Christian Life

Book Review: How Can We Rescue Those Being Taken Away to Death?

Brett A. Baggett, Dusty Deevers, and James Silberman: Rescue Those: How Can We Rescue Those Being Taken Away to Death? Copyright 2021  Rescue Those INC. You can order copies here. These booklets are given away for free. I suggest Christians who benefit from this work...

Book Review: Ann Judson: A Life of Self-Denial

Chapel Library’s booklet, Ann Judson: A Life of Self-Denial is the perfect length. It gives just enough information to make someone interested in reading a larger work about this dear saint, yet also gain an appreciation for Ann and learn from her life without a large investment.

Soft Chauvinism

It seems we have ventured into a time in Christianity where every time we write about or exhort women, it must be qualified in such a way as to soften any offense or blow to the reader or hearer. We live in a time of 'soft chauvinism' in the way we treat women in the...
On Vacay? Out of Town? Go to Church!

On Vacay? Out of Town? Go to Church!

Whether they hold to the doctrine of the Christian Sabbath or not, Christians should universally believe in the significance and importance of attending church. Yet folks skip miss church for all sorts of reasons—and most of them are bad reasons. One of the worst reasons Christians miss weekly worship is due to a vacation or travel schedule.

I believe that Christians should make every effort to schedule their lives around the Lord’s Day. Worshipping Christ in communion with the saints should be the focal point of your week…and everything else should fit in around that. If you follow that principle, you will never find yourself traveling all day Sunday and missing church or lounging on the beach when you should be gathering corporately. A mind set on being ready to meet with God on Sunday with the saints will take the necessary steps on Saturday to not be too tired for church, for example.

A Curious Case of Providence

A Curious Case of Providence

A couple of weeks ago, our team was ministering at Planned Parenthood. We had a group of five people, which is a nice team size, but two of the men were first-timers; that is, they had never been to an abortion clinic before for ministry. Nothing remarkable happened...

Assurance of Salvation, or the Lack Thereof

Assurance of Salvation, or the Lack Thereof

The Problem I saw a heartbreaking post in a Facebook group. It went like this: Do any of you worry that Jesus will say depart from me for I never knew you? And I worry that I would be one of those wolves in sheep clothing, deceiving the Body of Christ? I don’t...

Go, Therefore: Family Worship

Go, Therefore: Family Worship

"Go, Therefore" posts are quick tips to help Christians live lives of evangelism. Family Worship As Evangelism Daily family worship ought to be observed by families for many reasons. To name a few: God is worthy to be worshipped, it is a way men ought to lead their...

Full Stomach, Empty Heart: A Sermon Outline from Ruth 1, Part 1

Full Stomach, Empty Heart: A Sermon Outline from Ruth 1, Part 1

In this post, we'll look at a sermon outline from the book of Ruth and focus on Elimelech’s decision to move his family to Moab. In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab,...

Encouraging the Church After the Violence in Washington DC

Encouraging the Church After the Violence in Washington DC

The following is what I told my church on January 10, 2021. Click here for the audio. Our commitment at CBC is verse by verse and expositional preaching. By exegeting scripture and applying its wisdom every week, we think the saints are most edified and prepared to...

An Empty Seat on Christmas

An Empty Seat on Christmas

I want you to consider your Christmas activities. For some of you, Christmas is a day filled with presents and joy, worshipping God, and visiting with loved ones. Maybe you’ve saved for months to get your children that perfect gift. My wife is making me one of my...

Lord Willing Ain’t An Excuse

Lord Willing Ain’t An Excuse

Lord Willing Christians and non-Christians alike have adopted the use of the phrase "Lord willing." Appended to a declaration of future plans, this phrase is meant to convey an understanding of God's absolute supremacy and sovereignty. That is, we will do this or that...

Tweets I Didn’t Send

Tweets I Didn’t Send

ICYMI, I have been avoiding Twitter™ since mid-July. As part of a church plant (yay!) my priorities have changed (a quote on that in the body of this post). So the social media world has missed my "words of wisdom" as of late. But my avoidance of...

The Fleeting Glory of Man

The Fleeting Glory of Man

Bo Knows Due to the popularity of American football and baseball in the good ole USA, there is effectively no argument among gen-Xers that Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete to ever live. If you grew in the 80s and 90s, you saw his legendary feats. I say legendary...

Psalm 96:10-13 God Will Judge!

Psalm 96:10-13 God Will Judge!

Do you know that feeling when you start to tell someone about the Lord and you realize they do not already know Him? Do you get a pit in your stomach sometimes—a warning not to go there? Our natural response to difficulty is sometimes “flight.” Telling your neighbor that God will not only judge him or her but that God is right to do so can be frightening! It is no wonder we fail so many times in our evangelism—it is truly counter to our flesh’s desires for comfort!

The Preaching Killdeer

The Preaching Killdeer

My Grandparents and I - 2003 Growing up in rural Arkansas I had many opportunities to walk the woods with my grandfather learning about various aspects of nature, including birds. One of the most interesting birds I can remember is the Charadrius vociferous, or, you...

I Still Believe: Official Movie Review (No Spoilers)

I Still Believe: Official Movie Review (No Spoilers)

I Still Believe Jeremy Camp is a singer and songwriter who is popular in the Contemporary Christian Music scene. I believe his music is more Christ-centered and explicitly Christian than most of what is produced in the 21st century under the heading of "Christian." To...

A Word to the Hurting

A Word to the Hurting

2020 has been nothing short of perilous. Bloggers and preachers regularly employ hyperbole, but what we are seeing due to the coronavirus pandemic is unique. At the time of writing, I'm a 44-year-old man who was born and raised in the United States, and I can...

Psalm 119:173-176 — Seek Your Servant Like a Lost Sheep

Psalm 119:173-176 — Seek Your Servant Like a Lost Sheep

Jesus, the lamb of God, became sin for His people that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus was the lamb who never strayed from the pasture, yet he took on the penalty deserved by foolish and rebellious sheep. Jesus is the lost sheep when he is suffering the penalty for our sins. Jesus is the one who cries to God to be sought after in this state. And Jesus is the one who never forgot God’s commands.

You’re Not Herod!!

You’re Not Herod!!

In the heyday of Tim Tebow doing interviews after football games, there was an ever-present "I just want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ," that we all came to expect. It was exciting to hear someone who seemed to hold to the faith proclaim Christ publicly....

Official Press Release from Planned Parenthood Re: COVID-19

Official Press Release from Planned Parenthood Re: COVID-19

From the desk of Alexis McGill Johnson, President, Planned Parenthood, LLC Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) public health concerns, I wanted to put the minds of Americans everywhere at ease. First, our commitment to slaughter, dismemberment, burning, or simple...

