A Prayer of David

May it be mine:

Psalm 13

1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Book Review: Letters From A Father To His Sons In College

Letters from a father to his sons in college. By Samuel Miller.Letters from a father to his sons in college. By Samuel Miller. by Michigan Historical Reprint Series

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Written in 1843 and published almost ten years later, these letters from a genuine, loving father are just as important today as they were in the time they were written. Samuel Miller touches on every facet of a young man’s college life while giving his own counsel and guidance as one with experience and knowledge of this important time of life. His instruction is well said and well thought out and I enjoyed his honesty and his thoroughness.

For college students, this book will be a vault of treasures on how to conduct themselves, even in today’s world. There is nothing here that I believe is only for the time it was written, rather many things of which students should take to heart and apply to their lives. He writes like a father to all students, and it would be great for students to listen to him as they would their own fathers.

I would encourage every parent of a college student (or future college student) to take the time to read these letters. They will help guide and direct the thought process of parents and give wisdom to you for your own children. Though my own son is only 8-months old, I hope that I can take to heart these principles and gleam from the wisdom of a father that was much further ahead than me.

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A Bible And A Shovel

As you probably already know, a major snow storm hit the East Coast this past week which brought loads of snow and shut down roads and airports for a few days. Many people are still feeling the effects of the several feet of snow that left them stranded, like the people of Newark, New Jersey. But what you may not have heard about is Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, and a man that appears to be leading his town by example.

I first heard about Mr. Booker when he and Conan O’Brien were “feuding” over YouTube. During his short-lived run on the Tonight show Conan made a joke about Newark that didn’t go over too well with the mayor. So Booker took to YouTube to settle the matter, thus placing Conan on the Newark, New Jersey’s “no fly list”. The feud went back and forth for a while via YouTube and Conan’s show but ended on a high note when Conan invited Booker to the show and donated $100,000 to a charity in Newark.

But this week, Cory Booker was at it again — this time he wasn’t battling Conan, but the snow. According to Twitter’s blog, Cory was out in the streets of Newark with his shovel and a team of people literally digging people out of the snow. He was using his Blackberry phone and his Twitter account to let people know that he could come to them and clear their driveways or sidewalks and get them to where they needed to be. Some people had to work, others had doctor’s appointments, and the mayor wanted to make sure his people could get their safely.

As I read over his Twitter timeline and saw all the tweets and people he was helping I actually started to cry. Really, this man is leading by example and being an inspiration to others to do the same. It’s people helping people and that’s something anyone can get behind, especially those who are Christians, like myself. This challenges my own heart to remember that we all need to take care of each other, not just in snow storms, but in the storms of life. Mayor Booker might be literally digging people out of the weight of snow, but what about the weight of trials and hardship in life? I heard a pastor say once in regards to helping each other “… that’s what Christians do right, we help each other out!” I think he was right. The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone, but in a community of people and at times that is going to include getting our shovels out and doing some hard work to dig each other out. Another pastor I know said this during a men’s retreat which I think is appropriate, “There two things a man needs to be successful in this life: a Bible and a shovel.” He needs a Bible so he can understand God’s Word and follow what it says, and he needs a shovel to work hard and provide for his family and serve the church. Well, Mayor Booker is an example of how to use a shovel, and I am reminded that I can’t just read my Bible and expect things to happen — I need to pick up my shovel once in a while.

Input

Literally every book I got for Christmas (2010). 2011 is shaping up to be the year of “input” (and if you don’t get that reference, go watch Short Circuit). I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to try and read all of them this year. That would basically be one book a month and a few them are in the 500 page range. If I can resolve to read twenty minutes a day, I think I could it — the real question is do I want to? The verdict is still out on that. Either way you can expect reviews on everything I read.

All the books listed from the top of the stack to the bottom (in the above photo):

1. Worldliness by C.J. Mahaney
2. Whatever Happened to Worship by A.W. Tozer
3. Dedication and Leadership by Douglas Hyde
4. Letters From a Father to His Sons in College by Samuel Miller
5. The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein
6. Why We Love The Church by Kevin Deyoung and Ted Kluck
7. How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer
8. Gospel-Powered Parenting by William P. Farley
9. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
10. Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky
11. The Apostles’ Doctrine of the Atonement by George Smeaton
*12. Style and the Man by Alan Flusser

*not pictured

The Briefing

I grew up listening to “The Bible Answer Man” (Hank Hanegraaff) as a little kid. My mom would pick me up from school and on the drive home his program would be on and he would be discussing all kinds of different news events, theology, Biblical history, etc. It was a great show actually, and one that taught me a lot about studying the Bible and understanding good principles of Biblical interpretation. But recently I’ve been turned on to a new program, one in which I think picks up where the Bible Answer Man leaves off, and one that I hope (Lord willing) will be around for a very long time — that is,“The Briefing” by Albert Mohler.

I’ve shared articles and links for Dr. Mohler before (because honestly his blog is fantastic too), but Bethany and I have been sitting down nightly and listening to his podcast “The Briefing” and we have been very blessed. It’s really no more than 15 minutes long, with absolutely no commercials, and it’s 100% free. Every podcast starts with “…this is The Briefing: A daily analysis of events from a Christian worldview.” And that’s exactly what it is. He walks through some different news items from various publications and basically gives a good, Biblical, Christian perspective on all of it. It is very helpful in understanding all kinds of news items from politics, culture, and religion. Dr. Mohler is incredibly intelligent and I’m probably going to write him a personal “thank-you” letter to tell him that his show is a great blessing to me and my family.

I would highly encourage you to listen to his program whenever you get a chance. Before launching his podcast he was on the radio for years, but it was distracted by callers and commercials. Now with his uninterrupted podcast, I believe he will reach a wider audience and help Christians discern through our own times.

Technically he is doing two podcast now, the one I didn’t mention is called “Thinking In Public” and is also fantastic. They are linked below.

Podcast #1: The Briefing
Length: about 15 minutes each
Topics: various
Frequency: daily

Podcast #2: Thinking in Public
Length: 1 hour
Topics: usually one
Frequency: about every other week.