reb•e•lu•tion (reb’el lu shen) n. a teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.

2/28/2006

A Teenager's Resolutions (Part 2)

As we continue through "The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards" -- written while he still a teenager, at 19-years-old -- we will supplement this reading with other excerpts written by or about Jonathan Edwards. Today I supplement resolutions 11-20 with a brief description of the ingenious way in which Jonathan Edwards organized his writings -- as shared by Samuel Hopkins in "The Life and Character of the Late Reverend Mr. Jonathan Edwards." It seems to me that Edwards would have been an incredible blogger.

[Note: "The Life and Character of the Late Reverend Mr. Jonathan Edwards" by Samuel Hopkins was the first biography ever written on Jonathan Edwards. Every major biography ever written on Edwards has quoted extensively from this volume. However, the English is dated, but beautiful. Challenge yourself to comprehend the meaning of each word and enjoy this small insight into the life of one the most important and influential men in American history.]

Samuel Hopkin writes . . .

As the method [Jonathan Edwards] took to have his miscellaneous writings in such order, as to be able with ease to turn to anything he had wrote upon a particular subject, when he had occasion, is perhaps as good as any, if not the best that has been proposed to the public; some account of it will here be given, as what may be of advantage to young students, who have not yet gone into any method, and are disposed to improve their minds by writing.

He numbered all his miscellaneous writings. The first thing he wrote is No. 1. the second No. 2. and so on. And when he had occasion to write on any particular subject, he first set down the number, and then wrote the subject in capitals or large character, that it might not escape his eye, when he should have occasion to turn to it. As for instance, if he was going to write on the happiness of angels, and his last No. was 148, he would begin thus — 149 ANGELS, their happiness. — And when he had wrote what he designed at that time on that subject, he would turn to an alphabetical table which he kept, and under the letter A, he would write, Angels, their happiness, if this was not already in his alphabet; and then set down the Number, 149, close at the right hand of it. And if he had occasion to write any new thoughts on this same subject; if the number of his miscellanies was increased, so that his last number was 261, he would set down the number 262, and then the subject, as before. And when he had done writing for that time, he turned to his table, to the word angels; and at the right hand of the Number 149, set down 262. By this means he had no occasion to leave any chasms; but began his next subject where he left off his last. The number of his miscellaneous writings ranged in this manner, amounts to above 1400. And yet by a table contained on a sheet or two of paper, any thing he wrote can be turned to, at pleasure.
It seems to me that the incredible discipline and organization of this man cannot be separated from his legacy as the greatest Protestant thinker and theologian in American history. I am also struck by the wide range of subjects his writing covered. He clearly sought hard after knowledge. In fact, Samuel Hopkins writes, "He had an uncommon thirst for knowledge, in the pursuit of which, he spared no cost nor pains. He read all the books, especially books of divinity, that he could come at, from which he could hope to get any help in his pursuit of knowledge."

We would do well to remember that sitting down to write doesn't make an empty mind full. Jonathan Edwards clearly wrote from his own fullness of heart and mind.
THE RESOLUTIONS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don't hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.
Read Part One - Resolutions #1-10
Read Part Two - Resolutions #11-20
Read Part Three - Resolutions #21-30
Read Part Four - Resolutions #31-40
Read Part Five - Resolutions #41-50
Read Part Six - Resolutions #51-60
Read Part Seven - Resolutions #61-70
Read Closing Statements

2/27/2006

A Teenager's Resolutions (Part 1)

Many people, especially young people, don't know much about Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). Most people don't know that he is considered by both secular and evangelical historians to be the greatest Protestant thinker and theologian America has ever produced. Most people don't know that he was not only God's kindling for the Great Awakening, but also its most penetrating analyst and critic.

Pastor John Piper of Desiring God Ministries, writes of Jonathan Edwards: "Alongside the Bible, Edwards became the compass of my theological studies. Not that he has anything like the authority of Scripture, but that he is a master of that Scripture, and a precious friend and teacher.

One of my seminary professors suggested to us back in 1970 that we find one great and godly teacher in the history of the church and make him a lifelong companion. That's what Edwards has become for me. It's hard to overestimate what he has meant to me theologically and personally in my vision of God and my love for Christ."


This is a man we can heartily recommend to you. And this week we will be enjoying "The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards" -- written while he was still a teenager, at 19-years-old. We pray that they might inspire you as they have inspired us.

THE RESOLUTIONS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS

BEING SENSIBLE THAT I AM UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING WITHOUT GOD'S HELP, I DO HUMBLY ENTREAT HIM BY HIS GRACE TO ENABLE ME TO KEEP THESE RESOLUTIONS, SO FAR AS THEY ARE AGREEABLE TO HIS WILL, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
Read Part One - Resolutions #1-10
Read Part Two - Resolutions #11-20
Read Part Three - Resolutions #21-30
Read Part Four - Resolutions #31-40
Read Part Five - Resolutions #41-50
Read Part Six - Resolutions #51-60
Read Part Seven - Resolutions #61-70
Read Closing Statements

2/26/2006

Sacramento Conference - SOLD OUT

Stay tuned for information on The Rebelution Tour's next stop: July 22, 2006, in Orlando, Florida -- one of the least expensive cities in the country to fly into.

2/25/2006

Man of the Year: Justice Tom Parker

Extraordinary times require extraordinary men. George Washington was a giant of a man — uniquely crafted by the Lord and providentially raised up for a defining moment in our history. He was God’s tool to bring military victory to the cause of independence, to oversee the crafting of our Constitution, and to shape and define the meaning and nature of the American Presidency. As we progress into the twenty-first century, the future of Americans again seems uncertain. The urgency of the hour is for unflinching, stalwart men — men who boldly proclaim the law of God — to stand with might in the very gates of the land, fighting in the defining battles of our generation. Today, on the 274th anniversary of our first Commander in Chief’s birth, Vision Forum inaugurates our George Washington Man of the Year Award to recognize and honor those individuals who demonstrate, through their public courage, the stalwart spirit and mature leadership of the General himself.

