reformed right brain

Friday, August 29, 2008

A new family blog coming soon

As time has permitted I have been compiling a new blog for our journey as a family in joining the Lord in what He is doing amongst the nations...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Far East Culture

Steady Agricultural Development
In 1997, the total output of grain, cotton and edible oil came to 490 million tons, 4.6 million tons and 21.57 million tons, increasing respectively by 62.1 percent, 112.4 percent and 313.5 percent over 1978. The output of milk and eggs was 4.5 times and 2.7 times as much as those in the early 1980s. The output of grain and cotton jumped to No.1 in the world. The total output value of agriculture, forestry, husbandry and fishery reached 2.4709 trillion yuan, 2.4-fold increase over 1978 after adjustment for price factors with an average annual increase of 6.6 percent which is 2.8 times as much as that before the initiation of reform and opening to the outside world. By the end of 1997, township and town enterprises throughout the country added up to 2,015 and provided 130 million job opportunities for the surplus labor force in the countryside. At the end of 1997, the original value of fixed assets of township and town enterprises exceeded one trillion yuan, current assets came to over 1.3 trillion yuan, business income totaled 3.8 trillion yuan, tax paid and profit turned to the state amounted to 323.8 billion yuan and these enterprises retained nearly 200 billion yuan of profit.
A cultural market is fast emerging.
The reform program has given rise to a booming cultural market. That market encompasses performances, books, newspapers and magazines, fine arts, films, audio and video products, entertainment, historical relics, Sino-foreign cultural exchanges and art training. Meanwhile, problems have arisen along with the booming market. In 1993, a national working conference was held on regulating the burgeoning cultural market. At that meeting, the principle of "attaching equal importance to cultural prosperity and market regulation" was set forth. A series of related policies and regulations have been formulated and promulgated sinc
e. The promulgation of the Regulations on Commercial Performance Administration in 1997, in particular, represented a major milestone in cultural market legislation. Over the past years, a planned and step-by-step effort to tackle problems in the cultural market has been made and the result has been good. The macro-control measures taken to regulate the performance market, in particular, have created a positive market environment for the growth of traditional Chinese arts and classical Western arts. The rearrangement of the audio and video market has resulted in an obvious increase in the market share of authentic products. Since January 1997, a program-supply system has been introduced to ensure that video projection rooms all over the country play only authentic films, thereby ensuring the healthy development of the market.
Statistics show that by 1997 there were 257,378 business entities nationwide affiliated with cultural institutions, employing 1,160,385. That market represents not only a place for entertainment but also a source of employment and tax revenue. The cultural industry, as part of the service industry, is playing an increasingly important role.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Quote of the week

Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus) was one of the greatest theologians of Western Christianity. (In his day the Mediterranean world consisted of an Eastern, Greek-speaking half and a Western, Latin-speaking half, with different ways of looking at things, and different habits of thought.) He was born 13 November 354 in North Africa, about 45 miles south of the Mediterranean, in the town of Tagaste (36:14 N 8:00 E) in Numidia (now Souk-Ahras in Algeria), near ancient Carthage (modern Tunis, 36:50 N 10:13 E). His mother, Monnica, was a Christian , and his father for many years a pagan (although he became a Christian before his death). His mother undertook to bring him up as a Christian, and on one level he always found something attractive about Christ, but in the short run he was more interested in the attractions of sex, fame, and pride in his own cleverness. After a moderate amount of running around as a teen-ager, he took a mistress, who bore him a son when he was about eighteen. Theirs was a long-term relationship, apparently with faithfulness on both sides, and the modern reader is left wondering why he did not simply marry the girl. He never tells us this (and in fact never tells us her name), so that we can only guess. It seems likely that she was a freedwoman, and the laws forbade marriage between a free-born Roman citizen and a slave, or an ex-slave. In a well-known chapter, Augustine describes his conversion. His intellectual objections had lost their force, and he was at a point where the difficulty was that he seemed unable to make a commitment to living chastely, or unable to make a commitment, period. He heard of a group of young men, Christians, one of whom decided to become a desert hermit, whereupon the others, one at a time, made the same commitment, encouraged and inspired by the examples of those in the group who had already done so. (In many circles at that time, becoming a desert hermit had the same overtones as joining the Peace Corps did for many young persons in the 1960's, or joining the armed forces for many in the weeks immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor.) Augustine went aside to ponder the question, "How is it that these young men can make so drastic a commitment, and I cannot take even the first step of declaring myself a Christian?" He heard what seemed to be a child's voice coming from next door, saying over and over, "Tolle, lege; tolle, lege," or, "Pick up and read; pick up and read." Since he could not think of any reason why a child would be saying that, he took it as an omen, and picked up a copy of Paul's Epistle to the Romans. As he opened it, his eye fell on the end of the thirteenth chapter: The night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. As he read, he experienced this as God speaking directly to him, convicting him of his past sins, and offering him forgiveness; calling him to amend his life, and promising him the grace and power to do it. He burst into tears, and surrendered. Later, he wrote: Late have I loved Thee, O Lord; and behold, Thou wast within and I without, and there I sought Thee. Thou was with me when I was not with Thee. Thou didst call, and cry, and burst my deafness. Thou didst gleam, and glow, and dispell my blindness. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace. For Thyself Thou hast made us,and restless our hearts until in Thee they find their ease. Late have I loved Thee, Thou Beauty ever old and ever new. Thou hast burst my bonds asunder; unto Thee will I offer up an offering of praise.
To see God is the promised goal of all our actions and the promised height of all our joys."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Far East Culture

