Dluxe's World

Monday, January 29

Is it really real to us?

(found on Recover the Gospel.com)

Saturday, January 27

Medical Care

1) Get sick... You know that the first words out of your Doctor's mouth will be, "It's just a virus... We'll need to let it work itself out."

2) Call in. They confirm there's some virus going around (there always is) and tell you to check in if it hasn't cleared up in a week. This at least gets a note in your file that you've been having symptoms.

3) Two weeks later, you're still battlin' the bug. So, you break down and call in for an appointment. A $10 co-pay later, you're sitting in one of those little carbon-copy exam rooms. In comes the doctor, who after hearing you describe your ordeal gives you a cursory look-over.

4) And tells you that it's still a virus that must still run its course.

5) Stay sick. Wait 5 more days.

6) Lather, rinse, repeat.


Friday, January 26

Whitefield for the Weekend [15]

For did [Christ] come down from heaven, and shed his precious blood, to purchase these hearts of ours, and shall we only give him half of them? O how can we say we love him, when our hearts are not wholly with him? How can we call him our Savior, when we will not endeavor sincerely to approve ourselves to him, and so let him see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied!

Had any of us purchased a slave at a most expensive rate, and who was before involved in the utmost miseries and torments, and so must have continued for ever, had we shut up our bowels of compassion from him; and was this slave afterwards to grow rebellious, or deny giving us but half his service; how, how should we exclaim against his base ingratitude! And yet this base ungrateful slave thou art, O man, who acknowledgest thyself to be redeemed from infinite unavoidable misery and punishment by the death of Jesus Christ, and yet wilt not give thyself wholly to him.

To add a word or two of exhortation to you, to excite you to be not only almost, but altogether Christians. O let us scorn all base and treacherous treatment of our King and Savior, of our God and Creator. Let us not take some pains all our lives to go to haven, and yet plunge ourselves into hell as last. Let us give to God our whole hearts, and no longer halt between two opinions: if the world be God, let us serve that; if pleasure be a God, let us serve that; but if the Lord he be God, let us, O let us serve him alone.

George Whitefield, The Almost Christian


Tuesday, January 23


I find it really funny when the news acts like something is shocking that really is common-sense. So, all the people in the house say "Who knew?"

1) Looking for the secret to success? Here's a tip: Get a stock-picking monkey. No, I'm really serious. Surprisingly, picking stocks for consistent gain is largely guesswork.

2) In other shockingly obvious news, a recent program in Arkansas has found that giving teachers incentives for increased student performance actually works. Surprisingly, there's an expected backlash from teacher's unions.

3) Did you ever know that some parents indulge their children too much? Particularly as it pertains to birthday parties? Thank goodness for the socially-impactful work of Birthdays Without Pressure. I'm expecting MTV to cancel 'My Super Sweet Sixteen' any moment now.

4) I'm grateful that this precedent has been set: "Colleen chose to have ... their second child induced a few days early so Mark Pavelka could attend Sunday's ... showdown between the Bears and the ... Saints." Because if anything trumps family, it's Da Bears.

Last in the obvious news parade - One Seattle coffee shop has figured out that having scantily-clad female baristas increases sales (according to this story). Color me shocked.

Now, moving on...

6) Some of our friends gave their oldest son a Rubik's cube for Christmas. Pssst! Alex... Don't tell Mom and Dad I gave you this link -> How to solve the Rubik's Cube. Where was the internet when I was a kid, eh?

7) I wonder if that stock-picking monkey is going to hedge his bets on the impending crisis in tortilla sales? According to this article, "[Mexican] President Felipe Calderon signed an accord with businesses on Thursday to curb soaring tortilla prices and protect Mexico's poor from speculative sellers and a surge in the cost of corn driven by the U.S. ethanol industry."

I'm also predicting a spike in grits and cornbread futures in the deep south.

8) Don't build your marshmallow plant next door to the solid-rocket fuel factory (which is built on top of a natural gas pipeline). Bad things happen.

9) This is some great stuff... Reminds me of when poppin' and lockin' was in vogue the first time. I was 8, I think.

10) Flash mobs fascinate me... This vid is hilarious, but doing this in the States would get you sued.

11) Lastly, check this guy out... Some of the stuff he does seems impossible!

Now I need some Mr. Roboto.


Sunday, January 21

Sober Monday, indeed...

