Saturday, February 28, 2009

Skiing with a Scar

This is not my dad.

But my dad has a scar like this.

My dad had open heart surgery in St. Louis on December 22nd.

Yesterday he went skiing with my mom (and his "zipper" scar) at Breckenridge.

Mom and Dad plan to head back to Breck today for a few more runs. Tomorrow, they'll travel down to Christchurch for worship with us, then we'll spend the afternoon together. They are looking forward to spend time with us, but mostly Drew.

With his dad back skiing just over 2 months after his open heart surgery, the obsessive skier is left wondering if perhaps this obsession is rooted in genetics, or developmental psychology?

Friday, February 27, 2009

How Technology Might Harm Intergenerational Ministry

Thanks to Ed Stetzer for posting Barna's recent research on the use of technology by different generations in the church.

The people who make up the church of Jesus Christ are young and old, richer and poorer, tech-savvy and not-tech-savvy.

As churches like Christchurch increase their use of electronic communications technology, there are pitfalls we must avoid.

First, we must remember that our online efforts to improve church communication may miss entire generations. Some of God's people aren't online, and that's not a sin. Blogs and email are great, but we still need to send out a church newsletter via the USPS, if only to reach older, less tech-savvy people.

Second, social networking tools like facebook groups can foster cliquish-ness. How would you feel if you couldn't afford a computer (or had finally learned how to use email but didn't have a clue what facebook was yet), and then went to church and heard everyone else talking about something funny on this unknown thing called "Facebook"? Left out. Fight cliquish-ness by inviting newcomers and older folks into a face-to-face conversation.

Third, tech-y church culture often uncritically picks up the world's materialistic gadget-lust. I really want an iPhone to compliment my Apple products collection. It may even improve my ministry! But is it a good pastoral example to always be a technological early-adapter? I don't think so. Jesus would not be pleased if all my disciples had iPhones but didn't know how to share the gospel in their own words in the course of a normal conversation. If my flesh had it's way, that's what would happen.

Fourth, instant online communication breeds impatience. Imagine being that guy who can't afford a computer and is surprised by a new proposal at the church business meeting. He asks a question. A question that has already been discussed and resolved by everyone else in the group via email. How much grace is he likely to feel from the church if God's people are not intentionally fighting against technological impatience?

Fifthly and finally, Barna reports that younger adults rely on technology to facilitate their search for meaning and connection. And if we believe Barna's other stats, we must admit that search isn't going so well. We live in the age of the text-message break-up and the satellite church campus.

But thank God for Christmas! Our celebrations of the incarnation of Jesus are annual reminders that God sent a person, not a status update. I'm all for pastors being tech-savvy. But pastors must recommit themselves to the principle that pastoral authority is built upon pastoral relationships. I mean pastoral relationships that are built through real-life, time-and-trial tested, face-to-face, Bible-open, eye-to-eye interactions. As technology continues it's exponential advance in this culture, the church must recommit itself to face-to-face gospel ministry and congregational meetings where believers from every generation sit under the Word of God and observe baptism and the Lord's Supper together. The church of Jesus Christ remains God's institution for providing every generation with meaning and connection, and there is a young generation out there that will continue dying until it learns this unchanging truth.

God, please help us use our technology with self-control and in a way that brings glory to you. May the love of our face-to-face fellowship in our churches stand out more and more in this culture of people increasingly separated from one another by little screens. Use the internet to helps us initiate new relationships, but rebuke us whenever we attempt to replace a person with a piece of technology. You made people in your image, not iPhones. Help us to love you and to love people more. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Podcasts Now Available

Thanks to the ultimate mac dude, Preston, we are now podcasting.
Go here to listen to Christchurch sermons online or to subscribe to our podcasts.
Look for us at the iTunes store soon.


for this and some other funny stuff, go to

thanks to preston for pointing me to this

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Red Envelope Day

Get red envelopes or postcards and mail them to the White House

March 31st, 2009

Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message.

