Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I love this tree every year... but every time I hear the Christmas story it makes me love Jesus more. Thankfully I don't believe this will ever stop! Merry Christmas, hope everyone had a great time worshipping our amazing Savior! Soli deo Gloria = )

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Congrats Rudy!

Who said you have to be dumb to play football? Mind you this is a student at arguably the biggest party school in the South, maybe the nation, and he's graduating with a 4.0 GPA. Great job Rudy for keeping your focus!

Monday, December 12, 2005


Congratulations to the newest inductee into the Heisman fraternity, Reggie Bush! As most coaches affectionately (and some maybe not so affectionately) refer to "#5," Reggie truly deserves the Heisman trophy. I still believe Vince Young and Matt Leinart can both make a VERY strong case for the award, but clearly 784 qualified voters named Reggie Bush the best player in college football. And if he would stay at USC I'd be willing to bet he could join Archie Griffin in the exclusive two-timers' club. Though I'd like to see Vince and the Horns pull the upset on January 4th, it's going to be an absolute landmark day in the history of college football, regardless of who wins. No team has ever had two Heisman winners play on the same team in one game, and in my opinion that will probably never happen again. For those of you who aren't necessarily football fans, I recommend tuning in to ABC on January 4th, at least so you can tell your grandkids someday, "I watched Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush play against Vince Young for the BCS National Championship!" This match-up has to the potential to be one of the best games ever, and I'm getting the jitters just thinking about it! Seeing Traveller run out on the field and spike the sword in the endzone, Bevo standing on the sideline, the cannon and big bertha taking their turn through the tunnel... this game will be exciting to say the least, and if it's even half of what it's hyped up to be, it will be an instant classic. Thanks again for reading, I hope y'all have a great week!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Too Close to Call

Maybe it's just me, but considering that all votes are not due until tomorrow (Dec. 8) and this is considered one of the closest Heisman races in the history of NCAA Football, is it possible that Reebok got a little ahead of themselves here?
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I love Reggie Bush, but if I had a vote I wouldn't blink before casting mine for 'Horns QB Vince Young who, don't get me started, would win the Heisman at Running Back OR Quarterback. Needless to say he's basically the best on his team at both. Thanks Reebok for continuing to be a premier capitalistic model of supply & demand, but I truly hope these shirts end up on a 50 cent sale rack in Somalia. You think they can say, "Fight On?!"

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I Got Picked

my uncle tagged me, so here we go...

Seven things to do before I die (in no particular order):

1. Go to a BCS National Championship Game that LSU is playing in.
2. Climb Half-dome, again.
3. Sky dive
4. Go to the UK (play golf in Scotland)
5. Tee it up with Dr. MacArthur.
6. Go to Australia.
7. Cliff dive.

Seven things I cannot do:

1. Afford Master's College
2. Enjoy Asparagus
3. Turn down watching college football
4. Say anything nice about Auburn
5. See Arminianism as a valid position
6. Not want to live in Louisiana
7. Disagree with John MacArthur

Seven things that [will] attract me to my spouse:

1. Her amazing beauty in every way
2. Her resolve to be the most like Christ she can imagine
3. Her love for our family
4. Her desire for our growth for the supremecy of Christ
5. Her honesty of her own inability and dependence on the cross
6. Liking me, even when I'm absolutely unlikable
7. She will be from the South, what's not to like?

Seven things I say most often:

1. "haha, that's funny"
2. "wait"
3. "riiiiiiight"
4. "the reality remains the same..."
5. "Geaux Tigers!"
6. "you're kidding, right?"
7. "I'm sorry!"

Seven books (or series) I love:

1. Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
2. Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth
3. Complete Works of Jonathan Edwards
4. Band of Brothers
5. Think Biblically!
6. The Pastor in Prayer (Spurgeon)
7. Why One Way? by John MacArthur

Seven movies I would watch over and over again:

1. The Bourne Series
2. Gladiator
3. Notting Hill
4. Luther
5. Entrapment
6. Batman Begins
7. Mission Impossible (the first one)

Seven people I want to join in, too:

1. Chris Tan
2. Joanne
3. Kelly Hermann
4. Andrew
5. Pastor Rick
6. Justin
7. Peter

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Coming Soon!

About my trip to Tampa, FL for the 1st Annual Brandon Biblical Theology Conference... Coming Soon!

- Morgan

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

No Place Like Home

I'm posting this VERY quickly as I'm about to board flight 206 to Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL, while currently I'm in the amazing city of Houston, TX. As many of you know this is where I'm from and lived until moving to SoCal 4 1/2 years ago. I just called my parents and we all agreed... though I love California, I love my church, my school, my friends, the weather, and so many other things, this place I'm in will never NOT be home. The clearest sign to what was in my heart occured when I walked out of the terminal and I saw a sign that read, "Welcome to Texas," followed by another that I don't think coincidentally read, "Welcome Home." Have a great day y'all! Colossians 3:1-2

Monday, October 24, 2005

Somebody Else's Turn, Finally!

