Solus Christus Sola Scriptura Sola Gratia Sola Fide Soli Deo Gloria Solus Christus Sola Scriptura Sola Gratia Sola Fide Soli Deo Gloria Solus Christus Sola Scriptura Sola Gratia Sola Fide Soli Deo Gloria Christ Alone Scripture Alone Grace Alone Faith Alone Glory to God Alone Christ Alone Scripture Alone Grace Alone Faith Alone Glory to God Alone Christ Alone Scripture Alone Grace Alone Faith Alone Glory to God Alone


Thursday, December 20, 2007

It All Happened In The Country

Diana recently wrote about a Christmas play that our family had the priviledge of being a part of this past Sunday called It All Happened In The Country. She has some great pictures and even a video up on her blog from the night. Meg, Matt and Jules, along with Diana and I were in the play, while G3 ran the spotlight from the balcony. I don't know what I could add to it, so I will just say that I feel so blessed to be a part of an awesome, caring church. I absolutely love children's plays, the forgotten lines, cute costumes, etc. The innocence of the children singing and talking about God is an incredible sight to witness.

I like to think that our Heavenly Father looks down on these little ones singing and telling the Gospel story and smiles. It's been said, and I believe, that Christmas and Easter are two of the times that people who never or seldom come to church - do come to church. What an awesome way to share the story of God's love through Jesus' birth to all of these people.

Because Truth matters,
George

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prophet or Profit?

Well, it's been a while, two weeks, I think, since Rick Warren has been in the news, so I guess that it should come as no surprise that a new article published by the Christian Post informs us of more of the Apostacy Driven movement.


The article that I read begins,
"Megachurch pastor Rick Warren attended a large Reform Jewish gathering last week to share tips on how to build a community. The “Purpose-Driven” pastor spoke to thousands of Jewish leaders Thursday night at the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial convention in San Diego. With the holiday season in mind, Warren urged clergy to take advantage of crowded events to publicize other programs so people can get involved in the community through smaller groups." "There are some principles that apply regardless of our faith, if it’s Jewish or Christian,” he said at the convention." "One of his principles: “Just be nice to people. Smile.”


umm... What?!?!?! Principles that apply regardless of our faith?!? Just be nice and smile?!?


"The article continues, "After Warren spoke a few minutes at the podium, he sat alongside two popular Southern California rabbis for a casual talk about strengthening congregational life."

I am extremely disheartened by this latest in an ongoing series of revelations about"Pastor" Warren. How can a person who is called to preach the Truth about God's Word go to a house of worship for a different religion and help them deceive people and drive them away from God? Maybe Mr. Warren doesn't take the words of Isaiah 5:20 to heart when it states, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"

Further on down in the article, The Christian post reports,

"Other guests at the conference included the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America."


Great! I guess it really doesn't matter that your helping the kingdom of darkness with this purpose drivel. Please excuse my sarcasm, but sometimes I feel like I am watching these things unfold and am the only one who "gets it" like someone shouting at the movie screen to "Look behind you!" or "Don't trust him!"

To make things worse, there are still many people, including a few churches local to me that STILL follow his techniques.

How does following a worldly formula teach about our sin and God's grace and redemption? It doesn't and it can't. I pray that people will wake up soon before it's too late.

Because Truth matters,
George

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Reformation Redux

Calling John Tetzel...

Today I read an article today about Pope Benedict XVI. He is offering "relief from purgatory" to Catholics who visit Lourdes, France.


The article went on to say that,


The indulgences will be available from this weekend until Dec 8, 2008.

What?!?! After Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg Castle church following similar practices of the pope at the time, it seems incredible that something like this still goes on.

I came from a Catholic background and never understood it or felt comfortable with some of their practices (confession, purgatory, etc.) That, coupled with the fact that the Bible was never used and it felt like an ardous task.

I remember my salvation well. The freedom, the love, the mercy and forgiveness of our Lord and Saviour brought my spiritual life into sharp focus.

Oftimes it seems like I am in a movie and I am the only one who knows what the plot is and all of the other people around me are oblivious to the man-centered error that is being propagated to the people in the congregation.

It's frustrating and m,akes me want to shout, "JUST READ YOUR BIBLE AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT'S GOING ON AN HOW THINGS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE!"

The déjà vu of this is very strange. This coupled with some of the monastic traditions that some emergent churches are using just reminds my of Ecclesiastes 1:9,


What has been will be again, what has been done
will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.


Because Truth matters,
George

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

To think about...

This Christmas season let us try

To do some golden deeds,

To carry someone’s burden,

To help someone in need.

There are always those who need us

As we journey on life’s way,

And the friends we win by helping

Make us richer every day.

So when you see a saddened face

As Christmas time draws near,

Do your best to lift the load

And spread a word of cheer.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Graced Again

Here is a wonderful quote to help us turn our mind towards Jesus this Christmas season. I know that a lot of time, we as people, myself included, say that we want to concentrate... focus more on Jesus. We want to put Christ in Christmas.

It's early in December, so I challenge everyone that reads this to turn your attention towards Jesus this month. Let this season be a season of renewal of our faith and may the Lord grant us that we can grasp an inkling of the love our Father has for us.


"(Consider) Mary’s response to the angel. The angel has come to Mary and says: Mary, you are going to give birth to the long-promised Messiah. This was a unique promise, and unrepeatable. There is something totally unique here: the birth of the eternal second Person of the Trinity into this world. What was her response…She could have rejected the idea and said, ‘I do not want it: I want to withdraw; I want to run’…she could have said, ‘I now have the promises, so I will exert my force, my character, and my energy, to bring forth the promised thing’. But (what she did say) is beautiful, it is wonderful. She says: ‘Behold, the bondmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy Word.’ There is an active passivity here. She took her own body, by choice, and put it into the hands of God to do the thing that he said he would do and Jesus was born. She gave herself to God…This is a beautiful, exciting, personal expression of a relationship between a finite person and the God she loves."


-Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality

Because Truth matters,
George

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christians and Muslims and Peace... Oh my!

I recently read an article, a response actually by Christian leaders to a Muslim letter calling for peace and unity. This letter was signed by a number of people including Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and by Brian McLaren.

Jeremiah 6:14 (NASB) states,



"And they have healed the brokenness of My people
superficially, Saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace."

It saddens my heart to read about "Christian leaders" who are willing to throw away all the essentials of the Christian faith for unity with a false religion citing "common ground", a "love of God", and a "love of neighbor" as the reasons.

A closing quote from the article leaves us with a chilling reminder of what we need to consider.


The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace. If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well.


Because Truth matters,
George

Hillary Clinton and Rick Warren

I recently read in the Worldnet Daily News that Hillary Clinton recently spoke at Saddleback Church at the Global Summit on AIDS and the Church.

Mrs. Clinton spoke of her faith and one person interviewed mentioned that she believe that Hillary Clinton has compatible Christian values.

Proverbs 28:4 says that,

“Those that forsake the law, praise the wicked. But such as keep my law contend with them.”



Although Rick Warren explained,

"The first thing is that this is not a church service, and, second, there isn't a pulpit on stage,"
Warren said.

"And it's not a worship service. This is a summit, which does include people from every kind of background."
In response to this, Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, believes it was

"a mistake to invite [Clinton] to speak at an evangelical Christian church on AIDS or any other issue, because her political stances are contrary to biblical teaching."

"What Saddleback is doing is helping raise her profile as a legitimate presidential candidate in the eyes of evangelical Christians, and I think that is a huge error,"

Wildmon told Reuters.

I would wholeheartedly agree. The church (I know the body of Christ is the church) is not a place of exposing of thoughts on topics contrary to Biblical thinking. Although a disclaimer was made, many still make the connection with the unofficial connection between Saddleback and Mrs. Clinton and with her views on partial birth abortion, this is truely wrong.

Because Truth matters,
George

False Prophets



In doing some research for this Sunday's Youth lesson (We're going to be studying Jesus, starting with the Old Testament prophecies about him), I came across some interesting video clips and articles of some of the more "interesting" people that are in the spotlight as well-known Christians.


These are people who deny the Bible, the blood atonement of Christ, the sinful nature of man all in the name of humanism. As a famous country singer once said (and my old church once played while we were walking in), "I want to talk about me!"

Boy-oh-boy, the "You've got potential.", "God has faith in you" crowd is getting to the point where it's repulsive. Even more so, it's heresy.

People have got to be Bereans and search the scriptures. Check the teaching that you are sitting under or are listening to whether it's Rob Bell, Rick Warren or your local pastor. Compare it to the Bible.

The following Bible verses are from the New Testament and speak of false prophets...


Wonderful Works Are Done By False Prophets In The Name Of The Lord:


Mat 7:15 - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16 - Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 - Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 - A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 - Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 - Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mat 7:21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 - Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 - And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

False Prophets Will Be Numerous, And Very Successful:

Mat 24:11 - And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
2 Pet 2:1 [NIV] - But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2 Pet 2:2 [NIV] - Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
2 Pet 2:3 [NIV] - In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
1 John 4:1 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.


False Prophets Work Miracles That Deceive:

Mat 24:24 - For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Mark 13:22 - For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Rev 13:12 - And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Rev 13:13 - And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Rev 13:14 - And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Rev 19:20 - And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.


Many Prefer The False Prophet:


2 Tim 4:2 [NIV] -Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Tim 4:3 - For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
2 Tim 4:4 - They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
True Prophets Are Always In Harmony With Other Prophets Of God And Scripture:
1 Cor 14:32 - And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
1 Cor 14:37 - If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.


The following Bible verses are from the Old Testament...


The True Prophet Hears From God Through Dreams:


Num 12:6 - And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

Defining The False Prophet And Their Fate:

Deu 18:20 - But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Deu 18:21 - And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
Deu 18:22 - When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Isa 8:20 - To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.


The Motivation of the False Prophet Is Money:


Micah 3:9 [NIV] - Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right;
Micah 3:10 [NIV] - who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.
Micah 3:11 [NIV] - Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they lean upon the LORD and say, "Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us."
Micah 3:12 [NIV] - Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.
Many People Actually Prefer False Prophets:
Isa 30:9 - That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
Isa 30:10 - Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
Isa 30:11 - Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
Isa 30:12 - Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
Isa 30:13 - Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
Isa 30:14 - And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.
Jer 5:31 - The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?


The Fate Of False Prophets And Those Who Follow Them:

Jer 14:14 - Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Jer 14:15 - Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
Jer 14:16 - And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.


The Prophecies Of False Prophets Do Not Always Fail:


Deu 13:1 - If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,
Deu 13:2 - and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them,"
Deu 13:3 - you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:4 - It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
Deu 13:5 - That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.


Because Truth matters,
George

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family and friends! May we each take this day to reflect on the many blessings that our gracious Father has bestowed on us.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be
thankful unto him, and bless his name.

- Psalm 100:4

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Faith(less) House

I recently learned of a new (although there is nothing new under the sun) "project" that is striving to incorporate all major religions into one "community" where we can learn from each other.

While on the surface, this may sound OK to some, it's a slippery slope from learning from others mistakes and practices to conforming.

Here is a quote from the FaithHouse website that states their mission.


OUR MISSION: We want to start a new kind of community in which we can discover The Other (individuals or groups other than those we belong to), deepen our personal and corporate journeys, and together participate in repairing the world. In this endeavor we will honor and learn from teachings, practices, and suffering of people from religions, philosophies, and worldviews, different from our own. Instead of isolating ourselves into like-minded groups or melting together into a single-minded organization, we will learn to live together with our differences and in a way that contributes to the wellbeing, peace, joy, and justice in the world. In this endeavor we will always be a courageous, hospitable and learning community.

