Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Love Your Enemies"

Watch, listen or read Michael Oh's excellent message at the DGM's pastor's conference about his mission work in Japan (Missions as Fasting). Michael is a Korean who loves the Japanese he serves. Please watch and catch a heart for the world.
Success in Ministry

"I also find that one of the things we don’t preach well is that ministry that looks fruitless is constantly happening in the Scriptures. We don’t do conferences on that. There aren’t too many books written about how you can toil away all your life and be unbelievably faithful to God and see little fruit this side of heaven."   - Matt Chandler

He brings up the examples of:
1.  Jeremiah
2.  Moses not going into the promised land
3.  John the Baptist not seeing the fulfillment of Jesus' work

Will you be faithful to your call, even when it seems fruitless?  Are you committed to Jesus and His glory in your ministry, and not towards numbers?  God is in charge of the results as long as we are simply obedient.

I recall my good friend and mentor as a college student, Jim Luebe, saying, "I just want to be a faithful laborer over time."

That is my goal as well.

Check out Matt's message here.

His professor sent him an e-mail the following day:
Dear Michael,

Every year I attempt to boost my students’ final grades by giving them
this relatively simple exam consisting of 100 True/False questions from only 3 chapters of material. For the past 20 years that I have taught Intro Communications 101 at this institution I have never once seen someone score below a 65 on this exam. Consequently, your score of a zero is the first in history and ultimately brought the entire class average down a whole 8 points.

There were two possible answer choices: A (True) and B (False). You chose C for all 100 questions in an obvious attempt to get lucky with a least a quarter of the answers. It’s as if you didn’t look at a single question. Unfortunately, this brings your final grade in this class to failing. See you next year!

May God have mercy on your soul.

Professor William Turner

(Find more at

Friday, February 20, 2009

Forgiveness is Not Human; It's Divine

Could you forgive a person who murdered your family? This is the question faced by the subjects of As We Forgive, a documentary about Rosaria and Chantal—two Rwandan women coming face-to-face with the men who slaughtered their families during the 1994 genocide. The subjects of As We Forgive speak for a nation still wracked by the grief of a genocide that killed one in eight Rwandans in 1994. Overwhelmed by an enormous backlog of court cases, the government has returned over 50,000 thousand genocide perpetrators back to the very communities they helped to destroy. Without the hope of full justice, Rwanda has turned to a new solution: Reconciliation.

But can it be done? Can survivors truly forgive the killers who destroyed their families? Can the government expect this from its people? And can the church, which failed at moral leadership during the genocide, fit into the process of reconciliation today? In As We Forgive, director Laura Waters Hinson and narrator Mia Farrow explore these topics through the lives of four neighbors once caught in opposite tides of a genocidal bloodbath, and their extraordinary journey from death to life through forgiveness.
Click here to watch the trailer.  (HT: Vitamin Z)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Origins Debate

A recent exchange that I thought worthy of your time:


"When it comes to evolution, if we are to make a choice between the Bible's interpretation and Scientist's, I think we would only be intellectually honest if we trusted the scientists.

The Bible says Adam named all the millions of species of creatures in Genesis 2, and that Noah fit them all in the ark.

Science has got us to the moon and cured diseases.

Seriously, who is more credible in this department?"

"No it (the Bible) does not say that Adam named millions of anything and nor does it say anything about millions of anything being on the Ark.

If you ask a secular geneticist about the origins of dogs, for instance, you will find that they all trace back to a wolf like ancestor. As such to have 'all' the dogs on the Ark would only have required 2 of these wolf like dogs.
This would apply in many other cases.
At the time of Adam there would probably only be hundreds at most.

Thus the Ark was more than capable of housing all the requisite 'kinds' from which all current species have arisen.

The science which you refer to having given us such 'progress' is the result of work done standing on the shoulders of Bible believing Christian scientists of the past.

None of the advances in medicine required a belief in an old earth or in 'molecules to man' evolution.

True 'intellectual honesty' would actually require believing Gods version of events, especially as He was there and truly knows what happened."

