Friday, December 25, 2009


Santa Syndrome

"He knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake"--Santa Claus is Coming To Town

"God showed His great love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."--Romans 5:8

Compatible?  I'd say not.
Praise God for the gift no man can deserve, Christ Jesus the Righteous.

Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Caption This and Win This Book

Ok, so this is a snowy, snowy day and I've decided it's time. Time for what? Well, time for my first Posterous giveaway. That's right, and I think I,ve even made it easy. There's a picture included with this post; it's of my children's newly built Gingerbread House and a copy of "The Sovereignty of God," by Pink. All I want you to do is caption that picture. The best caption (by poll if I can get that to work, otherwise I'll have a few friends vote) will win a brand new, still in plastic copy of Joel Beeke's book, "Living for God's Glory-An Introduction to Calvinism"! Happy Captioning! Should be fun!!

Posted via web from Drops of Thought

Let it Snow!

The score: Meteorologists 1, Skeptics 0. And from my understanding, this is just the beginning. 
Pictures taken in Culpeper, VA at 5:30AM.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Daddy Date At Dee Dee's

Me and the kiddlings having another breakfast date in the Pep! We love Saturday breakfasts in town.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grace Through a Mirror

From Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions-Number 8

8. Resolved, To act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings, as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.


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Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm at it Again!

So I bought Christless Christianity by Michael Horton for a friend's birthday. Needless to say I couldn't in good conscience give him a book that I either A. Have not read, or B. Am not reading. That being said, I bought myself a copy too--and oh, I'm reading it concurrently with Jerry Bridges' book The Gospel for Real Life. For those of you who follow my Twitter stream, you know this is a blatant violation of my 1 book at a time rule I initiated last week or so. In the interest of transparency, I'm failing that challenge. Now you know. That is all. Now back to the book-which one is the question. 

Posted via web from Drops of Thought

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This is way too easy!

I was just sitting here thinking about what it used to take me to put a blog post together. All the signing in to a specific site, getting format just right- not to mention finding photos, and linking them within the post. I'm thankful for that reason for Posterous, and the iPhone app that accompanies it. Yes, I mean Picposterous. These two make a wonderful one-two. Gone are the days of complicated work to create something worthy of acceptance. In are the days when all the most difficult work is done for you. It's freeing and binding at the same time. It's because of how much is done for me that I WANT to post more. It's no longer a chore to post, it's a welcome joy. Anyone I know that's blogging in older, more stressful ways I want to see liberated by what I've learned. Sadly, though, some have responded with attitudes that say they'd rather feel like they're doing something. That it's just not right for some technology to do ALL the work for them. It should be more of a partnership, they say. I won't let that stop me from heralding the beauty of freedom...
You do the math.

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NewsNote: Boys Wearing Skirts to School? What's Going On?

Check out this website I found at

I really don't have any commentary to add here-- though I believe there is more than enough fodder for thought here.
Surprised, or just disappointed? You decide.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Then there were 12--

Abraham Piper has drawn our attention to Christian service again this week!  Thanks Abraham!!  The first go was bringing attention to Jon Acuff's effort at raising 30k for a school in Vietnam (read more HERE), which was a huge success, praise God!!
Well today, Abraham issued a challenge via his excellent microblog, 22 Words, involving some Salvadoran children in need of sponsorship through Compassion International. Abraham's wife, Molly, is also documenting her time with Compassion in El Salvador as we speak. Compassion's methodology is a holistic approach to the well-being of these children, and I urge you to visit 22 Words, Molly's blog (The Pipers), or Compassion's site ( for more information on what's being done and how you can help.  My family was super excited after reading of the work being done, including the proclamation of the Gospel, in the lives of these children.  We're excited to begin correspondence with our sponsor child, who my kids chose :) My 4 year-old has already penned his first letter to his new brother across the globe!  Why don't you visit these sites and join Compassion in work that is aimed at both the here-and-now, AND eternal futures of young children. 

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

How the Switch came to Be

Okay, so very recently I announced my decision to switch from PC to Mac. There were definitely a couple things I didn't know before posting that, and how exactly I'd get the Mac was one of them. *SMILE* So a most amazing chain of events took place that still has me glowing with glee, but I'll truncate the account to accomodate a microblog.

1. I wake up and do what I do early in the morning.

2. I decide to go down to my office to get an early "boot up" for my work cpu.

3. I see a scary error staring at me from my screen, saying "windows can't start......"

4. I reboot, take the battery off, and everything short of tossing the cpu, all to no avail.

5. I decide I need to drive the 45 mins to the office so our IT dept can look at my fried laptop.

6. I get to the office and while there, bump into a family friend who informs me of some valuable info.

7. I take the info for confirmation to my manager, who confirms it after a couple emails.

8. By the time I leave work, I have enough of a "gift" to buy a MacBook Pro and our long awaited elliptical!!!

God is so gracious! So the bottom line is I'm not having to pay a dime for the MacBook, so the switch is not only on, but FREE!! On top of that, I found out that my job provides each of us with a once per lifetime copy of any Microsoft Office product for 9 bucks!! So, I also got Office for the Mac!