Among the people listed as ones who are behind FaithHouse include:

Emergent Village network (Faith House is a friend of this non-denominational network of Christian pastors, teachers, leaders, and administrators representing the “Emerging Church Movement”)

One of the goals of this "project" is an open dialog and associateion between all religions to learn the "truth" from Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, etc. It includes invitations to imams, priests and rabbis.

To quote from the website,

We will not seek to establish one generic religion in the house. Instead, we will seek to establish one humanity that serves one God with many voices.

When will our eyes be opened to what is happening? What communion does light have with darkness?

Because Truth matters,
George

Thursday, November 08, 2007

She is...

She is...

Last night, my mother-in-law, Dawn passed away. I wanted to write about her because she is more than a mother-in-law to me. She treated me like her son and even more so after my own mother passed away.

She is a very special lady, the intellect of which was unrivaled. I used to love talking with her for hours on end. She was conversant on any subject from world affairs to politics to religion.

She is the one who first introduced me to talk radio, sparking my thirst for knowledge. Prior to meeting her, I used to listen to music on the radio constantly. I had to ride with her once and she was listening a local talk radio station. It started a conversation between us and ignited my love for talk radio to this day.

She is the one who help me spread my wings and get a "real" job, although she never put it that way, when I married her daughter.

She is a great grandma that had a tremendous impact on my children, fueling a love for life and challenges. At least one of my children loves puzzles thanks to her.

She is more than this little post or that time can describe.

She is someone that I greatly miss and have the hope of seeing in Heaven.

Because love matters,
George

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Convergence of Emergents

Seeker-sensitive church, Willow Creek is sponsoring a youth conference from April 9-11, 2008 featuring emergent guests speakers.

Emergent, Dan Kimball will be speaking. Brian Mclaren, whose latest book, Everything Must Change, brings into sharp focus the nature of his unbiblical theology, will also be speaking.

In addition, one of Rob Bell's latest Nooma films will be screened.

It's very disconcerting that these two groups (seeker-sensitve and emergent), who usually are seperate are now joining together for this conference. The really scary thing is that there are some churches that follow seeker-sensitive churches like Willow Creek and Saddleback that are not aware of their emergent ties. Churches that embrace Willow Creek that would normally distance themselves from the "emergent conversation", will now find themselves inextricably tied together.

Now, more than ever, pastors and especially Christians in general need to wake up and compare everything that they hear (and read) with the Bible, the ONLY Truth.

Because Truth matters,
George

Slice of Laodicea Is Back!

Slice of Laodicea, which was dealt a really bad blow by it's service provider in the not too distant past is back online. This time, it appears that comments are not allowed.

I for one am glad to see the site, which stands amongst others as a vanguard to the affront of the seeker-sensitive and emergent movements, seeking a return to Biblical values make it's return.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Reformation Day!

Today is the anniversary of the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church in Wittenberg, an event which sparked the Protestant Reformation.

I pray that people and churches examine themselves today and if they are not living a God-honoring life that they would turn from their man-centeredness and towards God for His glory.
I am greatly dismayed over the lack of reverence and lack of following the Bible as our authority that is found in a lot of lukewarm churches.
May we as the body of Christ, concentrate our efforts on Him and give Him the glory that He is due.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Some Things Never Change

oday, I read an interesting article on one of the sites that I frequent. It talked about "authenticity", showmanship and half truths that are taught by todays "modern teachers". It admonished us to check all things with the Bible, which is the inerrant Word of God and the final arbiter on issues of man, God and the like.

I invite you to read it for yourself. Please read all the way to the end :)

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their "earnestness" makes many think they must be right. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly, and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself "as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). There is a wide-spread "gullibility" among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man. All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, "Do not be carried away!"

If any one should ask me, What is the best safeguard against false
doctrine?--I answer in one word, "The Bible: the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied." We must go back to the old prescription of our Master: "Diligently study the Scriptures" (John 5:39).

It's interesting to me that this so accurately describes the state of some of our churches today. What is especially interesting is that it is from All Kinds of Strange Teachings by J.C. Ryle, who lived from 1816-1900.

Calling Down The Fire

Yesterday, our church had the beginning of what will, God willing, be a four day revival. There are several unique parts of that sentence that I'd like to address. The first is that our church is having a revival. I've heard it said by people that "you can not schedule a revival" because God schedule is not dictated by men. I'll tell you that I did learn that although man cannot dictate God's actions, there are men that are called for the purpose of leading a revival.

These men come with a unique gift of prophetic wisdom that the Holy Spirit uses to speak to the hearts of those present and move them for His will and purposes.

The topic yesterday used the story of Elijah calling down fire in 1 Kings and how when the fire falls, the people "fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God". That's the effect that the fire has on people,it makes people realize the one true God.

The second thing that I wanted to talk about was the statement "God willing". It's a statement that I'm adding to my vocabulary thanks to Carl Scarlett, our guest preacher. You see, he said that he never makes a promise about anything in the future because the Lord could call him home or come back before that event. To me, that phrase, "God Willing" or "Lord willing" is a constant acknowledgement of the sovreignty of God and also points to the promise of our Lords return.

I look forward to what the rest of the days will bring. I pray that people will be drawn to the Lord and trust and follow Him with faith and obedience.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

There's Sugar Cubes in the Kitchen

Tonight was my first night of teaching youth at our church. I used to teach adult Sunday school at our church. Now, I co-teach Sunday evenings with thise oither great guy from our church. Tonight was the first Teen Sunday night at the church. We had 7 kids and I praise God for them.


The night started with prayer and introductions.

