• Tuesday, November 30, 2010
  • A couple of weeks ago Time magazine featured the story "Who Needs Marriage?" It set off a storm of responses. Al Mohler who is the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is as C.J. Mahaney calls him, "the smartest man on the face of the planet and he is on our side," has written a response worth reading.

    Who Needs Marriage? TIME Asked the Question — Do You Have an Answer?
    Who needs marriage? I do. You do. We all do — and for reasons far more fundamental than can be explained “in purely practical terms.”
    Monday, November 29, 2010
    “When an institution so central to human experience suddenly changes shape in the space of a generation or two, it’s worth trying to figure out why.” Belinda Luscombe of TIME magazine made that observation in the course of reporting on a major study of marriage undertaken by TIME and the Pew Research Center. In the cover story for the magazine’s November 29, 2010 edition, Luscombe summarizes their findings with a blunt statement: “What we found is that marriage, whatever its social, spiritual, or symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used to be.”

    Without doubt, marriage has been utterly transformed in the modern world. In Western nations, the concept of marriage as a sacred covenant has given way to the idea that marriage is merely a legal contract. The limitation of sexual intercourse to marriage went the way of the Sexual Revolution, even as the ideal of permanence gave way to no-fault divorce and serial monogamy. And as for monogamy, that may be on shaky ground, too. These days, you can’t take anything for granted.


  • Friday, November 26, 2010

  • Wednesday, November 24, 2010
  • This Thanksgiving, don't be one of the 9 but be the one of the ten. HAPPY THANKSGIVING

    "Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” (Luke 17:15-17)



  • Tuesday, November 23, 2010
  • Follow the link for some great suggestions of Bible-saturated, gospel-centered music for children if you are looking for ideas for Christmas. There are additional ideas if you read some of the comments.



  • Friday, November 19, 2010
  • We will miss Christmas on 84th Street and the telling of the Christmas story but have a wonderful alternative event to recommend to you. Berean Church is hosting Andrew Peterson (my personal favorite Christian artist) doing "Behold the Lamb of God" on Friday, December 10.  Andrew takes you on a musical journey from the promise to the prophets to the incarnation. It is a biblical theology of God born a man saturated with Scripture and moving us through the glorious narrative of the wonder of incarnation.

    Tickets are only $15.00 ($20.00 for the premium seats) which I think are pretty cheap for concerts these days. My guarantee is that you will be nourished and blessed as we move into the Christmas season. Tickets can be purchased at the Berean website below and the video is a taste of two of the songs he will bring.


  • Deb and I will be celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary next week (on Thanksgiving Day) and this counsel from Jani Ortlund is not radical for us, but we are not quite 6 seconds each morning. Something tells me we will be .. :) How about you?  Jani is the wife of Pastor Ray Ortlund of Immanuel Church in Nashville.

    What can six seconds do for you? Woman to woman, let me encourage you that just six seconds a day can help safeguard your marriage.

    How you say goodbye as you and your husband begin your day can help you build a lifelong romance. Ray and I send each other off each morning with a six-second kiss, and after 39 years of marriage, I highly recommend it!

    After years of a quick shout from somewhere near the back door, it started with “Goodbye, honey. See you tonight . . .” which left us both wanting more. It stopped when we decided that before we went out to face our day we would scout the other out, wrap each other up in a warm embrace, and begin our day with an intimate, very married, six-second kiss.

    Try it. Tomorrow when you say goodbye, take your husband’s face in your hands. Look deeply into his eyes. Ask him to hold you for just six seconds. Tell him you love him. Admire him. Tell him you can’t wait until the day is done and you’ll have time together again, and then kiss him like you mean it.

    Go ahead. Try it! Your young children will grow up feeling secure in the love between their parents. Your adolescents will blush, groan, and hope their friends don’t see you. Your teens will hope that someday they can build a marriage like their parents. And if there are no children around? Hmmmm, now there’s an interesting situation!

    “Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him and would not let him go . . .” Song of Solomon 3:4


  • Thursday, November 18, 2010
  • I am looking forward to the Advent Season for a devotional reading that I highly recommend for you and your family ... Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus; Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas edited by Nancy Guthrie. I used this last year and found it an extraordinary read. The book is 22 readings for Advent by such writers as George Whitfield, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, John Piper, Charles Spurgeon, Saint Augustine, John MacArthur, J.C. Ryle, and many others. It is published by Crossway and I present this to you now so you can have it in time to read during the Advent season. List price is about $12.


  • “You cannot make your children love the Bible, I admit. No one but the Holy Spirit can give us a heart to delight in the Word. But you can make sure that your children are acquainted with the Bible; and remember that they can never become acquainted with that blessed book too soon, or too well.

    “See that your children read the Bible reverently. Train them to look upon it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, written by the Holy Spirit Himself—all true, all profitable, and able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ.

    “See that they read it regularly. Train them to regard it as their soul’s daily food—as something essential to their soul’s daily health. I well know that you cannot make this anything more than a form; but there is no telling the amount of sin which a mere form may indirectly restrain.

    “See that they read it all. You need not shrink from bringing any doctrine before them. You need not assume that the leading doctrines of Christianity are things which children cannot understand. Children understand far more of the Bible than we are apt to suppose.

    “Fill their minds with Scripture. Let the Word dwell in them richly. Give them the Bible, the whole Bible, even while they are young.”

              -JC Ryle: The Duties of Parents

    An Example of Preaching the Gospel to Your Children

  • Saturday, November 13, 2010
  • Below is a great example by Brian Croft, a pastor in Louisville, Kentucky on teaching his children about Christ's imputed righteousness. It appears by words to be a subject over their heads but like all aspects of doctrine, the more you understand the great riches of the gospel, the better you will be able to explain it to a child. They can understand it! Perhaps try this lesson yourself in your home and let your children be amazed by the gospel.

    I am currently preaching through 1 Samuel. Last week Israel asked a provoking question after some of the men carelessly looked in the ark and they died. The question was, “Who is able to stand before this holy God.” (1 Sam. 6:20) As I read the passage with my family throughout the week, some interesting discussions came from it. One conversation in particular was how do we answer this question, “How can a sinner stand before God?” Once we established that no sinner can, it created a wonderful opportunity to talk about the specific details of the gospel.

    We talk about the gospel constantly in our house and in our family devotions with our children. However, what this question provided was an opportunity to discuss specifically how does a sinner stand in the presence of a holy God. In other words, how do you explain Christ bearing our sin and Christ’s righteousness being given to us to a child? Here is what followed and my hope is that it could act as a template to teach our children other deep theological truths that make the gospel so sweet and accessible to them.


  • Wednesday, November 10, 2010
  • From Michael Wittmer of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
    Read: Ephesians 2:1-10

    God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (2:8-9).

    Wildlife officials in my town vainly tried to save a duck which had an arrow sticking through its breast. The wounded duck ate the bread which the rescuers threw her way, but she flew away whenever their nets came close. It’s hard to blame the duck. She didn’t understand that the same self-reliance which normally kept her alive was now preventing her from receiving the help she needed.

    We are that duck. Crippled by the self-inflicted wound of our sin, we stubbornly think that we can survive by trying harder. But every flap of our wings sucks the arrow in, and if we don’t get help soon we will bleed out.


  • Monday, November 8, 2010
  • This is awesome. “On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation’s “Random Acts of Culture” at Macy’s in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world’s largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers.”