Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sunday Morning Sermon for 5/29/11

This past week was a fun Sunday for me despite the fact that a lot of folks were out of town for the holiday weekend.  My parents have been visiting and I was able to talk my dad into helping me out by assisting with leading singing during worship.  The sermon this week is about our walk of discipleship in Christ.  The primary text is from Philippians 3 with part of 4 tagged in as well.  May God richly bless you through His Word.

How to Walk

Philippians 3:1-4:9

Sermon notes 5/29/11

  1. Circumcision of the Heart

    1. Worship in Spirit and in Truth – John 4:23-24

    2. Paul’s “blameless” statement – v. 6

    3. Worthless? or How Much More? – v. 8-9

  2. Attaining the Resurrection – v. 9-16

    1. Not Perfect

    2. Making it his own

    3. Holding true to what we have attained

  3. Walking is Living

    1. Walk like Paul

    2. Walking as enemies of Christ

    3. What is the difference? – v. 19-20; 4:1-9

Categories: Acts, Disciples, Epistles, Podcasts, Sermon | Leave a comment

Harold Camping -Twice Bitten and Still Not Shy

As bad as the storm damage has been to witness this spring (and it has hit areas that I am very familiar with), I am just as concerned with the spiritual damage that folks like Harold Camping have caused with his false prophecies and predictions.  As I previously wrote, May 21, 2011, was not the date of the rapture or judgment or anything else specific in regard to God’s appointed times.  As for his now revised date of October 21, 2011, I will just tell you now that it also does not fall on any of God’s appointed times.  The only thing on the calendar for that date is Simchat Torah, which marks the beginning of a new Torah cycle.  It is hardly an ominous date in God’s previously revealed character.  I am confident to say that Camping’s latest grasp at another straw will prove to be fruitless indeed.

Word out now is that Camping has resorted to the JW’s defense.  He is trying to claim that the rapture did happen on May 21, but that it was “spiritual.”  This tactic isn’t new; it has been used by false prophets before Camping and it will probably be used by false prophets that are yet to come if the Lord tarries long enough.  I would instead call your attention once again to Scripture:

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.  – Matthew 24:23-28

I have already posted some of my own thoughts regarding the Rapture and you are welcome to peruse them if you like.  Suffice it to say that I am not going to buy in to the predictions of those like Harold Camping.  He has been proven false a second time (once was already enough for me to disregard him).  Don’t put your trust in men; instead you should search God’s Word for yourself and test and try these teachers against the Truth.  Camping has been measured and found wanting.

My prayer is that those who have been deceived by him to this point will awaken and seek the truth.  I noted that the site run by the believer of Camping’s prophecies has not been updated in over a month.  He has had nothing to say since the failure of the “prophet” he believed in has become evident.  I pray that his eyes would be opened now that his false prophet has been exposed.  I pray that for them all, so that the devastation will not continue.  It would seem that Harold Camping has no shame after being prove false.  I highly doubt that the third time in October will be the charm, either for him being right for once or for him admitting he has been wrong all along.

Categories: America, Apologetics, Bible Misunderstandings, Christianity, church, devotional, End Times, False Teachers, Heresy, Kingdom, Messiah, Prophecy, Signs of the Times, theology, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday Morning Message for 5/22/11

We had a special guest in our congregation this past Sunday.  Mark Snowden from the North American Mission Board (NAMB) was in our area to teach a workshop on Bible storying and we had the privilege of having him visit with us and share from God’s Word.  I don’t have any notes to post up, but the main text used was from Acts 10 as Bro. Mark relayed the story of Peter and Cornelius.  I pray that you will be richly blessed through God’s Word.

Categories: Acts, Disciples, Forgiveness, Gospel, Matthew, Parables, Podcasts, Sermon | Leave a comment

Spiritual Warrior or Cannon Fodder

A few days ago I got involved in a discussion over at SBC Voices regarding the merits of home schooling versus public schooling.  There was plenty of heated rhetoric to go around and one of the big pro public school arguments was the idea that Christian kids can be a witness in the public school system.  My normal response to this line of argument is that it sound good in principle, but that it has some serious flaws.

