Category Archives: Culture

Why I’m voting for David Hamilton for Texas State Representative in Fort Bend County

My friend David Hamilton is running for Texas State Representative in Fort Bend County. David is a Christian who teaches Sunday School at his church and has been very active in pro-life ministry. He and his wife Katie have two young children – a two-year-old named Brad and a newborn named Brooklynn. David played college and semi-pro basketball, and now works in the oil & gas industry. As a State Rep he will be a leader we can trust to do the right thing and fight to build a better future for Texas.

He is running against an incumbent State Rep who has been arrested twice on felony charges, is currently under indictment on 10 felony counts, and is currently being sued by 15 different health care companies in the Houston area that accuse him of basically stealing hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.These alleged illegal activities hurt small businesses and drive up health care prices in our community – yet he campaigns on his support for small businesses and affordable health care! Here is an article about the incumbent’s legal troubles:

Please consider helping David in one or more of the following ways:

  • Forward this email to anybody who cares about Texas, and would prefer a strong Christian conservative to a personal injury lawyer with serious legal baggage
  • “Like” David’s facebook page at
  • “Follow” David on twitter at
  • Make a donation to his campaign at or by mailing a check to: David Hamilton Campaign; 810 Hyacinth Place; Missouri City, TX 77459
  • Tell your friends, neighbors, and family that there is a Texas State Rep under indictment on felony charges who could be making decisions that impact you, your family, and your business and that David is running to restore integrity to HD27!

Don’t Judge Yourself by the News

This past Sunday, I had the joy and honor to preach on Hosea 4 to the dear saints at Baptist Church of the Redeemer. You can listen to Sunday’s sermon here.

Chapter 4 marks off a new section in the book as God presents his case against his people:

Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

Here’s how I sought to apply this beginning section to someone who might be inclined to excuse themselves from this list that characterized the Northern Kingdom:

Do you watch the news? Often I hear believers talk about the discouragement that they feel when they see the reports of murder, adultery, deception, etc that characterize our country…very much like this list. If you are hear this morning and you are not a Christian, I want to make something very clear this morning…that sort of thing is not really what you should compare yourself to. We tend to, although it’s discouraging, subtly pack ourselves on the back after the news is over because, after all we’re not that bad.

The Bible really doesn’t have a category for the “really bad” sins and the other, more normal ones…In fact it often doesn’t even distinguish between actions and attitudes. For example, we read in Proverbs 27:14 that an inconsiderate word is basically like blasphemy [Proverbs 27:14 Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.] Jesus tells us that claiming to know God and yet living contrary to his word make us liars [John 8:55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.] When was the last time you saw the headlining story of a newscast be something like, Mr. Smith declared that he hated his boss this week—he has been sentenced to death by lethal injection.” [1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.] Did you see the news last week that talked about a man who was not giving to his local church? He was arrested on charges of theft [Malachi 3:8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.] Thinking about committing adultery; cyber adultery; taking a second look…is ADULTERY [Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.]

Don’t judge yourself by the news, judge yourself by God’s word. You are in great need of a savior. There is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God…but those are the very things that God has provided for you…Jesus perfectly, faithfully obeyed God’s law…he had compassion on his people in dying in their place…and through his life, death, burial and resurrection we have the perfect knowledge of God—he succeeding where we all have failed. Repent of your sins and trust in him today!

Listen to the whole thing here.

Coldly Calculating the Price of Human Life

Abortion has been on the mind of many Houstonians lately, especially with the construction of an enormous new clinic in our midst. How do you calculate the price of a human life? An article from the National Review blog gives a chilling parallel…

And don’t imagine that we do not coldly calculate the price of a human life. In 1974, the speed limit was lowered to 55 mph to conserve oil. That also led to a dramatic drop in traffic fatalities — approximately 3,000 lives every year. This didn’t stop us, after the oil crisis, from raising the speed limit back to 65 and beyond — knowing that thousands of Americans would die as a result.

The calculation was never explicit, but it was nevertheless real. We were quite prepared to trade away a finite number of human lives for speed, and for the efficiency and convenience that come with it.

(HT: National Review)


It’s Been A While…

It has been a little while since I have consistently posted at Mercy Swimming. So let me update you on what’s been rattling around in my heart and mind over the past few weeks:

Things I’m Excited About…I’m excited about a lot, so I’d better list…

New Preaching Series–It’s been three weeks since I finished a (year and a half long) series through the book of Acts, called “The Church Unstoppable.” You can listen to those sermons here. Two weeks ago we began a journey through the book of Hosea entitled, “Love Defined.” So far it’s been a joy for me to see this amazing picture of redemption, forgiveness, judgement and love. Join us on Sundays or listen here. May God prosper His word among us!

Upcoming Conferences/Events–Yes, I am excited about Together for the Gospel 2010, April 13-15th. If you have not already visited their website you should…and you ought to take the time to watch the video tours of several of the main speaker’s personal libraries. It will make you want more books, so guard yourself from temptation.

