Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Christ Alone

Last week Keith and Kristyn Getty came to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to lead a hymn sing for the students and community around Wake Forest. The Gettys, along with Stuart Townsend have written what is in my opinion the greatest hymn in a hundred years. My theology professor quoted some words to us from this song before class the other day and made the statement: "People will learn and remember more about the atonement (the work of Christ on the cross) from this song than they ever will through your preaching or teaching. That is the power of song and the power of a well written hymn." I humbly believe that he is correct. I don't know of a song where the gospel message is more clearly on display.



Here are the lyrics:

In Christ Alone
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Creation, His Word and the alternative



As I watch the images in this video I am in awe! We serve a VERY big God. He is the Creator and everyday His creation shows His glory and reveals His power. And as a result all I can do is, "Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!" (Ps. 150:1-2)

"...since what can be known about God is plain to us, because God has shown it to us. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (Ro. 1:19-20)

Or you could go another way:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shhh...Tell Everyone: Secret Church

I am so excited to have found this and to share it with you.



I would encourage you to check out the Secret Church. It is full of articles, videos and messages related to the persecuted church. The church which sponsors it, Brook Hills seems to be a great group. The pastor, Dr. David Platt, is only 29 but he has more degrees than a thermometer. He recently preached three messages which have had a big impact on Southern Seminary. They are titled quite simply the Great Commission Lectures, I dare you to listen to them.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dr. Akin Unplugged

This semester has been fantastic in terms of chapel messages here at SEBTS. Message after message, speaker after speaker, God is on the move here at Southeastern. This is a Great Commission seminary and the leadership here is working to extend that passion for the nations to the rest of the denomination. I consider myself blessed to be here especially during this particular time.

The leader behind the Great Commission Resurgence, starting at SEBTS and spreading throughout the Southern Baptist Convention, is our President, Danny Akin. On Wednesday (Sept. 17th) Dr. Akin hosted the Presidential Forum where he answered questions which students submitted online. I have listened to a few of these from past semesters and they are generally pretty good but on this particular day Akin was especially on form. About 10 or 15 minutes into the Forum he begins to address the questions submitted in regards to Sarah Palin and some of his other thoughts on this particular election. It is fantastic insight and I appreciate how open and candid he was. Not long after that portion of the Forum, Akin erupts into a passionate plea for more overseas workers. He gets so riled up at one point he almost cussed. I was having such a good time I couldn't help but clap. I felt like a bobble head doll in a talk back church (you know the kind where the congregation talks back to the preacher via, "Amen!!" or "Preach it brother"). Anyway. I HIGHLY recommend the whole Forum especially the political and missional section. You can find it here (scroll down to to Sept 17th). Or search Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary on Itunes and sign up for the free podcast of Chapel messages.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wordle

My friend Elizabeth posted about this site on her blog and I thought I'd try it out. You can put in the URL for your blog and it will take words from it and make a picture. Pretty cool huh?

Hello From Leslie!

Are any of my fans still out there? As you have noticed, Thomas has taken over the blog with his Theological insights. What he's learning in school...his thoughts on the current state of our political system. I've heard that there are some people who would like to see some pretty pictures to break things up so I thought I'd update you on our life in general.

Thomas' classes have started back of course and it's still business as usual for me at the Convention. I'm starting to learn all the structure and hierarchy between all the groups and teams. My projects have included 2 brochures for the Hispanic youth ministry, a set of brochures for next year's Bible Drill, a brochure for an African American Conference, a campaign for the North Carolina Mission Offering that I assisted my co-worker Kathryn with which included a folder, brochure, kids materials, bulletin insert, prayer guide, dvd and poster. The past month I've been working on the 2007 Annual Report and a redesign of the ncbaptist.org website. We are SO busy there. I've probably worked on more projects in the past six months than I did in 3 years at Brinkley Design. It's lots of fun though, I'm loving it and feel totally confirmed that this is where God wants me to be. We joined Summit Church in Durham and have joined a small group here in Wake Forest and are making friends.

My amazing roadtrip buddy/college roommate Monika got married Labor Day weekend at the Millennium Center in Winston Salem. Shelley and I were bridesmaids and helped throw her bachelorette party and lingerie shower the weekend before. The wedding was beautiful and I was happy to be there and support Monika on her special day. She was a beautiful bride.

