Better Late-than-never Christmas Post

I get the feeling that both Christians and non-Christians today don’t have a very complete understanding of the significance of the virgin birth. Most Christians know it’s important, and correctly, will defend their position because Scripture indeed says it’s how Jesus came into the world. However, there’s more purpose in the virgin birth than just being a really unique stage entrance. While it is really miraculous and only possible with God, there is an even greater narrative at work that must be understood for us to truly embrace the significance of Jesus’s birth.

In Romans 5 (which references Genesis 3), we see that sin and death are passed down to each subsequent generation through Adam, even though Eve technically sinned first (that male headship thing wasn’t just stuck in later for fun, you know). Our sinful nature is passed on to us by our fathers, not our mothers. Verse 19 in Romans 5 says that by one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners. It is therefore Adam’s sin that corrupted us, not Eve’s.

With that in mind,we recognize that it isn’t necessary for Mary to be perfect, or without sin herself. She was the product of a man and woman, and her nature was no different than that of anyone else. The importance of her virginity was that no man could claim fatherhood to baby Jesus. Jesus stepped out of Heaven to become a real human, conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. A miracle no doubt, but much more than that, Jesus was both fully human and fully divine, with no sin being passed to him through the seed of a human father.

What does it mean for us now? It means that God’s requiring of a sacrifice for our sin (think Old Testament requirements of an unblemished lamb for atonement of sins) had to be like us (human), yet perfect or “spotless.” Galatians 4 points out that Jesus was born under the law so he could redeem us, who were also all under the law. Jesus had to be both fully man, and fully God. Therefore, the virgin birth is an absolute necessity for the salvation we cling to today. Because God in his great love for us sent a willing Jesus to Earth, we can share in the righteousness of Christ and commune with the Father as first intended.

As I’ve understood this narrative more, it’s totally reshaped the way I look at Christmas. As we reflect on the Christmas holiday we just celebrated, let’s take time to thank God for the miracle of salvation and recognize the great lengths at which he went to save us.

iTunes using 100% CPU, error 0x80090318 FIXED!!!!!

For some, the netsh winsock reset fix works like a charm.  (Run the command prompt and enter that string, then restart your machine.)

For me, it didn’t work and I was at wit’s end.  Then I came across an article that mentioned AVG Family Safety (formerly Bsecure software).  Apparently, something in the AVG software conflicted with iTunes and caused the CPU usage problem, as well as network errors between iTunes and the Apple servers.  This will also fix error’s like 0x80090318.

To deploy the workaround onto a 32 bit machine, please proceed as follows to rectify the situation:

1. Rename the InetCtrl67.dll library to InetCtrl67.dll.old.
This file is located in the C:\Program Files\AVG\AVG Family Safety\ folder
2. Download new library using this link
3. Extract content of archive to AVG Family Safety program files folder mentioned in the first step
4. Restart the computer and check the situation
– You may note some issues while using the Safari browser.
Please let us know whether the issue is rectified. Kindly mention what Internet browser is used in your reply.

To deploy the workaround onto a 64 bit machine, please proceed as follows to rectify the situation:

1.You will need to rename the InetCtrl67.dll library to InetCtrl67.dll.old in the following 2 locations,
C:\Program Files\AVG\AVG Family Safety\ And C:\Program Files (x86)\AVG\AVG Family Safety\
2.You will now need to download 2 new InetCtrl67.dll files to replace the 2 that were renamed.
It is very important that each file is placed into the specific folder(s) listed below. Not doing so can result in loss of internet connectivity.
The first InetCtrl67.dll is located here – extract content of archive to
C:\Program Files (x86)\AVG\AVG Family Safety\
The second InetCtrl67.dll is located here – extract content of archive to
C:\Program Files\AVG\AVG Family Safety\
3.Restart the computer and check the situation.
– You may note some issues while using the Safari browser.

You can get more of this info at the AVG forum support site:

Death in His Grave

Been a while since I’ve posted anything, so enjoy!

Video/Music by John Mark McMillan

Though the Earth cried out for blood
Satisfied her hunger was
Her billows calmed on raging seas
for the souls on men she craved

Sun and moon from balcony
Turned their head in disbelief
Their precious Love would taste the sting
disfigured and disdained

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
Awoke with the keys
To Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

So three days in darkness slept
The Morning Son of righteousness
But rose to shame the throes of death
And overturn his rule

Now daughters and the sons of men
Would pay not their dues again
The debt of blood they owed was rent
When the day rolled anew

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with the keys
To Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

He has cheated
Hell and seated
Us above the fall
In desperate places
He paid our wages
One time once and for all

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with the keys
To Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

Old Hymns

People of different ages and cultures feel differently about music and “style of worship” in church.  Personally, I like the lyrics in older hymns but I prefer the musical style of our generation.  Without getting into that debate, I just wanted to post this video of a hymn with great lyrical substance that’s being thoughtfully played with an acoustic guitar.  It’s a hymn written in 1836 by Josiah Conder, performed by Dave Koenig. (lyrics below)

1. ‘Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For, Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
But Thou hast chosen me;
Thou from the sin that stained me,
Hast cleansed and set me free,
Of old Thou hast ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.