I assure you, I would've NEVER known about the availability of these gifts had my computer not crashed. In that, I thank the Lord for His providence. I'm just so thankful to the Lord for the gifts of yesterday. There was more to it, and those of you who know me well can ask me about the details when we speak. Until then, Soli Deo Gloria!!

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Devotionals, Giveaways & Joy

I like devotionals; a lot. One reason is because there are times in my life when I really want to read something poignantly pithy. Something that is bathed in both Scripture and thought, yet from a perspective not my own. Here is where discernment comes in. There are thousands (literally) of devotionals out there, and many of them lack Biblical integrity when it comes to their focus. As many paper book sources as there are for devotionals, there are likely even more online. Enter Devotional Christian (
Browsing through their site, I found a plethora of wonderfully poignant and pithy devotionals, that actually put all the focus on the Lord and His power! Here's one that I particularly enjoyed:
Anyway, check em out. Solid devotionals are great SUPPLEMENTS to your normal Bible reading.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finally settled on the Switch-A long time Coming.

So I've had what seems like millions of conversations with associates, friends, brethren, and business contacts around the virtues of Apple for computing. I literally have heard dozens of reasons why Mac is better than PC, and admittedly, I've felt the pressure. Pressure that's increased with every crash of one of my 4 PC's. Pressure that mounts each time I'm asked for permission to do something I just commanded. Pressure that escalates each time I start a boot up, go and grab coffee, read a devotional, and come back only to have the PC still giving it the old college try at starting. So, here I am, thinking so hard about my migration to Mac (will I be able to move all my data from PC, how good is the Windows OS in Mac environment, etc). Then it happened, the tweet about the changes to Macs went out, and my mind was made up. It's all over but the singing, PC. I'm resolved. I'm excited. I'm curious! Is Mac THAT much better? I'll be finding out by December, and I will be sure to let you know the verdict. Until then, I want to thank all my die-hard Mac-heads that put the pressure on me. As they say, pressure bursts pipes. MAC or BUST!!!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Verse 16 & 17

One key word that changes how we look at the entirety of the Canon--ALL.
The fact that we need the Word to bring us to completion means that we are somehow incomplete without it, right? Well, how are we actually completed through it? The only way any man finds himself complete is by being united to God through Christ. There's math to be done :)

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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Blessing of a Coupon

My wife is a couponer. A SERIOUS couponer. Note her binder in the photo. I think about the Proverbs 31 woman, and I'd like to cast a vote for my wife. Our chidren wake up and call her blessed. Not only that, but she's diligent in her pursuit of the betterment of our family. I'd be totally lost without this gift from the Lord. I just wanted to say all that as I sit here enjoying the football game and the steady sounds of thin paper and scissors. Couponing-- It's the new "cool point."
Thank you so much for your diligence and loving service to our family Mrs. Brown.
No more suitable helper exists apart from the Paraclete.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Sonoran Hot Dogs & The Gospel

So I spent Tue-Thur in Tucson, AZ for a biz trip. There were at least 2 highlights I'm excited to recall. One, I had my first Sonoran Hotdog (see picture for description). Second, and most important, God was gracious to allow me the privilege to share His Gospel with a coworker of mine. This coworker of mine is openly homosexual and shared with me his struggles with his lifestyle and what he knows of God. It was an amazing several moments of transparency. Some may wonder if I shared a Gospel that was catered to homosexuals. "what did you tell him???" Simply put, I told him what God has done in Christ. Yup, the same Gospel God uses to convert the hearts of men to Himself who are involved in sins that we don't see as being so "special.". Christ and His cross were central, and for that I'm humbled and grateful. Please pray my coworker's heart would be softened and his eyes open to his dire need for Christ.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

A Little of my Legacy (Chicago) Footage

Click here to download: (10862 KB)

I had such a blessed time at Legacy Discipleship Conference this year. Oddly enough, as I reflected on it, I found myself more impacted by it then I originally thought. Perhaps at a later time I'll speak on how and why that is. For now, here's a peek into the musical aspect of the Conference. Lecrae with "Dont Waste your Life." Seriously, don't.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Music!!

I'm really banging this new album by Hazakim called Theophanies like a madman right now. For those of you not familiar with Hazakim and their music, here is a little background of the group from their current label home: After reading this, peep the video link and listen to the poignant lyrics of the song "Crucifixion Description." Enjoy!
Founded in 1997, Hazakim (Hebrew for "strong ones") consists of emcees/producers, Michael and Anthony, who also happen to be blood brothers. Due to an upbringing in the Messianic Jewish movement, as well as multicultural roots which include Jewish ancestry, their sound possesses a trademark Hebrew influence which sets them apart from other hip-hop artists. By applying as their motto the charge of Rav Sha’ul (Paul) in II Timothy 4:2, "preach the Word, be urgent in season and out of season; convince, rebuke, and exhort - be unfailing in patience and in teaching", using the medium of hip-hop culture and through the scriptures they strive to:

-Convince the non-believer of the Messiahship of Jesus and their need for Him as Redeemer and Lord.

-Encourage and admonish the believer to trust the Word of God in faith and knowledge.