Congratulations USC on the time that it was yours, but welcome to life as #2... hope it was fun while it lasted! Hook 'em Horns!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Armani vs. Gotti

This can hardly be considered a post, but as NBA Commissioner David Stern announced this week that the NBA will entertain the idea of a "business-casual" dresscode that all players, coaches, and owners will have to adhere to, I wanted to get y'alls thoughts on the issue. Though there are tons of supporters and critics of the proposed policy, reality is professional athletes are inevitably viewed as examples and placed as social role models for millions across the world. So tell me this... who would you rather your kids look up to?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Considering how long it's been since I've posted, I'm not surprised if many of you think it's because I have nothing to write about! The reality is I've had about 10 million and 1 things that I could talk about, and thus couldn't write an entire post about one without rabbit-trailing off into the others. Maybe that's just an easy copout, but as I once again left my Philosophy 220: Intro to Comparative Religion class tonight, I couldn't help but share what has been on my heart and mind. Tonight was Buddhism lecture #2, and we didn't learn much more about the religion itself anymore than we did last week. Though I'm confident my professor would summarily drop me if he knew I was about to try to dump 6 1/2 hours of lecture into a brief nutshell, it seems to me that Buddhism can essentially be summed up this way: Life is a mass jumble of random action-reaction involving human beings obtaining either good or bad karma, ultimately with the goal of being knocked off the wheel of reincarnation which is to reach Pari-Nirvana. Although, because everything is in a perpetual state of change, nothing has essential identity, therefore nothing truly exists, only pain and suffering. Therefore, there really is no desk, there is no tree... there is no you, and there is no me. Inevitably, it begs the question... what's the point?! Towards the end of class my friends Matt, Anna, Tyler and myself enjoyed a conversation through a series of scribble notes, ultimately concluding this: for man to make an excuse NOT to worship the true and living God he must come up with an alternative. Because God is essentially Truth (John 1:1), for man to abandon God he must abandon Truth. I realized tonight that this incredibly simple reality shines a huge light on the nature of my pre-salvation wicked heart, in that though this truth is so clear and simple, we can't see it when we're DEAD in sin and natural rebellion against our Creator! (Eph. 2:1-3). It's absolutely staggering to me to face the fact as one who has been transformed through the work of my Savior at Calvary, and being sanctified by the Spirit working through the Word, that even heresy points my heart to the cross. As I said to my dad tonight, it's essentially irrelevant whether I hear a sermon affirming Biblical Truth, or a false prophet preaching error, God still grows my heart more in tune with His precious good news in the Scripture. I've said this before, but listening to these lectures on Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and even Roman Catholicism and Islam, ALL remind me of a precious Master who grows me in God-exalting, Truth-based, Holiness-centered Theology that crushes hopeless and empty religious systems that all crash into the same dead end. Praise be to the Most High, all glory and majesty be unto His Name!

"For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God" (Romans 4:2).

Monday, October 03, 2005

Setting the Pace

"How do I decide who to marry? I sprint as hard as I can towards the cross of Christ and take a look to my right and to my left and see who's running beside me." - T. Nelson

Thanks Dad, for once I'm just going to let that one speak for itself.

1 Cor. 9:24-27

Monday, September 26, 2005

Porch Swings and Sunrises

Every once in a while when the library gets boring I take off down Valencia Blvd. for a grande lowfat toffee nut latte. Yes, I have become that L.A. guy who drinks lowfat (sometimes... non fat, shhhhh!). This morning was a little bit different as I sat there thinking about this past weekend and all that God used for His glory in my sanctification, and the communal fellowship our Bible Study enjoyed together around the Scripture. Just sitting there I started thinking about all of the things that I'm thankful for, and that's where this comes from...

A few things that I'm so very thankful for...

Starbucks, not just because I work there, but we do have really good coffee. I'm thankful for big green umbrellas, trash cans, and clouds that block the sun and sometimes drop water on my windshield. I love watching birds eat crumbs from a reduced fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake a lady enjoyed, reminding me of God's providence in my own life, and in those of the people that mean a lot to me (Phil. 4:19). I'm so very thankful for the guys and gals that remind me daily of the reason I'm here, inevitably pointing me back to the cross. I'm thankful for parents who care about me, even when I tell them they're wrong, they aren't. I'm thankful for Christ-centered girls that show me what I should be looking for in a wife, and in a way I'm thankful for superficial girls that show me what not to pay attention to. I'm thankful for rain. I'm continually indebted to men, both living and dead, who set the bar of holiness that truly examples a life lived "above reproach" (1 Tim. 3:2, Titus 1:7). I'm thankful for the public community college that allows me to experience the secular world as a Christian student... and I'm thankful for the private Christian school that I'll soon attend that allows me to study the Scriptures for what my God has actually said. Music: piano and guitar, lyrics that point me to Christ. Songs that are made to please the Father and proclaim the good news, not merely stir up emotion and shallow affections. I love rain. I'm thankful for mountains, grass, and waterfalls, big rocks and sand. I love Pine trees, porches, porch swings, rocking chairs and sleeping bags. Big comfy couches and FIREPLACES! I love muffins in the morning and sandwiches for lunch. Two words: Dr. Pepper. I love cabins with wood floors and having absolutely no street lights - stars are awesome on Bible study retreats! I love good movies, blankets, and books. I usually get frustrated with computers, but I'm thankful for the technology that God has provided and can use for the further advancement of the gospel. I'm thankful for airplanes, airports, and luggage (even the people who lose mine, God loves them, I will too). I love tiny bottles of water and the itchy pillows in the pocket in front of you. I love snoring old men who lean their seat all the way back, I'll be there one day. I love internet telephone that lets me talk to friends on the other side of the world, for free. I love my dog, other people's cats, and funny little kids. I hate homework, but love turning it in. I'm thankful for cars, grandparents, and college football! Did I mention rain? Sweatshirts, flip flops, and sales at the GAP®. Old Navy® jeans and those cool track jackets that are warm and super comfy. I'm thankful for friends who care enough to study, and employee discounts. I like naps, but only when it's cold outside. Tin roofs are great, especially in the rain! I LOVE fishing and barbeque. Sausage is a gift of grace and bacon ain't far behind. I love all of these things, and they are all indisputably gracious gifts from a loving God... but the real gift is the joy we get in them, because they remind us of the Provider. I pray we always dwell on the things that are imperishable; they make us look differently at that which is passing away. Sola gratia! Jude 24, 25