Justice Tom Parker: Man of the Year

On-Site Links:
A Rebelutionary Opportunity - The story of our internship in Justice Tom Parker's chambers.
Tom Parker: A Justice After God's Own Heart - The Rebelution's original coverage of Justice Parker -- one of our earliest posts.
Excerpt From "Tom Parker: A Justice After God's Own Heart"

"In a day and age where leaders of principle are few and far between, there are several things you quickly recognize about Tom Parker. The first and foremost is that he fears God more than man and is consequently the personification of principled, Christian leadership. He is a skilled thinker who understands the Constitution, but more importantly recognizes the Christian presuppositions of all law. Finally, in a demonstration of great wisdom and foresight, he has surrounded himself with strong, Christian legal minds and a staff that will stand with him and not give in to the pressures of those who viciously oppose the truth. On all accounts, Alabama Justice Parker is a justice after God’s own heart... [T]he more I learn, the more I admire this man, and the more I desire to follow in his footsteps."

2/24/2006

Tragedy: Mother Sues Over Unsuccessful Abortion

Source: BBC News: Scotland - Damages claim for abortion twin

Stacy Dow of Scotland was 16 when she discovered she was pregnant with twins and decided to have an abortion. Unbeknownst to her and to the doctors, one the twins survived the attempted murder and was born.

Now the child's mother is suing the hospital for $1.7 million in compensation, seeking damages for the "financial burden" of raising her now four-year-old daughter, Jayde.

"I have got a child now that I wasn't planning to have and I believe the hospital should take some responsibility for that," Dow said. "They should have known, or at least warned me, that I might still be pregnant when I left. It has totally changed my life and my parents' lives."

And the most heart-breaking quote of all: "I still don't know if, or what, I am going to tell Jayde when the time comes. Maybe when she is nine or ten I will sit her down and explain it to her."

How could a mother ever explain such a thing to her daughter?

Justin Taylor of Theologica said it best:

Try to imagine that conversation. Then weep at the depravity. Then realize that we would act in such a murderous, self-centered way but for the grace of God. May we cling to the cross, and cry out to God for both mercy and justice. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Pray for Jayde, that she might someday come to know the infinite love of her Heavenly Father; the love of Him through whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

24 Tips For How To Write Good (Like Me)

[silliness]Alex and I have been barraged with requests to share our writing secrets. What makes The Rebelution one of the easier reads in the blogosphere? Why do words flow from our fingers like water from a punctured water bottle?

Today, we share these secrets. The truth is that Alex and I are no more than the beneficiaries of an anonymous word wizard. His wisdom we share with you today in hopes that excellence in writing will spread to all corners of the globe.

HOW TO WRITE GOOD!

1. Avoid alliteration always.

2. Prepositions are no words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid clichés like the plague.

4. Employ the vernacular ad nauseam.

5. Eschew ampersands & abbrev., etc.

6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

8. Contractions aren’t acceptable.

9. Foreign words are not apropos.

10. As Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

11. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

12. One should never generalize.

13. Don’t be redundant; it is highly superfluous to use more words than necessary.

14. Be specific, more or less.

15. Understatement is insipid.

16. Exaggeration is infinitely worse than understatement.

17. One word sentences? Simple. Eliminate!

18. The passive voice is to be avoided.

19. Bad analogies are like feathers on a snake.

20. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

21. Who needs rhetorical questions?

22. Colloquialisms are grody to the max.

23. Abjure polysyllabic obfuscations.

24. Finally, chech for pselling errors and typeos.
There you have it! 24 principles that are sure to improve your writing. Follow them faithfully, our dear readers, and maybe someday you will write rules of your own.[/silliness]

2/22/2006

FEEDBACK: Vote For Your Favorite T-Shirt

UPDATE: Thank you everyone who voted! Based upon the feedback we've received, we will most likely be using a design that includes the best aspects of the many favorites. The t-shirts will be available at the conference, and possibly online if there are leftovers.

Please keep all aspects of the conference in your prayers, particularly the sessions. Thank you again!

In Christ,
Alex and Brett

2/21/2006

Whom Do You Admire?

There has been a slight outcry regarding my recent post "World Champions of Triviality". On her own initiative, Kimberly Harris, our sister-in-law, wrote the following response to some of the concerns. We appreciate the gracious and gentle way with which she addresses and clarifies the issues and pray that you might be challenged by her words.
I think that this last post has struck a chord with many of you, considering all of the responses. I would like to address particularly Sarah's post.

I realize that this might be a sensitive issue to you, Sarah, since one of your family members is involved in beauty pageants. But I do think that you are rather missing the point of the post. Brett was not saying that those who are in sports or beauty pageants cannot be heroes or do great things. But the fact is often that the reason they are so glorified in our country is because of trivial things. They are often not famous for all of the amazing courageous things they do, but are famous because of their beauty or talent. On the other side, Brett brought up some of the nurses that cared for his niece in the NICU (his niece by the way is my daughter).

One of the nurses he mentioned was Colleen. Now Colleen was very beautiful and could have been involved in beauty pageants. But I don't think that being in, or winning a beauty pageant is something that should make us all feel that she is a hero. It might be a neat thing to win, but does that make her a hero and worthy of attention, prestige, and honor? I would say not. However, I feel that her work in the NICU is very worthy of praise and admiration. These NICU nurses are dealing with a lot of pain and suffering and it's very hard on their hearts. She is courageously trying to help save lives, and that included trying to save the life of my daughter. She is beautiful, she may have won beauty pageants, but I think that the best thing about her is what she has done for all those babies in dire circumstances.