-Adhere to and teach the sound doctrine which was taught by the Lord and his disciples.

Blending hip-hop and apologetics (an explanation or defense of the Biblical faith) they present what they call "Hip-Hologetics". This was also the title of their freshman release which sold tremendously well as an independent effort without national distribution. The success of "Hip-Hologetics" earned the duo several awards and allowed them to travel across the U.S. spreading the good news of Jesus the Messiah. Several songs from "Hip-Hologetics" were heard all over the world via radio, internet downloads and radio stations.

From their fresh vocal delivery to their poignant lyrical content and their soulfully creative production; by God’s grace, Hazakim has been in the lab perfecting their craft and are hard at work to bring you more Hip-Hologetics! They have devoted their gift of poetry to the Lord, making Him the focus of every rhyme. Through the power and sovereignty of God, they strive to be teachers and ministers - an effective evangelistic voice to this generation. Amazingly, they have seen the Lord use this ministry awesomely in leading the lost - Jew and gentile, young and old - to the Messiah. After all, it is not the method, but the message in which lies the power. As spoken by Anthony of Hazakim in a recent interview, "…We believe that the Lord has big things in store for Hazakim, to His glory." So be it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Giveaway at

Tremendous opportunity to win one of 2 copies of BibleWorks 8 from!

Check it out!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Apology and Disclaimer

Brethren and others who may visit my Blog,
I feel it necessary to issue an apology for the last posting, which you may or may not have read. The point of that post was, as you may have guessed, the video. What I did not take into full consideration, was the blog which the video was posted on, and that is a serious error on my part. In everything we are called to do as believers, we are to exercise discernment. I did e-thumb through many links on the site, but one link (that could possibly have the most adverse affect on viewers), I neglected to view myself. I made assumptions that I should never make about any material without validating them through careful examination. I don't feel it necessary to go into detail, as that may actually have the opposite effect of my desired end.
I removed the link from my blogs, but want to make clear that I in no way espouse the doctrine voiced by the writer of the said blog, and in fact see it as a gross misrepresentation of the Biblical text, at best. With that said I will be much more careful going forward, and praise God for oversight within His Body.
Pray for me as I for you,

Phenomenal Video Proclamation of God's Truth

Found this over at a blog and thought it was worthy of a link. This video is nothing short of sobering. Please watch and share;

***Link removed until I can find one directly to the video****

Friday, May 1, 2009

Yet it is not I who live, but Christ

Just a quick post to let you all know that I am still among the breathing!  It's been a long while, huh?  Yeah, well I've been away and since I have, I've learned a few things that I'd like to share with you.  I've also seen a few things that, if I can remember where I saw them, will post up for you.  Anyway, I guess the bottom line is I'm back (sort of).  I'm at least back in such a way that it probably won't be months between posts.  I've missed writing *typing* and will be doing more of it both here and at  Hope you're looking as forward to it as I am!
Grace and Peace,
Mr. Hiatus :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Week From Grace Bible Fellowship

Praise the Lord!  We recently finished up 1 Timothy in our fellowship, and what a phenomenal walk through that text it was.  There was so much to be learned throughout, especially for a new local body of believers.  The Lord really used the exposition of that text to knit us closer together with one another, and Himself.  He is so gracious.  I mentioned on Twitter and Facebook a couple of weeks ago that I would begin to blog a few points from the sermon each week.  I thought this would be a good thing to do since we're starting a new book, 1 Peter, and I could start from sermon ONE.  
So, the first sermon has occurred, though I'm a bit late due to attending the Shepherd's Conference, and being unable to blog while there.  Speaking of the Shepherd's Conference, it was a life-changing event and I can certainly attribute my being there to the Providence of God on so many levels.  
Well, as expected, the first sermon from my Pastor, Mark Ragland, was rich.  What follows are a few points that I found both helpful and edifying from a great exposition of the first 2 verses.  

