For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Observation and Reflection

Okay, so it’s that time of the year. Time to get all nostalgic, reflecting back on the year that was, what I didn’t do right, what I want to do better and all that. But I’ll keep most of that to myself, thank you very much.

For this space, I want to do a little observing and reflecting about this blog site itself. I want to make a couple of observations based on the information Blogger keeps track of for me, and then reflect on the top ten posts in the history of this site. So most of you can just skip ahead now to the next blog in your Google reader or whatever. This is mainly just for myself and for those who are just so bored, they need something to do with their time, so…

Observation #1 = Interesting Search Results
One of the things Blogger tells me is the search parameters put in by others that led them to my sight. For the most part, it’s stuff I’d expect: my name, things that match titles of posts (fishers of men, all creation sings, arguments against alcohol being the top three, which correspond to top posts listed below), and so on.

However, there are a couple of surprises. One of the more popular searches leading to me is for “wiccan tattoos,” which apparently brings up an article I wrote last year for Tullian’s book “Unfashionable.” I simply mentioned a quote I’d read about supposedly Christian tattoo artists who had no problem doing wiccan tattoos. Amazing what the search engines fined.

And then my favorite search: “Right Wing Sermons.” Do a search on that and you’ll find on the first page of results my 4th of July post this year. Interesting, considering the point was a speech made in the Massachusetts Congress by the sitting president of Harvard. Anyway, guess I’m glad I come up so quickly when folks are looking for right wing sermons.

Observation #2 = Worldwide Reach of the Internet
Okay, maybe I should just say that I’m amazed that anyone ever reads this. I’m just a nobody preacher from the Midwest, ranting and raving about whatever trips my fancy. I can’t believe folks take time to read this. But more amazing still is where folks are reading from.

We truly live in a global society, I know that; but it still blows my mind that just today, people in these countries have stopped by my corner of the blogosphere: United Kingdom, Germany, Indonesia, Jordan, Malta. Malta?? Really?? And in the past week, we’ve had readers stop by from Russia, France, Canada, India, and even three hits from Latvia. Wow. How do you say “I’m reading a boring preacher from Missouri” in Latvian?

Observation #3 = People Will Surprise You
I’m also amazed at what hits the spot, draws interest, etc. I write things that I think are real hot button issues, and it seems there is little response. Then I’ll just throw something out there off the cuff, and bam! Case in point are two of the top four posts in the list below: one on Albert Pujols and one on alcohol consumption (which was simply inspired by the idiotic behavior of some NASCAR fans). You never know, I guess.

Which brings me to the top ten. Here are the top ten most often hit individual articles in the history of this site (at least in the history since Blogger started keeping track). Drum roll please…

Top Ten Posts

10. Wise Words to Young Men – On My Son’s Birthday, Jun 27, 2011.
Written for my sons 17th birthday, this is in large part just quotes from J. C. Ryle.

9. Excerpts from "Surprised By Grace,” Jan 24, 2011.
Having just read Tullian Tchividjian’s treatment of Jonah, I posted a few of my favorite quotes. Mr. Tchividjian himself found it somehow and tweeted a link to my blog. Just goes to show how much more influence he has than me!

8. Preaching to Yourself, Feb 28, 2011.
Some encouragement from Psalms 42-43 for those difficult days, weeks, months in all of our lives.

7. This May Be My Last Post, May 19, 2011.
In light of Harold Camping’s first doomsday date this year, I reflected on what my last words might be if I thought I would never speak/post again.

6. Touched By God, Jan 7, 2011.
A little reminder that getting what we ask for could be dangerous. To be “touched by God” leaves a permanent imprint on our lives. Just ask Jacob.

5. Seeking God's Face: A Sermon Summary, Oct 14, 2010.
Actually, one of my own favorites. This is a shortened version of the message I was privileged to bring to our local Baptist Association in 2010. I prayed long and hard about this message, and was pleased with the result. God was also pleased to bring some good responses from those who were there.

4. Albert Pujols and Missed Opportunities, Dec 8, 2011.
The aforementioned “off the cuff” response to Mr. Pujols leaving St. Louis. Never did I suspect it would take off like it did, jumping to this fourth over all spot in only three days. As I said, people will surprise you.

3. All Creation Sings. April 16, 2009.
Another of my own favorites, this is just a reflection on spending the early morning hours turkey hunting with my son, and the sense of awe it brings when considering our Creator. I included one of my favorite AD songs.

