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Showing posts from March, 2006

Queen April I

I’ve been trying to come up with a post that would be in the April Fools Day spirit…to no avail. So, instead, here are a few links to some GREAT April Fools PSAs. They will be especially funny to those who are familiar with the cast from NBC’s “The Office.” (Warning: the spots I’ve linked to below are fine, but there is one spot they did that is quite inappropriate; if you decide to search for the entire list of spots, beware.)

Jellybeans
Bears
Meteor
Saltines
Fugitive (this is so me)
Thumb
Short (for all of us “vertically challenged” people)

Who’s On First?

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Last week, Andrew Belli posted a link to an audio file of Abbot and Costello’s classic skit, Who’s On First. Check it out—especially if you’ve never seen any of their movies (and “doubly especially” if you have no idea who they are)! I love Abbot and Costello. Their fast-paced exchanges are hilarious.

TANSTAAFL

Anyone familiar with that acronym? I remember learning about the concept in my economics class in high school…at least, I think it was high school. (Home school years and grades kinda run together.) Anyway, regardless of what the experts say, we had a lot of “free lunches” (so to speak) at work in the last couple days. Why? Because the pledge drive for EZ 88.3 was going on. I had three free square meals a day for two glorious days (minus dinner on Tuesday because I leave work early on Tuesdays). Yes, we at the Christian Media Center ate like hobbits. Okay, I usually eat like a hobbit, but the last two days I ate like a hobbit for free!

P.F. Chang’s catered dinner yesterday afternoon. I have yet to visit the restaurant, so it was nice to sample some of the food (which I’ve heard is excellent from, like, a million sources). P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps are indeed quite good. (I had a leftover lettuce wrap for lunch today…and another one for dinner, just a few minutes ago.)

There was also th…

Non-VQers Commit Mischievous Behavior

KNOXVILLE, TN – Cornerstone Church of Knoxville members Jill Brickey, Cap Stewart, and Joanna Holbrook were arrested Sunday afternoon for committing crimes of “mischievous affections” when they used glass chalk to cover 57 cars in the Cornerstone parking lot (all belonging to college students) with random messages.

The college students had taken their annual spring break “Vision Quest” (or VQ) trip to Laguna Beach, Florida. Most of the students rode down in buses, leaving their cars in the church parking lot for safe keeping.

“Safe?” said victim Suzanne Holbrook, sister of Joanna. “Where is ‘safe’ anymore? Not my own church’s parking lot, evidently. I’m not even safe from my own sister! Forget this tripe. I’m moving to Pennsylvania or something. There’s bound to be a good Amish or Mennonite design school up there without all this flagrant sin going on.”

The content of the markings on the college students’ cars ranged from the mundane (DO YOU VQ?) to the rude (GO TEXAS) to the outrageous …

Sin: What’s the Big Deal? (Part 2)

The message this last Sunday by Howard Varnedoe was excellent! Using Hebrews 12:1-2 as his main text, Howard explained what it means to “look to Jesus” each and every day. One truth that hit me harder than it ever has before was this: my greatest problem is my sin. It isn’t my circumstances or trials. It isn’t figuring out what the future holds. It isn’t attempting to overcome a financial or vocational challenge. Sin is my greatest enemy. Is sin killing me or am I killing it?

Here’s a quote to chew on from The Mortification of Sin. John Owen says we are to bring our sin to the gospel

— not [first] for relief, but for farther conviction of its guilt; look on Him whom thou hast pierced, and be in bitterness. Say to thy soul, “What have I done? What love, what mercy, what blood, what grace have I despised and trampled on! Is this the return I make to the Father for his love, to the Son for his blood, to the Holy Ghost for his grace? Do I thus requite the Lord? Have I defiled the heart that…

Sin: What’s the Big Deal?

In being made more aware of my idolatries Sunday, I spent some time meditating on the importance of the doctrine of sin. Why talk about sin so often? Why make such a big deal about it? When all around my soul gives way, should sin really be that high on the mental checklist?

Well, I thought, what is my ultimate goal? Defeating sin isn’t an end, it’s a means to an end, so what is that end? Succinctly put, my created purpose is to glorify God. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). In his Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Henry writes, “In eating and drinking, and in all we do, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honouring him. This is the great end of all religion, and directs us where express rules are wanting.”

