Monthly Archives: May 2012

A Fallen Brother-in-Arms

Some of you may already know that I write a devotional on weekdays.  I normally leave it to its own blog, but this one is being brought over here with a few additional thoughts and some formatting changes.

I got word Tuesday morning that a dear friend of mine, a fellow brother in Christ and a warrior for the faith had fallen in battle.  No, not on the fields of physical warfare in some foreign land.  This was a spiritual battle that claimed the highest toll.  I spent much of the day alternating between tears and disbelief.  There are all the questions that come in times of grief and loss, especially a loss such as this.  As ministers, we are not immune to the stress of life and the pressures of ministry can often add a dimension that few are aware of unless they experience it firsthand.  Yet, there are still the promises of God and His Word.  I found this promise appropriate to where I am today:

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
     He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”  – Isaiah 25:6-9

Death will be done away with someday.  Jesus Christ has proved that this is true by His own resurrection from the dead.  The tears will be wiped away someday, just not today, at least not yet anyway.  But we wait for Him and the day we can rejoice with no tears to dim the celebration.  Please pray for my fallen brother-in-arms and for his family during this time of sorrow.

That was the basic content of the devotional post I wrote to post on Wednesday morning, but I felt the desire to expand further and so I carry on over here.  As I write this, it has been over 12 hours since I first got word of Bill’s death.  The shock and dismay and hurt and grief have been so raw at times that I have been able to do nothing but weep.  The Scripture about mourning with those who mourn has been in my head most of the day.  Bill was one of the first guys that I really got to know well after we moved to South Dakota almost 9 years ago now.  I spent many hours driving across the state with him and two other pastors just a month or so after we first arrived.  By the time we had spent a couple of days in Sioux Falls together, he felt comfortable letting me drive his Durango most of the way back to Rapid City (either that or it was due to the fact that I was the one who offered to drive through the wee hours of the night rather than sleep another night in the hotel).  It certainly might have been the fact that he needed to give his knees a rest after driving all the way there a couple of days earlier.  Either way, he showed a lot of trust in a 20-something kid he had only known for a couple of days.

I am not sure that I can think of anyone I know who was more giving and selflessly so than Bill.  It was my honor to spend so much time hanging out with one of his sons and mentoring him in youth ministry for a while(at least he says that he learned something from me, sometimes I had to wonder what I had to teach).  It might have been the only thing I could have done that could in any small way repay the ways that Bill had an impact on my life.  He was a big encouragement to me and his church was faithful to support us during our stint in the hills as MSC missionaries.  In my mind, I have replayed some of the many happy memories he has been a part of over these years.  I still remember him coming up to my kids at an annual meeting a couple of years ago and commending them for their good behavior before he handed them each a $2 bill.  His giving heart and kind spirit will be greatly missed on this side of eternity.  His funny impressions and cut-up nature will also be missed.  He touched many, many lives along the way in his ministry and his life.  I cannot adequately express with words all that I want to say.  All I know is that I have all the more reason to look forward to that day that Isaiah spoke of and the apostles affirmed was true because of the hope we have in Jesus Christ, when death is swallowed up and the Lord wipes away our tears and takes away our reproach and gives us the full joy of our salvation.

Maranatha!  Come quickly Lord Jesus!

 

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Categories: devotional, Faith, family, friends, ministry, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sunday Morning Sermon for 5/27/12

We have sound again.  I switched back to the old recorder and will wait to try with the other one until next week when we have a guest preacher in the pulpit.  The message this week is about revival and about breaking hard hearts.  I pray that you will be richly blessed though God’s Word this week.

You can click on this link to open a new window which will play the audio file.  The notes are here on the page so if you wish to look at them, leave the other window/tab open and click on this one to follow along.  If you are having trouble with this new format for listening to sermon audio, please let me know.  This is still an experiment at this point.

If the audio link above doesn’t work try the audio bar below by pressing play.

Revived Hearts

Ephesians 4:17-32

Sermon notes 5/27/12

  1. Study to learn, learn to do

    1. The good way – v. 24-32

    2. The bad way – v. 17-22

    3. The barrier between – a hardened heart

  2. A Heart Problem – Pharoah’s hardened heart

    1. Strengthened heart (Unbreakable patterns)

    2. Weighed down heart (Pride)

    3. Inflexible(Uncooperative)

  3. Brokenness – How does our heart soften and revive?

    1. Hosea 6:1-6 – Trials

    2. Jeremiah 4:1-4 – Voluntary (Hosea 10:12)

    3. Psalm 85

Categories: Epistles, Podcasts, Sermon | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Sermon for 5/20/12

My apologies to all those who like to listen to the sermon weekly.  I was trying another recorder and failed to hit the button the second time to start the recording.  So I have no audio for this week.  The sermon notes are available below for those who wish to see them.  We will look to have audio again next week.  May God richly bless you this week.

