Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Sacrifice" is another word liable to misunderstanding. It is generally held to be noble and loving in proportion as its sacrificial nature... is consciously felt by the person who is sacrificing himself. The direct contrary is the truth. To feel sacrifice consciously as self-sacrifice argues a failure in love. When a job is undertaken from necessity, or from a grim sense of disagreeable duty, the worker is self-consciously aware of the toils and pains he undergoes, and will say: "I have made such and such sacrifices for this." But when the job is a labour of love, the sacrifices will present themselves to the worker-strange as it may seem-in the guise of enjoyment. Moralists, looking on at this, will always judge that the former kind of sacrifice is more admirable than the latter, because the moralist, whatever he may pretend, has far more respect for pride than for love.

Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker, Chapter 9

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

For the first time since we've had kids, Kathy and I are not celebrating Christmas at home. Instead we're visiting my parents and brother. It's about as different a Christmas as we've experienced as a family since both my parents and my brother and his wife live in Malaysia.

For one thing, it's hot - 85 degree temperature with humidity is not we're used to for Christmas. It also feels different because of the absence of the family traditions we've enjoyed together. Also, Malaysia is a muslim country which means most of the population doesn't observe Christmas even though there is a sizeable Christian population in the cities - so most shopping malls and stores were open - business as usual.

Without the traditions, frosty weather and cultural reminders of Christmas, it's giving us an opportunity to observe afresh what Christmas is truly about - the birth of our Savior, the Son of God come in human flesh to dwell among us.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

John 1:14

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gospel Translations Update

A few of you have asked me to post about the progress of Gospel Translations since its public launch in September 2007 so here it is! Through the generosity and talents resident in Sovereign Grace Ministries, we were able to produce a video that explains the vision behind the Gospel Translations Project. We were also very glad to be picked up by a number of influential blogs like Girl Talk, Desiring God blog, Ligonier Ministries blog and Justin Taylor's blog. My blogging friend, Marcus Goodyear was kind enough to blog about us as well.

More importantly, fifteen months since its launch, we have over 750 translated resources online in 31 different languages -all for free. Some of these translations are in commonly spoken languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese - others are lesser known like Telegu, Suomi and Igbo. We recently launched a Spanish language wiki site with over 350 Spanish resources from contemporary authors such as John Piper, DA Carson, CJ Mahaney and RC Sproul as well as a smattering of works from profoundly wise"dead guys" like Charles Spurgeon.

We now have a database of approximately 400 translators and many of them are actively at work making gospel centered materials available in their native language. We are deeply grateful and humbled by their faithful, passionate work for the sake of the gospel.

As we enter 2009, please pray for us as we continue to build this ministry -

- We are focused on building a readership base - please pray for the success of this objective
- We are also in great need of funding to continue beyond September 2009 - please pray that God will provide the needed financing.

We trust that God initiated this work and if so, He will supply all that is currently lacking in terms of resources and financing. If you feel led to volunteer or give toward this initiative, please visit our website for more information.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quote of the Week

"In adoption, God takes us into His family and fellowship, and establishes us as His children and heirs.  Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship.  To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sounding Off

If you're a fan of the Washington Redskins, you might have been following this week's saga about running back, Clinton Portis. CP voiced his displeasure over getting benched in last week's loss to the Baltimore Ravens, making his complaint known very publicly in an interview with a local sports talk radio show. Naturally, coach Jim Zorn wasn't particularly happy about this - he would have preferred that Portis' issues would first be brought to him before being publicly expressed. Clinton's response - "he's just expressing his opinion"

Now, it's easy to dismiss this as another episode from a spoiled professional athlete. But, have you ever done something like that? Maybe you didn't express your frustration over talk radio but what about complaining over the water cooler with a few of your colleagues? Have you ever had a problem with your boss but instead of speaking directly with him, you chose to express your "opinion" with others? Here's another twist - do you find it easier to fire a terse email rather than to speaking directly with the person concerned?

If so, you're like many of us. It's so easy to see the foolishness in Clinton Portis' response, but not quite as easy to acknowledge similar sinful behavior in ourselves. Aren't you glad that God doesn't judge us in the same manner that we judge others? This isn't about condoning Portis' actions or response - it's about how we can use the his poor example as a window into our own sinful hearts... and through repentance and faith toward God, change the way we communicate at work.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Quote of the Week

"I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before;  second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life;  third, although they took my all, it was not much;  and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed."

Matthew Henry, his prayer on the night he was robbed