Firstly, I don’t think it would be a good idea to send a six-year old into a mission field like the public school under any circumstance.  Young kids are simply not going to be equipped for the conflict.  I would liken it to sending troops into battle without putting them through basic training first.  Older kids/young teens who have been thoroughly equipped and grounded in a biblical worldview and who have the experience and maturity to handle the kinds of situations that they will run into in a public school setting would be a totally different conversation.  But I don’t see the missionary argument as a compelling reason to stick a kindergarten age kid into a public school, particularly given the kinds of things that are going on in many (not all) public schools around the country for which there are too many stories to list.

But of course the biggest problem with the missionaries to the public school argument is that some schools are simply going to “shut down” the missionary efforts by silencing the missionaries.  This story comes from Texas, part of the Bible belt south if you will.

According to the Liberty Institute,in the first incident, officials banning 8-year-old Jonathan Morgan from handing out candy canes with Jesus’ name on them to classmates at a school party.

“Then they confiscated a little girl’s pencils after school because they mentioned ‘God,'” the Institute reported.

But that’s not all, the group said.

“They even banned an entire classroom from writing ‘Merry Christmas’ on cards to our troops serving in Iraq.”

The school officials are arguing “that the First Amendment does not apply to elementary school students,” explains the appeal brief submitted by Liberty Institute.

They are claiming that the case is a dispute of “first impression,” – that is, the first time the question has been raised. Swanson and Bomchill are urging “that the First Amendment does not apply to elementary school students.”

This school district is ignorant beyond belief if they are seriously trying to claim that this is the “first time the question has been raised.”  In all reality, this kind of tactic has been going on for years and here is the kicker.  In many cases, by the time the situation can be resolved in a court of law, the student is several years on down the educational road and it hardly matters anymore.  Each new incident becomes its own case and another claim of “this is the first time this has come up” can be uttered I suppose.

We live in an area where I wouldn’t be afraid of an anti-Christian bias in the local schools and yet we still choose to home school (actually we made our choice to do so before any of our kids was even born so it has nothing to do with our local school system whatsoever).  I want my kids to learn and better yet know how to learn more on their own; and given the temperaments and personalities of my kids, I am positive that we can do more for them ourselves regardless of where we live.

I have many friends in our local school system, both teachers and administrators.  I haven’t had a lot of discussions with them about the state of modern education but I think it might be an interesting topic to talk about someday.  I imagine part of the problem comes from the fact that education is being more and more removed from local control to a Federal standardization sort of setup from what I can see.  This might explain some of the problems I have noticed even at our local level.  I was shocked, saddened and surprised to discover that one of our local 8th graders didn’t have a history class at all in this past year of school.

No history class at all  for the entire year.

Ever heard of the phrase that those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it?  What happens to those who never get to learn it in the first place?  I suppose they won’t even recognize the deja vu when it hits.

Back to the original point.  I am all for raising up spiritual warriors to fight for the Kingdom of God and advance the Gospel, but if you think you are able to adequately train your kid by the time he/she turns five and send them into the battlefield that is the public school (and even some private schools), you have bought a lie and are deluding yourself.  In reality, you have just served up some cannon fodder for the enemy to start taking pot shots at.  Will your little one survive the experience?  Possibly, as in any warfare there are often some that survive being in the direct line of fire at the front lines (I am always amazed at the accounts of the survivors of D-Day and similar battles) and it is always possible that you can stick a guy on the front lines with a gun and little or no training and “get lucky” occasionally.  Personally, I prefer to spend a little more time putting my kids through basic training so that when the day comes to enter the war without the help of the “drill instructor” at their side, they will be fully equipped for the battles that lie ahead.

