he proclaims, "For the promise is for you and for your children" (Acts 2:39). And do not let us forget the Apostle Paul's words in which he says that the children of believers "are holy"(1 Corinthians 7:14).

Of course, I wholeheartedly affirm that all of mankind is sinful and in need of the work of the Spirit. I am certainly a black-coffee Calvinist. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). But I also want to take into account the full scope of the Word.

Apparently, I am not alone in my thoughts. A couple of weeks ago I came across this lengthy quote from John. W. Nevin in this post called, On the Bench and Catechism. Check it out.



Yesterday, I finally received my first shipment from the IVP Book Club. For joining the club they let me choose five free books, and all I had to do was pay $8.97 for shipping! Well, here are the books they sent me:

The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission by Donald G. Bloesch

Mark: The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture edited by Thomas C. Oden and Christopher A. Hall

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery edited by Leland Ryken, James C. Whilhoit and Tremper Longman III

The IVP Dictionary of the New Testament edited by Daniel G. Reid

The Bible Background Commentary, New Testament by Craig S. Keener


From Infancy Onward

"Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust at my mother's breasts. On you I was cast from my birth, and from my mother's womby you have been my God."-Psalm 22:9,10

"For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you." -Psalm 71:5,6

In his book, Paedofaith, Rich Lusk writes:
The Psalter treats infant trust not as a sporadic, occasional, or unpredictable reality, but as the norm in covenant children. God gives us believing children to work with and nurture. In this way, covenant children are a blessing and reward from the Lord. As we help them grow to mature faith, we fulfill the purpose of the cross-generational covenant promises. The psalmist has many remarkably deep, vivid, datable, and narratable experiences of God's grace, but he still maintains he was a believer from infancy; he trusted in God and knew Him from the very beginning of life. In this way, the Psalter norms Christian experience for the child growing up in a Christian environment. The experience of the psalmist should be the experience of our offspring. Our children belong to Christian homes and, like David, should learn to regard themselves as believers from infancy onward, not necessarily on the basis of experience, but as a corollary of the covenant promises.



"Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long...May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you." -Psalm 25:5,21





I like immediate results, quick answers and speedy resolutions. I want to pray, then see God answer without delay. I wanted God to work according to my timetable. So, when I come to a text like the one quoted above, my impatience is tested and my need for repentence is made clear. I am not the sovereign God of the universe!

In his book When I Don't Desire God, John Piper writes,
We are like farmers. They plow the field and plant the seed and cut away weeds and scare away crows, but they do not make the crop grow. God does. He sends rain and sunshine and brings to maturity the hidden life of the seed. We have our part. But it is not coercive or controlling. And there will be times when the crops fail. Even then God has his ways of feeding the farmer and bringing him through a lean season.

We must learn to wait for the Lord. King David gave us an example of this in Psalm 40...Here is a man after God's own heart (1 Sam.13:14), who spent time in the 'pit of destruction and in the 'miry bog'--where there was no song in his mouth. How long was he there? We are not told. What matters is what he did there. He waited for the Lord. He could not make the Lord come. He could wait and hope and trust that he would come. And he did come. He put David's feet on a rock and put a new song in his mouth.

David waited on the Lord because he knew that "all the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies" (v.10). David waited. And I will wait, hope and trust too.