Saturday, February 28, 2009

Teens and Ethical Decisions

Results from a survey of 750 American teens conducted by Junior Achievement and the consulting firm, Deloitte showed that — out of 100 teens — only three (3%) are likely to say they see members of the clergy as role models and nearly half say that lying to parents and guardians is acceptable.

The results of the survey on teens and ethical decision-making showed that scarcely any teens (those under age 18) view their pastors, priests, rabbis or imams as role models, with friends (13%), teachers or coaches (6%), and siblings (5%) ahead of the clergy. Fifty-four percent reported seeing their parents as role models.

Although the overwhelming majority of teens (80%) believe they are ethically prepared to make moral business decisions, nearly 40 percent believe they need to "break the rules" in order to succeed. More than one in four teenagers (27%) think behaving violently is sometimes, often or always acceptable, according to the poll. One in five teens (20%) reported to have personally behaved violently toward another person in the past year.

Furthermore, among those who say they are ethically prepared for business, nearly half (49%) say lying to parents and guardians is acceptable. More than three out of five teens (61%) say they have lied to their parents or guardian this past year.

"There is a troubling incongruence between the degree to which teens feel ethically prepared to enter the workforce, and the unethical behaviors in which they engage," commented David W. Miller, director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative and professor of business ethics at Princeton University, according to JA Worldwide.

Sean C. Rush, president and CEO of JA Worldwide, said, "The results of the survey reveal considerable ethical relativism among teens and raise questions about their ability to make good decisions later in life ... We're understandably concerned about these results, but recognize that they do point to a major learning opportunity." []

Friday, February 27, 2009

Win Mark Driscoll's Vintage Church!

Bible Study Magazine and Mars Hill are giving away 20 copies of Mark Driscoll’s new book, Vintage Church. Not only that, but they are also giving away five subscriptions to Bible Study Magazine and a copy of their Bible Study Library software! Enter to win on the Bible Study Magazine Mark Driscoll page, then take a look at all the cool tools they have to take your Bible study to the next level!

I also got in on the pre-pub price for the Mark Driscoll Sermon Archive for my Logos Bible Software.  The pre-pub price is $89.95, and will likely be something like $149.95 once published, so you can save quite a bit by pre-ordering. 

From the Logos web site:

The Mark Driscoll Sermon Archive contains nearly ten years of preaching and teaching by Mark Driscoll, the Preaching and Theology Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. In this massive archive, the transcriptions of his audio sermons preached at Mars Hill Church, which work through fifteen books of the Bible and cover scores of topical issues, and at well over one hundred conferences around the U.S. and world will be made available for reading, searching, and study. That’s ten years worth of preaching and teaching from one of today’s most influential and provocative pastors now available in the most advanced digital format anywhere!

Because everyone is a sinner and Jesus is Lord over all, then the preaching of repentance of sin and life of faith in Jesus works for everyone—believer and nonbeliever. It seems obvious, but preaching Jesus every week is both faithful to Scripture and fruitful in the lives of everyone.
—Mark Driscoll

Each week, more than 8,000 people gather at Mars Hill Church in Seattle to hear Mark Driscoll’s preaching. Driscoll is unafraid to talk about sin or confront the most difficult cultural issues. Drawing from the rich insights of Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Spurgeon, and others, he never hesitates to explain the raw and confrontational truth of the Gospel. Driscoll’s goal, in his own words, is to “study the Bible all week, pray to the Lord, and then. . . speak from my heart” (Seattle Times, November 30, 2003).

Driscoll’s passion for the Gospel and his deep honesty in explaining its truths has placed him at the center of a resurging interest in Reformed theology. It has also helped foster Mars Hill’s explosive growth in recent years, and drawn the attention of supporters and skeptics alike. With the Mark Driscoll Sermon Archive, you can go deep into his sermons, or simply read the text. Either way, you get access to an amazing wealth of preaching material.

Sermon Series Included

  • Generous
  • The Peasant Princess: A Love Story from the Song of Songs
  • Pray Like Jesus
  • Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe
  • Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions
  • The Rebel's Guide to Joy (Philippians)
  • Nehemiah: Building a City Within the City
  • Redeeming Ruth
  • Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions
  • 1 Corinthians: Christians Gone Wild
  • Christ on the Cross
  • Genesis
  • Epistles of John
  • 1-2 Timothy
  • Revelation
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Habakkuk
  • Ephesians
  • Galatians
  • Proverbs
  • The Gospel of John

Benefits of the Logos Bible Software Edition

  • Search every sermon for any topic you can think of in just seconds.
  • View each sermon side-by-side with the text of the Bible.
  • Studying a specific verse or topic? Find out what Mark Driscoll has said about that verse by doing a simple search through your collection.
  • All Scripture references are displayed instantly on mouseover.

