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Dr. D.C. Martin of Grand Canyon College: A Teacher, A Mentor, A Friend, A Christian

I told some of my story about this great man in the description on the YouTube video, and I won’t repeat that here.  DC Martin was a great Christian man.  He truly had a heart of gold.  He passed away in December of 1995.  Shortly thereafter we had a memorial for him at the college.  I sat in the old gym and watched this video and cried like a little child.  I’ve wanted to get this video for years and, finally, I tracked it down on an old VHS cassette.  I am very, very happy to post it here.  I was privileged to have DC as a teacher many times.  He taught me much, and if you have learned from me over the years, well…here’s one of the main influences on me.  Listen to his words of wisdom.

My Quest, And How You Can Help

I began traveling to South Africa in 2013.  The opportunities of witness, ministry, and teaching, there in the heart of the land of Islamic Dawah have been incredible, and we can only hope the Lord will continue blessing our work in that land.  But as you know, it is costly to get there, and to travel about, and we look to our small cadre of supporters to made it happen.

As most of you know, I am an avid cyclist.  A few weeks ago I noticed something strange happening on my FB feed.  My good friend Doug McMasters was going nuts doing Sufferfest videos.  Sufferfest training videos are some of the toughest (and best) workouts you can do on an inside trainer.  We both have trainers that can be controlled by the computer, so, as we say, “There is nowhere to hide.”  When the video says you need to put out 350 watts of power—you have no choice.  The trainer will up the resistance so you have to put out 350 watts.  There’s no mercy in a Sufferfest video on a computer-controlled trainer!  You do one of those videos all out and you climb off exhausted.  But here was Doug doing one after another after another!

Well, I learned over the next few days what he had done.  He had become a Knight of Sufferlandria!  What is a Knight of Sufferlandria?  Well, a nut, basically.  To become a Knight you have to do ten Sufferfest videos (and none of the short ones count—they average right around a full hour) in a row, with only ten minutes time between them (barely time to use the restroom, change your bottle, and cue up the next video on the computer) all in one day.  Ten.  Of course, that’s nigh unto impossible.  It took Doug 12.5 hours to do it.  6,500 calories burned.  And you know how far he pedaled in that time?  250.2 miles.  In one day.  Insane, right?  Well, maybe…but I call him Sir Doug now!

What does any of this have to do with South Africa?  Well, they encourage you to raise funds for a charitable cause when you do your KoS (Knight of Sufferlandria attempt).  I thought about a lot of things, and then went, “Hey…I direct a non-profit organization, and we are doing missions work in South Africa!  Why in the world would I not combine this outrageous effort with raising funds for that work?”

So, here’s the scoop:  my KoS is Monday, March 16.  I will hit it at 6am MST (9am EDT), hoping to wrap up, if all goes well, around 6:30pm Monday evening. If you would like to encourage me in my attempt, or just want to help send me to Africa (for whatever reasons!), you can give toward my KoS at our travel link, found here.  Any help would be deeply appreciated, and I promise to work my hardest on Monday as well!

One of the Best Rides in Arizona

0613140649So I charged up the ol’ iPod and headed up to Prescott Valley this morning to do one of the greatest rides in Arizona.  Since I was going solo I took the time to stop a few times and snap some pictures, such as this one, looking down from Jerome toward Clarkdale and Cottonwood in the Verde River Valley.  The route takes you from Prescott Valley up over Mingus Mountain (7023 ft. asl at the top) then down through the “ghost town” of Jerome, a very quaint little town I confess I could not mind living in, to be honest.  From there it is a fast, winding 10km decent down to Clarkdale.  Then you just turn around and head back.  The climb up from Clarkdale to Jerome isn’t overly remarkable (though quite steep), but it is the climb out of Jerome up to the top of Mingus that is truly challenging.  Narrow, with breath taking views.

0613140754Early on in the climb out of Jerome you get this view looking back toward the Verde Valley.  It really does give you a good sense of how steep and narrow the ascent is.  I think that is the only pull out/parking area on the whole ride as I recall (other than the restroom at the very top of Mingus).  As you can see, it was a clear day, and the sun started warming things up real fast.  I was glad I started before sunrise!

0613140815Finally you get back toward the top of Mingus and this is one of the last views you have of the Verde Valley.  Remember, I’m afraid of heights, so learning to go flying down these roads on two thin tires took a little, uh, work.  Now I love it!

Here is a really cool graphic of the ascent map from today’s ride from Mesmeride, a really neat new website that takes your Strava readout and makes a neat image of it.

Prescott_ValleyMingusJeromeClarkdale_and_Back20140613-2-10tme3wSo what was I listening to?  Started with a lengthy JETS article on problems with Josephus’ chronology relating to the Herodian census; then got about halfway through a new book on homosexuality, and finished up making progress on the new Shaara work, The Smoke at Dawn.