Ethnic Groups
There are 56 ethnic groups in China. The Han people form the largest, numbering 1.1 billion and making up 93.3 percent of the country's population. The other ethnic groups, that is the minority nationalities, total 160 million, only 6.7 percent of the Chinese nation. Of the minority nationalities, 15 have over a million people each; 13 over 100,000 each; 7 over 50,000 each; and 20 have fewer than 50,000 people each. The Han people live all over the country but their compact communities are in the Huanghe, Changjiang and Zhujiang valleys and the Songhua-Liaohe Plain of the northeast. The minority nationalities inhabit 60 percent of the country's total area, and they live mainly in the border regions. All nationalities in China are equal, as stipulated by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, They take part in the administration of state affairs as equals, irrespective of their numbers or the size of areas they inhabit. Every minority nationality is represented in the National People's Congress, which is the highest organ of state power of the People's Republic of China.
Fast Industrial Growth
In 1997, industrial enterprises at the township level and above achieved a total output value of 11.2 trillion yuan, 13-fold increase over 1978 after adjustment for price factors with an average annual increase of 14.9 percent. The state-owned enterprises and collective-owned enterprises increased annually by 7.6 percent and 19.7 percent respectively on the average. The quality of various industrial products improved constantly and the passive state resulting from long-term shortage of industrial products in the country came to an end. As a result, there was a sufficient supply of daily consumer goods in the market. Even the insufficiency of some basic industrial products such as coal and power, which had restricted the growth of Chinese economy, was also noticeably eased up.In the past two decades, China has completed and put into operation 1,906 large and medium-sized industrial projects and increased an investment of 3.2877 trillion yuan in industrial fixed assets. The completion of such large projects as the Beijing-Kowloon Railway, the Nanchang-Kunming Railway and Qinshan and Daya Bay Atomic Power Stations strengthened the national economy for continued development.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Quote of the week

French theologian John Calvin was after Martin Luther the guiding spirit of the Protestant Reformation. If Luther sounded the trumpet for reform Calvin orchestrated the score by which the Reformation became a part of Western civilization. Calvin studied in Paris probably from 1521 to 1526 where he was introduced to humanistic scholarship and to appeals for reform of the church. He then studied law at his father's bidding from about 1525 to 1530. When his father died in 1531 Calvin turned immediately to his first love - study of the classics and theology. Between 1526 and 1531 he experienced a distinctly Protestant conversion. "God" he wrote much later "at last turned my course in another direction by the secret rein of his providence." Calvin's first published work was a commentary on Seneca's De Clementia (1532). A profusion of influential commentaries on books of the Bible followed.

“All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors”

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Far East Culture

The People's Republic of China is the world's argest country by population and is the third largest country by area. China`s recent rapid development has made it a major force in world affairs.


Population: 1.3 billion
Density: 138 per sq km
92% ethnic Han Chinese
55 ethnic minorities (according to the government)
Most of the population live in the east—the historical heartland of China—so density is greater than statistics suggest. Population growth has been controlled by the government promoting late marriages and inducing parents to have only one child. Abortion is legal. Shanghai has a population of 13.5 million and Beijing, the capital, 14.5 million. China is 60 percent rural with an increasing migration of workers to urban areas.


Non-religious 49.58%
Chinese religions 28.5%
Buddhist 8.38%
Christian 7.25%
Traditional ethnic 4.29%
Muslim 2%

The Communist party in the 1960s attempted to eliminate organized religion. Previously the dominant religions in China had been Confucianism [more a moral philosophy than a religion], Daoism and Buddhism. Muslim minority peoples such as the Uyghurs, Kazaks and Kirgiz number 20 million and now practice their religion openly. It is illegal to spread the gospel to anyone under 18. resource from OMF

Friday, October 27, 2006

Quote of the week

Dr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a Protestant Christian who headed much of the evangelical movement of the 20th century. He stood firm against what he saw as false liberal doctrines that had become a part of the Christian denominations of Wales and England. He believed strongly that reformed evangelical Christians ought to leave the old denominations as a protest against the loose, un-biblical doctrines that were getting ever more mainstream.