The following is taken from this sermon delivered by John Piper on January 26, 2003 (emphasis mine):
When the editors at the Minneapolis StarTribune this past Wednesday celebrated the abortion rights decreed by Roe v. Wade ... they raised the question when "incipient life becomes ‘protectably human,’" and said that no better answer has been given than Justice Harry Blackmun’s when he wrote:
We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate.

What’s the flaw here? The flaw is that, while claiming to withhold judgment, the judiciary not only speculated but authoritatively decreed on the issue: namely, it is not murder or manslaughter to destroy the unborn. That is not a suspension of judgment. That is a decisive judgment: namely, in the womb there is nothing worth protecting by law. To portray this as a sensitive suspension of judgment about the status of unborn life is false and deceptive.

How do you get from, "We do not know whether this is protectable human life," to "Therefore, we will not protect it"? Wouldn’t the logic just as likely (some would say far more likely) be, "Since we do not know whether this is protectable human life, therefore we will protect it." Why does the judicial uncertainty about the humanity of the unborn lead to unbridled license to destroy it?

... Abortion is one of the darkest works of the human race – it is child sacrifice. And the only way it can survive is for darkness to survive. Wherever the light of truth and love comes, darkness flies away. Therefore it is one of the great callings of the followers of Jesus to let their light shine in both ways: to do good deeds and to expose darkness. The aim is partly negative: reveal the error hidden in the darkness, but mainly positive: to bring people to love the light and be made light in the Lord Jesus.

May we answer that call... For more information, visit informative and stark Abort73.com website.

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Friday, January 19

Whitefield for the Weekend [14]

It is recorded by one of [Whitefield's] biographers that an American gentleman once went to hear him, for the first time, in consequence of the report he heard of his preaching powers. The day was rainy, the congregation comparatively thin, and the beginning of the sermon rather heavy. Our American friend began to say to himself, 'This man is no great wonder after all'. He looked round, and saw the congregation as little interested as himself. One old man, in front of the pulpit, had fallen asleep.

But all at once Whitefield stopped short. His countenance changed. And then he suddenly broke forth in an altered tone: 'If I had come to speak to you in my own name, you might well rest your elbows on your knees, and your heads on your hands, and sleep; and once in a while look up, and say, What is this babbler talking of? But I have not come to you in my own name. No! I have come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts' (here he brought down his hand and foot with a force that made the building ring) 'and I must and will be heard'. The congregation started.

The old man woke up at once. 'Ay, ay!' cried Whitefield, fixing his eyes on him, 'I have waked you up, have I? I meant to do it. I am not come here to preach to stocks and stones: I have come to you in the name of the Lord God of Hosts, and I must, and will, have an audience.' The hearers were stripped of their apathy at once. Every word of the sermon after this was heard with deep attention, and the American gentleman never forgot it.
J.C. Ryle, Five Christian Leaders


Thursday, January 18

Sir, it's about your Bible.

There's one Sunday School lesson I've always wanted to do: How did we get this Bible that I hold in my hands every day? Now, I don't mean to discuss the whole turning trees into paper and paper into books route. I have something different and more important in mind...

The summer before Eva and I got married, I worked in a Christian bookstore. People would come in to buy 'a Bible' and be a little overwhelmed by all the translations and editions that we had on the shelf. People would just grab something off the shelf (usually the cheapest) and head towards the counter. Besides, all those Bibles are the same thing, right?

I know I think rarely about how privileged I am. I have several Bibles on my shelf - King James, NIV, NASB, study bibles, reference bibles, award bibles... Meanwhile there are parts of the world where believers are lucky if they have a single Bible in their whole family. Still other people cannot read the Bible in their native language. Truth is, I could be one of them if it weren't for the sacrifice of many people in the past...

And how should we differentiate between all those translations on the shelf anyway? What makes an ESV different than an Amplified (sorry, ick)? Why are nerdy people always ranting about 'the Greek'?

A couple things prompted this post:
1) First off, Mars Hill Church in Seattle has switched from the NIV translation of the Bible to the ESV early this year. The lead pastor there, Mark Driscoll, has produced a really stellar PDF outlining their reason for the shift.

2) Also, this week the guys over at Pulpit Magazine (led by Nathan Busenitz) are taking a detour to talk about the King James Version Only 'controversy'. The writing on Pulpit is always fabulous and thought-provoking.

3) I've been taking time each day to read some of John Piper's biographical writings over on DesiringGod. Just so happened the other day, I was reading all about William Tyndale and the quest for an English Bible.

