Happy Valentine’s Day, Carly Anne

Carly and I get to spend our first Valentine’s Day 10,000 miles apart.  I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day, but I do like celebrations and if you love Jesus, then everything is a celebration.  So, here’s 14 things (among thousands) I celebrate about you, Carly, my best friend, my love, and my bride-to-be.

You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of our necklace.
– Song of Solomon 4:9

Happy Valentine’s Day, darling.

I love you!
james michael

  1. You love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and want others to love him too.
  2. Your desire to love, respect, and follow me is incredible.  I couldn’t ask for a better helper and (soon-to-be) life-partner.
  3. You are a constant encouragement to me in life, ministry, and everything.
  4. You want to have a big family and work at home with our (probably crazy) kids.
  5. You are excited about Papa John’s pizza and a rental movie for a romantic date night.
  6. You tend to laugh (or roll your eyes) at everything humorous I say even if no one else does.
  7. You read Spurgeon and Piper sermons.
  8. You get embarrassed when I compliment you, and then you are even cuter than what you did before to make me compliment you in the first place.
  9. You are super-talented at music.
  10. You are a wonderful writer and are just as gifted with words as you say I am.
  11. Your personality and communication techniques are so opposite from mine, yet I have learned (and continue to learn) to enjoy our diversity.
  12. You love my family despite their (our) quirks and eccentricities.
  13. You know and love the Bible and believe in its power, authority, and centrality.
  14. You are absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn’t imagine waking up next to anyone else for the rest of my life.

DG Conference Images


Conference Quotes That Make You Say, “Hmmm…good word.”

Notable quotes (these are nearly full quotes — many are paraphrases that I took down during the sessions):

Sinclair Ferguson:

The practical purpose of Scripture is to make us spiritually mature.

The tongue carries the very breath of our souls.

Bob Kauflin:

John and Charles Wesley weren’t trying to write worship hits.

Emotions aren’t the problem; emotionalism is.

Singing together binds us together…but the gospel, not music, unites us.

Mark Driscoll:

[Quoting a person who has been rebuked] You hurt my feelings.  You spanked my inner child.

Religion is ridiculous; Jesus is wonderful.

Pray for the shepherds.  Pray for them more than you criticize, e-mail, gossip, or blog about them.

[Commenting on Amos 6:4-6] Woe to you who roll around in Escalades and wear lots of bling and lay around on couches hoping you can get onto MTV Cribs.  This is God’s way of rebuking the sheep who are acting like swine.  Their consciences are so broken that apart from a strong rebuke, they will not be changed.

Paul Tripp:

Words belong to the Lord…you have never spoken a neutral word in your life.

Your heat is your causal core of your personhood….Word problems aren’t vocabulary or technique problems. They are heart problems.

It’s only when you stand before your Redeemer and are humbly willing to say, regardless of the flawed people you live among, “I am my greatest communication problem,” you are heading in a direction of fundamental change.

Sin is fundamentally antisocial.

John Piper:

There is a way to talk eloquently that nulifies the gospel.

No man can give the impression that he is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.

Paul rejects eloquence that exploits language to exalt self and ignore Christ.

With your speech, bring the cross out of the shadows.

Ministry Theology

Desiring God National Conference Recap

I got home late last night from Minneapolis and the Desiring God National Conference.  The theme this year was “The Wonder of Words and the Power of God.”  It turned out differently than I had anticipated, but for good.  It certainly was not a let-down.

I won’t give a summary of each message, but I will direct you to Desiring God’s blog for more.  Links I would highly recommend are Piper’s five benefits of Christian eloquence, Paul Tripp’s thoughts on diagnosis and deliverance for communication woes, and Mark Driscoll’s advice to pray more than you criticize.

I hope you enjoy experiencing the conference from your home as much as I did in attendance!


Desiring God 2008 National Conference

I’m excited about this.  I think I’m going.

The Power of Words and the Wonder of God
September 26-28, 2008
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis Convention Center
Register Now