2. Fishers of Men...No Bait Required, March 14, 2011.
Maybe a bit controversial, this is just my reflection on the “bait and switch” tactics we use in the church, questioning if our pragmatic approaches are really what Jesus had in mind when calling us to fish for men. Not sure how many agree with my assessment, but there sure have been a lot of readers on this one.

1. An Argument Against Alcohol, May 3, 2007.
Without a doubt, far and away the most popular post I’ve ever written. And it was almost five years ago. As I said above, it was inspired by the actions of some NASCAR fans and it prompted me to say some things about the use of alcohol and the wisdom Christians in our culture to abstain. Wow, the comments and hits on this one. I never said Scripture prohibited drinking (though many confused that issue), I simply pointed out that with the dangers attached, looking out for our brothers would suggest abstaining from this particular “freedom.” I don’t want to start the arguments up again, I still stand by my original comments, and you can read those plus the follow up articles if you want to know more.

Well, there you have it. Overall, it’s a good exercise to look back, reflect, evaluate, etc. Here’s hoping I still have some things to say in the year to come, and that by God’s grace I will say them better than I have in the past. In all, if just one person is led by something here to go to God’s Word and find the truth there, then all the time and effort is worth it.

If you read this far, congratulations (and condolences). Thanks for trudging through my year end catharsis. Have a Happy New Year and Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The True Way of Keeping Christmas

As you celebrate this wonderful day and the precious birth of our Savior, may these words from George Whitefield on "The True Way of Keeping Christmas" help you examine your heart and the heart of your celebration.

I come now…to show you, who they are who do rightly observe, and truly celebrate the birth of our Redeemer.

First, That those spend their time aright, and truly observe this festival, who spend their hours in reading, praying, and religious conversation.

What can we do to employ our time to a more noble purpose, than reading of what our dear Redeemer has done and suffered; to read, that the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, came from his throne and took upon him the form of the meanest of his servants; and what great things he underwent. This, this is an history worth reading, this is worth employing our time about: and surely, when we read of the sufferings of our Savior, it should excite us to prayer, that we might have an interest in the Lord Jesus Christ; that the blood which he spilt upon mount Calvary, and his death and crucifixion, might make an atonement for our sins, that we might be made holy; that we might be enabled to put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man, even the Lord Jesus Christ; that we may throw away the heavy yoke of sin, and put on the yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, my brethren, these things call for prayer, and for earnest prayer too; and O do be earnest with God, that you may have an interest in this Redeemer, and that you may put on his righteousness, so that you may not come before him in your filthy rags, nor be found not having on the wedding garment. O do not, I beseech you, trust unto yourselves for justification; you cannot, indeed, you cannot be justified by the works of the law. I entreat that your time may be thus spent; and if you are in company, let your time be spent in that conversation which profiteth: let it not be about your dressing, your plays, your profits, or your worldly concerns, but let it be the wonders of redeeming love: O tell, tell to each other, what great things the Lord has done for your souls; declare unto one another, how you were delivered from the hands of your common enemy, Satan, and how the Lord has brought your feet from the clay, and has set them upon the rock of ages, the Lord Jesus Christ; there, my brethren, is no slipping; other conversation, by often repeating, you become fully acquainted with, but of Christ there is always something new to raise your thoughts; you can never want matter when the love of the Lord Jesus Chris is the subject: then let Jesus be the subject, my brethren, of all your conversation.

Let your time be spent on him: O this, this is an employ, which if you belong to Jesus, will last you to all eternity. Let others enjoy their cards, their dice, and gaming hours; do you, my brethren, let your time be spent in reading, praying, and religious conversations. Which will stand the trial best at the last day? Which do you think will bring most comfort, most peace, in a dying hour? O live and spend your time now, as you will wish to have done, when you come to die.

Secondly, Let the good things of life, you enjoy, be used with moderation.

I am not, as the scoffers of this day tell you, against eating and drinking the good things of life; no, my brethren, I am only against their being used to an excess; therefore, let me beseech you to avoid those great indiscretions, those sinful actions, which will give the enemies of God room to blaspheme. Let me beseech you, to have a regard, a particular regard to your behavior, at this time; for indeed the eyes of all are upon you, and they would rejoice much to find any reason to complain of you. They can say things against us without a cause; and how would they rejoice if there was wherewith they might blame us? Then they would triumph and rejoice indeed; and all your little slips, my dear brethren, are, and would be charged upon me. O at this time, when the eyes of so many are upon you, be upon your guard; and if you use the good things of this life with moderation, you do then celebrate this festival in the manner which the institution calls for.

