Thursday, September 30, 2010

Prayer and Practical Atheism

Mike Wittmer posts a devotional today on the topic of prayer.  In it he makes reference to the fact that renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens is dying of cancer.  Hitchens reportedly has said that if others so desired, they could offer up their prayers for him, but that as long as he "remained in his right mind," he would "not be taking part in that."

The point of the devotional is that Hitchens has hit on something profound here: prayer (either its presence or absence) is the proof of faith (or the lack thereof).  This has much to do with the fact that prayer is, by definition, an act of humility and trust: admitting that I can not accomplish what I need accomplished, and believing that God can.

Mike concludes,
We may say that we believe in God, but if we can make it through our day without prayer then we are pretty much like Hitchens.  Let’s repent of our practical atheism and carve out time to talk with God.  Ask him for whatever you need, and when you receive it, give him thanks.
You can read the whole post here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In Support of the Institutional Church

These days it is increasingly fashionable to bash "the church."  In Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck, the lament is voiced, "Community is hip, but the church is lame.  Both inside the church and out, organized religion is seen as oppressive, irrelevant, and a waste of time.  Outsiders like Jesus but not the church.  Insiders have been told they can do just fine with God apart from the church."

Today though, Jared Wilson offers up a helpful piece reminding us of the biblical support for the institutional church:
1. The New Testament presumes church governance

2. The New Testament commands church discipline

3. The New Testament designates insiders and outsiders in relation to the church

4. The image of "the body" presumes unified order

5. The New Testament churches had recognizable structures. The apostles sent their letters to somebody

6. "Spirit-filled community or institutional organization" is a false dichotomy that presumes the Spirit is powerless against institution

7. Logically speaking, there is no such thing as "no institution" except chaos or anarchy. Every community made up of people is institutional to some degree

8. That institution is not eternal is not grounds for jettisoning it. Marriage isn't eternal either.

9. The subjection of kings and nations presumes institutional subjection to Christ and therefore that God works in, with, and through institutions

10. No one in 2,000 years has successfully cultivated an enduring institution-less expression of the local church
Read the whole post here.

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

"It is indeed true, that we are justified in Christ through the mercy of God alone; but it is equally true and certain, that all who are justified are called by the Lord, that they may live worthy of their vocation.  Let then the faithful learn to embrace him, not only for justification, but also for sanctification, as he has been given to us for both these purposes, lest they rend him asunder by their mutilated faith."

--John Calvin, Commentary on Romans, pg. 294.

Be True To Your School

The Beach Boys once sang, in all of their brilliant harmonies, "Be True to Your School."  It can not be debated; I have heeded this command.

I still follow my high school's football and basketball teams as closely as I can from 568 miles away.  I have read about them in the online edition of my hometown's newspaper, exchanged text messages with friends and family members while they were at games, watched games streamed live on the internet and even once upgraded my TV package so that I would have the station that was carrying a game in which my high school was playing.  As a matter of fact, the color scheme of this blog is inspired by the orange and black of the Webster Groves Statesmen.

I still show the same type of support for my college as well.  Each Saturday during football season, you're sure to find me decked out in my Mizzou black and gold, watching the game if the Tigers happen to be on TV, or listening to the radio broadcast online if that's the best I can do. More Saturdays than I'd like to admit have been made or ruined on the basis of a Tiger football game.

As much as I am committed to my high school and college though, I am perhaps even more enthusiastic in my support of my other alma mater.  I have often told others that my three years at Covenant Theological Seminary provided me with a foretaste of heaven.  Thanks to both the teaching in the classrooms and the atmosphere that is cultivated, an ethos of grace pervades the campus.

Dane Ortlund captured my thoughts perfectly when he recently wrote about Covenant:
Every institution is filled with nothing but sinners. We are fallen, and our schools reflect that. And when I left three years ago, the school's overall sin-meter dropped considerably. But the norm is for institutions, even seminaries, to contain islands of grace amidst an ocean of self. Covenant is the only school I've ever set foot on that contains, in the mercy of God, islands of self amid an ocean of grace.

