Friday, September 01, 2006

Jim Elliott on Starting High School

Here is what Jim Elliott wrote to his sister Jane as she was preparing to enter High School:

“Begin each day with private reading of the Word and prayer. Bunyan has well said, ‘Sin will keep you from this Book, or this Book will keep you from sin.’ From the very first, as you begin high school, give out gospel tracts to those you meet. Make a bold start – it’s easier that way, rather than trying to begin halfway through. Memorize Scripture on the street car. Buy up the time! It’s costly because it’s so fleeting. These are terse remarks, and trite, but I wish someone had said them to me about Labour Day, 1941. ‘Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.”- Shadow of the Almighty, 38-39.

Elliott was later to die a martyr on the mission field... the same man who said, "He is no fool who loses what he cannot keep, in order to gain what he cannot lose."

Why not challenge a few High Schoolers you know with this excellent advice!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Value of a Local Church Where God Is

Israel had split into two nations, the 10 tribes in the North, with Judah and Benjamin in the south. Jeroboam had led the northern tribes away from the Lord years earlier, but the southern tribes were still seeking Him, even after a few spiritual potholes and detours along the way.

Having fought off the “million man march” of warring Ethiopians, King Asa of Judah had proven that the Lord would help “the weak” even if they faced the mighty. Perhaps it was this grand display of God’s presence with Asa that caused a minor exodus out of the northern 10 tribes.

“for great numbers had deserted to him [Asa] from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.” (2 Chronicles 15:9b)

In other words, when it was clear that God was with Asa – that is where the godly went. For many, it meant severe upheaval, the purchase of a new home, long travel, and the accusation of desertion.

In my summer travels I was alarmed the lack of churches preaching Jesus. Others have written of the same thing. Even in a city the size of Toronto, there are comparitively very few churches where one might say, “God is with them.”

I have also been thinking a great deal about the brevity of life, being 40 and all... and that leads me to this conclusion. I think Christians ought to do whatever it takes to be a part of a church where God is present. I have met too many that try to “get by” in a place where He is not. Worse, I have seen some determine their home by elevating temporal values above eternal. What I mean is folks pick a place to live based on its supposed safety, home value, nice neighbourhoods, and overall “pleasantness and potential.” I think this sniffs of idolatry. As nice as these things are, do they matter if you do not have a church where God is present? In our shortsightedness we often get this confused.

I am proposing that there may come a point in a Christian's life where it is obvious “the Lord has left the building” and it is time to find out with whom He is meeting so you can be there. I am not promoting hero worship or personality cults, nor suggesting that you should "take off" the first Sunday your pastor strikes out or someone sins against you! Rather, I am suggesting that being in a good church is worth living in a less desirable place and incurring a cost to get there.

It certainly was to the families from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who pulled up anchor in the north to stick with God in the south.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rap it Up (2)

Against my better judgment... you can reference this and watch the video below.

Shout out to Nick for the fine live track.

Peace out.

The Battle Of The Gods - The Battle Of The Gods (from Isaiah 45)

I want to highly recommend this sermon to you by David Morris, preached for us at GFC on Sunday night. David preached Christ and made the Gospel so clear! It was a delight to sit under the Word of God as the Spirit taught us through him. I could commend a sermon a day to you, but try to save my picks for the very best. This is one of them.

Yale Schmale: Lakehead U Mocks Bush

BBC NEWS | Americas | Canada university in campaign row

Nothing like belittling a world leader to get a little press. Lakehead University has launched a controversial ad campaign that suggest George Bush's years at Yale did not help his intelligence.

The concept of the ad is funny, no doubt, but it presents an interesting dilemma for a Christian. Should we laugh at others like this? Especially when they are "governing authorities" (albeit not ours)?

"Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." - 1 Peter 2:17 (to those under Nero...)

Running Well - » A Trip To/In The UK

Running Well - » A Trip To/In The UK

Odious Herodias tipped me off to this wonderful story of my friend Steve Swallow.

Think swan dive on a Sunday morning...

Be sure to read the comments!

On Homosexuality -- A Change of Heart by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

On Homosexuality -- A Change of Heart by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Al Mohler has a surprising account of what might be a change of heart for Rowan Williams, the de facto head of the worldwide Anglican church (Episcopalian in the US). Williams is indicating that homosexuality may not be just an alternative lifestyle, but a sinful choice. This would be a most surprising development! Especially if you have followed much of Williams' statements on this and related items in the past.

Rap it Up

So, there is this long tradition of bad poetry being read on the Wednesday night of the Canadian Carey Family Conference. As of late, Pastor Brian Robinson has been the poet laureate, causing endless cringing and consternation as he attempts to state something sane in a jumbled metre. After 5 years of this agony, I decided something needed to be done.
For some reason, Brian often signs his emails to me as BRAIN - dyslexically reversing the "i" and "a." So, I wrote a poem for the Brain - that, unfortunately, turned into a rap.
This is pretty much one of those "you had to be there" moments... but if you were there - here you go!

Every year we all endure
The groanings of one so-called poet.
Who in riddle-speak and overture
Attempts to explain himself in some kind of rambling free verse that neither rhymes nor makes sense

And every year I sit out there
And wonder how much longer,
I’ll have to suffer such hot air
From the Robinson word-monger.

For endless camps, all twenty-eight
The Brain has been here tenting,
Teaching, testing, talking great,
And generally fomenting.

Then with the transfer of Brother Payne
To heights above in glory,
“I’ll be the poet,” said the Brain,
And that’s when things got gory.

The man who coined the word Pamela,
And still tends to call me Mark,
Has reached beyond his strength, I tell yah,
And turned poetry into a lark.

So from this moment I declare,
To the good of all right here,
I’ll be the poet of Care-y,
I’ll take away your fear.

And now that Brain has been set aside,
To keep the teens from napping,
There’ll be a changing in the tide,
As now I start my rapping.

[The Rap]

Carey Conference 2006,
Is lots of fun and full of kicks,
There’s swimming,and a- playing, and a-preachin’,and a- praying’,
And a whole new grounds that needs surveying

Every morning you go to class,
You lay your bike down in the grass,
And in the night you hear brother Morris,
In between you can hike in the forest.

Speaking of Morris, he likes to suck bones,
What’s with that? I don’t know home!
But the boy can preach, no doubt about that,
Even if he wears that funny looking hat.

Now in the night you have a campfire,
You stick a ‘mallow on a long wire,
It bursts into flames, you throw it to the stars
And now your brother is sporting a scar.

You go to bed late, and get up early,
By 4 o’clock your kids are squirrelly.
You wonder why your feet are so dirty,
And when your back will stop hurting.

The rain comes down, As your tent goes up,
And your very close neighbour has brought his pup.
“Don’t use this shower!” “Push a little closer!”
“Four bucks for power!” Let’s get a little grosser.

But every year on Friday morning,
That feeling comes without warning,
Carey’s done? Over? Through?
Why do I feel like going, “Boo hoo?”

I do not know, but I do know this,
Whether Maplegrove or Braeside bliss,
The Carey rocks , it is quite cool,
And I ain’t no Brain… but I ain’t no fool!

Move over Curt "Voice" Allen!