A Prayer for Advent

November 30, 2011

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, King of kings and Lord of Lords, the Son of the living God and Son of David, come. Come now to Your Church that you have purchased with Your blood. Come with Your gracious presence, that we may rejoice in You. Come and rule over us, that we may serve and follow You. Come with Your love, humility, and perfect obedience, and let Your lowliness become our glory. Come into the midst of Your people and bless us, for we are Your heritage. Forgive us our sin, and do not angrily cast away Your servants, for You are meek and gracious. Clothe us with the garment of Your righteousness, for You are the only rightous one and our helper. Satisfy us with the abundance of Your mercy, for You did become poor for our sakes, that by Your poverty we might be made rich. Hear us, Lord Jesus, for the sake of Your holy name. Amen. (72)

Lutheran Book of Prayer, “Prayers for the Festivals & Times of the Church Year,” Advent.



November 5, 2011



















Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Heinz Field, 8:20 pm

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Grace Effect

November 5, 2011

in his book, The Grace Effect: How The Power Of One Life Can Reverse The Corruption Of Unbelief, Larry Alex Taunton takes readers on a journey through the process of adopting a ten-year old girl named Sasha from an orphanage in the Ukraine.

along the way we’re given a glimpse of life in the Ukraine, a few history lessons, theological reflections, spiritual insight, and a families’ journey to adopt a young girl.

the Taunton’s story is heart-warming. they put their lives in Alabama on hold and travel to the Ukraine to bring a little girl home with them. they have to deal with language, cultural, and social differences. they have to deal with corrupt officials and state representatives. they show the patience of Job in their dealings.

“Simply defined,” writes Taunton, [the grace effect] is an observable phenomenom – that life is demonstrably better where authentic Christianity flourishes.” (Pg. 22, The Grace Effect).

believers from all denominations and traditions would agree. this is our mission and mandate as Christians. to make things better for people. to do God’s will, on earth as it is in heaven.

the Taunton’s story is an example of the grace effect. they make Sasha’s life better, demonstrably better.

a few of the author’s opinions and comments may be disagreable to some readers. however, this book is well-worth reading and the notion, the grace effect, is well-worth living.

let’s make life demonstrably better.

*Full Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through “Book Sneeze.” They give free books to bloggers for honest reviews.*

Plugged-In Parenting

November 3, 2011

Plugged-In Parenting: How To Raise Media-Savy Kids With Love, Not War is a wonderful book for parents, families, and people who work with kids and teens in our culture and society today.

the book was written by Bob Waliszewski. he’s a parent and former youth pastor. Waliszewski is also the director of Plugged-In Online, a website visited a million times a month by parents and families looking for information about current entertainment.

Plugged-In Parenting is full of wonderful insights, stories, and quotes. Waliszewski is a great writer and story-teller. parents will see themselves in the book and be able to relate to the challenges that come with raising children and engaging in the culture and media that surrounds us.

this book is a must-read for parents, pastors, preachers, and anyone working with children and young people.

we need to be informed; we need to be relevant; and we need to be discerning. this book is a great resource to help with all three.

*NOTE: Tyndale Publishing gave me a free copy of Plugged-In Parenting for a review posting on my blog. For more information check out the Tyndale Blog Network.

Mid-Season Report

November 1, 2011

weekly picks record: 83-33.

thoughts and notes:

– who are the Ravens? the team that smashed the Steelers on opening day or the team that lost to Jacksonville and had to come from behind to beat Arizona?

– who are the Steelers? the team that got smashed by the Ravens or the team that beat the Patriots this past Sunday?

– Lions are awesome! i think they’ll get ten or eleven wins and make the playoffs as a Wild Card. depending on the seeding in the NFC, i think they could play the Packers in the NFC Championship game. however, i don’t think nine wins will get them a playoff spot; even ten might not get them a playoff spot depending on the tie breaks.

– Colts: it’s sad.

– Dolphins: Reggie Bush said it best, “we stink!”

– Packers: rollin’.

– who are the Saints? their loss to the Rams this past Sunday will end up being the worst loss of any team this year.

– Eagles: i hope they do well. they’ve got speed in spades.

– Tim Tebow: i want him to do well. i want him to do great. i fear, though, the critics are correct.

– 49ers are for real.

– there are six playoff spots available in each conference. there are ten teams in each conference that are competitive enough to make the playoffs. it will be an interesting November and December.