I shake my head with wonder at God's kindness to this institution.
Covenant recently released a number of faculty videos on YouTube that help communicate what makes Covenant so special.  I've included four below from some of the professors who had a particular impact on me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

President Obama Comments on His Faith

Much has been made of President Obama's religion.  In spite of his unwavering self-designation, one recent survey found that only one in three Americans identifies him as a Christian.  In light of this fact, I found the video below quite interesting. 

In my opinion, there is much that President Obama gets wrong in what he has to say here.  In the midst of all of it though, in the thirty seconds from 2:20 to 2:50, he gets one thing (and I might add, the most important thing) quite right.  Please leave your comments as I'd love to hear your thoughts.

(Please forgive the short commercial at the beginning of the video. I don't know how to make it disappear.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Grace of God in All of Scripture

I saw a wonderful post yesterday from fellow Covenant Theological Seminary alum Dane Ortlund.  In it he states,
(C)ertain motifs course through the Scripture from start to end, tying the whole thing together into a coherent tapestry--kingdom, temple, people of God, creation/new creation, and so on. Yet underneath and undergirding all of these, it seems to me, is the motif of God's grace, his favor and love to the undeserving. Don't we see the grace of God in every book of the Bible?
He then begins to demonstrate the prominence of grace in each of the Bible's 66 books:
Genesis shows God’s grace to a universally wicked world as he enters into relationship with a sinful family line (Abraham) and promises to bless the world through him.

Exodus shows God’s grace to his enslaved people in bringing them out of Egyptian bondage.

Leviticus shows God’s grace in providing his people with a sacrificial system to atone for their sins...
I recommend that you click here to see the whole list. It truly is an impressive homage to the grace of God.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Fun...Toupée Exchange

Nothing is quite as funny as a straight man who can't keep it together.  To see what I mean, check out this classic sketch from Bob Newhart and Dean Martin.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to Encourage Your Kid to Leave the Church

I read a great blog post today by Scott Linscott addressing the fact that so many young adults are leaving the Church.  In it he offers the following suggestions for those who want to do all they can to make sure their kids join the ranks of those who are apathetic about faith:
  1. Put academic pursuits above faith-building activities.
  2. Chase the gold ball first and foremost.
  3. Teach your kid that the dollar is almighty.
  4. Refuse to acknowledge that the primary motivating force in kids’ lives is relationship.
  5. Model apathy in your own life.
There are subpoints beneath some of these and a whole lot of good explanation on them all.  If you're a parent, I'd encourage you to check out his whole post here.

(HT: Craig Dunham)

When Everything Just Works

In his book Not the Way It's Supposed to Be Cornelius Plantinga Jr. writes:
The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom.  We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies.  In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights.  Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.
This is the type of existence we are created to live.  Compared to this beautiful functionality though, our lives and our world are a complete wreck.  This has come about as a result of sin and Creation's subsequent Fall, and is a fact with which we are all far too familiar.

Today at his blog Head Heart Hand, David Murray posted a fun video.  He prefaced it by speaking of how a recent trip to a scrapyard left him depressed as the crushed and broken down cars which had once been so beautiful and so functional reminded him of the fallen condition of the world in which we now live.  He goes on to say...
My spirits were lifted yesterday though when my son pointed me to this video (below). What precise perfection! It reminded me of how integrated the original creation must have been, and how everything must have run so smoothly.
And it also made me hope and long for the day when God will take our scrappy lives and world and make all things new. And everything will "just work."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid-Michigan Conference on Reformed Theology

The Seventh Annual  Mid-Michigan Conference on Reformed Theology is scheduled for October 30, beginning at 10 am.  This one day conference is held by the congregation I serve, Calvary Presbyterian Church in Flint, Michigan.  We are extremely pleased to announce that our speakers this year are Dr. Joel Beeke and his fellow professor at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Dr. David Murray.

The theme of this year's conference is  "Reformation Family Living in the 21st Century."  In his two talks, Dr. Beeke will address The Puritan View of Marriage and The Puritan View of Child Rearing.  Dr. Murray's talks will focus on What John Knox Would Say to Our Families Today and God's Technology in Our Famililes. The day will be capped off with a Q&A time with both men.

