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Showing posts from December, 2007

A Blog Vacation

To all my fans out there I wanted to let you know that I am taking an extended vacation from blogging. Don't worry I will be back, but with Christmas and two weeks visiting my girlfriend and her family in New Mexico I thought it would be best if I didn't have the distraction/added pressure of my blog. Feel free to wander through my archives or listen to my sermons (my Christmas Sermon is What is the Fuss About?) and I will be back with you January 14, 2008. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Experiencing the Impossible

The God we serve specializes in doing the impossible. He is the God who creates a universe out of nothing by saying a Word. He is the God who turns water into blood, dust into gnats, and parts the Red Sea. He is the God who causes a donkey to speak, the sun to hold still, and an axe head to float. He is the God who delivers His people from the land of Egypt; defeats tens of thousands of Midianites with 300 men who have clay jars, trumpets, and torches; who defeats a monster of a man, a seasoned warrior, with a young shepherd boy. God makes the impossible possible.

I truly believe we miss out on God making the impossible possible in our lives because we think we have God all figured out. Several years ago Erwin McManus was lecturing at a seminary and when he was finished, a young student shared with him how she had planned to go to the Northwest to help start a new church. She continued to explain that in the process she had discovered it was not the will of God. Erwin McManus asked her…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Politics Quiz

You are a
Social Liberal
(65% permissive)

and an...
Economic Conservative
(80% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Libertarian (80e/65s)

Link: The Politics TestonOk Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

A Holiday of Promise

We are a week away from Christmas. As a Christian Christmas is both a wonderful and dreadful experience. It is wonderful because of the reality behind the celebration. It is dreadful because of the pressure to buy gifts, not because we want to, but because it is expected. Too often, as it has been said time and time again, the wonderful part of Christmas is overlooked and consumed by the dreadful part of Christmas.

This is the reality of the culture that we live in, but it doesn’t have to be true for us. You and I can reclaim Christmas for our families. We can celebrate the holiday and remember what makes this holiday so very special to us.

We are forgetful creatures. Human beings have always had a, “What have you done for me lately?” mentality. This comes across loud in clear in the Old Testament. God shows up and Israel is happy, but time passes and Israel forgets and goes her own way. To help Israel remember God gave Israel holidays, rituals, and commandments, but these thi…

Ron Paul on WHO Radio

Growing up one of the radio stations we listened to was WHO radio from Des Moines, Iowa. In the summers we listened to Rush Limbaugh every afternoon and Saturdays in the fall we listened to Jim Zabel cover the Iowa Hawkeye football games.

This morning Dr. Ron Paul was on with Jan Mickelson. Check out Jan's podcast and listen to what my candidate for president has to say.

Authority Guarantees Freedom

"Tyranny excludes freedom, and is therefore fundamentally opposed to authentic humanness. But authority is not identical with tyranny. And Christians want to add that if tyranny destroys freedom, a right authority guarantees it. That is why the same New Testament which emphasizes 'freedom' through Christ also emphasizes both 'authority' and 'submission' as entirely consistent with it." ~ John Stott; Life in Christ; pp. 53-54

The Meaning of Freedom

One of the reasons I am supporting Ron Paul for president is his message. Too often politics have boiled down to promises. Each candidate seems to make bigger and bigger promises. For Ron Paul he seems to be content, not to make promises, but simply to proclaim the message of freedom and liberty, the way our founding fathers intended it to be. I want to encourage you consider the message of Dr. Paul. Let me direct you to an article he wrote for his website:
The problem is that democracy is not freedom.Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom.Our founding fathers clearly understood this, as evidenced not only by our republican constitutional system, but also by their writings in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere.James Madison cautioned that under a democratic government, “There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.”John Adams argued that democracies merely grant revocable rights…

Imitate the Faithful

I am currently doing my personal study through the book of Hebrews. This morning part very end of the passage I studied was Hebrews 6:11-12. The writer of this book wrote:
11 But we passionately want each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of your hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises. (NET)These two verses come at the end of a very controversial passage of Scripture. And while the Hebrews 6:4-6 may hold controversy this passage, Hebrews 6:11-12, is very clear. We need to persevere and continue to live faithful lives even when things are difficult and the easiest thing in the world to do is to turn our backs on God. Perseverance demonstrates our faith in God.

