September 28, 2015

Commonplace Monday

This is the first in a new series of posts. On Monday mornings I will be sharing short quips, sentences- perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. But...sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for. Anyhow. Here's the first one:

The logic of truth is so copious that it cannot be exhausted by mere mortals.  
Carl Trueman 

September 26, 2015

When the clock strikes 3:00

Today (I'm sure it will be yesterday by the time I hit Publish) I turn twenty-five. That may not seem like much to many of you, for you passed it up long ago. Or you haven't yet, but to do so is a forgone conclusion. But it feels significant to me.

Maybe it's because I'm the morbid type. Perhaps it's because I've known so many who didn't make it. It could be that I've never been able to imagine myself as being older than twenty-four. Or maybe it's just my megalomania at work blowing every aspect of my life out of proportion.

But I wanted to pause here, and reflect on twenty-five things I've learned in these years. The order is completely stream-of-consciousness, which at this time of night can be...scattered. 

  1. Life is short. Like a mist. Here today and gone...well, today. 
  2. Because life is short, every second counts. Which doesn't mean every second must be filled with frenetic activity, but it does mean that one should pause and evaluate one's actions and activities to see if they are worthwhile.
  3. Rest is an important activity to build into life, especially for those given to constant work. Energy drinks don't work well as a substitute for sleep. Ask anyone who knew me between the ages of 18 and 22.
  4. Reading is important. Thinking about what you read is more important.
  5. Write things down.. Important thoughts. Interesting ideas. Intriguing quotes. Whether you are ever able to find it again after you write it (I'm usually not), the activity of writing it helps to bring that thought or idea more into your life than a passing glance in an article or a fleeting thought in your mind. 
  6. Don't leave things unsaid. Let me narrow that down. Don't leave kind, caring, or appreciative things unsaid. Because you're not guaranteed another shot to say them.
  7. Do leave things unsaid. Harsh, angry, critical things that serve little purpose besides making ourselves feel temporarily better-yeah, those can just get tossed aside. You will never be able to unsay them, and you may never have the chance to apologize. Swallow your pride and let it go.
  8. People count. More than money, success, fame, pleasure, freedom. People count.
  9. Don't be afraid of living. Too many people wait for life to happen to them. Guess what? It won't. Go do something.
  10. There is no sound more heavenly than that of a child's laughter. 
  11. Work hard. I'm not saying lazy people never succeed, because that seems to happen far too often. But I am saying that a good name is better than precious ointment. And a good name doesn't proceed from laziness.
  12. Loving your wife sacrificially isn't a heavy burden laid upon a husband: it is the greatest privilege which God could give a man, To be the living, breathing, representation of Christ to her and the world in your relationship is an enormous responsibility to be sure, but not a burden. 
  13. There really is no fit place in this world for cheap beer. 
  14. On the whole, I don't think there is a genre of music that beats what you'll find in a good hymnal. "Please open you hymnals to..." are some of the sweetest words in the English language.
  15. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Sometimes He will take the proud, and humble them, that He might pour forth His grace. Which means that when He brings us low, this too is an act of grace.
  16. There are two basic models for understanding the origin of life: an eternal, transcendent God created this world of beauty and order; or nothing turned into something that exploded into something else that has since evolved into many something elses. Phrased another way, a beautiful and orderly God created a beautiful and orderly universe; or nothing became something became disorder which evolved into order. One of these doesn't make very much sense.
  17. Stories are really important.
  18. The sin you tolerate is a sin that owns you. Dragons are never killed by feeding them. 
  19. If you are a Christian, the most important 25-60 minutes of your week should be those that you sit under the preached Word of God. Insofar as the preacher is faithful to the text, he is God's own mouthpiece. It behooves us to listen. In humility.
  20. Be willing to listen to people who think completely different from you. You don't own the truth, and you will never fully grasp and particular area of life or knowledge. Which means other people have things to teach you. Specifically, people with a perspective different from your own. The most difficult place for thought to survive is an echo chamber.
  21. In this life you will have trouble. Believe in Christ, He is the Solid Rock upon which you can build a life which will withstand the tribulations of this life, and He is the Savior with whom you can trust your eternity. 
  22. Honesty really is the best policy. 
  23. Go to funerals. Better is the day of death than the day of birth, the day of mourning than the day of feasting, for such is the end of all men. The living should lay it to heart.
  24. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 
  25. God wrote a book. Makes sense to read it.

September 12, 2015

Is He sovereign or do I choose?

The sovereignty of God over all things, the ruling of Christ the Lord over all the universe: these are not facts which negate the responsibility we have as volitional creatures to make rational decisions for which we will be held accountable.

September 11, 2015

Free College

There has frequently, throughout my lifetime at least, been a cry for free (or significantly cheaper) college education. While I'm not sold on that being a good idea, here is a thought that popped into my head one day, that may seem ludicrous to you. It may, in fact, be ludicrous. It's certainly just the beginning of an idea. But here goes.

What if we were to take the money which the federal government spends on education at all levels (pre-K, elementary, high school, college), and funnel that all toward funding universities.

Then take the state money currently heading to education at all levels, and redirect it toward funding and expanding community colleges, perhaps engulfing the final two years of high school (or all of high school?) into that system.

Finally, make k-8th or 10th grade the responsibility solely of parents, local counties, municipalities, churches, etc.

I realize that most people who see this will wonder what I smoked as I typed. But I believe if education in this country is going to catch up with the rest of the world, it will take some pretty outside-the-box ideas, perhaps crazier than this.

September 01, 2015


Ambivalence. Questioning. Lack of surety. Phrases and words such as these seem to describe many Americans relationship to abortion. 

Look at those videos? Eh, I couldn't do that...Facebook beckons me away...

Well, okay. Now I've watched them...but what can I do? I'm one person, and I can only control me. Not Planned Parenthood. Not the Federal Government. Not the millions of parents who have their children killed every year. Just me. And that doesn't seem like much. 
Image result for defund pp
So many people vacillate over whether they are "pro-life" or "pro-choice," caught in the web of the great American lie: shouldn't women have the right to choose? Who am I to tell someone how to live? 

Allow me to offer a suggestion: it's not impeding upon anyone's rights to insist that killing their child is a bad option. An immoral option. An option which, in the long run (an likely even the short run), they will deeply regret. 

How can our ambivalence remain as the Center for Medical Progress puts out video after video showing the way children are not only killed, but chopped, sliced, and diced to be sold? Or worse still, born "intact" (alive!) and either killed or allowed to die, all in the name of "women's health" and "research." Do you realize that health extends beyond ending a pregnancy? Do you understand that even if we buy into the supposedly great benefits of research on fetal tissue, we are destroying children to benefit ourselves? 

Would it be okay for me to kill my child if I thought doing so would lead to the cure for any potential diseases I might have?

I don't see how we can remain neutral here. How is it okay to swing back and forth, to straddle the fence? Is murder okay, so long as it serves a good purpose? 

Speak out, let your voice be heard. Use social media. Personal conversations. Emails, letters to your congressman/women. Support crisis pregnancy centers. If you know a mother who may be considering an abortion, do whatever you can to help her in tangible ways, so that this precious life seems less like a burden and more like the blessing that they truly are. Pray that God would open eyes and saves lives. 

Quit swaying. Quit being tugged away. 

About Me

Follower of Jesus. Husband of one. Father of four. Pastor at Remsen Bible Fellowship (