Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Friday, January 30, 2009

George Bush is a Total Incompetent.

The other day, that is what one of my friends said: "George Bush is a total incompetent." I don't really know much about him so I didn't really say much. But I was thinking about it later on. I can see why people think that. After all, George Bush has said things like:

"I want to thank my friend, Senator Bill Frist, for joining us today. He married a Texas girl, I want you to know. Karyn is with us. A West Texas girl, just like me."

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.''

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

And when I read those things I laugh out loud! It's funny! But, anyone who is in front of a camera so much and under so much scrutiny will make lots funny mistakes. That doesn't mean he is incompetent.

People also say he is incompetent for bigger reasons than the funny things he has said. But it may just be that Condoleezza Rice is actually correct.... Whatever the case may be, I'm sure he is a lot smarter than most people give him credit for. Which I think this article about his love of reading helps to support too. In 2006, he read 95 books! In the last couple years, he has read about a book a week. (He also reads the Bible cover to cover each year and a daily devotional.)


Unsnobby Coffee

I thought this video was pretty funny! I found it on the new blog, DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NT Reliability

Last Night we watched the History Tour of The Truth Project. One of the coolest things in it was the piece showing that the New Testament Scriptures are the most historically reliable ancient writing that we have. A quick Google search will bring up lots of papers showing this in detail.

Here is part of how one site put it:

The New Testament is by far the most reliable ancient writing in existence today. There exist today over 24,000 copies (5,000 of them in the original Greek language) of the New Testament (either in whole or in part).1 This should be compared with the fact that only 7 copies presently exist of Plato's Tetralogies.2 Homer's Iliad is in second place behind the New Testament among ancient writings with just 643 copies.3

The earliest copy of Plato's Tetralogies is dated about 1,200 years after Plato supposedly wrote the original.4 Compare this with the earliest extant copy of the New Testament: the John Ryland's Papyri. It contains a portion of John 18. This fragment is dated at about 125AD, only 25 years after the original is thought to have been written.5....Again, Homer's Iliad takes second place among ancient writings, second only to the New Testament. The earliest copy of any portion of Homer's Iliad is dated about 500 years after the original writing.7


10 Most Redeeming Movies of 2008

Christianity Today talks about the year's best redemptive movies.

I've only seen 2 of them (Horton Hears a Who and The Dark Knight) but maybe I'll see more of them in the next while. It was cool to read what they said about The Dark Knight (at the time of the movie I was too grossed out by the Joker to fully appreciate these themes...):

"The most accomplished superhero movie yet made." "A moving, complex, fascinating look at order and chaos, and how the gap between these things is often filled by people who sacrifice themselves and their reputations for the greater good." "For all its darkness, the film proposes that not everyone may be a hero, but heroism can come from anywhere." "Displays how good men courageously stand against evil—and how evil responds, attacks, and changes them." "Under the surface—perhaps unknown even to the filmmakers—is that this film shows Batman as a Christ-figure who self-sacrificially takes the sins of others onto himself, knowing it is the only way to save others and bring hope. Batman becomes an outcast so that the people of Gotham would have hope."



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dr. David Berlinski

I like this guy. Hope he becomes a Christian.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Man Refuses to Drive "No God" Bus

Dawkins is behind the advertisement.... Like Averil was saying last night, why are atheists so eager to spread their beliefs? They know they aren't saving anyone. They know they aren't giving anyone any hope of a purpose or meaning in life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rick Warren's New Year's Resolutions

1. I resolve to accept no other invitations to pray in Invocation anywhere in 2009.
2. I resolve to preach shorter messages in 2009.

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Cute Scripture Memorization

John Piper isn't quite as "cute" but this is good too:


Monday, January 12, 2009

Tony Dungy

Good article here on Yahoo Sports.

His racial impact in a sport where head-coaching opportunities are scarce for minorities – particularly at the college and high school levels – is considerable. However it wasn’t the color of Dungy’s skin that made him unique but the depth of his personality.

He was a throw back in an era of the thrown headset, a devout Christian who practiced the human decency he heard preached.

He was the guy who showed you could win big, earn the respect of your players and even discipline in the hot-headed moments of a potential night club scrap – not by bullying and intimidation but through respect and example.

Too often coaches act like lunatics as they stomp the sideline in over-the-top rage. Dungy, often in his Colts blue sweater vest, was a neighborly exception.

Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

Interesting article here from the New York Times Magazine on on Mark Driscoll, Calvinists, etc.


Friday, January 09, 2009

Ben Stein's Confession

Jon Slater emailed this to me. It's from Ben Stein and called My Confession.

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened …. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Lowest Sunday in Many Years

I thought Mark Driscoll's blog (which you can read all of here) was very good. He explains that they had the lowest attendance in many years because of the snow and some lessons he learned.

1. We learn who sees Mars Hill as a calling and who sees it as a job.

Those who see it as a job are the first to call in and cancel their duties, not show up, dog it, or leave early. Those who see their service at Mars Hill as a calling go beyond the call of duty to cover for everyone else.....

2. We learn about our own heart.

If we are depressed, complaining, or secretly wishing we could be home there is something wrong with us. Days like today are opportunities for us to love our volunteers, pour extra appreciation on those who come, and make sure that we do not neglect those who join us. Charles Spurgeon once said that when you pay attention to the seat that is empty, you are paying a disservice to the one that is filled.....

3. We learn about the deep love some people have for our church.

Even if there are 80 instead of 1300 in a service, if they are 80 people who want to love and worship Jesus and are willing to do whatever it takes to get to church then those people are the hardcore of the hardcore and from what I heard they out sang crowds ten times their size because they were determined to fill the room with worship to Jesus.


"As an Atheist, I Truly Believe Africa Needs God"

I noticed this on Between Two Worlds:

A couple of days ago a British atheist published an article in London's The Times

Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

I used to avoid this truth by applauding - as you can - the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It's a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.

But this doesn't fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.

Read the whole thing here if you want to!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Make People Shun You

"If you want to know how to make people shun you, laugh at you behind your back, and even despise you, here is the recipe: Never listen to anyone for long. Talk incessently about yourself. If you have an idea while the other person is talking don't wait for him or her to finish: burst right in and interrupt in the middle of a sentence." - Dale Carnegie


Never Let Go

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