Dr. Lloyd-Jones was well-known for his expository style of preaching, and the Sunday morning and evening meetings at which he officiated drew crowds of several hundreds, as did the Friday evening Bible studies – which were, in effect, sermons in the same style. He would take many months – even years – to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. His sermons would often be around fifty minutes to an hour in length, attracting many students from universities and colleges in London. His sermons were also transcribed and printed (virtually verbatim) in the weekly Westminster Record, which was read avidly by those who enjoyed his preaching.

"We must listen to those who have been in this world before us…they understood the possibilities of the Christian life. So they sought it and they struggled, and thank God, many of them wrote autobiographies; we also have their sermons and letters. They have told us in detail how they conducted themselves and what they did, and their words are invaluable to us."

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Fish Story

A guy who lives near Lake Conroe (52 miles north of Houston) saw a ball bouncing around; kind of strange in the lake and went to investigate. It turned out to be a flathead catfish who had obviously tried to swallow a basketball which became stuck in its mouth!! The fish was totally exhausted from trying to dive, but unable to because the ball would always bring him back up to the surface. The guy tried numerous times to get the ball out, but was unsuccessful. He finally had his wife cut the ball in order to deflate it and release the hungry catfish. You probably wouldn't have believed this, if you hadn't seen the following pictures...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Quote of the week

Geerhardus Vos, the father of Reformed Biblical Theology, was born in 1862 in the Netherlands. He attended the theological school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, then went to Princeton Seminary, and eventually received his doctorate at Strassburg. After a brief teaching stint at Grand Rapids Vos returned to Princeton as the first chair of Biblical Theology. He remained at Princeton for 39 years, where he taught such eminent men as J. Gresham Machen, John Murray, Ned B. Stonehouse, and Cornelius Van Til. Throughout his career Vos fought against liberalism at every step, especially on such issues as the kingdom of God and Jesus' Messianic self-consciousness. After retiring, Vos lived in California before returning to Grand Rapids, where he died in 1949 at the age of 87.

"Now I do not mean to affirm that in all cases there need be the preaching of false doctrine which involves an open and direct denial of the evangelical truth. It is quite possible that both to the intention and the actual performance of the preacher any departure from the historical faith of the church may be entirely foreign. And yet there may be such a failure in the intelligent presentation of the gospel with the proper emphasis upon that which is primary and fundamental as to bring about a result almost equally deplorable as where the principles of the gospel are openly contradicted or denied. There can be a betrayal of the gospel of grace by silence. There can be disloyalty to Christ by omission as well as by positive offence against the message that he has entrusted to our keeping. It is possible, Sabbath after Sabbath and year after year, to preach things of which none can say that they are untrue and none can deny that in their proper place and time they may be important, and yet to forgo telling people plainly and to forgo giving them the distinct impression that they need forgiveness and salvation from sin through the cross of Christ’ (Grace and Glory, 237-238).” (82, footnote 211)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Quote of the week

Son of a London solicitor, he was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and in 1649 became a minister in Southwark. In 1650 he became a fellow of New College,Oxford and in 1652 received his M.A. 1655 he was appointed chaplain to Henry Cromwell, governor of Ireland, and won a reputation for preaching in Dublin. He returned to London in retirement, but from 1675 he ministered in Bishopgate Street Prebyterian Church, London as joint pastor with Thomas Watson. His sermons were published mostly after his death; they reflect the characteristic Puritan divine's concern for central Gospel themes; the most important work was entitled Existence and Attributes of God.

"His sonship makes his blood valuable. It is blood, and so agreeable to the law in the penalty; it is the blood of the Son of God, and therefore acceptable to the lawgiver in its value. Though it was the blood of the humanity, yet the merit of it was derived from the divinity. It is not his blood as he was the son of the virgin, but his blood as he was the Son of God, which had this sovereign virtue. It is no wonder, therefore, that it should have such a mighty efficacy to cleanse the believers in it, in all ages of the world, from such vast heaps of guilt, since it is the blood of Christ, who was God; and valuable, not so much for the greatness of the punishment whereby it was shed, as the dignity of the person from whom it flowed. One Son of God weighs more than millions of worlds of angels."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sidewalk Art