1 Peter 1:1-2- 1.Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2. According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:  May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
The theme in this letter is "Cheer up, it gets worse!" 
I. The Introduction
    A.  The Writer-Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ.  Apostle from the Greek apo=away, and stolo=to send.  Special meaning ascribed to "apostle" by Jesus.  We see in Matthew 10:1 that Jesus gave His apostles special authority.  Therefore we only see "of Jesus" in the case of those who were especially appointed by Him.
    B.  Ther Recipients (1B)-Elect=Specifically chosen to be a particular part of the group.  Peter is reminding the exiles here *that their citizenship is heavenly not earthly.
Dia=among, Spora=scatter (John 7:35, James 1:1).  Some think this may be the Christian diaspora (dispersion) and not the Jewish diaspora (the day of Pentecost).  Scattered in: All of Asia Minor.  *Also reminding them that even in this dispersion and the persecution to come there is a plan.  This would serve well to encourage the recipients of Peter's letter.
II.  The Encouragement
    A. There is, indeed, a plan-Plan along the lines of Acts 2:23 (this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death)
Foreknowledge used in 1 Peter 1:2 and in the Acts text is intimate in nature.  Romans 8:29 (WHOM He foreknew), 1 Peter 1:20 (HE was foreknown) shows further that God foreknows PEOPLE as well as events. 
    B. There is a Process- Peter comforted the exiles by helping them understand that God was using this circumstance to sanctify them.  To grow them (as our circumstances are used in our lives) into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28, Philipians 1).  God is involved in a process that includes activity by all 3 members of the Trinity (Note the activity in verse 2).
Foreigner, exile, cut off and scattered from the world? There IS a plan and a process.
    C. There is a purpose-That you may obey Jesus Christ/in order that you may be sprinkled with His blood.  Ephesians 2:8,9  is a very familiar passage.  In light of this 1 Peter text, however, v.10 of Eph. 2 is important.  Every one of our circumstances is a golden opportunity to be conformed to the image of Christ in obedience, etc.  
Sprinkled with His blood?  What does that have in view?  Likely Old Testament imagery being used by Peter here.  There were 3 cases in the OT in which blood was sprinkled on a man.  
1. Entrance into the Aaronic priesthood
2. Purification rite for a leper being healed
3. Covenant initiation rite, after Moses received the law, confirming the Mosaic covenant.  Exodus 24:3-This is probably the imagery that Peter has in mind.  The children of Israel pledged at the initiation that they would do all that the Lord commanded.  Peter is trying to get the people to understand that they have pledged that they will submit to Jesus as Lord, and to walk in this obedience.  
D. There is an expressed wish-That is namely, more Grace from the Lord and the Peace that comes as a result of that Grace.
We'll pick up next week with the next few verses.  Stay tuned!  

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

The Decalogue. The Ten Commandments to most of us, should scream out "INABILITY" to all who take the time to read and consider them. Most end up looking at them and saying something to the effect of "at least I haven't done the worst of them." What is the purpose of the law, though? Is it to measure ourselves against other mortals, using it as the mediator between ourselves and them? "Although I've lied, I have not murdered, and so and so has killed someone; therefore all is well with me." Is it to actually help us live moral lives? After all, there are those who would say that because they try to live out the 10 commandments that they are "good people." Well, none of the above is correct. The first is not correct because the commandments put on display GOD's standard of perfection as it relates to ME. Yeah, the bad news is God doesn't look at my having kept more of the commandments than my neighbor as having any merit at all (Romans 14:12). In fact, my thinking in that direction is an affront to God. Everyone finds themselves in the middle when comparing self to others. Who doesn't know someone "worse" or "better?" The second is not correct because God's Word says that if you're guilty of breaking one aspect of the law, you're guilty of it all (James 2:10). So one lie constitutes my guilt as a law breaker. Wow, you mean then, God's law (as expressed in the Decalogue) doesn't help me at all? No, it doesn't. It does, however, show you you're helpless and leads you rightly to the only help available. That is, Christ Jesus. It is in this way that the law is a schoolmaster, to lead to Christ (Galatians 3:24). God's standard is perfection. We all fall short, so we are all guilty. What can we do about this guilt? Trust the only one who fulfilled this standard perfectly, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Spurgeon says this:

The Purpose of the Law
The business of the Law is first to teach us our obligations to God. Let us ask ourselves if we have ever heard the Law teaching us in that way. Brethren, read the Law of Ten Commandments, and study each separate precept, and you will find that in those ten short precepts you have all the moral virtues, the full compass of your accountability to God, and of your relationship to your fellowmen. It is a wonderful condensation of morals. The essence of all just decrees and statutes lies there. Perfection is there photographed, and holiness mapped out. No one has ever been able to add to it without creating an excrescence, not a word could be taken from it without causing a serious omission. It is the perfect Law of God, and tells us exactly what we ought to be; if we are in any degree deficient, we are to that extent guilty before God. Now, when the Law comes to a man's conscience, it reveals to him the divine standard of right -holds it up before him - makes him look at it - and apprises him that the Commandments do not merely refer to acts and deeds, but with equal force to the words and thoughts from whence they proceed.-Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from "Spurgeon Gold"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

Today, I'm gonna do something a little bit different.  Happy Friday, by the way!  Well, each Friday obviously, we've been visiting a writing of Charles Spurgeon from "Spurgeon Gold."  Once we even got a treat from his "Morning by Morning" devotion book.  Now I like treats and surprises, so today I have one for you.  Lampmode Recording artist shai linne (he prefers his name in all lowercase letters) has an album out now called Storiez, and it is one of the most phenomenal pieces of Christ-centered art I've heard. On this album, shai does a magnificent job with a song called "Spurgeon." What I want to do is allow you a listen, as well as print the lyrics here for your Friday morning pleasure.  Enjoy, and let's praise God for not only Spurgeon, but all those He has graciously given us as examples in various areas of Christian living.  Let's Grow!!! Grace and Peace.

