two years of two cents…


So, little did you know, but yesterday thetwocentcrockpot celebrated two years of slow cooking goodness. That’s right, two years ago yesterday, thetwocentcrockpot was born.

Well, for those who haven’t been with us for the whole two years, here are some of our highlights:

In the two years I’ve reviewed a few books posted some random thoughts and offered more than a few cents on theology.

In the two years I’ve talked a great deal about coffee. There was the infamous brugo saga (part 2, part 3) that consumed far too much of my life. I found some coffee I really liked. I even had coffee with the Governor… well, sort of.

I celebrated the birth of my daughter, shared the humor of my son, and celebrated my beautiful wife.

It has been a fun two years and I look forward to a few more down the road. So, for those who wonder, “what exactly should I get a blog on its birthday?” the answer is simple. How about a comment… just let us know you’re there and love us.

Here’s to two more years… Cheers.

How can it not be well…

This, of course, is rhetorical… to be read, “how can it not be well?” with an emphasis on the not. This morning I was singing a hymn (again, offkey) and was overcome with the joy in the realities I was singing.

Here are verse 2 and 3 from “It Is Well With My Soul.”

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin (O the bliss of this glorious thought!)
My sin, not in part, but in whole,
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul!

It is verse 2 and 3 that allow you to sing verse 1 with any real confidence. Wow, as my friend Ben would say, “that’s a god piece of chicken.” You’ll have to ask him what that means because I have no idea.

It Is Well with My Soul – Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

A compliment that got a smile…

I’m not sure why, but I don’t really react to compliments too well. I guess I feel that most of them aren’t really genuine and are given out of some sort of obligation or lack of anything better to say. As a preacher (at least occasionally) I often get the, “great message” compliment. I know the person is being encouraging and might actually mean it, but part of me wants to call the bluff and say, “really, what in particular was great about it?” I usually chicken out of that reply due to the fact that I am scared they might not have an answer. So, all that to say, probably to my detriment, I don’t really react to compliments.

So, the other day I was in the basement with my son and I was playing guitar and singing while he played the drums (he’s 2 and I only know 7 chords so it wasn’t anything amazing). After a while I picked a The Family Worship Book which has about 60 hymns in the back and began to sing some of those. About that time Asher ran upstairs. I can only assume that it was my off key singing that sent him to flee. So, as any good father would do, I continued my singing and followed him upstairs (It’s my house and I’ll sing off key wherever I’d like).

At that time Jennifer was cooking dinner. I finished whatever hymn I was on and stood there quite content. I then told Jennifer that I would really like to attend a church that sung hymns… and not just modern upbeat versions of them, but rather, straight hymns with an organ or piano accompaniment. I told her, “I really just love hymns.” To which she replied (and this gets to the compliment part of the story) “…as all good reformed men do.”

Even as I write it here it makes me smile. Why, you ask. Well, I guess it is this… My beliefs in who God is run very much in line with those of the reformed faith. So, my wife was affirming that:

  1. She knows what reformed people believe (that is sexy)
  2. She knows I belive what reformed people believe
  3. She thinks I am good
  4. She thinks I am a good reformed man

It was nice… It actually made me smile. I can’t remember that last time a compliment made me smile. I think it is number 4 that makes the biggest impact. See, I try on a daily basis to live my beliefs in the context of my family, my relationships and career. I look at great men like Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, John Piper, and so many others and say, “I want to live lives like these guys… good reformed men.”

So, Jennifer, thanks! I love you. While I am no Piper or Calvin, I do have this one thing in common with them… I have an amazing reformed wife who brings me great joy. Thanks for being there for me.

twocent note to self…

I just took some NyQuil, so no telling how coherent this one might be…

I don’t know about you, but, on occasion, I have the tendency to judge my life by other people. For example… I look around at other people I admire and think, “what all did they accomplish before they turned 30?” The answer is typically much more than I have accomplished in the same span of time (though I do have 10 months left to catch up).

I guess the two sides of the coin are:
heads – I’m am inspired and challenged to work harder to be the man I want to be.
tails – I’m not supposed to be the people I admire… I’m just supposed to be me.

I think I was most impacted in this area by something I read by Josh Harris (no, not I Kissed Dating Goodbye). In an interview he was asked what he thought was the greatest challenge facing young church planters today. His answer was, “Mark Driscoll.” He went on to explain that Mark is an amazing individual and has done and is doing some very amazing things with church planting. But Harris went on to explain that so many young church planters look at Mark and think, “yeah, I want to be that.” When, as Harris put it, “the world couldn’t handle two Mark Driscolls.”

The thing is, we each have our lives to live. I’m not Mark Driscoll. I’m not John Piper. I’m not Robert Greene. I’m not Raymond Goodlett. Looking at these guys (and many others) should not make we want to be more like them… rather I look at these guys and actually want to be a better me.

May God help me.

2 cent review…

Ok, so I got some books the other day from Westminster Bookstore online (best prices anywhere). I was shopping specifically for a new book out that is a compilation of 3 works on sin by the great Puritan, John Owen. My main reason for looking into the book was that John Owen is the namesake of my good friend’s son, Owen. Owen isn’t born yet and has a lot of challenges that we are all praying about, but I wanted to know a little bit more about this man for whom my friend would name his son… So, while I was there I stumbled across a series of booklets call The Basics of the Reformed Faith Series. The booklets were inexpensive and the topics were intriguing, so I went ahead and picked them up as well.

Today I finished two of the booklets but specifically wanted to comment on this one, How Our Children Come to Faith. I must say that Stephen Smallman is an amazing communicator. I find that most of the books I read seem to be written to people much smarter than myself. However, reading this book I found myself thinking, “wow, this is so easy to understand.” Smallman, in a very pastoral manner, takes the time to communicate biblical truths in such a way that the reader can take the material and really gain a greater faith and hope in God for their children.

While I was greatly encouraged in the content of the book (parents, pick this one up) the manner in which Smallman gets the content to you was so impressive. Strange as this might sound, but reading this book made me want to be a better pastor. See, we often like to impress people with how much we know (or flip the coin and we desperately try to hide our ignorance) and in doing so leave people wondering what in the world we are taking about. Smallman, with the heart of a true father encourage parents to rest in God’s covenant faithfulness for their kids.

My hope is that I can not only have greater faith and assurance for my children, but also that I might care for others enough to commuicate truth to them in a manner that they can understand.

update…

  1. The last post (about me reading again) is a lie.
  2. I feel like I’ve been on crusie control for the past 3 months.
  3. I think I might want to turn off the crusie control, but I’m not sure if I’m supposed to hit the breaks or hit the gas to turn it off.

In unrealted news, please check out my friend’s blog. There is a short list of people (alive or dead) that I can say that their words have actually changed my life. Robert is one of them.

www.cultivatethesoul.com/blog/