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Art of Compromise

Talking to a dear friend attending grad school in Arizona, it's amazing to me how often I'm blinded by my own affections and tendency towards compromise. How about a proposition? Imagine, speaking hypothetically of course, that there's a girl who seems absolutely 'perfect.' She's gorgeous, hilarious, smart, and has a great personality. Would you ask her out? "Of course" you might respond. Why not right? "Oh, is she a Christian?" you might ask--as if assumed. Why is that assumed? And even if it could be, is "Christian" merely a label or an active pursuit? Let me pose the question this way: if someone gave you $1 million to invest anywhere you choose, would you just find the first company with a flashy logo and a catchy slogan? Or would you research that company, inquire about their short and long-term goals and ambitions to fulfill a specific core purpose? Wouldn't that core purpose, that unnegotiable value, be the most significant and crucial factor in your decision, or would it be merely a subtopic under a strategic heading? Am I talking about Christians dating non-Christians? No. I'm talking about Christians compromising on what we know to be indisputable Biblical values that we tend to compromise on for the sake of superficial affections--emotional whims and fancies. How easy is it for us to so quickly turn on what we know to be obvious and clear truth when the temptation to entertain a fleeting affection strolls by. The reality is God made each and every one of us with a conscience, and that is hopefully guided by the Word of God through the divine aid of the Holy Spirit working towards Holiness. But how commonly do we prostitute what we know to be right for that which is built in the sand? Emotions and affections, especially in regards to relationships, are a gift from a gracious and loving God. Yet they, if not appropriately examined through the lens of inerrant Scripture, can be deceiving to a mind and dangerous to a heart. Men, is the supreme attraction of your heart whatever seems to turns your head? Women, is "Mr. Right" the humble, spiritual leader in your Bible study, or the ear tickling facade that sits beside you in class?

Our tendency to compromise on the truth for the whims and desires of superficiality stretches far beyond dating and relationships, but I believe it to be one of the most deadly causes of misunderstanding and misguided expectations; leading ultimately to ungodly and unbiblical disasters. As my friend Vince said to me, "where there's fruit and evidence of an uncompromising pursuit of holiness for the sake of pure worship, there we find the true nature of a Christ-centered relationship." Thanks Vince for your uncompromising loyalty to the truth, and making sure I stay on it. Sola gracia! Phil. 1:9

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. - Jonathan Edwards, Jan. 13, 1723

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Night On the Town

My friend Peter has lived in California his entire life, but not once has he been to Hollywood. Crazy street performers, expensive side shows, even more expensive food, he's never had the privilege of enjoying any of these great 'once to say you've done it' experiences. So this afternoon Peter and I hop on the US101 and head down to the dirtiest city either side of Las Vegas... Hollywood, CA. As we're walking past the Kodak Theatre (home of the Oscar's) and approaching Mann's Chinese Theatre, this guy hands us two free tickets to be in the audience of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, filming at the famed El Capitan in 15 minutes. The show was a total blast (except for the 'musical' guest...aka 'the strip show') and absolutely hilarious. I know this is short, but the experience was too rare not to write about - 'specially for a coupla' country boys like us! The show airs tonight at midnight PST and 11PM central.

Y'all have an awesome night and rest of the week! Heb. 2:1-4

Friday, September 09, 2005

Table for Two

These are the lyrics to a song written years ago by Derek Webb, found on the Caedmon's Call Album Forty Acres. The song is called Table for Two, and if I could relate anymore to literally every word he's saying, it would be unbelievable. Maybe some of you can to!

Danny and I spent another late night over pancakes,
talking about soccer and how every man's just the same
And made speculation on the 'who's and the 'when's of our futures
And how everyone's lonely but still we just couldn't complain.

And how we just hate being alone
Could I have left my only chance
And now I'm just wasting my time, by looking around.

But you know I know better, I'm not gonna worry 'bout nothing
'Cause if the birds and the flowers survive then I'll make it okay
If given a chance and a rock see which one breaks a window
And see which one keeps me up all night and into the day

Because I'm so scared of being alone
That I forgot what house I live in
But it's not my job to wait by the phone
For her to call

Well this day's been crazy but everything's happened on schedule
From the rain and the cold to the drink that I spilled on my shirt
'Cause You knew how You'd save me before I fell dead in the garden
And You knew this day long before You made me out of dirt

And You know the plans You have for me
And You can't plan the ends and not plan the means
And so I suppose I just need some peace, just to get me to sleep.