And instead of running into excess, let that money, which you might expend to pamper your own bodies, be given to feed the poor; now, my brethren, is the season, in which they commonly require relief; and sure you cannot act more agreeable, either to the season, to the time, or for the glory of God, than in relieving his poor distressed servants. Therefore, if any of you have poor friends, or acquaintance, who are in distress, I beseech you to assist them; and not only those of your acquaintance, but the poor in general. O my dear brethren, that will turn to a better account another day, than all you have expended to please the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life. Consider, Christ was always willing to relieve the distressed; it is his command also; and can you better commemorate the birth of your king, your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, than in obeying one of his commands?

Do not, my dear brethren, be forgetful of the poor of the world; consider, if providence has smiled upon you, and blessed you with abundance of the things of this life, God calls for some returns of gratitude from you; be ye mindful of the poor, and when you are so, then you may be said to have a true regard for that time which is now approaching; if you would truly observe this festival, let it be done with moderation, and a regard to the poor of this world.

Thirdly, Let me beg of you not to alienate too much of your time from the worldly business of this life, but have a proper regard thereunto, and then you may be said rightly to observe this festival.

God allows none to be idle: in all ages business was commended; and therefore do not think that any season will excuse us in our callings; we are not, my brethren, to labor for the things of this life inordinately, but we are to labor for them will all moderation: we are not to neglect our callings; no, we are to regard those places and stations of life, which God in his providence has thought convenient for us; and therefore, when you neglect your business of the hurt of your families, whatever pretense you thereby make for so doing, you are guilty of sin; you are not acting according to the doctrine of the gospel, but are breaking the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ, both according to his word, and to his own practice.

At this festival, persons are apt to take a little more liberty than usual; and if that time from our vocations is not prejudicial to ourselves or families, and is spent in the service of God, and the good of immortal souls, then I do not thing it sinful; but there is too much reason to fear, that the time spent upon our own lusts, and then it is exceeding sinful, it is against our own souls, and it is against the good of our families, and instead of commemorating the birth of our dear Redeemer, we are dishonoring him in the greatest degree possibly we can.

Therefore, inquire strictly into your end and design in spending your time; see, my brethren, whether it proceeds from a true love to your Redeemer, or whether there is not some worldly pleasure or advantage at the bottom: if there is, our end is not right; but if it proceed entirely from love to him that died, and gave himself for us, our actions will be a proof thereof; then our time will be spent, not in the polite pleasures of life, but according to the doctrine and commands of the blessed Jesus; then our conversation will be in heaven; and O that this might be found to be the end of each of you, who now hear me; then we should truly observe this festival, and have a true regard to the occasion thereof, that of Christ's coming to redeem the souls of those which were lost.


Friday, December 23, 2011

One Pastor's Plea for This Christmas Sunday

Very rarely do I just repeat another blog. But the message in this article, especially the pastor's letter which is included, is absolutely priceless. Furthermore, I've been tossing around in my own mind this very subject, thinking of writing a post about the subject of those who would skip church on Sunday because it's Christmas, or those who would worse yet, cancel their services. This brief post from White Horse Inn addresses the issue better than I could have ever come up with. I strongly encourage you to read this, pass it along to all the men in your life, and then we'll see you in church on Sunday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Early Christmas Present

Our family received a sort of early Christmas present. I say sort of because our girls worked hard for this, and the boys and I worked at least a little bit building some fence (with lots and lots of help). Anyway, here's the story at our family blog.

The ServantHeart Homeschool Site: We Have Horses!:
Several years ago, the girls saw an ad in the paper offering horse riding lessons in exchange for work. I believe the deal was two hours of...

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Blessings of Being God’s Children

For the last several weeks, I’ve been using Galatians 4:4-5 as the basis for a series of “holiday” messages. In preparation for the celebration of our Lord’s first advent, we’ve been looking at God’s sovereign plan in sending His Son, the miracle of God in the flesh, and the purpose behind it all. We’ll be finishing this little study on Christmas morning by looking at the last issue in that Galatians text: the issue of adoption.

