Nov 30, 2008

A Father's Gift to His Son

I've always wanted one of these to keep some of my reference books open that I often use. It's a Jefferson's Revolving Bookstand, invented and used by Thomas Jefferson.  I noticed that they sold reproductions online, but I knew they would be too expensive ($618) to purchase.

I sent an email of the picture to my dad, who buys and sells antiques, to see if he ever came across any.  Several months later, after forgetting our conversation, my father hands me my Christmas present...a Jefferson's Revolving Bookstand.

Now, the most amazing thing is that my father handmade this version (different from the original).  Thomas Jefferson never patented it, so he made some adjustments (which I think are more suited to my needs).  It's solid oak, and is pretty close to what the original is.  

Knowing that my father made this makes it even better.  It means everything to me to know how much thought, travel, research, and detail he put into this.  I'm blown away!

NOTE: If any of you pastors, professors, or students are interested in purchasing one for your office, feel free to contact me.  My father will be building more of these and will be selling them at a much cheaper price than the one originally stated.

New Sermon Series starting 2009

Beginning the first Sunday in 2009, I will be preaching through a year-long series called "Saints and Scoundrels: 50 People You Should Know."  Starting with the book of Genesis, we'll learn from the lives of the major characters found in the Bible.  

I've chosen to do this for a few reasons...

1. Each week will be fresh and new since each person's life story is different.

2. I want our church people to be immersed in the Scriptures.

3. It's important to see ourselves in each person's shoes.

4. We can learn from their mistakes and be challenged by their example.

5. We can learn to share our own story about what God has done.

Here's a list of who we'll be studying throughout 2009:

Jan 4 - Adam/Eve
Jan 11 - Cain/Abel
Jan 18 - Enoch
Jan 25 - Noah
Feb 1 - Abraham
Feb 8 - Isaac
Feb 15 - Jacob
Feb 22 - Joseph
Mar 1 - Moses
Mar 8 - Aaron
Mar 15 - Caleb
Mar 22 - Joshua
Mar 29 - Rahab
Apr 5 - PALM SUNDAY: Jesus
Apr 12 - EASTER SUNDAY: Jesus
Apr 19 - Hannah
Apr 26 - Samuel
May 3 - Saul
May 10 - David
May 17 - Solomon
May 24 - Samson
May 31 - Gideon
June 7 - Ezra
June 14 - Nehemiah
June 21 - Esther
June 28 - Job
July 5 - Isaiah
July 12 - Elijah
July 19 - Elisha
July 26 - Jeremiah
Aug 2 - Ezekiel
Aug 9 - Daniel
Aug 16 - Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego
Aug 23 - Uzziah
Aug 30 - Jonah
Sep 6 - Hosea
Sep 13 - Habakkuk
Sep 20 - Haggai
Sep 27 - John the Baptist
Oct 4 - Matthew
Oct 11 - John
Oct 18 - Peter
Oct 25 - Martha
Nov 1 - Paul
Nov 8 - Barnabas
Nov 15 - Timothy
Nov 22 - Philemon
Nov 29 - Mary
Dec 6 - Joseph
Dec 13 - Zechariah
Dec 20 - CHRISTMAS: Jesus
Dec 27 - Aquila/Priscilla

Please pray for me as this will very challenging, as some of these people cover numerous books of the Bible at a time.  

Advent Motifs

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of year when Christians prepare for the birth of Christ. While thinking about what to preach on, a few motifs come to mind.

Motif #1: Political
First we begin in 1 Samuel 8:4-7, where the Israelites rejected God as their king.  They wanted to be like "all the other nations" who had earthly kings, and even though God was protecting and providing for them, they wanted worldly status.

From there, it all went wrong, until God promised through the prophet Isaiah (9:2-7) that a child would be born who would be established as king and whose government and peaceful reign would have no end.    

Finally, in the book of Matthew, we repeatedly find that this child is not only the king promised from Isaiah, but God in human flesh, who has come to save his people from their sins and to establish his reign over all the earth.

