I Thought This Was Cool...

Do you remember that video that got posted to your Facebook profile ten times last week? Well, it now has over 12 million views and has seriously been some good publicity for Chris Brown (he needs it). Google's blog has a really interesting article on how the video has impacted music charts and the internet as a whole.

Practial Ideas to Live Missionally

Steve McCoy has five really practical ideas on how to reach a community for Christ.


A Communion Hymn

A shocking thing, this, that we should forget
The Savior who gave up his life –
To turn from the cross, indifferent, and let
Our minds veer toward self-love and strife.
The table, this rite, is habit – and yet
Christ’s words pierce our shame like a knife:

While breaking the bread, the Lord Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.”

Enamored with power, surrounded with praise,
We set out our ecclesial plans.
Efficiency hums, and we spend our days
Defending, promoting our stands.
Techniques multiply, our structures amaze –
The gospel slips out of our hands.

While breaking the bread, the Lord Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.
O remember, remember the cross.
From my side issued water and blood,
This was no accident,
I bore the wrath of my God.”

“Remember my bed, the dank cattle shed,
Though glory was all my domain.
Remember the years of service and tears
That climaxed in lashings of pain.
By God’s own decree, your guilt fell on me,
And all of my loss is your gain.”

While breaking the bread, the Lord Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.”

“Remember my tears, Gethsemene’s fears;
Recall that my followers fled,
That I was betrayed, disowned and arraigned –
The Prince of Life crucified, dead.
Remember your shame, your sin and your blame;
Remember the blood that I shed.”

While lifting the cup, the Savior spoke up,
“Do this in remembrance of me.”

So now when we eat this feast simply spread
I blush I forget to recall.
For this quiet rite means once more I have fed
On bread that gave life once for all;
Memorial feast—just wine, broken bread—
And time to reflect on Christ’s call:

While breaking the bread, the Lord Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.”

- D.A. Carson

Found on "Take Your Vitamin Z"


The Law vs. The Gospel

Check out this post about the law against the gospel or legalism against mercy.

You can recognize law preaching because it’s always full of references to the Bible being a “handbook for life,” full of principles for a successful life. If your Bible is just a handbook for life, throw it away.

The Bible is the story that delivers us the Gospel. It’s point is to get you to Jesus, the one mediator between God and man. It’s a big book to get you to a short message. You buy the whole field, but the treasure is the Gospel, not the book of Judges or financial principles from Proverbs. Once you have the Gospel right and you know what preaching is all about, then you can read and preach Leviticus or Malachi or whatever you want, as long as Jesus is in his proper place and the message is the Gospel, not the law, or the old covenant, or this week’s good advice.

Jesus Wants The Rose - Matt Chandler

What are we doing as Christians? Do we place so much emphasis on "doing right" that we somehow think that Jesus doesn't love those who don't?


Jack Hyles FAIL

Awesome video of Jack Hyles "preaching." He has a bible on stage, but he doesn't use it.


Why Evolution Isn't Ridiculous

I'm already cringing at all the angry comments that are gonna happen on this post. Feel free to comment, but hear me out.

I've heard the theory of evolution ridiculed in pulpits and classrooms as completely ridiculous. Evolution is made into a straw man that is easily (and frequently) torn down. But the fact is evolution actually makes sense. Yeah, it does. IF and only IF there is no God, then evolution makes perfect sense.

Any good scientist, creationist or evolutionist, will tell you that the chance of evolution occurring naturally is statistically impossible, but not completely impossible. Even the chance as thin as the thinnest of slivers is still a chance.

Let's say, to make things simple, that the chance of primordial soup evolving into a human being is one in one billion (in actuality the chance is far, far slimmer than that). If this universe existed for an infinite amount of time, and expanded and contracted an infinite amount of times, and life was given a chance an infinite amount of times, it would take about a billion times for evolution to occur successfully.

In reality, evolution is far more unlikely, but given an infinite amount of chances, would statistically probably happen. And (if God cannot exist) we know that it did happen because we are here today. Evolution must have occurred because it is the only theory that would explain our existence.

If God does exist (and I believe very strongly He does), the theory of creation makes much more sense. Creationism and Evolution rely on the same evidence. Scientists just look at that evidence and come to different conclusions based on what they believe about God.

Evolution's problem is not a scientific or a logical one. Its a moral one. Romans 1 tells us that mankind knows God, but doesn't glorify him as God, so their foolish hearts are darkened. Evolution doesn't need to be disproved. Mankind just needs Jesus.


God and Art

I've never really liked art. Art in the classical sense of the word, paintings and statues and Renaissance stuff. Art museums have never held interest for me. I just don't get why someone would go see some stupid painting.

Its probably the way that I think. I've always been the type think concretely. I like numbers and facts. Its just how God wired my brain.

There is one type of art that I love. Music. I love melody, rhythm, and harmony blended together into music that stirs the soul. Music that brings praise to God. Music that is written well and performed well.