Oh, what a glorious thing it is to be adopted as sons and daughters of God! What a remarkable truth that we often take for granted. What an amazing display of God’s grace that He not only redeems us, but adopts us.

Anyway, in the process of studying for that last message, I came across a short sermon from Robert Murray M'Cheyne. His last point deals with the blessedness of being a son of God, and he lists these five glorious truths:

1. The first thing that makes it a blessedness is that we get the love of the Father. The moment you become a child, the Father loves you. This is shown in what Christ said to Mary: "I ascend unto my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God." Christ here intimated, that we have the same love that he had. We have not got so much of the love of the Father as Christ, because he has got an infinite capacity; but it is the same love. The sun shines as much upon the daisy as it does upon the sunflower, though the sunflower is able to contain more. Christ plainly shows you that in the 17th chapter of John, where he prays that the same love maybe in us that was in him. O how much better is it, then, to be under the love of God, than under the wrath of God!

2. Let me mention to you a second part of the blessedness we get. The Spirit of the Son dwells in us. You will see this in Galatians 4.6, "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Brethren, when Christ comes, the first thing he does is to redeem you from under the curse of the law, and then he makes you a son. O it is sweet to have the smile of Christ! it is sweet to get the love of Christ; but I will tell you what is equally as sweet ? that is to receive the Spirit of Christ. Has he given you the Spirit? He will do it if you are a son, that you may be made to cry, "Ab
ba, Father."

3. Let me mention to you another part of the blessedness of being a son of God. You get the likeness of the Father. You know this is the case in an adopted family; an adopted child in the course of time gets the very features of the family. So you get the image of the Father, and you get the love of the Father. You are taught that in Matthew 5, where Christ says, in his Sermon on the Mount, "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father "which is in heaven," that ye may bear the image of the Father. Have you that mark of adoption? Are you turning like God?

4. Let us mention another part of the blessedness. Some of you may be surprised at it. We get the chastisement of the Father. If we have no chastisement, then we are bastards, and not sons, for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not. The world are allowed to get fat; but it is not so with those that follow God; if they wander, he puts up a hedge, and if they fall into it, he puts up a wall.

5. Let me mention the last part of the blessedness. We receive the inheritance as heirs. Paul says, "If sons, then heirs." Every child in a rich family gets something when the father dies; often he shares his fortune equally among them, and the adopted child is not forgot. If we are Christ's we get all things with him. If we are Christ's, we share the government of the world with him. If we are his, we shall share the crown with him. It is called the inheritance of the saints in light. I cannot tell the blessings of being an heir of God; but I know that it is better than being an heir of hell: "He that overcometh shall inherit all things," and that for eternity ? it cannot fade away. O my brethren! will you still remain heirs of hell? If you come to Christ you will be made heirs of God. Whether is it better to get the pleasure of the world, and hell at the end, or to be made a child of God, and an heir of Christ?

An amazing collection of blessedness, and a heart searching question. Whose child are you? Whose inheritance will you receive? More important than any Christmas present under the tree is the gift of God’s Son and the Spirit of Adoption He brings. I pray you unwrap that mystery this Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homeschooler Moment #8

Our youngest comes into my bedroom one morning as I’m getting ready to head out and says, “Dad, I have a question.” I said, “OK.” He said, “Since you know everything, can people really be raised by wolves?”

After I got up off the floor and stopped laughing, I looked at the poor boy who seemed very confused. He was so serious. So I said, “Yes, son, it doesn’t happen often, but people can be raised by wolves. Why do you ask?” At which point he goes into a recitation of a Garfield comic strip where apparently Liz claims to have been raised by wolves.

The lessons here are multiple. First, I’ve trained him well to think that Dad knows everything (In fact, he accepted my “yes” answer without question. Good boy). Second, we’ve taught him the value of being discerning when reading, not just accepting everything in print. Third, it shows our literary standards in this family are quite high. All the great minds read Garfield regularly. And finally, whether you homeschool or not, I hope you take every opportunity to find teachable moments each and every day with your children.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Of Sports Stars and Idolatry

Wow. In three short days my last post about Albert Pujols leaving St. Louis shot up to be #4 on the all time hit list on this blog. Blogger stats only go back 2 1/2 years, so the all time stats might be a tad off. Still, in just those three short days, more folks clicked over to read my brief, off the cuff remarks about Albert's departure than nearly all other posts on this site.