I can't say it any better than that! DW wrote this expressing his tendency to be an 'overthinker,' specifically when it comes to relationships. And if that's not the story of my life I don't know what is, haha. Y'all have a blessed weekend and a great Lord's day! Psalm 84:10

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sovereign Grace

Walking into work last night, after spending a large majority of the day following the updated news accounts of the damage done by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, Gulport, and the rest of the Gulf Coast, I overheard a co-worker of mine say to another, "Man, this means we aren't goin' to Mardi Gras this year!" Taking a sip of coffee, I almost choked. The damage done to the residents of the southern Gulf coast visibly stretches far beyond the French Quarter. As the most recent estimates predict possibly 4 to 5 months before reconstruction can even begin, this is far too reminiscent of another catastrophic event that took place this month, 4 years ago. FOX News' Shepard Smith reported yesterday that even a brief survey of any given neighborhood in New Orleans resembles "a nuclear warzone without the radiation." Also stating that this is nothing short of a "third-world situation; people with little children, babies, sitting outside all day with nothing to drink, nothing to eat, and no idea where they're even supposed to go." Seeing the photos of this tragedy can quickly cause any of us to lose it emotionally, but let's pray that God in His grace would keep our focus in the right place, His grace, foremost exampled in His Son. As a lady standing in line at the Superdome boldly proclaimed on national television, "We're all praying for safety, but moreso I'm praying for repentance...that these people around me would see the love of Jesus and turn to Him for salvation from their sin." Amen! Keep preaching dear sister. As hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to Baton Rouge, Houston, and everywhere in between, please let's continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who have been most effected by this tragedy, and may the Lord's Name be exalted more than ever, at a time when most appear to have nothing to smile about. Praise to our gracious and faithful Provider who isn't tied down by hunger, transportation, or even category 5 hurricanes. "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21).

Ways to help: The American Red Cross is accepting donations 24/7. For other ways you can help log on to FOX News' Disaster Relief Information.

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all" (1 Chronicles 29:11).

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Confessions of a Barista, Pt. 2

Though I'm sure it sounds to most that I'm only complaining, I honestly point these things out because they make me laugh and I hope it'll make things clearer and easier for both the customer and the guys and gals behind the counter. I've said before that if I didn't work there, I'm quite confident I'd be more than guilty of all the funny and annoying things that happen to me now! Hope these are helpful!

Top 10 Things I'd like to but Can't Say to Customers at Starbucks®...
(again, the following do NOT represent the feelings or attitudes of Starbucks Coffee Co.®)

10) Ma'am, it's 11AM on Saturday morning, why do you think it's busy?

9) God doesn't charge for water, we don't either.

8) I can hear you without the cell phone.

7) Yes, that is a grande, we're not cheating you, there is NO conspiracy.

6) Are you kidding me?

5) To any group of 14 junior highers, usually around 3:01PM, "We're out of frappucinno... hahaha! Just kidding."

4) Trust me, I'm a professional.

3) We heard you say "decaf" the first time.

2) How many "decaf quad venti sugar-free vanilla non-fat extra hot no foam with whip and caramel sauce lattes" do you think were ordered in the last 45 seconds?

1) There's no A in "Venti."

Now, y'all go get a cup of coffee and have a great day! Jude 24, 25

Friday, August 26, 2005

One More, yet Slightly Less Random

"One thing you have to know about LSU fans: they'll find the party, no matter where it is. And if the party is attached to a ball game of some sort, all the better...You could argue that a dozen different locales in America care as deeply about college football. But there might not be any that care as crazily." - on football in the State of Louisiana

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

As Random as it Gets

Here are a few extremely random thoughts that I wanted to share, yet none of them were important enough to make into a full post. Hopefully these won't bore y'all...

(In no particular order)

1. All my life I've grown up morally opposed to country music. Maybe it's because I grew up mostly in Texas where everyone is expected to love it. Or maybe it's because many of the lyrics sounded like my neighbors, or sometimes even worse, my own family! Nevertheless, I've come to admit that I really like two specific songs, Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts and Something Like That by Tim McGraw. Don't sign me up for an Alan Jackson concert anytime soon, but I'm starting to think that all country ain't as bad as I thought.

2. It's amazing how many people ask me, "is there anything that people do when they come to Starbucks that bothers you guys?" Yes, there most certainly is. So for the benefit of both customer and "partner," here we go!

Confessions of a Barista: things that drive us crazy (though I absolutely do not stand alone on any of these issues, the following do NOT reflect the opinions and/or attitudes of Starbucks Coffee Co.®)...

- people that hold up the line deciding what they want, when they've been standing in it for the past 15-20 minutes.

- people that take 10 orders from their cell phone while standing in front of 5 or 6 other customers who have actually come into the store like everyone else.

- people who do this: 10:22PM, "RING, RING... hi, what time do you guys close? '10:30.' Okay, we're in Hollywood, we'll be there in 10 minutes!"

That's all I can think of at the moment, but I'm confident there's more to come!

3. I'm pretty much convinced that the Resolved Conference is the absolute best use of $125 that anyone can spend (obviously with the exception of medication or something in that category). I don't mean this is my opinion, I'm pretty sure this is objectively indisputable. If you're thinking about coming to Resolved, don't. Stop thinking and just do it. I PROMISE if you're a Christian, you won't be disappointed!

4. The Master's College is the best school in the world, period. Visit sometime over the next two days and I don't think you'll need any further explanation!

5. I'm debating over whether I should miss 3 days of school and go to a Bible conference that I want to go to VERY badly. This is one of those times when my dad refuses to say, "Go for it," or "No way." He just says, "you're 19, it's your call dude." I love my dad, he actually did use "dude." haha.

6. I highly recommend downloading Real Player® so y'all can listen to streaming audio sermons preached at Grace Bible Church of Brandon, FL. Most of the time they come from their senior Pastor, Chris Pixley; but recently my dear brother Paul Shirley delivered one of the most clearly articulated messages on James 1 that I've ever heard. I pray it edifies your heart and shapes your worldview Biblically as it has mine. Sola Scriptura!

