Praise Habit Saturday, Sep 30 2006 

Who would think a worship leader would make a great
theologian? I sure didn’t but I had $15 worth of
credit to the book store so a few days ago I bought
Praise Habit by David Crowder, worship leader of
University Baptist Church in Texas and lead guitarist
and singer of the popular David Crowder Band. I didn’t
know what to expect, maybe a fun and happy book about
God but I never expected to be challenged and have my
thinking changed. I was wrong.
This book was written in an easy to read and engaging
manner that made me turn every page. I flew through
this book not because the content was easy but because
the content was so engaging and challenging. David
starts off by talking about habits and how most people
automatically associate the word “habit” with “bad
habit.” He then goes into the habits of our lives and
how we can alter silly things like a greeting if we
only cognitively think about it for 21 days (on
average). A word study he did revealed that our
English word habit is the same word for the dress of
nuns. It is a dress that sets them apart, makes them
radical and everyone knows what they are doing when
they wear it, why they wear it, and almost everyone
respects them for it. Their “habit” is part of their
lives. We too should have a habit we put on everyday157683670301_bo2204203200_pisitb-dp-500-arrowtopright45-64_aa240_sh20_sclzzzzzzz_.jpg
but this habit is not a tangible outer layer but the
spiritual layer of Christ as Romans 13:14 says,
“Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no
provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.” Our
praise habit should become our “praise Christ” as we
“put on Christ.”
This is a simple yet profound idea that I found really
challenging and encouraging. More on this book later,
but I surely recommend it along with David’s music.

Captivated Wednesday, Sep 27 2006 

Many of my female friends had been encouraging me to read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. I have already read John’s prior book, Wild at Heart, and knew him to be an honest writer with a true heart after God’s original plan for his creation, specifically men and women and their biblical roles. I really enjoyed Captivating because although it was focused on a female audience it really captured so much of what we, as people, care most about, being accepted and loved for who we are. We were created to be loved and to love. In the image of the Trinitarian community, where the Father, Son and Holy Spirit constantly enjoy perfect fellowship we, too, were created and long for that feeling of acceptance and love. John and Stasi do a wonderful job of addressing and opening up this subject through biblical examples as well as movies and books we are all familiar with. With all of the focus on human desires and longings, the one thing I felt that the book did not address is the depravity of the heart. Although we were created in God’s image and much of what we feel and experience is a product of being his creation there is also the corruption which proceeded out of the fall. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” With this simple, yet pivotal truth in mind we can read and enjoy so much of what John and Stasi share with us in this pleasant book.

It is different Monday, Sep 25 2006 

“Grace is the last word.” As Jesus hung, dying on the cross he said, “It is finished.” He completed the payment for redemption and opened the doors to forgiveness to all who would receive of the free gift.

            On Saturday morning Pastor John Love (Chaplain of the New York Knicks, Youth Pastor of Greater Grace World Outreach, and the Grace Hour radio host) spoke at the Annual New England Fall Youth Rally. His message was on Grace being the last word, the ending to the book. Pastor Love said that the free gift of grace from God is exclusive to Christianity and is one of the aspects that sets Christianity apart from any other religion. We serve a God who forgives us based upon his own sacrifice and not our good works.

            Many people will hear this message of grace and say that we preach grace too much. People will live in sin as a result of knowing they can receive forgiveness. However, the truth is that grace compels us to follow Christ. Imagine a father who has lived life well and who loves his child more than anything. When the child does something that is wrong, the father doesn’t look upon his wrong doing, but instead encourages and loves him. Soon the child will learn that his father is not telling him what to do simply because he has authority, but because he has lived life well and can impart wisdom to his child. As a result of this realization the father becomes a guiding beacon for the child and the child’s trust begins to grow because he knows the words the father speaks are truth. This is a picture of the Christian life, a loving, all knowing and all powerful God with our best interests in mind. He commands us in what we should and should not do because he knows what is best for us. It is through his great grace that we learn and grow in faith and knowledge of our Lord and, as a result, our own lives. 

 

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

 

2 Peter 3:18

Why I joined Student Gov’t at Gordon College Friday, Sep 22 2006 

I joined GCSA (Gordon College Student Association) because I love Gordon College and what it stands for. Being a Christian in the Northeast, let alone just outside of Boston, is rare and seen as ignorant by many people, especially academia. Gordon stands to reconcile this and to raise up intellectual Christians who will go into the working world and make a difference. It is my hope that by joining the GCSA I will be able to help Gordon achieve this purpose. I feel that it is important for me to be a part of the student government because I have a heart for the lost people of this world. For this reason, it is my hope to be able to use my position on the Gordon College Student Association to help steer Gordon College towards becoming a missional Liberal Arts school with a purpose of saving those who are lost.

Drop 2, Add 3 Saturday, Sep 2 2006 

A bunch of us started school this week. It was a really busy time trying to pack everything, move it, and set it up. Then start classes a day later only to figure out the schedule doesn’t work, drop half of your classes and add three more. Once the classes are figured out you need to get books, lots of them and for lots of money (some upwards 170 bucks). It was a long week, but the room is looking good, the schedule is set and, thanks to Amazon, the books are on their way. Here’s to another semester of school at Gordon College!

Blinked Friday, Sep 1 2006 

I just finished Blink by Malcom Gladwell. It was a very interesting book about the subconscious and its effect on our daily lives. Blink gives a number of examples of how in many situations people react without thinking due to their subconscious mind being more alert than their conscious mind. One great example used was of a fire fighter who told all of his men to get out of a house where they were fighting what seemed to be a small fire. He did not know why he did this but immediately after the men got out of the house the floor fell through the basement. If they had remained in the house they would have all been killed. In reality the fire was not only a small kitchen fire but the entire basement was on fire and the only place the flames were visible were behind the stove in the kitchen. After hours of a psychologist probing him to find out what exactly it was that made him make this decision it was found that there were a number of reasons however, he did not even think about these reasons on the sport. If he had taken the time to think about why certain things seemed wrong (ie. The temperature of the room) they all would have died. Instead, he was able to “think without thinking” and because of it all of their lives were saved. It is a very interesting book with a number of great examples of how powerful our subconscious is and I would recommend it.

Free Music Friday, Sep 1 2006 

Hey Guys –

I just thought I would let you know Derek Webb, a great musician, just released his album Mockingbird for free. Download the album free at www.freederekwebb.com.

*Just a disclaimer, I surely do agree with everything he is saying but he does produce some great music.