So, give this stuff a read... And perhaps we'll all treasure that Bible in our hands a little bit more.


Wednesday, January 17

Winds of WWWednesday

In every good rap song, the rapper proudly declares that he's "back"... And in that hip-hop spirit: Yo, I was gone... But now I'm back like a boomerang. Or somethin' like that, fools.

1) Leading off with much respect: The world mourned the loss of Momofuku Ando two weeks ago. I think we've all been impacted by Ramen noodles at some point in our life. However, I was unaware that there was an Instant Ramen Museum. Add that to the 'must-see' list.

2) File under "This Won't End Well" - Israel has supposedly drafted plans for nuclear strikes into Iran. Um, boo yah?

3) In college, several of us discovered just how amusing the word 'pants' actually is. Seriously! Just try dropping 'pants' in the middle of some conversation... Hilarity is bound to ensue. Or, for more fun, check out these edited Star Wars [er, Pants Wars] lines.

4) This article speaks for itself and confirms that you can write a DOD grant for anything: "Ummm. Give me money to find the DNA strings that don't exist. I mean, you've given away billions to find the ones that do... Don't you wanna know what's missing?"

5) Headline: Underwater Photographer Captures Picture of Mysterious Gelatinous Ball. Resist clicking on that.

6) I have no searches to post this week, mainly because I hadn't been logging them and then I got linked on TeamPyro. So, that means more videos!!!

7) This is probably the funniest bit of viral marketing I've seen in a long, long time (slight language warning).

8) Be honest... Would you have expected Van Halen's "Jump" to sound this good as a bluegrass tune?

9) Keeping on the music tip, I've always found K.T. Tunstall's voice kinda cool... This little vid is awesome.

10) With the arrival of the first real snow/ice of the year in New England, this video seemed apropos.

11) Does anyone else my age remember the two-week television run of Samurai Pizza Cats? Ah, those silly Japanese cartoons...

12) Ending with an even dozen. I have no idea what the heck this is... I find it highly disturbing.

Peace, out.


Friday, January 12

Whitefield for the Weekend [13]

Keying off the Just Stop and Think discussions:

[A]rise, take comfort, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of life, the Lord of glory, calls for thee: through his righteousness there is hope for the chief of sinners, for the worst of creatures. What if thou hadst committed all the sins in the world? … Christ's righteousness will cover, the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will cleanse, thee from the guilt of them all.

My dear friends, could my voice hold out, was my strength equal to my will, I would wrestle with you; I would strive with arguments, till you came and washed in this blood of the Lamb; till you came and accepted of this everlasting righteousness. O come, come! Now, since it is brought into the world by Christ, so in the name, in the strength, and by the assistance of the great God, I bring it now to the pulpit; I now offer this righteousness, this free, this imputed, this everlasting righteousness to all poor sinners that will accept of it.

For God's sake accept it this night: you do not know but ye may die before tomorrow. How do he know, but while I am speaking, a fit of the apoplexy may seize, and death arrest you? ... Think, I pray you, therefore, on these things; go home, go home, go home, pray over the text, and say, "Lord God, thou hast brought an everlasting righteousness into the world by the Lord Jesus Christ; by the blessed Spirit bring it into my heart!" then, die when ye will, ye are safe; if it be tomorrow, ye shall be immediately translated into the presence of the everlasting God: that will be sweet! Happy they who have got this robe on; happy they that can say, "My God hath loved me, and I shall be loved by him with an everlasting love!" That every one of you may be able to say so, may God grant, for the sake of Jesus Christ, the dear Redeemer; to whom be glory for ever.

George Whitefield, The Righteousness of Christ


Thursday, January 11

Apologetics and Apology

Up front: If you haven't been following the exchange surrounding the Just Stop and Think video over at TeamPyro and centuri0n's blog, you should. It actually started here on the BHT, then moved through a number of stations on the way towards today's fine offerings...

Astute readers might recall that I linked (and liked!) the video in question back here.

On a different note: You know you've been blog-slacking like a champ when your father emails you to tell you that you're sucking. Thanks, Pops!

So, sorry. I'm especially sorry that I missed this past week's WWWednesday post (which I had every intention of getting up). I promise that I'll try to make it up to everyone. Starting tomorrow, we'll try to get back on the pony with a Whitefield post and then move onto those long promised book reviews!

