Monthly Archives: July 2011

Baptist Boy Imbibes Can of Busch Water

Note: I know that posting has been sparse of late.  I have been busier than normal.  This post was written for SBC Voices and published there today.

I may have forever lost my chance to get a NAMB appointment this past week and I might have to turn in my Baptist credentials or something. I drank every drop of the contents of the can you see on the right here and I enjoyed doing it (I also took this photo in a Lutheran church so who knows what is happening to me). I am writing a little tongue-in-cheek, although some may take me too seriously to be sure. This little can of water got me thinking this past week. I would like to share some of those thoughts with you.

There is often a great deal of discussion about alcohol on this blog and I am not about to open that can of worms again (if someone tries to derail this comment thread with another alcohol argument I will delete the comments myself, unless Dave beats me to it). Suffice it to say that I cannot find a single verse that says something like “thou shalt not make beer.” I don’t drink beer or any other alcohol for that matter as a point of personal preference and conscience, but I have to hand it to the folks at Anheuser-Busch for the work they do getting drinking water into disaster areas.

I spent four days last week serving as a Disaster Relief Chaplain in flood-ravaged Minot, ND. We were asked to come in by the Red Cross in order to provide some care and calm in the shelters they are currently administering for those who have been displaced by flooding in and around the area. By all accounts, our ministry has been of great benefit already in meeting that need and I am looking forward to going back in again during the coming weeks as I have opportunity (most likely this week as well). During my time there, I saw these cans of water at the shelter. I have heard of them before (notably after Katrina), but unless you are in a disaster area where water is needed desperately you may never see one in person. I have to give props to SBC Disaster Relief as well. Since very early in this disaster we have had folks on the ground offering all kinds of help: water, clothing, personal items, food and so forth. The first trip I made to the area almost four weeks ago was with a mission team to deliver a trailer full of bottled water and other supplies in fact.

After seeing the cans, I was reflecting on the words of Matthew 25, so much so that I preached on that passage this past Sunday. It strikes me that the folks who came up with the idea of doing this at Anheuser-Busch are exactly like those who are mentioned in Matthew 25. When told that they saw the King thirsting and gave Him water to drink, these people are befuddled. They never even realized what they had done. Frankly, it probably doesn’t occur to some of us religious folks just how stunning this passage is until we put it in a context like this.

There are lots of believers who take this kind of thing to heart and heed the words of Jesus, but we have to be completely honest. There are also those who claim to be believers who never give a second thought to passing out some water to those in need or meeting the needs of those around them. And that brings me back to the stunning image that Jesus’ words evoke. I imagine these are the folks who will be completely shocked on that day, when Jesus says well done good and faithful servant to a guy or guys from Anheuser-Busch and tells the “believer in their own mind” that He never knew them.

P.S. Just so you know, the water doesn’t really taste great (it is kind of metallic from the can), but I am pretty sure it is less filling. And the Lutheran church referenced above is housing a few of us SBC disaster relief workers in their facility just north of our church where the command post is located.

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Sunday Morning Sermon for 7/24/11

We are taking a one-week break from the sermon series covering the 10 Commandments this week.  The primary reason is that I spent part of last week serving as a chaplain in Minot with our Dakota Disaster Relief team.  There wasn’t a formal outline for this sermon in the bulletin so I just offer the audio file for you here.  The main text comes from Matthew 25:31-46.  May God richly bless you through His Word.

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Sunday Morning 7/17/11

I plugged in the recorder to download the audio from yesterday and suddenly realized that I never hit record.  So there is no audio at all from yesterday.  I will try and keep my mind working next Sunday and get the recording made.  I will blame this week on the hotter conditions in the sanctuary this past week.  If you think about it, please pray for me later in this coming week as I will be heading to Minot to help as a Disaster Relief Chaplain for several days.

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Friday Fun for Your Enjoyment

It is another installment of funny stuff that I have saved just for this Friday post.  We start in the land of the potentially gross, so those with weak constitutions may just want to skip down a bit.  Recently scientists discovered hundreds of new strains of bacteria in samples they took from belly buttons.  There are several ways to look at this.  One is that the belly button really can be a very disgusting place (although to be fair that isn’t the case for everyone as one of the guys who was swabbed had no bacteria at all).

Science writers Carl Zimmer (who blogs at Discover) and Peter Aldhous (from New Scientist) each donated a swab, and while Aldhous’ sample failed to yield bacterial colonies, Zimmer’s sample was apparently flush with life. Some species in his microbiome have previously only been found in the ocean, he writes. Another one, a species called Georgenia, has only been found living in the soil in Japan. Zimmer has never been, he writes.

