Saturday, September 09, 2006

Prodigal Hearts and Irresistable Grace

Just a brief meditation on my reading this morning...
The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook the Lord and did not serve him. (Judges 10:6 ESV)
Throughout much of its history, particularly throughout Judges, Israel worshiped just about anything they could find other than the one true God. Why? Did the Sidonians exhibit greater passion and dedication to their god? Or was it simply easier or more "profitable" to worship man-made, man-centered gods? (Although Molech was hardly easy to worship, since doing so required child sacrifice.)

What is it about the human heart that would rather worship rocks and trees than God Himself? I guess the question answers itself, in a way. We are born as rebels.

We are born in sin, defiant of our Creator. We would rather honour sticks and stones, pray with meaningless repetition and self-inflicted pains, even sacrifice the lives of our precious children, then bow before the Almighty.

How foolish to believe that we could ever come to God on our own initiative. If He doesn't open our hearts to Him, we will surely remain adamant against Him.

Praise God for His irresistable grace!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hymns to Evolution

Pastor Paul links to Al Mohler's discussion on the failure of evolutionary psychology to explain music. Dr. Mohler remarks that it is "[n]o wonder there are no great evolutionary hymns."

Now, I'm not here to defend atheistic evolution, but I was tickled by the thought of a hymn for evolutionists. So here are my humble (very! humble) attempts.

First, I was going to use some grand old hymns as models. But I couldn't bring myself to damage such great hymns. (Even though some would have been excellent material. Think of "Foam of our fathers, living foam.")

So, I decided to inflict my sartirlyrical powers on some old standbys, instead.
Goo in a Bottle
To the tune of "Time in a Bottle".

If I could store goo in a bottle,
you know, that wouldn't be bad,
for first bit of goo, I would store, would be
great great great great,
great great great great
grand dad.

Mercifully short. The next one isn't.

Evolutionists' Island
To the tune of "Gilligan's Island." (For our younger readers, who don't know what I'm talking about, you can hear the original here.)

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
a tale of a quirky fate,
that started in a pool of goo,
that became me and you ... that became me and you.

The weather started getting rough,
volcanoes by the score,
some chemicals, a meteor or two
amino acids began to form ... they just began to form...

And then by many fits and starts,
the mighty dinosaurs,
appeared and roamed the earth and then..
... umm, well, then they were no more ... (another meteor).

Quickly we mammals then appeared,
as whiskered, little mice
we grew to become you and me
(how's that for artifice?) ... this theory is so nice ...

And now we're here
and now we know just how we came about
Thanks, Chuck Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould, the Leakey man (and his wife), Stephen Hawking, and the rest,
we're adrift on evolutionists' isle!

Friday, September 01, 2006

The most dangerous key in the world...

The most dangerous key in the world is the "send" key, or the "publish post" key.

Have you ever received an e-mail like this?
Dear Tom;

It was nice of you to take the time out of your busy schedule to visit me. I enjoyed our time together, especially after being so out of touch.

Faithfully yours,
Aunt Betty

How should I understand this e-mail? Is grouchy old Aunt Betty upset that I don't call her more often? Or is my sweet, loving aunt honestly expressing her appreciation for a visit by her favourite nephew?

If I read the e-mail on Monday, I might interpret it as the former. On Tuesday (or after my morning coffee), I might see it as the latter. The point is that it is almost impossible to properly interpret tone in most peoples' e-mails.

Have you ever dashed off a quick e-mail to a friend, only to find out that they totally misunderstood your intention or attitude? Have you ever received a gruff or ominous e-mail, only to find out via a quick phone call that there was nothing gruff or ominous intended?

(I can see all of my readers' heads nodding. All five of you.)

Me too. In fact, years ago I committed to never using e-mail to communicate anything sensitive, critical or emotional. And any time I have broken that commitment, I have always regretted it.

So, why did it not occur to me that the same is true in blogging? In fact, it is true in spades! (And diamonds, hearts and clubs)! If a personal e-mail is open to misunderstanding, how much more so is a public announcement?

