Saturday, February 28, 2009

2 Bloody Knees

"In 1994, Deborah Kemp stopped to fill her car with gas. As she left to pay the attendant, someone jumped in her car to steal it. Deborah fought back. The thirty-four-year-old woman was dragged for several blocks as she clung to the steering wheel. Kemp eventually pulled the man from the moving car and beat him with an anti-theft device until he begged her to stop. When police arrived on the scene, they determined that Deborah had two bloody knees while the thief had two broken legs and numerous head injuries.

Why did Deborah Kemp value her car that much? She didn't. Her six-year-old daughter Ashleye was in the backseat."

Do I love my kids that much? Do you?

From Steve Wright's book ApParent Privilege. His blog

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Man vs. Machine

“Compassion: that’s the one thing no machine ever had. Maybe it’s the one thing that keeps men ahead of them.” - Dr. Leonard McCoy, Star Trek: The Original Series 

Monday, February 23, 2009

ApParent Privilege

Steve Wright, youth pastor of 20 years and father of 3, has made a valuable contribution to my family...and to the church as well.

Bringing parents and church leaders back to our biblical roots of discipleship being driven by both pedals of family and church, Wright calls for balance that is sorely lacking in our families today.

He clarion call, however, is to parents to reclaim the responsibility and privilege we have to discipline our children in the training of the Lord. 

He includes foundational principles, practical ideas and even a short job description for dads. He did a good job of challenging me as a father without pummeling me with a spiritual hammer. I came away with a new resolve to better father my girls and lead my family to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. I also was spurred on to teach this to our parents at our church.

I believe this is a book every parent or parent to be should read and take to heart. It's substantive but not overwhelming. It's intelligent without being overly academic. I love Steve's passion for the family and the local church. A great treasure here.

There is also small group or Sun. school curriculum available. You can get a sample and check it out.

I believe this perspective will shape our preschool, children and youth ministries at our church for years to come. It's that important. I look forward to reading the sequel ReThink.

Sample Curriculum that goes with book

Friday, February 20, 2009

Secular Music can lead to light

“I've never been one to separate myself from secular music. It doesn’t matter what career you have. If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, conversations are gonna start and the light is gonna present itself one way or another.” - Grammy-award winning singer James Ingram (Christianmusictoday.com) 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Near Death Experience

Some of you have been praying with me for David and Amanda Currie. There's a great article here that tells some of the story and where things are today. Please continue to pray for this family. dg

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monday Night Jihad

This fast-paced novel adds an NFL insiders perspective on a Clancy-like thriller without a lot of tedious detail. It moves and is fun. And best of all, there's a sequel that picks up where this one leaves off. (came out in Jan. '09) I recommend you pick it up today!

The authors do a great job too of helping you work through the idea of Christians and Muslims dialoguing about their faith, their doubts, and their biases in believable banter. Great insight into the Muslim mind from this Christian. I came away with greater compassion for my Muslim friends and acquaintances. 

Monday Night Jihad

Monday Night Jihad

by Jason Elam, Steve Yohn - Fiction - 2008 - 358 pages
After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Riley Covington is living his dream as a professional linebacker when he comes face-to-face with a radical terrorist group...
Limited preview - About this book -  In my library [ Remove ] More editions

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Crazy Love, Crazy Ride

Crazy Love is the best book I've read in a long time. It challenged me because it's loaded with Scripture that challenges me. And Francis Chan writes as he preaches--sort of in your face (but he's smiling and so you're smiling), directly challenging your casual faith in Christ.

He talks a lot about being obsessed with Jesus and what that looks like in the Bible and today. (lots of examples) He calls lukewarm Christians an oxymoron (they don't exist, he says). He insists that if you are lukewarm you're not a Christ-follower.

There is also a great website with video clips that supplement the book. They include a gospel presentation and intro for each chapter. You really get to know Francis through this book and website. 

There is now a curriculum/DVD series that goes with the book too. I'm looking forward to taking groups through this book. 

Personally, God is challenging me to live more by faith and less by my feelings and circumstances. Less by what people think of me and more of what God thinks of me. God used Francis to shake me up and spur me on in the faith. Thanks Francis and praise God!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm Ashamed

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. -Jesus, Matthew 5:10-12

It's telling and ironic that there is this tendency to want to be popular as a preacher of the Gospel (just being honest here). In light of how Jesus lived and was treated (the One I regularly exhort others to follow), you'd think I would want the opposite. 

Preacher/Pastor Francis Chan once said he thought that if Jesus had a church in his town that his (Chan's) church would be bigger. He wasn't bragging. He was admitting that he doesn't call people to the kind of commitment that Jesus did. As a result, he has a bigger church than he would if he called them to the same commitment.