"This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion.
It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world."

We will mail the envelopes out March 31st, 2009.

Put it in the mail, and send it. Then forward this event to every one of your friends who you think would send one too.

Wet Snow

The view from the Breckenridge gondola yesterday afternoon was limited.

On the mountain, visibility was poor.

Riding the lifts was wet (it was raining in Silverthorne yesterday morning).

Windshield wipers on our googles would have been helpful.

But Sophie and I had a good time making powder turns in the trees of Peak 7.

Summit County needs whatever snow it can get, even if it is incredibly wet.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Christchurch Website

Please check out our new website at and let me know what you love about it, what you hate about it, and all the rest.

Please pray for our attempts to get the word out about Jesus through Christchurch. We're starting ads in the Boulder Daily Camera on Saturdays. We'll have a number of signs out each weekend this year. Another ad starts in the Colorado Hometown Newspapers on Thursday. We'll also be using facebook ads, door-to-door video distributions, and hopefully some other creative ideas.

Up until now, the only way people found out about Christchurch was by word of mouth. And personal invitations remain our primary way of introducing new people to Jesus through Christchurch. These signs and ads and other things can reinforce our personal invitations, but they should never replace them. Pray that we'll make the most of these new efforts to get the word out about Jesus through Christchurch by personally inviting friends, family, co-workers, classmates, neighbors and others to come worship our great God with us. Instead of placing an ad in the first century “Jerusalem Times”, God sent his son Jesus in the flesh. And God wants to do the same through sending us as Christians who “en-flesh”/incarnate Jesus to other real people who need to come to know God through Him. Please pray that all of us at Christchurch will be ready to be sent to others who need Jesus this weekend.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Go Gregor!

Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria competes in the FIS World Cup Ski Jumping 2009 Sapporo at Okurayama Jump Stadium on January 31, 2009 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Schlierenzauer came 1st place in the competition. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

This 18-year-old Austrian is WAY ahead in the FIS standings and just might be the most talented nordic ski jumper of all time.

Tomorrow is the first day of the FIS Ski Jumping World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic. Go Gregor!
And check out the sweet new ski jump tower built on the German/Czech border!

Church Marketing from Satan?

Not really...just a church north of Denver with an interesting sense of humor.

We've been doing more this month to get the word out about Christchurch. Maybe you saw our signs out this past Sunday. Maybe you'll see our ads in the Daily Camera and the Colorado Hometown Newspapers starting this weekend.

What advice would you give to a church about advertising?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


North Dakota Personhood Bill Passes, First In US History.

Bismarck, ND.

Signaling the growing momentum of the personhood movement, North Dakota lawmakers approved HB 1572 with a vote of 51-41.

Rep. Dan Ruby introduced the "Personhood" bill, which affirms the rights of pre-born humans and states: "For purposes of interpretation of the constitution and laws of North Dakota, it is the intent of the legislative assembly that an individual, a person, when the context indicates that a reference to an individual is intended, or a human being includes any organism with the genome of homo sapiens."

Thousands of calls to legislators were made by pro-life grassroots volunteers who helped with this victory. Only one representative voiced opposition to the bill during the debate of the bill, while overwhelming public support was seen.

"Personhood USA applauds the leadership and support that the North Dakota Life League and North Dakota Family Alliance have shown to make this victory happen," stated Keith Mason of Personhood USA. He continued, "We thank Rep. Dan Ruby for his courage and for being actively pro-life. This great family man with his wife and 10 children are an example to us all."

"North Dakotans have gotten used to cold temperatures like -44 degrees, but they haven't gotten used to child-killing. We applaud and support their efforts to protect every baby by love and by law," commented Cal Zastrow, who, along with his family, worked on the North Dakota bill
on the grassroots level.

The next step for HB 1572 is to be voted on by the ND Senate which could happen in the next two weeks.

