Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Cross

From the book, A Physician Looks at the Crucifixion by Mitchell Peter Pries M.D

The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought iron nail through the wrist deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement.

The cross is then lifted into place. The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain - the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet. As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through his muscles, knotting them in deep relentless, throbbing pain.
With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen. Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint wrenching cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against rough timber.
Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level-the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues and the tortured lungs are making frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues. Finally, he can allow his body to die.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

Leslie and I are amazed at how fast the boys are growing. Each new season brings new growth in their lives. Time is flying by. We are sensing now more than ever before the need for setting goals for the parenting of our boys. God gave Leslie and me the stewardship of the young lives of Luke, Matthew, and Mark. Our responsibility is to train them in the way of the Lord and equip them for adulthood. For a life that glorifies God.

So how do we do it? Especially with the uniqueness of personality and variety of giftings our children have? It will require a set of goals, a plan of action, and quality time investing in their lives.

Goals and plans are important. They provide a sense of direction and purpose. They help us track our progress. They allow us to look ahead to a better future. They motivate us to action.

Do you have goals for your parenting? What about some personal goals? It is important to know where we are headed and where we are taking our children. Take time this spring to set some life goals that glorify God. Remember, that’s why each of us were created.

In closing, let me say a big thank you to all of those in our church who are volunteering to help out at this year’s Ascension Convention ( this coming Easter weekend, April 1-3. There is no doubt that your involvement is making the difference in the lives of many teenagers lives. There is still time to sign up to help. I can’t wait to see what God has in store!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Start Here by Alex and Brett Harris

My Book Shelf – Start Here by Alex and Brett Harris

Every now and then in my blog to our church I like to share with you the books that I’m reading that really help, challenge, and inspire me. My hope is that these books do the same for you.

A few weeks ago I shared with the congregation that Leslie and I are now parents of a teenager. I know these teenage years are going to fly by so I want to make them count. I had a pastor friend tell me about a book by Alex and Brett Harris called Do Hard Things. He said it transformed his son and their relationship, so I knew when my boys got older I would take the journey with them to “do hard things.”

The twin Harris’ have a brand new book called Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are. As I started to read this new book I realized that it speaks to me as much as it will to my children. I want to “do hard things” for God and I believe you do as well. Here is a summary of the book that will help us and our children in the process.

At the age of eighteen, Alex and Brett Harris wrote Do Hard Things—and launched a movement that would change a generation. Young people around the world were ready to be inspired, ready to move beyond complacency, ready to rebel against society’s low expectations.

Now the highly anticipated companion book, Start Here, answers the questions Alex and Brett have received from thousands of teens on their worldwide conference tour and popular online community: How do I get started? What hard things does God want me to do? How do I keep from getting discouraged or burned out? What is the best way to inspire others?

Filled with stories and insights from Alex, Brett, and other real-life rebelutionaries, Start Here is a powerful and practical guide for young people who are ready to take the next step and blast past apathy. Let the rebelution continue.