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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"

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,

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 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,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Legacy Begins...

I remember seeing that slogan on the t-shirts that my son's middle school was selling last year. It was the premiere year for the school and they were trying to instill pride and spirit in the new school. Last year, my son's team lost every game that they played. needless to say, the legacy felt a bit off.

This year, they won their first game of the season and subsequently, the first game in the schools history. My youngest son, Matt, was with me during the game and felt anxiety and stress as he routed his brother and the team on. He sat by and watched and cheered and no matter what happened and how much he wanted to, he couldn't help out. In the end, the Falcons won 6-2!

In reflecting on this; it's a lot like life and how we raise our children. We train them and then when the big game comes, we release them and cheer and route for them from the sidelines. Although we may get to help from time to time, we have to resign ourselves that we cannot play the game for our kids; that is something that they must do for themselves.

What is your legacy and who are you leaving it to?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Go Forward and Be Ambassadors for Christ

This year our two "middle children" are involved in Girls In Action and Royal Ambassadors. These are both missionary-oriented organizations that our kids are priviledged to be involved in.

This is new ground that we are forging as our children were not involved in these organizations in our previous church as they weren't offered.

Megan was so happy and proud the day that she brought home her sash from GA's a few weeks ago and Matt was excited that he earned his RA vest last night.

Now, with the foundations layed, the kids will work on Bible memorization and other projects to help them grow in the Lord and learn more about missions. I am proud that they are taking such an interest in values and goals set forth in these organizations. While there is recreation time now and then at church, I am also glad that our children are involved in learning the truths of the Bible. The great thing is that they love it. I pray that the Lord takes the love for missions and learning that they have now and builds it into an intense desire for Him.

Go boy. Go girl. Go be a witness all over the world!...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

All In A Day's Work...

In looking back on this week, it's been one filled with a lot of different, yet interconnected events.

I've occasionally thought about the 6 degrees of separation and how everything is kind of inter-related if you go "down the chain" a few links.

This week has saw my oldest daughter go through a tremendous ordeal with having two of her molars removed. I thought about her a lot while I was at work and she was at the dentist with her mom. She went through the whole procedure; the discomfort and pain with minimal medication. I thought about the last time that I went to the dentist for something major. It was when I had to have three teeth pulled (thankfully, not in the front :) ) and they put me to sleep for the whole procedure. I remember being sore and cranky (as men are known to be when we hurt), but couldn't help think about Megan and how she was handling it. I know that I saiud it before, but she is a strong girl; not the kind of strong that can beat me in arm-wrestling, but the kind that has a great inner strength. She endures. She "toughs things out" and always puts the needs of others above her own, even when she needs something badly. She is a lot like her mom and I am proud of the woman that she is becoming .

I had the priviledge of finding out that Meg (and Diana's) dentist is a Christian and was VERY compassionate towards her. The office even called later that night to check on her. I think it bolstered Diana's faith. I know that it did mine.

This week, I saw a glimpse of Diana's schedule. She runs errands with the kids, cleans the house and took George to football. That was all in one day. Today, she cleaned the house, did school shopping with all of the kids, cut the grass, washed BOTH vehicles and still had the time to follow up with friends and family to see how they were doing. Diana is a very busy lady, yet always finds time to include God in her schedule. I admire her for that. I'm sure she doesn't really want me saying, but there are times when I look over and see her studying the Bible, listening to an online sermon and taking pages of notes. She has a thirst for God's Word that I admire and envy (almost to the point of coveting, but that would be wrong :) ). She bolsters my faith.

These are but two examples of things that happen regularly that I have a chance to see God working in my family that really have an impact on me. The list could go on and one... hearing Matthew pray for Grandma who has cancer and is not a Christian.... hearing Juliana tell me what she learned in our story time; that "Jesus did this", or "they needed to listen to Jesus", or "Jesus healed him"... hearing George pray for his mom when she's not feeling well. It all bolsters my faith.

These are all daily occurrences that happen that I feel privileged that God allows me to be a part of. He is truly great and wonderful!