"HB 1572 brings us one step closer to applying the same laws that apply to you and me, to all humans," said Daniel Woodard, lobbyist with North Dakota Life League.

Personhood USA is a grassroots Christian organization founded to establish personhood efforts across America to create protection for every child by love and by law. Personhood USA is committed to assisting and supporting Personhood Legislation and Constitutional Amendments and building local pro-life organizations through raising awareness of the personhood of the pre-born.

For Interviews please call 202-595-3500
For More Information please visit

Personhood USA

Personhood North Dakota

North Dakota Policy Council

Personhood USA PO Box 486 Arvada Co 80001

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Half-Life of Memory

This photo of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Development site was taken in 1991. Today, you can look at the same spot with Google Earth and all you will see are a few piles of dirt and some fences. It is now a "wildlife refuge".

The next photo shows a plutonium "button", material used in the production of nuclear triggers for our nation's arsenal of nuclear weapons. Not the sort of thing you want your kids to play with...

Anyone who lives in Boulder, Superior, or Arvada should read this article from the High Country News. There is a story at Rocky Flats that we need to remember.

This video at HCN is also worth watching.

Our neighborhood is located about a mile from this site. I sure hope the DOE is right and that none of that radioactive dust is blowing over my house in the 50-plus MPH winds we had today. Do you think I should be concerned?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Bachelor and Esther

Chapter 2 of the Old Testament book of Esther starts off in a way that might remind us of ABC’s “Reality” TV Show, The Bachelor. I’m not a fan of The Bachelor, but since the narrative in Esther 2 is so similar to the set up of The Bachelor, I watched a few commercial/sneak peaks of The Bachelor online this past week. Jason, this season’s bachelor, is shown there bungee jumping, hot tubbing and smooching a number of women. Then in true “reality” TV style, all of the women who have agreed to subject themselves to this demeaning spectacle are assembled before Jason (and a nationwide TV audience) for a selection ceremony. Each Monday at 8/7c, Jason chooses who he doesn’t like and sends them home. As we read Esther chapter 2 in just a moment, ask yourself if our society is really more civilized and advanced than the patriarchal society of ancient Persia. Oh, and by the way, do you find it very surprising that 11 of the 13 engagements/relationships begun on The Bachelor are now over? True, according to

The bachelor is a non-traditional way for a man in our culture to find a wife. And so was the method of finding a new queen that the Persian King adopted in Eshter 2:1-4. Typically, Persian queens were chosen from one of seven noble Persian families. But that’s now how Ahasuerus “rolls”...

If we’ve adopted the cultural values reflected in TV shows like The Bachelor, then we may be tempted to say that what we just read is “no big deal”. I mean, they’re all consenting adults, right? But that would be unfair: imposing our own opinions onto the story and completely ignoring the historical Hebrew context.

Oh, what’s a nice Jewish girl like you doing in a place like this, Esther? Look at vv12-14 and remember how Esther is being lavishly prepared for a night with a gentile to whom she is not married.

Now, if we interpret the OT as primarily a bunch of stories of examples for us to follow, here we face big problems. Would you use this episode from Esther’s life to teach the virtue of purity to your teenage daughter as she grows into womanhood? What example does this passage set? Make yourself as attractive as you can to powerful men? Use your body to advance God’s kingdom? The ends justify the means?

The example-approach to interpreting the OT fails here because the author does not intend to hold up Esther as a moral example to be followed. Esther may well have been a virtuous woman, obedient to God’s law in many ways. But even so, the author records how she was put into a morally questionable and complex situation! There are no simple answers when it comes to examining Esther’s life in the light of the rest of Scripture, especially the OT scriptures that taught Israelites specifically what to eat, what not to eat, what to wear, what not to wear, how to worship, how not to worship, who to marry, etc.

