Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Self-Righteous Tactic

It's very easy to say certain things to make yourself sound supremely righteous. I realized there's a tactic of speech that I regularly use that is a blatant example of this self-righteousness. It goes something like this:

Other Person: Can you believe she does that?!?!

John: No way!! That is so wrong. She really shouldn't do that.

Do you see what I mean? The other person intends no harm in this rhetorical question; it's simply a matter of speech (although they should examine their own heart in the matter). But in my case I express incredulity to what the other person says in order to demonstrate to all those who might here that "I would never do such a terrible thing!"

What foolishness. "The heart is deceitful above all things" says Jeremiah 17:9. Thanks be to God that Christ has paid the penalty for such pitiful self-righteousness by dying on the cross.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New Look, Too

A new look is motivating for me. So is this picture:

Efficiency and Productivity to the Glory of God

I recently was directed a great blog: "What's Best Next." In the "About" section author Matt Perman says his blog is about "integrating the big picture with everyday decisions so that we can do things better in life, work, business, and society." I was instantly intrigued. After checking it out more and reading it faithfully, I have yet to be disappointed. I highly encourage friends and family interested in being more efficient and productive to look into this blog, as well as to look into the foundational book (not by the same guy), "Getting Things Done."

I am already finding that I am being much more productive, though I have a long way to go, and that it is much more honoring to the Lord to steward well what he has given me to do. In other words, I'm getting things done better than ever (which will hopefully someday include regular conversations with my loved ones who are far away! Love you mom!). And since everything that comes my way is from the Lord (see Psalm 24:1), it is clearly a better use of my resources to handle them efficiently and productively.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dutiful Brother

My sister Diana ordered me to post something. So here I go, dutiful brother that I am.

I am two assignments away from completing another semester at Southern Seminary. This is pretty exciting. Yes, it is always nice to finish a semester, knowing I'm that much closer to the end, and knowing that I can thank the Lord for that much more grace that he has given over a sustained period of time. But the most exciting thing about finishing a semester is probably surprising to some: it means I'm that much closer to starting another semester. Ha! I love what I study, I love the classes I take, and I love the whole seminary experience. I have grown as a Christian a great deal the last 3 years. Much of that growth comes through my church, Clifton Baptist Church. And the rest of that growth comes through the knowledge, wisdom, and skills I have gained at SBTS. For that I am particularly grateful to God.

Happy Saturday to all. I'm off to work...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


You just gotta love the irony of my last post. But since resolving to blog more I have: 1) Finished a difficult semester; 2) Taken over as manager at Starbucks; and 3) Had the two busiest months of the year after taking over as manager. Come on. Those are good excuses.

Nevertheless, it always helps me to think more clearly about important matters when I write them down. So I'll make a quick observation. I've been studying the chapters in the Bible related to the Mosaic covenant (Exodus 19-24). This has been a very rich study. Today I am struck by the number of times in these chapters that the distance between God and man is emphasized, particularly because of God's holiness and our sinfulness. Many times throughout these chapters the people are said to fear the Lord. Also Moses comes up on Mt. Sinai 'by invitation only.'

The spirit of the age has little patience for this reality. Belief in God is seen as an option, or if one does believe in God it is often god-the-way-I-think-he-should-be. But the Lord is to be feared, and should be approached on his terms only. Praise Him that he has made a way over the great distance between us and him through the cross of Christ! We may know him and worship him truly if we know, believe, and trust Jesus alone.

I should note there are two commentaries I've been looking at that are helpful: The New Bible Commentary (a great commentary in one volume! Has some really instructive articles); and Phil Ryken's Exodus commentary.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Blogging While a Paper Awaits

I am in the thick of working on a hard paper. It is an 'exegesis' paper, meaning I have to write on a text from the gospel of Mark, interpreting and explaining its meaning. Yet here I am posting on my blog. Well, I decided to post right now for a good reason. I just read a helpful article on why pastors should blog over at the Desiring God Blog. It inspired me to blog more and to blog better. So, if you think about it, pray that I will give my all to writing this paper that is due in 2 weeks, and that I will research, think, and write to the glory of God. Also, pray that I will use this blog in a wise, God-honoring way, which probably entails lots of pics and videos of Eliot...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Week 5 and 6

I would have posted this video a few hours ago, but Blogger's server was down. Below is my first edited video of the sweet Boy; it was tons of fun to put together. Enjoy.

First Some Pics for Mom..

I was informed today that I am not being diligent enough about posting pictures/video of Eliot.
I think this is an accurate rebuke because this kid is so darn cute!
And I'm pretty sure he gets cuter by the day.
So here is a smattering of pictures from the last week or two.
I will follow this post with a collection of clips from the last few weeks on video.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Week 3

I hope to post a video of the boy at weekly or bi-weekly intervals. Here is a bit of the snoozing, stiff-armed cutie pie.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snowy Day = No work and No school!

Eliot and I have spent the morning reading from Proverbs, Matthew, a missions textbook, and then watching an 'Intro to Missiology' lecture. His comments on this agenda for the morning were "Squeak, grunt, squeaky squeak." He's awesome. Below is one of many pictures of this ridiculously cute baby. (By the way - I already had the day off from work; the snow wasn't bad enough to cancel work, just school. In 5th grade I would have been more than happy to miss school, but now in 20th grade I love school and hate to miss it)

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Video of the Boy

My first attempt at movie making...

John Eliot Power, Jr.

By God's grace, our son, John Eliot Power, Jr., (the 11th John Eliot in this line since Puritan Missionary John Eliot [1604-1690]) was born at 7:34 AM on January 24th. Liz is doing so well, and she did great throughout the whole labor and delivery. Eliot weighed 7 lbs., 6 oz., and he was 21 inches long. Below are a few pictures that I hope to add to in days to come. Wow. We give thanks to the Lord for this precious baby boy. "But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Psalm 86:15).

Monday, January 7, 2008

Books for a New Year

Happy New Year to all! May 2008 be a year where the people of God desire his glory more, particularly by lifting the name of Jesus high above all things.

My sister Jessica asked me to recommend 12 books to read in 2008. Now this recommendation assumes that I have read 12 books well enough to commend them to others, and that fact remains to be seen. But I do know that I always pay close attention when others allude to good books so I can at least refer to those. My thinking is that I will propose 12 books that I think are key to laying a strong foundation for a biblical worldview. In other words, what 12 books are particularly helpful in getting me to look at all of life as God intends me to through his Word?

Recommending 12 books means that many great books will be neglected. So be it. (Jess: If you have read one that you would like to be replaced by another, just shoot me an email). I also include a link to a bookstore that offers a $5 flat shipping fee so that if you buy at least 2 books it is totally worth it. For better or for worse, here it is:

Knowing God, by J. I. Packer
The Pleasures of God, by John Piper
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, by Paul David Tripp
Living the Cross-Centered Life, by C. J. Mahaney
9 Marks of a Healthy Church (or What is a Healthy Church?), by Mark Dever
Concise Theology, by J. I. Packer
The God Who is There, by Francis Schaeffer
Trusting God, by Jerry Bridges
According to Plan, by Graeme Goldsworthy
Spurgeon, A New Biography, by Arnold Dallimore
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald Whitney
On the Mortification of Sin in Believers, by John Owen (an old book with modern abridgements available: like this one, or this one)