2. ‘Twas sov’reign mercy called me,
And taught my op’ning mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heav’nly glories blind;
My heart owns none before Thee,
For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee,
Thou must have love me first.

Israel’s Correlation to My Hope

Reading Romans 11 today, I wondered exactly what Paul was saying to his Gentile audience about the correlation between them and the Jews.  Here’s what I got from a commentary in summation of the chapter.

1. The sovereignty of God to choose whom He wishes challenges me to a life of fear and worship.

2. The fact that God will fulfill His purpose for Israel challenges me to believe Him for His will to be done in my life.

3. The purpose of God in history to be merciful really challenges me to spend more time on my knees with Him in thanksgiving.

4. The fact that Paul revealed a mystery in order to bring about humility challenges me to live a life of humility. In a sense all of the scripture is the revelation of a mystery: God and His ways.

I’m thankful for Paul’s God-given ability to demonstrate truths such as these.  It is so fashionable today for non-Christians to levy accusations of “blind faith” and “sheepish adherence” against Christians who believe the Word of God.  Yes, God is mysterious.  However, our faith is rooted in thought and reason.  In this case, God has partially revealed Himself to us through His dealings with Israel.  I can have faith that God will complete a work in me because of how He has been faithful to His promises in the past and how He will continue to be faithful in the future.  I am more humble now realizing that God is at work in my life not because I am good, but because He is.

Hope this was as clear for you as it was for me today.  Thanks for reading.

My New Gig

phoenix skyline

My wife Addie and I are moving to Phoenix to be missionaries on the downtown campus of Arizona State University.

Read the blog post from our corporate blog, Brian + Addie.

That blog will be the home for all of our mission work updates and a great way to connect to our supporters and ministry partners.  I’ll still be at this one, hopefully with a little more sense of direction soon.  I’ll be attending Golden Gate Seminary in the near future, and I hope to find some areas of ministry/faith that really captivate me, where I’ll be able to blog about something with a little bit more direction.

Thanks for the Perspective: Service

I am so thankful for the wonderful people in my small group for helping collect household and hygiene items for Needline today. Without their help, I wouldn’t have collected nearly as many items and wouldn’t have been able to make as much of an impact, and for that, I’m truly grateful. Also, I’d like to thank all the people in Murray today that took the extra time to buy an extra product or two to donate. Families in need at this time of the year always have to chose between buying these types of products and providing gifts for their families and food for their tables. Allowing Needline to take care of some of these items will ensure that those families have a little extra cash during the holiday season.

I don’t want to turn negative, but we did meet a lady today that said something that got my attention. Hear me now, I do not intend to condemn her for what she said, I want to turn it into a learning experience.

As she walked by us, we asked her to consider purchasing an extra item to donate to Needline. She said,

“Well, my church already gives to the poor…so I don’t feel obligated.”

We were a little taken aback, most likely because everyone else had received our requests so warmly to that point.  We simply weren’t ready for that.  My first reaction, after a little shock, was some anger.  “What gives her the right,” I thought.  But after thinking about it a little more, I quickly realized I was in no position to harbor angst against her.  How many times in my life have I passed by people asking for money or avoided calls from charities?  I certainly haven’t sponsored a child in a third-world country or given much time to feed the homeless in America’s cities.  Let’s face it, I just don’t feel obligated either…at least she was willing to admit it.

I think this lack of obligation is due to a still elementary understanding of the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ death.  In my life thus far, I’ve gotten pretty much all that I wanted and have developed a pretty robust sense of entitlement.  So, when I think about God’s love, it makes a lot of sense.  He created me, made me awesome and now owes me salvation.  All kidding aside, I find it very hard to understand that Jesus was not obligated to die for me.  In the ultimate act of benevolence, He who knew no sin became sin so that I might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).  He left heaven and became poor so that by his poverty, we would be made rich, giving us eternal life (2 Corinthians 8:9).  I surely don’t deserve it.  I’ve done nothing to merit it, and even if I tried, I could never repay the debt I’ve created against an infinite God.  Today, I’m thankful for that gift.

Now, I’m thankful for what the lady said today.  I’ve known the underlying sense of apathy was there, but until I heard it out loud, I didn’t know just how ugly it was.  I hope that I’m able to reflect what God did for me on the cross by loving the unlovable, giving to those in need and serving “the least of these” with a joyous heart.  Jesus wasn’t obligated to serve us, yet He did – let me be forever thankful for that.