So what did Esther think about being in this situation? This divinely-inspired author either chooses not to reveal Esther’s reaction to being taken into the harem, or Mordecai’s motives for commanding Esther to conceal her identity (v.10), or the author didn’t know. It can be tempting for us to want to pass judgment on these two, whether positive or negative, but in doing so we miss an important point. This deliberate silence is part of the message: Regardless of their character, their motives, or their faithfulness to God’s law, the decisions Esther and Mordecai make set events in motion to fulfill the covenant promises God made to his people long ago.

This is a good lesson for us: Sometimes, it may seem easy to look at someone else’s decisions and think that we know clearly what is right and what is wrong, and that if we were in their shoes, we would have both known and done the right thing. God can give us the wisdom to know what to do and the moral strength to do it. But ethical choices are so often easier in the abstract, theoretical cases we think up in our minds. Real life isn’t always so neat and tidy. Esther’s situation offers us great encouragement and comfort when we find ourselves in situations where every possible choice contains both right and wrong: Even if we make the “wrong” decision, whether through an ignorant blunder or deliberate disobedience, through Jesus Christ, our God is so gracious and omnipotent that he is able to use even that to accomplish his purposes in and through us. Regardless of whether we always know what the right choice is or whether we have the best of motives, God is working through even our imperfect decisions and actions to fulfill His perfect purposes!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One Great Summit County Kid

Love Letters from Martin to Katie

The following is a sample chapter from Michael Haykin's book, The Christian Lover.

Martin Luther (1483–1546) played a vital role in the recovery of the biblical doctrine of salvation at the time of the sixteenth-century Reformation. As noted in the introduction, though, the Reformation also involved a rediscovery of Christian marriage. Just as Luther’s experience of conversion proved to be paradigmatic for many in sixteenth-century Europe for the rediscovery of true Christian salvation, so his experience of wedlock became paradigmatic for the recovery of the biblical view of marriage.

At Easter 1523, Luther arranged for the escape of twelve Cistercian nuns in empty barrels from a nearby Roman Catholic nunnery. Luther found himself acting as a matchmaker for most of these women over the course of the next two years, until all were married save one, Katharina von Bora (1499–1552). She apparently had her heart set on marrying Luther.

When they eventually did marry, in June 1525, Luther had a strange trio of reasons for his entry into the state of matrimony: “to please his father, to spite the Pope and the Devil, and to seal his witness before his martyrdom”!1 Those were not the most romantic of reasons for marrying, but Martin and Katie came to have a fabulous marriage. One gets a glimpse of the joy they found in each other when he stated, “I give more credit to Katherine than to Christ, who has done so much more for me.”2

In the two letters of Luther that follow, written in the year of his death, one sees Luther’s keen sense of humor, but also his awareness of the responsibility of a married man or woman to pray for his or her spouse. Also evident is the responsibility to encourage one’s spouse in the faith.

Martin Luther to Katharina Luther,
Halle, January 25, 1546

Martin Luther to my kind and dear Katie Luther, a brewer and a judge at the pig market at Wittenberg3

Grace and Peace in the Lord! Dear Katie! Today at eight we drove away from Halle, yet did not get to Eisleben, but returned to Halle again by nine. For a huge female Anabaptist met us with waves of water and great floating pieces of ice; she threatened to baptize us again, and has covered the [whole] countryside.4 But we are also unable to return because of the Mulde [River] at Bitterfeld, and are forced to stay captive here at Halle between the waters—not that we are thirsty to drink of them. Instead we take good beer from Torgau and good wine from the Rhine, with which we refresh and comfort ourselves in the meantime, hoping that the rage of the Saale
[River] may wear itself out today. For since the ferryman and the people themselves were of little courage [to try to cross], we did not want to go into the water and tempt God. For the devil
is angry at us, and he lives in the water. Foresight is better than hindsight, and there is no need for us to prepare a fool’s delight for the pope and his hangers-on. I did not think that the Saale
could create such a flood and rumble over the stones and everything in such a way. No more for now. You people pray for us, and be good. I am sure that, if you were here, you too would have advised us to proceed in this way; [so,] you see, at least once we are following your advice. With this I commend you to God. Amen. . . .
—Martin Luther. Doctor

Martin Luther to Katharina Luther,
[Eisleben,] February 10, 1546

Martin Luther to the holy lady, full of worries, Mrs. Katharina, doctor, the lady of Zölsdorf, at Wittenberg, my gracious, dear mistress of the house.