But what does God think about art? The Bible has very little to say about art. But we do know that God is by nature an artist, a creator. He brought the world into existence, a world full of beauty.

We are created in God's image. And because we are created in his image, we will bring glory to God by rejoicing in his creation. He made creation for our pleasure (before the fall all pleasure was sinnless) and he is glorified when we enjoy his creation as he meant us to enjoy it.

We should enjoy music. We should enjoy art. We should enjoy God's creation like he meant us to enjoy it. 1 Chronicles 29:22 says that Israel ate and drank before the Lord with gladness. We were created to enjoy food without gluttony, sex inside marriage, and nature while bringing glory to God for creating it.


Dress Preppy Like Jesus

2 Blasphemies 2:15-19

And he said, "If any man be in Christ, he shall dress appropriately. If his life has verily been changed, then so shalt his appearance. He shall no more wear baggy or torn jeans, but a collar and a tie shalt adorn him. He shall no more wear the styles of the world, including ghetto, emo, goth, punk, skater, and grunge; but not preppy. For being preppy like a white guy pleaseth the Lord, for Jesus was white."


Paul's Ministry

Acts 20:19-24
In Acts 20 Paul gave a farewell address to the pastors in Ephesus, summarizing his ministry and the things that he planned to do.

1. Paul served (v. 19)
A. With all humility
The ministry wasn’t about Paul, it was about Jesus. Paul could have used his fame and platform to get anything, but he didn’t. His life was defined by the gospel. His life WAS preaching the gospel.
B. With tears and trials
Despite terrible persecution, Paul made his ministry about others. Paul went through more than any Christian today will go through. He had many reasons to quit, but he kept going.
2. Paul declared (v. 20-21)
A. Everything that was profitable.
He didn’t keep back anything that would cause the Ephesians to grow. He didn’t just try to convert them. His goal was their spiritual growth.
B. In public and in private
He preached everywhere. His life wasn’t about show, it mattered in public and private. Paul preached to the crowds, and he preached to families in their small houses. His ministry wasn’t about popularity. It was about the gospel.
C. That the gospel was for everyone
Paul declared that the Jew and the Gentiles could be saved. He realized that Christ died so that all nations could come. Everyone, despite idol worship, past sin, or even sexual orientation could come and be changed by Jesus.
3. Paul went (v. 22-24)
A. He went despite the fact that affliction waited for him. Paul knew that he would arrested and tortured, but he went anyway.
B. Paul’s life wasn’t dear to himself, and the spreading of the gospel was. Paul sacrificed marriage, any earthly pleasure, and eventually his life so that he could spend his earthly days preaching the gospel.

Paul’s life was all about others. It was about Jesus, it was about declaring the gospel to everyone. It was about serving when no one else was around. The last thing that his life was about was himself.


Tim Hortons Would Be Great To Work At If I Didn't Have To Serve Customers.....

The following really bug me about having to serve customers at Tim Hortons:

The myth that the elderly are nice and young people are rude.
The 11:00 rush involving several septuagenarians who have no idea what they want and take their sweet time deciding.
The customer who asks for several little things at the window as the timer counts into its second minute.
The customer who decides they want something else for free and claim you forgot to put it in the register.
The customer who leaves their napkins and butter containers stuffed into their half-empty coffee mugs on the table.
The customer who hands their drink back because they want it “filled to the brim” despite the fact that they will probably burn themselves.
The senior who assumes that he should get his senior discount and gruffly “asks” if I mean $1.39 instead of $1.50.
The customer who doesn’t even think about digging 94 cents worth of change out of the bottom of her purse until she is at the window.
The lady who kept responding “a glass mug” when asked what size she wanted.
The customer who keeps adding one donut at a time to their order, forcing me to guess what size container to put them in.
The customer that storms off angrily and assumes that they will personally offend me.



Okay, I've always made fun of Twitter. I think its pointless. One day a few months ago I created an account, just to see what it looked like. Today, I actually got into Twitter to see what all I could do with it.

It looks like I can automatically publish my blog using Twitter as well as Facebook. It still really doesn't have a point, but the nerd in me likes it, which is kinda sad when I think about it.

Follow me on twitter @chesterlives.


Stuff Fundies Like

Check out Stuff Fundies Like and get a good laugh.


Jesus, Jr.

Ray Ortlund, Jr. of the Acts 29 Network authored this post. It might seem like it begins sacrilegious, but it's really not.

Our local deity is not Jesus. He goes by the name Jesus. But in reality, our local deity is Jesus Jr.
Our little Jesus is popular because he is useful. He makes us feel better while conveniently fitting into the margins of our busy lives.

