Monday, December 29, 2008


Everyday I

Sleep until I wake up

Eat until I'm full

Drink until I'm not thirsty

Shower until I'm clean

Dress until I'm fully clothed

And wonder why I don't desire Christ.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I'd like to be more intentional about evangelism.

My time is not my own.

If this means sitting through a crappy choir concert at Minneapolis Technical College on the outside chance that an opportunity might arise (it didn't), so be it.

And how can I complain when I get cookies and lemonade after? I didn't even have to give blood.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Boxer

I recently bought The Best of Simon and Garfunkel. Of the 20 songs on the album, at least 10 are very good. That's not a bad percentage.

A verse from "The Boxer" has caught my ear lately.

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains

I feel that part of the beauty of good writing is that explains itself, but allow me to risk a few words. I can relate to the image of a boxer, considered strong and proud, yet standing alone, holding onto the memories of those things which have hurt him in the past.

There's probably more to say, but I'll leave it at that. It's a good song.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ingredients for a good road trip

1 close friend (a Guy Magno or a Julie Stoner will do)
gas prices that drop the further you drive
1 I-pass (to be held against windshield while driving through toll as Julie laughs at you)
sunflower seeds to liking (original flavor best, BBQ or dill pickle acceptable, nacho cheese just gross)
1 spitter (empty pop bottle to spit seeds into)
Mr. Pibb
cheesy popcorn (and napkins to wipe cheese from fingers)

Mix in 1997 Chevy Lumina. Allow to sit for 6-14 hours, as desired. Rest frequently for potty breaks (if with Julie) or less frequently (if with Guy). Supplement with solid conversation, and if desired, pull "the switch" (use caution).

Avoid: driving without a friend, snow, politics, fast food more than once, missing exits, forgetting sleeping bags, uncharged cell phones.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seminary is great: I quit. An Ode to Laura.

For the readers living in the Eastern block.

Southern Seminary has been amazing. The guys I have met are fun and love Jesus. The chapel services are great. The professors are pretty much all published in their field, their books are used at other seminaries, and on top of that they are humble and approachable. I have learned a bunch and know that if I were to get a degree there I would be well prepared for the ministry.

So I'm quitting.

It's hard to live 800 miles from everyone you know and love.

Southern, while being one of the more affordable seminaries, still necessitates that I take out more student loans to add to the ones I already have from NDSU, and I hate the idea of being any more in debt.

The Bethlehem Institute, at Bethlehem Baptist, John Piper's church, is starting a four year M.Div. program next fall which will be unbelievably amazing, and I think I would regret not taking a serious look at.

So, I have decided to leave Southern, take a semester off of school, move in with Jess and Andy in Brooklyn Center, find a job somewhere, and apply at Bethlehem. That's the short version of the story.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

They're sitting on my desk, and I'll probably never use them, but I can't bring myself to throw them away

rubber band

several twisty ties

a randomly sized allan wrench

a small pamphlet entitled "The Baptist Faith and Message"

It all adds up to create: a cluttered desk

How about your desk?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random firing in the cerebral cortex

First of all he said,
'That's Wagner that you're playing
I've never heard of Petra
And isn't Megadeth all dead.'
And secondly, emphatically,
He asked me, 'What's the sense
of hanging out with houseplants
when, hey, I live right across the fence.'

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things that make me nervous

Sounds like a possible idea for a recurring post. Hmm...


Space heaters.

It just seems like anything that gets hot enough to roast a marshmallow shouldn't be sitting in the middle of your bedroom.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Someone had their proud pants on today

I thought of a story today that I meant to blog about but forgot.

A few weeks ago I went to the mall and bought a new pair of pants. Bear with me. As is the case almost all clothes that I buy, these pants were on sale. There were two racks of pants on sale. One rack cost $20, the other $15. The pair I bought were on the $20 rack.

I went to the counter to pay for them, and the girls behind the register were having trouble with the computer system (I know this because they were complaining that it had crashed earlier and still wasn't working right.) So, when the girl at the register I was at went to ring the pants up, she had to manually enter the sale price, which was not on the tag. The girl next to her looked at the pants and said, "They are on sale for $15."