Now, I can surmise a couple of different things by this. I could assume this means that for the most part I never write anything here that is of any real interest. So the Pujols piece just finally pricked some interest. That quite possible may be true.

Yet, I do remember a piece I wrote during the last election cycle about Mike Huckabee's run for the White House. Not only did I get some interest on that piece, but some interesting interest. I ended up being interviewed by both the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and the New York Times. Made me feel pretty important.

Also, this is only the fourth most viewed post, so there are three more out there that have at least had some attention drawn. Granted, the short time period here is mind boggling for me, but still.

Maybe it's just to save my own pride, but I think there might be a different answer. I think it might have to do with the near worship we shower on professional athletes. One could point out the similarities between the various "houses of worship" where thousand gather to sing/shout their praises to their "god." Much of the activity in church and stadium have striking similarities.

But beyond that is the way our hearts and minds are captured. Even walking into a Sunday School classroom, the conversation at the beginning often involves sports and sports figures. Oddly enough, I can't say that the stadium conversations before a game often include commentary on the latest sermon heard. Most folks will more readily talk about their favorite ball player than they will about their Savior, just as most folks will readily pass on a social media post about said sports star more quickly than something involving "churchy" subjects.

What does this say about our priorities? And if anyone or anything has a higher priority in our hearts, minds and actions than God, does that person or thing not by definition become an idol? And what does it say about the reality of our faith when we're less likely to talk about God to our friends than we are to spout off about the latest sports gossip?

Trust me, folks, I'm not throwing stones here. I've been challenging myself with these thoughts as much as anyone else. (I may or may not have been the one to bring Pujols up in SS class). And I know I'm not the first person to bring the issue up, to make the comparison, etc. So I don't expect this particular post to hit the top ten list anytime soon.

Still, I can't help but think about a definition of worship I once heard (from Voddie Baucham I think, but I'm not sure). Worship is that which we set our mind's attention and heart's affection upon. So do we set our mind's attention and heart's affection more on football or God? Are our conversations more about baseball or Christ? Are we influenced more by playoff scenarios, or the Holy Spirit? Just some thoughts for reflection.

Psalm 72:18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Psalm 86:10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.
Isaiah 45:22 "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Albert Pujols and Missed Opportunities

As most have heard by now, St. Louis Cardinal star Albert Pujols has left the Midwest for greener pastures in California. He signed a 10 year contract with the Los Angeles Angels for a reported $250 million. The Cardinals were reported to have offered a contract as long, but with about $50 million less. So in speaking of missed opportunities, am I talking about the Cardinals missing out by not offering more? No.

The missed opportunity here is for a highly visible professing Christian to back up his words with his life. Pujols has always been very open about his faith. And for the most part, it really seems as though he tries to live that faith out. But here he had the perfect opportunity to show that for the Christian, our priorities are different.

He has always said, it’s not about the money. And I know nothing about the inner workings of contract negotiations. But this I do know. $200 million dollars over a lifetime, let alone the next 10 years, ought to be more than enough for a guy to live on. And from the outside looking in, it sure seems like it’s all about the money.

This would have been a great opportunity for a world class athlete on the national stage to step up and show the world that we don’t live for the things of this world. Loyalty to a team that invested so much in you early on, loyalty to a fan base that has elevated you to the top, etc. mean more than the dollar signs. But alas, no such statement was made.

Again, I know nothing of the contract negations. I’m sure there is much more to it than this. And I don’t know Mr. Pujols personally, so I probably should be very careful in making judgments. Furthermore, as a lifetime Cardinal fan I’m sure this is more sour grapes than anything else.

But I can’t help wondering what a grand statement could have come from someone standing up and saying: folks, as a Christian my priorities are different than the rest of the world. I’m turning down a boatload of money to stand for loyalty, team, etc. Instead, the comments I've heard already are all focused on disappointment over seeming greed.

I wish Mr. Pujols the best. I hope he has a long, productive career with the Angels (probably ensured to be longer because of the American League’s designated hitter option). Maybe we’ll have to wait for Tim Tebow to turn down some mega million dollar offer to see the kind of statement I was looking for.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Preaching the Cross at Christmas

Jon Cardwell was gracious enough to make available a pre-release draft of his upcoming book Christ and Him Crucified. I’ve only read the first couple chapters, but I’m already loving it. I love it for this one simple fact: it reminds us again of the centrality of the Cross.