Grace and peace in Christ! Most holy Mrs. Doctor! I thank you very kindly for your great worry which robs you of sleep. Since the date that you [started to] worry about me, the fire in my quarters, right outside the room, tried to devour me; and yesterday, no doubt because of the strength of your worries, a stone almost fell on my head and nearly squashed me as
in a mouse trap. For in our secret chamber6 mortar has been falling down for about two days; we called in some people who [merely] touched the stone with two fingers and it fell down. The
stone was as big as a long pillow and as wide as a large hand; it intended to repay you for your holy worries, had the dear angels not protected [me]. [Now] I worry that if you do not stop
worrying the earth will finally swallow us up and all the elements will chase us. Is this the way you learned the Catechism and the faith? Pray, and let God worry. You have certainly not
been commanded to worry about me or yourself. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you,” as is written in Psalm 55[:22] and many more passages. . . .
Your Holiness’ willing servant,
Martin Luther

1 Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (New York/Nashville: Abingdon, 1950), 288.
2 Cited in ibid., 293. For Luther’s views on marriage, see ibid., 298–302, and Michael Parsons, Reformation Marriage: The Husband and Wife Relationship in the Theology of Luther and Calvin (Edinburgh: Rutherford House, 2005), 103–212.
3 From Luther’s Works: Vol. 50: Letters III, ed. and trans. Gottfried G. Krodel (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975), 286–287. Used by permission. Luther literally addressed his wife as “a brewress and she-judge.” The reference to Katharina being a judge was probably a reference to her ability at running their home. See Luther’s Works: Vol. 50: Letters III, 286, n10.
4 Luther is referring to a flood of water when a sudden thaw caused the Saale River to overflow its banks.
5 Luther’s Works: Vol. 50: Letters III, 305–306. Used by permission. Zölsdorf was a country estate that Luther purchased in the spring of 1540. See Luther’s Works: Vol. 50: Letters III, 208, n13.
6 That is, the toilet.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Megan!

Thank you for sharing the last 12 months with me. I love you very much!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Those Flashy Vail Skiers...

VAIL — Sanford Kuvin might be the flashiest skier on the hill — for safety’s sake.

If you’ve seen the 79-year-old doctor on Vail’s slopes, you’ve probably noticed him — he’s the one with the blinking lights all over his helmet and ski suit.

It’s an effective safety measure, and it ensures that he’ll be seen by other skiers and snowboarders on the mountain, said Kuvin, who owns a condo at Vail’s Simba Run and has skied Vail for more than 10 years.

He got the idea for the light ensemble after he was hit by a snowboarder in Vail three years ago, he said.

He was headed down the edge of a blue run when the snowboarder came sailing out of the trees, out of control, and hit Kuvin in the ankles.

“He stopped and said, ‘Sorry, dude,’ and took off,” said Kuvin. “I was left there counting my body parts.”

At first he was livid. Then he hobbled around for six weeks recovering from his injuries. Then he got the lights.

“I said to myself: ‘What’s an old man like me doing on the mountain, and what can I do to draw attention to myself to prevent this?’” Kuvin said.

So he purchased six flashing bicycle lights and zip-tied them to his helmet and belt. The whole thing cost about $95, a small price to pay for safety, he said.

He also carries a locator with an emergency call button and a plastic sign in his pocket that reads, “Please help.” The homemade sign conveniently attaches to Kuvin’s’ ski poles should he need to flag down help. The entire outfit is topped off by a blue Vail golf ball on the top of his helmet, covering the extension for a helmet camera.

Sure, it looks pretty funny, Kuvin said, but then again, everyone has stories of their own crashes or close calls.