(HT: Justin Taylor's blog)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Phryday Phun - Bob Ross

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Making Use of Darwin's Day

As many around the world celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his famous work, Origin of the Species, we Christians have many more opportunities to dialogue with Darwinists about the man himself.

So what can you say?

Marvin Olasky, writing for WORLD magazine says, "It's important to know the difference between change within kinds (microevolution) and change from one kind to another (macroevolution). Darwinists who argue for macroevolution often give microevolution examples to "prove" changes"

Let us make clear distinctions about what kind of evolution we are talking about.  Microevolution is no real evolution at all, it is only built-in variance within a kind.

Olasky goes onto say,
"Let's have compassion for Darwinists as they develop desperate theories positing the existence of an infinite number of universes.  Many cloak themselves as objectively scientific, but that can't dodge even what secularists like novelist Kurt Vonnegut acknowledge: "My body and your body are miracles of design. Scientists are pretending they have the answer as to how we got this way when natural selection couldn't possibly have produced such machines."

Read the rest of Olasky's article here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


"That the abilities of man are equal to the precepts of the divine
law, has long been a common idea, and has some show of plausibility.
It is founded, however, on the grossest ignorance of the law.  Those
who deem it a kind of sacrilege to say, that the observance of the law
is impossible, insist, as their strongest argument, that, if it is,
the law has been given in vain.  For they speak just as if Paul had
never said anything about the Law.  But what, pray, is meant by
saying, that the Law, "was added because of transgressions;" "by the
law is the knowledge of sin;"  "I had not known sin but by the law;" "
the law entered that the offense might abound."?  (Gal. 3:19, Rom.
3:20, 7:7, 5:20)  Is it meant that the Law was to be limited to our
strength, lest it should be given in vain?  Is it not rather meant
that it was placed far above us, in order to convince us of our utter
feebleness?  Paul indeed declares, that charity is the end and
fulfilling of the Law (1 Tim. 1:5).  But when he prays that the minds
of the Thessalonians may be filled with it, he clearly enough
acknowledges that the Law sounds in our ears without profit if God does
not implant it thoroughly in our hearts (1 Thess. 3:12)"
 From Calvin's Institutues, p. 278:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Window to Japanese Culture

(By a fellow missionary)

Time. Different cultures view time drastically different. In some African cultures being 1 hour late is still considered on time. Meeting times are merely suggestions. There are days when the bus may come, but then again it may not. Why not wait at the bus stop and see? Japan is on the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps the most time conscience culture in the world, the Japanese will text message a friend when running one minute late to let them know, then upon arrival, a customary apology I'm sorry to keep you waiting" will necessarily follow. Even when you are on time, if you are the last person to arrive for a group gathering, the same greeting will follow, 'Omataseshimashita.", "I made you wait. (sorry)"

This focus on time has produced a very efficient workplace, but it has also made Japanese (and we non-Japanese living here) somewhat over concerned about time sometimes. To be be viewed well by others, we must constantly be "busy" in order to be seen as responsible or "good". It need not matter what we are busy with, just that we are busy. A life of reflection and depth is almost impossible. No time to think about life, there is too much pressure to keep moving. How many times have I heard the comment after a new comer visits our friday night discussion, "I've never been in a group that valued really thinking deeply and talking together like this."

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Loving Kids in Christ

This video was a great encouragement to me as a teacher.
Great ESPN Piece on Kurt Warner

(HT: Vit. Z)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Growing up this word had a very negative meaning for me.  I usually only heard this word when I had done something wrong and was sheepishly listening to a reprimand.  By God's grace, I want to give a different picture and feeling to my kids, as well as to my students, when they hear this word.  I want the word to sound wonderful.

Here is what Calvin said,
"For until men feel that they are everything to God, that they are cherished by his parental care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that naught is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience, nay unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity."

We cannot come to truly know God, or truly obey him, until we realize that we have no good in us, nothing to commend us to God and that all of our good comes directly from Him alone.  Only then will whole-hearted obedience - GLAD and joyful obedience follow.  God truly is "the Father of lights" whom "every good and perfect gift" come from.  (James 1:17) Who would not want to follow such a God!