So, does fighting sin distract us from pursuing the glory of God? Quite the opposite, actually. There is really only one obstacle that stands between us and the glory of God, and th…

Idol Factory Meltdown

“When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart…” (Ezekiel 14:4)

“The human heart is a factory of idols...Everyone of us is, from his mother’s womb, expert in inventing idols.” (John Calvin)

[Note: those not familiar with the topic of idolatry might want to check out a sermon by C.J. Mahaney entitled “The Idol Factory." The quotes in the introduction and first section are excellent in explaining the importance of recognizing and destroying idolatry in one’s life, and it will better aid the reader in identifying with what I say in this post.]

The service last Sunday morning included a timely message for me. The theme of the message, taken from Proverbs 18:10-11, was trusting God (what I’ve been studying for a while now) and the conclusion dealt specifically with idolatry. In the recent past, the Lord had been dealing with me on some idols in my heart that were extremely dangerous to the welfare of my soul. By God’s grace, I had been able to recognize my idolatry—where before I hadn’t…

Vision Quest

I have to agree with Joanna : I’m psyched about what God will be doing this week in the lives of our church’s college students while they’re in Laguna Beach, Florida.

But for those of you who didn’t go, I was able to preview a part of a video some of the VFCers put together for the trip. It involves a mock news program that involves mostly weather-related reports. As you might expect, it’s quite funny. Katie Roach plays a disgruntled weather lady. She gives her two-week's notice right in the middle of her forecast. But the best part is near the end, when the news anchor (Kevin Shipp) starts to wrap things up, only to be knocked out of the way by the weather lady, who gives the following speech to the viewers:

“Listen up you kids out there with your big dreams and your life ahead of you. I’ll tell you something, next time someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, tell them, ‘Nothing! I don't want to be anything!’ Don’t be a doctor, don’t be an astronaut, don’t be a t…

Psalm 8:2a

So I got to help watch the kids during care group last night. The newest addition to the group, Maggie Boyle, wouldn’t smile no matter what anyone did. Grownups and children alike failed miserably at inducing any facial merriment.

Being the “baby whisperer” that I am, I swooped in to the rescue. After holding her for a while, I sat down in a chair with her on my lap. Mesmerized by my charm, she cracked a smile—several times. Yes, I saved the day once again.

And then she spit up on my shirt and my hand.

Providence and Nature

I’m at chapter six in Trusting God, a chapter that deals with God’s power over nature. My first thought was to skip it because I didn’t think the chapter would have anything applicable to my current circumstances. I’m glad I rejected my initial impulse. Jerry Bridges talks about how many of us—even those who believe in the complete sovereignty of God—oftentimes fail to recognize His providence when it comes to the weather. We view instances of rain, frost, wind, etc., as unfortunate occurrences of random conditions. How many times have I complained about the weather, obliviously and foolishly ignoring the Sovereign hand behind it?

Mr. Bridges makes a simple yet profound point: not only do we sin when we complain about the weather, but we also forfeit the peace that comes from trusting that God is in control of the weather (see Job 37:3, 6, 10-13; Psalm 147:8, 16-18; Jeremiah 10:13; Amos 4:7). (It’s not just the weather, though; God’s control over nature includes things like physical af…

A Movie Worth Five Stars...er, Tickets

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On rare occasions, I make my mother go to the movie theater to watch a film on the big screen. This past weekend was one such occasion, although she wanted to see the movie anyway. After all, when I started praising King Kong after my first viewing—and second, and third, and fourth—she was intrigued. (Yes, having spent so much money on this movie, I now own part of Universal Pictures.)



Well, she liked the movie a lot. In her words, “It’s like Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings and every other movie all put together—and then some!” I have to agree.



It was also fun sitting behind three older women who enjoyed the movie tremendously. Every time something made them jump, they’d nervously laugh after landing back in their seats. In fact, they were laughing through the entire movie (at the right parts, mind you). There’s something special about watching movies with complete strangers and seeing/hearing their reactions…like the one woman up front who screamed bloody murder when a Tyrannosau…

Deception

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I don’t know how many of you like to read fiction, but for me there are few things more delightful than being engrossed in the latest Michael Crichton or Frank Peretti novel. Another great fiction writer is Randy Alcorn. His first novel, Deadline, is outstanding both in storytelling and originality. By “originality” I don’t so much mean his story as I do his use of the English language. Mr. Alcorn avoids clichéd phrases that litter the works of other authors. In Deadline, Alcorn also created one of my most favorite characters of all time: Ollie Chandler. Ollie is a detective with a quick and dry-as-the-Sahara wit. Everything that comes out of his mouth is ingeniously hilarious. To borrow a phrase from filmmaking, he steals every scene he’s in.