I then handed out a roll of toilet tissue and asked each one to take whatever they thought they needed. With no other explanation, the roll went around the room. Some took 9 or 10; one boy took 1. My son took 23. He later regretted it as he and the others who took a lot of TP tried to think of things about themselves to share.

After they all had them counted, I told that for each sheet of toilet paper that the had that they would have to tell one thing about themselves as well as one thing from each of the people that went before them.

We learned a little something about each other then Mr. T (not THE "Mr. T") opened the Bible and we talked about unity and what that means to a Christian. We looked at Collossians 3:12-15

12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

We also talked about what we were trying to accomplish in the kids lives and asked for input and we tried to keep a dialog going.

One of them jokingly mentioned that they needed sugar. I said that I would bring some snacks next week. Without missing a beat, this boy said, "There's sugar cubes in the kitchen!"

Ummm, I know that I'm new to the teen ministry thing, BUT I DO have a teenaged son and other kids close to that age to the point that I know that that didn't sound like a good idea.

It was a great time. I pray that God continues to lead and bless us.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I Love Sugar!


I just had to share something cute about Juliana. She says the most cute and wonderful things, but while I was in my bedroom today, she found a container of candy corn. There were only a few left in it, but she brought it to me, opened it and took one. Then she looked up at me and asked, "What are they made of?"
"Sugar," I replied.
Without missing a beat she smiled and said, "I love sugar!"
On a side note, she is watching me post this and just said, "That's what I 'eated'."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Deep inside the forest...

Tonight Diana and Megan left for a GA camping trip. This is a really cool time as Diana hasn't been camping since she was a little girl. Megan has been camping with me and the boys in our back yard.

During this trip, they will spend time cooking, hiking and riding horses.

The boys, Jules and I will "camp" in our livingroom tonight and roast mashmellows tomorrow.

I'm excited to hear about the all of the "adventures" of what will happen.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Would You Like to "GIga-size" That?


Who hasn't been through a fast food establishment and after placing your order, asked if you would like to "up-size", "mega-size", "go large" or "king size" the order? What this usually means is an upgrade to a half a gallon of soda and a bucket of french fries. That can't be good for you.

Now, in being honest here, I've gotten the larger portion a time of two, but just found out that, to quote my mom, "my eyes were bigger than my stomach". I usually ended up really full and feeling sick afterwards. Pouring all of that sugar and fried food into my body had an adverse effect.

I was recently reading an article on "Gigachurches". Yes, you read that correctly; not megachurches. Gigachurches. Those who are familiar with computers know that "giga" is a LOT more that a "mega" anything. It means more speed, power, etc. and is better, but is it the same for churches?

The following list of the Top 10 largest churches is from the previously mentioned article.

Top 10 Largest U.S. Churches

1. Lakewood Church, Houston Texas – Joel Osteen (47,000)
2. Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Ill. – Bill Hybels (23,500)
3. Second Baptist Church, Houston – Ed Young Sr. (23,198)
4. Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, Calif. – Rick Warren (22,000)
5. LifeChurch.tv, Edmond, Okla. – Craig Groeschel (19,907)
6. Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Ky. – Dave Stone (18,013)
7. North Point Church, Alpharetta, Ga. – Andy Stanley (17,700)
8. Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va. – Jonathan Falwell (17,445)
9. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Bob Coy (17,000)
10. The Potter's House, Dallas – T.D. Jakes (17,000)

While I don't discount the hearts or passion of these churches, for me, it raises a red flag... Numbers do not neccessarily mean Christian converts.

Other churches like Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., pastored by Steven Furtick have seen their congregations experience viral growth. Elevation has experienced a growth of 444 percent.

To quote from CH Spurgeon,

"It is a serious injury to a person to receive him into the number of the faithful unless there is good reason to believe that he is really regenerate. I am sure it is so, for I speak after careful observation. Some of the most glaring sinners known to me were once members of a church; and were, as I believe, led to make a profession by undue pressure, well-meant but ill-judged. Do not, therefore, consider that soul-winning is or can be secured by the multiplication of baptisms, and the swelling of the size of your church. What mean these despatches from the battle-field? "Last night, fourteen souls were under conviction, fifteen were justified, and eight received full sanctification." I am weary of this public bragging, this counting of unhatched chickens, this exhibition of doubtful spoils. Lay aside such numberings of the people, such idle pretence of certifying in half a minute that which will need the testing of a lifetime. Hope for the best, but in your highest excitements be reasonable. Enquiry-rooms are all very well; but if they lead to idle boastings, they will grieve the Holy Spirit, and work abounding evil"

- Spurgeon, What Is It To Win A Soul, Chapter 1

I'm not saying that large churches are bad, but one has to be very careful of "claiming a number of salvations" as well as making sure that all of these people are properly shepherded and discipled.

Because Truth matters,
George

Monday, October 01, 2007

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


This month, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's a subject that I feel compelled to writ a bit about.
It is a cause/subject that is very important to me for a number of reasons...

  1. My mom fought breast cancer twice, finally dying from it.

  2. My mother-in-law is currently fighting it.

  3. Breast cancer can affect men, too.

  4. My wife and I have so many friends that are fighting breast cancer.

  5. Breast Cancer is beatable. We have a very close friend of the family that fought breast cancer and is a survivor.

  6. My wife and two daughters now have a family history on both sides of breast cancer.

  7. My wife is a hardcore supporter of awareness and I love her for it. Please visit her post here on awareness month.

Knowledge, early detection and HOPE are the keys!

Because HOPE matters,
George

What is a Pharisee?

It is interesting to note that when someone uses the term "Pharisee", it is used erroneously. A lot of people use the term to reference someone who is speaking out for Biblical doctrine. These people are seen as legalistic, divisive and pharisitical.

But, what was their problem? What was a Pharisee?

Pharisees "became so wrapped up in their own traditions that they downplayed the truth of Scripture and distorted sound doctrine. Far from being theologically orthodox, they had simply invented their own traditions and used a man-made system to nullify the truth of divinely inspired Scripture (Matt. 15:3-6)."