The question then becomes, do we still allow God to be king over our lives, or do we exchange him for other rulers and authorities to reign over us?  Christ was born to be the supreme authority in our lives.

Motif #2: Warfare
Soon after the Fall in Genesis 3, God promised that the serpent would be crushed by the seed of the woman.  This is known as the first gospel by many theologians, because it speaks of Christ crushing the head of Satan the serpent.
This is one of the reasons Christ came into the world, to disarm the rulers and authorities of their crush Satan, sin, and death.

Motif #3: Relational
The obvious benefit of Christ's birth is that we are brought back into relationship with God.  1 Timothy 2:5 makes this clear, "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..."  Without the incarnation, there is no cross and there is noredemption.  Without the incarnation, we remain as God's enemies, but with it, we become His friends...His children!

Nov 20, 2008

New Friends

Meeting new friends is weird.  There's always this awkward getting-to-know-you stage that's hard for me.  I mean, it wouldn't seem that way on the outside, but internally it's strange.  There comes a point in the conversation where both parties seem to be asking, "is this the last time I'll talk to this person" or "does it even matter what is said" or "will this conversation go to a deeper, personal level" or "is this just chit-chat?"  

Recently, my wife and I met some new friends (providentially, I believe) that we're getting to know.  Today I was introduced to their circle of friends (at least those nearby).  And all of a sudden, this selfishness came over me.  While I was talking with these guys, I kept worrying and thinking to myself, "I wonder if I'm making any sense?  I wonder if I sound like an idiot?  I wonder if they think I'm funny?"

Those thoughts were really strange for me, because I have lots of friends and I'm thankful for who God has brought into my life - even these new friends.  So why should I care what I sound like, or how I'm sitting, or how I'm responding, or how smart I come across, or what I'm doing with my hands?"  I was afraid of not being cool enough, loved, and accepted.  It was nothing they did to cause this, it was all within my flesh, wanting to feed my selfishness.

Driving home after that meeting, I prayed asking God to forgive me of the idols I had set up in my heart - worry, acceptance, applause, recognition - these were the idols I was caught up in during that conversation with my new friends.  

The truth is, my identity isn't found in what others say or think of me.  I'm already loved by Christ, and what He says and thinks counts the most.  God's view of who I am in Christ should be enough for me, but "the desires of my flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against my keep me from doing what I want to do" (Galatians 5:17).  

I thank God for his love and mercy, for I deserve His wrath.  Because of Christ, God now views me with pleasure instead of distaste, even in spite of how I sit, how I respond, or how smart (or dumb) I am.  God loves me because He loves His Son.   I must cling to the cross and be thankful for His grace, just as I am thankful for these new friends He's put in my path.  It is for my joy and His glory.

I have a feeling these guys will be used in greater ways in my life in the months ahead - ways that the Spirit will use to cut away in me whatever is not of Him.

Missional Perspective

With all the talk about being missional these days, what exactly is a missionary?  Oswald Chambers gives us a good perspective...
"Personal attachment to the Lord Jesus and His point of view is the one thing that must not be overlooked.  In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus.  The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails.  We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ - 'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.'"
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Online Bookstore

Feel free to gander around my new Amazon store.  Any items you purchase will help build my personal library.

Nov 19, 2008

To My Fellow Ministers

"Believe it, brethren, God never saved any man for being a preacher, nor because he was an able preacher; but because he was justified, sanctified man, and consequently faithful in his Master's work.  Take heed, therefore, to yourselves first, that you be that which you persuade others to be."

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students

Oct 28, 2008

Top 10 War Movies

Everyone loves a good war film.  Here's my Top 10...

1. Saving Private Ryan
2. Band of Brothers
3. Braveheart
4. To End All Wars
5. Full Metal Jacket
6. Glory
7. Schindler's List
8. We Were Soldiers
9. Black Hawk Down
10. Gladiator

Sep 22, 2008

Financial Peace University - Week 1

Natalie and I began the Financial Peace University that was founded and taught by Dave Ramsey.  We're excited to be on our way to being debt free and providing a secure future for our family.