Three times over the past six weeks, some loving and wise brothers have pointed out to me articles I have written on this blog which fall into that "sensitive" category. Either I took on issues that were not appropriate for blogging, or my articles employed a tone (even an unintended tone) that was not godly.

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. (Pr 9:8).

I may not be a very wise man, but I am working on it (or, more accurately, God is working on me, amen!) I love these brothers for their grace, courage and mercy. Although I have not changed my stance as expressed in most of those articles, they have shown me more godly and more biblical ways to deal with these issues, and I am humbled and deeply grateful!

Accordingly, I have removed several postings altogether, and edited out some references in others.

My hope and prayer is that this blog may as a result be more profitable to a small part of the Body of Christ (all five of you again!), and that my own heart may be wiser, humbler, and more "useful for the master of the house" (2 Tim 2:21).

Thank you for your patience and grace, dear reader.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Father Abraham and the Seeker-Sensitive Church

All churches should be seeker-sensitive. Every Sunday, every preacher in the pulpit should be praying that there are unregenerate souls sitting before him, and he should preach the glorious gospel with all the passion and intensity he can muster.

I was reading this morning the story Jesus tells called "The Rich Man and Lazarus". And I was struck again by the non-seeker-sensitive emphasis of Abraham. The rich man, in hell, sees Abraham and Lazarus in heaven and asks him to send Lazarus to warn his still-living brothers:
But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’

And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
If a non-Christian won't believe the testimony of Scripture, they won't believe even if a corpse springs up from the coffin and warns them to repent! How much less than will they believe Gospel-Lite which tells them little more than that Jesus loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life?!

Oh, may we tell all that we can about hell, about the Law, about sin, and wrath, and judgment! May we tell them about grace, and forgiveness, and reconciliation, and imputation of our sin and Christ's righteousness! And may we tell them about ten thousand thousand years of infinite joy in the presence of God!

Monday, July 24, 2006

A Patient Mercy

In preparing for the message I was privileged to preach Sunday night, I was working through Luke 12:13-34.

The middle section of that passage records Jesus' teaching to his disciples about the basic necessities of life:

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

This promise from God to provide all the believer's daily necessities is not only extraordinary, but it is also very difficult to believe and trust in. What I was so struck by was the patience of our Lord in reassuring the disciples (and us!) of this promise.

Look at the number of times he repeats the command or the reassurance:
  • v 22, "do not be anxious about your life ... about your body"
  • v 24, "how much more value are you than the birds!"
  • v 26, "why are you anxious about the rest?"
  • v 28, "how much more will he clothe you..."
  • v 29, "do not seek what you are to eat ... nor be worried"
  • v 30, "your Father knows that you need them"
Six times in nine verses Jesus is reassuring us, comforting us, seeking to convince us. What patient, gracious mercy!!

Praise God for his inexhaustible grace!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rejoicing in Imperatives!

The evangelistic tract Quest For Joy, produced by John Piper's church, starts with the bold statement:
Did you know that God commands us to be glad?
"Delight yourself in the Lord and
he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)
As I've been working through Deuteronomy in my daily readings, I've been struck repeatedly by how often God's people were commanded to rejoice.

Deuteronomy 12:7
And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

Deuteronomy 12:12
And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters...

Deuteronomy 12:18
... And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you undertake.

Deuteronomy 14:26
... And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.

Deuteronomy 16:11
And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter ... at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there.

Deuteronomy 16:14
You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter...

Deuteronomy 26:11
And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house...

Deuteronomy 27:7
and you shall sacrifice peace offerings and shall eat there, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God.

And if the saints of the Old Testament had reason to rejoice, then how much more may we on this side of the cross, indwelt by the Spirit, rejoice with all our might before our Lord!!

Go and rejoice in your awesome God today!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Now where is that "publish post" button?

