Lottie Moon

Gotta love this...

Posted by Jack | at 3:04 PM | 0 comments

My reading list

After some thoughts, research, and suggestions, I have settled on my reading list for 2010. This is not to say that these will be the only books I will read, but it will give me something to aim at as opposed to how I usually go about it (a.k.a no plan whatsoever). In no particular order, here they are:

Shepherding a Child's Heart – Ted Tripp (Parenting)

When Helping Hurts – Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert (Missions)

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God – D.A. Carson (Theology)

The Walk – Stephen Smallman (Discipleship)

How to Read a Book – Mortimer Adler (General)

Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton (Classics)

Simple Student Ministry – Eric Geiger and Jeff Borton (Student Ministry)

Through the Gates of Splendor – Elisabeth Elliot (Biography)

The Hole in our Gospel – Richard Stearns (Missions)

1-2-1 Discipleship – Christine Dillon (Discipleship)

Our Accountability to God – A.W. Pink (Classics)

Counterfeit Gods – Tim Keller (Theology)

There are a couple that I hope to add to the list. I had a hard time narrowing them down and I hope I get through these 12 so that I can also read:

Family Driven Faith – Vodie Baucham (Parenting)

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd (Biography)

The Meaning of the Pentateuch – John Sailhamer (Theology)

So come January, I will kick it all off with "Shepherding a Child's Heart."  Anyone else game?

Posted by Jack | at 11:57 AM | 2 comments

My crazy kids

Alright, my kids are crazy and here's proof on my wife's blog.

Posted by Jack | at 10:43 PM | 0 comments

Next year's reading

So I am working on putting together a reading list for next year.  I want to map out 12 books (one per month) to read over the course of the year.  This would be a minimum, but would give me a goal and a plan.  I want to get one or more from the following categories:
  • Theology
  • Christian classics
  • Discipleship
  • Missions
  • Student ministry
  • Parenting/Family
  • Christian biography

Would love some suggestions and help!

Posted by Jack | at 10:01 AM | 3 comments

Psalm 96 and Missions, Part One

The Psalms are full of calls to worship.  You seemingly can not turn a page without sensing this overwhelming focus.  Psalm 96 is no exception to this.  The first four verses read as follows:

"Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods."

God by His very nature is worthy of praise. His perfections showcase His splendor.  He is glorious and has done done glorious things.  He is eternally holy, good, righteous, and just.  There is nothing in Him that is unworthy in the slightest of praise.

This is the first reason I believe this Psalm is focused on missions.  Our God is great and worthy of praise.  Missions is a calling of those who are not worshipers to place their attention, devotion, and affections on the only One worthy of praise.  When we tell of the Gospel to those who have not heard, we are telling of the marvelous works of God and the all satisfying power of His grace.

This Sunday night, our pastor shared a quote by John Piper that I have read and used before.  It seems fitting to include it here:

"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church.  Worship is.  Missions exists because worship doesn't.  Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.  When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.  It is a temporary necessity.  But worship abides forever." John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, pg.17

We are both called to worship and to seek worshipers for our great King.  That's missions.

Posted by Jack | at 1:24 PM | 0 comments

Caleb and missions

Last night our church had an emphasis on international missions.  Carrie and I decided to do something bold and daring: we brought all three boys into the service.  Caleb did really well last week during our Ethiopia report and Josiah would sleep, so we thought we could chance it.  Noah, however, starting crying at one point and as he was in my lap and Carrie was holding a sleeping Josiah, I took him to our family room in the back of the sanctuary.  Within a few minutes Caleb had escaped and joined us.

I really wanted to be a part of the service.  About the time that I was second guessing my decision, Caleb asked what Pastor Michael was talking about and I said "missions."  Without missing a beat he asked me, "Daddy, why do you keep going to Africa?"  I told him that there were people there who don't know Jesus and Daddy goes so that they can hear about him.  Then I told him I would take him with me one day when he was older.  "When I'm 4?" "No a little older." "Oh, OK, when I'm 5?" That small conversation made it all worthwhile.

I prayed over him as he was going to sleep last night that God would give him heart for the nations. I eagerly look for that day!

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Posted by Jack | at 5:55 AM | 1 comments

Piper on Missions

I am not sure which text he is preaching from, but Piper gets at the idea I am presenting in the coming posts so much better than I do.
Here is the video...

Posted by Jack | at 9:23 AM | 0 comments

My wife

So this past week, I have been thinking a lot about why my wife is great.  Here are just a few of the many reasons I am so blessed.

  1. She buys me coffee creamer.  No big deal to some, but I don't really need it.  She buys it because she knows the special holiday creamers I enjoy a lot.  So she makes a point of buying them.  So good.
  2. She likes college football almost as much as I do.  I mean how many other wives remind their husbands that it is almost time for Game Day and throughout the week look for the channels that the games are coming on.  Love it.
  3. She pushes me.  Not literally (well sometimes...).  She doesn't let me make excuses or give less than my best.  I need that.
  4. She aggressively cuts coupons.  I am talking takes an entire morning to search blogs, websites, and newspapers to save money.  And then she gets things for free or for 19 cents.  What?  How ridiculously cool is that?
  5. She stays home with our boys.  All day every day.  I had all three of them the other night for a couple of hours and I stand in awe.  I mean I love them but when all three are going nuts, I don't know how she does it.  Seriously.  Its a special gift of grace.
  6. She wants our family to be Christ centered.  For example, she found this awesome activity for our family to do this Christmas called a Jesse Tree.  You can check it out here.
  7. She supports, encourages and sacrifices so that I can do what God has called me to do.  I would never be able to do all that I have done without her love and support.  She is my perfect helpmate and I am grateful for this gift.
These aren't the only reasons but they are the ones that have been swirling in my head this past week.  I know there will be more to come!

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.  Proverbs 31:10-12

Posted by Jack | at 10:58 AM | 0 comments

A great Christmas quote...

So the other day, Caleb gave a great quote...

"Noah, take baby Jesus out of your mouth!"

Merry Christmas.

Posted by Jack | at 10:26 AM | 0 comments

Some thoughts on missions

A few weeks ago, I returned from my second trip to Ethiopia. My original intent was to write a series of posts based on my experiences there. That still may come. Yet as I was thinking more about it, I wanted to expound on something I shared with our congregation as we reported on our trip this past Sunday evening.

There are some great texts in the Bible which guide us towards missions. A couple that come to mind quickly are some that we can be very familiar with:

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Acts 1:8
These passages are rightly used for missions. They encapsulate Christ's commands and give us a clear understanding of the directive before us. Yet these are not the only passages in Scripture that speak of missions. In fact, I believe the book of Psalms is very missional in nature.

Over the next couple posts I want to explore Psalm 96 and how it in particular can move us to a greater appreciation and desire to be involved in God's mission to the world.

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity." Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Psalms 96:1-13

Posted by Jack | at 9:30 AM | 0 comments