Introduction

Life
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise: seek what they sought. -Basho I debated the use of a non-Christian quote to begin this post, but it really sums up what I am doing here. I could follow the book I’m reading and trust in John Piper’s wisdom in what he says and I can trust that the Biblical passages he cites are accurate, or I can follow along in my Bible and see where his information is coming from. I do trust the word of Mr. Piper, but I don’t want to follow in his footsteps. I am seeking what he once sought. The Introduction to Desiring God is entitled, “How I Became a Christian Hedonist.” I will admit that I was a bit guarded at that title…
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Preface

Life
The following post is the beginning of a project to read through the Book “Desiring God” by John Piper along with a dear Brother in Christ by the name of Tim Challies. I expressed to him my frustration with this book, as it is much deeper reading than anything I have read since college. It is not spiritual milk, it is spiritual meat. In fact, I have referred to it as a full-course meal, and it is a book that I would experience some difficulty navigating without a wingman. Tim has set an example for me by offering to read it with me, so we can discuss some of the points of the book. At the present, I have only read the first few chapters, but I can already see that…
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God Loves You More Than Pickle Juice

Life
My son loved pickles when he was younger and still does. Pickles were actually the first thing he asked from Santa, and you better believe he had a big jar of pickles under that Christmas tree! A few years ago (has it been that long?) my son and I were talking about God's love. I told him that no matter what we've done, no matter who we are, God would always love us more than anything in the world. He turned to me and said, "Even more than pickle juice?" "Yes Ben," I answered, "Even more than pickle juice" The look in his eyes told me that the message had gotten across. That evening I wrote this story after reading him a book before bedtime. Farmer Ron loves pickles. Each spring, he…
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Persnickety

Life
At first I thought it wasn’t a real word. It was just something that came to mind-probably due to an overabundance of the Nickelodeon cartoons that my son can?t get enough of. Persnickety. An odd enough sounding word that would fool my 4-year old son in a way that I felt necessary. Persnickety. My greatest triumph as a father and also my biggest failing, for I allowed my morals and the upbringing of my child to be compromised. Let me explain… My son is a good boy. He minds my wife and me. He picks up after himself (with a little prodding). He even minds us when we’re out in public. But a few months ago, someone told him that is was fun to use certain words that I don’t…
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A Hatched Egg and a Planted Potato

Life
This was written by my uncle Ray Nickel, who passed away in his sleep December 26, 2008. Have you ever gone to the farm, a fair, or a zoo and watched those white-pearl eggs in the incubator under the glowing lamps and waited for a yellow fluff of a chick while it pecked from within its brittle prison, jiggling it almost imperceptively and you could hardly wait till it broke free so you could see it wet and new to the world wobbling on its new found legs and peeping its new song? Or, have you ever cut up a potato tuber, careful to get at least two to three eyes per section, buried it eyes-up beneath the crumbly prepared musty earth in faith that it would sprout and in…
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The good news, the bad news

Life
The good news: My chronological Bible project has started. The bad news: I didn’t proofread the e-mail before sending it and sent an unfinished version. This has been rectified and the original e-mail can be deleted in favor of the corrected version. How embarassing, though! Oh well. One of my favorite quotes is, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that’s my excuse!” although I wanted a professional-looking newsletter from the beginning. When I was married, there were a few bloopers in the wedding ceremony. The bloopers are what made it memorable. And that’s OK.
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