Diary Of A Jackwagon (book review)

Diary of a JackwagonI’m a huge Tim Hawkins fan! He proves time and time again that you don’t have to be crass to be funny, but that intelligent insights are perhaps a bigger laugh than the base stuff. So I was really looking forward to reading Diary Of A Jackwagon.

This book, Tim explains, is like his personal journal of observations. So you get a little insight into his craft. Indeed it was fascinating to read some of the seed thoughts that became a bit in his public comedic routine.

When J.C. Ryle was writing a biography on George Whitefield, he noted that there was a huge difference between hearing a sermon and reading a sermon. I felt the same about this book. Tim Hawkins uses his voice inflections, facial expressions, singing and musical abilities, and body contortions to create a full comedic experience for the viewer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t translate over very well to the reader. So if you already know who Tim Hawkins is, please read this book and enjoy. However, if you’ve not had the pleasure of seeing Tim’s comedy routine, please pull up some YouTube videos before reading this book. Trust me: it will be much more enjoyable this way.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

Links & Quotes

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“When we reflect how prone we are to be drawn into error in our judgments, and into vice in our practice; and how unable, at least how very unwilling, to espy or correct our own miscarriages; when we consider how apt the world is to flatter us in our faults, and how few there are so kind as to tell us the truth; what an inestimable privilege must it be to have a set of true, judicious, hearty friends about us, continually watching over our souls, to inform us where we have fallen, and to warn us that we fall not again for the future.” —George Whitefield

“This was the staple preaching of [George] Whitefield. He was always great upon that which he called the great R—Regeneration. Whenever you heard him, the three Rs came out clearly—Ruin, Regeneration, and Redemption! Man ruined, wholly ruined, hopelessly, helplessly, eternally ruined! Man regenerated by the Spirit of God, and by the Spirit of God alone wholly made a new creature in Christ! Man redeemed by precious blood from all his sins, not by works of righteousness, not by deeds of the law, not by ceremonies, prayers, or resolutions, but by the precious blood of Christ!” —Charles Spurgeon

Here is a cool story about the churches in Cedar Springs making history.

In working on my message for our Aliens and Strangers series, I cam across this great post: Next-Door Strangers.

11 Quotes From “A Sketch Of The Life And Labors Of George Whitefield”

A Sketch of the Life and Labors of George WhitefieldYesterday I tweeted…

And that’s definitely true in the book J.C. Ryle wrote: A Sketch Of The Life And Labors Of George Whitefield. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes I highlighted in this interesting biography.

“Informing your opinion of the comparative merits of Christian men, never forget the old rule: ‘distinguish between times.’ Place yourself in each man’s position. Do not judge what was a right course of action in other times, by what seems a right course of action in your own.”

“In the thirty-four years of his ministry, it is reckoned that [Whitefield] preached publicly eighteen thousand times. … No preacher has ever retained his hold on his hearers so entirely as he did for thirty-four years.”

“He seemed to live for only two objects—the glory of God, and the salvation of immortal souls. He raised no party of followers who took his name. He established no system, like Wesley, of which his own writings should be cardinal elements. A frequent expression of his is most characteristic of the man: ‘Let the name of George Whitefield perish, so long as Christ only is exalted.’” 

“He was a man of extraordinary catholicity and liberality in his religion. He knew nothing of that narrow-minded policy which prompts a man to fancy that every thing must be barren outside his own camp, and that his party has got a monopoly of truth on heaven. He loved all who loved the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. He measured all by the measure which the angels of God use —‘Did they possess repentance towards God, faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, holiness of conversation?’ If they did, they were as his brethren. His soul was with such men, by whatever name they were called.”

“Whitefield preached a singularly pure gospel. Few men ever gave their hearers so much wheat and so little chaff. … This, you may be sure, is the corner-stone of all preaching that God honors. It must be predominantly a manifestation of truth.”

“To make easy things seem hard is easy, but to make hard things easy is the office of a great preacher.” —Archbishop Usher

“He is the best orator who can turn men’s ears into eyes.” —Arabian Proverb

“It was no uncommon thing with him to weep profusely in the pulpit. Cornelius Winter goes so far as to say that he hardly ever knew him to get through a sermon without tears.”

“Once become satisfied that a man loves you, and you will listen gladly to anything he has got to say. And this was just one grand secret of Whitefield’s success.”

“He founded no denomination among whom his name was embalmed, and his every act recorded, as did John Wesley. He headed know mighty movement against a Church which openly professed false doctrines, as Luther did against Rome. He wrote no books which were to be the religious classics of the millions, like John Bunyan. He was a simple, guileless man, who lived for one thing only, and that was to preach Christ. If he succeeded in doing that effectually, he cared for nothing else. He did nothing to preserve the memory of his usefulness. He left his work with the Lord.”

“The truth, I believe, is, that the direct good Whitefield did to immortal souls was enormous. I will go farther. I believe it is incalculable.” 

A Sketch Of The Life And Labors Of George Whitefield (book review)

A Sketch of the Life and Labors of George WhitefieldI recently read a fascinating book about the intertwining lives of Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. In some follow up reading, I was somewhat shocked to discover how many people in the church vilified Whitefield! In less than a century following Whitefield’s death, many pastors in the Church of England were badmouthing him.