Spurgeon I'm not sure if you need to sign up for Imeem for this to play, but click for the song.
Here are the lyrics:
written by s. linne
Verse 1

Let me make this plain kids- God is the greatest

He never changes- His ways are blameless

For His own glory and at different stages

He raises up servants to make His name famous

I’ll highlight one particular servant for

The purpose of encouraging your worship to the Lord

Furthermore, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born

On the outskirts of London- 1834

His dad and his grandpa were both in the ministry

His mother was praying for his soul since his infancy

Naturally intelligent, rapidly developing

But lacking Jesus’ fellowship, that would be irrelevant

The God of his mother unknown

Though Christ was up in his home, the faith just wasn’t his own

The Lord answered prayer when at the age of 10

Young Charles became convinced of the wages of sin

For the next five years, the Spirit brought conviction

Terrors and affliction, aware of his condition

One Sunday morning though- the stormiest snow

Kept Charles from going in the church he’d normally go

Randomly stepped into a church

Heard the words “Look to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth”

And though only heaven knows the name of the preacher

That’s the day that Spurgeon became a believer

Verse 2

The Lord is so merciful, always so purposeful

Those whom He draws find His call irreversible

Immediately after Spurgeon’s conversion

Obediently, he was earnest to serve Him

The Lord poured His Spirit on Spurgeon abundantly

Anyone could see that he spoke with profundity

Extraordinary giftedness seen

Proclaiming God’s mysteries at the age of fifteen

In a place called Waterbeach graced with the sort of speech

That even made the old folks say, “This boy can preach!”

In fact he was so crafted after the Master

A Baptist church snatched him and asked him to pastor

At the time, He was seventeen years old

On fire for the King who redeemed his soul

People flocked from everywhere- it was quite a scene

Called to a church in London at the age of nineteen

He was more than ready- to his Lord he was dedicated

Even though he was never formally educated

If you would have scratched him, he would bleed Bible

A rich prayer life was his means of survival

Amount that he read was truly mind-blowing

Steeped in the writings of dudes like John Owen

And by God’s grace He fed the sheep new manna

In London met his wife, her name was Susannah
Verse 3

Behold the grace of God- stand to the side

The Spirit exalting the Lamb who has died

It can’t be denied- this man we describe

Was simply a tool in the hand of his God

To observe this servant’s extremely instructive

One word about Spurgeon is he was productive

Preached Jesus- no speakers- loudly he’d shout it

Each week packed houses of crowds in the thousands

His sermons were published- sixty-two volumes

He worked almost like he just knew he would die soon

Made mad disciples, passed on his knowledge

Established a school to train pastors in college

Sold out to the Lord Jehovah, his portion

Also he built two homes for the orphans

A monthly magazine, plus he wasn’t too busy

to write books- about a hundred and fifty

God’s grace in Spurgeon was manifest

But remember, the best man is a man at best

Yes, he struggled with depression- consistently sick, kid

Both he and Susannah physically afflicted

He experienced as a servant of Jesus

The power of God made perfect in weakness

Later on comes complications

His stands for orthodoxy got him shunned by his denomination

But through all the hardship and all the controversy

He never stopped relying on the sovereign God of mercy

And when he had finished pressing towards the goal

He entered into heaven at the age of fifty-seven

His life is a case of God’s grace effectively

At work in sinners to leave a great legacy

The proof is many years later in your speakers

We’re praising Jesus for raising up the "prince of preachers"




Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Hard Not To, Ain't It?

Philippians 2:14,15

 14Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,  [emphasis mine]

Yes, I'm talking about grumbling, murmuring and complaining.  In the world, we expect to hear unbelievers complain like it's nobody's business.  They don't depend on the Lord and His goodness, nor trust in His Sovereignty to cause all things to work together for good.  It's tough to be content under those circumstances I'd imagine. They don't have the benefit of being taught from the Bible of the sufferings of the Saints before us; they don't have the benefit of seeing the suffering of Christ in relation to their own "suffering."  Unbelievers compare their suffering, for the most part, to what they feel they deserve.  Yet, they're unaware that we all deserve Hell.  Believers should not be so unaware.  Paul tells us in Philippians that he learned contentment, and that contentment he learned was solid in WHATEVER state he found himself.
Saying that just gave me two points that should really cause believers to at least hesitate before freely offering up joy-killing complaints:
1. God is good and can be depended on-Complaining undermines faith and thanksgiving.  Can one complain and be thankful at the same time?  Yeah, if that one has a forked tongue and a double mind.  It sounds like this, "I'm thankful that God gave me this job, BUT.........." Uh Oh, dear believer.  You should probably really think twice about continuing that statement.  True thankfulness doesn't have a but.  
2.God is Sovereign-Romans 8:28 says that if you belong to the Lord, He is working everything out to your good and for His glory.  Where can we find space to complain in light of that? Is there ANY circumstance that is not under the authority of the Creator of the World?  Is your situation outside the scope of God's Sovereignty?  All things work together for the good of the believer because God orchestrates these situations for the sanctification of His children.  That is, the aim is Christlikeness-Trust the Lord that He's accomplishing that in you through this light affliction.  
Listen, I'm talking to myself just as much as anyone here.  I find myself at times complaining about the most trivial things.  Once I stop and listen to myself, I realize I'm being a kill joy to whoever's lucky enough to have to listen to my murmuring.  Complaining is a sin, plain and simple.  If I continue to let this little fox get into the garden of my Christian growth, it will spoil the vine of evangelism, peace (external), and joy in my life.  All because I think more highly than myself and my trials then I ought.  Sad shame that would be.  
I know this is Drops of Thought, and I'm supposed to be brief, so I'll just leave you with some wisdom from the Word of God:
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Rejoice in the Lord always. Phil. 4:4; Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2  (Joy in trial, not complaint)
Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Lamentations 3:39 Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-3 (We all deserve Hell, so anything short of that should cause us to rejoice not complain)
The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18; For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:19 (Basically, in light of eternity and God's sanctification of His own, all affliction should be endured without complaint)
Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? Genesis 18:25 (Sometimes we believe that something is not right with our situation.  Like, "how could I be going through this," as if God does anything other than that which is right. Even the smallest complaint (I don't like this food) wreaks of ungratefulness and a sense of entitlement that runs counter the tenor of the Whole Bible.)
My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (I think that says enough) Look at the context in which the Lord says this to Paul........
Finally, who of us has gone through that which our Savior has?  Have I been beaten beyond recognition, spit upon, pierced with a spear, hated, ridiculed, mocked, and murdered? No, but I'm upset because things aren't going my way and I have to do something I don't want to. I hereby resolve to put away all complaining in my life by God's grace. I repent of the ease with which I complained up till now too.  If I have brought you down, or provoked complaint in you by my complaints, I apologize.  If you are an unbeliever that I have shared the Gospel with, and I tainted my testimony through complaint, I apologize; and although that won't amount to a good excuse for you on judgement day, I promise I realize the hindrance that could've been.  Please forgive me and obey the Gospel.  If you are a friend of mine who I've told to trust God during one of your afflictions and you've heard me complain as if I don't heed my own advice, I apologize and ask your forgiveness.  
Lastly I'd like to say Praise God for the mirror of His word, His grace to show us us, and the enablement and motivation He gives to turn from sin and to Him. 
Grace and Peace.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