It wasn't planned, but my last post was over 3 months ago. However, I've finally returned from my blogging holiday (blogiday?). According to SiteMeter, there are still a few hardy souls who visit this site regularly, which is encouraging. Hopefully I can begin posting articles worthy of your faithfulness.

For today, a brief thought on theological training. I'm just finishing my 9th seminary course, which I feel very privileged to be able to do. The theology classes have been particularly interesting and valuable (although I love Greek too!). Although I haven't learned a lot of new ideas, what I appreciate is being taught about new categories for thinking through and arranging what I do know.

For example, take the relationship between the Kingdom of God and the world. How you understand this relationship has profound effects on how you live.

As Michael Hill notes in The How and Why of Love, those who see people as largely products of their society (the "holistic" view), tend to adopt the perspective that the whole world is the Kingdom of God, and so focus on a social gospel, one which emphasizes the transformation of systemic evils via political and social means.

Those who see people as independent individuals (the "individualistic" view) tend to see the Kingdom as being a purely future state, and often abandon any form of social reformation as being hopeless. After all, who cares about the social conditions of those who will be Left Behind?

The most scriptural of these models is that the Kingdom is both here, but not yet revealed to its fullest extent (the "already/not-yet" view, aka "inaugurated eschatology"). Jesus announced the start of God's Kingdom on earth, but that Kingdom will not be fully known until his return and the final judgment. Those who live with this perspective understand that we are obligated to seek social reform in accordance with God's revealed will, since the Kingdom is here, but also recognize that the sinful hearts which produce this systemic evil will only be completely dealt with through individual regeneration or final judgment, since the Kingdom is not yet consummated.

Well, that's a pretty dense article for a first post. Thanks for reading this far! :-)

May God bless you today with the ability to make much of Him!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Prayer doesn't work! Good!

A headline item in today's CBC news:

Prayer has no effect on heart patients in U.S. study.
Last Updated Thu, 30 Mar 2006 14:26:55 EST
CBC News

Having people pray for heart bypass patients had no effect on their recoveries in an American study, researchers say.

And I say, "Amen!"

Why? Because I don't believe in prayer? Because I don't believe in intercession?

Not at all. Prayer is an awesome privilege which God uses in blessing individuals and the world. Prayer is powerful and effective, a faith-filled worship of God and celebration of his sufficiency and sovereignty in all of life!

But God is not coin-operated, even for prayer currency. We do not plug in our prayer quarter, turn God's crank, and wait for heavenly gumballs to come tumbling out of the slot.

From the abstract:
In the 2 groups uncertain about receiving intercessory prayer, complications occurred in 52% (315/604) of patients who received intercessory prayer versus 51% (304/597) of those who did not (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.92-1.15).

We cannot submit God's sovereign action, even in response to prayer, to statistical calculation, confidence intervals, and numeric prediction. Underlying these types of studies is a mechanistic concept of God that I find frightening.

God hears prayer. God answers prayer, according to his infinite power, wisdom and plan. If you're a believer, you can pray confidently according to the manifold promises God pours out on you in the Bible.

If you are an unbeliever, then there is only one prayer that God is waiting to hear from you, and that is a pleading for forgiveness and salvation in the name of his Son.

Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
(Mark 1:14b-15)

If God were simply to heal you, then you may never know your need of him, and a healthy life could result in a lost and wretched eternity. C. S. Lewis called pain God's "megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

Prayer is the echo of the freedom and sufficiency of God in the heart of powerless men.
(John Piper)

So pray! And believe! And trust God's sovereign wisdom in his answer.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Voluntary victims of shariah

On September 11, 2005, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty moved to reject the use of Shariah law (or any other religious-based tribunal) in settling family disputes. This was after hundreds of people around the world protested the idea of introducing Islamic law into Ontario.

In February 2006, Islamic blasphemy laws have been effectively brought to bear throughout large portions of the Western world, suppressing cherished freedoms of speech and criticism through threats of murder and acts of violence, oppression and terror.