“Many people have stopped me, but nobody has ever made fun of me,” he said. “People ask me where I got it, and say I should patent it. I do get strange looks, but then they smile. There’s always the smile.”

His wife, Gabrielle, doesn’t ski anymore after a big fall. She laughed when asked if she had anything to do with her husband’s outfit.

“Of course not,” she grinned, shaking her head. “But everyone who stops him thinks it’s great, and it’s for a good reason.”

From the Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Tetzels in New York

According to the official website of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn: "Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has announced that parishioners in the Diocese of Brooklyn can receive plenary indulgences for participation in events connected with the 2008-2009 jubilee year of St. Paul the Apostle proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI in May." Read more in yesterday's article at

Wow. Almost 500 years after Luther posted his 95 theses disputing the efficacy of indulgences, this deceitful religious teaching is still around. It is so sad that Roman Catholics around the world are still being confused and wrongly taught by their priests and bishops and archbishops and pope that the church has the ability to remove punishment for sin.

We must respond to this blatantly false religious teaching with a clear proclamation of the Paul's gospel, the only biblical gospel, the only true gospel: the gospel that sinners like us are set free from the penalty, power and (one day) presence of sin because of our justification by God's grace ALONE through faith ALONE in Jesus Christ ALONE. My dear friends, please read Paul's letter to the Romans again. I have included Romans 3:21 to 4:25 below. Go to ESV Bible Online to read the whole thing.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Abraham Justified by Faith

4:1 What then shall we say was gained by [1] Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in [2] him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

The Promise Realized Through Faith

13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. 20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

22 English words that still exist almost entirely because of hymns and the King James Bible

1. Verily
2. Buffet
3. Diadem
4. Beseech
5. Balm
6. Ebenezer
7. Hark!
8. Begotten
9. Hither
10. Admonish
11. Gird
12. Want (as in “lack”)
13. Hallowed
14. Firmament
15. Brethren
16. Bulwark
17. Countenance
18. Quickening
19. Adjure
20. Brimstone
21. Surety
22. Goad

What others?

Thanks to Abraham Piper and Joe Rigney at 22 Words for this post.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mike's 1949 Tucker Sno-Cat

It's big and orange, with skis and green wheels. You can't miss it near the end of this video.

Monday, February 9, 2009

No Little People, No Little Places

I read Schaeffer's sermon, "No Little People, No Little Places" this morning. After a disappointing day at church yesterday, I'm now ready to start my week.

From the back cover: "Most Christians take an honest look at themselves and conclude that their limited talents, energy, and knowledge mean that they don’ t amount to much. Francis A. Schaeffer says that the biblical emphasis is quite different. With God there are no little people!"

"This book contains sixteen sermons that explore the weakness and significance of humanity in relationship to the infinite and personal God. Each was preached by Schaeffer at L’ Abri Fellowship in Switzerland to the community that gathered there to work, learn, and worship together. The focus of this collection is the lasting truth of the Bible, the faithfulness of God, the sufficiency of the work of Christ, and the reality of God’ s Spirit in history. The sermons represent a variety of styles— some are topical, some expound Old Testament passages, and still others delve into New Testament texts. No Little People includes theological sermons and messages that focus specifically on daily life and Christian practice. Each sermon,is a single unit, and all are valuable for family devotions or other group study and worship. Readers will be encouraged by the value that God places on each person made in His image."

Click here to read it free online at google books.

No Little People
By Francis A. Schaeffer, Udo Middelmann
Contributor Udo Middelmann
Published by Good News Publishers, 2003
ISBN 1581345186, 9781581345186
239 pages

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Esther: Faith for Such a Time as This

Stories define and build relationships. Every cultural group, every people group, every family, has its stories. These stories are passed down from one generation to the next, uniting families, churches, people groups and cultures.