Julian Beever is an English artist who's known for his famous pavement art in England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Beever gives to his drawings an amazing 3D illusion. For those of you who know me...know; I enjoy good design, although not usually this kind, but this is exceptional. Not only does this have creativity and vision but the knowledge of lighting and shadows, our God is truly an Awesome God to give such talents to men, may we be godly stewards of the talents... etc. God had bestowed on us. I have only selected a few to share with those in the world that have not seen this amazing sidewalk art.

medium: pastel

People are actually avoiding walking in the "hole"

Can you believe this drawing is 40 ft long from the side, kinda adds a little perspective, huh? Just another note of the creativity and thought put into this. If taken from the right angle you get a 3-D image.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Quote of the week

Commonly known as C.H. Spurgeon he was a British Baptist preacher who remains highly influential amongst Reformed Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the "Prince of Preachers." Born in Kelvedon, Essex, Spurgeon's conversion to Christianity came in January 1850 at the age of fifteen. On his way to a scheduled appointment, a snow storm forced him to cut short his intended journey and to turn into a Primitive Methodist chapel in Colchester where, in his own words: "God opened his heart to the salvation message." He preached his first sermon in 1851 and, from the beginning of his ministry, his style and ability were considered to be far above average.

"I cannot agree with those who say that they have 'new truth' to teach. The two words seem to me to contradict each other; that which is new is not true. It is the old that is true, for truth is as old as God himself"

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fellowship of Reformed Churches

Saturday, October 14, 9:00am - 4:00pm at the Leadership Development Center on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The conference is free.

This years Fellowship of Reformed Churches has a updated website for those of ya'll who will be in the area during this time, yes it's in Texas. The theme this year will be "Humble Orthodoxy", check out their website to see who will be speaking and leading us as we continue to undertake the task of "speaking the truth in love" to a world that is watching. See you there!

Monday, October 02, 2006

One to pick up again...and again

I first picked this book up when I was in school in 2001 and was blown away. Bruchko (Bruce Olson) had a calling on his life and was completely dependent on God’s provision even though the people of his community thought differently. In the face of adversary/sickness and persecution he stood in God’s Grace as an modern example of a mission minded heart. He so in-culturated himself that he was in the hammocks and dirt with the people. He lives this out "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." This reviving story will change your life, God is faithful to bring about ways to make us ever dependent on His Grace, even through the suffering of His people. Praise God!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Quote of the week

French theologian John Calvin
( July 10 1509—May 27 1564) was after Martin Luther the guiding spirit of the Protestant Reformation. If Luther sounded the trumpet for reform Calvin orchestrated the score by which the Reformation became a part of Western civilization. Calvin studied in Paris probably from 1521 to 1526 where he was introduced to humanistic scholarship and to appeals for reform of the church. He then studied law at his father's bidding from about 1525 to 1530. When his father died in 1531 Calvin turned immediately to his first love - study of the classics and theology. Between 1526 and 1531 he experienced a distinctly Protestant conversion. "God" he wrote much later "at last turned my course in another direction by the secret rein of his providence." Calvin's first published work was a commentary on Seneca's De Clementia (1532). A profusion of influential commentaries on books of the Bible followed.

“God preordained, for His own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation”

Friday, September 22, 2006

Quote of the week

John Knox (1505, 1513 or 1514–1572) was a Scottish religious reformer who took the lead in reforming the Church in Scotland along Calvinist lines. He is widely regarded as the father of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland and of the Church of Scotland. He died in Edinburgh on November 24, 1572.

"Who will pray must know and understand that prayer is an earnest and familiar talking with God, to whom we declare our miseries, whose support and help we implore and desire in our adversities, and whom we laud and praise for our benefits received. So that prayer contains the exposition of our dolours [sorrows], the desire of God's defence, and the praising of Hs magnificent name, as the psalms of David clearly do teach."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Quote of the week

Baxter is best understood as an eclectic scholastic covenantal theologian for whom the distinction between God's conditional covenant (the voluntas de debito) and his absolute will (the voluntas de rerum eventu) is key to the entire theological enterprise. Despite the difficulty in classifying Baxter, his emphasis on the conditionality of the covenant of grace and therefore on the necessity of faith and works for our standing before God is undeniable.

"Remember the perfections of that God whom you worship, that he is a Spirit, and therefore to be worshipped in spirit and truth; and that he is most great and terrible, and therefore to be worshipped with seriousness and reverence, and not to be dallied with, or served with toys or lifeless lip-service; and that he is most holy, pure, and jealous, and therefore to be purely worshipped; and that he is still present with you, and all things are naked and open to him with whom we have to do. The knowledge of God, and the remembrance of his all-seeing presence, are the most powerful means against hypocrisy."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fellowship of Reformed Churches

This years Fellowship of Reformed Churches has a updated website for those of ya'll who will be in the area during this time, yes it's in Texas. The theme this year will be "Humble Orthodoxy", check out their website to see who will be speaking and leading us as we continue to undertake the task of "speaking the truth in love" to a world that is watching. See you there!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How Great is our God?