Anyway, Alcorn’s newest novel, Deception, features Ollie Chandler as the main character. The first chapter of the book is available here and all I can say is…wow. You need to check it out! The storyline looks quite generic (murder mysteries have …

Getting an Earful

Don’t you hate it when you’re at work (or somewhere else “not home”-ish) and you realize you desperately need a Q-tip? I do. And I need a Q-tip. And I’m not at home.

That reminds me: I used to work with a guy whose personal hygiene wasn’t exactly…hygienic. I once saw him use a key on his key ring to clean out his ears. No joke. It grossed me out.

The Breakfast Bunch

The first part of the workday was fun. I came in to the station smelling food (always a good thing). Bob Bell was cooking eggs on his morning show and he treated me to a tasty omelet. Don’t worry, it was healthy—it had vegetables, no cheese and was cooked without any harmful oils or greases. Then I got to hang out with Todd Agnew and Jason Morant (who were in the studio for an interview). I finally got to ask Todd how he came up with the lyrics for “Grace Like Rain.” (Okay, not really.) Todd likes to cut up…a lot. When someone from Love 89 asked what he was going to play for the concert tonight, he said, “Newsboys songs…from the eighties.” When he talks, he sounds nothing like what he sounds like when he sings. That sentence makes sense…right?

The Cross: Our Eternal and Exceeding Joy

Last night, I finished a personal study on the centrality of the gospel as defined in Scripture. I want to be able to more clearly express to my old friends the importance of the cross-centered life. When I started coming to the New Members class at CCK, I know I didn’t understand it at all. I remember hearing one of the guys at the pink house make a reference to the centrality of the gospel and thinking to myself, “What in the world does that mean?”

So, my study was very fruitful. Below are some things I learned/rediscovered/was reminded of:

We are to constantly remind ourselves about Jesus Christ. How? By studying the gospel. “Remember Jesus Christ…according to [the] gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8).Because the gospel is the “power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16), we preach it to unbelievers, but it is also something in which the believer currently stands as well (see 1 Corinthians 15:1). God saves unbelievers through the gospel and strengthens believersthrough the gospel. “God…is able …

Feast for the Soul

If you have some extra time, and if you haven’t done this already, check out John Piper’s latest sermon,
“I Will Go to God, My Exceeding Joy.” (Piper is taking a hiatus and will not speak at Bethlehem again for five months.) Regardless of where you are in life or what God is teaching you, I believe this article will be of great encouragement.

Oscars, Shmoscars

For the first time in years, I didn’t sit through the Oscar ceremonies. Due to the often-ludicrous nominations, my respect for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has declined with each passing year. In truth, the Oscars are not much more than a highly publicized popularity contest for the Hollywoodonians. I’m tempted to say people from southern California are crazy, but that would mean I am crazy, which I am not. Yes I am. No I’m not. Shut up! Anyway…

I did manage to catch the presentation of Best Original Score—always the highlight of the Oscars for me. Seeing Itzhak Perlman (one of the world’s greatest violinists) perform selections from each of the nominated scores was a real treat. The treat summarily ended, though, when Brokeback Mountain was announced as the winner. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back (yes, lame pun intended); after that, I didn’t want to watch any more.

So, in lieu of a good Oscar awards ceremony, head over to the Cue Awards . They even us…

Chinese Food + Mountain Dew = Hiccups

It’s true. After lunch, I went back into the production studio to record a spot with one of our DJs. The moment I took my first sip of Mountain Dew, I started hiccuping. I’m talking gut-busting, body-wracking, lung-convulsing hiccups. It makes it harder to record a voice over when you’re body frequently and spasmodically goes HHHHUUPPT!

Other random news:

The carpet at the Christian Media Center is going to be ripped out and replaced this month. We’re moving everything into one big room. Fun! (That’s both serious and sarcastic. It is fun because we keep goofing off while we move stuff, but it’s also not fun because…well, because we have to move stuff.)The Lord led me to a great place on 5th Avenue to get two new (well, used, but new to me) tires for my car. Reasonable Ron’s Used Tires has very reasonable prices (who’d a thunk it?). $16 for a nice used tire sure beats $48 for a brand new one. If you ever need to buy a tire, this is the place to go. They’re lightning fast, too. I was in a…