Everything You Need To Understand the Culture

Everything You Need To Understand the Culture

Our practice at ThingsAbove.Us is to write about whatever we want always with an end goal toward our mission and to have some fun too. Sometimes that's verse-by-verse exegesis. Other times, that means critiquing pro sports. Once in a while, we write articles that help...

Book Review: A Call to Pure Worship

Book Review: A Call to Pure Worship

Pastor Meadows created something I really needed in this explanation of the Regulative Principle of Worship: clarity, conciseness, and a direct explanation of the doctrine.

Psalm 119:169-172 — Eruption of Praise

Psalm 119:169-172 — Eruption of Praise

Pray Like Jesus Psalms 119:169  Taw Let my cry come before you, O Yahweh; give me understanding according to your word! As we begin to close the longest chapter of the Bible, we might be tempted to think that God has already said everything that can be said. We must...

Psalm 119:165-168 — Cause → Effect

Psalm 119:165-168 — Cause → Effect

It has been said that there are two religions in the world: the religion of grace and the religion of works. A distinguishing characteristic of the religion of works is that somehow the good deeds a man does are what pleases his deity. This is true whether that religion sees man as inherently good or as innately sinful. Since this is an affront to the gospel of grace, our Scriptures go to great lengths to destroy any hope men can have to save themselves by proclaiming the gospel of grace (Romans 3:24,25; Ephesians 2:8, 9). But wicked men will always twist good religion to their own ends and many a man has proclaimed the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ apart from works as a license to sin.

One of the ways God helps us to walk in his ways while we strive to imitate Christ is by granting us awareness of His immanence. Nothing can be hidden from the anthropomorphic eyes of God. For the heathen, this truth is blatantly denied as they fancy themselves into thinking they will escape judgment. It’s not always because men think they are good that they shall escape judgment, but sometimes it is that they think no one knows of their crimes. The child of God whose heart has been quickened earnestly desires obedience to God’s precepts and adherence to God’s testimonies, yet he or she still finds it difficult to obey. The spirit and flesh are opposed to each other and the battle rages, and sometimes the flesh wins.

Psalm 119:161-164— Do You Hate Falsehood?

Psalm 119:161-164— Do You Hate Falsehood?

Christianity is thought of by many as the “religion of niceness.” Whoever came up with that idea knows very little of the scripture. Yes, Christians are called to be kind and should be known by their kindness and meekness. But too often we mistake kindness for fake-virtues like “never disagreeing with anyone,” and “never hating anything or anyone.” But as David speaks here, so does the Christ, “I hate and abhor falsehood.” Jesus Christ is the Truth and falsehood is a lie. Thus it is fitting that we should hate the opposite (falsehood) of that which we love (Christ). God chooses more than one word here to denote His holy hatred for lying. God personally hates lying and morally detests it.

Psalm 119:157-160 — We Are In A Battle

Psalm 119:157-160 — We Are In A Battle

We vomit spoiled food almost instantaneously, not because we think about it and decide we should expel it, but because our bodies are naturally designed to protect us. We have a *”gag reflex” for a reason, and it prevents things from getting deep inside us before we have time to realize all the effects. Similarly, our Christian conscience and convictions, bathed in the Word and Law of God, are capable of causing a natural aversion to sin and evil before we’ve even had time to consider it. We are disgusted by the ideas of lying, stealing, vandalism, gossip, slander, sexual immorality, rape, orgies, homosexual acts and desires, drunkness, hypocrisy, envy, sorcery, and faithlessness. A Christian who is growing in holiness and separation from worldly lusts will find themselves more quickly disgusted when they encounter rampant wickedness and filth as they walk their path in this world (James 1:21).

Psalm 119:153-156— Christ Alone Delivers

Psalm 119:153-156— Christ Alone Delivers

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the entire Bible. It's longer than several entire books. I imagine that due to our propensity to read to the end of the chapter, a good number of people read Psalm 119 in one sitting when they get to it in their Bible reading plan....

Psalm 119:149-152 — Be Comforted For God Is Near

Psalm 119:149-152 — Be Comforted For God Is Near

It is easy to be anxious in this world. We are surrounded by difficulty even when we are not being chased down by evildoers. A Christian’s comfort must begin with God. And the only way we can find comfort is with a God who is near to us. Other religions brag of completely transcendent gods. Some religions have gods who are so much like us that it’s impossible to discern what makes them gods in the first place. But our God, the God of Heaven and Earth, is near to us. He is omnipresent so we always have access to Him through Jesus Christ who shed his blood for us then rose again and ascended into Heaven. There is no place we can go to avoid His presence (as if we’d want to!).

Psalm 119:145-148— Meditate on the PROMISE

Psalm 119:145-148— Meditate on the PROMISE

The promise we have received is no different, but we have received more revelation. We meditate on the aspects of that promise which are already fulfilled: that Jesus Christ has come into the world. He was born of the virgin, conceived without the stain of sin by the Holy Spirit, and was perfectly righteous before the Father in every respect, although He was tempted by Satan (Hebrew 4:15). He was delivered to death and suffered the wrath of almighty God for sinners, (Isaiah 53:11), was buried, and on the third day rose from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). THIS is what we meditate upon, and all its implications: that we are wretched sinners, that Christ is a kind and gracious and all-sufficient savior, and that only by grace through faith can salvation be accomplished (among others)!

Abounding Love

Abounding Love

The Apostle Paul told the Phillippians that his prayer for them was that their love would abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment. If the Lord inspired Paul to pray for these saints this way and record it for us, I think we ought to know what it means...

Psalm 119:141-144 — Assurance of Perseverance

Psalm 119:141-144 — Assurance of Perseverance

First, we note the extent and duration of God’s righteousness. It is righteous forever. There is no other being of whom that can be said. God is eternal and unchanging. Thus, His righteousness is forever righteous. What a comfort to know that our God will not change and will forever be righteous. Secondly, we note the quality of God’s righteousness. His righteousness is righteous. While this seems obvious, it bears remarking that God describes our righteousness in very different terms. Isaiah 64:6 reminds us that “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” God’s righteousness is contrasted with ours in that His righteousness is eternal and unblemished righteousness. There is no stain on God’s righteousness and it isn’t pushed about by winds of change. Praise Him!

Psalm 119:137-140 — Zeal + Ignorance = Worthless Religion

Psalm 119:137-140 — Zeal + Ignorance = Worthless Religion

In Romans 10:2-4, Paul criticizes the Israelites for having a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. It is not that they didn’t know who God is or that they worshipped the wrong God. No, Paul’s admonition is that the Israelites knew God, but didn’t comprehend His righteousness. Thus, they didn’t submit to it, nor were they grasping their need for Christ’s righteousness to cover them. But the Israelites could not blame the psalmist. For centuries before the incarnation, Psalm 119 was telling the people of God’s righteousness and His faithful promise. Thus, the psalmist is consumed with his own zeal for God’s righteous testimonies. He is consumed with zeal for God’s faithful promise as a contrast to the ignorance of his enemies.