Why Doing Right Doesn't Please God, Pt. 2

Mark Driscoll said something that puts our efforts to stay away from sin in a new light. Sin is not sin because it is on a list of things we aren't supposed to do. It is sin because it takes away from our love for God.
"Let's say that you're an alcoholic. You don't have an alcohol problem; you have a worship problem. Your problem is, you worship alcohol instead of Jesus. You go to alcohol for comfort, rather than Jesus. You go to alcohol to sleep better, rather than Jesus. You go to alcohol to deal with the pain in your life, rather than Jesus. Alcoholism is an idolatry issue. And the reason that people continue to drink is that the bottle lies to them. It says, "you will be free, you will be happy, you will be relaxed, you will forget your problems." It promises freedom and it delivers slavery.

The same happens with food. If you're a glutton, the problem is not that you eat too much, the problem is that you have idolized food. You deify food. Food is in the place of Jesus. When you do well you reward yourself with food. When you don't do well, you reward or punish yourself with food. Your identity is around what you do and do not eat. Your constant mediation is on food and weight and subsequently appearance, and not Jesus.


Why Doing Right Doesn't Please God

Let me define myself. When I say in the title "doing right," I'm referring to both positive acts of righteousness and the absence of sinlessness. There is a difference between those two. By pleasing God I'm talking about what he demands of us, or what our spiritual lives should consist of after being born again.

Many preachers will tell you that the responsibility of Christians is to "do right." It becomes how they live their Christian lives. To them, the way to please God is to live by a moral code. Not "looking like the world," and going to church dressed nice carrying a Bible brings pleasure to God.

But they're wrong, for two reasons.

If you look at the Bible as a whole, and not just random verses scattered throughout it, you'll find out that the theme of the book is the reconciliation of man to God. In the third chapter, man (by sinning) loses fellowship (friendly relationship) with God. The rest of the Bible is about man coming back into fellowship with God and ends with the bride of Christ living forever with him. The entire thing is about relationship, and that's what God wants.

When asked by the Pharisees what the most important command was, Jesus said, "love the Lord your God with all your heart." That's what Christianity is, a relationship. The entire point of God's involvement in human history is so he could bring us back to him. The first thing he demands is for us to love him.

The second reason deals with God's sacrifice. We deserve God's wrath, not just because we sin, but because we have no righteousness of ourselves. Isaiah says that our righteousness is like filthy rags, worth absolutely nothing. But, II Corinthians 5:21 says, "he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God." Because of Christ's death, not only did he take our sin, but he gave us his righteousness. He gave us his good works to be our own.

If we try to live by a moral code, we will ultimately fail because we are sinners. But we don't have to be righteous, because we have Jesus' righteousness. We are free to live in a relationship and worship him. God has given us a gift that is beyond all human comprehension. Mike Donehey from Tenth Avenue North said, "We shouldn't live for God, we should live because of God."


My Response To Irfan's Note

Earlier today I posted a link to one of my friend's notes. I just wanted to take my comment and expand and expound on it.

What is Fundamentalism? By definition, Fundamentalism is believing in the fundamentals of the faith (virgin birth, deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith) and standing on those. Fundamentalism involves separating from those who do not believe these fundamentals. By this definition, I am a fundamentalist. I am not going to compromise by endorsing false teachers.

In practice, from what I've seen (and I would say that I've seen and heard a fair sample) of so called fundamentalist churches is that there is a different set of fundamentals. They take secondary doctrines and preferences (using the KJV, not using CCM, the complete free will of man) and making those primary. Those who do not believe the same in these secondary issues are denounced from pulpits. I have heard some label an evangelist "liberal" because he used the ESV at a church that uses the ESV.

Am I a fundamentalist? (It gets really hard to type that word over and over.) By the first definition, I am. By the first definition most evangelical churches that aren't considered fundamental are, in fact, fundamental. By the practical definition, I am not a fundamentalist. I am not going to separate from someone who disagrees with me on a minor preference. And I am not going to separate from those who love Jesus and want to see people saved.

Another Post About Fundamentalism

Check out these two notes by a friend.

Ten Reasons Not To Attend A Fundamentalist Church

and a response to one of the comments on that note.

I don't agree with all of this, but I do agree with all the major points.


Life Is Good Today

Its not normal for me to get a kick out of little kids. They usually annoy me (makes me a bad person, I know) but I saw the awesomest five year old tonight at the fireworks. He was sitting on his dad's lap and was obsessed with the fireworks.

"Look at all the green!" "That's a circle!"

I laughed. It was funny. This little kid was noticing and loving the things about the fireworks that I didn't care about, but I knew I used to. I knew that 14 years ago I was that little kid. I was the annoying little guy that everyone looked at and smiled at. That kid gave me a smile I needed.

On the other side of him came another voice just as enthused about the fireworks. My 22 year old sister hasn't outgrown her fascination with bright lights. Give it a few years, it'll come.

All in all it was a good day. I had to work a full shift at Tim Hortons this morning, but business was slow and steady. I went home, watched three episodes of "Chuck," and took a nap.

"I got my toes in the water,
Sittin' in the sand,
Not a worry in the world,
A cold drink in my hand.
Life is good today,
Life is good today.
-Toes by Zac Brown Band