Saturday Video Fun


We're going to take a short break and enjoy some of the best of YouTube...

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 10:12 PM 1 comments  

Beatboxing flute super mario brothers theme

For the Nintendo fan in all of us...

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 10:11 PM 1 comments  

Kyocera Wireless: Funeral

This is so true to life...

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 10:10 PM 0 comments  

Music for one apartment and six drummers

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 10:09 PM 0 comments  

Spurgeon On The Plea of Christ

Listen to this quote by Charles Spurgeon regarding Christ's plea for those who crucified Him:

"Do you notice when it was that Jesus pleaded? It was while they were crucifying Him. They had just driven in the nail; they had lifted up the cross and dashed it down into its socket, dislocating all His bones, so that He could say, "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint." (Ps. 22:14). Ah, dear friend, it was then that instead of a cry or a groan, this dear Son of God said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." They did not ask forgiveness for themselves, but Jesus asked forgiveness for them. When their hands were imbrued in His blood, it was then, even then, that He prayed for them. Let us think of the great love wherewith He loved us, even while we were yet sinners, when we rioted in sin, when we drank it down as the ox drinks down water. Even then He prayed for us. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." (Rom. 5:6) Bless His name. He prayed for you when you did not pray for yourself. He prayed for you when you were crucifying Him." - The Power Of The Cross Of Christ

Do you remember when you lived in and loved your sin? Do you remember when you hated the Savior and scoffed at the thought of needing forgiveness. It was then that He prayed for you. Do you remember when you nailed Christ to the cross with your wickedness? It was then that He prayed for you. Do you remember when you rejected Christ, and spit in His face, and told Him that you wanted nothing to do with Him? It was then that He prayed for you.

We must praise Jesus. How can we remain silent when we see the deep, lavish, unfathomable love of Christ? Let us sing songs of gratefulness and lift prayers of thanksgiving. Let us sing in love and wonder to this great Savior.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 6:20 PM 0 comments  

For They Know Not What They Do


"And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." - Luke 23:34

In these words we see the immeasurable kindness of Jesus Christ towards sinners. He appeals to God for the forgiveness of His killers, pleading their sinful ignorance. These words are full of pity, rich with compassion, and reveal the Savior's great heart of love. These words serve as a great comfort to the Christian and a plea of love to the non-Christian. Let's meditate on them for a moment.

For they know not what they do. In one sense, those who crucified Jesus did know what they were doing. They willfully nailed Jesus to the cross with full knowledge that He claimed to be the Son of God and the King of the Jews. They chose to reject Christ, they spit in His face, they leveled false accusations against Him, and they nailed Him to a rough, splintered piece of wood. We too are counted part of this group. Our sins put Jesus on the cross and we bear as much guilt in His death as the men who actually drove the nails into His hands. We carry Christ's very nails in our pockets.

Yet Christ pleads the ignorance of those who crucified Him! They didn't truly realize what they were doing. They didn't understand that they were nailing the world-maker to a cross. They didn't realize that they were piercing the very hands that formed them in the womb. They were fully blinded by sin, and were unable to see the Prince of Glory. Christ, the infinitely merciful One, is aware of their blindness, and asks that the Father would forgive them.

Christ has been incredibly merciful to us as well. We too were blinded by sin. We were blind to the beauty of Christ, and couldn't comprehend His true identity. When we sinned against Him, He didn't crush us as we deserved, for He knew that we were ignorant. Instead, He poured out mercy upon us.

Hasn't Jesus been kind to you? He has been so good to me. I was a desperately wicked, ignorant sinner who deserved the fiery torments of hell. Yet Christ saw my ignorance and felt pity in His great heart.

Jesus, let our love for you be deep! Stir the deep desires of our heart with strong love for you. No one has been kinder, no one has shown us more mercy. Teach us to live for you alone.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 10:30 PM 1 comments  

Father Forgive Them


"And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." - Luke 23:34

What astonishing words! In the words, "Father, forgive them," we see so much of the glorious character of our Savior. Just as a telescope allows us to look deep into space, so these words allow us to look deep into the heart of the Savior. Let's take some time to dwell on these words.

Can you hear the love of sinners in the words of Jesus? As nails are driven deep into His flesh, Jesus cries out to God on behalf of the ones driving the nails. His love for sinners is so deep and His compassion so strong, that He asks the Father to forgive His killers. And the fact is, we killed the Savior just as much as the men who physically nailed Him to the cross. Our sins served as nails which pinned Jesus to that rough, wooden cross. The words, "Father, forgive..." were spoken just as much for us as for the men who swung the hammers.

