Are We Done Yet?

I saw the movie, Are We Done Yet, with the Shortreed twins today. (Chris and Tim are two cool brothers). And, even though the Star Tribune only gave this movie one star, I thought it was really fun. Two thumbs up.

I’m telling you, I think Ice Cube and I could be twins. He needs me to be his new rap partner on his next CD.

Jamal Hashi and Chicken Fantastik on KARE 11

Many of you who hang with me on a regular basis have had the privilege of dining at Safari Restaurant or Safari Express in Minneapolis. Safari is owned by my good friend Jamal Hashi. My favorite dish that he cooks is called Chicken Fantastik. Jamal was on KARE 11, the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis cooking this dish for Showcase Minnesota. Here is the link to that television appearance and the recipe for Chicken Fantastik! Bon appetit!


TV appearance:

‘Twas The Sunday Before Easter

Leith Anderson preached a message at Wooddale this week called, “‘Twas the Sunday Before Easter.” It was my privilege to write an article for the Wooddale Week about the theme of the message. I wrote two articles. One was a poem, and the other was an inspirational thought. At the time I wrote the poem, I was unaware that there would be an amazing drama this week, using a poem with the same name. So, this didn’t appear in the Wooddale Week, but I thought I’d share it with you.

‘Twas The Sunday Before Easter

‘Twas the Sunday before Easter
And all through my life
Was anxiety, hopelessness
And a great deal of strife

When what to my wandering soul should appear
But the hope of our Savior,
Who loved the one in my mirror

A perfect life lived
He was celebrated
As He rode down the street
Knowing death He would meet

Celebration one day and rejection the next
The King given over, His followers perplexed

Anxiety? Yes. And, hope? It was lost
Because they knew not, just what was the cost
Of so great a salvation, that is the foundation
Hope lost on Friday, and found on that Sunday

So, where are you on this Palm Sunday?
Living on Friday or Easter Morning?
Remember, He conquered death and the grave
For you and for me, our lives to save

Another Book

I received word from Zondervan yesterday that they will be publishing my third book, When I. . . in January of 2009. What’s the Deal With. . . comes out on December 7th of this year. The cover art for that book accompanies this post.

CT article on Passion

If you haven’t picked up the current issue of Christianity Today and read the article on The Passion movement, you need to do so. They call Passion the most influential movement amongst young evangelicals. I would have to agree. Passion has decided to suspend all Passion conferences in the United States. They will be taking a world tour sometime in the next year. Louie Giglio’s reasoning for this is right on. Read the article. It’s worth your time. It’s interesting to read what the article has to say about John Piper and Beth Moore’s relationship to the Passion movement. It’s also interesting to read about the passion that twentysomethings in the southern part of the United States have for God. The vast majority of twentysomethings that go to Passion are from the south. The article talked about the need to reach twentysomethings in the north. I’m not sure that is an entirely fair statement. Going to the Passion conference is not what makes you passionate about God. In a very real way, we are seeing a revival amongst twentysomethings in the Twin Cities. Here at Wooddale Church, Chad Erlenborn, our young adults pastor, has found that 20% of people in our twentysomething community have come to faith in the past six months. That’s pretty cool!

Bookstores and Future Grace

I love bookstores. There is just something about standing in racks upon racks of books that motivates me. Each book on a shelf has a story behind it. There is the author’s life experiences and education. There is the publisher’s willingness to take a risk. There is the marketing team’s creativity in artwork and advertising.

It amazes me how the same book can bring about such different responses in readers.

I spent some time in a used book store yesterday with my three boys. While there, I went to the religion section. I was perusing the shelves when I came upon a book by John Piper that I was previously unfamiliar with. It’s called Future Grace and it was published by Multnomah in 1995. I just looked on Amazon, and it was republished in 2005, with a new cover.

I haven’t read the book yet. I bought it, because on pages 9-10 you’ll find this paragraph:

On the other side of the coin, the aim of this book is to emancipate human hearts from servitude to the fleeting pleasures of sin. Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God. No one sins out of duty. We sin because it holds some promise of happiness. That promise enslaves us until we believe that God is more to be desired than life itself (Psalm 63:3). Which means that the power of sin’s promise is broken by the power of God’s. All that God promises to be for us in Jesus stands over against what sin promises to be for us without him. This great prospect of the glory of God is what I call future grace. Being satisfied with that is what I call faith. And therefore the life I write about in this book is called Living by Faith in Future Grace.

That’s pretty profound. I was just having lunch with a student on Monday, talking about why so many of his friends choose sin. I wish I read this quote about sin earlier.

If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear what it meant to you. I’m looking forward to taking the journey.