Monday, December 31, 2007

Thank God he's not like paper towel

One thing I've noticed about paper towel: when people think it's going to run out soon, they start using less and less. I know I do. I fear that, horror of horrors, one more push on that towel dispenser lever and I might be faced with a moral obligation to refill it.

I'm thankful, as I look back at 2007, that my Lord Jesus Christ is not like a roll of paper towel which one day, inevitably, will run out. I'm afraid that's what some people's religion amounts to. They know it will only take them so far and that's it. If they're going to get some more, they'll have to put some more in. Religion can run out, but not a relationship with Christ. He is the fountain of living water (eternal life) and the hiding place of all God's wisdom and knowledge (see John 4.14 and Colossians 2.3). As Paul wrote to the Christians in Colosse,
In (Christ) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority (Colossians 2.9-10, ESV).

Thus I am convinced, that no matter how Christ-dependant I become in 2007, and no matter how many problems and difficulties I have to load him with, he will not run out. Nor will he run away. For the One who never lies gave this as his promise:
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Teach us to pray

I confess upfront to being a weak and fledgling pathetic excuse of a man of prayer. Which is why I'm going to link to some articles to the latest issue of the 9Marks eJournal.

I can't think of one assembly that I've visited that couldn't use some major help with corporate prayer. I know the one I'm part of could. For those who would like to do something about it, take some time to read some of the following articles, bearing in mind that there are some bones to be spat out and not swallowed. They're easy to find, though, so I won't bother to point them out.

The Lord in his grace is slowly burdening me about my weakness in prayer, both private and public. Thankfully he can do more than just reveal weakness. He can also point us towards progress in prayer. And where does such progress begin? With a prayer: "Lord, teach us to pray."

A Biblical Theology of Corporate Prayer by James M. Hamilton Jr. and Jonathan Leeman

Recommendations For Improving Public Prayer by Terry L. Johnson and J. Ligon Duncan III

Thirty Two Principles for Public Prayer by J. Ligon Duncan III (following Samuel Miller)

See the whole issue.

Mechanics of men?

Just read the October edition of Uplook. The focus of this edition was on revival; thus nothing seemed out of place with the little blurb tucked away at the bottom of page 28 on the CrossCanada Cruisers.

Here's the blurb:

Cross Canada Cruisers is slowly turning the corner, if you’ll forgive the pun. Three or four young men have expressed an interest in joining forces with others to spread the good news across the land. A few cars have been provided (a 1952 Lincoln Capri, a 1955 Buick Riviera Super, and a 1956 Mercury Monclair). We are trusting the Lord to provide more committed men and vehicles as needed. We are grateful that brother Glen Hayes(Winnipeg) has offered to paint a parable picture with classic cars to illustrate the gospel. The first year’s training will begin after Easter, 2008, Lord willing. The intro mechanical training, car detailing and evangelism orientation will run from Mar 26 through May 4. The road trip is set to begin May 13 and will continue (with breaks) until the end of October. Those interested in more information, or those who would like an application, please contact: Grant Canfield (PE):

The November/December issue has an update on the whole thing on page 17:

Thanks to you who are praying for the new gospel venture to begin, Lord willing, in Canada shortly after Easter of 2008. A group of evangelists from across the nation are eager to begin!We have been able to acquire four cars so far and a few young men have sent in their applications. Others have inquired, but we are praying for enough men for two teams (one travelling west from the Atlantic, one travelling east from the Pacific). The Lord is greatly blessing the Good News on the Move teams in the U.S. and we long to see the same encouragement spreading across Canada. Interested? Contact Grant Canfield at

Is there someone who reads this blog and is looking for a way to not waste his life? To further pique your interest, read some of the reports from the Good News On the Move (GNOM) team (based in the U.S.). And introduce yourself (and pray for) this brave young band of men that makes up GNOM III.

If you haven't yet caught the vision for this project, please read pages 28-30 of the August/September issue. Spread the word about this opportunity to spread the Word. Support it with prayer. Follow the updates. Let's catch the vision. Canada needs revival. And so do I.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Amazing Grace, the movie

Last night Helen and I finally got to watch Amazing Grace, the recently produced movie on William Wilberforce's tireless efforts to stop the African slave trade. There are precious few movies I'd recommend someone spending five minutes on, never mind two hours, but this one is worth it. For parents gauging this movie for younger kids, Focus on the Family may be able to help you out.

For those wanting to go farther with Wilberforce, start with this biographical sermon on him. Piper also has a book devoted to him, and of course there are plenty of good biographies. I plan to read at least one of them.

Leepike Ridge

A few months ago I treated myself to a read of Leepike Ridge by N.D. Wilson. I don't often read fiction, but not because I don't enjoy it. N.D. Wilson just so happens to be the son of Doug Wilson, and yes, he has inherited his father's gift for writing in weird and wonderful ways. It took no more than the first sentence in the book to hook me:

In the history of the world there have been lots of onces and lots of times, and every time has had a once upon it.

The book strikes some strong Christian themes and closes with a surprising twist, a twist strange enough to echo the greatest narrative twist of all—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you've got some 12 year olds—or even 62 year olds—in your house in need of a good book to jump into, consider buying them Leepike Ridge. And if they find it really good consider getting Wilson's latest book, 100 Cupboards, and donating a copy of both to your local library.

Note: in addition to the Amazon reviews, read the review by the author's father, and by some guy at Christianity Today.

More on William MacDonald

A graveside service is being held today. Please go here to read recent updates and to find links to sign and view brother Bill's guestbook.

For anyone who is familiar with this man of God's writings, the simplicity of the funeral arrangements will come as no surprise.

Update: See this interesting and respectful news article.
HT: Nigel Barnham.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Home for Christmas

William MacDonald has entered the presence of Christ his Saviour.

Speaking of income tax deductions...

...we are, as many of you know, expecting our first one (baby) in June. I know of at least one person who caught on to the stork comment posted while we were in Ukraine that foreshadowed this news. Well, here are the pictures.

Being open to critique

An important book for us dispensationalists to read.

A child was born

Join us in welcoming niece # 2 into the world. Isn't she a sweetheart?

Whatever you do, don't call her birth a miracle. C.S. Lewis wouldn't like that very much.

Thinking ahead

First item on my wish list for Christmas 2008.

Also, tensions typically arise this time of year amongst some Christians on whether Christmas should be celebrated or not. Whatever your take is on the matter, Alan Knox has something for you to read.