Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Bible is like...steak?

Please bear with my bad analogy. :) I recently visited a church, the sermons of which I greatly enjoy and learn from. Mark Driscoll, the teaching pastor at said church, has very 'meaty' sermons (hence the bad steak pun). (They are also funny and easily applicable to life...but that's not the point of this post.) I have listened to several sermons from the church's website, and I love that when he preaches, he simply prays and starts preaching. He doesn't start with stories or illustrations, but rather, starts with Scripture. I'm not saying that all stories in preaching are bad, but they must be kept to a minimum and Scripture held as the source of the teaching. And let's face it, sermon illustrations aren't known for being the most...well-written...or creative.

The more I listen to 'meaty' sermons, the more I've realized how much more I enjoy and learn from this type of expository preaching. The more you have the good stuff (steak) the less desirable the weak stuff is (McDonald's). Josh Harris wrote that Scripture is the meat, not the seasoning of a sermon.

(The steak analogy makes me laugh because I don't really like steak.)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Zzzzz...

How ironic that I'm writing this when I should be sleeping, because sleep is what I want to blog about. This is probably due to the fact that I just finished a House episode about sleep, but awhile back, I read a quote by C.J. Mahaney regarding sleep, and it's stuck with me. I want to touch on two things about sleep.
First off, the C.J. Mahaney quote. I don't remember where I first saw it, but a quick Google yielded the quote from Justin Taylor. In this interview, C.J. says, "Sleep is a sweet gift from God but it is also a daily reminder that we are not God. Only God “neither slumbers nor sleeps” (Psalm 121:4). Each night as I confront my need for sleep I am reminded that I am a totally dependent upon God. Sleep is a gift but it’s a humbling gift. Don’t just fall asleep tonight but seize the moment before you fall asleep to weaken pride and cultivate humility by acknowledging you are not self-sufficient, you are not the Creator. Sleep is a daily humbling reminder that we are completely dependent upon God." (Emphasis added)
We are totally dependent on God and sleep is a reminder of this. Try as we may to keep ourselves awake via activity, energy drinks, caffeine or sheer willpower (any college student has used at least one of those methods when studying), our bodies can't function without sleep. If we don't get it, we'll die.
Secondly, isn't it so cool that we get to sleep? I mean, God could have made us take a magic pill to revitalize ourselves or sit for 3.5 minutes and stare into space, but he didn't. He lets us sleep. It's a gift. As someone who enjoys sleep, I think this is rather cool.
Now, this gift must be used with precaution, certainly. Proverbs 6:10-11 and 20:13 both warn us of the consequence of laziness and too much slumber.
So while we must be careful not to indulge this gift too much (and really that warning goes for any of God's gifts), take the chance to enjoy sleep. You may be at a stage in life where it's precious and rare. Enjoy it, little as it may be. Learn to depend on God through sleep, and be thankful he gave it to us.
Goodnight. ;)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Good music you should all listen to.

Andrew Osenga, formerly of The Normals and currently of Caedmon's Call, recently put together a brilliant project of which you should all take advantage. He solicited song ideas from his readers and wrote six songs based on their ideas. The songs are simply him, a guitar and...his readers. They recorded small snippets of the songs which he used as background vocals. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Anyway, you can download the project [called Letters to the Editor, vol. 1] here. It's free, but you can paypal him some money if you wish. The 'liner notes' [an Adobe file] are also great to read [and have cool pictures]. I didn't participate in this project, but if he does another [and he will, by all indications], I fully intend to be a part of it. So download the album, send him a few bucks if you can, and enjoy good music.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An odd trip down memory lane

Recently, I organized all of the notes from my college career. Three massive binders, thousands of pages and numerous dividers later, the project is done. I wasn't quite prepared for the memories that would come back to me as my eyes scanned these pages. The linguistics chart I studied for hours (and still don't feel I mastered), English Equivalents from ASL IV and many more pages reminded me of all the hours I spent studying in college. Sometimes, memory triggers can be really odd things.