Friday, November 30, 2007

"By the grace of God I am what I am."

These words were penned by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:10. He mentioned it in reference to God's grace working in his life to make him what he was. I title this blog entry with these words because of His grace in my life toward my love for reading. Let me explain. I used to HATE reading! Literally. I despised reading a book. The joke at my house was that I graduated high school having only read two books in my whole life: The Moose Goes to School and Bo Knows Bo. But something changed. Something wonderful and glorious changed while I was at college. God graciously gave me a hunger and thirst for books. He gave me a longing to want to read! I am grateful because there is so much rich material available for those who want to understand the Bible better and love God more completely. We are commanded to love the Lord God with all of our mind, thus reading the Bible and other books that help us better understand the Bible help us love the Lord better.
Something I have been wanting to do for a long time now is to list some of my favorite books. Earlier today I received an e-mail from a friend who asked me what my all-time favorite book on prayer was. I thought to myself that now would be a good time to list on the blog some of my favorite books, including my favorite one on prayer. I had originally intended to offer a "Top Five List" of my top five favorite books. Perusing my library, however, revealed that there is no way I can do that. There are so many that are so good! So, in what follows I will simply list and link for you some of my favorite books. Perhaps in the future, I will list some more by categories (for instance, in this list I am not including any books on preaching though there are many that are great books). But for now, here is a start for anyone who cares.

1. The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer

This is a wonderful book on prayer. Challenging. Insightful. Convicting.

You can order the book here.

2. A Hunger for God by John Piper

Another incredible book on prayer and fasting.

You can order that book here. When you click here you can download the book for free on your computer. Thank you John Piper and Desiring God!

3. What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper

This is a great resource for discipleship. Piper takes every command from Jesus and explains what Jesus meant and how we can best obey. The purpose is to help us obey the Great Commission: "make disciples of all nations...teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you."

You can order the book here, or download it for free at that same location.

4. The Cross of Christ by John R.W. Stott

As you can tell from the picture, I got it from You can order this book by clicking here.

5. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer
Again, from Amazon, you can order this book here.

These are a start. Numerous books come to my mind. Maybe I will do this on a regular basis in the future, depending on the response. Whether you like this list or not, I encourage you to read much and read often for the sake of your mind. Read the Bible first and foremost. Then read some other texts that help you understand the Bible more clearly and love God more passionately.

Monday, November 26, 2007

What/Who in the World is Lottie Moon?

Every December the International Missions Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) asks Southern Baptist's to give money for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Every penny of the offering goes straight to support missionaries serving in foreign countries. In other words, every single penny goes to help the Gospel go forth around the world. The IMB's goal this year is $165 million. If all Southern Baptist's gave just a small portion, no doubt that goal could be reached with ease.

I strongly encourage everyone who reads this blog to seriously consider how much you can give to this eternal cause.

In case you have ever wondered who or what in the world is Lottie Moon, the IMB has provided a wonderful link on their web-site that provides the reader with ample information about her and her life. The information they have provided has done Southern Baptist's a favor. If you would like to know more about this amazing woman God used in the late 1800's and whose legacy continues today, I implore you to click here.

If you would like some general information about the offering itself, you can click here.

May the Gospel go forth like never before in 2008!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Dad Turns 60!

This Friday, November 23rd, my dad will turn 60 years old. Lord willing, I plan on being there with him to celebrate. Praise the Lord.

Most everyone who reads this blog will know that last Thursday dad had surgery to remove prostate cancer. The doctors will able to get all of it. As far as we all know, he is cancer free. He is recovering well from the surgery and I fully expect him to be "back at it" as soon as possible. Praise the Lord.

Other than Jesus Christ, my dad is my ultimate hero. The longer I am a dad, the more of a hero he becomes. He made sure that I grew up in an atmosphere where I could thrive spiritually and grow, by God's grace, into a man who knew and loved Jesus. That's what a dad is to do. Help their children know and love Jesus with all of their might.

Praise the Lord.

If you are a dad and happen to be reading this blog, let's commit to working overtime for the good of our children and our wives so that they have every opportunity possible to see us love Jesus passionately and, thus, to grow to know and love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Praise the Lord for Steve Pearson. Happy Birthday!

Beat Bama!!

I cannot resist! It's the Iron Bowl week and Auburn is going for 6 in a row against the Tide!
Just in case anybody was wondering who Luke and Seth were pulling for...let there be no doubt!

A Bold, Yet Needed and Honest Assessment of the Church

I am referring to a sermon preached by John Piper this past weekend at Bethlehem Baptist Church. In it, he explains why he is starting a series entitled "You Must Be Born Again" and where he plans to take his congregation over the next weeks. I urge you to click here and listen, watch, or read the first half of the message at least! What he says needs to be said and heard.
I hope you will be challenged by it as I was and it will lead you to love Jesus more and hurt for His church more than ever before.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Joshua Project Web-site

During last weekend's Global Impact Conference I was struck in a way that I never have been struck before. What was so odd about it was it was by something I already knew. In fact, what really spoke to me last weekend was a truth and reality I had known for a long, long time. On Saturday night, during the International Banquet, Bro. Al was preaching about the plentiful harvest (from Matthew 9). He gave example after example of countries where God is moving in extravagant ways. The Gospel is running forth rapidly in specific places. He spoke of people longing to hear the Good News and coming from miles and miles away to hear a message they had never heard.
What struck me afresh was the fact that millions of people have NEVER HEARD THE GOSPEL, nor the name JESUS. When they hear it, it is something that revolutionizes and changes and transforms their lives. The good news of the Gospel sets them free!
Yes, I knew that. Yes, it is true. But the Spirit laid the reality heavy on my heart. The Gospel changes lives. It really and truly changes lives. There is no other message like it. There is no other name under heaven by which men may be saved.
God used this renewed burden to increase in my soul a passion to go where God is moving. He is doing a new thing in countries who have never heard. People are waiting to hear the Gospel. People MUST hear the Gospel in order to be saved.
I want to challenge you to do everything possible to focus your efforts and thoughts and resources toward what God is doing and where God is working.
I have come across a wonderful web-site "The Joshua Project." You can go there directly by clicking here.
It offers a tremendous amount of information about unreached people groups and how much of the world is evangelized and how much of the world remains to be evangelized and what God is doing in particular places. If offers an "Unreached People of the Day" that you can pray for specifically. Visit the site and visit it often. Use it in your prayer time. Use it to ask God where He wants you to go and/or send resources so the Gospel can go forth there. Use it to gain knowledge on the task before us.

I look forward to discussing with some of you what you have learned from this web-site in the days ahead.

Because He Lives,