There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for October, 2006

dare to not compare

…promised you a quote from Donald Miller about the comparison trap in an earlier post.  Here’s what I remembered but could not find then.  It’s worth the wait. It’s from his Searching for God Knows What, and this little snippet he composed at his bedside as if he were an alien observing the idiosyncracies of humans.  Except “idiosyncratic” perhaps diminishes how significant and how devastating this part of the human condition really is.

Humans, as a species, are constantly, and in every way, comparing themselves to one another, which, given the brief nature of their existence, seems an oddity and, for that matter, a waste.  Nevertheless, this is the driving influence behind every human’s social development, their emotional health and sense of joy, and, sadly, their greatest tragedies.  It is as though something that helped them function and live well has gone missing, and they are pining for that missing thing in all sorts of odd methods, none of which are working.  The greater tragedy is that very few people understand they have the disease.  This seems strange as well because it is obvious.  To be sure, it is killing them, and yet sustaining their social and economic systems.  They are an entirely beautiful people with a terrible problem.  (p. 92)

Miller’s a is a riff on far more ancient comment by none other than St Augustine: Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.

but can he dance?

I don’t think it’s sacrilege, but i suppose it was only a matter of time before someone took one of the doctrines of grace and juxtaposed one of its contemporary champions against a pop-culture icon’s music. Here’s the result.

cautiously submitted,

pray for Noel in Nairobi

mann.jpgA few weeks ago Noel Mann gave us a snapshot of his work in Southeast Asia involving language-survey with a view to developing bible translations for various people-groups who have no translation in their dialect. . .He’s in Kenya doing a similar kind of survey-work. Praying for this might be like trying to speak quantum-mechanics (what does he mean?), but rest assured whatever befuddlement you bring in prayer is translated.  Here’s his most recent communique from afar:

I left Dallas on the 26th, arrived in London the next day, and arrived here in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday (Sunday). We have a solid week of meetings this week. There are 4-5 of us. I feel privileged to be part of this group since we are considering future ways to do survey worldwide. The outcome will be a recommended practices paper that we will put out to communicate where we see survey going in light of some new strategies in our organization. The first day was really good. I will return to the US November 10th. Then I will return to Seattle for 2 months before returning to Dallas mid January. I hope to be back to the PCPC class before I go to Seattle (baring jetlag).


Simplified schedule:

Nairobi, Kenya 26 Oct – 10 Nov    Survey strategy and direction meetings

when you pick up your Bible next, pray for Noel;  were it not for people like him centuries ago, you’d be without an english translation.

you could watch a scary movie, or you could. . .

. . .love on some kids Halloween Night.

As Erika mentioned yesterday, there’s a need for some willing folks to chaperone kids served by the Vickery Meadows Ministry around the fair at Northwest Bible tomorrow night.  Some details you should be aware of:

A bus from Northwest Bible will arrive to get us between 5:30 and 5:45 at the Ivanhoe, so arriving at 5:15 is wonderful, but don’t worry if you can’t be there before 5:30. We will leave the Fun Fest somewhere between 8:00-8:30, so we plan on being finished dropping the kids off by 8:45 at the latest. Wearing costumes is recommended if you can, but no pressure 🙂  I have no idea if the kids will be dressed up, but I think it will be fun for them to see us that way.

Email Erika to volunteer.

watching over–in review…

If you missed the weekend, I think you could summarize its substance in a few themes:

  1. you have to appreciate the need for watching over your heart. If it is the wellspring of life, and if so much works to undermine its fruitfulness, then anyone not taking a regular inventory about how one is responding to life’s challenges is subjecting themselves to a dismal present and future. Oftentimes it’s not even the overtly immoral activity that gets the best of us, but the seemingly harmless amusements which succeed in keeping us so preoccupied with trivial matters that we rarely, or at least too casually, give attention to matters of consequence. Watching over your heart is no small matter. Read the rest of this entry »

but who will CNN turn to for a sound bite?

at last, someone who’s not a Christian is able to discern a critic’s straw-man version of Christianity. Perhaps a page has turned in the wider culture’s conception of who best “represents” a vibrant and humble Christian witness.

Justin Taylor posted a review by David Brooks of Andrew Sullivan’s latest book. Sullivan is a thoughtful, articulate (is that a slam now?) editorialist for Time. Here’s a sampling of Brooks’ review:

“The Conservative Soul” is imbued with Sullivan’s characteristic passion and clarity. And yet I must confess, if I hadn’t been reviewing this book, I wouldn’t have finished it. I have a rule, which has never failed me, that when a writer uses quotations from Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and the Left Behind series to capture the religious and political currents in modern America, then I know I can put that piece of writing down because the author either doesn’t know what he is talking about or is arguing in bad faith.

the heart is the wellspring of life…

cropped-eye_highrez1.jpg Several of us are getting away this weekend on retreat. It may sound cheesy to you for us to ask you to pray for us (what do they need prayer for to be on retreat?). Nonetheless, what we’ll consider and reflect upon is not insignificant, and for it to be effective, the Lord must bless. Would you ask for that?

We will be praying for all of 20+ this weekend. See you next week

hey, a little help?

anybody able to help out with this tonight:(here’s Amanda’s email address)

As you all have heard, ESL is bursting at the seams this year! Praise God for such a great opportunity to share the gospel to the Hispanic community.


Kidcare (ages 6-12) is doing a craft this evening and we are in need of extra hands. We want to invite you to serve from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in room 132.

What do you have to do?

  • Supervise while kids paint, glue, etc.
  • Give them ideas on how to decorate their craft.
  • Love on them.
  • Help clean up.



I promise you’ll have fun! Hope to hear from you.


Amanda Whitsell

Asst. to Urban Ministries



Fax: 214-224-2782


not so silent protest. . .

Gallaudet University is a long way from here (D.C.), but one of our own, Becky Stevener, is in the imbroglio there over the recent choice of a new President for the school.  You can read about it here.  You can pray about it too.

the human condition: twisting good things into destructive things

What is perhaps most dangerous to our hearts is that which appears to be totally harmless.

We’re talking about watching over our hearts this weekend. Have you ever considered your use of the Internet to be one firewall the flesh has already hacked into? Consider this little introduction to a larger study by Stanford on internet addiction.

It’s not porn, but it appears to be no less alluring…

your thoughts?