When they treat us the way they treated Him (Jesus), it is evidence that we are starting to live as He lived. -Warren Wiersbe

I'm ashamed to say that few treat me like they treated Jesus. I guess I don't live very much like He did yet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One way to follow Jesus

You can follow Jesus many ways. One is illustrated by Levi in Luke 5. (not Strauss but the tax collector dude aka. Matthew)

Jesus calls this most unlikely character to follow him in spite of the social stigma attached to tax collectors. Levi responds enthusiastically by throwing a party. And he doesn't just invite his new Christian buddies, although he does make Jesus the guest of honor. He also invites his tax collector peers. Why? He wants them to meet the same Jesus that changed his life. 

How was Levi's life changed? Well for one thing, he saw all that he owned in a different light now. It was no longer his but God's to be used to get people to Jesus. So he throws a party at his expense, hosts all these people at his house and then watches God work. Pretty simple if you think about it. 

So why don't we do this?

It's not like we can't afford to throw a great party. And it's not like we don't have great homes. But we have our excuses. Too much work. They won't come. They'll trash the house. I'm not a good host. I don't have my act together. I'm embarrassed to let people see my house. 

Not Levi. He invites them. He follows Jesus. 

So, if Jesus asks you to follow Him, are you in? It says that Levi "left everything and followed him."

So I'll ask again: Are you in? Are you following Jesus?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Key Ingredient

What's the key ingredient in becoming a great NFL quarterback? Being on an NFL roster! You have to be a member of the family before you can be considered a great member of the family.

The same is true for following Christ. You can play pickup football imitating all the great moves of your favorite players but until you have that life-changing event of making an NFL team, you have not shot at Canton, the Pro Bowl or even being a great player. 

You can imitate Jesus in spurts. But you can't follow Jesus on your own. You need to have a life-changing encounter with God. Peter did on his fishing boat in Luke 5. Have you?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Free Song & story behind by Chris Tomlin


"Praise The Father, Praise The Son"
Chris tells the story behind this new song for the church...
There are always those songs that you hold an extra special place in your heart. This is one of those for me. Ed Cash and I wrote this song on the last night of recording my vocals for the record. All of the songs were already recorded and we were happy with where we were. But I am always open to God possibly breathing another song along the way. On this night, Ed grabbed his guitar and told me he wanted to play this melody that he felt was special and that he had been using in some times of ministry with his church family. It kind of reminded me of how the Bible teaches that David would play and it would bring peace and healing. Ed sang a few lyric ideas for the verse and I immediately just began to sing out the chorus you hear on the record. It was one of the moments where you knew you were not in charge, and we both just sat there with tears in our eyes, stunned at what was happening. I do feel this song, in particular, is one that any church, with any style of worship can sing. It continues to be my heart to write songs that give voice to the generations now and the ones that are to come and I sense this is one of those songs. Download the Free Sheet Music and watch the New Song Cafe!

Free Songs 
Praise The Father, Praise The Son
Chris Tomlin
You Lifted Me Out
Chris Tomlin
Jesus Messiah
Chris Tomlin
Johnny Parks Band

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Discipleship 101 is 1 on 1

This hits at the heart of what I'm to do as a husband, dad and pastor. It probably applies to you as well. Certainly if you're a Christ-follower. dg

How Do Pastors Raise Up Pastors?

Part 2 of an interview with Mark Dever

Click here for part 1 of this interview, "Raising Up Pastors Is the Church's Work"


9Marks: Starting with day one of your pastorate at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, you didn't have an internship program. What little things did you start doing to help equip future pastors?

Mark Dever: 
Taking my sermon preparation very seriously; praying for evangelism and discipling; trying to model that by befriending non-Christians; sharing the gospel with them; befriending members of the church and trying to help them grow in Christ; watching who responds to my work, who picks up on the pattern, and who begins to reduplicate what I do with others; praying in particular for those brothers. That's a sign that that person should be an elder—whether or not they're paid. 

Also, I took our inductive Bible study on Wednesday nights seriously. As soon as I got here, every Sunday night and Wednesday night I would try to give out a book—a good book—which slowly but surely seasons the congregation with good books. And some of those books, at least, get read. If nothing else, I'm familiarizing the whole congregation with names of authors that are trustworthy and that I think will help them; and they'll notice other names are absent.

In short, raising up future pastors is done through faithfully pastoring and discipling your church. For a lot of men, this may mean recovering what it simply means to pastor and disciple biblically. Internships programs and the like can be useful for equipping future leaders, but they are not necessary. And if you don't start with faithful pastoring and discipling, neither internships nor seminaries amount to much. 

Full interview here