Monday, December 11, 2006

The Man in Black, Johnny Cash....

makes God's judgment hip and cool... I found this song and video very interesting, a song called "God will cut you down" and everyone on Hollywood's "A" list seems to be singing those words, kinda interesting if you ask me... Check it out...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

And the word of 2006 is.... Truthiness

"We're at a point where what constitutes truth is a question on a lot of people's minds, and truth has become up for grabs," said Merriam-Webster president John Morse. "'Truthiness' is a playful way for us to think about a very important issue."

Just another sign of the Postmodern times. It seems funny how this word came from Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central and now is a word that according to the dictionary people is a good word to describe people's view of truth, and how it seems to be "up for grabs".

I am a 26 year old, married father and am interested to see what the word will be when my daughter is 26, maybe "Godiness" and people will say that "God has become up for grabs" Whatever the case I am not nervous or worried, cause God is on His throne still reigning, and that is an unshakable, indelible TRUTH, no matter how you perceive it!

To check out the whole CNN article click here

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Out of Sight

Here I am in my nice office, in my nice house 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, I have a desktop computer, and a laptop next to it, we have 2 cars neither over 10 years old, and we have a refrigirator full of food, and a pantry also full of food. We live in a nice neighborhood and occasionally on the way to work see a homeless person, but I am a sinful, selfish man. I easily get lost in my utopia of stuff and forget that on this same planet, people made in the image of God, like me, are dying, starving, and being exterminated. Rwanda, Uganda, Iraq, Korea, China, Somalia, Kenya. May I be brought to my knees in prayer and may I also give, and pray how else God can use me to help the helpless, homeless, and orphaned. After all we have been given the greatest treasure of all, how can we In Christ not yearn to share it with a refugee in Uganda, or a alcoholic homeless man on Central Ave. here in Alb, and not just the message of the cross, but also, although not as important, food, clothing, money, prayer, love.

I think my point in this rambling is that in my world of clothes in abudacne, technology all around, and family support I forget this world is fallen and there are those image bearers that live in cardboard boxes, have no family and will not make to see the sun, but hopefully by the grace of God will see the Son.
This Article found at New Attitude is what really convicted me on my blissfull and sinful ignorance.

Also Vitamin Z's blog on the movie he just watched, which I have not seen but is now the next movie on my Netflix queue.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

From the Bar to the Cross....

Tonight marks a sort of anniversary, not so much the date Nov. 22, but the eve before Thanksgiving. 4 years ago tonight some friends from out of town picked me up at a house I was living at that was a sort of unofficial frat house. We headed downtown here in Albuquerque, for really one purpose, to catch up, and to get drunk. We went to my fav. bar, Anodyne and started to get our drink on. As the night went on I got more and more sloshed, not that that was something new however it was pretty normal for me to enjoy a drink or ten. The bar closed I got home somehow, I think my friends drove me, and ended up puking on the floor near my bed and then basically trying to beat my roommates with a bat or some kind of foreign object. I do remember one friend helping me eat a cup of roman soup and then I remember waking up the next morning to the phone ringing... It was a coach from the UNM Men's basketball team where I worked and still work, I was late for practice. I got up, very hung over and smelling like the gutter outside of Anodyne, still had the clothes on from the night before that actually had puke on them still. I got in my Jeep and headed to The Pit, I made it in, made up some excuse, got the work done, left and headed to my grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner which was not as good hungover. That night however something happened in my heart, for the first time I realized that this life was not going anywhere, but it was not like a I better change and get better feeling, it was a this lifestyle is wrong.

It was that next night as I was driving that I turned on the Christian radio station and this pastor was talking about the women at the well (John 4). The pastor said how this women was a very sinful person, that she had had 7 husbands and now was shacking up with some dude. Jesus basically called her out on it and she was obviously ashamed, but the pastor then talked on how Jesus forgave this woman at the cross, that he was the son of God and that was what gave Him authority to forgive, and she did nothing to do gain forgiveness it was simply God's grace. I thought as I drove that I am the same as this woman, my sin was not like hers exactly, but it was still sin, and God will not just let my sin slide, and in light of who God was in His awesome holiness I sat there ashamed of who I was and realized I deserved to be sent to Hell for my life and my actions. I had an idea of the Gospel as I was raised catholic and more than that the UNM Coaches, Coach McKay and the assistants were Christians and had shared the gospel many times with me, but now for the first time it was like I actually heard it and believed it!

