Hear, See, and Do – #9

HEAR: A Heart Driven Modesty, God and Clothing: 1 Peter 3:3, 4

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This past weekend I had the pleasure of sitting under some fantastic teaching. Starting on Friday night at the Men Discipling Men conference which carried all the way through Saturday night, and then at church on Sunday I have been overwhelmed in areas that I need growth. But on Sunday night, Gunner Gunderson taught on the topic of modesty and I believe everyone needs to hear this message. Though focused towards women, I believe this sermon to be a great reminder to men and Father’s. It’s not a sermon with a “checklist” about what to wear or not to wear, but simply gives Biblical principles for dressing modestly. Gunner has also provided his entire sermon notes and outline which can be found here on his blog. Give it a listen and apply it’s truths and Lord willing we will see change in the hearts (and dress) of many.

SEE: This Time-Lapse Footage of Disneyland Being Built in 1954
Available for the for the first time ever, this archival footage of Disneyland’s incredible construction is actually pretty enjoyable to watch. Apparently it’s been available for a few months, but I’m just getting word of it. Even if you’re not a huge fan of Disney or Disneyland, I think you’ll appreciate the fact that the entire park was built in one year’s time and was done with excellence. The whole park cost $17 million to open and some projects weren’t complete until within days of the official opening in 1955. Below is part two, but I have linked the other four part for those fanatics that just can’t get enough of it.

Building Walt’s Dream - Disneyland’s Construction PT 1 , PT 3 , PT 4 , PT 5

DO: Read A Gospel Primer for Christians
A Gospel PrimerI’ve only just begun reading this book, but I’m already hooked on it. The essential point of the book is to remind you why and how you should preach the Gospel to yourself each and every day. It’s written by Milton Vincent who is a pastor in Moreno Valley, California and he writes it in a simple form so anyone can read it and understand the concept. Though simple in form, it is still very complete in thought and challenges me to think about the Gospel for what it really is — a daily pursuit. I’m only just beginning to understand the need for this book, but the more I read it, the more I remember why I need the Gospel every day.

Can’t See the Forest for the Screens

Dr. Al Mohler re-posted an old article he had written that I thought was relevant for us today. In the article titled “Nature-Deficit Disorder — Have Our Children Forgotten How to Play Outdoors?”, he reviews a book called Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv in which Louv describes our current culture as one depriving children of time outside. Be it exploring the woods, playing in the yard, or even in the street he explains that “….the current generation of American children knows the Discovery Channel better than their own backyards — and that this loss of contact with nature leads to impoverished lives and stunted imagination.” Well, I don’t know if my own outdoor experiences are to avoid an “impoverished life,” but I can definitely understand this line of thinking, especially as it relates to children.

IMG_8480

When I was growing up, I remember playing “cops and robbers” or “hide and seek” around the entire neighborhood. My friends and I would build “marble tracks” which were basically piles of mud that that we molded and shaped in to highways to roll marbles down — complete with loops. One time we even filled a huge hole in the ground with water and went for a swim! The only time we wanted to really be inside was when we were playing Legos, and that was only to build the Star Ship Enterprise which ultimately ended up outside, usually to find out if it could actually fly. Needless to say, we had a world outside that couldn’t be found inside, and I agree with Dr. Mohler when he writes that

“We have allowed our children to be so seduced by entertainment and information technologies that many believe that without electricity, experience is virtually impossible.”

I recently went on a camping trip (photos here) and I was reminded of this in my own life. As we were there, the only electricity that we had was in our flashlights, cameras, and air bed pumps (I know, I know…not exactly “roughing” it). Our cell phones didn’t have service, there were no hot showers, and we cooked food over a fire. It was actually nice to be disconnected from the world for a change. No computer to check email or Twitter, no phone to distract from the conversations I was having with my friends, and no TV to eat up my time with mildly entertaining programming. No, we were just outside experience God’s amazing creation and enjoying each others company. The lack of electrical outlets and devices didn’t take away from us enjoying ourselves and having a great time together, in fact…it helped.

I think we would do well to listen to Dr Mohler’s closing comments and counsel,

“We understand that nature is not an end to itself, and we affirm that the creation exists as the theater of God’s glory for the drama of redemption. All this should help Christians to remember that we honor God most faithfully when we receive His good gifts most gratefully.

Christians should take the lead in reconnecting with nature and disconnecting from machines. Taking the kids for a long walk in the woods would be a great start.”

Read the whole article here.

Find People Interesting

Evacuate... or That Guy Will Stare At You!

If there’s something I struggle with more than anything else as a Christian it’s caring about others. Actually, let’s just call it what it is: I struggle with the sin of pride. Apparently I don’t completely understand Paul when he writes in Philippians 2:3-4:

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

My pastor has taught on this repeatedly, especially in the area of leadership, but it’s still something that I know goes on in my heart that I need redemption from — that is, caring about others and finding them interesting (and would add “above myself”). In a blog post I read today, Mark Altrogge quotes Piper on this subject and it really encouraged my heart:

In Finally Alive, John Piper’s great recent book about the new birth, he says, ‘Be encouraged that simply finding people interesting and caring about them is a beautiful pathway into their heart. Evangelism gets a bad reputation when we are not really interested in people and don’t seem to care about them.’

He goes on to share a story about an opportunity he had to share the Gospel with his postman. It’s worth a read if you’ve got 2 minutes.

[via Mark Altrogge.]

He Already Did

A Messenger Will Soon Bring Good Tidings

The fortune you see above is from my lunch today. Normally I just crack my cookie in half, eat one side and then the other and toss the fortune. Sure, I’ll read it and maybe add a silly ending, but for the most part they’re just little silly sayings that come with a sweet cookie crust. I notice sometimes in the lunch room at work that the fortune cookie is such a big deal to people — people always want “good fortune” I guess? But my fortune today seemed to remind me of something quite greater than good fortune, or even “good tidings” — it reminded me of the Gospel.

I know this weekend we will celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but I can’t help but think about his birth. I know I’m told I’m only supposed to think about that around December 25th, but unless He’s born, He won’t die, and if He doesn’t die then He doesn’t rise again 3 days later, and if He doesn’t rise, well, the Bible says I’m the most to be pitied. As I think about his birth, I’m drawn to the passage in Luke 2, where a messenger brings a message that is truly good tidings:

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

On Holiness

If you’ve never read or heard D.A. Carson, there’s huge resource of his sermons and message here and a bio with books he’s written here. My wife showed me this quote by him that I thought was profound:

“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”

- D.A. Carson, For the Love of God