The Old Testament book of Esther tells the story of a Jewish girl living in exile in the Persian city of Susa who rises from obscurity to the throne of the Persian Queen. This young woman is used by God to rescue the Jewish people from the very real threat of genocide. Her story begins with the story of the King of Persia, who was known by a name that might sound strange to us: Ahasuerus: A Dangerous King. Greek Historian Herodotus’ History of the Persian Wars remains a strong extra-biblical witness and attests to historicity of Ahasuerus/Xerxes’ kingship.

Ahasuerus was an ambitious and ruthless ruler, a brilliant warrior, a jealous lover, and Herodotus even tells us that he was the tallest and most handsome of all the Persian kings. By throwing such an self-promoting, self-indulgent party, he kind of reminds me of that character Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. This is a guy whose silly friends might be heard singing:

“No one thinks like Ahasuerus
No one drinks like Ahasuerus

No one's neck's as incredibly thick as Ahasuerus

For there’s no Persian man half as manly
Perfect, a pure stud-icus

You can ask any Tom, Dick or Stanley

And they’ll tell you he’s a real match for Sparticus”

Only a king with a perfect character should be given absolute power. And that is why the Lordship of Jesus Christ is such a joyful thing. He is king of kings and lord of lords and he is perfect in his character...absolutely no corruption...existing forever without sin. And he said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, ESV)

Read the whole story of Esther this week. Parents, read it with your kids and talk about it. There are definitely some parts of the story that are going to require your parental guidance. Esther is NOT the ideal heroine: she never mentions God’s name, never prays, and we must wonder, what made the idea of entering the King’s beauty contest so attractive to her anyway?

Have you considered:
  • Will God fulfill his covenant promise through his providence?
  • Will God do another a miracle like the parting of the Red Sea, or could God rescue his people simply by the way that a few critical everyday events are ordered?
  • Those who have studied the Old Testament have learned how God has proven his covenant promises to his people that lived in Jerusalem long ago. But would he also prove those promises to his people who were living far from away Jerusalem then?
  • Even if they were not very spiritual people and not particularly interested in what God says?
  • What about people who are not very spiritual today and who, like us, are living far, far away from Jerusalem right now?
  • Could God’s purposes on earth to glorify himself through people like us really come true?
These questions and many others are the questions that the Story of Esther answers for us. I'm looking forward to continuing our study of Esther at Christchurch next Sunday.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rock Creek Oscars 2009

Update: Here is a photo of "The Academy"...good friends...good times.

Original Post Begins Here: Meg and I are really looking forward to tonight's Rock Creek Oscars Party at the Renaissance Hotel in Broomfield.

Together with a group of friends from our neighborhood, we're hosting this event for more than 100 people in order to have a good time and to raise some money for Heritage House, a ministry group home for troubled teenage girls in our area.

Imagine arriving to the flashes of the paparazzi as you walk the red carpet. Then dinner with friends, followed by an "Academy Awards Ceremony" where you and your neighbors have created their own parody videos of Oscar-winning movie moments. Then dessert and dancing the night away with all the "stars" - who also just happen to be great friends from your neighborhood.

Look for the videos on YouTube early next week, and plan on joining us next year!

Friday, February 6, 2009

More Art by John Taft

This and other beautiful landscape oil paintings can be purchased beginning tonight at Pinon Fine Art in Littleton. Visit

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

new christchurch signs/ads coming soon

Truth in advertising.

What do you think of church marketing?

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide...

If you're worried about stalkers on facebook or twitter, you may not want to sign up for google latitude. But this looks like fun to me. More opportunities to run into people.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Praying with Ismael

This afternoon, I had the privilege of meeting and praying with my friend, Ismael. Everybody needs a friend like him. He is still grieving the death of his wife, who died 18 months ago, but appears to be weathering that storm with a strengthened faith. Please pray for his 12 year old and 9 year old daughters.

My Uncle's Keeper?

After a weekend of "family time" at my uncle Chuck's funeral, this quote from Russell Moore seems particularly relevant.