That was 4 years ago, when God softened my heart and unclogged my ears. Today I cling to the cross still, it is not as if I had this 'revelation' and then moved on, no rather the more I read the Bible the more I realized how far I really fall from the standards God has for all of us, perfection, not just our human idea of perfection, but God's Holy perfection. The cross is the only way to approach God, you see, Jesus Christ is God's son, He is God, He is man, he came down, lived a perfect life, died on the cross (a very gruesome, public execution), and on the 3rd day He did rise and people did see Him in His risen form. On that cross He became my and yours if you believe, substitute for the punishment that we deserve for our sin, and He died as a sacrifice so we could be forgiven, and He rose as a sign that His sacrifice was acceptable, and that the righteousness He achieved while living on earth, He now puts on us so as we approach God, we are covered in righteousness, an outside righteousness given to us who trust in Jesus that all this is true!!

That is my faith, it is not that I think I am better than anyone, cause I am not, in fact I know what goes on in my heart and mind and feel that all that read this are my moral superiors, it is what Jesus Christ did and was and is that makes me right with God.

4 Years ago I was a sinner who deserved hell, today I am a sinner who deserves hell but by the grace (undeserved gift) of God through the cross of Christ, I am going to heaven!!!

Yeah I got somethings to be thankful for tomorrow, my daughter Jordyn, my beautiful wife Lauren, my home, my friends, my church, my job, but really all that will pass, I will die, and heaven and God and seeing His glory will be there and that shall never pass- Truly something to be eternally thankful for!!!!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Brotherly Love in the Workplace

It really is all about teamwork!!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jesus Camp

I am not quite sure how to take this movie coming out. In many ways what I see, at least in this trailer is not good. We are shown parents who feel it is their duty to raise up an army for God, however after listening to these kids one thing is missing from their "agenda", the gospel. Replaced is a political, right wing agenda, and a underlying fear that God is not big enough to change the world by the simple preaching of His Gospel and the change they want is a legalistic, pharisee type change. The reality is, these people do not trust the Power of God unto salvation, and feel that they have to replace the gospel with very dramatic pep rallies for Jesus. I am not worried about this film, or do I think God is up in heaven biting his nails, but I do pray for these people, especially the kids. That the Spirit would open their eyes to the truth, and see who they are (sinful people) and who God is (Holy, Holy, Holy) and then see Jesus (Saviour, Redeemer). But like I said God is not worried or has for a split second stop reigning!!!!
Jesus Camp Website
Just my thoughts.....

Monday, October 16, 2006

Where My Joy is Found......

Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,
Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,
Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,

Working late, tired, feeling kind of sick, not really
enjoying life and having a victorious Christian "attitude"
whatever Joel Osteen thinks that may be.

This is my hope, this is my joy, this is my smile and my
passion, my esteem, my delight, my love and it has
nothing to do with me inasmuch as I
have had a hand in it!!!!!!

Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,
Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,
Oh Praise the one who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead,

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"And They Will See The Son of Man.....

.....coming in clouds with great power and glory. " Um ..... yeah.... not sure this is what Mark had in mind as he was being inspired to write this. If you look closely you can see a mullet on Jesus!!! I still think Balloons can be used to God's Glory (see below) but this may be trying too hard, it is like taking the cheesy church sign and pumping it with steroids of cheesiness!!!!

I can see it now, "I prayed to God for a sign, and behold Jesus floated by it was a miracle!!!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Up, Up and Away

This week is the annual Balloon Fiesta here in Albuquerque, and that means 2 things, we get a pretty cool skyline like above and also we get a lot of traffic with all the tourists. They estimate that over 100,000 people will go to the fiesta, and that got me thinking. Why?? What is so great about watching big, colorful balls go up in the air, I mean unless you are riding in one all you are is a spectator. The answer came this morning as I drove to work. My drive is usually across town from my home on the west mesa to my office so I have a pretty cool view of the whole city as I come down. I caught myself watching the balloons more than the road, and I thought to myself, how cool, how grand, how peaceful, but mostly "dang that is a lot of balloons".

What popped in my head was what John Piper said last week about greatness, how we do not go to the Bulls game cause Michael Jordan is just as good as us, or go hear U2 cause Bono is an average singer, no we go cause we are naturally attracted to that which is greater, grander, more awesome than us. While Bono and Jordan are talented, this natural instinct was made for adoration and worship of God, the grandest, greatest and most awesome One. So we do not go to the balloon fiesta to see a bunch of balloons we blew up, no, we go to see giant globes that carry people!!! We go to watch a giant polar bear, or whiskey bottle float up in the air as we look at it and realize how big the balloon is and then in turn how little we are.

What a God we have, how he uses Balloons floating over our city to point to His greatness, to His bigness. It does not stop simply there, for us that are in Christ it points to more. We see His transcendence and then marvel at His immenence (closeness) to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is God, and is what big balloons and great athletes point to, even if they don't know it. He is the all and all, He is the only one deserving the title Awesome! He came down took on our flesh, experienced our struggles, and in a lot of ways experienced struggles we will never face, and then was killed on a cross, and 3 days later was resurrected and exalted to the right side of the Father where He reigns. He also sends down the Holy Spirit, also God, to live in our hearts and minds, to open our eyes and unclogg our ears, to see and hear the Great News of our Glorious Redeemer. Yeah that seems to be greater than a floating bottle, or bear.