Does this sound familiar? This is often the sounding board, the darts that are thrown from emergent and seeker-sensitive churches. If you question the Bibilical accuracy of what is happening, your weak-minded or a pharisee.

John MacArthur states that,

As doctrine has been deemphasized, the church has moved from preaching the Word to other activities: drama, music, entertainment - things designed to evoke an emotional response rather than enlighten the mind. The charismatic movement has supplanted doctrine with experience. Psychology has elevated "felt" needs over real needs and behavioral theory over revealed truth. All this has accelerated the move away from doctrine and focused the pulpit message on everything but the objective truth of Scripture. Preachers have become comedians, storytellers, therapists, showmen, and entertainers rather than powerful envoys of divine truth...

It seems so ironic that churches characterize anyone who is concerned with biblical doctrine as Pharisaical when the seeker-sensitive's are judging using their own criteria for 'true Christianity', which is what they're accusing people of doing to them.

To quote Jim from
Old Truth,


Jesus prayed: "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth... For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one" (John 17:17-21).

The unity for which He prayed is preceded by and grows out of sanctification in the truth. Fellowship that ignores or glosses over the crucial doctrines of the faith is not Christian unity; it is ungodly compromise.

A good friend of mine recently wrote about the the reverence that a preacher of the Gospel should have and how he needs to check his heart and spirit and line them up with Christ.

Obviously, this just struck a chord with me today. I pray that all men who are given the honor of serving our Lord with examine and continue to examine ourselves that we may not bring dishonor on the name of our Lord.

May we continue to grow in the knowledge of His Truth, love, mercy and grace and not bow down to worldy influences. May we stand strong for Christ, for He stood for us.

Because Truth matters,
George

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

See You at the Pole

Today, I took my oldest son to school early because of an event called "See You at the Pole". For those who aren't familiar, I quote from their website.

See You at the Pole™ is a student-initiated, student organized, and student-led event. That means this is all about students meeting at their school flagpole to pray—for their school, friends teachers, government, and their nation. See You at the Pole™ is not a demonstration, political rally, nor a stand for or against anything.

See You at the Pole™ is scheduled annually on the fourth Wednesday in September...


It was very inspiring to see about 40 other kids already there as we pulled up to the school.

I think that I was just as excited that my son wanted to participate in this as he was in participating. I can't remember this event being around when I was in school. The thought of young Christian girls and boys, organizing and leading this event in praying for their school, each other and their country is incredible to think about. Wow, what an example kids can set for us adults.

It is really cool and exciting to see the wonderful ways that our Lord is maturing our children and I pray that He continues to mature them and draw them all closer to Him for His glory.

Because Truth matters,
George

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random Thoughts

Well, it's Tuesday and I haven't posted in a bit, so I figured that I would just write a few things down. It's more or less, a collection of random thoughts.

Tonight is Football night. Every Tuesday, we go to see the Falcons (my son's team) play. I really find it relaxing, amongst the stress of the game to watch them play. Last week, G managed to get in on two tackles, one by himself. That's cool to see.

Today, I'll pick M and M up from Drama club. They are both hams and love drama, just ask their mama. I can't wait to go see their production.

I've been enjoying Diana's posts. She is very insightful and writes with wit (<== Alliteration, cool, eh?) Really, though, she has a great way of telling about important as well as everyday things in an interesting manner. The place where I work is GM, although I am not am employee. It's interesting to see all of the political wrangling that goes on in a company of this size, especially now since the UAW is on strike. It's a very strange feeling driving past people who are blocking the road to where you are going.

A sweet elderly lady from our church just passed away. While I'm sorry to hear about her passing, I know that she is in a much better place.

I guess that's it for now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Today is my father's birthday. He would've been 72 today.

It's really hard to post on this subject because I didn't have the best relationship with my father. It's strange that growing up, I never called him "Dad". For some reason, I could never say it. It didn't sound right. Don't get me wrong, I love my father and in spite of past hurts and mistakes that were made on both sides, I hope that I will see him in Heaven.

He on the other hand, called me Pal. I was his buddy and I believe that he loved me but tried to live what he wanted his life to be through me.

I know that my father loved me and did his best in his own way. He did what he could to always provide for me and see to it that I never went without, but I miss the time that we didn't have, the times that we didn't do things.

All in all, the relationship with my father helped shape me into the person that I am today. I am deliberate at being involved in my childrens' lives because I have to be.

I thank God for His wonderful blessings and for healing the hurt that I had for my father, for without Jesus, I could only wonder what I would be like today.

Nevertheless, today is my father's birthday, and good or bad, I reflect on the man who loved me and whom I love.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Love,
Your Son

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Because Truth Matters

What is Truth? I know some people may just read that question and say, "Well, truth is something that's true." It sounds simple enough, but what makes something true?

I used to teach Adult Sunday School at a former church and our class once did a study on Truth. I remember it because of the depth of information that we covered along with the intense Bible study just made everyone's brain hurt; but we did learn a lot from it.

There are things that can be defined and redefined and that still doesn't change the fact that certain things, like Truth stay the same.


There are some misguided people that cast aspersions at others in some self-righteous way of defending their man-centered views and Heaven help you if you disagree with their version of the truth.

It's interesting to note that the word aspersion has it's root meaning as "sprinking". It's interesting as some are in the habit of sprinkling just enough truth with just enough man-centered falsehoood in sermons or gossip, um, I mean conversations with others; or that some "sprinkle" as in dropping viscious, yet veiled ad hominem attacks at others, labeling then as weak-minded, legalistic, divisive or pharisitical. The most recent one that I've read was about the former Slice of Laodicea website. It's horrible the anger that some "Christians" have when others are simply pointing them to the Truth.