Now many of you have made the point that those who are involved with sports or pageants often do great things. I think that can be true and I don't think that Brett was trying to deny that. But like I said before, the reasons they are so glorified are the wrong ones. If they were so highly esteemed because of acts of courage they had done, then many ugly non-talented people would be just as honored as them. But, as proof of how trivial we can be, it's the beautiful ones, and those who have talents like cup-stacking, and hitting balls who receive all the attention and honor. While the hard working nurse, missionary, doctor, etc usually receive little or no attention.

I don't think that you should take this post as "let's bash all who are famous". But rather you should ask the question, who do you admire most and why? Do you admire men that can do amazing physical feats more then you admire men who have sacrificed their lives and their time and money to raise a godly family and further the kingdom of God? Do you admire Miss America because she is beautiful more then a mother who sacrificed her body, life and time to raise godly children? To whom does your greatest admiration go?

2/20/2006

World Champions of Triviality (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Thank you all for your constructive criticism. We realize that the sarcasm and satire has overshadowed our disclaimers, and indeed, the foundational purpose and message of the post. This was partly because it has been re-posted without the context of its original series, and we are very sorry for the offense caused by this oversight.

Our purpose in this post is not to put down athletes and celebrities. These men and women can, and do, use their platforms to do great humanitarian good. There are Christians in the sports and music industries who bear testimony to Christ and use their gifts to bring glory to God. However, we would offer that such men and women are the exception, not the rule.

The problem is not that these activities exist, the problem is that our culture has become enamored with them and has idolized those who participate in them. The "hero" has been redefined as the rich, the popular, and the glamorous, instead of the faithful, courageous, principled, and humble. "Hero," like the words "excellent," "awesome," and "wonderful," has been cheapened and its meaning lost. "Heroes" today are adulterers, thieves, rapists, even murderers.

This is not indulging in the sacred/secular split (i.e. removing the applicability of faith and God's Word from the public sphere). This is the exact opposite: viewing all areas of life from a biblical worldview.

It is what Paul commands in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world..."

It what we read in 1 Timothy 4:7-8, "[T]rain yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come."

It what the Corinthians were told in 1 Corinthians 9:25. "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."

Our crown, our goal, our values, and our heroes, as Christians, should be starkly different from the world. It is not that we cannot enjoy, participate, and support competitive activities, watch movies, or listen to music. But we must exercise self-control and caution. To make heroes, even worse, idols, out of these things is to stumble into dangerous territory.

I find it hard to respect intelligent, humanitarian-minded women who resort to prancing around on stage in bikinis to gain recognition. Nevertheless, Natalie Glebova was dubbed Miss Universe for doing precisely that.

And though the organizers of the world’s largest beauty pageant insist that contestants are judged for their intellects and attitudes as much as for their figures, it is very probable that Miss Glebova has been declared the most beautiful woman in the universe primarily for showing off parts of her body that most beautiful women I know keep appropriately concealed.

Still the fact remains that Glebova is the world champion of her particular silly activity. And though I don’t watch beauty pageants—never have, never will—I must admit that her preening is no sillier than a myriad of other activities whose competitions we follow and whose champions we idolize.

Regrettably, we have formed a culture of the trivial. We all want to be champions of our own silly activity. Just ask Emily Fox, the current world-record holder in the fast-paced sport of cup stacking, or champion eater Takeru Kobayashi, who downed 83 streamed dumplings in eight minutes during an August 13th contest.

Yet these champions are no sillier than Tiger Woods who is idolized for hitting a little white ball with a certain metal club so that it goes into a special little hole in the ground. They are no sillier than Misty May and Kerri Walsh who are recognized for wearing little more than their underwear while batting a cushy ball back-and-forth over a net. And they are no sillier than Barry Bonds, who is paid millions of dollars for hitting a ball with a stick and then running around in circles.

Although it concerns me when young competitors at the World Cup Stacking Championship speak of making a career out of it, I am equally concerned that a majority of American young people long for nothing more than to become kings and queens of their own particular triviality. It might be Hollywood that beckons them; it might be the NBA, or it could be American Idol. Whatever it is, the sad truth remains that America has prioritized entertainment and celebrity over true service and heroism; and our young people have taken the cue.

The tone of this article shouldn’t be taken as condemning, only concerned. I am not against the existence of these ‘silly activities’ that make life more enjoyable for many and bearable for some. I enjoy the thrill of watching Emily Fox stack cups faster than the eye can see and rooting for American athletes at the summer and winter Olympics. I’ve had 15-minute crushes on my own share of movie actresses and even voted online during last season’s American Idol competition. But then, after my niece was born with an extremely serious heart defect, I found myself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at OHSU; and I met true heroes.

Shaun, Pam, and Colleen. They are nurses. They are heroes. And they symbolize millions of people across the globe who sacrifice, who serve, and who receive small thanks next to the Michael Jordans, Marilyn Monroes, and Elvis Presleys of our day. It often takes catastrophes to remind us of these people. September 11th did. It was policemen and firemen; rescue workers and soldiers who lifted our nation back up. And we honored them for it.

Even so, nearly four years later, my generation is still pursuing triviality at the expense of true service. Everyone wants to be the cherry on top, but no one is making ice cream. It is as if we have completely forgotten the steady, shining glory of heroism, because of the glaring, flashing glamour of celebrity.

Until we take the time to re-examine our ideas of what’s important we will continue to choose lesser professions and America will keep getting weaker. As our culture continues to embrace the trivial we will become increasingly incapable of responding to the significant.

Continue Series with Part Four: The American Idol Syndrome
Begin Series with Part One: Competition On Our Plateau

2/18/2006

Happy Birthday! - Spunky Junior

Today is the 17th birthday of an excellent blogger and rebelutionary, Kristin Braun of Spunky Junior. Be sure to visit her great blog and shower her with happy birthday greetings.

Happy birthday, Kristin! May God bless you richly!

2/17/2006

A Guest Re-Post: Great Expectations?