Psalm 119:133-136 — Does Your Love Bring You To Tears?

Psalm 119:133-136 — Does Your Love Bring You To Tears?

God justifies us by grace through faith alone, and that faith is followed by good works (Ephesians 2:10). God doesn’t just forgive sinners and leave them in their sin; He promises them help along the way (Proverbs 3:6). That is his promise to us. God provides us with new affections and desires. But in our unredeemed flesh, we still must wage war with sin. Confessing our weakness, we ought to pray with the psalmist “let no iniquity get dominion over me!” It is good and right to plan on not sinning, but we humbly request God to be the power that enables us to walk in newness of life. A healthy fear of the power of sin is essential to avoid it. It is those who think they stand who are in most danger of falling (1 Corinthians 10:12). Humbly acknowledge your need for His grace today.

Ep. 029 | Brad Weber Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 029 | Brad Weber Interview — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews Brad Weber of Theology Nights @ http://theologynights.com/ Theology Nights offers Reformed theology, articles, teaching, videos, and podcasts. In this episode, Brad gives us insight into his former life of addiction and what drives him to do what he...

Psalm 119:129-132 — Into The Light

Psalm 119:129-132 — Into The Light

God is glorified by His giving of more and more grace. It magnifies God’s benevolence and kindness in the eyes of creatures when He expresses pity on them and blesses them with still more grace. Oh, how many Christians will go to Heaven and only realize there that there was more grace available in this life had they only asked. God will never run out and you can never exhaust His grace! Too often we don’t ask for more grace because we don’t feel we deserve it.

We never deserve it. That’s why we call it grace. It is not earned. It’s granted by a good and merciful Savior.

Ep. 027 | Dustin Benge Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 027 | Dustin Benge Interview — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews Dr. Dustin Benge of Southern Seminary about the two sermons he gave at the 2019 Cruciform Conference concerning the cruciform gospel. Dustin preached from Titus 3 and posed 4 questions to consider: Where does a cruciform gospel start? What does a...

Ep. 026 | Michelle Lesley Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 026 | Michelle Lesley Interview — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews Michelle Lesley of michellelesley.com and A Word Fitly Spoken podcast about Feminism, femininity, biblical womanhood, and Moore. Michelle is a wife, mother, and blogger. You won't want to miss this hard-hitting interview! 🙂 [content type=page...

Psalm 119:125-128— God’s Law > Everything on Earth

Psalm 119:125-128— God’s Law > Everything on Earth

Thus, David begins the end of this octet with the proclamation that God’s precepts are right. All of them! And thus it follows that every other way is false and therefore worthy of disposal. It is not enough for the Christian to say “I believe what I believe but I won’t judge someone else for their beliefs.” This is as hateful as letting a child play with a fork near an outlet or walk through a parking lot with his or her hand unheld. When you love someone, you do what you can to protect them while they are weak, teach them how to protect themselves so they’ll grow, and warn them of the very real dangers they are ignorant of.

Ep. 025 | Various Interviews — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 025 | Various Interviews — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews a few more interesting people from the Cruciform Conference. Micah Hasty of Micah Hasty Music https://twitter.com/themicahandrew Josh Hamon of https://theministryofwar.com/ Bryan Lamb of https://www.garageministries.com/ [content type=page...

Ep. 024 | Kofi Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 024 | Kofi Interview — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews Kofi regarding his sermon, Hebrews 12: Cross Purchased Discipline. This discussion will edify saints as you get the benefit of the hours of study which was put in before the Cruciform Conference in Indianapolis. Also, we hear about Kofi's church's...

That Ain’t Your Mama’s Hyssop

That Ain’t Your Mama’s Hyssop

David is guilty of the death of Uriah (2 Samuel 11:15). Although he hadn’t physically touched Uriah’s dead body, there is a sense of uncleanness because of his involvement in Uriah’s death. So when David cries out to the Lord to be purged with hyssop, he is calling on God to cleanse him from his sin. David could have offered more sacrifices than nearly anyone who has ever lived. He was a rich man! But he knew that God delights in “a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart,” rather than animal sacrifices (Psalm 51:16-17), and certainly hyssop is similarly a prefigurement of something…or Someone.

All The More They Were Eager

All The More They Were Eager

It is the law of God, held before a sinner, that exposes and even entices the indwelling sin. Remember Romans 7? Consider verse 8: “But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.” There is something about God’s correction which actually livens up the sin that at times lays dormant in our flesh.

The picture that Zephaniah provides to us is a picture of sinners who purposed in their hearts to make all their deeds corrupt. It wasn’t enough that they had fallen short of God’s commands, broken His covenant, and lived in rebellion. Upon hearing of their own deserved judgment, their response is eagerness to make all their deeds corrupt.

Psalm 119:121-124— Deliverance

Psalm 119:121-124— Deliverance

ot only are we promised deliverance from our own cursed flesh, but we are promised freedom from the evil of this world. We long to see the day when all of God’s enemies are finally made a footstool (Hebrews 1:13) so that we might be delivered from them! Our suffering and oppression, although ordained by God and granted by God (Philippians 1:29) is nevertheless something we naturally want to avoid. We long for the time and place where God will wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4), where there will be no more pain and no more death. Suffering and pain are results of the curse, and all creation groans to be delivered—ourselves included (Romans 8:22-23). It is this meaningful focus on future deliverance that strengthens the child of God for every circumstance in this world. We are not promised health and wealth now, but when we inherit all the rewards earned by the Christ, we will be glad we traded none of them for temporary comfort!

Psalm 119:117-120 — God Discards the Dross

Psalm 119:117-120 — God Discards the Dross

God’s holy hatred for sinners is pure and so much more terrifying than we tend to want to think about. The KJV says, “Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes,” and the sense is truly terrible. There is no mercy for the wicked when God’s judgment comes. Therefore, we must all the more earnestly tell sinners of the mercy of God which can be found today. And we must never diminish the terror of the Lord. The heathen will rage (Psalm 2:1) and the weak of heart will accuse us of fear-mongering, but there can be no compromise when we preach the wrath of God because to tone down God’s hatred for sinners has the practical effect of diminishing Christ’s love for sinners, as well.

