Monthly Archives: April 2008

Piper on Humility

John Piper was asked how he remains humble. I like his answer. A much earlier post on pride is insightful as well. [Thanks to JT for the link.]


Life Lessons from a Tee-Ball Game

Henry James played his first baseball game today. You can learn a lot about life from watching highly proficient athletes as they participate in their sport …

1. The most important thing is to look good – you have to have a great uniform. And if you wear a hat, make sure it is on correctly.

2. Use the bathroom before the game or you might miss a l0t of the second inning.

3. The best way to field a batted ball is to send every player on the field after it. If you choose not to run after the ball, make sure you have a good reason – something like needing to watch dirt very closely for bugs or something like that.

4. When you swing and miss, make sure you look good. And make sure you don’t give up. Swing again and again because in T-Ball you never strike out!

5. When you hit the ball it is not really necessary to run to first base … especially if your batting helmet is too large and first base looks too far away. You can walk there if you want but it is a long way so some players like to sit down when they get there.

6. It always helps to have pretty girls watching you do whatever you do – even if they are your sister and your mom.

7.  Focus in the dugout is important. Always be preparing yourself for your time at bat – even if a really fun bug comes along and distracts the others around you – even if you think that bug is a bumblebee. The really cool helmet you wear will protect you.

8. The best part of the game, and probably life, is the cookie at the end of the game.

Finally, it always helps to invite your grandparental units. They will always cheer for you!

The Shack

The Shack by William Young has been the most popular book in Christian fiction. I haven’t read it and probably will not, but I’ve been asked about it several times over the past month. For those interested you can trust these two reviews: 

Al Mohler gives an extended analysis of the book and makes note of its serious, even dangerous, theological deficiencies in this radio program.

This review at Discerning Reader says, in short, that the book is, a theological novel that teaches far too much unbiblical theology. 

New Blogger

A good friend and former associate at Crossroads is now blogging. Mark Wheeler’s On Target blog should be a good add to your rss feeds since, unlike most of us, Mark has actually written things that have been published!

A Thought on Lost Passion

One thing I’ve discovered in walking with God is that the journey is often more of a mysterious adventure than anything else. Now, by mystery I don’t mean anything more or less than the thought that God’s ways do not always make sense to us and that God may not always provide every detail about the trip.

This shouldn’t surprise us. For example, Paul in Romans 11:33-34 says, Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?

Since God is involved in our “journey” we should expect that some things will be unsearchable, difficult to understand, or deeper than our human wisdom can understand. When walking with God we won’t always be able to figure everything out along the way. Nor should we expect to be able to “scope out” every detail in advance and control the events or circumstances around us. This really exasperates most of us since we truly do like to be in control of things. It is at this point that we will most likely find adventure … the adventure of living life by faith … knowing that God is with us, and working out his perfect plan, even when we do not see it. We continue on the journey, even when it is shrouded in mystery, in a strange mix of faith and risk because we know that God is in the midst of that mystery (whether or not he has revealed himself yet!)

In essence to live by faith is to accept risk.  To live a risky life is to move ahead in our life journey, obeying what God reveals to us, even when the outcome is not clear.  But we don’t like risk … we fight against it even while proclaiming we are “living by faith”. In fact, men in  particular tend to seize on what we know, the skills we know we have, and reject anything that we cannot understand or control. We would rather miss the adventure if it seems to take us into a mystery, so we often tend to spend our energy on eliminating risk. We want to first figure out what to do and then do it so that we can eliminate future risk or the pain that might go along with that. I think it is right here that we tend to diminish our passion for the Savior

 “Life is not a problem to be solved, but an adventure to be lived” – Eldredge.

Insights from a Vacation

We just returned from Fort Lauderdale where we visited the sunshine (for those from our Northwest homeland, sunshine is bright and usually warm) and took a Cruise vacation. Besides the obvious refreshment from a vacation I was struck by a couple of insights – mostly kind of trivial (hey, I was on vacation!).

One insight that wasn’t so trivial was the experience of seeing that there is incredible power in an aligned purpose. Everyone from the Master of the vessel to the assistant to the assistant stateroom attendant seemed to be working from the same book. They appeared to have the same overarching goal and purpose in their work – to make the week aboard their ship a great experience. Celebrity cruises seeks to treat each passenger “famously” and from the behavior of every one of the ship’s staff and crew that we encountered, I think we might actually be renowned human beings (along with 1998 others, of course). It reminded me of the significant impact that an aligned purpose and vision among those in an church could have in touching lives.

Among the trivial insights?

  • It is never wise for men who are significantly overweight and wear tiny, tight European style swimwear. Actually, no man should ever wear tiny, tight European style swimwear.
  • When you share that you are a “pastor” there will be any number of responses, but almost always there will be a noticeable lull in conversation.
  • Some people will try a bit too hard to have fun.
  • People can get just as drunk on expensive wines as they can on cheap ones.

Why I’m Not Blogging

I’m not sure how the elite bloggers (like Tim Challies) are able to get a post in every day, but I can certainly explain my lack of writing this week – warm weather, sun, beautiful blue bays, and far too much food – all of which makes serious blogging a bit of a chore. I don’t think vacations and blogging go together all that well. I’d post a picture but the satellite uplink from the ship is very slow (and expensive!)  I’m not sure that anyone would like the amateur travelogue except mom. I will say that God can make the most amazing shades of blue!