Why every football fan should be against abortion

This week I wrote an article for Baptist Press Sports on why ever football fan should be against abortion.  I started with the title “Why every self-respecting Gators fan should be pro-life”, but I broadened the title a bit when bpsports picked it up.

Here is an excerpt:

This article should compel every single football fan to oppose abortion. I say that every football fan should oppose abortion sort of tongue-in-cheek, because Tim Tebow has gone on to great things to on the football field. Who knows, after this season Tebow may be known as the greatest quarterback in college football history. However, even if little Timmy had never gone on to great things, his parents still made the right decision for several reasons.

You can read the article in its entirety HERE.


Music Review: To Be Like Jesus

to be like JesusIn my house we love music.  Some of us are more talented that others (if you have ever heard me sing then you know who I am talking about), but we all enjoy music.  You will often catch my daughter singing all the songs from Cinderella, or whatever Disney movie she is into that week.  Music is a great way for her to learn, and to express herself.  For this reason my wife and I have always used music as a tool to teach her, and now my youngest daughter, about the things of the Lord.  Whether it is an old hymn, a new chorus, or a VBS song, we are always trying to teach our daughters biblical truth through music.

One of the problems that we have run into as a family is finding music that is edifying and enjoyable to the entire family.  Our girls aren’t always interested in everything we listen to, and there are only so many times that I can sing about the Bear Necessities.  Recently, however, Sovereign Grace Music has helped us out with this dilemma.  Just recently they came out with a new album entitled “To Be Like Jesus.”  The album is for children, but it is music that parents will enjoy as well.  One of the great things about the album is that the content of the songs are biblical, and aimed at children.  One of the songs even speaks of loving your sister even when she is not nice to you.  That hits home for our family!

I would highly reccomend picking up this CD for the faimly.  It is available HERE for $12.00.  Or,  if you would like you can preview it HERE.

Friday Quote

That which makes worship to be worship is the centrality of God.  All activities, whether performed in private or in public meetings, are only worship as they are directed toward God.  Although the worshiper will be blessed in his own life through the experience of worship, the primary object of worship is not the subjective experience but the ascription of glory to God.

Robert Saucy
The Church in God’s Program
pg. 170

Mark 4:35-41 – The Disciples’ First Test (pt. 5)

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Mark 4:35-41 –

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

V. An Appropriate Rebuke (v. 40)

In verse 40, after rebuking the storm, Jesus then rebuked the disciples.  After the way that the disciples questioned Him this was certainly an appropriate rebuke.  But it was also a gentle rebuke.  Jesus did not even bring up the ridiculous question that they asked of Him.  He doesn’t yell at them, or demoralize them.  He simply asks them two very direct questions.  First, Jesus asked them, “Why are you so afraid?”  Sure there was a huge storm, and the boat was about to sink.  But in light of Jesus’ power was there really any reason for the disciples to fear.  They were on the same boat wit the Messiah.  Did they really think that God was going to let Jesus die on a boat before His ministry was completed? They should have known that they were going to make.  But they let fear consume them.

The second question that Jesus asked them was, “Have you still no faith?”  Here Jesus gets straight to the heart of the matter.  The disciples were consumed by fear because their faith was weak.  The problem wasn’t necessarily that the disciples did not understand all of these truths about Jesus.  The problem was that when they got in the midst of a storm they had no faith.  Despite all that they had seen Jesus do, and the teaching that they had just received from Him earlier, the disciples still lacked faith.  This is why Jesus asked the question.  As we said earlier, the disciples did show some measure of faith by turning to Jesus.  However, their faith was nowhere near where it should have been.

This rebuke of the disciples was certainly warranted, and it is a rebuke that we all need to hear.  In face, let me ask you the same questions that Jesus asked His disciples.  First, why are you so afraid?  Whatever it is that you fear, or whatever it is that makes you nervous or causes you to worry, why?  Do you not know who Jesus it?  He is the almighty God, and He has promised to care for you (Rom 8:28).  He came to die for you!  You can trust him in the midst of the storm. Oh how easily we forget this, and how desperately we must hold onto this truth.  Second, have you still not faith?  After all the ways that God has provided for you up to this point; after all the ways that He has revealed Himself to you in scripture; after see what Jesus is capable of, why is your faith still lacking.  Do not let the storms of life turn you focus away from Jesus.