I will leave to science the great mysteries of how a Japanese bacteria gets in the navel of a scientist who has never been there.  I suppose that it will take a lot of navel gazing to unravel these abdominal mysteries. But enough with the puns.

Now, on to the category of irony can be so ironic.  I seem to remember the American version of this show, but the Netherlands iteration of “Worst Driver” had a rather more dubious result.  If you run over the show’s host, do you automatically win the competition?

In similarly ironic lines, part of California is trying to secede from the rest of the state.  Frankly, I would be happy if the whole state would stop trying to foist all their gibberish on us in the rest of the US.  The last good thing to come out of California was probably Ronald Reagan (no offense Steve).  If memory serves, our good friend Steve from theoldadam resides in the section of California that wants to secede.  Good luck with that out there.

Now for the cool band geek fun.  I found this the other day and I just love it.  A group of musicians who each play a part and get blended together to form a single piece.  This is way cool.  I think I might have to see if I can get a part in the next one.

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Camptown Races

Editor’s note: I thought I published this a couple of days ago, but it is still sitting here as a draft so I am publishing it now.  Also, look for a new installment of Fun Stuff for Friday later today.

I went to youth camp for the first time in four years last week.  It was a shortened camp because of the 4th of July, but I took along my oldest son and another young man from our church and drove 10 1/2 hours one way to have a couple of days retreat away from it all.  In doing this, I was reminded of a couple of reasons why I still love youth and working with young people.

1.  They can be really frustrating one minute and really amazing the next.  Funny things happen with teens.  Between the ever-unpredictable changes in mood and topic, you get the occasional real nugget of inspiration from those guys.  I started to question my own sanity a couple of times near the beginning of the trip and the first day of camp too; but by the end of camp, I was not only glad I had done it, I am making mental plans to do it again next year.

2.  It is good for all of us to get away once in a while.  This camp is somewhat remote, so cell phone service is basically nonexistent.  While there is some wireless internet signal in the camp, it isn’t much to speak of either.  For the better part of two days, I was mostly cut off from the phone, internet and a lot of distractions.  This was a good thing for me.  I have been getting into the habit of taking a weekly Sabbath from my electronics each Saturday and I have certainly enjoyed it.  But the temptation is always there to pick up the netbook or phone and just make a “quick check” of emails and such.  We all need away time.  Teenagers need this time more than most.  They have grown up in a world that is so hyperconnected it is startling.  Before we were even two hours away from camp, the older teen in my van (the one who isn’t my son) was already involved in 4 or 5 text conversations with people he had just said goodbye to at the camp.  If you are a young person, I would encourage you to slow down and unplug from time to time.  It is a healthy thing.

Moving on from camp, I have just been made aware that there has been a request for disaster relief chaplains in Minot as the situation in human terms gets more difficult.  Battling floodwaters is far easier than dealing with the human condition (especially under pressure from stress).  Please pray for me and others who will deploy to help in Minot in the coming weeks.

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Sunday Morning 7/10/11

We are continuing our look at the 10 Commandments.  This week I shared about the commandment to not take the name of the Lord in vain from Deuteronomy 5:11.  God has been showing us some powerful truth in His Word as we continue this study.  I pray that you will be richly blessed as well.

P.S. This is a shorter sermon than my usual.  Enjoy.

Taking God’s Name in Vain

Deuteronomy 5:11

Sermon notes 7/10/11

  1. The Usual Understanding

    1. Not using God’s name as a curse word

    2. Not uttering God’s name needlessly

      1. Circumlocutions

      2. Modern parallels

  2. The Deeper Meaning

    1. Not Emptying God’s Name

      1. Swearing an unfulfilled oath

      2. Matthew 5:33-37

    2. Tarnishing God’s Reputation

      1. Ezekiel 36:16-21

      2. Dragging God’s name through the mud

    3. God’s Name must be hallowed

      1. Ezekiel 36:22-38; 39:7-8

      2. Matthew 5:14-16; 6:9

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Funny Friday Kind of Stuff

This collection has it all: irony, sad-humor, and more.  Let’s start with the ironic stuff.  I almost hate to call it funny because someone did die, but it is hard not to note the irony of the story of an advocate of “freedom from helmets” who dies precisely because he isn’t wearing one when he has a wreck.

State troopers tell The Post-Standard of Syracuse that 55-year-old Philip A. Contos of Parish, N.Y., was driving a 1983 Harley Davidson with a group of bikers who were protesting helmet laws by not wearing helmets.

Troopers say Contos hit his brakes and the motorcycle fishtailed. The bike spun out of control, and Contos toppled over the handlebars. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Troopers say Contos would have likely survived if he had been wearing a helmet.