As I preview this landscape I see what a small drop in the bucket I really am. This does not even touch the expanse of space and all that it contains, yet it does however put some perspective to our that a word? As I view the moring and see the lesser light in the sky even as the sun is arising, I think of the Psalm, "LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow." This really should put us in our place as we see God's Glories in creation. May we find our joy in Him alone in that very low spot where worship takes place.

Piper offers a very familiar and mind blowing description that puts things in perspective.

"A brief look at all creation"

"Our planet earth is a small part of a solar system that is 7.3 billion miles across. This solar system is a little speck in the galaxy called the Milky Way which is 80,000 light years across. A light year is how far light travels in a year. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. So our galaxy is 480,000 trillion miles across. The nearest star to us, Alpha Centauri would take 4.3 years to get to traveling at the speed of light. The nearest neighboring galaxy would take 2.2 million years to get to at the speed of light. All creation will be set free into the glorious liberty of the children of God. It is yours, and you are Christ's and Christ is God's. God has revealed these things to us, not so that we will fall in love with stars, but so that we will see something of the magnitude of his love. See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God. And if children, then heirs—heirs of all things. Not for the sake of all things, but for the sake of comprehending the love of God."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Quote of the week

A German professor and theologian, a key leader of the Reformation, and a friend and associate of Martin Luther. Melanchthon's formulation of the authority of Scripture became the norm for the following time. The principle of his hermeneutics is expressed in his words:

"Every theologian and faithful interpreter of the heavenly doctrine must necessarily be first a grammarian, then a dialectician, and finally a witness."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What is Grace?

Just recently have I been introduced to a fresh perspective of God's Divine Grace. Up to this point I have always thought of it as "unmerited favor", but it is so much more than just saying "grace is unmerited favor". Up until this last week that was my answer, and a simple one I'll add. At care group this last week we looked at God's Grace as a Divine and Eternal Attribute. During a time of reflection and discussion I have come to see more clearly how little I know of His Grace, much less live in it. I need to be reminded that... and I'm quoting "Sin is more than breaking God's law. It is aggravated assault upon the infinite dignity of His person. Because of this, we deserve His wrath, but instead we receive His favor. That is grace." That is from Jerry Bridges treatment on God's Grace through a short illustration, read here.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Quote of the week

"A truly humble man is sensible of his natural distance from God; of his dependence on Him; of the insufficiency of his own power and wisdom; and that it is by God's power that he is upheld and provided for, and that he needs God's wisdom to lead and guide him, and His might to enable him to do what he ought to do for Him."

Jonathan Edwards

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Remembering those who protect us

According to the weather reports over-sea's, it is 122 degrees in Iraq right now - and the low will be 111! Our troops need our prayers for strength, endurance, and safety. Not only that but please pray for our President and the men & women who are counseling him, also on the local level, please pray for these individuals. Let us covenant to pray for those who lead and protect us!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Astronomers say Pluto not a planet

Leading astronomers have decided that Pluto is not a planet. What do we tell our children now? Honey... they took away Pluto.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World

Running September 29-October 1 in Minneapolis, it's theme is Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World. Those attending will have the privilege of learning from John Piper, David Wells, D.A. Carson, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, and Voddie Baucham, and from two panel discussions concerning “practical expressions of Christian living in a postmodern world.”

According to Dr. Piper, the specific "aim of this conference is to call the church to a radical and very old vision of the Man, Jesus Christ—fully God, fully sovereign, fully redeeming by his substitutionary, wrath-absorbing death, fully alive and reigning, fully revealed for our salvation in the inerrant Holy Bible, and fully committed to being preached with human words and beautifully described with doctrinal propositions based on biblical paragraphs." Get the complete article from Piper here & check out David F. Wells, author of the book Above All Earthly Pow'rs, also an exclusive interview with David Wells here.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"Worthy are You"

I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2) And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?" 3) And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. 4) Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5) and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals." 6) And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7) And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8) When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9) And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10) "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." 11) Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12) saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." 13) And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." 14) And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen " And the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:1-14

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Applying the great truths of Scripture

2 Peter 1:2-7
2 Corinthians 3:3-5

God's eternally sovereign choice of certain ones to be conformed to the image of His Son. What is meant by "foreknowledge"? A.W. Pink answers in part "when used in connection with God, it often signifies to regard with more favor, denoting not mere cognition but an affection for the object in view"

This is merely an umbrella view of God’s Foreknowledge so with that in mind, take some time and look up the following passages.