Week 1 is called "Super Saving."  Dave's points are...
1. Saving must become a priority
2. Save for an emergency fund, purchases, and wealth building
3. Decide and agree with your spouse on what qualifies as an emergency

Sep 14, 2008

New Site: Gospel-Centered Parenting

I launched a new blog to resource parents in helping raise their kids according to principes of the gospel of Christ.  Updates are frequent and it's a great resource for any parent.

Help spread the word!

Sep 12, 2008

ESV Study Bible

Getting one of these in the following time...

New blog site!

Attention Parents!  Feel free to check out this new resource on biblical parenting I've been working on...

Gospel-centered parenting is different from all other forms of parenting because its primary goal is the salvation of the child's soul, which results in a changed heart and changed behavior for the glory of God.

Therefore, the focus of gospel-centered parenting is to parent in a way that models and instructs the life and redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

Aug 23, 2008

Satan's Devices Pt. 2: "It's just a little sin, no big deal!"

This temptation and device that Satan uses is one that is common to all.  We tend to justify ourselves by this distorted reasoning.  The thing to remember is that small sins still have great consequences.  Consider when Adam and Eve ate from the tree in the garden.  What a harmless little thing, right?  As a result, "just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12).  That's just great, now the whole world is infected.  Ultimately, because "the wages of sin is death," whether great or small, God did not spare His own Son who took on both great and small sins (2 Cor. 5:21).  Why would we think He should spare us?

We must also remember that if we justify our smallest sins, we then make room to commit greater sins.  Puritan preacher Thomas Brooks writes, "When a man hath begun to sin, he knows not where, or when, or how he shall make a stop of sin."  This seems due to the fact that we often make excuses for greater sins because we think it's too late to turn back.  If you're already up to your waist in it, what difference does it make to sink another inch or two, right?

In addition, small sins are usually the most dangerous because we don't make them out to be a big deal as we would a greater sin.  So what ends up happening is we let them build up until it weakens and destroys us.  It's much like a person's physical health.  Someone who is a little over-weight is usually less concerned about their health than a person with cancer.  They tend to sweep it under the rug until it becomes too late, where they find their arteries blocked.  So is the person who is not concerned about temptations to sin in small ways.

Whether great or small, the weight of our sin offends the Living God and should help us next time not to be too quick to give our excuses and justifications.  Sin, no matter how small, is a big deal to the God-Man who was tortured and crucified by it.

Aug 22, 2008

Satan's Devices Pt. 1 - Fishing & Painting (aka "Deception")

If you've ever been fishing, you've practiced the art of deception.  Don't get me wrong, I don't believe the Lord holds this against us, but it's a great parallel to how Satan works.  Fish enjoy all different kinds of bait, whether it's worms, grubs, or whatever.  Many fishermen even use lures to "lure" and deceive the fish into thinking it's real food.  It's pleasing to their eyes. It looks good on the outside, and when they decide to go after it, they quickly find that there's a hook underneath that has captured them.  Satan is the greatest fishermen in the world.  He knows perfectly how to present the bait and hide the hook.

He does the same with us.  When he tempted Adam and Eve in the garden, his bait was this, "You won't die if you eat of that tree.  In fact, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods yourself, knowing good and evil."  His bait perfectly hid the hook that was only discovered once they bit into the fruit.  The shame they experienced, God's curses that came upon them, and the great loss that followed proves that they had been captured by the great deceiver.

Satan even baited the hook when He tempted Jesus.  "Look at all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor!  You can have it all Jesus, if you bow down and worship me."  Jesus didn't budge.

Satan's not only a great fishermen, but he's a talented painter.  What he does is he uses all different shades and colors to paint over the ugliness of sin, to get us to stare at it and pursue after it a little longer than we should.  The problem with his paint is that no matter how he beautifies sin, underneath it's just as ugly and filthy as ever.  A poisonous pill is never less poisonous if it's made to look like headache medicine.  It will still kill you if you swallow it.

Jul 15, 2008

Don't Know Who to Vote For?