How deep the love of Jesus. Why would He ask for my pardon? I've despised Him and treated Him like garbage. He asks the Father to pardon my iniquities. I've rejected Him, yet He embraces me. When I survey the wondrous cross, I must respond in worship. How can we not sing when we see the depth of God's love?

Jesus, how great is your love! Fill us with a deep affection for you. Let our hearts be filled with gratitude to You and delight in You. As we hear the cries of Calvary, warm our hearts with fresh passion for You. May all we do be for Your glory.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 10:55 PM 0 comments  

Hearing The Cries Of Calvary

"The more we dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard the more noble our lives become. Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior." - Charles Spurgeon

Over the next few posts, I want to heed the wisdom of Mr. Spurgeon and take time to dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard. Why? Nothing infuses life into our souls like seeing our dying Savior. Nothing sparks passion in our cold hearts like hearing the words that were uttered by Jesus as he hung suspended upon the wooden cross. Nothing creates passion for the Savior more than seeing the glory of Christ at the cross.

Do you want more love for Jesus? Do you long to feel extravagant devotion for Jesus and experience the joy of your salvation? Have you felt dry spiritually? When was the last time you listened to the words that were spoken upon Golgotha? When did you last meditate upon the final words of our Savior before His death. For me, it's been far too long.

I want more passion and zeal for Christ. I want to be consumed with one pure and holy passion: to serve Jesus with a joyful exuberance. Therefore, I'm going to spend time dwelling at the foot of the cross.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 10:44 PM 0 comments  

Even The Idols Bow Down

"When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him." - 1 Sam 5:1-4

When the ark of God was brought into the temple of the Philistine god Dagon, it must have been a triumphant moment for the Philistines. They had essentially "captured" the God of Israel. But we serve a God who cannot be captured and who cannot be tamed. In this passage we see that there is no God but God, and all will bow before His overwhelming power.

How humbling this must have been for the Philistines. For the priests of Dagon to come in each morning and find their "great" god, Dagon, prostrate on the floor before the God of Israel. Then to come in and find Dagon without head or hands, like a dead and defeated warrior in battle.

Can you see the greatness of our God shining through in this passage? He cannot be beaten, or broken, or captured. He's the supreme ruler of the universe, the One to whom every angel and every demon must submit. He's the triumphant warrior King, who crushes all His enemies and makes them bow at His feet. And to all who trust in His Son, He's a gracious, loving Father. What an amazing God we serve.

When was the last time you bowed your heart before the Lord in adoration? Take time today to honor the Lord for surpassing greatness, and praise Him for His unstoppable power.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 7:32 AM 5 comments  

The Deep Mystery


"Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad. If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death." - 1 Samuel 2:22-25

Oh the deep and wonderful mystery of God's sovereignty and man's free choices. We see it so clearly in this passage. Eli's sons were making free, sinful choices. They weren't being forced, not having their arm twisted in any way. Their was no divine coercion at work here. They were doing exactly what they wanted, giving into their wicked desires.

Yet we also see that God sovereignly ordained these choices. God willed that Eli's sons rebel against Him, and He willed to put them to death. It wasn't as if God was acting as a master chess player, reacting to the wickedness of Eli's sons and then using their actions for His plans. No, God sovereignly ordained their sinful choices to fulfill His sovereign plans.

What a beautiful, mind-blowing mystery. Each one of my actions is free and of my own decision. And each one of my actions is ordained by God. I choose, yet God wills. How can such a thing be? Only an infinitely wise God could being these two together. My mind simply cannot grasp such deep and glorious truths.

When we see God's wisdom and sovereignty so clearly displayed, the only proper response is worship. How wise and good our God must be! As our reason falters in the face of divine sovereignty and man's free will, let's praise our infinitely wise God.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:28 AM 2 comments  

Paul Potts Tryout


This video is incredible...

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 1:58 PM 1 comments  

Spiritual Runners

"The reason no one can come to Jesus is that it is not our nature to come. It is our nature, and therefore our will, to flee from Christ, not come to him. The fact is, and a sad fact at that, we do not want to come. We are delighted not to come. We willingly and freely and voluntarily choose to stay in our sin and unbelief, because we find nothing at all in Jesus that is alluring, appealing, truthful, or in any way an improvement on what we already are and have on our own." - Sam Storms, Chosen For Life

Jesus Christ is the most beautiful, glorious, attractive person that exists. Everything about Him is good and sweet to the soul. Think of all the things that make a person attractive: beauty, intelligence, kindness, integrity, strength - all these and more are found to the fullest in Jesus. Yet in our sick and twisted sinful state, we had no love for Christ. We didn't find Him attractive, beautiful, or desirable. In fact, we found Him disgusting and repulsive. We wanted nothing to do with His ways, His thoughts, or His plans. The very thought of His presence evoked pure hatred in us.