OK, so what really matters? The only mirror that we should hold to our face or another person is the Word of God. What you say doesn't matter. What I say doesn't matter. What God says does matter and is the ONLY TRUTH.

The actual topic of Truth would take an entire series to discuss, so I will leave off for now with the fact that Jesus said in John 14:6,

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to
the Father but through Me."


This week, I've read about sermons featuring poker, Napolean Dynamite, business books and a myriad of other topics. All of this deals with the entertainment factor of grabbing someone's interest with culturally relevant ideas.

Do you know what is culturally relevant? If you don't know Jesus, you are a lost sinner and will spend eternity in Hell, forever seperated from God. The Good News is that Jesus dies on the cross so you don't have to. He died in our place and offers His sacrifice as a free gift; the gift of grace, God's unmerited favor.

The Bible is relevant just as it is. What a sad thing it must say for us as a culture that we have such short attention spans that if churches aren't doing things bigger and grander with each "production" that we're worried that "we" won't reach people.

Ahhhh.... wait a minute...

Who is trying to "draw" the people?

John 12:32 states,

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men
to Myself."

It's not about being fed, becoming a social agency, musical styles or whatever music the "world" listens to. It is soley, undeniably about our Lord and Him alone. That's it... simple, eh?

It breaks my heart at the well-intentioned, yet man-centered entertainment centers that a lot of our churches have become. It's time that we stop sacrificing the Word of God on the altar of worldliness. It's time that we stop the flow of vitriol that seeps and spews from blogs, webcasts and pulpits. It's time that we stop the man-centered worldliness that is slowly infecting our churches in front of our eyes.

It's not about opinion, style or different methods... Simply, read the Bible. It's your blueprint. Don't take my word for it. I make mistakes. I used to tell my Sunday School class to be a Berean and search the scriptures and test everything. We are to stand behind God, not man or a personality.

Oh, Lord, how can we forget and have it any other way? Heavenly Father, search my heart and bring to mind anything that I need to confess and please remove anything that I have placed in a position that you alone should occupy.

Because Truth matters,
George

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What's In A Name?

In doing some reading recently, I ran across something that piqued my interest. I've heard in the past that Bono had made some interesting comments when he was knighted earlier this year.

I went to You Tube to do a search for his comments. Bono, in his interview jokingly says not to call him "Sir". He jokes instead that he could be called "Lord of Lords" or a demi-god. (Check the link below)



Rev 19:16, when referring to Jesus, states that "And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."" Clearly there is only one Lord of Lords.

Dictionary.com defines a demigod as "a mythological being who is partly divine and partly human; an inferior deity."

Hmmmm... maybe this will be a wake-up call for those churches who chose to utilize his music and hold him up as an example.

Does he do humanitarian work and have good deeds? Yes, but so do the Mormons and other organizations. May we as the body of Christ wake up and return to God-honoring, Christ-centered worship and away from man-centered ways.

In light of his comments, it sounds like Bono, still hasn't found what he's looking for.

Because Truth matters,
George

Friday, September 14, 2007

Our family just finished watching the movie "Time Changer".

I have to say that it is an incredibly thought provoking movie. Without giving away the plot, the movie takes the audience and has us consider our lives, our relationships with Christ and how society and morals without Jesus is nothing to look forward to.

There are a number of emotional and thought provoking scenes in which I can sympathize with the main character, feeling lost in another world; a world where everyone thinks that everything is OK, but you know the Truth and that it's not. This is a feeling that you can have in talking with people, watching TV, shopping or even in church.

What is really important? Is Jesus central to your life and not just someone that you identify with? Is He your Lord and Saviour? Are we slowly becoming desensitised to sin in our lives?

The truth is that God has a time already set for His return. We don't know it and we can't change it. What we CAN do is take the time that we have, turn from and confess our sins and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and tell others about Him.

What time is it? It's closer than you think. Are you ready?

Because Truth matters,
George

Celebrate Jesus, Celebrate!

This past week, I had the privilege of seeing a preview of what beautiful girls I have. Yes, I know that they are always beautiful. I also know that God has blessed me with wonderful boys as well. This week, I just had the chance to see our girls practice for an upcoming performance at our church.

It was wonderful to see these girls freely showing their love for God.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Grace of God and Cat and Dog Theology

I recently read an interesting article on the grace of God and how to approach that wonderful subject. The article took the approach that it was going to examine God's nature as evidenced through His bountiful grace. What an amazing approach. (no pun intended)

Did you see it? The goal was learning about God through His grace and not learning about grace through God. It's in the way that the subject is approached.

I am also currently reading a book called "Cat and Dog Theology" which helps us think about the way that we view God. to quote from the book,

A dog says, 'You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, you must be God.' A cat says, 'You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God.' This book challenges the readers' understanding of their relationship with God. Our understanding of how we relate to God may not be wrong, but it may be incomplete. The God-given traits of cats ('you exist to serve me') and dogs('I exist to serve you') can be similar to certain theological attitudes held by many Christians. In our personal theologies, some attitudes may draw us closer to God, and others can also pull us away from Him.

It's all in the way that we see our relationship with out Father. During the next few days, I hope to continue to look at this in more detail.

Because Truth matters,
George

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Story Continues...

In reflecting back upon this day, 16 years ago, I remember a nervous beautiful girl who was willing to leave all that she had known to start a new life with me. We were (and still are) deeply in love.

I remember feeling nervous and scared. What if I wasn't a good husband? What if I snored? What if she snored? Silly questions were put to rest by the refining of our marriage over time. Little worries are just that - little worries. Big worries become little when our faith is placed in God.

The Word of God teaches us that the marriage Union and relationship was inspired by God, instituted by God, is preserved by God.

So God created man in his own image . . . ; [one] male and [one] female created he them" - Genesis 1:27

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" - Genesis 2:24

"What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" - Mark 10:9

"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” - 1 Peter 3:4

Speaking of that last part, I am reminded of our vows to each other and of our ceremony...