The cost is extremely reasonable with an early registration fee (before October 15) of $12 per person with children living at home attending for free.  There will be a hot lunch served at the church for an additional $5 per person which promises not only to be delicious, but will serve as a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with other conference attendees.

Click here to get a brochure, and feel free to send me an email with any questions you might have at

Discerning God's Will For My Life

Have you ever been faced with a major (or not so major) decision and been paralyzed with fear that you might not rightly discern "the will of God," and in the process, you might be relegated to a life that is somehow less than the best life God has planned for you? If so, I have the following two pieces of advice:
  1. Read Kevin DeYoung's great little book, Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will.
  2. Watch the this short, very helpful video.

(HT: Challies)

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

"What distinguishes Christianity at its heart is not its moral code, but its story; a story of a Creator who, although rejected by those he created in his image, stooped to reconcile them to himself through his Son. This isn't a story about the individual's heavenward progress, but the recital of historical events, of God's incarnation, atonement resurrection, ascension and return, and the exploration of their rich significance. At its heart, this story is the Gospel, the good news that God has reconciled us to himself in Jesus Christ."

Michael Horton

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Review: Your Jesus Is Too Safe

Perhaps the most important question we will ever be asked is the one which Jesus posed to his disciples in Luke 9:20: “Who do you say that I am?”

Against the backdrop of all sorts of inadequate responses, Jared C. Wilson offers twelve appropriate answers to Christ’s question in Your Jesus Is Too Safe: Outgrowing a Drive-Thru, Feel-Good Savior.

Early on, Wilson makes the point that, “No message has been more used and exploited and appropriated than Jesus Christ’s.” In this book he speaks out against these perversions of the gospel in an effort to present a truly biblical Christ.

It is definitely written for a popular audience and he regularly injects humor into his writing. Some may find this style to be irreverent; I just found it to be fun. For instance, I don’t know which I liked more: the fact that he referred to Mark’s account as “the Die Hard of the Gospels,” or the fact that he followed it with a footnote asking the reader if they were angry yet.

That being said, it is not just a fluffy, feel-good book. That is precisely the kind of message that Wilson is trying to counteract. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Wilson makes sure we do not lose sight of the Cross, nor of the blood that washes us clean of our sin. And while light-hearted at times, the book is heavily grounded in Scripture. I didn’t count, but Wilson included what must have been hundreds of footnotes referring the reader to the various biblical passages to which he was alluding.

I have long enjoyed Wilson’s blog at I can truly say I enjoyed this book as well.

Beware the Pharisee Within

This morning I was reading through the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. In it Jesus speaks of two men who went up to the temple to pray. One of them was a pharisee, who had quite scrupulously attended to all of the finer points of the Law. As he prayed, he boasted about his personal piety and thanked God that he was not like other (sinful) men such as extortioners, adulterers, and even the tax collector.

Meanwhile, we are told that the tax collector would not even lift up his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his breast in sorrow and cried out to God, “Be merciful to me, a sinner!” Jesus goes on to inform us that it was this man who went away justified and he concludes his story with this admonition: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

So what was my reaction to this? My mind immediately went to some of the less than humble people I know, people who I think are like the pharisee. I prayed for them that God would change their hearts and help them to better understand their own sinfulness and, in light of that, that they might better understand the beauty of God’s grace.

Then I realized the irony of the situation. Here I was, essentially being the pharisee myself. My first response to one who sinfully thought of himself as being better than others was to sinfully think of myself as being better than others. How deeply rooted is my sinfulness, how utter and complete is my brokenness that upon reading the teachings of my Lord, my immediate response would be the exact opposite that it should be?

As embarrassing as it was, I am still thankful for these two points of takeaway I have from this experience:
  1. May I always remember to apply the lessons I learn in Scripture first to myself.

  2. Thanks be to God, whose grace is (somehow) greater than all my sin…even when I miserably fail to do number 1.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Islamic Terrorists and Crazy Americans

In the wake of the overhyped Qur'an-burning (non-)story, Mark Shea offers a little bit of perspective for all of us via this helpful diagram:

Draw your own conclusions.