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sunday Morning Sermon for 5/15/11

We had a wonderful time in worship this Sunday.  It was good to see so many out on such a beautiful Sunday morning.  The spring-like weather looks like it might be around for a while yet and that is always cause for celebration around these parts.  This week’s sermon asks, “where’s your focus?”  Audio link is below as well as sermon notes.  May God richly bless you through His Word.

Where Is Your Focus?

Psalm 37:1-40

Sermon notes 5/15/11

  1. Focus on the Lord – v. 4

    1. Delight yourself in the Lord – Colossians 3:1-4

    2. The desires of your heart

    3. The path that you walk – Colossians 3:12-17

  2. God will take care of you – Psalm 37:16-26

    1. Matthew 6:33-34

    2. Delight in the way of the Lord – v.23 (Colossians 1:9-14)

  3. Salvation is from the Lord

    1. It cannot be found anywhere else – John 14:6; Acts 4:12

    2. Find refuge in the Lord – v. 40 (Colossians 3:3-4)

    3. Repent from evil and trust in the Lord

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Update for OneWord2011

Embarked on a new/old phase for growth yesterday.  As you may remember, one of my goals is to “shrink” as I grow.  I had noticed that one of my old high school friends has been doing something called C25K lately in posts on her facebook status.  My curiosity finally got the better of me a couple of days ago and I looked it up.

Turns out that C25K stands for “couch to 5K (as in kilometers).  It is a training method for working up from couch potato to able to run 5K in nine weeks time.  I have tried to pick up runningjogging for some time now, but with my flat feet and serious out-of-shapeness, it hasn’t gone so well to this point.  This afternoon, with nice weather as my companion, I decided to embark on the first day’s run.  It is very simple: five minute warm-up walk followed by 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking alternated back and forth for 20 minutes and a finishing five minute cool-down walk.

I set out with high hopes and got through the warm-up and first leg of jogging and walking with no problem really.  Second set of jogging/walking identified some serious cramping issues in my calf and some real pain in my feet (flat feet are not my friend).  I gutted my way through a third set and started to wonder if I could even make it back to the house, and feeling that any more jogging was pretty much out of the question.

I got back into the house and sat down for a moment and my cramping and pain began to subside.  I took a drink and cooled down for a minute and the decided that maybe I could give it one more go to try and finish out the workout, but this time I headed for the park, where Amelia and the kids had gone while I went out for my run.

I made it to the park and managed to get the rest of the jog/walk sets in as I made a circuit around the perimeter of the park (which seemed to help my psyche a little knowing I could stop and sit if I had to rather than have several blocks or so to make it home if something bad happened).  Next time, I am going to try doing the whole run at the school running track just up the street.  I think it will help me out a bit more.

The good news though is that my phone tracked me as having covered nearly two miles in my jog/walk which is pretty amazing to me.  I think that by and large I haven’t suffered any lasting effects pain-wise, although I took some Aleve last night before going to bed.

Chalk up another success in the growth exploits for this year.  Day one of week one of C25K down with days two and three of this week and three days of eight more weeks to go.  I will keep you posted.

Categories: Fun, Fun in the Northland, Growth, Health, Humor, personal | 2 Comments

Funny Friday Dontcha Know

Apparently, the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar” may also mean, “where is the bathroom?” if you choose to believe the family of an Arab man arrested on a recent flight in the US.  He was banging on the cockpit door while yelling that phrase according to witnesses on the plane, but his family is sure he was just having a “potty emergency”

The Yemeni man who was wrestled to the floor after pounding on the cockpit door of a plane approaching San Francisco may have mistaken it for the bathroom.

Rageit Almurisi cannot speak English very well and could have misunderstood the signs inside the jet, his cousin claimed.

The maths teacher, who was heard yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he allegedly battered the door, had also only been on three planes in his life and would have been unfamiliar with the layout.

Hope you like text messages, because the government wants to be able to send them to you whether you like it or not.  You can opt out of some of the messages, but apparently will be required to receive the all-important “presidential blasts.”  Why is this funny?  The irony of a system that will likely be useless is some of the events when it is really needed.  One of the stories I read had a quote from someone who mentioned that there was no “cell service” for much of the day on 9/11 in NYC.  Reasonableness never stopped them before and I don’t expect it will now.

