Pictures of Noah's Ark

Someone made a working replica of Noah's Ark (1/2 the length; 1/3 the width).

Here are pictures.  It's big.

Thanks to Julia for the heads-up.

The Veritas Forum: Belief in an Age of Skepticism?

Tim Keller addresses the subject and answers questions at The University of California, Berkeley. Worth the listen if you have some time.

Family Advice For Pastors - From Tim Keller

"People will get mad at you if you do it right."

HT: Colin Adams


Introducing the ESV Study Bible

Stupid [Unbelievable] Commercial Claims, #7

Challies alerts to one creepy website...
"I'll do whatever he says to do. I'll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear."
- Halle Berry


Christians Caring for the Environment

Tim Challies reports:
In the past weeks I have spent some time wrestling with issues related to the environment and creation care. I have been seeking distinctly Christian wisdom on this issue, seeking to learn how we, as Christians, are to understand this world and our role in its care and protection. Last week I turned to Francis Schaeffer’s Pollution and the Death of Man hoping and even expecting that it would answer some of my deepest questions.
His conclusion:
While Pollution and the Death of Man is one of Schaeffer’s lesser-known works, it is one Christians would do well to read and study even today. In this book Schaeffer does what he does best, providing a logical, consistent, biblical response to a matter that really matters.

Clear Contrast

Dr. Al Mohler gives his thoughts on the Saddleback event with Obama and McCain.

The Saddleback Civil Forum revealed once again that government must necessarily deal with many decidedly "unsecular" questions.  These two candidates were not forced into this conversation, they embraced it.  Once there, they had to answer the questions.  Neither candidate is seeking to be the new vicar of Saddleback.  Instead, both are running for the highest political office in the land.  As both candidates were reminded Saturday night, that means there are certain questions you just can't duck.


Beautiful Things That Don't Make Sense

Appreciate the wisdom in this list from Jeana:
1. How having four children quadrupled the love I have for my kids instead of dividing it into four.

2. How focusing on meeting my husband's needs results in my needs getting met.

3. Why having a lot of "me" time tends to make me more self-centered, not less.

4. Why serving other people makes me more content, not less.

5. How spending time with God usually results in me accomplishing more that day, not less.

6. Why exercising gives me more energy, and not exercising makes me more tired.

7. How submitting to God's will brings freedom rather than confinement.

8. Why things that taste good often are not good for me.

9. Why having fewer things makes me enjoy them more--and vice versa.

10. How I can know all of these things are true and too often behave as though they are not.


Art Monk is My Hero, Part 2

Again from Mahaney:
From my view in the cheap seats, too many pro athletes who profess Christ appear theologically ignorant, have little or no involvement in the local church, and have no pastoral oversight in their lives. Monk’s speech appears to be the fruit of good pastoring. If more professional athletes participated in churches where sound doctrine was taught, there might be more examples like Art Monk...
Monk's testimony is worth reading.  For those of you who don't know, there was some smoke as to his belonging in the Hall.  Here is his exemplary response.  Amazing.
… Getting here did not come without controversy, as I'm sure it did with some of the guys sitting behind me. But through it all, I'm here with a greater appreciation for something that not every player is able to achieve and for the people who stood up for me and spoke out on my behalf. …

What I’ve tried to convey to those who were upset about the process was that I was okay with it. But in all due respect, that as great as this honor is, it’s not what really defines who I am or the things that I’ve been able to accomplish in my life. …

And even now as a Hall of Famer, the one thing I want to make very clear is that my identity and my security is found in the Lord. And what defines me and my validation comes in having accepted his son Jesus Christ as my personal savior. And what defines me is the Word of God, and it’s the Word of God that will continue to shape and mold me into the person that I know he’s called me to be.

So I’ve learned a long time ago never to put my faith or trust in man, for man will always fail you. Man will always disappoint you. But the Word of God says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. And He will never fail you.

And that is what I live by and what I stand on. Being included into this fraternity is a pretty humbling experience for me. I always grew up seeing these guys as giants and legends who make significant contributions to the game of football. And it’s pretty hard for me to believe that I’ve now been included as part of them. Growing up I was never voted the most likely to succeed. And there was never anything about me that would have given anyone the impression that I would have played in the NFL, let alone to be standing here.

There’s a scripture that I think about almost every day and I’ve come to personalize it to my life. It says: “Lord, who am I that you are mindful of me?” [Psalm 8:4]. And the Apostle Paul says, “Think of what you were when you were called. Not many were wise by human standards. Not many were influential. Not many were born of noble birth” [1 Corinthians 1:26]. And when I look at my life and how I grew up, I certainly had none of those qualities or benefits.

