so encouraged by reach records folks

Many of you know that I love Reach Records and the music that comes from Lecrae and Trip Lee and the others. Their music has been used by God to disciple and edify me, and I am really so grateful for it.

The biggest reason why is not because the music is good. The biggest reason why is because I believe their hearts are in the right place. I truly feel that these folks have a genuine heart for Jesus.

This article here by Trip Lee reveals what I am talking about. Trip is taking a leave from all attention-getting-ministry situations to learn and be mentored.  I encourage you to click and read his post.

new year, newer me

Every year at the beginning of each year, I like to reflect on who I am. I have a desire to understand myself. Over the years, I have come to understand this best through God. My identity is best understood and seen through God. If I am not seeing and interpreting myself through God then I am confused, distorted, and inaccurate in knowing me. My identity has got to be in Christ.

In doing this, I can see a lot of things about myself that I am not satisfied with. I want to be better. I want to honor God with all of my life. But I cannot get too into looking at me. I try to do this in a healthy, productive way. Self-examination is a good thing. Its a biblical thing (2 Corinthians 13:5). We all should be doing it.

Since 2010 is gone, we need to be able to look back at it. See the good and the bad. And then take steps and preparation to make progress in 2011.

God speaks of “NEW” things often. God is a difference-maker! The biggest place that He makes a difference is in the lives of people. He does this by making them New by new grace and mercy all the time.

So as 2011 begins (has already begun, its nearly 12 hours old), consider how to become a newer you in this new year.

Piper’s back

John Piper is back from his 8 month leave.

You can read Justin Taylor’s post on it here.

You can read John Piper’s actual report to his church about his leave here.

Here is a quote from the very end of the report. It gets me pumped. What a statement from such a man of God!

“God is as sovereign and gracious as ever. And I find myself chastened, humbled, and perhaps more useable now. It is good to be back.”

Piper has been used so much by God. Hearing him speak of being “perhaps more usable now” is encouraging and challenging.

I want to be used by God!

there is joy…over one sinner who…?

I found this verse (luke 15:10) again today and was reminded of how wonderful it is.

For so many reasons.

The angels of God in heaven celebrate and rejoice when someone gets saved.  That is true! Its amazing! The Bible explains salvation as passing from death to life, escaping the judgement, and being made a child of God. That is certainly good news and deserving of some rejoicing.

*When was the last time you were involved with someone getting saved? Think about it. Has it been a while? Why? I want to see more people saved.

Another reason why I so love this verse is because it speaks of salvation in the term of “repents”. We know that the Bible says we are saved by faith. And I have often taught that Faith & Repentance are 2 sides of the same coin. Both deserve full attention. We cannot be so into believing that we neglect emphasizing repenting.

**When was the last time you were involved with someone repenting? Think about that. Has it been a while? Why? These questions are the same as the ones asked above.  A sinner repenting is the same thing as saying a sinner getting saved.

Lets be those people who understand repentance. We look for it in the lives of real believers. And we rejoice like heaven does, when we see it.

being a man

Over the holidays, I picked up my The Dangerous Book for Boys book and was flipping through it. If you know me well, I am often thinking about how to be like my dad and how to raise my boys to be like my dad. Or simply, how to be a man.

I read again this quote at the beginning of the book and loved it… again. I have a great desire to raise my boys well.

“Don’t worry about genius and don’t worry about not being clever. Trust rather to hard work, perseverance, and determination. The best motto for a long march is ‘Don’t grumble. Plug on.’
“You hold your future in your own hands. Never waver in this belief. Don’t swagger. The boy who swaggers- like the man who swaggers- has little else that he can do. He is a cheap-Jack crying his own paltry wares. It is the empty tin that rattles most. Be honest. Be loyal. Be kind. Remember that the hardest thing to acquire is the faculty of being unselfish. As a quality it is one of the finest attributes of manliness.”

-This quote is from Sir Frederick Treves. It is at the beginning of The Dangerous Book for Boys.

jj and snowman

While visiting the family in North Carolina, we were surprised with a White Christmas! It was the first white christmas in Charlotte, NC since 1947. Wow! (at least thats what they told me)

We all built a snowman today. So much fun. Great memories!

merry christmas!

I know it is a little bit late, but Merry Christmas to everyone from Noah and the rest of the Greene family. I have not been on the computer in days. We have been spending some much needed quality time with our families. We love you church and look forward to seeing you all soon.

new song & video “parent me”

Reach Records and Lecrae and the 116 clique and the Unashamed Tour have been impacting the church and youth of the world with solid Bible music for quite some time now. Their impact and influence continues to grow and spread. I am so proud to help others hear of them. Their music is one of the most devotional things in my life.

Here is a new song and video from Json called “parent me”. It is strong and it has already challenged me to be a better dad to JJ, Eli, & Noah. I want to spend more time with them.

whole sermon only scripture

In Seminary, I often dreamed of craftiing a sermon that was only full of Bible.

Well, this man here has already done it! It is outstanding. I encourage you to take 30 minutes some time to watch this, take it in, soak it up, and be blessed by how Good God is and also be challenged to know and love His word more.

emotions stirred

Yesterday (I wrote this Friday and just got to post it.) was a good long day for me in ministry.

The day began with a routine weekly Bible study on the Biblical subject of Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ.) It was encouraging to see so many ladies digging through God’s Word to grasp all that Christmas is Biblically (Incarnation, Virgin Birth, Immanuel, Holy Spirit, Dreams, Angel of the Lord, Joseph’s fathering Jesus, the name Jesus as a Savior, Peace, etc.)

As great as the morning Bible study was, that wasn’t what stirred my emotions mostly.

I officiated two funerals yesterday. A funeral of any capacity should stir your emotions, but these two did for sure. Both funerals were of two good men who died completely unexpectedly from massive heart attacks. One man was 52 years old and the other was 60 years old. That is young! (It is so hard for any family, wives,children, siblings, to lose the husband/dad/brother unexpectedly. It broke my heart. It made me think a lot.)

The second funeral of the day took place in the evening. The man that passed away was a Marine. The memorial service was accompanied by three Active Duty Marines who did a US Flag presentation to the family, and they played Taps on the Bugle. (If you have never seen a Military Funeral, you are missing out.) I had already gotten emotional before the service when briefly talking to the Marines. They spoke of their time serving our country overseas at war. I made sure to thank them and let them know we are very aware of their sacrifice and effort to protect our country. But when the conclusion of the service came, and the solemn congregation became even more quiet and attentive, the Marines marched forward, the Taps began to play. Every eye in the building teared up and many began to weep. The Marines were so professional, so serious, and so sincere. The USA Flag was presented to the oldest sister of the man who passed away.

At that moment, every one there was greatly aware that life is precious and valuable and not to be taken lightly.

As I had said earlier in the service, life only makes sense in Jesus. All the Military contributed to the service only further made that point. The service ended with me standing there my eyes watery and my nose sniffling.

I am proud to be American. I am so humbled to know that our country is the way it is because of so many men who wrk hard to keep it this way. “Land of the free and home of the brave” has so much meaning when you see the white gloves of a sharp dressed Marine folding a US flag while Taps plays in the background.

The day ended with me driving home thanking God that life is not about me. He has shown me that in Jesus. Who cares about me? There are so many things more important in life. So many.