#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God

The Navigators invited me to lead a breakout session at their Main Event conference in Ames, Iowa on October 6, 2018. They asked me to help college students think through the subject of social media use. This series of posts contains the material I presented. They develop a biblical theology of social media moving from Genesis through Revelation. Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God”

“They Are All Gone!” — A Song on Forgiveness Inspired by Charles Spurgeon

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me this paragraph from Charles Spurgeon’s sermon “Forgiveness Made Easy:”

All our transgressions are swept away at once, carried off as by a flood, and so completely removed from us that no guilty trace of them remains They are all gone!

O ye believers, think of this, for the all is no little thing: sins against a holy God, sins against his loving Son, sins against gospel as well as against law, sins against man as well as against God, sins of the body as well as sins of the mind, sins as numerous as the sands on the sea shore, and as great as the sea itself: all, all are removed from us as far as the east is from the west. All this evil was rolled into one great mass, and laid upon Jesus, and having borne it all he has made an end of it for ever.

When the Lord forgave us he forgave us the whole debt. He did not take the bill and say, “I strike out this item and that,” but the pen went through it all;—PAID. It was a receipt in full of all demands, Jesus took the handwriting which was against us and nailed it to his cross, to show before the entire universe that its power to condemn us had ceased for ever. We have in him a full forgiveness.

She suggested that there might be a corporate reading for our worship service in there. As I read it, song lyrics naturally emerged. Within a few minutes, I had the first draft of a song, which I sent off to David Ward. Continue reading ““They Are All Gone!” — A Song on Forgiveness Inspired by Charles Spurgeon”

Help Celebrate My Birthday!

For the past three years, we’ve reproduced a Johnny Cash picture for my birthday.

It’s 10 weeks until my birthday, so it’s time to start planning the 2018 Johnny Cash Birthday Picture.

Stop by my Facebook profile (here) to leave a picture suggestion in the comments and to vote on your favorite submissions.

Updates: The Gospel Coalition, Front Porch with the Fitzes, and New Songs

A few updates for the month. I’ve had the joy of being a guest writer at The Gospel Coalition, a guest on the Front Porch with the Fitzes podcast, and posting a few of my favorite song collaborations with David Ward. More information below. Continue reading “Updates: The Gospel Coalition, Front Porch with the Fitzes, and New Songs”

Our Dog Died Today

Today we’re mourning the loss of Jude (2003-2015), our 15-year-old black lab. He was a great dog from beginning to end.

We knew for some time that he was nearing the end. He mostly laid in the sun and slept this spring. Evenings were hardest for him, as his hip was giving him problems. But every morning, he’d meander out of his kennel, fetch the ball once, and then find a spot to nap in the shade.

Last night, I came home to find him unable to get up. We knew it was time. So, after we told the kids this morning, they each said their goodbyes and we took one last picture.

The oldest two sat with him in the shade from 8 am until the 2 pm appointment. Continue reading “Our Dog Died Today”

Women in the Storyline of Redemptive History

Women Have ValueThe #MeToo movement has sparked some good conversations about the value and significance of women, a conversation that has moved into the church in helpful ways (#ChurchToo).

A friend’s tweet got me thinking about the significant role women play in the Bible’s storyline of redemption.

So, for my own benefit, I started jotting an off-the-cuff list of notable places women show up. I stopped at twenty.

I ended up posting it to Twitter as “Twenty observations of women in the storyline of redemptive history from Genesis to Revelation.”

A friend suggested I post it on the blog. So, here it is! Continue reading “Women in the Storyline of Redemptive History”

Dads Hurt Too: A Memoir of Miscarriage

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered,” Jesus assures us. “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” The argument here is not: people matter, therefore sparrows are insignificant. Rather: sparrows are significant, so how much more valuable are those created in God’s image?

God’s voice—not the voices in my head or those of my neighbor—is the final word on the matter: If he values the hairs of my head more than sparrows, how much more must he care for my child—his own image bearer?

And when that child falls to sleep, hidden in my wife’s womb, will the Father in heaven not notice the father on earth? God cares for these little ones. God cares about mothers. God cares about fathers. Both moms and dads have every right to mourn.

I’m writing today at the Risen Motherhood blog, sharing a personal story of experiencing miscarriages as a father. You can read the whole piece here: “Dads Hurt Too: A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

As you read, would you consider doing a few things for me?

Continue reading “Dads Hurt Too: A Memoir of Miscarriage”

The O Antiphons — An Ancient Advent Devotion

I love Advent songs and Christmas carols. I love the tradition, the nostalgia, the familiarity. Most of all, I love the way a good carol points us to who Jesus Christ came to be and who he is for us today. (I wrote this original Christmas carol for that purpose.)

One of my favorites is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” This carol has its origins in a set of seven Latin antiphons known as “The O Antiphons” or “The Great Antiphons.” The verses may have originated as early as the 6th century. They were used in the Benedictine Abbey, being recited by leaders in descending order before presenting gifts to members of the community. The O Antiphons were shaped into Latin verse in the 12th century. Continue reading “The O Antiphons — An Ancient Advent Devotion”