J.C. Ryle, and eminent scholar, theologian and pastor, decided to take another look at Whitefield’s life and ministry, to try to offer an unbiased view. Whitefield died in 1770, and just 77 years later Ryle presented a paper, later turned into the book A Sketch Of The Life And Labors Of George Whitefield, which explored the evangelist’s life and lasting impact.

Ryle was no Whitefield apologist, but when he calmly and rationally presented the facts of what God had accomplished through Whitefield’s tireless ministry, Ryle concluded: “After calm examination, I have come to the conclusion that Whitefield was one of the most powerful and extraordinary preachers the world has ever seen. My belief is, that hitherto he has never been too highly estimated, and that, on the contrary, he does not receive the credit he deserves.” And, “The plain truth is, the Church of England of that day was not ready for a man like Whitefield. The church was too much asleep to understand him.”

This is not a very lengthy book, but it is a very enjoyable read. History buffs—especially those who enjoy church history—will find much to like in this brief study.

Links & Quotes

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“Reading the Bible is a good preparative for prayer, as prayer is an excellent means to render reading effectual.” —George Whitefield

“God would have remained hidden afar off if Christ’s splendor had not beamed upon us.” —John Calvin

“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect [party] of the candidate—look to his character. … It is alleged by men of loose principles or defective views of the subject that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the Scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men ‘who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.’” —Noah Webster

“During the gold rush, the people who made the most money were the ones selling the shovels.” —Russell Brunson

Husbands, here are 8 things your wife should expect from you.

James Madison & the Bill of RightsMurray Vassar has another great cartoon. Click the picture or here to see the rest…

Seth Godin always makes me think. Like this post called Opposition

The opposite of creativity is fear.
And fear’s enemy is creativity.
The opposite of yes is maybe.
Because maybe is non-definitive, and both yes and no give us closure and the chance to move ahead.
Perfect is the enemy of good.
Us is not the enemy of them. Us is the opposite of alone.
They can become us as soon as we permit it.
Everything is the opposite of okay. Everything can never be okay. Except when we permit it.
The right is not the opposite of the left. Each side has the chance to go up, which is precisely the opposite of down.
Dreams are not the opposite of reality. Dreams inform reality.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell makes me think, too. Here he does it with a bit of humor—

Tears And Humility

History of ReshJust has God sent His holy Son “below the line” to rescue us, so we who are in Jesus have been sent below the line to those who are staggering to death. If we are going to be effective rescuers, what must our attitude be?

John Bradford, when he saw a convicted criminal on his way to the gallows said, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” He also said to those who questioned his deep emotional response when preaching, “You blame me for weeping, but how can I help it when you will not weep for yourselves, though your immortal souls are on the verge of destruction?”

Isn’t a humble, empathetic rescuer going to be more effective in reaching those staggering to their eternal demise than one who stands aloof, saying, “You got yourself into this mess”?

Resh (Psalm 119:153-160) shows us our posture: It signifies a head bowed; it means we are confidently humble. Confident that God delivers us, defends us, redeems us, preserves us, and saves us (vv. 153-154); but humble enough to know that we could never have earned this!

We have to have this confidently humble posture in order to be effective as His holy rescuers. We grieve for those who are without God because of what they face—

  • “Salvation” is only gibberish to the wicked because they’ve never looked it up in Your dictionary. (v. 155, MSG)
  • They don’t know His compassion is great (v. 156), nor how great is Your tender mercy and loving-kindness (AMP).
  • They become the foes who persecute Christians (v. 157). How they will grieve on Judgment Day, if they don’t repent!
  • Their actions are loathed (not them as a person!). What God said of the Israelites who went into captivity will be true for those who don’t accept Jesus before they die—Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember Me—how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. (Ezekiel 6:9, emphasis added)

Tears and humility will keep us in the proper position to reclaim these lost treasures for our King! 

I will be continuing our series on Psalm 119 in our P119 Spiritual Workout next Sunday. Hope you can join me!

If you are interested in watching the entire message, the video is below—

Links & Quotes

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“‘And Enoch walked with God’ [Genesis 5:24]. If so much as this can be truly said of you and me after our decease, we shall not have any reason to complain that we have lived in vain.” —George Whitefield

“A neglect of secret prayer has been frequently an inlet to many spiritual diseases, and has been attended with fatal consequences.” —George Whitefield

“You have heard many men’s dying words, and these are mine: A life spent in communion with God is the pleasantest life in the world.” —Matthew Henry, to a friend when near his death

Sgt. Jason Kelley is a wonderful asset to my hometown, and our surrounding area. So I couldn’t be happier that he has been named Kent County Deputy of the Year!

We are losing a pastor who has been so involved in our city. Pastor Tom Holloway is moving to South Carolina, and I am going to miss him.

A U.S. Army chaplain has found an innovative way to water baptize soldiers. Love it!

Eric Metaxas asks, “How can anyone defend Planned Parenthood after the sickening video came to light this week?” Check out his insightful answer.

[VIDEO] Here is the video from another Periscope broadcast I did about handling fear—

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