11:18 AM Dudley just made his (unintentional) radio debut. When the interview started at 10 AM, he was asleep on the couch. About ten minutes into the program, Dudley decided he wanted off the couch so he could outside and take care of business. But Marlene was gone to town and I was on the radio talking about forgiveness. Suddenly Dudley started whimpering. Then he started barking. Then he started howling. I didn’t know a nine-week-old basset hound could make that much noise. Evidently they heard him all across eastern Pennsylvania because the host asked me what kind of dog I had. He laughed when I told him and said they didn’t have many dogs on the show. I took him outside at the next break and all was well … until he started barking again. So I left him outside for the final segment. I think he’s got a great future in show business.
9:18 AM Happy birthday to my sweetheart. We started the celebration last night, and this morning Dudley and I woke her up. I sang and Dudley snuggled with her. Tonight we’re going out to celebrate at a fine restaurant in Tupelo called Logan’s Road House.
6:30 AM I’m doing a live one-hour interview with phone calls from listeners from 10-11 AM CDT today on WGRC in Lewisburg, PA.
6:03 AM John Piper has preached some extraordinary sermons lately. I consider him to be a model pastor, and his sermons offer perhaps the best contemporary example of what you might call “pastoral exposition” of the Scriptures. I’ve appreciated his ministry for many years, but his sermons since announcing his recent diagnosis of prostate cancer have contained unusual power and clarity. I doubt that is by chance. God in his providence has allowed John Piper to be stricken with cancer, and that has allowed him to speak with a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Consider his three most recent sermons:
How God’s Work Produces Our Work, in which he puts his cancer in biblical perspective.
Racial Diversity, Racial Harmony, and the Gospel Walk, in which he calls on Christians to enjoy worship, fellowship, relaxing and eating together across racial and ethnic lines.
Love Your Unborn Neighbor, in which he calls believers to get involved in the “hands-on, messy, sacrificial, time-consuming, stressful action” of caring for the unborn.
5:48 AM When I spoke to the two groups of Christian leaders in Beijing, I invited them to visit this website and I told them that the sermons section contains over 700 full-text sermons that they could download any time they wanted. It’s all free, and I encouraged to use the sermons any way they like in their teaching and preaching. And I told them to feel free to amend, adapt, change and improve as necessary. I mention that because people from around the world access the sermon site every week. It’s all free and I’m glad when anything I write or say helps someone else out. We’re all in this together for the sake of the Kingdom.
By the way, I’m hoping to add all the Elijah sermons very soon.
5:40 AM President Bush made some helpful comments on China during his speech at Kansas State University on Monday:
Now, I went to church in China. And I was a little nervous, at first, frankly, about a licensed church. I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to go to a church or not a church, and went – Laura and I went with a guy named Luis Palau. And I was impressed by the spirit I felt in the church. And after it was over, I told Hu Jintao, I said, you know, I’m a religious person, and the more free religion is in your country, the better off your society will be, and you shouldn’t fear the church. You ought to come to the church. You know, you ought to see what I saw, which is peaceful people honoring something greater than themselves.
I would hope that China will continue to move in the – or move in the direction of human dignity. I talked to him about, of course, the Dalai Lama; talked to him about the Catholic Church’s inability to get their bishops in. In other words, what I do is I press the freedom issue. We don’t always agree with China, of course. It’s a complex relationship, but it’s one in which, in my judgment, it’s best to be in a position where we can dialogue and discuss things in order to keep relations on keel and keep peace in that part of the world.
God bless President Bush for speaking out about the need for more religious freedom in China. The folks from ELIC mentioned the Three-Self Church in Beijing that the President and Mrs. Bush attended along with Luis Palau. They evidently have a “youth program” on Thursday nights that is very well attended. It is for anyone between 18-50.
5:40 AM 121 miles.