Johnny Cash

Yesterday would have been Johnny Cash’s 77th birthday.  In an essay from 2005, Russell D. Moore comments on Johnny Cash’s unique influence on the “MTV generation”, that still lives on after his death.  He writes:

“Cash always seemed to connect. When other Christian celebrities tried to down-play sin and condemnation in favor of upbeat messages about how much better life is with Jesus, Cash sang about the tyranny of guilt and the certainty of coming judgment. An angst-ridden youth culture may not have fully comprehended guilt, but they understood pain. And, somehow, they sensed Cash was for real.

The face of Johnny Cash reminded this generation that he has tasted everything the MTV culture has to offer—and found there a way that leads to death. In a culture that idolizes the hormonal surges of youth, Cash reminds the young of what MTV doesn’t want them to know: “It is appointed to man once to die, and after this the judgment.” His creviced face and blurring eyes remind them that there is not enough Botox in all of Hollywood to revive a corpse.”

Click here to read the entire essay.


Why I Don’t Evangelize

Erik Raymond, the “Irish Calvinist”, has an excellent post about how our love for God and our  love for others directly affects our evangelism.  In it, he asks:

“Why? Why can I walk by the man or woman who has been beaten by the affects of sin and not open my mouth? There they sit, ever afflicted by the beatings, like the young man voyaging from Jerusalem to Jericho who fell upon robbers (Luke 10.30-34) and I am like the Levite or the preist who just walked on by. I have a medicine cabinet strapped to my back and I ignore them like they are not even there? Why? I do not love them. Perhaps you can relate?”

Click  here to read the post.

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:28-31

Disciplined Duty vs. the Lie of Legalism

Justin Taylor has posted an excerpt from John Piper about prayer that is both convicting and encouraging (as Piper is so often).  In it, he addresses the accusation that a disciplined, intentional prayer life is often dismissed as legalism, and nothing more than performing a duty.  Piper says “you can call it that”:

    • It’s a duty the way it’s the duty of a scuba diver to put on his air tank before he goes underwater.

    • It’s a duty the way pilots listen to air traffic controllers.

    • It’s a duty the way soldiers in combat clean their rifles and load their guns.

    • It’s a duty the way hungry people eat food.

    • It’s a duty the way thirsty people drink water.

It’s a challenging post that should spur us all on to develop this discipline; read the rest of it here.

What’s Going On – 02.24.09

We got back to Austin Monday night, after a week in Oklahoma City for birthday celebrations and job hunting.  Nola has a job if we move there, at a Hallmark store in Norman.  She also has a good prospect at Dress Barn, which would involve her being hired to move into management.  I have 4 interviews, that I’ll call to set up once (and if) we get moved there.

While in Oklahoma, I spoke to the Pastor of a church in Gilbert, Arizona, about coming as Student Ministries Pastor.  I sent him some more information, and he is supposed to call me back for a follow-up phone interview later this week.  I have also heard back from a couple of other churches, that they are just starting to sort through the resumes they’ve received and it will be a few weeks before they start contacting prospects.

Tomorrow morning, we have an interview at 10 a.m. at the Texas Baptist Children’s Home in Round Rock, where we’ve applied to be relief houseparents.  We’ll be interviewed by several people including the Executive Director, the houseparents we would be relieving each month, and case workers.  This would be Youth Ministry like we’ve never known, at a level we’ve never experienced, and we are excited about the possibility and praying that it will be where God takes us.

If, in God’s providence, this does not work out, we will begin packing immediately and moving to Oklahoma City next week, where we will live with Nola’s parents, and work and wait for God to lead us to a new ministry.  While it would be nice to be there so close to family, this is not our first choice, for many obvious reasons.  But we are trusting God, and confident that where He takes us is best.   Also, please continue to pray about our house selling as well.  No matter what happens as far as ministry goes, we simply can not keep paying the house payment after next week.  If it does not sell, we will have to make some hard decisions about what to do.

Please make a note, or set an alarm, and pray for us Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.  I’ll post an update if anything “big” happens.  Thanks for your prayers!

Economic commentary from Calvin and Hobbes


What’s Going On – 02.13.09

Nola and I are heading to Oklahoma City tomorrow, to spend a week with family and celebrate several birthdays while we’re there.  I’ve heard back from one church to date, and the plan is to do a conference call with that search team while we’re in Oklahoma.  While we’re in Oklahoma, Nola and I will be looking for jobs there.  If nothing happens, ministry-wise, by the end of this month, we’ll be moving to Oklahoma City, to live with her parents and work, while I continue my search for a new ministry position.

We’ve dropped the price on the house again, and have had more traffic in the last week than since we put it on the market mid-December.  Realtors have told us that it is cleaner and in better shape than some newer houses they’ve looked at (all of you that know her will realize that this is because of Nola).  So hopefully we’ll have a buyer soon.  Please keep us in your prayers, and we’ll let you know what happens, whenever it happens.

What’s That Thumping Sound?


It’s probably Martin Luther rolling over in his grave: the Catholic church is bringing back indulgences.

Read the New York Times story HERE.