Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Let Us Take Holiness Seriously..."

Matt Chandler is pastor of The Village Church in Texas...a church God has blessed greatly in a very short amount of time. So young but speaks with surprising depth. I really appreciate his directness. In fact, can I just say, please don't let the fact that he is speaking to a bunch of seminary students keep you from asking yourself, "is this for me? Is he talking about me?" Why not pray right now before you watch this and ask God to make your heart soft...
Click to listen to this good message.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Update Straight From The Horse's Mouth

 Here is the text of a note Janie just sent out to our praying friends:


We have so much to be thankful for. Mostly for your faithful prayers. We see God work in our lives everyday. I am almost back to myself. My energy has returned and the brain fog has kind of lifted so I am back to running everyone’s lives again. This is not really appreciated as it involves clean rooms, homework, and instrument practicing. But I remind myself that a prophet is withou

Friday, November 20, 2009


Daniel showed this to me...for those (like me) who can't play may almost think you can...

You'll figure out what to do...enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More No News Is Good News

Yes, that does sound funny. But we're happy to report that there is nothing new to report! Janie is feeling fine, though the cough persists. She (ironically) feels much better on chemo day and the few days after...probably due to the steroids. Her voice still gets hoarse, more so on chemo day...also probably due the steroids?? She drags a bit by Saturday and Sunday. So she may be the one person on the planet who looks forward to Monday and chemotherapy!

In other news, I myself had a visit to the doctor. I have been having pain in my hip for a few months and finally broke down and let the doctor take a look. So off to the orthopedic doc who did my shoulder seven years ago. Funny, I get myself dressed up nicer than my usual day-off wear, so as to be on a level playing know, fellow professionals and all that. The nurse shows me into the exam room and promptly says, "you'll need to wear this." I don't even need to describe this to know what this is...I swear, I'm going to invent a keep-your-dignity-johnny and make a million bucks. The doctor never saw my professional looking getup.

So Dr. B and I discuss the situation and he says,

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Saw What I Saw

Sarah Groves' rather affecting video of her trip to Rwanda. Would you give the shirt off your back? Man, I hope I would...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Creativity is Better Than Consumption

We use the city library a lot. As we were heading out the door this week, Carly sighed contentedly, "I love the library. The library is the best thing in the, strike that. The library is the second best thing in the world."

I raised an eyebrow. "And, the first-best thing would be...?"

"A notebook."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Switchfoot 'Spirit'

I don't know what album this came off of...must have been a bonus track somewhere. A.W. Tozer says when Jesus is glorified, the Spirit comes. What were the disciples doing when the Spirit came at Pentecost (Act 2)? Glorifying Jesus. We should probably pay more attention to this.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Forgotten God

Have a peek inside Francis Chan's new book, Forgotten God. I haven't read it yet, but this got me curious and I liked Crazy Love.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More Church Bulletin Bloopers From Carly

"A reminder during tax time: don't let worry kill you - let the church help."

"The peacemaking meeting originally scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict."

"Don't forget next month's Prayer and Fasting Conference. Registration is only $50, and that price includes all meals and snacks."

"Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa."

*from the book, "A Laugh a Day" from Hallmark Books

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Antipsalm 23

Dr. David Powlinson (a professor who teaches biblical counseling at Westminster Seminary) wrote an article for Boundless webzine in which he describes how there are only two ways of 'doing' life. He brilliantly retools Psalm 23 to describe life without God.

Two ways of doing life

From Jesus' point of view, there are two fundamentally different ways of doing life. One way, you're connected to a God who's involved in your life. Psalm 23 is all about this: "The Lord is my shepherd ... and his goodness and mercy surely follow me all the days of my life." The other way, you're pretty much on your own and disconnected. Let's call this the antipsalm 23:

Antipsalm 23
I'm on my own.
No one looks out for me or protects me.
I experience a continual sense of need. Nothing's quite right.
I'm always restless. I'm easily frustrated and often disappointed.
It's a jungle — I feel overwhelmed. It's a desert — I'm thirsty.
My soul feels broken, twisted, and stuck. I can't fix myself.
I stumble down some dark paths.
Still, I insist: I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
But life's confusing. Why don't things ever really work out?
I'm haunted by emptiness and futility — shadows of death.
I fear the big hurt and final loss.
Death is waiting for me at the end of every road,
but I'd rather not think about that.
I spend my life protecting myself. Bad things can happen.
I find no lasting comfort.
I'm alone ... facing everything that could hurt me.
Are my friends really friends?
Other people use me for their own ends.
I can't really trust anyone. No one has my back.
No one is really for me — except me.
And I'm so much all about ME, sometimes it's sickening.
I belong to no one except myself.
My cup is never quite full enough. I'm left empty.
Disappointment follows me all the days of my life.
Will I just be obliterated into nothingness?
Will I be alone forever, homeless, free-falling into void?
Sartre said, "Hell is other people."
I have to add, "Hell is also myself."
It's a living death,
and then I die.

The antipsalm tells what life feels like and looks like whenever God vanishes from sight.

....the antipsalm doesn't need to tell the final story. It only becomes your reality when you construct your reality from a lie. In reality, someone else is the center of the story. Nobody can make Jesus go away. The I AM was, is and will be, whether or not people acknowledge that.
When you awaken, when you see who Jesus actually is, everything changes. You see the Person whose care and ability you can trust. You experience His care. You see the Person whose glory you are meant to worship. You love Him who loves you. The real Psalm 23 captures what life feels like and looks like when Jesus Christ puts his hand on your shoulder.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Can you taste the difference?

Bitter versus sweet.

You can read his whole article here.