who you gonna marry?

As a 31 year old pastor, I have many people who approach me about pursuing marriage. Actually way more than I was prepared to deal with. I am thankful for all the God-ordained opportunities though.

Also, as our church’s former youth pastor, I have lots of young people that I mentored in the past who are now grown up and looking toward marriage. I pray for them as they pursue it.

I say those things because I am aware and familiar with many of the challenges and struggles in this pre-marriage-stage-of-life. This article by the Resurgence is very helpful. It is short and good. Please take time to read it.

Here is a great line from the article:

“Instead of finding a compatible mate, Christians are instructed to marry another Christian and become a compatible mate.”

8 reasons why you ought to value the Bible

My wife, Valeria, has been reading the book The Best of J.C. Ryle and it blessed me so much when she shared this chapter with me. Valeria has enjoyed reading Ryle since she first heard of him while in college.

In chapter 6 entitled “Bible Reading,” Ryle writes:

“Give me your attention while I supply you with a few plain reasons why every one who cares for his soul ought to value the Bible highly, to study it regularly, and to make himself thoroughly acquainted with its contents.”

Here are his 8 points:

  1. There is no book in existence written in such a manner as the Bible.
  2. There is no knowledge absolutely needful to a man’s salvation, except a knowledge of the things which are to be found in the Bible.
  3. No book in existence contains such important matter as the Bible.
  4. No book in existence has produced such wonderful effects on mankind at large as the Bible.
  5. No book in existence can do so much for every one who reads it rightly as the Bible.
  6. The Bible is the only rule by which all questions of doctrine or of duty can be tried.
  7. The Bible is the book which all true servants of God have always lived on and loved.
  8. The Bible is the only book which can comfort a man in the last hours of his life.

I especially like those last 2 points. If you have never read any J.C. Ryle, I highly recommend it.

get at it!

I saw this quote the other day and it has not left me.

“if your presence makes no difference, your absence won’t either.”

What a thought! May there be more and more people who are wanting to make a difference.

Romans 12:10-11

“Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”

First FCA of the year for Fairdale High School. Scott Long sp… on Twitpic

First FCA of the year for Fairdale High School. Scott Long sp… on Twitpic.

This past Thursday was the first FCA meeting of the school year for Fairdale High School. FCA meets Thursday afternoons at 2:30 in the Fine Arts room. The Huddle Leader is weight training teacher Mr. Loren Renfroe, and he is doing a great job with leading FCA. There were 52 student-athletes there for the meeting. Here is a picture of former U of L football player and current FCA staff person Scott Long speaking to the students.

back to work

This summer has been long, tiring and HOT!

The end of July I was in Ecuador for 10 days. And then I came back to Fairdale for about 2 weeks. And then we went on a family vacation. And now I am back to work this week.

I am excited to be back to work. I am excited that the weather is already cooling off. I am excited that school has started back and that means football is beginning too. And I am excited to think about working diligently, steadily, and consistently for the church from now until the Christmas season holidays.

While I am back at work, putting my hand to the plow, and trying to catch up, all of these great verses concerning work are in my head and heart.

Colossians 3:23

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”

Acts 20:35

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus…”

1 Corinthians 15:10

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

Ephesians 4:12

“to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”

real men (great short article)

This post here by Dane Ortlund is on “Gospel Men.”

He lists four types of men in the world. Only one is the best.

Which one are you?

“A mature oak tree is immovable when the storms rage against it, but it’s also beautiful, and invites shelter to others. Isn’t that what gospel men should be?”

Ecuador Post-Trip report tonight at church

Tonight at 6:00 we are gathering for church to have our Post-Mission Trip report. This year’s Ecuador trip was fantastic! I am praying to see how God will really use these short-term mission trips to impact our local church here in Fairdale.

Tonight’s meeting will be full of pictures and videos and shared experiences from the various team members.

Here are two pictures of some “cuy.” Cuy is a delicacy in Ecuador. The folks were so gracious to serve us some our last night there in Ecuador. It was very tasty. “Cuy” is guinea pig!

now that’s personal!

Often times you hear people say that Christianity “is not about a religion, its about a relationship.” When that is said, they are referring to having a personal relationship with Jesus.

And this is good. Because being a Christian is about having a personal relationship with Christ. Examples from the Bible that show this are limitless. (He is our shepherd and we are his sheep. He is our God and we are His people. Adoption. He is our Father. We have come to know Him. He loves us deeply. He knows us intimately. He desires for us to know and understand Him well. The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. etc. etc.)

Well as I recently read through Second Samuel, I was challenged by David’s ability to speak of God in such a personal way.

If someone was to ask you “Please tell me about your personal relationship with God.” How would you respond? Does your faith have a real personal aspect to it?

Second Samuel 22 begins like this:

“And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.”

So that is the context. What David is about to say next, the song he is about to sing, is based on how God has been working personally in David’s life. The next 3 verses (that is verses 2, 3 & 4) of chapter 22 are David’s song, or response to his personal relationship with God. Notice how personal this sounds.

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”

Wow! What a connection to God that David has! In just three short verses he uses the word “my” ten times in referring to God. God, the God of the Bible, the one and only and true God is David’s God! Now that’s personal!

David says to God, you are:

  • my rock
  • my fortress
  • my deliverer
  • my God
  • my rock
  • my shield
  • my salvation
  • my stronghold
  • my refuge
  • my savior

David is able to speak of God in a way that is deeper and more meaningful than mere objective truths about the nature of God. David speaks (or sings) of God in a real and personal way.

No wonder God is able to say that David is “a man after God’s own heart.”

May we be real followers of Christ with a real personal relationship with the LORD like we see from David in 2 Samuel 22.

smelling manly

It has been my experience that Brut deodorant is associated with manliness. Let me explain.

Over the past few years, I have been thinking through common characteristics of men that I see as manly. Brut deodorant was one of the commonalities. My dad and my grandfather are manly men in my opinion. Both have worn Brut some time in their lives and I remember that from childhood. My High School basketball coach was a very tough and manly man… and he wore Brut. (I can still smell that strong scent spreading through the locker room.)

Recently a good friend of mine lost his grandfather. (I had previously been discussing with him my observation that Brut is common among manly men.) Well He was telling me about how his granddad was in so many ways the most “manly” man he knew. That was even mentioned at the funeral service. Well a few days after the funeral, my buddy was going through his grandfather’s home and opened the medicine cabinet in the bathroom only to find…. Brut! It made my friend laugh. He had already told me how manly his grandfather was so it was only fitting that there was Brut in his bathroom medicine cabinet.

Another great example of this happened just last week in Ecuador. The career missionary there is in every way a manly man. He lives in the mountains; drives a truck; wears jeans, boots, and a Carhartt vest everyday; and never complains. Well we were all travelling on the bus one day and another buddy of mine (who I have had this same conversation with about Brut and Manliness) decided to ask the missionary if he wears Brut deodorant. The missionary hesitated like why in the world are you asking me this- it is not manly for men to ask men about their deodorant in public and then he answered “yes, I have some Brut deodorant.” My observation was further vindicated.

So…. in a day when all the young guys are looking for something sweet smelling like “Axe” or “Swagger” perhaps they should learn from those “manly” men before them and start wearing some Brut.