Vote for Jesus!  At least that's what some Christians are proposing this November.  Shane Claiborne, author of Jesus for President, is touring the country with some friends in their "Jesus for President" bus that runs purely on vegetable oil!  

For those who wonder, "Why would you vote for an ancient dead guy?"  Well, actually He's not dead!  And He really is a king.  He's also coming to set up his permanent kingdom on earth.  

I find this interesting.

You can check out his book, blog, and more at

Jun 28, 2008


Rarely does the church go through the psalms (at least not in my denomination).  Over at Doxologist you'll find a video series online going through each of the Psalms.  Studying along with Tim Smith (worship pastor at Mars Hill Church Seattle) will be a great way for consistent personal bible study, as well as learning how to pour your heart out to God in worship (like David did).

For a preview, check out the video below.

Doxologist Psalm Preview from Mars Hill Church on Vimeo.

Jun 27, 2008

This is just too cool...

Using Wordle, you can take large texts and randomize them where the most common words are the largest, and every other word is laid out in a pretty cool design.

Here is the manuscript I'm preaching from Ruth 2:1-17 this Sunday, entitled "Faith and Grace".

Go to Wordle and create your own.

GC08 Forums on Holiness

Tune into some solid teaching and debate on holiness in all of its forms...

Personal Holiness - Dr. Chris Bounds with Dr. Keith Drury
Corporate holiness - Dr. Jim Garlow with Dr. Bob Black
Missional holiness - Rev. Christy Lipscomb and Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

Justice & Mercy

The Wesleyan Church has a long history of doing justice and showing mercy to the world.  One of the major reasons the Wesleyan Church began was due to the fact that we opposed slavery and played a major role in the Underground Railroad during the mid-nineteenth century. Today, we continue to speak and act on global and domestic issues that face our society.

During our denomination's General Conference this month, four new position statements were passed declaring our stance on today's most important issues.  I encourage you to click on the links below and read them through.  Then seek to live out the love of Christ by meeting the needs of those who cannot help themselves.

Jun 25, 2008

Preaching Quote

Since most of my job is spent focusing on the Scriptures in order to preach/teach/model them, I often need reminders that surge my passion to a deeper level.  This quote was helpful to me, and should be helpful for those who preach/teach/parent/lead/disciple/etc...

Taken from the June 2008 issue of The Briefing magazine.
"God's purpose is not merely that believers be well taught; he wants them to be well taught in order that they may know that they are well loved, and that they may rejoice in His love, respond to it, live in it, and overflow with his love both to one another and to a world that does not yet know him." - William Philip

Jun 15, 2008

Gospel-Centered Parenting

Here are some gems you can listen to on "Gospel-Centered Parenting" from C.J. Mahaney over at Sovereign Grace Ministries...

Also, here is a great article on Fatherly leadership + Family Vacations.

Jun 10, 2008

"Corporate Conviction" changes at GC '08

This morning, much of the debate surrounded editorial issues on our Special Directions of our church.  These Special Directions are corporate convictions that explain in great detail the position of The Wesleyan Church on a number of social issues.

Some of the changes that were made:
1. Social dancing was removed.
2. Prohibition of merchandising on the Sabbath Day was removed and now allows for this matter to be according to "personal conviction" since Scripture specifies it in Romans 14:5-6.
3. Prohibition of the the cinema theatre was removed.

Also, specific language was used in a more general sense to refrain from legalism.  This is a positive step forward for the Wesleyan Church, I believe.  

You can read a great post by Ken Schenck about the matters at this session, here.

Jun 9, 2008

General Conference 2008

JoAnne Lyons, founder and president of World Hope International, was elected today as the first female General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church.  She gave a fantastic speech that was filled with great vision to help the poor and carry on the vision of Christ around the world.  There was much excitement and acceptance surrounding her election here at GC '08.

For live results on the memorials and elections, check out Keith Drury's blog.

Jun 2, 2008

The "Spock" Church

This is for real.

