Monday, May 3, 2010

The excitement is building!

One of the things I am enjoying the most about pastoring is watching people get excited about being part of our community. In fact, you can almost see people's hope increasing on a weekly basis.

We've decided to start video taping the services, and I want to show you a clip from last Sunday. I think you will see just what I mean. Our folks are really getting into worshiping together:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Word cloud of this Sunday's sermon...

I'm not sure why I like Wordle so much, but I really do enjoy the site. It makes word clouds of any document or web site you plug in. The words are sized according to the number of times they are used in the document. I think the word clouds that get generated are interesting, and sometimes beautiful.

Anyway, I put one up based on my sermon notes for this Sunday. Here it is. Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Review of "Daily Message" iPhone app...

I downloaded the christianaudio Daily Message app last week for my iPhone. So far, I like it. It’s a great idea: an audio Bible that is broken up into short daily hearings, which allows you to hear the entire Bible in one year.

There is a lot to like about the app. It’s very simple to use. The narrator has a pleasant enough voice. The daily segments are relatively short, meaning that someone with a short attention span (like me, for instance) can get through it easily. The app also allows for a time of reflection on the reading you just heard. It’s a nice feature, since sometimes I am so busy that I don’t take time to soak in what I’ve just read (or heard).

My only complaint with the app is that it is only available in the Message paraphrase of the Bible. I would love to see an app with the same features as this one, but with a real Bible translation, like ESV or NIV. Once christianaudio puts out an ESV or NIV version, I will recommend this app without reservation. As it is, I think it’s of limited value for daily Bible study, although it might be good for lighter devotional time.

I’m reviewing this app for the Reviewer’s Program. It’s available for purchase right here...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Audiobook review: Just Do Something

Hey everybody! I took advantage of the opportunity to review audio books for ( because I love audio books. The first book I’ve had a chance to review is Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. The book itself is a look at how we determine God’s will for our lives. DeYoung’s premise is that we spend too much time waiting for a supernatural feeling from God, and not enough time following God’s revealed will in the Bible.

The premise is challenging, and DeYoung presents his case convincingly. But this review is more about the audiobook that I got from It’s a high-quality work. The book is unabridged, which I like a lot. The sound quality is perfect. If I have one complaint, it would be with the person they chose to read the book.

He reads it well—good diction, all that stuff. But his reading of it is a bit dry, almost like he was reading a textbook or a recipe. The subject is interesting (it could even be life-changing), and it could have used a little more excitement in the presentation. But that should not keep you from hearing this really important book.

My recommendation: if you want to dig deeper into how you can really know God’s will for your life, this is a good place to start. And this audiobook is a handy way to take the book with you. The audiobook is well-produced, easy to download, and it’s a good deal also. Go get it here: Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Canadian Health Care: Best in the World?

I just saw this article, and I had to post it. It seems that the Premier of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador needs heart surgery. So, of course, he's checking into one of Canada's fine hospitals for his procedure--paid for by Canada's universal health care system. A system that is, so I've been told, lights years beyond the U.S. health care system.

Oh, wait. I guess he's going somewhere else to get treatment.

I hope the good premier has a full and speedy recovery. And I hope he's thankful that there's a country he can go to where he'll get the medical care he needs...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

He's coming home!

We just got word--our new baby is coming to live with us! As many of you know, we have been working on adopting a beautiful baby boy, who is currently in Arizona. Well, all the initial paperwork is done, and we are leaving early tomorrow morning to pick him up!

Pray for us. This is just the first step in the adoption process. We've got a ways to go before he's "officially" ours.

Also, one of the coolest things about this whole situation has been how our church has rallied around us. For example, we have a community outreach planned for Saturday. I was planning on calling everybody and rescheduling it for a Saturday when I can be there. But one of our members told the Mighty Mrs. J, "We can do it anyway. After all, pastor says it's not a one-man show. We're all part of God's mission." So the outreach goes on!

I'm blessed and happy that the message is resonating with our church folks.

Oh, and if you're wondering whether there will be a massive onslaught of pictures of the new baby...I think you already know the answer to that question...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm a sucker for book giveaways...

I'm not ashamed to admit it: I love books. And I love free books best of all. And the fine folks at SBC Voices are giving away some books. Not just any books, mind you. These are high quality books, printed on sturdy paper with solid binding.

The books in question are:

Calvin's Institutes
Sailhamer's The Meaning of the Pentateuch
Marshall & Payne's The Trellis and the Vine

If you went to Brethren High School like I did, you'll want to check out some literacy courses, then go enter this contest. Otherwise, just go enter:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finally caught up on sermon uploads...

Finally got the sermon from last Sunday uploaded. It's about putting God first in 2010. It's available for your dining and dancing pleasure at the church blog.

Sermon notes are there also. I know, I am almost too generous...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nothing better than self-promotion...

I know that for many of you, there's been one thing missing from 2010 so far: a sermon from me.

Well, now that has all changed. The audio of my December 20 sermon, "3 Things Christmas Reveals about God, " is up at the church website. Click here to get to it.

And yes, I know that Christmas was almost 2 weeks ago. I've been busy...