Last year I didn’t renew my hosting and I lost 4 years of posts.  I have drafts of several of them on Evernote but not all the final versions.  I’ve been bummed.  I’ve wanted to write some more but I kept thinking about the posts I lost.  It’s time to stop thinking about all the lost information and start writing again.

When we started a blog/website it was primarily used to update our friends and family before we went to Oxford.  As time went on I used it to write about things I was learning as well as update our friends and family.

Now with Facebook and Twitter I don’t see the need to post as many updates on a blog.

I do have a desire to write more around my personal journey / experience around studying productivity and focus.   I’ve bought a domain called FocusMonk where I plan on writing more about those topics.

To be continued ….

Tim Keller Part 2: Marriage Sermon

As I mentioned in my previous post, I listened to one of Keller’s marriage sermons 3 times in 2 weeks.  It’s a powerful message.  I’ve uploaded it so you can listen to it (link below).  This is only one in the series of 9.  You can purchase the entire series at Redeemer’s online sermon store for $22.50 (all 9 sermons in mp3 format).

I chose to share some quotes which are obviously out of context … so listen to the message to get the full understanding of each quote

“…(many things) cloud our understanding of marriage.”
“Marriage is not something that man made up in a cave.”
“Self-centerednes is the main problem in any marriage.  Self centeredness is the main enemy of any marriage …  self centeredness is the main cancer in any marriage.”
“You can decide to treat your own flaws as more serious than the others and treat the needs of the other as more important … Regardless of what the other person does.”
“You can say ‘I’m going to work on my self-centeredness’ regardless of what the other person does”
“Essence of marriage is a promise.  10 years from now I’ll be there.  20 years from now I’ll be there.  It’s a promise.”
“The purpose of marriage is companionship.”
“No one else is more important than that relationship (with your spouse)”
“Marriage has to be #1”
“Whether you’re married or not .. we see that it’s our pride and self centeredness which can only be dealt with the gospel.  And the gospel is ‘you are more wicked than you ever dared believe and more loved than ever dared hope.’  It does the 1-2 on your ego.”

Ok.  I’m going to upload the 2nd message too because it’s that good.  If you like both then download the entire series at http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?product=18279.

Reason For God by Tim Keller

Recently I finished the book Reason For God by Timothy Keller.  Keller is a pastor in New York City at Redeemer Church.  His book is a challenging read that I definitely suggest you pick up.  He does a great job looking at several questions and doubts about the Christian faith including (but not limited to):

  • Why does God allow suffering in the world?
  • How could a loving God send people to Hell?
  • Why isn’t Christianity more inclusive?
  • How can one religion be “right” and the others “wrong”?
  • Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God?

He addresses each doubt and explains each reason. He uses stories, philosophy, reasoning to explain each.  It’s a wonderful, thought-provoking read for both believers in Christ as well as skeptics.   The book motivated me to research other teachings and sermons from Keller and here’s what I found:

  • 374 sermons, interviews and other videos on YouTube
  • A sermon store on Redeemer.com that seemed more exhaustive than iTunes theology section
  • A half dozen or so free sermons including “reason for God”, “the Prodigal Son”, “Parenting”, “Stewardship”, “Suffering and Tragedy” as well as others
  • All time favorite sermon series include: Marriage, Cultivating a Healthy Marriage Part 1, Proverbs, Friendship, Practical Grace, The Trouble with Christianity, In Christ Jesus, and Christ: Our Treasury.

I downloaded a few of the Marriage sermons.  I’ll write a separate post with some notes from it.  It was an excellent sermon that I listened to 3 times in two weeks.  Anyway, if you have a moment on the computer to listen to a sermon or have a mp3 player, take a few moments to download and listen.

Powerful song from third day

Below are the lyrics and a video from a Third Day song “Cry out to Jesus”.  It’s a powerful song that I’ve listened to several times.  I thought I’d share it …

To everyone who’s lost someone they love

Long before it was their time

You feel like the days you had were not enough when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains

Keeping you back from your life

You believe that there’s nothing and there is no one

Who can make it right


There is hope for the helpless

Rest for the weary

Love for the broken heart

There is grace and forgiveness

Mercy and healing

He’ll meet you wherever you are

Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that’s struggling just to hang on

They lost all of their faith in love

They’ve done all they can to make it right again

Still it’s not enough

For the ones who can’t break the addictions and chains

You try to give up but you come back again

Just remember that you’re not alone in your shame

And your suffering


When your lonely

And it feels like the whole world is falling on you

You just reach out, you just cry out to

Jesus Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone

Wiping the tears from her eyes

For the children around the world without a home

Say a prayer tonight


Bouncing Back: Devotional

As many of you know Kelly writes devotionals for HomeWord, today I received this one in my inbox.  I’m not sure when she wrote it but it’s very timely considering economic environment.

Bouncing Back 
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden 

Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.
— Proverbs 25:11 (NLT)

As a junior in high school, I was devastated when I was cut from the top volleyball team and sent to the second team.  I felt disappointed, embarrassed and dejected.  That evening, I spoke with a friend who passed on these words of wisdom, “It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce back that matters.”  I wrote the quote on my mirror and committed to doing my best for this new team, instead of sulking over my personal loss.  Instead of continuing to fall and spiral, I committed to bounce back.

What I learned that day is that what happens to me in life doesn’t count as much as how I react to those things.  I had a choice the day I was cut from the team: I could wallow in misery and quit the team, or I could choose to fight through my circumstances and work hard to improve.  Each day, choices like these present themselves.  When people are cruel, I can choose to accept their apology or let my bitterness grow.  When I am treated unfairly, I can vengefully plot a way to get even, or I can seek the Lord’s wisdom and demonstrate patience as He shows me what to do.  When I am fired from a job, I can learn from why things did not work or I can blame everyone else around me for my misfortune and never learn, grow or change.  When I am congratulated for a job well done, I can either pat myself on the back or thank the Lord for providing me with the skills to succeed.

Life throws different circumstances our way every day, both good and bad.  Wherever you are in your life, it is important to remember that people are watching and looking to see how you are living your life.  You will long be remembered, not only for what happened to you in your life, but for how you handled life’s circumstances. When those circumstances cause you to fall, I challenge you to bounce back!

To comment on today’s devotional, click here.


1. Think about a time in your life when you have reacted well to a disappointing circumstance and another time when you have reacted poorly.  Why do you think you reacted the way you did in those circumstances?

2. Why are our reactions as Christians so important?  How can you help make sure you are someone who bounces back?

James 5:10-11; Ephesians 5:6-9; Titus 2:6-8