dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


Like the Roar of Many Waters

(This is the Revelation 1 follow-up post I mentioned.)

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw even golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

Revelation 1:12-16

This paragraph gives an amazing description of Jesus. The words that really caught my attention were in verse 15, which says that "his voice was like the roar of many waters." Hmm, what does that mean?

How often do we stop to think about Biblical symbolism? We too easily pass off descriptions as metaphorical, without really considering exactly how they are metaphorical. When I came to this verse as I was praying, several things came to mind.

First, the roar of many waters is loud--not obnoxious, but nonetheless loud. It grabs your attention. "Roar" most certainly does not imply an idyllic background noise. So too, in this passage, we read an awesome description of the voice of our Savior. His voice is not just one more mixing in among many others. All other sounds become as nothing at the sound of His voice.

Second, a person often hears the sound of roaring, rushing waters before he sees the actual waves. The roaring of many waters tells the hearer of something more: the waters. It is not just a sound, coming and going with little lasting effect. In the same way, we hear the words of our Savior before we see Him. His own words tell us of Him. By His words He opens our minds and hearts to Him.

I mentioned already that the roar of many waters drowns out every other sound. But the power of water is not just in making a loud sound; nothing can physically stand before these same waters. When the rushing water comes, it overwhelms all in its path. So too, none can stand before the One who speaks with a voice which is described as being like the roar of many waters. We see this just two verses later, as John says that he "fell at His feet" (v17).

Finally, though water can be overwhelming, it sustains us. Without it we could not live. Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4 that He gives living water (v10), which "will become in him [who drinks of it] a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (v14). And in Deuteronomy 8:3 we are told that "man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of God."



Feeding on God

I need to pass on a recommendation. Over the last year, I've begun to learn the benefits of praying through Scripture (or prayerful meditation). I did not come to this idea on my own. I read about it last year in John Piper's "When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy" and heard it again just this morning listening to Mike Bullmore's Na06 breakout message, "Feeding on God: Cultivating a Fruitful Life in the Word." In essence, prayerful meditation helps to prevent wandering thoughts and also teaches us the truth of God's Word in a greater way than only reading it does. Each time recently that I've prayed through a Bible passage after reading it in my devotions, I've found this to be true.

So why am I posting this? First, to encourage others toward prayerful meditation on Scripture, especially if you feel "stuck" in your devotional life right now. (In fact, I'd recommend listening to Mike Bullmore's message, available online for only $2--for that matter, download all 14 NA06 messages for only $10.) My second reason is that I have a new favorite Bible chapter, along with Romans 3, Romans 5, Romans 8 (can you guess what my favorite book is?), John 9, Ephesians 2, Philippians 4, Proverbs 30... anyway, in my devotions today I began reading Revelation. Though I've read this book multiple times, I don't think I'd ever stopped to think about the first chapter--certainly not as much as I did today. After reading most of chapter one several times over, and with Mr. Bullmore's exhortation still fresh in my mind, I decided to pray through it. It is so rich. Here is most of the chapter. Read it, but not too fast.

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

Revelation 1:4-18, ESV
Read verses 5-8 and 12-18 again. Every word, every phrase that it says about our Savior is packed with significance. Just in verse 5 we read that Jesus is "the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth..." and the passage goes on. I would go on talking about it too, if I only could find fitting words. I might do a follow-up post on one particular description in this passage that I've been pondering, but rather than filling this page right now with my own words, let me end by again encouraging you to pray through Scripture passages.



Modesty Survey

Check this out if you haven't yet. Alex and Brett Harris and the rest of the survey team did a great job putting this together and compiling the results. just launched the results of their massive Modesty Survey! Over 1,600 Christian guys answered questions on everything from glitter lotion and lip gloss to swimsuits and skirt slits! For you girls, it's everything you've ever wanted to ask guys about modesty, but were afraid to ask! For you guys, it's really interesting to see what other Christian guys think!

Most importantly, the survey is presented as a resource to help Christian girls (and guys), not a list of legalistic rules, and it is accompanied by the Modesty Survey Petition (which tons of guys have signed) which encourage young women to focus on the heart, not the hemline, to honor their parents, etc. presents the results of the survey as a big St. Valentine's Day gift from 1,600 Christian guys to all Christian girls—and I can't think of a better one!

Go check it out:

But also make sure you spread the word to all your friends. We want as many Christian girls as possible to see it on Valentines Day, so you can repost this post on your blog or forward it as an email.

Guys, they are still accepting signatures for the Modesty Survey Petition, so this is an opportunity for you to still share your voice on the topic of modesty!


What About Global Warming?

When you have a lot of snow...

So much snow that the mounds are overflowing back onto the sidewalk...

And your means of transporting the snow (i.e. sleds) are insufficient for the job...

You get the city-issued 90 gallon trash can...

Fill it up...

Wheel it around...

Contribute to the Igloo Construction Project...

Get a picture together...

And step back to view the... um... results...

Photos courtesy of my sister DeAnna (with the exception of the sibling photo, which my mom took)

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February's Quote to Ponder

"What a man is alone on his knees before God, that he is, and no more."
--Robert Murray McCheyne



The Quest Continues

How do I try to sum up a The Quest? Do I try to give a journal-style step-by-step, simply summarize each message, or just describe the biggest things I took away from it? Probably some sort of combination of all three. But first, a word on the name: it says a lot. The Quest: A Journey Through Biblical Masculinity. What exactly does that mean? Did we all get medallions or certificates at the end, congratulationg us on arriving at perfect Biblical masculinity? No, because The Quest is about far more than just a conference. About 1600 men spent three days being equipped. The real quest, the day-by-day living out of what we heard, is here now. There is no moment of "Congratulations! You've arrived at perfect Biblical manhood!"