"The circle, the emblem of eternity; and gold, the emblem of that which is least tarnished and most enduring. It is to show how lasting and imperishable is the faith and love now mutually pledged."

As the union now formed is to be ended only by death, it becomes you to consider the duties you now solemnly assume. If these be remembered and faithfully discharged they will add to the happiness of this life, lightening by dividing its inevitable sorrows, and heightening by doubling all its blessedness. But if these obligations be neglected and violated, you cannot escape the keenest misery as well as the darkest guilt.

It is the duty of the husband to provide for the support of his wife, to shelter her from danger, and to cherish for her a manly and unchanging affection, it being the command of God's Word that husbands love their wives even as Christ loved the church and gave his own life for her.

It is the duty of the wife to reverence and obey her husband, and to put on the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in God's sight, an ornament of great price, His Word commanding that wives be subject unto their own husbands, even as the church is subject unto Christ."


It's a day that I will always treasure and look back to to see where we began; but I also look forward to see where God is leading us.

I pray that Diana still sees the man that she loved and although life hasn't always been the way that we've planned, still sees the man that she still loves.

Happy Anniversary

Happy 16th Anniversary, Diana!



I could not ask for a better wife or friend than I have in you. I am so blessed that God has graciously given you to me to share my life.

Here's to a smashing anniversary (just not the smashing like last years :) )

Love Always,
George

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant!



Yesterday, I learned of the passing of a great man, Dr. D. James Kennedy. Although I've never met him on this side of Glory, Dr. Kennedy was an inspiration to me and a myriad of others.

Dr. Kennedy, before he passed away, was quoted as saying...



“Now, I know that someday I am going to come to what some people will say is the end of this life. They will probably put me in a box and roll me right down here in front of the church, and some people will gather around, and a few people will cry. But I have told them not to do that because I don’t want them to cry. I want them to begin the service with the Doxology and end with the Hallelujah chorus, because I am not going to be there, and I am not going to be dead. I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life, and I will be looking down upon you poor people who are still in the land of dying and have not yet joined me in the land of the living. And I will be alive forevermore, in greater health and vitality and joy than ever, ever, I or anyone has known before.”

D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.

Amen! What an awesome quote. I echo his sentiments, heartily!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Division and Truth, Rather Than Unity and Lies

Here is an interesting quote from Iain Murray. I'd be interested in hearing what your thoughts are on this subject.

Are there times when division is better than unity? I'm not talking about just stiring up trouble for troubles sake, but are there times when unity should not be the end result?



Divisions and separations are most objectionable in religion. They weaken the cause of true Christianity.- But before we blame people for them, we must be careful that we lay the blame where it is deserved. False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism. If people separate themselves from teaching which is positively false and unscriptural, they ought to be praised rather than reproved. In such cases separation is a virtue and not a sin.

The old saying must never be forgotten, "He is the schismatic who causes the schism"... Controversy in religion is a hateful thing... But there is one thing which is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine, allowed, and permitted without protest or molestation. ...


For some extra thought...

Romans 16:17 says, "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them."

"For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. "

- 1 Corinthians 11:18-19, NASB

It would seenm that scripture is clear on this matter, division and truth, rather than unity and lies.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Eternity

I've been thinking a lot about Eternity today. We celebrated the Lord's Supper and when our pastor was talking about salvation and examining oneself, it brought to bear a very sobering thought; and that is about eternity.

Most people don't think about eternity, but when you are considering where you will spend the rest of your life, there is no greater thought.

Mt. Everest is 29,029 feet tall. It's the tallest mountain on Earth. It pales in comparision to Eternity, yet is the closest analogy that I have to use.

When this life is over, we will all pass into "eternity". If you are a born-again Christian, you will go to Heaven while if you are ANYTHING else, you will go to hell... for eternity.

I once heard this analogy about how to grasp the concept of eternity and it goes like this...

Imagine the tallest mountain in the world; then imagine that once every 1,000 years someone gently brushes a hankerchief across it peak. On the day that that mountain is reduced to a flat piece of land, the first second of eternity is beginning to tick.

It may seem very far away, but it's closer than you think.

Where will you be?

Real Church Growth

"Preaching is the primary means of growth for the local church. There is a great deal of debate about this in our day, but it is the preaching of the Word that God most uses to build up a church, not only numerically but above all (and far more importantly) in spiritual depth and understanding of the people who make up the congregation."

- James Montgomery Boice

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gems for Jules, Part II



Here are the pictures that Diana promised that I would post of Juliana :)

I hope that you enjoy them.











Wha'choo talkin' 'bout, Pastor?

When I was growing up, I remember watching TV with my parents and invariably, when it was on, my parents would watch a show called "Diff'rent Strokes".

The show had a character named Arnold who when confronted with a statement that didn't make sense (usually by his brother, Willis), would say, "Wha'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

As I look around at who a lot of modern pastors are looking up to as examples of how to "do church", it seems that there is an alarming rise in false teachings amongst these "leaders".


Leaders such as Rob Bell, Perry Nobel and Steven Furtick, cast a shadow of thinly veiled anger and contempt for "traditional" Christians and in their attempt to be non-judgemental to the "unchurched" fail at being non-judgemental to fellow believers; and that's just the beginning.

In just the past few weeks...

Books like Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell, which question and are trying to "reinterpret" the Bible and our faith while casting doubt on our beliefs are applauded from the pulpit.

Perry Nobel, of Newspring Church, being carried out in a coffin after the "worship band" plays AC/DC's Hell's Bells is seen as being innovative.

It's even "IN" to recreate the church as an entertainment center for the lost. It's all about numbers. To paraphrase a friend of mine, "People are brought in, pray the sinner's prayer, are baptized, send out to make friends...next."