If you’re already a Logos user, the Mark Driscoll Sermon Archive will incorporate seamlessly into your existing digital library. It also works great as a stand-alone product if you’re new to Logos.

To take advantage of all the great features of Logos Bible Software, and to save up to 95% on hundreds of books, resources, and other Bible study materials, check out one of the base packages.

About Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll is the preaching and speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. Since 1996, Driscoll has led Mars Hill from a small Bible study group to a large multi-site church. He is a founder and regular contributor to The Resurgence, an online resource for missional theology. Driscoll also founded and continues to inspire the efforts of the Acts 29 Network, a vast network of pastors around the world dedicated to planting and equipping churches.

Mark Driscoll’s preaching and the ministry of Mars Hill Church have been profiled in the Seattle Times, the New York Times, ABC’s Nightline, and though countless other media outlets. He has also authored or co-authored numerous books, including The Radical Reformission, Death by Love: Letters from the Cross, and Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods. Driscoll is also featured in the March–April 2009 issue of Bible Study Magazine.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our Top Heroes

(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

The Harris Poll® conducted its regular hero survey of a cross-section of Americans last month. Asked (off the top of their heads) whom they admire enough to call their heroes (up to three names), those mentioned most included:

1. Barack Obama
2. Jesus Christ
3. Martin Luther King
4. Ronald Reagan
5. George W. Bush
6. Abraham Lincoln
7. John McCain
8. John F. Kennedy
9. Chelsey Sullenberger
10. Mother Teresa
11. God
12. Hillary Clinton

13. Billy Graham
Franklin D. Roosevelt
15. Mahatma Ghandi
16. Colin Powell
George Washington
Bill Clinton
19. Condoleeza Rice
20. Oprah Winfrey
21. Sarah Palin
22. George S. Patton
Bill Gates

Those in the top 20 in 2001 who dropped off the top of the list this year included John Wayne, Michael Jordan, John Glenn, Norman Schwartzkopf, Princess Diana, Dwight Eisenhower, Pope John Paul and Jimmy Carter.

In another question, responders were asked to select from a list of choices what made someone a hero. The top definitions given were:

  1. Doing what's right regardless of personal consequences (89%).
  2. Not giving up until the goal is accomplished (83%).
  3. Doing more than what other people expect of them (82%).
  4. Overcoming adversity (81%).
  5. Staying level-headed in a crisis (81%).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Family Devotions - by Mark and Grace Driscoll

Mark Driscoll gives a realistic approach to doing family devotions at dinnertime:

Step 1. Eat dinner with your entire family regularly.
Step 2. Mom and Dad sit next to one another to lead the family discussion.
Step 3. Open the meal by asking if there is anyone or anything to pray for.
Step 4. Someone opens in prayer and covers any requests. This task should be rotated among family members so that different people take turns learning to pray aloud.
Step 5. Start eating and discuss how everyone’s day went.
Step 6. Have a Bible in front of the parents in a translation that is age-appropriate for the kids’ reading level. Have someone (parent or child) open the Bible, and assign a portion to read aloud while everyone is eating and listening.
Step 7. Parents should note key words and themes in the passage and explain them to the kids on an age-appropriate level.
Step 8. Ask questions about the passage. You may want to begin with having your children summarize what was read—retelling the story or passage outline. Then, ask the following questions: What does this passage teach us about God? What does it say about us or about how God sees us? What does it teach us about our relationships with others?
Step 9. Let the conversation happen naturally, listen carefully to the kids, let them answer the questions, and fill in whatever they miss or lovingly and gently correct whatever they get wrong so as to help them.
Step 10. If the Scriptures convict you of sin, repent as you need to your family, and share appropriately honest parts of your life story so the kids can see Jesus’ work in your life and your need for him too. This demonstrates gospel humility to them.
Step 11. At the end of dinner, ask the kids if they have any questions for you.
Step 12. If you miss a night, or if conversation gets off track, or if your family occasionally just wants to talk about something else, don’t stress—it’s inevitable.

Adapted from “Family Dinner Bible Studies” by Mark Driscoll in Trial: 8 Witnesses from 1 & 2 Peter, a study guide. (Mars Hill Church, 2009), pages 69-70.
(HT: Life Together)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Leadership Learnings eBook from Leadership Network

Exponential Network just gave the church world a huge gift. They sifted through thousands of blog posts from some great church leaders and compiled an e-book of the best of the best. The e-book contains articles authored by...