Friday, January 5

Whitefield for the Weekend [12]

Believers keep up their walk with God, by watching and noting his providential dealings with them. If we believe the scriptures, we must believe what our Lord hath declared therein, ‘That the very hairs of his disciples' heads are all numbered; and that a sparrow does not fall to the ground, (either to pick up a grain of corn, or when shot by a fowler), without the knowledge of our heavenly Father'.

Every cross has a call in it, and every particular dispensation of divine providence has some particular end to answer in those to whom it is sent. If it be of an afflictive nature, God does thereby say, ‘My son, keep thyself from idols': if prosperous, he does, as it were by a small still voice, say, ‘My son, give me thy heart'... And as I believe it will be one part of our happiness in heaven, to take a view of, and look back upon, the various links of the golden chain which drew us there; so those that enjoy most of heaven below, I believe, will be the most minute in remarking God's various dealings with them, in respect to his providential dispensations here on earth.

[God's] children must not only watch the motions of God's providence without them, but the motions also of his blessed Spirit in their hearts... [It] is every Christian's bounden duty to be guided by the Spirit in conjunction with the written word of God. Watch, therefore, I pray you, O believers, the motions of God's blessed Spirit in your souls, and always try the suggestions or impressions that you may at any time feel, by the unerring rule of God's most holy word: and if they are not found to be agreeable to that, reject them as diabolical and delusive.

George Whitefield, Walking with God


Thursday, January 4

Your iPod wants sermons...

Steve McCoy, who runs the tres cool Reformissionary blog, had an interesting post yesterday discussing his 5 Favorite Preachers of 2006. You should read it and open up your ears a little.

I was talking with one of our ABF leaders last Sunday regarding the mass of Christian audio that's available online nowadays... That conversation had me planning to post some things currently in my listening rotation sometime soon. Steve's post gave me some new ideas (planning to give McKinley and Chandler a listen) and goosed me to put this post up sooner, rather than later.

So, without further - or much - ado and in randomish order:

John Piper - For those of you who know me, this is no big surprise... My fan-boy image aside, the fact is that Piper's preaching is consistently rich/inspiring and always solidly Biblical. The sermons are free from DesiringGod's site, or can be gotten via daily podcast. Another recommendation: No pastor should be without the audio of Piper's speech at this past year's T4G conference...

Tim Keller - 2006 was the year of the Tim Keller discovery for me. I had heard Keller mentioned with reverent tones, but I hadn't listened to any of his stuff until this year's Resurgence conference address. Since then, I've devoured everything I could find. Keller is a superb communicator and deep thinker. Check out Steve's Tim Keller page for free audio and print resources, look here instead, or subscribe (for a fee) to Redeemer Presby's podcast.

Mark Dever & the CHBC gang - I surprised myself with this one... From my limited exposure to Dever, I wouldn't have thought he'd "click" with me. How wrong I was... Mark and the rest of the Capitol Hill Baptist crew are rigorously Biblical and have a wonderful way of prodding believer and unbeliever alike towards "A HA!" moments. You can download sermons or grab 'em via podcast. But don't neglect to check out the other audio resources (lectures, forums, etc.) that CHBC produces! Great stuff (here's one that really got me thinking)...

Josh, CJ, and the CovLife guys - There's something about Josh Harris and CJ Mahaney that seems so personable that you feel almost compelled towards using firstnames alone. If I only had one word to describe them, it would be 'winsome'. For example, CJ's opening of his first address at SBTS and his T4G address are endearing and hilarious. Josh's call to Humble Orthodoxy is right in the wheelhouse of where I'd like to go... And the heart all these men have for the Gospel and a hurting world is moving. Again, individual messages are available, as is a podcast. Be sure to also check out their NewAttitude stuff here...

Mark Driscoll - Driscoll is like that kid you knew in school who was uber-talented but always took things one step too far. I don't think there's anyone out there today who's preaching the Gospel in a more compelling way... He challenges and practically assaults the listener with Truth week in and week out. Theology? Rock-solid. Language? Well, I haven't heard the 'cussing pastor' emerge, but Driscoll does tend to be just a little sophomoric at times. The trick is Driscoll hears that criticism, acknowledges it, and seems to be trying to respond in humility and corrected behavior. I don't think I handle much of anything that well.

Anway, if you must listen to only one thing I'd tell you to grab "Death by Love". You can also get the Mars Hill Church Podcast, or other individual sermons at their website.

Well, there you have it... Some links to edify you and your iPod. Technology is awesome, so let's make good use of it.

Wednesday, January 3

Simply WWWednesday

Well, it's the start of a New Year... And the world is still weird.