Because perseverance is so important it is absolutely essential that we have people in our lives who are models of Christian living. That is what the writer of Hebrews clearly says: imitators of those wh…

Lacking Identity

"Sometimes the most irrational things we do are in response to our lack of identity or to our pursuit of a sense of identity. When we don't know who we are, when we have no clue as to who we were meant to become, we try to become something we are not. Who we understand ourselves to be is dramatically affected for better or worse by those we hold closest to us. Sometimes that can even be someone we've never really known." ~ Erwin McManus, Soul Cravings, Intimacy: Entry 17

Why Follow Jesus? Experience

I believe that experience gives us confidence to walk faithfully with God. The more we walk by faith the more reason we have to place to our trust in God. Without the experience of God working in my life it would be very hard for me to remain a Christian. Experience is the firmest evidence we have to personally follow Jesus Christ.

As I read different blogs written by atheists I do come across arguments and questions that I have no answers to. I sure wish I did. It would be nice to be able to write arguments that left no doubt that God exists and that Jesus is His name, but it can’t be done. I have come to realize that uncertainty is part of life. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t good solid evidence to believe in God and to follow Jesus, what it does mean is that intelligent people can give good arguments supporting a number of positions. There are intelligent atheists who can offer well thought out arguments supporting why God doesn’t exists. There are smart theists we can …

People in our Hearts

"When people are allowed to go on deposit in our hearts, strong affections and attachments form. When people are not in our hearts, there is no interest or concern. Because Christ has called us into the people business, it is important that we find room for them in our hearts." ~ Gary Carpenter, What the Bible Says about the Heart, p. 41

The Consquences of Sin

Have you ever considered the impact sin has had on your life? Every once and awhile I will ponder the consequences of the sin in my life. What opportunities did God with hold from me because I lacked the character to properly respond? How have I hurt people, unknowingly, because of lies or gossip that have passed my lips? Have relationships remained dormant because of some sin I refused to acknowledge?

One of the reasons that have spurred me to ponder this question today is the fact that God is doing some wonderful things in my life and the church family I serve. I can’t help but wonder if these things are happening as the result of making an effort to deal with some specific sins in my life. It is my belief that we do not fully appreciate the power sin has to keep us from becoming the people God wants us to be. Sin always carries consequences and that means our sin always affects other people. From missed opportunities to serve to intentional harm our sin leaves an impact on t…

Living and Believing

To be followers of Christ means that we live lives of faith. Faith is not only about what we believe, but it is also about how we live. We can mentally agree with different creeds and the teachings of the Bible, but if these things don’t make a difference in how we live then we have to question whether or not we really have faith. The writers of the New Testament make it very clear that we are judged, based not solely on what we believe, but also on how we live. The two go together. True faith is the marriage of belief and action. If one is missing then true saving faith does not exist.

What we believe is very important, but God also wants us to remember what we do is important as well. That is why the apostle Peter wrote:
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but …

Acknowledge Personal Sin

It is easy to go off on a rant about the evil that exists in our world. The Church is very efficient in judging the world for her sin. I could tell you about the filth on TV, in the movies, and the music of today’s contemporary culture. I could give you statics about teen pregnancies, STDs, and drug use. We could sit here and shake our heads and bemoan how wrong our world has become. We could remember the “good old days” when prayer was in school and abortion wasn’t seen as a choice protected by the Constitution. I am not going to do that. It has been done before and it has had little positive effect. Besides you can follow the news just as well as I can and you are able to draw your own conclusions.

What I want to talk about is the sin that we have in our lives. We all have it. For some of us it the sin of laziness, we have hard time doing anything unless we are pressed to do it. Others of us have trouble with gossiping, we like being “in the know” and sharing our knowledge…

All May Draw Near

"As a result of the unique priesthood and perfect sacrifice of Jesus, to whom we have fled for refuge and through whom we have received a complete forgiveness, we may now constantly draw near to God. In Old Testament days only the priests might draw near. Through the veil into the very presence of God in the Most Holy Place, only the high priest might come, and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. All others had to keep their distance, on pain of death. But now this distinction between priest and people has been abolished by Jesus. Now there is a 'priesthood of all believers'. For now through him all may draw near, pastors and people, sovereign and commoners, without any discrimination whatever." ~ John Stott, Life in Christ, p. 21