Thanks so much for reading, even though this was random and maybe a totally unprofitable use of your time! Y'all have a great time worshipping our great God the rest of this week and rejoicing in all that He allows us to experience for His glory in Christ Jesus! (Romans 6:15-18)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Why I Love September!

It appears we're beginning to get that beautiful September vibe again. Maybe it's because I'm only a 30 minute freeway drive from Trojanland, or is it possible that I can still hear the crying of tree-huggers up north over a game they didn't play in because they didn't deserve to be there (thanks Tech)? Or just maybe is it because this might be the year that my beloved Horns may finally be able to turn the tide in the famed Red River Shootout against a team still whimpering from the old-fashioned woodshed spankin' they got in South Florida last January? (Note: the Aggies aren't looking shabby either). In the midst of a freshly paved road, ready once again for a coming Parade of Roses (1/06), the Bayou Bengals from Baton Rouge (for whom we bleed purple and gold) have lost an invaluable teammate in lead RB Alley Broussard due to a knee injury during practice last Saturday. Though LSU still has undoubtedly the best backfield next to "Thunder and Lightening" in the Southland, as long as he's recovering AB will truly be missed in Tiger Stadium. With an arsenal that includes the ESPN/USA Today #1 ranked WR group in the nation, backs Joseph Addai and Justin Vincent, QB JaMarcus Russell, and the most highly pursued high school recruit in 2005, Ryan Perrilloux, there's no question the Tigers will show up this September, and will refuse to conclude until January. With even more "improvements" to the ever-popular BCS and the institution of instant replay in most of the major conferences, this season should surely not go without it's share of suspense. With echoes of a repeat Heisman looming in L.A. and endless accounts of anticipation from campuses coast to coast, let's buckle up - this could get crazy!

"At the team's first meeting in preparation for the 2005 season it was Young who, upon seeing players behaving as if they were in a nightclub still celebrating the win over Michigan, shouted, "Hey, y'all! Rose Bowl's over!" - Sports Illustrated on Vince Young, QB, Univ of Texas.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Savoring the Savior

Soli deo gloria! To God alone be glory in Jesus Christ! Those were precisely the thoughts and words coming from my friend Tyler and I as we left our first Philosophy 220: Comparative Religions class tonight, ending the official first day of school. After spending 3 hours hearing Dr. So and So repeatedly remind us of his numerous degrees, stressing his and his colleagues' supposed credibility in the area of Philosophy and Religion, we were pelted with various smears of blasphemy and heresy to the tune of "my job is not to defend the concept of Truth, only to try and impart various truths that will hopefully aid you in finding your own Truth--if that even exists at all. And quite frankly, when it comes to 'knowing Truth,' that's the least of all importance; what really matters is finding whatever works for you. Regarding the idea of whatever the [expletive] Truth is, quite frankly I don't care in the least." My initial thought of these statements was "how ironic," yet it quickly changed to "how appropriate." The one thing the world needs (tonight being perfectly represented by our professor) is the very thing it claims to care nothing about. Of anything to ask, the most essential question remains constant--what is the Truth? Whether or not your lifestyle "work[ed] for you" is absolutely irrelevant come judgment day. The question should always be, "does your lifestyle work in accordance with the will of God for the glory of God, sufficiently laid out in His Word?" That, beloved, is the foundation of a profitable education. If the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge," (Proverbs 1:7) then what more is education than to learn more about Him for the purpose of greater worship? As I sat there stumbling through all that was being taught tonight I prayed and wrote two words on the top of my notes that instantly calmed my anxiety, "Sola Scriptura." Because of our salvation, the fallacies contrasted with the Truth seem so clear to us, yet only due to the grace of our Savior removing the scales from our eyes and conforming our hearts daily with His Word. As today is my birthday, it's only fitting that God in his grace would use a situation like this to remind me of the abundant life I have in His Son. As the hymn writer said, "O' for grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be. Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee!" While things continue to spin like a propeller in my head, I can only pray that God would use situations like these to draw us closer to a more pure knowledge of Him, granted to us only through the gracious blood of the Lamb nailed to the cross. Praise be to the One true and Living God, all glory be to the Most High!


"Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:1-3a).

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Thank you!

"It was a blast, God was truly exalted, seeds were planted for the kingdom, and we had a great time!" That is typically the answer given to the expected question, "how was your trip?" The experience that the seventeen of us shared in Albania this past month cannot be fully grasped in a few short paragraphs, but with God's help I pray the following will give a tiny glimpse into the ministry that God directed through us this past July, and is continuing as we speak.

Since last November God has been graciously molding the seventeen of us for His ministry this summer. Whether it was devotions from our team leader, team outings and meetings, or merely "hanging out," God's hand in the preparation of our team became more evident to us while we served in Albania than before we left. As the ministry exists, our primary focus was building relationships with students and peers, and then sharing with them the love of Christ exampled primarily in the message of His death and resurrection. As we were allowed to teach english at a foreign language center, the students in our classes were given the opportunity to hear the amazing truth of the gospel as we spent time with them outside of class. At the beginning of our first week of ministry, many of us were shocked with the fact that our first students were no more than 12 years old. This concern quickly disappeared when over 40 kids came to a youth rally we put together! After hearing worship music, a skit, a gospel presentation, and a real-life testimony from a team member, God's abounding kindness was exampled to us through the innocent and pressing questions of these kids. "Have you ever heard this before?" we asked. "I've been to a church before, but I've never heard about Jesus like this."

