I recently purchased a Kindle using money I received as a Christmas gift. While I still prefer a paper book, I like the Kindle much more than I would have imagined. In fact, not counting required reading for seminary I have read more books for pleasure in the past three months using my Kindle than paper books in the past 5 years. What are your thoughts on e-readers?
What is Jesus worth to you? This is a question you'll have to wrestle with constantly as you read this book by David Platt. Apart from the Bible itself, this book is on my short list of books you have to read. No doubt, your Americanized thinking and the western church culture to which you're accustomed will cause you to be uncomfortable at times. But, if you are serious about treasuring Christ more than the stuff you own, this book is for you. Read it if you dare to be radical!
Posted by Mike Gross at 5:21 PM
Sorry that it has been far too long since my last post.
God, give us tears for our sins. Forgive us for being shallow in prayer.... Cause us to hold to the cross with fear and trembling as our hope-filled and offensive tree of life. Grant us nothing, absolutely nothing, the way the world views it. May Christ be all in all.Banish professionalism from our midst, Oh God, and in its place put passionate prayer, poverty of spirit, hunger for God, rigorous study of holy things, white-hot devotion for Jesus Christ, utter indifference to all material gain, and unremitting labor to rescue the perishing, perfect the saints, and glorify our sovereign Lord.Humble us, O God, under Your mighty hand, and let us rise, not as professionals, but as witnesses and partakers of the sufferings of Christ. In His awesome name. Amen."
Posted by Mike Gross at 12:28 PM
I had indicated a positive identification had been made of my cousin and his friends but it turns out that we are still awaiting "official" verfication by the state medical examiner. However, the three skeletal remains were found in the missing van registered to my cousin, so we do not expect good news.
Posted by Mike Gross at 9:42 PM
About 10 years ago my second cousin, Bill V. Gross, and two other guys disappeared. They were on their way from their home in western KY to visit family in eastern KY, but never arrived.
Posted by Mike Gross at 12:18 PM
It has officially been too long since I last posted. I have been a busy beaver with reading, homework, and church responsibilities.
Posted by Mike Gross at 6:23 AM
My wife, Michelle, will be taking part in the 2008 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes on September 13th.
This is very important because Michelle recently lost a cousin from complications caused by her diabetes. In addition, Michelle's mom is diabetic... as is my father, brother, and several other family members.
This is where each of you comes in. Would you be willing to visit her 'walker' page and donate a small amount to help find a cure? Her personal goal is just $100.
Follow this link to Donate
Posted by Mike Gross at 7:14 AM
C. Michael Patton over at Parchment & Pen responds to an email concerning the eternal destiny of a man who claimed to be a Christian, yet committed suicide. You can read his well-reasoned and biblical response HERE.
Patton's sister committed suicide in the recent past so he speaks from firsthand experience of having to deal with this issue.
Many people know that my mother died when I ten. However, fewer people know that she committed suicide. It is for this reason that I especially appreciated his comments and biblical response. Below are links to additional helpful resources:
Depression: The Way Up When You Are Down
Suicide: Understanding and Intervening
Posted by Mike Gross at 10:00 PM
I just finished reading a review of Serve God, Save the Planet by Tim Challies and it got me thinking. Not so much about the book, but rather my personal thoughts on stewardship of the environment; particularly the effects of coal mining on the forests and wildlife of Appalachia.
The popular debate about the environment these days seems to be centered primarily on global warming. However, take a short drive to the coal fields of southeast Kentucky and you'll find a problem that is far more important to many residents there, mountain top removal.
Mountain top removal consists of hundreds of feet of a mountain top being blasted away and the resulting debris is pushed over into the valley, even if there are streams in those valleys. This exposes the coal seam so that it can be mined.
Areas that have experienced this practice have seen streams blocked, wells poisoned by dangerous chemicals used in mining, and native plant and animal life virtually eliminated. In addition, the intense blasting during the process has damaged or destroyed home after home. I know of someone whose well was emptied by an underground cavern caused by blasting and the resulting void was filled with explosive methane gas.
Until recently I was very apathetic about the entire issue. Now, however, I hope that this practice can be stopped because it looks like my hometown will soon become its next victim. I feel guilty that it takes my personal interests being threatened before I start caring (I think we humans are like that in a lot of ways).
I'm also taking greater interest in my responsibility for the overall environment. The jury is still out on global warming, but there can be no doubt that I (we) need to become more responsible in how I treat creation.
In the words of Francis Schaeffer from Pollution and the Death of Man,
"The man who believes things are there only by chance cannot give things a real intrinsic value. But for the Christian, there is an intrinsic value. The value of a thing is not in itself autonomously, but because God made it. It deserves this respect as something which was created by God, as man himself has been created by God."
Posted by Mike Gross at 12:40 PM
The release of the much anticipated ESV Study Bible is just around the corner (October 15th). I'm not one to get caught up in the hype of new products. However, from the previews I've looked at I can honestly say I'm pretty excited!
Check it out for yourself:
WTS bookstore will be selling it at 37% below list price ($31.49)
Excerpt of Introduction to Luke
Introduction to Revelation
Complete Book of Jonah
Posted by Mike Gross at 2:08 PM
The Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF) offers some wonderful little booklets from the Resources For Changing Lives (RCL) series.
They are ideal for providing to those whom you may be counseling. The best part is that they are around $3 each (even cheaper if you buy in packs of five).
Facing Death with Hope - Powlison
Living With an Angry Spouse: Help for Victims of Abuse - Welch
How Do I Stop Losing it With My Kids? Getting to the Heart of Your Discipline Problems - Smith
You can find additional booklets and other resources from CCEF/RCL HERE & HERE.
While you're at it I would suggest New Testament Theology by Dr. Thomas Schreiner
Posted by Mike Gross at 12:50 PM
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the colonies' separation from Great Britain. Read the Declaration of Independence
We will be celebrating and honoring the birth of our nation tomorrow. I feel, however, that the real reason for this day is lost on many people. Even though my citizenship is in heaven I cannot help but express gladness in how God has blessed me to be part of such a great country.
What about the idea that we live in 'Christian country'? Stephen at 'the lower case' has a good post on this issue HERE. I would also suggest a similar post from Stephen HERE.
On a less serious note, I am the object of some laughs and friendly harassment because I'm bothered by the term "Fourth of July." We are not simply celebrating a date on the calendar that we happen to share with countries around the world. It is Independence Day! Just as with the generic (and equally dumb) 'happy holidays' for Christmas, this term completely misses the real reason for the day. Maybe I should start referring to Christmas as "the 25th of December" to show just how silly it sounds?
I encourage the use of the correct name because I don't want anyone to forget. I want us all to honor people like my dad who served in the Korean War, or the many other men and women who have served and died to protect & preserve our independence. May we never forget the sacrifice they have made, and are making even as I type this.
Happy Independence Day!
Posted by Mike Gross at 11:03 AM