Psalm 119:113-116 — My Hiding Place and My Shield

Psalm 119:113-116 — My Hiding Place and My Shield

Not only is God our hiding place, but He is our shield. He is our defense against everything hurled toward us by the enemy. There is no condemnation from God for those who are in Christ Jesus, the hiding place, but the condemnation of men is in ample supply. God does not promise that his people will avoid attacks from evildoers. But He acts as our shield. It is God who takes the brunt of the punishment when we are accosted for our faith (Acts 9:5). With a shield, we will still feel the impact of the blows and experience the heat of the battle, but we will not receive a fatal blow until the shield determines it is time.

Psalm 119:109-112 — Sorrows, Snares, Sons, and a Savior

Psalm 119:109-112 — Sorrows, Snares, Sons, and a Savior

The Antidote to Sorrows Psalms 119:109  I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. David was no stranger to danger. He was constantly threatened, yet refused to forget God's law. He wrote, "I hold my life in my hand continually..." and this...

Psalm 119:105-108 — Freewill, Oaths, and More Affliction

Psalm 119:105-108 — Freewill, Oaths, and More Affliction

God's Word Lights The Way Psalms 119:105 ESV  Nun Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. The 14th octet of this great psalm begins with this oft memorized declaration about God's illuminating Word. The psalmist notes that God's word is a lamp to his...

Suicide Thoughts

Suicide Thoughts

Thus, we need to be careful when we are talking about folks who committed suicide. Too often I think we skirt around the issue of calling it sin, or even murder. Most people who commit suicide do it as the result of some sort of depression and I think we almost excuse it a little in our minds. It seems rather callous to call a guy who was so depressed he took his own life a murderer. But truth is worthless if it is hidden (Matthew 5:15).

Psalm 119:101-104 — Sweeter Than Honey

Psalm 119:101-104 — Sweeter Than Honey

Honey is never bitter or sour, and neither is the Bible to the adopted child of God. We taste it, take it within ourselves, and then come back for more. But like honey, it has to be searched for and found, then extracted from its comb. Honey doesn’t come from Heaven in jars. There is danger and even peril in taking the fruit of the bee, and we also must be willing to endure trial when we dig into God’s Word. You may even get stung!

Polyamory and a Jealous God

Polyamory and a Jealous God

One of the ways we proclaim our great Savior to the world is through the institution of marriage. Marriage is a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:32). We reflect God's faithfulness, mercy, and love when we love our spouse the way He has...

Psalm 119:97-100 — Elevated Wisdom

Psalm 119:97-100 — Elevated Wisdom

What's Your Meditation? Psalms 119:97 ESV  Mem Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. The book of psalms starts out with Blessed is the man who delights in God's law and meditates on it day and night (Psalm 1:1-2). That recurring theme is not lost on...

Psalm 119:93-96 — Limited Perfection

Psalm 119:93-96 — Limited Perfection

We Remember Psalms 119:93 ESV I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. One of the most depressing themes of scripture is the frequency and ease with which the people of God tend to forget what He has said. The Scripture is replete with...

Ep. 022 | Getting Apostasy Right — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 022 | Getting Apostasy Right — TAU Roundtable

Michael, Tim, and George discuss the New Covenant promise of the perseverance of the saints and Tim’s article “Choked Out by Thorns.” How are we to think about folks who fall away like Joshua Harris or Marty Sampson? What assurance can a Christian have in this life that they will truly be preserved to the end?

What steps can someone take to make their calling and election sure and watch out for their brethren?

Psalm 119:89-92 — Established

Psalm 119:89-92 — Established

Firmly Fixed Psalms 119:89 ESV  Lamedh Forever, O Yahweh, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. It is hard to believe we are starting the second half of Psalm 119. It has taken over 6 months and anyone involved in this devotion or memorizing this psalm has...

Psalm 119:85-88 — They Have Dug Pitfalls

Psalm 119:85-88 — They Have Dug Pitfalls

Insolent Pitfalls! Psalms 119:85  The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law. There is a principle which plays out in the life of every true Christian. And that is the world will hate you because they hated your master, Jesus. The...

Psalm 119:81-84 — Our Whole Being Longs for God

Psalm 119:81-84 — Our Whole Being Longs for God

We Have No Other Hope Psalms 119:81  Kaph My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. The Kaph octave begins with a description of deep longing. The word for long in verses 81 and 82 is the same word used in verse 87 where the psalmist laments that the...

When Battling the Culture

When Battling the Culture

Christians are in a constant battle with the culture because Christianity is opposed to the culture. A better way of saying it would be that the culture, or world, is opposed to Christ...and thus, Christianity. Many Christians seem to be particularly gifted or...

Speaking at Upward? No Testimony, Please…

Speaking at Upward? No Testimony, Please…

What would you do if you were asked to give the "message" at halftime of an Upward Sports match? This situation really comes up, and Christians with sound theology need to be ready at all times to present God's Word to the world. A Twitter friend asked this question...

Psalm 119:77-80 — May God Supply!

Psalm 119:77-80 — May God Supply!

In the second half of the Yodh octave, we continue the series of supplications that David is making of the Lord. In Psalm 119:76, he refers to God's promise of salvation and his desire for the comfort of God's. The last four verses of that section build on that theme....

Ep. 021 | Getting the New Covenant Right — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 021 | Getting the New Covenant Right — TAU Roundtable

Michael and George discuss the New Covenant. This covenant is unmixed, unbreakable and unconditional. This is the first in a series where we will define the New Covenant, discuss its implications, apply it to the Christian life, and then contrast it to errors that...

Psalm 119:73-76 — Sovereign Creator

Psalm 119:73-76 — Sovereign Creator

The most fondly looked upon saints in history were built up in the faith (Jude 1:20) through their own suffering which led to earnest prayer. And they, like the faithful ones of Hebrews 11, looked forward to God’s promise to his servant to endure. It is the hope of Heaven that allows weak vessels to remain faithful during suffering. It is the promise that God will not lose any of His sheep that provides the strength to do good in the midst of evil. And it is the comfort we find in God’s steadfast love toward us that motivates us to be still and know that He is God when the only hope we have is that he will do all that He has promised, even when all earthly evidence appears to the contrary.

Psalm 119:69-72 — More Affliction?

Psalm 119:69-72 — More Affliction?

Smearing With Lies Psalms 119:69  The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts; We’ve seen throughout Psalm 119 that the psalmist is no stranger to affliction. He is humble, honest, and strives to serve the Lord with all his heart. He...

Psalm 119:65-68 — Afflicted by God

Psalm 119:65-68 — Afflicted by God

Here is where we arrive at meat and potatoes of Psalm 119: the Teth octave. Why do God's people suffer affliction? Are they not to be rewarded for their love and devotion to Him? What message does it portray to the unbelieving world when God cannot even protect His...

Psalm 119:61-64 — Companionship

Psalm 119:61-64 — Companionship

The Cords of the Wicked Psalms 119:61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law. We have seen the psalmist proclaim the excellencies of loving God's law even in the midst of trouble (Psalm 119:23). Now we find language reminiscent of Psalm...