As Richard Neuhaus wisely notes in his February 8, 2006 posting (emphasis added):

The conflagration is not, as many American and European editorialists are opining, about sensitivity to the religious feelings of others. The same editorialists routinely approve of “transgressive” art and vituperative rhetoric that trashes Christianity. Nor is it about the “hypocrisy” or “unfairness” of Muslims who incessantly publish vile anti-Semitic and anti-Christian caricatures, although what they do is certainly not nice.

No, the teaching of Islam is that it is blasphemy to visually depict Muhammed, whether favorably or unfavorably, but especially unfavorably. It is also impermissible to criticize the teachings of the Qur’an and the hadith. These and many other prohibitions are part of the sharia law that militant Islamists are intent upon imposing upon Islam and, insofar as they are able, on the world.

If you haven't seen the cartoons yet, I urge you to have a look at them (this page, about halfway down). Not to provoke our Muslim neighbours, but so that you will be aware of just how mild these cartoons really are.

Will we be ruled to Shariah law? I am dismayed by the cowardice of the North American media, who refuse to publish these cartoons. Unless people can see how mild these drawings are, they cannot properly understand the issue of this global Islamic violence.

It truly is, as John Neuhaus noted, not about sensitivity but about Islamic law. If for fear of our lives we cannot publish silly cartoons, what is next? Criticism of the Qu'ran is also considered blasphemy. As is criticism of Mohammed.

The next time North American media choose to offend Christians and Jews in the name of freedom of expression, it will ring hollow in the face of this moral cowardice.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

That the next generation might know them...

Psalm 78:4-7 (ESV):
4 will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
5 established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
6 the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
7 that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
When we were at our former church, I was asked to preach on the responsibility of parents to their children. Near the end, I warned parents that current trends will result in our children facing far more difficult days as Christians in this society than we could even imagine now. I urged that:

...if we are content now to just do the minimum, we will leave our kids underequipped to deal with this future. The Bible warns about those who have joy in the gospel but little understanding of it, and when the sun comes up and it gets hot, they are like little plants that wither because they have no roots. Or Jesus' parable of the wise and foolish builders. When the storm came, only the wise man, who knew God's word and obeyed it, had a house left standing. I think the storm is coming, and the dry times are coming, and we must ensure that our kids' roots run deep, and their houses are well-founded on the Rock of the Word of God.

Accordingly, my wife and I are always looking for ways to train up our children, whether that be through new traditions, recommended books, or changes to family devotions.

I'd love to know what others who read this blog (or even stumble across this article) are doing to train up their children. To "prime the pump," I'll start by sharing how we do family devotions.

Every evening, starting around 7:30, the whole family gathers on the couch. Our kids, who are 6 and 7, are already into their pyjamas and ready for bed.

We begin with singing. We have a binder of songs, mostly from Sovereign Grace Music, with the song sheets downloaded from their web site. Our church sings these songs, so the kids are familiar with them. My guitar playing is pretty awful, which matches my singing ability, but I have a patient wife with a great voice, so it works out.

After a song, we take a few minutes while I read the Bible to them. We started with picture-based children's Bibles, much like The Big Picture Bible recommended by my pastor. We worked through Bibles with ever-fewer pictures and more text, until they are now reading the ESV Bible. We work sequentially through the Bible (we're just into Exodus now), with the kids listening while I read to them. They are able to read it themselves, but I think it's important for them to hear Scripture as well as read it.

Next we move to the day's installment of the Shorter Catechism. We're using the book Training Hearts, Teaching Minds (which I've talked about in a previous blog entry). This is an excellent book for introducing children (and adults) to the terrific tools of the catechism. The kids use their own Bibles to look up and read out loud the passages referred to by this book. If they're looking sleepy at this point, we do "sword drills".

Then we sing another song.

Finally, we close with an extended reading (15-20 minutes) from another book. Currently we're reading a series of short biographies in a book called Heroes Who Changed the World (we skip Francis of Assisi). At other times we've worked through several pictoral or young reader editions of Pilgrim's Progress. In a year or two I think they'll be ready for the full version.