In a rant about "Christians", one of these leaders, Steven Furtick, a pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC epitomizes a VERY common "Do something (be like us) or your 'spiritually fat'" attitude.

In watching a recent video of one of his sermons, Mr. Furtick states plainly, “If You Know Jesus This Church is NOT for you!”

His attitude can summed up in these statements:

We don't teach from Books of the Bible because it gets in the way of evangelism.

We don't offer different kinds of Bible studies because it gets in the way of evangelism.

We don't teach doctrine because it gets in the way of evangelism.

If you want to be fed God's word or have the Bible explained to you then you are a fat lazy Christian and you need to shut up and get to work or you need to leave this church because we ONLY do evangelism.

Where is love, grace, holiness and reverence? Where are the Biblical mandates for preaching, discipleship, sound doctrine, etc.?

It makes me shake my head and say, "Wha'choo talkin' 'bout, Pastor?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gems for Jules

It's such a great title, so I borrowed it from Diana's blog. Yesterday, while my wife and youngest daughter were out shopping, Juliana expressed an interest in getting her ears pierced.

Now, this has happened before and when Juliana shows an interest, Diana would usually ask Jules, "Would you like to get your ears pierced?", to which she usually replies, "No."

Yesterday was different. Jules wanted to get earrings. Diana let Jules pick out a pair that she wanted. Then it was time...

I had always thought that Jules would cry when she got her ears pierced. I remember Diana explaining the process to her and what it would feel like.

To my surprise and relief, the piercing went very well with no crying, just a precious 4 year-old admiring her new earrings.

Juliana later told me the story, pointing to her newly pierced ears and I realized just how much like her mom she was... strong, able to withstand pain and able to see the joy in the little things in life.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips,
and from a deceitful tongue."

--Psalm 120:2

Keeping the main thing, THE MAIN THING

I recently opened an account on God Tube, a Christian alternative to You Tube. I like the idea of communication, hence the blog. I also like the idea of publishing videos and although the embedded video is not mine (obviously), I like what it has to say. It's a Biblical response to emergent Rob Bell's attack on street preaching.

There seems to be a lot of disdain and even hatred towards the ways that "we used to do things". Rob Bell with books like Velvet Elvis and Sex God, works to tear at the fabric of Christianity and sadly, many pastors are following his lead.

The gospel is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. It's simply telling people about the reason for the hope that lies within you. There are diffent methods for evangelism and whether it's relational or "street" evangelism, they all have a purpose.

When it all comes down to it, I am just a beggar telling another beggar where he found food.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Quote of the Day

The spotless purity of truth must always be at war
with the blackness of heresy and lies.

--Charles Haddon Spurgeon,

from The Truth War by John MacArthur.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Preacher on the Fence

I read this poem recently and it really rings true. I pray for all those that are in or are called into the ministry that the Lord grant us wisdom and boldness to preach and teach His unabashed Word. May He fan the fire in our bones so we cannot help but to speak His Truth for His glory.



From out of the millions of the earth
God often calls a man
To preach the word, and for the truth
To take a royal stand.
“Tis sad to see him shun the cross,
Nor stand in its defense
Between the fields of right and wrong:
A preacher on the fence.

Before him are the souls of men
Bound for Heaven or Hell;
An open Bible in his hand,
And yet he will not tell
All the truth that’s written there, It haveth an offence -
The joys of Heaven, the horrors of Hell -
A preacher on the fence.

Now surely God has called the man
To battle for the right.
“Tis his to ferret out the wrong
And turn on us the light.
And yet he dare not tell the truth,
He fears the consequence,
The most disgusting thing on earth
Is a preacher on the fence.

If he should stand up for the wrong,
The right he’d not defend;
If he should stand up for the right,
The wrong he would offend.
His mouth is closed, he cannot speak
For freedom or against.
Great God deliver us from
A preacher on the fence.

But soon both sides will find him out
And brand him as a fraud,
A coward who dares not to please
The devil or his God.
Oh God, free us from fear of man,
From cowardly pretence;
Cleanse out the dross and fear of loss,
And keep us off the fence.

–Author Unknown


Because Truth matters,
George

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Preaching Of Sin

I recently came across this this past week and I wanted to post it to help illustrate a point. You see, there has been a lot of vitriole from two differing schools of thought about Christianity and the preaching of sin to lost souls.

There is one group of people who burn with a passion for the lost. Their desire and passion are to be commended, however in reaching out to sinners, the Gospel that is presented is a 1/2 gospel of "God wants you to be happy"-styled, self help sermons that are devoid of a reason for wanted to be saved in the first place.

The second group of people are often confused as legalistic hatemongers who love to condemn people to hell. That is what it may appear to be, but it is not the case. You see, these people also have a great passion to see the lost come to Christ, but know that Biblically, the sinner has to presented with the problem... their sin, before they are told of the solution.

It's in light of this approach that grace and mercy are crystal clear and apparent.

Like a well balanced diet, supplying the lost with all of the ingredients will ensure that the message is preached properly, for how can a person appreciate the FREE gift from Jesus Christ unless he knows why he needs it.

A little side note: I liked this illustration with one exception. The word "Grace" should be larger, for where sin abound, Grace much more abounds.

What A Preacher Is...

Here's just an interesting quote that I wanted to post. I got it from ExecutablePreacher.com. It describes what a preacher is. For those of us who are called into ministry, I pray that we all burn with passion for Jesus, our Lord and with compassion for those who are lost and perishing. May we always be found faithful and obedient to His perfect will and anxious to share with others the Good News of the Gospel.

May we be ever faithful in the execution of our roles as ambassadors for Christ while keeping strong in our positions as servants of the Most High God.

I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture; much impress'd
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
May feel it too; affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men.

- William Cowper, Task (bk. II, l. 394)


Because Truth matters,
George