The Gospel in All its Forms

Here's a great article worth checking out over at

May 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today Natalie and I are celebrating our five-year anniversary. These last five years have been quite the adventure! We love each other more than we ever have, and can't wait for the next five years that God will give us to enjoy together.

I love you, Nat!  You're still as beautiful as the day I met you.

May 29, 2008

More Dwell Conference Audio

The remainder of the sessions can be found here.

"Dwelling in the Kingdom" - Ed Stetzer
"Dwelling with Non-Christians" - Darrin Patrick
"Dwelling Incarnationally" - Eric Mason
"Dwelling in the Text" - Mark Driscoll
"Dwelling in the Gospel" - Tim Keller
"Dwelling Thru the Text" - Mark Driscoll
"Persuasion" - Tim Keller

Dwell Conference Audio

I attended the Dwell Conference last month in NYC.  Here is the first session audio by C.J. Mahaney entitled, "Pastoral Priorities: Watch Your Life and Doctrine." 

If you are in the ministry, this message is critical to your well-being and longevity.  

Listen or download here.

An outline of this message can be read here.

A ton of free resources from C.J. Mahaney can be downloaded here.

May 21, 2008

Ruth Sermon Series

On Father's Day, June 15th, I'll begin a 5-week series on the book of Ruth. Audio and video content will be added weekly.

The Disturbing Gospel

I'm finishing up preaching through the Gospel of Matthew next Sunday.  This past week, God revealed the Gospel on a much deeper level than I've ever seen before.  

On the night before his death, Jesus agonizes over the cup in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He began to be "sorrowful and troubled...even to death" (Mt. 26:37-38).  What is Jesus' dilemma?  Why does this cup cause Him so much trouble?

The first option is that Jesus is probably afraid of the suffering He is about to endure on the cross.  But that seems elementary to me.  The Gospel is much more than Jesus taking a beating.  The better option, I believe, is that this is a dilemma for the God-Man Jesus because He is a holy, pure, righteous, and perfect God.  He is without sin.  Yet, this cup is filled with the sins of the entire world.  Jesus, the holy God-Man, chooses to drink every last drop of my sin and become sin itself.  

2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."  The holy and righteous God humbles himself so much that He becomes sin itself.  This is disturbing and yet beautiful to know that He did this for us.

Take a listen, or watch the video online at

May 2, 2008

Mark Driscoll's Notes on "Dwelling in the Text"

Questions on Preparing to Preach...

1. What does the Bible say?
2. What does it mean?
3. What is the takeaway point? What's sticky and memorable?
a. A word (meditate on meaning of original language)
b. A doctrine
c. A person's emotions (often tied to the meaning of their name)
4. How is there resistance?
a. How do we answer the objections that come up, so we can leave them contending with the truth?
b. Deal with your own objections first.
5. Why does this matter?
a. In my home
b. In my church
c. At my job
d. With my kids
e. Other relationships
f. Relationship with God
6. How is Jesus the Hero? Here's how we find Jesus in the text:
a. Prophecies
b. Christophanies (ex: "Jacob wrestling")
c. Types (ex: Adam, prophet, priest, king, Temple, shepherd, judges)
d. Like ministries (1st man-2nd man, 1st Adam-2nd Adam, Mediator-priest)
e. Events (Exodus, Passover, Day of Atonement)
f. Titles (Son of Man, Suffering Servant, etc.)

Apr 29, 2008

Dwell Conference | Day 1

I felt privileged to sit under the preaching of some of the finest preachers in evangelicalism today. The lineup was:

C.J. Mahaney
Ed Stetzer
Eric Mason
Mark Driscoll

C.J. Mahaney's message hit me real hard for my own ministry. He preached on "Pastoral Priorities: Watching Your Life and Ministry" from 1 Timothy 4:16. He told the story of a man who was about to go to an important meeting, and he had leftover cream cheese on his face from breakfast. Should he tell the man, or should he let him go forward to the meeting?