Finally, a story that deserves a post of its own, which I will sure get to at some point soon.  Some scientists are going to try and solve the problem of “evil.”  I am not optimistic about his efforts when his definition is so flimsy:

His proposal is that evil be understood as a lack of empathy — a condition he argues can be measured and monitored and is susceptible to education and treatment.

His proposal is that evil be understood as a lack of empathy — a condition he argues can be measured and monitored and is susceptible to education and treatment.

He plans to “measure” this exactly how?  Since he later states that empathy is a “skill,” I imagine that he would have to say that those who are truly evil are basically unskilled.  Thus, evil can be defeated by. . . education, I suppose.  I wait with no optimism whatsoever for this one.

Categories: America, Atheists, Culture, Fun, Humor, personal, politics, Science | Leave a comment

Making a List and Checking It Twice

Nope, I am not Santa, and I am not referring to Santa.  There is a tradition in the blogosphere of doing “list posts” at special times.  I don’t know where I read about it first, but I have seen it in many places.  Since I just hit the 500 post milestone for this blog (which is kinda hard to believe), I thought I would do a list of the 50 things I have learned from blogging.

    1. Compliments are rare and treasured things.
    2. Complaints on the other hand are numerous.
    3. Hot topics get hits and lots of comments.
    4. Topics everyone agrees about get nothing but silence.
    5. Blogging can be fun.
    6. Blogging can be frustrating.
    7. Blogging can be maddening.
    8. Blogging can be a lot of work.
    9. I enjoy writing more than I thought I did.
    10. The previous one is only true when I am not writing by hand.
    11. I don’t like to write by hand anymore now than I did when I was a kid
    12. You can make wonderful friends through blogging that you will (regretfully) likely never meet in person.
    13. You can make vicious enemies through blogging that you will (thankfully) likely never meet in person.
    14. I thought making a list was supposed to be an easy post, why did I have to do 50 when I am already running out of things to say at 14?
    15. Lists are a handy shortcut to spurring creativity.
    16. Twitter isn’t as evil as I thought it was.
    17. But it isn’t far from it.
    18. Apple is as evil as I thought it was (had to say it).
    19. Blogging by smartphone is not easy.
    20. Blogging by netbook is only slightly better.
    21. I seem to be 10 times more creative at 1 AM than I am at 1 PM.
    22. The above statement is only true when I haven’t yet gone to be before 1 AM.
    23. This number is reserved for something truly weird (if you are still reading this statement, I forgot to put something weird in) [hey wait, I thought this list was being checked twice] {maybe this is weirder than anything else I could have put here after all}  I suppose I could just leave it like this then.
    24. I did part of this post from my phone just because I can
    25. I could never have imagined that I would have been able to blog from my phone when I first started blogging so many years ago.
    26. I had to re-edit the bits I added from my phone so I have now checked this list more than twice, but I have learned that post titles should be catchy so I am keeping that as-is.
    27. You aren’t supposed to talk about politics or religion in “polite conversation” but a lot of blogs are built around one or both.
    28. I guess that means blogging isn’t always polite conversation.
    29. Writing 500 posts with an average of 500 words means I have written at least 250000 words on this blog, that is like a huge book.
    30. I don’t think anyone is rushing to give me a book deal anytime soon though.
    31. Frankly, I am often surprised that anyone reads this blog regularly outside of my family (even they are probably not every post readers, except maybe my wife).
    32. The number of subscribers is always in a state of flux, now that I think about it (I have at least two most of the time).
    33. It is amazing to see people from other countries reading the blog.
    34. I just remembered that sometimes sports blogging can be just as vicious as political blogging.
    35. Did I mention that I do most of my blogging late at night?
    36. For every good or witty thing I come up with, there are at least as many dumb or lame things to go with them.
    37. It took me years to get over looking at the blog stats as a measure of my “success” in blogging.
    38. Being a part of a blogging team is a lot more fun than I expected it would be.
    39. The internet is further proof that there really is nothing new under the sun.
    40. Did I mention that a list of 50 things is quite a lot really?  Maybe I haven’t learned that much after all.
    41. Blogging is like journaling for an audience for me.
    42. That doesn’t make me a journalist, does it?
    43. I think better when I am typing, although not as good as when I am talking.
    44. I am blessed to have the opportunity to even write at all.
    45. Looking back at the things I have written over the years, reminds me how much I have changed and grown.
    46. There is no way that I want to try a list of 100 things when I reach my 1000th post.
    47. I reserve the right to change my mind about that and pretty much anything else I have written.
    48. God can use even blogging for His glory.  He is good that way.
    49. Blogging is vanity at some level, thank you Ecclesiastes.
    50. Thank you to all those who have stopped by to read this blog and those who come to read in the future and a special thank you to all of those who have commented at some point along the way.

