A Proper View of Sin by Travis Evans
February 28, 2008, 2:36 pm
Filed under: Culture, Growth

By: Travis Evans

When you look at a clock, do you see hands moving around a face, or do you see several hidden components at work? I ask this because a watch or a clock is not what it seems. There is a lot going on underneath-hidden from view. To know how a clock works, you have to look at it properly. You have to see what it really is.

So, I ask, “How do you see your sin?”

Sin is like a prostitute that no longer looks beautiful. She is the murderer of my King and myself. Therefore, the believer is dead to sin, no longer dominated by her attractions. Sin, the prostitute who killed my friend, has no appeal. She has become an enemy.

John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die , p. 77

Piper is right. Sin is an enemy. It killed us and brought Jesus to death. Think of the line: “Sin, the prostitute who killed my friend….” How can it be attractive? How can we tolerate it? Do you see your sin this way, as a murderer? Do you mourn when you see sin? Do you desire to put it to death? Because of it, Jesus had to die. Yet, by His death, we are no longer slaves to it. Do you see that as well? We are dead to sin. By grace, we can become more like Christ the Righteous One.

So take a look, a proper look, at your sin. Study the doctrine of sin (What does the Bible say about sin?). See your need for a Savior because of sin. See the importance and the cost of the cross. And ascribe glory to the Lord.


A Manly Pig Hunt. by bigplew
February 27, 2008, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Culture, Humor, Leadership, Masculinity

by Bill Kittrell

**note: Bill is currently guest blogging on manspeak. This is the first of several posts he will be making, so keep coming back for more!

1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

As Paul concludes his first letter to the Corinthians, he exhorts them. He tells them to be on the alert. OK, no surprise there. We are familiar with Paul’s athletic metaphors and we can easily hear a coach yelling at us to ‘Stand firm’ or ‘Hold the line’. Again, no surprise. Even ‘Be strong’ seems completely spiritual and pretty standard fare from the great apostle. Though I think all of this sounds like a men’s meeting…it isn’t exactly chauvinistic.

But ‘act like men’? As opposed to what? Is Paul saying ‘Don’t act like women’? That doesn’t sound…popular.

First, let me stand up strong for Paul’s high regard for women. He makes it clear repeatedly in his letters (e.g., Galatians 3.28, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ.’) that in what matters to God and us – being united to Christ by faith and so declared righteous in His sight – men and women are equal in value and importance. This cannot be disputed.

But this doesn’t imply that Paul did not think of men and women as having differences. In fact, he repeatedly taught that they were different and were to have different roles in the family and in the church (e.g., Ephesians 5:22-24, “…Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”)

I saw all this to introduce a story a great friend of mine and pastor, Rick Holland, told me about…pig hunting. Now I know I will probably here from thousands of female pig hunters…but I think this is a ‘man’s story’. Consider it for yourself:

“I was on my annual pig hunt this last weekend when I had an interesting encounter. My hunting partner shot at a pig about 10:00 AM. We went to check for blood and found none. We assumed he had missed and went to another canyon a few miles away to hunt it. We saw nothing in that canyon so we came back to the one where he had shot at the pig earlier. It was then 2:00 PM.

A few hundred yards away from where we thought he had hit the pig, we found a blood trail. We followed it for another hour (it’s now about 3:00 PM). I was on my hands and knees looking for small drops of blood that were about 10 yards apart… when it happened….

I heard something ahead of me as I was crawling out from under a Scrub Oak. I looked up and the 200lb boar was coming at me at full steam. He obviously was not dead!

Continue reading

10 Reasons its great to be a guy. by Kevin Shipp
February 26, 2008, 11:30 am
Filed under: Humor

10. All necessary personal information and supplies are carried in a 2.5″ by 3.5″ wallet

9. Shoes can be worn with any outfit, in any season, and for any length of time without any hint of embarrassment or social awkwardness.