Psalm 119:57-60 — What’s Your Portion?

Psalm 119:57-60 — What’s Your Portion?

ou would spit out foul tasting food the moment it touched your tongue. You’d remove your hand from a fire before you could feel the heat. Without planning, we rarely go more than a few hours without a meal. We naturally recoil from things we dislike and naturally crave that which will nourish us when we need it. So why is it that you are able to go so long without feasting on God’s Word? Why do you linger so long with sin and temptations to sin? Why does your mind not recoil from wicked thoughts as your hand from a hot flame? The answer is that a part of us still likes the sin, still finds enjoyment there rather than in Jesus.

Ep. 018 | Persecution — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 018 | Persecution — TAU Roundtable

In this episode, the guys welcomed our newest TAU member, George Alvarado, and discussed the recent events concerning a Rugby player whose life has been altered because of some biblical comments he made. See the article discussed here:...

Psalm 119:53-56 — Righteous Anger?

Psalm 119:53-56 — Righteous Anger?

The goal of growing in godliness is to become more like Christ and think His thoughts after Him (2 Corinthians 10:5). But what many of us do is to become so committed to “never getting angry anymore” that instead of avoiding anger because it’s sinful and we hate it, we simply avoid the thoughts or emotions that ever even evoke anger from us. We become stoics out of strict pragmatism. We have traded sinful anger for sinful legalism. When what we ought to do is follow the man, Jesus Christ, who experienced all the temptations we do, yet exercised perfect anger, never sinning as the result. Avoiding anger altogether because you indulged too deeply in that sin before conversion is akin to avoiding church because you were a religious zealot before Christ. Put away the old—but put on the new.

Serving Two Masters: STTA!

Serving Two Masters: STTA!

Something To Think About! I believe most Christians understand Christ's teaching about serving two masters. Jesus says "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot...

God Hears Your Prayers: STTA!

God Hears Your Prayers: STTA!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The first verse of the Bible as well as basic reasoning each point to God as the creator of the world. Nothing exists without Him. He is all-powerful. There is no being greater than He is. No being...

Psalm 119:49-52 — Comfort Amidst Affliction

Psalm 119:49-52 — Comfort Amidst Affliction

when we are confronted with the temptation to be ashamed of God or His law, our only hope is to continue to trust in God and His Word! Christian, have you ever felt the need to apologize for God? How about when nonbelievers accuse God of evil because He judges His own creation? Or when God has provisions for slave owners in His Word? What about severe penalties for seemingly minor sins in Israel’s civil law? It is precisely because God’s ways are so different from ours that the wicked scoff at Him and His ways. Flee the temptation to apologize for God and to present Him as more palatable to the unregenerate heart—do not turn away from His law and His Word!

Psalm 119:45-48 — A Wide Place

Psalm 119:45-48 — A Wide Place

In verse 48, notice the repetition of the psalmist’s love for God’s commandments with is a little detail added. For what we find our delight in we will soon find ourselves giving our lives to. Is it not so with you, dear saint, that you dedicate the most time, effort, and energy toward that which you love the most? You want to know what a man loves? Direct your attention to where he spends his money, his time, and his gaze, and you will quickly know!

Careful With Your Mocking: STTA!

Careful With Your Mocking: STTA!

Something To Think About! There is no excuse for mocking someone's God-given looks, disabilities or impediments, or incidental things like the name their parents' gave them. It is not only ungodly behavior, but it is ineffective even from a pragmatic point of view. It...

Psalm 119:41-44 — Answering the Taunter

Psalm 119:41-44 — Answering the Taunter

Secondly, we are reminded that the God of the Old Testament is the same God as the God of the New Testament and that He is a God of love. But not only is God love, what is striking is that He loves me. It is God’s love that is on display at the cross, and David well knows that he has no hope of delighting in the path of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:35) or keeping God’s law (Psalm 119:34) unless God “makes the first move.” We love because He first loved us! In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and gave His Son to be a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:19,10)!

Should You Attend a Catholic Wedding or Funeral?

Should You Attend a Catholic Wedding or Funeral?

It's a question which many Christians face: Should I attend my friend or family member's Catholic wedding or funeral? Is that the same as being unequally yoked with non-believers? What if someone there gets the wrong idea about what I believe? Does my presence there...

What Time Is Purple? (Evangelism Report)

Thanks to Wretched Radio and a whole host of financial sponsors, I received 1000 copies of Tom Hammond's book "What Time Is Purple?" for distribution on the campus of The Ohio State University. You can participate by being a distributor or by donating money so that...

Psalm 119:37-40 — Behold God’s Promise

Psalm 119:37-40 — Behold God’s Promise

Turn My Eyes Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. David has prayed throughout this Psalm, and particularly in the first half of the He octave, for a heart that truly delights in God's ways (Psalm...

Psalm 119:33-36 — Seeking The Way

Psalm 119:33-36 — Seeking The Way

Seek Him Psalm 119:33 He Teach me, O Yahweh, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. As we begin the fifth octave, we find the psalmist repeating the desire to be taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Knowing that we have no hope apart from the...

Don’t Mention the Tension: STTA!

Don’t Mention the Tension: STTA!

Somewhere along the way, Denny, we have to reckon with the fact that we - myself included - went too far. We put limitations on women that exceeded what Christ demonstrated. We did it instead of wrestling with the tension between the Gospels & epistles. We’re...

Discernment: STTA!

Discernment: STTA!

Something To Think About! If I ordered seeds for my garden, and you replaced my tomato seeds with poison ivy, I'd have no idea! I would have no choice but to plant the seed, water it, and encourage its growth, only to be disappointed (or even poisoned) in the end. But...

Psalm 119:29-32 — Shame Shifting

Psalm 119:29-32 — Shame Shifting

Lying Lips Psalms 119:29 ESV Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! In the first half of the “Daleth” octet, we saw the psalmist confess to God and ask the Lord to guide him to greater understanding, so that he might not continue to sin against...

Hey, About Your Prodigal…

Hey, About Your Prodigal…

The Scene John (in regard to "spiritual children") said that he has no greater joy than to hear that his children walk in the truth (3 John 1:4). Inversely, how great is the despair experienced by the parents of a son or daughter who follows the wide road? I have...

Psalm 119:25-28 — Thirst and Life

Psalm 119:25-28 — Thirst and Life

Thirsty For Life? Psalms 119:25 ESV Daleth. My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! What is brought to your mind when you read this verse? What does it mean for a soul to "cling to the dust?" I think a good clue is in the second clause: "give...