ESV Study Bible Giveaway Winner

Here at Streams of Thought, we had our first giveaway drawing (of many to come) yesterday.  The drawing was conducted as my daughter (2 year-old Amaya) was headed out the door with my wife and other kids on a trip.  I interrupted her doing her version of the "perfect pushup" to ask her to complete the task of picking Daddy's winner.  At first, she had no idea what I wanted her to actually do.  She'd never been honored to pick a name from among 14 post-it notes folded in a skull cap.  Finally, sucess and Ttate came out the winner~  Congratulations!!  We pray the new Bible is a blessing to you.  
Coming up in March is going to be another giveaway that we pray you'll love.  Again, congrats to Ttate, and thank you for all the new subsribers/followers.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter too!  A link can be found to do so over to the left under "Streams of Twitter."
Grace and Peace!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

I'm reading through Colossians this month, and therefore decided on this from Spurgeon.  Now I know I said I'd be using "Spurgeon Gold" as my source for the Friday theme, but I had to switch it up this week.  I have "Morning by Morning," which is a devotional written by Spurgeon.  I actually just picked it up to read yesterday, and found there to be some rich observations that could help provoke us to deeper study.  That's always a good thing.  Now today's Friday with Spurgeon is meant as an encouragement.  An encouragement to those who are in Christ.  Because of the righteousness of our Savior, we are accounted as righteous.  This alien righteousness allows us to stand before a perfect God, Holy and majestic, and offer prayers that are actually heard.  As often as we are reminded (daily) of our imperfection and wretchedness, I thought it a good time to remind the believer of the Gospel.  The Gospel that both saves AND sustains us!!  Take a moment today to reflect on the Gospel, and the benefits of Justification to the believer.  It is so AWESOME and MERCIFUL and GRACIOUS of a God who owes man nothing to draw us, clean us from within, and declare us not guilty on the merits of His perfect Son.  Rejoice with me today for the greatness of Justification in Christ!!  May we be encouraged and motivated to share this rich Gospel with the lost. Soli Deo Gloria!!!

"Perfect in Christ Jesus." --Colossians 1:28 

Do you not feel in your own soul that perfection is not in you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear which trickles from your eye, weeps "imperfection"; every harsh word which proceeds from your lip, mutters "imperfection." You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection 
in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you--you are "perfect in Christ Jesus."In God's sight, you are "complete in Him;" even now you are "accepted in the Beloved." But there is a second perfection, yet to be realized, which is sure to all the seed. Is it not delightful to look forward to the time when every stain of sin shall be removed from the believer, and he shall be presented faultless before the throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing? The Church of Christ then will be so pure, that not even the eye of Omniscience will see a spot or blemish in her; so holy and so glorious, that Hart did not go beyond the truth when he said--
            "With my Saviour's garments on,             Holy as the Holy One." 
Then shall we know, and taste, and feel the happiness of this vast but short sentence, "Complete in Christ." Not till then shall we fully comprehend the heights and depths of the salvation of Jesus. Doth not thy heart leap for joy at the thought of it? Black as thou art, thou shalt be white one day; filthy as thou art, thou shalt be clean. Oh, it is a marvellous salvation this! Christ takes a worm and transforms it into an angel; Christ takes a black and deformed thing and makes it clean and matchless in His glory, peerless in His beauty, and fit to be the companion of seraphs. O my soul, stand and admire this blessed truth of perfection in Christ.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

Reminding Men of Death
Men have been helped to live by remembering that they must die.