8. Showers: 5 minutes, tops

7. Buying new clothes doesn’t require an entire day of shopping, the counsel of your 3 closest friends, or thousands of calories wasted on candy, ice cream, or fru fru drinks from Starbucks

6. No make-up required (Though some would probably benefit from some!)

5. Meal: Steak, mashed potatoes, rolls. Dessert: another helping of the same.

4. You can scream, kill things, push over trees, throw rocks and burn stuff and no one will ever think less of you.

3. No possibility of experiencing the pains of gestation and giving birth!

2. Short lines at the bathroom (Three grunts for the efficiency of the trough!)

1. (Fill in the blank)

So, men, let’s hear it! What’s the number one reason its great to be a guy? The one that causes me to choke laughing will win!


February 25, 2008, 5:00 am
Filed under: Devotions


Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s like tring to drink out of a fire hydrant”? Well this guy up top is trying to do just that. The phrase is meant to express that you are limited in your capacity to take in what is being given to you; whether that be material to study in a class, tasks to balance at work, or in the case of Psalm 40, the ability to comprehend the amount of grace that God has given.

Psalm 40:11 says, “As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!”

Do you understand what David is saying here? God, the maker of everything, who is completely sovereign, the immortal and only true God, he promises not to limit or restrain his favor toward us! How is that possible? Aren’t we sinful people?

Well…the good news, is that this awesome and HOLY God chose to send his only son, who had equality with Him in heaven, to come as a baby, live without sin, and yet die on a cross, bearing the guilt of all who would trust in His work for them.

David had placed his trust in God alone for his salvation. He knew that he was unworthy of God’s favor because of his sin, which separated him from God, who “is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5)

If you have confessed your sins to God, and have placed your hope for salvation in Jesus Christ, you can be assured that your sins, every one of them , is forgiven. And now, you stand before God, justified, not guilty, and you can bask in God’s undeserved favor for the rest of your days, and on into eternity.

How good God is! How amazing that He saves sinners like me and you!

May the result of remembering this truth lead us to live out verse 16, “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”

February 23, 2008, 10:37 am
Filed under: Leadership, Roles and Relationships


By Walt Alexander

Well, my day has changed. I am now posting on Saturdays!

Now, if you are anything like me, you may have read I Kissed Dating Goodbye and wondered how in the world relationships actually happen. I mean, if we are to kiss it goodbye and to guard each others hearts in every interaction, how do I get to know someone? Do I just dive into engagement and marriage and hope you don’t make the wrong choice?

As a single man, this is the way I often – conscious and unconsciously – thought. I assumed that my job was to select the one I love (in my heart, of course) and to wait and long for the day we got married. I assumed this was the way I was supposed to do it. But over time I realized that I was actually planning my marriage before I even planned my courtship!

This leads me to what I believe is a major misconception of courtship. It is: Courtship is not engagement. Now, that seems perfectly obvious, right! Of course you can’t be engaged before you court. However, I don’t think it is always that easy.

I think the assumption is often that courtship is engagement for several reasons:

We can begin the courtship too late! We can assume that because we like someone for a certain, golden length of time, they must like us and, therefore, courtship/engagement/marriage is just around the corner! Then we begin the courtship with the wrong goal of setting the wedding date and not finding out whether you are to be married. Therefore, courtship becomes engagement (though the other may be far from ready!).

We can begin the courtship too early! We also assume that we must confirm our compatibility by striving to get some “quality time” together before beginning a courtship. You know I mean guys…we have to test the waters to see if they like us before we’re going to take the plunge of asking her to court. This springs from a wrong view of courtship, assuming that courtship is engagement therefore I-must-do-my-undercover-research-and-choose-wisely! This also, in effect, robs us – and the other – of the joys and protection of getting to know someone within clear, defined goals.

What do you think?
Do you see yourself in these misconceptions?