For the last few weeks I’ve taken a break from preaching through Luke’s gospel and we’ve been looking at this one sentence from Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches:

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Gal. 4:4-5, ESV)

(BTW you can listen to those messages by following the links over on the right of the page; if you're having trouble sleeping, this is a surefire cure!)

Not only is this an appropriate “holiday” text because it refers to Christ’s coming, but I love it because it centers on the purpose of that coming. I know we like to separate our Christmas and our Easter, but the truth is it can’t truly be done. Sure you can try. You can talk only about the babe in the manger, the shepherds, the angels, the wise men and so on. But unless you talk about the cross, you’re not really talking about the real Jesus.

Here’s the way Jon put it: “The person of Jesus Christ should never be divorced from the work of Jesus Christ. What He has done flows from who He is; and who Christ is necessitates what He does. Jesus is not merely the Christ, but He is the Christ who was crucified… Christ’s atoning death can never be removed from who Jesus is, else He would not be the Christ of scripture, neither would He be the Christ of history.”

I love that. This is why Paul told the church at Corinth that he refused to know nothing among them except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. To speak of Christ at all we have to speak of His purpose as Redeemer. As B. B. Warfield once wrote:

“There is no one of the titles of Christ which is more precious to Christian hearts than ‘Redeemer.’ There are others, it is true, which are more often on the lips of Christians. The acknowledgment of our submission to Christ as our Lord, the recognition of what we owe to Him as our Saviour, - these things, naturally, are most frequently expressed in the names we call Him by.

“’Redeemer,’ however, is a title of more intimate revelation than either ‘Lord’ or ‘Saviour.’ It gives expression not merely to our sense that we have received salvation from Him, but also to our appreciation of what it cost Him to procure this salvation for us. It is the name specifically of the Christ of the cross. Whenever we pronounce it, the cross is placarded before our eyes and our hearts are filled with loving remembrance not only that Christ has given us salvation, but that He paid a mighty price for it.”

We can’t celebrate Christmas apart from a celebration of the cross. We can’t talk about Jesus’ birth with a recognition of the purpose of that birth. We can’t talk about Jesus at all without, as Warfield says, having the cross plastered before our eyes. To speak of Jesus we must speak of the cross and the purpose of it all.

Some folks may think it odd that in the four part series I’m preaching this Advent season, based on the Galatians text, that only one of those messages focuses on the Incarnation itself. The others all focus on God’s Sovereign work of Redemption and Adoption based on Christ’s work on the cross. Preaching the cross at Christmas might seem out of place, but I don’t know how else we can proclaim Christ at all if we’re not proclaiming Christ crucified.

We like to repeat the angel’s message of “good tidings and peace on earth,” but apart from the Substitutionary Atonement, the events of Christmas give no hope at all; no good news; no offer of real peace.

So as we celebrate His coming, I hope you are focused on the reason for it. I hope you see that God sending His Son was for the purpose of redemption, which suggests the need for man to be redeemed. I hope you see that in that manger, the depth of your sin is on full display. I hope your trust is not in a babe in a manger, but in the God-Man on the cross and His empty tomb. I hope you remember that to speak of Jesus Christ, you must speak of Him crucified. And in that truth may you find truly good tidings of great joy and genuine peace.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shameless (Unsolicited) Promotion

Not that anyone really cares, but I have a new profile picture for the blog. For awhile now I’ve wanted to have one of those fun caricatures to use here, but never had the opportunity to get one made.

That’s when I ran across a comment from Dan Nuckols of Dan’s Pulpit and Highland Graphics. I’ve enjoyed for some time the cartoons Dan produces, especially those dealing with the issue of evolution vs. creation.

So, Dan had made the comment about doing caricatures, so I contacted him to see if he could do one for me, and voila, the results are right here.Note: in interest of full disclosure, and to further show my “shamelessness,” the bottom half of the drawing actually comes from a famous pose of my favorite preacher in his younger days; none other than Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I hope he wouldn’t be offended. I’m obviously nowhere near his class, but I thought it would be a fun pose.
Anyway, I just thought I’d share this info with you so as to promote Dan’s endeavors. Check his sites out. If you could use his services, I’m sure he would appreciate it. Again, I don’t really know Dan personally, so this isn’t a paid ad or anything. I just really liked the product and wanted to point out the source. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I'll try to post something slightly more profound very soon.