Hallelujah, What a Saviour!!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Piper and Driscoll- All I can say is wow!!!

As a young man of 26 I look up to Dr. John Piper with great respect and in so many ways like Paul told the Philippians to do, I strive to imitate Piper's faith. Here is an exchange between Dr. Piper and Mark Driscoll, following what some thought to be a sign that they are not on the "same team". Read it and think about someone in your life that you can encourage, love and stand firm together for the gospel!!!!!
  • Driscoll-Piper E-Mail Exchange
  • Monday, October 02, 2006

    Desiring God 2006

    So 24 hours after coming back to the desert from Minnesota and the Desiring God conference I look back at this past weekend with one thought.... Christ and His Supremacy in all things!

    That is really what this conference was about. The conference was aptly titled "Above All Earthly Powers, The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World". The first speaker we heard from was on Friday night, David Wells whose book was the titled
    Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World.
    I recommend you purchase this book, as well as the 3 other books that proceeded this volume by Wells. David Wells's talk was an outline for the weekend. Wells spoke on basically how all through out life Christ is Supreme and he used the Book of Hebrews to showcase this fact. I had never heard Wells although I had read some of his works and was simply in awe of how Christ just poured out of this man. Plus he was English and the accent gives him credibility and intelligence in whatever he says, just kidding, but what he was saying was breathtaking. It was simply, Christ and His Supremacy.

    The night than followed with a 1 hour discussion time between, Tim Keller, Mark Driscoll and John Piper and was mediated by Justin Taylor (who as it turns out is our new worship leader's old roommate). It was great to see Driscoll and Piper sitting there, two so different men with one Supreme bond, Christ. The night ended with joy and excitement for the next 2 days that laid ahead.

    We woke up early the next day after going to bed late (well late for new parents that are in bed by 11pm usually). We headed over to the convention center and heard an amazing message from Voddie Bauchman, after which I along with the rest of the conference went and purchased his book. Voddie's passion for truth was inspiring to imitate. His passion for racial harmony for no other reason than biblical ones was amazing, because they were God's passion for racial harmony!!

    After Voddie was Tim Keller, and his urge for us to go to the city, to be in the center of culture. I write this feeling convicted as our downtown and city center here in ABQ is about 30 min away. But his excitement for being in the city to change culture, and for us not to just go and become the city but by God's grace go and be lights and transform the city. Keller's thought about that we don't get beyond the gospel, we do not say "Ok got the gospel, now what" the gospel is the substance to everything, all pours from the gospel, and we must always stand in the gospel.

    After a good lunch in Minneapolis's very cool and trendy downtown, heck they got a 2 story Target, we headed back to hear Mark Driscoll.

    Mark in someways was a guy that I think a lot of people were wanting to hear. John Piper had spoke on how he had received a lot of flack for inviting Mark to speak at the Conference. I was very familiar with Mark, as I had read his books and love to hear his sermons that I Podcast weekly, as well as his blogs and websites. It turns out that a lot of people had heard that Mark was a controversial speaker and someone that crosses the line and goes too far, which being a sinful human like all of us he does. But man I did not realize the controversy that surrounded him. His talk was on the Christ and the Church in a Postmodern world, it was a very good talk, maybe my favorite. His outline of the foundational things he grasps and stands firm in, in one hand and with the other does have an open hand was so needed in our sometime over critical, quick to dismiss reformed circles. All in all I think John Piper made the right choice in not giving in to those people that were calling for Mark's excommunication and head!

    After Mark's talk there was another panel like the previous night, this panel had Piper, Bauchman, Wells and D.A. Carson. The one thing I saw was vulnerability as these great theologian types allowed us to see them as simply broken men. Carson's tears over his father's ministry and that he did not see the fruit that came from it, Wells want to be "hip, man" like Driscoll, and Piper's fatherly care for Mark. Voddie's talk on Racial harmony and how our supreme goal should not be "How diverse is our church?" but "How are we doing with preaching truth in a way that color does not have a hint of significance?".

    After a nice dinner, we heard from Dr. Carson, now at this point I must tell you my head was close to exploding, and I was almost to the point of being crouched down in the fetal position and crying in the conference room. Why?? I was very overloaded with such great talks from the whole day that adding Carson to it was the elephant that broke the camel's back. So I did enjoy Carson's talk, how he spoke on the Trinitarian love and how that is our starting point. I will need to listen to all these talks again, slowly and take notes, and especially Carson's.