Infinite joy awaits… by bigplew
February 22, 2008, 10:08 am
Filed under: Books, Culture, Masculinity

by Mike Plewniak

Walt kicked off our “3 Dead Guys Who Will Rock Your Face Off” series at VFC last night talking about CS Lewis and joy. This morning, as I reading, I came upon this lengthy quote by Mark Driscoll that does a great job summarizing what we talked about last night. This is from his new book “Vintage Jesus“. After addressing the issue of finding our joy in God, he then discusses how college women and men can be prone to worship relationships, sex, etc… I’ve included the section for men since this is Manspeak (women can go buy the book). Enjoy.


“The reason that many people are prone to hold someone or something in glory above Jesus is that they believe the lie that God’s glory and our joy are in conflict, so that if we live for God’s glory it comes at the cost of our joy. Thus, people who want to live for the ‘pursuit of happiness’ are prone to glorify and worship what they wrongly believe will give them joy. But tragically the result is misery. Because we were made to worship Jesus Christ the God of glory, it is only in being worshippers of Jesus that we can find joy. This glorious truth means that in worshipping Jesus, God is glorified and we are satisfied….

Too many young men arrange their life around video games, sports, the latest sex experience, or just hanging out. They take women as instruments of their pleasure and discard them when it’s not fun anymore. Jobs, when they have one, are just to provide dollars for another buzz of excitement. They seek better living through chemistry. Their false trinity of Frank and Beans is a demanding god, taking everything in exchange for a few thrills. But soon the thrill isn’t what it used to be. The lie that the ultimate thrill is just ahead begins to pale. At this point, many young men realize that they are miserable and dissatisfied because their god is a robber, not a giver like Jesus. But apart from Jesus, the addictions defy change; despite their misery, credit card debt soars and friends disappear. To cope, many listen to music that makes them either violently angry or suicidally depressed as their sin marches them to death.I have spoken to numerous young people for whom these stories are biography.

The only hope for them and every other sinner prone to break the first two commandments is to believe the truth that only when God is glorified will we be truly satisfied. Through the worship of Jesus Christ alone there is joy, freedom, holiness, and life. Only by worshipping God our Creator are we free to enjoy creation by rightly eating, drinking, sleeping, playing, working, laughing, loving, weeping, marrying, parenting, living, and dying to the glory of God. I am a Christian because I want to be happy and, after trying lesser things, I am convinced that my desires are from God and can find their satisfaction in him alone.”

I Want to Eat Your Soul… by bigplew
February 22, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Evangelism, Humor

by Mike Plewniak


This is a great story by Erik Simmons in a recent article he did on Boundless (highly recommended website).

“Let me tell you about one of the guys in our church. Mike one of the most joy-filled missionaries I know. One day Mike was scheduled to lead an evangelistic Bible study at a local college campus. When he entered the room they had reserved, though, instead of being empty, the room was occupied by eight gamers. They were wearing black trench coats, black eye makeup, black fingernails, black everything. I know that sounds like a huge stereotype of gamers, but it’s just the way it was.

So Mike walked in, and said in a friendly tone, “Hey guys, it’s our turn. Can I have the room?”

In response, a tall man in a trench coat screamed, “No!” Then he ripped his shirt open and bared his chest and yelled “NOW” to which his girlfriend came over and stuck a pin in his chest.

Then he stood up, looked at Mike, and said, “I wanna eat your soul.” (I’m not exaggerating; this really happened.)

Here was Mike’s Spirit-led salty remark: “Well, don’t fill up on soul, because we’ve got plenty of free pizza.”

Immediately, the man’s buddies started falling over themselves with laughter. That salty remark defused a scary situation. And the gamers? They all stayed for the Bible study.

I’m fairly confident that this scenario isn’t going to happen for most of us. But the point is clear. Joy and wit diffuse even the most tense situations. God’s call on us is to be joyful when we communicate the incredible news of life with Christ. When we talk about eternal life, the call of God is to be full of life.”

It’s worth reading the whole article.