(HT: Vitamin Z)

Eat Pray Love

I read an interesting blog post over the weekend from Justin Taylor. In it, he interacts with a review by Ross Douthat of the movie Eat Pray Love.

Many will recognize this movie starring Julia Roberts from the previews. Perhaps even more are familiar with it thanks to Oprah Winfrey's endorsement and enthusiastic support of the book.

Let me say this right off the bat: I have not seen the movie. I have not read the book. I haven't even read the original review.

Apparently though Douthat makes the statement that the main theme of the movie is, as stated by its main character, “God dwells with me, as me.” In response to this, Douthat offers this quote from G.K. Chesteron:
Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within. . . . That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within.
I'm curious to see if anyone else out there who has read the book or seen the movie has any thoughts to add to this discussion.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Constitution Day

Apparently today was Constitution Day. Not quite sure how that one slipped by me. Anyway, I guess it kind of goes without saying that Schoolhouse Rock is in order...

The Reason for God DVD

If you've read The Reason for God (and if you haven't, you should), then you might enjoy this DVD. Here is a preview:

You can pre-order it here.

(HT: Vitmain Z)

Friday Fun...Mr. Bean Goes to Church

I meant to use this video for a Friday's Funnies entry long ago, but then forgot to do so. When Tim Challies posted a version of it earlier this week, my memory was kindled.

Watch below as Mr. Bean goes to church. You may have to turn up the sound on your computer because the audio level is rather low.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Marriage: Fifteen Years In

Well, today is my fifteenth wedding anniversary. I am thankful to God for having so greatly blessed me, and today I find myself quite predictably thinking a lot about marriage.

Fifteen years in, has marriage been what I expected? In one sense, yes. I had a pretty good idea what it would be like because Erin and I already knew each other so well. We had dated since high school, so we had already overcome some of the hurdles that newlyweds less familiar with each other often face.

That being said, the fact that we knew each other so well coupled with the fact that (like most people right out of college) I thought I knew far more about everything than I actually did, presented peculiar difficulties. We were typical of most couples getting married, thinking our life together would be perfect. And even though we knew it wasn’t that way for many (most/any) folks, we were confident that we would be the exception.

So have these fifteen years been perfect? Honestly, no. Like any couple outside of the storybooks, in addition to the many fantastic ups, we’ve also had our downs. Most of these have resulted from a single factor: I’m a part of this marriage.

But from my perspective, and I am fairly confident Erin would tell you the same, our marriage has been wonderful. At times it has been difficult, but marriage has been the vehicle of God’s great blessing to me. Through it I have grown both emotionally and spiritually. I have been blessed with two amazing children who have the most loving and devoted mother I could ever want for them. Year by year I’ve grown closer to my best friend in the entire world.

And I have learned a lot about love.

Usually when we talk about love we are referring to a romantic feeling in the heart, a feeling that causes our knees to go weak and the butterflies to flutter in the pit of our stomach. Or perhaps what we mean is simply that when I am with that person they make me so happy. Maybe it’s just the sense someone gives us that, as Jerry Maguire put it, “”

These are decidedly not what I am talking about when I say that I’ve learned a lot about love. Oh yes. They are all present too. And that’s another area in which I am enormously blessed by God. But when I say I’ve learned a lot about love, what I mean is that I’ve learned about true love, the kind of love that Christ has for his bride (the Church). And in seeing this love, I’ve also learned how very far short I fall of his example.

Bryan Chapell writes in Each for the Other, "God loves us as a consequence of the relationship he has established with us, not because of any beauty we possess or any service we could offer. Nothing better communicates this grace than unconditional love. A husband who cherishes his wife to honor the divine covenant that binds them, rather than any good she does for him, honors both his God and his wife."

This is the kind of love that I have tried to have for my wife (though I regularly fail). Love that is neither dependent on what she can do for me, nor on how I feel about her at any given moment. Rather it is love that is dependent on the commitment I made to her fifteen years ago today. A commitment to honor her and to cherish her. And yes, a commitment to love her.