Today's reflection on this entry from "Spurgeon Gold" is to shine light on the truth of this quote. Really when we think about it, folks have been able to lead normal lives with no thought of the death that lies ahead for all men. Lack of thought of one's own mortality does not help as much as it hurts. Particularly the unsaved, as their death is a passing to another death, as it were.
Yesterday I was talking to a guy and he informed me that a young lady we both knew had died. She was young (27), and I followed the normal path of someone such informed. I came with the classic follow-up of "wow, how did she die?" I was told that it was due to a wreckless lifestyle that had lead to a particular disease that eventually killed her. Nothing really noteworthy about the conversation thus far. Here's the kicker though: The gentleman then (seemingly without knowing) compared her situation that lead to death to his own situation that, since different, should NOT lead to death. He was saying how glad he was that he had changed his own lifestyle, and proceeded to tell me what that change looked like. I thought to myself, "does he (and do we) assume that because a person died from something that we no longer do (or something we don't have), we're somehow safe?"
I mean, think about it: when we hear that a person died in a car accident, it seems our default is to think of how safely we drive. If we hear a person died from a drug overdose, it's almost like "whew, I'm so glad I don't do drugs." We think in these ways as if everyone who dies around us proves our exemption from death. It's like a response that helps us to avoid the contemplation of our own deaths. If you're a person who has not been born again, this is actually understandable. Hell awaits if you die in your sins outside of Christ. Generally, since there is no avoidance of death, there need not be avoidance of the thought of death. Namely, your own death. Now I'm not be macabre here by saying one should contemplate their own death as a normal course of action. I'm simply saying that our understanding of our own mortality plays out in the way we live. To the unbeliever, (and believer alike-just in a different way) here's the message of God's Word: It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this comes the judgement (Hebrews 10:27). Appointed: whether by car accident, drug overdose, natural causes or whatever. It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that face the judgement of a righteous and Holy God. I once heard man's core problem summed up like this: "God is Holy, you are not; what are you going to do about it?" This will be an unavoidable issue at the judgement in view within the Hebrews text. The perfection of Christ is the only remedy to this "issue." Issue, in fact, is an understatement. Looking back at Spurgeon's quote think, "how can my thinking about death help me to live?"
If you feel up to it, I'd love to see comments reflecting your thoughts. I'll start by listing 1 way thinking about my own death will help me to live.
1. Thinking about my death helps me to keep in perspective my need to prepare. Paramount in that preparation is Spiritual preparation. Since I am but the air within my nostrils, I must depend wholly on God for any sustenance whatsoever. It's difficult to view myself rightly before God when I think I'm invincible.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Launch of "Drops of Thought"

Just a quick note in the spirit of my new blog called, "Drops of Thought."  It's up now, and can be accessed at  
Check it out; trust me, it'll only take a minute :)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Managed Expectations-A Poetic Note to Self...........

Hi all, I was thinking about the source of many of my fleshly moments, and was reminded of the many times I have been interrupted or otherwise "inconvenienced." I mean, there are times when I KNOW exactly what I want to get done, or exactly where I want to go, etc. Something seems to, fairly often, set my plans off track. Now I have responded to the offset differently at different times; and I've seen different outcomes based on those responses. Whenever I have responded from a perspective of "all time is a gift of God," I've really been able to find God's grace to serve at a moment's notice. It could be anything, couldn't it? I could be on the way to the front door to go check the mail, and the beautiful woman God gave me could stop me and ask me to run upstairs to get something for her or the baby. Who's need comes first? Does mine automatically come first because it was expressed first chronologically? That was an easy example I'm sure. Not like the times when you've planned a nice dinner date with your spouse and 10 minutes prior to leaving, the sitter cancelled. THAT, my friend, is a MAJOR infraction. How are we to respond when our plans don't come to fruition? What happens to our attitude when all that we've set as truth in our minds comes to naught due to a phone call? How attached to our plans and expectations are we anyway? Now, the grand question: what does GOD's Word say about all this? There will be a part II, but meanwhile I've written a poem as a note to myself about this.

Managed Expectations-Note to Self
You are what you call frustrated, but what the Bible calls angry,
Things didn't go the way you planned, so it's your selfishness mainly,
You had your entire day set, from waking moment down to the night,
But you encountered interruptions and to you, that just ain't right,
"I didn't get anything I wanted done!" You selfishly exclaim,
Do you remember, Mark 5, Jesus delayed giving life to sooth pain,
I'll bet the woman with the issue of blood would've probably been crushed,
If Jesus was so committed to His own plans just like us,
Her interruption, it seems, was a chance for the Lord to show mercy,
Our interruptions get the short end of the stick, "alright I'll help, but I'm in a hurry!"
Could it be that by thinking we can control our own days,
That the Lord allows setbacks to show us the evil in our ways?
As Christians, we are commanded to prefer one another over self,
And at times, that's a sacrifice which includes placing our own plans on the shelf,
If we live with the notion that my life is to be poured out as an offering of service,
The idea that "I might not be able to get to everything I wanted," wouldn't make us nervous
Now everybody suffers because of your "frustration," the cats. the kids, the spouse, the client,
And you say it's because there's not enough time in a day, an excuse the God of time's not buying,
There's plenty of time, we all have the same amount, but if your priority is your plan,
You will forever find that you seem to run short, because your life ain't in your hands.
If you belong to the Lord that is, you've been born again, there's something you musn't forget,
Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