VI. A Growing Response (v. 41)

This rebuke is one that we all needed to hear, and it is one that we all need to respond to.  And in verse 41we have the chance to see how the disciples responded to this rebuke.  Verse 41 says that “they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’”  In this response we need to see something important about the disciples that hopefully will be true of us as well.  That is, even though they did not respond well to this storm, they learned from and grew through this trial.  Notice how different their response is in verse 41 compared with the response to the storm in verse 38.  In both cases they feared, but in verse 41 it was Jesus whom they feared.  Literally they were terribly in awe of Jesus as they came to grips with His divine nature.  This kind of response is certainly appropriate (Prov 1:7; Deut 6:13).  We should fear God, not our circumstances.

In addition t fearing Jesus the disciples also realized that their faith had faltered because they did not completely know Jesus.  In other words, their faith faltered because their theology was weak.  That is why they began to talk amongst themselves about all of this.  This storm helped them to realize that even though they knew Jesus better than most people, they still had a long way to go.

The same thing could be said of us.  So, what about you?  How are you benefitting from the storms that God has brought into your life?  Have they helped you see what you fear more than God?  Have they helped you to see where your theology needs to grow?

Conclusion:

This is an amazing passage because it helps us to remember that God is in control of the circumstances of our lives; even when we are in the midst of turmoil.  It challenges us to have a bigger view of God—a stronger theology—so that we can remain faithful in the midst of a storm.  Here we see that Jesus cares about His people, and He is powerful enough to care for them.  Additionally, we see that God uses trials to help us grow.  Can you imagine how encouraging this mist have been for Mark’s original Roman audience as they went through the persecution of Nero.

Mark 4:35-41 – The Disciples’ First Test (pt. 4)

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Mark 4:35-41 –

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

IV. A Definitive Answer (v. 39)

In verse38 the disciples responded to the storm by questions Jesus.  Now, in verse 39, Jesus is going to respond to this questioning with a definitive answer.  Mark tells us that “He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be Still!’  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  Can you imagine this scene?  The disciples are frantic, the sea is raging, the boat is sinking, and Jesus calmly gets up and rebukes the storm.  He said “be quiet,” and the storm became quiet!  Some say that this was a coincidence, or that Jesus simply recognized when the storm was ending.  But this can’t be.  This had to be a miracle, because the wind and the waves both stopped at the same time.  This doesn’t just happen on its own.  A normal wind storm may die down quickly, but the high seas always linger for some time after the storm.  Not so here.  Everything goes quiet, and the water is still.  This is a real miracle, and it reveals the divine nature of Jesus.  Earlier we saw that as a man Jesus needed sleep, but here we see that as God Jesus can control nature.  Just as God spoke the world into existence, so too Jesus was able to control the sea simply with the sound of His voice.  Colossians 1:15-17 describes Jesus’ power in this way:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

This account in Mark certainly confirms what Colossians 1 teaches about Jesus, and His divine nature.  Jesus makes it clear that He is all-powerful, and by the way, He does care for the disciples.

Can you imagine how the disciples felt when Jesus calmed the storm?  They had been questioning Jesus, and in the end Jesus was the one who saved them.  In light of Jesus’ actions it is clear the disciples responded foolishly.  And as we go through storms in our own lives how many times do we also response foolishly?  How often do we doubt Jesus, and forget about His control over our lives?  This is certainly what the disciples did by questioning Jesus.  But Jesus provided a definitive answer by performing this miracle.  He showed that we should trust him no matter how bad the storm seems.  Furthermore, in verse 40 Jesus gave his disciples an appropriate rebuke for not trusting Him.

