Here are six straightforward ideas to challenge middle (and upper) class Americans to reject opulence and excess while building the kingdom of God: Keep your high paying job and give the majority of your income away by living in a small house (not every kid deserves their own room) and driving modest cars (Chevy gets you there just as well as Lexus). Use your vacation time to go on a short term mission trip with your church or missions organization. Host international students from the local college or university during weekends or holidays. Start or join an urban ministry reaching … Continue reading 6 Ways to Be Middle Class and Mission-Minded
Do you ever feel like you get so busy in life that you only work in your life and not on your life? In other words, how much time do you spend intentionally thinking about actions that need to be taken and then actually do them? Most of us, and I have felt this of late, simply react to what life brings. Not a lot of intentionality — just reactivity. Not a lot of preparation–just muddled busyness that general life brings. I’m talking about spiritual things here. Killing sin, memorizing scripture, pursuing my wife, serving people, investing in men. These … Continue reading Saturday Morning Potpourri
This is an article from last year written by Greg Doyel of CBS Sports. Doyel writes about the so-called “anti-abortion” ad that Focus on the Family ran with Tim Tebow and his mother during the Super Bowl. Basically, he wrote that it was wrong to run a 30-second “political” ad during the Super Bowl. He writes, “Still, I don’t want to see. Not during the damn Super Bowl. And I’m not complaining about the ad because it’s anti-abortion and I’m not. I’m complaining about the ad because it’s pro-politics. And I’m not. Not on Super Sunday. If you’re a sports … Continue reading Do you avoid what is serious, controversial, and eternal?
Romans 1:11-12 says, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. Here’s what John Calvin writes about these verses in his Commentary on Romans: See to what degree of modesty [Paul’s] pious heart submitted itself, so that he disdained not to seek confirmation from inexperienced beginners: nor did he speak dissemblingly, for there is no one so void of gifts in the Church of Christ, who is not able to contribute something to … Continue reading Calvin on Romans 1:11-12
From time to time I receive family-oriented and faith-friendly movies to review on this blog from a Christian marketing company. I have done a terrible job of writing reviews, so I’m attempting to catch up. Today, I saw Bringing Up Bobby, a comedy about a weird family twelve years after their parents death. The four kids are James, Andrea, Dennis, and Bobby. James and has served as both big brother and surrogate parent for the last dozen years and he’s ready to start a relationship. Andrea is greedy, and a controlling wife to her husband Walter. Dennis (or “The Dennis” as … Continue reading Bringing Up Bobby Review
Goodbye 2010. Hello 2011.
In 2010, I adjusted to life in America after coming home from Africa in late 2009. The year started out pretty good for me: I got married to my best friend Carly on January 16. Over the next 12 months, I worked three different jobs. My wife and I lived in three different residences. We became members at our church and it became home to us. We completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University…twice. (Therefore, we paid off thousands of dollars of student debt and paid off our car loan.) I read through the entire Bible. I started raising financial support to work at my church as a pastoral intern.
The list could go on, but I’ll stop for now. The common thread with 2010, as with every other year of my life, was God’s faithfulness and grace. His presence was clear, his comfort was gentle, his grace was sweet, and his rebuke was heavy. More often than not, the many species of pride in my life — self-pity, anger, bitterness, defensiveness, envy — clouded my view of these glorious things.
Happy New Year, friend. And it will be a happy new year, if you have God in your life. I think a recent Tweet by John Piper is appropriate:
God promises new troubles (Mat. 6:34), new mercies (Lam 3:23), and new hope (2 Cor 4:16) for every day this year.
The troubles will only make sense, and the mercies and hope will only be fulfilling, if Jesus is at the center of your 2011. I pray he is.
(If you want to see some stats from 2010 for this blog, click on the link below.)