Psalm 119:21-24 — The Comfort of God

Psalm 119:21-24 — The Comfort of God

When we face trials of any kind, only the comfort of God can truly satisfy a man's soul. Where do we find this comfort? Against what type of trials will this comfort suffice? What do we draw upon and from when the world gives us all it's got? Answers are given in...

Discipleship is Not a Luxury – It’s a Necessity

Discipleship is Not a Luxury – It’s a Necessity

If you could cut me and examine my blood, I imagine aside from the physical components, you would find four elements in there. You'd find love for Christ, love for my wife, love for my football team (or soccer for my American friends), and a love for making disciples....

Patience vs Passivity: STTA!

Patience vs Passivity: STTA!

Something To Think About! The fruit of the Spirit includes patience. Being impatient is sin and ought to be treated as such and mortified. It's a common theme, even among those who are not Christian, to view patience as a virtue. Patience, or impatience, is still a...

Psalm 119:17-20 — Open My Eyes!

Psalm 119:17-20 — Open My Eyes!

Welcome to another pSaturday Psalm! This week we enter a new octet. Psalm 119:17 starts with the letter "Gimel." One thing I realized for those who memorize this passage of scripture — when you've finished you'll know the Hebrew alphabet! This octet continues the...

Psalm 119:13-16 — Declare and Delight!

Psalm 119:13-16 — Declare and Delight!

Psalm 119:13-16 ESV With my lips I declare the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. As we've...

Psalm 119:9-12 — Purity is the Objective

Psalm 119:9-12 — Purity is the Objective

This week's memory verses bring us deeper into this blessed Psalm and introduce a biblical term which is under-used and not often understood—purity. As we continue to study Psalm 119 and memorize it, I trust that God is causing you to meditate on His Word throughout...

Ep. 014 | Allen Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 014 | Allen Interview — TAU Roundtable

Tune in as we get to know the writers of Things Above Us. Up next is our author and Arky, Allen Nelson. See all posts in this series [loop type="post" taxonomy="tag" value="interviews" format="clean" orderby=date...

Psalm 119:5-8 — Blessed!

Psalm 119:5-8 — Blessed!

As I meditated on Psalm 119:5-8 this week, I was overwhelmed by the psalmist's obvious love for the Lord Jesus Christ. What is remarkable about my observation is that nowhere in the first 40 verses of this glorious psalm does the term love even appear. The legalist...

Psalm 119:1-4 — Blessed!

Psalm 119:1-4 — Blessed!

What an exciting and blessed year 2019 is going to be. If you don't already know this about me, I am a serious proponent of scripture memory. In fact, I started a website dedicated to helping people memorize scripture. You can see it at memorizethescripture.com. Maybe...

God Blesses Preaching

God Blesses Preaching

Hi Michael, I was just thinking about you, our conversation almost two years ago now. I wanted you to know that I'm saved, Michael! It feels so amazing, and I still struggle to make sense of the burden that has been lifted in my life. I have been personally thanking...

How Does This Loss Make You Feel?

How Does This Loss Make You Feel?

I am a poor sport and a sore loser and, needless to say, highly competitive. When I have lost a basketball game or lost at bowling or golf, or whatever the event may be, one of the last things I feel like doing is shaking the hand of whoever bested me that day. It's a...

Are We Against Santa or For Truth?

Are We Against Santa or For Truth?

"Do you know what your daughter did?" my in-laws asked me. They were clearly quite concerned and disappointed in her. Knowing my daughter's behavioral issues, I readied myself for the worst. "She told her cousins Santa Claus isn't real," they said. Phew! I breathed a...

Guess Who’s Coming to Town?

Guess Who’s Coming to Town?

This Christmas I want you to be prepared for someone who is "coming to town." And, no, I do not mean Santa Claus. It seems every Christmas a few people always appear on the scene and present situations where Christians need to respond appropriately. Four people who...

2018 End of Season Ministry Report for tOSU

2018 End of Season Ministry Report for tOSU

Just four months ago I was getting ready to do evangelism at the Ohio State University's home football games. Four months later, I fulfilled my commitment by preaching at all 7 home games. By God's grace, I was also able to preach at an away game in Ann Arbor with...

Blessed!

Blessed!

In Psalm 32, David recounts the joy he experiences knowing that God has forgiven his sin. Psalms 32:1-2 ESV A Maskil of David. 1Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and...

Envy: Beastmode Gone Wrong

Envy: Beastmode Gone Wrong

Beast mode refers to a state of performing something, especially difficult activities, with extreme power, skill, or determination (dictionary.com). For sports enthusiasts, this is most commonly understood when Marshawn Lynch famously has torn through opposing...

Quit Wasting His Time!

Quit Wasting His Time!

Christians teach about the necessity of good stewardship regularly. Usually, this is in regards to money. But every gift from God is to be stewarded faithfully. Notice in  1 Corinthians 4:2 (ESV) "Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful." I...

No One Understands Like Jesus

No One Understands Like Jesus

The idea that a shared experience is necessary for someone to be truly able to help another person is a pretty commonly held belief. It seems to be a truism that someone who has "been there" is able to empathize with an affliction you are suffering in a way others may...

When Prioritizing Family

When Prioritizing Family

In today's Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon, the morning reading touched on the tendency of some men to withhold their finances from the work of God, in order that they may take care of their families. You can read the entire devotional here (and I recommend...

5 People Not to Be During Someone Else’s Trial

5 People Not to Be During Someone Else’s Trial

We recently began a journey through the book of James at Perryville Second Baptist. As I studied through James 1:2-12, I thought about some of the unhelpful people I’ve encountered during a personal trial, or a trial that someone else was going through. In today’s...

Isaac’s Dilemma

Isaac’s Dilemma

"I'm homosexual," Isaac told me, "and I don't think I could give up the happiness it brings me and deny who I am — for something I am not certain about." This was Isaac's response to a question I asked him. What preceded and what followed the above response is the...

Psalm 34:16 – God Has Chosen Sides

Psalm 34:16 – God Has Chosen Sides

Psalm 34 has a definite structure. The first third of the Psalm is David recounting God's faithfulness. He rehearses it again and again: God answered him, God heard him, God encamps around him, and on and on it goes. There's a give and take, David exalts God and God...

Total Depravity – Misapplied

Total Depravity – Misapplied

The photo to the right made its way around the internet and into my email. The gist is clear — it's designed to exhibit that everyone suffers from "Total Depravity." Haha. I get it. The idea is that the image is fixed and not actually testing anyone for any of the...

When You Sense That “Nudge”

When You Sense That “Nudge”

It’s a universal human experience: a thought pops into your mind unexpectedly. Or suddenly you sense that you should do something. For the Christian who is led by the Spirit of God (Gal 5:25), the question naturally arises, “What (or Who) is that?” Is it God? Is it the Devil? Heartburn? How do we explain these experiences? And how do we use these moments for the glory of God?

