Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Investing in Children

"It's foolish, short-sighted and selfish to leave a physical inheritance at the cost of a spiritual one; foolish because it ignores God, shortsighted because it ends at the grave, and selfish because it elevates our own interests above our children's. Working to accumulate a material inheritance is far easier, because it is less intrusive, less demanding. It allows men to safeguard their time and their preferences. It bears temporal fruit with an eternal price tag." - Lawrence R. Lucas (The Things You'll See)

At no other time in history is it humanly wiser to have less children. Throughout history it literally paid economically to have children. Having more children would lighten one’s workload as well, and allow one to have an easier life, especially as an older person. But today many look at children as a burden, as a roadblock to personal dreams. It is no question that parenting means making many sacrifices. Even teaching Sunday school or babysitting will mean a sacrifice of time. We will have more anxiety and less free-time and money caring for children, but we will also have much much more joy.

When we look to Jesus, we see that, “for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross...” (Heb. 12:2) We must believe that in taking the harder path, there will be a greater reward.

In Hebrew 11, God says that seeking the greater reward is the essence of what faith is: “He who comes to God must believe that exists, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

Jim Elliot, that great missionary to Equador said it very well when he famously said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep (namely his life) to gain what he cannot keep.” (eternal life, and a greater closeness to God)

Jesus went through great agony to give birth to us spiritually. But for him he counted it all a joy. The joy on Earth comes from multiplying our own joy in God’s goodness into the lives of others.

1 John says, “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the faith.”

There is no greater eternally lasting joy than to give our lives to build up children in the faith.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Is Football just in my Blood?

Does any one else out there often use sports terminology and analogies to describe every day events? Or at the age of 33 does anyone else still have reoccurring dreams of finding out about some oversight in the rules and suddenly realize that one more season of eligibility remains on your high school football team? ...No, I am being serious!

My little 2-year-old Noah knows the word "tickle" well. Today I thought it was time to ramp up his vocabulary and teach him another important word- "tackle". Noah practiced the word a couple times before I gave him a demonstration - a flying shot that him took him down to the turf! (No abuse here, I promise: )

After a few tries I said, "Okay, your turn Noah! Tackle Daddy!" Maki looked over will an eye-roll with an implied meaning of something like, "Is this the guy initiation into the brainwashing passion for hitting other people, otherwise called, "football"? I gave a short nod to confirm that that was indeed my intention.

The next thing I knew Noah was flying towards me and towards the ball in my hand, with a two-year-old top-speed tackle. The only problem was that this first would-be hit was a little off and actually resulted in Noah's front tooth slamming into my collar bone before any of the rest of his body got to me. Immediately I was concerned, not just for Maki's reaction, but honestly for Noah's safety. He looked up with some pain, and then I looked to see if there was any blood. No loose tooth, no blood, and then smiles started to come back... and now Noah was REALLY excited. "TACKLE!" He let out with savage glee as he lined up for another tackle on Daddy. I must say, he did a great job and he loved every bit of it. I don't know, what is this? Is this just a guy thing? Or is just in my blood?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Cruel Logic" Short Movie
A brilliant serial killer videotapes his debates with college faculty victims. The topic: His moral right to kill them.
Addresses a valid application of postmodern thought, void of moral absolutes.


For more info on this short and writer/director, Brian Godawa (writer of "To End All Wars") :

http://www.godawa.com/

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You Were Made for Global Missions
Encouragement for Missionaries

One way to gain a heart for people of all nations is to listen to the stories of those who went to share the gospel in these nations. I have been personally encouraged by John Piper's biographical messages on John Paton, Adoniram Judson (whom my son is named after.) Now you can learn even more through Piper's new book over these men's lives, plus William Tyndale's life.

Justin Taylor asks John Piper:

Missionaries frequently feel discouraged—caught between two worlds, feeling forgotten by those at home and often disconnected with those to whom they are trying to minister. What encouragement do you hope that missionaries will receive from reading this book?


All your suffering is worth it. You are not alone. Your sorrows and discouragements are part of a painful strategy God has designed for the sake of the nations. We do not see all the effects of Christian suffering. It is designed by God to complete what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ (Col. 1:24). You may feel that it is in vain. It is not. It is not. God promises it is not: “In the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). Few things outside the Bible strengthen the hands of missionaries like the stories of those who endured what only those who have been there can understand.

One of the things we hear a lot about in American Christianity is that persecution is coming—and this is often used as a fear tactic to support certain forms of activism. But you argue that persecution, death, and suffering will be the very means God uses to spread his kingdom. Can you explain?

Pervasive in the New Testament is that Christians suffer. What Colossians 1:24 makes plain, along with other passages, is that this suffering is not God’s problem, but God’s plan. It is his strategy to present the sufferings of Christ to the world in the embodiment of his suffering people.