Ben Arment
Chris Elrod
Dave Ferguson
Mike Foster
Seth Godin
Craig Groeschel
Alan Hirsch
Scott Hodge
Gary Lamb
Brad Lomenick
Shawn Lovejoy
Tony Morgan
Perry Noble
Ed Stetzer
Tim Stevens
Tullian Tchividjian
Jud Wilhite

You can get your free PDF copy right here... Download Leadership-learnings

Also... Don't forget about the Exponential Conference happening in Orlando on April 20-23. Exponential is the largest gathering of church planters in North America. This year's speaker lineup includes: Erwin McManus, Mark Batterson, Matt Chandler, Tim Keller, Alan Hirsch, Francis Chan, Craig Groeschel, Ed Stetzer, Dave Ferguson, and more.

(HT: Scott Hodge)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Evolution vs. Creationism

Evolution Debate
A new Zogby poll shows 78 percent of U.S. voters want both sides of the evolution debate brought up in the classroom — up nine points from a similar poll three years ago. The poll, commissioned by the Discovery Institute, found both Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly support discussion for and against evolution. "Many Darwinists are trying to paint supporters of academic freedom as some kind of crazy, fringe element," said Candi Cushman, education analyst at Focus on the Family Action. "The truth is, the majority of parents want their kids to examine all the scientific evidence, to engage in critical thinking and to have classrooms that are academically challenging — not controlled by political correctness."

Just Four in 10 Americans Believe in Evolution

A Gallup poll released this week shows that 39 percent of Americans say they "believe in the theory of evolution," while a quarter say they do not. Another 36 percent don't have an opinion either way, CNN reported. An earlier Gallup poll on this issue, that was conducted in May 2008, found that 44 percent believe God created human beings within the past 10,000 years.

(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ultrasounds Before Abortions May be Mandated

Sixteen states currently have laws relating to ultrasounds before abortion, some requiring that women be given an ultrasound prior to abortion, and others requiring that she be told where she can get the procedure for free. Now, 12 more states are considering legislation that would require doctors to provide women with ultrasounds before terminating a pregnancy.

For example, in Connecticut, doctors would be required to make ultrasound images available to their patients. In Texas, doctors would be required to show ultrasounds to patients, display the results and explain the images. A bill in Florida would require women to pay $100 to $200 for their own ultrasounds before having an abortion.

A Focus on the Family study found that up to 87 percent of women who see their fetuses in an ultrasound choose to keep the baby. "In the course of [seeing the ultrasound image], this miraculous thing that happens is this woman comes face-to-face with her unborn child," said Kim Conroy, consultant to Sanctity of Human Life Issues for Focus on the Family. "Before, it was theoretical information, but now, it's 'This is not a blob of tissue; it's not some undefined mass.'" [,]


My wife and I are expecting our first child and had the opportunity last month to have our first ultrasound. Truly a powerful and moving experience. I honestly had the thought while watching it "How could anyone have an abortion after seeing this?" I was a proponent of ultrasound prior to that, but now I'm 100% sold that we need more of these and need to make them available to every pregnant woman. I'm excited for the next one! It's like a sneak peek into the future, and what a beautiful and glorious future!!

I won! (Kinda)

A few weeks ago, CJ Mahaney (and Tony Reinke) asked for people to submit real sports stories that taught us humility.

So I entered a story. And I won. I think. I mean I know I won, but having my story told publicly will be a humility inducing experience. But I get a free DVD (and more!). And over the last few days I've had the opportunity to have Tony Reinke remind me that every time they read my story, they laugh out loud.

I'll hold off on publishing my story so they can run it first. In fact, I might never publish my story, we'll see how much humility I can tolerate. :-)

BTW, I don't know if my ranking at #1 on their web site is a coincidence or not. I'm hoping my being first was random, and not an indicator that my story is the most humiliating they received!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

John Piper on Preaching and Relevance

"As a preacher, I think a lot about relevance. That is, why should anyone listen to what I have to say? Why should anybody care? Relevance is an ambiguous word. It could mean more than one thing. It might mean that a sermon is relevant if it feels to the listeners that it will make a significant difference in their lives. Or it might mean that a sermon is relevant if it will make a significant difference in their lives whether they feel it or not. That second kind of relevance is what guides my sermons. In other words, I want to say things that are really significant for your life whether you know they are or not. My way of doing that is to stay as close as I can to what God says is important in his word, not what we think is important apart God’s word."

