Monday, July 30, 2007

Quote of the Week

"The vigour of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts."

George Mueller

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Do You Believe It?

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, repeat after me, "I am a child of God, absolutely loved, and totally acceptable in His sight."

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Walk on the Morbid Side

I wouldn't have thought that I would have been worth all that much to the medical research industry. They must be pretty hard up.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Quote of the Week

At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, "Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that." Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.

Oswald Chambers

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Depths of Our Disobedience

I have heard it preached before that when you are disobedient to God, then you are out of fellowship with Him and you no longer have His power working in your life and your prayers will just bounce off the ceiling. I heard an illustration of this one time, it went something like this. You are walking down the path of your life. While you are walking this path, God is right there with you and you are in perfect fellowship with Him. At some point along the way, God asks you to do something and for whatever reason you can’t bring yourself to do that thing. So you keep walking and talking to God, but He isn’t there. He has stopped on the path at the point where He asked you to do that thing you couldn’t do. You might say, “Come on Lord, lets keep walking.” But His reply is, “No! You need to come back here and do what I told you.” You may decide to keep walking, but God won’t be with you. He will be waiting patiently for you come back and obey Him. Is this a true depiction of our walk with God?

How about this illustration? You are a loving father who buys your son a new bicycle. You are excited about giving him the bicycle and can’t wait to see his face when you give it to him. You anticipate all of the hours of fun he will have riding his new bicycle. However, when you present him with the bicycle he seems indifferent, maybe even fearful. He resists all efforts to be placed upon the bicycle. You might be disappointed, but you know that someday, when your son is ready, he will get on that bicycle and ride it. Do you think that a loving father would withdraw from his son and refuse to have anything to do with him until he rode that bicycle? I don’t think so. He would continue to do other things with his son. He would still play ball with his son, read him stories, and take him for ice cream. Every so often he would remind him of the bicycle and when his son was ready he would teach him to ride it.

I know that the second illustration has a definite human perspective, but I also believe it accurately describes my experience in my Christian walk. Let me share a little testimony. Several years ago, I felt like God was telling me to go and talk to someone and tell them about something that had happened. Who that person was and the thing He wanted me to tell him isn’t really that important to the point, so I will leave out the details. Even though I definitely felt God telling me to go to that person, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had all sorts of rationalizations. I tried to apply logic to it, thinking that there was no logical reason for me to go. I imagined all sorts of consequences to me going to that person. I simply couldn’t see the point.

Over the next couple of years, God continued to grow me in grace and knowledge. I grew closer to Him and He called me into different ministries within our church and I obeyed those calls. He revealed His love for me to greater and greater depths and taught me truths about His grace. Yet, all during that time, God would remind me of what He had asked me to do. It wasn’t a continuous reminder, but from time to time, when I was still and quiet and prayerfully listening, He would speak to my heart. Each time, the same fears and rationalizations and logic would be applied to the issue. Finally, I came to the point where I said, “God, I am not able to do this, but I am willing for You to make me able.” I think it was at that point God began to work in my heart to make me able.

Well God did bring me to the point where I was able to go to that person. I told him what God had told me to share. Well that person just kind of scratched his head and told me that he didn’t know why God wanted me to tell him that either. He did share with me an instance where God had asked him to go and share something with someone else and his argument with God and the results of finally being obedient very closely lined up with my experience. I think that it all came down to pride. It was my pride that kept me from going sooner and it was that pride that God was dealing with throughout that process.

You might think that I should have been obedient right from the start and you would be correct. You might also say that, “I obey everything God tells me to do.” I would say, “Good for you,” but I would also suspect that it would just be your pride talking. It is more likely that God hasn’t revealed to you yet, the depths of your disobedience. There may be areas in your life that are completely yielded to God, but there are also areas where you are self sufficient, areas that you haven’t trusted to God.

That is what the Christian walk is all about. God, throughout our lives, opens our eyes to our need to trust Him in new areas. We may resist that revelation, but He is a loving father who continues to walk with us and take us through the process of learning to turn that area over to Him. Only once we turn it over to Him will it come to pass. It doesn’t have to take a couple of years for this process to occur. Apparently my pride runs pretty deep, but I have given that to Him as well. God never misses an opportunity to teach me humility and while this may sound like a bad thing, it is the most wonderful thing you can imagine. It is at the heart of His love.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Religious Action Figures

Walmart is about to start carrying faith based toys in August. Jesus looks cross-eyed. Here is a link to the ABC news story.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Quote of the Week

"Salvation is from our side a choice; from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our accepting and willing are reactions rather than actions."

A. W. Tozer

Saturday, July 14, 2007

How Addicted to Coffee are You?

Only 79%! I could probably have scored higher since I do own a coffee grinder, but only use it infrequently.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Big Day

My daughter Michelle got married to Grant this past Saturday (7/7/07). Here are a few pictures from the wedding.

Altar before the wedding

Lighting the candle

Done Deal

Groom's Cake

Bride's Cake

Coming to the Reception

Getaway Car Decorated


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Quote of the Week

A state of mind that sees God in everything is evidence of growth in grace and a thankful heart.