Me and Shelley for Monika's Wedding

After the wedding we went to Cherryville for the rest of the long weekend to visit family. We saw Mamere and Jack, Kim and Stephen, my grandparents and of course my parents. Monday my mom and I went shopping while the men of the house went dove hunting. This picture is of Thomas and Brent skeet shooting for practice before they went out. Who would have though Thomas could look so much like a native! haha

Thomas and Brent Ready for Dove Hunting

This past weekend my friend Natalie from Charlotte came to visit! We had so much fun just hanging out and catching up. She got to see our house for the first time and we went shopping and to the movies. Sunday, Brent and Amber met us for church at Summit. It was a great sermon from J.D. on the reason people give for not being Christians that "Christianity is too restrictive." Then we all went to lunch and watched the Panthers play and win! It was a great weekend. :)
Me and Natalie This Weekend

Friday, September 12, 2008

Poverty and Politics

Understand as you read this that I am the least qualified person in the world to talk about U.S. politics. But...since it is the season...I will share a few observations:
1)Republicans seem to care more about a child's right to life and I certainly agree with that (esp. after studying the doctrine of Humanity in Theology).
2)Democrats seem to care more about being good stewards of the environment and I appreciate that (esp. after studying Creation in Theology).
3)The Republican side has a more biblical view of marriage (again Theology class) although every time this side rants and raves about it they seem to forget that God hates all sin and 50-60% of them have had or are going to have a divorce.
4)And this is the one that has always thrown the biggest wrench in my train of thought. The Democrats have historically claimed to have a better plan for the poor and underprivileged. Having grown up in Kenya where I was constantly faced with so much poverty this issue is near and dear to me. Until Christ returns I don't believe that poverty will ever be eradicated (Jesus said so Himself). But I do believe that as Christians we are called upon to help and assist those less fortunate.
With all that in mind, as a believer I have always thought that both parties had something to offer. So with that said and without taking anything away from that statement let me share the following facts which to be quite honest shocked me.

The following stats come from an article by Glen Beck of CNN Headline News.

What do the top ten U.S. cities with the highest poverty rate all have in common?

Democrat leadership.

Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961;
Buffalo, NY (2nd on the poverty list) hasn't elected one since 1954;
Cincinnati, OH (3rd on the list).. since 1984;
Cleveland, OH (4th on the list) since 1989;
Miami, FL (5th on the list) has never had a Republican Mayor;
St. Louis, MO (6th on the list) since 1949;
El Paso, TX (7th on the list) has never had a Republican Mayor;
Milwaukee, WI (8th on the list) since 1908;
Philadelphia, PA (9th on the list) since 1952;
Newark, NJ (10th on the list) since 1907.

I hate that so many in the Christian community have married themselves to the Republican party. But... in light of the above information, I think it is obvious which side I am more inclined towards.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies



As of September 8th this video had been viewed almost 1,500,000 times on youtube. It is an excellent witness of a loving God who sovereignly acts through His redeemed to draw people to Himself. I love hearing or reading testimonies of believers. My favorite one on this video is the lady diagnosed with M.S. and her doctor; but they are all excellent.

Are Christians Really Generous?

I straight up ripped this off of my pastor's blog. I thought it was good and as one who plans to serve Christ at the ends of the earth, I am comforted to know that there are so many who give so generously. My only hope is that we do not just give as philanthropists but rather as missional senders who whole heartedly desire to see Jesus made famous among those who have never heard.


I hope this wont' be taken the wrong way, but I found this piece from Douglas Wilson to be both encouraging and convicting:
“Americans are about six percent of the world’s population and we account for about forty-five percent of the world’s philanthropy. Among Americans, believers are far more generous than secularists. Among believers, Protestants are more liberal in their giving than Catholics. Among Protestants, evangelicals are more generous than mainliners. But if you were to ask a secular arbiter of all that is philanthropic for his opinion on how we were doing, he would invert the whole thing. That much said, when the standard is God’s generosity to us, most of us are not nearly as generous to others as we ought to be. We should pray for grace to overflow more liberally still. But we may be pardoned if the evangelical artesian well, producing 20 gallons a minute, while wishing it could be 40, doesn’t want to hear lectures on charity from the dry hole of secular leftism.”
Those who know the God of grace can't help but be generous themselves. Our generosity will be in proportion to our knowledge of God.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Politics of Jesus 2008


In a little over a month the office I work for at the Convention is hosting a seminar in Durham, NC. We have titled it The Politics of Jesus: Timeless Answers for Today's Questions. I hope you will take just a minute of your time and visit the website. If the Lord leads you please consider coming to listen to this fantastic line up of speakers.
These men and the topics they are addressing are very timely considering the election that will follow in November. The seminar will not be partisan in any way but instead will seek to uncover what the Bible has to say on some of the leading issues of our day. With 50% of the marriages in this country ending in divorce how can we afford not to listen to Dr. Thornbury lecture on it's sacredness. Americans could potentially elect the first African American President in the country's history in November. Certainly a talk on racism in our churches is appropriate by Dr. Fentress. I have just highlighted two of what will be six brilliant lectures. I encourage you to visit the website and consider joining us. Plus it's free, your CP dollars at work folks!