Thursday, January 29, 2009

That's my King!

S. M. Lockridge's "That's My King!" "I wish I could describe him to you!"

HT: Challies

Monday, January 19, 2009

Music Monday - It is Well

Here is Chris Rice's arrangement of It Is Well.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free ESV Study Bible

Pastor Mark Kelly over at Grace Dependent is giving away an ESV Reformation Study Bible. Check out his blog for more details.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Facing the Giants - A review

When Facing the Giants first came out, I heard many varying opinions about it. Perhaps the most predominant opinion was that Facing the Giants was nothing more than a movie wrapped up in the health, wealth and prosperity gospel. The movie is about a high school football coach (Grant Taylor) whose has a losing team, is on the road to losing his job, has a junker of a car, and, most worrisome to him and his wife, they are unable to have children. The coach turns to religion and everything – and I do mean, everything – miraculously turns out for the better. Sounds like a good, unhealthy dose of prosperity gospel, right? If you had asked me a week ago, I would have said the same thing.

Then I watched the movie. And I couldn’t have been more wrong.

First, let’s get the thing that everybody brings up when discussing Facing the Giants out of the way. The acting was horrible. There – it’s been said. Now we can move on to a more in depth review.

Coach Taylor is facing another year of high school football at Shiloh Christian Academy and knows that this year is going to be the same as previous years (or rather, the past 6 years, to be precise) without any hope of improvement. His team is mediocre at best. Compounding his problems is that there are some in town who consider his coaching abilities lackluster and are hinting at his dismissal. On top of all this, he and his wife are facing the heart wrenching likelihood of infertility. Everything in his life is failing. In utter despair, he reads Ps. 18:3, “I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.” He cries out to God, “You’re my God. You’re on the throne. You can have my hopes and my dreams.” This is the pivotal moment of the movie. From here, Taylor reevaluates his thinking in how he approaches life. The trickle down effect is that his team starts winning, the school experiences revival and his life in general gets better.

So how is this not a health, wealth and prosperity gospel? Just add Jesus to your life and everything gets better, right? On the surface and in summary form, this might be exactly what is being taught (which for the longest time, is the reason I had no desire to see the movie.) But there’s a huge difference between what the prosperity gospel teaches and what is taught in this movie. Prosperity gospel says if you do such and such, God is bound to give you the good life. If you just get your heart right, you’ll see the material blessings flow in. The problem with this philosophy is that the results are entirely centered on us, on what we get. In contrast, what the movie teaches is a God-centered gospel – a gospel where God gets the glory! In teaching others, Taylor stresses that the results should not determine whether we praise God or not. He asks his wife, “If the Lord never gives us children, will you still love Him?” In the locker room, he challenges his team by saying: “Winning football games is too small a thing to live for…So far all this has been about us. How we can look good. How we can get the glory…If we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way, we honor him with our actions and our attitudes. I resolve to give God everything I’ve got and I leave the results up to him.”

That is no prosperity gospel. That is no philosophy that says “Name it and claim it.” That is reflective of the Biblical truth that says “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power” (Rev. 4:11). Is it a little unrealistic to see everything in a person’s life turned around for the good? Perhaps, but even here what man sees as utterly impossible, with God it is possible. There is a two-fold lesson in the movie. First is that, no matter what the outcome, God is to be praised first, foremost, and always. Second, God will get the glory when the impossible becomes possible through his power. When we come to face our own giants, we should be firm in our faith to give God the glory. If, like Paul, our giant isn’t slain, God promises grace sufficient for every battle so that his power will be made perfect. And if the impossible comes to pass, may we see God’s power and honor him. That’s the lesson of Facing the Giants, a movie I heartily recommend.

Friday, January 9, 2009


As mentioned previously, I like checking out Google Trends on a regular basis since you never know what's going to be the hot topic of the day. The #1 spot is currently held by the wonderfully fun word, "snickersnee."

What in the world is a snickersnee? Apparently, it is either a "large sword-like knife, especially one used as a weapon" or it refers to the actual knife fight itself. Perhaps most famously, it is used in the following lines from Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado:

The criminal cried, as he dropped him down,
In a state of wild alarm —
With a frightful, frantic, fearful frown,
I bared my big right arm.
I seized him by his little pig-tail,
And on his knees fell he,
As he squirmed and struggled,
And gurgled and guggled,
I drew my snickersnee,
My snickersnee!

Oh, never shall I
Forget the cry,
Or the shriek that shrieked he,
As I gnashed my teeth,
When from its sheath
I drew my snickersnee!

What's especially puzzling is why on earth this term was being searched for, peaking at around 12 p.m.? As of yet, I've not been able to determine why. If anyone else knows, feel free to leave a comment. If I do find out, I'll update.

Edit: Mystery solved! "Snickersnee" was the answer to a $50,000 question on today's Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Next task is to drop this to word into my conversations. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Praying for your Pastor

Ligon Duncan has put together an excellent list of suggestions of how to pray for your pastor.

Pray -

1. That [your pastor] would know and love the living God, would have a saving interest in Christ, being purchased by His blood, and thus would be bound to the Lord by the indissoluble bond of the Holy Spirit.

2. That [your pastor] would know, embrace and ever more deeply understand the Gospel and be shaped by it in life and ministry.

3. That [your pastor] would be useful servant of the Lord, that he would know and love God's word, God's people, and God's kingdom; that he would be used to build it up and so that it prevails even against Hell's gates.

4. That [your pastor] would study, practice and teach the Word of the Lord, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

5. That [your pastor] would love to pray, because he loves to commune with his God, and that he would be a man of prayer, characteristically.

6. That [your pastor] would be ever dependent upon and filled with the Spirit; and that he would possess true Spiritual wisdom.

7. That [your pastor] would be holy unto the Lord. That his tongue and heart would be wholly God's.

8. That [your pastor] would be kept from pride, and especially spiritual pride. That the Lord himself would be gracious to slay pride in him, and that your pastor would endeavor to always be putting pride to death, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

9. That God would give [your pastor] guidance as to where to focus his efforts in ministry.

10. That He would protect [your pastor] from himself, from the enemy of his soul, and from all earthly enemies.

11. That no decision which [your pastor] ever makes or desire that [your pastor] ever pursues would restrict his ability to pour his whole soul into the Gospel ministry.

12.That many would be converted and many built up under [your pastor]'s ministry, to God's glory alone.

13. That the Lord would bless [your pastor]'s wife, [. . . ], with holiness and happiness, Gospel assurance and Gospel rest.

14. That God would make [your pastor] a decent husband and father.

15. That [your pastor] would be a good friend to his wife, and love her self-sacrificially,

16. That [your pastor] would be a good daddy to his children. That they would love God, their parents and the church.

17. That [your pastor] would be a testimony in the home so that his wife might be able to respect him when he is in the pulpit, and so that [your pastor] will be able to feed her soul, along with the rest of the congregation.

HT: Mark K

Monday, January 5, 2009

Music Monday - Jesus Messiah

I heard this song for the first time yesterday on K-Love and loved it. Here's Chris Tomlin's Jesus Messiah.