Studies in Southern Presbyterian Theology

My time at Greenville Seminary is coming to a close. In fact, I will graduate from this seminary next Friday (Dr. John R. de Witt will give the commencement address). The Lord has used the professors at GPTS not only to shape me theologically, but modeled how to “walk in the same manner as He Himself walked” (1 Jn. 2:6). What a blessings the past seven years have been!

There is a course taking place this summer, that if you have the time, you’ll want to participate. Adjunct Professor, Dr. C.N. Willborn will teach a course on Southern Presbyterian Theology. Below is a short description:

For the past 50 years no one has taught more students about the theology of Southern Presbyterians than Dr. Morton H. Smith. This summer the legacy continues in South Carolina under the tutelage of Dr. C. N. Willborn, a student and colleague of Dr. Smith for the past several years. Recognized for his own contributions to American and Southern Presbyterianism, Dr. Willborn will survey the great doctrines of the Christian faith as set forth by the Southern luminaries. The contributions of R.L. Dabney, J.H. Thornwell, J.L. Girardeau, B.M. Palmer and Stuart Robinson will be highlighted along with those of their many students. These men were international Calvinists and continue to offer the church marvelous insight into the truths of God’s Holy Scriptures. Many of these studies will be offered on location in some of American Presbyterianism’s most historic sites, including two days in Columbia and Charleston. Consider this a vacation for those in love with truth.

Willborn was recently interviewed on the seminary podcast, discussing in more detail this particular course. Click here to listen.

A comment made during the podcast that encouraged me “Even sinful men God uses in great and wonderful ways, and that should encourage every pastor who knows his own wicked heart. That, yes, even with my wicked heart God can use me in the pulpit on Sunday. He can use me in the week visiting my flock.”

The two textbooks for the course are:

Studies in Southern Presbyterian Theology

Our Southern Zion: Old Columbia Seminary (1828-1927).

For cost and registration information click here.

I can not speak more highly of Dr. Willborn. He is a godly man, a great teacher, first rate theologian & historian, and knows how to tell a good story. You will be blessed to sit in class, and tour various historical sites with him.

In the past (before taking a call to FT pastoral ministry), Dr. Willborn taught our Old and New Testament Biblical Theology courses. Click here to listen an entire OTBT class from 2009.

Catching Up With Technology

We all know most things we buy in the tech world are planned to become obsolete in a relatively short period of time.  It’s a built-in aspect of the market, it seems, but it is also a function of the fact that thankfully, at least in many areas, technology continues to advance and progress.

This is a very small ministry, and hence I am personally dependent—very dependent—upon my computer.  I study on it, correspond on it, communicate on it, video record on it, manage all my debate audio and reading materials on it, do all my trip planning on it—suffice it to say, it’s a daily tool, my electronic secretary (since I do not have one), etc.

For a number of years a single individual has been such an encouragement in providing me with my ministry computer.  “We can’t let the bad guys have all the good toys!” he’d say.  I can’t tell you how encouraging it has been to have that kind of support behind me.

With the changes we have made recently (as you have probably seen on the DL, the new technology we are using, the ScreenFlow videos I’m doing, etc.), we turned our attention, finally, to my desk.  Yes, my desk.  It is so old it was designed only to have a single CRT on it (remember those?).  The legs have clear tape on them to hold the surface to the core.  We bought it last century, literally, and it has seen its age pass.  Further, the external monitor box we’ve been using to give me access to external monitors has likewise gone on to the great bit bucket in the sky.  So, we started looking into how to replace the aged with something that will last a while.

In the process we discovered something.  My current MacBook Pro has served me well.  It’s still got the old style hard drive, but I’ve never had any problems (though I do have to carry an external HD as well).  But we’ve run into a roadblock that only an upgraded unit can fix: its video capabilities.  I thought this thing was maybe 18 months old, seriously.  But when Rich asked me to get its technical specifications, I was shocked to see it identified as “Early 2011.”  How did that happen?  I know I’m getting old, but I really, really thought it was like late 2012.  Well, it’s video innards simply lack the umph to handle what we are asking it to do these days.  And since it is a laptop, we can’t upgrade individual components like you can a desktop unit.

So, we have put the various parts of a replacement unit on the MRL.  Now, the MRL used to be an Amazon wish list.  We had to replace that with something that gives us more control over the flow of funds so that we can cross our t’s and dot our i’s as far as donation credit is concerned.  Here is the current MRL, and you can see the various components of the new unit.  If you’d like to have a part in equipping yours truly with the single computer unit I traipse about the world with, write my books on, record videos on, use in debates, etc. and etc., well, I’ll be most thankful.