    After a beer and talk with friends me and wife hit our pillows ready to come in Sunday to here Dr. Piper's talk/sermon. Piper was like always, passionate and expressive with his emphasis of joy. He has been such a major impact on my theology, my growth and my call that I was very excited sitting there listening to him. Piper started of speaking of how someone in the crowd had called him out, in the same way he had called out Mark as being wary of Mark's cleverness in culture and his own cleverness in academia. What was amazing was not only did he take the slight rebuke in, but also shared this with 3000 people, what humbleness. Piper than talked about the joy of Christ, and how that is the end, to be with Christ, that is true Joy, and that is the end of everything for those who cling to the cross.

    That is a brief, very inadequate summary of the conference, also the bookstore was a great place as well!!!! I Discovered the possibilities with my credit card!!

    The thing that was amazing was that there was no 5 points to going out to the Postmoderns and being effective, or how to's. There was no applications really in any talks, it was simple. Christ is Supreme in any and every culture, and all flow out from that, that's our application, and all I can say is Amen!!!!!

    Thursday, September 28, 2006

    Is it March Yet????

    Not my parents theology...

    I grew up catholic, got baptized as a infant, recieved my first communion, got confirmed, and went to a Catholic high school. So it goes without saying that where my theology (the theology of Martin Luther, Calvin, Owen and Piper) is now and how my parents raised me are not alike, although now by God's grace my parents attend Desert Springs Church where I go. My wife on the other hand did grow up in a evangelical Christian home. Her parents were part of the "seeker-friendly", "personal relationship" generation. It is kind of a purpose driven culture, although they are more reformed than most their generation.

    All this being said, it seems that a new generation is rising up that is more focused on God's Renown, on His Glory.A passion to let scripture be scripture, and just want to know what it says. Also on the rise is a passion for old dead guys, such as Luther, Augustine, Martin Lloyd Jones, Calvin, Spurgeon and Edwards. Also a rise in Puritan theology and study is having a rebirth, so to speak. The article
  • The Young, Restless, Reformed
  • says it a lot better than I can, it is a good read, so enjoy.

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    UFC Mania!!!!!

    Men beating the bloody pulp out of each other, choking each other out, breaking their limbs, yeah just another day at the office for UFC fighters.

    Last night a group from church got together to watch the latest UFC fight featuring the welterweight champion Matt Hughes and the challenger BJ Penn. The fight started off with the first two rounds of domination by Penn, but after the 2nd round Penn looked a lot like me after running 1/2 a mile, basically like he was going to pass out from exhaustion. Hughes then "imposed his will" on Penn and ended up putting him in a crucifix hold and beating his head like a pinata to the point where you expected candy to fall out. Winner-Hughes.

    The best part was that our new worship leader and his wife came over to watch. This was their first UFC experience. It is always fun to watch newcomers as they see the manly display of punches, kicks and submissions in all its glory so to speak. At first they seemed to be a little nervous to watch this, but by the end of the night I think it is safe to say they were hooked, if you want their experience click here.... Vitamin Z's Take on UFC

    All in all it was a good night of UFC, beer, munchies and fellowship. Yes I said fellowship, UFC watching can be fellowship. Christians do not always have to be huddled around holding hands singing Crowder songs and sharing testimonies. Fellowship can involve watching 2 greatly trained men fight and pummel each other in a state sanctioned event. The next fight will be a rematch of 2 guys that cannot stand each other, Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, this will be their 3rd and final fight. It will also be another night of fellowship and maybe another chance to introduce someone to UFC.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Cannot Sleep....

    So it is 11:41pm as I type and my wife and daughter are both fast asleep as for me, well I am obviously not! Which is kinda new for me as I usally do not have too much trouble getting to sleep. The reason may be that tomorrow is my Papa's funeral, and I am to give the Eulogy. I have never before had a close relative die, the closest person I had die to me before my papa was my friend Billy who killed himself 3 years ago. Death is funny, we all seem to be heading for it, but yet in our own flesh we try to deny its inevitability, we get surgery so we stay young, we make sure we eat right and get pills to help us feel like we are 20 years old still even though we are 60. Why is it that we do so?? Could it be not so much the actual dying part, but the part that comes after?? Could we all realize that on our own once we die we will face a Holy God and be held accountable for our deeds and righteousness and if we do not match up with His Holy standards we are then judged and sent to an eternal punishment?? I am a Christian and I do believe in Hell and Do believe I deserve it, but also believe that when I die I will be judged on someone else's righteousness and deeds and that someone else is Jesus Christ! He took on my sin,my deeds that were like filthy rags to God and recieved the punishment due, and gave me His standing as righteous before God, what a humbling thought. I stand amazed at God's love in Christ Jesus daily, although I confess I do not do so nearly enough and pray for a more passionate heart and a more biblical mind to know the depths, heights and widths of God's Love.