But there came a sweet day when Jesus found us lying in the filthy, leprous, muck of our sin, picked us up, and breathed life into us. He wiped away the spiritual disease that blinded our eyes and allowed us to glimpse something of His glorious beauty. He removed the awful, stinking rags of sin that clung to us, and clothed us in pure garments of righteousness. We wanted nothing to do with Him, yet He wanted everything to do with us. What an incredibly kind God we serve.

Do you remember when Christ first began to appear attractive to you? Do you remember when you saw Jesus as He really is for the first time? As you go about your day, let your heart be filled with gratitude to the Savior. You never would have found Him, but He found you.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 12:17 PM 0 comments  

The Point Of It All


"God did not sovereignly choose you so that the idea of his choosing you might merely bounce around in your brain. He chose you for worship, which I define as the proclamation of His excellencies and your extravagantly affectionate and inexpressibly joyful delight in them." - Sam Storms, Chosen For Life

The sovereign electing grace of God is one of those theological ideas that can simply bounce around in our head without ever making it down to our heart. We can know that God chose to save us without ever feeling the slightest inkling of gratefulness. At times I think of election just like I think of stock prices or the weather - with the cold intellect.

But the doctrine of election is intended to set our hearts aflame with passion for Jesus. Think about it for a moment, God chose to save you. Why? Why did He spare you from a torturous, blistering eternity in hell? Why did He choose to pour out lavish blessings on you? Only because of His sovereign grace. We've done absolutely nothing to deserve it, nothing to merit his kindness.

What's the appropriate response to the glorious doctrine of election? Loud, extravagant, joyful, heartfelt, worship. When we think of God's saving grace at work in our lives, we should be filled with gratefulness to Him and the joy of our salvation.

As you go about your day, take time to meditate on the fact that God saved you, and let your heart be filled with joyful devotion.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:24 AM 3 comments  

Spiritual Cataracts


"In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." - Judges 21:25

Everywhere you look you see people who are spiritually blind, doing whatever seems right in their own eyes. What a terrible, terrifying existence! They stumble around, making whatever choice seems right at the time, with only their sinful passions and pleasures to guide them. As a result, they are hopeless slaves to sin. Marriages are destroyed, men and women are slaves of sexual sin, children are abused, work becomes a god, and true joy is completely foreign.

Do you remember what it was like to be trapped in this black existence? Do you remember what it was like before Christ invaded your life with His glorious light? Do you remember the sinking feeling of realizing that you were hopelessly trapped in sin? We had no hope of seeing the truth, no hope of ever finding God, of ever clawing our way out of the pit which held us.

What a kind God we serve. He saw us in our utter misery and felt deep compassion for us. He stepped down, wiped away the sinful muck the clung to us, and opened our eyes to see His glorious face. Aren't you glad God saved you? Doesn't it fill you with joy to know the Savior? Once you were blind, now you see.

As you meditate on these truths, let your heart be filled with gratefulness to God, and let your soul be stirred to share the gospel with others. Your friends and coworkers are blind, just like you were. Introduce them to Jesus, the miracle maker.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:42 AM 0 comments  

Edwards On Electing Grace


This quote by Jonathan Edwards is breathtaking:

Make God the peculiar object of your praises. The doctrine [of electing grace] shows what great reason you have to do so. If God so values you, set so much by you, has bestowed greater mercies upon you than on all the ungodly in the world, is it too little a requital for you to make God the peculiar object of your praise and thankfulness? If God so distinguishes you with his mercies, you ought to distinguish yourself in his praises. You should make it your great care and study how to glorify that God who has been so peculiarly merciful to you. And this, rather, because there was nothing peculiar in you differing you from any other person that moved God to deal thus peculiarly by you: you were as unworthy to be set by as thousands of others that are not regarded of God, and are cast away by him forever as worthless and filthy.
Quoted in Chosen For Life by Sam Storms

If you are a Christian, it is because God has shown you peculiar mercy. He chose to pour out mercy upon you, not because of anything good in you, but because of His sovereign grace. Why did he save you and not your neighbor? Why do you know Christ, but your parents don't? Because for some reason, God chose to pour out lavish mercy upon you. This should cause our hearts to explode in loud praise for the Lord. Take time today to sing the praises of the God who saved you.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 12:21 PM 2 comments  

Doing Vs. Loving


I'm a doer not a lover. Yeah I know, it sounds like a cheesy lyric from a love song written in the 1970's, the kind of song that shows up on Time Life Compilation CD's. But unfortunately this statement is often true of my own life.