Charles Finney

Friday, July 06, 2007

Paper or Plastic?

(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc -

Here is a recent story about how churches are allowing the use of credit and debit cards in order to give offerings to the church. In my opinion this is a very dangerous thing. Credit card debt is such a major problem in the US and I think that it is wrong for the church to add to that problem. As someone who has struggled with credit card debt in the past, I know that credit card debt wrecks people's lives. I also think this is just another sign of how money hungry churches have become. I feel myself about to launch into a rant, so I will leave it there.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Will God Judge America?

Another Fourth of July is almost over. Sitting here watching Myth Busters, overstuffed with hamburger and bratwurst and listening to all of the fireworks being shot off outside. Got to thinking about a preacher I heard recently telling his television audience how God is about to judge America. It seems like every time there is a natural disaster, there are the “usual suspects” telling any camera they can find that it was God’s judgment on the hapless community. The wind hadn’t died down from hurricane Katrina, before some claimed that it was God’s judgment on the area for various reasons. The reasons cited for judgment ran from abortion to gambling to Mardi Gras to witchcraft. Billy Graham once said, “If God does not judge America, He is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."

Were these things God’s judgment? Will He judge America? I don’t know. It’s up to God to say. What will be the basis for God’s judgment? I guess that if you asked Christians, more than a few would say, “They will be judged for their sins.” The Old Testament has many stories of God passing judgment on Israel and others. There is also the story of God being willing to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of a few righteous people.

Since a city or a country is nothing more than a collection of people, I think that it is helpful to look at the individual and then try to apply whatever we come up with to the whole. What’s true of the individual? His sins have already been judged, the verdict was guilty, the sentence was death…spiritual death that is. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, he took the penalty, the death sentence, upon Himself. He took the cause of our death (sin) upon Himself and became sin on our behalf. That was a wonderful thing, but unfortunately we were still dead. What does a dead man need? Well, he needs life. Jesus rose from the dead, so that He could give His life to us. When we ask Him to save us, we receive His life into us and are instantly transformed from death into life…spiritual life. Looking at it another way, our death sentence has been commuted into a “life sentence.”

What does that have to do with God’s judgment of America? Everything, or nothing! It seems to me that only thing that America can be judged for is sin and sin has already been judged. Every person that is born is born into that judgment and they all stand guilty. So where am I going with this? I don’t know, I am just kind of winging it. I guess what’s on my mind lately are Christians whose primary focus is making people behave through political action leading to legislation. Lord knows I hate a lot of the things that go on in America, but where some see a sin that needs to be controlled by passing a law, I see a lost person doing what lost people do. The same thing Christians would do apart from the power of God working in them.

The Bible tells us that the power of sin is in the law. Paul tells us in Romans 7 that the law rouses sinful passions within us. Human experience tells us the same thing. Try telling someone that they can’t have something; it just makes them want it all the more. The same thing happened during prohibition. So it seems that some Christian groups are trying to accomplish what the Bible they are thumping tells them won’t work. They are trying to make people behave by working to get laws passed.

I have a novel approach that they might consider. Instead of lobbying legislators and praying for laws to be passed or righteous candidates to be elected, how about trying this? Let’s pray for people to be saved. Instead of hitting lost people over the head with a bible, tell them about Jesus in your words and your actions. When people get saved, they no longer need the legislature to control their behavior; they will have the Spirit of God.

This rant has reached its terminus.

P.S. I just noticed the bible quote of the day:
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)


Monday, July 02, 2007

Jews for Jesus

There was an article recently in the New York Post about evangelistic Messianic Jews. The organization, Jews for Jesus, has a mission of, "making the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to Jewish people worldwide." There was a couple of things I found interesting in the article. Let me start by saying that the only Messianic Jew that I personally know of is Judah Himango. We have disagreements from time to time, but that's alright. We are both very passionate about what we believe and don't mind sharing it with anyone who will listen. We both love Jesus and, by His Spirit, it will all be sorted out someday. He likes to use the Jewish names for God and Jesus and others mentioned in the Bible. I use the Greek names...I guess it comes down to tradition. Judah is bilingual, so communication isn't an issue.

That's why I found this statement in the article kind of interesting:

The group is loathed by many mainstream Jews. Washington area Jewish organizations and the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington have condemned the campaign, saying Jews for Jesus proselytizes too aggressively and misleads potential followers by using Jewish symbols, portraying their places of worship as synagogues and referring to Jesus by Hebrew names.

When Messianic Jews use the names and symbols that they are most comfortable with, they are accused of being deceptive. The ironic part is that they are using the actual Jewish names, not the transliterated versions that I use.

I also found this statement rather amusing:

"You don't dress up fundamentalist, evangelical Christian missionaries in Jewish clothing and call it Judaism,"

Just another way of saying "wolves in sheep's clothing." Calling someone an evangelical fundamentalist has become almost a universal insult...not that some of the criticism isn't deserved. I am not sure if the people that play that card even know what an evangelical fundamentalist is, they are playing the card to get the desired knee jerk reaction from the reader.