So, that's the basic outline of our family devotions. It takes about 45 minutes from start to end. I know that the one element we're missing in family prayer. We do pray separately with the children when putting them to bed, but we need to spend time praying as a family.

Any thoughts? Criticisms? Suggestions for incorporating prayer? What do other parents do for family devotions? Please share!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Bible: Inspired but inadequate?

I'm reading through an odd text for a course I'm taking. It consists of a number of interviews done for Preaching magazine over the past couple of decades, and it has a truly eclectic group of preachers as its subject, including Max Lucado, George Barna, R. C. Sproul and John MacArthur.

I was truly horrified to read the following quote:

I think it's very tempting for traditional preaching styles to present Christ and the Word of God as the quick cure-all for whatever ailment is afflicting an individual today. I think that might be a little simplistic. If someone has been sexually molested, if someone grew up in the home of an alcoholic father, if someone has been beaten as a child, there are some deep psychological wounds that have to be carefully treated by trained Christian counselors before these wounded people can thorougly appropriate the promises and precepts of Scripture. (Communicate with Power, ed. Michael Duduit. (Michigan: Baker, 1998), 74-75.

The speaker is Bill Hybels, back in 1992. It is a frightful thing to see how even the pastors of the church are willing to exchange the glorious resources of God for the muddy cisterns of modern psychology.

Were there no sexually molested people in first century Palestine? Were alcoholic fathers absent throughout the Roman empire? Is child abuse purely a 21st century phenomenon? Nonsense. God provided what they needed then, and what we need now, in the marvelous riches of his Word illuminated and made active through his Spirit!

As David Wells so trenchantly observes in The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church:

Biblical inspiration was affirmed but its consequences were not worked out for our preaching, our techniques for growing the Church, our techniques for healing our own fractured selves. These all happened largely without the use of Scripture. It is as if we think that while the Bible is inspired, it is nevertheless inadequate to the tasks of sustaining and nourishing the twentieth-century! The result of this divine myopia is that he has left us with something that is inadequate to the great challenges that we face today.

I can personally testify to the power of God's Word to heal brokeness. My step-father was an alcoholic who was at times physically abusive. But I am neither, having both forgiven him and loved him. All of my aunts and uncles on both sides of the family have been divorced at least once. My wife and I have been married for almost 10 years and are deliriously happy. My wife's father is a mean-spirited man who often was (and still is!) physically abusive. But she is a loving, devoted Mom.

And we attribute all of our health to the work of God's Spirit primarily through his Scriptures. He is the God who heals us, and to turn to anything else is sinful, dishonouring and destructive. Not that there isn't a place for counseling, but all the wisdom of the counselor will come through the Word and all the effectiveness of the counselor will be of the Spirit through the Word.

If you want a remarkable testimony to this truth, I highly commend the story of Jan Fletcher to you. In her pamphlet God's Complete Provision: for healing the pain of childhood sexual abuse, she describes the start of her suffering:

Molestation in my pubertal years by a church deacon, and later, incest by my stepfather in my mid-teens, led me to engage in rampant promiscuity, as I tried to find love in all the wrong places.

By Hybel's standard, this woman needs specialized counseling. Some, including my former church, would recommend mystical prayer counseling, which Mrs. Fletcher is very familiar with (see her online book Lying Spirits). But when she was 39, God graciously led her to true healing, in reconciliation with himself:

No gimmick and no special formula discovered by any man can heal the human soul. Only the power of God can truly give lasting healing. God's healing is absolutely unique, because the result is a changed heart and a new spiritual birth. God freely offers it to us, but the cost of giving it to us was not cheap. It was very costly. This precious gift of spiritual rebirth required that Jesus, the Son of God, suffer a humiliating death on a Roman cross.


True healing comes through reconciliation with God, as we accept God's gift and submit our sinful nature to God's work in us through the cross. This reconciliation is not based in a mystical encounter we initiate. ... Instead, as the Apostle Paul explains in Romans 10, our salvation, and the healing to our souls that it brings, does not come through a subjective feeling. It comes through a willful and reasoned acceptance of the objective truth of the message of the Gospel heard through the word of Christ.