--John Piper, What Man Does in the New Birth

(HT: Joe Thorn)

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Broken blog

I think I broke my blog. The sidebar is at the bottom of the screen. I'll look into it when I have a bit more time later tonight. For the time being, just scroll waaaaay to the bottom for the stuff normally on the right side.


I think I found the culprit. Mark Driscoll (or specifically the video of him) was killing my blog. I forgot to re-size my Driscoll video from the Nightlight segment. YouTube videos are by default wider than the blog will accommodate.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

For Couples only and The Love as a way of Life Devotional

Below are a couple of books I will be reviewing later this week. I've started the men's book For Men Only and so far I think it is fantastic, and my wife feels the same about For Women Only. I've only thumbed through Dr. Gary Chapman's book so far. The text below comes from the publisher. I will also be giving away a copy of each book as well. If you would like to be entered into my drawing for these books, please leave a comment (<--preferred) or email me at:

Limit one entry per person (so husbands and wives can each enter!) and I will take care of delivery to the winners. I will select two winners and you get what you get, no requests for one book over the other. I will announce who wins what in Friday!

This Valentines Day say “I Do” to Love a Way of Life

As the “Love Season” approaches, I am excited to offer you two books that will encourage and inspire readers to become a person who consistently loves others no matter what time of year it is.

In his new book The Love as a Way of Life Devotional, best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman will rouse a desire to let love guide the way you respond to others in every situation. These ninety short devotionals—perfect for reading on your own, with your spouse, or with a friend over coffee—deliver the insight and motivation needed to make love a lasting habit.

Gary Chapman shows readers how to cultivate a new lifestyle built around the seven characteristics of authentic love. Now in a companion devotional, he provides ninety inspirational readings to help Christians consistently live out the characteristics of love in every relationship.

Each devotional entry showcases biblical truths that guide a life of love, offering fresh insight and practical guidance in how to make love a lasting habit. Over the course of three months, readers will learn to follow God’s lead as they practice the characteristics of a loving person: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty.

The Love As a Way of Life Devotional makes an ideal gift for the holidays or for any special occasion. Couples, parents, new graduates, and anyone celebrating a milestone in life will welcome this inspiring daily guide to richer, more satisfying relationships.

Author Bio:

Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of twenty-six books, including the New York Times bestseller The Five Love Languages, with more than 4 million copies in print. His daily radio program, A Love Language Minute, is broadcast on more than 100 stations nationwide. Dr. Chapman, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College, Wake-Forest University, and Southwestern Seminary, serves on a church staff in North Carolina.

Couples will love reading the Bestselling Relationship Guides Now Available in One Set! Combining two wonderful resources, For Women Only and For Men Only, For Couples Only: Eyeopening Insights about How the Opposite Sex Thinks by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn provides the perfect resource to help you understand what the woman or man in your life needs most. This innovative approach yields candid and surprising answers about the things you don’t “get” about your significant other, along with practical ideas for how best to love and support the love of your life.

Since their debut, these revolutionary guides have sold well over a million copies, been translated into fifteen languages, and sparked much fascinating water-cooler conversation around the country. Now together in the For Couples Only boxed set, these books provide the perfect resource to help you understand what you never knew about the woman or man in your life.

Each volume is based on input from more than a thousand members of the opposite sex—including an unprecedented nationwide survey and hundreds of personal interviews. This innovative approach yields candid and surprising answers about everything you don’t “get” about your significant other—even what that person deeply wishes you knew. It also produces simple but groundbreaking awareness of how you can best love and support the one who is most important to you.

So whether you are newly dating or have been married fifty years, get ready to know each other in a whole new way. The adventure is just beginning!

Author Bio:

Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn hold graduate degrees from Harvard University and are popular national speakers, authors, and entrepreneurs. They are also active church members and the parents of two young children, and they enjoy every minute of living life at warp speed.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Praying for our leaders at the local and national levels

Just a reminder to pray for our leaders at all level:

RO 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

RO 13:6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

1TI 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior

Monday, February 02, 2009

Buttprints in the Sand

Buttprints in the Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream
One set of footprints there was seen
The footprints of my precious Lord
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some strange prints appeared
I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat
"But Lord, they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones
"For miles I carried you along
I challenged you to walk in faith
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow
The walk of faith you would not know
So I got tired, I got fed up
And there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life there comes a time
When one must fight and one must climb
When one must rise and take a stand
Or leave their butt prints in the sand."

- author unknown