Notice out how each passage shows God regarding with favor

OT: Ex 33:17; Duet 9:24; Jer 1:5; Hos 8:4; Amo 3:2
NT: I Cor 13.12,Matt 7.23; Jn 10.4; II Tim 2.19

1.The Foreknowledge of God should: Serve as a comfort; Rom 8.28
-God has always acted for the good of those whom he called.
Ex: look back into past days before creation, God foreknew and predestined his people to be conformed to the image of His Son;
Ex: look at the recent past you will find that God called and justified his people, the same people He had predestined;
Ex: now look toward the future when Christ returns you see that God has determined to give perfect, glorified bodies, to these who believe in Christ. Rom 6.5

Now think about our present circumstances? Do we respond to them as Paul eludes to his experiences in Rom 8.33-37.

2. The Foreknowledge of God should: Serve as a reason to praise God; Eph 1.5-6; I Thess. 1.2-4
- the reason Paul can give thanks to God for those believers was he knew God is ultimately responsible for their salvation and has in fact chosen them to be saved.
I Thess. 2.13; Paul is delighting and praising God for these believers, because he knew that their salvation was ultimately due to God's choice of them. When understood biblically the doctrine of election does increase praise for salvation and diminishes any pride that thought we were due the credit.

3. The Foreknowledge of God should: Serve as an encouragement to evangelism; II Tim 2.8-10
- we see from what Paul understood about God choosing some people to be saved, and he sees this as an encouragement to preach the gospel, even in the face of suffering, he was also confident that God's electing of some would render Paul some success for his evangelism, therefore he was also bold.

I pray that this would serve us not nessasarly to be merely an academic approach, although it’s highly important to be knowledgeable of the Attributes of God and to view them as a whole not separating one from the other; which is impossible. Let us apply these great truths unto obedience as we walk even as Christ walked, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

I've often heard the phrase that "most of the reformed communities in our country would go to great lengths i.e. drive across the plains or across the country to try to convert others to a reformed view of God and not even cross the street to share the gospel.” This rings with great conviction in my life as I ponder the times I have been guilty of this charge. Let us all the more be diligent to share Christ!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Vicious Dog Pack Kills Gator

Nature can be cruel, but there is a raw beauty and a certain justice manifested within that cruelty. The alligator, one of the oldest and ultimate predators, can still fall victim to the team work inherent in the tight-knit social 'pack' structure bred into canines. Note the photo below, where the Alpha dog has a muzzle-hold on the gator preventing it breathing, while the remainder of the pack prevents the beast from rolling.

Preview this privately to determine if the contents are suitable for children.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Question posed by a friend...

This is a good series of questions to be pondered by all, namely the way we would repond to a potenial non-believer who may ask these kinds of questions. Do we respond arrogantly? no, but we need to take seriously the notion that, we are to "handle correctly the word of Truth" and this comes by communing with our God and the studying of His Word and prayer, ohh...that we would pray. This was very convicting to me. We are to combat today's issues, questions and struggles through the lens of Scripture alone. Often times I'm more apt to look to myself, especially when I have stored up head knowledge that has yet to be applied. How about you? Please take the time to read Mike's string of question's to us all.

Taken from Mike Lee's blog, entitled "Miracle Max And Depravity"

The following line was taken from one of my all time favorite movies, "The Princess Bride"-

"Well, it just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead." - Miracle Max

Mostly dead? Hmm.....Can someone be "mostly dead"? That leads me to the great question, "are unbelievers, their souls that is, MOSTLY dead or are they COMPLETLY dead prior to being born again?".

If a believer is MOSTLY dead prior to regeneration and is able to call out to Christ to save him, where did this ability to call out for salvation come from? Did it come from himself?

If a believer is not able to call out to Christ because he is ALL dead prior to regeneration, then how is He able to call out to Him?

Before you answer I encourage you to meditate on the following verse, from 1 Jn 4 "We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God", yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen can not love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command; whoever loves God must also love his brother.".... Just a little Humble Orthodoxy reminder :-)

Monday, July 31, 2006

for He is highly exalted

Isaiah 40 The Greatness of God.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fellowship of Reformed Churches

This years Fellowship of Reformed Churches has a updated website for those of ya'll who will be in the area during this time, yes it's in Texas. The theme this year will be "Humble Orthodoxy", check out their website to see who will be speaking and leading us as we continue to undertake the task of "speaking the truth in love" to a world that is watching. See you there!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

question for all

why is my left bar area at the bottom on a PC but at home or work on a MAC it's up at the top?