Quite frankly, it’s something my wife has probably done a better job of than I have. Of course, it’s not really a fair comparison; there’s a lot more beauty in her to love than there is in me. If she’s going to love me, it can’t be for anything I possess! But in loving me in spite of all the messiness I bring to the party, she has shown me how to love her.

You see, I find her more attractive in every way than I did on the day we married. She is more beautiful in character, in spirit and in appearance. She still simultaneously makes my heart melt and race. But when I say I love her, I’m not talking about how I feel. I’m talking about a commitment to her well-being. A commitment to be a blessing to her. A commitment that I am honored to have the opportunity to keep.

I do this because Christ made a commitment to his bride, a commitment to be about her well-being. A commitment to be a blessing to her. A commitment that he was honored to keep. And in so keeping that commitment, he makes his bride lovely.

Make no mistake. I find my lovely bride to be completely worthy of my love (and far more for that matter). But that is not why I love her. I love her because Christ loved his bride even though she was completely unworthy.

A couple months ago Andrew Peterson released an album entitled Counting Stars. When he did, I posted this entry which included the video below to the song Dancing in the Minefields. Given the nature of the date today and the beauty of the truths contained in the song, I figured it was worth posting again.

Listen. Enjoy. And I pray that you might personally know the joy spoken of in this song, the joy that I’ve been so blessed to know for these fifteen years.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Advice for Young Pastors

I am constantly impressed at the sage advice and wise insights that come from the heart and mind of Kevin DeYoung. Though relatively young, Kevin is wise far beyond his years, and his sermons, books and blog posts regularly feed my soul.

Yesterday and today, Kevin posted a great two-part series with his advice for theological students and young pastors. Among his suggestions are the following:
4. Establish your priorities at the church early and clearly. I suggest: preach, pray, and people.

13. Learn to think in 5 year, 1 year, 6 months, and 1 month increments. When you start out at a church you’ll feel three months behind everyone else; you need to be six months ahead.

20. God opposes the proud but gives grace to humble. Pray this into your soul before and after every sermon.

24. Don’t preach your issues from seminary. I can almost guarantee no one in your church doubts the Pauline authorship of Ephesians. It says “Paul” in their Bibles so they’re good to go.

28. Be comfortable in your own shoes. Preach through your own personality. Learn from, but don’t try to clone, your heroes.

33. Make time to make friends. In the long run neither you nor your church will regret the hours invested in personal relationships with other pastors, old friends from seminary, and kindred spirits in the congregation.

39. Love your wife. Spend time with your kids. Be very afraid if you no longer look forward to going home at the end of the day.

40. Be generous in giving credit to others and stingy in passing around the blame.

44. What your people need most from you is your own personal holiness. People want a pastor who has been with God.

45. Keep your passions in proportion. Not everything matters as much as everything else. Keep the gospel front and center.
If you are a pastor or seminary student, do yourself a favor and check out the complete lists. Read numbers 1-20 here and numbers 21-45 here.

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

"Christianity is not the movement from vice to virtue, it is the movement from virtue to grace."

Gerhard Forde

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Don't Forget the Blood

I suppose it has always been the case, but it seems especially prevalent in our day. Many people love the message of Jesus (or at least what they think this message might be), they just don’t love the message of the cross. To put it another way, they simply can’t abide by the idea that a holy God requires payment for my sins and yours, and that Jesus provided this payment when he shed his blood as an atoning sacrifice. We long to love Jesus for who we want him to be, as opposed to loving him for who he was and is.

I’ve been reading through Your Jesus is Too Safe by Jared Wilson, and I came across a passage yesterday that does a great job of capturing this idea:
The cross of Christ is foolishness to those who are perishing, which is a stinging indictment of so many self-appointed “Christian” spokespeople who have conveniently forgotten all about the cross. The cross is a foreign concept to the religious hucksters on television, and those in the pulpits and in publishing, who would ask you to take Jesus without taking his cross.

My friends, Jesus is not a pop song, snuggly sweater, affectionate boyfriend, a poster on your wall, self-help book, motivational speech, warm cup of coffee, ultimate fighting champion, knight in shining armor, or Robin to your Batman. He is blood.