"It sure helps to love invisible people. That’s why one rattles on and on about “The Family” while neglecting his kids. That’s why another “fights” for “social justice” by “raising consciousness” about “The Poor” while judging his friends on how trendy their clothes are. And that’s why one pontificates on “The Church” while rolling his eyes at the people in his actual congregation."

"“The Family” never shows up unexpected for Thanksgiving or criticizes your spouse or spills chocolate milk all over your carpet; only real families can do that. “The Poor” don’t show up drunk for the job interview you’ve scheduled or spend the money you’ve given them on lottery tickets or tell you they hate you; only real poor people can do that. “The Church” never votes down my position in a congregational business meeting or puts on an embarrassingly bad Easter musical or asks me to help clean toilets for Vacation Bible School next week; only real churches can do that."

"As long as “The Family” or “The Poor” or “The Church” are abstract concepts, as long as my interaction is as distant as a government policy, they can be whoever I want them to be."

"The Spirit warns us about this. Jesus lit into the Pharisees for “fighting for” the Law of God while ignoring their financial obligations to their parents, all under the guise of their religious advocacy (Mark 7:10-12). The Apostle Paul tells us that a man who doesn’t “provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household” has “denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim 5:9)."

"And James, particularly, shows us the difference between “fighting” for a cause, and loving people. “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be wrmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for te body, what good is that?” (James 2:15-16). “Be warmed and filled” is advocacy; “get in here” is love."

Read the entire article here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

During a quick visit to the Alabama Mu chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity today, while on the campus of the University of Alabama, I was remined of this poem:
The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.
—John Walter Wayland (Virginia Omicron Chapter 1899)

Travis' Pastoral Prayer

While I am in Alabama to officiate my uncle Chuck's funeral, my friend and brother in Christ, Travis Blevins, will be leading Christchurch in prayer later this morning. Will you join with me and Travis in offering up this prayer to God?

We gather before you now to bring glory and honor to you. We worship and we praise you. We adore you for the knowledge that you are a sovereign God, and are in control.. Thank you Lord for the sunset yesterday, and your evident hand all around us. We confess our sin to you this morning Lord and ask to be reconciled in our relationship with you through the obedience and blood of your son. Thank you for sacrificing your beloved son on the cross, and for His obedient life that we strive to follow. Thank you, Oh God, for the scripture. The inerrant guide for us in this turbulent fallen world, a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. Thank you for Christchurch Lord, a bible-believing church in a dry and weary land where we are few. We lay our heartfelt requests at your feet and pray that you search our hearts Lord, align our desires with your desires, make us vessels of righteousness, proclaiming your glory. We lift up our president Lord, we pray that Barack Obama would pray, and read scripture, and if he is not saved Lord, we pray that you would work on his heart, and bring him to a saving knowledge of your son, and our savior. We lift up those who are ill Lord, in our congregation and out of it. We lift up Matt Jones as he continues his rehabilitation and therapy. We pray that your miraculous healing power be evident in his recovery. We pray for those in financial need Lord, those who are hit hard by our current economic situation Lord, comfort them in their difficulties, provide for them Lord. We lift up Boulder Valley Christian Church and their new pastor. We pray that they will glorify you and help spread the gospel to a barren Boulder County. Help us to be a giving church, a generous church, a church that’s focus is on You and You alone. Lord open our hearts, create in us a big vision for the lost, poke and prod us through the Holy Spirit to share the gospel with those around us. Move us forward as we through your grace and in obedience to your Word advance the kingdom in Boulder county. May we savor You in our worship, strengthen our vision of Jesus in discipleship and study, and spread the Love of Christ in evangelism and missions, may we bear fruit, and may our fruit remain. Help us not to grow weary in doing Good, as we draw on your limitless power and sufficiency. May you be Glorified in our efforts and in our reliance on you. Amen

Jesus and Football

Check out this article by Randy Alcorn before you watch the Super Bowl.

Remember the bannerman?