Friday, July 21, 2006


Christian stewardship is the joyous management of all of life and life's resources so that God's mission on earth is accomplished.

Every believer, responding in love to God's abundant outpouring of material blessings, shares the responsibility of Christian stewardship. Everything that we "own" is actually "on loan" from God. For as the apostle Paul wrote, "We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it" . Of course, these material blessings include our money. Some have more; some have less. Regardless of the size of our bank account, we have the responsibility to give sacrificially for God's mission through His church. Christian stewardship also includes managing our time, talents, and all other resources that extend God's kingdom.The Christian Reformed Church believes that Christian stewardship is essential for the health and vision of the church.

The "steward" (usually rendered Â?prince; Â?, one who manages the affairs or superintends these household of another, as Eliezer of Damascus did that of Abraham (Genesis 15:2). Great confidence was reposed in those who held such an office, and hence Paul describes Christian ministers as the stewards of God over his Church and family (Titus 1:7). Believers also are described as stewards of GodÂ?s gifts and graces, to dispense the benefits of them to the world (1 Peter 4:10). Our Lord frequently uses the responsibilities belonging to the office of a steward for the purpose of illustrating His reasoning. In the parable of the unjust steward, who defrauds his master by collusion with the debtors (Luke 16), the illustration is confined to the policy of the conduct pursued, and no inference can be drawn respecting its moral propriety. (On the proverbial dishonesty of modern Oriental wakkils or agents of this kind, see Thomson, Land and Book, 1, 517 sq.) The exhortation which follows is merely advice to manage worldly goods with such liberality and generosity as will promote the cause of true piety, Christian charity, and enlightened benevolence, and not to exercise the rights of property too harshly. See the monographs on this passage cited by Danz, Wrterb. s.v. Â?Lucas,Â? Nos. 76-93. (Biblical Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, by McClintok and Strong)

I really have not much to add to this treatment, though it be short and sweet I think it portrays the fact that we have all the more of a reason to depend upon our God who is the source of all things. This blog is also a means by which I'm striving to portray Christ rightly and truly This line of reasoning is very helpful to me and just a snip-it of a reminder of what we have been called to do out of obedience.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Holiness of God

A. The sharp contrast between God's Holiness and sin.
(He is abosolutly Pure and in Him their is not even a shadow of sin.)
We have nothing to offer, & the pursuit of personal holiness.
B. What is something challenging to you with regard to God's Holiness?
What is something encouraging to you?
What I have expericend is a deeper degree of reverence and more of a given desire by Him unto obidence.
C. What is it that motivates us to praise God’s Holiness?

Grudem notes that “God’s holiness means that He is seperated from sin and devoted to seeking His own honor”

The word holy is used to describe both parts of the tabernacle. The tabernacle was a place seperate from evil and sin of the world, and the first room in it was called the “holy place”. It was dedicated to God’s service. But then God commanded that there be a veil, “and the veil shall seperate for you the holy place from the most holy” EX 26.33. The most holy place, where The Ark of the covenant was kept, this was the place most seperated from evil and sin and most fully devoted to God’s service. The place where God himself dwelt was itself Holy. “Who shall assend the hill of the lord? And who shall stand in His Holy place? (PSM 24.3)

A look at God's Holiness in scripture!
EX: Remember the old childhood pray "God is Great; God is Good" etc...

A. Holiness defined: There are two ideas to holiness. GREATNESS & GOODNESS. We know their is more to this but for times sake and personal understanding. I have chosen to share these two ideas in relation to God's Hoilness.

1. The first is "Greatness". One of the meanings of holiness is the idea of being "set apart" which means that God is transcendent (or unique and superior) in His Greatness.
2. The second aspect of Holiness (often the one we generally think of first) is the idea of Purity. God is good. God is unstained by sin.

B. The need for every believer to go to scripture II Tim 2.15
1. How do you know if this is true (see above) if your not in the word yourself?
a. The piont is to let scripture dictate scripture.

C. examining the passages
Isaiah 6 1-8 (Read and Set the context) II Chron. 26. II Kings 15.1-7

Uzziah: The high places were not taken down. He was for the most part a successful king. It (the vision) took place sometime after the death of King Uzziah. We know that Iasiah ministered during part of Uzziah's reign but we are unsure of what kind of relationship they had. We can only speculate on what Isaiah's state of mind was when he received the vision. Perhaps he was concerned what would happen next to Israel. Maybe the vision had nothing to do with Uzziah. But this is speculative.