While perusing the blog Waiting To Go Home, by our reader, Sarah, I came across the following excellent entry about the low expectations of her college professors. A sophomore at Olympic College in Washington, Sarah has given Brett and I permission to share her post with the rest of our readers. Her insight is one that, sadly, very few young men and women come to understand before it's too late. We would encourage all of our readers to carefully consider what Sarah has written, and to take it to heart.

NOTE: Sarah, if you read this, could you please contact us ASAP? We are interested in the possibility of using your story as an example in our conferences. You may contact us at: rebelution [dot] blogspot [at] gmail [dot] com.
I’m being cheated out of my college education. I made this appalling discovery when I received my worst ever grade on an English paper. Plentiful teacher scribbling covered the pages, and a note at the end included this sentence, “There is much room for improvement should you choose to revise.” I was shocked. Since I started college, I had not received such a devastating comment on any of my papers.

My most challenging English professor, Pearl Klein, saw right through my attempts to skim the material, and she didn’t give me a ‘one size fits all’ evaluation on my paper. She didn’t write, “Needs work, grade B.” She said ‘much room for improvement’, added lengthy comments, and I could tell she had read and seen potential in my pathetic paper.

I had to revise, but I doubted my ability to write any better. However, two hours of extensive reworking produced a much different draft, and a revelation. If I wanted to be truly prepared for adult life, I would have to take more responsibility for my own education. I could see now how much potential my other teachers had failed to elicit.

One might think that doing the assignment and fulfilling the professor’s expectations would produce a quality learning experience, but not when the said professor has created a class that should be titled, ‘Credit for Dummies.’ After a year at Olympic College and ten different professors, I’ve realized that five of those ten professors didn’t expect enough out of me.

At first I felt relieved by the low expectations; I could hold down my job, do the minimum amount of homework and still make the grade. However, when I revised one of my mediocre papers and saw how much better I could do if challenged, the light went on. The ‘Oh! I’m not actually learning anything’ light.

My own experiences, coupled with the realization that many of my classmates still didn’t have a grip on basic punctuation, make me wonder if college professors don’t demand enough out of their students.

Student supervisor Ralph Givens said, “Both high school and college classes are ‘dumbed down’ when they try to make one size fit all.” On a college campus where diversity and uniqueness are emphasized, the last thing one would expect is the ‘one size fits all’ attitude, which fails to provide an exemplary education.

I’ve written papers that I knew lacked originality, understanding, and professionalism, and yet I still made the grade. From past classes, I’ve realized that I can’t rely entirely on teachers to provide me with the necessary challenge and incentive to produce quality work. If I desire to turn into an educated adult, I will have to set my own bar, and exceed that bar.

A good grade may be easier to come by if you take the ‘easy’ teachers, but you’re only cheating yourself. Did you come to college to hide in your comfort zone or to prepare yourself for a career in the adult world?
Additional Reading: Do Hard Things

2/16/2006

Boundless: Addicted to Adultescence (UPDATED)

UPDATE: "Addicted To Adultescence" made the front page of Christianity.com.
. . . .
An article by Alex and Brett Harris

Click here to read it.

2/15/2006

John Piper: "Don't Waste Your Cancer"

John Piper wrote the short article, Don't Waste Your Cancer, on the eve of surgery for prostrate cancer, just two days ago. His words speak volumes about his faith and trust in a sovereign God. You need not have cancer to learn from this man.

Here are his ten points:

  1. You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
  2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.
  3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.
  4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.
  5. You will waste your cancer if you think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
  6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.
  7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.
  8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.
  9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.
  10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.
John Piper's surgery was reported as very successful, but there is still need for much prayer. Please continue to hold him in your prayers as he recovers, that he will prove to be cancer free. For updates, click here.
HT: Justin Taylor of Theologica

Scripture Memory: How Are You Doing?

At the beginning of the month, we challenged our readers to join us in doing the hard—but inestimably valuable—task of memorizing God's Word. To our joy, we received a very positive response.

But now a week and a half has gone by, which (in my experience) is just about the amount of time it takes for enthusiasm to begin to wane. This post (along with the comments section) is intended serve as an encouragement and exhortation for all of us to persevere.

Brett and I are currently working on Romans 8, after which we want to memorize Isaiah 53. Our goal is to have both memorized before the Sacramento Conference next month. We began our memorization with our family, all of us working to have Romans 8:26-39 memorized by mid-month (i.e. today).

To be honest, I was very diligent for the first week, then the enthusiasm began to wear off... That is, until I focused and made myself sit down and do it. It was really incredible, being able to recite an extended portion of God's Word like that. It reignited my fire.

Brett and I now have half of Romans 8 memorized (verses 26-39 and 1-5). It's been hard, but good.

So how about all of you? How are you doing?

2/14/2006

"The Room" by Joshua Harris

May the beauty of salvation embrace you, may your need for Christ capture you, and may the power of the Cross overwhelm you. For more information on the authorship of "The Room" please click here. To download PDF version, click here.
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the mysterious array of black filing cabinets. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read “Girls I Have Liked.” I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named “Friends” was next to one marked “Friends I Have Betrayed.”

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Have Read,” “Lies I Have Told,” “Comfort I Have Given,” “Jokes I Have Laughed At.” Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Have Done in My Anger,” “Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents.” I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I Have Listened To,” I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked “Lust,” I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: “No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!” In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore “People I Have Shared the Gospel With.” The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.

I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

“No!” I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was “No, no,” as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.”

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.
By Joshua Harris. Orginally published in New Attitude Magazine © Copyright New Attitude 1995. You have permission to reprint this in any form. We only ask that you include the appropriate copyright byline. To download PDF version, click here.

2/13/2006

UPDATE: Candace Still Needs Prayer

"The news from todays surgery is good but she is in a lot of pain. We need your prayer and encouragement to climb this very high mountain with such a frail little seven year old. We must feel His strength with us each step of the way."
Please continue to pray for little Candace. Keep checking her website for updates and please use her prayer calendar to let the entire Walsh Family know you're supporting them.