Ding ding. An opportunity for Josh to reveal his character has just presented itself. I could easily let this slide and save $5 on a pair of pants.

A few thoughts flashed through my head: "Josh, you have been called to be faithful in the little things." "Josh, these cashiers probably don't know Jesus, maybe this could be an opportunity." These are good thoughts, encouraging thoughts that indicate the Lord is drawing me to himself and making me more like him.

Unfortunately, Josh Koehn is a dirty little sinner, and this thought also entered my head: "Josh, congratulations. You are such a good person. Most people would take that $5 without flinching, but not you. You're better than that. In about two seconds, these girls are going to compliment you for doing the right thing. You really are impressive."

So I tell the cashier that the pants actually came off the $20 rack. And she said...nothing. "Ok, $20. Thanks for shopping at Aerostaple (that's how it always sounds in my head)." She was not in the least impressed that I had done the right thing.

I walked out the store with a simple prayer. "You win God."

Matthew 6:1
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people inorder to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The vision of him was the death of me

Sometimes I wish it were easier to follow Christ. I wish the cost were less.

John 6 was important for me today.

v.60 "When many of his disciples heard it, they said, 'This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?'"

Jesus then essentially calls his disciples out, saying that "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." (63-64a) Notice that Jesus doesn't coddle them, softening his stance and accomodating their needs so that he won't lose numbers.

The disciples reaction is predictable "After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him." (66) Following Jesus is hard. It requires absolute committment. Many (not a few) of his disciples weren't up for it. Bummer. Bigger bummer that I can relate.

But I can relate to this next part as well. "So Jesus said to the Twelve, 'Do you want to go away as well?' Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.'" (67-69)

Yeah, I could walk away from it all. But this world does not compare to what I've tasted and seen in Christ. You could say that Christ has ruined me. In such a good way.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jim Koczur and sanctification

Sanctification is a process. I hate this. I would much rather it were an immediate, one time thing. Unfortunately that is reserved for justification.

In elementary school, I learned how to polka. God bless Upsala Elementary. As any self-respecting fourth grade boy can attest, this was the worst possible way to spend your gym class. I would much rather play indian pins (political correctness was not on the radar), big base, or floor hockey. But to have to learn the dish rag, the waltz, and other dances that I can't remember was sheer torture. Especially when you consider that we performed at halftime at a high school basketball game. I was so embarassed.

As I was thinking about how frustrating it is to be a saint but still a sinner, I thought back to the only dance Jim Koczur taught me that I didn't hate: the bunny hop. All I remember of the bunny hop is lining up with my classmates and "heel toe heel toe, heel toe heel toe. Forward, back, one, two, threeing" my way across the gym floor. A few steps forward, one step back.

A lot like sanctification. Sometimes I get it right. Other times I feel like I have my hands on the hips of the class smelly kid listening to polka from a cassette in a tinny-sounding boombox borrowed from Ms. Busman in the music room.

I need a God who works for me. And...done.

Jeremiah 32:37-41
"Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlating covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul."

That's good enough for me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yep, I'm a one issue voter

A) I said I wouldn't post on politics often
B) I should be writing my paper
C) Get over it

The election is in a few days. I already voted by absentee ballot. Honestly I hate politics. But I ran across something that I think is worth drawing attention to.

I have read Randy Alcorn's blog since I heard him speak at the Desiring God Conference in 2007. He is a pastor and an author. I have heard that some of his books are cheesy, but he is spot on with a lot of subjects. He is passionate about the pro-life movement, and I highly recommend his book "Why Pro-Life?" (I will post about it more later)

Today he made a post about the upcoming election, and I think he does a very good job of voicing how I feel on the subject.

Please read it before you vote, if for no other reason than to know why I vote the way I do.

Especially you, Guytano.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Guytano part 2

It was great to have Guy here. I've already been over that. If there are 5 good things about having him here, of course there are also 5 bad things.

