One Tasty Audio Pick… And Let’s Toss in a Movie for Fun

So the theme is ethical dilemmas.

Both the RadioLab episode and the movie I’m about to recommend present us with situations that unsettle our ethical equilibrium.  Sometimes life in a cursed, sin filled world create impossible situations.  Choice A is bad.  And so is choice B.  So which do you choose and why?  That’s where the conversation must inevitably turn.

So tune in to RadioLab’s powerful episode Playing God for an example of this problem.  And if that isn’t enough, check out the movie Eye in the Sky.  Both are well worth your attention.

Oh, and if you don’t know anything about the movie Eye in the Sky and you are interested (Warning: some language and a little bit of violence), don’t watch the trailer.  It gives too much away.  Just jump in.

Maybe I can get the 3GT gents to discuss these?…

We shall see.


Male Models

No, not the kind that appear on the cover of GQ. 

In this day of gender confusion, political correctness, and spineless faith, we need male models. Men who exemplify true masculinity. Here I speak not of the overblown sort of a powerful sports figure or movie icon, but the strong, steady walk of a man who fears God, loves his family, and serves Christ’s church. We need to be able to point to them and tell the young men around us, “That’s what being a man is all about.”

Men like Herb, who for nearly three decades has been faithfully teaching junior high students, as he enjoys working with the young people under his charge. When he’s not teaching, during the summers this father of two daughters and five sons has had them up on ladders re-roofing and painting homes so his children could learn the value of work and obtaining useful skills. He also has employed other young people during their times of need, including two of my sons during a summer when one was supporting a new wife and the other needed the companionship his sons provided after a recent move. He and his wife Patty have had college students live with them for […]


Happily Ever After

Most of us have grown up with a strong affection for books that finish well and fairytales that conclude with ‘and they lived happily ever after.’ Whether it’s ‘Beauty and Beast’ or ‘Snow White and her Handsome Prince’, we don’t enjoy reaching the final page, with a sense of the outcome left hanging or the future appearing bleak or mournful.

With its concrete hope of the future the bible does not disappoint. Though the plan of God starts brightly, the narrative of sin introduces a negative twist, meaning the long journey through the Old Testament, is bumpy at best, if not harrowing and heartbreaking at times. There are lamps to light the route, with bright promises of hope. After the holocaust of Calvary, light dawns at resurrection. From that time on the dimmer switch turns up. Along the New Testament path, there are, of course, tornadoes to hide from and cloud bursts to dampen spirits. As a general trend however, the Gospel beams blaze brighter, as we draw closer to the Day, and as wait in anticipation for the full revelation of glory at the appearing of King Jesus.

I’ve been doing a little research on ‘The End’ of the Kingdom of […]


C1D1

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34, NKJ).

Today is C1D1 for me.  That stands for “Cycle 1, Day 1,” the first day of the first cycle of a 14-month, clinical trial to treat recurrent chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).  CLL is a blood cancer caused by a proliferation of white blood cells called lymphocytes.  Healthy lymphocytes produce antibodies that help our bodies fight off infections.  Some years ago one of my lymphocytes acquired mutations that caused it to divide out of control.  As a result my bone marrow and lymphatic system are crowded with non-functional descendants of that original aberrant lymphocyte.  This makes it difficult for my body to make healthy blood cells, and, a result, my immune system is weakened and I am anemic.  If left untreated, those cancerous white blood cells will destroy my immune system and my ability to get oxygen to my cells.


Remember Their Names

How can you help family members of public figures like pastors, politicians, entertainers, and other community leaders? They live life in a shadow that they did not choose, usually. Among many things that help, remember this: they want you to know their names.

When dad is a pastor, for instance, children are often met by people who are satisfied to merely know “Oh, you’re So-and-So’s son.” They see that you really don’t care about them; you only care to categorize them in your mental box.

Thus, family members of public figures can feel a bit like one Jupiter’s sixty-seven moons. People know they exist. They have names, but few know them. People only remember Jupiter. By contrast, God knows each of the celestial bodies by name; Psalm 147:4 says “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” If he knows inanimate heavenly bodies by name, we ought to be assured that he loves and cares for us that much more.

You can minister to family members of public figures by following God’s pattern: remember their names. Most are pretty happy to live in the orbit of their more luminous family member; but when you work to know […]


Satan’s Opportune Time…

It is worth observing that when Christ overcame the temptations of Satan in the wilderness, neither grumbling like Israel of old, nor capitulating like Adam, Luke adds these striking words, “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13)

The activity of Satan was not complete. He still lurked in the shadows, looking for opportunities to assail Christ.