2/12/2006

The Rebelution Tour Ads

Some fun, inspiring, and simple ads The Rebelution Tour is running in CA home school newsletters. Click to view PDF. Give us feedback!
King David - The Bethlehem Observer
Jane Austen - Hampshire Gazette
Theodore Roosevelt - The New York Herald

2/11/2006

URGENT: Pray For Candace

The Walsh Family are dear friends from Florida who are going through an incredibly difficult time. Dear little Candace, the flower of their family, has been undergoing massive surgery to deal with the "gram positive cocci infection" that originated on her bones and is spreading through the soft tissue of her body, eating it away. Please hold Candace and her family up in your prayers.

Visit "Pray For Candace" for more information and frequent updates.

2/10/2006

Bored? Read this!

Fellow rebelutionary, Spunky Junior, shares the following quotation by G.K. Chesterton:

"There are no boring subjects, only disinterested minds."
Chesterton is right. When you think about it, there really aren't any intrinsically boring topics. After all, some people really are interested in studying a dripping glob of congealed black tar for decades on end. In fact, someone won an Ig Nobel Prize for doing just that.

However, although there isn't such a thing as a boring topic, there is such a thing as a bored person. Each of us experiences the feelings of boredom on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many of the things that seem boring (or disinteresting) are the very things that develop godly character and competence — things like school, reading our Bible, studying theology, or spending time with our family.

Here's the question: What is boredom and how can we change our interests so that we enjoy doing hard things?

So what is boredom? Our father has always taught us that boredom is the mind's equivalent to hunger. Just like hunger signals your body's desire for food, so boredom signals your mind's desire for mental stimulation. To put it simply, when you're bored, your mind is hungry and it wants to eat.

When a person gets hungry enough, they'll eat almost anything. It's the same with boredom. If you get bored enough, you'll start reading through the dictionary. I know, because I've done it before... And actually, I learned a lot of neat words.

So being bored, like being hungry, is not a bad thing. What is bad is when we satisfy that hunger with worthless clutter. Just like you can appease physical hunger by eating physical junk food, you can appease mental hunger by filling your mind with mental junk food. We eliminate the feelings of hunger, without delivering the nutrition our body needs. We eliminate our feelings of boredom, without allowing it to accomplish its intended purpose, which is to drive us to seek knowledge and gain character through study, contemplation, and hard work.

To make matters worse, we live in a world that seems intent on eliminating all feelings of boredom, without really feeding anyone's mind. The Internet, 24-hour cable television, TiVo, cell phones, pagers, instant-messaging, text-messaging, email, and iPods, are just some of the ways our culture allows us to be constantly connected to, interacting with, and entertained by people and media.

It's kind of like living in a world with big bowls of cheese puffs everywhere. Everyone is constantly munching. Hungry even a little bit? Pop a handful of cheese puffs! There's always a bowl right next to you. In fact, you never even get hungry enough for a real meal, because you're always eating cheese puffs.

We can laugh at how ridiculous that sounds. After all, our parents would never let us continually snack on cheese puffs, and we wouldn't do it anyway. We know that ruining our appetite for what is substantial, healthy, and nutritious is foolish. And yet we are constantly ruining our mind's appetite for what is substantial and intellectually nourishing, by filling it with mental junk food. One of the reasons we often procrastinate about important projects is because we never allow our brain to get hungry enough to enjoy tackling it. We just satisfy it with cheese puffs.

Our appetites are very much shaped by what we satisfy them with. If we always drink a Coke when we're thirsty, what we will start longing for when we're thirsty? Coke. If we always eat cheese puffs when we're hungry, what we will start longing for when we're hungry? Cheese puffs. In the same way, if we always surf the Internet when we're bored, what will we start longing for when we're bored? Surfing the Internet.

You see, we don't get nourished, we just satisfy the feelings of boredom. But that just makes our minds more hungry, so we surf the internet a little bit longer next time (maybe a little bit deeper too). We're constantly ruining our appetite for activities that grow godly character and competence, and then we wonder why they seem "boring" or "uninteresting" to us.

This is a call for action. It's a crisis and an opportunity. A crisis, because we cannot afford to continue appeasing our mind with junk food. An opportunity, because by guarding what we feed our mind when we are bored, we can shape its appetite to long for what strengthens and nourishes it. The more we do that, the more we will enjoy completing our God-given responsibilities and the more great things we will accomplish.

So what do you use to appease your boredom? First, recognize it. Once you've done that, make a focused effort to stop using it to appease your boredom. Instead, try this: Let yourself be bored for a while, then tackle something hard. It could be finishing a project, reading a great book, organizing an activity with your siblings, or any number of things. Just make sure it's not something that comes easy. Once you've done it, come back here and tell us about it.

Further Reading: "Do Hard Things" Doesn't Mean You Can't Have Fun

2/08/2006

The Rebelution: Coming To A City Near You

To be honest, Alex and I wish we could bring The Rebelution Tour to every city in the country. But that's not possible. So, we're settling for the next best thing: bringing The Rebelution Tour to every region of the country. But here's the catch -- we need hosts. These people will be our eyes and ears on the ground. They'll help us find a facility, recruit volunteers, help with publicity, etc. They make the conference possible.

Without a host, the conference can't come.
Would you like The Rebelution Tour to come to your city? Then volunteer to serve as host! We're especially looking for teens who -- with their family's full support and involvement -- can take on a huge responsibility and, as a result, learn valuable skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Here's The Rebelution Tour rundown:
  • We want to hold 3-4 conferences in 2006.
  • Starting 2007 we want to do around six conferences per year.
  • We want these conferences divided up regionally (i.e. west, midwest, east, south).
  • Below is a list of "preferred cities" divided by region.
  • We need hosts for a minimum of one city per region.
  • You don't need to live in the city to serve as a host, just close by.
  • We can only choose six hosts (with no more than two hosts per region) so the sooner you contact us, the better.
West Coast

Denver, CO
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA

Midwest

Chicago, IL
Columbus, OH
Minneapolis, MN

East Coast

Baltimore, MD
Philadelphia, PA
New York City, NY
Washington, D.C.