In the following weeks the ministry turned from ice cream with kids to coffee with teenagers and young adults, yet God's faithfulness was equally as prevalent. As countless opportunities for ministry opened up almost daily, it's clear that every situation was another opportunity to glorify our Lord still more. Almost every situation was another open door to share with people the glorious message of the cross. From playing basketball, helping at a pre-school, painting an orphanage, or even eating fast-food, God's sovereignty in the proclamation of His Word became more obvious with every passing moment. As seeds were planted, God's goodness and grace will only be illuminated still more through His people that remain in Albania.

Picnics, outings, evangelistic field trips, and every other means of spending time with people was the constant focus of every motion of our team, and our prayer is that the unchanging goodness of our God would not pass from our minds here at home. As jobs pick back up and school starts soon, it will be easy for us to quickly forget what we've learned in the past month. As God grows each one of us more for the advancement of His church, we will always remember the dear brothers and sisters on this team, and in Albania. We speak of "our team" as the seventeen Americans that left Los Angeles, but there are countless people across the globe that were invaluable to the effectiveness of God's ministry through us. To Robb, thank you for your faithfulness over the past thirteen years and your willingness to share this amazing opportunity with us. To Genci, thanks for your unfailing dedication to serving the church and our hearts in countless ways. To Peter, thank you for serving us during our time there, and all the preparation before and during our time in Albania. And to all of those who supported us in this unforgettable opportunity, THANK YOU, and grace to you on behalf of our team, and all those who have and continue to benefit from your ministry this summer. Lastly, it's the unfailing prayer of all of us that before all things our holy God and sovereign Maker would be exalted and worshipped more than ever before! Once again, thank you for everyone's patience and diligence in serving our amazing Savior in this way, we look forward to seeing all of your faces soon. "
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care of how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:7,10-11).

Because of grace,

Morgan Pixley

Monday, July 11, 2005

2 Screwdrivers, an Outlet, and a Hubcap

Walking through the market yesterday my friend Roger said, "look at that guy over there, all he has to sell is 2 screwdrivers, an outlet, and a hupcap - what's his secret? How does he get by?" As I sit here watching a missionary's Land Rover get pelted with rain, I can't help but think about the state of the church here in this tiny post-communist nation. I hear many people here, many university students, speak about getting an education - or even going to America in order to get a "better life." It is a glorious but tragic reality that outside of the grace and sovereignty of our Great God there will be nothing better. Someone once said, "for a believer, earth is the only hell we will even know. While for the non-Christian, earth is the only heaven they will ever know." Life is not going to get better. Your country is not going to get better. Nothing in this world is ever going to "get better." As the song says, In Christ Alone our hope is found. Some say I'm pessimistic. Others tell me that I can't say these things to an unbeliever because it will "make them feel hopeless." I surely hope so. It should be our prayer that every unbeliever would realize, truly understand, the gravity of their decision to rebel against their Creator, and to be reconciled to God! Paul said in 2 Corinthians that it's as if God were pleading through us! Friends, our team is witnessing here everyday the utter depression of an entire nation. The devastating effects of a people told that there is no God. I have an endless list of people willing to explain to me the absurd notion that God doesn't exist, and the earth and all things in it came about by a random act of a cosmic lottery. It is absolutely disgusting, even sickening, the hopelessness seen on the faces of the children here. But to what end? Do we throw them a few bucks and say, "have a good day?" Do we walk around like gods expecting for everyone to listen to the Americans - simply because by some incomprehensible act of grace we, children of the Devil, were allowed to grow up in a free and prominent nation? By no means. It is mine and the prayer of everyone on this team that we would only seek to example the love of Jesus to these people. Whether they are 8 years old or 80, the reality remains the same. If they do not recieve Jesus Christ as their King, are supernaturally transformed from self-serving, self-loving, self-worshipping people into ones that seek to know God, and to truly worship Him as God, they will die and be sentenced a punishment that has not yet been paid for. As I write this I can't help but get mental pictures, knowing so many of you are at this very moment praying for us, and specifically for the ones that God is ministering to through our team. On behalf of all of us, and Grace Church of Tirana, thank you, thank you, thank you! One week from today the 17 of us will be going back to America, but these people are staying here. There are about 6 men ready to be trained, starting this September, to teach and preach the word. These are Albanian men who understand the importance of being trained to bring the truth of the Bible in their own tongue, to their own people. Pray for them, and pray for Southeastern European Theological Seminary. Praise be to our amazing God and His Son who paid our penalty on our behalf - because we couldn't do it for ourselves. Soli deo gloria!


"But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?" (Romans 10:14-15).