From the morbidly ironic, let us move to the seriously mentally challenged.  I have spoken about the insanity of the global warming hype before.  This week I have a trio of stories to highlight the absolute nuttiness these people espouse.  You might have caught stories of people snow skiing in the Sierras and elsewhere on the Fourth of July.  Granted they do get to wear shorts and bathing suits because of the “global warming.”  Oh wait, if there was global warming for real, we shouldn’t even have snow at all.

There are also problems with those claims for rising sea levels too.

Taylor’s takeaway: Be wary of sea level rise estimates.

“When Al Gore talks about Manhattan flooding this century, and 20 feet of sea level rise, that’s simply not going to happen. If it were going to happen, he wouldn’t have bought his multi-million dollar mansion along the coast in California.”

And fittingly with all of this environmental idiocy comes the story from Maryland about “environmental literacy.”  Based on the previous two shining examples, I am hopeful that it is a course in recognizing complete balderdash, but it appears to be worse than that.  This is a requirement for kids to graduate from high school in Maryland, but even its advocates can’t define what it is.

Sarah Bodor of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation supports the initiative and says there is no mandate.

 “People express concern about the content but what is important to know is that this new requirement doesn’t actually mandate any content at all.”
Actually, I suppose that is fitting indeed, since it pretty much sums up the nature of the entire global warming position: no content at all!
In a separate vein of scientific madness, those folks in Sweden have gone completely bonkers as well.  Apparently, it is now in vogue to completely ignore observable facts and even the on Time cover story, wherein their authors made the astonishing realization that men and women are different (and may even be born that way).  Now Sweden is setting the whole scientific discovery of gender difference back 30 years or so.
At the “Egalia” preschool, staff avoid using words like “him” or “her” and address the 33 kids as “friends” rather than girls and boys.From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don’t fall into gender stereotypes.

Never let it be said that these folks did anything that makes good sense.  Boys can pick up a stick and turn it into a gun inside of 5 seconds and a girl could pick of the same stick and turn it into a doll in the same amount of time.  Don’t let that stop them though.  It is too much fun to mock such senseless nonsense.

Finally, in the realm of bizarre, funny and touching all at once, I give you the story of the man who found out he had cancer after being hit by a golf ball.

When being checked out by emergency technicians, a doctor asked Logan about a lump below his throat and urged him to get it checked out. The lump turned out to be a malignant tumor on his thyroid — and the errant golf shot ended up saving his life.
That does it, I definitely need to play more golf.
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Sunday Morning 7/3/11

I pray that you have had a safe and happy 4th of July.  We had a great time in the Lord on the 3rd of July.  The sermon this week picks up again in the midst of our study of the 10 Commandments.  This week we are speaking about idolatry.  The notes are available for you to follow along below and to do more study on your own as you desire.  I pray that the Lord will bless you through His Word as we lift Him up in and through our lives daily.

We Cast Down Our Idols

Deuteronomy 5:8-10

Sermon notes 7/3/11

  1. What is Idolatry?

    1. Images that are worshiped – v. 8

      1. The reason behind it – Deuteronomy 4:15-24

      2. Even the substance – Deuteronomy 7:25-26

    2. Things/people that steal worship from God

      1. Colossians 3:5-7

      2. Ezra 8-9

  2. Modern Idolatry

    1. Covetousness – Colossians 3:5-7; Ephesians 5:5

    2. Sexual Temptation

      1. Ephesians 5:3-10;

      2. 1 Corinthians 10:12-15

    3. The Forms of Evil – 1 Corinthians 8; 1 Thessalonians 5:22

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Going to Camp

I have a fun week ahead.  We are headed off to youth camp in the Black Hills tomorrow and I will be gone until late Friday.  I am looking forward to camp more this year because I get to take my oldest son with me this time.  I am going to be doing a teaching track on Biblical storying and I am looking forward to that as well.

I have a Friday post pended and ready to publish at the end of the week.  I would have gotten the stories up last week, but I was too busy with company and other things going on as well.

I did want to share a story that it totally unrelated to camp and that didn’t necessarily fit the funny theme either.  We are going to be heading across some of the flooded areas of the state as we travel.  I was able to go to Minot last week as part of a team helping with some disaster relief work over there.  Please be in prayer for the people of Minot and also for those who are located along the Missouri river, which is seeing heavy flooding as well.  The amount of water in our area is also up and the rivers are mostly higher than they should be all around here.

I pray you have a great Fourth of July and that you celebrate true freedom, which is only found in Christ, not in country.

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