Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The practicality of the book of Job

Ray Ortlund has a great post that reminds me not to fall into the temptation of firstly reading Job as a philosophical treatise on suffering but rather as a reminder of how to personally suffer well. Namely, trust in the Lord, not in explanations of His ways.


"...I don’t think the book of Job is about suffering as a theoretical problem — why do the righteous suffer? I think it’s about suffering as a practical problem — when (not if) the righteous suffer, what does God expect of them? And what he expects is trust. When the righteous cannot connect the realities of their experience with the truths of God, then God is calling them to trust him that there is more to it than they can see. As with Job, there is a battle being fought in the heavenlies.

Trust in God, not explanations from God, is the pathway through suffering."


read the whole thing here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tri-perspectival Leadership

A while ago, I had an opportunity to teach our intern cohort at our church the paradigm of Tri-Perspectival Leadership. There has been much written about this subject already.

Pastors David Fairchild and Drew Goodmanson of Kaleo Church, along with others in the Acts 29 Network, have done some work to extrapolate the theological foundations laid by Dr. John Frame and Vern Poythress into this leadership paradigm.

In attempting to teach it to our cohort I created a visual representation of one of their talks explaining this very helpful paradigm. This way of thinking has greatly informed all aspects of my ministry especially counseling, correction and preaching.

I pray that this chart along with the talks and articles will benefit yours as well.

Here are the links to the various resources:

Chart (via Goodmanson.com)

Acts 29 Talks:
1. Prophet, Priest, and King
2. Triperspectival Leadership

Online Articles:
1. Drew Goodmanson
2. John Frame (primer)

addition added on 1/8/10

Also for those involved in teaching and preaching here is a great resource from Tim Keller and Ed Clowney. They taught a 1 week intensive course on Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World.

It is pretty much an intensive class on Christocentric preaching from all of scipture. Really good but really dense material here.

iTunes download link
Accompanying 189 page pdf (that is not a typo...189 8.5"x11" pages)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pastor Matt Chandler's pre-surgery witness

"18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Philippians 1:18-21


Praying with and seeing the example of Pastor Matt Chandler through this difficult time in his family's life has been more impactful than any message that I have ever heard him preach. I praise God for pastors like him who never take their eyes of Jesus and their calling to shepherd and pastor their people even in the midst of their own suffering.

I pray that I would have the same commitment as Paul and Matt Chandler in seeing Christ honored in my body, whether by life or by death.


Matt Chandler's pre-surgery reflections:

The last seven days have been some of the most interesting of my life. I have felt anxiety, fear, sadness and a deep and unmovable joy simultaneously and in deeper ways than I have felt before. I am grateful for this heightened sense of things. Today at 10:45 a.m. CST I will have a good portion of my right frontal lobe removed. I head into that surgery with a heart that is filled with gratitude and hope.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for in no particular order:

1. I am thankful for the thousands of you who have prayed and fasted for my health. It has brought far more tears to Lauren’s and my eyes to receive this kind of attention from the Church universal than this tumor has.
2. I’m thankful for health insurance because I’m guessing they aren’t doing my five-hour surgery for free!
3. I am thankful that I have deep, real friendships at The Village with Michael Bleecker, Josh Patterson, Brian Miller, Chris Chavez and Beau Hughes. They have been such a comfort to me and my family this past week. Pastors should have good friends on their staff. It’s risky but worth the risk.
4. I am grateful for the men of God in my life, namely John Piper who taught me to hold my life cheap and to join with Paul in saying “I don’t count my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I might finish my course and complete the work that He gave me to do to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I’m nothing, I just have a job. God keep me faithful on the job and then let me drop and go to the reward.” Without this strong view of God’s sovereign will, I’m not sure how you don’t despair in circumstances like mine.
5. I am thankful for my wife Lauren. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
6. I am thankful for my children. Audrey the Beautiful, Reid the Valiant and Norah the Joyous. Being a daddy to these three is one of the greatest joys of my life.
7. The privilege of seeing and appreciating all of life through the grid of a heightened sense of my own mortality.
8. I am thankful for brilliant doctors and surgeons who have been given a real gift by our great God and King to repair things as complex as the brain.
9. I am thankful for The Village Church. If there is a place that loves Jesus more, takes sanctification as seriously and wants to see the lost love the great King deeply I am unaware of it. These last seven years have been a spectacular joy!
10. More than anything else I am grateful to my King Eternal, my Lord Immortal, for my God invisible. He alone is God. All Glory and Honor, Forever to You O God. I am overwhelmed in these moments by God Himself and the assurance of a future inheritance of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken and where all things are made new (Hebrews 12).

Christ is All,
Matt Chandler


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Francis Chan : Engaging in Authentic, 24/7 Community

Below is an excerpt form an article entitled Starting Over by Pastor Francis Chan. It is a condensed version of the talk that he gave at the Exponential conference:

View the full article here.

Engaging in Authentic, 24/7 Community:

Starting over would also mean changing how our church viewed and fostered community. If you came off an island after reading Scriptures, and then walked into a local church, what would you expect to see? I would expect to see a group of people boldly loving one another, sharing their possessions with each other, spending time together like a family.

A little over a year ago, we baptized this guy who came out of the gangs. I remember loving his fire and passion. A while later, someone came up to me and said that this guy had stopped coming to Cornerstone and had told him, “I had the wrong vision of church. I thought that when I got baptized and joined the church, it was going to be like when I got jumped into the gang. Immediately, we became family. They had my back 24 hours a day. If I was sleeping in the street, they were sleeping there with me. We didn’t get together just once a week; it was all the time. I guess I just didn’t understand church. It’s like Satan stole God’s playbook, and people are attracted to gangs because they’re doing things biblically—except for the killing part.”

That kills me! It’s so sad that gangs are a better picture of family than the body of Christ. And it just makes me say that it’s not this guy, it’s us—we are the ones who don’t under­stand church.

And I’ve heard the arguments. I know people say that even though it’s biblical, you can’t pull off that kind of bold community in today’s culture. And to that, I ask, Have we for­gotten who the Holy Spirit is? If Jesus could look at 11 people and say, “You’re going to get the message to the whole world without Internet access,” then we can grab 11 people and reach these three or four blocks. It’s the same Holy Spirit. I’ve got to believe that the Holy Spirit still can and will do these amazing things. We’re going through this as a church right now. The leaders of our church are my best friends. I trust them. I know that if I die tonight, these guys will take care of my family. They’ll treat my kids like their own. We’re seeing that type of bond happen. Today’s Church can foster bold and authentic, 24/7 community.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Information Overload Syndrome


Friday, July 3, 2009

Are we preparing our kids adequately?

Some humor from The Onion Network.

Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bible Giveaway Contest from Logos

Check out the Logos Bible Giveaway contest. They're giving away some of the most premium bibles on the market!

"Logos Bible Software is celebrating the launch of their new online Bible by giving away 72 ultra-premium print Bibles at a rate of 12 per month for six months. The Bible giveaway is being held at Bible.Logos.com and you can get up to five different entries each month! After you enter, be sure to check out Logos and see how it can revolutionize your Bible study."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

John Piper - Christ as Our Treasure

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Twitter Graphically Defined

Funny but true.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My wife and I have been too ghetto to pay someone else to take pictures of us so we just went to Ko'olina Beach and took some ourselves. And with a little bit of Photoshop magic it kinda looks like we know what we're doing!