Let us flee all false and worldly solutions to the all-sufficient, all-powerful Word of God!

Tech: Performancing blog editor

I'm never satisfied with my blog editor.Flock Icon

Until now, I've been using the Flock editor. A variant of the firefox web browser, it has a built-in blog editor which has been a great tool. Unfortunately, it does have a small number of annoying quirks, and is missing a few features, most importantly text colouring. However, as the developers state clearly, these are the early days for Flock, which is not yet ready for day-to-day use. I believe it will mature into an excellent, stable and capable editor.

This post is being written using Performancing, a tool I've never seen before. It has been written by professional bloggers for professional bloggers, and while I neither style myself as a professional nor aspire to be, I'm impressed with this bit of software.

It runs as a plugin for firefox, which allows you to run the browser in the top part of the window and the editor in the bottom. This greatly simplifies browsing for references while you're writing your blog. It also allows editing in both "preview" and HTML modes, a necessary feature for tweaking the format of your article.

So, if you use the firefox browser (and you should!), I recommend trying out the Performancing editor.

[The only limit on my enthusiasm for that recommendation is the fact that this is the 2nd time I've written this article. The editor ate the first version. Your mileage may vary.]

Saturday, January 07, 2006

So long, Santa! (Christmas alternatives)


How was your Christmas?

I hope it was blessed with making much of Christ and the unimaginable, incomprehensible wonder of the eternally-begotten Son of God born as a man.

Two years ago, my wife and I, were trying to keep both our focus and that of our young children on Jesus, on his birthday. But it was a struggle. In particular, the kids had trouble seeing beyond the pile of presents under the tree.

When Christmas day came, we were dismayed to see the idea of presents consuming all of their attention. Skip the Bible reading, let's get on to the gifts!

Then we watched them rush from gift to gift, caring very little for each individual present, and very concerned about where their next present might be hiding. We knew that if they had received any one of these gifts on a normal day, they'd be thrilled. Instead, the value of each gift was lost in the yuletide potlatch.

There had to be a better way.

At the time, we were receiving the Christian Parenting magazine from Christianity Today. Though we were rarely impressed with the magazine, the article Bye-Bye Bunny made the entire subscription worthwhile.

Following the authors' suggestion, we have stopped giving presents at Christmas (we still do stockings). This frees us up from the shopping madness of December, as well as reducing the focus on gifts, and makes room for bringing in a full focus on the miracle of the Incarnation.

This doesn't mean that we are being stingy with our kids. Instead of giving gifts at Christmas time, we have "GOTYA days" for every individual member of the family at some point throughout the year. On that day, we celebrate the person, give them gifts, and spend time together as a family. This is the time when they receive what would otherwise be kept back until Christmas. For the kids, the date of their GOTYA days is a surprise, although we schedule those days approximately 6 months from their birthdays. Since two of our birthdays are very close to Christmas, this means we don't have to go 12 months between celebrations as before.

So, why the name GOTYA? Well, we don't like the name, but we haven't come up with a good replacement. The authors of the article created it as an acronym meaning "God Thinks You're Awesome." We believe that's an inappropriate description and don't use that phrase, but we still call them GOTYA days, although without a good explanation for the word.

Check out the article. Then, let me encourage you to try out their suggestions with your family. We have been absolutely delighted with the impact it has had on ours!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Between Two Worlds: Pray for Piper

Between Two Worlds: Pray for Piper

You may have seen this already, but even if so, please take this as an opportunity to pray for John Piper.

Words literally cannot express the value of what God has done in my life and the lives of my family through the teaching of this man. There are many excellent expositors and defenders of the Reformed faith, men who can explain theology and Scripture compellingly, but no one writer stirs my heart for God like John Piper.

Even this letter is a blessing. May God pour his riches of grace and strength upon you and those around you, Dr. Piper!