Perfect Man
What is perfect manhood, anyway? Dave Harvey addressed that question in Thursday evening's opening message: "Perfect Man." Preaching from Romans 5:18-19, Dave reminded us of the importance of that "one man's obedience." Jesus Christ's subsitutionary death (His passive obedience) is essential to the Gospel; but it is not the whole Gospel, for He also lived a substitutionary life (His active obedience). I'll quickly summarize the two main points of this message.

1. The Perfect Man is essential for man because it fills out what God sees when He looks at us
2. The obedience of Christ positions us so that our obedience can be meaningful in life.

Because of the cross, obedience is from approval, not for approval. We can't be perfect men. We've sinned. We are sinners. But because of the perfect life of Jesus Christ, and because His righteousness is now counted to us, we do not obey to try to earn right standing; rather, we obey out of love for God and out of gratefulness for His mercy to us.

Functional Masculinity
On Friday morning, Pete Greasley delivered a message on "Applied Masculinity: Complementarianism in Real Life." Having grown up in a home and church that pursue complementarianism (as opposed to egalitarianism), I went to the session thinking I had a good understanding of how complementarianism shapes Biblical masculinity. I came out with a fresh view of the gap between understanding and applying. This was actually one of the points Pete made: many evangelicals are functionally much more egalitarian than they realize. A guy's tendency is to slide into passivity.

The first half of his message, Pete talked about the importance of complementarianism in (1) our concept of God, and (2) our understanding and demonstration of the Gospel. In the second half, he went over four marks of Biblical masculinity: conviction, protection, provision, direction. Two questions from these points really stood out to me. First: would I rather be liked or respected for my convictions? Second: do I choose to defer because I don't want to decide? But, lest any think that all of Pete's talk about men needing to be initiators and decision-makers would excuse selfishness, he was very clear: male headship is not about male privilege.

Enduring Temptation
Josh Harris gave a message on "Enduring Temptation" from 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, explaining four lies which this passage exposes: a particular temptation can't touch me; my temptation is unique; God has let me down; there is no escape from this temptation. I won't elaborate on most of it, but I will share a few specific things he said. One is that sometimes the way of escaping temptation can make us look foolish. The other two things are the simple-yet-true steps Josh gave for escaping temptation: look for the way of escape, and use it.

The Price Tag of Discipleship
Josh also delivered the final message, "The Price Tag of Discipleship," preaching from Luke 14:25-33. Salvation is completely free, yet there is still a price tag on being a Christian. First, following Jesus will cost us relationships. Probably all of us have wondered what Jesus meant when He said "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple" (v26). Josh explained that "hate" in this verse essentially means "love less." Following Jesus means putting Him first, obeying Him even when it contradicts the wishes of everyone else. Second, following Jesus will cost us desires. We cannot be His disciple while embracing our selfish desires. Third, following Jesus will cost us posessions. This can be especially difficult, because it's so much easier to say that what we have belongs to Him than it is to actually joyfully release what He takes away. One last quote (which I think may be from another author or speaker) is this: Christianity without a cross is Christianity without a crown.

The Pursuit
Early Friday afternoon I attended Bob Kauflin's breakout session: The Pursuit--A Fresh Look at the "C" Word (Courtship) for Father's, Singles, and Sons. I've read Josh Harris' books and heard a few messages on the topic, so what Bob said wasn't really new. Nonetheless, I was still very glad that I went. (It was also neat that I was able to attend with my dad, as Bob was speaking to both fathers and sons.) As a father of six--three of whom are married--Bob spoke on the topic with both Biblical wisdom and personal experience. While he said a number of practical things, I came away with two main impressions: first, that the same attributes we as young men need to develop to be godly men are those which we need to develop to be ready to marry and become godly husbands; second, that it's imperative to constantly seek counsel from those who are wiser than myself--as he put it, "Mistrust my own heart."

What A Man Is Alone On His Knees
Conferences can play an interesting role in our Christian walk. I find that, while I learn and benefit from each message, usually one or two which really impact me. Why? A lot of times, they are on topics which God has been bringing to my attention for a period of time preceding the conference. (For instance, this happened last year at New Attitide with Eric Simmons' message on evangelism.) So it has happened that, since returning from Hershey, the message from The Quest that has had the most immediate impact in my life is Jim Donohue's message, What A Man Is Alone On His Knees. Jim had a several hard-hitting quotes (some of which I might use here in the coming months) and talked about how much not praying demonstrates pride, but here's what he said that stuck with me: the way we grow in prayer is not through the latest strategy or some drastic vow; rather, growth in prayer flows from an increased view of God. Basically, we don't pray because we don't have a high enough view of who God is. Jim then spent a large chunk of his message talking about twenty-one different attributes of God. Again, I didn't hear anything new per se, but after many times of being convicted about a lack of prayer and not doing anything about it... by God's grace I've been able to apply some of what I heard.

Final Thoughts
I'm grateful to have been able to attend The Quest. I know, however, that what I do with the teaching I heard is what matters. Hearing without application is of no value. Yeah, it can seem overwhelming. It's imperative, especially when we feel overwhelmed, to return to the topic of Dave Harvey's opening message, and remember why we seek to obey.

I can elaborate (with the help of my notes) on any of the messages should anyone want me to, but this post has grown long as it is. In some ways, I wrote this to personally review what I heard. I hope also to have served any who read this. To that end, please let me know what you think (what about this post "worked" and what didn't). Too long? Too scattered? Too vague? As I consider my focus for this blog, and what type of posts I will be writing in the coming year, it does help to know what of my writing others find to be worthwhile reading.