The point was, we all have "cream cheese" (sins) on our face that we're not aware of, so we need others to discern those sins and tell us honestly. A couple of things he mentioned in relation to this was, "We all have pockets of spiritual blindness. Our perception of our own sin is as accurate as a carnival mirror."

So we need to surround ourselves with the honesty of our wives and other leaders. Where is there cream cheese on my face? Your face?

I'm looking forward to more from Driscoll and Tim Keller tomorrow. Blessings from NYC!

Apr 28, 2008

Blogging at Dwell Conference

Headed to NYC for the "DWELL" Urban Church Planting Conference. Hope to blog if I can.

Apr 24, 2008

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Apr 21, 2008

Dwell Conference in NYC

I'm anxious to be heading to the Dwell Conference, an urban church planting conference in New York City this coming Monday. Three guys and I from FWC will enjoy some of the most gifted preachers in the Church today (specifically Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll). Check it out...

Mar 18, 2008

Irish is now more than a feeling!

On a recent trip to visit my grandmother in Columbus, OH, I was handed a written history of my family. Turns out, my great-great-great-great grandfather and great-great-great grandfather were born in Ireland. They were Irish Protestants who later moved to Canada before moving to New York. I always wanted to be Irish.

Another interesting note was that my "4-great" grandfather and his two brothers were named after the first patriarchs of the Bible (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - in that order).

Great-great-great-great Grandfather
Abraham Robinson (1799-1860) & Margaret
Born: Ireland

Great-great-great Grandfather
Thomas Robinson (1824-1909) & Catherine
Born: Ireland

Great-great Grandfather
Samuel Robinson (1851-1928) & Sarah
Born: Ontario, Canada

Great Grandfather
Thomas "Howard" Robinson (1882-1964)
Born: South Gower Township, Canada

Glen "Thomas" Robinson (1926-1998)
Born: Canton, NY

Howard "Glen" Robinson (1946- )
Born: Ogdensburg, NY

Glen "Howard" Robinson (1980- )
Born: Ogdensburg, NY

Feb 20, 2008

Sad news!

My mac died.

Feb 16, 2008

Blanket Drive at Vanity Fair Apartments

Today about 20 individuals from FWC distributed over 100 new blankets and packed lunches for the homeless at a housing complex in downtown Huntington. God is teaching us that we can bring church to people rather than expecting everyone to come to us.

Feb 14, 2008

First Wesleyan on Facebook

If you've never heard of Facebook, it's a site that helps you keep connected with friends. It has become the "communication hub" for many people under the age of 40. For some, it has even replaced their basic email program. The thing I like about Facebook versus other sites like MySpace, is that it's much safer "surfing" without a lot of the junk. No one can see your profile unless you invite them or accept them as your friend.

Here's a look at First Wesleyan's page on Facebook.

Keep updated on events and other happenings. Even let others know you are attending or not. If you want to join the FWC Facebook page, click here.

Feb 13, 2008

Church Vision & Values

The past six weeks, Huntington First Wesleyan Church has immersed themselves with a new vision that is creating a lot of momentum toward becoming more like Jesus. Here's the synopsis...

Vision: Most people like Jesus. Even non-Christians. Yet these same people don't have many good things to say about the Church. Therefore, we want to become the kind of church that lives out what it believes. We want to become the kind of church that actually lives and looks like Jesus.
Vision Audio

Value #1: "Gospel"- The gospel is Jesus and what He's accomplished. We're committed to bringing everything we do in line with the gospel.
Gospel Audio

Value #2: "Disciples"- A disciple is a passionate and loyal student who strives to be like Jesus in all of life. We're committed to becoming and making genuine disciples who practice what they believe.
Disciples Audio

Value #3: "Community"- The gospel transforms our relationships with one another. We're committed to loving God and others with more than just words.
Community Audio

Value #4: "Outward-face"- Our posture is toward the city. We're committed to being missionaries sent to the city of Huntington to love our neighbors and serve the poor.
Outward-face Audio

Value #5: "Movement"- The Gospel continually breaks out. We're committed to spreading the gospel through partnerships and church planting within our city.
Movement Audio

Feb 7, 2008