South

Atlanta, GA
Dallas, TX
Little Rock, AR

Reminder: We Need Your Help!

Alex and I are gearing up for The Rebelution Tour's first stop in Sacramento, CA, this March. We're very excited to be speaking on topics such as "The Myth of Adolescence," "Gospel of the Kingdom," "Do Hard Things," and "That's What Friends Are For." Nevertheless, we need your help!

First, we would greatly appreciate your prayers as we prepare the sessions. Pray that God would gives us wisdom and discernment. Also, pray for everyone attending the conference. None of the attendeees will be there by accident. Pray that God would prepare each heart.

Second, we need EXAMPLES for our sessions, especially my session, "Do Hard Things." Please take the time to write and tell us how the attitude of "Do Hard Things" has impacted and affected your life. How it has altered, modified, or clarified the way you view the world, your studies, your faith, etc. These examples are extremely important as we present The Rebelution's message, not as a theory, but as an applied lifestyle -- not only throughout history, but today, in the lives of "normal" teens.

Feel free to send examples of how any part of The Rebelution's message has ministered you. The Rebelution Tour is taking what this community has embraced, and taking it to a wider audience. We would love your involvement and support.

2/07/2006

Self-Discipline: Practical Tips

In light of yesterday's post, Stop Wasting Time, and in keeping with the vision and purpose of The Rebelution, Brett and I would encourage all of you to read the article, Learning Self-Discipline by John MacArthur.

HT: Clarissa Ramos of the ever-excellent blog, The David Trait.
If our encouragement is not enough, here's another push to make you go and read the article (and to give you an idea of the practicality and helpfulness). Here are the section titles:
  • Start with small things.
  • Get yourself organized.
  • Don't constantly seek to be entertained.
  • Be on time.
  • Keep your word.
  • Do the most difficult tasks first.
  • Finish what you start.
  • Accept correction.
  • Practice self-denial.
  • Welcome responsibility.
Excellent stuff, huh? A lot of the things we've talked about, from a man with a lot more experience and wisdom than we have.
Go read the article.

2/06/2006

Stop Wasting Time.

UPDATE: The sticky note holder is available here.
We're Losing More Than Time
Sometimes a whole day can slip by and nothing gets accomplished. Often it's 15 minutes here, a half-hour there, 20 minutes here, an hour there, and suddenly you're wondering where the day went.

For some people wasting time is a source of guilt (I would fall into the "heavy guilt" category), for others it's a way of life. Nevertheless, we are commanded by God to be wise stewards of our time. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil."

Our culture tries hard to distract us from our responsibilities. In a certain sense they don't want us to be responsible to anyone but them and their products! According to a study released by Forbes Magazine the typical television viewer fritters away three years of his life being bombarded with commercials.

Studies like that make us mad. How dare they suck away our precious years in an attempt to get our money?!? Unfortunately, there are millions of little distractions fighting for things much more valuable than our money -- they're fighting for our character and competence.

They might seem harmless -- the book we've already read, the online forum or message board where we "reach out," the 5-minute video we found online, the new World Magazine comic section, the video game that's fun and clean, a review of the latest star-studded flick, or that article on Google News about the kitten with two heads.

Harmless? Not at all. The price is the character that might have been and the competence that would have been. If we were to devote all the time we spend reading random news stories online to reading life-changing, soul-feeding books, how might our relationship with Christ flourish?

If we were to devote all the time we spend watching television to developing our talents in the areas of writing, speaking, musical instruments, filmmaking, painting, sewing, gardening, woodworking, web design, landscaping, computer programming, etc. how much more effective might we be in the Kingdom of God?
When we watch some "cool" video online we've lost more than just 10 minutes of time. We've lost every good thing we might have done with those 10 minutes.
When God's Word tells us to "make the most of our time" it means: "Squeeze every last ounce of growth and grace out of every second of every minute of every hour of every day!"

Acceptable "Time-Wasters"
It is never acceptable to waste time. However, we also must be wise in determining what is "wasted time" and what is simple "character-building time." For example, I am sometimes tempted to get stressed about "wasting time" with my family. Perhaps I'm taking my little brother James for a walk, and I think "Aaaaaahh!!! This is 15 minutes of my day that is not whole-heartedly pursuing growth!!!" (OK, that isn't exactly what I think.)

This stress also tends to hit during my devotions. I'm reading my Bible and this voice in my head starts reading off my ToDo List for the day: "OK Brett, today you need to redesign the conference poster, mail the brochures to Jennifer, write a blog post, read a chapter in the 5 different books you're reading, write two lab reports for science class, finish your "big question" essay project, practice the piano, AND on top of that, mom probably has 10 huge chores for you to do!! Hahahahaha!!!!" (This voice is very annoying)

The truth is that these two areas (i.e. God and family), require a rare kind of character and competence that Satan hates. Time spent serving our family or seeking the Lord is never wasted. Guilt or frustration due to time spent in these areas is misplaced -- placed by the enemy.

How To Use Time More Effectively
Before your conviction forces you to leave the computer, allow me to share a simple system Alex and I have developed to help keep us focused and efficient. This won't work for everyone, but it might inspire you to develop your own system. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge:



This cute little sticky-note holder helps me stay on track during the day, memorize Scripture, and jot down notes and things I need to remember. It's nice and small so I can carry it in my back pocket.






It unfolds to reveal three panels -- each with its own unique purpose.






The first panel holds my ToDo List for the day. I usually develop this list in the morning after my devotions or the previous evening before I go to bed.