1) Kicking off the New Year with ambiguity and further proof that polls can be relied upon for absolutely nothing.
I suppose that means we get to pick?

2) Yesterday I learned some of you already know: Photoshop is teh addictive. I can see how people easily spend hours upon hours goofing around with images. Some people are really good at chopping and shopping. This guy, for example, this, and these funny people.

3) Me? Well, I started by making faux church logos (based on names suggested by friends). Apologies for the gratuitous use of McLaren.
4) I really like trail mix with dried pineapple/mango or heavy on cashews. In contrast, it seems that Sam Walton liked his trail mix heavy on the glass and plastic.

5) I bet you had no idea that the $175k starting salary for a federal district court judge is actually now a 'constitutional crisis'! You can thank Chief Justice John Roberts ($212k) for the tip. Just for reference, my own paltry income troubles no one.

6) On a related tangent, I have a word for the world on behalf of all my like-minded, Evangelical brothers and sisters. "We also wish Pat Robertson would just shut up sometimes."
**UPDATED! Check out and consider signing centuri0n's online petition re: Robertson's "prophecies"

7) Still related: The RIAA has simply lost all contact with reality. I don't care how real music piracy is. Filing a lawsuit against a Russian company for $1.65 trillion (yes, trillion) is a little much. Just for comparison, there are only 10 countries who have a higher adjusted GDP!

8) Get this one: According to the Indian Press, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's ghost is already making the rounds in and around Baghdad. What can you say? The guy was a party animal in this life, and just couldn't wait to get started in the next.

I wonder if Saddam took advantage of the Adopt-a-Nun service prior to being offed this week. Quoting the article: "It's a direct line to God and it's cheaper than any phone call." I bet you didn't know that every convent has the number to God's real line.

10) Only one video this week, but it's a doozy.

11) No searches this week... But an extra special dose next week!

Now, get back to work!


Monday, January 1

A New Year, a New Leaf...

Well, today the internet will be flooded with people posting their New Year's Resolutions. Last night, Eva and I had the chance to ring in 2007 and talk about everything under the sun with some wonderful friends. At least part of the evening revolved around ridiculing my pop-culture geekdom and blogging... So how can I resist making a New Year's post myself?

Yesterday afternoon, I ran across a copy of the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (the preacher, not the politician). I had read of these before, but never actually read them... So I took the time to read them through. Consider just these selected ones, and remember that Edwards was writing as a 19 year-old student.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad's of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever...
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

I don't know whether Edwards started this list (which he added to until his death) as a set of New Year's Resolutions or not... But I do know that there's a lot more meat and substance in there than in most of the things we decide to try to carry out each time we buy a new calendar.

Over the past year, I've spent a lot of time reading through Paul's 2nd letter Timothy... Someone once said that dying men spare no words, and that certainly is obvious in Paul's letter. The time of the Apostle's end is drawing near, he's been abandoned, and writes a closing letter to his "beloved child". As someone aspiring, if God wills, to be a pastor, Paul's words hit me right where I live as well.
Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:20-26)

So, there is my Resolution: Through God's grace and aid, I resolve to flee my youthful passions and instead sanctify myself so I might be useful to Christ.

Sound's fluffy, doesn't it? But I do have some very practical things in mind:
  1. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), but I sure don't treat it that way. So, I resolve to watch my health - including my diet - so I can run the race Paul mentions in 2 Tim 4 without keeling over miles from the finish line... Or at least assuring myself of a nasty sprain.
  2. I want to continue to attack my pride. My head swells with perceived grandeur when it should be bowed in humility (see ol' Jonathan's #8 resolution above). And I certainly don't want to be seen as a grumpy Calvinist...
  3. God's greatest gift to me and ministry for me is my family. I pray that I can honor God by being a better spiritual leader for my wonderful wife and beautiful kids.
  4. When I look at the world around me, I want to be broken-hearted. There are so many people around me who don't know Christ - in my neighborhood, at work, etc. If I really get what the Gospel is all about, I'll look on them with love and fear for their fate. I pray that God will give me His eyes and a boldness to humbly proclaim their need for a Savior.
All of these are aspects of sanctifying myself for Christ, who bought me. When Christ prayed for his disciples in John, he prayed that God would "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). So, in all these things things I desire, I lean on God's work - through the truth of Scripture and His Spirit's kneading it into my heart - to make any of it happen in me.

A Blessed and Happy New Year, everyone!