Anyway he has a vision:
The first thing we notice is God's Greatness. vv: 1-4
Notice the details in Isaiahs vision: God was on His Throne. Uzziah may have died but God was still on the Throne. The Throne was high and exalted which means that it is greater and excedded all other Thrones. The Train of His robe and how it filled the Temple. His royalty far surpasses anything we have known or can imagine.The Seraphim, their job was to give glory to the Lord. They were created beings yet without sin, they had wings that covered their creatureliness from a magnificent God! God's purity makes sinless angels seek cover. The angles praise the Lord with "three times holy" They declare that He is supremely Holy. The shaking of the doorposts simply adds to the sense of awesomeness and power. These images are designed to point us to a majesty in God that should provoke reverence and awe. True worship begins when we stop and gasp at the wonder, power, and otherness of God. Worship begins when we catch a glimpse of holiness.

The second thing we notice is God's Goodness and man's unworthiness. vv: 5 Isaiah's response is not what we would have expected. We would have expected him to say something like, "Cooool!" or "Wow!". But Isaiah is not impressed or wowed . . . he is "undone".

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

Other exsamples in scripture of an undoness or a treriffied state:

Matt 14.25-27

Matt 17.5-7
Shepards in the field "sore afraid"
or john in revelation chapter one verse 17

Anytime someone gets a glimpse of the Almighty God they are terrified. Why? Because in Exodus 33:20, God said, "no one may see me and live." The first response of an unholy person to the holiness of God is an acute awareness of personal sin. Notice something else about Isaiah's conviction. What was he most conscious of? He was most conscious of His unclean lips. Now think about that... What was Isaiah's greatest strength? It was that he was a spokesman for God. "His lips should have been the one thing that fared well in the light of God's holiness but it was His lips He saw as sinful" as a 19th century pastor once said (Spurgeon). Even in his greatest strength he was undone when it was compared to God's holiness.

The third thing we notice is God's Provision. vv: 6-7

Once Isaiah realizes his sin, notice what happens,

"Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

God cauterizes Isaiah's lips. He eliminates the impurity. Isaiah's guilt is taken away but it is not shrugged off. God doesn't say, "Aw, let's just forget it!" Instead he tells Isaiah that his sin "is atoned for". In other words, it was paid for. How? It was paid for in Jesus. How can that be, you ask? Isaiah lived many hundreds of years before Jesus. But the promise had been made. The plan was in place. God forgave Isaiah on the basis of what Christ was going to do hundreds of years later. Just like He is willing to forgive you and I on the basis of what He has done many hundreds of years before us. When Jesus (the sinless Son of God) died on the cross, He paid for our sin. God's justice is satisfied (sin is punished) and He is also able to extend mercy (on the basis of Christ's substitution). The reason we are called children of God is not because we are good . . . but because we are forgiven. We are forgiven not because we were among the best of the class but because Christ died for our sin.

After Isaiah sees God's majesty, is confronted with His sin, finds forgiveness through the sacrifice of Christ we read .

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Next we notice is God Summons.
vv: 8

Isaiah, who has been transformed by grace and made alive by the mercy of God, volunteers for service. Sproul points out "that Isaiah doesn't say, "Here I am" . . . that would be to identify his position. Instead he says, "Here am I"." He offers Himself as a "living sacrifice" (Rom. 12:1-5) if you will. read 2 Cor 7.1 Not only is this a personal pursuit of holiness but even as a church we are to pursure it. read also Eph 2.19-22

He demands our utmost reverence when we approach Him:
Humility, low posture.

He is to be served with fear:
Heb 12.14
II Cor 3.18

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Family time

Today is our family reunion, relatives are traveling the Lone Star State's highways to make it here in GR. This will be the first time to have all the family together in a long time. It's been four years so pray that we would be united as we just hang out, hoping issues will not distance us.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Greetings to all

Upon the discovery of how many resources we have to express our ever depedence on God's Grace for all of life, the resource known as a "blog" brings about it a sense of stewardship and accountability. More to come on that but, for now. We are a family of three (not including the cat) my jewel of a wife Tara , Rebekah Grace who is almost four months old. We are overcome with the thought that Our great and Glorious God would desire to make himself known to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
This should serve as a revered privilege and responsibility to be a representation of Christ's relationship with His Church to a world that is watching. As husband and wife we desire to grow in personal holiness through daily application, while holding eachother accountable in our walk with Christ. Being apart of a local community of believers is very important to our family. God has been so good to us by bringing us to Grace Community Church in Glen Rose; Where we receive the whole counsel of God's Word through Preaching, Teaching and musical worship.

I am looking forward to discussing various topics, issues etc., however I do pray this will move us all to "exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."