Next, I have my Daily Challenge/Memory Verse for the day. I write down something from my devotions that I want to meditate on, the next verse in my Bible memory plan, or both! You'll notice that the sticky note in the picture contains an excerpt from "A Real Man" and Romans 8:28-29.



The middle panel I use for jotting down notes to myself during the day. I might use this if I have an idea for one of my conference sessions or if I need to email/call someone. I've also found sticky notes really useful when someone wants my email address or a book title. I can just write it out and stick it to them!

You Want Me To Make A Checklist?

The truth is that it doesn't matter how you plan, but that you actually plan! I find that when I don't have a ToDo List to remind me of what needs to be done it's much easier to get distracted.

Your plan might not be yellow sticky notes -- maybe you have a neat calendar program on your computer or Palm Pilot. Maybe you'd prefer The Carolyn Mahaney System or maybe you already have a system that works for you. Whatever it is, use it. For the glory of God and by His grace, don't waste a second.
Questions for Discussion and/or Contemplation:
  • What is my #1 Time Waster?
  • What are the things that I should be doing but just don't have time for?
  • Would I have time for these things if I managed by time better?
  • When am I going to do something about my time-wasting habits? AND...
  • Who is going to do it with me? (The last question is because accountability and encouragement are important!)

2/05/2006

Post of the Week: The Sword in Love

Abigail Snyder, a homeschool teen from Indiana, authors the beautiful blog, "The Sword in Love," right from her back porch in Churusbusco.

This week Abigail shared her thoughts after reading Anna & Elizabeth Botkin's book, "So Much More." The result is a gracious look at the role of women in modern culture and some insights into what Miss Snyder terms as "Christian Feminism."

Check It Out.

Do Hard Things.

"By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me."

~ The Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:10 ~

2/03/2006

UPDATE: "Real Man" and "Real Woman"

I feel it is important to clarify our recent posts, "Teen Girls Define A Real Man" and "Teens Define A Real Woman." Both posts are challenging and biblical. We wouldn't have posted them otherwise. Nevertheless, lists of character qualities tend to push us into one of two ditches: 1) being legalistic teen pharisees, or 2) being depressed by our failure to measure up.

Both responses are wrong because it is by grace alone that we satisfy the "righteous requirements of the law." Both the "can-do" attitude of self-confidence and the "can't-do" attitude of discouragement rests hope (or lack of hope) on man's sufficiency.

Neither pride nor discouragement should taint our response to God's standards. The perfect law of God leaves no room for pride. The amazing cross of Christ leaves no room for discouragement. In Romans 8:29 we are told the elect of God are "predestined" to be "conformed to the image" of Christ! In Philippians 1:6 the Apostle Paul states his confidence that the what God has started (i.e. conforming us to the image of Christ) He will complete.

Our fight for holy conformity to the image of Christ is a fight for fierce dependence on Christ! In John 15:5 Christ tells us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
I challenge you to read the lists, to download the PDF's (Real Man - Real Woman), and to examine your heart and life against the teaching of Scripture. However, I pray that grace will humble and encourage you, and that the sufficiency of Christ will be your hope.

2/02/2006

We Need Your Help!

Alex and I are gearing up for The Rebelution Tour's first stop in Sacramento, CA, this March. We're very excited to be speaking on topics such as "The Myth of Adolescence," "Gospel of the Kingdom," "Do Hard Things," and "That's What Friends Are For." Nevertheless, we need your help!

First, we would greatly appreciate your prayers as we prepare the sessions. Pray that God would gives us wisdom and discernment. Also, pray for everyone attending the conference. None of the attendeees will be there by accident. Pray that God would prepare each heart.

Second, we need EXAMPLES for our sessions, especially my session, "Do Hard Things." Please take the time to write (therebelution [at] gmail [dot] com) and tell us how the attitude of "Do Hard Things" has impacted and affected your life. How it has altered, modified, or clarified the way you view the world, your studies, your faith, etc. These examples are extremely important as we present The Rebelution's message, not as a theory, but as an applied lifestyle. Not only through history, but today, in the lives of young adults.

Feel free to send examples of how any part of The Rebelution's message has ministered you. The Rebelution Tour is taking what this community has embraced, and taking it to a wider audience. We would love your involvement and support. [Write us at: therebelution [at] gmail [dot] com]

Do Hard Things: Scripture Memorization

Those who have browsed our booklist may have noticed that we are currently reading through John Piper's book, When I Don't Desire God.

Unknown to us (until yesterday), our older brother (Josh) and CJ Mahaney have also been reading through the book.

We were talking about When I Don't Desire God with our family a few days ago and Brett mentioned that he thought it may be Piper's best book. It turns out that we aren't the only people to think that (and we're in good company). As Josh shared:

Yesterday CJ told me it's his all-time favorite Piper book and that he was reading it again. Now there's an endorsement!
It also turns out that Piper's book convicted older brother and younger brothers in the same area: Scripture memorization. We echo Josh's words:
This is an area I have desired to grow in and been frustrated about. Thankfully, Piper gave more than a reminder, he provided practical help.
Here are some of the quotes Piper shared that cut to our hearts:
Charles Spurgeon: "It is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord, so that your blood is Bibline and the very essence of the Bible flows from you."

Dallas Willard: "Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our mind with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That's where you need it! How did it get in your mouth? Memorization."
And this passage, with an excerpt from The Pilgrim's Progress:
One of the greatest scenes in The Pilgrim's Progress is when Christian recalls in the dungeon of Doubting-Castle that he has a key to the door. Very significant is not only what the key is, but where it is:

"What a fool I have been, to lie like this in a stinking dungeon, when I could have just as well walked free. In my chest pocket I have a key called Promise that will, I am thoroughly persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle." "Then," said Hopeful, "that is good news. My good brother, do immediately take it out of your chest pocket and try it." Then Christian took the key from his chest and began to try the lock of the dungeon door; and as he turned the key, the bolt unlocked and the door flew open with ease, so that Christian and Hopeful immediately cam out."