It is not hard to imagine his influence in the heart of Judas, nor his stirring up hatred among the Pharisees. He was likewise certainly at work in the crowds sowing confusion and blindness. But while all that is true, we see a familiar device at play during the crucifixion. Consider the refrain of the rulers and soldiers and the criminal hanging alongside Jesus.

The first sneered, “He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” (Luke 23:35). The second echoed this sentiment by saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” (vs 36). Lastly, the criminal blasphemed, “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” (vs 39)

We have heard similar words before.  From where do they arise?

Think back to the manner in which Satan […]


Browse Worthy: Being Dad

After a full summer schedule, we are enjoying family vacation before we head back into the busyness of fall. As I work this week on reconnecting with my children, these videos recently viewed provide good reminders of the importance of being Dad.

Though my children were perhaps not quite so persistent, it’s good to remember sweet scenes like this one when they were younger when you are with family.

Often Dad has to be there to save the day, as this compilation shows. Of course, many times what dads are saving their kids from is their own father’s antics, as this compilation also shows!

With all of the Olympic moments of glory witnessed these past few weeks, this emotional scene provided by Derek Redmond and his father from the 1992 games remind dads of the importance of being there during painful times.

The son below has a father suffering from Alzheimer’s, yet when the father sings it is like he is back for a few minutes. Watching the son’s joy as his dad croons gives me hope. Perhaps one day my children, who are pretty regularly asking me NOT to sing around the house, will change their ways (though my kids would quickly add that at […]


Don’t waste your suffering #3

Picture two avid sportsmen. Both Christians. Both sustain a career threatening injury. One is sorry that his playing days are over, he’ll miss game, it will be some time before he will even watch it on TV. The other is devastated, can’t see how God would allow this, and descends into a deep depression.

What makes the difference? Undoubtedly our psyches are different; some are phlegmatic taking life as it comes, others fiery and passionate. Looking at our previous two articles, the issue could be: Do they trust God enough with their future?

But I believe there is another factor that can make a difference, intensifying the suffering.

Suffering Waster #2: Idolatry – Looking too much at other things

Idolatry—it’s not a pleasant concept. Bold, stark, ugly. And perhaps you think, “Surely not amongst Christians”. If deficient trust is not looking enough at God, then idolatry is the problem of looking too much to other things.

It was the great Old Testament problem for the people of God, rippling through from Eden, to Sinai, to the Promised Land, to the exile, and John is still warning his readers at the end of the New Testament, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

It lies […]


Some thoughts on visiting Niagara Falls

This time last month our family had the privilege of visiting Niagara Falls and spending 24 hours looking at the cascading water from every possible angle, on both the Canadian and (American readers will be glad to hear!) the US side. I didn’t manage to post this last month, since we were caught up in the busyness of sightseeing (sorry, Barry!). So, belatedly, here are a few random thoughts that occurred to me while we were admiring this wonder of God’s world…

We went on the boat trip to the bottom of both waterfalls (you should definitely do this if you visit). As you sail into the horseshoe of the Canadian Falls you are flanked by these two towering walls of water (57 metres high) on either side and it doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to think yourself into the shoes of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. If it is an awesome spectacle to be in the midst of all that water tumbling down naturally, what must it have been like to walk between the walls of water divided supernaturally by the hand of God?!

The sight of so much water thundering in a torrent started my mind running […]


With Love, Your Single Daughter

The following post is a guest article written by Rachel Dinkledine, a young woman I have had the pleasure of watching grow up since the day I took her brothers to see her at the hospital the day she was born. Rachel works as a registered nurse in the Indianapolis area.

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There are more than enough “Why Singles are Marginalized in the Church” articles floating around cyberspace.  My aim is not to add to their number.  By God’s grace, there are also many pastoral and theologically-sound resources on singleness.  My aim is not to improve upon these (I don’t think I can!).  So what is this article all about?  

Whether you are single or married, your theology of singleness will profoundly influence the life of the church. Instead of writing a five-point essay defending this statement, I submit to you a letter, a letter inspired from the experiences of many godly single women, from 20-somethings to 70-somethings.*  While the letter is written to parents, most aspects can be profitably read as addressed to a congregation from a single sister.  May the Lord use this to propel you to develop and live out a biblical theology of singleness.  

Dear […]