But I understand and I know that I’m here not by, in, and of my own strength—but it’s by the grace and the power of God upon my life, who I know gave me favor along the way, and who provided opportunity and room for me to use my gifts.

So I am very grateful to receive this honor, and I can stand here before you and say, “Hey, look at me, look at what I did.” But if I’m going to boast, I’m going to boast today in the Lord, for it’s because of him that I’m here and I give him thanks and glory and honor for all that he has done for me.

Pray With Your Children

Trevin Wax gives wisdom for parents of young children:

Let me encourage you. Young children soak in everything we say to them. Don’t be frustrated if they’re not reciting the catechism by the age of 4. Don’t be frustrated if they seem to be disinterested when you pray. Don’t be frustrated by their lack of attention span.

Pray anyway.

Our son has learned the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and other Psalms merely through repeating certain prayers each night. No, we have not tested his memory or promised him certain rewards for praying fervently. Mere repetition does it all.

HT: Tim Challies

Forced to Participate in Abortion?

It's one horrible thing to have it legal.

It would be another horrible thing altogether to force participation.


Fake Beauty Gets Ugly

So China faked the "footprint" fireworks...ok.

But here's more: the young lady who sang so beautifully as the Chinese flag was entered the building was dumped for a lip-syncher.  Here's the owner of that pretty voice:
Why the replacement?  Evidently, she wasn't pretty enough.  The explanation:
"The main consideration was the national interest," he said. "The child on the screen should be flawless in image, in her internal feelings, and in her expression. In the matter of her voice, Yang Peiyi was flawless, in the unanimous opinion of all the members of the team."
Another insult to the precious young ladies of China, and a lie concerning the things that are truly impressive. Consider Mark Altrogge's thoughts on that matter. 

A High Theology of Fatherhood

Daddy (during hike on father-son camping trip):
Look at that huge tree that fell over.
Jackson (my 3-year-old son): 
He needs a daddy.


Art Monk is My Hero, Part 1

Art Monk was recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.  His son, James Monk Jr., gave the intro speech.  He said in part,
You know, growing up as a son of Art Monk is something that I would never ever change for the world. And as his son, there's always been this question I could never escape, that I could never avoid, that I could never get away from and that was: Do you want to be like Art when you grow up? Now, you think such an easy question would have such an easy answer. Let me tell you a few things that go into answering this question …

So to answer the question, do you want to be like Art Monk when you grow up, my answer is I'd rather be like Dad. Dad, thank you for being the man of God that God has called you to be, and for raising me in the same way. As your best friend, as your admirer, as your biggest fan and as your son, I want to tell the whole world that I love you and I'm truly honored and blessed to induct you into the 2008 Pro Football Hall of Fame.
May my son have a similar testimony! (apart from the HOF, of course...)

From: Mahaney's View From the Cheap Seats

Parenting to the Glory of God

Two messages from John Piper.

A nugget:
Ninety-nine percent of the actions you perform that influence your children are unpremeditated actions. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of them every day. Your facial expressions; your posture; your tone of voice; your gestures; your responses to the dog and the weather and the slipping clutch and the dripping faucet and the late spouse and the TV news; and a hundred other spontaneous expressions of who you really are. Ninety-nine percent of the behavior that influences your child is unpremeditated.

Your children will most likely imitate what they see makes you the happiest, not what they hear you tell them to do, or even what they see you do but don't like to do. They will mostly imitate what they see you do that seems to make you happiest.

The implications of these two principles is that we parents should devote most of our energy to becoming a certain kind of person, not to trying to master parenting strategies. It will never work. You will never stop producing 99% of your child-influencing actions spontaneously. You would go insane if you tried to ponder several options before all the hundreds of minute actions that make up your day and your relationships. Your only hope—if you want to influence your children for God—is to be a certain kind of God-besotted person, so that when you react spontaneously what they see is God.

And if children imitate what really makes you the happiest, then the priority of parenting must be to find your deepest satisfaction in God, so that your joy in him spills over in what you say and do.


Stupid Commercial Claims, #6

Here's the unique perspective of a missionary doctor working with Muslims:
The Sauna Belt, which this infomerical was trying to sell, is a 12-inch-wide plastic and vinyl belt that you wrap around your stomach. It's battery-powered to create heat. Lots of heat. Allegedly, this will help you lose weight. You will become beautiful, thin, happy and fulfilled. 


We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

One of my favorite C. S. Lewis quotes:
If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us,like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at sea. We are far to easily pleased.