Three times Bunyan says that the key out of Doubting-Castle was in Christian's "chest pocket" or simply his "chest." I take this to mean that Christian had hidden God's promise in his heart by memorization and that it was now accessible in prison for precisely this reason.

This is how the promises sustained and strengthened Bunyan. He was filled with Scripture. Everything he wrote was saturated with Bible. He pored over his English Bible, which he had most of the time. This is why he could say of his writings, "I have not for these things fished in other men's waters; my Bible and concordance are my only library in my writings."
Brett and I are pretty good at memorizing. We'll memorize our favorite scenes from a movie in a single viewing. We'll memorize songs. We'll memorize jokes. We'll memorize tongue twisters. We'll even memorize how to say "super-cali-fragi-listic-expi-ali-docious" backwards. For us, and indeed, for most young people, memorization is not all that strenuous and will never be easier.

Nonetheless, I'm ashamed to say that of all the things we have stored in our minds, readily available, very little is Scripture. The verses and passages we've memorized in the past have been slowly crowded out of our minds by trivial "stuff." Consistency, meditation, and dedication (the hard, little things) have been sorely lacking. Thus, instead of the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," we are often left with an empty scabbard. Movie lines are a poor defense against temptation.

John Piper puts forth the following challenge:
Let me be very practical and challenge you to do something you perhaps have never done. If you are not a memorizer at all, shift up to memorizing a Bible verse a week. If you only memorize memorize single verses, shift up to memorizing some paragraphs or chapters (like Psalm 1 or Psalm 23 or Romans 8). And if you have ventured to memorize chapters, shift up to memorize a whole book or part of a book. Few things have a greater effect on the way we see God and the world than to memorize extended portions of Scripture.
Brett and I are taking the challenge. We call on you, our readers and friends, to join us. Nothing will better ground and equip The Rebelution than for "the word of God dwell in [us] richly" (Colossians 3:16). We have stressed that strong, godly character is becoming more and more critical in our world today. How then can we ignore Psalm 119:11, "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you"?

Don't be deceived, this will be very hard. The enemy and our sinful flesh will fight and discourage and distract with all their might. But we can do this through Christ who strengthens us. Let us each set a goal and a deadline. It is not a contest, but we do want to "stir up one another to love and good works" (Hebrews 10:24). Memorizing a whole chapter in a week is good. Developing a daily habit of Bible memorization, meditation, and review is even better.

Brett and I have started working on Romans 8. Once that is completed I would like to start working on Isaiah 53. We are using the methodology that Piper and Josh recommend for memorizing extended passages, which can be found online here. By God's grace, I would like to have both passages memorized before we leave to drive down to Sacramento for the Rebelution Tour next month.

The comments section is open for questions, discussion, and encouragement. What do you plan doing in light of this challenge? How has God used the discipline of Scripture memorization in your life? What tricks do you use to help you memorize?

2/01/2006

Three Teens Define "A Real Woman"

Written by Philip Hainline, Heidi Reimer, and Maria Reimer at the respective ages of 16, 19, and 17.
A real woman . . .

…is glad she’s a woman and rejoices in her femininity, expressing it through her attitude, appearance and bearing. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

…does not compete for equality with men or chafe at God’s design for male and female, but delights in and understands the importance of her calling to complement man’s role. (1 Timothy 2:11-12, Ephesians 5:22-24)

…values the cultivation of her mind and diligently seeks after wisdom and knowledge. (Proverbs 22:17-21, 2:2-6)

…realizes her imperative need to allow the Holy Spirit to control her emotions and expressions of them. (James 1:19-20)

…does not wallow in self-pity or make a habit of voicing complaints, but radiates cheerfulness and joy. (Proverbs 15:15, Proverbs 17:22)
A real woman . . .

…appreciates her father’s protection, and respects and submits to his authority. In so doing, she is preparing herself to exercise the Biblical role in her relationship with a possible future husband. (Ephesians 5:33-6:3, 1 Peter 3:1-2)

…is trustworthy and gains the respect of those around her. (Proverbs 31:11)

…restrains herself from listening to, or participating in gossip, but instead speaks with wisdom and discretion. (Proverbs 11:12-13, 22, 20:19, 3:11)

…encourages and builds up those around her instead of criticizing and tearing them down. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Ephesians 4:29)

…does not have a nagging, contentious or manipulative manner in which she deals with others. (Judges 16:16, Proverbs 21:9, 19, 26:21)

…is not boisterous or loud in her speech or actions but is characterized by a gentle and quiet spirit. (Proverbs 9:13, 1 Peter 3:4)
A real woman . . .

…portrays chastity, modesty and reverence in her manner, and wears the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is her true beauty. (1 Peter 3:3-4, Titus 2:4-5)

…is not offended by respect shown her through gentlemanly courtesies (opening doors, etc.) but cultivates the differences between the sexes that make her worthy of this deference. (1 Peter 3:7, Mark 10:6)

…seeks to make God her number one desire and the Lover of her soul, knowing that only He can fully satisfy. (Psalm 73:25, Psalm 63:1)

…uses her years of singleness to seek and serve God without distraction, and is content to leave the details of her future to Him. (Psalm 73:25, Philippians 4:11)
A real woman . . .

…does not relate to members of the opposite sex in a flirtatious or forward manner, but instead saves all her passion for her future husband. (Thessalonians 4:3-8, Proverbs 6:25, 1 Corinthians 7:1)

…holds her virginity before marriage sacred and will not compromise it for anything. (This one goes for guys too)
(1 Timothy 5:22)
"A Real Woman" in PDF Format for download and print out.
Comment section is open to guys and gals on any issues pertaining to what makes a woman. Disagree with something? Tell us what and why.