Pray Where You Are

James 5:13-20

Sermon notes 5/20/12

  1. The Practice of Prayer – James 5:13-16

    1. Pray in all situations

    2. Pray at all times – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

    3. Pray for all things

  2. The Power of Prayer – James 5:16-18

    1. Forgiveness of sins – 1 John 1:9-10

    2. For hopeless situations – 2 Kings 20:1-11

    3. For help in the harvest – Matthew 9:36-38

  3. The Purpose of Prayer

    1. To Focus on our Father – Luke 18:1-8

    2. To Intercede for our Friends – 1 John 5:13-18;

      James 5:19-20

    3. To Find our Strength – Luke 21:34-36

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Sunday Morning Sermon for 5/13/12

We had a fun service again this week.  One of our teenage guys gave a “short sermon” that he had prepared on God’s relentless love (which is the reason for my opening comment).  I thought he did a great job.  The sermon this week picks up on that love theme and speaks about why love grows cold and what we can do to keep it from getting cold.  Notes are available below.  By the way, I am trying a new file storage site to stream the audio so please let me know if you notice any problems or differences in the quality.  I haven’t found a way to use it to play in the post either, so let me know if that is a problem or not.

One other note, I appended the end of the service where I explained our Mother’s Day gift for the ladies on to the end of the file.  I know that sometimes folks like to hear things like this.  I always think it is interesting to hear more than just the sermon from time to time as well.  I like this because it really shows the joy that we share every week.

May God richly bless you through His Word.

Click here to play the sermon (it will open in a new window and you can click back to this one to look at the notes if you wish)

Note: the new site that I was trying out appears to be out of commission so the link above may or my not work as you are reading this.  If the link fails try pushing the play button below instead.

Love Grows Cold

Revelation 2:1-7

Sermon notes 5/13/12

  1. What happened to their love?

    1. Great start – Acts 18:24-19:20

    2. Good leadership

      1. Timothy – 1 Timothy 1:3

      2. John the Apostle

    3. Abandoned love

  2. How does love grow cold?

    1. Matthew 24:11-12

      1. Lawlessness

      2. Forgetting the first things – Revelation 2:4

    2. Is your love cold?

  3. How does love grow hot again?

    1. Revelation 2:5 – repent and start again

    2. John 15:9-17

    3. 1 John 3:4-18

      1. Know His commandments

      2. Do His commandments

Categories: John, Love, Podcasts, Sermon | Leave a comment

It’s Not Okay

WARNING: The subject matter of this post may be considered offensive by any and all who read it.  I would be concerned if the subject didn’t bother you quite frankly.  You may not want to read this.  Proceed with full awareness that you have been warned.  Some of the links in the stories referenced and linked from this post may not be safe to click on if you are reading at work .  The subject at hand is porn.  By clicking on the more link to view this post, you are taking this on with full awareness. Continue reading

Categories: Christianity, Culture, Love, Marriage, Parenting, personal, Sex, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday Morning Sermon for 5/6/12

We had a wonderful service this morning.  It is always good to be in the house of the Lord together with our family of God here in Langdon, but we had an especially great time this morning.  The message this week is about knowing God’s will and “making the call” on matters where wisdom is needed.  I pray that God will richly bless you through His Word.

And I just wanted to pass along a note for those who might be interested.  More formal information will be soon forthcoming, but we are planning a 40th anniversary celebration for the church on the weekend of September 22-23, 2012.  If you are subscribed to the posts here, you will get a notice as I promise to post updates here to the church’s site as we get them.

You Make the Call

Sermon notes 5/6/12

  1. The Lord’s Will – James 4:13-17

    1. Don’t be paralyzed

      1. Acts 18:18-21; 21:7-15

      2. Missing God’s will?

    2. Learning God’s Will – Ephesians 5:15-21

      1. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

      2. Romans 12:1-2 – Getting Godly wisdom

  2. Real wisdom – Deuteronomy 4:5-8

    1. God’s instruction is wisdom – Proverbs 1:1-7

      1. Proverbs 1:20-33

      2. Proverbs 3:13-35

    2. The foolishness of man – Romans 1:18-23

  3. How does this apply to God’s Will for my life?

    1. Know what is indisputably right – Ephesians 5:17

    2. Know how to judge correctly – John 7:24

    3. Be ready to make the call – Matthew 18:18-20

      1. Ezra 7:25

      2. Romans 14:1, 22

Categories: Disciples, Epistles, Freedom, Podcasts, Sermon | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Sermon for 4/29/12

We had a special time together in the Lord this past Sunday.  The service was aimed at our sharing of the Lord’s Supper together and we looked at the meaning of participating together and remembering our Savior.  You can follow along with the sermon notes below.  May the Lord bless you and keep you in the coming week.

The Lord’s Supper

Sermon notes 4/29/12

1 Corinthians 11:17-32

  1. Remembrance rooted in reality – 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

    1. History is a catalyst

      1. The exodus was a real event

      2. Passover started at that time

      3. History connected to current reality

    2. History is an example

      1. A choice to make – v. 6-10

      2. A common nature – v. 11-13

  2. Revealing a radical rift

    1. A need to discern – 1 Corinthians 10:14-17; 11:28-32

      1. Discerning the body – 1 Corinthians 11:29 and 10:17

      2. Participation – 10:16-18

    2. A need for reconciliation – Matthew 5:23-24

  3. Recognition of real relationship

    1. Honor one another and so honor the Lord – Unity

    2. Examine Yourself – 11:28-32

 

Categories: 1 Corinthians, Forgiveness, Lord's Supper, Podcasts, Sermon | Leave a comment

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