Mark 4:35-41 – The Disciples’ First Test (pt. 3)

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Mark 4:35-41 –

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

III. Contrasting Responses to the Storm (v. 38)

Here in verse 38 Mark gives us two contrasting responses to this storm.  First, we have the response of Jesus.  “He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.”   There are two things that we need to notice about Jesus sleeping here.  First of all, here we see Jesus’ humanity and the doctrine of the Incarnation.  This was a small boat with not a lot of room to stretch out, and yet he was so tired from his day of strenuous ministry that he fell sound asleep.  Secondly, he is not afraid.  He falls asleep with no worries, and the storm that arises around him does not even worry him enough to wake him up. I want to be able to sleep like Jesus.  This means that I must work hard like Jesus did, and I must intuitively trust in the Father like Jesus did.  This is something that we are working on together as a family.  Every night we pray with my daughter, and we thank God for protecting us while we sleep.   This is certainly the attitude that Jesus has here.

The second response that Mark records is the response of the disciples, and this response is far different from the response of Jesus.  Mark tells us that “they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’”  As I look at this response I almost don’t know where to start, except to say that it is very similar to the way that all of us would have responded.  Quite frankly, the disciples responded to this storm by asking Jesus one of the most ridiculous questions in the entire bible.  They literally question whether or not Jesus even cared about them.  There is no softening this up, or explaining away this question.  With this question they were rebuking Jesus.

I wan to take a minute here and point something out.  Each of the Gospel writers records a slightly different response here.  Matthew says that the disciples said to Jesus, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”  (Matt 8:25)  Luke records that the disciples said, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” (Luke 8:24)  These two accounts sound a lot different from Mark’s account.  So why the difference?  Some say that it is because this account never really happened, and the gospel writers just couldn’t get their story straight.  But if you ask me, that is a dumb theory.  If this story was made up then don’t you think that the guys who made it up would have been very careful to get their story straight?  I think that there is a much simpler and better explanation.  The Gospel writers record different words from the disciples because there were 12 panicked guys crying out at the same time.  Everyone one of them was probably screaming something different.  I find it highly unlikely that they all collaborated, chose one representative, and then woke Jesus up with a unified response.  There is no way that it happened like this; these guys were sacred out of their minds.  Additionally, Mark got his information from Peter, and it anyone was going to bluntly rebuke Jesus it would have been Peter.  So it may be that what we have here in Mark’s account are the words of Peter.

Therefore, in this passage we have account of how the disciples reacted, and what we see is that the disciples responded in fear and with self-centeredness.  They were afraid of the storm, and their only concern was whether or not they would make it.  This fear clouded their thinking so severely that they questioned whether or not Jesus even cared about them.  What a contrast to Jesus’ trust in the Father.  But before we are too tough on the disciples we need to remember a few things:

  1. They were terrified.
  2. They did turn to Jesus – even though their response was not the right one, they did turn to Jesus.  Remember these were experienced fisherman asking a carpenter for help.
  3. We would have done the same thing!  In fact, many times we do.  We get in the midst of a storm and we let fear and self-centeredness cloud our thinking.  We loose sight of the fact that God is in control of all things, and He is using our circumstances for our good.

As we look the contrast between Jesus’ response and the disciples’ response it should cause us to look at our own lives.  What kind of storm are you going through right now?  How are you responding?  What does your response reveal about your faith?

Chocolate Milk?

Every kid loves chocolate milk.  For that matter I think every adult loves it too!  I know I do.  But what most people don’t know is that chocolate milk can be good for you, especially after a hard run.

Let me explain,

Jason Karp, an exercise physiology graduate student at Indiana University, recently tested a popular carb-protein recovery drink along with good old chocolate milk (low-fat, of course) to see which helped speed recovery better. In the study, a group of cyclists pedaled a grueling interval workout to deplete glycogen stores, then immediately drank either two or two-and-a-half cups of chocolate milk or the recovery drink. Two hours later, they drank the same amount of the same beverage. Two hours after that, the cyclists pedaled at a fixed pace until they were exhausted.

The results: The cyclists who drank the chocolate milk pedaled just as long as those who had the recovery drink. This type of timed performance trial indirectly indicates how much the cyclists’ glycogen stores had recovered from the previous session of exercise. So after your next long run, go ahead and chug a cup or two of low-fat chocolate milk (cookies are optional).

You can read the full article HERE.