5) It seemed like every ten minutes I got a text that said "Entertain me." For reals. I just counted. There were nine of them.
4) My dorm is honestly only big enough for one person. Two people is crowded. Especially when one is the biggest dummy I know.
3) Going to bed to the Lawrence Welk Show.
2) His visit came at the beginning of the hardest stretch of my semester, and overlapped for a day with my parents visiting, so I was being pulled in multiple directions, unable to spend as much time in each area as I wanted. I could have easily hung out with Guy all week, but just couldn't. It was a bummer.
1) It's hard to have one of my closest friends here, and then have them leave. I got spoiled.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Guytano part 1

My dear friend and brother Guy Magno came back from Minnesota to Kentucky with me to spend a week hanging out with me and looking at Southern Seminary. Regarding this visit, I have a few thoughts.

5 best things about Guy Magno visiting:

5) Pillow talk.
4) Playing disc golf with two pot heads, with whom we sowed some seeds, Lord willing.
3) Threatening to force feed him summer sausage, then getting a care package from my Grandma which included a 3-lb. log of summer sausage. It was epic.
2) Finding out Kyle was engaged and not reacting appropriately.
1) Iron sharpens iron. Guy is one of my closest friends, and challenges me in a lot of ways. Spending a week with him is good for my soul.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I haven't posted for a while. I'm at home for the week. I'll post more when I get back to school this week.

Right now I'm hanging out with my girlfriend.


Friday, September 26, 2008

The Great Debate

I just watched the first presidential debate. I don't like politics. I will vote for John McCain. For a few reasons, which I won't bore you with.

Just kidding.

Abortion. McCain is stronger on abortion. When I say stronger, I mean he seems to agree that it is wrong to kill babies. I won't I don't love the fact that people vote on one issue (namely abortion), and I'm not entirely voting on abortion, I also like what little I know about his other policies, such as foreign policy, but abortion is a deal breaker for me. I am hopeful that his choice of Sarah Palin is the best chance that has come along in a long time to reverse Roe v. Wade.

I thought McCain did well in the debate, and Obama was not impressive. I am not objective. Or well-informed. And I always think it's a little lame when conservatives complain about the "liberal media," but man, there is a lot of truth to it. Immediately after the debate, I saw a few reactions from a few networks, and they definitely made it look like Obama was impressive and McCain was not. Sheesh.

I will not say much on this blog about politics. I genuinely do not like them, and honestly know little about them. In summary, what I am saying is that abortion is murder and a big deal, the media is liberal and disappointing, and politics are frustrating.

Isaiah 2:22
"Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?"

Politics isn't the answer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sometimes I wish I didn't get it

Sometimes you read a passage from Scripture and you have a hard time understanding how your life relates to it.

Sometimes it you wish that was the case.

Proverbs 30:1-3

"The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One."

Luckily, it works both ways.

Isaiah 41:14

"Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

6 things I didn't expect when I moved here

I'm not off to a great start with this blogging business. I will try to be more regular.

I have some reading to do, so I'll keep this one short.

Of course moving to a new place, full of new people, in a new phase of life means things will happen that I didn't expect. Here are a few:

6) Hurricane Ike doesn't always feel like only causing damage along the coast. He sometimes also sends 80 m.p.h. gusts to Louisville, knocking down a bunch of trees, cutting the electricity, and giving Josh a week off of school.
5) Even with a week off of school, Josh will not catch up with his school work.
4) For a southerner, an important factor in whether or not a restaurant is good is the quality of the sweet tea.
3) When a speaker has done a particularly good job with his sermon, this is verbalized with a "Man, that preacher sure did shuck the corn. Slap down to the cob." If he was really good, he "dang near cleared a space and pitched a fit."
2) Opting for the non air-conditioned dorm because it was $60 cheaper for the semester is a great example of poor decision-making.
1) Twins games aren't on tv. Or the radio. And no one cares. At all.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Maiden Voyage

This is the moment you have all been waiting for. I am now a member of the blogosphere.

I have no idea what this will become, but I plan on posting matters of various concern, ranging from Twins baseball to the historicity of the gospels (something I'm just now learning about...don't worry, I'll try to keep things simple), and anything that catches my fancy in between.

I will also attempt to keep those of you from Minnesota and North Dakota updated on my Southern adventures. Perhaps I can even use this blog to replace real human interaction. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

If you were wondering, yes, I do base my self-worth on how many people read this blog.