So You Signed Up to Coach…

So You Signed Up to Coach…

I remember the time clearly. My baby boy (who is now 16) had finally grown to an age where playing an organized sport was possible and sensible. As seems to be the case perpetually, the league needed coaches, so I signed up to coach. I was happy to help, and my...

Ep. 007 | Matthew 13 Parables — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 007 | Matthew 13 Parables — TAU Roundtable

In TAU Roundtable 007, the guys talk about parables from Matthew 13. What are parables? Why did Jesus use them? And how do we apply them to our lives? Then the team gives their sports hot takes.

Trinitarian Prayer

Trinitarian Prayer

Let not your hearts be troubled, dear saint of God. For the Father elected you, the Son paid your debt and the Spirit resurrected you and indwells you. The God of the universe has set His love upon you and even so, the whole trinity works in unity to bring you to perfection through intercession on your behalf. Be of good cheer as you consider this glorious truth!

You Have Dealt Well with Your Servant (Psalm 119:65-72)

You Have Dealt Well with Your Servant (Psalm 119:65-72)

This week's pSaturday Psalm comes from Psalm 119:65-72. Psalm 119 is a wonderful psalm that is really a "love poem," so to speak, about God's word! It is the longest chapter in the Bible — composed of 22 8 verse stanzas where the first letter of each line in a stanza...

A 9/11 Survivor Tells Her Story

A 9/11 Survivor Tells Her Story

September 11, 2001 is a day many people will never forget. My friend Angela Braxton was in one of the buildings that was crashed into that day and survived the tragedy.

At the time she nearly died from the events of 9/11, she was a non-believer abiding in the wrath of almighty God. But God has different plans for her.

Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Hell?

Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Hell?

"What is the Reformed Baptist view regarding those who commit suicide?" This question was posted on Facebook. The answers vary between "never saved to begin with," to "Jesus' blood covers it." This is one of those questions that is likely to evoke an emotional...

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to a baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound, and he found that he was not. This angered him, and he took the farmer to court. The judge asked the farmer what he was using to...

Quick Thoughts on Greetings

Quick Thoughts on Greetings

Why does the Holy Spirit tell us to greet one another throughout the New Testament? I believe that the Lord wants us to greet one another, and, like all Christian virtue, we are apt to forget his command or disobey it, as long as we are on this side of glory. I'll let...

Psalm 34:4-5 Never Ashamed

Psalm 34:4-5 Never Ashamed

 Verses 4-5 I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed. {Psa 34:4-5 NASB} Verses 4-7 start to develop the themes of brokenness that dominate most of the rest of...

Who’s the Weaker Brother, Here?

Who’s the Weaker Brother, Here?

The Premise Are those who are in opposition to the current SJWCROWD rhetoric concerning racism simply weaker brothers? A kind Christian on Twitter thought maybe that is how the SJWCROWD thinks. His point was that the SJWCROWD obviously considers themselves the...

Praise Yahweh (the LORD) – Psalm 117

Praise Yahweh (the LORD) – Psalm 117

God has provided us with His Word that we might know Him and praise Him. Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter of the Bible, yet it is packed with God-glorifying wisdom, truth, and comfort. Let's take a look at it! Psalm 117 (ESV) 1 Praise Yahweh, all nations! Extol him,...

A Letter to a New Believer

A Letter to a New Believer

I received a question about how to grow as a Christian and what advice I would offer to someone who was recently converted on how to "practically" mature in the faith. The person specifically stated "I need a literal path, not just read your Bible, attend church,...

When the Honeymoon is Over

When the Honeymoon is Over

I assume everyone reading this blog is already familiar with the phrase 'the honeymoon is over.' It's the accepted fact that after newlyweds are finished with their honeymoon, (and real-life begins, *gasp*), that the excitement of being married is no longer novel, and...

Everyone is an Evangelist

Everyone is an Evangelist

Christianity seems to be marked by a divide between people who actively evangelize and those who do not. Clearly, some folks are particularly burdened about and gifted concerning the dissemination of the Christian gospel. But it is also generally understood that ALL...

Review: Lemuel Haynes, The Black Puritan

Review: Lemuel Haynes, The Black Puritan

Christian biographies are some of the most enjoyable books to read, in my opinion. I love to hear how God saved a man (or woman), and what good work the Lord did in that person's life, and through that person. The biography of Lemuel Haynes, by Pastor Luke Walker...

Ministry Update – College Football

Ministry Update – College Football

On the 25th of June, 2018, the Lord Jesus Christ granted me an opportunity to preach the Word to a college football team. There's a school in Ohio that is not a Christian University, but, due to some Christian faculty in the athletic department, I was asked to bring a...

Help a Brother Out – An Exhortation to Christian Drinkers

Help a Brother Out – An Exhortation to Christian Drinkers

Christians have a variety of opinions on alcohol use. For this post, we are going to work out from the idea that Christians are free to drink alcohol, however, becoming drunk is always a sin. But, although Christians are not required biblically to partake of total...

A Christian View of Immigration

A Christian View of Immigration

What a mess. That, really, is the only way to describe what is happening on the southern border of the United States right now and, frankly, for several decades. In no rational world can the situation there be described as anything other than a complete mess. It is a...

When Comparisons Fail

When Comparisons Fail

June 22, 2018: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused service at a restaurant called the Red Hen in Virginia. By all accounts, the exchange went as well as you'd hope an exchange like this to go: those with Sanders sticking by their friend...

Christian, Stop Saying You’re Sorry

Christian, Stop Saying You’re Sorry

One of the core tenets of Christianity is the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47; Colossians 1:14). To put it another way, without the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of Jesus Christ ceases to make any sense at all. In that respect, the forgiveness of sins is an...

Finding the Gospel in the NBA Finals

Finding the Gospel in the NBA Finals

Start Here The NBA Finals are upon us again. For the 8th straight year Lebron James leads a team from the Eastern Conference while the Goliath of the West, the Warriors, are looking to solidify themselves as maybe the greatest team ever to play. Here at Things Above...

A Guide to Family Worship

A Guide to Family Worship

I did not grow up in a Christian family, so family worship was not something that was modeled for me when I was growing up. Additionally, my first decade as a Christian didn't include a lot of teaching or discussion on the topic of family worship. So a few years ago...

Making the Best Use of the Time

Making the Best Use of the Time

The Will of the Lord In Ephesians 5:16, Paul instructs the church to make the best use of the time (commonly known as redeeming the time). The Apostle reminds his readers that the days we are living in are evil, and that only a fool would live in such a way that he is...

Review: The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible

Review: The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible

The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible is an excellent resource for parents of small children! Positive Review This book is THICK and HEAVY. The pages are strong, able to withstand the awkward turning of toddler hands, which is essential for a book for small children. Each...