We are too sinful to be left without suffering. And the world is too sinful to see our love unless it comes with suffering. Therefore, for our sake and their sake God appoints tribulation for all who would conquer their own sin and offer salvation to the nations.
More Great Resources to Stoke Your Fire
Keep making God's heart for missions your heart for missions by putting your life beside the fiery passion of others. Here are some more great resources that will keep you encouraged, challenged and filled with love for all the nations Christ came and died for.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Videos about Missions Online

Check out this helpful (and cool) new site. It is so easy to lose our focus on God's kingdom amidst the daily grind. Hopefully this site will help us keep that focus.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Honest Question
Reading about the big hype surrounding Obama's appointment of Francis Collins, I had this thought:
These bigwig macro-evolutionists always say that creationism and ID are non-falsifiable. I have never heard any of them say how macro-evolution itself is falsifiable. How can anyone say that the theory of macro-evolution is falsifiable? I don't get it.

FreeThinker quotes this claim (by a non-bigwig) and handles it well, in my opinion.

Response:

  1. There are many conceivable lines of evidence that could falsify evolution. For example:
    • a static fossil record;
    • true chimeras, that is, organisms that combined parts from several different and diverse lineages (such as mermaids and centaurs) and which are not explained by lateral gene transfer, which transfers relatively small amounts of DNA between lineages, or symbiosis, where two whole organisms come together;
    • a mechanism that would prevent mutations from accumulating;
    • observations of organisms being created.

A couple of points on the level of meta-argument must be made here. First, one can always satisfy the Popperian falsifiability criterion by welding together a myth with a bit of genuine science. Thus, one may frame a "grand theory of love," according to which:

(a) God is love,
(b) Love created the world and infuses everything in it,
(c) Love is all you need,
(d) In the Age of Aquarius, peace will bind the planets and love will steer the stars,
(e) Love attracts all objects to one another with a strength proportional to the masses of the objects over the square of the distance, such that small unencumbered objects at roughly the Earth's surface will accelerate downwards at a speed of 9.8 m/s2.

Thus the "grand theory of love" splices a lot of mysticism and crankism onto the theory of gravity. As a result, it generates falsifiable predictions from part (e). The theory of evolution is the same way: some parts of it are scientific and generate falsifiable predictions, others are myths which do not.

Read more of this post here.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Realness

One of the values that I appreciate most about people is REALNESS, or being genuine about what one is really thinking and feeling.

I was a little hesitant last week to post what I did about the humidity in Japan. ("It's Starting to Boil!") This aim of this blog is to glorify God - in all of life, yet here I was basically complaining about the weather! But I told myself then, "It is alright to be honest and real about your thoughts, even while keeping a heart of confidence in God's goodness in all things." To be a cheesy, always grinning, overly-spiritual person is not glorifying to God.

Sometimes, (actually often) God's glory is shown more clearly through frustrating, discouraging or even horrible circumstances. In a small way, God showed me his kindness through refreshingly cool weather, (this last week has been amazingly cool and nice!) amidst an expected heat wave. So, I am learning that God has a bigger plan, even in annoying small things, to shape me and mold me into a man who loves God more.

Though I hate pain, I thank God for the trials that help me to see the reality of what sin has done to this world and what it is going to do for an eternity for those separated from Christ. It gives me a compassion for a lost and suffering world.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009

New Scientific Research Journal for Creationists

Andrew A. Snelling, PhD (Geology), editor-in-chief:

Answers in Genesis is excited to announce the launch of its online technical journal, Answers Research Journal. ARJ is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework.

You may now read it for FREE online. Check it out here.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

The State of the Union - Spiritually

Viewed over 100,000 times already, watch The State of the Union address here. What is the real state of America today? What has happened? Why is the church not reaching the culture today as it has in the past? Don’t pass up this opportunity to hear firsthand from co-authors of the new book Already Gone! Find out what we can do to keep America from becoming the next Europe, or to help Japan from continuing down the same path.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

It's Starting to Boil!



Japan is starting to get hot. It is not just the hot sun, but (as they always say) it's the crazy humidity - hence the title. Now I tend to like "hot" summers, but "boiling" is a better word for Japanese summers, especially when rainy season is hot. Sometimes I end up taking two or three showers a day just to stay ahead of the sweat! Of course we have an air conditioner, but is not for the whole house. We end up staying in our living room for most of the time. Maybe this is why in Japan there are at least five different words for "boil". (If there are more, please tell me.) Just as Eskimos have many words for snow, in Japan we have many words for boiling. If you come to Japan, you may find out why! Now, I wonder how many words for "boil" are there in the Philippines. Maybe I'll go ask my Filipino friend.