If we labor for souls, we must not be content unless souls are really saved, for the apostle says, "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God." Well, does not that satisfy you, Paul? They are zealous for God. They are red-hot. "No," says he, "not unless it is in the right way. They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." We feel very thankful when we see tears stream down the cheek, but you know, people cry at the theatre, and there is not much in it. Pray God it may not end in a shower of tears; but that the heart may bleed as well as the eyes weep. It may happen that we have induced our hearers to give up some outward sins. So far, so good. But it is written, "You must be born again;" and if this vital change is not experienced, all outward reformation will land them short of Heaven.-Charles H. Spurgeon

As I read this quote out of "Spurgeon Gold," I thought about Nicodemus in John chapter 3. Maybe you don't know about Nicodemus and his nocturnal dialogue with Jesus Christ, so let me lay a bit of it out here.

3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Three Things:
1. Religion can't save a man-I don't know anyone today who goes to Church as much as Nicodemus, as a Pharisee, probably went to Synagogue. Yet, Jesus told him squarely, 'you must be born again to see OR enter the Kingdom of God.' Dear Sir or Madam, your membership and active participation in the Church of your youth do nothing to earn you favor with God. I recall times of speaking with people about their need for the Savior, only to hear "I take my family to Church EVERY week." That says nothing of one's standing with God. Unless you are born again, you cannot (utter impossibility) see the Kingdom of God. As sad as it may seem, millions of very sincere folks sit in pews of Church services weekly, and have no idea that without repentance, there is no salvation. The Pharisees were expert at playing the part of religious folks, yet inwardly their hearts in many cases, were far from God. The Bible is chock-full of warnings for us to "examine ourselves, to be sure we are in the faith." Going to Church regularly, giving money and gifts to the poor and others, or even affirmation of the claims of Christ, mean nothing if one is not born again.
2. It is not enough to have head knowledge of Jesus-Sir or madam, maybe you walked down an aisle at Church, or said a "sinner's prayer" or otherwise made a public profession of faith in Christ. From that day till now, however, there has been no change in affections, hunger for the things of God, love of and growth in Holiness, love for the brethren, and a growing hatred of sin. I would admonish you to examine yourself. Matthew 7:21 has the Lord Himself exclaiming "depart from me, I never knew you" to folks who had even cast out demons in His name. Your "knowing" God is not going to be a pass to enter the Kingdom when you die and leave this earth. It's God's knowledge of YOU. Does the Lord know you as His own? If you are unsure, now is the time to examine yourself in light of Scripture.
3. The faith that saves, is a faith that changes-Did you know that the devils believe in God, and tremble at that belief? (James 2:19) We know that the devils aren't going to Heaven, so what is it that makes your belief different than theirs? Tears at the preaching of the Word (as Spurgeon illustrates), feeling bad when you wrong someone, or even being afraid of Hell do not prove that one has been made a child of God. You must be born again.
I realize that the type of self-examination that is required here is hard. It forces us to humble ourselves and honestly assess our situation before a standard that is much higher than our own. In light of what's at stake, there is nothing in the world more important. Even if you live to be 100 years-old, eternity proves that this life is but a vapor. Where will you spend your eternity, and on what basis do you believe that? There are some hard admissions to be made, even for believers. It is absolutely not only for the unbeliever to examine him/herself; it is the duty of every Christian to examine ourselves as well. 1 John gives us a good "test," if you will to conduct an examination of our faith. Please, if you read this and are unsure of the destiny of your eternal soul, take some time to consider this message:
You have to face God when you die. The Bible says all have sinned, and fall short of the Glory of God, this means you, I, and everyone human on this planet. There is none righteous, not even one. If you've told one lie that makes you guilty of breaking God's law. God's perfect justice requires that He punish sin, and His punishment for sin (which is in our nature, not just our activities) is eternity in Hell. This is horrid, yet there is hope. God the Father sent His Son Jesus (fully God and fully man) to the earth. He lived a life of perfection that none of us is able to replicate. He was murdered by Crucifixion (died on a Cross) took upon Himself the wrath of God that we all deserve. Three days later, He ROSE FROM THE DEAD!!!! He defeated the grave in conquering death! Through the perfect life of Christ, His shed blood, death, burial and resurrection, God grants forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who believe. For this to happen, you MUST BE BORN AGAIN. This is a work that only God can accomplish. This is when God supernaturally gives you a new heart and comes to live in you in the person of the Holy Spirit. Because of this new heart and the Holy Spirit, there will begin to be a hunger for the righteousness of God that will lead to repentance, turning from sin, and trusting Christ as Lord and Savior. Repent, and obey the Gospel.

If you have read this and are a believer already, never forget the Gospel. It is not only how we come to be saved, it is how we are sustained day by day. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is a phenomenal truth-get out and share it with the lost.