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Why do we have trials? Why does God test our faith? James 1:3 tells us that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. This idea is what the 17 of us are learning as we speak. In the past week we have come to realize that not everything is going as smoothly or easily as we had anticipated - not due to God being unfaithful or unkind - may it never be! - but merely because in our own pride and self-righteousness, we assume that we will always know the best way or the right decision to make. A few of us even in the past hours have learned by God's grace that with a team the size of ours, there will always be insurmountable ideas, opinions, and suggestions on what or how to do something. Sitting on the back porch of the Lincoln Center a few moments ago brought about a discussion between a small group of us that in every situation, without regard to the circumstances or possible consequences, we cannot seek to make decisions without first remembering that our primary objective in every situation is to FIRST bring all honor, worship, glory and exaltation to our Savior and King, Jesus Christ. There is no time in life, no situation that warrants any higher priority or thought. I echo once again Jonathan Edwards by proclaiming that our team wants to be "Resolved, that [we] will do whatsoever [we] think to be most to God's glory" (Crossroads). Some say that decisions involving other people must first take into account other's feelings or sensitivity. The Biblical reality remains the same, though it is our first priority to even eat and drink to God's glory (1Cor 10:31), these two concerns cannot be divorced from one another, rather they exist in what Pastor MacArthur calls a "divine tension." The concern for the glory of Christ and the consideration of others' sentiments is not divided, but unified in the reality that we can exalt Christ by considering other's feelings and ideas. I pray this mindset that God has put in the hearts of our team would echo throughout the next 2 weeks, and that we would continue to remind each other daily of the abounding grace of our Lord, first exampled to us on the Cross at Calvary.

Thanks to all of you for your continuing prayer and loving support of our team. It is our prayer that God's Word would continue to dwell in your hearts for His worship above every other priority that so easily creeps in due to our filthy depravity. Soli deo gloria! 2 Cor. 5:16-17

- Morgan P

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Howdy from Tirane, Shiptare (Tirana, Albania)! As I write this we are soon going to be splitting up, some of us to visit the ABC Clinic (missionary hospital) and some to the Albanian version of Chinatown, haha. After that we are all meeting at the Tawainese building for pool and bowling. As random as this sounds, it is our mission and goal to build relationships with the Albanians and consequently share with them the love and grace of our Savior. For security reasons hopefully understood, I can't get much more specific than this.

As we have only been here now for 2 days, there is unfortunately not much to share, but I assure you in the next few days a lot will be happening as classes start tomorrow morning! As schedules change and plans get rearranged, we all have to remember as our awesome STM Coordinator once said, "the magic word in STM is flexibility." Our hope and prayer is that God would continue to exalt His amazing Name in our own hearts and also in our attitudes and character. As a team it's our mission to be without blemish and above reproach as ambassadors of the gospel.

It's coming up on the time that we're heading off for the clinic, so I'm going to have to leave very soon. PLEASE know that we are all praying for y'all, that your hearts would be admonished and grown by the Holy Spirit speaking through His Word. It's now time to leave, so please come back in the next few days for more updates! Soli Scriptura!

- Morgan
(Job 1:21)

Friday, June 24, 2005

15 till Take-off!

In a recent survey conducted by a major news journal the question was asked, "if there is one word that you would consider sums up your essential identity, what would that word be?" Of over two million people surveyed across the United States not one single person replied, "Christian." In fifteen hours 17 people, including myself, will be leaving LAX for the tiny nation of Albania. Please continue to pray that above every thought, every desire, every action, that God would be exalted in our hearts and with our lips without concern for situation or consequence. Though many people see what we're doing as worthy of praise and glory for ourselves, I pray that our attitudes would not be one of pride or self-worship, but only of the grace and mercy that our Father has given us first through His Son. Any mindset other than Biblical humility will not only be useless, but counterproductive for the sake of the gospel. Once again, all of the money and financial support that we have received has been an overwhelming blessing to our hearts, but your prayers are exceedingly invaluble as we minister in the coming weeks. Thanks again to all of you who have and continue to support this team, may God richly bless you and your families while we are away. Soli deo Gloria!

- Morgan

"I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified" (1 Cor. 9:23-27).

"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11).

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Contemporary Ethics: No Such Thing

Ethics, as defined by Merriam-Webster Online, are "the principles of conduct," or, "a guiding philosophy" (MW Online). As modern culture progresses, it is only fitting that a culture so steeped in hedonistic self-worship would approach the issue of ethics in a manner that seems to change with the times, and vary depending on circumstance and situation. Many times we hear about human ethics, business ethics, ethical education, and so on. There is even an entire organization devoted solely for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( As the world so quickly turns to self-glorification and various forms of idolatry on a daily basis, it is far too easy to see how this term has been so easily misconstrued. In order for one to claim to have a truly Biblical worldview, he must be uncompromisingly set in the same manner that the great Puritan pastor of the Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, once stated: "Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory." The purpose of life and all existence for that matter is endowed by our Creator. Each human's purpose on this earth is not unique, however each is responsible and will be held accountable for how he handles it. In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul states, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God" (emphasis added) (1 Cor. 10:31). The seriousness of Paul's message is found not only in his use of language, but in the very words themselves. Eating and drinking to God's glory? There is no prescribed method in Scripture for how one is to do this, but rather it is a condition of the mind, which ultimately starts in the heart. What college do I go to: where can I most glorify God? Should I date this person: can I glorify God more? Should I go out to eat or make a sandwich at home: what will most glorify God? For anyone to truly claim a Biblical worldview, they must have this attitude, this mindset, this purpose. What will most glorify God in any situation or circumstance; regardless of the consequences. This is the only time any decision or practice can legitimately be labeled ethical.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thanks Jan, thanks a lot.