I’m also very excited about the annual gathering of Southern Baptists in Orlando this summer. Why? That brings me to my next point…

The Great Commission Resurgence–There’s something happening in the SBC. Last summer, the gathered assembly commissioned the President to appoint a committee (Great Commission Task Force) to evaluate and present ways in which the SBC can more effectively fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus. Their initial report is now available here. Pray for the SBC, and the decisions to by made and affirmed this June.

By the way, the SBC Pastor’s Conference has an amazing line up! Can’t wait to sit under these great brothers as they minister the Word to us this summer.

Danny Akin; Francis Chan; Matt Chandler;
Tony Evans; Steve Gaines; David Landrith;
CJ Mahaney; Al Mohler; Russell Moore;
David Platt; Andy Stanley; David Uth;
Ken Whitten; Ravi Zacharias;

A New, Much Anticipated Biblical Theology–Dr. Jim Hamilton’s Biblical Theology is due out this October! You can visit this blog to see a preview including the beautiful cover! Can’t wait to get my hands on this baby (probably both hands at 480 pages!).

A New President at Wheaton–I am so excited to hear the Dr. Phillip Ryken will be the next President at Wheaton College. I feel deeply for his church, however. You can see the deep emotion and sadness when a pastor has to leave his flock in his address here. All the info about this exciting news can be found here.

Pick the Next Redeemer Institutes–Finally, I’m excited about the upcoming Redeemer Institutes, that YOU CAN PICK!! That’s right, you can give three to five suggestions for our upcoming Institutes this Spring and Fall. All the information is here. If you’re not a facebook user, you can leave your suggestions on my blog and I’ll consider them for sure.

I apologize if you feel like you’ve just taken a gulp form the fire hydrant. Hopefully I’ll be a more consistent blogger in the future so I can do this in smaller chunks. Thanks for reading and swimming in mercy with me!

The Practice of the Mind: Solo Sex, a CCEF Audio Clip

Once again CCEF has given us a great resource on a topic that no one wants to talk about. So, if you’re asking the question: What’s Wrong with Masturbation and Sexual Fantasy?…check out Winston Smith’s answer here.

Here’s a preview:

Masturbation, pornography, sexual fantasies…what’s so bad about these? No one gets hurt, right? Aren’t they better than indulging in actual sexual indecencies with other people? CCEF faculty member Winston Smith addresses the issue of what’s sinful (if anything) about these supposedly “victimless” indulgences.

(HT: CCEF podcast)

Tagged ,

God is Doing Something…

Ray Ortlund Jr. on the Gospel Coalition:

Clearly, the Lord is at work. He is creating new conditions for the future. In the 90s, we had nothing of the magnitude of The Gospel Coalition, Together For The Gospel, Acts 29 and other obvious indicators of a new movement of God. We did have, say, Promise Keepers, which helped many. But PK was not explicitly gospel-centered, not aggressively theological. Its impact was unsustainable. But now the Lord is giving us something new, something better. Let’s be thankful to him. This doesn’t come along every day. Let’s steward the blessing well. If we bungle this, I doubt we will see it again in our time. But if we are wise, not intruding our own self-centered complications but humbly keeping Christ first, the blessing will grow. And maybe, in the mercy of God, we will see awakening in our time.


The Unfashionable Christian Life

Tullian Tchividjian, the newly installed senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, has written a book, due out on April 21st entitled, Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different (Multnomah, 2009). Here’s a preview of what to expect:

(HT: Thabiti)


Back to Arranged Marriages…

…That’s my conclusion, having recently thought much about the idea of glorifying God in our relationships. You could also factor in to the picture that I’m now the father of TWO daughters.

I’ve also been watching “Fiddler on the Roof” a lot. I have a call into Yenta “the matchmaker” to come by sometime in the near future…

Tagged ,

“He Saw My Unformed Substance”

I agree with Russell Moore (see below) about hating Sanctity of Life Sunday. However, yesterday was a good day also…mainly because I got to hear my fellow elder Billy Newhouse deliver what is probably the best message he’s ever preached!

The preview? Check it out
The topic? Abortion (Sanctity of Life Sunday)
The text? Psalm 139 (mainly verses 13-16)
The title? “Acceptable Murder?”
The audio? Right here.

Other related resources:

Russ Moore explains why he hates Sanctity of Life Sunday.

An Open Letter to Barack Obama from Ron Jones, pastor of Immanuel Bible Church, urging him to reconsider his views on abortion. (HT: Challies)

C.J. Mahaney, preaching at CHBC on Psalm 47–The Troubled Soul. Mark Dever said that it was “a balm to the soul. You could hear the quiet weeping of many saints at the silent moment after the benediction. The Lord was obviously faithful.” (HT: CJ and 9 Marks)

Sunday we gave away copies of Randy Alcorn’s new book called “Why Pro Life?” These were really cheap and perfect to give away to folks! If you’re interested, visit this website.