The Urgency of Scripture Memorization

The Urgency of Scripture Memorization

These are just a few of the excuses I’ve heard, and I don’t buy any of them. Scripture memorization being difficult for you is all the more reason you should strive to do it! And I don’t think it’s an unnecessary or legalistic yoke to place on you, as the Scripture itself is full of references which can only be rightly interpreted as requiring memorization. How do you expect to meditate on God’s Word day and night if you don’t have it in your heart? How shall a young man keep his way pure when he encounters temptation? Jesus quoted Scripture from memory in the wilderness, let him be your example.

On the Election of Infants – Part 2

On the Election of Infants – Part 2

Earlier, we reviewed four of the six reasonable categories (Click here to read Part 1) one can fall in concerning their belief about the election of infants. Many folks have argued whether babies go to Heaven for centuries. For the sake of ease of writing, I will use...

On the Election of Infants – Part 1

On the Election of Infants – Part 1

What Happens When a Baby Dies? Many folks have argued whether babies go to Heaven for centuries. Instead of putting forth an argument, per se, I want to summarize what the possible positions one can take would be, and at least try to eliminate the ones that seem...

How to Evangelize a City

How to Evangelize a City

How would you go about evangelizing a city? What are some strategic ideas for reaching God's elect in the town where God has placed you or your church? Photo by malcolm lightbody on Unsplash The Foundation According to Romans 10:13–17 (and the rest of the Bible), it...

3 Things Christian Men Should Stop Calling Their Wives

3 Things Christian Men Should Stop Calling Their Wives

When we write or speak, we are communicating thoughts, and those thoughts either reflect biblical orthodoxy or they do not. Carelessness in speech, although not criminal, is still an outpouring of a heart that isn't really striving for godliness (Matthew 12:36–37)....

Recent Racist Rhetoric Reflections

Recent Racist Rhetoric Reflections

Hot Take My take on the recent rhetoric about race. There really is evil in the world in the form of racism. Like abortion, some Christians are on the front lines fighting that evil as the outworking of their faith in Christ. This is a good thing. Some Christians are...

Sad Facts About Racism

Sad Facts About Racism

Try to picture this in your mind. It's February 29, 2016. John Connell was stopping at the grocery store to pick up a few items. Seeing a lady exiting the store as he was about to enter, John rushes to the door and opens it for her. Bad move, John! The lady walks...

Run to Him

Run to Him

My older son was outside playing basketball down the street. He had stopped to wave at me as I drove past him on my way home from work. I walked in the door of my house and looked around. My wife was in the kitchen putting the final touches on dinner, and my youngest...

I Can Only Imagine – Official Movie Review

I Can Only Imagine – Official Movie Review

If you told me that somewhere in a secret lab a group of scientists spliced the DNA of Sean Astin (Rudy, Amazing Love) and combined it with DNA from Kevin James (King of Queens, Kevin Can Wait) in order to create J. Michael Finley, the main character of I Can Only...

No, We Do Not Need to Own Hitler

No, We Do Not Need to Own Hitler

1 You can hardly visit a social media thread/debate without seeing the commission of countless logical fallacies. The level at which unregenerate people and immature/uneducated Christians commit logical fallacies is only eclipsed by their perceived mastery of them....

Varieties of Gifts

Varieties of Gifts

One thing I've noticed over the past several decades of watching the NFL playoffs and Super Bowls is that the teams that go to the playoffs and deepest into the playoffs have the most Pro-Bowl selections. What is striking, though is the team with the NFL rushing...

International Women’s Day & Knowledge of God

International Women’s Day & Knowledge of God

If you venture to Google.com on March 8 of any year, you'll find a doodle promoting International Women's Day. I want to draw your attention to this screenshot from 2018's doodle. It's a depiction of women in all sorts of professional roles, presumably roles they once...

2018 Arnold Classic Outreach Report

2018 Arnold Classic Outreach Report

The Lord Jesus Christ blessed us with pleasant weather and friendly crowds at the 2018 Arnold Classic Outreach in Columbus, OH. The Arnold Classic is an international exposition featuring athletes from a number of different sports including, bodybuilding,...

Small Prayers, Great God

Small Prayers, Great God

I had just finished listening to a wonderful message from Paul David Tripp at G3 2018 on Parenting. I hung around, chatting with a few folks after the message, and then made my way to the bookstore to grab Tripp’s book on the subject. Sadly, they were already sold out...

From Death to Life – Book Update

From Death to Life – Book Update

(Photo Credit: Stephen J. Melniszyn) I've had several people asking me about where I am on my current book project, so I thought I'd have a place where I could point folks to give them the latest on how things are progressing. I'm pretty new to this book...

Do ALL Things Without Complaining?

Do ALL Things Without Complaining?

My wife posted the quote below on Facebook in regard to complaining: If you are a sovereigntist, or one who believes in the absolute sovereignty of our God, and you gripe or complain about your circumstances, you're being a hypocrite; for you demonstrate, with your...

Things Above Us?

Things Above Us?

Colossians 3:1-2 is, in essence, the theme of this blog. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of...

Be Like Mike?

Be Like Mike?

It seems everyone in the conservative evangelical world is trying to think more creatively about what to do to get people in church. Or how to 'be the church', which of course you can't 'be the church' if you're not regularly gathering as a local church. In today’s...

It Hurts Right Here

It Hurts Right Here

The Problem A few months ago I developed a tightness in my right Achilles tendon when squatting. When I would hit the bottom of a squat, I would feel a burning sensation where the tendon attaches to my heel. Realizing it was not correct, I stopped achieving full range...

Dispensing the Gospel to a Graduate

Dispensing the Gospel to a Graduate

Introduction This is the first in a series of posts where I hope to provide training and encouragement to dear Christian brothers and sisters who want to dispense the gospel in various situations. [bctt tweet="For many people, giving the gospel to family and friends...

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 2

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 2

I established last post that the very fact that you're reading this is a testimony to God's grace on multiple levels. If you haven't read that post yet, you'll want to just to have some context for this one. At the age of 17, in 2003, I began helping co-lead our Youth...

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 1

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 1

The incessant beeping confused me at first. The last thing I remembered doing was cashing my check in the bank, and stopping by the Bubble© machine on the way out to waste a quarter on some gum. It was December 20, 2002.  I was 16 years old, and had one of my first...

My Wife’s Stroke and The Upside Down

My Wife’s Stroke and The Upside Down

In Stranger Things episode eight, Chief Hopper and Joyce enter “The Upside Down” for the first time in their search for young Will, who had been abducted by a predatory humanoid creature called a “Demogorgan.” For those of you who haven’t seen the series just yet (are...