If it’s Tuesday, it should be Cleveland

Solomon was a Calvinist.  In January Alistair Begg and his staff at Parkside Church/Truth for Life invited WLQV to broadcast The Paul Edwards Program live from their Basics 2007 Pastor’s Conference. The conference began yesterday and runs through Wednesday at Noon.

I was excited about the invitation.  I have appreciated Alistair Begg’s preaching ever since I first met him in 1988.  He had come to Temple Baptist Church in Detroit as one of the speakers for our annual Summer Bible Conference.  Since then I have made it a habit to visit Parkside Church in Cleveland as often as possible.  To be invited to broadcast my program from there was a high honor.

So the plans were made. Hotel reservations, contacting all of the speakers at the conference to arrange on-air interviews during the conference, travel arrangements, etc.  But God had other (better?) plans.

Back to Solomon: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).  I planned my course, God determined my steps. He determined my steps using a ladder, a screwdriver, and a window shutter.

While re-hanging a freshly painted shutter at our house last Friday, my wife fell about five feet off a ladder. A trip to the emergency room five hours later revealed a torn spleen.  She was just moved from ICU last night.  God is good: no surgery is necessary, just a long homebound healing process.

And so if it’s Tuesday, it should be Cleveland – according to my plans. But if it’s Tuesday – according to the course determined for me by a sovereign God – I am right where I am supposed to be.  And Lord willing I’ll be right back in front of the microphone this afternoon in the beautiful state of the art studios at WLQV Radio in Detroit.  Thanks for praying for Terri.

By the way, Tim Challies is live blogging the Basics 2007 Pastor’s Conference from Cleveland. God to www.challies.com to read the updates.

You can also watch and listen to the Basics Conference here.

Does Whatever a Spider Can

My son and I saw Spider Man 3 this weekend, along with every other American.  Kirsten Dunst and Toby Maguire have never been my favorite actors, and still aren’t.  It’s the special effects that are the drawing card for most movie-goers.  The drawing card for me to Spiderman 3 was Mark Mooring’s review in Christianity Today.

I agree wholeheartedly that this movie is Paul’s struggle with the old nature writ large on the silver screen.  The spiritual implications are evident, but I’d still take an expository sermon by John Piper on Romans 7 over Sam Raimi’s screenplay any day.

Mowing the Lawn with Mars Hill

For the last four years I have paid a lawn https://ziehlerlawncare.com service to mow my yard to free me up to work the three jobs I have.  After paying more than $600 per summer for the last four years I decided to forego the lawn service and do it myself.  I discovered that the time I didn’t think I had to waste on yard work has turned into a valuable investment with great returns. Mowing my own yard had some unexpected benefits.

For one, I never anticipated actually enjoying the work.  My yard is large; it takes about two hours to mow with a standard push mower.  Starting my Saturday’s early with physical work has had emotional, spiritual and physical benefits.  It feels good to be outside, under the sun, accomplishing something of value.

But the real benefit comes from something I have until now never had much use for: a portable CD player.  For several years I’ve subscribed to Mars Hill Audio Journal on CD.  Normally I will listen to the two CDs I receive every other month while commuting to work.  For the last two Saturday’s I’ve listened to them while mowing my yard, making the labor not only productive physically, but allowing me to exercise my mind, as well. Ken Myers, the host and producer of Mars Hill Audio Journal, is an excellent interviewer on wide ranging subjects. I consider his work the antidote to the scandal of the evangelical mind.

Mowing my lawn with Mars Hill has caused me to reconsider the value of the iPod. I’ve never owned one, though I’ve purchased one for each of my kids.  Maybe I’ll take half my savings from mowing the yard myself this summer  and invest it in one of those ubiquitous devices so that I, too, can be hip and cool.  Maybe my church’s attendance will begin to increase when people find out just how hip and cool I am.