That’s it.  I probably learned a lot more, but none of it comes to mind at the moment, so I will leave it at this.

Categories: Fun, Growth, Humor, One Word, personal, politics, Southern Baptist, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Sermon from 5/8/11

Sunday morning’s message was interesting indeed.  I had the opportunity to preach at another church here in town earlier in the morning (which I always enjoy) and this was a message that seemed to hit close at both churches this week.  Even more so, I had three separate things from the sermon (maybe more, I wasn’t counting them) that showed up independently throughout the day as well.  When God wishes to speak to you, He has a way of making Himself heard in my experience.  I pray that God speaks to you as well through His Word.  May you have a blessed week.

Don’t Worry About Your Life

Luke 12:22-48

Sermon notes 5/8/11

  1. Why Worry? – v. 22-34

    1. Clothes, food, essentials are covered – v. 22-23, 31

    2. What can worry do? – v. 26

    3. Giving Your Life Away – v. 33; John 12:25-26

  2. Don’t Give Up on Service – v. 35-40

    1. Have your lamps lit – Matthew 5:14-16

    2. Don’t get weary or quit – Galatians 6:4-10

  3. You Mean Someone Else, Right?

    1. Whose Job Is It? – v. 41

    2. What do you know to do? – James 4:17

    3. The Accountability Principle – v. 48

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Funny Friday Is Here Again

For a leadoff, I cannot resist making a little fun of the headgear that one of the princesses wore to the wedding last week.  I didn’t see the wedding at all (we were at a conference at a campground without a TV in sight and it was nice), but when I arrived home after staying an extra night on the road thank to a end of April blizzard; I was treated to the sight of what might be the most hideous hat in all creation.  Luckily, others have gone the extra mile to truly make fun of the thing as befits such a monstrosity.  Of course, another article demonstrates that this bizarre hat problem is not new.

Turns out that TOTUS has some key help in teaching Obama how to really get the most out of his services.  I am just curious as to what goes in to teaching someone how to use a teleprompter anyway.  I wonder how all of us preachers deliver sermon after sermon without speechwriters and teleprompters.  I suppose, at least in my case, that it has something to do with the fact that I actually believe what I am saying.

Side note: I was listening to Rush yesterday and he went off on this rant about how Obama has to “hide” what he really thinks about things but I had already written the preceding part of this post the night before.  Synchronicity I suppose.

Speaking of Obama, his picture was at the top of a story I read this past week about how left-handed people are more affected by fear and more susceptible to things like PTSD and so forth.  I would have more to say about it, but as a left-handed person myself, I am afraid of what you all might think of me afterward.  I hope you realize the humor in that statement and I fear it won’t be lost on you because I really am left-handed (which does mean I am supposedly in my right-mind).  I would have to check to be certain, but I think that our last three presidents have all been left-handed in fact.  I don’t know what that says about the future of our country or even that it does.  Just thinking out of left field here.

Have a wonderful weekend and rest in the Lord.

Categories: Culture, Fun, Humor, politics | Leave a comment

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