And without blood, you die.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Fun...I Love His Singin'

I think this might be the kind of situation that calls for Paul's admonition in Ephesians 4:15 that we speak the truth in love...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Praying Through Scripture

Have you ever wondered what exactly some people mean when they suggest that we should "pray through Scripture" and "meditate" upon it? If so, Dave Cover, Teaching Pastor at The Crossing Church in Columbia, Missouri (and one of my mentors from my collegiate days) gives us a helpful example.

In it, he highlights the benefits of committing Scripture to memory and encourages us all to memorize such passages as Psalm 23.
When you’re lying awake at night unable to sleep for whatever reason (restlessness, anxiety, worry, regret, etc.), you can meditate on and pray through Psalm 23 from memory. When you’re driving on your way to work and you’ve got that anxious feeling inside you—either because of trouble at home or at work or in life—you can meditate on and pray through Psalm 23 from memory. Cling to the presence of God and the promises of all that He is for you in Christ the same way King David did 3,000 years ago, and the same way believers have done ever since.
You can read Dave's whole post here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

“For what is more consonant with faith than to recognize that we are naked of all virtue, in order to be clothed by God? That we are empty of all good, to be filled by him? That we are slaves of sin, to be freed by him? Blind, to be illumined by him? Lame to be made straight by him? Weak to be sustained by him? To take away from us all occasion for glorying, that he alone may stand forth glorious and we glory in him?”

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Gospel of Wealth

David Brooks wrote a thought-provoking op-ed piece in The New York Times yesterday entitled The Gospel of Wealth. In it, he examines the capitalistic and consumeristic influences on the church in America "When Europeans first settled this continent, they saw the natural abundance and came to two conclusions: that God’s plan for humanity could be realized here, and that they could get really rich while helping Him do it."

Brooks focuses specifically on David Platt, a pastor who suggests, “When we gather in our church building to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshipping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead, we may be worshipping ourselves.” Read the whole column here.

(HT: Kevin DeYoung)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pastor Your Family First

For all my friends in the ministry, here are some great words of advice from one of my favorite preachers/teachers/mentors, Bryan Chapell, President of Covenant Theological Seminary.

Friday Fun...Laughing Babies

If laughing babies doesn't put a smile on your face, well, I give up.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Calvinists are Evil

"Calvinists are evil." That was the title and opening sentence of a blog entry I came across today. Well, seeing as I'm a Calvinist (I've got the bobblehead to prove it), you might expect that this post upset me a bit. As it turns out though, I couldn't agree with the author more. His thoughts included the following:
All of us, Christians or otherwise, are intrinsically evil and the moment we start thinking well of ourselves is the moment we have begun to take our eyes off the Gospel to compare ourselves with ourselves. This standard of “by comparison” is mere relativism and it’s what the world does when it tries to sort out evil without attaching blame to itself.
Thinking well of ourselves is not only unwise; it’s spiritually deadly. It leads to the same self-righteousness that entrapped the hearts of the Pharisees. It isn’t faith. It doesn’t lead us to God’s eternal kindness through forgiveness.
As Brad so provocatively points out, we must realize that our goodness always and forever rests in and emanates from Christ. This is right in line with today's edition of Wednesday's Words of Wisdom. You can read Brad's whole post here.

A Father's Love

As the school year is just about to get under way here in Michigan, I am amazed at how fast my kids are growing up. It's an odd thing, because I remember how old I felt when I was their age, and at the same time I still see them as the little babies we brought home from the hospital.

Growing up is hard for kids, but it might be even harder on parents. Frank Cusumano of KSDK-TV, the NBC affiliate in my old hometown of St. Louis, recently did a fantastic feature on taking his oldest child off to college. As someone who was trained in sports broadcasting, I always admired the excellence with which Frank exercised his craft. Among the many great stories I saw him do though, this one stands out head and shoulders above the rest.

If you have children, please let me commend this piece to you. It's well worth the five minutes it will take to check it out.

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest.

B.B. Warfield, Works, 7:113