As I've continued reading Getting Things Done, I've realized that I often focus more on what I'm doing for God instead of how deeply I love God. If you're a Christian, you probably have a list of ways that you serve the Lord. Overseeing insane three-years olds in your church children's ministry, leading a small group, maintaining a website, blogging, visiting the elderly, you know the things I'm talking about. But God isn't primarily concerned with how much stuff we're doing in His name. He's much more concerned about the intensity of our love for Him.

The story of Mary and Martha is a wonderful example of this truth. Martha was serving like a mad-woman, scurrying about the house in an effort to put on the perfect meal for Jesus. Mary on the other hand was hanging out at Jesus' feet, delighting in every word that came from His lips. When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary's apparent lack of service, Jesus actually rebuffed her. He reminded her that loving the Lord is infinitely more important than doing things for the Lord.

Are you a Mary or a Martha? Do you take greater delight in spending time with the Lord or doing things for the Lord. I want to be like Mary.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 9:15 AM 3 comments  

Our Very Happy God


Have you ever felt the satisfaction of accomplishing something, of having your plans succeed? It's a really good feeling. Or, have you felt the burning frustration that comes with having your plans thwarted? Nothing is more maddening than seeing a well laid plan shot to pieces.

As I've read the book Getting Things Done, I've been reminded of why our God is so happy: He accomplishes all that he pleases. Psalm 135:6 says, " Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps." God does whatever he desires! He gets all things done and nothing can stand in his way. When He wants something, He gets it. This is why he is so happy.

John Piper puts it this way: "What these two verses (Psalm 135:6; 115:3) teach is that everything God takes pleasure in doing, he does and cannot be hindered from doing. Or to put it somewhat differently, all that he does he takes pleasure in. He cannot be kept back from doing what he delights most to do." - The Pleasures of God

This is really good news for us. As Christians, we are brought into the exceeding happiness of God. He joy overflows to us, and through Christ we are filled to overflowing. Isn't this truth wonderful? As you go about your day, seeking to "get things done", remember our very happy God and ask Him to fill you with joy.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 9:37 AM 2 comments  

The God Who Gets Things Done


I'm going on vacation this week and plan on reading the book Getting Things Done, by David R. Allen. This productivity oriented book has generated an almost cult-like following of people who walk around with lists in their pockets and categorize every to-do into a "Next Action", "Project", "Someday", "Waiting For", "If I Don't Max Out My Credit Card First", or "If My Wife Lets Me". I've read this book before, and as I read it I find myself caught between two healthy tensions:

1) Wanting to be more productive for the sake of Christ. Colossians 4:5 calls us to, "Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time." I want to spend my energies for the glory of Christ, not wasting my life on fruitless pursuits. In light of this, I desire to be more productive and "Get Things Done" for the glory of God.

2) Realizing that only God accomplishes all that's on his to-do list. In scripture we see that only God gets everything done. God is the only perfectly productive being in the universe. He never grows tired, never has a brain meltdown, never needs a thirty-minute power nap. As I seek to get things done, I want to acknowledge my absolute dependence on God for grace. And ultimately, Jesus Christ is the only man who ever got everything done. He's the Savior, the perfect man, the One who obeyed God even to death. Oh how I need the Savior.

If you've ever thought about trying to be more productive, let these two tensions inspire you to call out to God. You need his grace to live a life that makes the most of every moment, and you need his grace to get things done. Above all, you need the Savior.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:00 AM 4 comments  

Why This Blog?


For those of you who have bothered to swing by, I thought I should give a few thoughts as to why I would create a blog, and why you would have any reason to read it. There are two reasons I want to blog:

1) Forced creativity. Blogging serves as a unique role: it forces the author to be creative on a regular basis. I tend to be lazy when it comes to writing, and I'm hoping that blogging will serve as a creative goad. When it comes down to it, I'd rather sit in front of the tube with drool coming out of the corner of my mouth then do hard work. But I desire to live a life that honors God, rather than turning into a gelatinous mass while on the couch. I hope this blog serves to drive me forward in my pursuit of Christ.

2) Helping others love Christ. God likes words. If you don't believe me, check your Bible. In scripture we are called to spur one another on towards love and good deeds, and a primary means of doing that is through words. We talk to one another, pray for one another, exhort one another, and challenge one another. God uses words to set our hearts ablaze with love for the Savior. I love writing and desire to use words to help others see Christ, and love Christ, and exalt Christ.

Those are the two main goals. I hope you are served and I would love to hear your suggestions. Thanks!

-Stephen Altrogge

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 3:09 PM 4 comments