Recently I had a brief conversation with a lady I work with, she's Mormon. She boldly proclaimed to me as we closed the store one night, "you know what turned me off about Christianity? One time I was watching the 'Christian' channel on TV, and I saw a lady wearing big diamond rings and pink hair, and she was begging me for money... that's when I became Mormon." After explaining to her that people like Jan Crouch, and most of the people on TBN--the "Christian" channel--are not preaching the true gospel, she still wouldn't believe it. Friends, this is the impression the world is getting about Christians. Though its more prevalent today than ever, Satan doesn't need Playboy or Marilyn Manson anymore, he's got Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, and a truck-load of other false teachers, just pick your poison. Satan isn't working hard to infiltrate the church anymore, he has way more than his foot in the door. Rather, it appears that many times he's the very one speaking from the pulpit. Let's pray that God would continue to raise up His men to boldly yet humbly proclaim the inerrant truth from the Word of God, to "be ready in season and out of season," (2 Tim. 4:2) and that He alone would be exalted through the repentance of sinners. Later in the night another girl asked me, "you're a Christian right?" to which I replied, "only by God's grace." I pray that the Lord would continue to grow our hearts more in tune with His Word for His Worship, always seeking to proclaim His wonderful Name above all things! Soli deo gloria!

"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11).

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Recently my friend Genci told me about an internet program that would allow he and I to talk through the internet, just as if it were a telephone- absolutely free. At first I had reservations: the quality will be bad, it'll be complicated, etc. Recently I was over at my friend Josh's house, and I noticed that he too had this program. "Oh yeah! It's great, watch this..." Ring, ring... hello? Just like that his dad, all the way in the tiny village of Polokwane, South Africa, answered. The connection was so clear it was as if Mr. Beakley (Josh's dad) wasn't even on a phone, but sitting across the dinner table! All you need is a microphone connected to your computer ($14.99 at Wal-Mart) and of course speakers. It's as easy as that! Thanks Skype for connecting us all for free!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Being from the south, it's kind of expected that people learn how to cook, at least enough to keep them from starving in college! Last night my mom taught me how to make an extremely easy but awesome Italian Baked Chicken. I can't give away the secret recipe, but let me say this- bam! I felt like Emeril Lagasse, only with a southern accent, haha. This delicious meal was started and in the oven in less than 3 minutes- no kidding. For a taste of my new specialty, come on over and I'll have to make it for you! Praise be to our Lord for boneless, skinless, chicken breasts- they make life SO much easier! Y'all have a great rest of the week!

"And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

Monday, May 16, 2005

Hey guys! I recently added a new link to the sidebar on the right. It's a link to This is the site of Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. I'd encourage anyone who reads my blog (which isn't many, so thank you very much whoever is reading right now, haha) to click over there whenever you think about it. Before you write off Dr. Mohler as being a stale seminary professor, read a couple of his blogs and you'll see that he is anything but dated. His insight isn't mere opinion, but daily wisdom from the word of God on very relevant issues today. Thanks again for reading!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth

Forgive me if I can't stop raving about this book by recent graduate of UCLA, Ben Shapiro. It's absolutely staggering the quotes, facts, and statistics that are accumulated in this book regarding the obscenely one-sided, liberal, nature that is found so often in the modern realm of academia. In one paragraph Shapiro writes,

Liberal Democrats dominate the university scene... the percentage of Democrats teaching in the university system closely parallels the percentage of communists in the Cuban government... At Williams College, there are only four registered Republican professors on campus out of two hundred professors. At Brown University, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 54-3; at Berkeley, 59-7; at Stanford 151-17; at the University of California at San Diego, 99-6. Stanford's History Department has twenty-two democrats but only two Republicans. Cornell's has twenty-nine Democrats and zero Republicans. Dartmouth's has ten Democrats and no Republicans. At the University of Colorado at Boulder, the English, History, and Philosophy Departments have a combined sixty-eight Democrats, and not a single Republican. At that same university, 184 of the 190 social science and humanities professors identified themselves as Democrats.

It's also amazing how far left some of these professors can go. Regarding the topic of economic theory, Shapiro goes on to write,

Professor Richard Sklar of UCLA described socialism as a "great idea" and communist dictator Mao Tse-Tung as a "great leader." Implementation of socialism has resulted in more deaths than all the international wars of the twentieth century combined. Is socialism really a "great idea?" Mao caused the deaths of millions of his own people. Does that constitute great leadership?... An assigned article for UCLA's Geography 5 course in Winter 2001 stated, "'market-oriented' systems of production and distribution do not have a good track record of feeding people, nor in tackling the underlying structures of poverty which consign over one quarter of the world's population to hunger." That's a surprise. Last time I checked, non-"market-oriented" systems had starved twenty million people in the USSR, thirty million in China, and millions more thoughout the world. Guess I must have missed the part in America's history where its market-oriented system killed millions of citizens.

Regarding social and ethical controversies, Shapiro again writes,

UCLA Professor Kenneth Schultz says, "Republicans have not historically been the party of human rights." Oh. So all that stuff about Lincoln and the slaves was a big lie?

It's truly amazing how far left today's universities, specifically professors, have shifted. In a final statement Shapiro writes, "On a wide variety of issues, the professors hew to the party line, and that means Right can do no right. It's no coincidence, and it's an educational travesty."

Thanks again for reading- y'all have an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?

I'm convinced that procrastination is slowly ruining our lives. And I blame my depravity for that, because if I wasn't a sinner, I would always have my priorities in order! Should I work on that essay or watch basketball? Oh, I should work on the essay- but click, on comes the NBA Playoffs! It's amazing how much of a grasp pleasure and pointless wastes of time take up my attention. Thank the Lord that He resets our minds to focus on Him, because if our salvation were up to us, I'm confident that we'd put that off until the last minute as well. Soli deo Gloria! 1 Cor. 10:31

Monday, May 09, 2005


Hey thanks so much for reading my blog! I hope y'all enjoy it! Thanks again- hope to talk to you guys soon!